jeudi 29 janvier 2009

Thursday already ... plus a LO

The weeks go by SO fast, it's incredible ! Tomorrow is already Friday, wow !

You know those small scrapbooks that my grade 4 and 5 students started to create just like my grade 6 students did ? Well, they are still deliriously enthusiastic about the whole project. To the point that yesterday, when I agreed that the grade 4 and 5 students who wanted to come during lunch hour to work on their book could come, I had a really BIG number of students enter my classroom with glee ! Whoosh ! I was happy but seriously overwhelmed ! It really took me aback. I had difficulty managing such a big group - lots of them needed me to help them with the writing, spelling, correcting of their journaling, others needed my help to cut the CS for their pages, etc, etc, etc. Soooooooo, to remediate this situation and have the whole creative experience during lunchtime recess a better one for everyone involved, I designated some days for grade 6 students, some days for grade 5 students and the same goes for grade 4 students. Ouf !

Today during lunchtime, the grade 6 students came to create : some to work on their BOM scrap project and others to make large Valentine cards that will be the highlight of the 10 large frames that I got for our school's office last year and that I use as a changing gallery featuring our students' art works. You should have seen the enthusiasm of the students in creating Valentine cards - with some new techniques from me including playing with vellum, which they've never done before ! I grabbed a pack of red vellum from my stash this morning : I bought it years ago when vellum was all the rage in scrapbooking. Remember that trend ? I too am always excited during those intense creative sessions and I am always impressed with kids' creativity ! I'll post a pic once the frames are filled up with red, white and pink creations ! ;)

If I have time tonight, I'll post a photo of my first P-365 LO. However, it's my DH's night out with his buddies like every Thursday evenings, so we'll see how much time and energy I have after DS' homework and evening routine.

In the meantime, here's a LO that I created last fall. It's actually a re-do. I had scrapped these photos and the journaling years ago when I first started to scrap in 12x12... but disliked the colors (navy and orange) that I had used and the design of it which was just too busy. I was still exploring my scrapping style back then. Anyway, the 12x12 LO was really distracting visually and detracting from focusing on the story and photos. I said "Yuck" everytime I saw it. LOL I like this redo so much better. There's no comparison ! I really needed to scrap it again because I loved the journaling that I wrote back then about the sliced soya cheese that was such an important part of my son's life when he was around 16 months old ! His special way of eating it was just so funny and quite adorable ! I still smile when I think of it ! And now ? He doesn't really like sliced cheese anymore ! LOL

Let me know what you think of it, k ? Wish I could have shown you the before, but it was never scanned for lack of time. You know how busy life is with a toddler is ... ;)

'Till next time, take care and live the present moment ! It's the only one that counts !

lundi 26 janvier 2009

A great long weekend !

Such a wonderful long weekend we had ! Long weekend because the french schools in Ottawa had the day off today. On Saturday, my husband, our son and I went to Montréal as the two guys wanted to attend the Annual Auto Show in the Palais des Congrès. Since it was located minutes away from Old Montréal, I braved the cold and the harsh winds to go walk in that wonderful part of Montréal while they were at the show. I love the history of Old Montreal, the beautiful detail-rich architecture, all of the relics of a time past and I never tire of walking in the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal. I took just a few photos as my fingers were freezing everytime I took off my mitts to be able to handle my camera. Here's one of my very few photos in Old Montréal. Lots of the Christmas decorations were still up and I loved seeing them, quite artistic and different from what I see in my region. That's one of them, but not the most beautiful one that I saw, my battery was dead by then, and so were my fingers ... from the cold !

I thoroughly enjoyed my 2-hour walk while my two guys thoroughly enjoyed the 2009 edition of the Auto Show. Here's Rafael trying some new features in a new car :

We started our Sunday by having a relaxing morning and then during the afternoon, we picked up my nephew and took off for the peat bog Mer Bleue. It was very beautiful but also very cold ! Brrr ! We didn't stay for very long, walked a bit, took a few photos and then drove in the vicinity, admiring the white beauty of winter. Here's what we saw when we turned a corner :

Then off to Costco to pick up some photos and a few vegetables for my week's homemade soups. We finished off our day by having our traditional weekend Movie Night while eating dinner. The 2 boys had chosen to rent Surf's Up at the video store, which ended up being a funny and entertaining movie !

This morning after the homework and studies of the two boys, my 3 guys went snowshoeing and since I had to stay home (neck pain), I finally took the time to select the rest of the photos for my son's December Daily and my own December Daily. DH got the photos ready to print at Costco through Q-Image this afternoon. I'm so happy about that as now both December Dailies will be finished by Rafael and I, most likely this week ! I also started designing my first Project 365 layout this afternoon and will be working on it tomorrow afternoon ! So stay tuned for new postings of LOs this week ! I made a soup this afternoon and seems like it was very yummy as the whole batch was eaten tonight for dinner ... LOL ... so I made another one tonight for this week.

While I was making the second batch of soup, the two cousins were having a great conversation (it was so interesting to hear !) about Canada, its provinces, the 5 Great Lakes, the bays, the oceans, asking each other questions about locations of one place in relation to another (e.g., what is located at the north-west of ..., etc), upping the difficulty of the questions all the while writing the names of provinces, territories, Great Lakes, etc, on a large map of Canada that I photocopied for my students and that Rafael had asked me for several copies for his personal use. The advantages of having a mother who is also a teacher, huh ! LOL

I'm wishing you an awesome day tomorrow ! I'm much looking forward to hearing my grade 6 students talk about their 3 days stay at the winter camp last week ! I asked one of their teachers to have them journal daily at the camp about their activities and they don't know it yet, but they will be doing a scrapbook (photos plus journaling) about their unique winter camp experience ! Thanks for stopping by !

vendredi 23 janvier 2009

Project 365 and a layout

Well, the month of January is well on its way, just another week and we'll be welcoming a new month ! I've been taking at least one photo every day for Project 365 (and DH and DS are also participating some days) and I must say that I am thrilled with this project. I am taking photos that I would never have thought of taking, were it not for this project.

Here's the photo I took yesterday for Project 365 : it's what I see when I wake up in the morning, a view from my lying down position in my comfy bed. The first thing I do when I open my eyes is to look at the clock to see what time it is. I love seeing in the mirror the photo frames that we hung just over our bed several years ago. I never get tired to see them. They make me smile every morning.

Here's a layout that I created last November. I never got around to post it anywhere in its entirety - although I did post a bit of it in my flickr account. I love mixing photos from different days and I also love mixing different papers from mainly one color - so here it was fun playing with different patterns of greens. This LO is about my son's love for learning.

Gotta go and get ready for work. I am much looking forward to my very excited grade 4 and 5 students starting their BOM or BOF (book of favorites) this morning. One of their moms told me yesterday how her son explained to her about the book and it was so cool to hear it. I'll share the story here in a bit, just not this morning.

Have a great day and savor the present moment !

mercredi 21 janvier 2009

Brilliant excited eyes ...

My grade 4 and 5 students could hardly contain their excitement and thrill today when I started to explain to them that they were starting a new writing/arts project !

You see, they had been eyeing with longing the grade 6 students' book (B.O.M.) project since January 5th and some of them had asked me last week if they would do a book like it in my class. I had answered that they would do some of those projects next year. But their longing and pleading eyes and voices kept ringing in my mind and this morning, upon waking up, I decided that they too would start such a writing project. The thing is that they come only twice a week in my class (as opposed to the grade 6 students who come 3 times a week in English and one art period), and often, with school days off always being either on Mondays and Fridays, they don't even come twice a week. It's a challenge to keep a project going when one doesn't see their students often enough. Nevertheless, I decided to do the writing project with them and one thing I know for sure is that they will enormously benefit from it. I have been teaching long enough (22 years) to know that an exciting project makes the biggest difference in their motivation and even the most recalcitrant student will be involved 110% in such a writing-art project.

So I had 2 classes of 25 pairs of brilliant, excited eyes on me today as I was showing them some of the grade 6 students' books (finished and unfinished)as a starting point for them. To give them ideas on how to write, decorate, embellish, etc. They could hardly contain their anticipation and excitement as I showed them some of the tools that they will be able to use, such as some Martha Stewart fabulous border punches, the Bind-It-All, etc.

And like for my grade 6 students, I offered them the possibility to come in my classroom during lunch and recess time to work on their book if they so wish. Many hands were raised for that proposition ! You can bet that they were hard at work on wording their sentences to start on their book ! Many of them just started to learn to write in English, so there is a lot of struggling with how to write words or how to say this and that in English, but oh boy, was the energy and willingness at the highest point ! I am also very thrilled and excited ! Writing/arts projects is what I love best in teaching and even though I've been doing it for the past hum ... 20 years (taught music the 2 other years), I'm forever excited each and every time !

The questionnaire they are using for their B.O.M. is taken from the ones that were proposed as monthly challenges on the scrapbooking site of Scrapbook Centrale last year :

I'll have photos of their books as they go along.

In the meantime, I'm leaving you with a photo of my son's favorite snack, honeydew melon, which he had just cut and sliced for himself :

Thanks for stopping by !

mardi 20 janvier 2009

Already January 20th ...

Time is flying by, as usual. I can hardly believe that it's already January 20th !

Lots of happenings today. The day was sunny and less cold that last week, which was great ! I prefer when it's sunny as it puts a lovely glow on everything. I love walking in this kind of weather !

This morning, I snapped some photos on my way to work. DH always very willingly stops the car by the tree or the view I wish to photograph. It felt good to take photos in nature like that again as I haven't been able to do it the past several weeks due to my painful neck or too frigid weather. I always feel in tune with my being when taking photos of nature , framing scenes that have caught my eye and hoping that the photos turn out just the way my eyes first saw the scenes, with my heart in my throat.

Here's one I snapped on my way to work, on the same street in Ottawa where I took the photo that is my banner right now.

I just love those spikes laden with snow.

One of my creativity moments today consisted of experimenting with drawing on a piece of fabric with some special pastel fabric crayons as this coming Thursday, I will be starting a wonderful project with my grade 2-3 students : I'll be teaching them how to draw 4 background scenes on 2 metres by 2 metres pieces of fabric for the play that they are preparing with their homeroom teacher. I quite enjoyed my little experimentation this afternoon and I am much looking forward to teaching the process in 2 days. I love teaching art ! Be on the lookout for some photos later on this week.

My grade 6 students (a class of all girls and a class of all boys) are enjoying tremenduously the making and creating of their B.O.M. album. Everyday I get asked if they'll be doing their scrapbooks during their English period with me ! :) I loooove seeing their album evolving both in journaling content and in creative content. They are so creative, so enthusiastic and so thrilled to be doing this project, it makes my heart glow. Some of them have already started to ask me what will their next writing-art project be for English class ! :) It makes me smile with pleasure ! They don't know it yet, but when all of their B.O.M. are completed, I will organize a special presentation for them to share their beautiful book with the rest of the school body and their parents. Such lovely and precious keepsakes that they are creating ! I wish I had such a keepsake from the time I was in elementary school.

I learned today that a dear dear friend of mine has lost her brother. Please have a moment or two of your thoughts or prayers for her and her family in this time of grief. Thank you.

I had a really short night yesterday so I'll bid you good-night as I'm aiming to do the same as my son right now as seen in the photo below ...

... minus the cherished penguin for me of course ! LOL

lundi 19 janvier 2009

Project 365

Well I'm finally entering the world of blogging even though I always thought I never would ! What brought me to it, you ask ? Well, I started to think about it because I am doing Project 365, which is about taking one photo a day and journaling about it so that at the end of the year, one will have a great overview of their family's life.

I started Project 365 at the end of December and guess what ? This project is much easier to do than I had anticipated and I am thoroughly enjoying the whole process. I am finding myself taking photos of activities and things that I would never have t
hought of documenting before this project. It's making me see my life in a different way, in a bigger and richer way. Hard to put into words tonight, but I love this project, I am really involved in it and so is my husband and my son.

This afternoon, I started working on a Valentine's book. I will be making 3 of them altogether, one for each member of my small family of 3. Once each chipboard book's pages will have been covered with PPs, the 3 books will be distributed within my family to be filled up with photos and journaling : one book for my DH and I to fill up for our 8 year old son, one book to be filled up by DS and myself for DH and the third book to be filled up by DH and DS for me. All three books will be our Valentine's gift to each other. I wanted to do that project last year, but it turned out that I didn't have the time to do it. This year, I started early enough to have them ready to exchange them on February 14th.

So, here's what occupied 2 hours of my time late this afternoon :

I used a K&Co. chipboard album that I got at Michael's last year plus some Valentine patterned papers that I already had in my stash. I aim to do the other 2 books sometimes this week. I was thrilled to have the Fiskars finger exacto knife among my tools as it came so very handy in cutting around those different-shaped pages. My son Rafael wanted to try this tool also and he was very successful at it. Ever so careful with his security since he was very small, he took great care in using it in order to be safe. It almost seemed like this great tool was made for kids' fingers. Go figure ! I thought that he was using it better than I did although I've used it a few times already ! LOL

By the same token, I taught him how to rubberstamped so he chose 2 stamps (one with a month calendar and the other one, a journaling stamp because he wants to journal on it !) and then he stamped them and cut around the stamped images with the tool he wanted to try. My boy impresses me in so many ways ! I love the fact that he is so creative in a multitude of ways !

Well, I'm leaving you on this note ! Thanks for stopping by and see you tomorrow ! :)