Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Did You Know You Could Make a Puzzle from a Photo?

My Mom has been crazy about "having a puzzle going" all winter.  I think ever since she heard that Barbara and George Bush frequently do puzzles together, she has been validated that this is a legitimate, even desirable thing.  The winter days are long, as we know, and she really enjoys finding a few pieces here and there.  Sometimes she saves the last 6 pieces for the kids so that they can complete the puzzle...now if that's not love...

You can order your own at http://www.portraitpuzzles.com/, or any number of other sites.  Portrait Puzzles does have a very nice selection of sizes, and I particularly liked the "gift tin" option.  It was a great gift idea.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Letter Project

I have been working on a project with the 5th graders at school.  Every year, our school has an annual auction which serves as a fundraiser.  Each grade level is asked to produce an item to be auctioned off. 

I know I've got a lot going on right now, and I really don't have time for this, but somehow I get an idea, and I just can't let it go.  It turns out that maybe having something "fun" to look forward to makes it easier to "get through" all of the other stuff on my list. 

So, here's the project:  Finding Architectural Alphabet Letters around school. 

I took some examples in to show the kids what we were looking for ( the letter B in the entryway door, for example).  Then, each student chose a capital or a lower case letter of the alphabet to find.  I've been going in at recess to have the kids point out their letter so we can photograph it.  We have been having so much fun!  The teachers have been assigned letters too.  Currently, we have are on "all out search mode" for the letters: a, and R. 

Capital Q on a post in the playground

Xavier found and X on the bottom of his chair

Lower case i in the flagpole

Capital V in the roof of the playground building

Peter found a P in the slide

And if you could have seen the expression of recognition on the boy's face who couldn't for the life of him find a letter E, you'd know why I'm doing this project.  It's all about having the kids look at things in a different way, from a different angle, in a new light.  What a great lesson.

I have plans to edit all of my images in a sepia tone and create a message board of sorts.  I'll be so excited to share the finished project!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This is BETTER Than a Zoo, Ripley's, and a furniture store

My son broke his tooth off sledding this past weekend.  As a result of an extreme case of motherly angst, the Dentist came in on his day off monday.  He was able to "fix" my son's tooth by bonding it.  My son thinks it's "perfect".  Moms are a little more descriminating, but it's WAY better than how it looked sunday evening.  So, for that I am grateful.

Making a long story long, my 11 year old and I were in downtown Pittsburgh at noon, with hours to kill before picking up the rest of the kids at school at 3pm. 

I remembered a place I've been wanting to visit.  It's very out of the way, and I would never be in this neighborhood for any other reason.  I thought it was a furniture store.  My son was less than thrilled. 

The trauma begins here....This is the "before" picture of my son's front tooth.

Here is the "after".  Thank God for great, talented, flexible, and understanding dentists!

And so we headed to Artifacts, it is located in Pittsburgh's West End.  Just look at this giant room full of rugs! Overwhelming to say the least.

The furiture was truly unbelieveable.  The carved tables, chests, mirrors.  It was impossible to take it all in. The dining room table where the dwarves are dining (?) is easily 15X15!

And now for the oddities:  Anyone need a stuffed gizzly?  only $22,000!

A polar bear pelt? This is a bargain at $7000.

I was so amazed and stunned and overwhelmed with the place I forgot to include the giraffe and the 13 foot python!  You really must see this place yourself!