Sewing, Homeschooling and Craziness

Archive for August, 2013

Italy Country Study w/FREE Notebooking Pages

Italy Country Study

We are one week into our school year! YAY!!!! It’s going as smoothly as it could, I guess… LOL

The next country we’ve decided to study is Italy! For some reason we have been on an I kick…. Ireland, Israel, India and now Italy! LOL

As always, I try to include resources for a variety of ages. I have 4 different grades going at the same time! 😉

The books should be easily found at your local library, on Amazon or Paperback Swap.

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**************ItalyNotebookingPages SSaS*****************






books graphic

kindle graphics

printables graphics



All printable resources are free unless noted with $$$.

Lapbook – Homeschool Share

Worksheets   – 

Coloring Pages, Crafts and Lesson Plans – Crayola

Ancient Rome Coloring Pages –

Bookmarks, Notebooking and Coloring Pages – Activity Village

Coloring Pages – Scholastic

Puzzles, booklets, maps, etc – Ed Helper

Posters – Sparklebox

Long Bridge Publishing

Coloring Pages – Edupics

Worksheets, map, coloring pages – Italian Folk Art Federation

Some free – abc teach

$$$Italy Nomenclature Cards – Montessori Materials

$$$ – Passport  Italy – Amanda Bennett

$$$ – Currclick

Italy Unit Study

Notebooking Pages

World Expedition WebQuest – Italy




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Mama Lisa’s World – Songs, Nursery Rhymes and Music from Italy

Crafts for Kids- Italy

National Geographic Kids (also a small printable)

Time for Kids

Mr. Donn – Lesson Plans, Games, Activities

Busy Bee Kids Crafts

eHow – Crafts (I especially like the paint like Michelangelo!!!!

Info Please


Making Friends – Crafts

Think Quest

Fun Learning Activities for Kids 

Wikipedia – List of Famous Italians

YouTube – a list of videos about Italy

other graphic



Little Passports

Kitchen Daily – Kid Friendly Italian Recipes










Fly on the Wall – August – Homeschool Edition

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 15 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:                                     Baking In A Tornado  – The Queen of all things bloggy and the mastermind behind Fly on                                                                                                                                                      the Wall AND the Secret Subject Swap!!                                Just a Little Nutty                          Follow me home . . .             Stacy Sews and Schools                              The Sadder But Wiser Girl                   Menopausal Mother           Moore Organized Mayhem                           The Insomniac’s Dream                                      The Momisodes                      Spatulas on Parade                          Dates 2 Diapers                                  Sorry kid, Your Mom Doesn’t Play Well With Others                                The Rowdy Baker                                       Trashy Blog                                    Barbara & 1923





Sooooo…. I usually try to keep a running list of all the kooky, crazy, nutty stuff my family says during the month. Ummm… Well…. This time I forgot. Yep. I kept telling everyone to remind me to write the stuff down. You think they forgot on purpose??? Naw…. Surely not!

Anyway, since I have no list and I have the memory of a gnat, I decided to go with what has been on my mind all month. HOMESCHOOLING!!! We started back on Monday (read about it)! SO much work goes into getting everything ready for the new school year. YILES!!!! Here I can show you some of the fruits of my labor.


I am MUCH more hands on when it comes to the youngest 2 kids. They have never been to public school and like to do things as hands on as possible. The older kids have always wanted me to throw them a book and leave them alone. HAH! THAT doesn’t happen very often. 😉 Well, I might throw them a book but it’s a living book and NOT a text. BLECK!!!!

ANYWAY!! Here are a few things that the younger kids have this week.


Rocks 006 Rocks 008 Rocks and Minerals 005 rocks and minerals 007



In these pics, C&C are doing more experiments on rocks (click for the unit study) using our Young Scientist Club kit #7. In the top pics they are testing whether or not the rocks are magnetic. In the bottom 2 pics they are doing hardness tests.




Collage Israel



Israel Study010


In the next pics, we are doing our Israel study.  C&C made the Israeli flag out of construction paper in the top pic. The bottom is a picture of our Little Passports Israel package. They love those SOOOOO much!!! After reading and doing the activities (and trying to catch a flying dreidel), they signed on to their account and did the activities there.



Collage Bears


We’ve also been doing our bear study this week. Cailey made hers a bear family while Colin made his scary!! LOL



Collage Mosaics


Making mosaics was another activity in the Marco Polo for Kids book. We tried making mosaics last year for Ancient Greece and they did NOT enjoy it. This time I decided to go for something easier and had them color pictures instead!

For our Marco Polo unit click HERE.


We have read a TON of books this week! SHEW!!!!!

SUCH a busy first week but so much FUN!!!!!


If you want to see the other pics from this week click HERE!!!!!



Now, don’t forget to check out the wonderful, marvelous bloggers that are participating this month!!! I promise you won’t regret it. They are FAR more entertaining that I am! LOL 😉



DIY Cute Storage Box – No Sew!!!

DIY Cute Storage Box 01



This is a fast and EASY way to turn a plain cardboard box into a cute storage box!!

There are tons of tutorials about sewing a cover for boxes BUT they require complicated math formulas. BLECK!!! I get enough of those homeschooling the kids! 😉 With this one, you just need to measure and know how to multiply by 2. 😉



1 fabric remnant – toile

1 scrap piece of burlap

1 leftover piece of denim bias tape

smallish cardboard box – 8″ deep, 12″ sides

hot glue gun


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I cut 2 pieces 18 x 26 (2x + 2″) and one piece to cover the bottom (can’t remember the dimensions). You want the bottom piece to be able to go up the sides by 1″.



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Start by hot gluing the bottom piece, making sure to glue it up the sides as well.




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Now for the sides. Draping the fabric over the sides, you want to leave 1″ at the bottom and both sides and slide the top down inside the box.


Gently lift the fabric to glue in place making sure of placement.



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On the inside, put hot glue in the corners and on the bottom edge. Press the fabric into place and smooth (obviously not shown! LOL).




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Now for the other 2 sides.

Fold the edge of the fabric over 1″ and glue into place on one side.

Now glue 1″ to the bottom of the box.

Drape the fabric over the sides and inside the box and start gluing in place.

When you come to the last side, fold over another 1″ and glue in place.

Then do the inside of the last sides.


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This is what you will have.



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I then glued a strip of burlap all around the sides and added the denim bias tape on top of that.



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Lastly, I added the burlap bow!


EASY PEASY and super fast!


If the inside bottom of the box is going to show, cut a piece and glue it inside. 😉






Yes, I’m a Little Squirrely…… The Squirrely Blogger Award

But NOT in this way –


Used to describe someone of questionable character.
I wouldn’t give my money to that dude he’s kind of Squirrely.

Adjective: 1. mildly insane2. unpredictable and jumpy, often in a cowardly way

3. nutty; resembling a squirrel looking for nuts

I’m more of #3…… 😉 (definitions by the Urban Dictionary)

ANYWAY, I say that to say this –

I have been awarded the Squirrely Blogger Award, made by the awesome Menopausal Mother and given to me by the most wonderful Karen from Baking in a Tornado!

Squirrely Blogger Award

According to the rules I need to tell y’all 7 – 10 quirky things about me. Hmm… That’s going to be hard to whittle down…..

1 – I HATE feet. Yes, those things on the ends of your legs. YUCKY YUCKY YUCKY!!!!!!

2 – I must hang alllllll the clothes in the same direction or chaos will ensue!

3 – Even though I love shoes and hate feet you will mostly find me barefooted or in my Crocs flip-flops.

4 – I can wiggle my ears! Deanna was so upset that Cailey and I could do it that she tried and tried until she could do it, too.

5 – I have 3 piercings in one ear, 2 in the other and one in my nose. I used to have my eyebrow pierced years ago and I have been thinking about having it redone.

6 – I would LOVE to have a tattoo!! I just can’t bring myself to spend the money…… CRAZY how much they cost!

7 – I love football!! I am so ready for the season to start!!! Let’s go STEELERS!!! Let’s go MOUNTAINEERS!!! I will also be cheering the Titans and the Fighting Irish, just as long as the Titans aren’t playing the Steelers and the Irish aren’t playing the Mountaineers.

Ok, that’s enough about me. Anymore and you really will think I’m nuts! 😉

Now for the 7 – 10 bloggers that I am passing this on to, always the hardest part for me. Who wants it??? 😉

If you’re reading this and blog, YOU’RE SQUIRRELY!!!!! Now, pass it on!!!!!!!!!



First Day of Homeschool 2013

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Yesterday was our first day of the new homeschool year! YAY!!!! I thought I would share a few of the things we did.


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For some reason all of our cats seem to LOVE Cailey’s school work! They never bother any of the other kids! LOL

If you recognize Cailey’s dress, it’s the Red, White and Blue dress (click for the tutorial).


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Here is Colin doing some streak tests from the Young Scientist Club kit # 7 – Minerals. (These are MUCH cheaper through Amazon and you get 3 kits in one.) (Amazon was down while I was working on this post.)


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Here, Cailey is examining rocks from our trip to Pigeon Forge on the 4th of July.

The Rocks and Minerals unit that I put together can be found HERE.



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Cailey and Colin are drawing maps! This is the first activity in the book Marco Polo for Kids.


First Day of School 2013 023 First Day of School 2013 025



Here are their finished “mythical maps”! Colin’s is the top and Cailey’s the bottom. They had SOOOO much fun with this activity! I didn’t think they would ever be finished! LOL

For our Marco Polo unit click HERE.

Books that we read –

For our Bear Unit click HERE!!!

Marco Polo for Kids: His Marvelous Journey to China, 21 Activities (For Kids series)

Parts of this one.


You Wouldn't Want to Explore With Marco Polo!: A Really Long Trip You'd Rather Not Take (You Wouldn't Want to...)

Half of this one



Most of this one!


Not bad for the first day! 😉 Of course we also did the usual math, spelling, reading, etc…… 😉







Making Notebooks Pretty

Pretty Notebooks



Oh. my goodness! I have been SOOOOOO busy!!!! Between Wednesday and Friday, I printed out 500 pages for the first few weeks of school!!! GOOD GRIEF!!! I have been running around getting all the books and supplements and activities and and and together! LOL I’m exhausted and we haven’t even started yet! LOL Someone remind me to get all the planning and etc. done at least a month before we start!


ANYWAY, I have been making some of their notebooks prettified for them! LOL

Here is the no sew cover tutorial that I did a few days ago.

And here is the sewing cover tutorial that I did a while back.


And here are the finished products that I did this week.


Pretty Notebook 1


This one is just like the no sew cover except that I cut 2 pieces and left the spiral part exposed. Then I tied ribbons up and down the spiral.



Pretty Notebooks 2


This one is just like the above. I cut and hot glued 2 pieces. Then I hot glued a patch from one of Joshua’s Resident Evil games to the front.



Pretty Notebooks 3


This is one of the sewing covers. I did it just like the book covers I did last year. Then I hot glued a big D on the front for Deanna.


There you have it! Very simple ways to personalize the very cheap notebooks! LOL The kids LOVE them!!!!


I have a couple of projects in mind. Hopefully I will soon be showing you a no sew box cover. FINGERS CROSSED!!! 😉






Volcano Unit Study w/FREE Notebooking Pages

Volcano Unit Study

The next unit up, VOLCANOES!!! Lots and lots of fun!!!

Here is pic of Deanna’s salt dough and papier mache  volcano that she made a couple of years ago.

Deanna's Volcano

Deanna had a lot of fun making that! She created the the lava from red food coloring, vinegar and baking soda.



As always, the links, printables, books and resources can be used with a variety of ages.

All the books should be easily found at your local library, on Amazon or Paperback Swap.

If you have any questions, just leave a comment, use the Contact Me button at the top of the page to shoot me an email or find me on Facebook or Twitter! 😀



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books graphic





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Krafty Kids – V is for Volcano

Homeschool Share – Unit Study and Lapbook

Homeschool Helper Online – Unit Study

HS Launch – Mini book and Notebooking page 

abc Teach – worksheets

Homeschooling – worksheets

The Helpful Garden – volcano cards  and nomenclature cards

First-School – V is for Volcano

Sparklebox – banners and posters

Crayola – coloring pages, lesson plans, crafts

Twisty Noodle – handwriting sheets and coloring pages

Teach-nology – printable lessons

Hands on Homeschooler – counting cards

Enchanted Learning – printables and activities

School Express – activity sheets

Super Coloring Pages

ESL Printables – worksheets – worksheets

Scholastic – exploding volcano mini book

$$$ – Hands of a Child – the site was down while I was making this post.  You can find the Volcanoes Notepack on Currclick  and the Volcanoes Lapbook but they are usually cheaper on the Hands of a Child site.

$$$ – Currclick

Types of Volcanoes

Volcanoes Unit Study  or on Kindle

Simple Schooling All About Volcanoes (I love their units and I have this one.)

Volcanoes Lapbook

Make a 3 D Layered Volcano





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Volcano World

USGS – info and teacher resources

Just Montessori – activity ideas

No Time for Flash Cards – activities and craft

PBS – Volcano’s Deadly Warning

Earth’s Active Volcanoes 

Quia – vocabulary game

Brain Pop – game – make a volcano

neo K 12 – videos, activities

National Geographic

Scholastic – info

Discovery Kids– info

Kids Geo– info

A to Z Home’s Cool Homeschooling – videos, links and activities

wiki How – 3 ways to make a volcano

Squidoo – Volcanoes for Kids

Plate Tectonics and Volcano Lesson

Volcano Videos for Kids

Kids Investigate Volcanoes




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Volcano cakes – Refashionista    and  Celebrations at Home

Volcano snacks – Craft Interrupted  and   Parents Connect

Volcano science kits – we currently have the Smithsonian and the Young Scientist Club kits, but I have loved every Magic School Bus kit that we have done.

 Magic School Bus


Young Scientist Club







No Sew Notebook Cover

no sew notebook cover



More crafting for the new school year!

We had a couple of old composition books around that the kids didn’t use last year. I had an idea to pretty them up a little bit.



What I used :

Scrap fabric


Glue gun



I made a few mistakes here and there but I will tell you alllll about them in the steps! LOL


STEP 1 –


no sew notebook cover 001


Put your notebook on top of the fabric with the bottom of the notebook hanging over about 1/2″. Leaving 2″ on both sides of the notebook, cut around.



STEP 2 – 


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Cut 2 pieces of ribbon 2″ past the edges of the notebook.



STEP 3 –

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Cut a piece of ribbon about 4″ longer than the notebook (this will be the place mark).



STEP 4 –

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While your notebook is closed*, put some hot glue on the binding and attach the place mark.

*I had it open.



STEP 5 – 

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With your notebook closed*, add hot glue to the spin, center your fabric and attach it.



STEP 6 –

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Add hot glue around the edges of one side and wrap the fabric around. Do that to both sides.

(You should have some room at the top and bottom where the cover is longer than the fabric.)



STEP 7 –

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Open the notebook, hot glue the edges of the fabric and stick it to the inside.



STEP 8 –

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Close the notebook, add hot glue to the top edges and place your ribbon on top. *Do NOT mash the ribbon down. I think that’s why mine looks wrinkly.

Do the same to the bottom edges.

Open the notebook back up and glue the edges of the ribbon to the inside.






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I made this one for Cailey because she LOOOOVES SpongeBob!!!



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And I made this one for me! 😉


I am going to try my hand at adding the fabric to spiral bound notebooks. I’ll let you know how that goes. 😉






Native American Unit Study (with free notebooking pages)

_Native American Unit Study graphic

(graphic – The Graphics Fairy)

The next in line that I’m planning for is Native Americans. We *might* diverge from our path and study this around Thanksgiving. Maybe….

Our study will focus on BEFORE the discovery of America and just after. Later on when we study the westward expansion, we will study more about Native Americans.

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As always, I try to add things for a variety of ages.

All the books should be easily found at your local library, on Amazon or Paperback Swap.

All the printables I list are free unless marked with $$$ (and then they should be CHEAP).

books graphic

The pictures are clickable links to Amazon.

kindle graphics

Charles Rivers Editors – Native Americans – a BIG list

printables graphics


Homeschool Share – Connections – Lapbooks, Units, etc.

DLTK-Kids – Printables and Crafts 

Activity Village – Printables and Crafts

Dynamic 2 Moms – Lapbook and Lapbook

Craft Jr. – Printable Mask

Susan Kae – Printable Native American Homes

Squidoo – Lapbook

Cynce’s Place – Squanto Lapbook

Scholastic – Printables, Lessons, Crafts

Apples 4 the Teacher – Printables, Lessons, Ideas, etc. Homeschooling – Worksheets

Teacher Vision

 First Palette – Printable Crafts

Life’s Little Adventures – Notebooking and more – Printable Crafts

School Express – Activity Sheets

Plimoth – Coloring Pages and Activities

Noah’s Ark Homeschool Academy – Printables and Unit Study – Worksheets

$$$ – Currclick

Native Americans Unit Study Part 1  and   Part 2

Native Americans Unit Study


online graphic


Mr Donn – lessons

Crayola – lessons, crafts, ideas

Squidoo – 4 Part Hands on Lesson 

Squidoo – Unit

Squidoo – Unit Study

A to Z Teachers Stuff – Lessons, Crafts

Artists Helping Children – Crafts

Enchanted Learning – Crafts

Teacher’s First – Crafts

Loving 2 Learn – videos 

A to Z Home’s Cool Homeschooling

No Time for Flash Cards – crafts

Adventures in Mommydom – crafts and activities

Busy Bee Kids Crafts

Deep Space Sparkle – Art Lesson Plans

Mr. Nussbaum – interactive map

Native Languages – Info for Kids

Ducksters – Info

Kids Konnect – Info

Social Studies for Kids

Brain Pop

The Crafty Classroom

Discovery Education – lesson plans








Five Things – I’ve Been Tagged!



Ohh! OOH!! I’ve been tagged!! My super awesome bloggy friend, Karen from Baking in a Tornado, tagged me in the new sensation that’s sweeping the blogging nation, Five Things!


Here we go!


Five things I have a passion for:

My kids & The Hubby




Kids in general. Those that are hurting, hungry, misunderstood.

None of those things should be a big surprise!


Five things I’d like to do before I die:

Have all my children grown and happy. Whatever defines THEIR happiness.

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to travel to Europe.

And across the US.

I want to go white water rafting. How I could grow up on the New River and NOT have done that is a mystery to me. LOL

Get 1,000 followers here on the blog. LOL


Five things I say a lot:

Leave your sister alone.

Leave your brother alone.

Who ate all the _______?

Whose turn it is to clean the kitty litter?

Can I get a little quiet, please???


Five books I’ve read lately:

OH! An easy one! LOL I’ll list the last 5 in order beginning with what I’m reading now.

Right now I’m reading Sandstorm by James Rollins. Very good! Like watching an adventure movie! 😉

Immortal in Death by JD Robb I am completely hooked on Eve and Roarke!!!

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch Very different sort of mystery. Fresh and humorous.

The Diviners by Libba Bray SOOOO SOOOO SOOOO GOOD!!!! A very different take on paranormal YA.

Glory in Death by JD Robb I told you I was hooked! 😉



Five favorite movies:

ALL the Harry Potters (that’s a given)

Bringing Up Baby – doesn’t get much better than Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn!!!

The Help (the book was awesome)

Gone with the Wind

The Wizard of Oz



Five places I’d love to travel:






That was easy. LOL

I have never been out of the county but I soooo want to travel all over the world!!



Five blogs I’ll tag:

Well, here’s where it gets a little tricky… You just never know who wants to be tagged and who would rather not…. SO, if you are reading this and you blog, GUESS WHAT!!! You’ve just been tagged! YOU’RE IT!!!! 😉







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