Saturday, September 12, 2020


What a time to be working on red.  I picked the colors all in December, not knowing what 2020 was planning on throwing at us.  Just when you think that life can't turn into more of a terrible future dystopian novel.  All the more reason to stay in and sew?  We have some tropical system that might turn into Sally or Teddy sitting off of the coast, so I think that it might be a rainy day.  Again, a good reason to stay in and sew.  Anna is coming home though, so I'l probably be spending some time with her instead.  I hope you are finding some time to play with your scraps though.  I hear it is good for your mental health. 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

ScrapHappy Saturday - Long Red Weekend

I hope those in the US are looking forward to a long holiday weekend.  I've only been.  It has been 4 weeks since teachers went back to school and 2 weeks for the students, but everyone is ready for a bit of a break.  Settling in to a new routine is always hard, but this year is a much bigger adjustment, so  I will enjoy having an extra day to get my bearings and try to keep figuring things out.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

September -- Red for School Houses

I chose red for September in honor of little red school houses as kids, teaches and staff head back to school.  Some from home, some back to brick and mortar.  Some full time, some hybrid, some home schooled.  Best of luck to them all!  There are no easy choices right now, whatever option you and your loved ones choose, please stay safe, learn lots and keep working hard with grace and appreciation.  These are extraordinary times, we will get through it and come out at the end stronger, more resilient and with new skills that we didn't know we needed.  

New Normal

I made it through the first week!  I would not call it graceful, or fluid or even successful.  It was my very best though.  It just isn't possible to adequately address the needs of at home learners while monitoring and providing for in person learners.  Trying to do that while wearing a mask, from an appropriate distance and with adequate supplies so that nobody ever shares anything -- well, its like juggling flying fish.  I can juggle, but the darn fish are slippery and they keep getting away.  If I knew about the fish, I didn't know about the juggling, and certainly not about the flying part.  They just keep sneaking a new bit in each time I hear the plan. Just when the in person people are really catching on, I switch back to the online people, then I stumble to get the next bit of technology started up.  Rinse repeat and go again.
 I had my AP Capstone Research kids make a digital bulletin board instead of the paper "get to know you" surveys that we usually do.  Here is mine.  They seem to have some topic ideas and are bringing in an article for Monday.  We did two labs in Biology already.  So much time to find enough termites and pill bugs for everyone to have their own!  They seemed to enjoy it though, which is the point of the first week of school.  We are investing in an online lab service, so I hope that will help the online learners to have some data to practice with. 
 I cut out a bunch of masks.  I've got this atom fabric that will be great when we get to Chemistry.  They aren't all sewn yet, but it is a step in the right direction. 
 I did finish this one for Anna.  It is sailboat fabric that I ordered as a sample from Joann's.  Apparently they can print certain patterns in any color on any fabric.  So this is sailboats in blue on canvas.  Kurt is driving over to see her today and will deliver this along with a molecular model kit for Organic Chemistry.  She has been back for two weeks so far with no reports of illness.  Ryan went back yesterday,  He doesn't think it will last long, but he wanted to give it a try.  He has a roommate who's mom won't let him come back to campus yet, so it is just him so far.  His classes are all online, but he wants to be with his friends and go back to his clubs and activities.  I worry, but I guess that is just what moms do.  He is under strict instructions to bring everything home with him if they are sent away again.  Last time he thought he would be back to school in a couple of weeks.  They stored all of his stuff all summer for him.  It will be interesting to see what it all looks like when he picks it up today. 
The sun still comes up every day.   I'm just going to keep on getting through each new day, catching the fish that don't fly away and being happy with little moments of success.  

Saturday, August 22, 2020

ScrapHappy Saturday - Lavender Lovely

School starts Monday.  I guess we are as ready as we can be.  We are stocked up (for now) on hand sanitizer and masks.  My desks are spaced out.  I've worked with most of the teachers at some point to practice meeting with online learners so that we can all do that while teaching our in class learners.  We finally got a list of who are online learners were.  I sent home goody bags for mine with beans and marshmallows and pipe cleaners and pipettes.  All sorts of models and manipulative to use along the way.  I even sent microscopes, slides and coverslips.  Someone sent us a box with hundreds of cardboard microscopes.  That might be fun.  
I  hunted roly poly bugs.  Everyone will need their own this year to avoid having to work in groups or share supplies.  
Kurt bought a sailboat.  I haven't been out with him yet, but hopefully I will do that soon.
I've still managed to see several sunrises, though it makes me sad to say that some mornings I had to leave for school too early and missed starting the day with wonder and joy.  
Kids will be there Monday.  Some in person, some online.  This will be the most fascinating first day of school ever. 

Saturday, August 15, 2020

ScrapHappy Saturday - Stil August

 Monday was the first day back for teachers.  It is surreal to walk around trying to stay away from people and not able to hug anyone.  I want to hug people!  Maybe not that much anymore though, because I am scared of everyone.
During yet another 2 hour ZOOM training session, I actually managed to get my desks 6 feet apart.  I have an unusually large classroom, but I was able to make it happen!!  There are 22 desks in there.  As long as all of my kiddos don't decide to show up at the same time, I should be fine.  Everyone gets to decide whether they want to come in person or learn synchronously from home.  That means I will teach the kiddos in front of me, while synchronously handling the e-learners who are logged in to a live-stream.  Sure, no problem!
So Wednesday and Thursday there was training to make sure teachers could handle that.  Wednesday the district provided a bunch of videos and Google Classrooms for teachers to work through self-paced instruction.  Then Thursday, our school based team did a live training in the same form we are asking the teachers to do with their students.  There were three of us.  One teacher delivered instruction, another monitored chat to answer questions.  I was the crazy lady running from classroom to classroom helping the people who couldn't even get in to the training.  I did that Wednesday all day as well.  If you couldn't find the training, or sign up for it, or log in to your silly computer, you called me and I came running.
Then Thursday afternoon I went back to check on our teachers who were having issues, and one of the rooms was under quarantine.  Well that just stopped everything in its tracks.  I had been in there two days in a row helping the teacher find the right menus and navigate the platforms.  Right next to her, because when someone can't use their computer you have to get up close and personal.  Well DAMN.  I don't usually swear, but dammit, dammit, dammit.  So 4 people from our school have gone out sick.  We don't know what kind of sick.  So we just wait patiently for the test results to come back to figure out if we need to get tested too.  Since we have been reclassified as "essential workers", we do not quarantine any further until we have symptoms or a positive test.  Dammit.
There is no reason to think that I have COVID.  I wear a mask and wash my hands, and only have the contact I need to do my job.  Unfortunately, what I need is to do is to sit next to every sick, fragile, elderly teacher at our school and help them use their computers to teach the kids who won't be here.  If I do end up sick, the contact tracing will be a nightmare.
What a strange week it has been.  I caught a couple of sunrises before things got really crazy and I stopped being able to sleep at night.  It is going to take a while to learn how to gracefully navigate this new normal.  I'm a bit worried that the positive tests will start rolling in as soon as the kids come back, but I guess that we will all handle those cases as they happen.  The kids are able to choose to stay home, but I can't do that until someone figures out that having us all come together in shared spaces in a state with HUGE community spread of a deadly virus might not be the wisest course of action.  I can see all the sides of the issue, truly I can.  I'm just a little stressed right now because I'm on a side with no good choices, in shared spaces with people who are going to end up sick.  

Saturday, August 8, 2020

ScrapHappy Saturday Lavender Lovlies

Though sewing time for me hasn't been at the top of the list, I will certainly enjoy all of your purple creations this week.  Preparation for school is a bit more intensive than usual this year with the new realities of education and wrapping my mind around it all is taking quite a bit of my time and energy right now.  Hopefully we will all figure things out soon and life can get back to some of its usual patterns?
Until then, I'll live vicariously through your scraps and look longingly at mine waiting patiently for me to put away the technology training and online tutorials. 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

ScrapHappy Saturday PURPLE

I love new months. New colors are so much fun! Not that I have been able to fully enjoy sewing time recently, but I have enjoyed thinking about sewing time. We are watching and waiting for a Isiais. So it might turn into a rainy weekend. Just one more week before teachers return to school. They are giving us two weeks to work at school, and we will need every minute of that time and more. I just wish I was sure how long we will last in the classroom before being sent home for good. Watching how things are going with other large scale organizations opening up, I am predicting that it will happen fast. Three entire graduations have been quarantined from our county, and baseball has been fascinating. Our local stat representative popped up positive right after visiting our school. I have no control over any of it of course, but I'm not working too far ahead on in person teaching plans.

Friday, July 31, 2020

New Month -- New Color

I am so excited to switch to PURPLE for August.  I am ready for a change.  

Saturday, July 25, 2020

ScrapHappy Saturday - Last Blue Day

I finally got a camp update from Anna.  She loves sailing tutorials, she rocks at wake-boarding, and she wants a care package. 
Sewing time has still been difficult, but I am planning to devote the morning to playing with some blue scraps.  I got them all ironed and organized before I had to clean everything up for a ZOOM job interview.  I've been tutoring two Chinese girls in the evenings and that is taking up lots of time right now.  The rest has been spent trying to figure out how to get all of our teachers ready to teach kids in person in class and at home simultaneously when school starts again.  I am happy that we have moved back the start day by two weeks.  Maybe by then they will have figured out that the virus is out of control in Florida right now and we are only going to make it worse by cramming a bunch of people together and shuffling them through different classrooms all day.  Maybe.  They did cancel the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, so at least there is starting to be some acknowledgement that it is a real thing and not just fake news.  My list of people I know who have it is growing.  I'll try hard to to add myself to that list. 
I might make some more masks today too.  The pretty ones all seem to have disappeared. It makes me glad that they are getting used.  I know the college kids are both going to need a good supply before they go back as well as it is a requirement for both of them. 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

ScrapHappy Saturday - Trying not to be Blue

 We saw our first new baby sea turtle of the season making its way to the ocean. 
 Some days there are funny surprises
 Some mornings just make you appreciate life for a while. 
Yesterday we stopped to talk to a recent graduate of UCF as she was surveying a newly hatched nest.  She counts all the egg fragments and looks at the embryonic stage of each unhatched egg.  
I am so thankful for morning beach walks to keep my world centered right now as everything seems to change on a daily basis.  
Last week the proposal was to send kids back to school on a block schedule with no mandated masks.  This week the masks are "expected" and the schedule is still a block, but the teachers will be simultaneously teaching the kids who are in school and those who are choosing to still stay home.  
So with three weeks left before the start of school, I am to redesign my curriculum for multiple classes to fit into a single semester, develop a robust digital plan and figure out how to manage virtual and physical students at the same time while trying not to let everyone get sick and die.  Someone did the math and decided that statistically only 17 students in our school district are likely to die.  
I've been actively applying for online teaching jobs, but I really do love what I do and virtual teaching seems so impersonal.  I ended up with a tutoring job out of the search, but I'm not sure that I can keep it up when the school year starts.  
No pressure. 
So maybe a bit of sewing will soothe my soul.  

Saturday, July 11, 2020

ScrapHappy Saturday Feeling Blue

No sewing for me this week!  I was in school working on the curriculum for homeroom and got caught up in all of the school reopening drama.  I know that all the moms and dads out there are going through some serious soul searching right now.  Figuring out what is safe and what is best for our kids right now is HARD.  As a teacher, it is even more difficult. I'm fortunate to be younger than some and in good physical shape.  Even if I do get sick, I have pretty good odds of surviving.  So many of our teachers are not young or have serious medical concerns.  They are in a much rougher spot. 
The administrative staff was briefed on the plan on Tuesday and Wednesday.  They weren't allowed to tell us yet what it was, but they were all looking shell shocked.  Then Thursday there was a board workshop where the plan was presented to the board. I love the elementary school plan!  Parents can choose 100% virtual of course, or 100% in person, but they can also choose any blend of the two.  They can send their kids in for language arts and then bring them home to do online math in the afternoon.  Apparently that choice has always existed, but we just haven't advertised it.  The big change though is that parents can choose "virtual at school from home".  They are in a class with a regular teacher and follow through their entire day and normal schedule with the teacher online.  Then, whenever things get better, or if it isn't working well, they can choose to transition back to the classroom. 
Then for the secondary, they would like to switch all schools to a block schedule.  Again, I love the idea!  Half as many students every day, half as much risk, half as much to make work when we all shut down and end up at home anyway.  I now understand why the principal and assistant principal were looking so green around the gills.  This is a nightmare for them.   They have to completely rebuild the master schedule, have students choose extra courses, re-shift staffing.  It is simply too much to get done in a month.  The school board will vote on Tuesday, so there isn't much to be done yet.  I'm not good at waiting though.  Maybe I can use some of this nervous energy to get some serious sewing done this week. 
I hope your blue is going well.  I am grateful to have another chance to try to get the blue bin under control.  Why is it always the one bursting at the seams and ready to explode?

Saturday, July 4, 2020

ScrapHappy Saturday - Dark and Blue

My first dip into the blue this month was a group of string blocks.  I'm getting close to being done with this collection.  
I tried hard to remember that today was Saturday.  It gets harder to tell the day apart.  
Monday was a good day.  
 As we enjoyed our morning beach walk, I saw sand flying into the air from the dunes.  We sat a respectful distance away and waited patiently until this Mama sea turtle emerged from her nest after laying her eggs. 
By the time she had lumbered her way back to the tide line, a group of the beach walkers we see on a regular basis were gathered to cheer her on.  

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Feeling Blue?

I know that we took a shot at the light and bright blues earlier this year.  Blue is one of those colors though, that I can never seem to get under control.  Here is our chance to whittle down the stockpile of blue.  Hopefully you will have a bit of the darker shades of sea and sky to occupy your sewing time this month.  

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sunday Reorganization

I am slowly moving back into my sewing space.  It is taking some time because I am cleaning and reorganizing as I move things back in again.  I had a nice little stash of everything in the main bedroom while all the kids were here for Covid lock down.  We are back on lock down again, but we have lost Anna to summer camp.  Honestly, right now I'm thinking that she is safer in Maine than all of us in Florida.  They tested all of the campers and counselors before they left and after they got there and then are isolating for two weeks to make sure everyone is safe before opening up all the regular camp activities to mixed groups.
In Florida the governor has closed the bars again and reduced the capacity of restaurants to 50% starting Monday.  Honestly, given his choices so far, I am surprised he chose to step back from the original opening plan. I hope that it will help, but schools will be opening very soon and I'm not feeling super safe right now.  A few of our older and sicker teachers retired at the end of this year which makes me very grateful that they won't be exposed to classrooms in the fall.  
So yesterday I remembered that we had not caulked the new baseboards before throwing everything haphazardly into my sewing room for temporary storage as we refinished the rest of the floors last summer.  I have no plans to refinish the floors right now, but I did spend yesterday very up close with several tubes of caulk.  the wood trim is gorgeous now, clean and tidy.  That led me to notice several spots where the paint had been dinged or dented in the past year.  So today it was me and a can of touch up paint getting busy.  I do lead a glamorous life as you can tell.  
After all that though, I started to reoccupy my sewing room.  I felt that there was too much wasted space on the bookshelves and wanted to squeeze in a few more scrap baskets.  So I stacked my yardage for each color under the corresponding basket and moved the neutrals down to the bottom.  This is my entire stash on one bookshelf.  Isn't it pretty?  Mostly scraps, but that is what I tend to use, so it all works out well.  
I did a grocery pickup yesterday and they were out of the pizza dough I ordered.  I decided to make some in the bread machine instead and used up the very last of our yeast.  I haven't been able to find any in the local grocery stores.  I guess I'll start making more cookies and fewer loaves of bread.  Life is full of difficult decisions after all :)
Still giving thanks everyday for a morning sunrise walk.  Its been super hazy the last couple of days.  Kurt thinks it is the dust storm. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

ScrapHappy Saturday

It is the last pink Saturday!  Where has the time gone?  
Not a bit of sewing happened for me this week, but I had planned on that.  It was supposed to be the week when I flew to Texas to do AP Capstone training.  Instead it became the week when I sat in front of a Zoom screen all day every day for training.
I am done with work now for a solid two weeks, so sewing will happen.  First thing on the list though, is to reoccupy my sewing room.  Anna made it safely to Maine for camp and successfully passed her lifeguard test.  That makes her room available again.  She will come home from camp just long enough to pack up for college.  Though I don't know how long college is going to last this year, the plan is to go back to life as normal.  I'm not going to comment on how normal life is right now other than to mention that Florida had almost 9,000 new cases yesterday. 
We are still getting in a beach walk each morning.  Yesterday there was a motorized glider going back and forth.  This morning there was a virtual race.  The beach is surprisingly busy right around sunrise.  

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Scrappy and Happy on Saturday

Of to a super late start today!  I have been working all week to grade AP Biology essays and forgot that today was Saturday.  The weeks get all out of whack sometimes.  

Saturday, June 13, 2020

ScrapHappiness on Saturday

I was long-arming for most of the week, but I did get these pink nine patches framed as I was sewing together the borders for Dear Jane.
 Here is the bottom half of Dear Jane
And here is the top half.  Now it is just the sides left to sew.  Most of the blocks were already done for the top and bottom.  There are more than a dozen left to go to finish off the two sides.  Deep breath and on we go!
Mister linky is below.  I'm still using the legacy version to get the HTML plugin to work.  I'll have to dig in this afternoon and try to figure out the new Blogger just a little better.  All this messing with computers eats in to my sewing time though!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Busy Week

It feels like summer!  I'm working for the next two weeks, so this one is bursting with lots of projects.
It took most of a day to set up the quilting machine, but it was completely worth it.  The new quilt is done!  I think that I will call it Beachside.  
We've been enjoying our daily sunrise walk.  It will be sad when school starts again and the mornings get busy.  Speaking of school, our governor released a plan yesterday to open all the schools at full capacity starting in July, so that will be interesting.  I'm on our schools reopening committee which meets via Skype next week.  High school and social distancing don't go well together, so things are going to be fascinating.  I don't been to be overly paranoid, but we are setting daily  records of new cases right now and we have the Republican National Convention to look forward to now.  
While the quilting frame was assembled, I quilted up a top for a co-worker of Kurt's. 
So that left today to sew together the bottom border for Dear Jane.  The blocks were all done, and now they are joined together.  Not sure if I will sew the row onto the quilt now or later.  
Anna was sad that her summer job as a camp counselor in Philadelphia went away when the camp was cancelled.  She just managed to find another job though at a different camp in Maine and she is excessively excited right now.  She needs help booking flights and getting a Covid test before next week.  She also wants some new masks before she leaves and has already picked out fabric.  Life is never dull around here.  


Saturday, June 6, 2020

ScrapHappy Saturday - Rain Edition

Another rainy Saturday.  Sounds like a good time to get a bit of sewing done.  What are your plans on the first Saturday of June?  I am looking forward to seeing some pink! 
Still playing with the new Blogger update.  So far it doesn't want to work with the HTML code from Mister Linky.  That might be a bit of a problem.  Big sigh.  One issue at a time.  

Friday, June 5, 2020

Test Post

I just learned that there is a new version of Blogger.  I must be totally out of the loop.  Maybe it is just that my bandwidth is full from so much time spent on tech support for distance learning.  I've been working on renewing my Google Educator Certification though, but I haven't gotten to part 2 yet, which is where Blogger lives.  I'm going to try adding a photo in now.

Well that was interesting, it wouldn't let me see the images.  I randomly chose this one of our Art teacher on Wildcat Challenge day.  That is our field day for juniors and seniors which happened right before what turned out to be our last day of physical school for this year.  Obviously randomly choosing photos isn't ideal.  I'll try again.  
It went better this time.  I tried "upload from computer" instead of photos.  This might take a bit of adjustment.  

Friday Progress

 It is another rainy day.  I had four more blocks to go for the bottom row of Dear Jane.  So that is ready to get sewn together. 
I did some ironing of the back for the Snail's Trails quilt.  I think it is ready to go as soon as I work up the steam to get the quilting frame assembled.  It was nice to have it set up all the time, but I am happy for now to just get it out when I am ready for quilting.  As much as every day under quarantine blended into the next, it has gotten really blurry now that summer vacation has started.  I'm almost looking forward to having work to do in a couple of weeks just to break up the pattern.  Even though grading AP exams isn't going to be nearly as fun remotely, it will still be fascinating to see how they handle all the changes this year.  

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Summer Days

 Look at my new ironing board cover!  It was getting pretty ratty, so out came the staple gun.  Tada!  Good as new again. 
With the ironing board fresh and clean, I put in a brand new rotary cutting blade and came up with enough squares for the back of snails trail.  I had about 75% of what was needed and tried unsuccessfully to get enough Kona cotton in ocean colors at Joann's.  Trying still to avoid crowds, I attempted the curbside pick-up.  That was a fail.  The online ordering mechanism doesn't filter by whether the fabric is available or not.  So it took almost an hour of thumbing through all the shades to find a hue available at my local store.  Then, after waiting 4 days for my order to be ready for pickup, everything was cancelled as being out of stock.  What a bummer!  I then actually went to the store to find something that might work.  A grocery store before a hurricane is better stocked than my local shop.  Post apocalyptic might be too strong a description, but not by much.  So after all that, I ordered from Connecting threads and waited patiently for my fabric to arrive.  Lizzie helped my layout the blocks this morning and I am ready to sew the back together.  Yay!  Small victories.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Dear Jane Back from the Dead

 I had a nice sprint of finishing off UFOs at the beginning of the quarantine.  That was during spring break though and work soon got busier again.  Now that summer has officially begun, I decided to pull out another project and get it finished off.  The top border for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge Dear Jane quilt was done, and so I got that one sewn on yesterday. 
There are about 25 more blocks that I need to finish to get this quilt done.  Here are the next two. Just three more and the bottom row will be done.  As much as I loved making the Dear Jane blocks, I just don't enjoy the triangles all that much.  It is rainy this week though, so staying inside and getting some sewing done sounds good to me.  I've got a couple of weeks before my summer obligations kick in, so I will make the most of them.  

Saturday, May 30, 2020

ScrapHappy Saturday - June Advance

 I was done with green.  I got the feeling lots of you felt the same way.  So I moved on to June
 June is going to be pink this year.  Here are my pink Soul Searching blocks.
 The sunrise was late today because of a heavy cloud layer on the horizon.  Hopefully it will be all clear this afternoon for another launch attempt.
Yesterday when we went out, there was a turtle nest right in front of the beach entry.  Then today, another turtle went right over yesterdays nest and tried to dig again.

Mister linky is below.  Share the ends of your green or your plans for pink.  I have even been seeing some mid year finishes start to show up which is always so exciting.  Whatever you've got to share, we are looking forward to it. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pink Box

I have so many pink scrap!  I put a lot of them to good use in a pink scrap box.  AND the rest are all tidy and organized.  I love tidy and organized!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Quarantine Continues

11 and a half weeks of quarantine houses so far.  I am not at all sure when to end this quilt as the end is so much more ambiguous than the beginning.  My summer is already scheduled with virtual versions of the work I had planned.  I'm waiting on the launch right now and the weather is iffy.  Trump just landed, but the thunder rolls on.  

Monday, May 25, 2020

Partial to Pink

 I finished the pink block from Leap Year during family movie time last night.  Actually the kids all joined in for long enough to have pizza and then I watched a movie while quilting the my husband worked on his laptop.  Not exactly high quality family time, but we have all had a lot of togetherness lately. 
 Green felt finished, and so I pulled out the pinks for next month.  It isn't so much cheating as it is working ahead.  It is cold and rainy outside, so I though some new scraps might brighten things up inside.  Is anyone else feeling ready to move on?  June is going to be pink -- just in case you are as desperate as me to move on to what is next. 
I was going to do string blocks first, but it appears that I already had enough of pink.  I think I'll warm up the iron and get ready to organize.