The Other Side of Me

I’m a teacher.  I love what I do, and try to do a really good job of it.  But I’m also a lot of other things–wife, mom, friend, sister, daughter, writer, crafter, runner.  I love what I do, but it’s the other things I do outside of school that keep me going, make it possible for me to stay balanced so I can do the best job I can with my students.

So I thought I’d take a minute to write about how I’ve been nurturing the other side of me lately.

On Winter Break, I had a lot of  down time.  I filled in a lot of that time sewing.  It’s a new hobby that has come up for me just since my baby girl was born; it seemed that there were many more things that a little princess needed than when Riley was a baby.  So that was the spark, but it’s grown into a crazy crafting fire!   Here’s what’s come out of my sewing room recently:

Sweater dress made from a shirt I don’t wear anymore.  Loved how the sleeve detail looked on those tiny sleeves!

Another sweater dress–this one from a “too-itchy, too-small” donation from her big brother.  Again, loved the details on this one: sleeves match the bottom, pleats on the sleeves and top of the neck.

Made these from leftover material from Riley’s Peter Pan Halloween costume.  The ruffles were a cute addition, right?  My favorite part. 🙂

These little pants were for baby girl’s birthday party.  Again re-purposing an old shirt I don’t wear.  There were really cute in the cake-smooshed-on-the-face pics.

Wish this picture came out better, but these were a Winter Break project to help corral all the new Super Hero toys Riley got for Christmas.  Love how they turned out.  So quick and easy.  Was thinking about making more of these for manipulatives or games in the classroom!

Mesh bag ($1 from GoodWill, 3 pieces of ribbon I already had, 30 minutes and two suction cups later, our tub toys have a new, drier home!

                                Baby girl’s GOTTA have bows in their hair.  And so then I had to make a board to keep them all organized.  This was my first project with Mod Podge.  Next one will be a little neater.

Ok, so this is a picture of the scarf, not me. 🙂  This was one of the first things I’ve made for myself.  It’s a knit scarf made all scrunchy with elastic thread.  This will become an easy gift for others–or for me! I want one in black now.

These were too-small pants that I added ruffles to.  Now she can wear them again and they are so much cuter than before.  Again, an old shirt of mine that wasn’t wearable anymore. 🙂

We’re a cloth diapering family, and I’ve been busy refreshing all of the Velcro on our diapers.  This job is super simple, but takes much longer than you’d think, but still so much fun!


This is probably my favorite project to date.  It’s a messenger bag that has straps that snap on to the stroller.  And I LOVE the the inside red and the print.  I think I’m gonna try this in a different size and shape next.

Ok, so I know–this is not a post about life in a 5th grade classroom.  But it is about the life of a 5th grade teacher, and so somehow it’s fair game, right?  Thanks for indulging me. 🙂

Oh, and don’t want to forget to mention that these are not my original ideas.  Ashley at is my cyberspace mentor and inspiration.  It’s just my sewing machine and me doing the work.

13 thoughts on “The Other Side of Me

  1. So i’m wondering how hard it would be to pad the sides of the messenger bag to make it a “shoot sack?” Since i do photography all the time that would be amazing! You could sell those to photographers! I know they sell for a pretty penny else where and from top designers. Just a thought!

    (just call me your stalker) lol

      • I’ve been telling everyone i know about your incredible talent and showing them! Have you posted your stuff on “Pintrest?” You must! That way i can pin it and they can see! Then you have MORE stalkers. LOL

        If its not too big of a project then i’d love it! I’ve been looking for a shoot sack for a while. Then i could carry it and people will be like whos your designer? Me: oh..mines an original by Jen..JenB…They’ll be all googling you and boom..your the next thirtyone billionaire!

  2. Me and my mom were impressed with your sewing abilities…you are the master of crafts! great job!!!!!!! 🙂

  3. I think my favorite would be the bows and the board, But its so hard to pick i like the sweater dress too. Ya i have had that feeling when you step back and say WOW!!

  4. Love I’ve been repinning a lot of her stuff on Pinterest.

    Have you changed elastic on diapers or just velcro? I have a bunch that were handed down to me that the elastic is completely blown on but I’m scared to make that first snip. I’m hoping I can find someone to show me what to do on one and then I’ll be brave with the rest. 🙂

    • So far I’ve just done velcro, although several of mine also need that refreshed, as well. I can try it and see what happens if you want me to be the guinea pig. 🙂 Thanks again for reading our blog, Johanna! Were there any other links from our list that you liked?

  5. Pingback: Let Creativity Rule! | 20somethingkids and 1kookyteacher

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