Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My sister, Jenny, is anxious that I post a new blog post. She says it "spooky opening up the blog and seeing a photo of herself!" I really ought to leave her photo at the top just to play with her, but being a good sister (okay only THIS time) I am not going to be mean. So let's get going on this post and get Jenny off the top of the page.

This is a photo of the card we did at Stamp Camp on Saturday. This one is of my own design. I used the following cardstocks: Old Olive, So Saffron, White and Chocolate Chip. We used the scallop edge punch to create the cute scallop frame. The DSP is Tall Tales Designer Series Paper. Then of course, it is Well Scripted for the font and Animal Stories for the elephant design. Inside the card (which you don't see) is a white mat with another little chocolate chip elephant.

By the way these neat plastic cases came from OH MY CRAFTS when sis ordered a bunch of embossing folders. She saved them for me and I use them to display cards in my Stamp Camps. That way each table gets one to refer to and I can keep my card clean.

This is a card that we did at Saturday's Stamp Camp. I saw it on Gretchen Barrron's blog. So I want you to know that I DID NOT design this card and those honors go to Gretchen Barron. She has a wonderful blog that I visit often. Please go by and check her blog out at I love how she used Soft Suede with Bermuda Bay. She used a strip of Thoroughly Modern DSP, Well Scripted, Garden from the Heart and the new scallop edge punches. Now I did not do her trick with DSP paper on the ribbon of the hat, instead I watercolored it instead.

Now at camptime, we all had problems getting the punches to work. Not sure why. I told the girls I would work on the problem and we could try it again free.... So while I am out from work (got chemo today) for the next 3 days, I will tackle this problem.

I am having a bit of trouble typing today. Seems Mr. Socks (my tuxedo cat) has decided to sit his big fat butt on my left wrist and then the matter of his tail brushing my hands occasionally. So today blogging is an interesting and challenging thing to do.

I hope to have some layouts to post this week. I just have been so busy at work. The State Department of Education comes to my school today. It is time for a Special Education Monitoring of the programs and student records. This will continue for the next 3 days. I turned in my paperwork, records and the student files they requested from me yesterday. They sent out a list last week (maybe Tuesday?) of whose files would be monitored. Thankfully I do not have to be there during the stress of the monitoring. Instead Dr. Baltz has me scheduled for my 3 month scans to see if I am still in remission and also for a round of chemo. We are doing monthly chemos for my uterine cancer until May, as an insurance policy. I have been doing this since August 2009, when I got my 1st scan back showing I am in remission. And this was schedule on Feb 3rd, well before the SpEd Monitoring was announced on Feb 16th. So it is NOTHING I personally pulled together to miss this visit. Let's just say the ladies at work will have their stress slung over 3 days, and my stress will be today (as well as the chemo roller coaster for the next few days). All and all we have alot going on here.

There are 2 more weeks to finish our alternate assessment portfolios too. I am going to throw a pizza party for my students when they are completed! The kids have been so wonderful as I work with them on portfolios, either with work samples or captioned photos of them doing the SLE (Student Learning Expectations). This is hard on them and myself. It takes away alot of precious teaching time for me -- I end up having to do review for some skills while I work on new ones for a certain portfolio group. Then it will be Spring Break time and I can regroup.

This year we will do Annual Reviews in late May for the next school year. While it is alot of work at the end of the season, it will be best in the future. At least next school year I will only have to come in and set up the room and teach. I have had to come in and also get new Annual Reviews and IEP's completed the first month of school. Whew!

Then also the week before Spring Break we are moving! There was a room designed for me at the new Middle School, which is adjoining the High School. So my class is getting a really large classroom, a bathroom, a nice kitchen and a huge storage closet for ourselves in the new area. It is simply a walk out the door on this floor (3rd floor) that opens directly to the High School building across the street. And this street is closed to thru-traffic, so going back and forth is not a problem. They do that now with the PE complex and the Middle School is beside that. So my older kids can go back and forth to classes easily. I will still have the 7th to 12th grades, although I may pull a 6th and 5th grader for this coming year. It is hard when there is only one self contained program (and it came into existance 4 years ago when I arrived). In the future there will be a need for one in the lower grades, but we do not have the population to support it yet.
That is changing.... our little school is getting bigger and bigger.

Okay, I need to go and shower/get ready/etc. for the morning. Aunt Chuck is coming to take me because I had to have some pre-meds for today and driving over to sis's house and her picking me up there is not a good idea. I try to avoid driving situtations when they give me premeds --- one of them is benadryl and I get sleepy fast on it. So for YOUR SAFETY, I do not

Have a good day. After my scans I will take a nice nap at the beginning of chemo (I get another shot of benadryl and for about 1 1/2 hrs, I tend to sleep/or at least am so groggy I cannot keep my eyes open).

See you later!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday, February 21st, 2010 Stamp Camp

Jenny with her WANTED SIGN!

At the table in the foreground are Angie (in gray), Lisa (in yellow) and Trish (in white). In the background, Micki (in the burgundy), Aunt Chuck (in black sweater) and Ann (in beige).

Foreground is Micki eating HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRIES that Kathy made for class. In the background is Trish (in white) and Aunt Chuck (in black). I have a tiny tiny classroom as you can see... it even has 3 doors to my 2 lane bowling alley of a room! We are moving to the new room in the new building in less than a month!

Jenny (in blue) and Amie (in pink) working on their cards.

Kim (blonde hair) and Kathy (brown hair) working on their IN THE GARDEN cards.

Laura (in blue) and Ann (in beige) working on their IN THE GARDEN cards.

Angie (gray who is also one of my 2 downlines) and Lisa (yellow) working on their WANTED cards. Can you tell SONIC is a favorite drink place for all the ladies. Heck, yesterday I was given 2 Route 44 cups of ice (I prefer water over soft drinks) and that meant I had one there and one to take home! It lasted thru the evening for me. WOOHOOO!!!! Thanks Aunt Chuck and Jenny.
Yesterday I had 11 people at my February Stamp camp and 4 of them were new stampers for me. Thanks for coming Kim, Amie, Trish and Ann! Then I had my regular ladies: Laura, Jenny, Kathy, Micki, Angie, Aunt Chuck, and Lisa. Nita and Tanya had other committments and could not be with us.
We have been meeting in my tiny classroom. That will change really soon. Right now my room looks like a 2 lane bowling alley with a door to the hallway and 2 doors adjoining the other bowling alley rooms. They are tiny! We are wall to wall full. During mid March I am moving to the new Middle School building (even though I teach 7 -12 grade self contained) because they built me a DREAM ROOM! I have never had a new room in a new building before! My classroom will be a bit larger than a regular classroom and in addition I have a full bathroom, a decent size gallery kitchen and a huge storage room attached to my room. Just cannot wait to be able to spread out and not be all boxed up in this tiny room.
We made 4 cards yesterday and a project. I designed 2 cards for the class using Abundant Hope and Animal Stories. Then I surfed the net and found a lovely card by Gretchen Barron using Garden of Hope and cased it. I also cased Lisa Sommerville for her Wanted card and I modified her 2 test tube candy box to fit one LARGE 1 1/4 inch test tube. We used speckled jelly beans in the test tubes , Tea Party DSP paper and the Curly Label sentiment in Eggcoutrements.
Turns out sis was talking to her table about scrapbooking and I have 5 people wanting to have a once a month scrapbooking camp like our stamp camps. Wow! So I have to work on that for Jenny, Laura, Kim, Amie and Kathy. I need to also talk to the the other girls and see if anyone is interested in joining us. I have 4 more scrapbookers that I know of in the group.
Okay it is raining cats and dogs here. Thank God for such a nice day yesterday as I had to move things from home to the car; from the car to my classroom; from the classroom to the car; and from the car to the house again. It made a world of difference. Hate getting drenched.
News regarding my uncle. Time grows shorter and shorter. He was conscious in the morning ICU visit but not on the afternoon visit. Please say a prayer for his soul. Thank you.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Night, February 20th- Zio's Cards

I do not know if I showed you these cards or not. I made them for my Zio (Uncle) Corrado. They are somewhere sitting in a box in Italy right now and the box has not been delivered. I am not sure he will even ever see these cards.
This morning he had an epiletic crisis.... he is in ICU now. His brain cancer tumors did get smaller thanks to the radiation, but the cancer has spread to all his organs but his heart. His time on Earth is very short now.
He is beloved by many nieces and nephews. It is a shame he never had children of his own, because he would of been a great father. I am so sorry that my time with him was very short. I had 8 months at the beginning of my life with him. Then I did not get to see him again until July 2008, and I lived with him at Marina di Pisa, Italy for 3 weeks. He was supposed to spend Christmas 2009 with me here in Arkansas. But the illness struck in November and his plans had to change. As most of you know, I went there for Christmas and started this blog to record my travels. So I got the additional 2 more weeks.
I often wonder how he could of stolen my heart in 5 weeks. Although I met my other aunt and uncles too, he is the one I refer to as the Beloved Uncle and the Uncle of my Heart. I call him many names... Zio Diablo Qua Qua (Devil Duck) since many of the cousins call him Qua Qua for the duck sounds he makes to babies... he calls me Diavolina (Devil) Arlene or Angelica (Angel) Arlene and sometimes Regina (Queen) Arlene. What a great cook he is too! I love his spaghetti carabone (I probably misspelled that).
He even scrapbooks! Well he scrapbooks only photos of naval vessels and aerial (planes). He has a separate book for each. It is his hobby. I use photographs of families and he does the boats and the planes. That will explain more about why I made him the boat card. He has a big fat cat (think Garfield on red meat and not lasanga!) so I made a cat card. He was telling me in December to plan on returning to him in June, once he got the "frogs" (his term for the tumors) out of his head. Thus a frog card. Finally, I see him as a playful monkey... so a monkey card was appropriate.
We carried on a many a conversation in broken Italian on my side, broken English on his side, and lots of gestures and drawings. Oh how he makes me laugh and then makes me cry. He is so funny with the biggest personality you could ever imagine. And he loves to hand me something special and watch me cry over it.... Once it was a set of small expresso cups and matching saucers and he knew I do not drink coffee. It was a set of his late wife's. He wanted me to have it. I want to get it put into a shadow box to hang on my wall. At Christmas he gave me 3 beautiful items: a leather purse, a pair of gorgeous earrings and my most treasured is a jewlery box with a plaque in it... the plaque was to commemorate his trip to the USA. I cried buckets of tears when I read the final 4 words, With Love Zio Corrado.
Tomorrow I will try to finish a layout of the two of us I started on Thursday.
If you can, please say a prayer for our Beloved Zio. Just pray he goes quietly without pain. He will be sorely missed by those of us who love him. The most important thing I can say is that he is a good man, who knows Love and gives Love.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Okay here is card 2 for today's Stamp Camp. It was designed by Lisa Somerville and I spotted it at under the stamp set gallery WANTED. I just love how she did this card. I needed something that was more masculine, so this is what I decided on doing. Lisa is very talented and has some great cards and gift ideas. She also has a website so go visit her! In fact, I duplicated two of her ideas for today's class - this card and a test tube project. When I wrote my directions down, I gave her all the credit for the designs.

Here it is 5:10 a.m. on Saturday morning and both of my furr balls (the cats) have already been fed. Socks is in his normal position on my computer desk as I type. His motor is running on a loud speed. He loves to mess with me in the morning. He just talks and talks (meow meow meow) and then when he gets settled the talking stops and the motor sounds begin (his purring).

Julie sticks close by for her food, then she eats and goes back to her perch on the back of the sofa (or my bed pillow) until she thinks it is time to mess with me. She is more active later in the day. Socks loves to announce it is morning Mom! Time to feed me! Time to love on me! LOL

Apparently I am lucking out today. The rains that were scheduled for yesterday and today will not start until this afternoon (the weatherman says after 2 p.m.) That is good for me. I can get my Stampin Bag and my 2 plastic boxes into the car and they will stay dry. Then I can move them into my classroom, have class, and move them back out without getting rained on . Heck, if I come home directly after class, then I can also unload them without getting wet.

Already plotting and planning my March class. Know I have a card organizer box for the main project. Saw a viewmaster card I want to use too... Now 3 more cards or perhaps 2 cards and a scrapbook page. Going to ask the ladies this morning which they prefer. Also got to remember to take my camera. I want to get some photos of the ladies at work! Would make a great scrapbook page for me.

Well it is time for some breakfast for me. Hope you enjoyed today's card image (designed by Lisa Somerville) as much as I do.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's time for Stamp Camp again! I have 4 cards and one special project all cut and ready to pass out to 12 ladies tomorrow morning. I have 8 returning campers and 4 new campers. Going to be a fun day. So tonight I start posting all the cards and the project -- but only one per post. This way I am sure to post more this week.
The above card is made with Abundant Joy. It is an easel card, so it stands up when you open it. This model does NOT have the sentiment HAPPY EASTER on it. I left 2 of my 4 models without sentiments. Have something else in mind for them.
Speaking of models. I have prepared 4 model cards for each card that I am teaching tomorrow. That means I come home with 16 finished cards too! I will have one on the board and then one at each table of ladies (three tables with four ladies each).
It has been a very busy week. I am in the last few weeks of my Alternate Assessment Portfolios for my students. And of course each grade does it differently per State Department of Education rules. I have one 7th grade portfolio in Literacy, Math and Science (and I lack the Science to be finished). Then print her captioned photos and ALL her entry sheets.
I have three 8th grade portfolios in Literacy and Math. For one child I need to print off a sheet of captioned photographs for the SLE (Specific Learning Entry). I have to print one more entry sheet for this student and am finished with him.
For the other two students I have to take photos of them working a Geometry activity on angles. Good thing I found my Geo board and just need to grab some yarn to get finished. Then print them. Also need to type out 3 more entry sheets each for this pair.
I have completed the entire portfolio (all entry sheets and work) for the 9th grade Math portfolio (only have 1 of them).
I have completed the entire portfolios on both 10th grade Biology portfolios! Woohoo!
Then the 11th grade Literacy portfolios.... I have to print entry sheets for one child. Then the other transferred into our high school 3 weeks ago... On his, I still need to take one more set of photos, and then print 2 different sets of captioned photos. Afterwards, I still have to type out the entry sheets for him.
Plus, since I do not have enough paperwork, I had to do an Annual Review Conference and then a Transfer Conference in the past 2 weeks. I am simply drowning in paperwork! Still have to teach, take grades, make lesson plans, etc.... LOL
To top it all off, we were told last week that the State Department of Education - Special Education Unit is coming next Wednesday to monitor our Special Education Records. Thankfully only 2 of my folders were pulled and both are in good condition. They will be around Wednesday through Friday. But I will NOT be there. I have my 3 month scans and my chemo round on Wednesday. So I am out the rest of the week.
Okay I am worn out tonight. Got all my things packed and double checked for tomorrow's class. Plan on getting there between 7:30 - 8:00 a.m. and set up. Then I will work on some of my paperwork til the ladies arrive at 9 a.m. I just hate to be rushed when I am presenting a class. Rather be all prepared, set up and ready to go... then I can relax and enjoy it too.
Have a good night and expect another post tomorrow afternoon or evening...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010 - My Dear Cousins

Amazing that I even make 2 posts in one day. Been forever since I have done that. Since it is a snow day and I am at home, I decided to try the February Challenge Layout sketch at the Crop Room. I dug into my photos for photos of my wonderful cousins. I am sorry that Nikolas is not in the photos, nor is Gabby, Renzo and Luca (whom I did not get to see this time).
I used a patterned paper with the words COUSINS written in many languages as part of my base. I cut it to 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 and then mounted it to 12 x 12 SU Always Artichoke Cardstock. The photos are (3) 4 x 6 inch photos with SU Really Rust mats in 4 1/4 x 6 1/4 and (3) 3 x 4 photos with SU Really Rust mats in 3 1/4 x 4 1/4. I used the computer to write all the names using SU Naturals White Cardstock and then punched them out with a small oval punch. Then matted those names with SU Really Rust cardstock using the large oval punch. I mounted them using stamping dimensionals (pop dots) to give the page some depth. My journal is computer generated onto SU Naturals White Cardstock (4 x 6) and then matted in SU Really Rust cardstock at 4 1/4 x 6 1/4. I used a 3d diecut of the Leaning Tower for an embellishment and it picks up the tower in the photo below it. Finally I used my Cricut Cartridge POOH FONT SET (yes, as in Winnie the Pooh) and selected letters in 1 3/4 inch Marker style for the SU Really Rust and then letters in the 1 3/4 Marker Shadow style for the SU Naturals White Cardstock to get my title, My Dear Cousins.
It is a very simple layout and I cannot wait to go hang it up in my hallway. This way I can view all the cousins as I walk thru my house. Love my 12 x 12 hanging frames. I keep 3 double spread layouts up at all times. Occasionally I simply remove a double spread layout and add a new one to the frames. Talk about easy decorating! LOL
A whole hour after my last post and it is STILL SNOWING! Wow. At least I do not have to go anywhere today. I have a warm place to be, good food already prepared (I used the crock pot alot over the weekend) and supplies to make more layouts or cards.
You stay warm ,

Monday, February 8, 2010 - Is this really Arkansas???

Jenny woke me at 5 a.m. this morning and told me to go check the weather stations. So I did... amazing! Sometime during the night, either my house was transported to a movie set and someone turned on the snow machine on the highest setting OR it was moved to Vermont. We never get this much snow! There is a layer of ice/sleet under the snow. This photo was taken about 10:15 a.m. (about 15 minutes ago) of my front yard. The snow is coming down in huge flakes and very rapidly. The weathermen are calling for 2 to 4 inches of snow HERE today!

At 5:30 all schools in this area were closed. The main roads were getting too slick. And of course, it might melt some later today, but it will refreeze tonight. So I am betting no school tomorrow either. WOW.....

In a few minutes I am going to post another blog post of a layout I completed this morning of all my wonderful Italian cousins (well those I saw at Christmas). I just noticed I am missing little Nikolas... sorry.... he was not in these photos I used.

Stay warm,


Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 7, 2010

This is a layout I made for Austin this weekend. He has a letter he wrote to Santa and a letter Santa wrote to him. There is a pocket on each page to add these letters. Nothing really fancy, but how else do you showcase letters? The Santa stamp is one I got at Patti's shop in Prato. It is made by Improne D' Autore in Milano. The other stamp of the toys is from a Stampin Up set called A Merry Little Christmas.
Sorry I have been away from the blog. Between the blog, work and chemo cycles I have been rushed. This chemo cycle on Wednesday, did not go well. The first needle into my IV port hurt something terrible. The 2nd needle did not hurt as much. Then I got sent over for an X-ray. Well the X-ray shows everything is in place. So off to the chemo lab I went. Ginger, my nurse, started the saline drip IV and I started having problems. There was a heavy burning right under the skin around the IV Port. So it looks like I have a leak somewhere. Saline burns if it gets in the skin. Ugh.... now we have to have a IV Port study with a radiologist. Ginger put an IV in my arm and away we went with the chemo treatment.
I experienced alot of nausea this time. Mostly of the roller coaster variety, but I feel like I have wasted 3 days at home doing nothing. You know me, I want to do something and fill my time while I am off work. I am simply not a good sitter. I have to be busy. Well I was busy alright, but with my nausea drugs instead. This layout took me 3 days to complete. Something unheard of for me. I could only do a bit at a time. An hour and then back to bed. Several hours later I was up and tried a bit more. Ugh.So far today, the nausea is low key. Let's
hope it stays that way. I have laundry to be done and dishes in the sink that need my attention. Plus I have another layout I need to do for Sandy.
This will be a short week at work. The students are there only Monday through Thursday. And on Thursday, we are going to the Area 10 Special Olympics Basketball Tournament at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, which is 75 miles away. On Friday we have CAP conferences, where the students/parents help decide what courses to take the following school year. No students at school that day. On Monday, the students and teachers are off for President's Day (It used to be Mid-Winter Break). I have oodles of CAP conferences to do, 2 IEP conferences and then got to get my portfolio's completed! Time is flying by.
I go back to see Dr. Baltz on Feb. 24th for my 3 month scan of the head, chest, abdomen, and pelvis as well as a full body Bone Destiny scan. Then I have chemo afterwards. Every 3 months I get the scans to show if I remain in remission or not. The following chemo cycle will occur during my Spring Break, so my poor paycheck can get a rest. I get 3 days taken out of it each time I have a chemo cycle. I ran out of sick days back in November, so this is getting a bit high in cost.
Lucia, if you are reading this, I sent a box for Zio yesterday. It should arrive in 7 to 10 days. Jenny took me to the post office since driving was really not a good idea for me to be doing while I have so much nausea.
Have a good weekend, or at least what is remaining of it,