Tuesday, July 31, 2012

100th Post!

Hey everyone!

I have my next tutorial underway, but I'm not quite ready to post it yet. So, I'm popping in to let you know that this is my 100th post! Yay! I've been blogging for roughly 354 days. Roughly. I hope that my next year in blogging brings twice as many posts with twice as much educational content!

Anyway, in honor of that, [& the fact that there is less than a month until I go back to school], I am marking down my TPT store! Each set of task cards will be $1, instead of $1.50. So, instead of getting two sets for three dollars, you can get all three for $3! Here's what you can get! While you're there, you can pick up my free multiplication/division set! Click each of the pictures below to visit the individual products. Or, visit my full store by clicking the link to the right. They will be changed back to full price sometime on FRIDAY!


Also, I'd like to do my 200 follower giveaway soon! If you'd like to help out by donating a product, please email me by clicking that sassy little email button on the right side of my blog! =)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blog Design Tutorial 2: Constructing a Background in GIMP

In the last tutorial, you should have downloading our program, GIMP, found a digital scrapbooking kit, and created a Photobucket account. We will be using all of these today, so if you didn't do those things,  go do them now..


Okay, hopefully you're back and ready to go! Just a clarification. I will try to explain the step the best than I can, then I will follow that up with a screen shot. [I know that I learn best by someone showing me what to do!] You may need to click on the picture to make it larger!

Okay, so first, you'll need to open up GIMP by clicking on the little fox icon. The main window should open up. Other tool windows may open. Here are the two that you actually need:


If you have any other boxes open, you can close them. If these two boxes don't show up, here's how you get them.

Now that you have these two boxes open, you'll need to open up a new image. This is just a background image that sets the size for your background. Here's where I wasn't sure what to do when I was making my first backgrounds. Different tutorials said to make your original image different sizes. But every time I made it different sizes, layers got cut off! So frustrating! So, I made mine 1200 x 1000.  Then, I set my background color in blogger to match my layout, in case people's screens are wider than mine, but I'm getting ahead of myself. [If you don't think this size will work for you, go a little bigger, like 1400 x1100.]

Here's how you open a new file. Go to File, then New.

Now that you have a new file ready, you'll need to decide what piece of digital scrapbook paper that you'd like to use as the base of your layout. You can always change the order of your layers later! Just open which one you think you want on the bottom. 

To do this, go to File, then Open as Layers. Now, you'll need to find the paper that you want! For this tutorial, I am going to use a kit called Citrus Punch from Creative Chaos. She releases a lot of great freebie kits! Once you find it, double click it to open it.

Now, it might look funny. That's because it is stretched. So here's what you need to do. Go to layer, then Scale Layer. Click it.

 Change the size to match your original image. To do that, you'll have to click that little chain. Otherwise, it won't allow you to change it the way you want to. Click Scale.


Your first layer is done! If this is the only layer that you want, you can skip to the saving step. But, if you want to add another piece of paper and any embellishments, keep trucking along!

To add another layer, repeat the last few steps.
1. Go to Layer->Open As Layer
2. Find the paper that you want to use. Open it.
3. Resize it to the size of your original image.

Do those things, and you'll end up with this:

Both of your layers are still there! They are just the same size. Now, you'll have to change the size of the top layer so that the back one will peek out! Again.. go to Layer--> Scale Layer. This box will pop up. Don't change the height! Only change the width. This will make it skinnier. You can make it as thin or wide as you'd like. I'm making mine 1000.

Click Scale, and you'll get this!

Yay! Now, if you'd like to add another layer, go through the same steps! I'm going to stop at two. One more thing I'd like to show you before we're finished with the paper. If you want to make your thinner paper a little see through, here's what you can do.

Click your layer window, and click on the layer that you want to make see through. On the top of the layer box, there is the option of Opacity. It should currently be at 100%. To make it a little more transparent, lessen the percentage! [I'm going to leave mine at 100%]

Okay, we're done with he paper! Again, if you'd like to stop here, then skip to the saving step! If you'd like to add clip art or embelleshments from your kit, read on!

There are two things you should do before you start adding things. A good idea to do before you add any embellishments is to add "guides" if you'd like to center anything. I just put in a vertical and horizontal guide so that I can see my image's mid points. Go to Image-->Guides-->New Guides by Percent--> OK. Then do the same, but switch vertical to horizontal!

Another good idea is to lock down your two [or more] papers so that they don't move around while you'd moving around your embellishments.

Ok, now you're ready to add images. Go to File-->Open as Layers. Then open the image that you'd like to add to your background.

The image will appear in the middle of your background. If you'd like to resize it, click the Scale button in your toolbar [or scale layer, as you've done before] You can drag the corners of the image or use the scale box that pops up.

Now, you can move your image. Click the move button in your toolbar, and go for it! Use the guides if you want to center anything.

I'm going to center mine horizontally so that I can show you how to duplicate an image so you'll have a matching flower on the other side.

Go to Layer-->Duplicate Layer

When you do that, you won't see anything, because the new layer is directly on top of your original. Because I want it to be like a mirror image, I'm going to flip it horizontally. But you can use this to flip it vertically, too, if you wanted to. Go to Layer-->Transform-->Flip.

That's all I'm going to show you in terms of making the background. I hope this gave you a good foundation. Once you get comfortable, you can mess around with the other features.

It is time to save! I would make a folder that includes all of your background stuff, because you're going to save this twice. First, go to File-->Save As. It'll be saved as a .xcf. This is good, so that you can reopen it and tweak things if you need to. But we're also going to save it as a .png because you can't upload .xcf to Photobucket. So go back up to File-->Export To, and save it again, preferably in the same folder.

Go to your Photobucket account and upload your png image.

Go back to Blogger. Add an HTML box gadget to your layout. Paste the code below, then replace YOURIMAGELINK with the direct link to your PhotoBucket background, shown above.

NOTE-- I can't figure out how to show you HTML code without it disappearing. Grrrr. So I'm going to direct you to a site that will take it from here!

Click HERE and follow steps 4-8!

Save and view. You should see the background image!
Depending on the size of your screen, you may see some space on either side of your background. You have a couple of options, which I will get to in a later tutorial. This one is waaaayyyy too long already!

Please let me know if anything needs to be clarified. I hope this helps someone. Please leave a comment & let me know if it is helpful to you! This takes a long time, and I want to be sure it is being used. =)

The next tutorials will be Step 3: Making a Header and Button in GIMP

I already posted how to make a header/button in Pages or Word. If that is more your speed, feel free to check out this post in the mean time!

I will be uploading this background and future elements on my Tester Blog as I go along.

Blog Design Tutorial 1: Gathering Materials

This is the first post in a series that will help you to redesign your Blogger blog! Please remember that I am not an expert. Everything that I've learned has been through googling and trial/error. These programs and techniques worked for me. I'm sharing them with you in hopes that they work for you, as well. So, here we go!

Step 1: Gathering your Resources.

To design a blogger blog, here is what you'll need. [Cue Target school supply music.]

2. A Scrapbooking Kit [or various digital papers, elements, and clip art]
3. Photobucket Account

Using these elements, you can end up with a cute, clean, and attractive blog! Gimp and Photobucket are free, and I only use free scrapbooking kits [for now, anyway], so you can redesign your blog for free. But, it will take time. DON'T GET FRUSTRATED! 

Let's delve a little deeper into those three necessities.

1. Gimp

GIMP is a free program that was brought to my attention by A Turn to Learn. [Side note- Visit her site for various technology tutorials. She explains them thoroughly, and she takes requests on what to post a tutorial on!] It is comparable to Photoshop. It is used for "such tasks as photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring." Click the link at the beginning of this paragraph to take you to the site.

Once you are there, you will see this

Click download to get the program. Follow all the steps. 

You will be prompted to download another program while you are downloading GIMP, which is called XQuartz. You will need to download that, too, as it allows GIMP to run. When you go to open up gimp on your computer, XQuartz will open automatically.

Once that is downloaded, you will see this sassy little guy. 

Double clicking him will open up the program. GIMP is very slow to open on my computer. So if it is slow on your computer, don't click on it 100 times like I did because you're impatience, be patient! =)

That is as far as I'll take you in GIMP until the next step!

2. Digital Scrapbooking Materials

There are a ton of places to find scrapbooking materials. There are probably way more that I have no idea about, as I'm really new to this. But THE most important thing is to check the terms of use of the kit/designer that you are using! Most of the free kits that I've downloaded are for personal use only. Some aren't allowed to be used in blog design. Some aren't allowed to be used in freebies. Some require credit, etc. So please make sure that you follow the directions in the kit's terms of use! If you are unsure, email the designer.

For my tutorials, I'll be used digital paper and elements [like buttons and other add-ons]. So that is what I'm looking for when I search for kits. One place that I have been collecting kits from is 

[Say that three times fast!]

I subscribe to this site in my google reader, and it is a "program" that "gathers" freebie digital scrapbooking items from around the blog world. I have no idea how it works. It is kind of annoying, in that sometimes it lists many sites that doesn't have a freebie, and you won't know until you check. Other times, the freebie is a "brag page" or something that can really only be used as a scrapbook page.

Here are some other places where I've found some free kits. Please post in the comments or email me if you know of any great sites that I can pass along! As you are collecting kits, I would save them in folders, sorted by designer. That's always helpful!

[My layout kit is from AnnaBo. Such cute stuff!]

3. Photobucket

Most of you already know about this, so I'll keep this last step brief! Right now, just go to the site, and sign up for a free account. We will work with this again later.

Sorry, that was so long! I wanted to give you all the tools to get ready in a single post. My next tutorial will be Step 2: Constructing a Background in GIMP. It may take me a few days to get up, as I want to be as specific as possible, using a lot of screen shots.

So until next time, start looking for a kit that you'd like to practice with! It doesn't have to be the prettiest kit, just something to get your feet wet!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Face Lift

I'm probably gonna drive ya'll bonkers!

Buuutttt, I changed my layout.


This is the last time, for a while at least. I promise! I finally did it ALL on my own!

What do you think?

I love how it turned out. Thank you to everyone who took a look at my fake/practice blog & let me know how it looked. I figured out the problem I was having with my backgrounds. I always have my browser "zoomed out", so I was able to see more of the background that most of you. Does that make sense?

Anyway, in the comment section of my last post, The Real Teachers of OC thought that maybe I could try making some tutorials on blog design, since I'm not thinking about doing the design thing for profit. That sounded like something that I thought I could try!

So, look forward to some tutorials in the near future. But, keep in mind..

I'm not an expert!

I'll give tuturials on what worked for me, and hopefully it'll work for you, too!

So, stay tuned for the first installment of my tutorials, which will be called Step 1: Gathering Your Resources. This will tell you all of the things you need to get started on designing your blog, from programs to scrapbooking kits. Keep in mind that I did not pay anyone anything to design my blog. Everything is done using free programs and kits.

Stay tuned. =)

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Blah Blah Blog

Okay.. so in my last post, I was having an argument with Blogger/Gimp. Well, I think I figured it out! But I need to put it to the ultimate test.

So I bring you..

Third Grade in the First State

Because I'm just starting out, I just made a new blog so that I can test run my designs. All computers and browsers are different, and I want to make sure that a design that I've customized looks normal on all computers, not just my little old Mac.

So, I'm asking a favor! Can you, my lovely readers, go check out my new blog? And then leave a comment here [or there, I guess it doesn't matter] letting me know if anything looks funky or needs to be tweaked? My main concern is the background, which is what was really confusing me. Can you see the different layers? The outer-most layer should be vertical, wavy lines. Next should be polka dots, followed by a teal paper with tan lines. I just want to make sure nothing is covered up and everything is the right size!

UPDATE: Thank you for your feedback! I'll be changing my Blah Blah Blog whenever I make a new background, so it probably won't look like the description above anymore. =)

Thanks in advance for humoring me!

And, for the record.. Let's get real, I'm probably never going to turn this into a profitable thing. There are too many power houses out there who do a great job, and honestly, I don't think I could ever compete. But now that I've kind of got the hang of it, it'll be nice to be able to change my layout whenever I want!

As for the personal life-- here's the deal. My boyfriend and I, of almost two years, ended things. On my birthday weekend. So it just wasn't a good situation. I'll get through it, with the help of my friends, family, and some healthy distraction [e.g.blogging]. Thank for the kind comments. =)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Just popping in to ask a question. I'll preface this by saying I'm going through some personal stuff right now, and I'm trying to keep my mind off of it by keeping busy.

I've recently been downloading freebie scrapbooking kits and messing around with making blogger backgrounds. They aren't cute yet, because I'm still learning! I hope, once I get the hang of it, to purchase a cute kit and make my own layout from scratch. Kind of taking it a step further than my last makeover.

Anyway, the question is..

Do any of you use the program GIMP?

I'm slowly, but surely, getting used to the program. I'm figuring out how to manipulate layers, resize things, etc. It is reaaaaally frustrating, but it is starting to get fun! [I don't want to pay for a program, and I heard about this program from A Turn to Learn. I think I've read that you make backgrounds on Powerpoint, but I don't have that, either.]

What I can't figure out is how to get my not cute background to upload to blogger without the file being too large. I merge all the layers together, make sure everything is on the same size image thingy, and export it as a png (and I've tried JPEG). But, no matter what, blogger doesn't let me upload it, and it says the file is too large. Am I missing an easy step here? Or am I in waaaayyy over my head?

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Not much else to chit-chat about. My personal life is sort of imploding on me right now, so the giveaway/monday made-its/everything else is going to be put on hold until my spirits are lifted.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thank Goodness for Linky Parties..

without them, I would have nothing to write about this summer!

It's another font party! I'm fairly certain I've done like three of these, but I love fonts, so I'm in! I tried to use different fonts than I've used in the previous linkies. Click the graphic to visit Miss Nelson!

I had plans for a much longer post.. but ugh. Life happened.

Busy day tomorrow.. baseball game & a BBQ. Then Sunday is my birthday! =)

And, I've passed 200 followers. Thank you so much, guys! I'm thinking about a giveaway, but I'm not sure what I want to do yet! Hmmmm..

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer's no fun....

when you're the only person off!

I AM NOT complaining about summer. Trust me. I'm totally fine veg-ing out everyday and rarely wearing anything but sweats. But I have no children. I have no teacher-husband. I have no teacher-friends [who I hang with on a regular basis]. No pets [of my own]. Everyone can hang after 6pm, but they are all tired from work [don't blame them!]

I'm a certified loner! Waaaah.

So I sleep in. Craft. Watch TV. Repeat. I think I'm going to go back to working next summer. Summer school is probably not an option. It is pretty competitive to get hired in my district, I think. I don't really want to work with kids in the summer, anyway. I need my break! I loved working at my summer camp, but I don't think I'm gonna go back there. I'm thinking somewhere part time? I'll also be taking one class per session from now until 2014, so that's something to think about, too.

Aside from summer school, do any of you work during the summer? I know a lot of you have families to take care of & such, but I'm just wonder if there's anyone out there in my position.

Well, the puppy just got picked up. Wow. It is so quiet in here.

A few other things!

A couple of bloggers graciously gave me the Versatile blogger award! Thank you, ladies!

First is Dani at A Place to Thrive. She is a second year, 4th grade teacher. She has a ton of great things to say, so why don't you head over and check her out!?

The next blogger is Jillian at Little Miss Whimsical. She is a third year, 3rd grade teacher. She has a great product in her TN shop that focuses on multiples.

I won a giveaway! Amy over at 3 Teacher Chicks was giving away her word study unit. Go check out the post and see what you think about it! Her button will take you to her blog, and clicking the link above will take you to her post!
3 Teacher Chicks

Sorry for the quick and random post! I hope I feel like posting about school sometime soon. I'm really just not feeling it yet!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Made It Monday.. Dog Edition

Linking up with Tara! Has to be quick though. I'm dog sitting this little monster..

This is my neighbor's dog. They're only on vacation for a couple days and will be back tomorrow afternoon. He's super cute, and he's only a few months old. With the puppiness comes craziness, so I've been playing with him non-stop, except for his sporadic 20 minute naps throughout the day! Anyway, he's snoozing right now, so I'm going to quickly link up. 

In my last post, I said that I was waiting for a poster to come in from Vistaprint, and it arrived today. So instead of finishing the other 4 projects that I've started, I decided to do this one since it was pretty straightforward! I wanted to make a "ticket out the door" poster. This happens to be the one that I pinned a while ago, but I've seen a ton. [I love the paw print one that I saw from Amanda over at the Teaching Thief!]

                                                                         Source: cherylsclassroomtips.com via Meg on Pinterest

Here's what the poster looked like before the makeover.

It is a medium sized poster, and this is one of the templates. The only thing I customized was the title, which reads "Post Your Knowledge Here." And here is the after!

Love Love Love how it turned out! This will be so much better than collecting the post its or having them stick post-its to the white board! Everyone will have their own space! Right now there are 20 on my list, and since I've been at the school I haven't had more than 23 in my class at one time. If my class list spikes this year or in future years, there is room for another row of numbers on the bottom. I hope I don't have to add anything though! 

All I did was print out the numbers 1-23 on plain computer paper and cut them out. Then, I glued them on! I used the font Janda Manatee Bubble! If you wanted the numbers to be black, you can use Janda Manatee Solid. Google and collect these fonts-- I love them! I'll laminate it at the beginning of the year! Here are a couple more close ups...

Can't wait to look at the other link-ups once the pup is ready for his next nap!

Oh! Random notes! Ya know how I've complained about my Dollar Tree & Target NEVER having the cute stuff I see on other blogs? Well, my Target came through for me, and I picked up a bunch of Seuss stuff and a couple pocket charts that I've seen other people buy! Finally! Annnd, I'm only 2 followers away from 200, and my birthday is a week away! Hoping for a giveaway!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vista Print Loot

So I was one of those people who bought the 17 for 70 groupon for Vista Print a few weeks ago. Problem was, a lot of the "free" deals disappeared when you entered that code. And, the groupon money can't be used for the shipping. So as you're filling your cart with 70 bucks worth of stuff for 17 bucks, your shipping is getting higher and higher. If you spent 30 dollars over the groupon, you got free shipping.

So with all of that being said, I'm not sure that I'll do that groupon again. It was all so confusing!

Anyway, here is my loot!

Upon closer review, here it is! I will apoligize in advance for all of the scrap paper cover ups of my name! =)

1. Four Small Rubber Stamps. It is mandatory that we follow the school's behavior system, so our clip chart has four colors. At the end of the day, I "check out" with the students. To be consistant, I [or teamie] will stamp every planner with their color. Of course, if a extra note is necessary, it will be written as well. But we all know those days where you are in a huge rush to get the kids out because you neeeeeded to let them finish that science experiment! I feel like the stamps will work well! Have any of you ordered these stamps? How do they hold up?

2. Two Personalized Notebooks. These are like, half size notebooks, which I didn't realize when I ordered, but they turned out adorbz!

3. Labels. I ordered two sets of return labels to label the books that both I and my team teacher bought using our own money, that we would ultimately be able to take with us wherever we go. I was just writing my last name in them, but this is obv much more cute! The pink ones [that look red] are for my books, and the green are for teamie!

4. My Bag & Personalized Note Pad. How stinkin' cute is the bag! Now, it is apparent that all of the stuff I lug back and forth to school which never leaves my work bag, will not fit in here. But this is cute for field trips and such, right? Love. And like I need another notepad, right? But I couldn't help it!

5. Window Cling. You'll probably recognize the subway art from pinterest. I'll be hanging this on the window portion of my door, at least at first. If it doesn't look right, I'll move it to the actual window.

6. Business Cards. I obviously won't be using these as business cards, though. I saw this idea on pinterest, but I didn't pin it, so if it is your original idea, I'd be happy to give you credit. I plan on purchasing scratch off tickets from Tonya's store. There will be a lot of possible prizes, two of which will be homework free night and a half homework night. They will need to attach these to their homework before turning it in. Because the odds of picking these prizes will only be like 2 out of 15, and they only will get a scratch card if they reach the highest behavior level, I don't think it'll do a disservice to their education. =)

7. Not pictured-- A medium poster that didn't come with my order. How annoying! I just chit chatted with a customer service rep, who said she'd reorder it & send it out ASAP, without extra charge. Psh, yeah, I'd hope there'd be no extra charge! Anyway, it is a poster that I'm going to use for the kids to stick their exit slips post its on. I'm going to be adding numbers to it so they know where to put their post its. Hopefully that will be a future Monday Made It!

Did any of you use the Groupon? What kind of stuff did you get?! I'm always looking for new ideas!

[[ Update: I am linking this post with Christina at Bunting, Books, & Bainbridge. Head over & check out some more ideas in her Linky Party!. You have just enough time to get some stuff in before the school year starts! =) ]]

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Made It Monday.. & Casting News!

Sadly, my tool box did not come in time to do my Monday Made It! Darn!

Hahaha, as I was typing that at 5:30pm, the delivery man knocked on my door! So weird. So it is 11:59 pm EST, and I'm posting about my toolbox! Whoop Whoop!

I'm stoked with how this turned out. Again, I was looking for something bigger, but I settled with the one that everyone was doing. I think I'm going to peruse for a set of bigger drawers for bigger things. Anyone know of one?

For those of you who are looking to do this craft, just know that this organizer is probably way smaller than you think it is! It doesn't fit a pen comfortably [at least the pens and grading markers that I use] in length. Obviously, my pens don't have to be comfy, I'm just sayin' you have to put them in slanted, so you won't be able to fit as many as you may want.

Anyway, here is how mine turned out!

Is it me, or does it look like a student who is missing a few of their recently lost teeth? I couldn't decide what to label the three remaining small drawers. I'm thinking box tops [because, really, the student who brings in one.at.a.time.not.in.a.baggie is completely necessary] and spare change [for my team teachers & my inevitable daily diet coke]. But I'm not sure, so I'll figure it out later! Feel free to share any ideas in the comments! =)

Here's what I needed:

A few pieces of craft paper [not cardstock] from a huge pack from Michael's.

My friends, scissors & glue.

The precise drawer size rectangles [THANK YOU ELIZABETH!] and my text frames.

So, here's what I did! What probably took me the longest was picking out the paper I was going to use. I am SO indecisive. But I finally settled on four patterns. My craft paper was a 12x12 pack, so I printed Elizabeth's labels out on white paper and used them as tracers. Then, I printed out my text frames, which I sized by laying them over top of the labels in a word document, then deleted the rectangle.

Then, I cut out every.single.squiggly.frame. I feel like this is what Cricuts are for, but I obviously don't have one! I glued the text onto the middle of the drawer rectangle. Then, instead of modge podge because that seemed to be too big of a commitment, I put a couple swipes of glue on the scrapbook paper and stuck it in the front of the drawer. This isn't the forever fix, but it'll do for right now! So that's how I did it! Here's a few more glamour shots. I AM NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER.

I'm telling you. Blogger and Picmonkey are NOT on my side today. They are making my computer draaaaaag!

I wanted to share the text frames as a freebie, all shaped and ready for you to customize, but I can't according to Scrappin' Cop's terms of use [if I'm reading it correctly]. If you would like them, please leave me a comment, and I will send you my document in PDF form. Oh, and my font is Leftovers! It is one of my faves right now! =)

A quick note before I go! Philip Seymour Hoffman in the next Hunger Games?! Yay! I love him! And I can totally see him in this role. This guy is so versatile. I have no doubt that he will nail this part. Also, if you read the screen shot above, you see that Jena Malone is rumored to be playing Johanna. I've searched it, and it seems to be legit. I think that'll work, too. Although of the people I've heard rumored, I picture Naya Rivera the most. Is it fall of 2013 yet?!

What do you guys think about this casting? Yay or nay? Any thoughts on who should play Finnick, Wiress, Beetee, etc? So many rumors out there, I just want to know already! [I really out-nerded myself.]

Okay, must go. I have an appointment in the morning with my advisor to make my grad schedule. So exciting!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday Made It!

As promised in my last post, I am back with what I made this week.

Before I roll with that, a few several things of note I'd like to share!

I've made an email address for my blog. You can now reach me at firststateteacher@yahoo.com! I've changed my email icon's link on my right sidebar to reflect this. This is so much better than having a bunch of stuff sent to my personal email.

I'm almost at 10,000 page views! Seems pretty insufficient compared to friends with hundreds of thousands of views, but I'm happy! I didn't start this blog in search of bazillions of follower/page views, and I still feel the same. I'm just happy people like what I write and the few things I've shared. I'm still not in school mode, and I'm not going to force it. I hope to start sharing some school things in August!

Speaking of followers, I'm less than 20 peeps from 200! And my blog-a-versary is about a month away! I would love to reach 200 followers and 10,000 page views by August 9th! We could have a celebration!

I got a new cell phone. I'm reaaaaally resistant to new cell phones. I am not the kind of person who upgrades as soon as its available or as soon as something new comes out. I use cell phones until they break. Actually, I use cell phones weeks after they break and I'm out of denial. It was so bad that when my last one broke [my favoritest cell phone, a samsung slide phone. See? I don't even know what the name of it was.], I borrowed my boyfriends old blackberry because I wasn't ready to commit to a new one! Ay yi yi. I'm the same way with laptops. I have no patience! Well, here's what I have now!

Samsun Galaxy Skyrocket 2 [or something like that]

I actually like it! It is my first smart phone! And first real touch screen! Does anyone else have it? Anyone have any suggestions on fun apps I can download!?

Last thing, I finally ordered my teacher's toolbox from Amazon! I really want to have this made by next week's Monday Made It! Let's see if I can make it happen!

Alright, now that you've listened to me jibber jabber, here's my Made It! Lots of people have made these birthday balloons, but I thought they were really cute and practical.

To make these, I printed my template on colored paper and cut it out. I glued the front onto a piece of pretty cardstock, then cut around the cardstock so it is more like a border. I flipped it over and glued the back. [On the back, I will write a student's name and their birthday.] I used ribbon to tie the balloon to the pretty straw [pack of 20 for $2 in Target's party section!], and reinforced it with a dab of glue! Ba-da-bing, you're finished!

Feel free to grab my template below! I usually used Scribd, but I'm trying google docs. If this doesn't work, let me know and I'll fix! =) The birthday graphic is KPM doodles.