Sunday, May 26, 2013

After the storm...Teachers Unite

A huge thank you to everyone who has generously donated their products, talents, time to put together Teachers Care for Oklahoma.  This has been a huge team effort to raise much needed funds that will directly help the teachers in Moore.  To read my original Blog post of this fundraising effort, click HERE!

Special thanks to:  Viki from Special Teacher for Special Kids, Amy from TPT,  Mel from Graphics from the Pond and Wendy from Teacher's Toolkit for your support and help this past week.  

You can help by purchasing one or more of the bundles that have been put together in part by generous donations by amazing teachers like you.  There are 4 bundles, each valued at $150-180.00.  100% of the donations are being sent directly to the Moore, Oklahoma schools.

If you have any questions about this fundraiser, please email me HERE.


3-6 - Clipart Bundle 2

I was going through my files today and found this cute Apple Compound Words Learning Center.  I am making it a freebie.  I know it's a little early to think about back to school, but I have a thing for the apple theme.  There is just something about it that makes me smile.  When I was a little kid, I had one of those toys that was shaped like an apple that had a cute face on it and when you shook it, it made this chiming music. It was called a "Happy Apple."  One of my first websites was named after that.  Bright red, cheerful apple pictures remind me of what is good about going to school.   

I chose this activity in part because of the happy feelings that I have when I think of apples and the connection to the newness, and the excitement of being in school.  Why would I post something like that in the bottom of a post about the aftermath of a destructive tornado?    Because I believe what people need most to recover and move forward is hope.  Most kids often really love going to school, not only for what they will learn and the friends they will make but also the stability and security that comes from being in school.  For these children who lost their schools, and even some classmates, there will become a new normal.  With a little help from each of us, we can make that possible.

So my freebie this week is featuring Apples.  With the thoughts and prayers that the new normal that our friends in Oklahoma will be restored soon and the smiles in the hearts and on the faces of those who go to school there will be restored.  

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Friday, May 24, 2013

Teachers Care for Oklahoma - Fundraiser for Tornado Victims

On the afternoon of May 20, 2013, the town of Moore, Oklahoma was hit head on by what has now been classified as an EF5 tornado. Wind speeds were estimated between 200-210 miles per hour, with forces said to be greater than that of the Atomic Bomb that hit Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. Two of the elementary schools in Moore, Plaza Towers Elementary and Briarwood Elementary, were leveled while students and teachers were still in the buildings resulting in the loss of life of young children. Many businesses, medical centers, and residences were also destroyed or severely damaged.

Actual photo of Moore, OK tornado!!

Not long after the news broke, teachers from all over the world began discussing a way to raise funds to help the teachers in Moore, OK that have lost all of their resources (and classrooms). Within a few hours, this fundraising effort was aptly named Teachers Care for Oklahoma. A plan was soon put into motion, and within a few short days Teachers Care for Oklahoma is on it's way to raise much needed funds to help the teachers in Moore.

Because of the overwhelming, generous support of TPT Sellers, we have have been able to put together 4 separate bundles of learning resources. Materials range in subjects, with the majority meeting Common Core Standards. The bundles are separated by age group. There are 2 bundles for K-2 age group, and 2 bundles for the 3-6 age group with clipart as well. Each bundle is valued at well over $100.00, and will be made available for a $25.00 donation. These bundles will be available for a LIMITED TIME, beginning Friday, May 24 through Monday, June 3rd, 2013.

100% of the proceeds for this fundraising event is being collected by TPT, and will be distributed by check to the appropriate Moore Oklahoma School District Representative earmarked to specifically aid the teachers as they begin the process of rebuilding.

Teachers Care for Oklahoma is on a short timeline so that we may better help those who need it the most. There isn't a limit on the number of bundles you may purchase. Below the description, you will find the direct links to the other 4 bundles available.

Below, please find direct links to the Fundraiser product pages which detail the products offered in each Bundle, and images of the covers from all of the materials. There isn't a limit to the number of bundles that you may purchase. It's a good way to receive top quality resources, while helping fellow teachers in need.


If you would like to help spread the word about this fundraiser, you are welcome to use the logos below. A special thank you to Mel from Graphics from the Pond for creating them.  I also would like to thank Wendy from Teacher's Toolkit for designing the covers.

A special shout out goes to Amy from TPT, as well as Paul, John and the whole Tech Department for pulling out all of the stops to help with this venture. To V from Special Teacher for Special Kids, for working with me a lot of sleepless nights sorting through files, organizing, and communicating with donors, the list goes one. I can speak for everyone involved, it has been well worth it.  To help just one person, we've succeeded.  Thank you so much everyone for your kind, and generous support and contributions!

If you have any questions about this fundraiser, please contact Dani at

Monday, May 20, 2013

Memorial Day Craftivity

Click HERE for printable version of instructions.

Materials Needed:

6 popsicle sticks
DecoArt Paint – Lipstick red, white
Mod Podge Glossy Coat
Blue Cardstock
Star Stickers
Red, White, Blue ribbon
Embellishments (optional)
E6000 Glue
Cardboard 4 x 6 Scrap

Memorial Day, or 4th of July, crafters around the country will be celebrating along with their families and friends. Parents are always on the look out for activities that kids can do at family functions that will keep the kids occupied, but have fun at the same time. This project is recommended for children 5 or older, with moderate supervision due to the use of the E6000 glue.


1. Place 6 popsicle sticks onto a piece of old newspaper or paper scrap.

2. Use the popsicle sticks as a measure to trim your piece of cardboard scrap. It is ok if the top and bottom popsicle sticks overhang the cardboard a little bit. The cardboard is used to make the sign fairly sturdy.

3. Paint 3 popsicle sticks (front, and sides only) red, and 3 popsicle sticks white. Let dry.

4. Measure a piece of ribbon to use as the hanger of the sign. Glue each end to the cardboard scrap face up. When you begin gluing the popsicle sticks on, the ribbon ends will be between the cardboard and popsicle sticks. This helps reinforce the ends and prevents it from coming off after extended hanging.

5. Begin gluing the painted popsicle sticks onto the cardboard alternating red and white. Allow the glue to dry completely before attempting the next step.

6. Spray an even coating of Mod Podge Clear Glossy Coat to protect the paint.

7. Cut a small rectangle out of the blue cardstock. A scrap can be used for this. You can measure the piece to fit the upper left corner of the sign.

8. Glue the blue cardstock piece onto the popsicle stick sign and let dry.

9. Affix white or silver star stickers onto the blue piece.

10. Add embellishments (ribbons, raffia, buttons) as desired onto the ribbon of the sign.

In the example, I made a bow out of the same grosgrain ribbon I used for the hanger of the sign. I embellished it by gluing 2 buttons together to finish the piece.

*NOTE*  This activity can be altered so that it can be used for state or country's flags.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Endings... and new beginnings...

Hello friends,

I hope that you had a great week.  I realize that with the winding down of the school year, kids tend to be a bit "wild" and lack focus while their teachers and caregivers are thinking about making that appointment for their hair stylist to maybe to cover the newly sprouted "tinsel" hair...   A mani/pedi with sparkley pink glitter makes everything better!  That, and chocolate! :)

Several of my friends are changing grades for next year.  I was amazed how many teachers are being moved grades because they are so good at their job that they were chosen to move to perhaps be strong leads in departments that otherwise were lacking?  I have to hand it to a couple special ladies I know, after the initial shock wore off, they embraced the change and are excited about moving.

Speaking of change...

Earlier this week,  my friend Lesley from Practice Makes Perfect unveiled her new Blog. It is applicious!!! If you were a follower of her old Blog, be sure to jump on over to her new Blog and FOLLOW!!  If you haven't been to Lesley's Blog before now, why not stop over and show her some bloggy love!!  Leave her a comment and let her know what you think. I'm a wee bit partial to the appley colors and layout..Sshhhh...  I think I have an "in" with the person that made it... *winks* :) 

Now...without further adieu... I'd like to share a freebie with you. I was debating whether to provide a finished activity or if it would be more fun to post a template design.  My "McGyver" senses kicked in and I thought that the template design would be fun!  What you'll receive is a sandcastle themed playing mat in both full color and BW.  You can write on it and laminate it for durability and either use the starfish counters included, OR a dry erase marker!  Click on the image above to download!

This week went by way too fast!!  I am going to spend Sunday catching up on my favorite shows that I missed housework, and so by time Monday rolls around I will get back to the drawing board.  I have a whole collection of sea life animals drawn, ready to be made into something brilliant... :)   What's on your "To Do List" for the week??

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ready for summer... Hula Bear Tracers

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there today!  If I know my own Mother, she is out mucking stalls with her furbabies. She used to tell me that all of her gray hairs were merit badges for raising kids.  Hmm...she should have had a head of white hair along time ago then, she's raised hundreds, if not thousands of kids in her lifetime. Happy Mother's Day, Mom! :) 

I decided to post something today that is summery.  Why?  Because I am really ready for summer.  Not that I like the excessive heat and bugs,  I DO like the sunshine!  The 'hula bear' featured in this project was part of a "summer camp" that I created last year where my fans/followers were able to download cool stuff to keep the kids happy during the summer months.  It was then picked up by a craft company (that shall remain nameless) and published last year. 

I've always wanted to go to Hawaii.  Have you been there?  I think my aversion to flying, kind of crimps the plans of that ever happening. lol  Not unless they get some sort of teleporting system similar to Star Trek, I'm land bound. :)

Note: Do you LOVE fonts like I do? The cute font that I used on the cover of the free packet in the link below was made by my friend Wendy at Teacher's Toolkit!  You can download it for free from here TPT store here!  

Click picture to Download

Materials Needed:

Binder Rings
Hole Punch
Dry Erase Marker
Hula Bear Alphabet Tracer Template
(Blank template included)

The Hula Bear Alphabet Tracing Cards are perfect for a summer theme! A blank template is being provided as well as the pre-made alphabet tracer cards in case you'd like to make other tracers to go along with the same theme.


1. Print out templates onto cardstock.
2. Cut individual cards out, and laminate. Laminating after the items have been cut out provides a better seal around the cards.
3. Punch a hole in the left (or right) corner of the cards and insert a binder ring. Using a large binder ring makes it easier to trace on the separate cards without tearing them.
4. Cards are ready for play. Use a dry erase marker or crayon for tracing alphabet letters.

Great news!  The winners of the Teacher's Appreciation Extravaganza have been announced.  WOW, there were over 11,000 entries!!! That's amazing!  A huge thank you to all of you who stopped by our Blogs and supported us!  We had a lot of fun!!!

Congratulations to Linda K., Emma, and Kayrn W.   The winners have been contacted by email!  WOO HOO!  

If you didn't win a prize this time,  stay tuned for upcoming events.  We're planning some more fun activities!  
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Monday, May 6, 2013

Did someone say sale? Teacher Appreciation Sale

Have you heard the news?  Teachers Pay Teachers is having a site wide sale tomorrow and Wednesday!!!  Did someone mention SALE?   WOW!!!   Using the coupon code TAD13,  you can receive up to 28% off site wide.

I am sooooo excited for this event!  I did something really crazy, and put together a BUNDLE that is so huge I am putting it on DVD!!!   This DVD will be available for only 2 days ONLY!!!   Only my followers and fans are receiving a sneak peak!!!

Click HERE 

This BUNDLE is huge!  It features 20 of my favorite best selling products (listed below)!!  There is a mixture of seasonal activities.  

Apple Number Games Pack - 10 Frames - Numbers 0-20  (4.50 value)
Back to School Learning Centers ($5.95 value)
Bats - Going Batty - Stellaluna Learning Centers ($4.95 value)
Candy Corn, Halloween Learning Centers ($4.95 value)
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Learning Centers ($5.95 value)
Earth Day Fun - Learning Centers ($4.00 value) Best Seller
Fish Tank Glyph Activities ($3.50 value)
Frog Life Cycle & Frog Glyph Activities ($5.95 value)  Best Seller
Fruit & Veggies Learning Center ($3.00 value)
Gator Chomp (Greater Than < Less Than Learning Center ($2.95 value)
Groundhog Day Patterns, Writing Practice ($3.95 value)
Hatching Chicks, Chickens, Mini Unit ($6.95 value) Best Seller
Number Formation Writing Pack ($5.50 value)
Ocean Write the Room Writing Activities ($4.25 value)
Place Value Learning Center ($2.95 value)
Polar Bear Learning Centers, Digraph Sort, Vowel Sounds ($3.50 value)
Popcorn Words Learning Centers ($4.50 value)  Best Seller
Scarecrow Glyph & Puppet Pattern ($4.95 value)
Spring Plants and Flowers Learning Centers ($6.95 value)
Winter Learning Centers, Animal Tracks, etc ($4.50 value)

The total of all of these items if purchased together is $93.50.
All this for $49.95!!   It includes FREE shipping!!   WOW!!!   

These puppies are flyin' off the shelf!!   What makes Crayonbox Learning different?   I draw all of my own artwork, create everything you see featured in my products from scratch..... and most products come with both full color and bw images to make it easier on YOU to print/cut/and put together!

If you want to scoop up one of these DVD's before they are gone, click HERE!  What are you waiting for?

Have you stopped by and entered the Teacher's Appreciation Extravaganza Blog Hop?  If not, what are you waiting for?  The prize packages are amazing!  Be sure to show some bloggin' love to my fabulous blogging friends that are participating in this event! They make me laugh and smile every day!!  Great freebies, and pretty cool Blogs to look through too!   

The drawing for the prize packages will be on May 12th which is also Mother's Day!!!

Have a WONDERFUL day!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Extravaganza!

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited to write this Blog post!  Not only is it the start of Teacher Appreciation Week, but some of my best Bloggie friends and I are having an AMAZING Giveaway!!!

I am stop #9 in this Blog Hop.  Woo hoo! :)    Let's get this party started with a Watermelon Freebie! :)  

Click the image to download Watermelon Writing!!!
I hope that you enjoy this freebie!   If you like what you see, please leave me some feedback! :)

Now... would you like to hear about how YOU can win some fabulous prizes???

Prize pack #1 -  One lucky winner will receive $230.00 in gift cards from several different businesses like Target, Barnes and Noble, Old Navy, Bath and Body Works, Kohls, and more!  PLUS a wonderful book written by Susan Paul called "Tunes for Teachers."   

Prize # 2 features a CUSTOM made room theme of your choice. The lucky winner will be able to choose a room theme and WE will create it for you!!!  PLUS a choice of materials from our TPT stores!!! 

Prize # 3 -  One lucky winner will be able to pick one item from each of our 16 stores ($10.00 or less). This prize alone is valued at least $100.00!!!

To win one of these awesome prizes, follow along the Blog Hop (there are 15 stops total) pick up a freebie at each stop.  On one of the Blogs, you'll find a Rafflecopter to enter to win!  :)  You can enter to win now through May 12th, which is also Mother's Day.

Thank you so much for stopping by my Blog.  I hope that you enjoy your Teacher's Appreciation Week and know that the work you do is important, and is appreciated!!  I hope that you will also enjoy visiting all of my friend's Blogs.  These gals have really worked hard to put together this Event, and make it memorable as well as to have a fabulous Giveaway!!!  

Click on this button, and head on over to Kathy & Susan's Blog "The Fun Factory" which is stop #10.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Currently...

I almost missed the Currently for this month.

Boy, April went by FAST. I can't believe it's already May.   I am so looking forward to creating this summer. I have several projects lined up and I can't wait to get started.

I plan on spending some time this summer fixing up my house too.   I won't be leaving for a vacation, so I plan on investing some $$ and time on my house.

While I am writing this, I have Gordon Ramsey playing in the background.  I like this show, Kitchen Nightmares.  Not only does it give me the ooomph to clean my kitchen when I don't feel like it.. HAHA,  I also think he's a pretty good guy.  I know that he comes across a bit harsh, but he has a soft spot for families.

The weather has been exceptional the last few days.  It was 85 today. Though it's supposed to be 45 on Friday when the cold system comes down.  The goats are adjusting to the warmer temps.  I am so blessed this year to have so much grass in the pasture.  Last year, the drought was really bad and we had to hay feed most of the year.  The green grass is a welcome sight!

My head is spinning with ideas.  Do you ever have so many ideas for projects and packets that you have to stop and write it all down?  That's where I am at.  Most of my illustrations I need are already done.  (I draw all of my own artwork for my teaching resources!)   I am jazzed for the new school year, even before this one is over! :)

I think tomorrow, I am going to plant my 'mater seeds.  Nothing better than salads in the spring/summer with home grown 'maters. :)

Spring time means time to clear out closets and all the clutter that seems to grow.  My family missed out on the City Wide clear out, we didn't know of the date or we would have.  So it means I have to clear out closets a little different.  Where I live, the City designates a certain day each spring where folks can clear out their junk... closets, appliances, etc..   The City garbage collection will come around and pick everything up at no charge.  That's a pretty nice deal.  Unfortunately, we missed it.  Thankfully,  my pack rat days are over so I just have one closet that needs an extreme home makeover. :)

And that brings me to my summer bucket list.  My mobile home was originally set up for another family member and his significant other.  My Mom had lovingly decorated this place according to their color choices and really wasn't my taste.  I didn't want to hurt my Mom's feelings when I moved in, so I waited to say something about wanting to re-paint. lol   It was really funny, when I was brave enough to say something my Mom burst out laughing and asked me why I was afraid to say anything.  So she gave me the go-ahead to paint.  I am still working on what colors, but I do want to paint the dining room an egg shell cream color  and the living room wall... I'm on the fence on.  I want something somewhat neutral so I can change the living room decor out seasonally so it always looks good.


I want to move the furniture around a bit, and then the last thing on my bucket list is to redo the deck area.  I have a really nice covered deck.  I spend a lot of time on there watching the birds and wild life.  I'd like to change it up just a bit to be bright and cheerful and maybe plant some flowers.  The hummingbirds LOVE the flowers.

I hope that you are still following along. lol   I do love these Currently sheets, as I think it lets us all get to know each other a little better. :)

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Project - Create a Frame

This project was created for publication for Think Crafts. It's a project that does take a couple hours from start to finish between paint layers, so be sure to give yourself enough time to finish it. This is is a great gift idea for teacher's for Teacher's Appreciation Week.  A custom frame could also be made for Mother's Day or Father's Day too.

Materials Needed:

Unfinished Wood Frame (with wood center piece that is removeable)
Acrylic Paint
Paint Brushes
Chalk Board Paint
Character buttons (large) or other embellishments
E-6000 Glue
Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer (Gloss)


1. Take the wrapping off of the unfinished wood frame, and remove the center wood piece so that it is easier to paint.

2. Paint the wood center piece with chalk board paint. (hint: paint a primer coat before painting the chalk board paint so that it will go on smoother.)

3. Let the chalk board paint dry completely between layers. At least 3 coats of the chalk board paint is needed.

4. Begin painting the unfinished wood frame. It is recommended to use a primer coat before using the frame color. The primer coat will soak into the wood and make the acrylic paint go on smoother. In the example, a shiny acrylic paint was used.

5. Let the acrylic paint in between layers. 2-3 layers of paint will provide a nice covering. Let dry completely before painting designs.

6. With a small brush, paint embellishments onto the frame. In the example, I painted leaves and flowers to go along with the ladybug buttons that I chose for my embellishments.

7. After the painting is complete, let dry. Anywhere from a few hours to overnight will be needed.

8. Spray with Mod Podge (Gloss) Clear Acrylic Sealer over top of the entire frame. Be sure to seal the sides too.

9. After the Clear Acrylic Sealer is dry, then it is time to glue on the embellishments. In the example, I used large ladybug buttons. I used a pair of scissors to remove the thread hole so that the buttons would glue flat.

10. Using E-600 Glue, affix the buttons or other embellishments onto the frame and let dry.

11. When the frame is completely dry, put the chalk board painted wood piece back in the center of the frame as shown in the photo.

12. To complete the gift, add some ribbon or tulle to dress it up. You can write a note or thank you on the chalk board. Another idea for gift wrapping is to include a colorful piece of chalk, and enclose the frame in a cello bag and tie with a ribbon. Attach a hand made card, and you have a special gift for a special teacher!