Bullies gotta Bully

A special thanks to Concord and 9th for the perfect products for this card! I used
August 2022 release Friendly Florals and Apple Orchard

LONG POST but it is an important message. I made this card for my sister. Let me tell you why.

NOTE:

There are no names used in this account so please forgive all the non-specific identifiers and “my sister”repetitive use. I am trying to just share something that is all too prevalent in our current society that needs to be addressed and not point fingers or be what I am so upset about.

This is a hard one for me to write. I always thought, as someone that was bullied horribly in elementary school, that it was just a thing kids did. I moved to a different state at the end of elementary and didn’t have much of a bullying problem in my new school.

My sister is being bullied. The sad thing is, I guess it can go on even after school years. Let me paint a little picture for you.

My fantastic sister left a lucrative career to become a teacher. It was her passion. For 18 years she has given up a lifestyle that would have allowed her to live a MUCH easier life. Why? She loves kids and not just any kids but the middle-year kids. That’s right, those awkward, sometimes smelly, coming into hormones and dramatic middle schoolers. This is where some of the absolute most terrible bullying is reported. (Oh, the stories I could tell.) Even when she was a single mom with four of her own she gave all she could to her students. Many long nights of grading and planning outstanding lessons. She is the teacher always with an open door and stays to run the after-school care, to ensure kids are in a quality program, teaching summer school investing her own funds to give the kids the best opportunities for high school and beyond. You get the idea.

So imagine my heart, when I get a call and she is literally sobbing on the side of the road unable to drive because a mother in her class has begun attacking her. May I mention this “mother” is sure everything (including a B her child received on an assignment) is because my sister is a horrible teacher? In the following months, this woman took it upon herself to verbally attack my sister’s amazing reputation (did I mention my sister has been the teacher of the year. TWICE)? Did I also mention this person harrassed my sister via email and phone conversations demanding responses on the weekends and holidays all this leaving my sister in a mental and emotional crisis? Well, she has, and the worst part, she is a teacher, in my belief, a teacher that wants my sister’s job. See my sister teaches highly gifted students. A desirable position that requires many additional hours of training and certifications.

At the end of last year, my sister broke down on the phone and I felt her pain so deep in my chest, I cried with her. She had done everything right. Taken the steps to ensure the student was best cared for and yet this mother continued to drive her misery onto my sister. Relentless, harassment, threats, and ganging up with other educators to try and push her out. As the summer approached and the light at the end of the tunnel one might say, my sister, told me she may not be able to return to school because of the physical, mental and emotional toll from the last semester. Have you ever seen someone physically ill from being bullied? I have, it’s not pretty. It’s gut-wrenching!

This saddens me greatly. In our state, the teacher shortage is so severe, that you don’t even have to be a teacher to teach. As long as you are in college for education you can have a physical classroom and be teaching. My sister has served the children of her district for 18 years! Never one complaint or reprimand until this woman. This bully.

With her class in mind, my sister returned. She loves those kids. She wants nothing but success for them. She always goes the extra mile. I’ve witnessed all she has done through the years. When there was a lack of interest from parents to chaperone several field trips, she would beg me to go. I always would because she wanted the kids to see and live the experiences she was teaching in the classroom. She worked many days from 6 am (in class) to after 8 or 9 pm on campus only to return home and spend the rest of her night planning and grading papers.

Now, let’s move forward to this year, she has been attacked again. A student in her class proclaimed, “Ms. XXXXXX is my favorite teacher!” when called into the office due to an incident regarding my sister trying to show compassion and caring about the child’s feelings at what the child thought was bullying. Asking the young person what was said and trying to make sure she had the facts right my sister tried to explain that bullying is never okay, but we need to be sure it’s not miscommunication. She spoke with the child about the differences we all have in what we believe.

The child told her mother what had happened and the mother, another teacher in the same program as the previous child’s mother, went not to my sister for clarification, (because you know, middle school children NEVER get dramatic for attention) not to the principle, no she marched into the superintendent’s office and demanded my sister be fired. And began her campaign of terror.

Giving a lesson (district mandated I might add), on how to give a peer review. The other children told the child in question that Ms. XXXXX is talking about you in class. (Which she was not. It was a lesson on how to be kind in your words but still be able to give constructive criticism — I mean middle-schoolers are never overly dramatic — never.) My sister was again attacked. Meetings and complaints all require her to write responses and spend time on things that are not benefiting the child. HELLO, THIS. IS. NOT. GOOD. for anyone!

The call went like this, “Oh Erika, it’s starting again! Oh no, I don’t think I can handle it for another year.” the grief in her voice was so prevalent I felt my heart break. She was so sick to her stomach that she couldn’t go to work.

Here we are. She now has another year of writing responses being attacked and who protects her? Not the school administration. NOPE, they are worried about lawsuits and making the MOTHER happy. I have news for ALL of you, THIS IS BULLYING! To attack a person that is trying to give the children the best education possible to YOUR kids… it’s wrong! You are an adult. ACT LIKE ONE. Try talking to the teacher, or the adult involved you probably don’t have the full story if it came from a child POV! Not because your child is a liar, but because children are very self-centered and they don’t usually see the other side of the situation. You don’t have to “see the manager!”

It is okay to protect your kids. Just don’t be a bully! It’s okay to intervene if your child can’t get a problem resolved! You can be a good parent and still be FAIR!

I don’t know what is going to happen. My guess is she will keep being the punching bag for these people. I will keep getting calls from my amazing sister crying and hurt because she is in a position of service. I will need to keep trying to build up what these women tear down. I will see her do things for these kids that their parents don’t know or even appreciate. The administration will let her. Honestly, the administration is the parent of the bully which is a bit of a bully itself. The administration is cowardly! Stand up for your teachers! They are working twice as hard with such little pay that goes back to the school in the form of supplies and teaching materials. If you ever wanted to know why more teachers quit teaching in the first 3-5 years. Let me tell you, I know.

If you are a bully, to your kids, your spouse, your kid’s teachers, the employees you manage, the barista at Starbucks, or the clerk at the retail store, think about this… You may be feeling powerless, you are hiding in your anger. To feel better about yourself if you are hurting others. Please, seek a mental health professional for your anger issues. I don’t want you to have that hurt.

Am I angry? You bet I am. My sister is one of the best people I know! I am hopeful that if you are a bully you can see that you don’t have to bully. You can be a support to help find a solution without hurting others. If you have a child that is a bully. Help them it doesn’t go away bullies teach their kids to be bullies and to bully. We don’t need that we need love.

That my friends, is why I made this card for my sister.

Thank you for reading and allowing me to vent my broken heart.

In Stitches with Spellbinders

Spellbinders All Dies, Hot Foil Plates & Foil; Pixie Cardstock Lawn Fawn; Pattern Paper My Favorite Things; Floss, DMC

When the stitched alphabet came out from Spellbinders I liked the idea, but I couldn’t really see buying ALL the letters. (I made a big mistake.) I bought a few to spell “Hi” and “love” well soon after these few cards I realized; I need the entire alphabet. I am so glad I did and would highly recommend if you are considering the stitched alphabet, just buy the bundle. It really opens your world to so many possibilities. (It is an investment, but really, I have used these so much that I think it was one of my better purchases for card making.)

Because I love these little guys so much, I put some tips for using these dies to be the most successful.


Tips for stitching on your paper crafts.

  • Choosing your thread (floss) will make a significant difference. My first craft was cross-stitching, and I can tell you a few things to make you successful.
  • The number of strands. Two is most commonly used, but if your floss is light on light you may want to add one or more strands to ensure your intended color shows as you want it. (In the sample above, I used all six strands
  • Floss comes in many brands and materials. You may want to test them on your paper before you commit.
  • A single sheet of card may tear when you stitch with several threads of floss. To ensure your card can hold up, simply cut two additional letters and glue them together to create stability.
  • Use your finger or fine tip applicator, (such as Barely Art glue tip) to apply glue to prevent seepage through the premade stitch placement holes.
  • remove any excess glue immediately
  • Make sure your glue is completely dry before stitching. (If you notice any glue at this time, use a needle to remove it.)
  • As a cross stitcher for many years, I learned one especially important thing. Always go in the same direction. Start each grouping in the same place.
  • Light is caught by the floss and keeping it in the same direction and same placement will give a better finished look.
  • Place your needle over the last stitch and press all other threads under the stitch you are adding.

If you have any questions, feel free to click over to the contact me and shoot me an email. You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Coming Soon!

I have finally been able to get everything I need to set up my YouTube channel. I will be sure to let you know once we’ve gone live. Color-A-Longs are coming soon! I’m working hard to make this a place for inspiration and education. Please share with all the crafty peeps you know. 🙂

What the HEX?

Dies & Stamps: Concord & 9th Friendly Florals Hot Foil Plate: Pink Fresh Lush Vine, Foil: Spellbinders Silver

Hello, my Lovely Friends! Don’t you just love color? I do! I also love Concord & 9th’s August 2022 release (Check it out here). I love it when companies have matching cardstock and ink options. I absolutely love the Concord & 9th colors too! (see the full-color range here). This leads us to the “What the HEX?” topic of this post.

I am always looking for ways to make fun color combos. I have color-swatches all my cardstock for assorted brands of cardstock in my stash. (Which is way too many, says no crafter ever.) Using planner disc attachments has made it easy for me to be able to remove the samples and make color combos while I am working on a project.

However, there are many times I see a color combo on card samples, other crafter’s and artist’s work, nature, advertisements, etc. That I really love and want to preserve. What better way than to document these combos in my inspiration book (Currently a Catherine Pooler journal). As I use my paper the question is always what to do with the scraps! I will often punch out as many pieces as I can then throw them in a small bag or bowl. When I see a combo I love, I usually will scribble down a color combo and later add it to my book using the scraps. For this demonstration, I made a few pages in my book with color combos I really like. Feel free to click through the slideshow below and browse these combos and use any you like.

It is my hope that this little organization/scrap usage idea will inspire you today.

Have a great day & may blessing fall on you in abundance!

e

Christmas in August? Why not?

Well, I am always trying to make Christmas cards not just in July and December. If I make just 10 cards a month, that’s 120 Christmas cards by December. I don’t always get 10 a month done, but it’s a fun goal to work toward. The thing is, you CAN’T beat yourself up if you only get one… or NONE done for your month. It’s about taking some of the stress off of you in that month of busy busy busyness.

I also love the July releases from Spellbinders. I can’t wait to get my next Christmas card made with the adorable mailbox sets. SOOO cute.

I think maybe I need to have that same goal for birthday cards, or I could say 10 Christmas every other month and 10 Birthday every other month. Another way could be to spilt it 5/5 and end up with 60 Christmas and 60 birthday cards by the end of the year. With that many cards, you can give some away as gifts!!!

thanks for stopping by

e

Birthday with Lawn Fawn

One of the best things about new releases is the inspiration! I did an online event on Facebook with Jenn Shurkus {creative chick} and Lawn Fawn called #LFcreatewithus. It is using the spring 2022 line from Lawn Fawn. After the class, I was so full of ideas that I made this card. I really enjoyed making the flap surprise on the front. The opening is a fun surprise for the card’s receiver. (Even more for the maker.)

Lawn Fawn has many of these cute online classes that are not only FREE but have PDF printouts! The next class is on April 8th (2022). Click here for more info on the upcoming class.

ALSO Lawn Fawn has a regular challenge to inspire you and help you get the mojo going. The current challenge is here why don’t you give it a try. I hope to see your cards posted there.

CLICK PHOTO to go directly to the challenge.

I also am working on my written instructions for interactive dies. I have a few Lawn Fawn done, and will be posting them online once they are all prettied up. Enjoy your weekend.