Monday, August 31, 2015

What the Art Teacher Wore #146

 Always Been a Poor Listener Monday: So, we're doing our annual dress-a-color-a-day at our school, coordinated by our fab kindergarten teachers. On Monday, I was to wear red. I HAD ONE JOB. And I prolly didn't read the email/prolly read the email and still forgot. If it's not written on my hand in Sharpie, it ain't gonna happen, people. To my credit, there was a smidge of red in the skirt, y'all! top: garage sale; skirt: OMG, I love this thing! Just bought it from H&M; belt: Amazon; shoes: Shoe Carnival; hot pink polymer necklace: purchased from an artist in Charleston; palette hair clip: made by moi

Greetings, good buddies! I hope y'all have had the most fabulous week everrzz and are relaxed, rested and ready for another round o' fun-ness! This coming week involves a half day Friday and a lovely day off on Monday which, not gonna lie, I'm totes looking forward to. 

My email inbox has been bursting with the most amazing art teacherin' outfits from y'all and for that, I thank you! It makes me so happy every time I see one of y'all lookin' your artfully best. AND I know your students love you for it! If you'd like to submit to the What the Art Teacher Wore/Back to Art Teacherin' Contest (with the grand prize being a feature here, a photo in SchoolArts Magazine and a free yearly subscription), just shoot me an email of your beautiful self at I can't wait to see more snaps!

Also...thank you kindly for your positive response to my video clips! I'm glad you are enjoying them and finding them (um, somewhat) helpful. Due to your encouragement, I'll be sharing more (including one in this post!). I'd also love to hear what you might be interested in seeing/learning about. So just lemme know in el comment-os, kids! 

This week, aside from What I Wore I thought I'd throw another video into the mix. This one is about a lil technique I use every now and then called palming. It's a great way to calm and center the kids (think mindfulness) after a little bit of excitement. I learned this from one of my first and fave books on art teacherin' Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks. Hope y'all enjoy and I'll be back with you soon! 
Easy, right? I used it on Friday with a couple of my kindergarten classes and it worked like a charm. 
 Yellow Tuesday: Yellow has become my new fave color. The brighter, the better. I have yellow all over my house along with sky blue and vintage Caddy pink. My spirit colors, y'all. dress: vintage Swirl dress found in St. Louis; shoes: old, Target
 Blue Wednesday: One of my first grade students excitedly told me, "You have Pete the Cat on your shirt! Where's his school shoes?!" I love this outfit so stinkin' much I wore it on Saturday just so's I could call it my Caturday ensemble. Judge if you wanna. cat print top: H&M; skirt: Anthro label, purchased at a resale shop; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; head scarf: Vera! My fave! found at the thrift shop; shoes: my new Minnetonkas, I'm in lurve, y'all!
 Green Thursday: I finally finished my window! And got a new stand for my clean up gong! AND got these fab-o faux trees from a super artistic coworker. I'm so excited about the art room's new Jungle Lounge. dress: vintage; shoes: Jeffery Campbell
Orange You Glad It's Friday?!: I know I was...mostly because my mama came to visit! We had a crazy fun time hitting the local Franklin Farmer's Market, shopping at Bella Vintage Marketplace, dining on pizza, visiting family and shopping some more. It was a perfectly great weekend and with the temperatures cooling, I am so looking forward to many more. dress: The Limited from a coupla years ago; shoes: Clarks; bubble necklace: Porter Flea Craft Fair; disney pin: Um, Disneyland

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

In the Art Room: Dot Day Ideas!

Hey, kids! September 15th-ish is International Dot Day in the art teacherin' world. In case you aren't familiar, Dot Day is a super fab-o artsy holiday based on the book The Dot by author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. My young artists have celebrated Dot Day for the last couple of years and I thought I'd share their projects with you in one big ole fat blog post! It's always been a big hit with the kids and a great way to talk about what it means to be an artist. So, without further ado, let's get down to this Dot-making business! 
A new video created to show y'all how I teach line sculpture to kindergarten! 
Last year, each grade level created a different type of dot. For my kindergarten friends, I stuck with my unit on line (because I love this unit so!) but added a dot-tastic twist: the base for our paper sculpture was a dot
My first grade friends created this lovely dot-inspired landscape that still hangs outside of my art room (it's about to be replaced by our current jungle-themed masterpieces...I can't wait to share that with y'all!). Each child created a dot-flower and worked on the patterned papers seen in the background.  
At the start of the school year, our vocabulary words were: unique, unusual, creative, artistic and fun! I think these flowers definitely qualify, don't you?
Second grade artists learned all about Kandinsky who's work was on display at our local art museum. The kids created a reversible line painting on pizza rounds that I purchased via Amazon. 
I love hanging the kids' work in this large bank of windows we have in the hall. Do you guys do window displays? I'm always looking for more ideas so if you have any, please drop 'em in the comments!
Third grade was all about the metal relief sculptures with these styro plate/aluminum foil/Sharpie numbers. They were so pretty and reflective that they seemed to catch everyone's eye. 
 What a fun way to introduce line, shape, pattern, repetition, you name it!, to these young artists. 
But the biggest hit among the kids: these string stitched dots, y'all. Oh my. I can't wait to do this project again. All the kids loved it and were successful. Art teacher win!
For that, watching this video and sharing it with your students might make understanding the process a lil easier. 
I did string art in 5th grade and I loved every minute! I was so excited to share such a fun project with my students. 
 My first year hosting a Dot Day event, I had each child do the same project. We each created a coffee filter dot... 
 That were both displayed in windows and in the halls. 
Not only that, but students created large dot collaboratives on black paper in oil pastel that served as the backdrop to the words of the book. This was a great way for me to ease back into the school year: same project, each grade level and yet a powerful effect. AND ready for open house! 
So! How about you? Are you celebrating Dot Day this year? I'd love to hear about what your students are creating!
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

DIY: Printmaking Made Easy

I mightah told y'all that when I was a kid, I was addicted to attending Vacation Bible Schools. I didn't care what the denomination, all I needed to know was: Will there be Barrel Drink and will there be Macaroni Art? 
The school I attended didn't have art class so my only experience in arts -n- craftin' came in the form of a lil Bible learning and a whole lotta popsicle stick art (you shoulda seen my popsicle stick Noah's Arc, y'all. Best o' Show.) As an adult (if that's what you wanna call me), this translates into me being addicted to taking art classes around town. Luckily for me, our local art museum The Frist always has the best of offerings...even if they forgot to serve Barrel Drank. 
The Frist doesn't have a permanent collection and I think that's pure genius because it means no stale art that's been hanging for years. It's an ever-changing canvas of art history, culture and contemporary art that keeps locals like me coming back. One exhibit they currently have is the work of Jaume Plensa (that's his surreal sculpture there) whose work is phe-nom-in-alll. 

The last class I took at The Frist was the awesome hat making workshop where I made my donut hat! And I'm excited that I'll be leading a workshop at The Frist on needle felting soon. But enough about that, let's talk about these two wild -n- crazy guyzzz: 
Meet Nieves Uhl and Chris Cheney, owners of the letterpress and design studio Sawtooth Print Shop! Both met at Hatch Print Show and opened their place about three years ago. Not only do they offer their design services and prints but they also offer classes (guess who is dying to sign up for that?! GUESS). Sadly, as you can tell by the photo above, they are both entirely too serious to be any ounce of fun. 

Bwaha, I kid! I loved 'em so! I mean, how could I not when what comes out of their studio are masterpieces like this: 
You better believe I whipped out my credit card and purchased this beauty. It now hangs proudly in the Masterpiece Gallery in the art room!
 So Chris and Nieves carve on linoleum blocks. Which is pretty hard to do for us newbies. So we worked on Softoleum which was like carving in butter. We began by copying our design onto our blocks. 
Graphite paper worked well for this but several attendants found that simply rubbing the back of our pencil design very firmly easily copied the design onto our surface. Who knew? Well, apparently several folks did. One of them NOT being me. 
I didn't take printmaking in college (a regret. One of the many.) so my only experience was a woodblock carving print-stint in high school. Which sucked. Wood carving is for beavers, y'all. But this stuff I loved because of the easy which you could carve into it. Not to mention that if you don't carve too deep can you flip it over and carve on the backside! So filling up my virtual shopping cart with these bad boys. 
I'm on this Tiki kick. So that was my inspo. I'm dying to print these Tiki blocks onto the bottom of a dress or a skirt kinda like I did here one million years ago. 
Tho, I gotta tell ya, I'm not as in love with this block. Hence the reason my virtual shopping cart is loaded down with s'more blocks. 
I did treat my paper before printing. Instead of using white paper, I rolled a lil gold and a lil blue onto several sheets before printing my blocks. 
I wanna host a Tiki Party just so's I can send these out as invites! But what does one DO at a Tiki Party? Aside from drink fancy barrel drinks with umbrellas? 
I attended this class with a coupla art teacherin' buddies who made the cutest of prints! Check out my friend Virginia's portrait of her dog and my buddy David's Mickey-inspired print as well as his sailor-themed print of his last name. I have smart artsy friends, y'all. 
But, seriously, what made the class so special was our awesome host Rosemary Brunton and our instructors Nieves and Chris! Can't wait til the next class, I'm already signed up (um. Actually, I think it's my class. So, never mind)!
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Sunday, August 23, 2015

In the Art Room: Teaching Line with Larry the Line!

Hi, friends! Well, it's been one of those Wild -n- Crazy art teacherin' weeks and I didn't manage to snap a single What the Art Teacher Wore photo (tho, if you follow me here, you'll see what I'm wearin', what I'm making and what's goin' down in the art room, daily). However, if YOU did, please be sure to send it my way at for the What the Art Teacher Wore/Back to Art Teacherin' Contest! You're good-looking face will not only be featured here but, if chosen, also in School Arts Magazine. AND the winner-winner-chicken-dinner will get a free subscription to School Arts. So get dressed, snap a pic and send it to moi, s'il vous plait. Gracias! 

In other news, if you are an art teacher with other art teacherin' buds on Facebook, then I bet your feed is just blowing up with photos of back-to-school/freshly-deocrated art rooms. I absolutely love it because it is art teacherin' eye candy! I've shared several snaps of my art room (with a blog post about my first days here) and was asked about my Line poster. If you've been around this blog for a pinch then you know that I use this poster with my kindergarten friends in my unit on line. I created this and accompanying poem years ago. It's been a great tool for me to teach line with a bit of rhyme and a whole lotta fun. So, without further ado, here's the Larry the Line poem! 
So that you don't have to watch this video a million times, here's the Larry the Line poem in it's entirety. 

NOTE: This poster and poem were both created by me. Please feel free to share this with your students and colleagues (credit thrown my way would be greatly appreciated). This may not be reproduced by you for profit. I feel sad that I have to add this disclaimer...but I do. 

Larry the Line
Is a friend of mine
(creating a snake by opening the fingers of your hand, puppet style and there's your snake!)
He can make three
(hold up a three with your fingers)
Straight lines for me!
(create a vertical line with your forearm)
Diagonal and horizontal!
(pantomime each)
Any curve, he can learn
With a twist and a turn.
When he's out of his tangle
he makes a great...angle.
(created by placing your hand on your hip and pointing to your elbow)
Any line, he can make
After all, he's a snake!
And here's how I go about teaching the creation of line sculpture to the kids! 
From there, my kindergarten friends create line sculptures like this. I have a super silly way of teaching this which I will share on my youtube channel this week. By the way, if you subscribe to my channel, you'll see my videos before I share them here!
I'm not gonna lie, sometimes after the whole Larry thing, the kids are bananas. To bring them back down, I'll often do this activity called palming. It works magically! 
I love this unit on line and it's made so much more fun with this goofy poem and carnival snake! What poems and songs do you use when teaching? I'd love to have a whole collection! Too bad my songwriting skillz are seriously lacking. 
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Monday, August 17, 2015

DIY: Artsy Sew Along Skirt, Completed!

Well, heyyyyy. Look who finally finished her Artsy Sew Along skirt! Actually, I shouldn't say "finally finished" because this lil number was completed a while back. I should say look who finally got around to editing and posting her how-to vid clips. Yikes, y'all! My apologies for the delay! I told my hubs, "I am never gonna do another sew along again, I'm terrible about making and posting all the videos!" and he was all, "Wait. You mean you didn't just make the skirt all in one day while recording it?" Um. No. That woulda been, like, the smart thing to do! And, y'all. There's not to much of that smart biznatch happening 'round here. Juuuust sayin'. 
But now it's done, the vids are complete and I've got this goofball lil number to show for it! 
So, stitchers, what have you thought of this pattern? I did some homework before cutting into the pattern and discovered that several folk said the waist sat low. I'm all about hitting-at-the-waist kind of vibe as I don't think the blow-the-waist looks good on me. So I did have to take the waist in a pinch while stitching. What did y'all think? Love it? Hate it? Ever make another one? I gotta be honest, this skirt pattern ended up being a lil "meh" for me. I don't know that I'll be making more. Tho I did love those pockets, y'all. And this was my first time making belt loops so that was cool. 
Now that the skirt is done, I gotta admit, I flipping hate that pop of yellow in the pocket. WHUUUUT was I thinking. It just looks...weird. Especially on the side. Although, I didn't even think twice about it until hubs said, "I don't like that yellow thing" and now that's all I hear when I wear the skirt! So, it's his fault. Tis the reason men should not be allowed in sewing rooms. 

And now, vid clips!
In this blog post, we about to do bunches of stuffs...
Like making a waistband! Remember, try this on after you make it to see if you like that dropped waist fit. 
Put in a zipper! Don't tell your home ec teacher you used tape to put in a zip, okay? Shhhhh, our secret!
Let's hem! I do love a sewing gauge for hemming tho it's not necessary. But they are cheap and I bet you have one laying just didn't know what it was for (like me!).
And there you have it, the last of the Artsy Sew Along for now (or forever, talk to me in about a month). I'd LOVE to see your skirts, kids! You can share them on the ASA page or shoot me an email at 

For the rest of the ASA blog posts you can start here, then go here!  photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Sunday, August 16, 2015

What the Art Teacher Wore #145

 First Day Back to Art Teacherin' with Kidz!: So last week, we teachers returned to school for, ya know, teachery stuff but this week, the kids came back! I wanted to start the week with a BANG! and a POW! and most def a POP! so I wore this lil number. By the way, I share entirely too much on instagram as well, fyi-ness.  dress: made by me, influenced by Lichtensteiny; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; scarf: vintage, thrifted; shoes: Swedish Hasbeens

Happy end-o-the-week to you, my friends! This past week actually felt like two combined, it was so stinkin' full and busy. School starting back has meant many o' thing for me which I shall explain to you in Twin Peaks gifs:

1.  I can no longer stay up until midnight or beyond. The sadness, y'all. Donna knows how I feel, doncha Donna?
2. The only way I can be lured outta my comatose like state of sleep is the promise of a big fat brekkie. But seriously, tho, coffee would be so much better outta one of those cups. Hook a girl up, Agent Cooper!
3. Committing to leave school at a decent time so's to get on with my stretchy-pants time! Honestly, I'm only sharing this gif because Shelly is so stinkin' cute and I wanna be just like her. 
Anyone know of any diners hiring? Preferably ones with super cute uniforms, please.

In other news, I've heard from so many of you via email with photos of what YOU wore your first week back to school for my contest with School Arts Magazine! Thank you! I'm still accepting photos (it didn't HAVE to be your first day back, any ole time you look artsy and fun works for me) until Labor Day. Just send those photos on over to You'll be featured here in a blog post after Labor Day AND possibly featured in School Arts Magazine! So, get dolled up and send me a snap, would ya? 

AND, I'll be back tomorrow with the finale of the Artsy Sew Along! So, I'll chat with all y'all soon!
 I don't think I ever did a blog post on this jacket tho I made it at the same time as the dress. I did add those dots with bleach which was a super smelly good time. Nothing clears out the nasal passages and kills a handful of braincells like good ole bleach.
 Exhausted-Already Tuesday: Seriously?! Time to double down on some vitamins or start consuming triple shots of my Red Bull/espresso/Diet Coke cocktail (jk, y'all. I've actually never had a Red Bull and I kicked that nasty DC habit a coupla years ago when I realized that the saccharine was slowly eating away at my tiny brain). Suriouzly, tho. I need to build back up my up-and-at-'em endurance because by Tuez, I was down for the coutn. OH!! And thank you so much for all of the feedback for this Back to School blog post, I love y'all! dress: I love the Matisse-y print on this vintage number I found on etsy; belt: Amazon; shoes: Anthro
 Best Dress Evers Wednesday: I found this dress while doing my nightly trolling of art teacher garb and I just had to have it because, A. It has a pencil print! (see below for details) and B. It looks like a 1950's diner dress and, growing up, I loved watching Alice reruns. Flo was my fave, of course. You can find this lovely dress (and many more!) here. shoes: Shoe Carnival
 I mean, riiiiiight?! 
 Oh, Thursday, I thought you were Friday!: Yeah. So, that happened. Which, as you know, is never a good sign. By the way, whoever suggested putting tape around my demo table after this blog post, THANK YOU! I did it and it was magical. I just can't thank you enough. telephone blouse and skirt: both Anthro, both found at Buffalo Exchange; sweater: thrifted; shoes: Clarks
Helllllo, Friday!: I hope y'all have had the most magical weekend ever! Mine entailed everything I could ever ask for: staying in my pajamas until it was time to get fancy and go out to dinner. Ah, perfection! top: thrifted; skirt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; belt: amazon; shoes: Swedish Hasbeens
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