Showing posts with label gnomeville. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gnomeville. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

In the Art Room: Chillin' wit my Gnomies

When writing about her gnomette, this sweet third grade artist said one of her hobbies was taking care of her pets when not working at the animal shelter. So sweet compared to the axe-wielding, sneaky-eyed gnome shown a little later in this post...

 Greetings from Gnomeville! Please feel free to pull up a mushroom, make yourself a tiny gnome-sized cup of tea and stay awhile. I've got many a gnome-tastic masterpiece to share with you, so make yourself at gnome, er home.
Despite the awkward placement of the fishing pole, I do love this sneaky-faced fisherman.
 You might remember we began our study of Germany and garden gnomes ages ago. I shared a very brief gnome history here and even whipped up a gnome dress for the occasion. Since then, the art room has become over run with these little dudes and I almost can't stand to be alone in the same room with all of them. They are Always Watching.
My collection of gnome books. The one in the foreground proved to be the most kid friendly. While I love Gnomeland, mooning and chest baring gnomes are just the kind of thing that principal lady of mine frowns upon. The kids were fascinated by How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack. It's important to be prepared.
 Wanna make your own gnome-tastic landscape? Here's how we did it:
  •  We started with a 12" X 18" piece of white paper. After a big fat hairy lesson on color mixing, we painted layers of color for our sky. This took us two thirty minute sessions.
  • The next week, we had a chat about Germany's Black Forrest. We learned that it got it's name from the Romans who called it such because the dense coverage of the trees makes the forest very dark. We talked about the textures of the forest while passing around objects from the photo above: wool, turkey feathers, pine needles and a brillo pad to recall how moss might feel.
  •  After that touchy-feely session, we discussed implied texture and how to create them. We spent one class using sponges or brushes to create clouds in our sky. The following class, we sponge painted green papers to imply the texture of moss. Lastly, we painted texture of tree bark on brown papers.
This is actually a grouping of first grade landscapes. They went about their sky differently by simply picking a sky color and adding clouds. They had already studying sky painting here. I'm sharing their work so you can see how the third graders also created their landscape.

  •  To assemble our landscapes, we tore our green painted papers and glued them down. In order to "plant" the trees, I asked the students to only add glue to the straight edge of the ground, not the torn one. This made it so we could tuck trees and mushrooms into the land later.
  • Another tearing sessions resulted in our trees and branches. The kids tired of the branch making business pretty early as you might be able to tell. The end result looks like some serious pruning happened in the Black Forest. Oh well.
 Disco Gnome complete with a ginger afro, funky glasses and a disco ball. The little Sweet and Sassy Gnome on the right is holding a Valentine's heart that reads "kiss me".
  •  When the landscape collage portion was complete, we set those aside for many a day to craft our gnomes. I am on a toilet paper tube project kick (see our hot air balloons here) and that's what came in so hand for the gnome bodies. Most of the kids painted them so that one color was on the top and a different one on the bottom.
  • While those dried, we began drawing the faces of our gnomes. We did our usual: draw with a pencil, trace with a sharpie, erase peek-a-boo pencil lines and add color, baby, color (don't ask me why, but I always say, "color, baby, color" like I'm Tom Jones or something). Those were cut out and glued to our tubes along with arms, shoes, hands and props.
Not sure if this is a gnomette or a princess waiting for her carriage in the distance. I do know that this artist started quite the trend among the gnomettes by requesting a "fluffy skirt" skirt (gee, I wonder where she got that idea?). My stash of coffee filters came in pretty handy. P.S., how cute is that fan?!
  • Once the gnomes were complete, the kids cut the tube up the back. Then they folded a small ledge on either side of the tube. This gave the tube a flat surface to better attach to the paper.
Okay, I'm in love with this gnome. Not only is he affectionate ("Kiss the Cook" apron, seriously?) but he's also rather handy in the baked goods department. Cookies and 1$ pies? Don't mind if I do.
  • Once the gnomes were attached to their landscapes, the kids continued to enhance their scene. Some kids requested to create another gnome from a tube, three boys decided they need tube-cars and, as you can see above, one tube was used as a pie stand. I have a very hard time saying "no" to the kids when they run their genius ideas past me. How can I deny their enthusiasm and creativity? This explains why our projects take for-evah.
The artist who created the work on the left requested a handle for his ax. We used a toothpick. And check out that fishing gnome. This artist even included a reel in the gnomes right hand.

Oh, look, it's Gnomeland's Got Talent. I'm not sure what happened to her back up singers but I'm totally diggin' the tip jar and the boom box. She's ole skool.
This work was created by the artist who affectionately refers to herself as Mini-Mrs. Stephens. She really wanted her gnome to look like the one I had on display. I'd say she did an excellent job. I especially like her addition of the fuzzy slippers.
Can you tell what this gnome is doing? He's leaf-blowing! What my photo didn't capture was the large leaf-blower he's wearing on his back. I love the wind blown leaves.
I have to tell you, I think this might be one of my favorite projects so far this year. The kids just went wild with ideas for their gnomes and they seemed to enjoy every minute. I do hope you've enjoyed your stay chillin' wit my gnomies. Until next time, as the gnome above would say, "Peace out, dudes!"





Thursday, December 27, 2012

DIY: Gnome for the Holidays

Ah! Giant Photo Alert! Just tryin' to make sure you can see the gnome-tastic-ness happening at the bottom of my dress. AND that annoying yoke thing that you can easily see put more wrinkles on my face and gray in my hair. I shoulda known anything called a yoke was gonna be trouble...guess the yoke was on me.
 Greetings from my gnome to your gnome! I present to you the latest in Crazy Art Teacher Style: The Gnome for the Holidays Dress. Please, make yourself at gnome as you read all about the trials and tribulations of the dress I worked on until the cows came gnome. And I promise you that will be that last of my home-meets-gnome idioms for at least a full 30 seconds. But that's all I can promise.
I'd like to have you believe that this dress was created for the children. After all, my wee artists are learning all about gnomes in art class (mini-gnome history lesson here) and I do love to dress the part.

But that "for the children" bit, that's just a complete lie.

One late night, whilst googling gnomes, I stumbled upon this Michael Miller fabric (from his collection so awesomely called Gnomeville) and I just knew I had to have it in my life and in my wardrobe. Because, in those quiet contemplative moments I have between one crazy art class to the next, I often think, "what is missing from my life?"

"Duh. A Gnome Dress."

While waiting for my fab fabric to arrive in the mail, I began plotting out my dress-terpiece. I decided to use the same Simplicity Pattern #1803 that I used on my Cuckoo Clock Dress and my Light-Up Blue Christmas Dress. Always a glutton for sewing punishment, I decided to attempt the yoke and cap sleeves for this dress. I felt for sure I was about to hit a fashion gnome run (it's been 30 seconds, right?).
And then the fabric arrived. All two yards of it. Oops. Turns out ordering gnome fabric in the middle of the night is not a good idea. After laying out the pattern pieces, I realized I could make the bodice of this dress but not the full skirt. But more on that later. 

For now, let's have a chat about the yoke. 

I'd like to summarize my feelings about the yoke in a little haiku I wrote one night while seam ripping for the umpteenth time. It goes a little something like this. Ahem:

For the love of gnomes
An art teacher makes a dress
Foiled! By a yoke!

Look, it's just a rough draft. I'm working on it.
To be fair, it wasn't the yoke's fault. I blame the author of the pattern that chose to leave out some vital steps. Having limited sewing experience, I am a strict step follower. So when this pattern just skipped several steps, I did too. And then the seam ripping commenced. When that became too annoying, I did a quick google search to find out what others were saying about the pattern. Several shared my frustration but then I read one that burned me up (read in your most annoying Nellie Oleson voice): "Oh, this is a great pattern for a beginner sewer."
Oh, gnome she didn't! After reading that, I snapped my laptop shut, stomped up to my sewing room, grabbed my seam ripper and went to town. Then I went about pinning the entire bodice together adding in the steps the author left out. When that worked, I unpinned the whole contraption and sewed it together. Yoke, you have replaced my hatred of sleeves. When it came time for the skirt, I decided to use my tried and true vintage Simplicity Pattern #8087. I opted for the skirt in view #2 but adding pockets from the other pattern. It's quite the hybrid of a dress.

Using two different patterns together had me nervous. I wasn't sure if the pocket thing would work and if the bodice and skirt would actually fit together. However, putting in that yoke made me bold enough to think I could do it. And it really was a snap. I opted to wear the bow of the belt in the back so as not to take away from my gnomies at the bottom of the dress.
The following day, when I wore it to school, the kids had great fun chillin' wit my gnomies.
Probably because we've been chatting about them for some time. Remember that midnight gnome fabric shopping spree I told you about? Well, I also picked up the two books on the left from a used book seller via amazon. The hilarious gnome book on the right is from my super Secret Santa at school.
And it turns out gnomes-disease is quite contagious. My sweet first grade artists have been bringing in these drawings since we began learning about them. They are currently creating a beautiful Black Forrest collage for their gnomes to call home. I'll be certain to share those with you soon.
Even my house is looking like Gnomeville from my Christmas tree (which is still up and will most likely stay up for entirely too long) to my knicky-knacks (thanks again, Secret Santa!). I do believe I have a new addiction.
Although, I don't think this is gonna be my "starter gnome" because I don't foresee too many more gnome frocks in my future. Especially with a yoke. However, since finishing this thing, I've updated my haiku. What's that? You wanna hear it? Well, (waving hand sheepishly) okay:

Yoke, who's yo mama?
Why, me and my seam ripper
And my wee gnomies.

Thanks for dropping by!