Showing posts with label pencil skirt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pencil skirt. Show all posts

Thursday, December 31, 2015

DIY: A Color Wheel Circle Skirt, Blouse of Many Colors and the Crayola Experience!

Well, Happy New Year, all y'all! I hope this here blog post finds you bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and tackling that short list of resolutions...and not nursing a hang-over pondering the poor life choices you made last night (Not judgin'. Just sayin'.) Myself, I finally managed to finish off this here ROY G. BIV(and M...for Magenta) skirt complete with a blouse o' many colors and ginormous headband. It's only been on my sewing table for something like a month so hurray for finally finishing something! 
I got the idea for this circle skirt way back in November when I took my second sewing class at Craft South. Y'all might remember the music-themed skirt I made with fab-o instructor Devon Iott, aka Miss Make. The skirt was created from an Anna Maria Horner pattern and it comes with a coupla of different stitching options. One of them being a circle skirt that is made up of eight sections. I thought it would be fun to connect each section with a colorful satin stitch and have a corresponding quilted colored pencil at the base of the stitch. 
And while I was mid-stitch on el skirt-o (like, seriously, mid-stitch. I have this habit of getting an idea, dropping WHATEVES it is I'm doing and starting on Thing 2. It's really the worst habit ever and I don't recommend it), I got the notion of making a top AND headband to match. I decided to use the Scout Tee pattern from Grainline Studios because, y'all. That is one easy pattern to follow and one simple top to slap together in, like, 60 minutes or more. 
Hey! Speaking of stopping whatever you are doing mid-stream and totes doing something dif, I hereby interrupt this sewing talk with a chat about my trip to Orlando's Crayola Experience! (That was a segue, kids. A really crappy segue).
So way the funk back in September, the hubs and I made a trip down to Orlando for Universal Studio's Halloween Horror Nights. While we were there, we drove past the Florida Mall and I spotted that hallmark yellow and green. I was all, "Hey! That's a Crayola WONDERLAND! Like Chuck E. Cheese for art teachers. Can we go? Please?!" It was then that Mitch reminded me he'd told me all about this place before we left and I'd been all "meh, whateves". Silly me. I was so happy to find that teacher's get in free! Sadly, el hubbo did have to shell out something like $35 for his ticket. I told him he could stay in the car but that only got me the side-eye. 
If you cats and kittens ever get the chance to go to this place, y'all best do it. It's simply fascinating -- like a history lesson on Crayola and a science lesson on the making of crayons. Not to mention a look at their vintage ads which were just so fun to see. 

And tons o' other fun stuff. One of my faves was this station where you could name your own crayons and have them made. We made a handful of our own personalized crayons called such things as "Mrs. Stephens' Lipstick" for a red crayon and "Martian Blood" for a green one. 
Another fave of mine was this encaustic station where you could paint with melted crayon juice. Is there anything better smelling than a melted crayon? By the way, I've installed Scratch -n- Sniff technology in this blog post so feel free to scratch that photo above, stick your nose to the screen and breathe deep. Don't mind the stares, other folks just be jealous. Oh, it didn't work? Keep trying. You can stop when the men in the white coats come to get you. 
My ultimate fave was this melted crayon spin art machine. You get to pick your color combos and while the melted crayon is dripping down onto your paper circle, you can control the speed of the spinning. This results in some seriously cool and trippy masterpieces. 
 Like, far out, dude. 
But, if I'm gonna be all fur realz-ies with y'all, I've gotta admit that the real Experience was to be had in the gift shop. I mean, just take a look-see at that sock assortment. Need I say more? 
Even the check out counter was neat mosquito -- it's made up entirely of upright crayons! 
And now, I interrupt that interruption to bring you back to what I was originally chatting about. Before I interrupted my own dang self. Ahem. The skirt! Which was heavily influenced by all things Crayola Experience-y. And BOOM. I just segue'd my segue. 
 So the first thing I had to do was figure out the colored pencil (do y'all say "color pencil" or "colored pencil"? Because I've always said the latter but now I'm not so sure). Anyway, I sketched it out on paper first and used that as my template once I was happy with el sketch-o.
After cutting the pieces, I started stitching with right sides togetherness.
 Like-a dis. 
 And like-a dat.
 Press with an iron and...
 Viola! Eight colored pencils, one for each section of the skirt. 
Once I had cut out the eight panels of the skirt in black and stitched them together, I started the process of appliquéing the pencils to the skirt. I measured 12" down from the bottom of the waistband and held the pencils in place with some Stitch Witchery. Then I set my machine to a wide satin stitch (it's the one that looks like a zigzag) and sewed the pencils in place. 
Once all the pencils were in place, I simply followed the pattern to complete the skirt. That pattern is cake, by the way. The only thing that is a total drag is hemming that beast. I mean, the circumference is about three miles long so it takes forever to get through. 
Miraculously, I persevered (but not without mucho myself. The cat and the hubs don't seem to heed my complainingness). 
And I'm super happy I did because I do kinda dig this thing. 
It's great for sitting on the floor and doing a Wicked Witch of the West "I'm melting!" impersonation...
And for twirling away. I do hope you kids have a wonderful New Years and we'll chatty chat soon enough!
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DIY: A Standardized-Testing Fashion Statement

Ya'll. Could my hands be any more creepy-vainy? Recently, when I was using the Elmo (not the Muppet, although that'd probably be more fun; the overhead-projector-thangie) and my hands showed up on the big screen, I overhear a kid say, "Her hands are SO veiny. Like an old lady." Nice. 
Hello, dear friends! I come to you in the midst of all things bubbly and questionable. And by that I mean, Standardized Testing Land. Not the champagne-poppin, Gatsby-esque party you had in mind, eh? Sorry to disappoint. 
When I heard the news that I'd be spending my mornings giving a standardized test, I decided to weigh my options in a standardized testing format. Which looked a lil bit like this: 

An art teacher has to give a bubble-fillin' test. This art teacher has sad memories of taking said tests as she is dim-witted and easily distracted (oh, look! a squirrel!!). How does this teacher prepare to give a test? Does she:

A. Discuss her past with her therapist (who will most likely fall asleep again during their session) and  attempt to work through her test-takin-pain.

B. Sharpen and promptly huff any No. 2 pencil found within a mile radius of her home.

C. Felt oodles of clothing for the test-taking occasion. No sense in not lookin' the part, ya'll (do they say "ya'll" on all standardized tests or just the Southern ones?).


Well, Hot Diggity! If you guessed "C" than you are the Winner-Winner, Chicken Dinner! I totes spent my weekend felting this Doodlin' No. 2 Pencil sweater and that Pocket Protector Dotted Blouse. Because seeing a therapist is way overrated ("What do yoooooou think, Cassie?"..."Um, I think I need meds. And a booze-cation. Preferably combined.")
Testing, Testing, One-Two-Three: Outfit deets, ya'll. sweater: thrifted and DIY'ed my moi; skirt: super old, Target; tights: super-not-old Target; pencil shoes: DIY, go here, you. 
So just how did this Pencil-tastic Felting Adventure begin, you ask? Oh my, you ask the best questions! You should consider writing standardized tests! I'm so glad you asked. This weekend, hubs dragged me out on this totes tough hike and, while I was huffing and puffing up a some terrible hill, I got this awesome idea that I'd go home and stab up a storm! Not the hubs, mind you, although the thought did cross my mind. I decided that since the following week I'd be test-giving (never a pleasure to those on the receiving end), I should at least look the part. 
So when I got home, I dug through my "clothing to be DIY'ed stash" (yes, I have such a thing. Get yo'self to the thrift store and create your own!) and decided that this Super Soft but Dreadfully Dull sweater was just the perfect canvas for my masterpiece. If that's what you'd call it.

Using 100% wool yarn, I laid out my looped pattern, placed my bristly felting pad underneath and commenced needle felting. If you visit this post, you can see annoying clips of me chatting about the joys of felting. 
Needle felting with wool yarn is great because you can really control the direction and get some detailed work going. 

I had this done in no time. Unlike this felted dress which put more hairs on my head than testing this week. And that's sayin' somethun.
Since I thought this would also be a fun sweater to wear when we learn about line at the beginning of next school year, I opted to do a ziggy-zag on the opposite side. Because symmetry is WAY overrated. At least that's what my therapist says. 
Oh, look, a Pencil Rocket Ship! 'kay, so the pencils weren't lookin' so hawt until I added the yarn outline. That seemed to emphasize them a bit more and made them look less, well, rocket-shippy. 
Sadly, I didn't have any silver roving for the metal end...I thought for a hot minute about embroidering silver onto it but then laziness called and said, "Hells No" instead of "Hello". So rude.
All this craft-a-macating was not without Blood, Sweat and Tears. Okay, maybe just some blood. Watch out for those felting needles, ya'll! They are serrated, sharp and sassy!
Yay! Done! 

And then I was all, "But wait, there's more..."
 Lemme just draw my next idea out for ya. For that, Ima gonna need my No. 2 Pencil, yo.
 Since the sweater took no time, I got the idea mid-way through to make a shirt with a Pencil Pocket. 'Course, I had to add a coupla art supplies in there. I started by drawing out my design, tracing it in sharpie, placing it under my shirt and retracting that in pencil, as seen below.
 Told you it was below.
 I felted some...and decided that the details weren't up to snuff. So I had fun embroidering them in. Because I'm a dork like that.
 Almost there...
About the hair clip: Yeah, I made it, guess I shoulda snapped some how-to's of that! I started by breaking a bunch of pencils (always fun and stress-relievin') and sharpening them in graduated lengths. Then I hot glued them to a stiff piece of felt. One of those long metal alligator hair clips was then glued to that back. This gets LOTS of attention from the chillins, more so than my clothes!
 And, viola! A Pocketful of Art!
Mo' Outfit Deets: blouse: Old Navy; skirt: Anthropologie; tights: Target; Crayon Shoes: made by me
 All set to get all Standardized and Testy! Now, if you would, please open your test booklets to Is-It-Summer-Yet?! and answer questions 1 thru These-Last-Few-Weeks-Shall-Be-The-Longest-of-Your-Lives.  Until next time, be sure to make your answers heavy and dark, ya'll!

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #42

Full of Hot Air Monday: Because my first graders are learning all about hot air balloons, I decided to dedicate some of my wardrobe to this theme. I was thrilled when I found these hot air balloon tights on etsy...and even happier when I discovered they were made in Nashville! top: anthro, gift from a friend; skirt: vintage, picked up in an antique shop in Germany; tights: Carousel Ink; boots: vintage, thrifted
 Greetings from Slacker-land. Apart from the loooong hike hubs and I took today (eight miles! total keister-kicker!), this week has found me doin' a whole lotta nuthin. Which I blame entirely on a book I've had my nose stuck in. Because we don't know each other that well, I'm embarrassed to tell you what I've been reading (I swear it's not 50 Shades!). What I will tell you is that I'm not allowing myself to read the next book until I complete some unfinished DIY bidness. But enough about that.

Have you met Jim Flora? I've loved his cartoon-y kitsch style of paintings, drawings and prints for some time and I thought I'd share them with you this week. I love how his work is so energized that is seems to wiggle around the canvas. I hope you enjoy seeing his work as much as I do.
The artist and a self-portrait. James "Jim" Flora is an American artist born in 1914. He's best known for the album covers he created for RCA Victor and Columbia records during the height of awesome design: the 1940's and 50's. What I find more interesting is his personal work that often had some biazzro overtones.
Florals and Balloons Tuesday: When I'm attempting to mix and match patterns, as I tried to here in the above ensemble, I hold garment after garment side by side until a sudden "ooohh, that works" happens. Later, I often think, "what in the world was I thinking?!" but today, I think I'm okay. dress and belt: sale, Anthro; sweater: Ann Taylor, thrifted; fishnets and tights: Target; boots: Frye
Mambo for Cats, 1955 I mean really. How great is this? I love the Picasso-style face one the middle cat as well as the mustaches. You can listen to this album here if you are interested. And you should be because it's fantastic. Apparently, Flora was a huge lover of music, calling it his muse, and I think this album cover shows that love.
The Panic is On, 1954 I noticed that in many of Mr. Flora's work, he'll either use a solid white or black background. No interference from the background for his imagery in the foreground. Simply awesome.
Dirty Looks Wednesday: So I'm at the bookstore buying that paperback I haven't been able to put down, when I turn around to see an older gentleman nudging his wife and pointing at me. She looks at me and makes this flinch-y face at my outfit, particularly my blue-fishnet-over-green-tights legs. By the time she finally looks up at my face, I made sure to give her the biggest I-just-caught-you-staring-at-me smile I could muster. Despite my annoyance. I mean, it's one thing to not like what someone is wearing, but do you really have to be rude about it? Me thinks not. still on our hot air balloon kick top: Anthro; tights and skirt: Target; shoes: Dolls by Nina
I can't seem to find the title of this work, but it looks very similar to one titled The Big Bank Robbery. You know my love for It's A Small World artist Mary Blair. This work reminds me of a wonky Small World. Both artists worked during the same era but it's apparent that Mr. Flora had a different wacky flair.
Manahattan. Not only did Mr. Flora design album covers, he's also the author/illustrator of 17 children's books. I'm dying to get my mitts on them. While he worked on books and album covers, he also worked on his personal art which is often described as playful, erotic and macabre. And subtle. Apparently during one of his last exhibits, his body of work had a nautical theme. Inside the tiny boat images where naughty little scenes that could only be made out by magnifying glass.
Pencil Perfect Thursday: My goal for Thursday was to have completed my DIY Hot Air Balloon dress...but that book! I couldn't stop reading! So, it still hangs in my sewing room, mocking me. So I went all pencil-y instead. sweater: Urban Outfitters, on sale now!; skirt: DIY by me here; shoes: another DIY, look here; pencil hairclip: yeah, that's by me too. As if you couldn't tell.
Would you just look at that tiny wood cut?! Amazing. I spent last weekend at an art teacher conference where we carved into linoleum blocks. And I thought mine was at least kinda sorta detailed. Mr. Flora put mine to shame. I'll share my block and what I did with it in an upcoming post.
This print reminds me of another of my favorite artists, Thomas Hart Benton. I love the crooked street lamp.
Tiger Run Friday: It was our school's third annual Tiger Run! I think I ended up going a good four miles around the track with the kids. It was the perfect day for it. tie-dyed shirt: tie-dyed in art class, DIY'ed at home with ribbons and scissors; skirt and black top: Target; tiger tights and tiger ears: amazon; shoes: Earth Shoes
Connecticut Shore, 1954. Jim Flora lived a long life that ended in 1998. His artwork seems so familiar to me mostly because of how many other artists have since been strongly influenced by his style. His style is so popular that when googling around, I found that you can even purchase Jim Flora wallpaper. Pure awesomeness.
I hope you have a wonderful week!

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