Friday, July 13, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #25

Geez, Guess Who's Excited Monday: One of my favorite things about summer is being a helper (ahem, a facilitator) at Tennessee Arts Academy. If you dunno about the 'Academy and you are an arts teacher, you must check it out. It is by far the best professional development around. dress: vintage, picked up on my trip to Amsterdam; belt: made by me; sandals: old, Target
 Hi, friends! I hope your week has been Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I have spent the last seven days with the most incredible artists and arts teachers around. I cannot wait to share with you all of the art lesson ideas I've gathered over the last couple of days. I feel so energized (well, after a big fat hairy nap) and excited about the new school year. If you are an arts teacher, please don't pass up the opportunity to attend the Tennessee Arts Academy next summer. And don't let the name throw you, anyone from anywhere can attend. Registration begins in the fall, so visit their website often to secure your spot (okay, unpaid advertisement over).

The biggest highlight was having the opportunity to meet, listen to and hear the singing voice of one of America's greatest song writers. Richard Sherman and his brother Robert started their song writing career by writing the top 10 hit Tall Paul for the Mouseketeer Annette Funicello (this youtube link is a must see!). This lead to them being approached by the great Walt Disney to write some songs for a little movie project he was working on. But more that later...
Recognize this ride? It's one of my Disney favorites, from the design by Mary Blair to that little ditty that resides in one's head long after the trip around a Small World. Image found here.
 First lemme introduce you to the brothers that wrote one of the world's most recognizable Sherman Brother's tunes, It's a Small World. Richard Sherman shared with us the amazing story of how this song came to be: back in 1964, Walt Disney created this ride for the New York World's Fair UNICEF Children of the World pavilion...a mouthful, right? The Sherman Brothers thought so too.
Finally the Rain Comes Tuesday: dress: vintage with Naughty Nautical Girls embroidered by me; belt and hair flower clip: made by me; anchor sandals: Sperry, last summer

The design of It's a Small World is by one of my favorite Disney artists, Mary Blair. I think I need this image in my classroom this year since we are traveling the world in art.
They asked Disney if they could possibly shorten the name of the song and he agreed. He told them, 'it just needs to be about small children around the world and I need it yesterday!' The brothers set to work in a panic. Thankfully, they seemed to work well under pressure. While Richard sat at the piano, he and his brother bounced back and fourth: 
"Small Children..."
"Children of the World..."
"Small World..."
"It's a Small World!"
Tall Cassie Wednesday: The combination of 4" wedges and 3" hair had me leering over my good friend Debbie all day. We had quite a laugh and I enjoyed that I could easily put her in a choke hold when necessary. dress: vintage, thrifted; shoes: Anthro, sale; belt: gift from a friend with flower added by me

The opening of the ride in 1966. Image found here.
 Now when the brothers wrote "It's a Small World", they wrote it as a song. It was Walt Disney that put the song to that tempo that causes the song to stay with your for days, weeks and months. A pleasant reminder of a sweet song, says me.
Thursday, Darling: Every morning I was in a hurry to get to the Academy so my photos this week are a bit rushed. Notice I'm wearing my name tag in this photo, oops! dress: vintage, gift from a sweet friend; owl sandals: Anthro, last year; belt: Pinkyotto; sweater: ebay; headband:  from the best hair accessory maker around Peachy Tuesday

From left to right, Robert Sherman, Richard Sherman and Walt Disney. Awesome.
 Mr. Sherman also shared with us the story behind the songs of Mary Poppins: when Walt Disney first approached the brothers it was to work on these songs. Walt discovered the stories about the magical nanny through his daughters who adored reading the books of  P.L. Travers. Apparently, Ms. Travers was not an easy one to work with and obtaining the rights proved to be no small feat. But, as you know, Walt was able to and the rest is history.
From left to right: Richard Sherman, Julie Andrews, Dick van Dyke, Robert Sherman
 Mr. Sherman told us a little back story about the casting of Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins. Apparently, Julie Andrews almost didn't take the gig. She had her sights set on the role of Eliza Doolittle in the movie production of My Fair Lady which she'd performed on Broadway for many years. Hollywood decided that she was too much of an unknown and went with Audrey Hepburn instead. The moment Audrey got the role in My Fair Lady, Julie called Walt and said, "okay, when do we begin Mary Poppins?" Julie Andrews went on win an Academy Award for her role. Take that, Hollywood.
And Now It's Time to Say Goodbye: The last day of the Arts Academy is always a toughie. I make so many new friends and reunite with old ones, it's bummer to bid adieu. dress: Okay, don't hate me but I found this ANTHRO dress at GOODWILL (yes, this is worth shouting over). The original $298 dollar price tag was still on the dress and I got it for...$7.99. shoes: Anthro, sale

This photo makes me so incredibly happy! It is a Small World, after all!
After hearing Richard Sherman share these stories and sing his songs from Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang, Winnie the Pooh and, of course, It's A Small World, I was just completely star struck. Sadly, the stars were not aligned for me to meet him as the chance never came up. Until this afternoon at the final reception when I found him sitting at the table next to mine. He graciously agreed to a photo ("Well, sure, sweetie!") after I gushed on and on about how much I loved his songs. What an incredible song writer and gentleman.

Have the loveliest of weekends, friends! I hope you make it Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!


  1. I just wanted to say I love your blog! Your posts are always so interesting! I started reading because I liked your sewing projects, but I like reading about other stuff too...I never knew the same people had written all those catchy, catchy songs. And yes I'm jealous of your Anthro find, but also happy for you...Have a great weekend!

  2. It's a Small world is the only ride we went on more than once at Disney last summer. WE all loved it! And I remembered it from when I was a kid, and loved it back then too...Mary Blair I was introduced to through you posting her on Pinterest, awesome super artwork! That Anthro Dress-holy crap you are so lucky to have found that holy moly! Great post, glad you have such a neato professional development academy to attend in the summer. thank you for the shout out, Happy Saturday night to you!!

  3. That sounds like an amazing adventure meeting Mr. Sherman. What a treat!

    I hate to be persnickety, but the role in My Fair Lady was Eliza Doolittle. And while I am the biggest Audrey Hepburn fan in the world, Julie was totally robbed. So glad that she got her come-uppance with an Oscar for Mary Poppins.

  4. I just found you blog and love your cute style! I love the colorful outfits! Fantastic!



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