Saturday, December 31, 2011

Photo #365/365: 2011 In Review

1. I Love Dogs!, 2. Giant Pencil, 3. Handsome Dog, 4. Peppers, 5. Lisa and Colin, 6. The Phillips Arch, 7. Neon Laces, 8. Lanterns, 9. Purple Posies, 10. Michael, 11. Bandanna Dog, 12. Web 2.0 Smackdown, 13. First Daffodils, 14. For the Love of Mickey, 15. New Pencils, 16. Red Tulips, 17. It's Pella Tulip Time, 18. The Barn at the 1900 Farm, 19. Butterfly Banner, 20. The Bride and Groom, 21. Rose Mosaic , 22. Donner's Garden, 23. Daisy, 24. One Coneflower, 25. Heading for Her Bike, 26. Winnie and Bailey, 27. Winnie's Weekaversary, 28. 244 White Lily, 29. Remembering 9/11, 30. Skyline, 31. Goards, 32. My Nephew, 33. Darling Olivia and her Family, 34. Beautiful Winifred, 35. Beautiful Juliette, 36. Red Poinsettia

I did it!  I completed my second full year of a 365 Photo Challenge.  I have learned a lot, and I've had a lot of fun.  These are some of my favorite pictures from the year.

Photo #364/365: Tea Towels and Potholders

I have finally finished making and wrapping Christmas gifts. This year I made note cards using my 365 photos, crocheted potholders, embellished tea towels, crocheted baby hats, and sewed colorful holiday and owl pillow cases.  For most of these projects, I used materials that I already had upstairs in my craft room. I started doing it because I didn't have much money to spend on Christmas gifts, but the true gift was that it reawakened my love of sewing and yarn crafts.  Along the way, I learned about on-line resources and a social network site called, where you can exchange patterns and join groups for all kinds of reasons. I think I got the biggest gift of all.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Photo #363/365: Lunch at Palmer's

I am thoroughly enjoying my Winter Vacation. My friend, Nancy, was in town today, so we got together for lunch at Palmer's.  It was a great lunch.

Photo #362/365: Beautiful Juliette

On Christmas Day, I met my great niece, Juliette, for the very first time.  Tuesday night, I went out to Jacci and Donner's house to visit with Dylan and Susanna, and really so I could hold Juliette.  She has the most beautiful eyes, and such a sparkling personality.  This mosaic is made up of photos I took of her during the past few days.  They are all back in Toronto now.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Photo #361/365: Christmas Dinner

We had a beautiful dinner at Jacci and Donner's house on Christmas night.  We had a good time with the crackers, although Juliette and Olivia had a few problems with their crowns.  Dinner was delicious!  Jacci is a sensational cook.

This was my first time to meet Dylan's wife, Susanna, and their baby, Juliette.

Michael, Lisa, Colin, and I had a great day.

Photo #360/365: Babies In Hats

Juliette and Olivia are modeling the little hats that I crocheted for them.  These little girls are so beautiful!

Photo #359/365: Christmas Table

As always, my sister set a beautiful table for Christmas Dinner.  And the dinner was absolutely delicious.  My brother-in-law loves nutcrackers, and he has a large collection.

Photo #358/365: Presents

Christmas morning, before the opening began.

Photo #357/365: Note Cards

Even on Christmas Morning, I was still making gifts.  I am using my photos from two years of 365 Photos to make note cards.  I had the pictures, and I have lots of card making supplies. I liked the way they came out.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Photo #356/365: Math Lab

As an experiment I have been assigning on-line homework for math.  My students are working on two websites, and  To accomodate those who do not have internet, I have a Math Lab before school every Wednesday and Thursday.  This week I didn't assign on-line homework, but some of the kids came into Math Lab anyway.  I guess they like it.

Photo #355/365: Caramel Corn

At Phillips we have treats almost every day during the month of December, and lots of them.  I had a taste for Caramel Corn, so I made a batch.  That way I could eat some at home, and take the rest to work.

Photo #354/365: Gift Bags and Gift Tags

I am a big fan of gift bags.  Not only is it an easy way to wrap gifts, they are so easily recycled.  In fact if you give me a gift in a nice gift bag, you are pretty much assured that that gift bag will show up again at a future Christmas.  This year I also made my gift tags.

Photo #353/365: Beading Station

I shopped my sister's bead collection, got some ideas and advice from her, and set up this beading station to work.  I used ceramic beads and waxed linen thread.  I braided the beads into the linen.  It was a lot of fun.  I will be giving the finished necklace to one of my friends.

Photo #352/365: Hooked on Crochet Again

I have been very crafty this Christmas season.  I finished my baby hats, discovered an on-line network of knitters and crocheters called, and crocheted a potholder.  I started this because of budget limits, but I feel like I have rediscovered myself.  It is very satisfying to make things.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Photo #351/365: Lego Builders

Every now and then I stop in the office to see what the kids in Lego Club are doing.  They are very clever builders, and they are learning a lot about motorizing their creations.  There is lots of problem solving involved in this work.

Photo #350/365: Baby Hat

Last night I learned how to crochet a flower.  I am enjoying getting back into sewing and crafts.

Photo #349/365: Cheez-It Math

What can you do with a Cheez-it Cracker?  You can practice area and perimeter with it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Photo #348/365: Candy Cane House

This is another shot of my neighbor's decorations.  There are so many things to see here.

Photo #347/365: Dark Poinsettia

I was in the Hy-Vee flower shop again.  These deep red Poinsettias caught my eye.

Photo #346/365: Fancy Window

I really enjoy all the work some of my neighbors do to decorate their homes.  This house is located two blocks from my home.  This beautiful window is just part of a big display.

Photo #345/365: Jingle Bells

Donner buy new Christmas Stockings that were covered with these Jingle Bells.  The fabric is soft and velvety.  I really like them, and you will know when Santa starts to fill them.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Photo #344/365: Christmas Stocking

The Christmas Stockings are hung, waiting for Christmas Eve.  I made these quilted stockings several years ago.  I always enjoy getting them out each year.

Photo #343/365: Snowflake Ornament

I like the way the lights shine through these clear glass ornaments.

Photo #342/365: Santa and Tree

This little Santa was made by a co-worker's mom, and the Christmas tree is actually a set of salt and pepper shakers.

Photo #341/365: Red Poinsettia

It's getting close to Christmas and the Hy-Vee flower shop is overflowing with poinsettias of all colors.

Photo #340/365: Basket of Yarn

This Christmas I am trying to make most of my gifts.  While rummaging around in my craft room, I discovered a whole drawer of yarn, so I decided to dig out my crochet hooks.  I have this little pink hat start for one of my little great nieces.

Photo #339/365: Cheesecake Factory

December 3rd was my brother-in-law's birthday, so we celebrated by going to the Cheesecake Factory.  I thought the mall would be packed, and it was.  I forgot to snap a picture while we were at dinner, so I took this one as I was leaving.

Photo #338/365: Snowman Collection

I have acquired this collection of snowmen over the years.  My sister gave me the big one on the sled, and my friend, Nadine, gave me the one that lights up.  Most of the others have come from students.  I like the cheerfulness of the snowmen, and I also like the fact that I can feel free to leave them out past Christmas.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Photo #337/365: A Thoughtful Winnie

Winnie wasn't sure what was going on today.  I spent most of the day working on school stuff and decorating the Christmas tree.  She just wanted me to sit in a chair where she could climb onto my lap.

Photo #336/365: Ornaments

I put the Christmas tree up last Sunday, thinking I would get it decorated during the week. It was a tough week, however, and I came home exhausted each night.  Yesterday, I finally dragged out the tubs of ornaments, and now the tree is looking good.  Now I need to decorate the rest of the house.

Photo #335/365: Clowns and Balloons

We had an after school celebration this week that included clowna, balloons and snacks.  There were lots of smiles to go around!