Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's been a while..........

............and boy, have I been busy!  I finally got ready to post again last night and discovered that Blogger was all goofed up.  Apparently, Blogger no longer works with Internet Explorer as a browser, so in the wee hours of the morning, I tried to download Firefox.  Stupidly, I tried to move some things into the recycle bin while Firefox was trying to install and bogged down the whole computer.  So........I went to bed frustrated and without a post.  Dear Hubby got up this morning and got everything going again, and this afternoon I was able to successfully install Firefox.  To my great joy, as soon as I tried to open Blogger to write this post, everything looked "right" again.  Yay! 

I am super excited to start documenting our first year of homeschooling.  I've been busy, busy, busy this week planning and preparing for our first several weeks.  I cannot tell you how great it is to be spending all these hours planning rich educational experiences for my own two children.  In the past decade, I would be spending this time of year preparing things in my classroom for the upcoming year, and dragging my kids along with me while I put in countless hours getting things ready to go.

This morning I spent about 2 1/2 hours meeting with Miss Janet, who is replacing me in my previous Montessori classroom.  It was fun to go up and see how she has everything set up.  She is going to do an AWESOME job and the families are so lucky to have her!!  As I drove down the hill when I left, I paused to ask myself if going there today made me feel at all nostalgic about not going back this year.  I immediately realized that I am completely at peace with my decision to stay home.  I have no regrets!!

Although this isn't homeschool-related, those of you who have been hanging out with me for a while might enjoy a glimpse of my newly redecorated craft room.  I spent much of the last week sewing and reorganizing that space.  I am really pleased with the results.  To give you the backstory, I am blessed to have a room all for myself in our basement.  It has always served as my craft room, and also as a guest bedroom as it has a pull-out couch.  All these years (8 to be exact) that we've lived here, I had never done anything to "spruce up" this space.  It was organized, but not "cute".  This summer the craft area has been in disarray as we've had two garage sales and it has been the necessary "holding zone" for all those items.  With great joy, I made a trip to Goodwill last week to haul the remnants away.  Then I looked at my craft area with new eyes and decided to sew up some pretties for it.  It makes me so happy to make things, and I think it will be more important than ever for me to have a place to "get away" this year as I transition to being home with the boys full time.  Without further wordiness, please come along on a little tour........

 This is the view looking in from the doorway.  I was pregnant 10 years ago when we picked out the red pull-out couch.  I now wish I'd gone with a neutral.  But.......since this is what I've got (and I do like red) I found some fun fabrics and pulled in lime green and pink to go with the red and make it a bit more "peppy".  I already had the shelves up, but I added some red wooden crates we had elsewhere and a few other red accents to make them have a little pop of color.  They are still quite utilitarian-looking, but not quite as bad as before.  We also added the rug which was rolled up in the rafters of our garage.  A quick vacuuming and steam-vac-ing and it was good to go.


Close-ups of my purty pillows.  I already had 4 pillows on the couch, so I just used the quilting cottons to make slipcovers for each of them.  They have an envelope opening on the back so I can just slip them off to wash.  Like if a cat barfs on them, not that that's ever happened.......... :-(

I love this area the most.  First of all, I sewed a little skirt for the table to hide all the crap craft items stored under it.  They were a real eye-sore in the room and the skirt makes it look so cute.  I also used a pillow that had Silly Putty permanently adhered to it and made it into a little seat cushion for the chair.  I love repurposing!  (And I was so ticked about the Silly Putty!)  

Then, I wanted to add something fun to the boring and bare wall above the table.  A LONG time ago I'd picked up a big embroidery hoop while thrifting and I've been saving it to use as wall art.  I just added a circle of one of my fabrics and Done!  It's hard to tell in this photo, but for the CREATE pennants, I Mod-Podged the different fabrics from the space onto scrap cardboard and used some pre-cut letters I found in my stash to spell CREATE.  I then tied the pennants together with little scraps of black and white ribbon, then hung them with thumbtacks.  I hot-glued little teeny white clothespins on the end of the tacks to hold the ends of the ribbon.  I love this so much.  It's such an improvement!

In the corner just to the left of the craft table is a shelf with more craft supplies.  I whipped up a little curtain on a tension rod to hide everything on that shelf.  Then I hot-glued some pink-checked fabric over the top of the circa-1950s lamp from my childhood home that graces the shelf.  It looks pretty decent from a distance, just don't look too closely at the back, 'kay?  Also in that corner is a little TV and DVD player.  I have my exercise DVDs, weights and step stored down here so when I start getting up early (ahem) next week to work out, I'll be able to do so in my own little space without disturbing the household.

There's also a treadmill right here that I will also use (ahem) regularly.

Here's a close-up of my wall art.  I have a few more wall decor things to add, but for now I'm so happy to go hang out down here.  I've been dragging all my homeschool planning stuff and my laptop down there at night and watching HGTV with my popcorn and glass of wine close by.  Heaven!!

PS:  I know the ribbon end on the left is longer than the one on the right.  Trust me, it's been buggin' me too.  I need to even that out!!

Well, thanks for joining me on my little tour.  I'm going to write some homeschool-related posts tonight that I'll publish real soon so I can share some of the planning I've been doing.  I'm planning to start next Monday the 23rd.  I'm really ready to get back into a routine after the summer and I think the boys are too!  I'd love to hear from you over here, so leave me a comment if you're so inclined.  (Apparently few people wanted to talk about cleaning.   haha...........see previous post)

PS:  I love Firefox now that I can post again.  Blogger was only doing one weird thing while I typed this.  Every time I hit return to start a new paragraph, the cursor thingie jumped to the paragraph above, then I had to manually click to get it where I wanted it.  Kind of a pain, but I'm so happy it was so easy to post photos and that I could actually post without a bunch of incomprehensible gibberish!


  1. You've been busy! Love your setup, especially the lamp! I like your red couch though, love the pop of color!

  2. Thanks! I like the red couch too!

  3. Fantastic! I love a craft room, and especially a CUTE craft room, woohoo! I also am blessed with a basement crap room, I mean craft room. I need to get in there more often! Hey, I decided to turn down the preschool job to homeschool with you...well, not really. They informed me last week that enrollment was down and I'm not hired, LOL. But the one peace of mind was remembering your story and knowing that I can now play along with your homeschooling blog! :)

    My big question...I have the chance to purchase Five in a Row Vol 3 used along with several of the books for a great price. Do I need to start with Volume 1? The books in Volume 3 look great for little boys but I want to make sure I'm not jumping ahead too much. Would love your thoughts!

    For kindergarten, I have chosen Math U See and Bob Jones readers and phonics. Last I wanted to add the FIAR so I can get all creative and post cool stuff, LOL. ;)

    Glad you got the Blogger up and running again!

  4. Hi Laura,
    Wishing you the best of luck on this new journey...I am sure you will feel very rewarded! See you on Pinterest!

    Carla M.

  5. Jamie.......No need to start with FIAR Volume 1. I have Volumes 1, 3 & 4 and plan to skip around as I choose. Glad you'll be homeschooling too. I can't wait to read about your adventures.

    Carla......Thanks for the good wishes. I love "stealing" your ideas over at Pinterest. Whoever started that site is genius!!