Showing posts with label crayons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crayons. Show all posts

Sunday, March 19, 2017

DIY: The Crayon Tote

Hey, friends! I'm coming to you from the magical land of Orlando with free time provided by the amazing gift known as Spring Break! Hence the big smile and bright sunshine...tho you may have to wear sunglasses to view this post as the sunlight reflecting off my pale legs is blinding. 

Usually when I have a break, I spend the first half of my time off ignoring my To Do list and binge watching junk on Netflix...which is then followed by the end of my break where I am scrambling to accomplish at least one To Do. This time around, I decided to flip flop: before we cut outta town, I managed to edit a couple of videos (which, if you've not seen our school talent show vid, y'all are missing out. Catch me getting roasted followed by my uke debut at minute 47 here) and finish off this here Crayon Tote. All before cuttin' outta town for a few days. I'm mighty proud of my procrastinatin' self. I'd say that perhaps this is a sign of me turning over a new leaf...but I'm willing to put money on it that this is a one time dealio.
But, let's return to the subject at hand, shall we? This here Crayon Tote!
 So I started this tote MANY moons ago. It was a weekend, I'd had this idea for a crayon-themed bag in my head and without much of a plan, I started sketching, creating a paper pattern from my drawing, pinning the pattern pieces to fabric from my stash, and stitching it together. By the end of the weekend, I had completed the front and back of the bag. And I had no idea of how to proceed from there.  
And so it sat in my sewing room for months and months. Finally this past Saturday, I decided I was going to figure it out and finish it. I recalled that one of my very first sewing projects I created about 7 years ago, when I first started stitching, was a tote. I had used Lotta Jansdotter's book Simple Sewing and, following her directions, churned out a bag that I got quite a bit of use out of. The boxy nature of that tote lead me to believe that the concept just might work for this bag as well. So I cracked up the book and followed the directions once again. 
 Now, you can purchase that book used and on the cheap over on Amazon. The pattern is simple really. Create a front and back panel, a bottom panel and two side panels. With right sides together, stitch the side panels to the front and back panels creating a tube. Flip inside out and pin the bottom panel to the bottom of the tube and stitch. That part is a pinch tricky...just remember to turn those corners and you'll be fine. 
 Because I had already created my front and back panel before settling in on this pattern, I did not follow the measurements in the pattern. Instead I used my pre-created front and back panels to determine the size of my end and bottom pieces. 
For the lining of the bag, I was just going to use yellow fabric...until my art teacher friend Michelle suggested I use this vintage Crayola fabric. I've had this fabric in my stash for some time (it was gifted to me by a sweet art teacher) and had recently shared it on my Instagram. I had planned to use the small stash of fabric to create a top but when Michelle mentioned that it would be great for the lining, I couldn't have agreed more!
The lining was created in the exact same way as the bag itself. From there I stitched the handles. The pattern calls for short handles...but I knew I'd want something I could throw over my shoulder so I doubled the length. 
By the way, the first bag I created was very slumpy. In the pattern, it doesn't mention adding anything to stiffen or firm up the fabric. So whenever I would set my bag down, it would kind of dissolve like the Wicked Witch getting water thrown on her. I def didn't want that happening with this bag. I wanted it to stand up and look adorbs even when it was empty. So I sandwiched some thin quilting batting material in between each part of the bag...even the handle. And I'm so glad I did. Not only does it make the bag look more like a box of crayons but that cushion in the strap makes it much more comfortable on my shoulder.
Just a fun side pocket for pens and random other things for me to misplace and lose. 
 I love me some applique. It's so perfect for creating graphic imagery with hard lines. 
 Ah! That peak of lining! 
Of course y'all know I had to wear every color in the crayon box to coordinate with my bag. 
Whew! Another thing off my spring break To Do! Now back to my usual program of watching mindless telly. Toodles!
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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

In the Art Room: A Crayon-tastic Collaborative

My fourth grade classes have been all over the place, y'all. With snow days, holidays and my jury duty-in', I've got some classes light years ahead of the rest. To try and get everyone back on the same page, I threw this lil Crayon-tastic Collaborative into the mix. The kids are currently creating papier mache crayons and pencils for an installation. I thought this little project would be a nice intro to composition, teamwork and value all while bringing everyone up to speed. 
This project took my students an hour and a half (that'd be one and a half art classes). We spent the first 30 minutes of the first day priming our papier mache creations and then jumping right in to the crayon composition portion of the project. To best explain it, I created a video that you can view and share with your students if you'd like. My apologies for the fact that my hairs kept swinging into the demo portion of the video. Note to self: invest in a hair-tie! 
Really, youtube? This is the photo you pick (well, they actually give you an option. Sadly, this was the best one).
I have about 20 kids per 4th grade class. To pick the groups, I randomly called on a student to pick a partner. Then I allowed that partner to pick the next and so on. My students are very sweet to each other so there wasn't any weirdness, thank goodness. I did step in when one group was assembled because I knew these particular kids would do more chatting than working. But other than that, the teams did great! Our first half of the day was spent plotting out the composition.
Which looked a lil like this. I gave the kids a stack of templates because I wanted their focus to be on composition, teamwork and learning to create value. I know some folks are anti-templates but not me. With limited amount of time and the lesson focus on other elements, I like to remove as many hurdles as possible. Because, let's face it, why make the struggle even more real when it already is. 
Once the team was in agreement about the composition, the tracing started. That was a pinch tricky as the kids had to think about overlapping.
From there it was the drawing of the paper. This was also tricky as the kids had to use curved lines to create the illusion that their crayon was three dimensional. 
Once the crayons were all drawn, the kids cleared the messy mats off the tables and picked a table on which to work. I was fairly certain my custodian friend would not have loved chalk pastel all over the floor. We watched this video before diving in (I love Scratch Garden's videos!)...

This helped us review monochromatic and value. The kids were to share the same pastels for one crayon. Meaning, if they agreed on a blue crayon, they had to use the same set of chalk. If they didn't, some of them ended up picking different tints and shades of blue resulting in slightly mismatched crayons. 
This group only wants blue crayons. So they are having to come up with a variety of blues. 
After the crayons are complete, the kids are to outline with white chalk. As y'all know, chalk is super messy so the final step was to clean up any smudges with a kneaded eraser. Side note: kids go BANANAZ when introduced to kneaded erasers. 
I was walking around the room once everyone had started to check on them. This was my chatty group that I looked in on mistake. They'd forgotten to agree on crayon colors and got 'em all mixed up! After correcting MOST of them, they requested to leave one mixed up because, in their words, "we are kind of crazy." Can't argue with that!
Since it is Read Across America week, we have all been decorating our doors with our fave books! I decided upon The Day the Crayons Quit since it seemed to tie in with our fourth grade project! For this, I simply had my first thru third grade early finishers cut out a crayon and shade it in a similar (albeit more simplified!) manner as the fourth graders.
I loved having the kids help me (read: do most of the work) and that it tied in so well with what the older kids are creating! 

I hope y'all have a Crayon-tastic week! Until next time...

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