A Classroom City

As we’re edging closer to the end of the year here in middle school math, we’ve been working on a big project.

We’re building a city!

Each student is creating a portfolio of their city design and components, and next week we’ll start actually building a giant cardboard model together.

Throughout this project, we’re hitting all of our geometry and statistics standards – the students are learning about circles, angles, triangles, surface area, scale drawings, nets, perspective drawings, volume, data representation, fair surveys, mean, median, and lots more – but they’re so in to designing their cities that I’m not sure they’ve actually noticed.

Over the last two days, we’ve been designing parks for our cities. Inspired by what actual landscape design looks like, we’ve been using lots of circles! (And doing some calculations, naturally…)

Loving this project so much! I’m so excited to be able to see our finished city.

Me And My Dremel

So happy tooooooogether….


For some reason, I’ve wanted a Dremel since I was about 12. No clue why, but apparently it just sounded cool to me. Some recent projects finally gave me a good excuse to get one, and I’m in love. (This isn’t a sponsored post, I swear.)

I went with the Dremel 200 because I wanted a corded drill (and because it was one of the cheaper options). Note – the drill bits and the collets that let you actually attach the bits are sold separately. I had to make several trips to the store to get it up and going.

I’ve been using it a ton this week to work on various projects for our new shop, The Discerning Gnome. I’ve been making polyhedral dice bracelets like the ones I showed you last week:


And most recently, I’ve been drilling and embroidering to make these super cool string art notebooks. I’m crazy about these! (A tutorial for these might be coming soon… Stay tuned!)



Choosing Colors

Keeping with my recent beading binge, I’ve been spending some time today matching mini-dice colors with beads in my collection. (Makes sense in context, I promise…)


The miniature polyhedral dice I bought for this project came in fairly neon colors – bright yellow, orange, green, blue, red, and pink. Since my style is a bit more muted – I rarely rock the neon – I’ve been really focusing on my other bead choices in order to make the overall color palate a bit richer.


My main strategy for this is to choose an overall color theme that the dice color supports, but that isn’t focused around the bright color. For example, Continue reading Choosing Colors

Beading & Bracelets


I’ve been in a bit of a beading phase recently, and so I made this charm bracelet. I love the overloaded bracelets like this, and I’ve made a couple as gifts before, but never one for me!

Eagle-eyed readers might notice a certain color theme, and some writing on the charms tucked in there, which leads me to a bit of an announcement. I’m engaged! I’m going to be marrying the love of my life this summer, and I’m so excited – plan on seeing quite a few wedding projects on the blog in months to come.


I squeezed as many charms as I could onto this bracelet – click “read more” for close ups.

Continue reading Beading & Bracelets

On the Road

This is my favorite place on the road from Chelan to Spokane. The Columbia River carved this canyon, but now it’s just scrubland and high, wide walls that stretch into the distance in both directions. The emptiness and vastness is beautiful in its own way, I think.

Wishing you a happy weekend!

The Slow Way (But The Right Way)

Well, we have a complete restart on the dresses from this post. One day, I think, I might actually learn that taking shortcuts and winging things never, ever, ever works out as well as I would like. The dresses were working, but looked a bit homemade and unprofessional… *sigh*. So, back to the beginning, doing it right this time. It’s slooooooow going, but that’s ok.


The problem that I ran into was failing to account for the pleats in this chiffon. (My plan would have worked perfectly for regular chiffon, I swear…) I tried to bulldoze through it, but nope. So, new plan – now I’m using a wrap dress pattern designed for stretch fabrics, and lining the chiffon with a stretchy cream cotton jersey, instead of making a separate underdress. I’m cutting each dress piece individually (with a layer of jersey and a layer of chiffon), using a rotary cutter and pattern weights instead of scissors and pins, and hand-basting all the edges before picking anything up.

It takes quite a lot of time, so I’ve only done one piece – eeek! – but I have it up on the new dress form, and it’s already looking much, much better.IMG_20180419_072838042.jpg

Now off to tackle the other half of this front. I’ll keep you updated!

Dress Form Set Up

My slightly-creepy body double came in the mail earlier this week:

IMG_20180417_200227714_LL.jpgI’ve gotten pretty well used to her now, but I jumped the first few times I looked up!

I’ve been wanting an adjustable dress form for a while now – my homemade paper tape version is a bit too lopsided and lumpy for accurate fitting – and I finally settled on the Dritz Sew You.


After a prolonged battle with getting the torso onto the stand (pro tip – extend the stand up first), I was able to    Continue reading Dress Form Set Up