Book-Cycling Part Three: Stationery Sets

posted by Gina

Finals are over, my friends. After a bitter (seemingly endless) battle with American Psychological Association’s 6th Edition, my last paper is in, my last performance performed, and my last all-nighter (seriously, I am way, way too old for those) pulled – at least until next semester.

And now it’s time to scramble about and deal with all the holiday prep I’ve neglected the past two weeks. If you’re in the same boat, I bring to you a delightful (and delightfully easy!) idea for a homemade gift.

The Book Page Envelope!

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These are just fun. And easy! What’s not to love?  Continue reading “Book-Cycling Part Three: Stationery Sets”

Book-Cycling Part Two: Book Wreath

posted by Gina

Before we begin, I’d just like to take this moment to give myself a round of applause for getting this post up on time. It’s finals time round these parts, and I’ve got a good hundred pages of brilliance to turn in.

Thank you. Thank you all.

And now I present – The Book Lover’s Holiday Wreath!

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Continue reading “Book-Cycling Part Two: Book Wreath”

Book-Cycling Part One: Card Carrier

I’ve been a little obsessed with Book Art recently. I have three books on pop-up crafting.  I have a huge file of google images. I pled with the director of my PhD program to help me find a way to fit “Printmaking: the Book as Art” into my requirements. (No go. “I can stretch a lot, but I can’t stretch Studio Art into Research Methodology,” he said.)

Both this site and this site (they have naughty titles, but completely innocent AND AMAZING content) have become the source of far too much daily gazing. I mean, look at this!

from fubiz.net

Continue reading “Book-Cycling Part One: Card Carrier”

Gina’s Favorite Halloween Reads

posted by Gina

It just doesn’t seem right to love books and to love Halloween and not post about Halloween books on Halloween. I realize nothing can top Beret’s Ghost Cake with Flaming Eyes, but as I spent much of today thinking lovingly of the picture books I proudly displayed in my classroom library each October, I thought, why not share? All contain little to no nightmare-inducing possibilities and are just as delightful for adults as for kiddos.   Continue reading “Gina’s Favorite Halloween Reads”

Cereal Box Night-lights

posted by Gina

Is it true, you ask?  Is it really true that with just a cereal box, a pushpin, and a string of lights I can make something incredibly, incredibly nifty?  Is it true that this nifty thing can serve as a homemade gift, a fender-offer of monsters below the bed, and a task that will keep my child occupied for a fairly long time?  All these things, my friend, are true.

I saw this crafty idea somewhere, and it’s been lurking about in my head as one of those “there’s no way this can possibly look that good” ideas.  But behold:

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IT’S ALL TRUE

I mean, that’s pretty impressive.  And not at all difficult to achieve.  Continue reading “Cereal Box Night-lights”

If You Liked A Wrinkle in Time …

Then I have something new for you.

posted by Gina

Remember A Wrinkle in Time?  I mean, what a great book.

Vintage cover, from my childhood.

Many elementary teachers still trot this out for book club or circle reading (I sure did), so your young person might be familiar already. How I loved (and still love) misfit Meg, with her temper and her glasses and her grim determination.

And, of course, the story – the mysterious strangers, the long-lost father, the journey to other worlds, the terror of IT, and the power of love.  What more could we want?  Continue reading “If You Liked A Wrinkle in Time …”

Homemade Lava Lamps!

posted by Gina

Age Range: 5 and up.

This is a nifty (dare we say groovy?) experiment that kept Larry the Cat amused for several hours today – ensuring its success with your kiddo.

You Will Need:

New Kitchen! Shiny Kitchen!
Behold Gina’s new apartment!

  • An empty bottle – those schmancy designer water bottles work well (as do empty – erm – adult bottles, as pictured above), but any empty, clear bottle will work just fine
  • Oil
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Alka-Seltzer tablets

Continue reading “Homemade Lava Lamps!”

Special Needs, Spectacular Reads

posted by Gina

One of my greatest challenges as an elementary school teacher was finding the kind of read-aloud that appealed to my entire class and motivated my students to read the same or similar books on their own. Skill levels in my classroom ran the gamut from a student who was reading high school books to another who didn’t know the alphabet.  Interest in school ranged from the reluctant student I saw maybe once a week to the always-there, always-early.  I had stereotypes on both ends of the gender spectrum, and those who defied every one.

In addition, the constant question: where to find the protagonists who reflect my students?  Where can my students who struggle find themselves as the hero?  Continue reading “Special Needs, Spectacular Reads”

Make Your Own Play-Doh

posted by Gina

Who doesn’t love Play-Doh?

There’s something for all ages – from the mucking-about-with-it Pre-K-style to the sculpt-yourself-some-impressive-creations (I’m looking at you, Josie) up-through-6th-Grade-or-so style.

But it dries out.  The colors get muddled.  And you find yourself not wanting to shell out for yet another set of little yellow tubs.

Fear not, my friends – because it is insanely easy to make Play-Doh at home.  Continue reading “Make Your Own Play-Doh”

Book Recommendation: Scribbleboy

posted by Gina

Scribbleations, new kid! Welcome to the neighborhood.

My name is Ziggy Fuzz.  I’m the president of a special fan club, and I’d like you – yes you, new kid around here – to join.  The full title of the fan club is the Scribbleboy Fan Club.  You’re probably wondering who Scribbleboy is.  So, let me explain.  If you look around the neighborhood you’ll see lots of graffiti.  Most of it is totally ugly and boring, but there are some pieces that are not totally ugly and boring at all.  That’s because they’re not graffiti – they’re Scribbles.  Scribbles scribbled by the most scribbledacious and scribblefabulous scribbler in Scribbledom.  His name – SCRIBBLEBOY.  Continue reading “Book Recommendation: Scribbleboy”

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