Sunday, April 30, 2017

DIY: Intro to Sculptural Felting!

Hey, y'all! I'm sad to say that last Wednesday was our last #creatingwithcassie Facebook LIVE craft night for felting. I chatted about Fashion Felting and will share a blog post about that super soon (I'm a pinch per usual). The previous week, we ventured into Sculptural Felting and I shared the basics on how to needle felt little creations...while creating this penguin whom I've named Pepe le Paint...or something. Here's the video from our live creating session:
I've done a ton of needle felting but I've never taken it to the third dimension. Sue sent me a bunch of samples to share with y'all to serve as both ideas and examples of what can be created by needle felting. 
Sue created the cardinal, the penguin and the cat. I'm currently working on a ton of felted cacti which I'll share with you real soon (if you follow me here, you can catch some one-minute how-to videos). By the way, Sue has a great YouTube channel with a ton of felting videos. Check it out here

Now, I mentioned that this past Wednesday was our last craft night for felting. For the month of May, we are moving on to CLAY! We'll spend the first half of our craft nights as we used to do: sharing tips and tricks. So come prepared to talk shop about clay, both kiln and no kiln fire. Then...we'll create! You can use ANY clay you have on hand or you can purchase your clay kit right here. You can also find out more details on what we'll be up to right here
Now, let's check out this gallery of awesome folks who have been felting along with me. Seeing the work of other folks has really made this experience the best for's one thing to share your love of a craft with someone via a blog post or a video. But it's entirely something else to create live along with people...and see what variety of creatives there are out there. THANK YOU AND HUGS to everyone who participated either live or after the fact, shared their creations and their enthusiasm. Y'all are the best. 

And a BIG shout out to Sue at Back to Back Fiber for helping to make this possible. She's still selling felting kits if you are interested! 
This van Gogh makes me so happy! Love this creation by Heather @the_doodle_birds.
Who doesn't love a purple penguin? This one is by Sepi @sepi.gol.
This Frida was made by Mariana @parkesphoto 8 year old daughter! Isn't it incredible? I love how the flowers in the crown are three dimensional. 
Deborah @visualpraisestudio has been felting the cutest hats. I see an etsy shop in her future. I love these! 
I am loving Jen @jtheen palette hat complete with three dimensional paint brush. So adorable! 
And who doesn't love a needle felted pet?! I love everything about this creation and photo by @swells17
Merrill @merrillguinn made a happy little penguin...I love how the beak looks like he's chatting up a storm. 
Heather's sweet unicorn...I love this so much! That mane is perfection.
Growing up in the '80's, I have a soft spot for Gremlins! I can't get enough of this one created by
Love this tie-dye penguin, it's so groovy, baby. This one is by Emily @emily_clonts.
Check out how PERFECT Dana's @daynahbaynah felted beads are...that is no small feat. Kudos, gurl! 
Alison's @alison.m.klein colorful creature makes me so happy. I think the big eyes are my favorite. 
Angela's @nachtule felted succulents are so pretty. I'm totally diggin the purple one. 
Look at how productive Mary @mary5409 has been. I am loving the owl. 
Angela's narwhal is so much fabulous. The horn is just the best.
Check out this precious little dude! This one is by Desiree @mrsmillsartfromtheheart
I love two things: the color pink and otters. So when I saw Chapin's @chapin.schnick creation, I was so excited. The cuteness!
Rachel's @mrsp_art penguin with it's little waving flipper is so fun. What a great idea! 
This rainbow bird by @echopaitsel looks so cute on display in this Easter grass. 
Y'all. Heather's felting game is STRONG. I think this would be a fabulous project for kids! 
BB8 for the win, kids! How is this our first Star Wars felted creation? Ima need more where this came from. Megan @mrs.dunstan you get a slow clap and a hats off from me, sister! 
Amber @amberakes created the next two felted pieces. I really love how she blends the roving. It gives her pieces a painterly effect. 
I could see this on the back of a clutch, couldn't you? So pretty. 

Stay tuned for one more needle felting wrap up from our craft nights. If you'd like to be featured here, just use #creatingwithcassie on your preferred social media outlet. Now, go stab something, y'all! 
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

DIY: Folk Art Fish UPDATE!

My sweet second graders had to push the pause button on this project last week to tend to painting and bedazzling their exotic birds. But now that those are done, we were able to bring back our Sandra Silberzweig-inspired folk art fish and work on them a bit more today. Almost all of the kids finished them off in 30 minutes (which is pretty awesome, considering these are 12" X 18"!) and they were so thrilled with was I!
You can check out (and feel free to use!) the complete lesson right here: 
My students did this project in three 30 minute classes. On the first day, we chatted about Sandra, her work and the use of line and black glue. We drew our fish and went over our lines in glue. If you go to this post, I share how I make black glue. 
 The following art class, we began working with the chalk. This project is perfect for my second graders as they are about to embark on their chalked ceiling tile project super soon. You can check out what my second graders have chalked in the past both here and here. I'm not sure what they'll be chalking this year...but I need to figure it out soon! I'll be sure to share with you right here. 
The key to working with chalk is getting the kids the right stuff. So much chalk is filler and junk. The end result is usually very light in color. I love Koss Brand Chalk, even it if is hard to find. We purchase ours through Amazon. I love the subtle colors in this artist's work. 
 Compared to how bold and vibrant this one is!
 I seal all of our chalked projects with Aqua Net. I have noticed that the nozzle on the 'Net has changed and it now does not come out in a nice stream but speckled. However, if you hold the can far enough away from the work and spray, it's fine...and the speckles (mostly) disappear. It's much cheaper than fixatives.
This is usually how I lay them out to spray. Take 'em off the drying rack, spread 'em out and spray away!
They are going to look stunning at our art show!
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

In the Art Room: Bobble Head Pets UPDATE!

BRACE YOURSELF FOR THE CUTE. This is just a handful of the Bobble Head Pets that my fourth graders created and each one is so stinkin' adorable! If I had any patience at all, I would have waited until the next crop of cute was unloaded from the kiln before blogging but I just couldn't wait (one being fired now has a monocle and a top hat while another has a spiked collar...I'll just have to do a follow up post to this here follow up post)! The kids loved this project...and the results from each are just precious. 
We learned some things along the way: keep the point at the top of the body very pointy as that helps the head rotate and bobble better. Glazing both the inside of the head and the top of the point also makes for a better bobble. 
These creations took us three one-hour art classes to create. On the first day, we made the body. MANY of the bodies were so thick that I just KNEW they were going to explode in the kiln...but none of them did! Stay tuned for a long overdue Art Teacherin' 101 this week on my fave clay tips and I'll share with you how I prevented explosions. 

On the second day, we made the head. With extra time and extra clay we made doggie dishes, toys, mice for our cats, you name it, they created it. On our final day, after a bisque firing, we glazed! Here's the demo video I created and used. Feel free to use in your art teacherin' adventures! 
This lesson was also shared in my book! You'll have to buy the book to see just what animal I made bobble.
You can pick up your book here...keep in mind that the release date isn't until June. A fun summer surprise in your mailbox, ha! 

All the projects in my book were created with air dry, oven bake or homemade clay...but many of them could be done with kiln fired clay, like this project! I'll be exploring all kinds of clay projects next month during my LIVE craft nights! You should join the fun, you can create with ANY clay. But I'll be exploring a variety of air dry, plaster and homemade clay...
Pick up your clay kit here and get ready to craft with me LIVE on Facebook at 8 pm CST next week! 

So, true facts: not all of the heads bobble freely. Many of them are pretty stationary. BUT...the kids are having so much fun gently rotating the heads and getting them to tilt just like a real pup or kitten. Just moving them a little totally changes the look of the sculpture!
 Many of the kids created their beloved pets. 
 We use Mayco's Stroke and Coat. I give the kids EVERY color in the rainbow because, well, who doesn't want to have a lot of options. I picked up tons of ice cube trays from the Dollar Tree and put a different color in each slot. I labeled each slot on the tray so that the kids would know what color they were using since the colors can change so drastically in the kiln. I encourage at least three coats of glaze for just the right amount of shine. We also have our dog dishes (ha!) of water and sponge for cleaning brushes. I recently had a teacher ask how I teach the kids not to mix colors. I usually do something like this: DON'T MIX THE COLORS! And that works. 
Seriously, my kids have been painting since kindergarten. They know that we always keep our paint brushes pointy by painting with just the tip; we always clean our brush in the water and dry on the sponge before changing colors. It's rare that I have kids mix colors...especially my older students. I encourage pride in artwork and I think they know that taking care of art supplies will create a beautiful masterpiece. 
And, again, I say: DON'T MIX THE COLORS! Usually one talking to and explanation as to why we don't do that does the trick. And, if all else fails, take the paint away. If you can't use the supplies correctly, so sorry, you are done for the day. 
 Rant over! Back to the cute.
As y'all know, we are having a pet shop theme for our art show. These guys are in charge of the cats and dogs. Now we just have to work on transforming the art room into a pet shop! We have some ideas cooking about how to make that happen. 
These kids have made so many 3-D works this year: bobble heads, candy hearts, sewn monsters! They are going to dominate at the art show. 
 I swear their eyes follow me around the art room!
 Have y'all done bobble heads before? What did you do differently?
Until next time! 
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