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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

UncommonGoods and a Giveaway (Now Closed)

Hey, y'all! I'm comin' attcha today with some super good stuff from UncommonGoods. If you're not familiar with this fantastical online retailer, they've been around since 1999 and are based outta a historic army terminal in Brooklyn. They specialize in selling unique and handcrafted gifts from around the world with the majority of goods created right here in the U.S. UncommonGoods is actually my baby gift go-to because I absolutely love these sweet socks and this hilarious baby fortune-tellin' gift

So when UncommonGoods asked me if I'd be interested in picking out a couple of goodies from their site AND sharing that love with you in the form of a giveaway, y'all know I jumped at the chance. I'd love to say that I did it just for you but, shoot! Have you seen the delightfulness on their site? I was stoked to pick out some treasures for myself. After I placed my order, I seriously received my box of goodies two days later! And promptly created this unboxing video just for you. I know, I'm such a giver.
Words cannot express how delightful that box smelled! It was the Chai Tea Kit that I ordered. I'm lovin' that tea! 

Now, I know what you're thinking..."did she mention a giveaway?!" Oh, I toooootally did. Just you wait, Ima getting there. 
First lemme show you all the yummies I picked out. If you've never perused UncommonGood's website before, they have it laid out in such an easy to navigate kind of way. I spent entirely too much time scrolling through the gifts for women section as well as the jewelry and art pages. And there's this incredible section where you can personalize your gifts which I find to be all the more sweet. When I discovered this Around the World Scarf, I knew it would be just the perfect thing to wear in my art room when we discuss other cultures. I had fun wearing it both as a scarf and a shrug!
One of my New Year's Resolutions (okay, my only one. I try not to set myself up for failure) was to stop drinking coffee. It's been an absolute nightmare (coffee gives me so much power that I feel as though I could flip cars and leap tall buildings, man!) but tea has made the transition bearable. Especially tasty teas. Which is why I was excited to see that Chai Tea Kit!  
I mean, look how pretty it is! Any tea drinker would be a fan. 
Never having made homemade chai tea before, I was happy to see that it came with clear directions. AND it didn't require any fancy tea making equipment. Just a saucepan to boil the ingredients and a strainer. I can handle that scandal. 
Especially if this is the result. Do you happen to have Scratch -n- Sniff on your phone? If so, I swear, if you scratch that cuppa, you'll smell the chai-tasticness.
Another pick of mine was this belt by Jenny Krauss. I've seen these belts before and I've always wanted one. There are actually several belts by this artist on the site but this one really struck me. I love the retro colors and the motif totally puts me in a Klimt state of mind. 
Such a funky combo, right? Love it!
I couldn't help wearing it today!
Of course, y'all know I have a soft spot for needle felting. If I have a sweater in my closet long enough, Ima gonna needle felt something on it. That being said, I've never really tried my hand at three dimensional needle felting. I've always been a little afraid to give it a go. That's why I jumped a the chance to try this Owl Needle Felting Kit. It contains a generous amount of roving as well as super detailed directions. I cannot wait to start creating these cute little dudes!
Alrightie, friends, so how bouts that giveaway, hmmm? UncommonGoods is generously offering a $50 gift certificate! How awesome is that?! To enter to win, all you gotta do is the following:

*  Leave a comment below. You can tell me what you'd spend your $50 on or simply something you love on the UncommonGoods site. 

* Leave your email address! This way I can contact you if you are the lucky winner.

And that's it! The winner will be announced Monday, February 2nd so be sure to stay tuned, all y'all! 
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

What the Art Teacher Wore #131 and Happy Surprises

 Dorkin' Out Tuesday: My sweet baby bro got me that rainbow tie and suspenders for Christmas. Upon my request. He asked mom, "Does she REALLY want this stuff?" You know it! One kid said I looked like "Dr. Art". I'll take that! blouse: thrifted; rainbow tie and suspenders: Amazon; skirt and tights: Target

Hey, y'all! I hope you had a super fantastical week, are all rested up and ready to roll for that one day of the week that I swear always seems to come a day early: Monday. My week was an exciting one. I found out on Wednesday that I was crowned Teacher of the Year at my school (and by "crowned", I mean no such thing. I was, however, given a lovely amount of paperwork to complete). I was very honored as I work with the best educators in all the land. It was funny, when the announcement was made, I was in the middle of teaching third grade. When the kids heard my name, they were all, "Hey! That's YOU, Mrs. Stephens!" And I was all, "Are you sure? I thought there was another Mrs. Stephens at this school. I think she teaches Deep Sea Fishing." To which they rolled their eyes and gave me their best, "Mrs. Steeeeepheeeeeens" reprimand. 

Then, just this morning, I found out that this here blog received this: 

That's right, y'all. Ima First Place Wild Card. Can I get that printed on a t-shirt, please? Can I go around acting (even more) like a crazy person and when someone questions my behavior, can I do this...

In all seriousness, I'm excited to receive such a title! Thank you so very much for the nominations and the votes. It really means a lot. If you've not checked out the list of winners (as well as nominations!), please be sure to do so. There are so many incredible art teacherin' bloggers out there who I'd be lost without their advice, tips -n- tricks as well as friendship. Often times, teaching art can be like teaching on a deserted island without a single soul in sight who "gets" you. Thankfully, the interwebs have made it so we can all stay connected and sane. Ish. 

Oh and one last thing before I shuddup. I now have 700 lovely "followers" of this here blog! Now, normally, I don't like a follower but in this case, if you wanna follow me, well then, who am I to stop you? Welcome, all you new readers! It's super fantastical to have you here.

AND one last-last thing (I swear), since I've blabbed enough in this post, we'll resume our Artsy Book Clubbin' chat next week, ermkay? Cuz, let's be honest, you stopped reading this post like 5 minutes ago, didn't you? THAT'S what I thought. Y'all have a great week and I'll be back attcha soon.
 Prom Dress Wednesday: I love this stinkin' dress, specially with a big fat crinoline underneath cuz I feel like I'm going to some sorta artsy prom all day long. Course, the crinoline drives the kids crazy because every time I walk past their table, my big skirt knocks their painting/pencil/papers/you-name-its off their table. "Mrs. Stephens! Your swishy skirt took my paper!" Sorry, not sorry. sweater: vintage, thrifted; necklace: The Paper Source; Jackson Pollock Dress: made by me, details here; tights: Target
 Sharpen Yer Pencils Thursday: So I got this dress a while back and it's been super popular among art teachers for obvious reasons. Howevers, if you do order this dress, just be aware that the catalog which will flood your mailbox is, um, very interesting. One that you'll wanna have stashed away when company comes over. sweater: thrifted; dress: The Pyramid Collection; tights: Target
Runs with Scissors Friday: I love a skirt with a good art teacherin' motif, don't you? sweater: vintage, thrifted; top and tights: Target; bow belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; scissor skirt: ModCloth
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Weaving Series: A Woven Clutch

Welcome to the season finale of the Weaving Series, y'all! I do hope that you've enjoyed this little trip down weaving lane as much as I have. I know I was always super stressed about teaching kids this craft when I didn't feel so confident myself. I'm hoping that these posts, videos and avalanche of photos have been useful for you. Here's a recap of all the posts from this series:

The Weaving Series: Paper Loom Weaving (perfect for first grade)
The Weaving Series: Straw Weaving (second grade and up)
The Weaving Series: Circle Loom Weaving (second grade and up)
The Weaving Series: CD Loom Weaving (second grade and up)

The Weaving Series: Ojo de Dios (second grade and up)
The Weaving Series: Tree Weaving (third grade and up)

So, I'd love to hear from you! Have you given any of these projects a go? Did you find the videos useful or are step-by-step photos your preference? If I do another series, what would you be interested in? Thank you so much for the feedback, guys!
Today I'm sharing with you a woven clutch project that is just perfect for those kids in fourth grade and up. It brings together all of those skills learned from previous weaving experiences however it's simple enough for those that have never woven before to do. 

A while back, I shared a series of posts that detail how to weave a basic pouch. You'll definitely want to start here if you've never created a woven pouch before. In this post, I'm going to show you how to get fancy with your pouch (btw, I have a habit of calling these creations a "pouch" for fear that I'll drop the "purse" bomb in front of a class of boys. And you know what that would mean: Game.Over.) So, follow these links to begin your pouch then c'mon back for some fancy stitchin':

Pouch Weaving, One: Getting Started
Pouch Weaving, Two: Weaving the Flap
Pouch Weaving, Three: Removing the Weaving
Pouch Weaving, Four: Weaving the Cord

So in today's post, Ima gonna show you how to do a little tapestry weaving along with creating a buttonhole and a checkerboard pattern.
Just to be a brag-a-saurus for a pinch, can I just tell you how much I love the back of this clutch? It took me a while (weaving with fine yarn was prolly not the smartest move) but I love the way it looks...and I'm already dreaming up my next woven clutch! Lemme show you how I created this triangular tapestry.
For this, you'll be using a dovetail tapestry stitch. For me, this entailed weaving with four needles at once (confusing? kinda. But for those middle and high school kids, def doable): two needles of brown yarn for the sides and two needles of pink for the triangles on either side of the clutch.
I found this super groovy 1970's craft book which had these super groove diagrams of all the stitches. This is a close up of what that dovetail woven stitch looks like. 
I wove this guy a couple years ago with some funky yarn. While I think the end result was cool, weaving with that stuff is a headache. For your first go, I'd definitely use regular yarn.
You can see a different take on that dovetail weave here. 
Now, let's talk buttonhole. That was simple. I really like simple. That checkerboard pattern? Gave me 5 new gray hairs and a migraine. Mostly cuz I wasn't doing it right for the longest time. In this clip, I'll show you how it's done (bear with me, it's confusing):

Here's a peak at what the buttonhole weave looks like. You're just creating an opening. Cake.
And here's that confounded checkerboard weave. Oui. It's not hard it's just confusing for the small minded like myself. 

The cord is by far the most fun and simplest thing to create. My kids love creating these! We turn them into bracelets, belts and, of course, the strap for our clutch. I've created these cords with kids as young as second grade. 
To attach the cords, I usually hand sew them to the side of the pouch. On my larger clutch, I first stitched a figure-eight around the base of the cord before hand sewing it to the clutch. I'm so happy with these little guys! And I know you and your students would be as well.

DISCLAIMER, SHAMELESS SELF-PROMO: Y'all. If you've not voted for your fave art ed blog, would you mind taking a moment to do so? There's some fantastic ones and my crazy blog is in the mix (in the "Wild Card" division). If you'd be so kind to cast your vote (you can vote for as many blogs as you like), that'd be just swell. Here's the link. 
And there you have it! The season finale of The Weaving Series! I do hope you enjoyed this woven adventure. 
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Gettin' Outta the Art Room: A Recording Session!

Well, kids, today was beyond exciting as I took the kids to a recording session! That's right, they sang the lyrics to a song that will accompany one of my favorite art room books, Beautiful Oops!
So just how did something this cool come about? Well a wonderful guy by the name of Mark Meckel reached out to me and asked if this was something I'd be interested in. My first reaction was, YES! However, not knowing a single thing about teaching music to kids, I knew I'd need the help of our super fab music teacher. She immediately jumped on board as did the third grade team. Next thing ya know, we are recording a single!
And that's about all I can tell you for now. However, I just couldn't keep this excitement to myself, I had to share. MANY more details to come, kids!
We recorded at The Blue Room which is in the Berry Hill area of Nashville. The facility was super amazing and the guys working there were just the best. They made the kids so comfortable and were eager to answer their many questions. 
 But the icing on the cake was getting to Skype with the author of the book, Barney Saltzberg!

 Leading up to our adventure, we did put down our weavings for a bit and tried our hand at painting some Oops! I'll share more of these happies with you soon.
 When we returned from the trip, the kids worked on creating Thank You notes with an illustration of the experience on the cover. I love all the details in the one. Although I'm wondering why there's a kid on the floor! "Get Up!" says an unhappy adult. Hmm, might have to ask about that!
An empty studio after the session. I was so loving this drawing of The Blue Room.
 The kids had much to say about the experience. 

Quite a day, right? And one I'm sure they're not soon to forget. I know I won't! 
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Sunday, January 11, 2015

What the Art Teacher Wore #129, More Weaving and Artsy Book Club!

 Welcome Back, Monday: Oh, don't let the smile fool you. It was so hard returning to school this week! Two weeks of staying up late, catching up on shows, hiking, eating a nightly popcorn snack and sleeping in 'til 10am was just so hard to give up. Thankfully, Monday we didn't have kids which was a nice ease back into art teacherin' land. Keith Haring jacket: DIY here; dotted scarf: Old Navy, maybe?; Betsy Johnson Dress: found at Buffalo Exchange; dotted tights: dunno, Target?; leg warmers and crinoline: Amazon; Frye boots: lucky $39 score at Journey's years ago. I know, sometimes, I hit the lotto. 

Well, howdy, kids! I hope everyone's return to the real world has been a good one. Mine had it's ups and downs to be honest. I'd have this great burst of energy in the morning but by midday, I was just spent. This coming week, my plan is to go to bed a lil earlier and start poppin the vitamin B like it's popcorn. What do y'all do when you hit that sluggish slump?

In other news, have I completely wore you out with all of my weaving posts? I sure do hope not as I've got more coming your way! Stay tuned this week for a simple weaving project for those early finishers and a project for your middle and high school kids. In the meantime, I thought I'd share my weaving prezi with y'all! I created one that showcases weaving from around the world. My students have really enjoyed it, I hope you and yours do as well. 
Just click on this link and it'll take you right to the presentation! I'm working on another presentation of contemporary weavers to share with my students next week. I'll be certain to post it here so you can borrow it as well. 
Now, let's talk Artsy Book Club! In case you didn't know, we'll be reading The Art Spirit by Robert Henri and I'd love for you to join the fun. Here's all I ask:

*  Get your kitten mittens on this book! I found mine used very cheap on Amazon. 
*  Read the first 51 pages! This book doesn't have chapters like your average book. Instead, it's full of commentary from Henri given during talks, articles and fragments of letters. I noticed that page 51 seemed like a good place to press the pause button.
*  Let's chat! I'll be sharing my thoughts (my apologies in advance) as well as posing questions here. Please do chime in, I'd love to hear from you! 

So, are you in? I'd love to hear who is reading this classic with us. It seems like the perfect art teacher read, dontcha think?
 A better glance at that Keith Haring jacket. You know, no one ever touts the benefits of pleather but I'm hear to tell you, a pleather jacket will keep you pretty warm, kids. It ain't gonna breathe at all so you will sweat your socks off but, by golly, you'll be warm!
 Orange You Glad It's Tuesday?: Whilst teaching kindergarten on this particular day, I felt a little tickle on my leg. I looked down to see a sweet girl just barely touching my leg. "It's so orange!", she said when I looked at her. "Too much carrot juice," says me. "OH! I hate carrot juice!" was her reply. "Good thing." I'm so gonna get fired one o' these days. sweater: Urban Outfitters, old; skirt: vintage, thrifted; tights: Target; shoes: Dolls by Nina
 Not Appropriate, Mrs. Stephens! Wednesday: I was informed by a fourth grader on this day that my attire was, "not appropriate, Mrs. Stephens! It's too cold out for tights!" I believe she was right, I nearly froze walking out to my car! blouse and sweater: vintage, thrifted; skirt: super old, JCrew
 Two Hour Delay Thursday: Temps dipped so I enjoyed myself a couple extra hours of sleep. Which was great because I'd enjoyed myself a couple extra hours of stay-up time the night before. I watched the movie Gone Girl while attempting to knit. Have y'all seen that movie? I'd not even read the book so I walked in cold. It was so good! I think I only got about five rows knitted and dropped about 10 stitches in the process! dress: ModCloth, last year; brown fishnets: TJMaxx; yellow tights: Target
Welcome, Visitors! Friday: So I vaguely recall my principal mentioning that the superintendent, a handful of board members, my administrators and a state representative where gonna be in the school on Friday and would pop in the art room. And by "vaguely recall" I mean I totally forgot! I had my lovely first grade friends in the room who had just finished learning about Picasso's Blue and Rose periods and there thusly painting with cool and warm colors. The kids did great but I gotta tell you, I was a nervous wreck teaching in front of all those folk! Whilst wearing this craziness, of course. blouse and shoes: thrifted; sweater: old, For-never21; skirt: DIY, details here; tights: Target; belt: Amazon

Until Tuesday, y'all!

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