Showing posts with label art blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art blog. Show all posts

Thursday, October 30, 2014

DIY: An El Dia de los Muertos Frock

Hola, mis amigos! I hope you all are in fine spirits this All Hallow's Eve-eve and all geared up for your el Dia de los Muertos celebrations (which takes place, in case you didn't know [cuz I certainly didn't until recently], November 1st and 2nd). If your Day of the Dead party looks anything like mine (which will include recovering from a night of binge-leftover-candy devouring) then I totes sympathize. It's just that we don't get any trick or treaters, like, everrr and when we do, I'll be doggone if I'm passin' out the Snickers for a buncha (what's certain to be) crooked-wigged Elsas. Aw, no. Everybody knows that you dole out the crap-candy like Tootsie Rolls (I'm not talking the flavored ones because those are my jam, y'all) first then dip into the good stuff if, and only if, the Tootsies run out. Meanwhile, I'm just over here eating my weight's worth in Snickers as they are Really Satisfying*. 
Despite the fact that I'll be crashing hard from my candy buzz during Day of the Dead, that ain't no reason a girl can't look good. I scored the very last two yards of this fab fabric in August (from JoAnn's y'all but it's available online too) with full intent to stitch it up and wear it throughout October for our chats about the holiday. But, you know, me being slacker-me, that didn't happen. Not until last week did I rediscover the fabric (buried under a mountain of other unfinished/never-started/long-forgotten/oh,-look-a-burrito! projects, of course) and realized I only had a matter of days to get it complete.
 Since it was crunch time, I decided to resort to a sweet little vintage pattern that I've stitched up a coupla times before. This lil McCalls pattern is perfectly precious with a sweet retro neckline and fitted, ahem very fitted (suck it in, sistah, and no more Snickers for you!) waist.
 I used this pattern a coupla summers ago to stitch up this sweet little number (follow the link for a truly epic banana bread story. I know, you wouldn't think banana bread would even make a good story but when Ima cooking it, trust me. It can.)
Oh and here's that super rad fabric I used. There's a lotta great Day of the Dead fabrics out there but this was my fave.
Personally, I totally love that the little dancing calaveras that I stitched kinda resemble those in my dress, yay-ness!

Oh, so here's a view of the dress sans sweater, belt and necklace. Here you can see just how stinking fitted that bust and waistline is. Which I love. A fitted top and a big fat puffy bottom is all I ever really look for in a man dress.

 Oh! And I added more puffy colorful balls to the bottom of the dress. Because, ya know, what's a dress without ballz, y'all? These little dangly dudes were left over from the last time I ball-ified a dress
 As for the rest of the outfit deets: sweater: ebay; belt: Amazon; tights: Target; shoes: Gah, I wear these things all the time, they're Crocs found at Goodwill; mask: Oriental Trading
Speaking of Stitching...fire up those sewing machines, kids! Our Dress-a-Girl-Around-the-World Sew-Along begins next week! Yay, I'm so excited!

And speaking of Halloween...if you dress up as a work of art or an artist, don't forget to email me photos! You can enter the Dress Up Contest and possibly be featured in SchoolArts Magazine.


Happy Halloween and el Dia de los Muertos, y'all!


 * Dear Snickers, you are welcome for the endorsement. You can send the case of Snickers to my school address so the hubs won't discover my secret stash. Pretty please and thank you much.





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Sunday, September 28, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #116 and an Art Project Update

Oh, Flowery Day!: I've already started the long-drawn out process of packing up my summer duds and replacing 'em with fall frocks (which I'll do all over again in two months when I pack up the fall clothing and bust out the winter stuff. The fun of being a clothing hoarder never ends. Sigh). Howevers, since we are learning about colorful Latin America, I wanted to dress the part one more week before saying adios to all my colorful clothes. dress and belt: thrifted; jacket: Lucky Brand; sandals: Frye; big fat hair flower: DIY
And another photo because I just wanted you to see the back of this groovy jacket. I can't take credit for it but it's long inspired me to do the same to some snooze-fest sweaters in my closet. 

Well, hello there, kids! I dunno about you but these past coupla weeks have seemed to swallow me whole. By the time I get home from work, make some feeble attempt at cooking dinner (by the way, am I the only one that will occasionally [and by "occasionally", I mean once a week] have Pop Corn/Ice Cream dinners?) and kinda clean, up it's practically bedtime. Which is driving me crazy because my DIY mountain is piling up. My sewing room currently looks like a studio for a dozen different nut-job artsy types who lack direction and have seriously low standards of cleanliness. Which is pretty much how it always looks, dunno why I'm acting like that's anything new. 

Aside from all that slack-tasticness, I gotta tell ya that my email inbox has been filling up with some super fantastic Costume Contest entries! Are y'all planning on dressing up as an artist or artwork? If so, don't forget to send your photos my way (cassieart75@gmail.com) to enter to win a feature here as well as spot in SchoolArts magazine! Looking forward to see your costume!
In other news, I'll be speaking at Bowling Green State University Monday, October 6th! I'm excited to share with y'all how I use my (questionable) fashion sense as an inspiration for teaching. At least I think that's what I'll be sharing. Regardless, I'd love to see and meet you there!

All that aside, I thought I'd share with you the start of some Latin American-inspired work that my students began this week. Last week, you saw our inspiration and now here's a sneak peak at our works-in-progress. What in the world are your kids doing in the art room this week? 
In first grade-ville, we're working on our Amate-inspired drawings of floral and fauna. After learning about Mexico, Amate paper and macaws, we were introduced to a lil Spanish by this guy:

That's right, I totes upped my geeky art teacher game and used this giant macaw puppet to teach the kids Spanish as well as the primary colors (thanks, Folkmanis, for that wise choice of feathers!). I picked up this guy from amazon and the kids loved him. They were so excited to draw their own macaws after Manuel (his name) made his appearance.
Warm/Cool Days of Fall: I never know how to dress when it comes to fall. Cool in the mornings, warm by noon, this weather is as moody as me. dress: thrifted; scarf: Urban Outfitters; belt: Anthro 
My second grade artists are working on collage landscapes with the arpilleras of Chile in mind. We worked for several days creating painted papers (inspired by one of my fave blogs, Painted Paper! Thanks, Laura!). Now that our land is complete, it's time to add some fun details. I'll keep you posted on these beauties.
Florals and Frida: Did anyone else scoop up those Frida shirts that Forever 21 was selling? Did you know they have a "Artist Series"? They've featured the artwork of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat which is awesome. What's not so awesome is that it's usually crop tops and tube tops. Not exactly teacher attire. But I suppose they aren't expecting teachers to shop at a place called "Forever 21", now are they? Frida top: Forever 21; skirt and shoes: thrifted
My third grade is getting ready to embark on one of my fave projects: Tree Weaving. This week they created their backgrounds. We learned how to mix three different values to create space in our landscape. The kids were allowed to use whatever colors they wanted for their paintings which meant some created deserts, fields or beaches. I can't wait to see how their woven tree looks in the foreground. 
Bird Brained Friday: Since my first graders were drawing birds, I thought a bird-themed dress would be appropriate. Not that it could compete with that bird puppet, lemme tell you. They were all, "cool dress, Stephens, now BRING OUT THE PUPPET!" Kids these days, I tell ya. sweater and dress: thrifted
Lastly, we have my fourth graders Metepec suns. These kids used the same method that my third grade students did to create a three-dimensional face. Several kids are creating a sun/moon face (those are the unfinished ones). I borrowed heavily Denise Logan's book Dynamic Art Projects (great book, y'all. Check it.) but I'm planning on having the kids do a little something different for the rays of the sun. For that, you'll have to stay tuned. Until next time!

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #115 and a Blog Makeover!

Starting A-new Monday: Since all things Dot-astic are now behind us, we are now onto our new learning adventure: Latin America! To celebrate, I decided to wear some Latin-America duds this week. embroidered people sweater and Anthropologie dress: thrifted (I know, right?!); shoes: Frye, found on the cheap at Marshall's; necklace: Anthropologie; bangles: gifts from the fam

Hello, there friends! Welcome to my Brand Spankin' New Blog Layout! Y'all, I'm so excited about this. You see, I'm one of those lazy types that absolutely hates tackling new and (seemingly) overwhelming projects. My ole blog has needed an update for, like, ev-errrr. But I dreaded the thought for a coupla reasons: 1. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted and 2. I had absolutely no idea where to start. So after spending a couple of weeks scouring etsy for graphic designers ("a couple of weeks?!", you say. Well, yes. I get easily distracted by all the vintage clothing on etsy and may have purchased a dress or three whilst perusing graphic designers. Ahem), I found Rebekah of Le Charmed Boutique. She had the most glowing of reviews and was so affordable. I have to brag on her as she went through countless ideas and changes with me until I was totes thrilled with the result. Seriously, y'all. If you ever need yourself a custom graphic designer for design services of all types (she's working on a postcard for me now, thanks, Rebekah!), she's your gal. I'd love to know what you all think of the new layout. Once I get those tabs working, I'm hoping it will be easier for you to find whatever it is your looking for (even if that is to find your way outta here!).

On a different note, now that we've finished our adventures in all things dotty, we're moving on to our cultural theme of the year: Latin America! I thought I'd share with you just some of the inspiration for our upcoming projects. What are y'all up to now that the dot dust has settled? I'd love to hear!
Over the years, I've managed to score several arpilleras de adorno of Chile at thrift shops and garage sales. I've always been drawn to them because I love textiles and colors are so happy and cheerful. After a little homework, I discovered these pieces actually have a dark past. You see, on September 11, 1973 there was a coup in Chile. May of the men were arrested, imprisoned, exiled or simply never heard of again. This left the women to raise their children alone without a source of income. The Catholic church formed an organization to help these women find a way to make money. One was by creating these arpilleras (which means burlap as the original designs were stitched on that surface). Many of the original pieces serve as a narrative to show the hardship of these women. These works of art were often never signed for fear of being found out. These days the pieces are proudly signed by the artists that create them. 
It's Not Easy Being Green Tuesday: I found this sweet vintage skirt and blouse a while back but it had yet to make it's debut. That is until a buddy gave me an apron that matched it perfectly. I feel like I outta be workin' at some 1950's Mexican diner. skirt, blouse, apron: vintage; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: Crocs
Located near Mexico City is the little town of Metepec. Because of the rich clay deposits near the town, Metepec has long been home to many utilitarian potters. My fave, however, are the decorative pieces like the suns and the ceramic tree of life candle holders. Many of the pieces are actually created from molds (you can see this especially in the flowers and leaves) which I love. As an artist and an art teacher, you're lead to believe that molds, templates and stencils are bad and inhibit creativity. I think the work of Metepec does a good job of arguing that theory. 
Stitched Skirt Wednesday: Knowing what they do know about stitching from this project, my fourth graders were super curious how this skirt was created. I ain't ashamed to admit that I flipped the hem of my skirt to show them all the painstaking work that went into this number. sweater: Betsy Johnson, Buffalo Exchange; top: Target; skirt: one of my fave etsy shops, SassySenoitaVintage
Amate is a type of paper that has been produced in Mexico since pre-Hispanic times. This paper was produced for communication, record keeping and ritual during the Aztec Empire. During the Spanish conquest, the paper was banned and replaced with European papers. In the 1960's the Nahua people began painting their elaborate pottery designs onto the bark papers as it was easier to transport. They call these paintings "amatl". Each Nahua village has it's own style of painting making each unique.
Puffy Skirt Thursday: I would have to say that most days are better in a puffy skirt with a crinoline underneath...that is unless you are covered in chigger bites (like, even between my toes covered, y'all) and then every swish of that skirt brings on a cascade of itchiness. If you don't live in The South, count your chigger-less blessings as having these little bites on you is a scratch-tastic nightmare. top: Banana Republic, garage sale; skirt: vintage, thrifted
Xavier Castellanos is a Swiss-born, Mexican raised artist whose bright and colorful work I love. I love his "Mexican Landscape" series and can't wait to share this contemporary artist with the kids. This looks like a great inspiration for another mural project, dontcha think?
Mystery Machine Friday: So Friday we hit the road and got a jump start on our Halloween celebrating. To normal folk, it's still mid-September but for us, it's haunted-house, get-chased-by-crazy-people-wielding-chainsaws time. We hit Universal Studios in Orlando a little bit before their big Halloween Horror Nights event so we could hit the Harry Potter area and ride Gringot's Vault. Y'all. That ride was uh-mazing! dress: Anthropologie; sandals: Target

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #114 and INTERNATIONAL DOT DAY!

Happy International Dot Day, y'all!

I thought I'd share with you what my students created for International Dot Day in this here What I Wore post because I'm so stinkin' excited! My lil artist friends have worked so hard for weeks on these masterpieces (I've shared a sneak peak here and last year's Dot Day here)...and their art teacher (um, that'd be me, speaking in third person like a true crazy) just barely got everything up in time for Thursday's Open House. Over the next coupla weeks, I'll post the complete dotty lessons starting with that Dots-turned-Flower-Garden mural that my sweet first grade artist created as it's my personal fave. Or was it the stitched dots by fourth grade? Maybe the metal dots by third...? Oh, I can't decide, I just loves 'em all!

This week our Word of the Week was inspire and our Artist Inspiration was the author of The Dot, Peter H. Reynolds. We chatted about how The Dot has inspired artists all over the world to "create a mark and see where it takes you". The kids and I talked about how their dots can now inspire others throughout our school. It was so fun to hear them encourage each other and drop the "i" bomb (that'd be "inspire") as they know that anytime anyone says the Word of the Week, everyone says "Whoop! Whoop!" 


In other non-dotty news, I've got a ton of beautiful ladies who've made beautiful aprons to share with you this week! The Apron Sew-Along was so fun that I've come up with another sewing project for those interested...so stay tuned, y'all. 

Until then, lemme show you something Dot-tastic!
Lemme introduce to you the Kindergarten dot! With kindergarten, I always start the school year with a construction paper line sculpture (you can read all about my kindergarten unit on line here, if you wanna). Instead of giving the kids rectangular construction paper, I simply gave them either a black or white pre-cut (shutter if you like, it was our first day in art. We'll cut more later.) dot and let 'em have at it. 
Our Word of the Week that first week of school was artist. So after our 45 minute art class, we hoped on the Art Train (um, just a long line of kids that chugga-chugga-chuggas to each table). I held up each kid-created sculpture and would say, "Wow! Morgan is an artist!" to which everyone gave her a Whoop! Whoop! There wasn't a single kid not beaming before they left the art room.
Now, you know, kindergarten is notorious for touching the walls. These have stayed unharmed...and I do believe it's because they created them! 
Totally Dotty Tuesday: Lookin' back on What I Wore for Dot Week last year...I gotta say I did several repeats. Tis okay. Don't nobody need to know...unless I tell em in a blog post. Der. sweater: thrifted; dress: vintage; belt: Target; sandals: Anthro
My first graders are so proud of their mural! They've seen the fourth grader's Warhol Soup Cans and the third grader's Magritte mural so they were ready to create one of their own. So I took down The Great Wave that was still hanging outside my door from last school year's Asian adventure and replaced it with these lovelies. I feel like I'm taking a trip down Candy Cane Lane every day when walking in the art room door!
Y'all might recall from my previous posts that the kids were learning about Kandinsky's concentric circles. After being inspired by that piece, we turned our attention to his other paintings that involve line like Composition VIII. The following art class, we made textured and stamped papers...
and used those to create our flower petals! Like I said, more details to come this upcoming week! Not trying to be vague...but I don't wanna spoil all the fun.
The kids also painted many sheets of line and shape patterned papers for the mural. They informed me that they loved painting on those big sheets o' paper the very best.
Squiggly Lines and Dots Wednesday: The temps here have been slowly dropping so much so that I'm currently sitting in a sweater and wearing tights. TIGHTS! I'm so afraid to pack up summer duds this early because it was only a week ago that we were still trapped in the 90's. Not the decade, the temps. Did I really need to clarify for you? Sorry. sweater: Forever 21, old; dress and belt: Target
So last year, all the kids had a coffee filter dot hanging in the window. It was the first time I'd hung art in the window (what took me so long?!) and it was a huge hit. This year, I picked up a buncha pizza rounds that were white on one side. I painted the other side black (to remove one useless step for my mere 30 minute classes)...
And we talked about Kandinsky again. Which is totes perfect for my second grade friends as they are the grade level I'm taking to see the big ole Kandinsky exhibit that's coming to our local art museum The Frist. We looked at Kandinsky's painting Several Circles  and our word of the week was creative. I challenged the kids to only paint dots or circles on this side of the board. We chatted how we'd have to be super creative with such a constraint and they totally nailed it. I love this dotty painting.



On the reverse, we chatted about line and went crazy creating a line design in black ink. The following art classes we added color. I love how they rotate in the window so both sides of the painting are visible. These kids had Double Dot Duty!
Open House Thursday: I still can't believe it's all up -- all 400 plus kids works of art. I really liked having a deadline to get all the work up and I think I might set that as a goal in the future. It forced me and the kids to really hop to it. AND I also snapped photos of (most) works of art and a super mom uploaded 'em all onto Artsonia for me! Yay, I'm thrilled! You can see them here. art supply blouse: DIY here; pencil skirt: DIY here; pencil shoes: DIY here
My super third graders created these foil relief sculpture dots. I'm currently obsessed with Sharpie on aluminum foil (we've seen it before...and yet it never gets old!). I'm plotting a project for my fourth grade using a similar technique.
But we couldn't just leave 'em be. Oh no, we had to dot-afy the frame as well. ESPECIALLY when metallic markers are thrown into the mix. Then the kids were unstoppable. Or, rather, undotable!
They even wanted to sign their name like "Peter H. Reynolds" which totally cracked me up.
Exhausted but Standing, Friday: Not gonna lie, after a long day (and night) at school on Thursday, I was super pooped. But it was a good, big-sigh-of-relief kind of tired. This weekend is gonna involve lots of chill-axing. And not much else. top, skirt, shoes: thrifted
Here's a peak at what the final display of all my fourth grades stitched art looked like together. I paper clip chained them like I did the second grade paintings. I like the way the look all together like some sort of groovy stitched string art quilt. You can see the complete lesson on this string artiness here. 
I had one class finish their's off the very day of Open House. That didn't stress me out. Oh nooooooo. Not. At. Alllllll. 
And there you have it! 

Happy International Dot Day, everyone! I can't wait to hear all about what you and your students have created for the occasion!