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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Back to Art Teacherin': What to Wear and a Giveaway!

Sure you can buy a fur realz pair of Jeffrey Campbell pencil shoes (because, ya know, we teachers got money to burn) or you could have way more fun and make your own! I simply painted a thrifted pair of kicks with acrylic paint and covered that in ModPodge. I've seen other fine-footed art teacherin' types take a more sensible route and paint canvas shoes in the same style. With lots of wear, mine have started to cracked at the crease. If I were gonna do it all again, I'd prolly invest in some leather paint as it's got a bit of a give. 

On this here blog that I call home, I thought I'd run a lil series called Back to Art Teacherin'. If you are an art teacherin' type like myself, the end of summer vacay is nigh and what better time to prep for the Return of the Children (of the corn) then meow? So in this here series of Back to Art Teacherin', I'll be chatting at y'all about the following:

* What to Wear (which, hello, is this here post!)

* How to Decorate Your Art Room to it's utmost fabulousness (always a blast)

* An updated version of that dreaded Art Supply Order 

* And, best of all, what to teach those chillins on those most important first daze of schoolin'!

So, without further ado-ness, let's talk about sumpin near and dear to my baked, battered and blackened heart: Clothes!
 Just admit it, one of your fave things about getting back to art teacherin' is the smell of sharped pencils and freshly cracked boxes of crayons. So why not have an outfit or two to match? Pencil appliqué skirt here, needle felted crayon sweater there

What's a crayon sweater without crayon shoes? I mean, really? 

I didn't always have an obsessions with What I Wore. Nor have I always created my own clothes. Naw, y'all, this here is a new-ish thing for me. So if you don't know how to sew, felt, embroider or appliqué (yet), don't you fret! I taught myself simply cuz 1. We don't have cable and I get bored easily and 2. Because I've always wanted to create my own clothing! It's been that nagging creative outlet that I'd ignored for years thinking, eh, it's not real "art; I should be painting, drawing, sculpting, whateves-ing!" How lame was I to put off something I was truly interested in? If you find yourself doing the same with whatever it is you are intrigued by, tell that Sally-Self-Doubt, Negative-Nelly, Trash-Talking-Tina to hush it and go make you a Rock Star Apron if you wanna!
Why you mad, bro? Jelly of my kick arse art teacherin' apron? This is one of the first things I stitched up several years ago. It was so much fun to make and the kids loved it! That inspired me to create even more craziness. 
 What to wear on those painting days in the art room (which is pretty much everyday, right)? Why a palette dress, of course! I love the vintage charm of this Michael Miller fabric, y'all! 
 Tho if your wee artists are anything like mine, there's likely to be paint ever.ee.wheres. In which case a dress that you've painted or one stitched from Jackson Pollock-esque fabric is prolly the way to go. 
All of which calls for paint splattery shoes

Now I know that if y'all have been by this blog before, you've prolly seen just about everything I've got here for ya's today. Like, for instance, this here montage of artist-inspired numbers. 
 
 So it turns out I double downed on my Monet ensembles this year but I just couldn't help it. What's not to love about that painterly dude? That stitched and needle felted number took exactly two sessions of Project Runway reruns to get thru while that summery dress was a snap. 

It's funny, the other day I saw an article about people who take a buttload of selfies (FYI, not the actual title of said article. Tho "People Who Take a Buttload of Selfies" is a killer title, if I do say so. And I just did.) and, according the the author who apparently has NEVER taken a selfie in her LIFE (hair flip), those that do are manipulative (CHECK!), selfish (CHECKITY-CHECK) and, basically, just arsehole-ish. Well! There you have it! Me, in a nutshell. It's like she could see my manipulative, selfish sssooooouuuuuulll. 
 
 Last year's Kandinsky show at The Frist was the inspo behind these two numbers. Maybe it's cuz I'm totes clueless but not until seeing them now, side by side, am I realizing how opposite they are. Lil black dress here and wild -n- crazy in white here. 
It never fails, every winter, I take up needle felting all over again. That Scream Dress is one hot lil number to wear what with the completely wool lined inside (I think the screaming is actually due to the smell comin' off me). The Starry Night took all of eternity what with the embroidery (which you can't really see so why'd I do it, y'all? WHY?) and the lights.  
 
 Oh, applique. I always forget what a super fun pain in the rear you are. Fur serious tho, I do love changing the look of my clothing with appliqué. It gives a great flat look (perfect for pop art!) that you just can't quite get with needle-felting. Applique was one of the first methods of sewing I learned. I think I liked it because it reminded me of collage. In fact, to get over my fear of sewing, I told myself that the stitches were just like glue holding everything together. For some reason, likening sewing to collage (something I'm comfortable with) made it a whole lot less frightening. Lichtenstein-y here, Warhol-ishness there. 
 I was chatting with our weather-predicting custodian today and he claims that we are gonna get MASSIVE snow this year (which, for we Tennesseans means, like TWO WHOLE INCHES). We had quite the winter this past year which for me meant Snow Days/Sew Days. I got so much stitched! This here tribute to Mondrian was one o' em. 
 
 Now even if you can't sew, felt or appliqué, you can draw, right? That there Keith Haring number was just doodled on some pleather with a white Sharpie paint pen. And that Great Wave dress was the thing that started this whole Artist-Inspired series! The most easy artist dress made: that Magritte number. All I did was make the hat and add the birds! 
 For the last couple of years, I've made a Back to School dress. You know, one complete with school supplies and artsy whut-nots. Like that crayon and chevron thing and that crazy art supply number (with sleeves big enough to fly away with!). 
 My fave thing on the planet? Shopping for fabric, y'all. And when I find me some artsy fabric like that pencil fabric on the left and that marker fabric on the right, my palms get all sweaty, my heart skips a beat and I might cry a lil bit. 
 
 I love me a great big skirt, y'all. The kind that when I walk past a table, my big swooshiness knocks over cups, glasses, small children, you name it. That giant shower curtain skirt on the left does the trick quite nicely but that puffy pencil number isn't too snabby neither. 

 Wait...giveaway. DID SOMEBODY SAY GIVEAWAY IN THE TITLE OF THIS HERE POST? 

Yes, sir and madams, I most certainly did. I've got a small grab bag cache of art teacherin' books that I'd love to send your way (not pictured. Obvi.) But here's the catch (there's always a catch): you gotta tell me your most fave back-to-school shopping memory! Mine involved my dad taking me jeans shopping at the dollar store before my eighth grade year. THE DOLLAR STORE, Y'ALL. All this girl ever wanted was some Guess jeans! Pretty sure this is why I don't wear pants to this day, the flashbacks are killer. Lemme hear your tale and don't forget to leave your lovely lil email addy so I can be sure to send these awesome art books your way. Until then!
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Sunday, July 26, 2015

What the Art Teacher Wore #143

Summer-day: You know, my fave thing about summer vacay is when you get to the point where you forget what day it is. That's when you know you've hit toootal relaxation AND, sadly, that the end is nigh. Just one more week of freedom before we return! dress: vintage score from Buffalo Exchange; crinoline: Amazon; shoes: old, BG's; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; Enid Collins Box Purse: ebay

Hi, friends! I realized the other day that I've only shared with y'all maybe one (or two) What the Art Teacher Wore blog posts this summer! One part cuz during the summer, I'm off my routine which means my blogging schedule (as if there ever was one) gets all kinds of jacked up. The other part cuz, well, when I'm not wearing the same stinkin' outfit for days in a row, I'm in stretchy pants (I just can't bring myself to admit that I'm in the yoga pants camp so "stretchy pants" they shall be) and a hole-y t-shirt. It's a glamorous life I lead, lemme tell ya.

This week kept me on my toes tho as I had to venture out and teach teachers! Our local art museums The Frist and Cheekwood Botanical Gardens offered a wonderful three day professional development and I taught a lil bit of fiber arts on the first day...
Teaching art teachers is so stinkin' fun because they come up with the very best of ideas. We focused on needle-felting and ways to both tie that in to the current art exhibits as well as bring the craft back to our art rooms. I shared some of my student projects involving needle-felting as well as some that I'm planning to try out with my students this year. Being the most creative teachers I know, these dudes came up with great ideas as well as the most beautiful of needle-felted creations! 


SIDE NOTE: I'll be leading another fiber arts workshop at The Frist on Saturday, September 26th. This one is open to everyone, not just art educators. We'll be focusing on needle-felting, embroidery and more...the last I checked, there were only 6 spots left so if you are interested, go here and I'll see you there! 
I loved everyone's different take on the craft of needle-felting and the inspiration they got from the both the Italian Style show as well as the Wiener Werstratte. This artist was inspired by an incredible fur coat designed by Karl Lagerfeld. I love how she layered and needle-felted through the felt. 
Two artists created landscapes and I just love them both. The impressionist style of the one on the left is so subtle. Needle-felting really seems to be perfect for that kind of look. Although the one on the right is very graphic, which I love. My work in needle-felting is usually very flat and graphic as well so I can totes relate to the style and look of that one. 
Ah, summertime happy place. 
The artist on the left created a Japanese family crest. I had no idea that you could needle-felt synthetic yarns until she gave it a go with her boarder. I love the roses in the foreground of the one on the right. 
And this artist drew her inspo from the graphic designs of the postcards and fabrics we saw. I love the colors and joy in this piece, makes me so happy!
 Fave Purse Tuesday: So you mightah noticed in these here photos that I'm carting around a box-purse. I've always loved Enid Collins box purses but this summer, after scoring a couple at the flea market, I've become obsessed. I was so thrilled to get this one which is currently my fave. I've now got a lil (growing) collection that is gonna require me to install a shelf to showcase 'em all! sweater: thrifted; dress: vintage; shoes: Jeffrey Campbell; brooch and earrings: estate sales
 Rainy Day Wednesday: We've been having these rando outbursts of rain then INSANELY humid (we call it "muggy" where I'm from) weather. I mean, it literally feels like you are walking into someone's mouth the moment you step outside. No bueno. So it requires footwear like these Crocs that can take a lil rain and a lil shine. sweater and blouse: thrifted; skirt: Anthro found at Buffalo Exchange; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; brooches: estate sale
So-Cal Thursday: I finished off my Artsy Sew Along skirt right before we took a lil vacay to Southern California! If you are sewing along, don't you worry. I'll get the vid clippies up soon once we return from the land of eternal sunshines. shirt: thrifted; skirt: made by me!
 
Evenings at Disneyland: I'd love to share with y'all photos from our Cali-adventures but I dare say this blog post is photo-heavy enough! However, if you follow me here, you can keep up with the craziness even more (hurray! -ish!). When in Cali, we venture into California Adventure every evening to see The Mad T Party band as they are Uh-Maze-Ing. Here I am chillin' on the streets of Muppet-ville waiting for the next show to start. top: Old Navy? Target? I can't remember; skirt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; belt: Amazon. Fur realz. Just type in "big a$$ belt" and you'll find this; shoes: TJ Maxx

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Artsy Sew Along 2: Stitching // Gathering and a Winner!

Whut-whut?! Guess who finally decided to come back to her own sew-along party? Das right, kiddies! My bottom-of-the-heartest apologies for the delay. I always forget that July is pretty stinkin' busy in Cassie-town, what with laying on the couch, taking a shower (occasionally) and deciding whether or not to get dressed to get the mail or just shock the neighbors again and do it in a bathrobe with the backside accidentally tucked into my grannie panties (like that visual image? Yer welcome!). I know, right?! It's amazing I've even managed to find the time to put together these two short clippies for you! Here's what I'll be yappin' about today:

1. You've already got your pockets in, riiiiiight? And it was super simple, yeeeeeessss? If you've not done that yet, no worries! Just hop over here and come back in an hour.  Now we are ready to stitch the front of the skirt to the back two panels!

2. From there, I'll show you how to add your gathering stitches

And that's it for this post. Short and simple. My plan is to be bacattcha soon buuuuut we'll see how I feel after a couple more days of couch rollin' around and Mad Men power-watching. It's a rough life, summer livin', I tell ya.

OH!! The giveaway! Thank you so much to all y'all that entered to win the goods to make your own Palette Purse! I recently carried my purse to an art event and got so many stinkin' compliments, if I do say so (and I just did. So there.) My fave comment is always, "Oh! Where did you get that?!" which is way better than "ooOOoooooh, that's...cute. Did you make that?!" like I'm some five year old wearing a moldy macaroni necklace. All y'all crafters know what I'm talkin' about. Anyway! The winner is...Andie Anders! Congrats, buddy! And thanks all y'all for playing. I seem to give away stuffs pretty frequently around here so if you don't come here for my good looks and charm (whuuuuuut?!) then pop back by for the free shizz. 

Now, let's stitch!
Please ignore that crazy nonsense about entering to win the contest! We already have a winner, duh, me.
I dunno what you do when you need a sewing break but I fabric shop. It's most def a bad idea that I don't recommend. I mean, lookie what's currently in my slacker-shopping cart: kitties
Bananas! 
And back to werk. 

Next time, we'll work on that waistband and the zip. Hemming should be a snap and we're done! Yay! If you are stitching, please be sure to share on the Artsy Sew Along page and on instragramz with the #artsysewalong. Thanks, kids!
 I leave you with more eye candy from one of my fave fabric brands Cotton and Steel. Til next times!
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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Tennessee Arts Academy, 2015

Every summer, right in the middle o' July, I attend the most amazing professional development known to man: The Tennessee Arts Academy in beautiful (albeit hawt as Hades) Nashville, TN. If you follow me on the Instagramz than you've prolly seen me sharing the most amazing projects, craziness and overall good times which all went down this past week. AND if you've been hangin around this here blog for a pinch, then you've seen my past TAA adventures here and here. This year was easily one of my faves because I got to spend time with my craziest art teacherin' buddy, Laura Lohmann of Painted Paper
Laura is a powerhouse of an art teacher, y'all. My group stayed with her for just two days and we learned so stinkin' much about her amazing approach to teaching art to children. I'm gonna share just a handful of her projects but I gotta encourage you to visit her Teachers Pay Teachers store to purchase complete copies of her lesson plans. Laura pours over these plans and they are a steal of a purchase when you see all of the art history and project ideas included. Y'all can thank me laters.

On our first day with Laura, we worked with Model Magic to create flowers. Our inspo was Monet but Laura left the creativity and imagination up to us. Her projects are very open-ended and her directions are short and to the point. Once the flowers were done, we set about painting paper. This is Laura's whole deal: have the students create tons of painted paper to use in later projects. That stack in front of her was created by my group in a matter of an hour. We used a variety of texture tools and simply painted as many papers as we could in the time we had. This became our beautiful stash to create later projects with. Like those flowers I mentioned...
Once the Model Magic was dry, we painted our flowers anyway we liked an adhered them to a piece of cardboard with Aleene's Tacky Glue. Our painted papers serving as a background. After gluing my papers, I did enhance them with a small brush and some white paint. 
Because of Laura's anything-goes teaching technique, everyone created a wonderfully different piece. 
This photo gives you a little peak into how Laura teaching painting to children: without water. RIGHT?! The kids work from paint palettes that have been set up in Roy G. Biv order. When they paint, they start with the lightest colors first and work their way around the color wheel. When they wish to change colors, they simply wipe their brush on their place mats. We used maps of Laura's home state of Ohio for our mats!
Laura's suggestion of painting tools included many that I'd never thought to use with my students: round stencil brushes, scouring pads, odd looking paint tools from Lakeshore, you name it, her kids are painting with it! 
Next up, we created Tikis! Using our painted papers, we learned about Paul Gauguin, Tahiti and the history of tikis. Then Laura let us loose and we created the most amazingly fun tikis ever, if I do say so mah-self.
 Like, riiiiight?
 On our second day with Laura, we painted large flowers on tag board. This lesson is actually FREE on Laura's TPT page right meow. You needs to get it because these flowers were so beautiful and fun! 
What a lovely way to start off the school year and brighten the halls of our schools, right?!
 After that, Laura had us creating landscapes inspired by Monet...
Like this lovely reflections painting by a fellow art teacher buddy.
And Gauguin. Now, I gotta tell ya, normally, I'm all chatty at TAA because I do love to hang with "my people". However, I was so into what I was creating on this day that I don't believe I said a peep...and I ended up with a stack of ideas to bring back to my classroom. I'm so excited!
A view of our Gauguin-inspired landscapes.
On the third day, it was time to switch classes and go spend the next coupla days with one of the funniest dudes I've ever met: Jim McNeill. Jim is the illustrator of Pam Stephens' "Dropping in on [insert famous artists' name here] with Puffer" and Tessellations: History & Making of Design.  I gotta tell ya, I've never been a fan of tessellations myself and had some pretty serious reservations about this two day event. However, I really got into it! I fell in love with creating my Diner Dames, as I've dubbed them, and actually think I might have to make more! 
Folks had some super clever ideas for their tessellations. There were even ones that popped out, morphed and transformed! It was pretty magical. 
I even did a lil art teacher teachin' for a couple days and taught some fiber techniques for teachers to take back to their classrooms.
My art teacherin' students learned needle felting, string art, yarn bombing and how to teach embroidery to small children. I absolutely love teaching art teachers, they come up with THE BEST ideas!
On Thursday, Laura and I had to get all pretty for our big AOE conference! I was so glad that Jessica of AOE allowed that crazy girl and me to present back to back since we were at TAA that day. I had the opportunity to watch the presentations last night and, as always, I learned so much (Alecia Eggers, can you PLEASE come organize my liiiiiiifeeeee?!). 
Now, whilst I was painted paperin' and gettin' my tessellation on (er, whuuuut?) the high school art teachers were hanging with Debbi Engbring, high school teacher from Arizona (pictured second from the left) and Laurie Gatlin (on left) from SoCal. 
Laurie is an incredible teacher with a unique way of teaching her students through the use of sketchbooks. And I'm not talkin a black-leather bound book or some spiral bound nonsense. Naw, her kids MAKE the books, paint the pages, and sketch daily. I first met Laurie this past fall at our state conference where she was our keynote speaker and shared her method. I was blown away. She's amazing!
Debbi had her students IN TWO DAYS create these magnificent teapots. Y'all. These were not thrown on the wheel! She had a very clever way of having the students use half styrofoam sphere's to create each half of the sphere and then put the two together. From there, more clay was added to decorate as well as black glaze for some sgraffito. Super amazing.
 Now, I gotta tell ya, my favorite-favorite part of TAA is hanging out with this bunch! We are the facilitators or the helpers for the arts portion of TAA. Jim Dodson, on the left, is our fearless leader who organizes everything from the art shows that take place (both student and teacher art shows happen at TAA) as well as arranging all of our presenters and speakers. Libby Lynch (second from the left) organizes the art shows mentioned including the finale art show that features the work of all the teachers. And the rest of that line up is just a buncha trouble! From the right, there's Ken, me, Debbie Flynt and Kim Shamblin, all art teachers and all TAA buds for life. 

Okay, that's a wrap! For more information on Tennessee Arts Academy and how you can attend (anyone can, y'all!), be sure to pop over here. There's A LOT more to it than I've managed to squeeze into this already-large post. So, if you have any questions, leave 'em in the comments! 
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