Treat Tuesday 02/19/13

treatbadgeThanks as ever to Niki OhsBarnes for getting this snacky show on the road.


Today I’m planning my next social studies unit, which focuses on geography. I’m SUPER pumped because this will line up really nicely with our plant science unit — the culminating activity for the social studies unit is to create a community nature center guide, with each kid picking a different community in the US and discussing the plant life (and landforms) found there.

I’m hoping it might also be a good time to play around with Mystery Skypes, which I heard about from the inspiring, thoughtful Cheryl Steighner. This is my social studies unit for my National Board entry, so I’m hoping to make it really beefy and wonderful.

QUICK PLUG. Please PLEASE support Cheryl by liking her video so she can be a New Media Consortium K-12 ambassador?

Anywho, back to snacks. Upon discovering I’m officially, medically overweight (according to one measure), I pretty much eliminated sweets from our house. But I do still have AMAZING Michigan potato chips from my parents’ thoughtful Christmas prezzie. I have an entire CASE of Better Made BBQ chips. YESSSSSSS. (“What do you want for Christmas, Shannon?” “All of the Michigan things!” And they delivered. Because my mother is the best gift-buyer on the planet)

OMG speaking of which, look at what SANTA included with Toby’s Taco Bell gift certificate.


Yeah. So snacks. Salty > Sweet every time. Happy Treat Tuesday.

Oh! And so you should totally follow my mom on Twitter. She’s kind of seriously the best around. And she has mastered the art of ironic hashtags.

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Happy Tuesday! Enjoy Midwinter break!



So Colby’s tree fell over, destroying ornaments. It wouldn’t be very Christmassy of the Twitter community to ignore his plight, would it?

[blackbirdpie url=”!/colbysharp/status/140651818962264066″]

Aw, poor Colby, he had no idea what was about to hit him.

[blackbirdpie url=”!/mentortexts/status/140652184663638016″]

I decided to make Colby, a fellow Michigander, an ornament highlighting where several authors were born or call home. But first, I had to confirm which authors were truly from Michigan.

Here’s the official list of Michigan members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

I like thinking of Michigan authors and illustrators as Natural Resources.

Also, while researching, I learned my lake is the largest in the Mitten State. (I’ve never actually been there.)

Then, I gathered my materials.

I used Giant Dwarf’s Fancy Felt for this ornament. Once you touch it, you will never ever ever again want to use the craft store variety.

I created a key so I’d know where to stitch each author.

Sorry, UP. You’re always getting the short end of the stick. This is by no means a comprehensive list. I picked authors/illustrators I knew and enjoyed.

I needed a heart-shaped stitch that would work well on a small scale, and I thought of the wishbone stitch, signature stitch of The Merriweather Council. So I practiced it.

Satisfied with my work, I printed an outline for my state.

Look at that felt, isn’t it amaaaaaazing?

Then, I realized I needed a reminder on how to sew a blanket stitch, so this video did the trick.

And here’s the final product!

Hope ya like it, Mr. Sharp!


If you grew up in the Wolverine State, chances are you know this handy acronym for remembering all our fair lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. But wouldn’t it be more fun to remember them with a fantastic art grouping?

Wow. I wish I had dug out our SLR to show you, but just LOOK at what even an iPhone photo can show you. The frames are made from wood salvaged from barns destroyed by tornadoes. The sellers, Jeff and Laura at Timeless Journey, are fast, awesome, and insanely affordable.

Now frames are neat and all, but I told you this art was related to the Great Lakes, right? It is.

It’s the Gitche Gumee! The cards are papercut from Crafterall, a Minnesota gal who does incredible custom work.

But wait, you say. This HOMES business — there are five lakes. Indeed there are.

Ahhhhhh, they look so fabulous. I wish the photos looked better, but I wanted to make sure I posted SOMETHING to show my gratitude to Crafterall and Timeless Journey.

Drat. Now I’m all homesick for Michigan again. “Michigan seems like a dream to me now… It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw…”

I wish I could teach Michigan history more than anything! Mainly because I would have us at Henry Ford Museum every week. I still know woefully little about Washington state…