Friday, June 17, 2022

In the Art Room: Cassette Tape Sculptures!

I've not shared details from our art show yet...I've just been enjoying my summer vacation a little too much, I guess! But we had a themed art show, as we usually do, and this year it was 1980s themed! 

I came up with the theme after winter break but got the idea for this project a little too late in the game. We ran out of time to create these cassette tape sculptures but I did create a video...and I thought I'd share it with you just the same. 

The boxes were ones I happened to have a surplus of in my storage closet. But they look like they probably came from here, if interested. The plaster strips are from here!
And the video is here! Have fun!



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Monday, June 6, 2022

DIY: Art Teacherin' Plant Markers

I'm testing my notoriously ungreen thumb, as I do every summer, with plants! I usually just spend my summer spending loads on flowers and then ushering them into a slow summer death but this year I thought I'd try killing herbs! Pardon me, I'm trying to remain optimistic: GROWING herbs. 

So far, I have been able to make tabouli with my parsley and I now have enough basil to make some pesto so...I'm not doing too shabby, if I do say so. However, telling some of these herbs apart has been a wee bit of a problem. So over the weekend I made these little herb markers! Here's how:

All you need is old paintbrushes (no plastic handled ones!) and some left over polymer clay. These were super fun and easy to make. 
As for the plants...they seemed to like the new addition well enough. Please pray for these beautiful greens! I'm hoping to keep them going strong. 

Speaking of going strong, check out my planters! I made these back in 2015 with old cat liter containers and they are still going strong! 

Happy Summer, friends! 

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Let's Make a Black Light Disco Ball!

Our school-wide art show is coming up and our theme is 1980's! And, I know what you're thinking: aren't disco balls more of a 1970's thing? Well, I suppose although I do remember them in the skating rinks growing up and loving them. So I thought my fourth graders would enjoy creating them as their contribution to our Glow Gallery! 

The supplies we used are the following:
* Cardboard pizza circle, found at restaurant supply stores
* Permanent markers
* Silver paint
* Neon tempera cakes

This is a quick lesson, perfect for my 30 minute art classes. We spent the first class drawing and tracing with a sharpie with just a few who started painting. Next time, we'll wrap these up and hang them from the ceiling in the glow gallery. Here's the video you are welcome to use in your art teacherin' world:






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Sunday, April 3, 2022

Clay Mugs for Kids!

Hi, friends! My students are wrapping up one of the clay projects they created and I thought I'd share. Last year, my first through fourth created clay mugs and it was easily everyone's favorite clay project. When I shared that we were working with clay again, a few weeks ago, their first question was "are we making mugs again?!" I had already planned on it...so they were excited to hear the answer. Once mugs are complete, we celebrate by drinking hot chocolate out of them...so it's a whole lot of fun. 

This year, I created a video to share with them. Because I have 30 minute art classes, I only showed the pinch pot portion and a bit of coil making for the first class. The second class, we did a brief coil making reminder and then watched the portion about creating a handle. The video helped them trouble shoot and get their mugs completed in just two 30 minute classes!
This week, we started glazing! They were told they could use any two colors of glaze, one for the inside and one for the outside. They were to do at least three coats of their chosen colors and not to glaze the bottom. Once complete, they could join me at the splatter glaze station!

When my students were finished glazing, they could help a friend or work on the large banners I created to announce our upcoming art show! 

We used Prang's Creativity Street Tempera Sticks to color these with.
The glaze we used are from two companies and I like them both: Mayco's Stroke and Coat and Amaco's Teacher's Palette. Both are food safe and fire to cone 06.
When introducing clay to your students, you might find this video fun to share:


Sunday, March 27, 2022

Vincent van Gogh Inspired Buttons and Earrings!

Hi! I scored this amazing sweater recently and while I absolutely loved it, I hated the obnoxious plastic white buttons that were on the sweater. They just stuck out like a sore thumb! So I picked up some polymer clay at the craft store with the idea to create my own. Normally, I buy the 'name brand' polymer clay but this time, I was feeling cheap and decided to give the house brand a try. It was half the price and I have to say...despite the fact that the yellow clay stained my hands a pinch, it worked great! I'm used to stained hands so, no big deal!
I went about creating these factory style and it went pretty quickly. I made a video to share the process in case you need some van Gogh bling in your life. Like, duh. Of course you do.

So easy, right?
Once complete, I just stitched these onto my sweater and added some jump rings and a French hook to the earrings and I was all set in my new upgraded van Gogh sweater!

Not only that but this craft was just the creativity thirst quencher I needed this weekend. Thanks for letting me share, y'all!
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Sunday, February 13, 2022

Jen Stark Inspired Hearts for Valentine's Day!

Need a fast and fun lesson for Valentine's Day (or anytime, really) inspired by the artist Jen Stark? I created this one for my students and they started it last week. Some are working BIG on 12" X 18" paper while others are using it as an early finisher project and worked on paper half the size. I am also giving my students the option of using black and white, all warm or all cool colors (as seen on the left). 

ONE CHANGE I'M MAKING: for my students using black and white, I'm going to have them paint the entire background white and then add the black paint stripes once that dries.

Since my art classes are 30 minutes long, we've been doing the drips in one art class, painting in the next and wrapping it up and adding the puffy paint on the last class. 

If you are interested, here's the video!

Have fun!


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Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Easy Embroidered Earrings!

I love embroidered earrings! They are lightweight to wear, simple to make and a fast craft. So I made some for Valentines and I thought I'd show you how! Here are the supplies you'll need:

* Felt
* Embroidery floss
* A Chenille needle or an embroidery needle (big eye, sharp point)
* Jump rings
* French hooks
* Scissors

Here you go!

And here are some other tutorials I've made for earrings. Just tap the link to view the blog post and video!
Check out to make these rainbow and color wheel earrings right here
And some unicorn earrings here! Have fun!



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Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Jim Dine Warm/Cool Color Printed Heart!

I need a project that is big, energetic, colorful and fun for my students right now. They have the wiggles big time and I think that lack of recess due to the weather is playing a big part. So I thought we'd use up some of our paint in our trays, use some of this large yellow construction paper I had in my closet and go crazy with some printing and painting. Here's the video lesson, if you are interested!

Have fun!


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Sunday, January 30, 2022

Taking my Creative Vitamins

Here lately I've been in a bit of a creative funk and I've not felt excited or interested in pursuing my usual creative outlets. I love to sew funky clothing to wear and have an endless amount of projects in various stages in my sewing room but each time I go in there, I just look around and feel...exhausted. Is it that time of the year? Although, if I'm being honest, this feeling of disinterest has been going on for a while (gee, I wonder why) and it's starting to affect my teaching as well. Yep, I just said that out loud. 

I know it's not a good place to be so I'm trying to do something about it. I learned a long time ago that beating myself up and shaming myself about things just doesn't work. It only makes me feel worse. So instead of feeling badly about not sewing, I decided to dry something totally different: painting. 
I got out an old round frame found at the thrift store from my stash as well as some blank cards. I painted a dotted and flowery design on the frame just for fun...but then I had a lot of paint left over on my palette. So I kinda went nuts and started painting and printing on the cards. I got really excited about all of the colors and textures I created. Then I set up a little still life and drew and painted it on one of the cards. 
I thought I'd just start creating one painting an evening before bed. I've been keeping them quick so I enjoy the process but...some of them I've slowed down and taken my time on. 
I've been sharing the process on both TikTok and Instagram but got some requests for a longer video of the process. I also had someone mention wanting to share a video with her high school students. So I hope the one I created helps. For me, the key has been just enjoying the process, keeping the paintings small so I can do them in one sitting, using colors I like and creating a simple still life. 


I have a lot of random things from the thrift store that have been fun to paint. 
I'm not gonna say I feel so much better now or that I'm cured of my funk...I'm not. But at least I can say that I did at least one thing I'm proud of at the end of the day. Taking the time to create is something we creative types must do. Sharing my quick videos seems to have gotten some other folks creating too and that makes me so happy. 




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