Tuesday, July 28, 2015

In the Art Room: What to Wear

Sure you can buy a fur realz pair of Jeffrey Campbell pencil shoes (because, ya know, we teachers got money to burn) or you could have way more fun and make your own! I simply painted a thrifted pair of kicks with acrylic paint and covered that in ModPodge. I've seen other fine-footed art teacherin' types take a more sensible route and paint canvas shoes in the same style. With lots of wear, mine have started to cracked at the crease. If I were gonna do it all again, I'd prolly invest in some leather paint as it's got a bit of a give. 

On this here blog that I call home, I thought I'd run a lil series called Back to Art Teacherin'. If you are an art teacherin' type like myself, the end of summer vacay is nigh and what better time to prep for the Return of the Children (of the corn) then meow? So in this here series of Back to Art Teacherin', I'll be chatting at y'all about the following:

* What to Wear (which, hello, is this here post!)

* How to Decorate Your Art Room to it's utmost fabulousness (always a blast)

* An updated version of that dreaded Art Supply Order 

* And, best of all, what to teach those chillins on those most important first daze of schoolin'!

So, without further ado-ness, let's talk about sumpin near and dear to my baked, battered and blackened heart: Clothes!
 Just admit it, one of your fave things about getting back to art teacherin' is the smell of sharped pencils and freshly cracked boxes of crayons. So why not have an outfit or two to match? Pencil appliqué skirt here, needle felted crayon sweater there

What's a crayon sweater without crayon shoes? I mean, really? 

I didn't always have an obsessions with What I Wore. Nor have I always created my own clothes. Naw, y'all, this here is a new-ish thing for me. So if you don't know how to sew, felt, embroider or appliqué (yet), don't you fret! I taught myself simply cuz 1. We don't have cable and I get bored easily and 2. Because I've always wanted to create my own clothing! It's been that nagging creative outlet that I'd ignored for years thinking, eh, it's not real "art; I should be painting, drawing, sculpting, whateves-ing!" How lame was I to put off something I was truly interested in? If you find yourself doing the same with whatever it is you are intrigued by, tell that Sally-Self-Doubt, Negative-Nelly, Trash-Talking-Tina to hush it and go make you a Rock Star Apron if you wanna!
Why you mad, bro? Jelly of my kick arse art teacherin' apron? This is one of the first things I stitched up several years ago. It was so much fun to make and the kids loved it! That inspired me to create even more craziness. 
 What to wear on those painting days in the art room (which is pretty much everyday, right)? Why a palette dress, of course! I love the vintage charm of this Michael Miller fabric, y'all! 
 Tho if your wee artists are anything like mine, there's likely to be paint ever.ee.wheres. In which case a dress that you've painted or one stitched from Jackson Pollock-esque fabric is prolly the way to go. 
All of which calls for paint splattery shoes

Now I know that if y'all have been by this blog before, you've prolly seen just about everything I've got here for ya's today. Like, for instance, this here montage of artist-inspired numbers. 
 
 So it turns out I double downed on my Monet ensembles this year but I just couldn't help it. What's not to love about that painterly dude? That stitched and needle felted number took exactly two sessions of Project Runway reruns to get thru while that summery dress was a snap. 

It's funny, the other day I saw an article about people who take a buttload of selfies (FYI, not the actual title of said article. Tho "People Who Take a Buttload of Selfies" is a killer title, if I do say so. And I just did.) and, according the the author who apparently has NEVER taken a selfie in her LIFE (hair flip), those that do are manipulative (CHECK!), selfish (CHECKITY-CHECK) and, basically, just arsehole-ish. Well! There you have it! Me, in a nutshell. It's like she could see my manipulative, selfish sssooooouuuuuulll. 
 
 Last year's Kandinsky show at The Frist was the inspo behind these two numbers. Maybe it's cuz I'm totes clueless but not until seeing them now, side by side, am I realizing how opposite they are. Lil black dress here and wild -n- crazy in white here. 
It never fails, every winter, I take up needle felting all over again. That Scream Dress is one hot lil number to wear what with the completely wool lined inside (I think the screaming is actually due to the smell comin' off me). The Starry Night took all of eternity what with the embroidery (which you can't really see so why'd I do it, y'all? WHY?) and the lights.  
 
 Oh, applique. I always forget what a super fun pain in the rear you are. Fur serious tho, I do love changing the look of my clothing with appliqué. It gives a great flat look (perfect for pop art!) that you just can't quite get with needle-felting. Applique was one of the first methods of sewing I learned. I think I liked it because it reminded me of collage. In fact, to get over my fear of sewing, I told myself that the stitches were just like glue holding everything together. For some reason, likening sewing to collage (something I'm comfortable with) made it a whole lot less frightening. Lichtenstein-y here, Warhol-ishness there. 
 I was chatting with our weather-predicting custodian today and he claims that we are gonna get MASSIVE snow this year (which, for we Tennesseans means, like TWO WHOLE INCHES). We had quite the winter this past year which for me meant Snow Days/Sew Days. I got so much stitched! This here tribute to Mondrian was one o' em. 
 
 Now even if you can't sew, felt or appliqué, you can draw, right? That there Keith Haring number was just doodled on some pleather with a white Sharpie paint pen. And that Great Wave dress was the thing that started this whole Artist-Inspired series! The most easy artist dress made: that Magritte number. All I did was make the hat and add the birds! 
 For the last couple of years, I've made a Back to School dress. You know, one complete with school supplies and artsy whut-nots. Like that crayon and chevron thing and that crazy art supply number (with sleeves big enough to fly away with!). 
 My fave thing on the planet? Shopping for fabric, y'all. And when I find me some artsy fabric like that pencil fabric on the left and that marker fabric on the right, my palms get all sweaty, my heart skips a beat and I might cry a lil bit. 
 
 I love me a great big skirt, y'all. The kind that when I walk past a table, my big swooshiness knocks over cups, glasses, small children, you name it. That giant shower curtain skirt on the left does the trick quite nicely but that puffy pencil number isn't too snabby neither. 

 Wait...giveaway. DID SOMEBODY SAY GIVEAWAY IN THE TITLE OF THIS HERE POST? 

Yes, sir and madams, I most certainly did. I've got a small grab bag cache of art teacherin' books that I'd love to send your way (not pictured. Obvi.) But here's the catch (there's always a catch): you gotta tell me your most fave back-to-school shopping memory! Mine involved my dad taking me jeans shopping at the dollar store before my eighth grade year. THE DOLLAR STORE, Y'ALL. All this girl ever wanted was some Guess jeans! Pretty sure this is why I don't wear pants to this day, the flashbacks are killer. Lemme hear your tale and don't forget to leave your lovely lil email addy so I can be sure to send these awesome art books your way. Until then!
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33 comments:

  1. In elementary school I can remember shopping for and luvin on a hounds tooth print dress with the see-through plastic liquid filled pocket on the front that was filled with glitter and plastic objects i.e. pencil and scissors that you could poke at to move around all day long in class instead of paying attention. Just passing time between art classes. Is that terrible!? :-O

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    1. jd071682@gmail.com Thanks! And good luck this year!

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  2. For me every year It's the "Great Back-to-School Art Materials Treasure Hunt" and was most excited this year about Target's special Crayola 10 packs of Stamper Markers. With last week's "Buy One, Get one Half off" sale I was able to score 18 boxes by visiting all the area Target stores. I also like the 10 packs of Bold and Tropical (dark and light colors) Crayola markers at Walmart. As far as markers go I am SET!

    Love all your art themed clothes! You must wrap yourself in a big smock to not get splattered while teaching art. Or you are a much neater art teacher than I am.

    mkscurfield@cox.net

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    1. "Teach Like a Pirate" doesn't happen to be in that prize pack, does it?

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  3. Back to school shopping when I ws a lid meant opening the hand-me-down closet. I have five sisters and loved getting their clothes!

    Dogsmilk90@gmail.com

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  4. Ladawna Dillman7/28/2015

    Best back to school shopping memory is actually taking my daughter every year. We always buy double school supplies to send with her to school for her teacher to give out as needed, we have so much fun picking out stuff!

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  5. As a preteen, or tween as we now call those lovelies, my sister and I always got cool designer Jean outfits, matching of course. One year we chose Gloria Vanderbilt head to toe, mine in lime green and hers in hot pink. Cords, velour v neck, snap front gingham cowgirl shirt. Picture a giant string bean and a not as giant stick of gum. We were the coolest! Now I just love getting and sorting through all my class supplies, it's like Christmas morning!
    montibellol@middletownk12.org. Thanks, Cassie!

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  6. I remember the year all I wanted was bright pink high top sneakers and I actually got them. I treasured them! Best year ever!

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  7. I remember the year all I wanted was bright pink high top sneakers and I actually got them. I treasured them! Best year ever!

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  8. I remember the year all I wanted was bright pink high top sneakers and I actually got them. I treasured them! Best year ever!

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  9. The year I got the tennis shoes where you could change out the Velcro label with other colors to match your wardrobe!!!

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  10. Anonymous7/29/2015

    My all time fave back to school shopping memory was 5 years ago when I took my first and (at that time) ONLY granddaughter back to school shopping. This meant a lot to me because as a young mom it seemed like money was always so tight, but as the Grandma, I could do a little spoiling!!! My heart was full. It still is, but now I have SEVEN grandkiddos!!! If I took them all back to school shopping like I did Miss Ella, I would be broke! claracrosby@sbcglobal.net

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  11. My best/worst back to school shopping memory happened with my mom when she yelled, from the shoe section to me one aisle over, "Do you need any THONGS?" Of course my very conservative mother was referring to sandals not the undergarment, but shoppers near me got a good snicker and I was mortified. I laugh everytime I think about it now.
    Thanks for the opportunity Cassie :) marcie.allen87@gmail.com

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  12. One of my fave BTS shopping memories was getting Yo-Yo's - platform shoes with a hole cut out of the heel. I think I was in 6th grade and finally could wear a grown up shoe! I also LOVED picking out my school supplies - I lived in a smallish town and all my friends would pack the K&B for the Mead 3 subject spirals and all the shiny new loot.
    I love all your outfits Cassie and can't wait to see what you come up with this year. As for me, I think I'm going the minimal route with a tee, a cardi, and colored jeans that I hope will pass as professional pants, every day :). Have a wonderful new year!

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  13. I remember going shopping with my mom for the first day of school outfit, and finally the day came where she let me shop at the gap instead of gap kids-I remember buying a green cordoroy shirt and a flannel to tie around my waist (total 90s outfit). I still remember being in that Gap thinking I was so grown up! I even used the navy blue gap bag as my gym bag for the beginning of the school year :-)
    Dkward02@gmail.com

    I'm totally making those pencil shoes for this year--fellow art teacher here-my kids would love those!!

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  14. I remember the fun of getting new school supplies! It was thrilling to go back to school. Our school was just uniforms--so maybe a white shirt was in the mix. But the new pencils and notebooks. It was all thrilling.

    Thanks for your great posts! Fun, informative and funny!

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  15. Anonymous7/29/2015

    My favorite, and most embarrassing, back-to-school memory involves my dad taking me and my two sisters shopping for back to school clothes...way back in the eighties! There was plenty of black and neon combinations, acid wash jean skirts, and at least one knitted cat sweater involved, which was my favorite thing. We were so proud of our gear that we begged our dad to film us putting on a fashion show - complete with commentary by my sister and some hilarious bloopers, including a particularly confident walk by my eight-year-old self, all the while with my hair tucked into the neck of my prized cat sweater (there were some quick dress changes!) and followed by three full turns at the end of the “catwalk” (I think I had figure skaters and fashion models confused at the time). My dad filmed it all on his old school video camera, the kind that was so large it had to be propped up on his shoulder and held a full-sized VHS tape! The evidence still exists! Thanks for listening Cassie! My email address is michelled2016@gmail.com.

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  16. Anonymous7/29/2015

    I just found my new favorite Art Teacher blog! I look forward to buying/making art inspired wear for back to school every year. Love the shoes- I need to paint some. I make lots of long front & back coverage smocks out of two rectangles of fabric stitched at the shoulders and ties on the sides. I'm looking forward to going fabric shopping later this week to see what inspirations I can find. My favorite non smock teacher wear was a blouse made from Mondrian inspired joe boxer fabric(smiley faces in all the yellow squares) and a vest made from corduroy printed with Sandra Boynton critters dressed like artists and splattering paint everywhere.

    Pat

    mrs artfull@comcast.net

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  17. Anonymous7/29/2015

    I almost forgot- I had Dollar Store pants too! Mine were navy elephant pants (I think I just dated myself- everyone was wearing elephant pants when I was in eighth grade), and the only store that had them within our budget was the local Dollar General!

    Pat

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  18. My sly mama did not really tell me when I was starting Kinder. I just remember being woken up one morning, told to "Put on this uniform and go eat some breakfast." I think she was helping me avoid overnight anxiety so I could get some sleep. I walk out in the living room and there is a girl my age, in the same uniform. OK, that's weird I thought but then I am distracted by an awesome unicorn backpack, full of colorful Lisa Frank school supplies, and my morning totally turned around. That is until the stranger-girl in my living room broke the news that it was her backpack. My mom handed me my bag, and let's just say it was a huge let-down compared to the magical unicorn bag. Even after the most disappointing morning in my 4 years of life, I still loved my first day of school and every school day after. From then on, I made sure I was not kept in the dark regarding school supplies or big events like the first day of school!

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  19. Hi! I found your blog after looking on Pinterest. This will be my first year teaching music AND art K-4. I actually would really love the giveaway because I am NOT an artist! The school needed me to get an emergency certification to teach art...so now I'm an art teacher! Pretty lost, but your blog is helping!

    My favorite memory is going with my mom to about 10 different stores looking for the biggest pack of crayons for 3rd grade. I needed the biggest and best colors in the class!

    -Kristen

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  20. I remember going to Zellers with my mom and sister and getting to--*gasp*--pick out a NEW backpack one year!!!! Eeeeee! Going to need all the arts supplies I need this year as I am teaching it for the first time ever to at-risk youth!

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  21. My favorite back to school memory would have to be getting a new jean jacket. To my mother's dismay, it was embroidered with all types of colorful stitchery when I broke it out to wear for the first time.

    taylorknewman@gmail.com

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  22. Oh my! I'm very tall and when stirrup pants were popular, I was about in 6th grade. Welllllll...we tried on lots of stirrup pant and the middle was always at my knees! I could never pinch roll my pants either. Finally DKNY made jeans for taller legs -- but at $50 each, my parents would only buy 1! Who can get through school with 1 pair of jeans!

    I've always loved when Target breaks out their school supplies. Even before I had kids or teaching. First year teaching in elementary– brand new art program (never had art in elem before), brand spanking new buildings, and I have 3 to stock. It's getting expensive! Thanks

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  23. Oh boy...so many memories. To this day, my favorite thing to do is ogle all the pretty new notebook patterns and then pick out a few to fill with treasured words!

    laurasnyder2109@gmail.com

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  24. My mother and I went back to school shopping in Albuquerque at JC Penneys.
    It was very hot in the store, and they were pushing winter clothes. I remember being in the dressing room, looking up at a giant painting of JC Penney, himself, hung way up high on the wall,creepy, I guess. I flat out passed out.

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  25. My mother and I went back to school shopping in Albuquerque at JC Penneys.
    It was very hot in the store, and they were pushing winter clothes. I remember being in the dressing room, looking up at a giant painting of JC Penney, himself, hung way up high on the wall,creepy, I guess. I flat out passed out.

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  26. Every year my grandmother would take me back to school shopping as a gift and a way to spend time with me. My fabulous grandmother is one of the most stylish women I know which made things a little more difficult when I hit my punk/grunge faze in high school. Finding something that both she and I liked became quite the challenge (she would never say she didn't like something, would just give me that 'look'). As a result, through high school I would "pre-shop" with my mom and that find a fabulous outfit.

    jkbrownstein@gmail.com

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  27. As an attempt every year to become more organized I always get a little giddy about purchasing my new planner. It is quite the process I first have to preview all the planners available before choosing one. I tend to be very good at using it during the beginning of the year until I loose it and only find it during the end of the year cleaning. Here is to another year attempting to get organized. tashanewtonartyt@gmail.com

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  28. Shopping with my mom and grandma when I was probably 1st grade. I was tired and hid in the circular clothes rack. They were not very happy with me when I came out of hiding! Now I have a fun time back to school shopping with my daughter and my mom comes along. Artteachershan@gmail.com

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  29. Alexsa8/16/2015

    I love and have always loved back to school shopping!! My mom is a teacher and before i followed in her foot steps, I enjoyed the back to school rush because I fed off her energy to get her classroom in order with her new theme (she changed it every year and I now find myself doing the same!). I was a closet nerd, really getting excited to be picking out fresh packs of pencils and Crayola crayons and adding to my Lisa Frank collection of pencil cases, folders, notebook! Of course, my favorite part of all this was the first time to use all of it, doodling in every notebook and folder I had. Now, I have the awesome job of buying the art supplies for my 700+ kiddos... but my favorite part of back to school shopping now is having my 9 year old girl get the same kick out of all this stuff like i did with my mom :) alexsa619@gmail.com

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  30. I stumbled across your wonderful site while googling "Kandinsky lab coat" of all things. Wow, what fun! I appreciate your creativity at bringing these iconic masterpieces to life, and making wonderful outfits as well. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face today!

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