Sunday, December 30, 2012

Winter Bird Book Freebie

One of my hobbies is to photograph birds that come to nest and eat seeds at my house. The picture above is of a male cardinal that came to visit during the snow last winter. The cardinals were the inspiration for the "Winter Bird Book" that is available for download HERE.

Among the printable pages are questions to answer, as well as blank writing pages.

I hope that you enjoy it!

Happy bird watching!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Snow 2.0


I like snow days. Today, it began snowing again. This time, it wasn't as blizzard-like outside. The animals are all tucked away in their warm barns.

The day of the blizzard (Christmas), a small kitten was displaced by the storm. I "think" it is out of the Mother cat that I feed on my deck. (I have her 4 last kittens, now grown that live in my barn). The kitten somehow got under my house. I still haven't figured out how that happened. The underskirting on my house is tight, and the one space where the adult cats creep through was covered in snow.

I heard this kitten mewing. It would follow my voice, and I tried very hard for 2 days to rescue him from under the house. Standing outside in freezing temps, trying to figure out how to coax him out. I was able to slip food into him, of which he'd quickly start eating. (His "nom, nom, noms...were adorable!")

Yesterday, I was able to get him to stick his head through the small space where the heat pump/air conditioner goes under the house. Such a small cat could have fit in there ok, but he was scared. He'd come right to the opening and then not come out. When he did pop his head out, he'd nuzzle my hand and meow.

When I left last night, I heard him meow and I saw him run toward me in the snow. He ran back and was rubbing on the other cats. (Which are his brothers and sister). I was relieved, but wasn't sure what to do with him. I came home late, and he was no where to be found.

First thing this morning I went out to face the snow, and I heard the little guy mewing again. This time, he came right to me at the opening by the water heater. After a few minutes of coaxing, he came out. His mother hissed, and smacked him. Apparently, she was ready to wean him.

I scooped him up, and he cuddled into me and started purring. I called my Mom and asked her if she could take him. She lives across the road. I would have brought him into my house, but my 2 dogs may not appreciate it. :)

Happy news... the little cat has been accepted by my Mom's barn cats and he's made himself at home.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Snowmaggedon 2012!!

Who doesn't love a white Christmas?   We were blessed yesterday with a bit of the white stuff. :)  It began spitting sleet around 3:30 yesterday evening.  The Snowcasters were wonderful to let us know ahead of time to expect some snow (8-12 inches).  The snow began to fall around 7:30 and kept snowing on into this morning.  We have approximately 12 inches in the level ground, and almost 2 feet in areas where the snow drifts were.  The snow was blowing on a horizontal, but the wind was also coming from different directions.  Thankful we didn't lose power! :)   Ever since we had the ice storm in 2009 (no power for 14 days!!)   I get a little creeped out about the possibility of losing power.
The picture above is of Tilly.  She was the only one brave enough to come out into the snow. She was eating it.  I told her to watch out for the yellow snow. :)    The picture is a little deceiving.  The gate in the background has about a foot and a bit high in front of it.  The goat is standing in my tracks and it's still up to her knees.  The water troughs are 18 inches high, and the snow was up high enough to cover it.  (The backside of the barn had more snow drifts).
What a way to end the year?   I don't mind the snow - especially with the blue skies and no wind!  Whew!   It's already starting to melt an slide off the roofs.  It will be gone in a day or two.
I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas.   I spent the evening with my parents who live across the road.  My Mom made her traditional holiday meal - turkey and all the trimmings. :)  LEFTOVERS!!!  Woo hoo! :)    I look forward to the new year.  I am SOOO glad that the Mayan's were wrong! :))
Until next time!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas...

From my home to yours, Merry Christmas!

I hope that you enjoy time with family and friends, celebrating what is truly important.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Unthinkable...

When I first read about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, my first thought was what the children must have been thinking in their last moments of life.  NO CHILD, (teacher or admin.) should EVER have to be afraid to go to school.  I can only imagine the chaotic, horrific scene that the children and faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary had to endure.  To those who survived, they will always carry it with them.  For many, their fears will be compounded with questions of why, and how many of their friends were lost.  

School is supposed to be a safe place! 

My thoughts and prayers go out to the children, the teachers and staff and their families, as well as the victims families.  There are no words adequate enough to express the deep sympathy and sadness felt around the world tonight.  If there is any comfort, we are crying and praying with you. May God bless you and keep you. RIP little ones.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

The National Debt.....Count your Pennies

I imagine that the subject of this post will be a bit of a surprise. I wanted to share with you a project that the students of Snohomish High School in Washington State is working on. The students have been collecting pennies, to illustrate (and to put into perspective) what the national debt is. Please view the link below.

Video: Making Cents out of National Debt

I think it's a really great teaching opportunity, and the students really seem to get into it and come to understand the massive debt that they are going to be burdened with.

I also posted this tidbit because I graduated from Snohomish High School in 1988. Once a Panther, always a Panther! :)

Hurricane Sandy

By now, you've either heard about or know someone that was effected by Hurricane Sandy.
Several of my customers, fans/followers are still dealing with the aftermath. Some friends lost everything, while others are dealing with power outages and water damage.

I am currently participating in a fundraiser being organized by a fellow Teachers Pay Teacher seller. Her friend lost everything in the Hurricane. Several TPT Sellers donated products from their stores, they are being put into a bundle and will be made available for a donation. All proceeds are being donated to her friend. This was a nice way to help someone rebuild. I will have more details on this fundraiser soon, so you can participate if you'd like.

If you are interested in donating, the Red Cross is a good place to start. There are several websites that are accepting financial contributions. There are staging areas that are collecting necessities such as toiletries, baby formula, blankets, diapers, clothing, etc. Here are a few links to get you started:

American Red Cross - Hurricane Sandy

Hope for New York

*NOTE* When looking to donate, money especially, be sure to verify the source that you are sending to. It's sad, but disasters tend to bring out scam artists. Which makes it tough for legitimate organizations to receive the much needed resources.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hi there!

I am posting 2 new freebies today. I took a personal day yesterday as my best friend passed away on Saturday. I appreciate all of the kind words, thoughts and prayers.

This post will be a bit short, I want to be able to get the freebies set up for you to download. Enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Showing some owl love... Counting by 5's

I hope that you've had a great day today. I'm a little bit behind the 8 ball this afternoon.

You're eyes are not deceiving you.  Yes, there is a goat on this page. :)  I spent part of the day at my Mom's house (across the country road) looking at a very pregnant goat! See picture below....

This little goat was purchased by some friends at a sale yesterday. She's obviously very full with babies! Due any time. The pictures really don't show the belly as big as it really is. Poor thing! I have been sharing this picture because I just couldn't believe such a goat could be wider than tall. 

Weather has definitely changed here in Arkansas. I did hear the owls out last night calling to each other. Where I live, there is enough of an echo (no street noise, etc) that it magnifies the sound.

Today's freebie is an owl themed Count by 5's set. It includes the header cards, and numbered cards.

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!  Mine will be filled with house cleaning, order processing, and finishing a few new packets for my stores. 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Owl Writing Practice Sheets....

Fall is a perfect time to learn more about owls in their natural habitat. The past few nights, I've heard different owls hooting to each other. I've not been able to catch them on film yet. I am hoping to after the leaves drop off in the tree line so that I can see where their nests are.

The freebie for Thursday is being posted a little earlier. Owl writing practice sheets. One is blank, and the other has a line of text. I have provided these in black and white so that your students can color them.

Click on the owl thumbnail above to download this freebie!
Be sure to "follow" my blog to be kept up to date on new materials from Crayonbox Learning! 
Happy Teaching,

Whoo loves owls?

Today is the magic day!  I am starting to offer a week-daily freebie here on my blog. Please take a moment to "follow" my blog.  If you have requests, let me know.  I will do my best to provide a variety of free materials to download. :) 

Click on the owl thumbnail above to download today's freebie!
Have a great day!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


You've probably all played the popular game BOO at school where you leave a ghost on someone's desk or mailbox along with a treat.  Cynthia from 2nd Grade Pad is hosting a "You've been Boo'd" Linky party so we can show some love to our fellow bloggers!
Here's how to play:  Choose a fellow blogger that has MORE followers, another that has about the SAME number of followers, and last, someone that has LESS followers.  Highlight their blogs with links to encourage others to check them out.  Don't forget to let your fellow bloggers know that you shared about them.   
Lastly, leave them some love by offering them a goody from your store as a treat!

As my blog is fairly new, but I wanted to share some blog love and hopefully make some new friends along the way. 

YAY!!  Here we go...

I visited this amazing blog today and was happy, and impressed with their creativity! I became an instant fan!   Their blog is well organized, thoughtful, and INSPIRING!  I could literally spend days looking through the pages!

I fell in love with the purple polka dots.  It's right up there with "glitter" in my opinion! :)  I enjoyed looking through the pages.  I love the idea that there are pictures as well as descriptions of activities.  For those that are more visual learners, this is perfect!  Way to go!

A newer blog, but so worth stopping by and checking out!   What grabbed my attention first was the bright, cheerful colors!   The artist in me is attracted to pretties! :)  Kaitlyn is well on her way to a fabulous blog!  I love the organization, and have no doubt that others will be wickedly excited to follow her!

I'm off to share some more blog love...  I am really inspired now to add to my own blog!  Thank you to Cynthia for hosting this really cool game.  It gave me an opportunity to visit some blogs that I hadn't seen before!  You're Boo-tiful! :)

Presidential Election Packet

In a few weeks,  Americans will be voting for the next President.  I created this original Classroom Election Kit to help teach children about elections and the election process.  Not only does it feature 2012 election activities, but also classroom election materials that can be used to hold a "mock" election in the classroom.  Click on the image above to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store to learn more about this product!   *NOTE*  This product will be updated each year.  Buyers will receive those updates free when purchasing from TPT.
Happy Teaching!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall Leaf Book Pattern - Freebie

Click on the image to visit my TPT store and
download the free Fall Leaf Book Template

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Welcome October!

I love fall!

I love the colors, smells, and the crisp cool air!

September came and went almost too fast! Now that school is in full swing, I'm receiving a lot of requests for custom materials. I love creating learning centers. They are so versitile, and can be made with any subject, skill or theme.

This school year, I am focusing more on creating materials that fall within the "common core state standards."

My Blog is just getting started as you can see by the few entries. I decided to use a Blog format for my website instead of continuing to update my website. It makes more sense, and I am able to link up with other quality Blogs. If you have a Blog that you would like linked, please let me know.

If you have any requests, please email me at!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

At the Drawing Board...

At the drawing board this week are FALL related!  I don't know about you, but I am really looking forward to cooler temperatures, colorful leaves, and the wonderful smells of baking bread, apple pie, and pumpkin pie spice.

I am currently working on a scarecrow drawing. We'll see how it turns out.  I'm thinking about popping' The Wizard of Oz in the DVD player for some inspiration. :)

What are you working on this week?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I have been busy adding new materials to my Teachers Pay Teachers store!   Candy Corn Activities is just one of the latest packets I've added. Click on the Candy Corn image above to go to the store.

Also new this week was a packet on Bats for the Stellaluna learning centers.  I am currently working on pumpkins and scarecrows!  Stay tuned for more on that!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I spent the week editing, or adding onto some older packets that I had made.  It's always fun to look back and see the work that I have previously made.  If someone were to compare some of my earlier work to what I create now, I think they'd be surprised.  My Mom used to say "practice makes perfect."  I'm a long shot from perfect, but I believe that the artwork has come a long way.

When I was growing up,  I didn't think that I could draw.  My Mom is a natural artist, she can draw pretty much anything just by looking at it.  She won a scholarship to college back in the day for her artwork.  You can only imagine what it was like  ( at least in my head) trying to figure out how to draw when there is an artist in the family.  Stick figures, I was your go-to-girl, but real objects that could be identified?  Not a chance.

Flash forward to 1998 when I began creating learning materials. I began putting my materials "out there" into cyber space and as quickly as I would make something I was being requested and encouraged to make more.  At that time I was using clipart that I had permission to use by 2 well known companies. Prior to using their materials, I had asked permission and had letters from the companies granting me permission.  That worked well for a year or two until an unscrupulous competitor tried everything under the sun to push me offline.  She even went so far as to stage a "cou" and set the wheels in motion for some of my work to be copyright infringed, and some nasty rumors spread.  It hurt at first, but then I realized that the person must have such a low self worth as to do something like that.  In the midst of all of the gobbledegook (great word, eh?) :)  The person had contacted the 2 companies that I was using for artwork, and complained that it wasn't fair that I was able to use their artwork.  To this day, I believe that she thought that would be the end of me creating. :)  Instead, it was a gentle nudge for me to start drawing my own artwork.  I wasn't about to let someone that didn't have ethics or morals keep me from doing something that I loved, and was doing to help people.

My first official printables website was opened in 1999, and my "brand" was created in 2000.  So yes,  I've been at this for 14 years and for the most part have loved every minute of it.

My original artwork was more simplistic.  I used the shape tools for a lot of the items I drew.  The lines weren't always perfect, and sometimes the coloring wasn't quite right.   I kept at it, and taught myself different techniques for correcting the lines and shading/coloring.  Pretty soon,  my "style" was becoming pretty well known.  I like simple line artwork because it's nice to be able to identify with the object/animal.  I've received numerous letters from teachers of autistic and other special learners that were happy to see my artwork because the children could identify with it, and not become confused by the "busy" lines.  I have had fans/followers email me from all over asking me if a certain project/game was mine based on appearances only.  Most of the time, they are spot on! :)   It's fun to know that so many have come to identify with me and my work.

In 2010,  I decided to up the ante a little bit.  Until then, even though I did create materials for older age groups, my brand name identified more with the younger levels.  A customer came along and wanted to purchase the domain name that I had used for years, and I opted to do it.  It was a risky business move to change brands, but I did so in order to create a larger / broader collection of learning materials.

Now, my age range spans from Prek-K  up to 5th grade.  I've been blessed with different opportunities to create, draw/illustrate, and publish hiqh quality learning materials.  My artwork is being used in classrooms in 16 countries, and all 50 of the U.S. States!  How cool is that?

When I think back at how I got my start, from one small sketchy drawing...  It makes my heart smile.


Friday, September 14, 2012

A New Year.... A New Beginning!!!

September is here, and Fall is in the air!

Like most of you, I've spent the majority of the summer working on new materials for the coming school year.  Before summer,  I had made a list of things that I wanted to accomplish this summer.  The big one was to redo my website.  I did complete the design, and most of the 100+ pages.  Then I reached a point when I realized that this site is huge, and how would I have time to maintain it and keep up with my fans and followers if I was bogged down in details such as HTML coding, adding new content to keep it fresh, and still have time to design new materials.

Then the big proverbial light bulb came on, and I realized that I can use my Blog as a focal point for keeping in touch with my fans and followers, and still be able to provide all of the resources that everyone has come to enjoy from Crayonbox Learning!

Last year,  I had this Blog design created and I only posted a couple times.  I never really got into it, because my work schedule prevented me from posting with any regularity.  I spent the school year looking at other people's Blogs, and making a mental list of the things that I wanted to do with mine.  I'm not a real fan of cluttered up pages that are hard to read and navigate through.  Not everyone is tech savvy, and some people have a hard time with so much stimuli.  I removed my previous posts so that I could start fresh this school year.

Ta da!  Here it is.   The plan for this Blog is to share my journey creating original learning materials, as well as periodic printables being posted for you to download.   The more you share my Blog, the more I post.
Be sure to bookmark this page, and check back often for new postings!

Are you following me on Facebook, and Pinterest?