Friday, June 26, 2015

Five for Friday: June 26

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for this week's Five for Friday linky fun.
Summer time means family time in these parts.  We'll be getting more and more family time because my cousin-in-law and her family are moving 2 miles away from us!  Currently they are 800 miles away from us.  They came to visit for a few days, went house hunting and found the second cutest house in our zip code.  (Ours is the cutest, of course.)  In a few weeks we'll be #hanginatthehostetlers!  I can't wait!

Super fun family time almost got ruined by Mother Nature turning up the heat.  Triple digits in temperature and humidity.  Not loving it.  In an attempt to beat the heat, we loaded up everyone and headed to my mom's for some poolside shenanigans.  Sen wouldn't get in, but the rest of us loved it.
I love my mom.  To bits.  But she is not the most tech savvy girl.  We asked her to take a picture of us in the pool with my cell phone.  Apparently she has never done this in her life.  It took 15 minutes and I got 3 pictures of her jeans, an accidental selfie and a video of me being bratty.  Must erase the incriminating video... ;)  We did end up with a very good photo, however.

I'm also working through chair pocket orders.  I've made some really cute sets this week.  The chevron set in the middle is to coordinate with Dots on Turquoise.  It is going to look great!  I also finished two sets of double pockets.  More info on Etsy.

Just before the fam arrived my copy of The Ready Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo was delivered.  I was able to peek inside a little and I getting antsy to dive in.  It looks phenomenal!

Finally, we are using some of my off time to work at our way-out-in-the-woods property.  Our first path to the lake ended at an alligator nest, so we unanimously decided to move to a new path.  Yesterday we worked to forge through the wilderness (again) for a new path to the lake.  This spot is awesome.  It is on the southern end and is the future home to our dock.  I love this place.

It's been a great week!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge: Week 2 Dare to Dream

Running a little later this week due to Super Fun Family events spilling over into this week. One weekend can't hold us, ya'll! Today I'm linking up week 2 of the TPT Seller Challenge! This week's challenge is: Dare to Dream!
As of now, my TpT store funds some extras for my classroom and a splurge here or there.  I'm not one of the sellers that can say TpT paid for a new house or a trip around the world...yet.  I've been aspiring to those heights since I started the shop.  I am happy to say that I've had a steady increase throughout and that is really all I can ask.

Don't get me wrong.  I would LOVE spread the word of how revenue from my products helped us in big ways.

My first dream is to continue remodeling our house.  It was built in 1918 and I love it.  We are in a great location, have a nice spread of land and are close to lots of entertainment.  We just need to freshen up around the house.  We would like to have a new metal roof and renovate the kitchen.  It would be awesome to fund this more quickly so we can continue enjoying our house.
Next, we've been talking for years about taking a hike along the western Italian coast line.  For us, big vacations tend to get put on the back burner.  One of my goals is to squirrel away enough money to pay for the trip myself as a surprise.
Lastly I would love to provide keep-at-home resources for my students.  It breaks my heart when they tell me they don't have any books at home or that they can't get to the public library because it costs too much for everyone to ride the bus there.  Immediately I think of the trickle down of this situation.  Big sister doesn't have books so little brother can't get them as hand-me-downs and baby sister doesn't hear anyone read to her until Kindergarten.  During the school year I let kids borrow books to take home.  When I give students old books during a purge they are amazed when I say they can have them and don't have to give them back.  I'd love to give them new books to have and pass down to their siblings and cousins and neighbors.

We are a Title I school and can get low cost books, but even low cost books cost money (plus shipping, phew!)  My goal is to have enough extra funds to let students choose their own books to keep through First Books, Scholastic book clubs, etc.

There is still time to join in on the fun:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ready to Ship Chair Pockets

This doesn't happen too often.  Grab them up while you can!  I have two sets of completed chair pockets that are ready to ship.  Handmade by yours truly.

First, a set of 5 double, pocket aqua blue chevron with aqua blue backs in 14" width.

This set of five is perfect for your small group table, or if you are an SLP, interventionist or only work with a small group of students at a time.

The other set is 25 single pocket brown seat sacks measuring 17" wide, but they can be adjusted smaller if needed.
The brown will look great with a woodland, forest, or hedgehog themed classroom.  Also, brown is a great neutral.  I'm just sayin'...

If you are interested in chair pockets or seat sacks but these don't fit your needs, I can create a custom set for you.  Head over to my Etsy shop to get started!

Monday, June 15, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge Week 1: Makeover Madness

Today the TpT Seller Challenge provided me the motivation to revamp one of my best selling TpT products.  Ya'll, it was hideous!
Glitter background, crazy frames and the glow!  Good heavens the glow!

It took a few hours for me to finish the makeover, but it is so worth it.

Working with Y as a Vowel has been successfully updated!  It's on sale through Friday.

The original product was posted in 2013.  It was the third product I had for sale.  It's interesting to go back into old files.  I must have just learned how to add the glow around text because all the titles had some form of the glow effect.  Most had glow and shadow.

Step 1: Ditch the entire cover. 

Melonheadz's Nerds are one of my most favorite clip art collections.  Nerds have a special place in my heart.  This cutie got the call for cover girl today!

Add Hello Fonts.  'Nuff said.

Step 2: K. I. S. S.

That's right. I looked back to junior high for design inspirations.

I can admit it-the original was tacky.  The file no longer includes any glowing or glittering objects.  Not that I am strictly apposed to either.  I like a well-place glow.  I love me some glitter.  Both were overkill.

I also simplified the frames and borders.  The zig zag was too much for the small spaces.  I went really simple with plain, thick gray lines and a nice pop of red border in some places.

Lesson learned:  Alignment is your friend.  Sometime after finding the glow effect, I must have ran across the align button.  Boy, do I love that thing!  It makes it so easy to center, distribute and well...align.

Now I think the cover is eye-catching (for positive reasons) and all the pages inside are easy to read, have good flow and won't use up all the ink, even if it is mostly color.  Hopefully I can go back and add blackline versions, too.

As I scrolled through my products list I was able to tag a few more products due for a summer makeover.

Another part of the challenge is to track stats.  My beginning digits:

We'll see how the effort over the next month changes these numbers.

Join in on the fun!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Five for Friday

Finally!  I have time to link up with Five for Friday!

How about that new logo and banner?!?  LOVE* LOVE * LOVE The amazing Rebecca of Rebecca B Designs created them for me from this inspiration palette.

I'm still working on the blending the blog design to meet the awesomeness that is my new logo and banner.  It's a work in progress.

Part of my summer is spent happily cutting, stitching and pressing handmade chair pockets for my fellow educators.  The hum of the sewing machine is very Zen for me.  I've already finished a few orders and have several in the works.

Check them out at

School's out for summer!  Can I get a wahoo!  This year was long.  Longer than usual with our extra hour.  Every. day.  Next year I will continue to be our school's literacy interventionist.  I am slated to have 80 students from K-5.  Exciting and overwhelming.  Definitely something that will be on my mind all summer.

This is how I left my new portable.

We just moved all the stuff in, tried to get what we could off the floor (for waxing) and called it even.  Next year the math interventionist and I will share a room.  I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm also throwing a sale this weekend on TpT to celebrate the end of the school year.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sales Galore!

Ok, maybe not galore, but I am running two sales. First, all the products in my TpT shop are on sale through Sunday. Wahoo!

The second sale is happening over at my Etsy shop.  Use the coupon code in the image during check out for a "Hooray for Summertime!" discount until July 31.
 By the way, my creating and shipping times have been adjusted for the summertime: