Saturday, December 20, 2014

5 Days Til Christmas Giveaway and Penguins!

Ask any teacher, "What's the worst time of year to teach children?"

And, if you can get that biggie-sized glass of grape-flavored adult bevvy out of his/her hands long enough for 'em to answer, they're likely to say, "The time before a break. Particularly winter break. NOW GIVE ME BACK THAT SOLO CUP!"

So, what's an art teacher before winter break to do, you ask? Come up with something that is 1. Not so taxing. Judge if you wanna, Judge-y Pants but, c'mon. I mean, a teacher's got presents to wrap (oh, what am I saying, s/he's not even started shopping yet!), a room to tidy (as if that ever happens) and countless Tacky Christmas Sweater parties to attend. Not only that but there's a classroom of chillins to keep entertained which brings me to 2. Something that will hold the kids' attention until the bitter end. 

Friends, look no further, I do believe I have just the solution for you. Enter first and second grade penguins! 
Hurray! Originally this lessons was just for my first grade kids. I only saw them for one more art class this week. They're actually in the middle of another project where the next phase is painting. But, c'mon. If I prep all that paint, it's simply going to dry out before we return and can use it again. So I decided a lil one-day guided drawing thing might just be what the doctor ordered (really? A doctor ordered a penguin? Is this doctor even certified?!) 
Now, as stated, this lesson was meant for my first grade friendies. However, when my second grade class waltzed in and spotted these bad boys, they were all, "When are we making that?!" and "Why didn't we make those last year?!" After I explained to 'em that I only do the fun lessons with the classes I like (heehee, yes I say that. After a beat, they always give me a "hey, wait a minute!"), I asked them if they'd like to draw a penguin too. And after a resounding "yes!" we did just that. 
So here's a lil visual of the directions we followed to make our variety of penguins. I went over the steps to drawing a Cool Dude/Dudette Penguin, one with ear muffs and one wearing a bow. While the kids enjoy guided drawing, they really love having choices thrown in the mix. 
After we finished our drawings, we laid them all out on the floor for a little chat. The kids are always so pleased with themselves and their drawings that they naturally wanna show them off. We take turns saying something nice about each work of art. 
Like how this cool snowboarding dude has a rad patterny scarf that matches hit rad patterny snowboard.
Or how this sweet pony-tailed penguin appears to be twirling in the air.
Or this sweet sleepy penguin just snoozing in the snow.

You'll have to lemme know if you give this penguin project a try. I assure you, your lil friends will love it!

And now, for today's giveaway...
This doll and some super fab artsy fabric! I've had this doll forever with the idea that I'd make an artist doll out of her/him. And yet, I never did. So, now I challenge you to do it! Here's how you can enter to win this stash:

1. Tell me what you'd make with him/her and how you'd use it in your classroom (I just might have to steal the idea and make one myself!).

2. Leave your email in the comments. Some of you are forgetting that lil step and I can't consider you without it! Sadly, it's my only way to contact the winner. So don't forget, friends.

As for the winner of yesterday's giveaway...congrats to Victoria Smith! Yippie! I'll get that vintage book out to you soon! 

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Friday, December 19, 2014

6 Days Til Christmas (Now Closed) and Another Tree Skirt to Lady Skirt

Well, well, would you lookie here. Yet another tree skirt gone lady skirt in the hands of one tasteless gal. If I didn't obviously have a problem, I'd kinda feel sorry for the naked -n- skirt-less Christmas trees in my house. I mean, would you look at that poor tree behind me with it's wad of velour dumped at the base? Once upon a time, it had a lovely tree skirt -- oh, who am I kidding, it never had the chance of getting a tree skirt! Especially not a super cute faux fur Santa-stunt double of a skirt like this one. I mean, c'mon. It was just begging to be a lady skirt. 
I scored this gem a month ago whilst out thrifting with my moms-in-law. Who, bless her, even after all these years, is still a little taken aback by my tackiness. When I excitedly showed her my find, she was all, "That's cute." And when I proceeded to tell her that it's fate was to become a lady skirt was like, "Um, you're kidding. Right?

Like, no. Totes not kidding. I kinda fancy myself the Scarlett O'Hara of tree skirts. What she did with those drapes was simply amazingness...
Although, if we're being honest, my ensembles look a lil more like this...
Anybody else grow up watching Carol Burnett and loving every minute of it? 
Now this lil lovely only set me back $1.99. The only problem was that someone else really took to it thus making it difficult to start any sooner. C'mon, kitty! That's my tree skirt! 
 By the way, this was a breath away from being our Christmas card this year. That is until I dropped the ball and didn't make one at all. But if I had...
My apologies. We are working on our kitty-cat manners. Ahem.
 Now I can totally see why kitty-bear didn't wanna give the skirt up. It's so snuggly and soft, kinda like having a wreath of teddy bears wrapped around your hips (hey, there's an idea!). The only prob was that the fur made it impossible to install a zipper due to it's thickness. Fortunately, there was velcro on the back. Unfortunately, velcro is not so secure. To those patrons at the local coffee shop that mighta seen more of me than they had bargained for (a little candy-striped booty with that latte?) my sincerest sorry, not sorry. You know you liked it.

[If you are new to this blog, welcome!. My name is Cassie and I have a slight tree skirt obsession. Please visit Exhibit A, B and C if you don't believe me. Thank you.]
 And now for today's giveaway! How about a Vintage Christmas Craft Book, y'all!
Each page looks like this. Wonderment, amiright? Here's how you can enter to win:

1. If you haven't had a chance to "follow" this blog either on bloglovin or by clicking the icon on the right of your computer screen, please do. I'd totally appreciate it, y'all. 

2. Leave me your email in the comments (so I can let you know if you won!). AND tell me what you want for Christmas! I'm hoping Santa brings me a phone that's not from 2004. But I've not been very good this year, so, there's that. Can't wait to hear from you!
As for yesterday's winner that would be...Marsha Silver! Congrats, friend! 
By the way, so sorry for the super late post. After a hectic day at school, the hubs and I hopped in the car and drove 3 hours to Gatlinburg, Tennessee! We're here for a couple days of hiking and, well, more hiking. So tomorrow's post will prolly be just as late as this one. Regardless, I'll see you tomorrow with the winner and another round of giveaway goodness! 
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

7 Days Til Christmas Giveaway (Now Closed) and Legacy Mural

Hey, y'all! I'm super excited to share with you a project that my fourth graders started just last week when their certifiably insane art teacher decided that they outta create a present for the principals of our school. I've mentioned before that our school is participating in a Be Nice campaign. In the art room, I've been trying to post a weekly "Give Nice a Try" idea in my room each week. A coupla times, we've actually had the opportunity to make it happen in the art room. You can read about how we wrote Thank You notes to a local art museum after our field trip, created a Gallery of Gratitude for all the faculty and staff in the school and wrote kind notes to each other. This time, our Give Nice a Try was to give a gift (especially during the season when most kids are thinking about receiving). And this here Legacy Mural is the result of their hard work.
I got the idea for this mural at NAEA during a presentation by Janine Campbell (thanks, Janine! If you guys ever have a chance to see her present, do it, she's amazing). She had her middle school students paint on black canvases that she'd taped off the words ART onto. Then, when the kids were finished painting, she simply removed the tape. So smart, right? Well, being the crazy Last Minute Lassie that I am, I didn't bother with the masking bit. I just let the kids start attacking the black canvases with fluorescent paints.
Well, okay, "attacking" is a bit of a stretch. We kinda sorta did the whole circle painting thing. You know, paint circles and more circles and don't paint over anyone's circles but enhance them with more...wait for it...circles. I did give them the chance to enhance the designs with patterns and lines of their choice. I only had a coupla rules: 

1. Don't paint over anyone's design. You can build upon their painting but you cannot cover it up.

2. Paint on dry areas. Painting over wet areas will muddy your colors because they'll become mixed.

3. This is your legacy as the out-going fourth grade! Do your very best to leave your mark behind. 
At the end of four fourth grade classes working on 17 canvases for an hour at a time, we had this. It's like an acid trip on canvas. And I mean that in the best possible way. I'm dying to get my kitten mittens on a black light, y'all. 
 Oh! In case you are wondering, the black canvases came from Blick (are they just "Blick" now? Like, are the "Dick"less? [heehee, sorry, not sorry]) and the paint was by Sax. Because I'm now in love with Sax Versa Temp. It's my jam. 
The amazing bookkeeper at my school worked out the canvas dimensions and was able to scrap together enough dinero to purchase 'em. She also was kind enough to print off the lettering. I originally had the genius idea to have a sign company print the letters. Then I could just slap 'em on top. However, that was gonna cost us well over a hundred smacks. Plan B was to use the printed letters. After the kids had completed the canvases, I traced the letters in yellow chalk and painted them in with India ink. 
Obviously, it woulda been swell to have the kids paint the letters but I was in a time crunch. In fact, these letters were painted just last night. I did notice that the India ink was cracking on the surface in some spots so I sealed it with high gloss ModPodge. The happy accident there was that it gave the letters a great shine.
 This morning, I got to school at the crack of dawn to hang the letters. My BFF the custodian helped out tremendously. Because this was a surprise to be revealed at the end of the day, he and I "wrapped" the present so the principals wouldn't see it until the unveiling.
During the unveiling time, I had all fourth grade classes gather in the lobby. The wrapping paper was removed and the principals were escorted out blindfolded. On the count of three, the blindfolds were removed, the kids shouted Merry Christmas! and the principals saw this.
To hang next to the mural will be this small golden sign. This was wrapped and given to the principals after the unveiling.

It was a super exciting event, albeit a very crazy and noisy one. I don't do well with managing a crowd of over a hundred kids so it was a pinch cray but a happy kinda cray. 

And now on to the winner of yesterday's giveaway...

Yippie, Rachelle! I'll be in touch so I can ship that stash your way!

And now...for today's goodness...
Four whole rolls of paint-splattered duck tape! Here's how you can enter to win:

1. Leave your email in the comments.

2. If you are an art teacher, I wanna know, what's been your fave group project to do with the kids?

3. Not an art teacher? Tell me what you plan to create with this tape stash!

Good luck and I'll see you with another giveaway tomorrow!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

8 Days Til Christmas Giveaway (Now Closed) and Printed Winter Banners

Greetings, giveaway friends! I thought I'd share with y'all the Printed and Stitched Winter Banners my third grade just finished off. Since they aren't Christmas-y, I'm excited that I can hang 'em in the hallway and keep 'em up for a while. AND hope that they bring us the glorious gift of a snow day. Or five. Not that I'd love a couple of days to stay home in my pajamas and power-watch episodes of Pee-Wee's Playhouse (don't judge) when I could be teaching childrens all day (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). But what am I even talking about, I've got 2 weeks of that kind of sloth-esque behavior in my future. So, lemme get back to the post at hand: Stitched and Printed Winter Banners.
 Ohhhhh, but lemme guess. You only came here to see if you won yesterday's giveaway and to see what's up for grabs today. Well, if you must know, like, right meow, scroll yourself downeth and sneak a peak. Then pop back up here and keep on reading. Go on, I'm waiting... 
 Oh, yay, you came back! I'll get to how you can win today's goodies in just a sec. For now, lemme 'splain these banners.
Since we've been jibber jabbering about Mexico this year in art class, I shared with the kids a couple of prezies on papel picado. We also chatted about other cultures that partake in cut paper designs like Japan (with kirogami) and Germany, to name a few. 

Then we talked snowflakes. Now, I go about teaching snow flaking making all wrong according to Phyl. I gave the kids a 5" square of paper which they folded in half and then in half again thus creating a square. Then they rotated the square to a diamond and folded that in half until they had a triangle. Which they cut into bits for their snowflake-y design. 

Using Geli-Plates, fabric and white tempra paint, we covered the surface of the plate.
Our snowflake was placed atop. I told the kids that it was okay if the flake didn't lie flat. If they fuss with the flake too much, it will leave marks on the surface of the printing plate which could result in a not-so-clean print. 
 Place fabric on top (pattern side down if using patterned fabric) and a piece of recycled "massaging paper" on top of that. Rub the entire surface...
 Remove massaging paper and fabric. Proceed to oooooooh and aahhhhhhh over your awesome print!
 The designs were really lovely and the kids enjoyed seeing the negative of their design.
The fabric we used was 7" square quilters cotton fabric. I happen to get a lotta fabric donations which is super great.
 I dig how this one looks very Aztec-ian.
Printing two separate snowflake designs took us one art class. On the following, the kids created the hangers for the banner. They used three small pieces of Sculpey clay that they swirled together.
 Here's how we kept track of everyone's stick. 
About half way into the second hour long class, I called a meeting at the sewing machines. I explained to the kids that only half of them would have the chance to stitch one day and the rest the next. After a brief sewing demo, I called about 4 kids over to the "sewing table" at a time. When those 4 finished, they became assistants to those up next at the table. 
 Meanwhile, the rest of the kids were either working on their hangers or drawing penguins (to be shared in an upcoming post!). Having all kids on task made my life a lot easier when it came to sticking close to the sewing table. 

And there you have it! And now, the winner...
Congrats, Natalie! (Lawd, my nails! Can you tell I was attempting to hold the paper in such a way to hide that thumb?!) I'll get your Tammis Keefe fabric out to you tomorrow!
Lemme share with you what's in store today. I have two miniature easels with canvases (like, cute!), a super adorable vintage book (the illustrations are amazing! I've already made copies of them so I'll have a set once this is outta my hands) and a VINTAGE Milton and Bradley (before they combined with Crayola) unused watercolor set! Yay!

Here's how you can enter to win (just a lil more work for you today):

1. Please follow me on Twitter! You can find me here.

2. I'm curious...why do you come to this blog? For the lessons, the DIY's or crazy outfits? I often feel this blog might be a pinch all over the place. So, I wonder, are there certain topics you enjoy reading about more than others? I truly appreciate your input.

3. Don't forget to leave your email addy so I can contact you. 

Until tomorrow, friends!

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