22 December 2017

S is for school

We've homeschooled from the beginning, but this past summer, for a lengthy list of reasons, it was time to register our girls for the local public schools. SM went straight into middle school, RG and JE are at the elementary school, and TA and JK are still little and home. They'll join their sisters at school in a couple more years - the current plan is to put them in late, like at 2nd or 3rd grade. (Although with the way they keep fighting, they may go into 1st and K next fall just so they don't kill each other. But that's another discussion.)

So that meant that for Christmas, I entered the obligatory world of Teacher Gifts. I don't like feeling obligated (and I do), but at the same time, I really do appreciate the teachers our girls have - they've made our transition from home to public school SO smooth! The girls aren't just tolerating it, they're thriving. RG is getting a ton of therapy that we couldn't find in private practice, particularly physical and occupational therapies. (Why is no one willing to treat special needs kids? The demand is massive!!) So big huge thank yous to the new members of Team Caudle! Presents all around! I seriously had to make a list of all of "my staff" to give gifts to, and I still didn't get to them all. Need to finish the list at Valentine's Day, I suppose.

Since I have far more time than money, I made:

Zipper bags from Noodlehead for the 4th and 2nd grade teachers. They really are amazing. This was entirely from my fabric stash, and Mindy had given me a few zippers forever ago. I got more zippers in bulk from Amazon so I can make more for all the therapists for an end-of-the-school-year thank you. (If I get to it. That's the idea, anyway.)

2nd grade teacher - the inside was a blue with an abstract of the phases of the moon

4th grade teacher. I need to make this one exactly as-is again because my sister-in-law loved it, and her birthday is coming up.

This one was for a gift exchange at a book club - I nailed it on the fabric/zipper contrast.

Pocket handwarmers for the principal and vice principal. They are not sit-in-the-office guys, I always see them out and about, including outside at all the recess times. These were all flannel scraps. I added some lemon essential oil to them, and Mr. T loved the scent. Mr. K raved about how nice they are because it's a SUPER cold winter this year!

- Peppermint foot soak - you have to scroll down in the link to get to the foot soak. I didn't just give little tiny one-time "servings." I put it in pint jars and labeled them to use 2 tablespoons at a time. This went to the special ed teachers, 3 therapists, and their extra-curricular dance class. I saw one of the special ed teachers in the hall after I'd left it in the office, and she said it smelled so fresh! She was excited to use it! I made 7 of these. Seven pint jars out of my house! Hooray! (We have a crazy amount of pint jars and we don't do THAT much canning, so I specifically looked for things to make that would be put in jars.)

Cookie jars - particularly to get rid of the millions of Snickers bars that I stashed away at Halloween. We had SO MANY Snickers bars! And we have an obscene number of canning jars in the basement. So all I had to buy was the cake mixes, and those are a buck each. Here's something silly for you: I saw Walmart had cookie jars for sale for $5 each. Ha! I'll make it myself, thanks! We made five jars. These didn't end up going to school - we gave them to people around the neighborhood.

3 minute fudge - this is my secret weapon for the holidays. My alternate is to make it with the Ghiradelli peppermint chips and white chocolate. We took a bunch to the public library for the librarians on the children's floor, because THEY are part of our teaching staff as well!

15 December 2017

R is for ribbon border

Mindy and I are working on our first long-distance joint project! The woven star doesn't count for long distance, because we did it while she was visiting me at my house, and I just finished it after she left. This time, we're sending stuff back and forth in the mail. She's doing the main part of the quilt and I took the border.

We went with this tutorial by Ivy Arts for a "ribbon border". I started by figuring out what I needed for my squares. If you have 2.5 inch strips (like a jelly roll pre-cut), 4 strips will make an 8-inch square. So 2.5x8 for individual cuts. If you have 2-inch strips, like I was cutting out of scraps, 4 strips will make a SIX-inch square. Quite a difference.

The more types of fabric you have, the better. We used leftover fabric from other projects, scraps, and any coordinating red Mindy could round up. So I did a lot of trimming of fabric to 2x6 inch strips.

Once you have your squares, cut them diagonally, half in each direction. If you cut them all the same direction, the ribbon effect is lost when putting them into the border lengths.

 BAD - you don't want the strips all in continuation, you want them alternating.

GOOD - each straight side is touched by the end slice, giving it a "braided" effect.

When it was done, my 6-inch squares made a border that was 4 inches across.

Keep adding triangles until you get what you need! Mindy requested four border strips - two at 60-inches long and the other two at 48. I also sent her some extra triangles if she needs to add anything for corners, or if we miscalculated anything. And now we all wait for her to get the strips and a few extra triangles in the mail, and to put it all together to show us the final quilt!