Showing posts with label what the art teacher wore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label what the art teacher wore. Show all posts

Sunday, June 9, 2019

DIY: Polymer Clay Earrings

What lengths will you go to in order to avoid unpleasantries? Me, I go to great lengths to dodge sewing. 

The thing is, I get myself into this sewing pickle every single time. It always starts with the super cute fabric. Currently, I'm in to BIG AND BOLD prints that I usually score at IKEA. Case in point: that bold orange print you see in the background there. I'm currently working on sewing it into a dress but I'm closing in on zipper and hem time and I REALLY don't like zipper and hem time. 

So, I made earrings to go with my yet to be complete dress!
Polymer clay (I like to use the brand Sculpey) is a clay that comes in a variety of colors and you bake in the oven to harden. I used it a lot in this book. When I wrote that book, I really wanted to include that kind of clay because my students and I love it so much. I keep a stash at home for when I want to work with it because it's so stinkin' fun.
 If you are new to polymer clay land, I thought I'd make a little video to walk you through how I made these earrings. Really the only supplies you'll need are the clay, some jump rings, French hook earrings and jewelry tools. 
 When making polymer clay earrings, just a couple things to remember:

* Polymer clay is self-adhesive. Meaning you don't have to use glue to get the pieces to stick together. Just press and go!

* Keep them light! You wouldn't think these would make for heavy earrings but they can if you aren't careful. In fact, the palette ones below, while my fave, are the most heavy and can only be worn for a short while.

* Don't put the hole too close to the edge of the design. I learned this the hard way. If you make it too close, the clay just might break when you are sliding the jump rings in.

* Don't make the clay too thin. Okay, it's a balance...light enough to be wearable, but not so thin that they break when adding the earrings.

* Allow the clay to cool completely. I have noticed that when I take the clay out of the toaster oven, it tends to still be a little bendy. It will harden as it cools.

* Bake at a lower temp than suggested if using a toaster oven. I like to use a toaster oven because they heat up faster and require less energy than my oven. That being said, they do tend to bake stuff a lot hotter...and I've burnt my share of polymer creations because of it. For that reason, I'd say bake at 200 for about 5-7 minutes.
 My little stash of polymer clay earrings.
I also dig using paint pens on them when they come out of the oven...although I have noticed that the paint does tend to rub off over time.
By the way, this here dress was made by me a while back and you can read all about it right here. And if you wanna see more polymer clay jewelry creations, you can go here to see some wild and wacky necklaces!

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Sunday, February 24, 2019

DIY: Applique Frida Kahlo Dress

 It has been a long time since I forced myself out of my sewing comfort zone. Like, a really long time. In fact, it's been a long time since I've even sewn anything (I blame the writing of this book for that!). Some months ago, while shopping at the fabric store, the idea to make a Frida dress came to me. I immediately pulled up the image of Frida with the green floral background and purchased all of the fabric I could in that color palette. I thought "this idea seems beyond my capabilities but if I scoop up all the supplies, I just might try it." And so I did. 
 And, hold on to your pearls, THIS BABY HAS POCKETS!
 While shopping, I also scooped up a 1960's style shift dress pattern. I knew that a simple front with no waistline would have to be the "canvas" for this kind of creation. Now, y'all know that I'm all about the needle felting...and that's normally how I while away my winter days...but something about the look I was going for said applique. So I started sketching.
 I cut out and laid the front panel of the dress out on some wrapping paper. After tracing around the pattern, I started sketching Frida. If this Frida looks familiar to you, that might be because I was referencing my Frida latch hook design. After sketching her out, the REAL fun of cutting out all of the pieces and adding the iron on backing began. 
 I have done A LOT of applique but I've never used Heat and Bond...like, what?! I guess I just didn't know it was a thing! When I found it at the craft store and used it, I was like WHERE HAS THIS BEEN MY ENTIRE LIFE ON PLANET EARTH? It's that amazing. BUT a lot of work to add to each piece. 
 Once the backing was added, then I simply laid it out and ironed in place. I thought I was doing okay...until I started the HOURS of stitching. Applique is not for the wimps, kids. 
 I went through a lot of back and forth decision making with this dress. First up: to use a floral print for the flowers or stitch flower shapes. I'm happy I went with the floral print. I did something similar with her shawl. 

Then I had to reach out to my IG fam about thread color. Initially, her face was outlined in peach...but you just couldn't see her jaw line. So I outlined just the jawline in brown...and it looked like a beard. Eventually, I seam ripped the crapola outta the thing and used dark brown for her ears, jaw and neck. And I'm happy with that. Thanks, IG fam!
 By the way, ANY machine can do this stitch. And look, the back is as pretty as the front!

 Because the stitching took so long, I totally dragged my feet on finishing! The dress pattern had a couple options for sleeves. In the end, I wanted the dress to have a fun, tropical and retro feel so I went with the sleeves with a ruffle at the bottom.
 What do I hate most about sewing? Basically everything. Is that crazy? I'm not a detail person, I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to sewing ... and these are traits a good sewist has! But what do I REALLY hate? SLEEVES, y'all. Stitching in sleeves. 
 While in sleeve denial, I strolled down applique dress lane. My first applique dress was The Great Wave. Then I did my Warhol dress, the Lichtenstein pop art number and my sweets number
 Other than the HOURS of applique, this dress was a snap to make! I love this pattern and have plans for so many more. We'll see how far I get. 

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

What the Art Teacher Wore, Double Dose Edition!

Hey, friends! Feeling as frazzled and flakey as I am?! Super duper! It would appear that I've lost my ever-lovin' mind (along with my students...yeah, I see you outta your seat totally off task, tip-toeing over to your friend's table). I've also managed to lose the following recently: my house key, my car keys, my To Do list, my cup of coffee (I regularly leave one in the copy room, the microwave and on the hood of my car) and my sanity. Yay! It's the most craziest time...of the year! 
 Me, every.single.day.

In other news, I've got two weeks of What the Art Teacher Wore's to share with ya. So grab a drink (I don't care what, I'm not here to judge) and let's commiserate on just how bonkers this time of year is! 

Also...if retail therapy is your thing, as it is mine, my sweater is from Michaels!
Despite the insanity, the show must go on...and on it is on my art room. We finally wrapped up all of our Artome Art Show work this week (holy smokes! We've had so many interruptions to our schedule that it literally took a lifetime to complete those bad boys! If you are interested in seeing what artwork my students create for this fundraiser, hop over here). In the meantime, wearing these tacky Christmas sweaters with tights are my new favorite and snuggly thing. I scored this sweater last year at Target and the tights were a Christmas present last year from a student.
I have been planning like crazy the lessons for the next couple of weeks. I want to create projects that will keep my kiddo's attention to the very end. This is one I'm working on with my fourth grade students and they are REALLY excited (which says a lot...they are a bunch that does not excite easily, le sigh). I'll share the lesson with you soon...this is just a sneak peak. More views on my Instagram, if you are interested! 
Tennessee doesn't really get much of a winter...so it's been kinda strange to actually have days that don't get above 30 degrees! I'm from Indiana where we do have this thing called winter...but having lived here for 20 years, I've forgotten how to dress for the cold. Thankfully my Mondrian coat is a warm thing for these cold days!
Tis the season to bust out all the tacky sweaters. ALL OF THEM. Even the homemade ones that itch like crazy around the neck! 
Well, after Thanksgiving, our art room elf, Esmeralda, always makes an appearance. This year as been no different. This time, she's gotten our new art room addition, Ricky Rainbows, in on the mix! Ricky was created by the artist Jennifer Strunge and he's just the cutest thing. 
Okay, here's something I'm not ashamed to admit: I have more tree skirts turned lady skirts than I have days to wear them! Seriously, how did this happen?! I know...because they are the easiest thing to make! I have found that Big Lots has the best tree skirts for this: they are inexpensive and long. And tacky...which is a requirement. Here's how to make your skirt! Y'all might remember that this summer, I caught a similar bug when I bought 6 round beach towels from Walmart and made them into circle skirts too
So for that snow globe lesson I mentioned above? My fourth graders are using 14" cardboard pizza rounds for the globe. Each kiddo had to spend the first 7 minutes of makin' time creating a minimum of 2 idea sketches before tacklin' their glove. My new favorite thing right now is having my students create idea paintings/media sketches to get their wheels turning. We've always done sketches...but not with paint or chalk or whatever. This is new and I'm loving it. Like I said, more to come!
Don't hate...just appreciate. Found 'em one year at Marshall's and they are pretty much the best thing ever. 
Ah! Friday! This dress is from Meijer and I promise you it appeared much longer on the hanger...ahem.
Kindergarten and first grade have been spending a lot of time painting themselves into dizzy spirals. This has been quite the learning curve for them. Like, literally. Painting such fine lines requires a lot of brush skill and patience. Something we covered A LOT while spending two 30 minute art classes on these beauties.
So, I plan my outfits out on Sundays...do you do this? I started last year and I love it! It really saves me so much time in the mornings.
I'm pretty much living in these tights...please don't judge. Made this dress about four years ago! LOVE the faux fur neckline. 
That third grade lesson I shared earlier this week? LOOK!! I'm in love with the results. More details on how we finished these in a follow up blog post! 
My friend Cheryl loves Christmas ensembles as much as I do! When she walked into art class, all the kindergarten started singing Rudolph and it was the cutest thing ever!
Lately, my early finishers have been diving in to the next phase of the lesson with sketches. My first graders, when finished painting their spirals, started drawing penguins, first on dry erase boards, then on paper, as practice for their big paintings to come later. 
Walmart, men's section, y'all. I had to. I mean, CHRISTMAS AND CATS?! YES.
With the help of a super mom, we got all the Artome artwork organized, labeled, glued, packed and shipped! Yippie! I cannot wait for the show!
So those boots? I'm pretty much living in them. Dress was made by me (with lights in the hem!) several years ago. 
Big ole bingo dauber penguins by first grade, y'all! Next up, we paint and cut these out to add to our spiral paintings! I'll keep you posted. 
 And that's a wrap! Like, literally, if you take a look at my skirt. The rest of the weekend, was Christmas Craft Nightin', hiking, sleepin' and tickin' off my To Do list. Happy Sunday, y'all! 

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Monday, November 12, 2018

What the Art Teacher Wore #209

Hey, Pencil Dress! You can find out all the details of this dress, including where I scored the fab fabric right here

HOW DID IT HAPPEN THAT IT IS NOVEMBER ALREADY?! Like, who allowed that to happen? Who gave this year permission to fly by at the speed of light leaving me behind on all things! Y'all I know I say this all the time but MY HEAD IS JUST BARELY ABOVE WATER...maybe it's because...well, I'm in the midst of finishing my SECOND BOOK
Sweater from Urban Outfitters, skirt by me, details here

That's right! This one is the same format as my Clay Lab book but it will be all fibers. Coming up with over 50 fibers projects for kids has been a feat. Y'all know that I love to teach fibers and have been doing sewing, weaving, felting and more with my kids forever...but coming up with even more projects has basically fried my brain. It was a small brain to start with. And now it's basically burnt to a crisp. 
And I feel bad because I know I've missed out on sharing so much here, on this blog. This is such a fun place for me to share lessons, what I'm wearing and what I'm creating...but I've had to give up some of that to push on with the book. I know I'll be happy in the end (like, when I'm DONE!) but right now, it kinda bums me out that this space has been neglected. I'm sorry! More videos and posts to come. By the way, these Loud Mouths were created by my KINDERGARTENERS and you can find the video lesson here
Found this old photo of me back in '81, totally rockin' the teacher bun! AND kinda lookin' like a hostess from Shoney's. 

I've also been busy hitting fall state conferences! Last month I went to Florida's conference where I was one of the keynote speakers and presenters...y'all. It was such a blast! Florida knows how to conference! I'm excited to be heading to Connecticut this weekend to speak and present there too! 
I've also been getting ready for our Artome Art Show! I'm doing a new lesson with my fourth graders this year and I'm so excited about the results. I will DEF be sharing this lesson with you as it was one that the kids and I really enjoyed. 
Crayon sweater needle felted by me, details here!

Also...it seems that I don't often share that I have a podcast so I'm just gonna throw this out there as a reminder! A new podcast airs each Thursday and I'd love it if you gave it a listen. Also, if you have any suggestions for podcast topics, I'm always open. Feel free to drop me a line in the comments.  
After saying all that...I guess I can see why I feel like my head is just above water! In other news, check out these cute suns that my kindergarten created...it inspired one of my fourth graders to stitch up this sun pillow during her recess/stitching time. Isn't it the cutest?
The suns were created for these cuties. I'll be sure to share this kindergarten lesson with you soon!
I hope y'all have a wonderful upcoming week! Check out my pencil dress here
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