Monthly Archives: August 2014

Teachers Pay Teachers!

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I discovered this website a couple months ago, and it is fantastic! Teachers Pay Teachers is a website where teachers can post lessons, posters, or worksheets they have developed, and sell them. I love it because you can list something that is one or two pages and charge $1.00. In order to begin selling, you also have to post something for free, so there are tonnes of free resources too! So, I have slowly started listing stuff (I think I have 6 or 7 things listed now), and I am really excited about it! I have been teaching now for over 15 years, and I have boxes and boxes of stuff that I could list! I just have to get around to scanning all of it, and posting it.

So, I thought I would share the link, for all of you teachers out there!

Link to Artzcool’s Store on Teachers pay Teachers

Let me know what you think!

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A Dry Basement?? I think so…

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In every house that I have ever lived in, we have had a leaky basement. I don’t understand why this is such an issue for so many houses! Since about to weeks after we moved into this house, our basement has leaked in at least five different places…numerous times… not including when the sewer backed up. (That was a lot of fun, let me tell you)

We have tried digging up from the outside and patching the leaks, we have patched from the inside, and yes, we even hired someone to fix the leaks…. but somehow, the water keeps coming in…

Luckily, the water up until now was coming in from the unfinished part of our basement, but, when the water started coming in again this spring in came in from the finished part, so….I did what any intelligent educated woman would do… I took a hammer to the drywall! This is what the wall looked like when I was finished with it…

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There was a whole lot of mould and water damage, so we decided that the framing had to go too. So, my lovely and willing assistant, no, I mean my skilled and handsome husband, ripped it out. (Thanks honey!)
Here is what one of the cracks we found looks like…yes, there was more than one, but this was the big one. You can see in the photo that someone has already tried to patch it.

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So, we took a few days to look into some different products. (OK, OK, we left it a couple months, but who’s counting?) But, in the meantime, a friend told me about this product and it sounded pretty good, so we thought we would give it a try…

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Is is a two part product by Sika called an Injection Repair Kit. The way it works is that you chisel out the crack, attach these tubes or nipples over the crack, parge over everything, then inject the expanding foam into the tubes.

So, out came the chisel, and we started hammering. I would also recommend some earplugs and eye protection. It was loud, and there were pieces of cement flying everywhere. But, we chipped out the crack so it was exposed and then used a wire brush to clean out the crack.

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Now, I consider myself to be pretty handy, but unfortunately, I can’t hammer if my life depended upon it. It takes me about 20 hits to hammer in a nail, and I only hit the nail half the time! So, after hammering for half an hour, this is what my thumb looked like:

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Don’t worry, I’m OK, once again, my incredibly coordinated husband came to the rescue and finished the job!
So, the next step was to attach the tubes, we used a glue gun to attach them to the wall. We place them about about 6-8 inches apart.

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The next step was to parge around each tube, but I was a little worried that the cement would block the holes, so I stuck some paintbrushes in each hole, to keep the holes open. We also wet the wall at this point because the expandable foam only works when it comes in contact with water.

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Then we used the cement that came with the kit to parge over the tubes. I just mixed a couple tablespoons at a time, because it sets really fast.

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Once the cement set (the kit said to leave for 1/2 hour), we took out the brushes that were blocking the holes. The expandable foam that came with the kit works with a caulking gun. You simply insert it into each tube and squeeze until it drips out. The kit came with plugs to put in each tube to stop it from dripping.

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It worked amazing! The foam even expanded to the outside of the house. When I went outside to check, the foam had expanded so much it was coming out the outside of the house.
I have to say, so far, so good. It has rained twice since we repaired the crack, and not a drop of water!
We are working up the courage to turn on the hose on the outside of the house to test how well it worked. I’ll let you know!

Making a rug out of old t-shirts

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Making a rug out of old t-shirts

A couple of weeks ago, John and I did a sort of our closets, and we ended up donating a few bags of stuff to the drop box. But when I saw the lovely selection of various shades of blue t-shirts he was getting rid of, I just had to pull them from the donate pile…really I am not a hoarder, I just have a bit of a problem getting rid of old stuff that can be used to make cool new stuff.
So I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to make, but I had to justify my hoarding like tendencies to John, so I had to make something ASAP.
I thought that I would start by making the t-shirts into some yarn, and I would figure out the rest as I went along. I started by cutting the t-shirt apart right under the arm pits, and cut the bottom hem off.

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Next I cut through the t-shirt from one side into strips about an inch wide. Be careful not to cut right through to the other side, stop cutting about 3 inches away from the other seam.

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Now. readjust the shirt so that the uncut part is facing up and you have opened up the fold. You can put a piece of cardboard or paper in between the layers to make sure you don’t cut through.

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Cut in from the side at an angle so you cut apart the first strip

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Then cut the next strip parallel to the first strip…

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When you get to the last strip, you will end up with an upside down Y like this…

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Cut down the middle of the Y to taper off the end of your yarn…

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Now, like magic, you have one big pile of yarn!

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The funnest part about making t-shirt yarn is stretching the yarn. The material that t-shirts are made of is knit, so it doesn’t unravel when you cut it, but if you stretch it, it curls up. The convenient thing about the way it curls (if you happen to be cutting up t-shirts to make recycled yarn) is that it curls so the t-shirt is right side in. Why is that convenient, you ask? Because most of the stuff that is printed or written on the front of the t-shirt won’t show. Anyways, all you have to do is take a small section at a time and pull it apart, it stretches to about three times the size. It is fun to do, and the kids love helping with this part.
You can see in the photo that I have stretched the pile on the right.

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So from here, you could make a whole bunch of things…..a rug, baskets, a recycled bag, stuffed animals… you could make whatever you could crochet. However, this batch of yarn ended up pretty thick, so I decided to make a rug.
I started by trying to make a rectangular rug..

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But, when I ran out of tshirts, it didn’t look finished, it was a little out of proportion. This rug you see in the picture took about 7 tsirts. So, I ripped it out and made an oval design. I used a single crochet for the whole thing.
I ended up “finding” 5 extra t-shirts (sssssshhhhh, John will never know) And here is what about 12 t-shirts made:

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I think after I sort out Sam’s closet, I will try to make a pink one!
Can’t wait to show everyone photos of our new family room!