Friday, April 30, 2010

Tearing Paper

Though I have torn some regular paper this week, last night I thought I'd try to tear paper digitally. I am always amazed that people have figured out how to do this on the computer! I don't think I could have figured out how to make it look realistic on my own. Since I already knew my limitations (not being able to figure this out on my own), I decided to work through Cassie's tutorial on paper tearing.

Thankfully she doesn't grade my results---lol. I thought I did pretty good with the torn picture, but need a little more practice with tearing cardstock. Her tutorial was an awesome resource though, as she spelled everything out and had screen-shots (which are what I need since I tend to not read everything---lol).  Right now I'm going through most of her tutorials in order to learn how to use CS4, which I downloaded on a trial version. I usually use Photoshop Elements 6.0, but needed the full version for a project. Oh I don't know how I'm going to go back to regular old PSE! And did you know that Adobe has the trial version of CS5 out now? I heard that there is some awesome stuff this edition can do. I hope to download that trial version too.  A girl can dream can't she? :)

Photoshop Elements or Photoshop, Cassie has great tutorials to help you learn digital scrapbooking techniques and learn your software. Best of all, her tutorials come with all the elements and papers you need to create the technique and layout. I highly recommend them---and right now they are on sale because: 

National Scrapbooking is Saturday, May 1st!

And to celebrate, Designer Digitals is marking down the store 20% with a new 99¢ item starting Wednesday, April 28th at 7pm EST and lasting until Sunday morning at 6am! And, as usual, their new releases will be out Saturday and the new releases will be 20% off until 6am EST Tuesday!

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Soft Words

Yesterday I was reading My ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt with my 3yr. old. The verse of the day was "A soft answer turns away wrath. Proverbs 15:1".

We sang the verse a couple of times to the tune of "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush"

A soft answer turns away wrath
turns away wrath
turns away wrath.
A soft answer turns away wrath
Proverbs 15:1

Then I decided that we should try to illustrate the verse.

Now when we look at our picture we made, we sing the song while pointing to the words. She enjoyed making her own Bible verse page.

Well wouldn't you know it, that while we were working on this project I could hear my older kids not using nice tones with each other, blaming and teasing. This is starting to be a bad habit around here. So, since that verse was fresh in my mind, I thought that we should apply it to our family life.

I found an old plastic jar and created a cute label using digital scrapbooking supplies from Jesse Edwards and Katie Pertiet. I used spray adhesive to glue it onto the jar. The picture above is what I hope our jar looks like at the end of the week. I placed all the colored pom poms (soft words/soft answers) in a container next to the jar. Then I encouraged all the kids to be listening for when one of their siblings used soft words/soft answer when talking with each other. This meant instead of automatically using an accusing tone with each other, or an annoyed tone, that they used a peaceful, gentle tone. Instead of blaming and accusing right away, that they took the time to talk it out nicely to find out all the facts first. If they or their siblings were trying, then they could add a colored pom pom into the jar. They could even catch me trying to use soft answers too. I'm praying that this exercise will help all of us, mom and dad too, realize how we are relating with each other with our words. That we will be more aware of the tone we use, the attitude behind our words and that our conversations with each other will be more loving.

For more Bible ideas check out:
Raising Rock Stars

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Altered Clothes Pins: Craft

I was in the mood to do something crafty this week and decided to decorate some clothes pins. It felt good to pull out the Mod Podge and scrapping embellishments. I haven't done that in a long time.

I also thought this would be a timely craft since Teacher Appreciation Day is May 4th. These cute clothes pins would be adorable gifts to share with a teacher. I added magnets to the back of mine so that we could hang artwork in the fridge and dry-erase board. You could clip a gift card in the clothes pin or use the clothes pin on a Post-It note board (see below). So many options and your kids can easily help create these.

Mod Podge
Foam Brush
Scissors or Exacto-Knife
Clothes Pins
New Spring Paper Pack or any other digital papers or scrapbooking papers (even the comics would work)
Any scrapbooking embellishments

Put a light coat of Mod Podge onto the top of the clothes pin. Place the decorative paper on top. I used digital papers by Mindy Terasawa from Designer Digitals. First I made a template in Photoshop, and clipped all the papers I wanted to the template. Then printed them out. I loved that I was able to print just the right size with very little waste. If you don't do digital, any scrapbooking papers will do. Don't worry about the paper going over the edges. You can trim with scissors or the Exacto-knife after the Mod Podge dries. Repeat with the rest of the clothes pins.

After the Mod Podge has dried, trim the excess paper. Then apply a light coat of Mod Podge over the top of the paper. Make sure it is a thin coat so that there is no bubbling of the paper. Let it dry and then repeat again. Usually after everything is dry I like to lightly sand the edges for a little worn look. I couldn't find any sand paper last night so I skipped that step. It isn't necessary, just a preference of mine.

After all is cut and dry, you can embellish your pins however you want. I used fabric brad buttons from the Paper Studio and Itty Bitty Blossoms from Bazzill. Adhere with a strong glue like E-6000. You can add magnets on the back, use as-is on a clothes line and hang artwork, or use to clip papers.

You could also use the decorated clothes pin on a small chalk board as a Post-It note holder (sorry for the ugly Post-It note. I didn't have time to go out and find some pretty ones yet :) ) I painted a small chalkboard and then adhered the clip to the side. Now I won't be losing all my Post-It notes.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Math Winner and Spelling

I totally enjoyed being a part of the Big Curriculum Clean-Out again this year. I posted some math helps/games as a giveaway and the winner is:

Julie H

I've written several times before about my favorite spelling program, All About Spelling. They also have coordinating readers that go along with the program too.  Well today is the last day of their 20% off sale on their 3 new products, so if you have had your eye on anything, now is the time to pick it up.

photo of AAS Level 6

image of What Am I?

photo of Queen Bee

By clicking on the links above you will be using my affiliate links and supporting this site.


Friday, April 23, 2010

The Best Toddler Toys

I know that many of you who read this blog either have young children, work with young children or know some young children. You've seen toys that your toddlers just love and you've also come across items that haven't held up to their reputation. I bet you have some opinions, neat uses for certain toys and creative ways to make toys (or learning activities) from everyday objects. That's why I'm so excited about sharing the new Squidoo club called Best Toys for Toddlers with you.

What is it?

Squidoo is a place where thousands of articles, or as we call them on Squidoo, lenses, are written on almost any imaginable topic. A group of lensmasters (the people who write the articles) have come together to form special interest groups. The articles included in the group all go along with the group theme. The Best Toys for Toddlers group focuses on, well --toys for toddlers!

How can I be involved?

1. You don't have to join to use the group at all! You can come read the many toddler toys reviews that are being written and share your favorites with others. You can check out the articles submitted to the Best Toys for Toddlers by stopping by the group's homepage

2. You can jump in and write your own review. This would require joining Squidoo, but there is no purchase necessary. In fact, I will help any of my blog readers with their first lens if they want. And, no, I don't get any perks other than personal satisfaction from helping another start their first lens. Here's the first lens challenge:

For your 1st toy review..... take a look at your home.... we are looking for bear-like toys... every toy that has a bear on it counts.... :))) .... take it in your hands, give it to your toddler, watch as he/she plays and take notes.... you'll use them tomorrow in your 1st toy review! :))))

All week on Facebook, Michelle, the group leader, will be helping new lensmasters walk through their first lens. You can also find out more information on what it takes to write a review be reading this article: How to Make a Great Toy Review

3. I know, I just threw a bunch of information at you, so the best way to keep up with all the toddler fun is to join one or all of the following:

Bookmark The Best Toys for Toddlers Club homepage
Follow The Best Toys for Toddlers on Facebook
Follow The Best Toys for Toddlers on Twitter

As part of the kick-off celebration of the new Best Toys for Toddlers group, we are having a contest:
Have your little one come up with a name for our cute bear mascot. You can submit your name on this lens: Hey Little Bear!

So come check out this new group and I'd appreciate if you'd help spread the news! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Math Addition/Subtraction helps giveaway

Well I finally got around to starting to go through my homeschool stuff to see what I will need for next year and what I don't. I've had these addition and subtraction timed math drill books for awhile and I don't need them anymore. They are in excellent condition. I also have an extra set of the Snap It Up! math game. I had two sets because we used them once in co-op. The game is in great condition and is a fun way to practice addition and math facts.  Oh, I also have some extra erasable pin grids that I'm including in this math giveaway. You can check out more giveaways at the :


Giveaway Rules: (U.S. residents only please) *CLOSED*
I will be giving away 2 math books, 1 math game and 2 wipe-off grids. These are all in excellent used condition and are donated by me, Spell Outloud.

1. Mandatory: Leave a comment below telling me about one of your favorite math resources, games or websites. Or tell me how you feel about math. Is it something you feel comfortable teaching? Did you like math as a kid?

2. (optional) Subscribe to my blog (or follow via Google Friends Connect/Networked Blogs--see my sidebar) and let me know by leaving a comment here for one entry.

3. (optional) Twitter or blog about this giveaway and let me know by leaving a link in the comment section below for an additional entry.  "SpellOutloud is having a math giveaway @SBMozer"

4. (optional) Follow me on Twitter.

Total of 4 possible entries per person. You must leave a separate comment for each entry.

This giveaway is open from April 20 -.25.  A winner will be chosen at random and the winner will be posted on Monday, April 26.

Please make sure there is some way I can contact you :) If the winner does not respond after 3 days, then I'll draw another winner.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Sea Horse Craft

1 large piece of blue fun foam
1 large piece of green glitter fun foam
1 large piece of orange glitter fun foam
1 bag of ocean foam sticker shapes that have sea horses (I used Funky Foam Ocean stickers found at Hobby Lobby)
medium wiggle eyes
black marker

Book: Somewhere in the Ocean by Jennifer Ward and T.J. Marsh, illustrated by Kenneth J. Spengler

Somewhere in the Ocean is a counting picture book of various ocean animals. The words are actually part of a song which children love to hear when reading the book. The pictures are colorful and engaging. There is also a reference section in the back of the book giving more information on the ocean animals featured in the book.

Optional Book: Mr. Seahorse by Eric Carle
Mr. Seahorse has wonderful illustrations in Mr. Carle's signature collage style. The addition of acetate sheets that hide the animals allow the children to anticipate what is coming next. The book features other sea creature fathers who take care of their young.


1. Trace the student's hands on the back of green glitter fun foam. You will need at least 4 traced hands.
2  Cut out the hands.

3. Glue the “seaweed” hands to a large piece of blue fun foam.

4. Glue the pre-cut big sea horse onto the piece of blue fun foam. (Use the sea horse pattern and trace onto orange glitter fun foam)

5. Place a wiggle eye onto the sea horse.

6. Place seven sticker fun foam sea horses onto the page. Optional: Use the pattern to cut out 7 smaller sea horses to glue onto the page.


Use some of the extra ocean foam stickers to create a 3-D memory game, pattern pieces, or color sort game.
2 inch square chipboard pieces (I used Bazzill Chips by Bazzill Basics.) Optional: milk jug lids
Ocean fun foam stickers
Place a sticker on a piece of chipboard. Make sure there are matching pairs.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Target Finds and Winners

My girlfriends and I stopped by Target the other night and hit the Dollar Spot. Right now they have insect-themed items and books. The large butterfly, flower, ladybug and frog are foam garden kneelers for kids. I purchased them for some toddler game ideas that I plan on posting about for an upcoming series on this blog featuring fun summertime ideas to do with your children. I also picked up some bug viewers and stretchy bugs. They also had a couple of cute insect themed books. There was a cute book on bees that I might go back and purchase. I have a cute activity to share that deals with bees.

I just wanted to point out that I have a 6-color sort mat that goes along with the stretch bugs and snakes found at the Dollar Spot. You can find the printable and photos here: Bug Color Sort

Now for the winners of the Letter of the Week curriculum by Erica @ Confessions of a Homeschooler. I was so happy to see so many moms interested in this curriculum giveaway. I'm even happier to announce that there are TWO winners of this curriculum! Spell Outloud (that's me) has provided one of the giveaways and Erica, the creator or the Letter of the Week, generously offered to give another away to all the entrants. So the two winnters are:


Congratulations! Winners, you will be receiving an email later on today or tomorrow regarding your prize. :)  Thank you all for entering the giveaway and visiting my site. I hope you'll stick around! :)

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Computer Crafts--Farm Magnet Set

I went back to the archives today to share a project I posted a year ago. My daughter still enjoys pulling this set out and playing with it.

One of my hobbies is digital scrapbooking. I never thought I'd switch from paper scrapping to digital, but I did and now I love it! One of the advantages is that I can purchase one kit and use it for a scrapbook page and then turn around and use the same kit to create another project. Even if you are not a digital scrapper, you can still use digital products for custom printables (for personal use). If you purchase products in jpeg or png form, you can use them with your word processing program just like you do any other clipart.

Creating a Farm Magnet Set
Recently I created a farm magnet set for DD#3. I used a digital set by Pattie Knox. I actually created my set in Adobe Photoshop Elements, but you can use OpenOffice or other word processing programs too. Since OpenOffice is free, and that is what I have loaded on my computer, I'll show some basic steps using that program.

1. First download Barnyard Buddies by Patti Knox. It will come as a zipped file. Unzip using an unzipping utility. [Your computer probably came with one, but if not, click here for some options.]

2. Open a new document in your word processing program.

3. Go to Insert>Picture>From File ---Go to the Barnyard Buddies folder on your computer. Click on an animal and press Open.

4. Now the image is in your document. Follow the same steps for all the images you want to include in your magnet set. You can make your image smaller or larger by clicking on the image in your document. You will see the image surrounded by little green boxes, or handles. If you press shift while dragging those handles either in or out, it will resize your image proportionally, without causing it to get skewed.

5. To create the word tiles, I inserted a table into the document. Insert a photo following the instructions in #3. Resize the image so that it is small enough to fit in the table. Right click on the image>Wrap>Optimal Page Wrap. Then type your word. Repeat this process for all the words.

6. Once you are done, save your project and print on magnet paper. If you don't have magnet paper, you can print on cardstock, laminate, cut and adhere magnet strips to the back. (I actually printed mine on cardstock and then ran it through my Xyron 900 using the magnet/laminate cartridge)
--Pretend play on a cookie tray or a magnetic dry erase board (my older kids enjoyed drawing a farm scene for DD#3 on the dry erase board.)
--Match the words with the picture (yes, I added the little picture by the word because at this age they are not reading---it is more matching pictures)
--Use the words in a rebus story

Other ideas:

Using the same clipart, you can create farm yard dominoes, flashcards, memory match, birthday cards, scrapbook pages---the options are endless.
If you end up creating a similar project, I'd love to see it!

**Please contact me for permission to use any images or content from Spell Outloud. Linking to this article is an acceptable way to share this information and is encouraged :)

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