Showing posts with label elementary art teacher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elementary art teacher. Show all posts

Monday, April 17, 2017

DIY: Felted Matroyshka and Pysanky Eggs

If you've been hanging around this here blog for a bit, then you know I've been hosting a weekly craft night right here with the focus being on felting. In order to lead the craft nights the best that I can, I've been pushing myself to explore the one area of felting that I'm not super comfortable with: wet felting. Y'all know I'm all about the needle felting...but this wet felting stuff is a bit of a learning curve. 

So far, I've wet felted a beaded necklace, a clutch and now this matroyshka doll. Here's how: 
One thing that you have to commit yourself to when it comes to wet felting is that it is time consuming and requires patience. This is not something you can rush. The felting process takes time...in fact, it took me probably 45 minutes to an hour from start to finish to complete the wet felting process. After drying out over night, I was able to start needle felting. 
This also proved to be pretty time consuming...but I do love needle felting. That being said, I had originally planned to make another doll to fit inside this one...but I don't know if I'm ready to make that kind of time commitment! 
Like I said in the video, when I started needle felting, I didn't go into it with much of a plan. I really wanted to focus on the patterns on the clothing: dots, stripes, flowers. 
The beauty of needle felting is that it really helped to form, shape and stabilize the doll. I was concerned that when I removed the wooden form, the entire doll would collapse but it remained relatively solid...but the needle felting really proved to make it solid. 
Now, getting the diameter of the opening of both the top and bottom of the doll did prove to be a little tricky. To make them the same, I did have to do a lot of needle felting around the rim of both to get them to be the same width. 
 Creating the flowers and patterns was really my favorite part.
I thought the doll should be wearing an apron which is why there is a blue tie in the back. 
After felting the doll, I realized that I could felt around any number of objects floating around...so when I spotted Easer eggs at the grocery, I decided to give them a go! I know y'all probably have a ton around your house too. This is a much quicker wet felting project then the doll, that's for sure. Here's a quick video on how I did it:
I've got a lot of felting videos currently up on my YouTube channel that you might want to check out. I've also been posting one minute felting videos on my Instagram if you are interested. 
I totally had intentions of needle felting the other egg as well...but that went out the window with the second matroyshka doll. On to the next best thing!
Looking forward to seeing you all this Wednesday at 8pm CST for our next craft night right here
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 27

Hey, y'all! I'm taking a break from tonight's usual Facebook LIVE session as the husband has requested a night out. Which will probably involve dining at the fine Southern establishment known as Cracker Barrel (who can deny those biscuits, I ask you, WHO?!) which I ain't above passing up. But I'll be back next Wednesday, 8 pm CST to chat about all things First Year Art Teacher-y! You can still catch our past couple of LIVE chats here. 

This week, I thought I'd chat about how to do something you'd think is basic but is actually pretty stinkin' tough: speaking your mind. It's one thing to do it...and it's another thing to speak your mind in such a way that folks are open enough to listen. Even if your opinion isn't a popular one. Here are my suggestions:

* You can say anything, ANY-STINKIN'-THANG, if you just choose your words wisely. It's funny, I'm super duper non-confrontational but have noticed of late that if I don't speak my mind (nicely) and stand up for myself (calmly) no one else will. It's time to wo-man up and say what needs to be said...in a way that will be listened to.

* Speak with your end goal in mind. This is directly from my extremely wise husband. Do you want your end goal to be that folks pause, listen to what you have to say and give it some thought? Of course you do! So don't offend them with your words. Use words that will get you to your end goal: a conversation. 

* Say it with flowers. Does anyone else remember that old ad? I'm not saying send folks flowers, I'm just saying use words that are pretty and smell good not ones that stink and are offensive. Put yourself on the receiving end. Is that a bouquet of words you'd wanna hear? 

* Start with "I feel..." No one can argue with your feelings. Unless you are irrational and crazy. In which case they will just say, "well, she is irrational and crazy, so it would make sense she feels that way..." Be honest without don't be a drama queen.

* Don't yuck someone's yum. This is a direct quote from my buddy Patty Palmer. I love it so. Say what you need to say but don't yuck someone's yum while doing so.  

Sigh. If only doing such was this easy, right? Practice makes us better, y'all. I find that being honest with your feelings and open enough to listen to other side of any conversation is the very best way to go. Love y'all!

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 12

In last week's Art Teacherin' 101 blog post, I shared with y'all my concerns about teaching peace, love and kindness this coming school year. I feel there is a great need to bring this teaching into our art rooms (and all classrooms, for that matter!) and build it into our curriculum. But how? It's not a "standard". We don't have an "I Can" for that. It's not required of us...and I don't recall learning how to teach kindness (like, whut?!) in college. We cannot expect children to just KNOW how to be kind. We don't expect them to KNOW how to hold a pencil, cut a piece of paper and not spread glue all over their hand and lick it off (ahem). We teach them these things. So, in that respect, we can't expect them to know how to treat each other with peace, love and kindness. We DEFINITELY can't expect that of them when our collective actions, displayed on every news outlet, shows we don't know how to treat each other either! 

So, for that reason, I'm on a mini-campaign to bring peace, love and kindness into my art room this year. I do hope you'll join me...and share your thoughts, books and lessons in the comments below. United is how we are going to accomplish this goal. And we are doing it for the best reason possible: our students and their future. 
My apologies for getting a little long winded here. And emotional. I was trying to keep it together! 
I've been scratching my head and wracking my brain to come up with ideas. One way I thought we could kick off this campaign for kindness is with a little something I'm calling the #calendarofkindness and #peacefulheART. I do hope you (and your students) will feel free to join on your preferred social media. I know even my school district is already on board! I'll be posting in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and using those hashtags. I can't wait to see what you share!

I've also created a long list of books that I cherish and share in my art room below along with projects that I've found to be successful. Please feel free to add your two cents in the comments so that we have a growing list of books, resources and projects for peace. 
 Many of my art teacherin' buddies shared their fave books with me so I'll make sure to add them here. However, I only felt comfortable speaking about the books I've actually read and used in my art room. Love the What Do You Do with an Idea...what a great book to start the art year with! Also, The Hundred Dresses is a short chapter book. I like to read it aloud to my 3rd and 4th grade students while they work. It's a book that teaches about kindness...and makes me cry every time. As does The Giving Tree. Anything Shel Silverstein has written speaks to my students, they love him!
 I love these books that celebrate our differences while explaining how we are also the same. The Colors of Us is read to my students every year before we learn to mix our flesh color for self-portraits.
My copy of The Big Orange Splot is so worn out, I've read it to my students to much. It's another book that points out our differences and explains how that is what makes us unique. It also does an excellent job of teaching how we should celebrate the differences of others. Remember: when we teach children to first love themselves, they will be able to love one another. 
So anything Todd Parr writes is awesome. And happy. And colorful. 

Have y'all read this? It's fan-freakin'-tastic. Get it in your library stat. 
Also check out Linda Kranz's other book You Be You...it's excellent as well.
 Now, let's talk projects. Here are a handful that I've done with my students to cultivate a culture of kindness. The Gallery of Gratitude was a huge hit. 
 Each employee of our school was drawn and written about. They cherished these images and words and have them on display in their offices and classrooms! 
This hangs proudly right outside the art room door. From floor to ceiling. It really is OKAY! Different is grand. 
The Village of Kindness was a successful collaborative project that used recycled materials. I loved how happy, colorful and sweet this display was for our art show last year. 
 Each house had a door that, when opened, shared a kind message.
 This school-wide collaborative now hangs proudly in our school office. It was created by all students to show that we have heart! 
This love-based mural was so easy that it was my sub plan! I've created a video to teach this lesson. Feel free to use it in your art room!
Here's an oldie but goodie that we created a couple of years ago, a We Are the World mural! It was a fun and impactful way to kick off the school year. 
Of course, The Dot is a great way to start the year as well. It also promotes self-love and how that love can transmit to others. Here is a list of fun Dot Day art projects
Art can also help those right in your own backyard. We did just that with out Houses to Help project! 
Here's a list of some other projects that promote kindness:


Please feel free to add your ideas below...and I look forward to seeing your #calendarofkindness images starting August 1st!

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

What the Art Teacher Wore #165

 Manic Monday: Having just returned from Art Scouts, I realized that I'd not taken any time to add flowers to our front yard or steps. Now, here in Tennessee, it starts getting HAWWWT before the sun even rises which means you gotta get your weed-pullin'/flower-plantin' game on early. On this day, I'd hit the garden center, mowed the lawn and stuck stuff in the ground all before 10 am. There might have been a nap or two in the afternoon. dress: thrifted, vintage; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: Converse; box purse: Enid Collins, my favorite

Wowza, where did this week go? Summer needs to slow it's roll because when June ends and July steps in, I get that Sunday-Night Blues feeling. We head back to school on Auggie 1st so July is just the beginning of the end. I still have end-of-the-school-year cleaning to do, y'all. Ima gonna say that is NOT going to happen any time soon.

In other news, I finished the last of the 52 Clay Labs I've been working on for the book I'm writing. THAT was a good feeling. When I was first approached with this project, I felt certain I could never come up with that many ideas for no-kiln clay projects. In the end, I had a surplus of ideas but was more than happy to stop at 52 (like, seriously. SO happy). It's gonna be a long while before a hard copy becomes a reality, but until then, the hard part is oooo-ver.

This coming week is full of work. I've got a deck to power wash and stain, some redecorating I want to do and a couple of fun new projects in the works (I'll keep you posted). Working on the book made it so the DIY action on this here blog suffered a bit. I'm so happy to bring that back. You don't know how many times I've just stood in my sewing room, looked around and uttered the words, "I miss yooooooou, Sewing Room." I'll be so happy to get back in there.

What are your plans this week?
 We all have our favorite things. One of mine happens to be Enid Collins box purses. Made in the late 60's, they make me go weak in the knees. Finding these lovelies isn't all that hard as etsy and ebay are fully loaded. But the prices, THE PRICES, are just plain crazy. My days of finding these in the wild (aka the thrift store) are officially over. What do y'all collect?
 Summer Storm Tuesday: I do love me a good ole spooky summer storm. You know the kind: sunny and bright one minute then black as night with claps of thunder the next. Getting caught in it is the worst but from the comfort of home with a cat on your lap, it's pretty cozy. dress: vintage
 If you follow me in Instagram, then you know the next Art Scouts is coming soon to beautiful Tennessee! Jen and I spent some time preparing for our awesome Scouts and painting a backdrop. We are thrilled with how it is turning out, can't wait to share it with you!
 Getting in the Mood Wednesday: At the end of July, my buddy Laura Lohmann and I will be heading to sunny SoCal to work alongside our good friend Patty Palmer at her Summer Art Workshop! We are so excited. Our theme is Mexican art so, to get in the spirit of things, I wore my fave embroidered top. top: Buffalo Exchange; skirt: gift from a friend (thanks, Bethany!); belt: Amazon; shoes: Minnetonka; purse and necklace: vintage, thrifted
 The colors and design are so beautiful and sweet. I want to paint this on the front of our house! Pretty sure our HOA would frown on that tho. Party poppers. 
 Life is Short, Wear the Prom Dress: When I scored this dress at Buffalo Exchange a while back, I was like, "I'm NEVER going to have a place to wear this!" but it was just too pretty to leave behind. When I spotted it in my closet on Thursday, I just thought, eh, why not? To keep it casual, I paired it with my chucks and went about my errand running. I heard so many sweet compliments from all walks of life about this dress! So, note to self: ALWAYS wear the prom dress. 
 So, last night at 11:47pm, I wrote up the last Lab for the Clay Lab book. This photo was from a couple days prior when I was still testing recipes (and failing, obviously). I'm not a chef by any stretch so me making clay is rather comical.
Summer Movie Date: One of our fave things to do during the summer is hit the early show at the movies and grab dinner out. However, there ain't been much at the movies lately! We went to see The Conjuring 2 which had some great scares (just watching the big dude in front of me practically leap out of his chair at one scare was worth the price of admission). Have y'all seen any good movies this summer? Love a recommendation! dress: old, Forever 21; necklace: gift from a friend (thanks, Tamara!), Anthro

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Friday, July 31, 2015

DIY: Let's All Go to the Art Room! Prints, Posters and More

Hey, y'all! Me and my super happy and excited art supplies are thrilled to announce that A. I actually made a wee bit of headway on a project that I started in, er, JANU-FREAIN'-ARY and B. you can purchase prints (and more!) of these fellas over on Society6
So I've had it in my oversized and vacant head for a while that I wanted to create my own fabric. But I'm so stinkin' low tech that for me that currently means drawing my ideas out by hand and painstakingly painting them in. The hubs has been telling me for months that I outta scan in my designs and alter them that way but, y'all. This old dawg isn't down with new tricks. Tho I am suriouzly thinking that is the way I've gotta go if I ever do wanna transform these lil drawings of mine into something other than paintings. So! If y'all have any advice on scanners/drawing tablets/photoshop vs. adobe, that'd be greatly appreciated. 

But! That's not why I'm here today! I'm hear to share with you what I have managed to accomplish: finishing of a wee series that I've titled Let's All Go to the Art Room inspired by this gem...

Bring back memories, y'all? Puts me in the mind of those summer nights, swatting at mosquitoes, falling asleep in the backseat while watching a double header at the drive-in movie. 
Being all kinds of old school, you can see my slow process of sketching and painting. You can also see that I use our dinner plates as a palette. Which is why the hubs is always suggesting we go out to dinner. Surely there's some nutritional value in paint, amirite? Some folks are just such picky eaters. 
Tho, truth be told, I do love the process of sketching, erasing and drawing again. Would I love it as much on a tablet? I dunno. 
You know, it's a sad thing about glue bottles. They always start their lives this happy...until they get a lil "congested" and a kid decides to stab the end of a pair of scissors into their heads. Tis the reason we don't use glue bottles in my room, y'all, nuthin but glue cups and crappy paint brushes for our glue applicatin'.
Oh, look. It's said glue-stabby scissors. This painting went thru a coupla color changes. Initially the handle was a dark blue...I'm happy with the lighter color. 
Everyone loves a brand new box o' crayons. We don't use 'em much in my art room but I do seem to get tons of donations of them. I have a rarely used cabinet full of them! Time to bust out the encaustic crayon melter and make some masterpieces!

Another big influence on this project of mine? One of my faves: Katy Perry. 
So, lil known secret: the hubs and I are pretty big Katy Perry fans. Actually, my husband is the one who loves her so (I do believe there might be a KP calendar hanging in his office? I don't ask) and turned me on to this video. I could watch it all stinkin' day. I loved the 80's references, the Pee Wee Herman lookalike dancers, the Mondrian HAIR and, of course, these guys...
 Tell me I'm not alone in my KP love, y'all. What, you got a problem with it? Then, just, deal.

If you are interested, you can order prints from my Society6 shop! Are y'all familiar with Society6? It's AWESOME! All you have to do is upload your high resolution work, select how you want to have your work reproduced (prints, mugs, t-shirts...it's like an adult ArtSonia for those of y'all familiar) and you receive a small portion of the profit. You get to decide just how much you'll earn based on how much you charge. I'm trying to keep the prices as low as possible...so I most def won't be making too much. But I'm more interested in sharing my silliness with y'all not making retirement cash! Society6 processes the order, prints, packages and ships. After having used etsy for so long (and loving it), I do like that this is so hassle free. 

By the way, I've got several more art supplies to this Let's All Go to the Art Room series so I'll keep you posted. ALSO...you'll see my Mary Blair-inspired piece that will be featured in the book If Picasso had a Zoo! More on that excitingness soon (hoping to get my copy of the book next week to share with y'all!). 
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