Showing posts with label fiber arts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fiber arts. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

In the Art Room: Stitched Monsters!

Going LIVE tonight, Wednesday at 8pm CST to talk about some art teacherin' issues! Hope you'll join me over here. See you real soon! 

As my fourth graders are wrapping up their Candy Heart Sculptures and drawing, I'm thinking ahead to a fun fibers unit for them. Last year, this group explored embroidery and did a really fabulous job. I know they will love expanding their knowledge and creating these fun stitched monsters!  
I wanted a stitching project that would introduce them to the following: pattern cutting, pinning, sewing, stuffing and embellishing. I also wanted a fun contemporary artist tie-in and I found the artist behind Cotton Monster, Jennifer Strunge, to be perfect. 
Aren't her monsters just the most amazing thing ever? I need one in my life, stat. 

Here's the video I created to introduce my kiddos to Jennifer and all things stitching! Feel free to use it in your art teacherin' world. I think it would be perfect for 3rd grade on up.
We will be using the following supplies:

* 9" X 12" sheet of Smart-Fab or felt
* Additional felt for arms, legs and details
* Tacky glue
* Sharp tapestry needles
* 4 pins per student
* Scissors
* Embroidery floss or crochet thread
* Paper needle threaders

I anticipate this project will take my students 3 one-hour art classes. When I share my video, I show it to the kids in short bursts. I then allow them to go work and set my timer for the amount of time I expect it will take them. When the timer goes off, finished or not, all kids report to the floor for the next video viewing. 
On Day 1, we'll learn about Jennifer Strunge, cut out arms, pin them in place and, hopefully, stitch one side. The following day, we should be able to wrap up the stitching, turn inside out and start working on the face. We will pulling out our Monsters of Creativity collages and looking at those for inspiration! 
Day 3 (and, let's be honesty, probably Day 4) will include gluing the parts of the face down, stuffing and stitching closed. 
I'm thinking of tasking my early finishers to think of themselves as toy creators and their monsters as their creation. As such, they'll need to think of their monster as a product. Who will it be sold to? How will it be packaged? What will be the price? Why should people buy it? I'll keep you posted on this adventure!
Have y'all done stitched monster projects with your students? Love to hear what you've done! And if you do this project, please be sure and let me know, I'd love to see your student's creations. 
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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

In the Art Room: First Grade Fiber Arts

Every year I do paper weaving with my first grade artists...and every year, when the weavings are complete, I think, "well, now what?"

This year, my first graders FLEW through weaving without much help or reteaching from me. I was so excited that I decided to throw some simple stitching into the mix and I'm so glad I did. The kids nailed it and created a beautiful heart-tastic quilt to boot.
Day 1: If you've never done paper weaving with kids before, here is how I teach them to cut their looms. We used painted paper for our looms. Cutting our looms and weaving a couple of strips took us one 30 minute class. 
Day 2: On our second day, we reviewed the weaving process. We sit in a circle and weave together. I like to use peer tutoring for those who understand weaving to help others. I find the kids do an excellent job teaching one another!
Our Love Quilt now hangs outside my art room! This is the work of two classes. My next two classes will have a different color scheme. I'll be sure to share when they are complete. 
Day 3: The next art class, students chose a 12" square piece of construction paper. We learned all about symmetry as well as positive and negative shapes and how to cut out a heart! This was then glued over our weavings. We saved the positive shape hearts for our next project. As a wrap up, we had a drawing sheet full of symmetrical and asymmetrical images for the kids to draw.
Day 4: I had to do some prep work for this day, not even gonna lie. I hot glued another square paper on the back of the artwork to anchor the weaving (see below) and I hole punched the sides. For two classes, that took about 20 minutes. Then I cut the yarn to about 18" strips and had pieces of tape on hand for the kids.
To begin, each child anchored their yarn with tape on the back. I showed them out to do a whip stitch and they went to town. To end the stitch, they added another piece of tape on the back. 
Early finishers helped those those who needed assistance. Everyone finished in under 20 minutes. This gave us time to add our names with silver Sharpie!
Once the kids were done, I laid the pieces out on the floor and decided to display the artwork quilt-style. 
For that, I simply hole punched the tops and bottoms of the weavings and tied them together with two pieces of yarn. This created long pieces of art that I hung next to each other to create the illusion of a blanket. That took a mere 30 minutes! 

I was so excited that with 4 30 minute art classes, the kids learned about weaving, symmetry and stitching...all while having a blast! I am so glad to have this beautiful masterpiece outside my art room. 

Love to hear about your favorite projects that involve paper weaving!
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Monday, August 22, 2016

In the Art Room: Fiber Arts Studio Course

Y'all, I've been waiting all summer to share some big news with you: I worked with the wonderful folks at AOE this summer to put together a fibers course just for you! Everything I've learned from teaching art and exploring my love of fiber arts over the past 20 years is packed into this class. AND I'm able to offer you a special discount cuz we're buds and all. More on that in a moment (just scroll downward if you can't wait). Let's talk about what I'll be talking about!
 I'll be covering the following of my faves:

* 2-Dimensional Weaving With fresh fun spins on weaving lessons. I LOVE weaving as it has so many connections: math (measure much?), science (let's dye some fibers to weave with!), social studies (y'all, every culture weaves) and so much more. I secretly think I became an art teacher just to teach weaving.

* 3-Dimensional Weaving Don't even get me started. I know I have shared MANY of my favorite weaving projects here over the years, but I saved some fresh and new techniques just for this course!

* FELTING! Eeep! Y'all know that's my JAM.
 We'll be exploring both wet felting and needle felting techniques. 
 * Sewing and Embroidery Which I learned as a kid and absolutely loved. I so enjoy sharing that passion with my students...and art teacherin' types. 
* Tips, Tricks, Organization and Management Never taught fibers and have a fear of the unknown? Lemme hold your hand and offer you my best tips for streamlining your fiber arts curriculum. 
And now for the best part! I'm able to offer you the course for a 10% discount! Just use the code: SAVE10CASSIEART17. That's almost a $40 discount (you can thank Google for figuring that out...cuz you won't see me leading a math course anytime soon). You can sign up for the class here! AND if you do, please drop me a line in the comments below. I'd love to stay in touch and hear all about your fiber artin' adventures!
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Thursday, April 7, 2016

In the Art Room: Embroidery with Third Grade

When I was a kid, I spent two weeks of my summer in rural Indiana with my two grandma's. One grandma had a pool, my aunt and cousins and a freezer stocked with enough White Castle burgers to last a lifetime (my record for those wee burgers was 5 in one sitting. You better believe I was proud). The other grandma had no A.C. or no kids to play with and pretty much only hot dogs to eat (she liked to eat them cold {insert dry heaves}). Now all y'all might assume I dug stayin' at Pool Grandma's house better and, well, I'm not gonna lie, you'd be right. However, the one thing that Cold Hot Grandma (Grandma Rosie, that is) and over Pool Grandma (Grandma Marilyn) was that she was super crafty and loved to teach me. One summer, she taught me how to embroider and it was just about the best thing ever. 
With that memory, I thought I'd share embroidery with my third graders. Last year, they created these little embroidered hearts for our mural. This year, with my new third graders, I thought I'd give them the opportunity to really explore embroidery. Here, lemme talk you thru it since I'm super good at jibber-jabberin'.

Now, I'm sharing with y'all their unfinished pieces as many still have embroidery they want to do. I truly am having a hard time stopping them, they love it so! Not gonna lie, some kids have decided to move on. For them, I'm going to offer some puffy paint as an alternative to stitching more designs. Once complete, these bad boys will be framed and embellished with a metal tooled frame. I'll be sure to keep y'all posted. 
Here's the video I shared with the kids. Having a video for something like stitching is great because you can replay it for those that missed the directions the first time. 
Like I said in the video, we used stencils to create our initial design and stitched that the first day. From there, the kids were able to use chalk to add more details to their design like little fish, bubbles and stars as seen above. 
Many kids used hoops but some preferred to just go it without. I wanted them to have the experience and learn how to use the hoops. 
I found the colorful burlap at Joann's. Tapestry needles are the best way to go. You can score a dozen of the metal ones through any of your art supply catalogs.
As you can see, sharks and dolphins were the most popular stitched creatures. Having a ton of choices made it so every child found something of interest. We also had turtles, toucans, crocodiles, tropical fish, lizards, frogs and parrots.
 It made me so happy when kids wanted to learn another stitch. I have a giant embroidery sampler in my room that I made years ago that have satin, running, flower and star stitches that serve as inspiration. 
 Love those flower stitches!
Love this toucan with the satin stitched beak.
"Look! My lizard is a Love Lizard!" This was after we all agreed it looked as though it'd fallen in love. 
Not gonna lie, this has been a long project...but one that the kids have enjoyed. I hope they have happy memories of stitching one day as I did with my Grandma Rosie. If not, then they can go eat a cold hot dog (juuuuuuust kidding)! What are some of y'all's fave embroidery projects for kids? For more fiber arts art class fun, go here
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Monday, March 21, 2016

In the Art Room: My Fave Fiber Arts Lessons!

Hello there, long lost friends! Sorry I vanished for a pinch, I was living it up at NAEA Chicago. I promise I'll share with y'all that fun and fab experience (although if you are an art teacher and have been on any sort of social media for a hot minute then you've prolly seen it all!). Today I thought I'd give y'all a smorgasbord of some super sewing, weaving and fiber arts projects!
Every year, when we return from winter break, we start our big fat -n- fuzzy fiberin' units. I think we all have those areas of art teaherin' that we absolutely love and for me, this is it. From embroidery to needle-felting and weaving, all of my students seam seem to eat it up (sorry, that was my sad attempt at sewing humor). Last year, my third graders got a taste of embroidery with the Our School Has Heart mural. My current thirdies are working on a different kind of embroidery project which I'll be certain to share with you soon. Here's an Intro to Embroidery video I made just for them (and y'all, of course!).
Burlap is my fabric of choice when it comes to kids and embroidery because it's inexpensive and the blunt needles work perfectly with this hole-y fabric. However, because burlap is woven, it does like to unravel easily. For that reason, when prepping burlap for stitching, either draw a line of glue around the outer edges the day before sewing (which locks the fibers in place) or simply tape the bottom and top of the fabric with masking tape. Embroidery hoops aren't necessary...but I do love to give the kids the complete experience. For me, that means embroidery hoops! You can find 'em super cheap at the thrift stores or craft shops. Shoot, send out a school email and I'm guessing you'll end up with a stock pile!
Last year I also gave needle felting a go with my fourth graders! Because the kids work with very sharp needles, be certain you work with kids who are responsible. This would also be fun with small groups or with parent volunteers in the room. More here
I remember the summer my grandma taught me to embroider and cross stitch. I was instantly hooked and I do believe that's what's made me such a lover of all things fiber arts since. I have taught several after school sewing classes over the years and this embroidered and stitched pillow was one of 'em
This time gingham fabric, embroidery floss and sharp needles were used. 
And sewing machines! I have been fortunate enough to have about a half dozen machines for my art room. The kids LOVE using them!
Another project I did as a kid that I recently introduced my students to is string art. I remember making one of these in fifth grade and it being just about the best thing ever. My fourth grade students loved making these last year! 
We created these in celebration of Dot Day but I'm pretty sure you could make 'em whenever. I can't wait to do this project again!
What's that? You've never taught fiber arts before? Friend, don't you sweat it. Here's a great project to ease your students (and yourself) into the concept of fiber arts: paper weaving! Not only is this project great at introducing your students to the look and process of weaving but you can also throw in so much math and literacy (there are so many fab books on weaving, y'all!).
Use this loom-making lesson to focus on math skills...and make sure it's a day you are being evaluated. It's all sorts of STEAM-y. You'll look good, trust me!
Word to the wise: some students will understand the concept of weaving immediately while others will struggle. 
For that reason, I often introduce weaving on an oversized loom made from laminated paper. More info here
And I do a whole lotta peer tutoring. The kids are much better at explaining things to each other than I often am!
The following year, I introduce my second graders to circle loom weaving. This project is one that is a HIT with those kids who usually don't dig painting or drawing but do love working with their hands (boys are the BIGGEST fans of weaving, ya'll!). There will be frustration in the beginning but I make sure to warn the kids: This is something new. You've never done this before. Be patient with yourself, me and your friends. We'll ALL get there, I promise!
I have my second grade kids for 30 minutes, twice a week. After spending two art classes painting their plates, we notch our loom as seen in the video above...
And warp our loom. That usually takes us one 30 minute class. 
And then we spend the next couple of classes weaving. Hint: if you use the thicker yarn, weaving goes a whole lot faster! 
 Tree weaving is a slightly different spin on circle loom weaving. I have done this project with my third graders and I love it because I can also teach the concepts of landscape painting. These are always so pretty when complete!

If the kids have completed the circle loom weaving the year before, they'll understand the concept of tree weaving. 
Straw weaving is easily the class hit! I mean, who doesn't love to drink yarn, y'all!?


What to do with finished straw weavings? The kids have made them into bracelets, belts and even little people. Really, the fun is in this making.
Dunno if you have a stock pile of old CDs like me, but I've been hoarding them for this reason: CD weaving!

I was kinda leery of CD weaving for the longest time thinking that the slickness of the CD would cause the warp strings to move. Not so! It's so easy and fun to do. AND it's a quick alternative to circle loom weaving if you are sort on time (and patience as the warping process is MUCH easier).
Ojos de Dios weaving is just as popular as straw weaving in my art room. The kids could crank these out all day long! Once they've gotten the concept down, you might wanna consider expanding on their expertise. Just google Ojos de Dios and you'll see the wonderful ideas out there. 

Right?! Cake! Watch out, you'll end up with mountains of these in your art room.
 Pouch weaving is a project I reserve for my fourth graders. It is def a project you wanna build on from previous years as it's a lil advanced. AND time consuming. I usually allow my students to take this project home to get further ahead on. No videos on this project however, if you follow that link above, I'll hold your hand and walk you thru the process. Weaving the cord is my favorite part...
And it's a nice break from regular weaving. I love having the kids add the cord as it really finishes the piece.
Now if you are feeling inspired (or have older/advanced students), you might wanna try tapestry weaving! It's so fun but does require some focus. However, you won't regret the end results.

And that's all folks! I'd LOVE to hear your fave fiber arts lessons as I'm always on the lookout for more. Please lemme know what you and your students love to create in your art room or at home. 
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