Put a Check in Every Box

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It seems to be a universal truth: when a child gets to use something from home at school or something from school at home, that thing is instantly new and exciting. For example, think of what's shared during show-and-tell. Ratty, old stuffed animal? Great aunt's costume jewelry? The collar or tags of a dearly departed pet? Those items are rare treasures, once they've made the trek to school, but ...continue reading

Whatever Is at Hand

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The most common question asked during my first six months as Artist in Residence was, "What's your favorite medium?" Sometimes it's used as an ice breaker or conversation filler, when I meet someone new. Other times, the question is a gentle segue into finding out more about my background and experience. It's just a polite way of asking, "So what do you make?" At first, I really wrestled ...continue reading

Gleaning School Supplies

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When I began teaching and talking about upcycling in our county's schools, I heard tales of how many unused supplies get thrown out at the end of every school year. I knew my own children brought home notebooks that appeared untouched, plus, markers and glue sticks and other supplies that had plenty of life left in them. But I couldn't fathom anyone leaving these things behind, let alone someone ...continue reading

A Quickie

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A quick post of a quick project. In an attempt at getting stuff off of our counters (the mug of pens and pencils, the shopping list, etc.), I covered an old bulletin board in faded denim fabric and hot glued several jean pockets across the front, then wedged it between the counter top and the cabinets above. Instant orderliness! While I'm here, I might as well give you a peek at the ...continue reading

Be Prepared

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I've been differently employed for more than two years now (meaning I work, but not at one place, not 9 to 5, and not always 40 hours per week). By far, my favorite perk of this nontraditional work schedule is the time I get to spend with our kids. My husband was the stay-at-home parent for the first 11 years and, man, was I envious. Especially in the summer. I'd make charts, suggest theme ...continue reading

Reading by Candlelight

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Weekends are cherished in our household, for a number of reasons. My husband and I often work on Saturday or Sunday, so if we're gifted with a day when all four Bradleys are at home, we don't take it for granted. For our boys, weekends mean more computer time (as opposed to school days), and three-day weekends make their little hearts explode with joy! So, you can imagine the tears when they ...continue reading