I hope everyone had a good holiday break and are refreshed for 2015. My holiday took an interesting turn this year. I strained my back wiping dog feet the weekend before Christmas. Large dog feet but that really shouldn’t have done it. Who could be mad at a face like this.
Moving around like I usually do was pretty much out of the question. My husband dutifully took over household chores including cooking. It was one the most restful holidays I ever had.
I was just beginning to feel better when the 2nd bad turn happened. My web site was hacked into December 29th. I am thinking that most of you were not visiting at that time which was probably a good thing. If you were you might have been greeted by Russian prose. You can imagine how surprised I was.
As most of you know, I became self hosted in July and moved my Word press blog. It gave me a little more freedom for developing the blog and got rid of the ads. I knew there was a risk for hacking but didn’t think it would happen so soon. Fortunately I used a local server; Host Pond. I contacted them and they provided personal service promptly. Host Pond helped me by cleaning up and putting new security measures in place. I think the Russians were in control only a couple of days. The representative from Host Pond patiently explained to me what security risks I had. So now with a new plugin (Wordfence) I will be notified by email when someone suddenly has administrator privileges.
By the way, my old site cjmonty.wordpress.com is still coming up as a bad site in Google. As a connected site it was flagged as well. It is only used for referral purposes and I will be dropping it. Now would be a good time to drop that url if you haven’t done so already.
I did manage to get a little preparation done for when I get back. I have several students who benefit from fidget toys. You may have noticed cloth marble mazes on Pinterest if you were looking for sensory fidget items. They looked simple to make and I am always looking for items that can not become missiles in the end.
To make them I used textured cloth; fleece and terry cloth. I cut a 9 inch circle for one and 9x 8 inch square for the other. I then sewed around the edge leaving a gap to turn it inside out.
After turning it inside out, I drew a maze leaving 1 1/4 inch channel for the marble to move through. I then sewed on the lines with my sewing machine. These can be as simple or difficult as you want to make them.
I made the circle look like a snail with the marble moving from the edge to the inner circle. Just sew a spiral going to the center. I used a simple stitch first to make sure the marble would make it through and then used a stretch stitch to make it sturdier.
For the square I sewed straight lines.
Remember to alternate the lines from reaching the edge so you have a path for the marble.
When you are finished, insert a marble through the opening and sew the opening shut.
Students use their fingers to move the marble through the maze.
The teachers really had good reviews on these. They held up well and were washable. once I got the hang of it, I could make one in 20 minutes.