Sunday, September 21, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #115 and a Blog Makeover!

Starting A-new Monday: Since all things Dot-astic are now behind us, we are now onto our new learning adventure: Latin America! To celebrate, I decided to wear some Latin-America duds this week. embroidered people sweater and Anthropologie dress: thrifted (I know, right?!); shoes: Frye, found on the cheap at Marshall's; necklace: Anthropologie; bangles: gifts from the fam

Hello, there friends! Welcome to my Brand Spankin' New Blog Layout! Y'all, I'm so excited about this. You see, I'm one of those lazy types that absolutely hates tackling new and (seemingly) overwhelming projects. My ole blog has needed an update for, like, ev-errrr. But I dreaded the thought for a coupla reasons: 1. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted and 2. I had absolutely no idea where to start. So after spending a couple of weeks scouring etsy for graphic designers ("a couple of weeks?!", you say. Well, yes. I get easily distracted by all the vintage clothing on etsy and may have purchased a dress or three whilst perusing graphic designers. Ahem), I found Rebekah of Le Charmed Boutique. She had the most glowing of reviews and was so affordable. I have to brag on her as she went through countless ideas and changes with me until I was totes thrilled with the result. Seriously, y'all. If you ever need yourself a custom graphic designer for design services of all types (she's working on a postcard for me now, thanks, Rebekah!), she's your gal. I'd love to know what you all think of the new layout. Once I get those tabs working, I'm hoping it will be easier for you to find whatever it is your looking for (even if that is to find your way outta here!).

On a different note, now that we've finished our adventures in all things dotty, we're moving on to our cultural theme of the year: Latin America! I thought I'd share with you just some of the inspiration for our upcoming projects. What are y'all up to now that the dot dust has settled? I'd love to hear!
Over the years, I've managed to score several arpilleras de adorno of Chile at thrift shops and garage sales. I've always been drawn to them because I love textiles and colors are so happy and cheerful. After a little homework, I discovered these pieces actually have a dark past. You see, on September 11, 1973 there was a coup in Chile. May of the men were arrested, imprisoned, exiled or simply never heard of again. This left the women to raise their children alone without a source of income. The Catholic church formed an organization to help these women find a way to make money. One was by creating these arpilleras (which means burlap as the original designs were stitched on that surface). Many of the original pieces serve as a narrative to show the hardship of these women. These works of art were often never signed for fear of being found out. These days the pieces are proudly signed by the artists that create them. 
It's Not Easy Being Green Tuesday: I found this sweet vintage skirt and blouse a while back but it had yet to make it's debut. That is until a buddy gave me an apron that matched it perfectly. I feel like I outta be workin' at some 1950's Mexican diner. skirt, blouse, apron: vintage; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: Crocs
Located near Mexico City is the little town of Metepec. Because of the rich clay deposits near the town, Metepec has long been home to many utilitarian potters. My fave, however, are the decorative pieces like the suns and the ceramic tree of life candle holders. Many of the pieces are actually created from molds (you can see this especially in the flowers and leaves) which I love. As an artist and an art teacher, you're lead to believe that molds, templates and stencils are bad and inhibit creativity. I think the work of Metepec does a good job of arguing that theory. 
Stitched Skirt Wednesday: Knowing what they do know about stitching from this project, my fourth graders were super curious how this skirt was created. I ain't ashamed to admit that I flipped the hem of my skirt to show them all the painstaking work that went into this number. sweater: Betsy Johnson, Buffalo Exchange; top: Target; skirt: one of my fave etsy shops, SassySenoitaVintage
Amate is a type of paper that has been produced in Mexico since pre-Hispanic times. This paper was produced for communication, record keeping and ritual during the Aztec Empire. During the Spanish conquest, the paper was banned and replaced with European papers. In the 1960's the Nahua people began painting their elaborate pottery designs onto the bark papers as it was easier to transport. They call these paintings "amatl". Each Nahua village has it's own style of painting making each unique.
Puffy Skirt Thursday: I would have to say that most days are better in a puffy skirt with a crinoline underneath...that is unless you are covered in chigger bites (like, even between my toes covered, y'all) and then every swish of that skirt brings on a cascade of itchiness. If you don't live in The South, count your chigger-less blessings as having these little bites on you is a scratch-tastic nightmare. top: Banana Republic, garage sale; skirt: vintage, thrifted
Xavier Castellanos is a Swiss-born, Mexican raised artist whose bright and colorful work I love. I love his "Mexican Landscape" series and can't wait to share this contemporary artist with the kids. This looks like a great inspiration for another mural project, dontcha think?
Mystery Machine Friday: So Friday we hit the road and got a jump start on our Halloween celebrating. To normal folk, it's still mid-September but for us, it's haunted-house, get-chased-by-crazy-people-wielding-chainsaws time. We hit Universal Studios in Orlando a little bit before their big Halloween Horror Nights event so we could hit the Harry Potter area and ride Gringot's Vault. Y'all. That ride was uh-mazing! dress: Anthropologie; sandals: Target

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22 comments:

  1. Love the layout. A wonderful canvas for your colorful posts!

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    1. Thank you, Beth! I figured what I post is distracting enough...I should probably keep the layout clean ;) I appreciate your feedback!

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  2. Love the new blog design, Cassie! Your Latin flavored outfits are simply purr-fect!!!

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  3. Loving the new blog layout! It feels much more "you!" :)

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    1. Aw, thanks!! I was hoping it would not look too cookie cutter...thank you for letting me know it doesn't :)

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    2. Cassie you could never look cookie cutter :) (especially your outfits) but, I also love your new layout.

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  4. Awesome new layout!

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  5. Oh, the new layout is wonderful. It looks so clean and crisp. Nice choice.

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  6. The new blog design looks great! I am going to hire her too! Also, I am thinking of going to Universal Studios in October. Were the lines for the Harry Potter rides very long? Also, thanks for introducing the artist, Xavier Castellanos. Love his work!

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    1. Hey Lucy! You should definitely contact Rebekah, she's AWESOME!! You'll love working with her. The lines at Universal vary. When we went this past weekend, it was only 45 minutes to ride Gringots (which is SUPER SHORT). My recommendation: don't go first thing in the morning...that's what everyone does. Let the crowds die down and hit it around 2pm. Or mill around the park and take in the awesome sights. You'll have a great time, it's so amazing. Yes, I love Xavier's work too!!

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  7. I like your new blog layout, and that it finally does not refer to you as a belt maker! But since you asked - I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of split-pea-soup-green, unless it is in a bowl for dinner along with some crusty bread. I think of you as so much more colorful. Just an opinion; otherwise your blog layout looks nice and fresh and clean! Good job!

    I love the Latin America theme. There is so much fabulous folk art that originates from south of us! While at the International Folk Art Market this summer, traveling with Crizmac/School arts, we got to meet, among others, a Huichol yarn painter (totally amazing), a Mexican mask-maker (also terrific), and a Oaxacan wood carver (fantabulous). The colors! The patterns! The imagination! And in addition, the incredible stories these artists told about their work and their families! You would love...

    One more thing - how do you finagle the time to go to Universal? Is it a fall break at school or something? And was the Mystery Machine there at Universal? (Or is that your car?) ;)

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    1. The green was a good "neutral" for me...something not too distracting from all the other craziness that happens here. Oh and that's my car ;)

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  8. LOVE your new blog layout Cassie! You have totally inspired me to kick it up a notch and do some major make-overing on mine :)

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    1. Rebekah (the designer behind my blog) recommended starting a blog pinterest board for ideas. This was genius and so much fun! That's what I'd recommend to you as you start dreaming up new ideas for your blog :)

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    2. I saw you had started doing that on Pinterest, what a great idea! Now I officially am never going to get any housecleaning done with all of this procastinating and Pinterest-ing stuff to do...

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  9. I LOVE your new blog layout Cassie! It's simple and pretty! I love the green also! :)

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    1. Thank you! Now if only I could get my life to be as simple and clean looking, I'd be in good shape ;)

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  10. Ginny Guiffre9/22/2014

    Love it ALL!!!!! The layout, the pics, the clothes and the fun facts. This old retired art teacher learned new stuffs and is intrigued by the new unit of study. Can't wait to see what you have the kids create.

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    1. Thank you, buddy!! I appreciate your sweet words :)

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