Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tea Time!

As I sat and sipped my tea this morning, wondering what to write, I realized that I have been neglecting the tea in my teaching!  So of course, I decided that I would remedy that right away!  If you love tea, and haven't discovered Tea Time magazine yet, let me introduce you!  One of my best friends in the world surprised me with a subscription to Tea Time earlier this year.  (He just happens to be the same friend who bought me the sparkly pink stapler and the high-heeled shoe tape dispenser - he knows me well...)

Tea Time is full of recipes, tearooms, beautiful table settings, tea selections, and lots of tea-type advertisements.  But of course it's the recipes that interest me the most.  I've tried several and all have been blog worthy so far.  My favorite was the poppy seed scones with lime curd.  Amazing and simple!  That particular recipe isn't on their website, but the site does have many different recipes and ideas without needing a subscription.  Just click anywhere in this blog that says Tea Time and it should take you to their site.

The nice thing about the magazine is that it also can be purchased as an app so you can have the tips and recipes at your fingertips and not have to worry about storing the magazines or not having them when or where you need them.  Unfortunately, they didn't make the app subscription transferable.  Since I already have the actual magazine subscription, it would be nice if I could just type my number into the app and also have the magazines on my tablet, but instead, I'd have to buy a whole new subscription.  Bummer.  But in reviewing the app, it seems to be exactly like the actual magazine. You can get the digital versions here.

Finally, they have some nice extras on their site.  If you'd like to, you can grab free printable bookmarks for your next tea party or book club, here.

So go put some tea in your teaching!  Tea - like sparkles - makes everything better!  And don't forget to follow me by email!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday: Got Gimp?

This is my official disclaimer.  I am NOT a tech expert and I do NOT know official terms for things!  I know how I do things and I explain them in steps I can understand.  Do not expect this tutorial, or any future tutorials, to be professionally done!  I like to say I make them Wendy-proof.  If you worked with me, you'd understand...  That said, I like to make a lot of flip charts, worksheets, pamphlets...  Just about anything.  But I want them to look professional.  The biggest improvement I've been able to make in anything I'm creating with graphics, is to make the image background transparent.  I'm not sure where or when I originally stumbled across this, but it works, and here it is in 10 easy steps.

Step 1:
It's a lot like Photoshop, but it's free!  Download it here.

Step 2:
Once it's downloaded, open the program and the folder with your image.

Step 3:
There are many ways to do this, but the easiest way is to just find your image, click on it, and drag it over into your Gimp screen.

Step 4:
Then go to the Layer tab at the top and drop down to Transparency.

Step 5:
Once you're on Transparency, slide over to Add Alpha Channel.  That's your transparent layer.

Step 6:
Then you will need to use the correct tool.  Click the Tools tab at the top of the screen and drop down to Selection Tools.  It's the first one!  And slide over to Fuzzy Select.  It looks like a magic wand.

Step 7:
Using your magic wand, click the area that you would like to make transparent.  It should look like its outline is moving.  Then hit Delete on your keyboard.  The area should become checkered.  You can do this more than once, if you need to, to get the entire area selected.

Your're almost done!
Step 8:
Now to save it, go to the File tab and click Export - NOT Save!

Step 9:
At the bottom, you'll see a + beside the Select File Type.  Click the + and scroll down to png.  That's the file type you'll want your image to be.

Click Export and when another little dialog box pops up, click Export again.  That's it.  Now just find your image in your folder and it will be transparent.  Oh - your old image may still be there if it wasn't originally a png.  Make sure you delete that one so you don't get confused!

Hope it helps!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Make It Monday!

So I worked all weekend sewing curtains, but I'm not quite ready for the big reveal.  The room still needs a lot of work!  Good thing it's only June...  But I thought I'd do a real quick "Make It Monday."  This is a super easy fix for all of those ugly man and nose-face magnets most of us have stuck around our rooms.  All you need is a hot glue gun, your old magnets, and some fake flowers.  I got mine on clearance at Michael's for $.79 a bunch!

I tore all the flowers and leaves off of the stems and threw the stems away.  Then I glued up the magnets.  Sorry guys, this is gonna hurt!

While the glue was good and hot, I just stuck the flowers and the leaves wherever they would fit!  Sometimes I just used the flowers, sometimes I used leaves and flowers, and for the nose-face magnets I always used at least 3 to cover him up!  Below is an example of the nose-face magnet all prettied up.

It was easy and quick to go from this:


So go give your magnets a makeover!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Today's The Day!

Okay.  So here is my blank slate.  Tabula Rosa.  They closed my little school (with BIG rooms) and moved us to the middle school (with little rooms...)  So my summer will be filled with decorating, creating, and cleaning out!  I'm currently in the middle of unpacking boxes.  Tons and TONS of boxes!  Moving a BIG room into a little room is not an easy task.  I'll be keeping you updated on the progress I make, and will probably be asking for suggestions!  I'm a bit OCD, so it will take some time to get this all organized.

Also on my plate, I've been fortunate enough to be able to pilot a class set of Chrome books for my third graders!  So I will also be test driving some apps and ideas.  I'm open for suggestions and tips in this area.  VERY open!

And in my cup today (my tea cup!) is one of my summertime favorites, Fox Trot.  This is a yummy herbal blend of chamomile and mint.  Caffeine free and delicious hot or cold.  I like to keep a pitcher in the fridge for warm days like today.  I bought this tea (loose) at one of my favorite local shops, Everything Tea.  You can purchase some on line here.

Thanks for stopping!