Sunday, September 1, 2013

Photo-a-Day Challenge September 1st

I was reading some posts today from some of the blogs I follow, and I came across this beauty from Clutter-Free Classroom.

I thought it might be fun to give it a here's my picture for September 1st: September!  I know this isn't the greatest picture, but I'm not at school to take a new one and I really want to try to post every day this month! It's hard to tell, but the far left curtain has red, white, and blue stars for July, the next one is red gingham with ants for August, then school pictures (bus, school house, ABC, 123, etc.) for SEPTEMBER, and you can see just a small section of the pumpkins for October.

About 9 years ago, my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday.  At the time I was a reading specialist and my office had one window in it.  I thought it would be pretty neat to have a "Curtain of the Month Club" so to speak, so I asked for that.  Every month my mom would give me a new curtain.  She hadn't quite made all of them when I found out that I would be moving rooms the following year.  Once I realized the curtains wouldn't work in my new room (which was a WAY nicer room I might add!)  I had her stop making them.  I packed the curtains away, hoping one day I'd be able to use them again.

A few years passed, I moved from my home state of Vermont, to Texas and my new classroom had 2 the curtains remained packed.  Then three years ago, I was working with our new school librarian brainstorming ideas for themes, decorating, etc.  She decided to do a big tree in the middle of the library, and added branches throughout the year as needed.  Each time a child read a book they put their name and the title of the book on a cutout and it went on the tree.  The cutout changed every month (September - apple, October - pumpkin, November - turkey, and so on).  We informally called it Reading Throughout the Year.  Looking around our library I realized the windows were lacking any color, and then I also realized that there were 12 windows!  A light bulb went off....12 windows....12 months....Curtain of the Month I went home and pulled out my curtain tub and curtains.  I brought them into school and what do you know?  They were the perfect size!  Now I didn't have a full set of 12 and they weren't all exactly the same size.  Since they were only up one at a time making them exactly the same hadn't been necessary.  So I went to work making the curtains I had all the same size, and then I went and found material for the ones I didn't have. I will admit it was a very costly project, and stressful (I had a very hard time decided on August's fabric!) but it was well worth it.  Every time I go into the library and see the curtains, it makes me smile and I can't imagine what the library would look like without the curtains!  One day, we'll find out though because when I leave this school, the curtains are coming with me!

Here are some pictures of the other can even see one of the tree branches in the middle picture!

January (snowflakes) - February (green with colored hearts all over - I really need to make new red ones!) - March (green shamrocks)

April (Easter eggs) - May (Cinco de Mayo) - June (flowers)

October (pumpkins) - November (turkeys) - December (candy canes)
In March of 2013, my mother very unexpectedly passed away at the young age of 59.  So now these curtains are even more precious to me.  I have curtains in both of my children's rooms that she made, the curtains at the bottom of my stairs were made by her, and I even have a set of curtains in my classroom.  These were originally made for the new room I moved into to hide all the contents of open cabinets.  When I moved to Texas, miraculously the curtains also fit the space above my student closet that I use for storage!  I love these curtains...especially when my classroom was painted the blue and green in them!  These are the only things I don't change out each year with my new theme! We had some leftover material and my mom made my daughter (and her baby doll) a dress out of it, too!  She was an amazing seamstress!

Curtains covering storage area in my classroom.

Scrapbook page made by an amazing aide who did a scrapbook for every child in the class!
Heidi or Gretchen - I have no idea, they're twins and I can't tell them apart!  She has booties, too, that you can't see! I'm sure (I KNOW!) the rest of my posts will not all be this long...but here's my first one :D  HOORAY!!


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