Showing posts with label wool. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wool. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

DIY: A Needle Felted Camo Jacket for the Artist

Power to the Art Teacher!

OR in the case of this week of craziness, Power to the Cranky, Tired, Gray-Haired-Growin' Art Teacher...wait, scratch that once more. Forget Power. All this art teacherin' lady wants is grape flavored adult drink and chocolate. Copious amounts of chocolate. And no one will end up with a paint brush in their eye. 
So this lil jacket o' power has been in my sketchbook and on my mind for many moons, y'all. In fact, my end goal is to have the front of this jacket ablaze with art teacherin' badges like the Girl Scout badges I had on my sash as a kid. Like a "No One Gave Themselves a Haircut in Art" badge and an "I Didn't Huff the Sharpies After a Rough Day with Kindergarten...Today" badge. You know, the ushe. 
Y'all might remember from my last needle felted coat that I'm on a bit of a Mad Men bender. Well, I'm nearing the end of the show (noooooo!!) which means I'm in the midst of the late 60's/early 70's. I was fascinated with that era in high school and college, dressing full tilt hippie (with bell bottoms as big as my head, butterfly collared shirts and a sweet stacked sneaker). My fave jams were Sly and the Family Stone, Ohio Players, The Jackson 5 and the soundtrack from Shaft (yes, seriously. Just ask anyone who shared neighboring dorm room walls). I had that time very romanticized in my small little head. As an adult-sized human (with a tween-sized brain) I now realize that time in history was both a frightening and swiftly changing one: the shooting death of a president and his murderer; the shooting of Martin Luther King, Jr.; riots; protests; the Vietnam War; women's rights; racial tension and the list goes on. The Black Panthers were formed during this time and made famous the slogan "All Power to the People" to protest the rich, ruling (and white) class which they found oppressive. 
Soon that slogan came to represent all people who felt the injustice and inequality of the time. I find it is similar to how folks now view that ALL lives matter, not just some. I think that fighting for equality will last for many years to come. Thankfully, we live in a country where we are free to express our unhappiness (peacefully, of course) with our many gifts: song, acting and art. 
And so all that serious chatter to say, such was my inspo for this here needle felted number! Because I worked on this between Mad Men episodes and was much to lazy to hop up and get my camera, I don't have any process pics. My bad. But I figured y'all have seen enough of my needle felted stuff to get a pictures. If not, I've added a Big Fat Hairy List with Links at the bottom of this here blog post. 
In other news, I'm so excited to wear this to NAEA 2016 in just a coupla weeks! Who's going to Chicago for the art teacherin' convention? I do hope to see/meet/watch-netflix-and-chill (er, wait, no) with all my fave friends! 
Until next time, Power to the Art Teacherin' Types! 

And now, for that big list of all my needle felted pieces...
It all started with a hole-y sweater that I thought I'd experiment on...all these sweaters are thrift store finds that I embellished with needle felting. Many of these posts include step by step and video: bird sweater; crayola sweater; puppy sweater
 Then I moved on to dresses...the Starry Night dress; Kandinsky dress number one and number two.

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #122 and Aw, Alpacas!

Abstract Monday: I'm taking my second graders to The Frist Center next Tuesday to see the Kandinsky exhibit. I wore this here number to chat with the kids about our trip and all that we'd see. Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly and that I don't experience my usual night-before-the-field-trip-nightmares. Anyone else have those?! Kandinsky dress: made by me, DIY heresweater and shoes: thrifted; tights: Target; hair clip: made by me; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing

Whut's happenin, kids?! Just trying to stay warm and muscle my way through this last week before Thanksgiving Break. We are fortunate in my school district to get the ENTIRE week off for the holiday (don't hate. I DID got back to school at the end of July, remember?) so I've just got five days of schoolin' until 5 days of relaxin. Not that I'm counting down the hours/minutes/seconds or anything. Ahem.

This past week was kinda a wacky one. I had some sort of craziness every evening after school which was fun but wiped me out. So much so that I fell into a 2 hour coma sometime after lunch yesterday. I'm looking forward to a less-thrill/more-chill week before el break-o.

In other news, I had the opportunity to visit an alpaca farm Friday afternoon! I met the owner of the farm at a craft fair and made mention that I'd love to purchase some alpaca roving. Before I knew it, Suzie Conn, the owner of Willow Creek Alpacas, was inviting me out to her place to "meet the animals!". She was kind enough to allow me to snap a million photos and make short videos. I can't wait to share them with the kids before we begin our needle felting unit! In the meantime, I thought you might be interested in meeting these sweet creatures as well.

OH! And before I forget: I'll be holding a GIVEAWAY this week! So be sure to come back on Tuesday for more details, kids. Until then, have a great week!
 Willow Creek Farm is located in College Grove, Tennessee. The owners Suzie and Gary have 14 alpacas and have been raising them for the last 8 years. When I asked Suzie how they got their start, she said she saw an alpaca at a fair and decided she wanted one. After doing her homework, she bought her first one (for $15,000! But that was then. Now they go for about $2000). She now raises them and knits beautiful scarves and hats with their wool. 
The alpacas are very curious creatures. They immediately walked up to me however it was mostly cuz they thought I might have food. They are very skiddish so quick movements kinda freak them out. They're also not fans of being touched which is a total bummer. I was able to touch the wool on the back of one and, y'all. That is some seriously thick fur! I don't think I've ever felt fur that soft, warm and dense.
Tuesday: This was the last day of my after school clay class. I can't wait to show you some of the kids wild and wacky creations. This week, I'll show you how we created ceramic turkeys (or peacocks in some cases) with the help of a fall leaf. Each creation is just as creative and hilarious as the wee artist. dress: vintage, Buffalo Exchange; bow belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; tights: Target; shoes: Dolls by Nina; necklace: Franklin Farmers Market
Ridiculous amount of cuteness, amirite?!

Windy Wednesday: Y'all, it's, like, winter here or something. And it's really crampin' my style. I just stay in a constant state of three-layers-of-tights/stacked-scarf coldness. I've been outta Indiana too long for this kinda cold, y'all. Where's my 60 degree November weather at, yo?! jacket: For-never21; Monet-wannabe dress: vintage, thrifted; belt: Anthro; boots: old, Seychelles
Y'all. I must apologize. I'm currently ADDICTED to creating memes. This here would be Exhibit A., B. and C.

 OMG, that face, I'm dying. The alpaca don't have top teeth in the front, just bottom. Their upper lip can separate and pick up even the smallest bits of food like tweezers. 
 Thursday-ness: I have to help out with math in fourth grade every so often. Which is RIDICULOUS as I'm THE WORST at math. I did have a funny convo with one student. He got the answer "52" and he said, "that's the age of my dad." To which I replied, "Huh, my mom is 58." And he was all, "whuh?! That means they are only 5 years apart. And I'm only 10! And you are, well, kinda old." After I forgave that "old" business, he asked how old my mom was when I was born. When I told him 17, he replied knowingly, "Ah, a teenage pregnancy. It happens." Bwahaha! dress: Modcloth; pencil sweater: DIY here

Alpaca Farm Friday!: Don't you worry, I didn't wear THIS to the farm although I couldn't resist wearing this skirt to school on Friday. I mean, hello, it has alpacas on it! (okay, so they might be llamas but whateves). I did change into some lovely long johns, leg warmers and a down jacket for the trip to the farm. It was a might bit chilly but so worth the cold to see these sweet guys and gals. sweater: Anthro, thrifted; belt, shirt and skirt: Anthro, not thrifted, unfortunately
This little baby alpaca (only one year old!) was easily my favorite. Thanks for dropping by, guys! 

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

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.

Read more »