Tuesday, December 31, 2013

DIY: 13 Favorites of 2013

Happy New Year, you crazy kids! I hope you rang in the new year in style...which, if you're like me, that meant recovering from a backpacking trip your hubs dragged, er, took you on. That's right, after I gifted him these paintings, he decided that a camping adventure was in order. Mind you, it's winter here in Tennessee and the evening forecast was about 29 degrees. I don't know if that's cold to you, but for me, the person who stays under her electric blanket (perfect present, Diana!) with at least 3 space heaters aimed in her direction at all times, that's pretty chilly. I'll share that experience with you in an upcoming post (cuz I know you're dying to hear all about it) but until then, I thought I'd give ya my 13 favorites of 2013! 

Now last year at this time I shared my 12 faves of 2012 and I really enjoyed looking back on my year. This year meant a lot of new crafting, art room and travel adventures. So without further jibber-jabber, I present to you my 13 Faves of 2013!
 1. Going to Paris ranks at the top of my favorite things about this year. After teaching about Europe (with a focus on Paris, France) all year in the art room, I was thrilled to have the chance to spend a week there. This photo was actually taken on the day we landed and zipped right over to the Arc. I may have cried a pinch here ... and at the top when I got a good view of the Eiffel Tower. It was just too beautiful for my tired jet-lagged soul to take without shedding a tear or three.
I think I took exactly 500 photos while I was there. You can read more about my adventure here. I'd love to go back; there were just so many things to see and do.
2. Going to Germany to attend the wedding of some friends was also one of my favorite things. We flew into Nuremburg from Paris at which point my hubs took the rental car to the Germany company he works for which left me stranded in the city for several hours. This really pushed my big girl limits as I had to figure out how to navigate that foreign city and find my way back to the town where we were staying. Turns out clicking your heels and whispering "there's no place like Neustadt an der Aisch" only works in the movies.
3. I began my love affair with needle felting this year. It all started when I spotted a certain dotted sweater at Anthropologie and was inspired to create my own version. I've become so addicted that there currently isn't a sweater in my wardrobe that isn't DIY'ed. Le sigh.

Of course I had to felt a bird on it. Details on the sweater on the left here and the one on the right here.
This sweater was (at the time) the most time consuming...although I'm currently working on a felted number that's gonna put all these bad boys to shame. I'm hoping to have that one to share with you next week.
I felted my cat Asha looking dapper and created another Anthro knock-off but putting my own spin on it with a Christmas theme.
4. I had the privilege of working with the awesome Rebecca Tenpenny this year. In case you don't recall, she was my super duper student teacher that I just adored. We spent so much time together dreaming up projects for the kids, laughing and just having a great time.
5. Creating Great Big Masterpiece-Inspired murals has really been fun in the art room this year. The first one we embarked on was this Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup Can number that currently hangs in the school cafeteria.


Our second big mural was inspired by the work of Rene Magritte and created by my third grade students. I'm excited to see what other murals we create this upcoming year.
6. So I got it in my head that I would be creating 9 artist-themed outfits this school year. This has been so much fun for me and the kids have loved it. Of course, sometimes I have to point out to them that I'm wearing something slightly unusual because they just look at me and see crazy. An apple for your face? Eh, what else is new.

 7. I started a sewing group after school for the faculty at my school. It's been so exciting to share my love of sewing with others. I have plenty to learn about sewing...but it's so much fun to teach what little I do know. I'm excited to say that about 4 of these ladies have since purchased sewing machines of their own and even gotten some for Christmas! In the photo above, we're wearing some tacky Christmas garb we stitched up ourselves.
 
8. Getting published in SchoolArts...twice! I've been reading SchoolArts since my first year teaching when I discovered a stash in the back of my first art room. I poured over those issues and learned so much from each and every one. It was such a life saver for me...and still is. So I was honored to have my geeked out art teacher clothes featured.
And an article I wrote that showcased the fab work of my former fourth graders. It meant so much to me and them.
9. A service project to help those that can't help themselves. My kindergarten through 4th grade students each created an animal clay project that they "sold" back to their parents for a monetary donation of their choice. This money was then given to the no-kill animal shelter in our town called Happy Tales Humane. I think showing the kids that they can use their art to help others is very important. We are in the middle of another service project now. By the way, you can see our animal clay projects here, here and here.

10. Dressing like Mary Poppins for Favorite Book Character Day was such fun. Since the kids were learning about the UK at the time, I was reading P.L. Travers book to the children and playing my old Disney records. By the way, have ya'll seen Saving Mr. Banks? If not, you absolutely must. I loved every minute.
The best part about dressing as Mary is that I actually got to meet her at Epcot that very weekend. I told her I was a teacher and she asked, "Do you keep those students in spit spot shape?"
11. Getting to visit with my mother and brother this summer was awesome. My baby bro teaches on an Indian reservation in Arizona so I don't see him as often as I'd like. And my mama lives about 6 hours away in Indiana. So for us to get together is a pretty big deal. I took 'em around to the usual touristy spots.
12. Hubs and I love to go to Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios in Disney World. Yeah, we're nerdy like that. For the last two years, I've created a dress for the occasion, once with the Star Wars sheets from my childhood and this year with a Mad Men theme. Already hubs is asking what I'll be wearing this upcoming year.
13. Getting this insane tree into the art room. Okay, this one goes down as one of the funniest things that happened this year. My girlfriend and I made two trips with her huge car hauling this monster of a tree...and then more girlfriends attempted to help me assemble the thing. In the end, a kind dad volunteer put the tree together and I'm happy to say, it's still standing.
And we've so enjoyed having it in the art room this year. Fingers crossed it hasn't decided to collapse over Winter Break.

And that's my 13 faves of 2013! I hope your year was a good one and here's to a brand new one. Happy New Year, ya'll!

12 comments:

  1. What a year it was! A great post. Yes I saw Saving Mr. Banks. Loved every minute of it too. Happy New Year.

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    1. I know, I loved it...I think I need to see it again before it leaves the theater! Thank you for your kinds words :)

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  2. Anonymous1/01/2014

    I love your posts... and I'd love to get together with you to get crafty...lucky for you I live about 18 hours away! You are one AMAZING teacher!!!
    Kara :)

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    1. Eh, what's 18 hours (says the person who cannot be in a car longer than 3!) Have a great New Year!

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  3. Awesome stuff this year thanks for sharing your energy and creativity with us all. looking forward to seeing more of your inspirational work.

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    1. Thank you! Looking forward to sharing more craft-i-ness :)

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  4. Happy 2014, Cassie! I saw Saving Mr. Banks today; fabulous!

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    1. I know, I cried like 3 times, loved it!

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  5. Happy 2014 Cassie! I'm a long-time lurker on your blog - I've always loved reading about your crafty adventures. Have a most excellent 2014 xxx

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    1. Roisin, thanks for lurking and commenting :) Hope your 2014 is starting off well!

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  6. I had seen some of your outfits in the magazine. How fun to see that there are so many more! And I love the felted details you added to the tops. I had never seen that before. I may have to dabble in that a bit.

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  7. Just stumbled on to your blog through you Pinterest posts and had to send you a post - what an amazing teacher you must be!!!! Your creativity and talents for all things artistic is truly impressive - How fortunate the children in your school are to be inspired by your amazing creativity -- Congratulations on choosing a career to inspire young minds with your amazing gifts!!

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)