Sewing, Homeschooling and Craziness

Archive for August, 2013

Cute and Easy Can Craft

owl pencil can 005



I had this old tin can sitting around with all our pens and pencils in it. It was so ugly!! I decided to pretty it up a little bit so it could sit on our table for the upcoming school year.



owl pencil can 001


I had a bit of scrap owl fabric left over from my cousin’s pjs and I thought it would be perfect for this!

I used a fabric marker to mark the measurements. I left an inch at the top and bottom.

Next I took my trusty hot glue gun and glued the fabric around the side. I folded over the fabric at the end and glued it in place.

Then I folded the remaining inch at the top into the can and glued it. After that I folded over the remaining inch at the bottom and hot glued it.

I decided that it needed a little something else and added the ribbon (hot gluing it in place, too).

Now I have a cute pencil can for our table!  Simple, easy and cute! 😉






Secret Subject Swap August

Welcome to Take One of August’s Secret Subject Swaps. This week, 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.



Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:                              Baking In A Tornado                                  The Momisodes                           Just A Little Nutty                    Follow me home . . .        Moore Organized Mayhem           Stacy Sews and Schools                           The Sadder But Wiser Girl                 Menopausal Mother                                 Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                         The Insomniac’s Dream                  Searching For Sanity                         Evil Joy Speaks



My subject is “ When was the last time you felt “left out” of something? How did you deal with it?”.  It was submitted by .  Here goes:



WOW! This was a hard one. I thought and thought and thought about it. I started to get nervous… Would I ever come up with something?? I don’t usually feel left out of anything. If I want in, I just, well, go in. I have a speak before I think, leap before I look personality. LOL

Then it hit me. My birthday. Yep, my birthday. You may wonder how someone can feel left out when it’s THEIR birthday! Well, let me explain it to you. 😉

You see, Cailey and Colin both have birthdays around mine. Cailey’s is the 23rd and Colin’s is the 31st. We usually end up having their birthday parties ON my birthday. LOL Not sure how that keeps happening…. It’s not that I mind sharing, not at all, but it would be nice to get my own cake every other year or so. And let’s face it, even 3 birthdays cakes at the same time will NOT go to waste in this house.

Now, how do I deal with it? Well, that’s simple. I don’t. I don’t say a word, I don’t do a thing. I just keep calm and eat their cakes. 😉

It’s not like The Hubby or any of the kids read my blog, so I don’t have to worry about them feeling bad for me feeling left out. I could pretty much say ANYTHING here and they would never even know.

Muahahaha  Evil Laugh Cat

Next year is a big year. It has a 4 and a 0. Yep! I’ll be 04 years old! 😉 And since it’s a big one, I might just get myself a cake.

Maybe one like this –

Owl Birthday Cake - Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting & Rolled Fondant

from – Talking Thirty



Or maybe like this –


From – With Love and Confection


As long as it’s chocolate it will do! LOL

The Hubby made me a cake one year. I have to admit, I was scared, but it was actually very good. Another year, Joshua and Deanna made me one. They did an excellent job.  There is one year I will never forget! I was turning 21 and The Hubby got me a cow cake (I love cows). We were having my party over at his buddy’s house and before I could even blow out the candles the cake was ruined. A food fight!! With my birthday cake!!!

You know, if that’s the only thing I can come up with, I feel pretty darn blessed.  Let’s face it, in this world if the only thing you feel left out of is birthday cake, you’re pretty lucky.


Don’t forget to check out all the AMAZING bloggers that take part in the Secret Subject Swaps!!! Karen (Baking in a Tornado) is SOOOOO FREAKIN’ AWESOME for putting this together for us!!!




Tutorial ~ Make a Chair Buddy

Chair Buddy Collage

This year Colin will be doing full time Kindergarten. He isn’t all that thrilled about it to tell the truth. So, I decided to make him something to help get him into the spirit! A chair buddy!!

I had some Hot Wheels fat quarters sitting around and figured they would be perfect!

This project is super fast and easy!  Thank goodness, because now Cailey wants one! LOL She has decided not to use her little desk this year. Maybe Colin will use both the desk and the chair buddy!

What I used for Colin’s:

4 fat quarters

1 scrap (for the little pocket)

What I used for Cailey’s

2 pieces of flannel – 21″ x 23″

1 piece of yellow cotton – 21″ x 19″

1 scrap (for the little pocket)

Step 1

Chair Buddy 005

Take the scrap piece for you little pocket, fold it in half and press. Next, fold over the top ends by 1/4″ and press. Fold over again by 1/2″ and press. Sew in place.

Then, with right sides together, sew up the sides, creating the pocket.

Chair Buddy 009

Turn right side out and press.

Step 2 –

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Take the fat quarter that you are going to use for the large pocket and fold over the top by 2 1/2″ and press. Fold again by 2 1/2″ and press again.

Sew in place and press.

Step 3 –

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Pin the small pocket in place on the front of the fat quarter you will be using for the large pocket.

Sew in place and press.

You should now have 2 small pockets on the front.

Step 4 –

Chair Buddy 016

Take the 2 fat quarters you will be using as the body and sew the tops together.

Open it up and press the seam.

With right sides out, fold in half and press the seam from the outside.

Step 5 –

Chair Buddy 022

Take your last fat quarter and cut it in half. Fold the halves in the half and press (with right sides out).

Place your pockets on one side of the body and pin down the sides.

Take one of the halves and pin it with the raw edges against the raw edges of the bottom of the large pocket and main body. Pin in place.

Now sew all three pieces together.

Fold the bottom part down and press.  (On the wrong side, press the seam up.)

Take the remaining half and sew it to the bottom of the other side of the main body, Repeat the pressing.

****If you are NOT using the fat quarters, you will lay the pocket fabric on top of the main and fold over 1/2″ and press. Fold over another 1/2″, press and hem.

Step 6 –

Chair Buddy 025

Now, fold the body in half with right sides together and pin the sides,

Sew the sides up!


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Turn right side out and press again!

You are ALL DONE!!!

Chair Buddy 027

You now have yourself a Chair Buddy!!! YAY!!!

Here is Cailey’s!

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Chair Buddy 034

Let me know what you think! Have any questions? Just comment or shoot me an email by clicking the Contact Me button at the top of the page.

You can also find me on Twitter or Facebook – the links are over on the right side.



Great Finds at the Used Book Store

We have an AMAZING used book store here. I have never seen the like. I get all weak in the knees just thinking about it! They have just about EVERYTHING!! They also have DVDs, games, CDs, comics, and instruments. My whole family loves that store and we have been at least a dozen times in the past couple of months.

They also have a HUGE bin outside for free books. FREE BOOKS!! OMGOSH!!!!!!

Yesterday I got some pretty great deals!!

For less than $5 I got –





Missing the poster but otherwise complete.











I was also able to pick up Deanna’s preferred chemistry text –


for $4!

I am soooo not a fan of text books but Deanna LOVES the Abeka science books and has used them every year that we have homeschooled. If she loves them then I am more than willing to overlook my aversions. 😉 Other than those we only use texts for math.



In the FREE bin I found –









I picked up a BUNCH of the old Sesame Street Library books in the free bin, too. I loved those SO much when I was a kid.

Not a bad haul!!!



I could spend days in that store.



India Country Study – with FREE Notebooking Pages

_0000_ indian-goddess-vintageimage-Graphics-Fairy3

(graphic from The Graphics Fairy)

Yes, yet another homeschool unit…. Are you getting tired of them?? I promise to be back with more sewing soon. I just have to get some of these out of my system and documented so they are ready to use for the upcoming school year. August is usually a pure planning month for me but I hope to fit in some sewing time very soon!!!

I made some more notebooking pages! And I have discovered why some of my other pages were messing up when converted to PDF!

*************FREE NOTEBOOKING PAGES******************** made by me with the help of clipart from

India-NotebookingSSaS (1)

As always, I try to incorporate resources for a variety of ages. I want everyone to be able to use the units! 😀

All resources are free unless marked with $$$. And even then, I try to list the cheapest resources I find.

Most of the books you can find through your local library system, on Amazon or Paperback Swap.

BOOKS blog pic done














Kindle Books Blog pic done























Printables blog pic done


Lapbook – Homeschool Share

Lapbook – Homeschool Helper Online

Printables and Crafts – DLTK-Kids

Coloring Pages –

Printable Map – KidZone Geography

Printables and Crafts – Activity Village

Taj Mahal Printables and Activities – Squidoo (scroll down)

Mandala Coloring Pages – Squidoo

Printables – Ed Helper

Printables – Homeschool Creations

Printables – Scholastic

Printables – Rainbow Kids

Coloring Pages, Lesson Plans, Crafts – Crayola

Printables –

Paper Taj Mahal – Paper Toys


Online Resources blog pic doneUnit Study – Squidoo 

Mr. Donn

Nat Geo Kids

Time for Kids

Science Kids

Children United!

Fact Monster

The Kids Window


YouTube videos


Kids of Courage

Crafts – Making Friends






other ideas done


Little Passports

World Market has a ton of things made in India. I LOVE to get little items from there to include in our studies.






My SUPER Cheap Homeschool Planner

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Wanna know how much I paid for my homeschool planner??? Well, I’m about to tell you….. 17 cents. Yes, you read correctly. 17 cents.

You’re thinking, but I can get one online for free! BUT if you want to put it in the hands of your teens you’ll have to print it alllll out and THAT will cost you more than 17 cents. 😉

But, you say, my teens can access it from the computer. BUT, I say, how much easier would it be for them to have a hard copy in their hands?? MUCH easier. 😉

Here is how I turn a cheap notebook into a planner.

homeschool planner 005

You simple take a ruler (or a book edge if you can’t find said ruler) and draw in the boxes. 5 across for the days and however many down you need for the subjects.

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Over on the side you can write in the subjects.

Easy peasy and SUPER cheap!!!!

I used to buy planners for about $5 each for the older 3 kids. One year the planners I always used were discontinued. I didn’t want to print alllll of that out. What a PAIN!! So, I decided to make my own and have ever since! 😀

We always personalize for each kid. That usually means printing out pictures of favorite bands, movies, games, books, etc and gluing them to the front! LOL But you know what else would work? I bet you could make a fabric cover for them, too. You could probably even use my book cover tutorial to help with that! LOL Then there’s tying ribbons to the spiral section like I listed in my back to school sewing round up. SO MANY IDEAS!!!! And they would all still be cheaper than the fancy shmancy planners. 😉

With the younger 2 kids, I use a composition book and just keep a running list of themes. Then I use that same composition book to write out the units. Next, I write the units on here for everyone to use.



~~Fireflies Unit Study~~ with FREE Printables

Preschool Firefly Clip Art

Here it is!! The firefly unit that I promised my friend Eileen from Eileen’s Perpetually Busy.  She asked me to put one together shortly after her kids saw fireflies for the FIRST TIME!!!! 😀

Here you go, Eileen!!!

**********FREE NOTEBOOKING PAGES************* (made by me)

FirefliesStacySewsandSchools (1)


BOOKS blog pic done

Kindle Books Blog pic done

Printables blog pic done

Hoomeschool Share Connections – Insects (lapbook and report form)

Teaching Heart – activities and printables

Activity Sheets – Ready Set Glow

Coloring Pages –

Lapbook Lessons

School Express – Activity Sheets

At Home Mom Buzz – List of Coloring Sheets

Classroom Freebies – Firefly Unit

Lesson Planet – Worksheets and Lesson Plans

Teach With Me – Printables and Activities

Learn Create Love – Printable Craft

Online Resources blog pic done

Crayola – Lesson Plans and Crafts

Squidoo – Firefly Info

What Makes a Firefly Glow?

Lesson Plan Source – Art project

Nat Geo

Animal Planet

Science News for Kids

Craft Jr.

Smithsonian Insects

Hands on Homeschooler

Mr. Nussbaum – game


Kids Discover

There you got! Not much but at least enough for a mini unit! 😉 There are a lot more books than resources but then again, it should probably be more hands on anyway.

Don’t forget! If you have a request for a unit, just comment, email me (use the Contact Me button at the top of the page) or post on my Facebook!



Simple Machine Unit Study with FREE Printables

Simple Machines

I wanted to make more cute graphics for the blog BUT I am starting to run out of space…. YILES!!! Looks like I am going to have to upgrade sometime soon. So much for a free blog! 😉 So until then I might just reuse the ones I made for the pirate unit! LOL

I put together some notebooking pages for this unit. I am getting better at working Google Drive. 😉

************FREE NOTEBOOKING PAGES***************

SimpleMachinesNotebooking-StacySewsandSchools (7)

When I put a unit together, I try to include resources for a variety of ages. My kids are 19 (no longer homeschooled), 17, 16, 9 and 6 so I teach a variety of ages! LOL

Most of the books should be easily found at your local library, on Amazon or Paperback Swap. ALL homeschoolers should become familiar with Paperback Swap! Next to the library system, it’s a homeschooler’s best friend!!! 😉

I know that I have been posting a lot of homeschooling stuff lately and not so much sewing BUT we are gearing up for the new school year and that is about all my brain can handle right now! In a short time I should be more prepared and should be able to focus more time on sewing tutorials! 😉

BOOKS blog pic done

Product Details

Printables blog pic done

All printables are free unless marked with $$$

Notebooking Pages – Homeschool Helper Online (scroll down)

6 worksheets –

4 free worksheets – abc teach  (the rest are $$$)

Several worksheets- teach-nology

topic cards, banners, posters – Sparklebox

observations and report sheets – Scholastic

gears notebooking page – HSLaunch

activity sheets –

printable book – Raki’s Rad Resources

activity sheets – School Express

3 part cards – Montessori for Learning (scroll all the way down)

$$$ lapbook   – Hands of a Child

$$$ from Currclick

Simple Machines Unit

Simple Machines Picture Activity Cards

Online Resources blog pic done

Neo K 12

Ed Heads

Book Builder

The Teacher’s Corner

Lesson Pathways

YouTube – simple machines videos

Squidoo Lenses – 6 Part Simple Machines Lessons

Lesson Plans – Appliance Help

Museum of Science & Industry – Chicago


A to Z Home’s Cool Homeschooling

Learning Games for Kids

PBS Learning Media

Kids Konnect 

Brain Pop Jr


Simple Machines Links

Young Engineers’ Club

E Is for Explore

Simple Machines Science Kits

I couldn’t find a lot of printables for this unit BUT this should be more of a hands on unit anyway. 😉




Taking Requests

Since I have been posting units WAY ahead of when we will actually use them and since I had a friend request a theme yesterday, I thought that I would put the request out there! Do you have a theme or unit that you would like some help with??? I am ready to help you out to the best of my ability! Need some notebooking pages? I can make them (I’m getting MUCH better, I promise).

So, what do you need??? Just comment or use the Contact Me button and shoot me an email!

I am always more than happy to help someone out in whatever way I can.

Have any homeschooling questions? Ask me! If I don’t know the answer, I’ll try to find it! 😉

Here are some units that I am working on now –

Simple Machines (tomorrow)

Fireflies (day after tomorrow)


Native Americans


I’ve also been thinking about put up a syllabus of sorts for some of the older kids’ courses this year. Both Deanna and Joshua want to take History of Science. Yep, I’ll be making that one up. LOL I’ve already started a list. Mostly we will be focusing on the scientists from different time periods and their contributions.

Joshua wants to do military history, another off one. 😉 I’ll be working on that as well. He has done some military history in the past but….. Well, some of the kids slacked a bit last year. I don’t blame them. It was definitely a crazy year! But that means that they will be carrying some classes over. No biggie.

I am definitely more of a laid back homeschooler.  I am not what you might call an unschooler, but I am fairly close. 😉

I am NOT a lover of text books… My kids do use them to some extent, mostly for math. I like to do research and I like for them to go deeper into subjects than text books usually go. So, that is why I make most of my own stuff. We use a lot of notebooking, sometimes made by me, and lapbooks, sometimes made by me.

So, any requests??? Any questions???



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