Showing posts with label cassie stephens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cassie stephens. Show all posts

Monday, July 16, 2018

In the Art Room: Finding Your WHY

 Howdy, friends! I've been busily plugging away, getting my art room ready. My students will be here in just three short weeks...which I know sounds like plenty of time. However, I go back in two weeks (and two days, but who's counting? ME, THAT'S WHO) and have decided not to come in at all next week. That leaves just this week to get my room ready...and I decided to only allow myself two days. If you follow me on Instagram, you were able to see my progress. I drank two pots of coffee AND GOT SO MUCH DONE! Proper room tour to come...once I clear the hot mess off my counters (like, did an art supply store bomb go off over there or what?!)
 In case you didn't know, I've got a book club happenin' over on my IG and my FB pages. Every Wednesday evening, I've been going LIVE around 9:15pm CST to chat with y'all about The Wild Card, our current teacherin' read by Hope and Wade King. Recently, in the book, they mentioned finding your WHY...why do you teach? During our chat, we had the idea to each come up with our own WHY (if you don't know it already), put it in kid-friendly terms and make a work of art out of it! Here, lemme 'splain:
Clear as mud?
Easy enough, right?
Sound good? Great! Even if you can't join the fun, be sure and tag me, I'd love to know your WHY! It will surely inspire others. 

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

DIY: Ice Cream with Sprinkles Dress

My goal this summer was to stitch up one dress a week. After sewing this beast a couple of weeks ago...I've since changed my lifetime achievement goals. BECAUSE THIS DRESS WAS A MOTHER-LOVIN' BEAST. 

Here, lemme show you why:
 Now look, don't get me wrong. I LOVE this dress and wanna wear it every day and make about a million more in a variety of colors. But.You.All. I cherish the sliver of sanity I like to think I have left. And therefore I will not be making another dress like this for a while. It's gonna be like the Halley's Comet of Dresses that only makes an appearance every 75 years. 
I started with a sketch...where all bad things take form:
And, like, I'm kinda thrilled that my dress actually kinda-sorta looks like my drawing. That NEVER happens! Mostly because my drawing looks bananas but also because I can't sew and 99.9% of the time, I'm just winging it. 
 I decided to go with a 1950's pattern bodice and my trusty Anna Maria Horner circle skirt pattern. Now the 50's pattern did lead me astray as it had me install these horrible, puffy-topped, too-long sleeves that had me lookin' VERY 1980's Working Girl. I mean, I had shoulders for DAYS. I promptly ripped them out and went with a cap sleeve. 
 But the sleeves were the least of my worries. It was THE APPLIQUE. What in the world was I thinking?! I cut out and appliqued no fewer than 29 sprinkles. I think that was how many there were. I dunno. TOO DANG MANY, THAT'S HOW MANY. I'm sorry for shouting but if you had to live thru this, YOU'D.SHOUT.TOO.
 Okay, I thought. Bodice done. Surely the skirt will be easier as it's only too colors.

Well, first of all:
Don't call me Surely. 
AND no. A circle skirt is massive...and appliquing around that alone takes a bit. Add the squiggly line of melting ice cream and you have a project that takes FOR.EVE.RRR.
Insert all the annoyed face emoji's here. 
But once the skirt was complete, I was in the homestretch. Just had to attach the top and bottom, throw in a zipper, toss in a hem and BOOM! Done! 3 hours later...
 Hurray! 
 Lady at the grocery: What are you supposed to be? 
Me (going all existential on her): I don't even know anymore.
Lady at the grocery, shaking her head: No, I mean, are you in a costume? 
Me: No. 

Literally, that's all I had. I was so tired from sewing, I couldn't even give her more than a NAW, LADY. THIS HERE IS MY ENSEMBLE. Now, move, I gotta go figure out what I'm supposed to be!
Now, I say all this because y'all know good and well I'm gonna have to applique me some more dresses...I have them all sketched out and ready to go. Wish me luck! 
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Friday, July 6, 2018

DIY: Beach Towel to Circle Skirt!

I got a joke for you: Crazy art teacher walks into Walmart and sees these:
 Totally ignoring the words "beach towels", she immediately thinks CIRCLE SKIRT and the rest is extra pepperoni history...
Now if you've been around this blog during the holidays, then you already know that I have a thing for buying tree skirts and making them into lady skirts. When I spotted these round beach towels, I thought of doing the same. I mean, why should such an amazing print like this be limited to just the beach?!
While stitching last night, I filmed the process so you could see just how stinkin' easy it was. I wasn't quite sure if it was all gonna work out so at the time, I only bought the pizza towel. Y'all better believe I went back to day and bought ALL OF THE REST OF THE TOWELS. Can you even blame me?
 I totally went to Walmart in my skirt. As I was leaving the house, a neighbor drove by and shouted "is that a PIZZA skirt?! AWESOME!" I didn't get much attention while at Walmart (I mean, it's WALMART, there's a whole website dedicated to the crazy stuff people wear there. Pretty sure I flew under the radar!) but I did get a lot of giggles and stares from little kids. Which means my students are gonna love it. 
 I can't wait to wear this skirt during the upcoming school year...we just might have to make Pizza Pillows again! 
 I'll keep you posted on the many more beach towels to circle skirts to come! If you decide to make one, the supplies are:

* One round beach towel. Mine was 58" in diameter, the perfect length.

* One circle skirt pattern. I used Anna Maria Horner's circle skirt pattern in the video. Any one would work. You could probably even find a tutorial online to make the pattern yourself!

* One 7" zipper.

* Fabric for the waistband. 
And the steps are just as easy. I'd go through them all but, meh, I'm lazy. Just watch the video, y'all! And have fun! 
Oh, snap! This just in: Walmart commented on my IG...AND quoted the one and only Tim Gunn! WHHHHHAAAAAA. I'm dead.

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Sunday, July 1, 2018

DIY: Polymer Clay Snack Foods Necklace

 As you might have guessed from my last post, I'm on a bit of a polymer clay bender. I have this habit of going thru phases when working with different art supplies. When I'm needle felting, I needle felt EVERYTHING;  when I'm painting the walls of my art room, NOTHING IS SAFE; and when I decide to make miniature snack foods out of clay, watch out! 
I've got sushi, pie, popcorn, cupcakes, donuts, pizza, tacos, nachos, pretzels, lollies, pancakes, ice cream, bacon -n- eggs and more! I have to blame some of this on my friends over on Instagram who gave me a TON of ideas for what to sculpt. So many that I ended up with enough charms for not one necklace but also two charm bracelets! 
I hope this helps!
Because the grand majority of clothing in my closet is just as busy as this necklace, I decided to pair it with the dress I painted and stitched. Yes, this would be one of the more tame pieces of clothing in my closet. Surprised? I didn't think so. 
Wanna make some snack food charms of your own? You totally should! I even made a video tutorial showcasing how to make the tacos, nachos, donuts and sushi! Once you conquer those, you can take on all the snack foods. Here's a little list of supplies:
 * Sculptey Clay...or whatever your polymer clay of choice might be. I like the big ole 24 pack of the clay for a wide range of colors. Be sure and use all of the craft store coupons you can find as this stuff ain't cheap.

* Jump Rings...that's the little metal circles you'll want to add to your clay piece before popping it in the oven. I just slide mind in the back of the clay, sinking them about half way in. You'll be adding two jump rings per creation...but you'll only need to add one before baking. The other one can be added once the clay is cooled and easier to handle.

* Jeweler's Tools...or pliers. You'll need small tools to pry the second jump ring open and add it to the one that is already on the clay. Each charm will need TWO jump rings. If you only use one, then your charms will hang sideways. With the addition of the second one, your charm will hang straight on and be visible to all of your admirers. 

* Elastic...I use elastic string for my necklaces as I truly hate creating jewelry and working with tiny findings and jump rings. So being able to slide my necklace over my big ole head Candy Necklace style works best for me. 

* Modpodge...I used that to seal and protect my charms once they were out of the oven and cooled. 

* Wooden Beads...You can find a variety of wooden beads in the wood department (heh-heh) of your local craft store. I use acrylic paint to add color to mine. 
 My favorite part of making this necklace was making the charms...obviously. I made so many! I still want to make more. But do I really need ANOTHER snack food jewelry item? Probably. 
 Some tips about polymer clay: it's weird. Sometimes it can sit out forever and never harden and other times, it becomes like a rock. 
They sell a kind of polymer clay softener at the craft store for exactly one million dollars (but seriously, it's ridiculously pricey for the size of the bottle). OR you could simply add just a drop of baby oil to the hardened clay, rework and TA-DA! You are back in business. 
 Another tidbit: I used to sort and store my clay by color in styrofoam bowls and/or thin plastic containers. When I went back to reuse the clay, it had eaten holes right thru the styrofoam! I shared that on my IG and most folks said they had success keeping their clay in plastic bags or thicker plastic containers. I now store mine in a wooden drawer with dividers. WHO CAN EAT THRU STYROFOAM?! I mean, that stuff isn't even biodegradable! 
 My students LOVE making food items out of clay. In fact, one of our art shows was a 1950's diner where all of the food was sculpted from clay. I think they would so love making these tiny foods...they have tiny hands, they could handle it, right? (okay, MAYBE on a slightly larger scale!)
You can also find a ton of clay food times in my kid's clay book! Shameless plug, over and out. 
By the way, is it one MILLION TRILLION degrees where you are? I went outside to snap these photos and was dripping sweat within the first three minutes. Summer in Tennessee is no joke, y'all. 
I need to hit my sewing room and start up on my Back to School ensembles but I so wanna make more charms. I made art supply shoe clips out of this clay a couple years ago but now I think I need a art supply charm necklace too. Oh boy. The polymer clay creatin' journey continues! 
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Monday, June 25, 2018

DIY: Matisse-Inspired Necklace!

Hi. My name is Cassie and I used to blog on the regular. 

So sorry for the unintended hiatus, friends! Summer is usually the time I HAVE time for things like blogging, creating and all the rest but THIS summer, the summer that I swore would be calm, quiet and peaceful, has been anything but. Between my epic purge (that has resulted in an indoor yard sale. I'm not kidding. I REFUSE to sit in that heat which means the inside of our downstairs literally looks like a flea market bomb went off. You know...like it always does but this time EVERYTHING IS FOR SALE. And it's going surprisingly well even if I am ready to have my house back), my unexpected voyage (that I keep dropping hints about and can seriously tell you nothing about), a PD that I lead last week and some other random life stuff, it's just been busy. There has also been a TON of fun stuff: hiking every night at Radnor Lake with Mitch, lunching and catching up with friends nearly everyday of the week and...NECKLACE MAKING! So, while busy, it's been a wonderful summer so far.

BUUUUT, all that to say, I've fallen off the bloggin' bus. I'm climbin' back aboard tho. Starting with this here post and DIY video!
 Sometimes people ask me, "how do you get so much done?!" Lemme tell you the story behind these beads and then you'll know how I manage to seemingly get so much done. I actually made these Matisse beads about a year ago! I tend to make stuff, not knowing either how I want to finish it off or how to move on to the next step. When I spotted these recently, I knew right away I wanted to make them into a necklace with alternating wooden beads and so I finished it off! 
I seriously have so many UFO's (UnFinished Objects) laying around that, when inspired, I suddenly finish them off. And it looks like I'm constantly crankin' out creations. Which I'm not. I'm just FINALLY finishing them. Great. Now the cat's outta the bag!
 I ended up with so many beads that I created two necklaces! The supplies I used are: polymer clay, wooden beads, elastic, acrylic paint and jump rings. All found at my local craft store. 
 And I got lucky a while back at the thrift store and found that amazing Matisse-inspired skirt to match!
 Side note: I always bake my polyerclay in my toaster oven. If you do the same, be sure and use a lower temp so they don't burn. 
I hope y'all are having a super fun summer and are creating up a storm! 

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Book Club! Wild Card by Hope and Wade King

Well, I accidentally took a wee blogging break and I'm super sorry! I had a really exciting opportunity pop up and I seriously had to just stop, drop and get the heck outta Dodge. I can't fill you in on any more details other than that...but I will be able to spill the beans soon. And when I can, trust me, y'all will be the very first to know. 

While I was on my adventure, I threw the idea of a book club out to my friends on Instagram. I picked up The Wild Card at the bookstore to read on my travels and I was really excited about it right from the start. I thought y'all might like to join me on Wednesdays during our Facebook and Instagram  LIVE chats at 8pm CST. This Book Club isn't exclusive to art teachers tho, I've opened the floor to all educators. The more, the merrier! I firmly believe we can all share, learn and grow so much with each other.

We'll start this coming Wednesday with a soft intro and a chat about the first chapter. Even if you don't get a chance to get the book or do the reading, I do hope you'll join the fun! 

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

DIY: Sewing Room Studio Update!

 Hi, y'all! I'm so excited to share that I recently decluttered and organized my sewing room! It's been a LONG process and I'm so thrilled with the result. I can walk in, move around, LOOK around and see all of my supplies. It's amazing how much clearer the mind and work when there aren't piles of stuff to sift through. 
 When we first moved in to our house some 10 years ago, I already knew I wanted one room dedicated to sewing. I'd just started teaching myself to sew and was excited by all the possibilities of what I could create. Having a room dedicated to this was so exciting to me. Because I'm a collector (read: hoarder), I'd accumulated a ton of fabric and fun vintage finds like sewing notions. I thought it would be fun to dedicate one wall of my sewing room to display my inspirational finds. 
 Over time, I realized that this was a waste of precious space. I recently removed all of the frames and vintage notions within.
 And decided to make this wall a workspace. So all of the above came down. 
I LOVE my studio space and decided to create a similar space in my sewing room. I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up their biggest frames in the clearance section. Then I headed over to Home Depot and had them cut pegboard to fit my new frames. I also picked up a pegboard kit which includes the tools for hanging the frames. 
 And now I'm so excited! I have all of my embroidery floss, currently used patterns, knitting needles, embroidery hoops and more stored on this pegboard. 
 I'm super visual, I love to have all of my supplies on hand and on display. This kind of set up works so well for me. The same goes for my thread. These are actually table top thread displays that I found at Joann's. I simply drilled holes in them and hung them on the wall.
 Keeping this off my sewing table allows me to have so much more space to work. 
 Here's a look at my other pegboard. This one is a lot bigger than the picture shows and it holds so much stuff! I purchased the wire bins as a set from Home Depot along with all of the pegboard hooks. The yellow and metal cans are from Hobby Lobby. Currently, all of their metal containers that are colorful are on super duper sale, check their spring isle. 
The little round containers along the bottom are magnetic spice holders. My mom gave them to me but I feel like you could find those at IKEA or Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Pegboard Porn, y'all. 
 BEFORE! I had fabric everywhere! So much so that the room was very crowded feeling...and not fun to work in. 
 AFTER! I ditched the wire rack and a lot of the fabric that was on it. I kept what I liked and have decided to part with the rest. The giant mirror is from my bedroom which we never used. It allows me to see dresses as I sew them and really opens the room up.
 BEFORE! This is from a "clean out" a couple years ago...here is the AFTER result of that. 
 That time, I didn't really "declutter" as much as I just rearranged. I'm a constant sh**-shoveler, as I like to call myself. All I seem to do is just shovel sh** from one place to another. NO MAS!
 AFTER! This time, I really did declutter! My mom helped me out a lot. What I learned is that having a person help you is key...and it has to be a person who has no ties to the items you are looking to declutter. My mom does not sew or craft so she was all for trashing everything. Don't worry, nothing was trashed...just going in the donation/sale pile.
Love using shoe and sweater holders for scrap fabric, yarn and roving!
 Y'all recall that fabric stash of mine from the photo above? Well, the closet was also filled! My goal was to condense all of my fabric supply to fit in this closet. And I did it!
 I love having my fabric hung as it allows me not to have to root through piles of fabric. It also keeps it less wrinkled. 
There are still some things I'd like to do: make sure curtains, take down the old art you see above me and paint a happy picture...and organize the wire racks and make them more useful. But the bulk of the work is done and I'm so excited! 
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