Showing posts with label cassie stephens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cassie stephens. Show all posts

Monday, July 25, 2016

Deep Space Sparkle Workshop, 2016

This summer has been the summer of Doin' Stuff: finishing a book, creating two Art Scout Camps with my fellow Troop Leaders, working on a coupla top secret projects (I'm not trying to hide things from y'all, I promise. More details when I'm free to share 'em!) and, last but certainly not least: co-presenting with my buddy Laura Lohmann at Patty Palmer's Deep Space Sparkle Workshop!  
In BEAUTIFUL Santa Barbara, y'all. I've already picked out my Barbie Dream House on the beach. 
The theme of the Deep Space Sparkle Workshop was Latin Art and I loved that folks got dolled up for the part. I mean, how cute are these ladies in their handmade Frida crowns? 
The Workshop started at a comfortable California pace at midday on Friday. Everyone was greeted with a smile and a swag bag full of goodies. 
To jump start the Workshop, Patty opened by chatting about establishing a mindset of making in the art room. Many of the ladies in the audience traveled from all over the country (and one from South Korea!) and are all walks of teacherin' life: some where art teachers, classroom teachers, special needs educators and a yoga instructor who brings art into her studio! So many lovely ladies who have one thing main thing in common: the desire to teach creativity to children. Can you ask for a better bunch?
 I was up right after Patty (tough act to follow much?!) and, I'll admit, I was a wee bit nervous. I've presented on a much smaller scale before but nothing like this. I was mic'ed up, there was a film crew and close to 200 folks in the audience. However, being with such a wonderful group of ladies who quickly became friends really put my mind at ease. I shared with them something I do so love: fiber arts!
On our first day together, we prepped and painted our plates for circle loom and tree weaving. And look how pretty!
Oh my! I loved each and every one ever before the addition of the weaving!
Next up was the always-awesome Laura! I love her painted apron and Frida crown, don't you?
Laura shared with everyone her super spectacular technique of teaching painting to children...without the mess of water. I'm so ready to give this a go in my art room this year.
She also shared her love of Crayola's Model Magic clay. The ladies had a fabulous time exploring and creating with this medium. 
 Each creation was so much fun and completely unique.
Someone was loving the beach as much as I was!
The patterns was what struck me with this piece. 
To wrap up the first day, Patty hosted a lovely fiesta. Complete with delicious food, drinks and a chance for everyone to mingle and make new friends. It was such a pleasant way to end the first day.
The following day, we started bright and early with a fun Mexican tile printmaking project taught by Patty.
I've never tried printmaking with water-soluble oil pastels but now I am itching to give it a go!
Now that our plates were dry, we were ready to dive into tree and circle loom weaving. 
Weaving can be tricky to teach to a room 200 folks. To do so, I'm simply explained the process as I do to my students: slowly and simply. The weavings turned out so beautifully. 
What I love about teaching is that folks come up with their own unique ways to problem solve. We had fun sharing our different ideas and thoughts about approaching weaving with children.
From there, Patty did a wonderful portrait lesson featuring Frida Kahol.
And Laura shared two fun projects that were both colorful and bright: large marigold paintings and a still life collage. 
 The room literally blossomed!
 This is a project I so want to bring back to my art room. 
 So much happy!
Patty wrapped the Workshop with a final project (not shown) and a good ole Q & A session. Then, sadly, we had to say goodbye to our new friends. I managed to get a couple of photos...but many were pulled from Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for sharing those photos, new besties!
 Masters of the Art Teacherin' Universe (and weaving!).
 My Facebook buddies and I finally had the chance to meet in person. Loved meeting you, Cheri...
 and Charlene! 
And the super sweet and adorable Leann. Making new friends is always my favorite part of workshops!
It was such a fun weekend of connecting, creating and, well let's be honest, being in sunny So Cal. 

BIG THANK YOU to Patty for having me join her wonderful Workshop. Until next time, y'all!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 11

Hi, friends! I've got a couple of things I really want to share with y'all today...and I think they go very well together: Finding Your Passion (and bringing that to your teaching) and Promoting Peace, Love and Kindness. 

If you are scratching your head wondering just how these two things go together, hear me out:

You cannot be a happy art teacher if you aren't a happy person. And people are most happy when they are fulfilled. You might find fulfillment in hiking, painting, kayaking, or if you're me, sewing. Whatever fuels your tank, find it. And then make sure that tank stays full the very best you can. It will make you a happier person and a happier teacher. 

Happy people want others to find their happiness. If you don't believe me, think of the opposite, those folks that have tried to take you down a notch: they've insulted your creations, they've pooh-poohed your ideas, they said "you can't do that!" Those folks aren't happy and they don't want you to be either. It's salt in their wound. 

Once you've found your happiness outlet, and you've made the time to actively pursue it, you are going want to share the happiness. It's then that you want others to find their passion. You can do this by promoting peace, love and kindness. 

But more on that in a sec...lemme share with y'all how I struggled to find my happiness in teaching: 
It took a long time for me to stop listening to the self-doubt talk. I oftentimes think of all the time I WASTED telling myself that I couldn't learn to sew, that it was too late to learn, that I should be doing something more productive with my time. What I didn't know is that creating is being productive! It frees the mind, opens the heart, makes you feel passionate...about creating and teaching. 

I hate listening to the news. I hate seeing all of the anger all over the world. I hate to even imagine just how this is affecting my students. What kind of world are we building for them? But I can't just go to my sewing room and pretend it's not happening. That would make me partially responsible  don't you think? I've been chatting with other art teachers about flipping the coin and making kindness a priority. Next week, in Art Teacherin' 101, I'll be sharing some exciting ideas on how we can work together to help make the world a little bit of a kinder and happier place. To get the party started, I've created a Calendar of Kindness for the month of August that I'd love for all y'all to join me in!
You might remember, back in May, I hosted a lil social media photo-a-day challenge called #wecanmakeitmay. The same deal applies to this challenge: snap a photo for every day in August following the prompts and use the hashtag #peacefulheART. Share photos via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or all of the above. Let's share how we are promoting peace, love and kindness and flood social media with the goodness in the world! Let's learn from each other and gain lessons on how to promote kindness in our art rooms. 

Let's work together to create a kinder, gentler world for our students using our passion: creating and teaching art.

Okay...are you in? Love y'all

Ima head on back to my happy place and dream up some kind thoughts and practices...

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Monday, July 18, 2016

DIY: A Starry Night Dress (Yes, Another One)

Lemme share with y'all a lil story about a crazy person who THINKS she can sew but is totes winging it 99.2% of the time. Look, kids, I come by this know-it-all-but-don't-know-nuthin' attitude naturally. How about I paint a picture for ya: I've been living in the Nashville area for something close to 20 years now. Every single time my dear sweet crazy mama comes to visit, she gets lost. Like, WAY lost. Like, calling me after driving 40 miles past my house, lost. Mind you, I've not moved anywhere different in the last 7 years. The roads have not mysteriously changed. I don't live in the Bermuda Triangle. This woman, who owns both a GPS and has Siri on speed dial (I know that's not really a "thing" but whateves), REFUSES to use either of these modern-day handy dandy devices because she THINKS she knows where she's going. 
 Kinda like her daughter. Who THINKS she knows how to sew. 

Riddle me this: Would a fur realz stitcher create a Franken-Dress with a mashup of 6 patterns?! Me thinks not. 
In other news, some bird was DYING for some air time, y'all. Get that fine feathered friend on The Voice, stat!
In other-other news, there is not a single solitary photo of me standing still like a normal person. I blame that enormous circle skirt and yellow crinoline. You try wearing that combo and not spinning yourself silly!
So let's start with the dress pattern that likes to shatter dreams, ruin lives and drive folks to drink (it's a short drive, y'all. It don't take much): Butterick B5606. Like, whut the heck. It looks all easy peasy, right? Well, lemme tell you, it's a lie. I hit a road block on the SECOND STEP. I watched tutorials. I read blog posts. I laughed. I cried. I shook my hands at the heavens and wondered just how Butterick had managed to dupe me into another dress pattern again (it's been a while...but my distaste for Butterick goes WAY back). I'll tell you how: it was That Bow. 
 That's all I really wanted outta that dress, that bow. I was determined to make it happen even if I wasn't about to learn how to sew a gusset or whatever that nonsense Butterick Step 2 was taking about. 
So I did the unthinkable. Serious Sewists, plug your ears: I cut the pattern apart. That's right, I cut off the long tail in the pattern that makes the bow and I used it to cut out the yellow strips for the bow. I had no idea just how I was gonna make that yellow bow happen but I was determined. 
And that's when I busted out my trusty tried and true Simpliciy 8087. This one never lets me down. It's my go-to because I'm a fan of that waistband. I used the pattern for the waist and the back bodice from here. Then, again, I did something crazy: I cut the back of this pattern to match that of Butterick. Yep, I cut a big ole honkin' curve outta the back of the bodice pattern (I've since taped it back together, stop sweating) to accommodate the open bowed back. Then I did some magical trickery (read: I'm too lazy to type it all out) and shazam! I had a bowed back and a big ole waistband!
Now if you follow me on Instagram, then you know this dress had short sleeves instead of capped for a while. It just made the dress seem too heavy and matronly. So I used yet another pattern for the cap sleeves and pockets (YAZ, Y'ALL. This thing has pockets!) 
So I only used this pattern for a hot minute for the front bodice. I don't know what I did wrong but my neckline comes up way higher than hers. Just sayin'. 
Like, see?

The Anna Maria Full Circle Skirt is my go-to for a circle skirt pattern. I love it because, unlike my vintage circle skirt patterns, it's a modern length. I did add three inches to the bottom of the pattern to get this length. And I did have to bust out the Scout Tee just to make a wee bias tape to hide a mistake on the bodice. Because I was at the end of my seam-rippin' rope, kids. 
Yellow chucks and crinoline come courtesy of Amazon. That crinoline was delivered to my doorstep on Sunday!
So, here she is! ANOTHER Starry Night Dress (my other one here)! One made without the help of Siri or a GPS...just like my mama done taught me. Until next time, if you see a crazy lady about 40 mile south of Nashville, send her my way, would you please? 

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