Showing posts with label goodwill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label goodwill. Show all posts

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What the Art Techer Wore #58

Annoying Almost-Birthday Photo Tuesday: Yeah, I skipped Monday. You can see what I was wearing when I was having a meeting-Mary-Poppins-moment here (scroll to the bottom). Although you cannot see it in this photo, my top teal top is covered in cats. I'm usually covered in cat hair so this was a nice change for me. black top, pencil skirt and tights: Target; cat print blouse: Forever 21; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: Softt
 Hey there, buddies! Welcome to my post-birthday post. I celebrated my 38th (what the WHAT?!) birthday this Saturday and it was pretty swell. Upon my request, hubs and I gorged on crepes, ventured into the craft store (okay, I did the venturing. The craft store is hubs kryptonite), and just did what we normally do on the weekends. A perfect birthday.

Not only did I celebrate my birthday this week, but we also began our clay animal sculptures. Which means all 400 of my students sunk their hands into some squishy goodness and began the creation of their masterpieces. These animal sculptures will be sold back to the student's parents for any amount they decide to donate. The money we raise will be donated to our local humane society. I've been so lucky to have moms and dads in my art room all week helping make 1/2 hour clay art classes possible. I really don't know what I'd do without them.

Because we are creating animals, I decided to go with an animal theme in my dress this week! I also thought I'd share just some of my birthday spoils. AND I've also received two packages this week from some of the sweetest ladies from across the pond. Knowing that my students are learning about the UK (which we will resume after clay-town), I received one package from England and another from Scotland. This totally rocked my birthday week, thank you so much ladies!
From the hubs. Most of this will be gone by the end of the week. What's not shown is the subscription to People magazine (I love me some mag trash) and some sketched out new ideas for my blog banner! It's long overdue for a redo and I'm thrilled to be getting some help on it.
Pants! Wednesday: Okay, I never EVER wear pants to school. Ever. I just don't like them. They touch me in weird places, they rub in other places and they just plain bother me. Kinda like my husband. So my students freaked out when they saw this outfit on Wednesday. I was asked by at least a half dozen if these were my pajama bottoms. Seriously, you guys? sweater: vintage, thrifted; pants and shoes: thrifted; tights and flower clip: Target
When I was asked by Jerra if she could send my students something, I would have never expected all of this! Postcards, tea, chocolates (not shown because they were devoured), playing cards, fabric and a One Direction poster, eep! I cannot wait to create a bulletin board with all of this goodness, thank you so much, Jerra!
Poodles and Paris Thursday: When I was giving a clay demonstration to one of my fourth grade classes, they were impressed by something that I did. Can't remember what. Not important. When one kid said, "wow, that's amazing!" I told her, "that's why they pay me the big bucks." This comment seemed to shock her even more as she looked at me with wide eyes and said, "They pay you to do this?!" poodle dress, Eiffel Tower shoes, beret hair clip: made by me, diy here; tights: Target; sweater: vintage, thrifted
Scottish sweetness! Debi was also kind enough to offer to send me and the kids a little something from her homeland. I yelped out loud when opening all of this plaid-tasticness. My kids are going to flip out over that giant pen (they have a fascination with my giant pencils) and I've got itchy crafty fingers just looking at that fabric and those Scottie dogs. Thank you so much, Debi!
Pre-Birthday Friday: So my buddy the P.E. teacher sent all of my students to me telling them that I was 999 years of age. Which sparked a debate among one class of 3rd graders. One announced, "you are probably 18 years old, right, Mrs. Stephens?" I slapped my thigh and shook my head in wonder and cried, "Oh, my goodness, you guessed it! How did you know?!" This was met with a serious look by another student who muttered under his breath, "18? More like 40." Hey! squirrel sweater: Urban Outfitters; belt and boots: Anthro; dress: thrifted, Target; tights: Target
And then this happened...the pain! I can't even begin to describe. Typing has been almost unbearable. Thank goodness for good meds.
Birthday gags and goodies. Aw, just kiddin'. That little gag came in a box full of silliness that I can't wait to share with the kids on Monday. A freaky-faced screaming chicken? I think I just found my new art room attention getter.
Happy Birthday Saturday: Yippie! lace biker jacket: Forever 21; floral dress: thrifted diy; tights: Target; shoes: Softt
My baby bro (my only sib and he's 10 years younger than me. But I'm prettier) posted this photo from my 5th birthday on facebook. I remember that kitchen, those chairs and that car outside like it was yesterday.

 Speaking of baby bro, he sent me this groovy gift of flowering tea. Have you ever had this? It's made my Numi and it's these little tea bulbs that literally bloom in your hot water. It's fascinating to watch the leaves unfold and the flower come to life. It reminded me of stop action videos of plants growing. And it was tasty!


Not only was I spoiled with presents on my birthday but check out this weather! Hubs and I went for an eight mile hike (yay, exercise!) along Percy Priest Lake in Nashville. This was promptly followed by deep dish pizza and an ice cream sundae (so much for exercise!).
Well, back to non-birthday/no-more-spoilage week on Monday. Stay tuned for a brand new DIY that I'm just catty over (that was your cheesy hint!). Enjoy your week, kids!








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Sunday, February 3, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #53

Oh, Monday: A coupla weekends ago, I dug some dresses out of my closet that I had never worn. Some were holey, too summery or just a pinch too tight. I forced myself to try them all on and see if they should be sold, kept or donated. I always thought this one was too tight but a lil Spanx came to the rescue. dress: vintage, thrifted; brown tights: Target; sparkle fishnets: TJMaxx; booties and belt: Anthropologie
 Well, kids, I finally got my wish: I scored a Snow Day this past Friday! How many weeks have I spent whining about getting gypped outta a day of freedom? Apparently the Snow Day Gods were just so sick and tired of the endless bellyaching, they threw a day my way. And, lemme tell you, I totally spent my time wisely by enjoying a bubble bath, catching up on Project Runway and sewing (read seam ripping) up a storm. What a gift.

But now it's back to reality. Wah-wah-waaahhh. So I'm doing a little multitasking with this here blog post: I'm sharing what I wore as well as a brief history of wool and weaving. My second and fourth grade students are ready to leave our study of Germany and travel to the United Kingdom where we will enter the Wild World of Weaving. We're trying some new things this year so wish me luck. 

Until next time, enjoy your week!
The story of man-wearing-wool began way back before recorded history with the primitive man. Not wanting to waste any parts of the animals that were hunted for food, man discovered that this fur could keep him cool in the day and warm at night. And because no other fabric has been able to match it, wool is still just as popular today.
Mary Poppins Tuesday:  Several students commented that I looked Mary-Poppins-esque on this day. Which I totally took as a compliment. However, that afternoon when I was walking to a coffee shop, a group of teenagers stopped their convo when I walked by. When one started belting out,"Just a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down!", it just wasn't as cute. dress: vintage, picked up at an arts festival in Memphis; sparkly tights: TJMaxx; shoes: Softt; belt: Pin Up Girl
Wool is a part of Britain's history and heritage more than anything else produced in the islands. They began weaving it into cloth during the Bronze Age (which is in between the Glitter and the Bedazzled Ages) around 1900 BC.
Wood Panel Skirt Wednesday: This funny skirt spent time in my donate pile before I returned it to my closet. Which, according to The Secret Lives of Hoarders means I have a problem. One of many, I'm sure. sweater: felted by me, DIY here; wood panel skirt: Target, super old; boots: Frye
How is wool made? Why, you looking for a new hobby? Well, okay then, first get yourself a super furry sheep. Or goat, camel, alpaca, llama -- many animals have fur that can produce wool. Then shear them. I'm guessing with a shearing tool like that above, not your Bic razor.
Once the wool is sheared, it must be cleaned and carded. In the painting above, you'll notice the woman is holding two large wooden carding combs. The wool fiber is raked through these combs to alight the fibers of the wool. This makes it easier for spinning the wool into yarn.
I mean, look, doesn't that look so super easy? Can you imagine how precious your possessions would be to you if these were the lengths you had to go to create them? From shearing to carding and spinning and still nothin' to wear. I could have never survived back in the day. It's no wonder their lives were short-lived.
Midway Thursday: On this day our school was hosting a carnival in the evening. I'd never heard a carnival called a "midway" before. I'm curious about the history of that name. I decided my Fulla Hot Air Frock would be appropriate. dress: DIY here; sweater: thrifted; tights: Target: scarf: Urban Outfitters; belt: Anthropologie; shoes: Opposites Attract
Somehow I ended up in the Throw-a-Pie-at-Your-Teacher booth! I was supposed to sit behind that banner and put my head through the hole but that just felt like a cop-out. However, after ending up with stinky whipped cream everywhere, I realized that would have been a pretty good idea.
Weaving Cloth for Battle, 1940. Sadly, the artist is not listed on the website. This would have been every wool fiber factory in the United Kingdom during the war. All normal production ceased to create military uniforms. Clothing and fabric were among the many things rationed during World War II.
Art Museum Saturday: That's right, I skipped Snow Day Friday. Because I was in my pajamas all day! So here's what I wore to the Frist Center for Visual Arts. Only ten of my amazing little artists had their works of art featured there along with the other chosen artists in my school district. It was an exciting day for such hard working artists. suit: vintage, thrifted; tights: Target: shoes: Anthropologie
 Of course, I just can't introduce the United Kingdom and weaving without a nod to the woolen woven kilt. Men have been wearing kilts since the 16th century. The first worn was something called the great kilt which is more of a full length affair. Those featured above are called small kilts or walking kilts. The word kilt means to "tuck up the clothes around the body." I'm thinking this is just what the hubs needs to complete his wardrobe.













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Saturday, September 8, 2012

In the Art Room: The Masterpiece Gallery

Welcome to the Masterpiece Gallery where every work of art created by small hands is tres magnifique.
 If you are a teacher for more than 10 minutes, you are going to be the recipient of many a gift. My personal faves? Well, aside from the Body Fantasies Body Wash I received my first year teaching (awkward), I'd have to say the handmade gifties. Just recently one of my students gifted me a wonderful woven basket she had created over the summer. I also scored this beautiful bouquet of gingko leaves collected by a student who remembered they were my favorite during our leaf printing last year.
This window looks into my office which is an eyesore, to say the least. I painted it (almost 10 years ago!) with the same thing I painted my other windows with: Window Chalk. I love this vibrant paint.
 The gifts I most often receive are drawings. The wee artists will bring them rolled up; folded and pulled from their pocket; flattened in a "special" zip lock bag. Students present these drawings in front of the class where we recognize them with a round of applause.

At first, I pinned their drawings to a bulletin board. Over time, this overcrowded spot became an eyesore in the classroom. And I didn't want their hard work to be showcased that way.
So I decided to create this little gallery to spotlight their independent work. Several years ago, a local frame shop went out of business and I was the recipient of many a frame. Over the years, I've picked up more at Goodwill and garage sales. Each frame is backed with a layer of cardboard and a jersey fabric in the primary colors. This surface is perfect for pinning and repinning little masterpieces.
Interested in creating your own Masterpiece Gallery? Well, it's very simple. Here's what you'll need:
  • Cheapo picture frames. I like mine metallic, so I usually spray paint them gold or silver.
  • Cardboard or foamcore. You'll notice I recycle my cardboard. Nothin' fancy here.
  • Thin sheets of cork. This is optional. When I first created these, I sandwiched a layer of cork between the jersey and the fabric. Turns out the cardboard works just as well for pinning and repinning.
  • Fabric. I used a jersey because it's what I had on hand. 
  • Glue gun.
  • Picture frame hangers. This will depend on the type of frame you pick up at your local thrift. It may already have a hanging device on the back.
Let's start with the frames. Remove the glass, artwork and backing if you purchased a frame that was not empty. I keep the glass, tape the edges and use them for palettes at home. Depending on the artwork that came in the frame, I'll either keep it or toss it. In the case of the above artwork on the right, I was able to use that as the backing for the frame. Cut cardboard or foamcore and cork (if you are using it) to the same size as the frame backing. Cover the front in fabric and hot glue to the back.

Place inside the frame. To secure, look at your frame. It might already have a way for you to secure the backing. If you look at the above frame on the left, I simply had to push the metal staples down. For the frame on the right, I just screwed the original backing into place. For the one in the middle, I hammered nails at an angle to secure the backing. 

The same goes for the hanging device. You can see the frame on the left has a mount already attached. For the one in the middle, I purchased hanging wire and stapled it into place with my electric stapler (best invention every, btw). Do you see the bits of foam I tacked to the corners? That's to hold the double sided tape. This prevents the frames from getting bumped and becoming an uneven mess on the wall.
I have found these little hangers to be the best for my concrete walls. Picked them up at the local hardware. Ask for concrete/brick picture hangers.

The ever-changing, always-inspiring Masterpiece Gallery.

You might recognize this area as where we play The Smartest Artist from this post.
Our little gallery is located in this odd corner I have in my room where the kids line up to exit. It's the perfect spot for them to see their classmates work and become inspired to create something of their own. And isn't that what a gallery is all about?

What ways have you found to display artwork?  I'd love to hear your ideas!



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Sunday, September 2, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #32

Red Monday: Please pardon the completely distracting and slightly messy background. Because, according to the background, if you do not there will be consequences. And I don't think you want to experience A Long Time Out. dress: picked up at one of the lovely vintage shops in Amsterdam this summer; shoes: Dolls by Nina; belt and bow: made by me.
 Holy Moly Me-O-My, thank goodness for a long weekend. I am currently doing my favorite things: chillin' with the hubs, catching up on sewing projects, celebrating with friends (check out my friend Zach's big accomplishment!)and day dreaming about what the little artists will be creating next week. I couldn't ask for a more perfect end to a very colorful week. Why so colorful, you ask? Well, to help the lil kindergarteners learn their colors, my school wore different colors for each day of the week. In addition to my monochromatic duds, I've added some of my most pinteresting pins.

All of this color got me thinking about my favorite colors. I never really thought about what color I was drawn to until I started my attempts at decorating. It seems I love a very specific slightly-greenish sky blue. Surely there's a better name for the color. I've got it everywhere: in the painting I created in our front room (seen in the background of this post), in the rug I'm hooking, in the countless pillows. And now that I think about it, that was the color of my bedroom growing up. Surprisingly, that color is not very present in my wardrobe. There I have a lot of reds and pinks.

How about you? What color do you find yourself most drawn to? Do you know why you have such a connection to the color? I'd love to hear your colorful comments!
Woman in red Christian Dior dress, courtesy of pinterest.
Yellow Tuesday: I have to say, colors really do evoke emotion. Seeing all my kindergarten friends in their bright sunny yellows really made me quite happy. dress: Buffalo Exchange; shoes: vintage, thrifted; hair flower: made by me
Do you know the artist Raphael Soyer? I love his work. He's considered something called a Social Realist which is just fancy talk that means he liked to paint people living their lives. Doing what they do. Raphael had two brothers, Issac and Moses, who were also artists.
Blue Wednesday: I've really taken to wearing these waist aprons during art class. I have a small mountain of vintage ones that I wear in rotation. This one's pretty groovy because it's just translucent enough that you can see the floral pattern. dress and apron: vintage; shoes: Anthro, coupla years ago
Abstract painter Helen Frankenthaler in her studio.
Green Thursday: On this day, one of my new students said, "You are like a wacky work of art everyday." dress: vintage, thrifted; shoes: thrifted and DIY'ed by me here.
I am currently fascinated with the idea of creating my own fabric. I've had my nose stuck in my favorite fabric design books like Marimekko. I need to jump on this idea because that little voice that likes to convince me that my ideas are foolish is starting to get to me. Do you have little voices that try to talk you down from ledges? So annoying, I just wanna jump head first!
Orange Friday: More like Sherbert Friday but whatever. Turns out I don't have a lot of orange in my closet. So sad, I love the color! dress: vintage, thrifted; belt: Pinky Otto, NYC; shoes: Anthro
And I'll leave you with this orangie goodness. Enjoy your long weekend!









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Thursday, July 26, 2012

DIY: The Embroidered Eiffel Dress


Bonjour, ya'll! 

As you might have guessed from my art room windows and my French poodle dress, I'm on a bit of a Parisian kick. I finished the embroidery for this dress during our last couple of road trips and, despite a wee bit of a disagreement between the hubs and myself (which I'm going to need your help settling), I'm excited with how it turned out. Especially since it began it's life looking like this...

This little hook in my sewing room usually holds half a dozen of work-in-progress, in-need-of-TLC, please-iron-yesterday dresses. I moved the mound so you could focus on this little bitty dress.
I spotted this dress at Goodwill. I recall this style from a couple years ago, you know, that elastic-waist-band-thing. Most of the tops of these dresses where usually tanks, which I never cared for. The sweet yellow blouse is what drew me to this dress. It's tragic flaw was the fact that the skirt was, like, 14" in length which is just a wee bit of a problem for this never-shave-above-the-knee-caps gal.
I began by letting out the hem and removing the pockets. I found this formerly-a-curtain vintage floral fabric in my stash and decided it would look lovely at the bottom of my dress. I had this idea that I wanted it to look like I was walking through a flower garden. Or being eaten alive by vintage fabric. Which, with my hoarder ways, the latter is more likely the case.
Before adding the vintage fabric to the skirt, I hemmed it and created a circle of fabric that was the same circumference as the bottom of the dress. Then I pinned it to the dress and appliqued stitched around  the edge of the flowers. Once that was complete, I had the super duper fun pleasure of trimming all of the excess fabric off the top. I managed to cut into the skirt accidentally only once...which I promptly patched after saying a few naughty words and throwing a couple of things.
Hubs and I have been enjoying some road trippin' during his time off. My favorite car-traveling craft is embroidery. I've worked on my Naughty Nautical Girls dress, my Pin-up Cowgirls dress and my Presley Poodle all while on the road.
Can you guess my inspiration for the dress? You know I love to go all Miss Frizzle what with my clothes matching my teaching unit. I drew out a sketch of the Eiffel Tower on paper, traced it with a Sharpie, pinned that drawing under my dress and (gasp!) drew the tower onto my dress in pencil before embroidering the Eiffel.
Aw, look at young Brigette Bardot in front of the Eiffel Tower wearing what looks to be a vintage Snuggie. This is actually the hair do I was aspiring to. With flowers, of course.
Okay, remember that disagreement between the hubs and myself? Well, I think I needed to add something to the top, to balance out the dress. My idea is to applique some of the flowers onto the left side of the blouse, as seen in the photo on the left (if you click on the photo, I think you'll get a better look). 

Hubs seems to think I need to leave it alone as seen in the photo on the right. I say it's too "business on the top, Parisian party on the bottom". He says I have a habit to taking things to another (read tacky-er) level.

So, dear reader, what do you think? I'd love to hear your input in the poll at the top of this post on the right (which took me far too long to figure out how to install!)...and a comment if you have the time. Thanks for playing!



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