Showing posts with label gnome dress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gnome dress. Show all posts

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #55

Lovely Monday: In keeping with last week's WIW promise, I decided to go all Valentines-y again this week. Hubs and I hit a Goodwill in Jackson, Tennessee recently and I snagged this entire outfit there. I've been hitting the thrifting jackpot of late which is good because I practically have nothing to wear (yeah, that was some serious sarcasm. This here cloths horse could outfit an army or two. Given they're okay with wearing dresses and fishnets). dress: Talbots, thrifted; sweater: Express, thrifted; sparkly fishnets: TJMaxx; butterfly brooch: vintage; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: Fluevog; necklace: ancient, Target probably
 Greetings, lovelies! I do hope Valentines Day treated you nicely. I decided to get my sweetheart a box of Krispie Kremes fresh off the convertor belt while I received an assortment of trashy mags and dark chocolate bars. So I guess you know what I've been up to this weekend.

When not catching up on the lives of the Kardashians (dude, how do people so utterly lame become famous? Ah, yes, because equally utterly lame people like myself keep reading about them), I did do some research on an upcoming self-portrait project for my first grade artists. Since we are learning about the United Kingdom, I've decided they are going to portray themselves as royalty, complete with the Crown Jewels. Not to be confused with "family jewels" or "Royal Crown" which will find you in a google-y place you might not want to be.

So I share with you just a bit about the Crown Jewels and I bid you a royal week. Ta-tah!
The Queen holds the Orb and Sceptre used at her Coronation, 2 June 1953. Doesn't she look divine? And so...young! I love how her wide-eyes read "holy cray, I'm queen!" yet her firm lips say " and ya'll better recognize." They do say "ya'll" in the UK, right? So the Crown Jewels are treasures (like those shown above) used in ceremonies. They've been collected by English kings and queens since 1660.
Ketchup and Mustard Tuesday: Because that's what this outfit reminds me of. Both my second and fourth graders are currently weaving. Once they (finally) get the hang of it, I enjoy reading a chapter book to them. This keeps them focused on what they are doing and allows me to introduce the United Kingdom through fun fiction. I'm currently reading Dodsworth in London to the littles and Mary Poppins to the biggins. dress: vintage, Amsterdam; belt, sweater, boots: Anthro; flower brooch: vintage, thrifted; tights and hair clip: Target
The British Imperial State Crown. Okay, growing up in the 80's, all I know about the imperial crown is what I learned from those Imperial Butter commercials. Turns out there's a little more to the crown than that. This solid gold crown is covered in 3000 precious stones including diamonds, rubies and sapphires (you know, what you got on Valentines Day). A couple of the jewels on the crown were worn by royalty centuries ago. In fact, the oldest gem was worn by Edward the Confessor in 1042.
A Gnomey Valentine: I attended a meeting at school this particular morning and a parent, looking me up and down, said, "You know, you were made to teach art." Now this could either mean I look like a crazy person or an artsy one. I'm not kidding myself, I'm going with crazy. gnome dress: made by me; tights: Target; shoes: Miss L Fire; sweater: Ann Taylor, thrifted
When not worn, the Crown Jewels are kept on display in the Tower of London.
Oh, look, it's a Yeomen Warder of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Member of the Sovereign's Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary. Yeah, how 'bout we just call 'em Beefeaters, 'kay? These dapperly dressed dudes are the supposed guardians of the Tower of London but mostly they act as tour guides and attractions themselves. Why call 'em beefeaters? It seems they used to receive beef as a part of their wages. 
Happy Valentine's Day! Thursday: Oh the joys of teaching children jacked up on sugar. It was most def one of those "if you can't beat them (literally), join 'em." When you are as high on sugar as they are, it makes for a really fun time. Not. dress and sweater: DIY here; tights: Target; shoes: Fluevog; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing
The Crown Jewels are the following objects: the crowns, sceptres (the long wand-like thing with either the cross or the dove on the end), orbs (that gold sphere with the cross on the top used to signify authority), swords, rings, spurs (think cowboy), colobium sindonis (this plain tunic worn to symbolize a shedding of vanity...worn under some pretty fab robes, of course), dalmatic (an even bigger plain tunic), armills (a bracelet), and the royal robe.
Freaky Face/Wrinkly Dress Friday: Yeah, it was one of those days. dress and belt: Supayana on etsy; tights: Target; shoes: Miss L Fire
Speaking of jewels, remember that thrift-score run I bragged about earlier? Well, lookie what I found this past weekend in Lewisburg, Tennessee? Holy moly, can you believe these finds!? I am so excited to welcome these crown jewels to my royal family of beaded cardis...
I betcha the Queen of England ain't got nothin like this in the Tower of London. Poor thing.
 Until we chat again, enjoy your week!

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #50

Rude Awakening Monday: This may or may not be my "do I REALLY have to go back to school?" face. The hardest part this week has been waking up and moving. I mean, I can be awake and lay in bed for hours but that ain't paying my thrift store bills. sweater: Anthro label, picked up at Buffalo Exchange; skirt: ancient, JCrew; shoes, gloves and hair clips: old, Anthro; tights: Target; scarf: Germany
Well, hello there. I bring to you what I wore this week along with some tales from the Brothers Grimm and illustrations by the amazing Arthur Rackham. As my fourth grade students began their castle sculptures (you can see the beginning stages of the project here and our inspiration here), a student asked if they could add a knight to their landscape. Another wanted to add a princess in a tower. When one mentioned adding Rapunzel, I suddenly knew we were on to something. 

So this week I am going to introduce to them some tales by the Brothers Grimm and share with them these illustrations by Arthur Rackham. I've always had a thing for Rackham's illustrations but I was unaware of his silhouettes until doing some online digging. I'll keep you posted on where this leads their castle creations. Until then, I hope you have a fantastical fairy-tale-esque week!
Grimm Brothers Statue in their birthplace of Hanau, Germany. Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786–1859), were German which ties in so nicely with our current theme of study. The brothers both had a great interest in folk tales and spent most of their adult lives collecting and recording folk stories. The brothers wrote and modified so many of the folk tales that we know and love today. Among them are Snow White, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel (not the movie version), Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. 
Self-Portrait by Arthur Rackham, used in the book Aesop's Fables, 1912. Born in London, Rackham was one of 12 children. He discovered his love for illustration early in his life and it was his lifelong career. I had Aesop's Fables with his illustrations as a kid and they had a huge impact on me and my love for drawing.
The Return of the Children Tuesday: Bring 'em. I'm ready. At least that's what I've been telling myself. However, one of my New Years resolutions is to cut out coffee (I'm still drinking two cups of black tea a day for the sake of those near me) and it's been tough. I have noticed I'm a lot more chill. Probably because I'm asleep during class. sweater: Banana Republic, thrifted; skirt: vintage, thrifted; red top: some weird place in Nashville whose name escapes me; tights: Target; boots: Seychelles; belt: Anthro
I need to start scouring the thrift stores for gems like this. Rackham illustrated the work of many authors but Grimm's Fairy Tales is probably the most popular.
Rapunzel. So the story goes that a wife is preggers and has a mad craving for some rampion (a veg kinda like a carrot) that she spies in the yard of a witchy neighbor. Good hubs goes to fetch her some and promises off the first born to the witch for a bushel. The witch names the girl Rapunzel and locks her in a tall tower because she's too doggone pretty for her own good. When the witch wants to come for tea, she hollers the famous, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair." A hunky prince happens by, sees cute Rapunzel and hatches a plan to be together. Of course there are some bumps in the road as there always are in fairy tales but ultimately they end up happily ever after.
Arthur Rackham's style of drawing was pretty inventive. He would lightly draw in pencil, trace over with ink, add layers of wash and more pencil to give his work a lot of depth. I love the shadows of the birds flying by in this image above. Do you see it? It's on the wall of the castle.
Gnome Dress Upon Request: My friends in first grade land asked me if I'd wear my gnome dress this week. How could I deny 'em that? We are just now creating our gnomes, so we had fun looking at all the silliness the gnomes at the bottom of my dress were up to. gnome dress: made by me, DIY here; shoes and sweater: Anthro; tights; Target
The Sleeping Beauty. So Rackham also did this amazing silhouette thing that I was totally unfamiliar with.
Okay, you know this story, right? Queen has a baby, has a big party but forgets to invite that one fairy who is rather witchy and annoying. Well, you know witchy fairy came anyway and cast a terrible spell on the baby. Thankfully another fairy quickly altered the spell: that when the girl was 16, she would prick herself on a spindle and fall into a deep sleep. Forever. Or until she finds true love. Which is pretty hard to do when you are awake, let alone passed out with drool running down your cheek. The Queen demands that another spell be cast that everyone in the castle fall asleep until the Princess awakes. Not long after that, a hunky Prince stumbles upon a very quiet (except for the snoring) castle and explores the inside only to find this beautiful drooly princess. She and the rest of the kingdom are awoken with a kiss.
These are referred to as silhouette cuts which I guess means Rackham cut them out with scissors. Wow. I've always loved silhouettes.
Bang a Gong Thursday: Did you know I have a gong in my room? Yeah, it was my 10th year wedding anniversary prezzie from the hubs. Best not to ask. Anyway, it serves as our Clean Up Gong along with the Clean Up Drums and the Clean Up Chime. I have the pleasure of hearing it played about nine times a day. Advil, anyone? knights jousting dress: to inspire the fourth graders and their castles! vintage, etsy; sweater: vintage; belt: Anthro; tights: Target; shoes: Dolls by Nina

Rumpelstiltskin. So a poor dude has a lovely daughter and goes about bragging to the king that she can spin gold. The king then takes her, commands she spin some gold and locks her in a room. She can't spin gold! So she sets about freaking out when a little dude appears and promises to spin gold for her if she'll trade something valuable. For days she swaps him her jewelry for his help. When she runs out of stuff, she promises her first born. In the meantime, the King thinks he's hit the jackpot and marries the ole Gold Spinner. Not too long after, she has a baby and ole Rumpelstiltskin comes a-knockin.
Obviously, the Queen is not about to part with that baby. So old Rumpel makes a deal that she can keep her child if she can guess his name in three days time. By day two, she still has no clue as to his name until a knight comes to her with a story of how he overheard Rumpelstiltskin talk to himself in the third person (I've always thought people who do that are weird). On that third day, she says the famous, "Perhaps your name is...Rumpelstiltskin...?" and the rest is fairy tale history.
Biker Friday: I wore this dress because of the great Renaissance-esque patterns at the bottom. My fourth graders are creating totally toilet-paper-roll tubular castles so I thought I'd dress the part. I was thrilled to see several of them had checked out books on castles from the school library. By the way, I promise I wasn't going for a biker look. But it's been rainy this week and I love any excuse to bust out these Hunter boots. jacket: old, Modcloth; dress: Angie; boots: Hunter
Cinderella. Poor Cindy. She's got that rotten stepmother and evil step sisters to contend with. When the King invites everyone to a grand ball, Cindy has to help sew gowns for the sisters and is told by her stepmother she isn't allowed to attend.
It's then that her Fairy Godmother appears and with the wave of a wand, has Cindy looking fab. But you know the catch: Midnight curfew. No later.
Thankfully she leaves behind that glass slipper which is like fairy tale DNA. Once the slipper is on, the Prince knows he's found his mystery girl. I'm guessing she was one of those rare big footed gals like myself. Any other size 10 footed females wanna back me on this?

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

DIY: Gnome for the Holidays

Ah! Giant Photo Alert! Just tryin' to make sure you can see the gnome-tastic-ness happening at the bottom of my dress. AND that annoying yoke thing that you can easily see put more wrinkles on my face and gray in my hair. I shoulda known anything called a yoke was gonna be trouble...guess the yoke was on me.
 Greetings from my gnome to your gnome! I present to you the latest in Crazy Art Teacher Style: The Gnome for the Holidays Dress. Please, make yourself at gnome as you read all about the trials and tribulations of the dress I worked on until the cows came gnome. And I promise you that will be that last of my home-meets-gnome idioms for at least a full 30 seconds. But that's all I can promise.
I'd like to have you believe that this dress was created for the children. After all, my wee artists are learning all about gnomes in art class (mini-gnome history lesson here) and I do love to dress the part.

But that "for the children" bit, that's just a complete lie.

One late night, whilst googling gnomes, I stumbled upon this Michael Miller fabric (from his collection so awesomely called Gnomeville) and I just knew I had to have it in my life and in my wardrobe. Because, in those quiet contemplative moments I have between one crazy art class to the next, I often think, "what is missing from my life?"

"Duh. A Gnome Dress."

While waiting for my fab fabric to arrive in the mail, I began plotting out my dress-terpiece. I decided to use the same Simplicity Pattern #1803 that I used on my Cuckoo Clock Dress and my Light-Up Blue Christmas Dress. Always a glutton for sewing punishment, I decided to attempt the yoke and cap sleeves for this dress. I felt for sure I was about to hit a fashion gnome run (it's been 30 seconds, right?).
And then the fabric arrived. All two yards of it. Oops. Turns out ordering gnome fabric in the middle of the night is not a good idea. After laying out the pattern pieces, I realized I could make the bodice of this dress but not the full skirt. But more on that later. 

For now, let's have a chat about the yoke. 

I'd like to summarize my feelings about the yoke in a little haiku I wrote one night while seam ripping for the umpteenth time. It goes a little something like this. Ahem:

For the love of gnomes
An art teacher makes a dress
Foiled! By a yoke!

Look, it's just a rough draft. I'm working on it.
To be fair, it wasn't the yoke's fault. I blame the author of the pattern that chose to leave out some vital steps. Having limited sewing experience, I am a strict step follower. So when this pattern just skipped several steps, I did too. And then the seam ripping commenced. When that became too annoying, I did a quick google search to find out what others were saying about the pattern. Several shared my frustration but then I read one that burned me up (read in your most annoying Nellie Oleson voice): "Oh, this is a great pattern for a beginner sewer."
Oh, gnome she didn't! After reading that, I snapped my laptop shut, stomped up to my sewing room, grabbed my seam ripper and went to town. Then I went about pinning the entire bodice together adding in the steps the author left out. When that worked, I unpinned the whole contraption and sewed it together. Yoke, you have replaced my hatred of sleeves. When it came time for the skirt, I decided to use my tried and true vintage Simplicity Pattern #8087. I opted for the skirt in view #2 but adding pockets from the other pattern. It's quite the hybrid of a dress.

Using two different patterns together had me nervous. I wasn't sure if the pocket thing would work and if the bodice and skirt would actually fit together. However, putting in that yoke made me bold enough to think I could do it. And it really was a snap. I opted to wear the bow of the belt in the back so as not to take away from my gnomies at the bottom of the dress.
The following day, when I wore it to school, the kids had great fun chillin' wit my gnomies.
Probably because we've been chatting about them for some time. Remember that midnight gnome fabric shopping spree I told you about? Well, I also picked up the two books on the left from a used book seller via amazon. The hilarious gnome book on the right is from my super Secret Santa at school.
And it turns out gnomes-disease is quite contagious. My sweet first grade artists have been bringing in these drawings since we began learning about them. They are currently creating a beautiful Black Forrest collage for their gnomes to call home. I'll be certain to share those with you soon.
Even my house is looking like Gnomeville from my Christmas tree (which is still up and will most likely stay up for entirely too long) to my knicky-knacks (thanks again, Secret Santa!). I do believe I have a new addiction.
Although, I don't think this is gonna be my "starter gnome" because I don't foresee too many more gnome frocks in my future. Especially with a yoke. However, since finishing this thing, I've updated my haiku. What's that? You wanna hear it? Well, (waving hand sheepishly) okay:

Yoke, who's yo mama?
Why, me and my seam ripper
And my wee gnomies.

Thanks for dropping by!

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