Monday, September 18, 2023

DIY: Embroidered Eyeball Earrings!

We were traveling to Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando this weekend (our very favorite thing ever) and I decided to take an airplane craft with me. I love to take little embroidery projects with me because they are lightweight and easy to transport. Earrings are my favorite things to embroider: they are quick and easy to make and super lightweight to wear. I've made several now and I've shared the process on each in this blog post!

I broke down the steps so you can make your own!

Now if these eyeball earrings of mine are giving you a little deja vu...that might be because I recently shared an eyeball necklace DIY!

If you wanna go bigger with your eyeball theme, then I have a video on how to create these eyeball ornaments right here!
I even made an eyeball dress! It's one of my favorites. You can check it out here. 
I am in love with these! I now feel like I need a whole set of Halloween embroidered earrings. I'm thinking skulls, pumpkins, name it!  

I also think that if you need a simple intro to embroidery project, this might be it! You can also check out all of my fibers projects here! 

Please do lemme know if you make some eyeball earrings so we can be twinsies! Have fun!

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Tuesday, September 12, 2023

14 of My Favorite Fall Art Lessons

It's officially my favorite time of the year: FALL! I love it mostly because I'm super into Halloween and all things spooky. I also love that the days are finally cooler...but I do hate that I have less daylight time. Regardless! Fall's my fave and this here post is full of my fave fall art lessons...

AND, like usual, these lessons are free and if you tap the link, you'll be lead to the lesson post which has all the details and (usually) a video for you to share with your students. you have it: My Favorite Fall Art Lessons!
Let's kick things off with this Van Gogh-inspired haunted house! My students, especially my older ones, LOVE making spooky drawings. All the details can be found right here.
Who doesn't love MONSTERS for this spooky season?! I've got several in this blog post, starting with this one. I created this as a sub plan and my sub and kids loved it! Full video lesson here. 
This lesson was one I came up with years ago that I love doing with my third graders and up! Weaving is always a hit. Here's the video lesson here. AND a book I wrote with all sorts of fibers lessons like this one. 
Can you believe this is first grade?! I KNOW! Lesson with video and contemporary artist connection here!
I always do paper weaving with first grade and sometimes second graders at the start of the school year. This one is always a favorite. All the details here!
These leaves are PRINTED...with markers! An easy and fun printmaking activity that you can find out all the details about here. Complete with lesson video. 
Sunflowers are perfect this time of year. You can find tons of these flowers at Dollar Tree and they are perfect for making these Andy Warhol-inspired prints. 
One of my favorite things for this time of year: BLACK LIGHT. It's spooky and fun and the kids LOVE it! This lesson on monsters where we used neon paint and oil pastels was a hit with my fourth graders. Lesson and video here. 
Need a collage and shape lesson? WITH contemporary artists connections? Here you go!
Back in olden times, we didn't have these fancy things called Gelli-Plates. No, y'all, we had to make our own! And I share how in this post but...I wouldn't recommend it. It's not vegan-friendly. It's labor-intensive. And they don't last very long. So...splurge on those gelli-plates cuz you can still do this process!

Fall is the perfect time to paint landscapes! Here's an oldie (this lesson is almost 10 years old!) but one that I still love. 
Y'all, talk about a throwback: this lesson is from 2012! But it's one I have done for years because the results are always amazing. Check it out!
Do you have a class that's jsut ahead of the rest for some reason?! Need a fun lesson that they'll love? Here you go, video included!

I'll have more Halloween-ie lessons coming at you next week but until's a fun collage project I know your kids will enjoy!

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Monday, September 11, 2023

DIY: Let's Sew a Dress from a Shower Curtain IN ONE DAY!

Recently, I was out poking around at Ross (for those unfamiliar, this is a discount everything store) and I stumbled upon the cutest shower curtain. It had a big and bold print on the fabric (which I love and is super hard to find) and it was Halloweenie! I'm a big fan of Halloween and I've already stitched up two dresses for the season (one I've not even shared here yet!). So I scooped up this shower curtain for a mere $8.99 and gave myself a challenge:


Let's see how it went:

Y'all! I love it! 

I was super surprised that the metallic print on the fabric was so resilient. It didn't chip off when I stitched it which was my big fear. The fabric is super light and flowy, making it perfect for a circle skirt. AND I was surprised to find that when I ironed the fabric, it didn't harm the print! 
I am wearing a crinoline under the dress to help with the poof. I'm a sucker for a poofy skirt. 
I'm returning to Halloween Horror Nights this week...which is in Orlando. Knowing it will be hot, I'm excited that the dress is so lightweight. I can't wait to wear it!
I paired it with this black belt but I'm thinking I may prefer the black bow. What do you think?

I paired it with this necklace I found at TJMaxx (clearly, I'm a shopper) and some fun earrings and hairclips that I've had for years.

So I'm happy to say...I can sew a dress in a day! From a shower curtain of all things!

AND I just remembered...this isn't my first time using a shower curtain for clothing! Check out this number!

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Wednesday, September 6, 2023

DIY: An Eyeball Necklace for Halloween!

I just finished making my third Halloween craft of the season! I shared my new Halloween dress in this blog, complete with a video tutorial, here. Then I made another dress...which you can see a sneak peek of in this photo. I can't wait to share it with you but until then...let's make an eyeball necklace! Here's what you'll need:

* Large wooden beads
* White and black acrylic paint
* Skewers
* High gloss Mod-Podge
* An assortment of beads
* Elastic string
* Paint markers
* Flat paintbrush

And here's a little how-to:

My only real tips: 

* Work on these in batches. This will allow dry time between the white paint, the iris, the pupils, the highlights and the red veins. Thankfully, the paint markers dry quickly!

* Lay out your design on a plate. This will keep the beads from rolling all over the place.

* Don't worry about 'mess-ups'. In the end, no one will notice a wonky circle or a misplaced bloody vein. Trust me! 

* Have fun! Do this as a craft while watching your favorite horror flick or listening to a spooky podcast to get you in the mood!
Making these necklaces on elastic means I can easily put them together! And slide 'em over my big ole head.
I already debuted my necklace with my new dress at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios! It was fun to dress all creepy for the occasion. 
You'll have to know if you decide to give these a try! And stay tuned...I have so many Halloweenie crafts coming your way. 
Until then...I have my eye on you!
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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

DIY: How to Paint a Personalized Sign for Your Classroom or Favorite Teacher!

My niece recently asked me to paint a personalized canvas for her brand new classroom. She sent me some ideas from Pinterest that all looked easy enough so I tackled the project in an afternoon. It was so fun and easy! So I decided to paint a couple more for some super amazing folks...and film the process in case you'd like to do the same! They make for great gifts and seriously took no time at all. Here's the process:

The key: EMBRACE THE 'MESS-UPS'! And enjoy the process!
These canvases were about 18" X 12". If you check your local craft store, they often sell canvases of these sizes in a pack of two. 

My niece had requested a pastel palette and I loved the way it looked! I found that you can buy a palette of pastel acrylic paints at the craft store too. 

I preferred using a flat brush for the wide lines and a fine point for the details. Other than the canvas, the paint and brushes...this was an inexpensive gift! 
I was super pleased with how they turned out! And I think the recipients were too :)
I really think these could be personalized too for the person you are creating the canvas for! Art teachers for sure could have a palette in that upper righthand corner!

Not to mention, painting these meant that I was able to take my Creative Vitamins! I got to relax and enjoy creating just for the sake of doing so. 

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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Sew a Dress from a Vintage Pattern with Me!

To know me is to know that I really love fashion. Particularly, vintage fashion. There's just something about that 1950's fit and flair that gets me. In fact, vintage sewing patterns from the 1950s are what got me into sewing in the first place. I found a stash of patterns on a visit to the thrift store in college. Even though I didn't know how to sew or even own a sewing machine, I bought all the patterns and just stared for hours at the pictures on the front of the pattern envelopes. 
It wasn't until YEARS later that I got a sewing machine and even more years after that when I finally learned how to sew. And I really don't know why I waited so long! Sewing is not rocket science. Especially these days with pattern companies doing a great job of breaking the steps down and folks on YouTube sharing all of their stitching knowledge. 
So when I set about making this dress, I decided to film the process. From my big mistake of not taking the print into account when cutting out the pattern pieces to not following the directions and making the bust too large. I packed as much of it as I could into a video and you can find it right here:

And if you want a tour of my sewing room, you can check that out here:
Gotta love it when it's tidy!

I know what you are thinking: isn't it a little early for a Halloween themed dress? Well...we are going to Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando this weekend so...I don't think so! 
And I gotta say: I've not sewn a dress in A LONG TIME (I think maybe the last was a dress I wore for an art show two years ago!). It felt good to get back into my sewing room again. And I've got a couple more dresses underway so stay tuned! 

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Wednesday, August 9, 2023

14 of My Favorite Lessons for Dot Day!

The start of the school year is my favorite time to read and celebrate the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Not only does it teach our students that everyone is an artist and how to embrace a growth mindset but...Dot Day is a celebration of JUST THAT and it takes place every year on September 15th. Perfect timing!

I have kicked the school year off with MANY different Dot Day art lessons and I thought I would pile them all into one big blog post just for you. From simple one-day lessons to longer format lessons, I've got you covered. Be sure to look for the links and give them a tap. Many links contain (free!) handouts and videos for you to use in your art room. 

Okay, let's get started!
#1 A lesson that I have done FOR YEARS with my kindergarten students is this Dot Day lesson. Right after our First Days of Art sculpture project, we dive into painting! If you follow the link, you'll see me teaching painting to my kindergarteners on their third day of art class. 
I've done this lesson a couple of different ways. Sometimes we paint on cardboard pizza rounds (ya know, cuz they are a circle and all) and other times, like here, we paint on squares of paper. Regardless, we always start with a dot sticker right in the middle.
#2 Last year, I had everyone create a painting the same way as those kindergarten pieces. Once complete, the students cut their paintings into fourths and rearranged them onto another square of paper. Details can be found here. 
Once complete, it was hung as this large collaborative piece!
#3 Last year we also went Dot Day WILD by doing centers. I LOVE doing centers with the kids because it makes it so, in a short amount of time, they bet to experience an assortment of materials and methods. I created short videos to talk them through the centers so they could just go for it! You can see the end result in this blog post. But be sure to check out my methods and videos for how these were created here
#4 Dot Day Printing was one of the kid's favorite dot day activities because they had instant masterpieces! All we used were pizza pans purchased at the Dollar Tree and paint! They signed and gave their paintings a name and we strung them throughout the halls. This was a one day activity with a huge impact. 
We also read Little Spot of Kindness which was a great one to read at the start of the school year!
#5 If you teach older students (5th and up) or you just want to dive into a longer-format project for Dot Day, you may want to give this string art lesson of mine a try. Video included in post!
I actually did these at the start of the school year with my fourth graders and they looked amazing for Open House!

#6 Circle loom weaving is one of my most popular blog posts! I think it's because...I found a way to make it easy for kids to learn and enjoy. Even though the blog post is a little bit older, it still has all the video details you and your students need. I've done this lesson successfully with second grade on up. I would recommend that if you do this at the start of the school year, third grade and up is the best age group. 
Even simply painted, these plates are beautiful! Let me walk you through how we make these without the mess of mixed colors and patterns. 
#7 Check out these simple metal relief pieces my third graders created one year! I'm a sucker for Sharpies and foil, y'all. Lesson here. 
So sparkly!
#8 Need a SIMPLE yet BEAUTIFUL Dot Day display? Try this one!
Now let me offer an update for that post: PLEASE when doing these coffee filters, yourself a huge favor...don't dry them on plastic. Have kids create the dots on a STYROFOAM plate and let them dry on said plate. I would apologize for shouting but this is a BIG mistake I see folks make! When it dries on paper, the color leaves the filter and stains the paper. Then you have a sad looking filter! So...listen to your Mama Cass on this one. I beg of you!

#9 Dot Day Party! Why not throw some huge sheets of paepr on the tables, bust out those metallic art supplies like markers, oil pastels and paint, turn on Emily Arrow's the Dot song and let them create their own dots as they dance around the room?! That's how these were created and used as a backdrop for our giant hallway display. Check it out in the link!
#10 To know me is to know my love of CARDBOARD PIZZA ROUNDS! I buy them in bulk from GFS. Check out the brand called Circle King. I will always love and redo this lesson!
The best part? The fact that we paint on both sides which turns these circles into an instant mobile! Check out the blog post to see how we display them all!
#11 Aren't these DIVINE?! And they were so easy to make! All the details and supplies used can be found in this blog post!

#12 This first grade (yes, first grade!) mural was a big undertaking but we kept it up all year. Can you blame us? We started with these Dot Day inspired flowers. Lesson here!
#13 If Dot Day sneaks up on you OR you go back to school a little later and want to do something quick, this lesson is a fun one and done lesson! And you can find the free handout here!
#14 Why not take your favorite back to school lessons and them round? That's what I did with my favorite kindergarten lesson! 
Then we hung them all together for our display!

So whether you keep it simple or go hog wild, I do hope I've given you some inspiration here!

Love ya! 

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