Showing posts with label elementary art class. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elementary art class. Show all posts

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Everyday Art Room: Episode 2

Today is the second installment of my podcast Everyday Art Room and I'm super excited. I'll be talking about my experience teaching art on the very first day some 19 years ago...it was a trip, lemme tell ya. I'll also be sharing the only three rules I have in my art room. Feel free to use the rules in yours! I created these rules images just for you. In my last podcast, I chatted about my 8 routines which you can check out here in case you missed. What rules do you have in your art room?

I thought I'd share the transcript of today's podcast in case you are interested. Before I get to that, I want to share the WINNER of our GIVEAWAY! BIG HUGS AND HIGH FIVES TO ASHLEY H.! You've won Barney Saltzberg's latest book, My Book of Beautiful Oops!
I have been teaching art for close to 20 years and what that means is that I have had close to 20 first days of school. Let me just tell you, they never get any easier. Now, there is one first day of school that I remember like it was yesterday and I bet you can guess which one that is. That’s right, the very first, first day of school. Let me paint a little picture for you. I was hired to teach kindergarten through second grade children in Nashville, Tennessee. I moved from Indiana. I moved not knowing a single soul and never having taught children under the age of 10. Something I may have failed to mention in the interview.
Oh, but speaking of the interview. When I was sitting in that interview the vice principal kept painting this glorious picture of this amazing space that I was going to have to teach in. He kept referring to it as something called a portable. I didn’t know what a portable was, but he acted like it was the best thing ever. A word to the wise, newbies or people going out for an interview, always make sure that you ask to see that teaching space before accepting the job unlike yours truly.
When I saw my space, I was like, “Y’all call that a portable, because where I’m from that’s a straight up trailer.” Now, I will say this it was a very nice trailer and, excuse me, portable. When I saw the inside of the space it was clean. It was nice, but it was very institutional. I thought, “In less than 24 hours before my students get here, I need to transform this space into an exciting place where they will want to come and create.”
Taking a little break from that, I decided to walk up and down the halls of the school and just casually pop my head in the classrooms to see, what does an elementary classroom look like. Here’s what I saw. I saw rooms filled with big bold posters that had words on them like, rules and consequences. On the rules’ poster there were these big happy faced children doing the right thing, raising their hand and being kind to one another. On the consequences’ poster, well I think you can imagine the things that I saw. Those faces on the children, they were not happy. I thought, “That’s what I need. I need rules and consequences posters.”
I immediately went back to my apartment and that night I stayed up until 3:00 AM drawing Vincent Van Gogh’s art room rules, poster after poster after poster. The next day, I shared those rules and consequences with my students and let me just tell you, it did not go over well. They weren’t receptive, because they didn’t understand what it was that I was talking about. The thing is, I didn’t understand what I was talking about either. Here’s what your students need from you on those first days of school. They need you. They need you and your actions and your excitement and love for teaching art to set the tone, which will then help establish the rules in your art room. This is Everyday Art Room and I’m Cassie Stephens.
In the last episode of Everyday Art Room, we were chatting about the eight art room routines that will help you establish a really successful school year. Now, I did mention that when you’re coming up with your own eight art room routines, you need to think of the three S’s. Consider your setup, your situation, and your students. Simply because it works well in my art room with my setup and situation and students, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Now, that being said, during that episode, I bet some of you were wondering, “Wait a minute. On the first day of school, she goes over her routines, but what about rules? You’re supposed to cover that on the first day of school.” I have a feeling might, myself included, accidentally confuse rules and routines. They’re two totally different things. Let’s talk about that difference.
Think of your art room as a masterpiece, a big beautiful painting. When an artist approaches a painting he/she first lays down big broad brushstrokes. I like to think of those big broad brushstrokes as the rules in my art room. The routines, well those are the finer details in a painting and depending on your situation, your setup, and your students you might have a finally detailed masterpiece that’s your art room. If you’re anything like me, a little bit loosey goosey/hot mess express, well then your painting and the routine/finer details might cause it to look a little bit more impressionistic/occasionally attacked by Jackson Pollock. Each one of those is different and unique. Just like the art teacher that each one of us are.
Today, we are going to talk about those rules and we’re going to talk about the top three rules, the only ones that you’ll ever need for your setup, your situation, and your students. Before diving in, let’s really dig deep about what rules do. What do rules do? They set the tone. They set the tone for your art room and your students creative space. That masterpiece where the artist is laying down those big broad brushstrokes, he/she is setting the tone with the colors chosen, the lines and shapes put into place. That’s going to be the tone for the entire painting. Think of the tone that you want to establish in your art room.
Now, with that in mind, I want you to listen to this. I did a little bit of googling and just out of curiosity I googled “elementary classroom rules” just to see what our fellow teacher and buddies were up to in their teaching spaces. I came across pretty much what you’d expect and a lot of rules I’ve used in my art room before. Let me go over the top three.
Walk in the classroom. Okay, walking’s important. We don’t need to be running anywhere except outside and in PE. I can go along with that. Second one, raise your hand to talk. I have most definitely had that as a rule in my art room. Be kind to your classmates. I love that rule. I mean that’s like a life mantra. That’s not just a rule. So, those, of course, are setting a tone. Here are some other rules that I came across, which also set a tone. I’m going to read these to you twice. I’m going to read them to you once and then I’m going to read them to you again with the tone that I think they were written in.
Here’s the first one. Listen and follow directions the first time you are asked! In my mind, here’s the tone with which I heard that rule. Listen and follow directions the first time you are asked! Here’s another one. Do not get out of your seat unless you have permission! Here’s the tone. Do not get out of your seat unless you have permission! The last one. Raise your hand before speaking. Do not shout out! Raise your hand before speaking. Do not shout out! The funny thing about that rule, I feel like that rule is shouting out.
All right, do you understand where I’m going with this? The tone that those three rules set, imagine being a student in that classroom. Imagine the tone and the climate in that classroom. Imagine that being your learning space for an entire year. So, when you’re coming up with your rules really think clearly about that tone. Read your rules out loud and make sure they are going to help you establish that creative, exciting, and wonderful space that you have.
Many people also have a tendency, like I said earlier, and myself included, to confuse rules with routines. They end up with a list of rules that entirely too long. The one about walking into the classroom. I feel that’s more of a routine. You need to show students how you want them to walk into your classroom. This is our routine for walking in. This is our routine for walking to gather supplies. This is our routine for walking to exit. That’s not a rule.
Let me share with you the top three rules. The only ones for your setup, situation, and students that you’ll need. When I was coming up with these I decided to think of it more, not as a rule or a set of rules, but as a life mantra. I want these to be life rules. Rules of life to live by. When I was coming up with these I thought of the KISS method, Keep It Simple Stupid. So, here’s the acronym I thought of using the word ART, of course. A for ART is for Aim. The R in ART is for Respect. The T for ART is Trust. My three rules, Aim, Respect, Trust.
Now, let’s go over what I mean by each one of those three words and three rules. I’ll do this with my student. Let’s talk about the A, which I said is Aim. I want all of my student to aim, to try their best and aim to do the right thing. I can’t ask more of them than to try their best and to do the right thing. The R is for Respect. I want my students to respect themselves, their artwork, their classmates, and the art room. It’s one thing I know about people and students, they cannot have respect for others or what they’ve created or art supplies or space unless they first have a respect and a love for themselves. So, establishing that self confidence and that respect for themselves comes first in that R of respect.
Let’s talk about trust. Trust in yourself. Trust in your ability to learn. I’m currently reading a couple of books on growth mindsets. I feel it’s got a solid connection to what we do in our art room. We want our students to know that they can grow and they can learn. Things aren’t always going to come easily. They never will always come easily in life, but if they trust in themselves, in their ability to learn, then they will be able to grow.
Those are my three art room rules. Ones that I feel like, regardless of your setup, your situation, and your students these would work well in your room. They might be shown or displayed a little differently from room-to-room, but they will most definitely set a tone. A tone that we want our students to create and live and learn within. Thank you so much for letting me share my top three art room rules with you.
Tim: Hello, this is Tim Bogatz, the host of Art Ed Radio. Thank you for tuning back into the second episode of Everyday Art Room with Cassie Stephens. As we told you new episodes will be arriving every Thursday so make sure you subscribe iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you love the show, please submit a rating and a review on iTunes, because this helps other art teachers find the show.
Also, make sure you check out Everyday Art Room on the Art of Ed website under the podcasts tab. You’ll find the full transcript of this show links to Cassie’s blog, AOE articles, and resources that can help your teaching. It’s all of the artofed.com under the podcasts tab. You can also sign up to receive weekly emails whenever a new episode is released. Now, let’s get you back to Cassie, as she opens up the mailbag.
Cassie: Now it’s time to dip into the mailbag. All right, this first question ties in pretty well with what we’ve been chatting about. It says this, “Cassie, you talk a lot about your art room, but you don’t talk very much about kids misbehaving in your art room. Do you not have kids that misbehave? If so, how do you make that happen?” Oh friend, I could only dream of an art room where all the children were perfect angels sent from above, but let’s be honest, that’s not the case. Each and every art teacher struggles with students. It’s just how it is, but it’s all about how each and every art teacher handles that student that’s causing disruptions in the art room. Let’s talk about that.
First of all, the most important thing to do when you have a student who’s interrupting your art room is to not take it personally. Remove yourself from the situation. Pretend that you are rising above being a little fly on the wall watching the madness happen, because regardless of the behavior, it’s not you. There’s something else going on. Your job is to first of all, stay extremely calm despite the fact that your blood pressure might be rising.
The second thing you need to do is remove yourself from the situation and just know that this anger or misbehavior, even though it might look as though it’s directed at you, there’s something else going on here and it’s not you. Your next action is really important, because all eyes, not just the eye of the child misbehaving, all eyes are on you. Whatever you do, however you decide to handle that situation, it’s important that you do it with extreme calm. Usually what I’ll do is I’ll lower my voice, I’ll talk very calmly. I might ask the student to go take a break. I have a time out area.
These are things that we will definitely be covering in next week’s episode when we chat about consequences. We talked about rules, but we haven’t yet talked about what to do when students break those rules. Don’t you worry, we’re getting there next time. Remember, keep yourself calm. Know that this behavior, this misbehavior is not geared towards you that there’s something else going on. We all have issues with students like this and the key is knowing how to handle that situation, which, like I said, we will be chatting more about next week.
All right, one more question from the mailbag and this question is one that I get quite a bit, which I think is really funny. Here we go. “Cassie, how do you have time to do all of the things that you do? You seem to get a lot of stuff accomplished in a short amount of time.” Oh, man, I take that as a big old compliment and I also take that to mean that I have all y’all fooled. I will let you know, I am a big time waster of time. In fact, that’s what my second grade teacher Mrs. Cheek wrote on my report card, “Cassie Stephens needs to work on her time management skills.” That’s how I read that even though Mrs. Cheek was a lovely teacher and never spoke like that. She had a teepee in her room y’all. A teepee.
I will tell you this, but I do, and I probably don’t even need to tell you this, I do consume a lot of caffeine. I don’t really believe in keeping clean house. It’s an artsy house. It’s got stuff everywhere. I ain’t got time to clean. I also don’t have children, that frees up quite a bit of time and we don’t have cable or a functioning television. Don’t get me started, but with those three things, or without some of those three things, I am able to get some things accomplished.
I will also let you in on a little secret. When I’m doing something, like creating a needle felted piece or painting a picture or sewing an outfit. I’m not doing it for just that reason alone. I usually have several layers to that project. If I’m sewing a dress, let’s say that has a Russo style print on it, that’s because I’m going to be teaching my students about Russo. If I’m coming up with lessons on Vincent van Gogh, we’ll just throw him out there, then I’m probably also coming up with something that I can wear in my hair or an outfit that I can create or a painting I can make from my room that will help reinforce what I’m teaching.
When I put together my passions, like sewing or creating, together with something like what my students will be learning about, then I’m able to do, I guess you could say double duty. Although my students refer to that as something else, but I digress. I hope that helps to clarify, but let me just say, I don’t have a magical time machine and I am a hot mess. So, there you have it. If you guys have any old questions, you feel free to send them my way. You can send them to everdayartroom@artofed.com. Chat soon.
It’s been awesome chatting with you guys today about the top three rules, the only top three rules you’ll ever need for your setup, your situation, and your students. Remember, think of rules as being the tone. The tone that you want to set in your art room. Also, when coming up with those rules, remember there’s a difference between rules and routines. Rules are the big, broad, beautiful brushstrokes, kind of lay the foundation and set the tone for the masterpiece that’s your art room.
Routines, well those are those teeny tiny finer details and just how fine those details are, well that’s up to you and the tone you wish to set in your art room. My top three rules that I shared with you, A is for aim. Your students are aiming to be their best and to do the right thing. R, well that’s for respect. They first need to have a respect for themselves, before they can have a respect for their artwork, their classmates, the art room and the art supplies in the art room. Lastly, the T is for trust. Your students need to trust in themselves and their ability to learn. With those three rules in your art room you will set a wonderful tone for your students to not only flourish, but create. This has been Everyday Art Room and I’m Cassie Stephens.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

In the Art Room: Chalk Prints and Shaving Cream Marbling

In second grade we are working like crazy with our short 30 minute art classes to try our hands at two different paper treatments: floating chalk prints and shaving cream marbling. My goal has been for all of my students to attempt both processes twice before the end of class. It's a go-go-go kind of class but it's a lot of fun. When I shared a couple short videos of my students working on these papers, I got a lot of questions about the process. So I created a video that will walk you through each. I'll also go through the supplies needed in this here post. Here's the how-to video:
Supplies for floating chalk prints:

* Paper. I used 6" X 9" papers. These will be used for the covers of their Rainbow Book. I only order between 80- 90 lbs paper for the art room. 
* Chalk. We used Freart Chalk by Prang. I like this chalk because it's high in pigment and thick like sidewalk chalk.
* Tongue depressors. We used the big ones which you can get cheap at the Dollar Tree.
* Tub of water. I made it so each my students had their own tub to save on time. I see my second graders at the end of the day so this meant I didn't have to hustle to move the tubs for my next class. 
If you watch the video, you'll see just how easy this process is...and how beautiful the results are. 
I have a feeling the kids are going to have a hard time deciding which beautiful papers to use for the covers of their Rainbow Book!
When doing these chalk prints, you can even use stencils to create a really cool look. Check out this blog post where we used star stencils
The best part is, you don't have to "set" these creations as you would normal chalk pieces!
 For shaving cream marbling, you'll need the following:

* Shaving cream. We used cheap dollar store stuff.
* Liquid watercolor.
* Paint brushes.
* Tongue depressors.
* Paper. 
This process required more steps so some of my students would get excited and forget those steps. I made sure to appoint my Art Teachers in Training who did a wonderful job reminding kids of the steps. Yay! 
I did not change out the bins of shaving cream or water. For the floating chalk prints, it was not necessary. For the shaving cream, it just meant that the following prints had more color. 
 Again, so pretty! I can't wait to see these on the covers of their books. Here are the books they are creating:
I have done shaving cream prints before...but never in a closed container. I am never going back, y'all! The mess is contained...like, literally.
Have y'all done these kind of prints before? I'd love to hear about it! I'm also curious to know what you did with your beautiful papers. 
I'll be sure and update you with our completed Rainbow Books!
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 15

Second grade and I going over the Elements of Art. Here we are flexing our muscles and showing FORM. 
"Why, yes, I did become an art teacher so I could repeat myself over and over and OOOHHH-VERRRRR again. In fact, I'm pursuing my masters degree in the Fine Art of Repetition as I do love hearing myself give the same set of directions during one art class so stinkin' much!"

Said.No.Art.Teacher.EVER.

If you are like me (and bless you if that truly is the case), you absolutely positively cannot stand it when you have just finished giving all sorts of fabulous directions only to have a student come up to you and say, "So, like, what am I supposed to do?" 

Well, roll-those-eyes, shake-that-head and face-palm it no more, my dear art teacherin' buds. I have a solution that has worked wonders for me: Call and Response!
My face, after my head does a Linda Blair head spin, when asked to repeat the directions for the gazillionth time...


If you aren't afraid to be a little silly and animated (and, I mean, really. You teach ART, y'all! Get silly and animated already), then this method is for you. 

Here are the keys to making Call and Response successful (and fun!):

* Have a cue. The kids will need a signal to know when it is an appropriate time to repeat after you. I clear my throat with an "ah-hem" which they mimic and know that anything I say and do from then on, they are to parrot.

* Deliver it in bite sizes. Keep your directions short and sweet so that the kids have an easy time repeating.

* Make it silly. Silly sticks, y'all. They remember the silly. Goofy voices, funny phrases, that's the stuff they remember.

* Add a hand jive. I'm all about the hand motions. Use those to help reinforce what you are saying. Throw some sign language in there to boot!

Like I said, I do this with all of my students, kinder thru fourth. They are all expected to repeat (because I have noticed that those who do not never know what to do!). It truly works wonders! I've had parents tell me that they've tried it at home...sadly, it doesn't work as well there. 
And to change things up, I sat in front of a random supply cabinet this week. I thought y'all might want a look see without my crazy self sitting in front of it. 

So, what do you say? Is this something you would do? I really recommend you give it a go...your kids will love it and you'll be amazed at what they remember! We do this for all sorts of things: learning vocabulary, the elements of art and more. Have fun, y'all!
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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

In the Art Room: I Ain't Gonna Paint No More Portraits

Hey, y'all! Just popping in to share with you some selfies that my firsties and second graders have been working on. All of my classes are in the middle of Self-Portrait Land with our collaborative project being our It's Okay to be Different mural (which I'm hoping to have up and share with y'all by next week). That project really introduced the kids to color mixing and basics of self portrait making with painting and collage. So they were ready to handle these colorful and crazy self portraits.  
In this project, we covered more color theory, color mixing, the proportions of the face and collage. It was a fun endeavor and one that I'm sure I'll be doing again in years to come. My art classes are 30 minutes in length with my younger students so each portion of the lesson I had to break down in small bites. 
The project began with a group of helpful fourth graders that come in each morning and help a poor hot mess of an art teacher out. They sorted through all of my washable markers and found the that were on their last marker-y leg, so to speak. I soaked 'em over night in a cup of water and the next day, placed the warm colors of "marker juice" on one set of tables and the cool on another. 
The kids could decide what color they'd like for their background and commence splatter painting. We had chatted briefly about Jackson Pollock and watched a short clip of him in action. The kids were super excited about this process and very curious about the making of marker juice. Y'all don't even know how many donated markers the kids have brought in for the cause.
We MIGHT have ended up with just a coupla rainbow freckles with all that splattering. 
The following art class, I read the book The Colors of Us. Because of our color mixing background, the kids were familiar with the basics of how to create secondary colors with primary. For creating the unique flesh tone of each child, the kids were given red, yellow, brown, white and black. We talked about the various flesh colors in the book and how the young girl in the book created each one. Then the kids put that knowledge to work and painted a piece of 9" X 12" sheet of paper that was their flesh color. 
The following art class, we used that flesh colored piece of paper to draw our self portraits. We talked about how the head is shaped like an upside down egg. The students traced a head-shaped template, drew a neck and did a little guided drawing with me. I had mirrors out so the kids could look at themselves as we drew. 
From there, we cut out our bald self portraits and glued them down to our splatter painted background. Using mirrors and our color-mixing knowledge, we painted our hair. I loved seeing all the different hair styles! 

We have been reading the book I Ain't Gonna Paint No More (which is so much fun to read, the kids adore this book!) and we talked about how sad we'd be if we didn't get to paint anymore! Each of the kids then chose a super messy and painty piece of paper to create their shirt. 
While they worked on that, I called them by table to come and see me to do one last crazy thing: mix paint on our hands!
 I had three trays of the primary colors set up. When the kids came up to me, they had to tell me what secondary color they wished to mix and, as a great post-assessment test, they had to figure out what primary colors to use! One hand went in one primary, the other hand in another, rub those hands together like you are putting on lotion and VIOLA! Secondary color hands! These were then promptly printed on paper. The best part was each kid gave me a great big ole painty high-five when they were finished and heading to the sink. 
Our final step was to cut out our hands (without cutting off digits), glue 'em down and sign our name. I can't wait to hang these happy faces in the halls at school. 

What are some of y'all's fave books to read when teaching self portraits in the art room? 
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

In the Art Room: Self Portrait Mural Inspired by Todd Parr, Part 1

Hey, y'all! I just had to share with you a project that we are about half way through: A big ole self-portrait mural inspired by the artist and author Todd Parr! It's a school-wide effort but currently only my kindergarten through 2nd grade students are finished. Once my 3rd and 4th grade kiddos complete their self-portraits, I'll add them to the mural and be sure to share the finished product with y'all. 
This unit of study has not only involved creating a colorful self-portrait but also color theory and collage. But I'm getting ahead of myself! Let's talk about the inspo: It's Okay to be Different. Do y'all have this book? It's a super short and colorful read that's perfect for the art room. What better place to emphasize our differences and celebrate them than art class, right?! It's a happy read with a  great underlining meaning that the kids really love. 
And I really love the crazy and colorful result! To walk you through the entire process, lemme tell you how we started. With kindergarten and first grade, that meant this color-mixing lesson and a reading of the book Mouse Paint. 
Kindergarten created these in one class: read the book, did some drawing together and boom! Mixed up some secondaries. I created a more thorough blog post here. A video of the steps is below.
My first and second graders earned a party for their awesomeness and we used our color mixing skills to ice our cookies!
If you'd like to know more about this, you can watch this short clippie: 
Once we'd become paint mixing masters, we created these painted papers! The papers had been pre-folded by yours truly, first in half and then a 4" fold across the bottom. This created two squares and two rectangles on the paper. The kids were instructed to use their knowledge to paint three shapes in the secondary colors and in the last shape, they could paint any color they liked. 
 I loved the colorful result! I need this as some wallpaper, stat!
Now, in this NEW video, I'll walk you through our collage portrait making process. I throw a TON of ideas at the kids and let them pick and choose and, of course, come up with their own! I feel like the more ideas you give them, the more confident they will feel that they can make any of their wild and crazy ideas come true. 
Because I see my younger students for 30 minutes, they spent two days collaging and on their final day they outlined in black paint. In the video, I am using brush painting supplies to help the students keep their "paintbrush ballerina" on her tippy toes. 
 Each portrait was different and, of course, that was okay! 

Y'all better believe I love that crayon hair clip. I wonder where she got that idea...?!
What's cuter than a side pony? Nothing, y'all. Absolutely nothing.
 For my kindergarten and first grade kiddos, I took a different route. After cluing down the head and ears, these kids created their facial features in black paint. 
 I love the variety that they add to the self portrait mural. Cool glasses, bruh. 
Love how this kindergartener created his spiked hair and glasses, so cute!
And there you have it! I can't wait to see what my third and fourth graders come up with to add to the mural. After this mural, we are on to creating realistic selfies as well. 

What are some of your fave self portrait lessons? If you need some ideas, I shared some here...but I'd love to hear some more! Lemme know below, y'all! 
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Sunday, September 13, 2015

DIY: A (Brush)Stroke of Genius Dress!

Hello there, friends! Allow me to introduce to you the cutest art teacherin' fabric ever created in the universe: Carrie Bloomston's Paint line for Windham Fabrics (No, I'm not an endorser. Yes, I'm a total fan girl. Fabric-gasm much?). 
When I spotted this fabric on that one website which I just sign all my paychecks over to, I literally let out a gasp and hollered "Take All My Moneys!" I mean, just look at it, y'all. Gaze at the wonderment of the best dern artsy fabric there ever was...
Is Carrie a fabric-designing genius or what, y'all? You can still find some of the stencil and paint brush fabric here but for the other'n (as my grandma usta say), you'll have to hit up those sweet etsy sellers. Try here.  

I knew I had to use both fabrics together (with a pop of polka dotted purple at the waist). So I used my trusty Simplicity 2444. Y'all might remember when we had that lovely ice storm last winter and I successfully turned my school Snow Days into Sew Days, stitching up not one but THREE versions of this pattern. There was that Mondrian number, that marker-tastic dress and the pencil dress complete with bolero. So, me and this here pattern, we go way back. 
I did do something a lil dif this time around. I sized down the bodice. I noticed that the bodice of each of those dresses was a pinch large and I do like my bodice to hug me just right, nice and tight. So even tho I'm usually a 36" bust (sorry if this is too much info for y'all. Just deal with it.) I went down to a 34" and I love the fit! I do recall reading somewhere that one should size down in bust when stitching (was it Gertie's book?) and I'm much more pleased with the fit. I will say that it did shrink the armholes a bit which I didn't love. I have this weird thing that if something is touching my armpits, Ima gonna sweat on it (again, TMI? It's a sharing-is-caring kind of post this evening. I repeat: Deal.Wit.It.) So there's that. I smell but I got a good fit. Not a bad trade off says moi. 

What I dig about this design is that I can tie a big fat bow in the front, in the back, wrap it around the back and add a simple knot in the front, you name it. Of course, I do also love me some fit and flair.  
 Of course I just HAD to wear this dress with my Paint Brush Tiara! 
No, I did not create this masterpiece. I scored it at the NAEA convention in NOLA. They have this great vendor's market and there were so many amazing art teachers selling their creations. I do wish I could recall who created this headpiece as I scored the last one! If any of y'all attended NAEA and know of the artist, would you mind dropping a line in the comments? I'd really love to give this awesome lady some credit!
I decided to debut this ensemble on the day we were using recycled paint! I have this small group of 4th graders that come to my room for about 10 minutes each morning. They take down my chairs and attempt to help me organize my art room. Last week, their mission was to test ALL of my markers and find the "deceased" ones. We placed those in cups filled with just a pinch of water to drain out the remaining ink from the marker. 
With that "marker juice", my second graders created splatter paintings! We'll be using these in an upcoming self-portrait project. They thought this was just about the best thing ever.
 "Mrs. Stephens, I have purple freckles now!"

"That means you are hitting your paint brush too hard. No more splatter freckles!" 
Meh, we all ended up with a rainbow of freckles. All part of the fun!
And there you have it! A Brushstroke-tastic dress, purrrrfect for the art room, says Asha the Cat. Actually, I believe she said, "Stop taking pictures and fed me, fool!" (she likes to channel Mr. T when she's hangry). Adios!
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