Friday, March 30, 2012

Printable Short Story and Paper Dolls for Young Children: Mrs. Tabby Gray

MRS. TABBY GRAY From "Mother Stories," by Maud Lindsay

Mrs. Tabby Gray, with her three little kittens, lived out in the barn where the hay was stored. One of the kittens was white, one was black, and one gray, just like her mother, who was called Tabby Gray from the color of her coat.

These three little kittens opened their eyes when they grew old enough, and thought there was nothing so nice in all this wonderful world as their own dear mother, although she told them of a great many nice things, like milk and bread, which they should have when they could go up to the big house where she had her breakfast, dinner, and supper.

Every time Mother Tabby came from the big house she had something pleasant to tell. "Bones for dinner to-day, my dears," she would say, or "I had a fine romp with a ball and the baby," until the kittens longed for the time when they could go, too.

One day, however, Mother Cat walked in with joyful news.

"I have found an elegant new home for you," she said, "in a very large trunk where some old clothes are kept, and I think I had better move at once."

Then she picked up the small black kitten, without any more words, and walked right out of the barn with him.

The black kitten was astonished, but he blinked his eyes at the bright sunshine, and tried to see everything.

Out in the barnyard there was a great noise, for the white hen had laid an egg, and wanted everybody to know it; but Mother Cat hurried on, without stopping to inquire about it, and soon dropped the kitten into the large trunk. The clothes made such a soft, comfortable bed, and the kitten was so tired after his exciting trip that he fell asleep, and Mrs. Tabby trotted off for another baby.

While she was away, the lady who owned the trunk came out in the hall, and when she saw that the trunk was open she shut it, locked it, and put the key in her pocket, for she did not dream that there was anything so precious as a kitten inside.

As soon as the lady had gone upstairs, Mrs. Tabby Gray came back, with the little white kitten, and when she found the trunk closed she was terribly frightened. She put the white kitten down and sprang on top of the trunk and scratched with all her might, but scratching did no good. Then she jumped down and reached up to the keyhole, but that was too small for even a mouse to pass through, and the poor mother mewed pitifully.

What was she to do? She picked up the white kitten and ran to the barn with it. Then she made haste to the house again, and went upstairs to the lady's room. The lady was playing with her baby, and when Mother Cat saw this she rubbed against her skirts, and cried: "Mee-ow, mee-ow! You have your baby, and I want mine! Mee-ow, mee-ow!"

By and by the lady said: "Poor Kitty! she must be hungry," and she went down to the kitchen and poured sweet milk in a saucer, but the cat did not want milk. She wanted her baby kitten out of the big black trunk, and she mewed as plainly as she could: "Give me my baby—give me my baby, out of your big black trunk!"

The kind lady decided that she must be thirsty: "Poor Kitty, I will give you water;" but when she set the bowl of water down Mrs. Tabby Gray mewed more sorrowfully than before. She wanted no water—she only wanted her dear baby kitten; and she ran to and fro, crying, until, at last, the lady followed her, and she led the way to the trunk.

"What can be the matter with this cat?" said the lady, and she took the trunk key out of her pocket, put it in the lock, unlocked the trunk, raised the top—and in jumped Mother Cat with such a bound that the little-black kitten waked up with a start.

"Purr, purr, my darling child," said Mrs. Tabby Gray, in great excitement; "I have had a dreadful fright!" and before the black kitten could ask one question she picked him up and started for the barn.

The sun was bright in the barnyard and the hens were still chattering there; but the black kitten was glad to get back to the barn. His mother was glad, too; for, as she nestled down in the hay with her three little kittens, she told them that a barn was the best place after all to raise children.

And she never afterwards changed her mind.

 Source. Click here to print page: Print Friendly and PDF.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Language Arts Lessons for Grades K - Eight Focusing on Composition and Art


Mary A. Snedekor, Instructor P. S. 10, Manhattan.

The value of picture study in the classroom is untold. Pictures may be introduced into every imaginable lesson of the day... Pictures are used to cultivate language, observation, imagination, aesthetic taste. Not the least important influence of picture study is the silent benefit derived from a careful examination of some study.
  Read the rest here, and there are many more language arts ideas using pictures in this free downloadable vintage book.  This is a good source for written composition ideas using pictures as story starters.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Printable Picture Studies and Composition Lessons(Elementary Grades)


 Study the picture. What do you see in the foreground of the picture? Who is the man? Why is he so anxious? Which little patient is he most interested in? How does this patient look? What do you see in the background of the picture?

 Oral and Written Exercises. — Tell the story that the picture tells you. Before beginning the story, set down the points about which you wish to talk or write. Next arrange them in some good order and stick to it. Find use for some of the following words:

anxious, worried     silent, quiet           asleep, awake
pathetic, sad            ill, sick                  clean, cool
sufferer, patient       gazing, looking     happy, delighted

 Word Study
Foreground means the part that seems nearest to you.
Background means the part that seems farthest away.

 Print Friendly and PDF  Use this button to print out this page.

 From English Spoken and Written: Lessons in Language, Literature, and Composition, 1910. Entire book is available here for free download. Individual book pages can be printed by right clicking on the image of the page(s) at the link.

More here. Just scroll through the Table of Contents and look for highlighted words.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mystery Shrub

Click on image to enlarge. This woody plant
grew rapidly in a corner of my vegetable garden near the leeks. It looks a bit like a butterfly bush? Anyone know what it is? I've been searching Google without finding a match. We are in zone 7, bordering on zone 8 on the east coast. The soft non-glossy leaves look as if they are lanceolate with mild serration. They are growing out of clusters rather than randomly along the stem.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rainbow Maker

40mm(1.57 inches) Crystal Ball Prism  
I purchased this crystal before Saint Patrick's Day to make rainbows(for my daughter) in our sunny craft room. It came just in time, and after I hung it in front of the window, we immediately had rainbows all over the wall. Just gorgeous!  It was a great price as well, $2.98 with free shipping.

I almost did this beaded drop with a crystal at the end, but I ran short on fishing wire.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Build Your Own Sectional Platform Sofa/Couch

We finally made it! We used twin mattresses (standard 39 x 75 inches) on homemade platforms. The construction of the platform was very basic: Six 2 x 11 x 10 pine lumber boards(three each), and two long lumber posts cut into legs, nine inches tall each(10 altogether). The cuts were made for us in the lumber section at Home Depot for a small fee. We used an old twin box spring as a guide (template) for width and length. Everything was screwed together with long dry wall screws. There are five legs on each platform, one at each corner and one in the middle. We used some scrap lumber to tie(cross brace) the boards together by screwing them across the width in a two areas. We spent about $75.00 for the two platforms. Look in the garbage bins at the end of the lumber aisles for free scrap lumber(cross braces). Ask first, of course.

We accidentally purchased the ten foot boards, but if you can find eight feet, it will be less expensive - about $2.00 less a board. Although, if you need it, longer lengths will mean more leftover scrap wood, which could be reused as cross braces.

We have a small Honda Fit and were able to get the materials home in two trips. So, you don't necessarily need a truck to made this. We used one mattress on hand, and had one delivered from an online mattress discounter.

It's very rustic, but that's what we were going for. We've traveled a lot during our life times, so we have a penchant for ethnic items. We used what we had for a cheerful and child friendly living room. It's a north facing room, so tends to be a bit deary and dark. It needed color.

You can eyeball the work in the picture, and get a idea of construction. It's heavy, and very sturdy. Although it's a fairly clean cut, we still need to sand the exposed ends.

Because these are made with sleeping mattresses, they are very comfortable and roomy for relaxing and hanging out with family. Cleaning is very simple - just take off the covers and wash. A plastic mattress cover can be added underneath the coverings for wet spill protection. Probably the least expensive no-sew upholstery-like covering would be an Indian dhurrie throw rug. I found the large stripped one(all cotton) in the picture at Big Lots for about $15.00, several years ago. All this makes for a hygienic and allergy friendly couch.

We made a taller twin platform bed for my daughter in August of last year here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vintage Instructional: How to Brush Your Teeth

To save, go to Millie Motts blog source, above. This would look cute framed in a bathroom - super for health lessons and morning reading practice for early readers.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Printable (Vintage) Watercolor "Wash" Art Lesson for Young Children

Very basic beginning watercolor "wash". Printable (vintage) art lesson for young children - landscape and sky. Right click on the image of the page at the link(source below image) to save/print.

Thursday, March 08, 2012


We had to drive a little less than two hours to find penguins, but it was worth the drive. My daughter's latest obsession is penguins. This week we watched March of the Penguins on DVD and visited the zoo. I must say these African penguins were so adorable! I'm glad we were able to get close to them at this particular zoo. What a happy group these were and very well cared for. These two kept posing for my pictures.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Vintage Children's Paper Crafts for Spring: Rabbits

Rabbits for tracing and grouping, and a cut-out rabbit paper doll. Both are in public domain, dated 1915. I found these at Google Books. Click to enlarge and print.

Reposted from 2010.

Easy DIY Pine Couch

We are waiting for a mattress to be delivered, and then we'll put together something like this as a living room couch. I'm actually thinking about making two for an L-shaped sectional. See link below picture for instructions. It's very easy, simply a platform with an old door for a back. Instead of an old door, we'll use two open spaced pine boards along the back to allow for an open look. The blogger who made this couch made her own slip cover. I may purchase a fitted futon cover, or just use a fitted sheet with an Indian dhurrie over it.

It can be stained with dark tung oil(a plant resin) which is less toxic than regular stain.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Frugal Gardening: Leaf Mulching

Our neighbor has been providing bags of leaves for us to mulch and use in the garden as a top dressing. It works wonders at keeping down weeds and providing nutrients to the soil. Best of all, it's free, not counting gas for the mulching mower(which is minimal).

My daughter's little garden with some fine mulched leaves and a little compost soil.

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I'm a homeschooling mom of two, a teen and a little. I hope this collection of mine helps you as much as it has helped us. I have an Etsy shop here: And a blog: