I have some fun knitting projects to share soon, but haven't had time to download the pictures off my camera and post about them. During my upcoming two week vacation, I plan to get the projects ready to share (in between a trip to Costa Rica and days on the ski slopes in Colorado). Stay tuned for a Denver Broncos hat pattern (and more generally a tutorial on how to knit words) and a new baby blanket pattern.Read More
Is it just me, or does the month of December seem to fly by at warp speed? I wish I had more time to enjoy the weeks leading up to Christmas, but it always seems so frenzied with holiday parties, year end reviews at work, gift giving, cookie baking, holiday movie watching, skiing, etc.
Good thing I started listening to Christmas music after Halloween.
This year seems especially crazy because I'm getting ready to leave the office for 3 (gasp) weeks! I'm spending Christmas at home with my family and will probably spend quite a few days on the slopes with my brother and sister-in-law, who will be in town. Then, I'm leaving for Patagonia on New Year's Eve. I've been planning the trip for months and can't believe it's finally here...but I still need to buy a few items for the trip and pack. So it will be a busy few weeks, but "good" busy.
All that to say that 2014 will be here before I know it. I designed a little calendar for 2014 using Illustrator this year to print and give as gifts to friends and family. It's far from perfect, but I like it and enjoyed picking out the colors and playing around with the design. The other fun thing is that I created the font used in the calendar with my own handwriting. I used the app iFontMaker on my iPad. It's really fun to play around with different styles and the one I ended up using for the calendar is pretty close to my actual handwriting.
The designs are 5"x8"s and I had them printed on card stock. I have a calendar like this that I bought on Etsy last year and it adds some nice color to my cubicle wall. I like having 3 months up at a time so I can see the month prior and the upcoming month. It's always fun when a month ends and I pull out a new month to hang on the wall.
The images in this post are some of my favorite designs. If you want to see all them, click on the link below to download the free PDFs for all the months. Feel free to print one out for you or print a lot for friends.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
(Download is a zip file. Save it to your desktop and unzip it to access PDFs for each month.)
Did you know that 5th graders have graduations from Elementary School into Middle School? I don't remember having a big graduation ceremony for kindergarten or elementary school or even middle school. Though I do like to brag that my high school graduation was at Red Rocks...
Why do I know about 5th grade graduation? For the last two years, I've spent an hour per week volunteering at a public school in Denver. The teacher of the class is a good friend of mine. I started tutoring the kids in math when they were in 4th grade, helped run a reading club last summer and went back to math tutoring this school year.
Most of the kids are Mexican and some are recent immigrants who don't speak English well. Some of them are bilingual and translate for their parents who don't speak English well (or at all). After two years, they still don't remember that I can understand them when they speak their secret language (Spanish). I always loved responding to them in Spanish when they didn't think I understood what they said.
Going in to see them was often the highlight of my week. Whenever I enter the classroom, they eagerly greet me. When their teacher says he's going to send a group back to work with me, they all raise their hands wanting to be included in my group.
The kids are awesome and it's been so exciting to see their progress over the last two years. They've gone from apathetic to interested, behind to caught up (even ahead!), discouraged about learning to excited about what they can accomplish. They're taller, more mature and don't seem much like kids anymore. I'll definitely miss seeing them every week when they move on to different middle schools.
I thought about getting them gifts to celebrate, but what do you buy for 27 5th graders that's affordable and useful? Instead of buying something, I decided to design a card with my newly acquired Adobe Illustrator skills (I'm still a beginner...) The card I made is below...next step is to write 27 notes to the kids!