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January 2007
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March 2007

February 2007

Sleeve Protectors

So many ideas to post about after the Centenary celebration in San Francisco this past week! While perusing the historical exhibit at the Discovery Museum, I noticed two sleeve protectors from one of the first Montessori schools in France. Ah hah! A solution to the wet sleeve problem that doesn't require the help of the guide or the assistant! I found some vinyl-coated cotton at Ben Franklin from a company called Moda Fabrics ( and made two apron/sleeve protector sets intended for dish washing and washing the laundry. Here's Jorge trying them out while washing the dishes. They passed the test run with flying colors. I couldn't pass up the sock monkey fabric. I also purchased a kit, pattern and socks included, to make the sock monkey. I thought it would be great to display the sock monkey on top of the laundry pile as a sign to the children that someone needs to do the laundry! I'll be posting more on this once the sock monkey and matching fabric-lined basked (for wet laundry before hanging to dry) are completed.

So how are these made? The aprons couldn't be more simple. Fold the fabric right sides together and cut to the following dimensions:
Here's what it looks like unfolded:
Add bias tape of choice. The stuff that I used is older than me - I found it in my mom's sewing supplies! You can also make your own following these instructions. Fold over the edge of the opened binding and line up with the edge of the fabric. Follow these instructions to attach the binding.
Finish the apron by attaching a matching ribbon as a neck tie and as the waist band. Sew velcro to the apron and the waist band for easy closing.

And the sleeve protectors ...

Cut 2 rectangles 8"x13." Fold right sides together and sew a 1/2" seam along the shorter sideFold down one end about 1" and sew, leaving a 2" opening for the elastic. Using a large safety pin, push through about 7" of elastic.

Pin ends together and sew ends of elastic together, leaving 1 1/2" of elastic on the other side of the seam. Trim and topstitch to enclose the opening. This makes the "wrist" end of the sleeve protector. On the other end, follow the same instructions only this time sew the seam on the elastic very close to the raw edges. This will allow for more room for the upper arm. Repeat to make a pair.

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Carrying the Pink Tower

Hola desde San Francisco!!! I've been lucky to have had the opportunity to travel to California for the mathematics refresher course and centenary celebration. I'm still here and still busy, but I couldn't resist passing on this idea ...

Last night we went to the Centenary Exhibit at the Discovery Museum in Marin County. You MUST see this exhibit if it comes to a city near you (see for a schedule.) One of my favorite parts was the old photo of a little girl walking on the line while carrying the entire, fully constructed, pink tower!

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Stock Photo website

I've been looking to round out my mammal card set for a while. While in training, I purchased 2 of the Audubon Society's pocket field guides to North American (wild) mammals. This is a great resource, but if we are starting with the general and moving on to the specific, shouldn't a mammal set include elephants, domestic cats, cows, monkeys, and, most importantly, humans? Here's a little sample of the free stock photos I downloaded at with this project in mind: This is a great stock photo site that allows you to search their database by keyword. The photos are free to download. I simply click on the photo to enlarge it, right click to "save as," and choose it's destination on my computer. From here, I can burn a disk or put the photos on my memory stick to print them out at any digital printing station. I print out 2 of each for reading classification cards. They can also be used for matching cards for very young children ... I plan on making sets that are matching by skin/animal, nose and mouth/animal, appendage/animal, mother/baby, etc. And some of the examples: There are certain card sets that I haven't been able to compile through this site due to lack of photos - musical instruments being one of them. If anyone knows of some other free stock photo sites that might be useful, let me know!