Wednesday, March 6, 2013

DIY // In the Art Room: Making Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins Outfit details: bag, skirt and ruffly blouse: vintage, thrifted; sweater and boots: Buffalo Exchange; gloves and hat: vintage, gift from a friend; umbrella and red necktie: made by me
Why, hello thar! 'Tis I, wannabe Mary Poppins, practically (im)perfect in every way! Like many schools, mine celebrated Read Across America week with a "dress like a storybook character" day. Because we are currently learning about all things United Kingdom and I'm reading Mary Poppins to my second and fourth graders, deciding who I would dress like was as easy as taking my meds with a spoonful of sugar. Even if I did wanna dress as Sherlock Holmes for a could coupla days. But I didn't think my pipe-puffing would go over well with those party-poopin' principals in my building. So Mary 'twas!

Whilst dressed as Mary, I tried my very best to keep my faux-British accent going as long as I could. We do this little routine in my room where the kids repeat the art directions after me. For kicks we tried out our best Brit accents and the kids loved it. I'm sure that if any actual British folk heard our southern accents attempting to copy theirs, they'd spit up their tea and biscuits.
 Fave Mary moment...and how I foresee my classroom evaluation going when my aforementioned non-pipe-smoking principal drops in to witness kids -n- clay:

Mr. Banks: Just a moment, Mary Poppins. What is the meaning of this outrage?
Mary Poppins: I beg your pardon?
Mr. Banks: Will you be good enough to explain all this?
Mary Poppins: First of all, I would like to make one thing quite clear.
Mr. Banks: Yes?
Mary Poppins: I never explain anything.
The thing my outfit was lacking was the famous parrot-headed brolly. You just can't be Mary Poppins without it. But where to find such a thing? I decided that I'd just have to make my own. I sent out an umbrella email request to the fabulous teachers at my school and within minutes I had my mitts on a lovely wooden handled umbrella.
As soon as I got home, I busted out the tin foil and started sculpting the parrots head. I was too impatient to mess with the masking tape portion of 'mache'ing so I hopped straight to the covering-in-sticky-newspaper part. I'd later come to regret this (like so many things in my life) as it prevented me from having a smooth surface for my bird.
After taking what seemed like days to dry, I painted him with acrylic paints and used an image from pinterest as my inspiration. Laziness prevented me from giving him a coat of Modge Podge. Someday, when my laziness takes a holiday, I'll get to that step.
Ack! Giant parrot eye! In some photos, the tip of the parrots beak is white so I painted mine as such. One of my principal ladies said it looked like his nose was chipped. Some people just don't know.

More from the best movie on the planet...Parrot Umbrella: Awk, that's gratitude for you. Didn't even say goodbye? Mary Poppins: No, they didn't. Parrot Umbrella: Look at them! You know, they think more of their father than they do of you! Mary Poppins: That's as it should be. Parrot Umbrella: Well, don't you care? Mary Poppins: Practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking. Parrot Umbrella: Is that so? Well, I'll tell you one thing, Mary Poppins: you don't fool me a bit! Mary Poppins: Oh, really? Parrot Umbrella: Yes, really. I know exactly how you feel about these children, and if you think I'm going to keep my mouth shut any longer, I'll...
she clamps his mouth shut] Mary Poppins: That will be quite enough of that, thank you.

Time for tea! Anyone for a cuppa?

All week, leading up to the arrival of Mary Poppins, my classes enjoyed a spot of tea and biscuits. I brought in some of my vintage table clothes and fancified one small area of my otherwise disastrous art room. I brewed each class a pot of tea (apple, peach and mint) and picked up some shortbread cookies and tea biscuits from the store. One kind UK blogger (thanks, Jerra!) informed me that I needed to serve my tea with "lumps" (sugar cubes) and I'd have to say, the kids liked that the best.
Pinkies out, dearies!
Of course, I just had to bring in my small collections of Mary Poppins records. Thankfully our librarian still had one of these ancient bad boys on hand.
Most of my students had never seen a record player before (shoot, they find the tape player on my CD player fascinating) and I found several of them with their noses right up to the spinning record like this young dude.
In my crazy closet, I had almost the perfect coat and scarf to complete my Poppins look. I thrifted the brown coat a while ago and the scarf is an old number from the Gap.

And, would you believe, the most magical thing happened! This weekend, hubs and I took a short trip to Walt Disney World and Epcot in Orlando. On our final day there, while walking through the Great Britain portion of Epcot, I ran into none other than Mary Poppins herself. Here she is asking me if I keep my students in "spit spot shape". Please don't ask me what's going on with my hair.

An even rarer occurrence: Me, in jeans!

From Mary and I, we wish you a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious week. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Sherlock!


  1. Great job on your outfit and the whole bit! I love the parrot head on your umbrella. My daughter is in full Mary Poppins mode, and she keeps telling me she needs an umbrella and some ugly black shoes :) I'll have to show her your pics!

  2. WOW! Another simply amazing outfit! And you look practically perfect in every way to me! I must say your students are very lucky to have such a creative and inspirational teacher like you! x

  3. Hey! I love your Mary Poppins outfit. Almost perfect! That's so inspiring! I'd like to find one for me too. Must go upstairs to my closet at once.

  4. You are a rock star! I just love your outfit!

  5. Love it!
    As for Southern accents copying my British one... well, I kind of hear that every day. Yes, my own son thinks it is hilarious to mock me ;) He's rubbish at it though ;) Except for when he doesn't try. Because then, you can actually hear a slight English inflection, which cracks me up. He also says 'Exterminate' in a British accent, but only because he learned it from the Daleks!

  6. I have to say, I think your Mary is better looking than the one at Disney!

  7. you are simply the most amazing mary poppins ever!

  8. So lovely! Your level of crafty innovation is a great source of inspiration Cassie!

    Also, did you hear that there's a film coming out in December about the making of the film--starring Tom Hanks as Walt & Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers!

  9. You make a supercalifragilisticexpealidocious Mary Poppins!

    Adventures of a Sequin Cat

  10. I soooo wish I had a art teacher like you! You are pure awesomeness!! Your students are lucky.

  11. Lots of good tips! Nice job from one teacher to another. :-)

  12. Love it! Best Mary Poppins ever!

  13. Nice post, you provided a valuable information, keep going. merry christmas gif


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