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

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

In the Art Room: A Dotted Relief Sculpture

You know those flakey art teacher types that, although they've taught art for something close to 100 years, they still neglect to order art supplies until well into the school year? 

"Good heavens, no!", you say, "I don't know nor would I ever associate with any of those types of art teachers."

Oh, but you do. Hello, my name is Cassie and I am Queen of the Flakey Art Teachers. Seriously. And I've got a glitter-encrusted crayon-crown to prove it (if I could only find the blasted thing).
Why make this announcement in this here Dotted Relief Sculpture post? Because this project was born outta an empty art supply cupboard. In fact, I've rewritten a (disturbingly morbid, go here and read and tell me I'm lyin') children's poem just for the occasion. I've titled it Old Mutha Stephens:

Old Mutha Stephens
Opened her cupboard to be retrievin's
Some paint, colored pencils and glue.
But when she came there
Her cupboard was bare!
And so her students used foil and plates and didn't have a clue
That their art teacher was a Big Crazy Unorganized Flake.

(Okay, so that last bit is a work in profess, you'll have to forgive me).
What's that? You too strive to be just as flakey as me and wish to dupe your student into thinking you just dreamed up the most awesome project on the planet? Oh, well then. You came to the right place. Get yourself to the nearest grocery store and grab the following:

* Super cheapo styrofoam plates. You want the cheap ones because they cut much easier. Each kid will need two so go for the largest supply.

* Spray Glue. I like 3M because it doesn't suck. 

* Cheapo aluminum foil. The thin stuff works great.

* Sharpies in a lotta colors. 

* Glue. You know, like, Elmers or something.

After reading The Dot, the kids traced a circle that was the size of the center of their styro plates. After cutting out two circles, they used one as the base for their relief sculpture. The other circle was used to trace bottle caps and cut out smaller circles. These were glued to the larger circle. After they had a minimum of three smaller circles with a maximum of two stacked on top, they visited me at a separate table where I hit their work with a shot of spray glue and slapped a piece of foil on top. They returned to their seats to "massage" the foil and reveal the circles underneath. The extra foil was cut away from the circle and tucked underneath. Then the fun of coloring designs in sharpies began...

I gave the kids a zen-tangle-meets-circles idea sheet to get the ball, er dot, rolling. I'm a big believer in what we call "idea sheets" as I'm one of those artists that always needs ideas and never just has 'em pop into my lil head. For my wee artists that are the same, I provide idea sheets. The kids know that they are just ideas and they don't have to use them if they don't need 'em.
After the first hour of work, their dots looked a lil like this. I loved 'em so but I just couldn't imagine them being hung like this. So the kids began working on dotted frames to mount them.
Which were stamped with round stamps in white. The kids added color to the white dots with either paint or makers. Once those dried, they embellished their frames with Magical Metallic Markers (which are only "magical" because I told the kids I'd bought 'em just for them and that their nemesis, the fourth graders, had not used 'em yet. This got a lotta yesssss!es from the third grade crowd.)
To mount 'em, the kids chose a colorful piece of paper that they thought enhanced their design. A larger circle was traced and their metal dot was glued atop.
And that was then glued to their super groovy dot-erific frame.
The kids all loved how Peter H. Reynolds signed his name with his middle initial and several of 'em followed suit.
I'd say there's no dot, er doubt about it, these bad boys are dot-alicious (okay, okay, I'll stop. But I'm at the end of my post, just trying to bring it all together for ya!).
Funny story: just this afternoon, my personal hero, our school bookkeeper, announced over my phone, "Mrs. Stephens! It's Christmas in the office, your supply order came in!" and wouldn't you know it, the kids cheered HURRAY! 

Looks like Mutha Stephens just hit the art teacherin' mutha load. Empty cupboards no more, yippie!

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #107 and Back to Schoolin'

Vintage Monday: Some of my fave vintage duds rarely see the light of day so this week I made a point to bust 'em out. This dress was one of my first vintage purchases that I dyed hot pink a coupla years back to hide some stains. Now that I think about it, Tuesday's dress is a dye-job too! dress: vintage; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; sandals: gift from a friend
Hello, kids! I hope that this sunshiny week has treated you swimmingly. Mine entailed feeble attempts at working in my art room (I can only manage about 3 hours a day before I start to whine "but it's summerrrrrr, I'm not supposed to be at schoooooooll!") and weak pursuits of stitching up some Back-to-School duds (I keep starting one dress and then another and then another. I really need meds for my self-diagonsed ADHD because self-medicating with coffee and chocolate only lead to a worse case of "look, SQUIRREL!"-itis). On top of that, I've been reading up on our Artsy Book Club choices and dreaming up ideas for an Apron Sew-a-Long (deets below, y'all). And to think that this week was supposed to be the calm before the Back-to-Schoolin' storm, pshaw!

I still cannot believe I start back to school in a matter of days. In fact, I know it's not sunk in as the Back-to-School nightmares have yet to begin (anyone else have these? Over-crowded art class, rowdy kids, paint everywhere, ticked off classroom teacher waiting outside the door with her kids in tow, me screaming for some semblance of control...oh, what am I talking about, that's no nightmare, that's my daily life!). To top it off, hubs and I headed out of town on Friday to spend our last vacation in California. When we return, I'll be hittin' the teachin' ground running. It's gonna be an interesting Back-to-Schoolin', I can already tell.

With returning to school in mind, I thought I'd share with you some of my Back-to-School projects and purchases. This is the kinda stuff that really gets me excited about returning to see my lil artist friends. Whuh about you, non-teachers and teacher-buds? What is/was your fave part about returning to school? Aside from huffing that brand new pack of Sharpies, as that's just a given. Whatever it may be, I hope it helps make the transition from easy-summer-days to kid-filled-artsy-craze a good one. Until next time, y'all!
Y'all recall that SmART! Craft Supply place I mentioned a coupla blog posts back? Well, they have a crazy assortment of sewing patterns (most being from the late 70's an 80's which is not my fave fashion era) and I scored this gem. I usually begin my sewing projects with a quick and crappy sketch just to wrap my head around where I'm going. I've decided to use a different pattern for the skirt portion (I didn't love the maxi vs. mini options. In fact, I hate maxis in the art room because every time I squat down, I ALWAYS step on my hem, attempt to stand up, get caught on stepped-on-hem and fall over. It's quite classy to see in action, I gotta tell ya). Here's hoping those angel-wing-sleeve-thingies don't look too angel-wing-y. Though pretty sure I'll be fine as I've never been confused for anything close to angelic. I'll keep ya's posted.
True Detective Tuesday: Since hubs has been home this week, we've spent some time hiking, reading and catching up on shows we've heard so much about. We decided to give True Detective a go this week. Have y'all watched this show? It's good...but unsettling. I find that I'm totally absorbed when watching it but feeling pretty funky afterwards. How bout y'all? dress: vintage, dyed purple by moi; shoes: Crocs, thrifted
What does Back-to-School Shopping mean to you? For me, it means FABRIC! And it's a wee bit outta control, as you can see. By the way, I recently threw the idea out there on Facebook (you can follow me here if you wanna) of hosting an Apron-Sew-Along on this here blog and got a great response. If you aren't familiar with a sew-along, it's where a blogger presents and teaches a sewing project over the course of several weeks and those that are interested, well, sew along. In the end, all projects are presented in a blog post and shared with the interwebbin' world. If you are interested...please let me know in the comments or on my Facebook page. I plan to share the details sometime next week. 
In the meantime, I've go some sewing to do! I've currently got three dresses in varying stages of completion and I need to get my behind in gear. I'm really hoping to have that one on the right ready by the first day of school. It's the one I'm using the angel-wing-sleeve-thingie dress pattern on. Wish me luck.
Butt Ugly But I Like It Wednesday: Seriously. When I found this get up at the thrift store a while back, I was so stoked. The hubs, well, not so much. two-piece crop top and cropped pants: vintage; bakelite bangles: gifts; shoes: Crocs
Back-to-School Shopping also entails scouring the interwebs for vintage clothing that reflects the culture I plan to teach. I found this super amazing skirt from this super amazing etsy seller Sassy Señorita Vintage. Y'all, this here awesome seller is why I love shopping on etsy. Not only is her shop fab but the shipping was fast. And when I sent her an email telling her I was an art teacher she threw in an extra goodie and packed it all in the most colorful of tissue paper that you know I'll be reusing in the art room. Thank you, Sassy Señorita!
The amount of work that went into the skirt is amazing. I've been studying the embroidery and the appliqué technique...thinking of trying my hand at this happy and colorful process.

Thursday Goodness: I ran errands like a crazy person Thursday in preparation to head outta town.  Isn't it funny how crazy things are before vacay? And then, when you get home, you need a vacay from the vacay! Which I totally won't get as we return home at midnight on Wednesday and start back to school bright and early Thursday, yikes! We'll see what state I'm in come next week. dress, bangles, brooch: vintage; rope sandals: Nomadic State of Mind
What else does Back-to-School Shopping mean? Bargains, 'course. Fact: I do have a shopping problemo. Howevers: I counter that buy only shopping used or cheap. For zample, I found these bad boys at Michael's Craft Joint for half off of $8 with the letters being a coupla bucks each. Add that 25% off coupon from my phone and BAM! I've got some happiness for the art room. Now, what to do with em...I'll keep you posted. 
Flyin Out Friday: My apologies for not only the goofball pose but the grainy photo. One of these days I'll quit this outfit photo biznatch and put you all out of your misery, ha! sweater: vintage; bike dress: Anthropologie; necklaces: made by me, DIY here
Don't let the sign fool you, we're actually in Anaheim, California at Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth. Hubs and I spent Saturday night at both California Adventure and Disneyland with plans to head back this evening. I'll share that adventure with you in an upcoming post if I recover from this vacay, heading back to school and getting all those dresses stitched up!
Until then, y'all enjoy your summer days! May they be slllooooooow and super happy!
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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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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #101 and Some Happenins

Memorial Day Monday: My first official day of summer. I'm so glad it's here...although every time I look at my calendar, I wonder "where is all my free time?!" it seems I've done a fine job of overbooking myself, sigh. dress: Anthropologie, last year; belt: made by me; anchor sandals: Sperry
Well, howdy, strangers! I wasn't really intending on taking that mini-hiatus but it seems that I've been consumed by summer vacay. Ya see, the hubs and I are currently in California (him: work; me: what's work?), taking to some local hiking trails by day and doin' time at Disneyland by night. I'm so glad we were able to make it since last Monday, when I busted my ankle and thought it broken, I assumed I was gonna be couch-bound with a cast and (fingers crossed) good meds. Thankfully, no broken ankle (as mentioned here, it turned out to be a bruised bone). When I told the doc I felt kinda foolish even bothering him with something so silly he said, "The other day a guy came in because he saw white dots on his tongue. I told him, 'those are called tastebuds. Go home, eat something and use those white dots.'" So, I supposed I coulda been Taste Bud Man.

In other non-swollen-ankle/Ima-on-vacation news, I've got some exciting things planned this summer that I thought I'd share with you! Things that are sure to keep me busy and off the streets which is a good thing says my parole officer. 

So now I wanna know what are you up to this summer?! Fun vacays planned? Super awesome classes you are taking? Crafty projects you are dying to dig your hands into? Dude! I wanna know! Until next time, have fun, whatever you are up to.
I'm excited to announce that I'll be presenting once again at an AOE conference! I had so much fun attending the last conference and I learned so stinkin' much. Not to mention I loved the live chatting, my typing fingers could seriously not keep up! This conference I'll be talking about a topic that it seems you are either for or against: Having a Tech Free Art Room. I'm looking forward to sharing my thoughts on this topic and having an open convo during the live chat. So, who's attending with me?
Bruised Bone Tuesday: Yeah, I'm still whining about it. But it was so silly how it happened that I'm just confounded. I was walking through our disturbingly disastrous garage when my ankle bumped into the wheel of a suitcase. But what it really felt like was my suitcase shoved a red hot dagger into my ankle bone. Instantly that ankle swelled to the size of tennis ball while a slew of unfortunate words came outta my mouth. I had to wear these lovely flippy-floppies for the next coupla days. dress: vintage
Have ya'll heard of The Skillery? It's this groovy Nashville-based community that offers space for creative folks to either work independently or come together and learn from each other. And this gal is teaching a needle felting class there!
If you've been around this blog for a hot minute, you know I love me some needle felting. One of my fave projects was this portrait I created of my cat Asha! You can go here for all the gory kitty cat details. 
Finally Healed-Up Friday: Just in time to grab a crepe breakfast with one buddy and an ice cream lunch date with another. Because meeting -n- eating is what summertime is all about, says me. dress: vintage, Buffalo Exchange; necklace: Pangea, Nashville; shoes: BC Shoes 
Aside from art education blogs, my fave blogs to read are those written by my fellow sewing sistahs. And Erin of Seamstress Erin is one of my go-to reads. I love Erin's blog because she's not your average sewer. This girl is like a super-genius with a great wit! So when she contacted me, along with some AMAZINGLY talented sewers (don't even ask how I got into this group!) saying that she had some acquired some turbans from the movie Rambo III and would I like to partake in a sew-along? I was all "yes, puhlease!" You can read her blog post all about it here.
I've already started working on the dress (oops, spoiler alert!)'s to hoping Rambo approves! You can see what one sewer did with her fab turban fabric here.
Flying to LA Saturday: It's a four hour plus flight, ya'll. My goal is to always be comfy and to have plenty of layers. Those flights can get ice cold and this one was no exception. Glad I brought a scarf with me! dress: thrifted, Target; belt and cardigan: Anthropologie; necklace: Forever 21; sandals: Target
Aside from the conference, the class and that sew-along, I do hope to squeeze in some Back to School Sewing this month! I've been buying up these fun art teacher fabrics when I see them. Now! I need some one-on-one time with my sewing machine to get to work!
So many pretty pattern choices to choose from, ah! You don't even know how much time I waste staring at patterns and dreaming up dresses. Hours, people. Hours.
A Boulder-tastic Hike at Black Star Canyon: Dude, we climbed over giant boulders with notion that there'd be this amazing waterfall at the end. Of our 13 mile hike. Yeah, it was dried up. Oh well, lil exercise never killed anyone although it came real close since hubs was the one that picked this particular trail. Humph.

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