Children and Families, FACS Engineering, Family and Consumer Science Education, FCS, Food and Culinary Arts, For the Love of FACS, Historical FACS, Home economics, Housing and Interior Design Playlist, In Stitches, Reading in the FACS Classroom, Save FACS, Techno FACS

This Is New!

I’m sure you’ve all experienced that rush of adrenaline when something you’ve been working on for a very long time finally becomes reality!  It’s heady and exhilarating, right?  Well, that’s where our little staff at Fresh FACS is right now!  For a little over four months, we’ve been working on the development and launch of our 2018 catalog and it’s finally complete and ready to share with all of you and we’re very excited.

Now you’re probably wondering, what’s the big deal, right?  We publish a standard catalog of our products every year, so how is this any different and why should you, our FACS friends, care?  Well, I’m glad you asked!  We decided to take an entirely new approach to our catalog this year.  We wanted to make it more than just a showcase of our products.  We wanted it to be something that FACS teachers would enjoy perusing–more like a magazine than a catalog!  So that’s exactly what we did!  We created an attractive publication in which we hope you will find tons of useful and interesting information!  And, oh yes, you will also have access to information about our entire product line of fresh ideas for the FACS classroom!

The cover image of our magazine/catalog appears at the top of this post.  If you’ll look closely at the text on the chalkboard image, you’ll see five project titles listed:  Pizza Perfection, Pasta Engineering, Sweet Architecture, Idea to Icon and Stories and Stitches.  These are five brand new FACS activities outlined in the magazine/catalog that are free for you download to use in your classroom.  Here’s a summary and description of each activity.


Pizza Perfection–The Science and Style of Pizza

Through this activity, students will explore the science, math, history and style of this incredibly popular dish.  This multi-faceted activity includes:

  • Top Your Own Pizza Recipe
  • Pizza Dictionary
  • A Slice of Pizza History
  • Pizza Personality, What’s Your Style?  An exploration of the most popular styles of pizza and their characteristics.
  • Pizza Style Investigation
  • Pizza With Style, Beyond the Basic Recipe–An exercise in pizza recipe development

pasta salad for blog

Pasta Engineering–Engineering the Perfect Pasta Salad

This activity will introduce students to the science and engineering of developing the perfect pasta salad.  The activity includes:

  • An introduction to pasta shapes in Pasta Salad Varieties–ID, Please!
  • Selecting the pasta for and original pasta salad recipe.
  • Cooking secrets for perfect pasta salad.
  • Steps and options for developing the perfect original pasta salad recipe.
  • Pasta Salad Dressing Options
  • Engineering the Perfect Pasta Salad Planning guide.

malibu gingerbread house

Sweet Architecture–Engineering a Not So Classic Gingerbread House

This activity is designed to provide students with experience in the application of the principles of the science of baking; observation of the fundamentals of engineering a stable structure; and identification and replication of the elements of specific architectural styles.  This is definitely not a quick holiday activity!  The activity includes:

  • An introduction to ten architectural styles.
  • An Architectural Elements Research Guide
  • Gingerbread Backstory, Hansel and Gretel and Beyond.
  • Engineering a Gingerbread House
  • Gingerbread Glossary
  • Recipes for Construction Gingerbread and Edible Icing Mortar
  • Testing the Mortar, Assessing the Structural Integrity of Edible Mortar options.
  • Gingerbread Hints and Hacks


Stories and Stitches

This activity combines reading, crafts, sewing and identification of developmental stages into one comprehensive and fun activity.  The project includes:

  • Guidelines for Selecting Books for Preschoolers
  • Benefits of reading in early childhood development
  • Sewing Cards as a Developmental Tool
  • Project outline to guide students through the steps in creating a set of original sewing cards based on a book of their own selection.
  • Sewing Cards Design Activity Evaluation Rubric


Edible Art Exhibit

Hosting an edible art exhibit can be an excellent opportunity to showcase students’ culinary and artistic skills.  Creating an original work of edible art requires the application of concepts related to:

  • Knife skills
  • Garnishing
  • Cake decorating
  • Food safety and sanitation
  • Food preservation
  • Food selection and purchasing
  • Cost management
  • Food photography
  • Structural design
  • Presentation

This activity will guide you and your students through the process of designing edible works or art, as well as planning and coordinating an edible art exhibit.


Idea to Icon

Many of the products we use every day have very interesting back stories.  This timeline project is designed to guide students through researching and creating a timeline for one of a dozen iconic consumer products:  commercial sewing pattern, breakfast cereal, blender, disposable diaper, commercial baby food, recliner, pizza, fast food, car seat, blue jeans, sneakers, or flip flops.  The activity includes:

  • Research guidelines
  • Timeline examples
  • Presentation options
  • Evaluation rubric

There’s so much more to learn and do in the 2018 Fresh FACS magazine/catalog!  We hope you’ll check it out.  You can page through the entire catalog by clicking on the image below.  To request a hard copy of the magazine/catalog, send us a request on this blog or by private message on Facebook.  Be sure to include the address where you would like your publication mailed.

FACS Image Shake Up, For the Love of FACS, Housing and Interior Design Playlist

Design Practice

“Design is where science and art break even.”    Robin Mathew

In my previous recent posts I’ve shared a few photos of our master bedroom redesign project.  Well, I’m happy to report that the project is finally complete and I’m really pleased with the results.  Check out these photos and let me know what you think.

One of the problems I was anxious to address in this project was the low level of light in the room.  The previous owners had installed recessed lighting which didn’t provide enough light for basic tasks like matching up socks.  (You wouldn’t believe how many times my husband went to work with two different color socks! LOL)  Anyway, we replaced the lights with pendant light adapters purchased from the Improvements catalog. The lights were a great value, very sleek and modern, and a snap to install.  Problem solved!  I also got a fabulous deal on a pair of bedside lamps at our local Kohls department store!

Master bedroom completed reno 011Master bedroom completed reno 020 

The draperies were another bargain.  Purchased at Penney’s, the panels look expensive but were actually very affordable.  Penneys is always my go-to source for window treatments.  They’ve never let me down.

Featuring draperies Draperies

I added a touch of sparkle to the room with a grouping of sliver accessories.  The handsome little boy in the photo is my husband.  Cute, isn’t he? The mercury glass lamp bases also reflect light. 

Silver collection Master bedroom completed reno 005

Rhythm is achieved in the room by repeating shapes (lamp shades), colors, and design motifs.  I loved that I was able to use an accessory from another room to repeat the birdhouse motif in the two art canvases.  One of my favorite design tricks is to shop the rooms in our house to find new homes for existing furnishings.  The quirky little birdhouse was in the living room but now looks right at home on the dresser.

004 More Master bedroom photos 005

The funky art pieces were purchased at Pier 1 Imports.

I applied countless FACS skills in the completion of this decorating project.  Every step of the process—sewing the quilt and other bedding accessories, applying design elements to the overall project, budgeting and purchasing, measuring for and selecting window treatments, selecting art and decorating accessories, arranging furniture and so much more. 

These skills and concepts are all part of the FACS curriculum.  Are you living the FACS life?  Don’t forget to share what you do with others.  It reminds them of how important what you teach really is!


FACS Image Shake Up, For the Love of FACS, Housing and Interior Design Playlist, Textiles, Apparel and Fashion Playlist

Decorating Phase 1

In my last post I shared that I have been in the process of redecorating the master bedroom in our house.  The project is moving along at a good pace and should be finished by this weekend.  In the next few blog posts I plan to break down the decorating process into phases.

Before we get started let me refresh you memory on where we began.  Here’s a photo of the bedroom as it was before the renovation started.  Lots of floral print, wallpaper and feminine touches.  My goal was a more sophisticated, gender-neutral design theme. 

Master bedroom reno 006 Quilt completed 001

The photo on the right shows the quilt that I made to use as a bedspread. 

bedroom renovations bedskirt etc 001

I chose the colors for the room based on the colors in the quilt. 

Master Bedroom redo 2013 001 Master Bedroom redo 2013 003

To complete the bed covering I needed to make a bed skirt to coordinate with the quilt.  Step one of the design and construction of the bedskirt was to measure and cut the decking that would hold the bedskirt in place between the mattress and box springs.  My helper is my cat PK.  He always supervises my sewing projects.

Master Bedroom redo 2013 006 Master Bedroom redo 2013 004

Designing and constructing the bedskirt required quite a lot of  measuring, sketching and calculating.  This was my first attempt at making a pleated bedskirt.  I usually make ruffled ones which are much more forgiving.  I’m very pleased with the end result.  The bedskirt gives the bed a tailored appearance and the print of the fabric I chose pulls the brown out in the quilt.  That was just the affect I was going for.  To complete the bed ensemble I used scraps from the quilt to make European pillow shams.  Also a new design process for me. 

bedroom renovations bedskirt etc 002 bedroom renovations bedskirt etc 003

With the bedding ensemble completed and the walls freshly painted, I was ready to move on to the next phase of my decorating project, lighting and window coverings. 

Let’s recap the FACS skills I’ve applied to this decorating project so far.

  • Fabric selection for quilt
  • Cutting and construction of quilt
  • Selection of primary and accent colors for the room
  • Design and construction of the bedskirt and pillow shams

What FACS projects are you currently involved in?  Have you shared your project with your students?  Never miss an opportunity to let your students, administration and community know that you have skills that enhance your life and save you money.  That’s what FACS is all about.

If you like this post, click the Like button and/or leave a comment below.  More later!