Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Few Freebies For You...

     I started selling on Teachers Pay Teachers in January and have been amazed 1.) How many things are available for free and to purchase on the site & 2.) How many people have supported and purchased my products.  The TpT community is fabulous.  Recently I read the article about how some teachers are against selling products to make a profit for yourself.  The idea being that people have been sharing with each other for years without a market to sell and have been doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. Also, some argue that as teachers, we should be willing to share our materials to contribute to student success.  Both are opinions that I can understand and respect, but in the year 2012, things have changed.  Teachers in North Carolina are going on their 5th year without a raise, meaning some people who are tenured teachers are being paid as teachers with 0 years of experience.  Money is cut all of the time from different areas and teachers are not compensated for their time on committees or extra work completed.  So, for us teachers missing that climb up the NC salary chart, Teachers Pay Teachers has been a lifesaver.  The yankee in me is about to come out, so I apologize, but teachers work their asses off and deserve to be compensated for it.  If Pearson comes out with a new textbook or resource, they don't share it with me for free ... I have to buy it, and usually with my own money.  If SAS comes out with a new fabulous piece of educational software, they don't let me borrow it in hopes that it boosts the achievement in my class.  It's the world we live in: people are paid for the work they do.  If you are someone who creates activities, materials, and lessons for your class, JOIN TpT TODAY!  You have nothing to lose and it's about time you felt some credit for your hard work.

One more note-- teachers who sell their materials DO provide resources for free... Like these two :)  ENJOY!  And thanks to all of you sellers out there who have given me hundreds of amazing "freebies."

You can grab it HERE.


You can grab it HERE.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Flea Market Finds...

I've been dying to go to the Raleigh Flea Market ever since we moved here ... I just never seemed to squeeze it in on those busy weekends.  This past Sunday I woke up and decided I would give it a try.  I left the state fairgrounds that day with some great purchases & with a few thoughts...

1.  Why do I spend so much time searching HomeGoods and TJMaxx for great deals?
2.  Why have I never been here before?
3.  I CAN do this bargaining with vendors thing.
4.  I can bring my dog!?

I snagged a few good buys at the market:
-3 stamped spoon herb labels (I made up that name)
-A fabulous mirror ... The sellers wanted $45 for it but I walked away with it for 30 bucks...   PROUD LADY RIGHT HERE.
-A distressed picture frame (That I will save for my guest bedroom summer remodel)

Here's a pic of the mirror and the frame ... Charlie couldn't help but jump in and pose:

And here are the herb labels: ($1 each!)

I knew I wanted to save the frame for when I re-vamp the guest bedroom this summer, but I had to get my hands on that mirror right away.  I headed to the local ACE Hardware to pick up some paint.  I ended up with two colors: Benjamin Moore's Ocean Breeze Paint & Krylon's Clue Ocean Breeze Spray paint.  Given the shape of the mirror, I wasn't sure which one would work best.  I did a small sampling of each and ended up using the Benjamin Moore paint with a sheer dusting of the spray paint over it.

So, I sweat my booty off in the North Carolina sun while taping, taping, and taping over the mirror area.  I used some paper to slide under the frame of the mirror, rather than having to tape it perfectly.  I know it looks less than fabulous, but it did the trick!  I'm not known for my neat-ness when doing a project.

The painting was the quickest part of the project.  I'd say it only took me 15 minutes to put both coats on ... I think the sun helped the drying process a little bit.  And oh yeah ... I got adventurous and grabbed a white picture frame from my living room and threw it in the mix. I've been trying to get more pops of color into our rather neutral home ... One step at a time!

Now came the hardest part ... waiting to rip that stuff off.  As a Kindergarten teacher, I practice my patience daily, but nothing tests me more than waiting for paint to dry.  It was worth it though, because I am IN LOVE with the finished product.  We have an extremely bare wall in our living room ever since we moved our TV and I hope to share the mirror hanging with the rest of my wall decor soon!  

Here's the frame finished & back in it's rightful spot... I love the splash of color it gives.

And because I had a little extra spray paint leftover and I tend to get carried away sometimes... I went ahead and spray painted our plastic patio furniture end tables.  They were a dull tan color before and actually had quite a bit of paint on them from my previous projects.  I know they're bold, but I love the color it brings to our back patio!  It brings out the blues in the two Lake Erie/Presque Isle pillows my Aunt Wendy bought us for a wedding present last year.  Also, my mother in law is sending some coral/red pillows our way that match the umbrella perfectly ... Should complete the look.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Makeovers...

   We were extremely lucky in North Carolina this year: we never really had a true winter.  It snowed once and it was a light dusting that was melted the next day.  Being from Erie, PA, I like to see a little more of a seasonal change, but I'm not complaining!  I'll take the warmth over the blizzards anyday.

   Now that Spring is officially here, I've got the itch for some DIY projects around the house.  I completed my first one last week and I love the way it turned out.  I got the idea from the blog Positively Splendid.  Hers is a 3-tiered planter...I just can't decide if I want to add another tier to the bottom or create another set.

It looks like it might be complicated, but it's really not.  I had terracotta planters from last year that I spray painted and re purposed.  I had to purchase the spray paint, the sealant, the dirt, the flowers, and a brick.  Most of these things I would purchase anyway around Springtime ! 

OH!  And I can't forget the BEST buy of the whole project: I purchased from Michael's some Martha Stewart Circle Sponges-- they are FABULOUS.  I can't tell you how many circles I have hand-painted over the years.  I was done with the circles in about 5 minutes for this project.  This blog has a picture of the sponges (and some cute uses for them).

    I also used the leftover spray paint to paint another boring pot I had from last year (the one in the middle of this picture).  I think I've fallen in love with spray painting & can't wait to get started on some nightstands for our guest bedroom...