Monday, March 09, 2009

Creative Days

This morning we awoke (late...everyone slept in until 8:15!!!) to a wonderfully gray day...and I was thrilled with a short thunderstorm right before lunchtime.

Nathanael informed me that "I like rain, not storms." Usually, I agree if a storm looks tornado-ish outside, but Brent assured me this morning it wouldn't be bad...although currently there is a tornado watch for a few neighboring counties...but not ours yet.

But rainy, cloudy days make me feel creative! Before Christmas, I had two fun projects on my list that stayed there for quite a while: a storage solution to house my ever-growing collection of acrylic stamps and a lesson plan book. I thought I'd share those with you today!

I really love acrylic stamps (being able to see your stamp placement makes stamping so much easier for me!) and due to Studio Calico, my collection gets larger every month! For a long time, I just had my collection in a basket, but in the past few months, I discovered Tina and Nicole's approach to storing their stamps--an acrylic album. (Can't find the link for Nicole's...but it's there somewhere!)

To make the album, I used a pair of Zutter's Bind It All 8"x 8" clear acrylic covers, several packages of Grafix Clear Craft Plastic (8"x 8"), 2 inch binder rings, and some blue cardstock.

I stamped "stamps" on the acrylic cover and then stamped a damask pattern onto the front and back pieces of blue cardstock. Very simple and classic.

Inside, I alternated the craft plastic pages with blue cardstock and then mounted the stamps to the underside of each plastic page, which enables you to see the actual image. The paper in between helps to see the clear stamps, as well as preventing the stamps to stick to the next plastic page.
The 8x8 inch sheets allow plenty of room for stamps, including entire alphabet sets.

I took a hint from Nicole and made a pocket in the back to collect all the black "images" that come with the stamps--this way, I can position each image on the page to make sure it looks right before committing to the stamp. (I got all my materials at Hobby Lobby and recently bought another package of plastic sheets...just to be prepared!)

Ever since I started thinking and planning for beginning to homeschool, I've thought about a lesson plan book. I looked at so many options but couldn't find anything that fit my needs. So I decided to make my own...a little bit of an upfront investment, but I can use this for many years to come, saving the yearly expense of buying a new book each year.

I was really excited to use my D. Reeves Design House acrylic album. (Diane is a good friend of mine from college and I bought the large style file specifically for this project.) To decorate it, I cut two sheets of patterned paper to fit the file folder style of the album. I picked papers that I love and don't think I'll tire of quickly! Then I attached some embellishments and chipboard letter stickers to the cover and voila:

Probably my favorite feature is the little reminder card on the bottom of the back cover:

Inside, I printed pages on white cardstock (because I'm picky about my pens and I don't like for ink to show through on the reverse drove me crazy with my lesson plans back when I taught high school!)
It's kinda hard to read, but there are the five days of the week across the top and the sixth square says "For next week". (Last semester, I realized that I desperately needed a place to jot down things that needed to be done or bought ahead of time.) For this year, our categories are Math, Phonics, Bible, and Other Activities.
I like having the freedom to change it up...depending on how many subjects we have in future years, as well as how many children are being homeschooled...I'm sure this book will see many adjustments in the coming years!


Denise said...

I love thunderstorms. We are quite to that season here in MN, but soon...very soon I hope.

Your acrylic stamp storage is awesome! I have mine in CD cases, but I am not liking it too much. I am going to copy you. thanks for the inspiration!

Shawna said...

i didn't realize acrylic stamps were that popular. :) i am envious of your creativity, my friend.

diane reeves said...

Your stamp storage is so fun and practical.

Your planner is beautiful...I need to make something like that. Right now my post it notes scattered about is just not working for me. Thanks for sharing what all you included. It is always helpful to see how other mama's organize homeschool stuff.


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