Showing posts with label artist blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label artist blog. Show all posts

Sunday, June 19, 2016

What the Art Teacher Wore #165

 Manic Monday: Having just returned from Art Scouts, I realized that I'd not taken any time to add flowers to our front yard or steps. Now, here in Tennessee, it starts getting HAWWWT before the sun even rises which means you gotta get your weed-pullin'/flower-plantin' game on early. On this day, I'd hit the garden center, mowed the lawn and stuck stuff in the ground all before 10 am. There might have been a nap or two in the afternoon. dress: thrifted, vintage; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: Converse; box purse: Enid Collins, my favorite

Wowza, where did this week go? Summer needs to slow it's roll because when June ends and July steps in, I get that Sunday-Night Blues feeling. We head back to school on Auggie 1st so July is just the beginning of the end. I still have end-of-the-school-year cleaning to do, y'all. Ima gonna say that is NOT going to happen any time soon.

In other news, I finished the last of the 52 Clay Labs I've been working on for the book I'm writing. THAT was a good feeling. When I was first approached with this project, I felt certain I could never come up with that many ideas for no-kiln clay projects. In the end, I had a surplus of ideas but was more than happy to stop at 52 (like, seriously. SO happy). It's gonna be a long while before a hard copy becomes a reality, but until then, the hard part is oooo-ver.

This coming week is full of work. I've got a deck to power wash and stain, some redecorating I want to do and a couple of fun new projects in the works (I'll keep you posted). Working on the book made it so the DIY action on this here blog suffered a bit. I'm so happy to bring that back. You don't know how many times I've just stood in my sewing room, looked around and uttered the words, "I miss yooooooou, Sewing Room." I'll be so happy to get back in there.

What are your plans this week?
 We all have our favorite things. One of mine happens to be Enid Collins box purses. Made in the late 60's, they make me go weak in the knees. Finding these lovelies isn't all that hard as etsy and ebay are fully loaded. But the prices, THE PRICES, are just plain crazy. My days of finding these in the wild (aka the thrift store) are officially over. What do y'all collect?
 Summer Storm Tuesday: I do love me a good ole spooky summer storm. You know the kind: sunny and bright one minute then black as night with claps of thunder the next. Getting caught in it is the worst but from the comfort of home with a cat on your lap, it's pretty cozy. dress: vintage
 If you follow me in Instagram, then you know the next Art Scouts is coming soon to beautiful Tennessee! Jen and I spent some time preparing for our awesome Scouts and painting a backdrop. We are thrilled with how it is turning out, can't wait to share it with you!
 Getting in the Mood Wednesday: At the end of July, my buddy Laura Lohmann and I will be heading to sunny SoCal to work alongside our good friend Patty Palmer at her Summer Art Workshop! We are so excited. Our theme is Mexican art so, to get in the spirit of things, I wore my fave embroidered top. top: Buffalo Exchange; skirt: gift from a friend (thanks, Bethany!); belt: Amazon; shoes: Minnetonka; purse and necklace: vintage, thrifted
 The colors and design are so beautiful and sweet. I want to paint this on the front of our house! Pretty sure our HOA would frown on that tho. Party poppers. 
 Life is Short, Wear the Prom Dress: When I scored this dress at Buffalo Exchange a while back, I was like, "I'm NEVER going to have a place to wear this!" but it was just too pretty to leave behind. When I spotted it in my closet on Thursday, I just thought, eh, why not? To keep it casual, I paired it with my chucks and went about my errand running. I heard so many sweet compliments from all walks of life about this dress! So, note to self: ALWAYS wear the prom dress. 
 So, last night at 11:47pm, I wrote up the last Lab for the Clay Lab book. This photo was from a couple days prior when I was still testing recipes (and failing, obviously). I'm not a chef by any stretch so me making clay is rather comical.
Summer Movie Date: One of our fave things to do during the summer is hit the early show at the movies and grab dinner out. However, there ain't been much at the movies lately! We went to see The Conjuring 2 which had some great scares (just watching the big dude in front of me practically leap out of his chair at one scare was worth the price of admission). Have y'all seen any good movies this summer? Love a recommendation! dress: old, Forever 21; necklace: gift from a friend (thanks, Tamara!), Anthro

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

DIY: A Scribble-Scrabble Back to Art Teacherin' Dress and a Contest!

So, what does one do when her art room isn't ready and her lessons aren't planned (um, I have a vague notion of what will go down that first day. It starts with something like, the kids will come to art...and that's pretty much all I got)? MAKE A BACK TO ART TEACHERIN' DRESS, OF COURSE. Yes, I'm shouting. Because, like, duuuuh. 

I decided a dress was in order because 1. I always make a Back to Art Teacherin' Dress (see exhibit A and B), it's tradition and 2. Cuz I was kinda feeling like this about the whole notion of heading back...
Staying up entirely too late and sleeping in til high noon, I will miss yooooooou!

But now that I've got a snappy outfit to wear on that very first day (which starts tomorrow with four daze, er, days of professional developementishness. But I don't really count that. The true blue first day is when the wee ones show up which is this Friday, eek!) I'm feeling much better about Back to Art Teacherin' land. In fact, I'm now feelin' a lil more like this...

By the way, I recently downloaded the giphy app and have henceforth been solely communicating with friends via gifs. It's like a super fun game for me tho I'm not quite sure they feel the same. 

But whateves, y'all. Forget about my gif obsession and let's talk CONTEST, shall we? 
HEEEEY, say what?! I just spent entirely too long making this fugly -n- difficult to read image. So lemme reiterate what that thar thingie says in all sorts of bulletpoints, words and sentences. 

* Snap a photo of your Back to Art Teacherin' style and share it on instagram tagging moi @cassiestephenz. If you wanna throw in a hashtag to boot, I quite fancy #whattheartteacherwore.

* No instagram? No problem! Email me your photo at 

* I'll share your amazing art teacherin' looks right here in a Back to School Fashion post! 

* You can enter more than once...and every time you do, I'll enter you to win a giveaway! (Yes, I know I'm currently doing ANOTHER giveaway. No, I've not announced the winner yet, stay tuned this week). I have NO IDEA WHAT I'M GIVING AWAY but I'm sure it will be something swell!

Oh, I so hope all y'all share with me your stylish ways! I can't wait to see what you be wearing! Now, on to that dress at hand...

Saturday, el hubbo and I decided to play tourist in our own town and hit the local antique and thrift shops. I was coming up pretty empty handed until I stopped in SMART: Scrap Made Art Supplies. It's a pretty magical place in the Berry Hill area of Nashville. It's completely stocked with just about every crafty making supply known to man for cheap. I stocked up on vintage patterns (a whooping 18 for $2) and this gem happened to be one of them. Bows on shoulders?! YES, PLEASE!
I used the pattern for the bodice only and just winged it for the skirt portion. I was having a fabric shortage (I scored this Lisette fabric from the sale bin at Joann's many moons ago) and managed to eek out this dress with a few scraps to spare. I love this print so much what with the wiggly marker-esque lines and the primary colors with a touch o' pink. It just screamed "Art Teacher" when I saw it. 

But those squiggles, y'all. Trying to match up those squiggles just about put me over the edge. At least the back skirt is matched up. The rest of it, meh. Not so much.

 The only thing left this dress needs: A Marker Hat! 
 Could I get it over that hair, tho? 

And there you have it, what Ima wearing to head back to school! Looking forward to seein' what all y'all are wearing. Til then!
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Sunday, June 22, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #103

Movie Makin' Monday: Well, trying to anyway. I spent my Monday working on and taping my presentation for The Art of Education's summer conference. I don't know why I get nervous taking to a video camera when there's no one around but when I saw that blinking record button, my hands got sweaty every time! crayon clip: made by me; felted art supplies blouse: made by me, DIY here; skirt and sandals: Anthropologie, old; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing
Whut is UP, party people?! I hope these summer days of yours have been super fun, filled with relaxation and lemonade. Relax-monade. Tis my favorite drink.

This week, I poured a whole lotta thought and time into my presentation for The Art of Education's summer conference. Who out there is planning to attend? If you've no earthy idea what I'm talking about (don't worry, happens to me a lot), lemme break it down for ya: Jessica Balsley, the genius behind the Art of Education, hosts a biannual online all-art-teachin' conference that features about twenty 10 - 15 minute presentations by art educators from all over the world. I was fortunate enough to attend and present at the last conference and it was fantastical. 
This go-round, my topic is something I'm passionate about: Why my Students are Tech-Free in the Art Room. I've thought long and hard about this and it's a topic that's sure to rub a coupla folks the wrong way. You can read a lil more about this topic here, if you wanna.

I have a lot of scattered thoughts on this topic so it took me some time to put them together in a presentable presentation (and whether or not it's actually presentable is still up for debate). Once I'd prepped my thoughts and dialog, I was set to record...unfortunately, a certain furry friend of mine wasn't making that easy for me. Get outta my chair, kitty! (said in my best Cartman from South Park voice).
Totally Bright Tuesday: While I was in Charleston, I went to their evening City Market which was super cool and way more interesting than the daytime. The evening event seems to have more genuine crafters and less flea-market faire. Case in point: the artists behind that bright pink necklace of mine. They are created from polymer clay where the artist dyes the beads with pigment. I loved 'em so much, I had to get two! necklace: ; dress: Anthropologie; shoes: Shoe Carnival; belt: made by me
Now, I can't tell ya too much about my presentation cuz that'd spoil the fun. But I do wanna share with you what technology looked like when I was a kid: meet Speak & Spell and Speak & Math. Anybody else have these super amazingly fun toys as a kid?  I mean, what crummy parent buys their kids educational toys for Christmas when all she ever asked for was a Rainbow Bright and a Love-a-Lot CareBear (my therapist says I need to let this go. I fired her a%%.).  Can you believe I still have these guys? The Speak & Math still works and I do a fun demo of the toy during my chat. 

As a kid, technology never really did it for me. My school had one Apple computer that we all scratched each other's eyes out to play Oregon Trail on (only to die of diphtheria 3 minutes in). On the home front, aside from the Speak & Bros, I had a big a## Commodore 64 ('member them?) that I'd spend HOURS typing codes into just to watch it bounce a lil green dot across the screen. Yeah, good times. It didn't take me long to realize that I'd much rather spend time with my calligraphy set (my handwriting is super cute because of it) and my embroidery kit cuz the results where actually tangible and awesome.

Dinner Out Wednesday: Not gonna lie, after spending a coupla solid days working at home, I was super stoked to leave the house and go to dinner with the hubs. It's been a million degrees outside...but what I HATE is how all shops and restaurants keep their thermostat at sub-zero temps. WHY?! dress: Forever 39; sandals: straps made by me

Speaking of technology, I recently came across this sweet book and I've been pouring over it's amazingly retro pages.
Take a look at this first page. You can prolly click on it to get a bigger view. Let's count all the technology that we see in this here photo that is currently antiquated, shall we?

1. Rotary Phone. My grannie used to have one. One false move and you had to dial that number allll over again. Argh, so annoying! Not to mention that cord wasn't long enough -- how'm I suppose to multi-task (i.e. go to the bathroom and talk on the phone) when the cord won't reach?! Oh! Speaking of bathroom phone calls (which I don't do, that was a joke, ya'll! That noise you hear in the background is, uh, totally not coming from me) my baby sitter as a kid had a phone attached to her toilet paper dispenser. Like a rockstar.

2. Wall Clock. Okay, so that's not really outta style...or is it? I've got three hanging in my house and when the battery dies, well, game over. I've yet to change 'em out. The magical microwave and my phone always have the correct time.

3. Sewing Machine. Back in the day, every woman had one. And she made just about everything with it. The whole notion of DIY is definitely making a comeback...but I'm willing to put money down that more people have a laptop than a sewing machine. 

4. Fan. Okay, this I'm happy with, buh-bye fan, hello Central Air. My Rotary Phone Granny had no A.C. I lived in front of that fan (and the open refrigerator) all summer long. 

5. Camera. Even if people still have one, they don't use 'em. Phone photos have taken over.

6. Typewriter. I had to write papers in high school on one. Not gonna lie, happy to see that gone.

7. Record Player. My sweet librarian gave me an old school record player, I love that thing!

8. Big Box Television. Um. We still have one of those. Sigh.

Wow, isn't it funny to think of all that "top of the line" stuff that is now considered vintage? Do you think that in 20 plus years kids will recall all that stuff they used to spend so much time on (i.e. laptops, tablets, smartphones) and laugh at it's antiquated-ness? I'd hate to think of spending my students art time on technology that will be a thing of the past in the near future. You know what doesn't go outta style? Painting. Drawing. Sculpting. Weaving. 
Plotting and Planning Thursday: Not only have I been working hard on my presentation but I've also been prepping for a baby shower I'm hosting TODAY (Sunday!). My favorite art teacher buddy is having a baby and we (another art teacher friend of mine and I) are throwing her a PEE WEE HERMAN BABY SHOW! Holy crappola, ya'll, it's gonna be amazing. On Thursday my friend and I worked hard on preparing. I can't wait to share photos with ya'll. dress, belt and purse: vintage; shoes: Anthropologie

Now, maybe cuz I'm into all things retro, I do like to introduce my students to that technology of the past. One reason is because it's apart of our history that they'll probably never see again. Another is that with older technology, like this record player, you can actually see how it works. It's not just the magical rectangle that can do all this magical stuff. Older technology is big and clunky and functions before your very eyes. I found out the power of this when I brought out that record player in art class.
This little dude was just fascinated. 
Estate Saling/Thai Fooding/ Fabric Shopping Friday: The estate sale gods were good to me and my friends not this day. Oh, the lovelies I scored! I'll have to share 'em with ya. dress: vintage

This week I found out for certain that I'M GETTNG MY THRID AND FOURTH GRADE KIDS FOR AN HOUR! Yes I'm shouting because I'm so totes excited, ya'll! My plan is to introduce them to the world of sewing a skill I longed to learn as a kid.
I'm fortunate to have about 10 sewing machines in my art room (for an after school sewing class I taught last school year). I cannot wait to introduce my students to THAT technology. They get enough of the other kind, I say.
Now for the rest of my ranting and raving, ya'll will have to attend the AOE Conference! I hope to see you there. During my presentation, there's a live chat so all you tech folks can tell me what I'm missing. In the meantime, Ima get this cat outta my chair...
And go chill in front of that fan. 

Do ya'll have your kids use technology in your art room? How so? Love to hear from ya'll!

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Monday, March 31, 2014

In the Art Room: Teaching Vocabulary Part 3

Kids what you see here is my last installment about attempting to teach vocabulary. From writing my first and second post about teaching all things wordy, I've come to a coupla conclusions:

* Repetition is key. Say it, sing it, sneeze it, speak it in a Santa voice, it doesn't matter just repeat the daylights outta that word with the children. And maybe a couple of them will retain it. On the first day. So do it all over again every other day of the year. And maybe a couple more will have it by the end.

* Make learning unusual. Everybody remembers their first ride a bike (what did you think I meant?!). So if you offer the children a unique experience when learning something for the first time, that fun memory will be embedded in their brain along with the word.

*Words, words everywhere! I need to improve upon this. Kids love to read and they want to learn. So why not get those words on every stinkin' surface?! Give the little people what they want!

*Use those words. If we don't use them in some sort of context then they just remain words floating in outer space to the kids. Teach 'em and use 'em. That's what I'm trying to do anyway.

When introducing new words for a new unit of art study, I have them written out and in my red chart (see above with grade levels indicated at the top). Then I play these coupla of games. I'm hoping these clips make some sense of my madness.
Or not.
Em, our friend across the pond, says, "I'm a classroom teacher in the UK. I have a word wall and I add to it as the children suggest words in shared writing or we find words in shared texts and we refer to it often but it takes tome for them to learn to do this independently. It's literacy based but I also use vocabulary cards in maths a lot as this is an area which has a lot of vocab. I hold up the cards as I talk and display them on the whiteboard and they often have pictures and symbols with them to help with meaning. The children have learnt to question me whenever an unfamiliar word is used which helps them learn the meanings. You could play quick games like give half the children a word and the other half the definition either as a sentence or picture and they have a minute to find their partner. Or hide words around the room and ask them to find the word that means... I print out words in tiny writing and give the children magnifying glasses to read them, making them feel like word detectives. You could have 'word of the day' displayed and reward those who use it correctly."

Kids playing Clap-Clap, Snap-Snap and wondering why I'm taking their picture. 
Cathy who blogs at Splats, Scraps and Glue Blobs says, "Last year I was trying to think of everything possible to help kids remember art vocabulary words. There is a restroom across the hall from my art room and most of the classes use these RR's before coming into my class. So I made vocabulary word posters with pictures and hung them on the backs of the doors. Kids didn't even realize they were learning."
Now just talking, clapping and snapping words is one thing...but without putting them in some sort of context, it's kinda pointless, don't you think? I got this idea for putting a different spin on my "I Can" statements from Don over at Shine Brite Zamorano. This is new for me...and I'm trying to add reading this to my teaching routine. My normal routine is simply have the children repeat all of the direction they are to follow during the course of the class. However, add this will add more context to those words. If you've not been by this blog, it's a must, ya'll!

And there you have it! I'm still working on my vocab teaching methods so any clever tricks in the comments are much appreciated. Thanks for dropping by you guys!

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