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

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

DIY: A Paint-Splattery Needle-Felted Winter Coat!

Let's get deep for a second shall we (I'm of kiddie-pool depth, it truly will only take a sec). Can we talk about what rattles around in your head, what keeps you up at night, what has you biting your nails, twisting your hairs and wringing your hands? For me, it's pretty much a slew of first world probs that can best be summed up in a series of memes: 
First bite is always a lava-hot fiery inferno whilst the middle is freaking Antarctica. WE CAN PUT A MAN ON THE MOON BUT WE CAN'T FIGURE OUT THE SCIENCE OF A HOT POCKET?!
Been known to use the following milk substitutes: ice cream, yogurt, apple sauce (not recommended) and water. Desperate times, y'all. Don't nobody wanna see their Fruity Peebles go to waste!
Or a dress because, let's be real, I ain't got no pants!
Honestly, what had me up in a panic the other night was realizing that this year's NAEA (that'd be a big fat art teacherin' convention for those of y'all outta the loop) in Chicago was more than likely gonna be a cold one. Chi-town? In March? I know I'll be wrapped in a coat 99% of the time which is when I realized, OMG, MY COAT MUST BE CUTE! Because, priorities. 
So a week ago, I popped by the thrift store and picked up a couple of wintery coats that I thought would be fun to artsi-fy. This here little black belted number and a white one (which, if you follow me here, you already know the plan for that coat!). Dontcha know I was all kinds of thrilled to receive the gift of a snow day yesterday so I could work on this bad boy! 
It was a super easy make and went together surprisingly quickly! 
Even if it looks like I got into a paint ball fight and my bum was the target. 

 Now y'all know that I have a lurve for needle felting. In fact, my last two DIY's have been needle felted (I always over do it in the winter, it's such a cozy craft). Folks always ask how to needle felt, if it's hard to do. Y'all. I'm not gonna lie...this is the EASIEST craft you'll ever do! For starters, you'll need a needle felting tool and a bristle brush cushion. I recommend the above by Clover which can be found cheapest on Amazon. While you are there filling up your cart, be sure to pick up a pack of wool roving too. A variety pack of colors is the best place to start. Unlike wet felting, needle felting does not require a bunch of roving. These packs are sold by the ounce so don't be surprised when it comes in the mail and is no bigger than a ping pong ball. 

A coupla of years ago, I made some demo videos. I def need to update but in the meantime, here you go...

Keep in mind, you can needle felting on pretty much anything. ANY.THING. I once thought you could only needle felt on wool but that isn't true. I know my coat isn't wool and it worked just fine. I've needle felted on jersey, wool, knit, cotton, you get the idea. Fabrics like denim and twill would probably bust some needles.

I love that little tool because I can control the design. However, they do make a tool which holds many needles that would be grand for doing big paint blobs!
Now, I must confess, one reason this coat came together so quickly is because the hubs bought me a needle felting MACHINE. So for the paint blobs, I just lightly tacked them down with my tool as you see above. 
And then ran it under my machine! The machine was also picked up from Amazon. It's made by Simplicity and called 12 Needle Deluxe Felting Machine tho I don't know what's deluxe about it. It's the simplest machine I've ever used. You simply put your fabric underneath and hit the petal to commence needle stabbing. There are no feed dogs so you do have to maneuver the fabric yourself. I just take it nice and easy so as to not bust any needles.
And, viola! From there, I clean it up a bit, add more roving to the translucent areas and refine edges with my little tool. 
 And that was pretty much how I spent the majority of my snow day. Stabbing and watching Mad Men because, you know. Don Draper and vintage clothing. I could handle that scandal all day long. 
Meanwhile, in CatTown...
 Now just in case you wanna see what a Tennessee Snow Day looks like, I thought I'd bring you outside. A good couple of inches is all it takes. Growing up in Illinois and Indiana, we very rarely missed a day for snow. I mean, we'd have it up to our eyeballs, slipping and sliding off roads, pulling each other outta ditches and strapping chains to our tires before they'd even think about it. So this kind of snow day I can handle!
 And I'm super excited to wear this in Chicago, back in my old stomping grounds-ish (I grew up in Joliet so not too far!). If you happen to be signed up in my hands-on class at NAEA, hurray! This is what we'll be up to! It is sold sorry, friends. If you see me at NAEA and wanna talk needle felting shop, just holla at yer girl!
Until then, stay warm, dry and happy, y'all. And for heavens sake, PUT YOUR PANTS BACK ON BEFORE THE PIZZA IS DELIVERED!
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Sunday, February 7, 2016

What the Art Teacher Wore #156

First Day o' Feb Monday: Are you kidding me? I've been counting the days until I could bust out my heart-tastic, LOVE-ly wares, y'all. heart print top: Buffalo Exchange; belt and palette print skirt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; hat: New Orleans; tights: Target; shoes: Fluevog

What's happening, my friends? I feel like it's been ages since we last chatted even tho it was only Tuesday. I do try my hardest to see you here three times a week but sometimes the week gets ahead of me and the next thing I know, it's Sunday. How does that even happen? Time flies when you are a procrastinator, y'all.

In other news, Monday was the first day o' Feb and I was beyond ready to bust out some heart-y/love-y outfits. I also am leaving you with my latest filmed sub plan! I had to pop outta town for a coupla days and I was thrilled to have my same sub from jury duty land. She was very excited when I told her I had another filmed lesson ready for her. Hopefully, her day went well. I thought I'd share it with y'all in case you need a quick fun project for Valentine's Day! 

Until next time, love y'all!
This lesson is based around the book Love Monster by Rachel Bright. I don't own the book so I had my sub read aloud the youtube video below and then dive into my sub video you see above! For this lesson, the kids needed Lost Love Monster sheets, glue, scissors, Sharpies, googley eyes and paper to create hearts. 
The story is super sweet and one that my sub could play for all of my kindergarten through fourth grade kids. For kindergarten, there was a modified worksheet that didn't entail as much writing. 
Sadly, I forgot to save the word doc of the sheet or I'd share it with y'all here! But I did make a couple of examples that I had on my white board which shows what the copy at the bottom of the sheet said. You can also sneak a peek in the video.

If you wanna keep up with my video'd lessons, you can subscribe here, kids!
Love and Kittens: I made this dress (and matching sweater!) a coupla years ago and it's still my fave V-day, kittentastic look. I can't believe I didn't stitch up a single Valentine's dress this year! My lil sewing machine is gather dust at the moment, boo. dress: by me, here; belt: amazon; boots: Hunter
Jim Dine Heart Dress: Okay, let's be honest: Valentine's Day in art teacherin'land is also known as Jim Dine Projects Day, amiright? Love this artist so much I needle felted this dress dedicated to him! 
Color Wheel Skirtness: I realized the other day that I'd never worn this bad boy to school! The kids loved it but mostly the big bow. The lady at the bank was not as impressed by my big bow, I'll have you know. Color Wheel Skirt and Top: DIY here
If you follow me on Instagram, then you've seen this photo already! We did some color mixing experiments in first grade this week and they loved it! I thought I'd share with y'all how. I used three clear cups for the mixture of each secondary color. In front of the kids, I put an inch of water in all three cups. Then I put drops of food coloring in the outer cups. In this case, yellow and red. I folded a paper towel up (I used Viva paper towels, if that matters), placing one paper towel from yellow to the clear cup and another paper towel from the red to the clear. Immediately, the colored water began to creep up the paper towel. To help the process, I raised the height of the outer cups with stacked CD's. By the end of art class, the kids saw some progress but the following day yielded the best results. They loved it and it was so easy! 
100 Day of School!: I forgot to share with y'all my outfit for the 100th day of school...or, as I should call it, Any Excuse to Wear My Rainbow Wig to School. The kids were curious about the rotary phone pattern so we busted out my old phone and played on it! wig: Gothic Lolita; dress: ModCloth; hat and cherry pin: vintage; faux fox sweater: DIY made by me here
Until next time, you crazy kids!
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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

DIY: Needle-Felted Decor, Part 1

Might we please have a lil confession time up in here? Cuz I need to unpack some stuff and I don't mean those boxes that have been in my garage since we moved seven years ago (real talk: those boxes ain't never gonna see the light of day, y'all, let's just be honest). 

Confession Numero Uno: Not only am I crummy housekeeper, I'm also pretty sucktastic at that whole decorating thingie too. You can't be good at everything, y'all (hair flip). And I most def have a big fat hairy list of items at which I am no bueno: cooking, cleaning, yard maintenance and, you guessed it, decorating. I mean, I can decorate  an art room like nobody's biznatch but working on our house has me all...
I just can't even. I don't even know where to start. In fact, we've got this one room that normal folk be calling a bonus room which I've dubbed the BOGUS room. It's just one more space for me to not clean and not decorate. I did attempt bedazzling it when we first moved in and painted up these round paintings which have that lovely early-2000's color palette...
AND that's pretty much all I ever did to that room. In fact, every time I wandered into the bonus room with a lil decorating on my mind, I'd take one look around and be all...
Now I know I sound totes ungrateful as many folk don't have a surplus of space. And lately, I've been working on a Super Top Secret Project (details to come!) in which the bonus room has become a great place to stretch out and work. For that reason, I'm really putting my heart into making this space one that I love to come to and work in. And I decided my first order of business was updating those horrible round painting thingies. 
 Now if you've been hanging around this here blog for a hawt minute then you know I love all things Mary Blair. I've created paintings inspired by her, made necklaces, you name it. So I decided I wanted to Mary Blair-ize the bonus room! But I wasn't feeling very certain I wanted to invest a ton o' time into it if I wasn't gonna love it. So I uprooted these white and gold plate/frame thingies I found for cheap at TJMaxx several months ago and decided to create some wee needle felted sketches! The above is what my sewing table looked like before...
And then after. Now imagine that as MY ENTIRE HOUSE and you've pretty much got the picture. Say a lil prayer and light a candle for my hubs, would ya?
After a little bit of playing around, I came up with this! I was super pleased. Y'all know I'm a big fan of needle felting as it's just about the most easiest thing in the world. In fact, I always find myself needle felting to excess in the winter months. Check out last week's DIY
 Just a lil closer look. 
I wasn't as in love with this one but I figured, eh, it's just a sketch. I'm sure to change it up quite a bit when I design the larger format circle. 
 I like needle felting on patchworked pieces of fabric. One of my first wall pieces from needle felting was done that way. I like how it adds just another layer to the design. 
Even though I still had one more little needle felted sketch to complete, I decided to dive right in to the making of my first large wall hanging. Mostly cuz I knew I'd have the help of this bad boy...
What you see here is not a sewing machine but something far more magical: a needle felting machine! That's right, y'all, like a rare rainbow farting unicorn, they do exist! The hubs got it for me for Christmas for not too much dinero on el Amazons. 
I love the thing. All I had to do was just tack some of the roving into place and slide it under the half dozen needles on that machine, hit the pedal and let the machine do the stabbing. It isn't great for detail work so I do resort to my trusty Clover needle felting pen for that. 
 But it's fab at blocking in large areas for me and look!
 One down! Only two more to go!
 C'mon, man! How about a lil power of positive thinkerin'?!
Okay, confession numero dos: this is pretty much how I feel. However, I'm determined-ish to follow this through and have at least one room in our house that looks decorated and finished. I'll keep all y'all posted. 
Until then, y'all!
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

In the Art Room: LOVE This Sub Plan Collaborative!

As some of y'all might know because I've been talking about it nonstop (I often wonder just how I have acquired so many nice friends that allow me to ramble on and on without complaint. My guess is that they've formed some sort of support group), I've been out of school for several days due to el jury duty-o. You can see what I wore here cuz you know you wanna. Anywho, knowing that I was gonna be out for so long, I knew I'd have to leave some legit sub plans. So I created a couple of videos and was super pleased to see that both the kids and the subs were happy with the result. AND LOOK! Check out what they made whilst I was doin' my civic duty!
This is JUST ONE of the MANY huge banners that the kids created! Each child, kindergarten through fourth, created a quarter of a heart. Students with extra time then worked on making the letters. I was so excited to see them today that I used my planning time to hot glue them into place. To do that, I "borrowed" a roll of bulletin board paper from our work room, unrolled it onto my art room floor and set to work a-gluing. Like I said, this is just one big banner...the kids also created ones with letters that spell out SMILE, HAPPY and PEACE. They'll be going up on a large wall in our school cafeteria. But this one I was so stoked about that I grabbed a couple of teacher friends in the hallway and had them help me slap it up on the wall this afternoon. 
Our inspo for this project came from the artist Romero Britto and the art teacher Jenny K! Jenny has a great drawing sheet that features Britto and his designs. Knowing that I was going to be out several days, I really wanted a project that the kids could work on happily and successfully and be something that could brighten up and spread the good word of LOVE throughout our school!
On the first day I was out, I left this video for my sub to share with the students. I've never done video'ed sub plans before but I gotta tell ya, I'm NEVER going back to paper plans! This was fun and easy for both the sub and kids. And a happy sub is one that spreads the good word. I heard from my admin and teacher buds that both of my subs were thrilled to work in my room. Of course, I took the guess work out of it and made their day cake!
Today was my first day back and it's also my busiest of days. You now how it feels when you've been gone for many days, you feel completely out of the loop! I really felt relieved coming back knowing that my room was going to be in order and that my students would continue this project. Here are my kindergarten friends coloring away.
Many of you asked me about the art stix I refer to in the video. My students have a set of these and they are well loved. They are made by Prisma and are essentially the led of a color pencil. The colors are fantastically vibrant and the kids love using them. 
My younger students, kindergarten through first, created the bottom of the hearts while my older ones did the top. The reason behind this is that my older students have longer art classes and therefore more time to work on the big spaces. The papers the kids used are 12" squares. My sub and I used templates to create the thick line diagonal line that you see as well as the heart hump line (I know there's prolly a better word then heart hump but you knew what I was talking about, didn't you?!).
So that they could spot their part of the heart later, the student's name was written along the edge of their design. 

Once I started laying out the hearts I felt like they needed a little something more. So I flipped some upside down and noticed the diamond negative shape that was created. It was then I got the idea to have the kids create letters for those spaces. That's what this follow up video is all about...
I put the sub in charge of tracing letters and the kids cut them out before decorating them.
This was such a successful sub plan that even though I'm not finished with assembling all of the pieces, I just had to share it with you right away! You know, in case you wanna do something like this for Valentine's Day. It's definitely a no-fuss type of project. Definitely one to consider at the start of the new school year when you want to introduce all of the elements of art and start your year with that WOW! factor. If you are interested in more of my lil videos, you can subscribe to my youtube channel here
In other fun and exciting news, you can hear my podcast interview with the INCREDIBLE Patty Palmer of Deep Space Sparkle, here! And if you do this lesson, please let me know, I'd love to hear your tips, tricks and see your student's end result!
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