Monday, December 16, 2013

DIY: A Felted Christmas Sweater and a Contest!

You know, sometimes (ahem, most the time) I take photos that look so hokey, I just gotta make fun of myself. Case in point: in the above picture, I kinda look like I just delivered a super cheesy pick up line that I'm mighty proud of. So for the occasion, I scoured the interweb (and my imagination) for The Best Art Teacher Pick Up Lines known to man. Singles-Seeking-Artsy-Types, get that pencil and notebook ready because what I'm about to deliver is nothin' short of epic:

Baby, if you were a Sharpie, you'd be Super Fine.

Hotness, are you an alien? Because your art skillz are Outta This World.

You're so fine, I bet you'd make an Impression on Monet.

Are you a Jackson Pollock? Cuz you just splattered my heart all over the floor! (Like, ew).

Wait a minute, are you a Dali? Because anything as beautiful as you is just surreal.
Outfit details: dotted blouse: Old Navy; original sweater (pre-felting): Buffalo Exchange, Old Navy label; jeans: Target; boots: Hunter
Oh, you think you can do better than that (let's be honest, you totally can)? Well, okay then. I've decided to open this up to a little competition. Leave your very best artsy pick up line(s) in the comments. I'll share 'em in an upcoming post and we'll have a little vote for the best. THE WINNER will receive some totally awesome and amazing gift (read: I've not completely thought this through so I have NO idea what the winner will actually receive but if I were to guess I'd say it will be some unwanted Christmas gift like a stinky candle or smelly lotion. Which reminds me of the time during my first year of teaching, one of my students gifted me lotion called "Body Fantasies" that he said his dad picked out. Awk.Ward. All that to say, that's probably what the winner will receive. Which strikes me as totally appropriate).

So! Please leave your best artsy pick up lines below. I'm so excited to see what you come up with!

But, since this is supposed to be a DIY post, I guess I should talk about my latest Anthro-felted copycat sweater. Now this makes my fifth Anthro-inspired felted sweater (my first, with detailed directions here; next up was this number as well as the skirt; the most time-consuming sweater of all was this one here; and this fall's owlish sweater) and my umpteenth sweater DIY. When I saw this super cute sweater (no longer available, originally priced at $118), my first thought was "I can felt that!" So I kept my eyes pealed (does anyone else hate that saying besides me?!) at the resale shops and found this Old Navy number for $8. Take that, Anthropologie. I just saved myself a whopping $110 that I will most assuredly spend at your store sooner or later.
I began by sketching the little guy out. Feel free to steal this image for your own sweater. I did.
Once I got him placed on my sweater, I decided two things: one, my drawing was too small. So I simply laid it on another sheet of paper and drew it larger. And second, just having the dog alone was boring. I wanted something a little Christmas-y so I decided to put a wreath in his mouth and lose the tongue.
I went about felting this pup the same way I did my Crazy Cat Lady Sweater: I cut out my image; created an outline by felting 100% wool yarn around my drawing; filled in my drawing with wool roving. It's really that easy, ya'll.
The good news is, if you screw it up, you are only out what little you paid at the thrift store. And if you really really  don't like it, you can have a pick-up-line competition on your blog and simply give it away! It's truly a win-win (or a win-sorry, suckas!) any way you look at it.
Now for the wreath, I didn't have any "festive" green, just a lime and natural green. So I used a combo of them both and felted some leafy shapes. This went by fairly quickly which made me happy because I tend to be "over it" after just about an hour of any activity. Except Chocolate-Eating-Competitions. For that I'm good for dayssss.
After felting the wreath for a while, I decided I needed to add a bow. Which seems to be a bit of a theme as both the Crazy Cat Lady Sweater and the Owl Sweater feature bows.
...almost finished...
And, viola! A super grainy close up for your viewing pleasure! Once complete, I did flip the sweater inside out and give it a good ironing. And even though I'll only get to wear this Christmas-themed sweater a couple times a year, I'm glad I added the wreath. I like the bit of festive color it adds as opposed to all that black and white.
Just a little behind-the-scenes story for you: my fat furry friend here is in love with my tripod. Which makes taking these pictures a little difficult as she's usually rubbing her face all over the tripod legs causing the camera to shake when I'm attempting these cheese-ball photos of mine. When she's not slobbering all over the tripod, she's kind of dancing in and out of the legs. Hubs has likened it to a kitty cat stripper pole. To get her away from the tripod, I'm usually calling her which means she engages in a little photo-bombing. And, let's be honest, this sweet girl totally steals the show every time.

And, there ya have it, folks! 

Wait, before you go, I just gotta ask: Are you a Seurat because you have so many beautiful points!

Don't forget to leave your best pick-up lines in the comments below for the Best Artsy Pick-Up Line Contest! Feel free to enter as may as you like. Chat with you soon!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

In the Art Room // What the Art Teacher Wore #83

Dress Like a Tacky Christmas Tree Monday: When I was a kid, my parents allowed me to have a mini-Christmas tree in my room to decorate as I saw fit and it was just about the tackiest thing ever. When I ran outta real ornaments, I crafted some with construction paper and copious amounts of glitter. When I tired of that, I took to filling in the gaps with stuffed animals (who never looked to thrilled to have fake pine needles stickin' 'em in the back, go figure). It was bright, shiny and totes tacky. Kinda like Monday's outfit. sweater: ebay; top, tights: Target; necklace, belt, skirt: thrifted; shoes: Anthro
Hey, guys. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words this past week. My sweet and caring father-in-law will be greatly missed by each and every person that had the pleasure to meet him. I have so many happy memories of him. I am keeping those at the forefront of my mind.

This post was actually written the week before last. After some time away from school, I'm excited to go back (even if it is for only 4.25 days), see the kids and attempt to pick up where we left off. I've got a couple of new routines I've been test-running in the art room that I hope to share with you later this week. Oh! And a couple DIY's up my wannabe-Anthropologie sleeve.

Until next time, squeeze your loved ones. I'll chat with you soon.
All my students, pre-K on up to 4th grade-land spent one 1/2 hour art class creating clay star ornaments. Our mission: to gift them to our parents in exchange for the gift of one dollar. The children are bringing that dollar back to the art room. Our service project this year is to help our friends in Asia (as that's the continent we are traveling this year), particularly those in the Philippines who were so badly effected by Typhoon Haiyan. What warms my heart the most about this project so far are the dollars coming in from the children themselves.
This is our third year to do a service oriented project. Our first year, we did a project very similar to Empty Bowls and donated the proceedings to a local homeless shelter. Last year, we created ceramic animals and "sold" them back to our parents with the proceeds going to a local no-kill animal shelter. This year, I wanted something quick and easy we could bust out in one class. So now my room is currently filled with these stars. I'll keep you posted on the progress.
Christmas Tree Skirt Tuesday: 'kay, I might have a slight addiction to making these skirts. I finished my second this weekend and now I find myself hunting them down at the thrift stores. Somebody stop me. It's not like I don't have an Everst-sized mountain of unfinished projects to tackle. blouse: Old Navy; tree skirt to lady skirt: DIY post here; tights: Target?; shoes: thrifted, Crocs
Our awesome PE teachers have the kids skating this week. After a super brief chat about gesture drawing, I took my third and fourth grade students down to the gym armed with clipboards, newsprint, charcoal sticks (which they thought was just about the coolest thing ever after I told them that I didn't use such an art supply until college) and chamois clothes. They were to fill three pages with as many sketches as they could in the 15 minutes that they had.
My Favorite Christmas Colors Wednesday: These colors remind of me of 1950's kind of Christmas decor which would be my fave on the planet. In fact, I'm so excited that this year I have out the aluminum tree (with a rotating color wheel light!) my mom bought for me last Christmas. Which is kinda funny cuz she just called me yesterday to tell me she bought me another of those trees with another rotating light. Looks like my mom is a hoarder enabler. Which is why I love her so. cuckoo clock dress: DIY dress here; sweater and tights: Target
Most of the kids really took to the gesture drawing. However, some of my more detail-oriented drawers (which is me) were stumped. They simply stared at the skaters zipping by in complete confusion as to how they were to make a "good" drawing. I reminded them that we were simply to show movement in our drawings and that was all. And to stop thinking so hard and just draw. Draw, draw and draw. Some had the bright idea to sketch the legs of one skater and after they zipped by, add the torso of another and the arms of yet another. This gave them a little of a montage sketch but at least is solved the problem of just having floating body parts.

Candy Stripes Thursday: Now I admit I have entirely too much clothing (seriously, I get asked a lot about my's time for a post!). But one way I've found to make my dresses work summer and winter duty is to simply place a sweater over 'em. This is a sleeveless summer dress that I topped with a thrifted sweater. sweater and shoe clips: vintage, thrifted; dress: European vacation score; tights: Target?; boots: Lucky Brand, found at Marshall's; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing

Once the got the hang of it, they were on a roll...pun intended. And I could tell they enjoyed it. In fact, one of the fourth graders said, "Mrs. Stephens, we never leave the art room!" I could tell just doing something a little different felt like an adventure...which is what art is always supposed to feel like, right?
Feelin' Mad Men-esque Friday: The weather here has been completely bonkers. One day, I swear it was 75 degrees and the next 30! I basically lived in this poncho on Friday which isn't an easy thing to do as I felt like I had bat wings all day. Which I kinda do and totally need to bust out my Jane Fonda tapes. Cuz, yes, I have them and yes, I still have a VCR. I'm retro, ya'll. poncho and dress: vintage, thrifted; tights: Target; shoes: Dolls by Nina

Stay tuned to what becomes of our sketches. I'm pretty excited to share the progress with you!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Heading Home

“Remember me and smile, for it's better to forget than to remember me and cry.”
Dr. Seuss

We lost someone very dear to us Monday morning. We know he is much happier and more comfortable now...but it's still so hard. 

“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan 

I know there is no way that this man will be forgotten. And saying goodbye is just too painful. So we won't. 
Thank you for your thoughts and kind words. I'll be back with you soon.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DIY: Tree Skirt to Lady Skirt in 60 Minutes or Less

This year, we started a weekly sewing group at my school which is strictly Adults Only. As soon as the kids are piled onto the bus and sent on their merry way, we clear the tables of art-making shrapnel (because, let's face it, it always looks like a craft store exploded in my art room), bust out the ironing board and sewing machines, mix ourselves a coupla drinks (coffee, that is) and set to work. Most of the lovely ladies that attend have little sewing experience which makes me their (completely inadequate) leader. Frightening thought, no?

Now what I love about this group is that they are fearless. When we first began, we all tackled the same project: A Reversible Waist Apron. Once that (first time for many) project was finished, these sewing rockstars were ready to tackle anything! So far they've created such sewing wonders as more aprons, a stocking, baby clothes, grown people clothes, etc. You name it, they're gonna make it. 

So when one of them shared a pinterest pic of a tree skirt gone lady skirt, there was a collective "Eeeee! Let's make one!"
The vintage pattern I used was Simplicity...and it might have been a little too simplistic for my taste. You see that wee gap at the back of the waistband? Totally not addressed in the pattern. No add a button, stitch in a hook and eye, staple together, none of that! I'm thinking of adding a hook and eye...but for now the prob was solved with a black belt-addage.

Since I'd be helping these ladies along (and because I was SUPER excited about this idea), I decided to get a jump start on my tree skirt makin' and trouble shoot the making of such. First step: Finding the Perfect Tree Skirt. I knew I wanted it cheap and vintage (exactly how I like my wine) and a quick trip down etsy/ebay lane lead to the click-to-buy purchases of this little lovely and that denim number a coupla photos down.

When I blabbed about it on Facebook, several buddies reminded me of this episode of Designing Women where Bernice dons a tree skirt and the following goes down:

Mary Jo: Bernice, why are you wearing your Christmas tree skirt?
Bernice: Well, this is the skirt you gave me for Christmas.
Mary Jo: Yes, I know. It's not to wear. It's a Christmas tree skirt. You're supposed to put it around the base of your Christmas tree.
Bernice: Oh! Well, no wonder. I like to never got this thing on. I finally just let the waist out and tied it with a belt.

And that's TOTALLY what I did! 

(P.S. Should Mary Jo REALLY be throwing stones when she's wearing shoulder pads AS BIG AS HER HEAD?! Me thinks not.)
But before we get into all that, lemme just tell you that this skirt is huge. Add a crinoline underneath and it's huge-er. So much so that one 2nd grader inquired, "What's under that thing that makes it so poofy!?" At one point my wide-poofy-ness totally swallowed one kindergartener and knocked down two others. AND at bus duty, the whole skirt decided to blow STRAIGHT UP in the air. Thankfully, nobody saw that happen...or so I thought until a dad walked up behind me and said, "Be careful of that wind!"

Doggone poofyness.
So, just how does one go about turning a tree skirt into a big a$$ poofy lady skirt in 60 minutes? Well, get yo'self a tree skirt. There are some cute ones at Kohl's, Marshall's, TJMaxx, yo mama's house, you name it. If you shop online, make sure that you check the diameter of the skirt. I chose ones that were between 45-50". 

STILL can't find one? Dang, you are picky. Use a cute round tablecloth! 

Then, if you can get your kitten mittens on a circle skirt pattern, that might make your life easier, but it's not necessary. Measure your waist (always a pleasure) and create a paper circle that has the same diameter. With that, simply open your skirt (or tablecloth), center the circle and cut it out. From the circle, decide where you want the back to be (or side if you want to have a side zip) and cut down 9". Then, try on the skirt and make sure your hips can fit comfortably through the opening. If so, let's move on! If not, cut a little more until they do.

Circle skirt pattern friends, you got it made. Add the pattern to your skirt and cut. Here I am cutting the waist of the skirt to size. You can see the original tree skirt opening above my pattern.
Now my skirt was not open at all, as some tree skirts are, it simply had a hole in the center. So I proceeded to cut all the way from the opening to the bottom of the skirt. Which was super stupid. I shoulda just cut that length of the zipper. Sometimes my brain is off. Since I had cut to the bottom, I followed the directions above. I trust you can read 'em cuz I'm too lazy to type. Been a long bossing-children-around kind of day.
When it comes to adding zippers, I ALWAYS use this Scotch Tape trick. You can read the details here (again, too lame to move fingers around the keyboard for you). Once that little detail was complete, I created and attached the waistband. 

To create the waistband patternless, you'll need to cut a piece of fabric (I used denim because it was thicker and stronger than cotton and could handle the weight of my skirt. Because she's a heavy b%tch). The fabric should be 4" longer than the waist of your skirt and about 4" in height. Attach that to your waistband with right sides together and stitch. Once attached, fold waistband up and iron. Now, fold waistband in half lengthwise, tuck a 1/2" under and sew a topstitch across the waist. Those extra 2" on each side? Tuck them on the inside of the skirt and topstitch the crap outta 'em. 

Wow. Awesome directions. Do you see why I kinda feel sorry for those ladies in the sewing group?
Yayness! One Tacky Tree Skirt complete, one to go! Which is after I said, "no more Christmas clothes!"...meanwhile there's a felted sweater in the works and a dress on my cuttin' table. I've got Christmas-itis in a bad bad way.

Later, kids!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

DIY: An Embroidered Fall Blouse

I'm interrupting my own blog post to share a coupla things with you: I was recently interviewed by The Art of Education about my (often disturbing) wardrobe choices and how I use that as a teaching tool in the art room. Jessica of AOE wrote such a flattering article, I can't thank her enough (check's in the mail, gurl)! I'd also like to announce that I'll be one of the presenters at The Art of Education's online conference! You can keep up with details of this on my facebook page and The Art of Education's page as well. Okay, back to my usual ramblingness.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday (for which I had a whole week off! Don't hate. Ain't my fault the Turkey Fairy don't like you), hubs and I traveled quite a bit. Our first stint was out to California where we hiked, shopped and Disneyland'ed ourselves silly. Possible travel post to come if I can shake this lazy-itis I've been fighting off for the last, oh, 38 years. 

Now I know I've told ya that I really only embroidery when we travel. It's not my most fave craft in the whole wide world but it does travel well so I like to partake when flying or road trippin. And I was actually looking forward to that long flight back to Tennessee to finish this bad boy...that is until our 4:50pm flight was delayed until 8pm. Which wouldn't be that big-o-deal except for the fact that we'd been there since 2pm because hubs is an ever-so-slight spazz-o when it comes to getting the airport in a timely fashion. Because, when traveling with that dude, there is no "fashionably late" there's only "awkwardly early".
Airplane embroidery studio. Turn on that overhead light, drop down that drink table and get to stitchin.
When we finally boarded the plane (which was now slated to land at the lovely hour of 1:30am) and got ourselves settled in, the captain decides to get on the intercom and play Comedy Hour:

Cap: Folks, this is your captain speaking (really?! Why must they always introduce themselves that way? I mean, who else in the world addresses people as "folks" besides an airplane captain?) We're sorry for the delay. We had to change planes because the plane we just landed practically EXPLODED when we hit the runway!

Plane "Folks": Awkward silence. Uncomfortable shifting. Random cough.

Cap: So! We are gonna fly this plane super fast and make up for lost time (yes, he actually used the words "super fast". Terminology learned in flight school, I'm sure ).
Now, for some reason, I've developed this slight fear of flying over the last couple of years. It really only flairs up when we hit turbulence and I just know the whole plane is going to go down in one big ole ball of flames. Which is why I love sitting in the exit row. Not so I can be some sort of hero (despite what I swear to the stewardess) but because I wanna get off first in true so-long-suckas fashion. So, when things started to get a little bumpy, I went all white-knuckle on the arm rests and Capt. Comedian got on the intercom:

Cap: Folks, this is your captain speaking (really?). Things are going to get a bit bumpy due to some winds out of the Northeast (why do they think we care about this stuff?! I don't give a flip where the winds are coming from, just fly around 'em and make the plane stop bouncing like a trampoline!) So I'm going to ask that you stay seated and buckle your safety belts. Thank you. 
(and then...the worst happens...)

Cap: Flight attendants, discontinue drink services (um, excuse me?! I'm expected to survive this Airplane Bounce House without my grown-up bevvy?!). Take your seats imm--

 And, then, like outta some airplane horror movie, the intercom cuts him short and goes to static for the next 10 seconds. And he never gets back on the intercom.

The lady across the aisle does the sign of the cross. I'd follow suit if my nails weren't digging into the thighs of the stranger to my right. He doesn't even notice because he's fervently reading the safety manual like he's cramming for an exam.
I love this super sweet book and it's illustrations. This Japanese author uses poems and stories to explain how to draw the animals. I used her illustrations of deer as the inspiration for my embroidery.
Needless to say, this story ended with us (practically crash) landing at the lovely hour of 2am with the pilot delivering this epic summary as we frantically unbuckled our safety beats, unsilenced our cell phones and yanked carry-ons outta the overhead: 

Well, folks, we made it. 

Seriously? Have they thought about making these pilots take a mandatory speech class? 

 Whatevers, my embroidery was complete. Speaking of, since this is a DIY post, I suppose I should chat a moment about that, doncha think? I've had this dress (that's right, this isn't a blouse at all but a too short and clingy dress that, after wearing as a dress just once and receiving the evil eye from grandmas everywhere, I banned to the back of my closet). This dress is the sister to this navy number which I also embroidered a while back. That one's a size up and slightly less grandma-offensive.

I settled on a fall theme for this brown dress. Using a white colored pencil, I sketched out my design directly onto the cotton and set to work. You can read how-to directions of stitches in this post where I embroidered a wee necklace.

By the way, these photos were not taken in Cali. After returning home for just a day, my mom drove down from Indiana (thanks, mom!) and we drove to Birmingham to stay with my in-laws (thanks, in-laws!) for Thanksgiving. This is the view outside their lovely home.
I always convince myself that embroidery takes no time at all when it truly takes me forever. Especially all of those doggone fall leaves. Which is the reason I really only embroider when I have to like when we travel.

I've spent some time debating whether or not that squirrel should stay or go. I can't decide if he belongs or he's outta place. Whatcha think?

One thing I do know: he's not givin' up that nut.
Once the embroidery was complete, I decided the plain dark brown buttons had to go. But I only had a few of these yellowish brown I decided to alternate.
And there you have it! One fall-ish embroidered blouse/dress for your December 1st viewing pleasure. Whoops, sorry. Totally meant to share this with you sooner. Now this blouse/dress is tucked away with the rest of my fall wardrobe (what, you don't organize your closet by seasons?) I've busted out the Christmas wear and I'm ready to showcase my most tackiest of attire!

Well, folks, until then, avoid those nasty winds outta the Northeast and have a great week!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In the Art Room: The Magritte Project, Two

I'm sure ya'll remember that Mammoth-Magritte-Mural I previously rambled about (I mean, you'd have to unless you suffer from short-term memory loss. Which sometimes I worry that I do. I mean, I know everyone says, "oh, I walked into this room and totally forgot what I came for," but I'll drive all the way to the grocery store, stock up on moisturizer and People magazines and totally forget food. Pretty sure if I try to serve hubs Pasta a la Aveeno one more time, he's gonna demand I start taking my meds...again.)

Speaking of short term memory...what was I just talking about?!
Ah, yes, Magritte. I do remember I told you that this particular project is like the gift that keeps on giving. Because after the kids cut out their day and night birds (go here if you are confused), it turns out I only needed one for their mural. Any more and it woulda looked like a scene outta Hitchcock's The Birds. This left them with either a cloud-filled or star-studded bird for the project you see here.
Magritte's The Return was the inspiration behind these small works of art. And, by small, I mean the paper was 9" X 12". We usually work twice as large in the art room despite our half an hour art class time constraints. But I had a sneaky suspicion that this whole tissue-paper collage thing just might take for-evah. Turns out, like sooo many things, I was right (hubs, are you reading this?! Say it with me: I. Was. Right. I know this has nothing to do with you, I just like to hear you say it!).
This spin-off project turned out to be a hit with the kids. They learned about analogous colors, creating contrast, making a collage landscape all while working with an art material they'd not used in a long time: tissue paper. Lemme tell they went about creating these works of art. 

Bonus: You'll hear the story about how a third grader taught me the correct name of my favorite art supply. Deep stuff, I know. Read on.
In my last post, I told you about how the kids were given 12" X 18" pieces of paper on which they were to paint a tint of blue and a shade of blue. These colors were premixed so that the colors in our mural would be consistent. I know, I'm a control freak. Once those were dried, the kids added clouds and stars in oil pastel. From there, they flipped their paintings over and traced the day and night bird templates on the back. This yielded two birds, one for the mural, one for this project, and an awesome negative paper to be used in the future.

ACK!! I must pause this post and tell you why this scene made my hands sweat and caused the following convo:

Kid: Um. My what?
Me: YOUR. MESSY. MAT. You're getting Modge Podge all over the table. 
Kid: Oh, sorry...(attempting a distraction technique) but don't you like my beautiful nighttime sky?

Yeah, I do. Le sigh. Those kids. They get me everytime. 

On the first day of this project, we looked at Magritte's The Return and had a long chat about two things: contract and analogous colors. We noticed how Magritte used a contrasting sky to make his bird stand out. Then we talked about ways we could do that in our sky without making just a blue daytime or black nighttime sky. This led to a chat about the different times of day and the colors you might see. Then I focused on the color wheel. I told the kids that they were to choose four pieces of tissue paper that were analogous in color. I placed a color wheel on each table to help them along. Once their four colors were chosen, they were to hold the tissue paper up in the air so the rest of us could see what they'd chosen and decide if there were indeed analogous. From there, they commenced tearing the paper into strips.
Now, just a note on that. I noticed that the paper has a grain. Meaning it will tear in nice long strips going one way, but the other direction it tears in short pieces. There is no way to know the grain, it's just a matter of tearing. Torn pieces of tissue were kept in labeled envelopes for the next class.

And a note on adhering the tissue paper. I asked that the paper go horizontally as clouds would move across the sky. I demonstrated how to apply a thin layer of varnish to the paper, place tissue on top and then apply another layer. When applying second layer, start in the middle of the tissue paper and brush outward. This prevents those annoying and unsightly crumpled pieces of tissue paper.
EEK.  Yet another cringe-worthy photo: scissors dangerously close to varnish brush...paper waaay off the messy of those rubber band bracelets that are going to be the end of meeee. Deep breath, focusing on lovely work of art. Whew. Okay. Better now. Back to whatever I was rambling about...

I had folded the paper so there was about 2-3" at the bottom for the horizon line. Once their sky was complete, the kids could dive into my massive box of sparkly fabric and create stars, a moon or a sun and clouds. This was applied in the same manner as the tissue paper. By the second art class, most skies were complete.

For the land, the kids were to choose two different colors of green (a couple even opted for green fabric), tear into large pieces and adhere to the bottom. This took them no time at all.
Once their landscape was complete, the kids were to glue their birds. I had them play around with the placement of the bird until they settled on a composition they liked. For a little pop, I used my paper cutter to slice a million little pieces of foam core. The kids glued about 5 pieces of foam core to the back of their bird and then glued that to their piece. I love the subtle 3-D element and it also introduced the concept of relief sculpture to the kids.
Now I know some of ya'll are stick-sun haters but how you gonna hate on this?
And now for a moment of art teacher humiliation. As if that doesn't happen about a dozen-twenty times in a day...

Kid: Mrs. Stephens, why do you call that stuff "Modge Podge"?
Me: (holding up the jug of stuff so the kid could see the label) Because that's what it's called, see?
Kid: Then why does it say MOD Podge?!

Wait, WHAT?! 
And that's when my teeny-tiny brain was blown. I looked at the label and, sure enough, the stuff that I'd been calling Modge Podge for years is indeed called MOD Podge. Wah-hut?! How in the world did I not catch that? It's toootally got that rad 1960's mod-style label.  

Please, puh-lease tell me I'm not the only one that's been calling it that. And please tell me why none of yous never corrected me on my ignorance? Have all ya'll been laughin at me (more than normal) behind my illiterate back?! JUST as I suspected, humph!
Whatevers. This Thanksgiving, I'm placing MOD Podge on the long list of things I'm thankful lack of reading skillz, not so much.

Speaking of, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friends! And, if you don't celebrate such, just pat your bottle of Mod Podge fondly on the head and think of me. I'll be back soonish with an embroidery project I'm just Thankful to be finished with. 

Until then, have a great one!