Busy and Fun Week

One of my go-to people for creative ideas is my friend, Nancy. Recently, she introduced me to Japanese rice bags. I found a great tutorial, by Stuart Hillard. I had some fabric that I was going to use to make a pillow, but decided to use it to make the rice bag. The tutorial suggests not making the squares for the bag larger than 10″. I made the first bag with 9.5″ squares. Stuart gave a great tip for turning out strip tubes. It just so happened I had a chop stick to use for this process.
After making the first bag, I thought it might be fun to make bags for the Meemaws. My job is to take the treats for the trip. I have made tote bags and pouches before for previous trip treat bags. I wanted something different for this trip, and the Japanese rice bags are perfect for carrying treats.
I did not want to buy new fabric for these, so I pulled out the scrap bins. I found some leftover panels from a floral pet quilt that I made.  The panel remnants measured 8.5″ across and 6″in length. I had just enough to piece these into six 8.5″ blocks. Polka dot fabric remnants were used to make the remaining sides of the bag. Each bag requires 5 blocks for the outer bag, 5 blocks for the lining, and 5 blocks of batting. The linings are made from different fabrics that I had available. The pull strings and loops are made from 2.5 X 40″ strips, and I just happened to have some leftover jellyroll strips that I was able to use for this part of the bag. I made the first bag on Monday. On Tuesday morning, I cut the fabric for three more bags. I also made the loops and pull strings to get that out of the way. This made it possible to complete the bags all in one evening session. The bags are now filled with treats for our trip.
I also found the bling that I had put in a safe place. I added the bling to our Merit Badge Sashes.
My son informed me that my grandson would be celebrating Dr. Seuss all next week. I am trying to sign up to be a guest reader at the school. I thread sketched a Cat in a Hat badge and bookmark for my grandson. I did not take a photo of the finished products, but I do have one of the bookmark in the process of being thread sketched.
Thank you, Nancy, for the idea of making these fun bags.

Happy Birthday

Friday, March 2, marks the birthday of a man who wore many hats…author, cartoonist, poet, animator, artist, political satirist. There may be some controversy in Theodore Seuss Giesel’s past; and although I do not agree with one of his early political stances during WWII, I am not here to pass judgement. I believe that we can learn from mistakes in history. And I believe he did learn and have a change of heart.
The contribution Giesel made to promote reading, and the teaching of reading, still has it’s affects on children’s literature today.
Dr. Seuss came into my childhood home when my brother was born. I was 10. My mother joined a book club, and we received all Dr. Seuss books on a frequent basis. I used these books to read to my brother. Even as a child myself, I could see that it was a good tool for teaching reading. I got my brother reading, and this was a boy who could never sit still!
Hop on Pop was a favorite Seuss book that my three sons chose for their dad to read to them at night.They were reading at a very early age.
The curriculum I wrote for my students was literature based. I collected and purchased children’t literature to use for instruction. I had a very inviting classroom library. Dr. Seuss was a special selection in my class library for each grade level that I taught. I taught pre-K through fifth grade. The fifth graders learned how to interpret the author’s purpose and message when reading Dr. Seuss. My reluctant and emergent readers in the early grades learned the basics of word families and enjoyed the playful, musical, non-nonsensical words.
Every March, my students and I would participate in the Read Across America, which is celebrated on March 2 in honor of Theodore Seuss Geisel.
When I was thinking that I might retire, I had many discussions with my sons.
I quoted Dr. Seuss to my youngest son, to express how I felt about the possibility of retiring.
He made this poster and framed it for me:

I may not have a classroom anymore, but I still celebrate March 2.
One of my Meemaw friends shares a birthday with Dr. Seuss and we will be celebrating on Friday.
I always attempt to write a Seuss-Like poem for her, and I am working on one today. This is my first draft:

Shout it from the rooftops, the tree Brumbles, and Broars
Shout it out loud, ‘til your throats are all soar
Say it in email, snapchat, or twitter
Spread the word with rainbows, and Boohahs, and glitter
It’s Marti’s 65th revolution around the earth
Sing! Dance! Fill the world with mirth!
Fill it with PIE, we’re not watching our girth
Happy birthday, dear Meemaw
Happy birthday, sweet friend
We celebrate you from morning to day’s end!

As part of my celebration, I painted two Cat in the Hat rocks and I attempted to thread sketch the Cat.

At this time, I am still only sketching the outline with thread. On my bird thread sketching, I have practiced adding texture and shading with thread. On the Cat, I just did the outline and colored in the rest. I am not happy with the face, but it will have to do.


Thread Sketch plus fabric crayons and markers