Showing posts with label claude monet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label claude monet. Show all posts

Friday, March 6, 2015

DIY: A Waterlilies Dress (and Jacket Refurb!) after Monet

Y'all know those people who go on vacations and come back and wanna show you their One Million Photos of One Million Boring Thangs? Well, this here post is kinda like that in that I've got One Million Photos for y'all. Hopefully they won't be as much of a snoozefest as yo mama's trip to Vegas to play the slots complete with pictures of the buffet bars and awkward drunken middle-aged lady dancing in rando fountains. Ahem. 
But when you spend what feels like One Million Years on a dress, you kinda wanna share the daylights outta it, you know? Therefore, I present to you A Water Lilies Dress after Monet in a gazillion pics or less.
By now, if you've hung around this here blog for a wee while (and for that, I thank you kindly), you know I kinda have a thing for creating dresses after famous artists and their works. My most recent one was this Mondrian number but then there's also been a Starry Night, a Warhol frock, a couple of Kandinsky's, a Great Wave,  a The Scream number, this Keith Haring jacket and skirt, and a Lichtenstein dealio. There are still a ton of artist-inspired dress ideas rolling around in my itty bitty head. 
However, when I saw that watery print fabric, seen on the skirt portion of the dress, I immediately thought of Monet's water lilies. Now, I picked up two yards of that fabric and the violet and chartreuse well over a year ago. It wasn't until the last couple of weeks, when I've had One Million Snow Days (have you noticed that One Million is a theme in this here post?) that I had time to dive in and start stitchin'. One of the reasons I hesitated for so long was cuz I knew I'd not only have to stitch up the dress but then do some needle felting after the fact. That's a whole lotta work and I'm a whole lotta lazy. But with endless hours of free time on my hands, I decided to jump right in. 

By the way, I used that lovely vintage Butterick for the dress. The pattern was super simple, especially the bodice as it had raglan sleeves, my personal fave. I also thought the wrapped waistband was clever and fun. 

Once the dress was created, I started sketching the water lilies in chalk and commenced needle felting. If you've no clue what needle felting is all about, might I suggest you take a visit here and here
Because there was so much color in the ensemble, I decided not to go with Monet's pink water lilies but the white ones. I was particularly inspired by this lovely painting of his. 
I found that needle felting was a great medium for recreating the same look and feel as Monet's works. Sadly, my style is much too tight. I wish I could better immolate the looseness of Monet's work. Although, wasn't dude like near blind when he was painting these works? Note to self: next time, take out contacts. Except I'm using a tool with three razor sharp serrated needles and I'm near blind. SoooooOOOooo scratch that. 
 Most frequently asked question about Needle Felting: 

How do you wash your clothing?

I don't. Hence the smell.

Okay, so sometimes I do. Since it's wool, which shrinks when agitated (that's how you do wet felting. And why your 100% wool sweater shrunk in the wash), I wash by hand in cold water with Woolite. 
 I dunno if I was successful or not but what I was trying to do was not simply place one million water lilies all over the skirt portion but to create a composition. That's why I started with the one lone flower and lily off to the (viewer) right and gradually angled upward toward your left. Make sense? Can you tell I had a plan in mind? I dunno if it worked or not. I do know that I'm so over needle felting that Ima gonna pretend it's just right.
I love a good wide belt. I thought I'd give you a sneak peak at the side view and the back of this dress. I think that band is one of my fave things about this pattern. I can't decide if I love the neckline curve detail. It's kinda growing on me.
 With the art teacherin' conference coming at the end of this month (OMG, so soon! Yikes! I've got four presentations that I'd love you to attend, y'all. More details on those dates and times coming soon. This blog post has enough going on already), I knew I'd wanna wear this dress. However, I'm kinda cold natured so I thought I'd want a jacket to go with this number. 
 In the "re-do me" portion of my closet (Yes there is such a thing. No, I never ever get rid of anything.), I found this Target jacket that I'd scooped up on super sale a while back. Like, I'm talking 4 years ago a while back. I'd never worn the the thing because it looked like this:
I loved the buttons, the gathered fabric at the collar and opening and those presh sleeves. I have ALWAYS HATED that length. Every time I put it on, I found it so unflattering. But the color matched my dress's bodice perfectly. So I decided to make a bolero outta the thing. (P.S. Welcome to my uber messy sewing room! There's so much fabric, books and crapola in that room that I'm just waiting for the day that the weight of all my stuff sends me crashing thru to the dining room). 

 Using a beautiful platter that a sweet teacher buddy bought for me (thank you, Heather!), I traced the curve of the plate. The other bolero I made had a similar curve to the edge and I really liked that. It was the inspiration for the bottom edge of this bad boy. 
I absolutely LOVE short jackets because they look so vintage. And they still showcase your outfit underneath. So I was pretty stinkin' happy with how this simple lil alteration turned out.
And I totally dig it with my dress! It matches those shadows in the water lilies pretty well, says me. Ima totally gonna rock this out in New Orleans at the art teacherin' conference where I plan to hang with my brand new buddy...Tim Gunn!
 So, sadly, I've been keeping secrets from you. A while back, I had the incredible opportunity to spend a lovely hour on the phone just chatting it up with the one and only Tim Gunn. I interviewed him for SchoolArts Magazine (thank you, Nancy Walkup!) and you can read the article here. There's actually much more to the interview so you can bet I'll be sharing the entire interview right here just for you very soon. I'm super excited to attend Tim's sessions at the conference. Ima be all like...
"Hey, Tim! 'Member me?" And y'all know dude's much to nice to say no. Let's just hope he doesn't secretly file for a restraining order. Again. 
And das all, folks! A Monet's Water Lilies Dress and a Jacket Refurb. 

By the way, if you need some AMAZING Monet art lessons, check out my buddy Laura's blog over at Painted Paper. So much Monet goodness, ya'll!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In the Art Room: Art Show Part 2

I love this sweet interaction between the ladybug and the snail by a second grade artist.
A week ago today, I was scrambling to get the last of the clay projects fired and the art room ready for a display of well over 300 clay projects. Now, on this here last day of school (sniff!), the art room is empty. And all of those clay projects are proudly displayed on someone's mantle, nightstand, coffee table or kitchen window sill. Such a happy thought.

Thankfully, hubs was on hand during the art show as my photographer. He managed to snap these photos of the clay display in my room. I'm attaching links to my clay lessons, if you are interested. Thank you for sharing this happy art show memory with me! Next up on In the Art Room: the Walk like an Egyptian performance. Last week's In the Art Room: Art Show Part 1 can be found here.
The Egyptian entrance to the art room. So glad hubs got a photo of this as it will be coming down soon. Next year's theme is in the works.

Entering at their own risk.

This is the sight you are greeted with when you enter my room. This is usually where my drum set and gong are...but for the sake of my sanity, these things were put away during the art show. Again, this is all going away shortly. I cannot wait to begin work on my new theme.

Because all of my first through fourth grade students had ceramics to display (the kindergarten kids clay projects were Butterfly Reliefs that you can see here), I had to make room for well over 300 projects. I used every table I had as well as all of my counter space for display.

The infamous fish taco clay project. I love this lesson, it's always a hit with the kids. These fish were created by my first grade students. This lesson idea comes courtesy of The Clay Lady.

I've altered the directions a bit, so here it is: lay a texture, like lace or burlap, onto your work surface; pound to Oreo thickness and remove from texture; using a skewer, trace a circle template; fold like a taco and pinch closed with the exception of an opening for the mouth; add eyes, fins, lips and viola! You found Nemo!

My counter covered in ceramics. Because the kids have also been learning about the artist Claude Monet and his garden in Giverny, all of our clay projects are pond-themed. You can see our Mammoth Monet Mural here. In keeping with that theme, I had the kids create drawings of their clay projects, like fish, lily pads and frogs. These drawings were then cut out and used as the "table clothes" you see draped over my cabinets and tables.

Sweet Monet-inspired lily pads created by my second grade artists. You can find the complete lesson here.

To decorate my word wall cabinets, I hung up these Flower Pot Collages that my wee kindergarten friends had just completed.

The clay frogs stole the show. I love big-mouthed and bright-eyed paint-brush-holding frog created by a super sweet third grade artist. Check out the froggy lesson here.

To spice up the display a little bit, we mixed the frogs, fish and lily pads up a bit.

With my former student teacher, the fourth graders created these sculptures of fictional heroes. This was a great lesson she created...the kids were to come up with ideas of what characteristics a hero would have and create a hero based from there. Some of the heroes were glazed while others where painted copper.

A seated heroine contemplating her awesomeness.

At the time, the students were also learning about the Statue of Liberty. Because she is made from copper, some of the students painted their heroes with copper paint.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In the Art Room: Mammoth Monet-Inspired Mural

Mammoth Monet-Inspired Mural measuring in at 12' X 9' and well over 10 lbs. This is one mural not to be contented with.
 Hey, guys! I interrupt this blog post to say that my third graders just finished some clay frogs after creating this can see them here.

Well, I learned my lesson. After creating a winter mural with the kids after break (that you can see here: ) and only having a short time to display it before it became passe, I started early on this here spring/summer mural. The kids and I had most of the mural put together before spring break, but I was so excited to see the end result that I sneaked in, glued down the last of the frogs and flowers and, with the help of our awesome custodians, got it hung up. I can't wait for the kids to see it when they return. Here's how we went about our creation.
Our inspiration: Monet's garden and pond at Giverny.
I introduced Monet to the kids with this book. I love this series of books and find that all of my students, kindergarten through fourth, enjoy them too. I know that there are video versions of the books but I don't enjoy showing movies in my room. And, honestly, I love to read aloud.

One of my favorite tricks to get the kids to remember an artists name is this: whenever I say the artist's first name, the kids are to respond with his last name. So, as I read, I'll say, "Claude..." and the kids all respond, "Monet!" It really helps with recall...most of the time. Recently, when we were playing The Smartest Artist (, the question was, "who painted the Mona Lisa?" and I got "Vincent da Vinci!" Oh well.

After reading about Claude Monet, the kids spent a week creating clay projects that were pond-themed. So we had clay frogs, fish, waterlilies, butterflies and snails. I'll share these in an upcoming post as the kids have yet to glaze them. With our knowledge on ponds, the kids began creating the pieces of our mural.
A great rhyming book about a frog that ends up in Monet's garden.
 Here's a run down of who created what:
  • Kindergarten created the textured papers for the grass, flowers, cat tails and bridge. We learned all about mixing the secondary colors. They went on to create the three dimensional flowers too.
  • First grade created the tissue paper meets sparkle Modge Podge pond papers. They also drew the fish and the frogs. 
  • Some of the second grade classes printed the land with sponges, cardboard and empty spools for flowers. These are the background papers behind the kindergarten flowers. One class created the sky sponge paintings with the printed dragon flies. These kids also created the waterlilies on color diffusing paper.
  • The third and fourth graders are up to their eyeballs in weavings. Their task will be add insects once finished with their woven masterpieces.
A sweet little frog has found his home on a tissue paper waterlily.

First grade koi fish with a second grade waterlily.

Three-dimensional flowers with kindergarten. Yes, it's as crazy as it sounds. They got it...but it took us a while. Next time, maybe first grade.

For a full flower tutorial, go here:

I had a sweet former student shadow me last week. I asked her to come up with an idea for printing dragon flies as my pre-spring break brain was spent. She used a toilet paper tube she pinched in the middle to create a horizontal 8 and q-tips for the body. The kids loved it.

I borrowed the sun from the winter mural. I'm thinking he'll make an appearance in all of our seasonal murals, what do you think?

I was told that this is a Mrs. Stephens Frog. I do love bows in my hair. Now I just need to get my nails done!

Mammoth Mural in all it's glory. Happy Spring!

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