Showing posts with label dress like a work of art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dress like a work of art. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

In the Art Room: What to Wear

Sure you can buy a fur realz pair of Jeffrey Campbell pencil shoes (because, ya know, we teachers got money to burn) or you could have way more fun and make your own! I simply painted a thrifted pair of kicks with acrylic paint and covered that in ModPodge. I've seen other fine-footed art teacherin' types take a more sensible route and paint canvas shoes in the same style. With lots of wear, mine have started to cracked at the crease. If I were gonna do it all again, I'd prolly invest in some leather paint as it's got a bit of a give. 

On this here blog that I call home, I thought I'd run a lil series called Back to Art Teacherin'. If you are an art teacherin' type like myself, the end of summer vacay is nigh and what better time to prep for the Return of the Children (of the corn) then meow? So in this here series of Back to Art Teacherin', I'll be chatting at y'all about the following:

* What to Wear (which, hello, is this here post!)

* How to Decorate Your Art Room to it's utmost fabulousness (always a blast)

* An updated version of that dreaded Art Supply Order 

* And, best of all, what to teach those chillins on those most important first daze of schoolin'!

So, without further ado-ness, let's talk about sumpin near and dear to my baked, battered and blackened heart: Clothes!
 Just admit it, one of your fave things about getting back to art teacherin' is the smell of sharped pencils and freshly cracked boxes of crayons. So why not have an outfit or two to match? Pencil appliqué skirt here, needle felted crayon sweater there

What's a crayon sweater without crayon shoes? I mean, really? 

I didn't always have an obsessions with What I Wore. Nor have I always created my own clothes. Naw, y'all, this here is a new-ish thing for me. So if you don't know how to sew, felt, embroider or appliqué (yet), don't you fret! I taught myself simply cuz 1. We don't have cable and I get bored easily and 2. Because I've always wanted to create my own clothing! It's been that nagging creative outlet that I'd ignored for years thinking, eh, it's not real "art; I should be painting, drawing, sculpting, whateves-ing!" How lame was I to put off something I was truly interested in? If you find yourself doing the same with whatever it is you are intrigued by, tell that Sally-Self-Doubt, Negative-Nelly, Trash-Talking-Tina to hush it and go make you a Rock Star Apron if you wanna!
Why you mad, bro? Jelly of my kick arse art teacherin' apron? This is one of the first things I stitched up several years ago. It was so much fun to make and the kids loved it! That inspired me to create even more craziness. 
 What to wear on those painting days in the art room (which is pretty much everyday, right)? Why a palette dress, of course! I love the vintage charm of this Michael Miller fabric, y'all! 
 Tho if your wee artists are anything like mine, there's likely to be paint In which case a dress that you've painted or one stitched from Jackson Pollock-esque fabric is prolly the way to go. 
All of which calls for paint splattery shoes

Now I know that if y'all have been by this blog before, you've prolly seen just about everything I've got here for ya's today. Like, for instance, this here montage of artist-inspired numbers. 
 So it turns out I double downed on my Monet ensembles this year but I just couldn't help it. What's not to love about that painterly dude? That stitched and needle felted number took exactly two sessions of Project Runway reruns to get thru while that summery dress was a snap. 

It's funny, the other day I saw an article about people who take a buttload of selfies (FYI, not the actual title of said article. Tho "People Who Take a Buttload of Selfies" is a killer title, if I do say so. And I just did.) and, according the the author who apparently has NEVER taken a selfie in her LIFE (hair flip), those that do are manipulative (CHECK!), selfish (CHECKITY-CHECK) and, basically, just arsehole-ish. Well! There you have it! Me, in a nutshell. It's like she could see my manipulative, selfish sssooooouuuuuulll. 
 Last year's Kandinsky show at The Frist was the inspo behind these two numbers. Maybe it's cuz I'm totes clueless but not until seeing them now, side by side, am I realizing how opposite they are. Lil black dress here and wild -n- crazy in white here. 
It never fails, every winter, I take up needle felting all over again. That Scream Dress is one hot lil number to wear what with the completely wool lined inside (I think the screaming is actually due to the smell comin' off me). The Starry Night took all of eternity what with the embroidery (which you can't really see so why'd I do it, y'all? WHY?) and the lights.  
 Oh, applique. I always forget what a super fun pain in the rear you are. Fur serious tho, I do love changing the look of my clothing with appliqué. It gives a great flat look (perfect for pop art!) that you just can't quite get with needle-felting. Applique was one of the first methods of sewing I learned. I think I liked it because it reminded me of collage. In fact, to get over my fear of sewing, I told myself that the stitches were just like glue holding everything together. For some reason, likening sewing to collage (something I'm comfortable with) made it a whole lot less frightening. Lichtenstein-y here, Warhol-ishness there. 
 I was chatting with our weather-predicting custodian today and he claims that we are gonna get MASSIVE snow this year (which, for we Tennesseans means, like TWO WHOLE INCHES). We had quite the winter this past year which for me meant Snow Days/Sew Days. I got so much stitched! This here tribute to Mondrian was one o' em. 
 Now even if you can't sew, felt or appliqué, you can draw, right? That there Keith Haring number was just doodled on some pleather with a white Sharpie paint pen. And that Great Wave dress was the thing that started this whole Artist-Inspired series! The most easy artist dress made: that Magritte number. All I did was make the hat and add the birds! 
 For the last couple of years, I've made a Back to School dress. You know, one complete with school supplies and artsy whut-nots. Like that crayon and chevron thing and that crazy art supply number (with sleeves big enough to fly away with!). 
 My fave thing on the planet? Shopping for fabric, y'all. And when I find me some artsy fabric like that pencil fabric on the left and that marker fabric on the right, my palms get all sweaty, my heart skips a beat and I might cry a lil bit. 
 I love me a great big skirt, y'all. The kind that when I walk past a table, my big swooshiness knocks over cups, glasses, small children, you name it. That giant shower curtain skirt on the left does the trick quite nicely but that puffy pencil number isn't too snabby neither. 


Yes, sir and madams, I most certainly did. I've got a small grab bag cache of art teacherin' books that I'd love to send your way (not pictured. Obvi.) But here's the catch (there's always a catch): you gotta tell me your most fave back-to-school shopping memory! Mine involved my dad taking me jeans shopping at the dollar store before my eighth grade year. THE DOLLAR STORE, Y'ALL. All this girl ever wanted was some Guess jeans! Pretty sure this is why I don't wear pants to this day, the flashbacks are killer. Lemme hear your tale and don't forget to leave your lovely lil email addy so I can be sure to send these awesome art books your way. Until then!
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

DIY: A Keith Haring Inspired Pleather Ensemble

What I've got for y'all today is an ensemble brought to you by the exquisite fabric known as pleather. Which I have decided can only be pronounced as "plehh-thahh" in a deep and gravely Barry White voice, preferably followed by a "baby". As in, "I wanna wrap you in plehh-thahh, baby, plehh-thahhhhh." And just who doesn't want be draped from head-to-toe in leather fauxness with Barry White at their beck and call, hmmm? 

Little known fact: pleather actually comes from the rare and annoying creature known as Twilight Sparkle. Hence the smell of plastic and rainbows shot from unicorn anus. 

So I got this idea to draw all over my clothing from one of my fave artist blogs Alisa Burke. Y'all. I totally hate it when chics say the have a "girl crush" so, well, lemme just put it this way: I totes have the lady hots for Alisa. She's like a Super Crafty Genius. Sometimes, I visit her site and I'm all "GAH! She's done it AGAIN!" and commence shaking my fists at the heavens wondering why some folks be all touched with the crafty-gene and I ended up with hammerhead toes. HAMMERHEAD TOES, Y'ALL (and, to that freaky-deaky person who keeps messaging me about wanting to see more pictures of my feet, STOP. It's not gonna happen, 'kay?). Life just ain't fair, y'all.
As soon as I saw Alisa's jacket, the idea of doing the same with a Keith Haring theme popped into my head (along with "squirrel!" and "unicorn anus!" but that's pretty normal). I scoured the interwebs for super cheap plehh-thahhh (see, I told you, I can't say it any other way. Bet you won't be able to either after this post) and found that Forever21 had this circle skirt on the cheap. Not wanting to pay shipping costs, I decided to venture to the mall (anyone else abhor the mall? Gah, I feel like I'm stepping back into a 1990's time machine each time I enter one. Orange Julius, anyone?) and scooped one up.
I gotta tell ya, the last time I wore a plehh-thahh skirt it was my 11th birthday, I was in 6th grade and we were bringin' the house down at Chuck-e-Cheese. I tried my hardest to find a photo from the occasion but, alas, I think I may have taken one look at it, thought, "OMG, why am I wearing maroon pinstripe pleather?!" and tossed it. Sorry, y'all!

After my shopping fun at the mall, I popped over to the craft store and scooped up a coupla of Sharpie oil-based pens. I also picked up a couple of terrible fabric makers which sucked unicorn anus. Thusly, I don't recommend them. 
Once I got home, I did a quick search for Keith Haring/black and white and this is what popped up. I loved it so much (look at the scissor people, people!) I decided it would be the perfect inspiration. 
I began by sketching out my Haring-inspired designs in chalk but that proved to be too time-consuming and did a number on the tip of the Sharpie. Since Harings designs are pretty simple, I decided to just let it goooo and draw 'em with reckless abandon. 

Are y'all fans of Keith Haring? I feel like he was such a revolutionary artist not necessarily because of his style but because of the boundaries that his artwork removed. In the 1980's his graffiti artwork could be seen by anyone who happened by it, not just those "in the art world". He removed the mystic of the artist by working out in the open on grimy subway walls in his cartoonish hand. Not only that, but his artwork brought to light issues that were close to Haring's heart: AIDS awareness, sexuality, apartheid and war. Dude was Banksy before Banksy. Suddenly art became by the people and for the people, thanks to Keith Haring.
Once I was finished with the plehh-thahh skirt, I decided a biker jacket was needed to top it all off. Barry White insisted. 
Gotta tell ya, I've been wanting a vintage biker jacket for ages. However they cost exactly One Million Dollars and, despite my ginormous art teacherin' paycheck, I just ain't got that kinda dough. So a plehh-thahh biker from Forever21 it 'twas (dude. Do you know how awkward it is to shop in a place called Forever21 when you are really Forever 39?).
For this jacket, I really wanted to stress Harings more popular images like the people holding the heart, the barking dogs, the radiant baby and the cartoon face on the television. Other than that, I had seriously no plan at all, didn't draw in chalk or nuthin. I just went at it. 

And the result is pretty busy, I gotta say. However, I kinda dig that it doesn't match the skirt. I like that the skirt has more negative space so you can see the images better. By the way, do you even know how stinkin' hot head-to-toe plehh-thahh is?! And by "hot" I don't mean "hawt", I mean butt-sweat hot. You can thank me for the visual imagery in the comments.
Once the temps dip a pinch, I think this will be so much fun to wear. I'm thinkin' I will get a lotta mileage outta that jacket.
OMG, I just realized, I look like The Fonz!
Who has two thumbs and loves plehh-thahh?! Eeehhhhhh. This guy.
Oh, Fonz. You so cray.
And with that, one more artist-inspired ensemble in the books! 

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

DIY: 13 Favorites of 2013

Happy New Year, you crazy kids! I hope you rang in the new year in style...which, if you're like me, that meant recovering from a backpacking trip your hubs dragged, er, took you on. That's right, after I gifted him these paintings, he decided that a camping adventure was in order. Mind you, it's winter here in Tennessee and the evening forecast was about 29 degrees. I don't know if that's cold to you, but for me, the person who stays under her electric blanket (perfect present, Diana!) with at least 3 space heaters aimed in her direction at all times, that's pretty chilly. I'll share that experience with you in an upcoming post (cuz I know you're dying to hear all about it) but until then, I thought I'd give ya my 13 favorites of 2013! 

Now last year at this time I shared my 12 faves of 2012 and I really enjoyed looking back on my year. This year meant a lot of new crafting, art room and travel adventures. So without further jibber-jabber, I present to you my 13 Faves of 2013!
 1. Going to Paris ranks at the top of my favorite things about this year. After teaching about Europe (with a focus on Paris, France) all year in the art room, I was thrilled to have the chance to spend a week there. This photo was actually taken on the day we landed and zipped right over to the Arc. I may have cried a pinch here ... and at the top when I got a good view of the Eiffel Tower. It was just too beautiful for my tired jet-lagged soul to take without shedding a tear or three.
I think I took exactly 500 photos while I was there. You can read more about my adventure here. I'd love to go back; there were just so many things to see and do.
2. Going to Germany to attend the wedding of some friends was also one of my favorite things. We flew into Nuremburg from Paris at which point my hubs took the rental car to the Germany company he works for which left me stranded in the city for several hours. This really pushed my big girl limits as I had to figure out how to navigate that foreign city and find my way back to the town where we were staying. Turns out clicking your heels and whispering "there's no place like Neustadt an der Aisch" only works in the movies.
3. I began my love affair with needle felting this year. It all started when I spotted a certain dotted sweater at Anthropologie and was inspired to create my own version. I've become so addicted that there currently isn't a sweater in my wardrobe that isn't DIY'ed. Le sigh.

Of course I had to felt a bird on it. Details on the sweater on the left here and the one on the right here.
This sweater was (at the time) the most time consuming...although I'm currently working on a felted number that's gonna put all these bad boys to shame. I'm hoping to have that one to share with you next week.
I felted my cat Asha looking dapper and created another Anthro knock-off but putting my own spin on it with a Christmas theme.
4. I had the privilege of working with the awesome Rebecca Tenpenny this year. In case you don't recall, she was my super duper student teacher that I just adored. We spent so much time together dreaming up projects for the kids, laughing and just having a great time.
5. Creating Great Big Masterpiece-Inspired murals has really been fun in the art room this year. The first one we embarked on was this Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup Can number that currently hangs in the school cafeteria.

Our second big mural was inspired by the work of Rene Magritte and created by my third grade students. I'm excited to see what other murals we create this upcoming year.
6. So I got it in my head that I would be creating 9 artist-themed outfits this school year. This has been so much fun for me and the kids have loved it. Of course, sometimes I have to point out to them that I'm wearing something slightly unusual because they just look at me and see crazy. An apple for your face? Eh, what else is new.

 7. I started a sewing group after school for the faculty at my school. It's been so exciting to share my love of sewing with others. I have plenty to learn about sewing...but it's so much fun to teach what little I do know. I'm excited to say that about 4 of these ladies have since purchased sewing machines of their own and even gotten some for Christmas! In the photo above, we're wearing some tacky Christmas garb we stitched up ourselves.
8. Getting published in SchoolArts...twice! I've been reading SchoolArts since my first year teaching when I discovered a stash in the back of my first art room. I poured over those issues and learned so much from each and every one. It was such a life saver for me...and still is. So I was honored to have my geeked out art teacher clothes featured.
And an article I wrote that showcased the fab work of my former fourth graders. It meant so much to me and them.
9. A service project to help those that can't help themselves. My kindergarten through 4th grade students each created an animal clay project that they "sold" back to their parents for a monetary donation of their choice. This money was then given to the no-kill animal shelter in our town called Happy Tales Humane. I think showing the kids that they can use their art to help others is very important. We are in the middle of another service project now. By the way, you can see our animal clay projects here, here and here.

10. Dressing like Mary Poppins for Favorite Book Character Day was such fun. Since the kids were learning about the UK at the time, I was reading P.L. Travers book to the children and playing my old Disney records. By the way, have ya'll seen Saving Mr. Banks? If not, you absolutely must. I loved every minute.
The best part about dressing as Mary is that I actually got to meet her at Epcot that very weekend. I told her I was a teacher and she asked, "Do you keep those students in spit spot shape?"
11. Getting to visit with my mother and brother this summer was awesome. My baby bro teaches on an Indian reservation in Arizona so I don't see him as often as I'd like. And my mama lives about 6 hours away in Indiana. So for us to get together is a pretty big deal. I took 'em around to the usual touristy spots.
12. Hubs and I love to go to Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios in Disney World. Yeah, we're nerdy like that. For the last two years, I've created a dress for the occasion, once with the Star Wars sheets from my childhood and this year with a Mad Men theme. Already hubs is asking what I'll be wearing this upcoming year.
13. Getting this insane tree into the art room. Okay, this one goes down as one of the funniest things that happened this year. My girlfriend and I made two trips with her huge car hauling this monster of a tree...and then more girlfriends attempted to help me assemble the thing. In the end, a kind dad volunteer put the tree together and I'm happy to say, it's still standing.
And we've so enjoyed having it in the art room this year. Fingers crossed it hasn't decided to collapse over Winter Break.

And that's my 13 faves of 2013! I hope your year was a good one and here's to a brand new one. Happy New Year, ya'll!

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