Friday, December 24, 2010


Snowman, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Made this little ornament in 2007 way before the book was published with my idea in it. You know who you are. Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
This picture is dedicated to Rachel Fergueson. Thanks to my sister-in-law, Soli, for snapping this picture.

Crazy Christmas Tree Ornaments

I decided to make crazy Christmas trees out of scraps and snowman bells. I added a yo-yo on top for good measure. I haven't decided who will be the lucky person who gets these ornaments.

Snowman Bottle Cap Ornament

, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.

Christmas Tags

Christmas Tags, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
This is a clever way to reuse your left over Christmas cards. I made these with my mamma's cards from 2009, and I used a tag punch. Now I am ready for Christmas package wrapping. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Snowman Clothespins Wreath

Snowman Clothespins Wreath, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
I used my snowman ornaments to make a friend this wreath which can be used for pictures and for Christmas cards. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stack of Scarves-Tutorial

Stack of Scarves, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
I used Hometown USA yarn from Lionbrand to make these scarves. A friend of mine requested I make her scarves out of this luscious yarn. I used a treble stitch and whipped up a batch of these pretty babies.  It's cold enough here in North Texas and a good scarf is all you need.

As a gift to you here is how I made this scarf:

Chain 9.
In the 5th chain treble crochet. Repeat 5 more times.
Finish row with a treble crochet. 
Chain 4.  Turn.
Skip the first treble crochet and make a treble crochet in the next space.
Repeat 42 more times. 
Tie off.
When tying on be sure to tie new yarn at the end of a row.  Have enough yarn, so that it can be woven in and stitched over with a treble crochet.

Cut 24 pieces of yarn at 30 inches long.  Match two pieces together, so that it is doubled over.  With the loops in your left hand making a u shape, pull through the end of the scarf.  Bring the tails through the loop and pull tight.  Do this 12 more times.  Snip the loops once tied. 

S-35, Lionbrand. 
Enjoy.  Please email me with questions, if my directions do not make sense.  Thanks. 
Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Glittery Snowman WIP

Glittery Snowman WIP, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Getting ready for Christmas by keeping with tradition and making ornaments with my sister-in-law over the Thanksgiving holiday. We made these ornaments by spray-painting clothespins white and sprinkling with glitter.  I am so blessed to be able to spend time with her.  Happy Thanksgiving.  Stay tuned for the final ornament.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Little Pumpkins

My Little Pumpkins, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Finally got my terriers to sit together and to sit still. Here Gracie and Sammy are modeling their handmade sweaters. I love my little my little babies.

Yo-yo Eyeball Detail for Patchwork Puppy

Since the holidays are fast approaching, why not make a patchwork scottie for somebody you love? This pattern has been around for years, but Denyse Schmidt has written up the directions for making this easy project. I made this in July 2008. Therefore, I used 27+27+30=84, 5 inch squares total. I used two charm packs, and I had to cut the other thirty out by hand.

Happy crafting and don't forget to use your Clover Yo-Yo makers to make the cute little eyes for your new friend.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Platterful Pumpkins

A Platterful Pumpkins, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
I made simple orange and white pumpkins out of the Jumbo Yo-yo maker. The other yo-yo pumpkins are from a kit I bought at Mary Maxim. There are two different examples of yo-yo pumpkins. I love them both. The orange and white pumpkins are going to be pin cushions.

Fall Table Setting 2010

Fall Table Setting, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
I love my Fall tradition. Such a warm and inviting space, and I wish we could meet for dinner. A new addition this year are the acorn dishes I picked up at Michael's.

Googly-eyed Bangles

Googly-eyed Bangles, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Martha Stewart, this season, showed the bangles with the googly-eyes. I couldn't help myself; I had to try this project out. My students were taken by surprised when I wore my new bangles to school today. It's all part of a plot to act weird, therefore, they will not know how to behave. Look into my eyes. You are getting sleepy. Haha.

Gracie Gets a Spidery Halloween Tutu

My not so thrilled Gracie made my day because she rumbled around the house in her new tutu. Love the glittery, velveteen spiders.

Ice Cream Cone Witch Hat

Ice Cream Cone Witch Hat, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Happy Halloween. Go Rangers! Halloween is over and the Rangers just lost the World Series. It has been a busy October. I made the ice cream cone as kind of a dare. My friend didn't think I would go through with an ice cream cone costume for Halloween. Boy was she surprised.  Scary, huh?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Doggie Banana Split

Doggie Banana Split, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Keeping with the ice cream cone theme for Halloween, I found this doggie costume at Target yesterday. Had a good giggle over the look on the puppy's face, and no I didn't buy it for my Sammy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Smarty Girl Bag

Smarty Girl Bag, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
The pattern for my bag was designed by Heather Bailey. The owl, I purchased from a vendor at the Funky Finds craft show last Spring Fling. It was nice to make a new bag because it has been such a long time.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Emeril's Three Cheese Baked Macaroni

Oh it's fall, and I start to crave mac and cheese. This was in my Everyday Food Magazine October 2010 edition. Love the spicy, garlicky and bacony taste, and it is super easy to make.

Scrappy Pin Cushion Swap From Algoda'o

Scrappy Pin Cushion Swap From Algoda'o, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Thanks for the goodies  algodao.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gracies' Mosaic

Tail of Two Gracies, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Made with Mosaic Maker at Big Huge Labs.

Scrappy Pincushion Swap

Partner This One is For You, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
I am participating in swap, and I made this for my partner. Pattern is made by Fig Tree Threads and is called Cherry Blossoms. I used a tart pan for the base, and I didn't use batting like the pattern suggested. I used a heavy interfacing instead. I hope she likes it?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Texas Hankie Pillow

Texas Hankie Pillow, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Moda, fabric designer, printed these cool hankies. I finally got around to making this printed panel into a fun, kitschy pillow. I love how the ball-fringe made the bluebonnets pop. Happy sewing.

Recycled Neck-tie Pouches

Recycled Neck-tie Pouches, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Made these recycled neck-tie pouches for a friend's birthday. A different friend of mine gave me some of their neck-ties from their collection. Anyway, I made these pouches using Country Living Magazine's directions, June 2010. I kept the advertising on them for a cool look.  Very easy to make, and I plan to make more of them.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Family Togetherness

, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
I am thankful for my three day weekend and the time off. School has been in session for two weeks, and I have started worrying about my students which weighs heavily on my mind. Traveled to Oklahoma, and I spent some quality time with ma and pa. While in Oklahoma we celebrated my niece's birthday, and I helped my parents continue to get settled into their new place. I forget, until I visit Oklahoma how windy it is. The wind in Oklahoma is brutal right now, due to the tropical depression moving and shaking in the Golf Coast. We need the rain terribly, and I can't wait to get back to school feeling rested. Thanks to my dad for snapping the picture of the babies and me. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Check Out Gracie's Pumpkin Sweater and Sammy's Heggie

Extremely exhausted from my first week of school, so I relaxed a lot. While sitting on the couch, I made Gracie and Sammy both new sweaters. This is Gracie in her new sweater and Sammy is holding his hedgehog.  We are ready for winter.  I used Hometown USA yarn by Lion Brand to make this incredibly soft sweater, and the color is called Syracuse Orange. They are both waiting on their daddy to get out of the bathroom. :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Meet the Teacher Night

Meet the Teacher Night, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Here is mini me during Meet the Teacher Night. I love how my handmade tunic came out. I used Anna Maria Horner Anna Maria Horner's tunic tutorial, and the her fabric washed up super nice. My new tunic was easy to wear and very comfortable for Meet the Teacher Night.  Bring on my new students.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Scotties In The Mail!

I made these Scotties for Rebecca and the pattern I used is from Bunny Hill Designs, Allie #1066.  Rebecca made me the most awesome pet portrait of my Curly and Sammy. Her art and generosity touched me so much, that I had to repay her with a small favor. I am really glad she likes the pups. Can't wait to see them on her Christmas tree. Permission was granted to use this picture from Rebecca at Artpaw. Enjoy Rebecca. Thanks.

My New Hat Has a New Flower

My New Hat Has a New Flower, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Went to Hobby Lobby, one of my favorite stores, and picked up this lovely little felt flower. I really wanted to embellish something with it, so I found a hat at another store. Fabri-tac is my friend, and I don't know what I would do without it? I love the woven fabric because it looks like denim, but it's not. That is what is so cool about my hat. This is a simple fun summer project, and I'm ready for Thanksgiving. 

By the way, I found out I am dyslexic.  I never would have guessed I would be.  I have many years of trying to hold things together when it comes to learning.  I never gave up.  Thanks to the Reading Specialists in Mansfield for helping me get tested.     

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Megan's Tote Bag

Megan's Tote Bag, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
I used my IKEA fabric for making this cute little back to school tote bag for a student I tutor. Can't wait to give it to her. Not only that, I'm making a few more for my two best college gals going off to start another chapter in their lives. Good luck to all my gals. I love ya'll.

My New Old Desk, my New Sewing Machine, and my New Sewing Machine Cover

I love antiques. I have waited for my sister-in-law let me have this Art Deco desk. She couldn't use it, and I lived quite a distance from her. Last winter she brought my desk to me from Kansas. Finally I moved it into the Crafty-Sewing room. On the desk, I used Old English Scratch Cover for dark woods, and it turned out perfectly. I think the desk looks like a million bucks. Thanks Soli.

Also, I finally set up my new sewing machine. I love my new Singer Confidence. It works like a dream. No more tension issues anymore. I use to have a Simple Singer, but it couldn't handle the workload. I am so glad that my mom helped me get a new sewing machine. My former AVID tutor took the old one off of my hands. I am very grateful for her help. I wish her all the best when she goes to college in a few weeks. Good luck.

Lastly, I bought a Dritz sewing machine cover for my new sewing machine. The cover was too big, so I altered it and added my favorite ribbon to take in the sides.


Curly and Sammy, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
I am so proud of my new artwork. Therefore, I had to show it again. Thanks Rebecca.


Mudroom, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
I am so proud of my cleaned up Mudroom/Laundry Room. My new labeled bins are fabulous.

Give'em the Boot

Give'em the Boot, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Notice how I labeled my bins? I really want to stay organized. Because I broke my foot last summer I am making up for lost organizing time.

Fabulous Closet Organization

Fabulous, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
This is what I have done with my summer; I have organized my closet. I just hope it stays this way.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Drommar Pans

Drommar Pans, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Picked these pans up at IKEA in Plano on my way home from SMU. The cake pans are Swedish horses. I love the happy effect. Had to fix Morty because he was a little droopy. Now, he stands up right. It's great to be home. Now to enjoy the rest of my summer.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Picture Love

Picture Love, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Picture pick up day. I love how my picture turned out. Rebecca did a great job. Thanks Rebecca.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Hat Pin Cushions

Hat Pin Cushions, originally uploaded by pinkpaisley.
These lovely yo-yo hat pin cushions were made by pinkpaisley. They are just adorable. Just another yo-yo favorite.  These would be fun and super easy to make. Thanks pinky for letting me blog about your project.  Hugs. 

Scrappy Pincushion Pass from aaaandreaaa

My swap partner is happy with her three new pin cushions. All made with some kind of yo-yo! I love the picture AFriend2 took of the pin cushions. Thanks for being my partner. Here is the link to the swap.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Multisensory Language Instruction as a Research Based Curriculum

This is not a normal blog post for me.  It isn't about my dogs or my crafts; it's about my job and one of my passions.  Therefore, I wanted to share some information about the educational aspect of what I do.  I began school last July 2009 at SMU, and I am currently working at being an Academic Language Therapist.  This assignment was written in APA format, but it didn't translate in blogger the way that I wanted.  Every attempt was made to edit this paper correctly and give the proper people credit for their work.  Please forgive.  Thanks.  Best Regards.     

MSLE as a Research Based Curriculum

Andrea E. Rice

EDU 6231, Intro Course C

Instructor Janna Jones

June 30, 2010

MSLE as a Research Based Curriculum

Multisensory structured language education is defined as any “instructional approach that incorporates the simultaneous use of visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile sensory modalities to link listening, speaking, reading and writing together” (573). This definition, found in Judith R. Birsh’s book entitled, Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, explains clearly the educational techniques which are combined to create this type of instruction. In other words, all learning pathways in the brain are used simultaneously in order to enhance memory and learning. Multisensory refers to any learning activity that includes the use of two or more sensory modalities simultaneously to take in or express information (Birsh, 2005). Interestingly, this teaching method has been used for over 75 years, but this type of instruction has not gone through scientific scrutiny (Birsch, 2006). Therefore, the International Dyslexia Association Initiative on Research in Multisensory teaching and learning has developed a program that will stimulate the scientific research needed to confirm what educators of dyslexic students already know; multisensory instruction works (Birsch, 2006).

The Multisensory Structured Language Educational approaches are dedicated to, systematic, direct teaching of the organization of language. Therefore, the following terms are synonymous with MSLE: simultaneous, multisensory, systematic, cumulative and diagnostic. However, there are two key factor in this direct instruction – direct teaching of all concepts with continuous interaction between teacher and student; and diagnostic teaching – the teacher must be adept at prescriptive or individualized teaching (Class handout, Summer 2009, EDU 6330)

MSLE is designed to be taught one hour a day five days a week. This is very important because of the necessity and benefit of the daily practice and review. The hour is divided into sections by schedule. A typical schedule of learning looks like this: For several weeks History of Language is taught. It is followed by alphabet practice, which mainly focuses on sequence and providing a tactile experience with three dimensional letters. Once finished, the learner moves on to the Reading Decks, which are divided into two sections, naming the letter and naming the keyword and sound. Once these concepts are reviewed, the learner moves to the Spelling Deck activity which includes the student echoing the teacher’s sound, names the letter made by that sound and then writes the letter. The New Introduction is the ‘discovery’ portion of the lesson, where the student is presented new learning based on previous knowledge and is guided toward ‘discovering’ the new situation and typically this is an auditory experience. Handwriting practice then follows the new discovery part of lesson where the student names the letters and tells the hand what to do. Continuing the schedule of lessons and moving from handwriting practice, the student begins Spelling which consists of the teacher's dictating the word and the student spelling the word orally. Then on to Verbal Expression which involves the student's practicing verbal communication within appropriate contextual situations and this strategy usually consists of role-playing. Wrapping up the learning part of the schedule is called Review; it is just that review of the new learning introduced in the new concept introduction during the auditory discovery section of the lesson. Lastly, the Listening part of the lesson is for the student to continue their educational learning when they are not secure in reading independently. This allows the student to continue working on their listening comprehension and their verbal communication. Amazingly, all of these components make up a successful multisensory structured language education program (Cox, 1992).

Clearly, research will lead the way and demonstrate the need for this teaching technique to be used in all educational settings. However, while the research to find the benefits of multisensory structured language education is still being collected and evaluated, I offer one small example of a success story based on my own teaching experience. I began working with a student on November 2, 2009, and we have worked for four hours per week since. The week of April 19-23 of 2010 the eighth graders got their reading TAKs scores back. My student increased his confidence and reading ability, but had yet to see results for himself in a way that meant something to him. The result of his state reading achievement score, Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills-TAKs was that he had missed only three questions and, therefore, was commended for the first time in his life on the state reading test. He now understands the importance of this therapy, and he is excited to learn more. Another impressive part about the therapy is that his processing and response time has increased. This is due to the multisensory teaching techniques and the daily review of key concepts such as key word and sound, spelling response practice, alphabet practice, and practice of the rules and concepts of our language structure. New material requires practice and review to move the information from short term memory to long term memory so the student can develop mastery of new concepts. In other words, the gradual building of the foundational education that every child truly deserves must include multisensory language instruction. Seeing results firsthand of this incredible system of teaching proves that it absolutely works.


Birsh, J.R. (2006). What is Multisensory structured language. Perspectives, 32(4), 15-20

Birsh, J. R. (Ed.). (2005). Multisensory teaching of basic language skills. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Cox, A.R. (1992). Foundations for literacy. Cambridge, MA: Educators Publishing Service, Inc.

Class handout from EDU 6330, Summer 2009 Orton-Gillingham-based Multisensory structured language approaches, Information adapted from “Clinical Studies of Multisensory Structured Language Education for Students with Dyslexia and Disorders: International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Curly & Sammy

Curly & Sammy, originally uploaded by artpaw [rebecca collins].
Had this art piece created by a fabulous local artist in Dallas, TX. I am super excited to share her work of my babies. Here is the link to my proofs.  This is her flickr link.  Check out her work and see for yourself! Thanks Rebecca Collins.  Hugs.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Blossom Pin Cushion

Blossom Pin Cushion, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Oh will be getting this one too. I guess you didn't like the spider? I know, it isn't the most practical, but it sure was fun to make. If you haven't received a pinnie, I hope you like it? This one will be showing up at your door very soon. The chocolate fabric is Tula Pink from Hushabye and so is the green tear drop. The rest of the fabrics are reproduction fabrics. I don't like to stay within one line of fabric, therefore, see if you can figure out how the colors are all related?  Here is a link to the swap I am in; it is called Scrapy Pin Cushion Swap.  This idea came from the I Love Patchwork book.  Here is a link to her flickr account and the author's blog.  I used the Clover Yo-yo Maker large to complete my project.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fresh Corn Salsa

I will save the fresh corn for later.  For now the fresh corn salsa will have to do. 

Fresh Corn Salsa, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.

OK. For those of you who know me, this is a summer tradition. My summer has officially started. Woo-whoo. We had three very lovely tomatoes fresh from the garden and a sweet onion. Yum. Here is my favorite recipe ever. However, I didn't follow the directions of the recipe because I added salt, black pepper, fresh clove of garlic, and ground Chipotle Chile Pepper. The reason for the chipotle spice is because I would have to throw out the rest of the jalapeno pepper. Yes, I am a wimp. By the way go easy on the chipotle pepper because it too can get very hot! The brand of Chipotle Chile Pepper is manufactured by McCormick. I also hate using the fresh corn out of the garden, so I bought the frozen super sweet corn distributed by Birds Eye. Here is the link to the recipe. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Twenty Minute Tote Bag

The Twenty Minute Tote, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
One down and three more to go. I am making tote bags from a pattern on the purl bee blog. During the second week of June, I will be presenting a workshop to fellow teachers about the book entitled "Naked Reading". Our workshop should be fun because I am working with another Reading Specialist; we make a great team. I can't wait to give these out as prizes. There will be more totes made from this pattern during the next few days.  You can see the picture from flickr here.  My fabric is from Moda, and it is called Peas & Carrots by American Jane Patterns by Sandy Klop.  Only three more days of work and summer vacation starts.  Yippee.

Monday, May 31, 2010

In Honor of Memorial Day

In Honor of Memorial Day, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Love the simplicty of this display. Here's to remembering those that fought for me. Thanks for all of your courage and strength.

Summer's Rainbow

Summer's Rainbow, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
I am enjoying the colors of summer before everything dries up and turns crispy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Nope. I Didn't Lick the Paint off the Wall. It Wasn't Me.

The beauty of owning a new puppy. Yes the title is correct; she licked the paint off my wall. Gotta love a terrier.....

Updated Lighting

Updated Lighting, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
I refurbished this lamp and added the yo-yo detail.

A Sign of the Times

A Sign of the Times, originally uploaded by aaaandreaaaa.
Finished up TAKs tutoring this last week and my students retake the test this week. Discovered this sign in a co-worker's classroom, so I can't take credit for it. However, only a few more weeks until summer vacation, and I can hardly wait to craft up a storm.