Check out this awesome Kickstarter from one of my favorite blogs! This will be a really unique book and they have some pretty interactive perks if you donate!

busy mockingbird


Hello there!  This is a different kind of post….I’m going to share a project we want to do!

Um.  Oh wait…I guess we usually do that, don’t we?  But this different because this is a project we want to do THAT WE NEED LOTS OF HELP WITH.

Ever since the Collaborations post went viral, people have been asking me to make book.  “You should make a book!” they’d say, and I totally agreed with them because they’re all awesome.  We had a few publisher nibbles, but they all fizzled.  They said they weren’t really sure how to sell it.  (Do you know you have to have a TON of existing interest in your idea and a ready-made audience online before anyone at a publishing company will even LOOK at it?   I mean, how do new things even ever happen that way?)

Anyway, after many trying and much attempts, it occurred…

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DIY Nail Polish

This is a fun and quick DIY project.

All you need is:

  • Clear or White Nail Polish
  • Eyeshadow
  • Snack-sized ziploc bag
  • Knife
  • Funnel (you can always make one out of paper)
Look what you can do with drugstore makeup!

Look what you can do with drugstore makeup!

Step One: Pick one or two colors of eyeshadow for your polish. You can always mix together more colors to make a blend, but be sure not to use more than the equivalent of one or two average sized cakes of eyeshadow.

Depending on the size of the nail polish, you should determine if one or two cakes is most appropriate.

Be careful not to use too much eyeshadow or your nail polish will become too thick.

Step Two: Take the knife and scrap off the eyeshadow you have selected into a mixing bowl. Make sure that the eyeshadow is broken apart and that all of your colors are well mixed.

Step Three: Put the crushed up eyeshadow in a ziploc baggie. (This will make it easier to pour through the funnel). Pour the eyeshadow into the polish, stopping periodically to stir. You can use the brush of the nail polish to stir or a toothpick if you have one handy.

Step Four: Shake it up and paint those nails!

The quality of your polish depends on the quality of your ingredients. I didn’t want to spend much money on this project, so I used some NYC topcoat to make my nail polish. It lasted for about 18 hours with no topcoat. It’s definitely not a durable polish, but it’s perfect for a night out.

“Hence,” the first nail polish I made.

DIY Puppet Theaters

Puppet Theaters




  • Shoebox
  • Acrylic or Craft Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Craft Knife (for adult use only!)
  • Pencils & Paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Popsicle Sticks
  1. Cut an 8” x 2.5” rectangle out of one top of a shoebox (oriented so that the portion normally covered by the lid will be facing out)
  2. Paint the exterior of their shoebox to make first with a white base color. Then paint over the base color with the design that you would like on the outside of their puppet theaters.
  3. Cut out puppets from paper or fabric and glue them onto Popsicle sticks, so that they may be lowered into the opening at the top of the puppet theater.
  4. Paint or draw a backdrop for their play on a sheet of paper and put on your show!

19 Must Have Literary Manicures

For all you girly book lovers out there.

Here are few of my favorites:

Love these To Kill a Mockingbird nails AND they look like Fall!

Can you believe someone painted those faces and all of those letters perfectly?

The Lord of the Rings, of course…

Check out the rest here:
19 Must Have Literary Manicures.

Literacy and Learning: Telling the Story Together

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Or at least a couple of sentences…

The book at hand was Mr. Popper’s Penguins and the kids in my class were seven, all at varying reading levels.

Mr. Popper's Penguins (book)

Mr. Popper’s Penguins (book) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I improvised.

First of all, if you haven’t read the book (which I had not) then I have to recommend it. It’s got an adorably quaint feel both because it was written in the 1950’s and because it’s about a house painter/Antartica enthusiast who raises a bunch of performing penguins in a small town.

That’s basically the plot more or less. Some of the kids new it and others had never heard of it. Either way, I’m sure this activity will yield some fun results, and it’s one that can be used with any book that has pictures.

I assigned each child a picture from the book and he or she wrote a couple of sentences down about what seemed to be happening in the picture. Then we went around the room and told our version of the story in order. It was pretty fun and also managed to be coherent. This is an idea I would definitely use again.

Literacy and Learning

This summer (in my brief reprieve from “fun”employment) I worked in a summer enrichment program with elementary schoolers.

One of the goals of this program was to improve literacy by incorporating books into our activities.

Believe it or not, my obsession with books was actually much much worse as a child. It could probably have been considered a full blown addiction. I bought books so quickly that I couldn’t finish all of them before outgrowing the age range written on the back. And NO thirteen year old wants to read a book that says ages 9-12 on the back, believe me.

As much as I like books, I love crafts even more. So I decided to combine the two by having the kids make their own pop up books. Well, I suppose pop up “scene” is really the more accurate description, since I only had them make one page. If we had more time it would have been very cool to have them make an entire book!

We read Little Polar Bear and the Brave Little Hare together and then I gave them each a sheet of paper and a cut out of a polar bear and a hare. I cut two tabs in each of the papers, so all they had to do was glue the cut outs where they wanted them and the color a scene, either from the book or from their own imaginations.


Here is a picture of all of their scenes together on the windowsill: