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

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: SeƱor 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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Thursday, October 16, 2014

In the Art Room: A One Class Clay Project

So I've got this super fun group of kids that hang out in my art room every Tuesday and make stuff outta clay. It's a class of about 15-ish first through fourth grade kids. We have a glorious hour of art makin' together and this here is one project we busted out in one of those classes. It's a project that I used to do all the time with my second grade kids until I just got so tired of it, I couldn't do it anymore. You know what I'm talking about, right? Howevers, it is one of those everybody-loves-it/they-always-turn-out-fab/personalized-and-thusly-awesome project that bears repeating (gah, I do love that saying as it always puts the image of a buncha repeating bears in my head).
This is also one of those fire-it-once type of projects which is always a plus. Most projects I do with the kids usually require both a bisque and a glaze firing. Which is tiresome for a super lazy art teacher like myself. Without sounding like an old lady, does anyone else experience a little back aching from leaning over the kiln whilst loading and unloading? Please tell me it's not just me and my whiny/gripey personality.
So just how were the bad boys completed in under 60 minutes? Well, lemme show ya.
I gave each of the kids a hunk of low fire (Cone O6) clay the size of  a large orange. I have a variety of doilies, pieces of burlap and lace that we use for texture. The kids pick one and place it on their clay mat.
The lump of clay is then dropped onto the doily covered mat and pounded flat. This is usually when my left eye begins to twitch and the onset of a headache begins. A room full of 15 kids pounding the daylights outta clay is just a lil holy-crap-this-is-my-life?! inducing. Thankfully it ends rather quickly as the kids know to stop the pounding when their clay is as thick as a cookie.
The clay is then pealed off the doily and placed right-side-up on the clay mat.
I then gave the kids a variety of templates to trace for their wall hanging. Some are flower shaped, square, round, whateves. When tracing with a skewer, it's key that the stick stand tall and vertical ("like a soldier") so that it can cut all the way through the clay. Otherwise, you'll get that unappealing shark's tooth edge and, like I always tell 'em, it's not Shark Week in the art room.
Then the glazing begins. Now, we used Stroke and Coat by Mayco for this project. Normally, I'd only use that kind of glaze after a bisque fire. However, for this project, the glaze had double duty (OMG, do your kids also loose their sh%% if you say the word "duty"? Make it stooooop, y'all!) by not only acting as a colorant but as glue. 
See? Roll a coil, shape it into your initials, a shape, whatever you like and press it into the wet glaze. 
Most kids opted to also paint their letters and add a lil decoration to the background. I used the back of the paint brushes to create two holes to hang the masterpiece.
When they came outta the kiln, the kids were given a piece of Twisteez wire cut in half and the chance to dig around in my big ole bucket of beads.
So I was gifted this giant stash of beads which is cool because the beads are super unique. There's dolphins and cat beads, flower and sparkle beads. You name it, there's a bead for it. However, I warn you, if you unleash the kids on beads, it's like a piranha attack (P.S. never EVER image search "piranha attack". I can't unsee what the interwebs just showed me, waaaahhhh!). Just place a handful of beads on a couple plates on the tables and step back. I did limit the kids to only 10-ish beads so they could pick the ones that meant the most to them...and save some for the rest of the kids on the planet.
We have a lotta school pride at my school. This dude showcased the school initials and used school colors. 
So often our clay projects take many sessions. With this quick lesson, the kids were thrilled to be able to take their creations home and share them with their families. And who can blame 'em? They're pretty rad.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DIY: El Dia de los Muertos Reversible Embroidered Necklace

Oh, y'all. I know I shouldn't say this after a glorious Fall Break (of which many of you were unfairly shafted) but I am so stinkin' beat. I dunno if it's the weather, the lack of proper nutrition (last year's Halloween candy for brekky? Don't mind if I do, nom-nom-nom.) or the fact that I stayed up entirely too late working on this here DIY. All I know is that the absolute highlight of my day, THEE single most glorious moment was, are you ready? The removal of my bra. That's right. I do believe the words: "OMG, So. Much. Better." came outs my mouth. And just as I was throwing the blankets over my head for a lil afternoon shut-eye, the hubs says those dreaded oh-crap, I-totes-forgot! words, "Happy Anniversary! Wanna go out for dinner?" 

To which I threw off my blankets to expose my super seductive sweatpants and inside out t-shirt and said, "Why would you wanna go anywhere when you can stay (patting the bed) right here?"

This was understandably met with silence which was then followed by, "So. Halloween candy dinner?"

Das right. I know how to do a 13th year anniversary, y'all.
Mitch (the man who actually hates that I refer to him as "hubs" which, of course, can only mean one thing: refer to him as "hubs" as much as possible) and I began dating my first year of teaching some 17-ish years ago. So many things have changed since. I no longer wear ill-fitting mom jeans or color my hair (both things the hubs talked me out of, thankfully) and that dude no longer shaves. Everrr. 
Oh, pardon me, was this a DIY post? I just can't believe I got sidetracked with a sidebar conversation, that's just soo-oo-oooh unlike me (cue fake laugh and hair flip). Ahem. Let's chat abouts this DIY already, shall we?
When anniversary man and I were on our recent trip to SoCal (excuse me, but I gotta know, does calling Southern California "SoCal" make me sound as a-hole-ish as I think it does? Yeah, that's what I thought), we took a trip down Olvera Street. I absolutely loved it there especially all of the Dia de los Muertos goodness.
Like these happy dudes. Knowing that we had a long plane ride ahead (and many rounds of traffic jams. It's LA, people. No matter what time of day you travel, one thing is for certain: you will be sitting in your car on a highway at a dead stop for no visible reason.), I brought some fabric and my embroidery supplies along. After being inspired, I drew a rough idea in my sketchbook and then proceeded to draw out my idea on fabric in colored pencil. 
And after a coupla hours (okay, prolly more than that, I'm super slow and picky. I take out more stitches than I put in!), I had this complete. Oh! I forgot to mention...
This here was the wooden blank I used as the template for my necklace. I picked this up (along with several other woody-goodies) from Rock'n Wood. Super great shop and lightening fast delivery, y'all! When I bought it, I originally thought I'd be painting on the base but then the idea of adding embroidery popped into my extraordinarily small brain.
To adhere the embroidery to the wooden base, I use my trusty Tacky Glue. Y'all I love this stuff. So much so I even hypothesized what the REAL Aleene might be like here. After adhering both my little embroidery pieces, I added some ribbon (from some old Anthropologie gift wrap) around the edge. I had a really groovy old broken necklace that found a new life in the form of this here piece.
And since traffic proved to be extra trafficky, once finished with one side of my necklace, I decided to do the reverse. So, in honor of the hubs and I's anniversary, I did a dancing couple (just kidding, this idea had nothing to do with our anniversary, I'm not nearly as sentimental and thoughtful as I'd like y'all to believe. Hence the sweatpants and inside out t-shirt.)
This time I actually have photographic evidence of the process. Here's my wee sketch.
 And my lap whilst sitting in traffic. You can kinda see the white pencil lines on the fabric here.
I got all cray with the teeny tiny stitches. Surprisingly, for someone who doesn't loooove embroidery, this was actually super fun. Well, "super fun" might be a bit of an exaggeration. Enjoyable? Satisfying? Fun-ish? Better than wanting to throw myself out of a non-moving, stuck-in-traffic car? That's prolly more like it.
 Oh, look, me pre-sweatpants. 
Thought bubble: How many hours until I can take off this stinkin' bra?!

And there you have it, kids! A reversible Dia de los Muertos embroidered necklace. Thanks for dropping, time to wrangle up last year's Halloween candy. This anniversary dinner ain't gonna unwrap and give us cavities by itself!
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #118 Whilst Fall Breakin'!

Fall Breakin': If they ever decide to take away my fall break, I don't know what I'll do. Aside from take a week-long sick leave, that is. totes ensemble: some thrifted, some new, all Target label 

Kids, I recently discovered some disturbing news: not all the world experiences the magic that is Fall Break. And my heart weeps for those peeps, y'all. With all my glorious days of freedom, I gotta admit, I've totes lost track of time. Therefore this outfit/vacay post will be random and nonsensical. Well, more so than the ushe, kids (yes, I linked you to Urban Dictionary. I'm tryin to keep you young -n- hip, yo). I kicked off my fall break by traveling to and presenting at Bowling Green State University. It was so much fun even if I was nervous/excited/happy/spazzy all at one time (again, just the ushe). 
I was SUPER stoked to (finally) meet Beth Sheets who orchestrated the whole affair and Laura of the fantastic art teacherin' blog Painted Paper (follow the link, Laura has all of her super fab fall projects up right now!) as well as the fabulous students, art educators and professors all linked to Bowling Green State University. Y'all. What a beautiful campus that is. Brought back so many happy (albeit super stressed) memories of college life. 
 Knott's Scary Farm: Which is a complete lie as Knott's was pretty stinkin' scary. They always manage to spook the hubs and I early in the night. But as the eve goes on, we're all, "yeah, you have a chainsaw and a mangled foot hanging out of your mouth but could you please pardon me, I'm on my way to the restroom. Cute third eye, btw." jacket: Modcloth, old; dress: picked up in Burbank at a cute shop called Audrey K. Click here for some cute Halloween attire on her website; crinoline: amazon; sandals: Chacos. My theme park footwear of choice. 

On Wednesday, hubs and I flew out to sunny So-Cal for our annual Halloweenin' adventure. I had my suitcase stuffed with every Halloween garment I've created (um, what'd they do multiply? Holy creepy clothes, Freddy Krueger, I have a ton!) and we were on our way. First stop: Knott's Scary Farm. 
If you've never been to Knott's Scary Farm and you are local, you should totes go. The "mazes" (what I call "haunted houses") are great fun with fantastical sets and atmosphere. There were close to a dozen mazes and each one had it's own unique theme and storyline.
The Trick or Treat house was one of my faves. Don't you love the outside? How fun was that set to create, right?
Our fave part was easily the Elvira show. You know that lady is like 63?! And every bit as hilarious, gorgeous and busty as ever. At one point she rapped a ditty about herself to the tune of Iggy Azalea's Fancy and nailed it. 
Olvera Street is My Jam: Suriously, y'all. I coulda spent all day there. The atmosphere was super fun what with el Dia de los Muertos approaching. Not only that but I absolutely love the style of traditional Mexican clothing: the embroidery, the bright colors, the vintage style. I managed to scoop up several fun pieces that I'll be sharing with y'all in outfit posts to come, I'm sure. sweater and dress: Halloween DIY by me
I hadn't been to Olvera Street in several years and since my students are currently learning about the culture of Latin America, I thought now would be the perfect time. I really loved every aspect of the street, especially the clothing.
 Oh, and the masks!
AND the Day of the Dead goods. There was so much to take in, I wish my students could field trip there! I snapped a ton of photos to create a prezi to share with them after break.
That night we went to Universal Studio's Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood. Y'all. I filmed a lil video of what they call the "Opening Scare-monies" just for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.

I'm not braggin' when I say I'm like a haunted house vet because we've gone for years. But, honestly, this scared the crapola outta me! Hence the shaky camera. We were at the front of the line with about 100 plus people behind us. Where the film ends is where we took off running away from the chain-saw wielding maniacs. 
The following day, whilst out hitting my fave vintage shops, I found this! WHAT?! There's a Mood in Hollywood?! Don't mind if I do!
I loved that the window featured dresses that had been painted on. Each one was incredible. 
Before you ask, I didn't buy a single thing. Not a stitch. Here's why: a buddy of mine and I always joke that IKEA gives us fits because it's just so overwhelming. Well, here's Exhibit A that Mood is just the same. There were aisles upon aisles just like this. And after the little dog tried to bite my hand, I was all THANK YOU, MOOD! and out the door.
That eve hubs and I hit Disneyland with our first stop at California Adventure to see our fave band The Mad T Party. They put on four separate shows, each with a Halloween theme. The final show featured an incredible rendition of Thriller complete with zombie dancers. 
And now it's all over. Back to the real world soon. I hope that y'all have had a fantastical week! I'll be back with ya soon. Until then!

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