Summertime…and the living is anything but easy

Summertime has “officially” started for teachers in my area. A time when teachers supposedly catch up on things set aside due to classwork or to catch their breath after a whirlwind year. This may be true for some, but not all. For myself, I will be taking online classes to hopefully finish my Masters degree by the end of this year along with revamping my Etsy shop through finding new projects to add to it as well as setting up an official workspace at home finally that is not in my bedroom.

In all seriousness it has been a bit weird due to the shutdown of our schools the only real sign that summer has arrived, besides the rising temperatures, has been the lack of dings for notifications connected to school. I even managed my first sunburn of the year that I’m now recovering from. 😏 The last official day of school our building staff got together, spread out in our big parking lot, to return personal items to our students. A bittersweet time with members of our staff moving on to other positions and deciding to retire mixed with seeing our students without really being able to give or receive hugs for our safety as much as their own. I liken it to a sort of weird family reunion.

For now I will settle with tucking my school gear away a bit, after making sure I modify lessons a bit just in case, and writing a few postcards especially to my 5th graders. Then I can really focus on just “relaxing” by playing with my kids, hanging out with family, and surfing the web for new crochet projects to add to my store.

In my last entry, I posted a photo with a crochet mask. I actually made some for each family member with pockets for filters and decided to add it to my store. It has been fairly popular as I have already sold about a dozen custom masks with a few of them at a slightly higher price. As far as these masks are concerned, the only reason I’m charging for them is to cover shipping costs. I had to raise the price due to a shift in how I ship them. I have underlying health conditions that make me a little nervous to go out unless I have to. So instead of taking them to the post office to ship, I now use the USPS app, print labels, and schedule shipping right from home. I typically don’t make any unless they are ordered so now I’m working on demos of basic accessories like hair scrunchies and summer items like swimsuit coverups. Keep watching here on my site as I hope to start a portfolio page specific to my crochet projects that I keep available or will be adding to my list of inventory.

Until then, please stay safe and healthy! If you have any questions, ideas, or comments, I welcome them. Be excellent to each other!

quarantine life

What an odd time in our lives… I never thought I would be living through the next major plague in human history. Yet here we are! Honestly, it has not been so terrible for my family compared to what I’m hearing from others that I’m connected to in the community. I still have my main job and I get to stay home with my family. I have definitely had my ups and downs adjusting to this new “normal” but, as long as I keep my priorities straight, I do really well.

My real issue has been spreading myself to thin while trying to be there for everyone else and not taking care of myself. My body finally had a nasty flare up of whatever this disease is and said “NO” last week. My joints all still feel swollen, but nothing like last week. On the bright side, I have a lot to smile about. You may not be able to tell from the picture since my newest creation is covering it up. I recently found an awesome YouTuber named Creggy’s Crochet. She is awesome and has loads of fabulous video walk-throughs of cool projects like the face mask I’m wearing in the featured picture! I started making some and put them for sale on LaClaire Creations Etsy store and am almost sold out already of the first batch. I also had an unexpected enquiry into my artwork featured in my gallery! I’ll be starting work on 7 of those pieces later today to help decorate a new home.

As if all of this was not enough, I am still working on obtaining my National Board Certification while earning my Master’s degree from Emporia State University. This has been interesting work as I am having to adjust my original plan and adapting to the new schedule created by the Board to complete my work. It’s all good though. My mentor assures me my rough drafts are on the right track and he loves the idea of taking my normal classroom lessons and trying to adapt them for possible online access since we’re both pretty sure we will have to be doing distance learning again sometime next school year. A definite challenge for sure.

Before I go, please keep a look out. I will be posting soon (I promise!) about a GoFundMe campaign I setup for LaClaire Creations. It is time to truly get organized! I’ll tell you all about in my next post with a link to the campaign. Until then…


New Year New Me?

I’ve long since said that if I ever get organized, I’d be “dangerous”. To this end I have been hooked/inspired by the trend known as bullet journals! The pictures above are my main inspiration for my first attempt. The reason I bring this up is because it is my hope to write a bit more regularly to keep my fabulous readers up to date on my classroom adventures, as well as, LaClaire Creations projects.

These changes are being made as I adapt for the physical obstacles I’ve been dealing with for over a year now. My rheumatologist has me on some new medicine that seems to be working. Just not sure how long this will last since some of the other meds seemed to work real well at first too.

So stay tuned! Join me in my journey in 2020 and beyond!

Just a little bit longer…

Tis that time of year when there is so much going on you miss important moments or you struggle to keep up. For many music teachers, this is a true performance season where winter concerts happen (weather permitting) and caroling is normal around school and the community.

This last week I was able to attend a production of Nutcracker with my daughter and her classmates (my students) for the first time in about 5 years. It was lovely and now my daughter really has her heart set on dance lessons. I also had the privilege to take our 80 member Honor Choir on a caroling tour around our city. Truly a day of spreading joy. We were invited to sing at a mall, our main airport, a nearby nursing home, and our district’s administration building leaving smiles everywhere we went (even the pizza buffet we went to for lunch).

Even with all of this joy, it is easy to forget that some of these students live in rough homes/neighborhoods, don’t have a home or are in the Foster Care system, or have never been to places like this due to lack of transportation or no money to experience such venues. My heart is with these students both with pride and empathy having grown up in similar circumstances using music as my anchor when life gets rough. Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer before these students can experience true joy without worrying about where their next meal is coming from or if they can afford to go to the doctor if they get sick.

Just some random thoughts for you today. Make it a good day or not! The choice is your’s!

Giving Thanks

Even when times are rough, there is so much to be thankful for. My daughter and I did a little dress up moment with some lip gloss while my son and I created art together. I actually cooked for the family this year even while dealing with my physical limitations and spent loads of time just talking with family.

This may not seem like a lot for some, but it is what I tend to treasure most. Here’s to the connections made, conversations had, and the true treasure of friends and family!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Life happens…

So unfortunately my Etsy shop is currently closed. Last fall I started to realize that something wasn’t quite right and started my journey trying to figure out what the heck was going on. Fast forward to this fall and I sort of have an idea what is happening though no official diagnosis. I have had medicines switched twice, physical therapy for a few weeks recently, and an MRI run to discover that some of my ligaments and tendons are deteriorating.

I admit to having some pretty low moments, especially on days when I’m hurting despite my medicines. However, I am attempting to push ahead for now using this blog and my business email with posts to various social media for now. I am trying to finish up a couple of projects for family while making some hats for local kids (some of my students) this winter. Please keep checking back as I do plan to post here fairly regularly about LaClaire Creations and happenings in my classroom!

Until next time…!

A new beginning

I love my job. I really do. I’m not big on politics though which tends to frustrate me a lot and sours things for me. In case you don’t know me already, my name is Heather Fusilier. My regular job that pays the bills is teaching music at the elementary level. As I said before, I love my job. I don’t even mind having people stop in and watch as I work with students. It’s when people who are not trained in my job decide they know better and critique what I do that I take issue.  However, that job is not what this blog will mainly be about. It does affect things connect to this blog because what I will be discussing and sharing all started with the students that I teach.

LaClaire Creations got its start when I noticed projects being displayed at our school using Zentangles. Now there are those whom think poorly of Zentangles as if they are just fancy doodles. Maybe so, however I loved the look of what I was seeing and wanted to try my hand at it desperately needing a stress reliever besides video games. I took to it pretty naturally I guess, but I do have a tendency to be kind of concrete when getting started with my pieces. Fortunately, there are tons of resources out there and once I found some patterns I liked it was as if a fire had been lit.

Fast forward a bit to one Thursday or Friday morning while I’m hanging out in our school’s library during a class.  No I am not full time, though I should be. That’s a whole other story.  However, while I was hanging out, I was working on some Zentangle sketches when a student noticed and asked if I could make him/her a bookmark.  I said sure and others started asking from the same class of 5th graders. So that year I focused on making personalized bookmarks as graduation presents based on things they told me they enjoyed such as extracurricular activites, games, characters, etc.

Since then, I’ve made other bookmarks and a few larger personal designs. I even created something special for Penn & Teller when my husband and I went to Vegas for a few days during a summer. I also tried my hand at creating a portrait of them that I actually got them to sign. (Squee!) I still can’t help smiling having met them in person. Anyways…

Last year I added crocheting hats and scarves upon request from various students. This year I formally let the students know that they can leave requests in a basket on my desk or hand it to me in the mornings before class or if they see me in the library Thursday & Friday mornings. I’ve also expanded from bookmarks, hats, and scarves to gloves and OT covers (were an AVID school). So this is a little about how I got started creating things you’ll see on here and my various other sites. If you like what you see, have questions/requests, please email me at!