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Monday, June 19, 2017

Compatible Books for Classical Conversations Cycle 3 2017-2018 from Usborne

I am so excited about starting Classical Conversations this Fall! I wanted to purchase some of my Usborne books for the school year along with my other resources and could only find outdated lists, so I decided to make my own and share it. I keep a running catalog in my head and think it's comprehensive. The only thing I didn't include was individual learning palettes, but I did put in the sets. If you have any questions about any of the books, just comment or reach out to me on Facebook. It's not necessary to supplement your CC curriculum, but there are so many awesome books for your kids to love and further their interests that I find them hard to resist. I hope it helps you too! It took a while to put it together properly, but I think it was worth it!

Have a wonderful day!!!

(I found the outdated list on Half A Hundred Acre's Blog. She has so many wonderful things for CCers! You should check it out too!)

Wk History Topic (Grade K-6)
all History General Timelines in World History 
Encyclopedia of World History
Then and Now
1 Columbus Christopher Columbus
See Inside Exploration and Discovery (Covers Columbus, Apollo 11 and more)
2 Pilgrims Who Were the First Americans
3-5 Revolutionary War Period The Shocking History of Electricity (Ben Franklin)
13 14th Amendment Historical Sticker Dolly Dressing Victorian Fashion
16 Immigrants Titanic
Historical Sticker Dressing Dolly Country Estate 1900-1920
17-18 World Wars First World War Sticker Book
Sticker Dressing First World War
Sticker Dressing Second World War
World Wars
Sticker Dolly Dressing Wartime Fashion
Historical Sticker Dolly Dressing 1920s Fashion
Fighter Planes
21 Astronauts
(Several of theses are a combination of History and Science)
Living in Space (Level 2)
Astronaut's Handbook 
Space Sticker Book
Big Book of Rockets and Spacecraft
See Inside Space Stations and Other Spacecraft
Astronauts Sticker Book
100 Things to Spot in the Night Sky
Space Pack
The Story of Astronomy and Space
Astronaut Academy

Picture Books, Readers, Read-Alouds
Wk Topic
All America General Americanly
1 Columbus Christopher Columbus
3-5 Revolutionary War Period The Shocking History of Electricity (Ben Franklin)


Geography Learning Wrap-Ups: States & Capitals
Children’s Picture Atlas
Lift-the-Flap Picture Atlas
Sticker Picture Atlas of the World
The Usborne Geography Encyclopedia with Complete World Atlas
See Inside New York City
See Inside Great Cities
Big Picture Atlas
Cut and Color Playbook Cities
Pocket Guide Cities of the World

All Science – Reference First Encyclopedia of Science
The Usborne Children’s Encyclopedia
The Usborne Science Encyclopedia
Science Activities Volume 1
Science Activities Volume 2
Science Activities Volume 3
Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary
Illustrated Dictionary of Science
365 Science Activities
100 Science Experiments
50 Science Things to Make and Do
What’s Science All About
Mysteries and Marvels of Science
Science in the Kitchen
Science with Air
This is not a Science Book
1-12 Human Anatomy The Illustrated Dictionary of Biology
Complete Book of the Microscope
The World of the Microscope
How Do I See?
Flip-Flap Body Book First Encyclopedia of the Human Body
Complete Book of the Human Body
Big Book of the Body (a favorite or ours!)
Look Inside Your Body
See Inside Your Body
The Human Body (Shine A Light Book)
Lift the Flap Questions and Answers About Your Body
Your Body
Understanding Your Brain
Genes and DNA Reference Book
Human Body Reference Book
What Makes You Ill?
Why do People Eat?
What are Germs?
13-18 Chemistry Illustrated Dictionary of Chemistry
What’s Science All About?
Illustrated Dictionary of Science
Scientist Academy



First Thousand Words in Latin

Fine Arts
1-6 Drawing I Can Draw Animals
I Can Draw People
Step-by-Step Drawing Book
Step-by-Step Drawing People
Step-by-Step Drawing Animals
Step-by-Step Drawing Dinosaurs

What Shall I Draw? Art Pack
How to Draw Horses
13-18 Great Artists My First Art Sticker Book
Art to Color
Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas (400 projects!!!)
Art Treasury (mini Art History lessons followed by a related project)
The Usborne Book of Famous Artists
The Usborne Book of Famous Paintings (contains nudity)
The Children’s Book of Art (contains nudity)
Famous Paintings Cards
Lift-the-Flap Art
Famous Artist Sticker Book
19-24 Orchestra & Composers Classical Music Reference Book
Famous Composers Reference Book(We love the awesome QR codes throughout these 2 books that add even more educational experiences. They are also less than $10 and hardcover. Definitely a favorite of mine!)
See Inside How Things Work
First Book About the Orchestra


Math Subject
All General Kindergarten Math Center Kit
1st Grade Math Center Kit
2nd Grade Math Center Kit
First Illustrated Math Dictionary
Illustrated Elementary Math
Illustrated Dictionary of Math
Complete Illustrated Math Collection
Lift-the-Flap Measuring Things
Lift-the-Flap Sizes and  Measuring
This is Not a Math Book (ages 9+)
This is Not Another Math Book (ages 9+)
99 Math Puzzles
Math Puzzle Pad
Wipe-Clean Number Writing
Wipe-Clean Number Cards
Wipe-Clean Telling Time

10 Days to Addition Mastery
Addition  Learning Wrap-Ups
10 Days to Subtraction Mastery
Subtraction Learning Wrap-Ups
Lift-the-Flap First Math
Wipe Clean First Math
Addition and Subtraction Activity Book

10 Days to Multiplication
Multiplication Learning Wrap-Ups
Wipe-Clean Starting Times Tables
Division Learning Wrap-Ups
Fractions Learning Wrap-Ups
Times Table Activity Book
Fractions and Decimals Activity Book 

All English Subject

Wipe-Clean Starting Grammar and Punctuation
Illustrated Grammar and Punctuation
Grammar and Punctuation

Writing Aids Big Picture Thesaurus
Not-Your-Everyday Illustrated
Illustrated Dictionary

Creative Writing Creative Writing Book
My First Story Writing Book
Write and Draw Your Own Comics
Write Your Own Adventure Stories
Write Your Own Storybook
A Year in My Life

Learning to Read My First Reading Library
Usborne Starting to Read Pack
Very First Reading Set
Kindergarten Reading Center Kit
1st Grade Reading Center Kit
2nd Grade Reading Center Kit
3rd Grade Reading Center Kit

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Free Fairy, Princess, Unicorn Birthday Party Invitation Printable

It's starting to feel a little like Fall in Georgia and a few leaves have turned bright yellow. So my mind is turning to the end of the month, not because of Halloween but because our Princess's birthday is on the 31st! I can't believe she is going to be 5! I love this age! 

She has requested a Fairy, Princess, Unicorn Party. Isn't that a mouthful! I am going to try to spend as little as possible on the decorations and activities but have the greatest return on the value. I'm excited about all the ideas floating around in my mind. I can't wait to share them with you because, as usual, my blog will see the benefit of her birthday. 

I hope you can use my printables and the upcoming party ideas for your special princess. To get started I have made the invitation. (Here are more free printables and invitations for you.) It ended up being quite different than my initial design, but I love it so much more!

My final design elements came from several places. I wish I could find out who originally made the watercolor flowers at the bottom of the invitation, but link after link only took me to a dead end. They are so beautiful! I am thankful for the artist who made them. The unicorn and the fairy were clipart shadows. The crown came from the letter A on this font.

Here is the information you will need to personalize your invitation.
I used the color 554141 for my fonts.

Here is the invitation for you to print. It's for an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper. You have 2 invitations per page printed. I am edging mine in gold glitter.

The invitations are slightly smaller on the print so that there will be no clipping of the image when you print it. I don't know if you run into that problem, but I have before. I always print a test image.

Happy Fall, y'all!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My Little Ellie, Free Elephant Doll Pattern

It's almost time for my God-daughter's birthday again. I wanted to make her a doll that was of a completely different sort than last year, but could still wear the clothes from Betsy's wardrobe. (There is a free pattern for Betsy and a tutorial for her hair as well.) Ellie is photographed here wearing Betsy's Reversible Dress:

I am making this tutorial differently than I have in the past. Instead of using a collage, I am going to write under each picture. I receive a fair amount of non-English speaking traffic and want my viewers to be able to have the post translated easily.

1/4 yard of fabric
matching thread
black embroidery thread

Here is a PDF of the pattern.

These are the front pieces laid together. The front body piece, also has the underside of the trunk.

Start by sewing the three head pieces together. Sew up the center dart, as well.

Done. As you can see my first pattern draft did not have a center dart. Sometimes I revise my patterns in the process.

Pin the right side on the fabric head the the rightside of the front body piece with the trunk pieces together.

It will look like this once you have sewn the head to the body and the trunk is together.

For the ears: turn the pink fabric and the grey fabric right side to right side. Sew around the curve. Turn right side out, slightly fold down part of the ear, pin onto the head. Sew onto the edge. When you fold it back you see what it will look like on the body.

Sew around the edges of the arm and legs, stuff, sew to the edges on the body front piece. Make a small hole in the back bottom piece and sew in the tail. Sew up the darts on the back body piece.

Here is the body with the pieces unfolded. We're starting to see what Ellie will look like! Embroider the eyes on at this point, if you haven't yet. I used a 4 strands of black tread and did 6 stitches for the round eye and 1 stitch 3 times for the eyelashes.

Time to sew the 2 body pieces together. First sew around the head.

Second, tuck the arms in and sew down both sides of the body.

Third, tuck the legs inside of Ellie's body and sew the curves on the bottom edge together, leaving a 1.5" hole in the bottom.

Now it's time to turn your doll right side out. Start by ulling out the legs, then the arms head. Stuff the body from the hole and hand sew it shut. You are done!

Here's Ellie in the other side of the dress. Isn't she a darling!
I hope enjoy making Ellie. I would love to hear form you and take a look at your creations. So please comment and let me know how you used my patterns.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Best DIY Chalk Paint (made fast, cheap, & easy!)

What makes this version of chalk paint the best? It provides beautiful, thick, one coat coverage and doesn't get hard if you put the lid back on the sample pot. Perfect for me because I noticed a spot that I some how completely missed the next morning. I just opened my paint up and used it, no new mess, no wasted materials. It seems thicker than the Annie Sloan Chalk paint I might try cutting the ingredients next time. I'll keep you posted on how that works.

I read and read and read about how to do most things before I just finally try it. My first foray into chalk paint has been no different. I wanted to DIY it, but there were so many recipes out there. I kept reading about different methods or the same method with different users. I thought, "Oh man! I am going to have to try these all!" And then I found a blog that had tested each method and wrote about the consistency and abilities of them all in enough detail that I felt comfortable trusting her. I read through several posts, with updates (which I loved), and was quite excited. She found that mixing Calcium Carbonate and Plaster of Paris was the best method for the above reasons. She had the pint recipe written down and I realized if you halved the recipe you could use a paint sample for smaller projects! I was excited and went off with my information memo about what to buy and how to use it on my phone. I used her recipe and found that it worked perfectly. Now for the idiotic part of my story: I FORGOT TO PIN HER BLOG! I can't find it! If anyone thinks they know who wrote it, please let me know so I can link this to her blog! She deserves credit for all of her posts and others might want to read them too.

Here is a link one reader shared that has a ton of helpful information about chalk paint. Best of all, I think it is the blog that I was looking for!

1 Tablespoon Calcium Carbonate
1 Tablespoon Plaster of Paris
1 Tablespoon Water
8 oz. Flat Paint Sample

Roughly stir in the Calcium Carbonate & Plaster of Paris with a plastic spoon. Add the water. Put the lid on and shake it up.

Then paint. I prepped my surface by wiping it down with a clean wet rag the morning before and sand it by had for about 5 minutes.

Our powder room cabinet from 1987 had seen better days, but it now looks great again. I am still trying to decide if I want to use a gel stain on it to give it more depth. I didn't distress it because that would have really distressed my husband. Unfortunately, he can't seem to get past the word shabby in "shabby chic." 

I'll write about how I sealed it later. With three kids, the main floor powder room will take a beating. So I had to weigh my options seriously before I committed. Nap-time is over.

Shared at these Party Places & "Wow us Wednesday."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

DIY Decor on a Dime: Art Prints & Framing with Burlap

This is called a floating mount art print. It's super easy, though you would pay a good bit to have it done professionally. All together this project cost me $4 for the art book I wanted, everything else I had on hand, but they are super cheap to purchase if you don't have them already.

The past two weeks have been pretty amazing on the DIY home front at the Okra abode. I have made and used chalk paint and stripped chairs for the first time. It's been an intense time when the kids nap because you know that's all the time I have. My projects: redoing the powder room on our main floor and revitalizing a 6 chair kitchen table set. I love the new color on the PR walls. It's Valspar's "Carolina Inn Club Aqua." What do you think?

I love being frugal. The cheaper I can make something that looks amazing, the happier I am with it. I blame my frugal ancestors, it must be genetic.

art work
foam board
cutting materials
(I am crazy about "YES! Paste." It has amazing hold, is safe for kids to use and lasts forever. If it starts to dry out add water. I have been using the same tub for 14 years.)_

I used frames that I bought at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $1 years ago, foam poster board from the dollar store, burlap left over from another project, and this used Audubon art book from Amazon for $4, an Exacto, ruler & glue. The frame was a bit beat up. So, I sanded them down (I made 2) and stained them with my trim stain.

1.Cut your background material to the same size as the cardboard back to the frame. Here are easy instructions to cutting burlap perfectly the first time.
2. Cut your foam board to the size of your art.
3. Glue the background fabric onto your cardboard. Glue the art work to the foam board. Glue the foam board to the background fabric.
4. (Optional things I did.) Refinish your frame, add an information tag with on foam board underneath.


I love this particular method of framing because it is fast cheap and easy. I used it in Blythe's room with the free printables I made. It was the perfect way to coordinate it with her room by using left over fabric scraps from the quilt I made for her bed.

Here is a photo of what they looked like:
Have a wonderful week!

Shared at these Party Places & "Wow us Wednesday."

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas! (Embracing Our Awkward Mess.)

The Christmas picture. They are a painful obligation that never goes "right" for us. I just pull out the least awkward looking photo, print 40 and send it off with a sigh.  However I have realized, odd ball photos I never send off are the ones I love best. I have multiple folders labeled Christmas Card Fail 20** full of funny, truthful photographs that I didn't even like until years later. Some of those sessions left me crying in frustration. (Especially when I looked at all the photos I had made of other people's families. Fail definitely defined how I felt.) Now I accept that the mess is lovely in its imperfection and worth more than the staged beauty I had envisioned. I can't look at them without laughing. I am thankful that my "successes" were so mixed, perfection is not nearly as entertaining!

So, from my beautifully imperfect family to you and your wonderfully imperfect loved ones, MERRY CHRISTMAS. May your home and life be filled with joy, peace & hope in the coming year!

With Love,

(What is Blythe doing with her hand?!)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Free Pattern & Tutorial for a Simple 18" Doll's Nightgown

Blythe is now 4! I wanted to get her an 18" doll like my American Girl Doll that she admires. However, I am not going to pay $100 for her first 18" doll. I consider this doll a cute training doll. (I bought her at Target for less than $30 & she came with 2 outfits and pairs of shoes.) She loves "Izzybelle" and I have started making them matching outfits, which she loves even more!

Materials for an 18" Doll Nightgown:
1/3 yard of  fabric
11" of 1" wide velcro (cut to 1/2" wide)
Printer, paper, & scissors

Here is the pattern. You can click on it and print it at 100% or click here for the PDF.

Here is a quick tutorial to make the nightgown. If you are not familiar with gathering (ruffling) fabric click here and view my tutorial halfway down the post titled "How to Gather Ruffles."
I hope that you enjoyed making this and that it will bring joy to you and whoever you made it for!