There's only one prob. We're already in the middle of our Village of Kindness mural.
Now, what you might not know about me is that I like to work on, like, twenty things at once. In fact, at home right now, I've got three dresses in the works, a painting and a felted number. I get an idea, I act on it right away before the excitement fades and the motivation is gone. It drives me crazy, having so many projects everywhere and, yet, it's how I live my life. It's also how I run my art room. I ain't braggin'. I'm just sayin'.
More on that in a pinch. For now, lemme show you what every grade level is up to for our mural!
So for our mural, I'm using these two huge sheets of foam core that were donated to me. They're about 3' X 6'. I went to the school nurse on Monday cuz I heard she was really good at the math. After a lil clicking away on her calculator, she told me that if each of our 366 students created a work of art that was 3.25" we'd have our boards covered. Great, now, what will each create?
First Grade Painted and Puffy Paint Outlined Hearts:
Now I happen to be the owner of a cache of felt. I dunno where I got it from but I have a ton. Because I want this mural to hang for a while, I didn't wanna use fade-tastic construction paper. So I thought for most of the projects, I'd use up that felt. A lovely helper mama and a sweet unsuspecting art education student were promptly put to work on cutting the squares out.
I do want some consistency with our hearts. So, for first grade, they used chalk to trace a heart template (I know you template-haters are having a heart attach. Get it, HEART attach!? Lawd, I shoulda been a comedian). After tracing, they were instructed to use the warm colors for the heart and the cool for the background. Once finished, they outlined their heart in their choice of puffy paint. This took us all of 25 minutes.Second Grade Yarn-Bombed Hearts:
Because I didn't want this to interrupt our previously scheduled program, I wanted these to only take us 25 minutes. Most managed with a coupla minutes to spare.
After picking out their felt color and pipe cleaner, they folded their pipe cleaner in half. The heart templates were on the tables for them to lay their pipe cleaner on top of and mold around the shape. They created an X in the middle where the two wires overlapped and then twisted. The cool thing about the pipe cleaner is that the kids didn't really have to tie the string on because of the grippy-ness of the 'cleaner. A wee bit of knot-tying was needed but these kids had recently finished Ojo de Dios so knot tying is no biggie for them. Once finished, I hot glued them to their felt fabric.
Third grade Stitched Hearts:
Now I do see my third and fourth graders for an hour. We jumped right in. These dudes have used my sewing machines before and a couple of them are in my after school sewing club but most are inexperienced. They were thrilled to learn! I started by having them trace the square in chalk and the heart in the Sharpie color they planned to stitch with. After that, they were to hoop their design before returning to the floor for instruction.
There I showed 'em how to thread their needle and start stitching. These guys totally nailed it. I think third grade must be the right age to really start in with stitchin' stuff.
Our tapestry needles were too small to sew the button so we just glued them on. Later, I'll have to trim these guys to add them to the mural.
Y'all know I loves me some needle felting. I've always been apprehensive to give it a go with the kids because of the razor sharp needles used. So I started the class by saying the following:
"Today we are going to use a dangerous tool [gasps from the girls] because we are dangerous artists [cheers from the boys]. I'm not kidding. There might be blood [pin-drop silence]."
That being said, we only had one bleeder. Which is pretty good if you ask me. I've taught adults before and there's been more casualties.
Again, we traced. The kids were told they could either use all cold colors for their heart or all warm. And then reverse that for the outside of their hearts.
We did bust several needles but the results were pretty spectacular.
Kindergarten Watercolor Resist Hearts:
So my kindergarten friends have been painting all year. We are, like, experts. However, this was our first time to venture into watercolor paint town. So I was a little nervous. We talked a lot about the dif between watercolor and tempera. I emphasized that watercolor is translucent, not opaque.
After tracing their heart template in black, they added designs in oil pastel before using the warm colors to paint. They turned out lovely and the kids loved using a new medium.
And there you have it. Yet another mural started. It's so funny cuz when my parent volunteer and student assistant came in yesterday morning and I told 'em the mural news, the convo went down like this:
Helper Mama: Wait a minute. Another mural? [eyeing the houses on the floor].
Student Assistant: You mean, before the other mural is finished [exchanging a worried look with the mama]?
Crazy has no bounds, y'all. Wish me luck and lemme be the first to wish ya Happy Valentine's Day!