Thursday, June 27, 2013

Grainland Select, Bay View State Park, & Dairyland Milk

What do those all have in common?  My last few days and then some.  School was out a week and a half ago, but I went in and continued to work, clean, & plan until Thursday of last week.  I'm planning on going in to school a lot over this summer to sort, organize, and plan for next year.  I have a new 2nd grade teaching partner and we have a nice spark going that I think will totally energize my planning.  We've already decided that we are going to start by building a "gingerbread village" in our classrooms at the beginning of the year.  It's an interdisciplinary math/social studies/reading/writing unit that I am  modifying to address a huge number of the new Common Core standards.  Whew!  That's where the Dairyland milk cartons come in...and juice cartons and anything else that is either a quart or half gallon cardboard container.

I need to collect 180 of those cartons over the summer and transform them into potential homes and businesses for our village.  I've been hitting up local coffee shops as well as buying all my milk & juice in that size carton...  I wash and rinse each one, cut one side off with a razor, then measure and score the piece so that I can use the hot glue gun to stick it back in place as the 2nd story.  The kids will be buying additional building materials to decorate their houses ($ skills).  For 2 classes of kids I think it's going to take about 180 of these "building"!  11 down...169 to go!

Friday last week we packed up and headed North to camp at Bay View State Park.  First camping trip with both kids.  They had a great time, played with their cousins, built sand castles, and sat at the edge of the bay and pulled handfuls of eel grass!  What more can kids ask for?

My sister happened to have a great beach toy bag that my mom had given her.  It was an empty chicken grain sack that she'd sewn into a large bag.  I stopped by Grandmas on Monday to have her babysit the kids for the day, and I collected a few feed sacks of my own.  They're made of a woven, poly kind of materials.  They're super sturdy and waterproof.  Last night I tried my hand at upcycling them to a beach bag of my own.  I added a squared, box bottom to the bag, put binding tape around the top of the bag, then cut apart a second bag to make handles (no handles on my sister's version).  I can see why Grandma chose not to sew on handles.  These are great bags and the material feels indestructible, but sewing with it is completely unfun!  It is super stiff, crinkly-loud, difficult to manipulate, and just a bitch to deal with.  I have enough materials to make a second bag and I'd rather not, but I should probably just power through and do it today and then never make another one.

Here's my version.  It's probably 3 feet tall and should hold our collection of sand toys.  I'm hoping the handles are up for hauling toys too and from the beach.  I reinforced them as I sewed them in.  These feed sacks are used to holding 50lbs. of cracked corn, so a few beach toys shouldn't be too much?

I'll have to write another post, but I also have some sewing info. to add to the blog.  I drove down to Vancouver, WA to see a cousin who's moving next week.  Sadly the rain cancelled our planned trip to the park, and I suggested we head over to the Pendleton Woolen Mills in Washougal, WA instead.  I may have bought upwards of 20 yards of 100% Pendleton wool.  They had a great remnants bin that I pulled a lot of fabric out of.  Everything in the bin was $5.99/yard!  I had to stop myself from buying even more, but as it was I still got quite a bit.


  1. Found your beach sacks! Yay! That is inventive and also super ethical. Your camping trip fills me with envy. Looks awesome to be there, outside and with your family.

    1. I'm loving the beach bags so far, just not the sewing of them! So loud and stiff trying to shove them under the machine!