Friday, May 29, 2009

Five Faves Friday

Although it appears that I only update on Fridays, soon all of that will change. We start SUMMER VACATION (woo hoo!) after next week, so I should be posting more regularly, I hope! I'm off again to a graduation party in a few minutes, but I'm sneaking in my five faves before Saturday arrives:

(1) Eighth grade graduation. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal to most people, but eighth grade graduation at my school is such a meaningful, beautiful ceremony. By the time that these students leave our school, they feel like my children. I've spent every day with them for three years, as their English teacher. I've watched them grow in extraordinary ways, and overcome so many challenges. I've watched them earn those diplomas.

As assistant principal, at the ceremony, I "assist" the principal in presenting a special medal to each graduate. I help the principal put the medal (which is attached to a ribbon) over each graduate's cap. The gesture appears to be a meaningless one, but not for me. This is the last time I look in each students' eyes; this is the last hug; the last goodbye; the last time I will call them mine. I always tear up, and this is never good, since graduation is one of maybe two or three nights all year that I actually wear makeup.

So, as of last night, the class of 2009 is onward and upward -- and all that I have left to say now is that I knew them when.

(2) Speaking of graduates...
my cousin Shelly just graduated with her nursing degree from HPU. I am so proud of her. In my grandmother's eyes, her granddaughters have now achieved the epitome of success for women -- we're all nurses and teachers. This is sweet on her part, but it makes the feminist in me want to switch careers. Maybe I'll become an archaeologist, or a urologist, or a riveter. In any case, congratulations, Shelly. My TRUE Friday Fave here is that she'll be teaching summer school with me over the next few weeks. I can't wait to boss her around and say "mmm kay" all the time, just like in Office Space. I need to get a coffee cup, pronto.

(3) It's payday. Enough said.

(4) This youtube video has been on replay all week around here. It's definitely one of my faves this week.



This child is brilliantly hilarious, and hilariously brilliant.
"I'm her mom."
"No, she's not."

(5) I haven't had time to read much in the past two weeks, due to the chaos that comes with the end of the school year, but one night, I had trouble turning off my brain, so I started reading this book:
The first chapter is amazing -- I can't wait to read the rest! Ooh, and I love that tulle dress on the cover.

Have a great weekend, all!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Giddy.

Five Faves Friday

My fave are one day late, but I think I deserve a free pass after the week I've had!

1. Team teaching. I work with an amazing group of teachers, and I love that we are a unified front. Even when we disagree at first, we always seek a compromise. No teacher is an island, I say, and that's a good thing.

2. Three day weekends. Even though I'm spending mine grading papers and preparing report cards, I'm happy to have that extra day.

3. Online shopping. Despite my crazy week, I managed to nab a few things from some the sales at gap.com and anthropologie.com. Can you tell I'm feeling the green lately?

4. 7gypsies Vintage Ephemera. I haven't finished a page in over a week, due to the pandemonium that accompanies the end of the school year, but that hasn't stopped the packages from coming in the mail. I can't wait to play with these:

5. Collage Press. Speaking of packages in the mail, the new Collage Press lines arrived a few days ago, and they are BEAUTIFUL! Check out Sweet Shoppe and Knave of Hearts.

Back to grading papers...
Summer come quickly!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Five Faves Friday

1. Last week I posted about my love for Anthropologie catalogs. This week, I'm posting about what that love can lead to:These came in the mail yesterday. I've been eyeing the last one for awhile now, and I actually found it on SALE at Anthropologie.com. I love the colors and the pattern, but I also love that it has an incredibly cute and nerdball name: the "Thesis Statement" blouse.


2. Compliments. We all like to receive compliments, but there is nothing quite like the rush of giving one and seeing someone receive it with surprise and delight. This morning at the bakery, the woman behind the counter was wearing a lovely purple shirt. Before leaving, I made sure to tell her how much I liked it. This is a woman I speak to about once or twice a week, and our conversation is always limited to doughnuts, cupcakes, and brownies. Today, though, after I complimented her, it was as if she came alive for a moment -- something shifted in the way she carried herself. She smiled broadly -- and I felt soooo good for making her feel that way.

3. I am loving these American Crafts Typo Thickers in mustard:

These letters totally pop on layouts. They're genius. I also have them in peacock and black. I would love it if they came in other colors, too...like shamrock, my fave AC color ever. Now those would be truly swoonworthy.

4. Star Trek!
We saw this movie last weekend, and it was terrific! I've never really been a fan of the old school Star Trek or its offshoots. I watched all of the movies as a kid, as well as a bunch of episodes, and found them mildly entertaining. I did shed a few tears for Spock at the end of The Wrath of Khan -- who doesn't weep openly at the sound of bagpipes? -- but the movie was so incredibly bad, I don't remember much more than that. Although I'm no Trekkie, I do know enough about the series, though, to recognize that the new version definitely respects the old, while also going its own way. Great casting, too! It's definitely a must-see.

5. My favorite class this week easily was the day that my sixth graders and I read excerpts from Elie Weisel's essay "The Perils of Indifference." It was amazing to watch this group of 11- and 12-year-old students awaken to a new way of seeing, a new way of thinking.

In a way, to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman. Indifference, after all, is more dangerous than anger and hatred. Anger can at times be creative. One writes a great poem, a great symphony, one does something special for the sake of humanity because one is angry at the injustice that one witnesses. But indifference is never creative. Even hatred at times may elicit a response. You fight it. You denounce it. You disarm it. Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response.

Indifference is not a beginning, it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor -- never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten. The political prisoner in his cell, the hungry children, the homeless refugees -- not to respond to their plight, not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope is to exile them from human memory. And in denying their humanity we betray our own.

One student eloquently expressed that "we must not be indifferent; we must be the difference."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Five Faves Friday

1. Poetry. I've been keeping volumes of poetry by Jane Hirshfield and W.H. Auden nearby this week, reading on the fly...loving the magic that the "right words in the right order" can work on me, even when I am feeling distracted and harried. Just a minute -- sometimes seconds -- to be still with a few lines is all I need to tweak my perspective. The second stanza of Auden's "May" has haunted and delighted me all week:
May with its light behaving
Stirs vessel, eye and limb,
The singular and sad
Are willing to recover,
And to each swan-delighting river
The careless picnics come
In living white and red.

Our dead, remote and hooded,
In hollows rest, but we
From their vague woods have broken,
Forests where children meet
And the white angel-vampires flit,
Stand now with shaded eye,
The dangerous apple taken.

The real world lies before us,
Brave motions of the young,
Abundant wish for death,
The pleasing, pleasured, haunted:
A dying Master sinks tormented
In his admirers' ring,
The unjust walk the earth.

And love that makes impatient
Tortoise and roe, that lays
The blonde beside the dark,
Urges upon our blood,
Before the evil and the good
How insufficient is
Touch, endearment, look.
2. Jenni Bowlin Pearl Flowers. Lo-lo-lo-lo-love 'em.

I wish they came twenty to a pack. I'm running out. Sigh.

3. The latest Anthropologie catalog. I love the photography in these catalogs -- and the surprises that each catalog contains. The clothes are always beautiful, the prices are always high, but Anthro always delivers something unexpected. I loved the one in which children modeled the bags and jewelry, playing dress-up. The one that came in the mail today made me smile:

I get a kick out of the impressionistic cover and the water nymph approach in this one. So cool. I have no idea how these clothes will actually look in a non-watery environ, but who cares? It's Anthro. Even soaking wet, the clothes are fab. You can see the rest of the catalog here, if'n you're interested.

4. Raisinets. I can't stop eating them -- and that is unusual, given that I am not really a candy person. A candy bar every few weeks? Maybe. But craving Raisinets on a daily basis? So not me...and yet, this week, it's totally me.

Does this count as a daily serving of fruit? I need to finish this post so that I can dive into the bag I just photographed.

5. Koko. All week she's been a sweetheart. Today I passed by my bedroom window and I felt something brush my arm and "meow." She was sprawled on the windowsill. Luckily, my camera was nearby, to capture my fifth fave in her most authentic mode.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Collage Press Welcomes...

two new members to the design team: Nicole Harper and Kristin Faust! Check out the announcement on the Collage Press blog. I'm sure that both Nicole and Kristin are hoarse tonight after screaming when they saw the email asking them to join the team, so I'm sending out best wishes for a quick vocal chord recovery. Been there!

In other news, one of the pages that I made this weekend ("In This Room") is featured on the Catwalk at Scrap in Style. I was so surprised to see it there today! I've got to give it up for Kara, for posting the challenge at Bad Girls Kits, prompting me to create the layout in the first place. Thanks, Kara!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Scrapxhausted.

Happy National Scrapbook Day!

Today I spent the day with the crazy and talented chicas over at Bad Girls Kits. I've never been into NSD -- it's just been like any other scrappy Saturday for me in the past -- but this year, I had so much fun. I've only been part of the Bad Girls community for a few months, and I love how close-knit everyone is there. It's totally the Cheers of the scrapbooking world -- "where everybody knows your name."

In any case, I was able to take on all of the challenges that were part of today's festivities. I am a total challenge junkie, so it was nice to fall into challenge after challenge today.

(1) Kara's challenge was to create a layout based on a room. I walked into each room of my house, gave each one a "meh", and then it hit me -- my classroom! An hour later, I had finished this layout:

(2) Cari's challenge was to use stamping on a layout along with a stamping technique (I used embossing), and Suzanne's challenge was styled after Bingo. I chose the "G" column, which challenged me to use stamping, black and white pics, glitter, brads, and an old item from my stash. I used an old piece of fabric that's been in my stash since...well...since I've had a stash, methinks.

For a long time I've been wanting to use this photo of my mother-in-law at her first birthday. I love the way this turned out. Something about "vintage" photos gives me extra creative fuel.

(3) Sri's challenge was to scrap a layout about mom. I really don't take enough photos of my mother, and as a result, I don't make enough pages about her, either. I'm glad I had this photo of her from Easter. The journaling for this page was a long time coming. I finished the page itself in minutes -- and then I sat staring at the page, waiting for the words to come. Finally, they did.

(4) My challenge was to create a page about what makes you a bad girl. Those who played along came up with some great layouts. Here's my layout:


(5) The last challenge of the day was one that I'd been anticipating with eagerness and a little nervousness. Dena challenged us to create a layout in 15 minutes or less. I am not a speedy scrapper by any means, so I knew this would be a true challenge for me. Once the clock started, I was surprised at how smoothly everything flowed. There's no time to question yourself when there's only 15 minutes on the clock. I began by sifting through photos, and I found a goofy pic that Z took of Rob and me back in February. I immediately thought, "Now that's real love," and everything took off from there. Instead of using adhesive on each paper, which would have been time consuming (given the challenge), I just sewed across the layout in three places. The scan is kind of crooked, but I actually like the results. Given more time, I'm sure I would have added a few accents and ensured that everything was placed just so, but I'm fine with it this way. It's charming. It's a bit messy. It's real love.

Overall, it was a great NSD. I can't wait for next year!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Five Faves Friday


1. This week I finished The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister. What an amazing reading experience...and culinary experience, too! It's about a cooking school, run by an intuitive chef, Lillian, and how each class touches each student in some way. The writing is amazing -- delicious, lyrical, spellbinding -- full of sentences ripe for rereading. I actually started reading this book a few weeks back, but then (real) school got crazy, and I didn't want to rush through the book, so I tabled it, returning to it over spring break. I'm so glad I did. This is a book that you will want to savor. Every word is delectable.

2. Speaking of something worth savoring, my order from Sarabeth's arrived in the mail this week!

Yes, I ordered Peach Apricot jam in the mail. I can't find it on island any more, and I yearn for this beautiful stuff -- on toast, with biscuits, atop cheesecake, by the spoonful...and now I have two whole jars. Well, one and a half jars, that is.

3. These hands.

4. More food...
Somen salad! Every year I make this for our May Day potluck at school. Following our annual program, the teachers get together for a potluck. All the best local foods are on the menu -- kalua pork, lomi salmon, poi, poke, and yes, somen salad. Mmm...

5. The May Bad Girls kit -- well, what's left of it:

What can I say? I scrap hard.
Oh, and I'm so not done with this lovely kit.
Here are the layouts I made with it:

You can click on them if you want a closer look.
Have a great Friday!
Hope to see you tomorrow for NSD at Bad Girls Kits!