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

Thursday, October 23, 2014

In the Art Room: A Light Up Mural

Disclaimerness (please excuse me, but I have ness-disease. Meaning I must add a ness/ish/ify at the end of nearly every otherwise boring word or else I don't feel complete. Ish.): This here Light Up Mural was created last year and I never got around to sharing it with y'all. Since winter will be upon us before you know it, I thought now would be a super awesome glittery good time to post it. So there. Disclaimerism over. 

I know many of y'all create murals with your students. My students have created grid murals, collaged murals and one giant We-Are-the-World inspired self-portrait mural. They can be pretty labor-intensive for both the kids and the poor art teacher who has to crawl around on her knees hot gluin' the thing together but in the end, they are totes worth it. The visual impact is stunning, says me. And this here light up mural was one of my faves. But before we get to that, lemme show you some murals of mural-tastic past along with some linky-loos for your link-clicking pleasure. 
This Monet-inspired mural was created by my kindergarten through second grade students. We created it at the end of the school year, using scraps and painted papers. This was a great mural to hang up at the end of the school year as it kept the school cheery throughout the summer and into the start of a new school year. All the details can be found here
If you are an art teacher and you've been on pinterest for 5 minutes that you've seen that rainbow self-portrait mural. Shoot, you prolly even had your kids create one. I know I did. It was the start of my mural-makin' disease. This mural was created by my students the following year. We had a "travel the world" theme and this was how we kicked it off. Now, I ain't gonna lie, it was a beast to put together. That's why I happily passed that task off to some green college kids who came in to my room to "observe" (which for me translates to "cheap labor"). Full story here, friends. 
 If this flowery dot mural looks familiar, that's cuz we just made it this school year! It presently hangs outside my art room and I absolutely love it. It brings a smile my face every morning. And it truly was a snap to create. Read more here, please
This mural was actually the inspiration for the light up mural. In fact, you can find even more details on how the light up mural was created by going here as I prolly did a better job of 'splainin things. 
Grid murals are a good time if you like putting together puzzles (which I don't) where the pieces don't always match (fun-ness!). However, the visual impact is pretty rad. This one hung in our school cafeteria for a while until it was replaced by this bad boy last year...
My fave grid mural to date. And this one went together much easier than Starry Night. Not to mention that each class created it's own soup can so the kids could easily find "their piece" of the soup, so to speak. Deets here. 
This mural still hangs outside my art room door and I love it. This mural project not only resulted in a giant collaborative work of art but also two separate art projects. It was like the gift that kept on giving. Lookie here and I'll show ya.
So, getting back to the mural at hand (thank you for indulging me in my stroll down Mural Memory Lane), lemme give you the rundown on who-did-whuh: kindergarten painted the sky papers after looking at a lil van Gogh; second grade created the printed trees during a short chat about texture and line; first grade made the lil collaged houses with some left over papers from a previous project and the third and fourth grade kids created the ice skaters. 
Which they did by working on sketching their roller skating buddies in P.E. class. We walked down to P.E. with our clip boards and charcoal sticks and spent about 15 minutes drawing away. Mind you, this was after a chat about gesture drawing. 
When we returned to art the following class, we chose our fave sketch, used a wooden mannequin to copy the pose seen in the sketch and created a more detailed drawing from that. Clothing was NOT optional (ahem) so that was added as well. Drawings were then traced in Sharpie and colored with colored pencils.
And then carefully cut out. Yes, we did have to tape some limps back on. I happens. We call it Art Room ER. 
Dude, the cuteness. It's burning my eyes.

With the help of some super mom volunteers, the pieces of the mural puzzle were put together. Then the sky portion was folded down. I then started cutting slits into the paper and poking some LED lights through the openings.
Like this, see?
I know, it looks like a big ole stitched scar. That's why it's on the back, y'all.
But from the front, ooh-la-la! Sparkly. The light switches are kept in a pocket located to the side of the mural. Just outta kid-reach.
Most of the time, the mural is left unlit. However, I'm excited with out it will look during December. I think it will definitely bring some holiday cheer.
And there you have it! What murals have y'all done? Have you crazy kids attempted a ceiling tile grid mural type deal? If so, would you please come to my school and teach me and the kids how to create one? Pretty please and thank you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DIY: A Lichtenstein Dress That'll Knock You Out

 'Kay, can we all just say it right now: the best part of this ensemble is the hair. Gee, thanks, guys! This is actually what my hair looks like if I don't flat iron it. What?

Since the start of my artworks-turned-frocks journey (frock-works? I need a name, y'all. Whatcha got?), I've had Lichtenstein on my mind. Which sounds totally weird I know but it's the truth, Ruth. His work is so colorfully comic bookish that I just knew it'd be a hit with the kids and I (mistakenly) thought it'd be a snap to complete. Little did I know that the creation of this number would be a descent into applique'in madness. But more on that in a sec. First, more goofy wig/dress pics!
When the applique'in times got tough, I turned to a lil internet shopping to relieve the tension. I just knew this outfit wouldn't be complete without a red belt (Pin Up Girl Clothing, y'all. Check it.) and a crinoline to match (found on the cheap via Amazon). Of course, as the world knows, Target secretly pipes in a magical You-Didn't-Just-Come-in-Here-for-Laundry-Detergent-YOU-ALSO-NEED-A-FOAM-WIG! potion through their air vents thus making it inevitable that I purchase the wig. Although you should try 'splainin that to a hubs. For some reason, they seem to be immune to the magical Target potion. Humph.

Lest you think I only applique'd the front of my frock, oh no, I placed a big ole "POP!" and "BAM!" on the back of my arse. You know, just in case I wake up one morning with a Kardashian can. 

For my "blank canvas", so to speak, I used this cute lil 1980's dotted number that I (re)discovered as I was packing away my summer duds and replacing with my fall-ish ones. I've worn this dress several times and every time I did, I always thought, "this would be so much cuter with a shorter hem" and then I would think "SQUIRREL!" and promptly not alter the dress. This time, howeverness, my first order of biznatch was to hack -n- hem a good 8" off this thang.
By the way, art teacher buddies, have y'all introduced Lichtenstein to your students? I'd love to hear about what projects you've done. I did find my buddy Phyl had created some rad landscapes with her kids inspired by ole 'stein. Check it here, friends. I'm thinking a mural perhaps? Or maybe some painted ceiling tiles (my principal lady is on me to have the kids paint the ceiling tiles. I've never done that. You guyzzz?! Hep me!).
For the action words, I would first sketch 'em out. Then I would stack two pieces of the lighter fabric (because I didn't want the black to show through the yellow so I did a lil double layerin') and one of the back. My sketch was then pinned to the fabric and the cutting commenced. 
BAM! The only easy part.
Playing with the background fabrics was my fave part cuz I'm a girl that loves to play with fabric. Seriously, I think I could happily spend my days just combining (seemingly-random to the normal person, perfectly-matching in my crazy eyes) fabric swatches. After deciding what looked best together, I drew my designs out in chalk and cut them out.
And then the stitching began. Seriously. Didn't I learn anything from the Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup Dress? Appliqueing the lettering was so unfun. I guess that's why it took me so long to get to this here dress. I had to wait for the wound to heal before giving it another go. 
Not only was there the appliquéing of the letters, but also the black shadow. Oh, and the three layers of fabric. I mean, do I know how to have a good time, or what, y'all?!
I mean, lookie here. Is it any wonder I found myself in the aisles of Target wearing a foam wig and talking to myself (ha, like that's anything outta the ord)? I told you, a descent into appliqué-crazy.
I tried to do the majority of appliqué separate from the dress. This was cuz I knew rotating that lump of a dress around my machine would be most unfun. So I tried to only save that for the outer edges. I do believe I went through three spools of black thread and wound my bobbin at least a dozen times before all was said and done. 
But in the end, I'm super stoked I toughed it out. This just might be one of my fave artist dresses. I even got a lil outta hand and created something to match...but for that, I'll post in yet another photo-heave post. For now, let's just stick to frock-talk, shall we?
Of course, what's a lil Lichtenstein without imitating some of this paintings, riiiiight? I opted outta painting my face (you've seen this, right? Nutz.) but I do have a lil phone prop for times like these (what, don't you?).


"Girl, this ain't Jeff. This is Jeff's wife!"

By the way, did I tell you that I got Target to taking a whopping 5% off the wig? Yeah, it was a little dingy from being tried on by everyone in state of Tennessee so they took a whole dollar off! I might have head lice but a got a buck in my pocket, yippie!
P.S. One cannot wear this wig without making annoying faces. My apologies.
See? What'd I tell ya?! 

I'd love it so if you'd leave a comment. Especially one that justifies the purchase of a big foam wig. Don't do it for me, do it for the hubs. 

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #119 and Spooky Ensembles of Halloween Past

A Return from Fall Break: Ain't gonna lie, that break sure was nice but it was good to be back. Looking at this photo, I can't help but notice all the creepy things that stare at the kids while they work: Señor Roy G. Biv (um, that's what we call the big-eyed rainbow), Graffiti Mona and those rando drawings of mine on the board. owl sweater: felted DIY, details here; dress: BCBG, old; belt, tights and necklace: Target, old; boots: Buffalo Exchange; hair bow: um, I'm wearing the belt from the dress as a hair bow. What?

Hey, friends! I hope you all are enjoying your weekend. Here the leaves are turning, the temps are as unpredictable (warm-then-cold-then-warm-again-and-now-rain-for-three-days-straight) as my moods and it's now dark way too early. I think that's the only thing I don't dig about fall: the fact that it's, like, 5pm and the pitch black night has me convinced I need to hop into my pajamas and consume multiple cups of hot chocolate. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I suppose. 

Now since Halloween is right around the corner, I thought I'd share with you some of my fave spooky ensembles from years past. I'm hoping this will inspire you to start dreaming up your creation for the Dress-Like-A-Famous-Artist/Artwork Contest! Y'all have been coming up ideas for your costume, riiiiight? Halloween is on Friday this year which means you can totes wear your costume to school (if you are a teacher although any of my non-teacherin' friends can enter!) and tie it in to whatever it is you are teaching. I don't plan to enter (although I will be in costume that day!). I did spend my weekend wrapping up a coupla costume ideas (come on back on Tuesday and I'll show ya!). Grand prize is your pretty face in SchoolArts Magazine, y'all! For all the details, please click here

Speaking of creating, have y'all been gathering up your fabric and stitching supplies for our next Sew-Along? In case you missed it, we will be creating dresses for Dress a Girl Around the World, an organization that sends dresses to girls in need. I am so excited about this that a group of my teacher buddies and I are doing this in the afternoons as well! I was really hoping that I could get the first tutorial up by the week of October 27th but I forgot to consult my calendar. This coming weekend is my state art conference where I'll be, wait for it, recognized as Tennessee Elementary Art Educator of the Year! (Or, "Art Teacher of the Universe" to anyone who asks. You'd be surprised how many "REALLY?!"s I get. Sigh.) Since I won't be around to film any tutorials this coming weekend, I'm going to push it back a week. However, you really don't need my help as the Dress a Girl website has very clear directions. Have any of you already started? I can't wait for us to begin!

Other than that, I got nuthin, kids. I hope you have a super awesome fall-ish week. Until Tuesday, I hope y'all enjoy these spooky ensembles of Halloween past.
Last year I was so stinkin good at getting my Halloweenin' on. I felted eyeballs on my Target pants, created that leaf printed garland and even painted some pumpkins. This year, um, not so much. The season totally got away from me! I've decided not to let that happen with Christmas, gonna start early-ish on that one. 
Rainy Chilliness: Suriously? Where's my coat/hat/scarf? I swear, in my art room, I had my heat running one day and my ac the next. top: Buffalo Exchange; skirt: Anthro; necklace: El Dia de los Muertos DIY; tights: Target; shoes: thrifted
Part of the prob this year was that I got too late of a Halloween start. I mean, it's only a coupla weeks away and I have two dresses that I'd love to bust out before then (totally wishful thinking as I'm the slowest sewer everrrr). This Day of the Dead dress and matching planters were all created in early September of that year. What happened to that plan-ahead person? Where did she goooo? (and just who is she because I've never been one to plan ahead. I do think this was that time aliens clawed in my ear while I was sleeping and took over my brain for a hot minute before realizing that the battery was too low.)

Bustin Out Them Boots: It's that time. Tights -n- boots, y'all. I really am so glad that tights season is here as it means one happy thing: no more leg shaving until May! Let the glorious gorilla legs begin! sweater: felted fox DIY, here; dress: Anthro label found at Buffalo Exchange; tights: Target; boots: Frye, found at a discount joint because Frye boots are INSANELY expensive, kids; belt: Anthro
This outfit was super fun to make. Well, the needle felted sweater was actually the fun part. Sewing doesn't always go smoothly for me (I do more seam-ripping than stitchin, kids. True Story.) but felting I feel I can't mess up. I do seriously wish I had a white streak in my hair. Hmmm. 
Squirrelly Sweaterness: I love this sweater but I only wear it during the fall. I paired it with this funky 1960s sleeveless two-piece because, well, I thought they looked like a perfect match. sweater: Urban Outfitters, couple fall's ago; top, skirt, shoes: thrifted
One Halloween dress that wins my fave fabric award is this one. It's got al the famous Universal Studios monsters featured on it and it's just a buncha fun to wear. You can find the gory deets here, if you dare. 
Spook-tacular!: A friend of mine told me about a house just down from my school that was decked out in the Halloween spirit. Mitch and I took a trip there this weekend and I just had to share it with you. It really makes me sad that I didn't decorate at all for Halloween (we're always gone to haunted houses on the night of Halloween anyway, sigh). Next year I will attempt this level of amazingness. sweater: vintage, thrifted; skirt: Anthro found at Buffalo Exchange
Until next time, I hope your week is simply Be-witched!

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