So, here I am.....

The girl that said she'd never blog. The far from computer savvy girl that is always up for a challenge despite a serious lack of time.My blog goals. Do I have blogging goals? Hmmm, I guess I should. So I pledge to be funny, lighthearted, not vent or complain to much and maybe just maybe share a crumb of wit and wisdom on occassion.I will most likely chat about etsy, my addiction and muse. the incredible artsists and friends I have found in a community that oozes with creativity, friendship, support and a home for all things handmade.You will hear me ramble about the insanity of my life including my 3 boys, ages 12, 16 and 53. Yes, that last one I am married to, but trust me, he is just as much boy as man. After 17 years of marriage I find myself raising him along with them. Then again, he would probably say the same of me at times. I will often speak of friends I would go to the ends of the earth for and a family that more often than not defines dysfunction. Then again, I strongly believe a functional family is the stuff legends are made of.I am a lover of music of all kinds and not so much the TV ( except maybe Glee). I have an addiction to handmade glass, especially venetian and lampwork beads as well as unique pottery. I have made a concerted effort to tame my jewelry fetish with my own creations which can be seen at you haven't figured out by now, I can jabber my jaws and my fingers as if someone could care what I have to say.

Monday, February 13, 2012

This will not go on your Permanent Record

It seems these days, finding a nice surface to write on in a classroom is not as easy as picking up a piece of chalk at the front of the room.  SmartBoards, white boards, overhead projectors and other new-fangled apparatus have brought the classroom into the 21st century, leaving the chalkboard in its dust (literally).  I can whole-heartily understand the reluctance of teachers to turn their backs on a class full of youngsters.
Don't shed a tear for the chalkboard just yet.  Chalkboards are not the passive victim of technology you may think.  They are popping up everyplace else.  Restaurant menus, waiting rooms and home offices, not to mention kid's bedrooms, playrooms and the home kitchen.  In every color of the rainbow too.  No more black board, yellow chalk in these hip spaces and a few creative, inspiring teachers are still holding tight to their old boards,  but using them in a new exciting way.

While visiting a local school this weekend, we were temporary guests in a most inviting classroom.  I wish I had a camera.  I do believe Harry Potter's friend Dobby may live outside this classroom behind an old arched wooden door under the staircase at the end of the hall. (no kidding, this thing was awesome) Finding that little door was a highlight of the weekend.  It was like a world of fantasy and childhood wonder, all in one little doorway.  Again,  my delight countered by my distress of not having a camera to document this lovely find.
Back to this inviting classroom.  If only we could have met the tenant.  Something tells me she is as magical and fascinating as her classroom.  A classroom is the expression of a teacher.  Her(or his, let's be fair)  personality, philosophy, character and world views can all be conveyed in her wall art,  the projects falling from the ceiling on yarn and paperclips,  the books;  not just which ones, but how easy they are to open up, crawl inside and lose yourself, and her Chalkboard.  Better yet, the fact that she has one, and uses it!
This classroom was a wonderland.  A bin labelled "Free Books" right up front.  I mean how cool is that!  But really, I think my favorite was the neon, handwritten decorative quip that showed her wit to all.  On her old fashioned  blackboard, to the side of her new-fangled "Smartboard" sat the words "What A shame. it has no name" complete with a colorful magnetic clip clutching unclaimed works.  I tell you, this was my kind of teacher.
Where is this tangent headed?  Back to the beginning of course.  You should all know by now, just how easily I digress.  See, this lovely, flowing writing, all around this room, was thin, precise and yet whimsical and no chalk dust to be found.  Florescent, Caribbean and tropical colored sharpies seemed to be the writing instrument of choice.  On the Chalkboard!  Obviously, the chalkboard is the kryptonite to the sharpie's super powers of permanence.  Who knew?
Our fascination was notched up one more degree.  How cool!, we thought.  Add in my constant surfing of Pinterest and all it's handy dandy ideas, information and eye candy and before you know it, we're discussing the freedom of mixing your own "chalkboard paint" in any color your heart desires to be applied to any surface you desire.  No longer is the chalkboard black,  and no longer is it relegated to the underside of a smartboard, forgotten and dingy.
Even "Martha" has a foolproof recipe for this great vehicle of communication, creativity and old school comfort.  Go ahead, mix up a few cups full and let your inner child write on the walls again.  Even sharpies won't go on your "permanent" record.
                                                     HOMEMADE CHALKBOARD PAINT
Start with flat-finish latex paint in any shade. For small areas, such as a door panel, mix 1 cup at a time

1. Pour 1 cup of paint into a container. Add 2 tablespoons of unsanded tile grout. Mix with a paint stirrer, carefully breaking up clumps.
2. Apply paint with a roller or a sponge paintbrush to a primed or painted surface. Work in small sections, going over the same spot several times to ensure full, even coverage. Let dry.
3. Smooth area with 150-grit sandpaper, and wipe off dust.
4. To condition: Rub the side of a piece of chalk over entire surface. Wipe away residue with a barely damp sponge.

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