Tuesday, November 11, 2014

DIY: Super Sparkly -n- Simple Holiday Decor

I dunno how y'all entertain family when they come to visit but I'm guessing you take 'em to see the sights, feed them and do whatever good hostesses do (meanwhile, all I know about Hostess is they make a KILLER Twinkie). As for me, well, I like to put 'em to work. For zample, when my dear ole moms, mom-in-law and her sister (my aunt-in-law? Nah, she's just Aunt Rose to me) came to town, I decided to have them help me create some holiday decor (added bonus, a DIY blog post, yippie!). And I'm so glad I did cuz now I have this super feathery wreath and ultra divine wall hangings (um, scroll down-eth) just in time for Feliz Navidad (er, I guess it's just Navidad in this case, huh?). Here's how the whole process went down, Charlie Brown.

I started by informing each of my charges that they WOULDN'T be fed again UNTIL crafting was complete. At one point, Aunt Rose (seen above in what she dubbed her "White Trash Honey Boo-Boo Apron") said something along the lines of this being like a labor camp to which I replied, "WHY ARE YOU TALKING?! You can't craft while your lips are moving now hush it and get back to glittering!" 

They pretty much behaved after that. Family, I tell ya. They really are just like a class of kindergarteners. 
Oh, you know I'm only (slightly) kidding! We had a great time crafting it up. Even my mom who has crafting-phobia (is there a thing? Hold on, lemme check...um, all I could find was something called "unicorn-a-phobia". Why do I have a feeling this is wrong? On, like, so many levels) was all elbows deep in glitter, glitz and Martha Stewart paint. So just how did I come up with this lil craft?
Well, a coupla weeks back, Anthropologie had it's little "craft get together" (which truly is a labor camp but it's all good. When it's crafts, it's a labor of love. Plus, there's booze. Which washes down the glitter so well) where we did a super similar craft. They had us cutting out feathers, paint them and then glitz them up with glitter and gold leaving. 
I just so happened to have donated to me a wee mountain of different colored card stock. I created a couple of feather templates for the fam which they traced and cut. From there, I busted out the sea foam and sky blue paint which was dry brushed onto the feather. Once those were dry, we added gold paint and/or glitter. 
Of course, where there's this much glitter, one risks Glitter Lung.
It's a chance we dedicated crafters must take. 
Oh, gah, I just hacked up a disco ball.
Now the menfolk opted not to partake in our craft-tastic ness as glitter is kinda like dude kryptonite in case you didn't know (ladies, just dab it behind your ears on those nights that you, well, just aren't in the mood, ya feel me? Works like a charm). Instead, they went hiking and brought back this mountain of turkey feathers. WHICH we promptly covered in glitter. We might have been a little dizzy from all the glitter-induced coughing fits. When hubs walked into our crafting lair (aka the dining room) he was all, "You just ruined all my turkey feathers!" Ruined? Really? It's called Bedazzled and you outta look it up, yo.
 Since my labor force was so motivated by hunger, they created so many feathers, I was able to bust out a couple of these wall hangings too. 
I used old canvas stretches and some AMAZING gold-leafed yarn I scored at JoAnn's. Just dry brushed the stretchers and added the glitter feathers. Cake, y'all.
Glitter Cake. My fave.
Now covering the world in glitter was not the only thing we accomplished. We also made these feather-tastic beauties!

Twas super easy, y'all. This is a similar craft as that Leaf Relief project I shared a while back. With matte board, paper and spray glue, I cut out the feather, sprayed the board with the glue and attached my paper feather. Then I hit the board with glue again and covered in foil. Finally I sprayed the whole thing with the world's cheapest spray paint. 
It's the dollar spray paint from Home Depot. It works the best cuz it sucks the hardest. Trust me on this. 
While you're at The 'pot, don't forget to pick up some ultra fine steel wool. That's what you'll use to burnish off the spray paint. These are my mom's craft-phobic hands. I think she's doing pretty good, don't you?!
And mighty pleased with herself too. As she should be. 
While we were sitting and painting, I noticed how pretty everyone's paper towels where from wiping the paint brushes. So I gave everyone a little 6" canvas square to just dabble and clean their brush on. Today I added mini-feathers to the painting group. Top left is my mom-in-law, right is my mom's, bottom left is Aunt Roses and right is mine. I've got em all signed and dated.
And there you have it! So the next time that fam of yours comes to visit, remember: withhold food and put 'em to craftin' work, y'all! You'll have a Super Sparkly Time, I promise! 

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Friday, November 7, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #121 and Art Room Craziness

"Super Hero" Monday: I know, y'all have seen this here get-up before. You can read all the gory, near-death-by-applique details here, if you can handle the scandal. dress: vintage DIY dealio here; tights and wig: (yes, it's fake. So realistic though, riiiiight?) Target; shoes: Dolls by Nina; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing
Hey, kids. How are ya's? 'Twas Spirit Week on my art teacherin' planet which is code for Dress Like a Crazy Person All Week. However, when you are the crazy art teacher who abides by this rule all the time (The Dude Abides, y'all. And I only say that cuz I JUST saw The Big Lebowski for the very first time. I know. I live under a rock. From the 1990's.), well, it's just another week. And the kids totally agreed. For 'zample, on Monday, aka Dress like a Super Hero Day, I was asked by a fourth grader:

"What super hero are you supposed to be, Mrs. Stephens?"

"Uh, I dunno. How about Super Crazy Art Teacher?"

"And how is that different than any other day?"

For this I had no words. You got me, kid. You got me.

Sometimes I wonder if these children realize the sacrifices I make for them. Do they even know how difficult it is to get into one's car and drive down the road in a 12" high wig? And don't even get me started on the complexities of navigating an elementary school restroom without bouncing one's foamy-wigged head back and forth on the stall walls like some sort of bizarro Super Crazy Art Teacher pinball game. It's all for you, kiddos. 

Speaking of crazily dressed art teacher, HOLY COW, Y'ALL! Did you check out the Dress Like a Famous Artwork/Artist Contest?! If not, y'all have just one day left to vote so, what are you waiting for?  Look for your faves then get out the vote. You can vote for more than one art teacher as it's just too tough to pick just one. 

In other non-crazily dressed news, I thought I'd share with ya's just a snippet of what the wee artists in my world have been creating this week. I'll be sharing complete posts with art lessons to come but I was just too stinkin' excited with what was goin' down this week not to share a snippet. What excitement has been happening in your world this week?

Oh! AND, I almost forgot to mention, I'm now on twitter! If you follow me, I'll follow ya right back. Chat soon, y'all!
 'Kay, so I really don't know what's cuter, this dude, that toothy grin or the artwork. My friends in first grade-land zipped right through this project and loved it! We spent the first day using our Gelli-Art plates for printmaking and created these leaf prints on fabric. Then we hit the sewing machines, stitched the two pieces of fabric together and added the Sculpey-beaded hanger. I'll be sharing the complete -n- detailed lesson here next week.
 "Dress Like a Farmer" Tuesday: Look, I dunno who came up with these days but this particular day certainly reminded me of high school. I attended schoolin' in rural Indiana surrounded by acres of corn fields (still have the corn-detassellin' hands to prove it) which was great and I loved it. I do recall that there was always one day outta the year that was called something like "Drive Your Tractor to School Day" (couldn't even make this up, y'all). I never owned a John Deere (hence my low high school standing) but if I could travel back in time, I woulda totally wore this get-up. Cuz at the time I was prolly either in my goth- or hippie-phase. Neither of which were as farmer-chic as this. blouse: thrifted, Anthropologie; jeans: Target; boots: Seychelles, old; leg warmers: dunno
 I decided that our word of the week this crazy week would be "popular culture". This was just perfect as we chatted about Roy Lichtenstein on Monday (whilst wearing that Super Hero thangie), Grant Wood's American Gothic on Tuesday and, well, for Rock Star Day we chatted about Warhol. It was so easy and super fun to tie in these artists with our wacky attire. I could totes do a wacky dress day every day of the week! Oh...wait. By the way, can you even think of a better farmer than the one in Grant Wood's painting? I wore it MOST of the day EXCEPT when I needed to use the restroom. Lesson learned from Monday, sigh. 
 I'd not revisited my tree weaving lesson since first sharing it with you a coupla years ago. I decided to give it another go with this group of third graders and, of course, they loved it. Mostly cuz the kids love weaving. It's that tactile thang, you know? My early finishers then learned about the history of Ojos de Dios and began creating their own...
 Holy mackerel, yous guise, I can't get these kids to STOP weaving! They love it. And for some reason, giving them the option to weave on the floor, standing up, walking around the room (without your scissors, please and thank you) is like a party for them. I'm just hoping they'll be cool with taking a break from 'em next week to begin a new project...if I can get the dern things outta their weaving-manical lil hands!
 "Dress Like a Rock Star" Wednesday: So I pretty much think Katy Perry is the bomb what with her super fun throw-back to the 80's style and pop-y tunes. Although, truth be told, I'm a die-hard Springsteen, Beastie Boys and G-n-R fan. Unfortunately, since none of those dudes qualify as "cute", I opted for the pop star look. nasty-kids wig that pinched my scalp and made me question my life's choices: Walmart. Barf; jacket and dress: Modcloth; tights: Target; boots: Lucky Brand; crinoline: Amazon; necklace and headband: made by me. That headband is made from the scraps of Monday's dress!
 Of course, my second grade was not to be left outta the Ojos de Dios loop. They created these guys in just under two 30 minute classes. I have a giant box of donated bells from India that seemed to be the perfect addition to these God's Eyes. 
 "Dress in Your College Colors" Friday: After spending most of the week feeling slightly under the weather, I decided to give myself a break on Thursday. Howeverness, there ain't no way I'm dressing in my boring college t-shirt. Nah, that sounds like a snooze fest. Instead I opted for more Mexican attire as we are still neck deep in our journey through Latin America. blouse: Olvera Street; skirt: thrifted, vintage; belt: Anthro
 Here's another project that the kids are wrapping up this week, the fourth graders relief-sculpted/Sharpie-colored/painted and woven Metepec-inspired Mexican suns! All the gory deets to come. I'm just glad they muscled through this lengthy project. They are pretty stoked with the results!

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

In the Art Room: Jane Shores, Skirt-Stitcher Extaordinaire!

Hey, y'all! After how well-received my lil interview with Rebecca Tenpenny, first year art teacher (and my former super-amazing student teacher), I decided to add a monthly Art Teacher Interview to this here blog. So this month, I'd like to introduce you to Jane Shores, elementary art teacher outta Texas! I "met" Jane via the Art Teachers group on Facebook. What caught my eye was that Jane had recently started stitching up funky-fabric'ed skirts to wear in her art room. I thought it would be fun to see Jane's collection of skirts and learn the story behind how she got started on her stitching adventure. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to Jane Shores!

Just who are you, where do you teach and why do you dress so crazy?!

First of all-thanks so much for the opportunity to share and talk about what I love! Somehow my sons aren't as interested in looking at my new fabrics, admire my new stitchings, ogle over the new trim I found, weird, huh?!  Maybe my next sewing adventure will be artsy boxer shorts-ha!
I'm Jane Shores. I have two super cool sons (20 and 17), two kitties and one doggie. I'm a K-8 art teacher at a private school in Dallas.  I've taught about 18 years, starting in public elementary in VA.  Now I teach private K-8 in TX. I also taught 2nd grade for 5 years! i LOVE teaching at my current school and all the different grade levels but especially the littles who are so sweet, give hugs and think everything I draw on the board is a masterpiece!  I've always had a kind of plain school wardrobe since I get messy in the art room and comfort is an absolute must.  In the past, my typical school wear would be different colored Jean Capri pants and solid color tees or polos -not much to think about in the morning! Since I discovered the fun of making art skirts, I realized I could make cute, fun skirts that I can pair with  a solid tee or polo-super comfortable, way less hot than pants(Texas you know!) and I've gotten tons of compliments on my new skirts from colleagues, but especially the kids!!!  So fun to see their amazement when I say I made it! (But sometimes I think the little kids think I actually wove the fabric too!!!)

I LOVE teaching at my current school and all the different grade levels. But I especially love the littles who are so sweet, giving hugs and thinking everything I draw on the board is a masterpiece! 
I've always had a kind of plain school wardrobe since I get messy in the art room and comfort is an absolute must. In the past, my typical school wear would be different colored Jean Capri pants and solid color tees or polos -not much to think about in the morning! Since I discovered the fun of making art skirts, I realized I could make cute, fun skirts that I can pair with  a solid tee or polo. It's super comfortable and way less hot than pants (Texas, you know!). I've gotten tons of compliments on my new skirts from colleagues, but especially the kids! It's so fun to see their amazement when I say I made it (but sometimes I think the little kids think I actually wove the fabric too)!
Tell us a little bit about what got you started on stitching these amazing skirts. 

I started following the AMAZING Cassie Stephens' blog just a few months ago and was completely inspired by your creations. Once I started checking out fabrics I fell in love with all the cool art related prints I found: tangrams, Dia de los Muertos and Mondrian-like print. I love retro stuff (as a child of the 70's I particularly like things reminiscent of that era) and found some cool fabrics printed with old style phones, cameras and cassette tapes. I thought: what a fun way to liven-up (and artsy-up!) my art teacher attire! I've always loved to sew. My mom taught me when I was little and I loved to hand stitch clothes for my Barbies (my favorite was a denim "Levi's" mini skirt!). I took home-ec in middle school and learned a bit more and sewed a snazzy apron! I've taken quilting classes in the past and hand stitched a few sweet quilts-but wearable sewing is so much more fun!  Oh yeah, I almost forgot, most of my skirts cost only about $10 to make and take less than an hour to sew. Can't beat that!

Lastly, I'm a big fan of "Project Runway" and like to fantasize about being discovered as a fashion designer. Never too old to dream, right?
How have your students reacted to your funky flair? 

I actually started making artsy jewelry first which is a fun way to show my style and things I like. Both boy and girl students would comment, "I like your earrings!" and were amazed when I'd say, "Thanks! I made em!"  Now I try to wear at least one thing I made each day since my students expect it!

They LOVE my style!  It has made dressing for school so much more fun too. I must say, some students seem a little disappointed when I wear a "plain" outfit, ha! The first skirts I stitched were my Dia de Los Muertos skirts since I found this way cool fabric and I do related projects with my 2-8th graders.  I've always loved skull art (as a die-hard Grateful Dead fan!) so naturally am attracted to Dia de Los Muertos art.  I was also inspired to make some jewelry to complete the ensemble!  My fave thing is to walk into the cafeteria and have kids I don't see that day in class comment on what I'm wearing. Great to feel like a celebrity when I get my iced tea!

A few funny reactions: when I first wore my "watercolors" skirt, an especially intrigued and artsy 4th grade girl came up and bent down to read all the different color names (in the middle of my instruction time!). During a 2nd grade class, I overheard heard a sweet little girl say, after I walked by in my Dia de Los Muertos skirt: "I wonder if she can make them in OUR sizes!" Hmmmm...interesting idea...!
Can you share with us what pattern you are using for your skirt? Do you have any advice for new stitchers who would like to do the same?

The jig is up...I must admit I'm a hack sewer! In other words...no patterns, just guess sizing, cut, sew and adjust! I don't even pin, partly cuz I'm lazy and partly cuz I'm so excited to see how it turns out! Once I got the right size/length, I measure my new fabric against that skirt. I guess one of these days I'll get around to using some bulletin board paper to create a pattern so I don't have to guess every time, but that may take some of the fun out of it! 
I consider my art skirts to be cute and fun, but not seamstress professional! 

So, basically, I start with a big rectangle (extra wide to have gathers) make a casing at the waist for elastic I use (1-inch wide, no-roll. Maybe one day I'll get fancy and do zippers!), adjust the width as necessary then stitch it up! I use "Heat and Bond" to make an iron on/no sew hem (I do need to invest in an ironing board since now I iron on a towel on my granite countertop!). But my fave part other than choosing cute artsy fabrics is adding fun trim at the bottom. So far I've used bias tape (not fun but makes nice finish at hem), Pom Pom ball trim (my fav 70's trim!), rick rack (2nd fav 70'strim!) and fringe. I have seen some way cool trims like hanging beads, coins, feathers, sequins, that I'll soon venture out to try. Biggest bit of advice: my first skirt I made with some cute floral fabric I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby. So, buy some cheap fabric and don't be afraid to make up your own pattern and experiment with fabrics and trims!
What are your favorite places to shop for fabric? What sewing machine do you have?

The coolest artsy fabrics I've found are from fabric.com. It's fun to scroll on my iPad the zillions of fabrics and add to my "design wall", a tool on fabric.com.  I am lucky to live near a great JoAnns Fabric as they always have 50% off fabrics and other stuff (got a great Ott Lite floor lamp recently way discounted!). I had a Kenmore (Sears brand) sewing machine for ages but it started acting up so I got a Brother (by Cassie's wonderful suggestion) from Walmart. A $400 machine for $150, I love a bargain.

Here's a question I get a lot...When do you find the time to create?! Between family, lesson planning, teaching, how are you also able to squeeze in skirt-sewing?

I'm a great creative/ADD multi-tasker! Some of my best plans start as I peruse Pinterest, fold laundry, watch HGTV, and of course, create jewelry and art skirts all at the same time! Don't you always come up with great lesson plans and ideas as you're just livin your life? I do!  As far as time, it does help that my boys are (pretty much) grown and do their own thing.  I feel like my brain is constantly looking for lesson ideas, but I've got the art teacher thing down well enough now that I can get most of my work commitments done during the school day, so my evenings and weekends are available for creative fun!
What sewing plans do you have for the future? What would you like to stitch up next?  

I just ordered some cool retro Christmas fabrics from fabric.com to make some skirts for December! I would love to create my own fabric patterns through printmaking (just got my first gelliarts printing plate, love!) that I could then sew into wearable art. I love knitting and weaving too, so maybe I can incorporate yarn arts into wearable art.  Too many cool ideas out there to try, too little time to git em done! And of course, who  knows...maybe you'll see me some day on Project Runway!

Thank you SO MUCH, Jane for taking the time to chat with us and share your super cute skirt-tasticness! Isn't she fab? Please be sure to tell her so in the comments! What I like the most is that she makes it so easy. So none of y'all can use that excuse that you "don't know how to sew" as Jane just shared that you can break those conventional sewing rules and just start creating. Thanks, Jane!

Are you an art teacher with something unique that you create/do/wear/whatever that you'd like to share? Then shoot me an email and send me a photo (because I'm visual, after all) at cassieart75@gmail.com. Thanks, y'all!
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Monday, November 3, 2014

DIY: Dress Like a Famous Artist/Artwork Costume Contest!

Dan von Rentzell as Vincent van Gogh. I mean, hold the phone! Are we not sure that this ISN'T Vincent van Gogh?! Here's what Dan had to say about his get-up: I teach high school art in Earlham, Iowa. For homecoming week, we had dress as our favorite celebrity. I decided that I would be "von Gogh", complete with the bloody ear. Fittingly showing off my painting of the bedroom painted after returning home from my stay in "the hospital" after my close encounter with a sharp object to the ear!

Oh boy, y'all. I am so excited by all of the Amazing Art Teachers you are about to see. Welcome to the Dress Like a Famous Artist/Artwork Costume Contest

While I was dreaming up ideas for another artist-inspired ensemble a coupla months ago, I thought there'd be some art teachers doing the same for Halloween. I mean, art teachers are the most creative and fun folks I know, surely (hey! don't call me Shirley!) there'd be some out there that'd be dressing up for the occasion. Y'all. I totes hadn't anticipated the sheer amount of art-costumin'-genius that was to fill my email inbox. Granted, there are Frida's, Lichtenstein's and van Gogh's aplenty but each is so cleverly well-crafted and different that they were a thrill to see. Artists-iterpreting-(whilst impersonating)artists -- how awesome is that?!

Because the choices are so good, I've made it so you don't have to pick just one. The winner will be announced Monday, November 10th. The winner's good lookin' face will then grace the pages of SchoolArts Magazine (thank you, Nancy Walkup!). Happy voting!

Jamie Addams as one of the two Fridas. I know, simply amazing, right? Here's a little of what Jamie had to say about herself and her costume: I'm the art teacher at Ellis Middle School, in Eglin, IL and the one on the right in the photograph above. The one on the left is Stacy Jones, our school's librarian and reading teacher. She is a huge Frida Kahlo fan and has, for years, decorated her library with Frida posters and figurines, and shared many biographies about her favorite artist with our students as well. This year, she loaned me a lot of her resources so that I could teach a unit on Friday in my art room, which just so happened to be the week leading up to Halloween. So she and I decided to stage this recreation of double self-portrait known as The Two Fridas. 

Jamie continues: I actually taught in my outfit (bloody heart/veins and all) all day Friday, and it was a blast to watch the kids' reactions - one even told me that I didn't have enough of a mustache! Well, Jamie, let's face it: when it comes to Frida, is there ever really enough unibrow and 'stache? Me thinks not.
Nic Hahn as Henri Matisse. Nic is an elementary art teacher in Elk River, Minnesota. She recently shared on her amazing art teacherin' blog how she's using the concept of dress up with her students. She created photo-booth style costumes and props for them to use all while learning about famous artists. It's pure genius. Visit here to find out so much more
Kimberly Jones as Banksy. Here's what Kimberly had to say about her costume: I was inspired by Banksy's widely popular black and white stencil, Flower Thrower.  The image has been highly reproduced in the form of prints, t-shirts, phone cases and even tattoos. I decided to reproduce it myself by painting black and white shadows onto black and white clothes.  
Debi West as Mona Lisa and Dallas Gillespie as Leonardo da Vinci. Debi is a super incredible art teacher that I've been fortunate to know for ages. She and her cohort Dallas both teach at North Gwinnett High School. 

Jenna Mancini in The Starry Night. When I saw the skirt Jenna created on the Art Teachers Facebook page, I practically begged her to submit a photo (and by "practically" I mean I totally did). Mostly cuz I wanted to know how she did it. Here's what she had to say: I bought the fabrics from JoAnn’s Fabric store where I found a perfect swirled fabric. I wanted to make sure the skirt and under skirt were the right size for me so I cut the two fabrics then using the sewing machine to sew them together. I added lace ribbon along the edge of the bottom of the dress. I also added a zipper on the back and had it tie in the back to make a bow. It took me a day to make then I used dimensional fabric paint pen to design The Starry Night by Van Gogh. It had to dry for few hours. But instead of using the paint pen I used a brush to actually paint the picture. I teach art at a deaf school to Pre-school up to middle school grades. By the way, I am deaf also. 
Beth Carter as Pigasso. How cute is Beth?! She teaches elementary art in Texas but I love her cuz she's originally a Hoosier, like me! She also has a fantastic art education blog which you should immediately go to (after voting, of course!) here
Angie Jackson as a Picasso Portrait. Angie teaches art in Shelbyville, Tennessee and created this amazing costume (as well as the shoes, scroll down!) for a Picasso unit that her fifth graders are currently studying. Amazing, right?!
Those shoes -- awesomely abstract! And what'd'ya know, I also wear a size 10. Hey, Ang, do you need my addy so you can ship me these lovelies for Christmas?!
Lisa Duffy and a Super Awesome Custodian as Grant Wood's American Gothic. I don't know what I like most about this photo: the awesomely cooperative custodian; the brushes Lisa is holding (um, how perfect for an art teacher!) or the playhouse in the background. Thank you, Lisa, for sharing this photo. It give me a laugh each time I see it!
Leah Keller as Henri Matisse's The Goldfish painting. Alright, as if the dress alone wasn't perfect enough, the girl created a sweater. With three-dimensional leaves no less! I love this look so much I say wear it all the time, Leah! That's no costume, that's fashion, sistah!
Heather Hyslop as Salvador Dali. I have to tell you, I've been dying to make a Dali-inspired outfit and Heather just sealed the deal with this look. I love her melty clock and those long-legged elephants she created. You can find more Heather-awesomeness on her blog. Check it, yo.
Jennifer Love Gironda as Frida Kahlo. Jennifer used Frida as her inspiration to create. Here's what she had so say about that idea and process: I make art every day, based on a monthly theme.  For the month of August I delved in world of Frida Kahlo, creating a piece inspired by her/her work every day that month. To kick off my series and help create a buzz for my social media and blog, I dressed up like Frida and had my husband (and cats!) take some photos, the goal was trying to recreate two specific photos, but with my own twist (shown in side by side comparison). 
So long story short, the pics came out pretty decent!  I think I channeled my inner Frida...AND...I made thirty pieces of Frida-art!

You can view Jennifer's initial post on the idea here; her 30 pieces of Frida-art here; and her final post about the process here. Such a cool concept, don't you think?

Tessa Downs as a Roy Lichtenstein painting. Back when I created my Lichtenstein dress, I thought of painting my face...but I'm so glad I didn't. I woulda been embarrassed after seeing this amazing painting job! I mean, look at those tears, so awesomely done. Tessa teaches kindergarten through eighth grade in Montgomery, Minnesota. 
 Dustin Anderson as Vincent van Gogh. Dustin's painterly costume is simply super. Here's what el Gogh had to say about this get-up: This year I dressed as one of my favorite impressionists, Vincent Van Gogh! It was so much fun making this costume and it wouldn't have been complete without a gift for the party host...my ear. The kids loved my costume. I think my Starry Night shoes are so cool that I may have to start wearing them in a daily basis.
While I didn't get a photo of the shoes, Dustin did share HIS EAR! Oh my golly, when I saw this photo, I just about died laughing. Thank you, Dustin!
Gemma Amendola as Frida Kahlo. Isn't this a stunning Frida? Not only has Gemma perfected that looking-into-the-depths-of-your-soul-Frida-stare but she's also got exquisite fashion sense (I spy the very same Forever21 top that I have in my closet!). Gemma teaches high school drawing and painting, graphic arts, ceramics, photography and 3D animation in Linden Michigan.
Lisa Beynon in Mona Lisa and Bridget Riley. Lisa is my secret sewing soul sistah, in case you didn't know. She stitched up this Mona dress with fabric she found on Spoonflower. I've never ordered fabric from there but Lisa has me inspired! Speaking of being inspired, y'all need to check out her blog where she takes thrift store duds and turns 'em into designer-lookin' pieces. You can find her blog here
And this dress? Made from a vintage sheet! I know, right?! Totes my sewing soul sistah!
MeLissa Kossick in an Andy Warhol Soup Cans Frock. I know, this dress is simply amazing. In fact, I love the entire look, what with the gloves, the wig and the pearls. MeLissa looks like Edie Sedgwick herself, dontcha think?! She writes: I teach K-12, at YMCA, and the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND. 
I am on the board for the Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists association. We have 160 members. The photo was taken at our October event at the Rourke Gallery in Moorhead, MN. 
K. Lee Mock as a Roy Lichtenstein Painting. K. Lee looks like an absolute doll, don't you think? I'm in love with that lilac wig. Here's what K. Lee had to say about herself: I teach at River Valley Charter School in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Kindergarten-8th grade. We are a public Montessori school! (And we are pretty awesome!). And I'd say they are pretty lucky to have her. 
Ashley Corvin as Frida Kahlo and Rosemarie Cox as Vermeer's Girl with the Pearl Earring. Meet the incredible art teachers of Bald Eagle Area High School in Pennsylvania. I love how both of them pulled off these looks, don't you? Here's what Ashley had to say about their costumes: Here's a photo of myself and the other art teacher on Halloween. It was spirit/red ribbon week and Friday was dress as your favorite character. If you ask me, they both look like crazy fun characters to learn art with!
Lisa Redditt as Hokusai's The Great Wave. Lisa created this shirt in no time just for a unit she's teaching in art. I love it and the skirt she paired with it, perfection! Here's what Lisa had to say about her ensemble: I am currently doing art with grades 2-5 inspired from places around the world. Fifth grade is studying art from Japan so I decided to dress as "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" as an introduction to this piece. The kids liked how my arm made the "wave."
Tasha Newton as Vincent van Gogh. Look, our first female van Gogh! Victoria van Gogh, y'all! I love what Tasha did with the jacket. The back is my absolute fave. Tasha teaches fourth through sixth grade art in Wisconsin. 

Natalie Guillette as a Roy Lichtenstein painting. Natalie is a high school art teacher (bless her. That is territory I don't ever plan to venture into) in Newport, Vermont. I love her impersonation of a Lichtenstein painting, especially the sign and the painted cleavage. I'm thinking of painting my own cleavage daily. Thanks for the inspo, Natalie! 

Rebecca Rocco as Frida Kahlo. Don't ask me how she did it, but I do believe that Rebecca has the most believable unibrow around (that IS drawn on, riiiiiight, Rebecca?!). Rebecca is the a pre-K through fifth grade art teacher whom I'm positive the kids adore. 

Jill Tuttle as a Jackson Pollock Painting. Oh man. Y'all, this costume and how it was created is amazing. Jill is a middle school art teacher and here's what she had to say: This year I decided to turn my Halloween costume into a lesson! We learned about Jackson Polluck, did watercolor experiments in his style, and create my costume! I had students splatter this white suit over two days, and then we added paint to my fave to match on the school dress up day! It was a great way to bring art to life! 
Cindy Blair as a Picasso Painting. I am so in love with this costume, y'all don't even know. I mean, that headdress, gah! Here's what Cindy had to say: I am a teaching artist at a museum and decided to be a Picasso. The head piece is a bamboo and tissue paper piece that lights up. We've been making luminaries with the community for illuminated processions and I can't seem to stop making them. 

Dawn DeBaere as a Roy Lichtenstein Painting. Personally, I think the fact that the word bubble is a hair clip is nothing short of genius. Thank you so very much for this idea, Dawn. I'll be stealing it promptly. 
Rebecca Baily as TMNT Michelangelo. Just how much do you think the boys loved Rebecca on this day?! Such a great idea! Rebecca said: I went as Michelangelo from the Ninja Turtles but had paint brush nunchucks to bring in the artist. It was super fun, the kids loved it and it gave me a chance to talk about all four Ninja Turtles sharing names of amazing artists!
Sally Cherry as a Roy Lichtenstein painting. Okay, I do believe that florescent wig with the black streaking is awesomeness. It totes captures that cartoony look. And the pink polka dots are the bomb. I think all the Lichtenstein Ladies need to form their own band or mob of super spotted lasses, what do you think? Band name ideas, anyone?
Erin Green as Frida Kahlo. Erin is actually from my ole stomping grounds so you know I like her already. Here's what she had to say about her costume: I'm an elementary art teacher in Fishers, IN. Yesterday was Frida Friday in my classroom. We learned about Frida and some traditional Mexican arts. Students made Calaveras masks, papel picado, and mini amate bark paintings. It was a Fiesta of fun!
Sarah Abend as a Gustov Klimt painting. Stop the presses, y'all! This isn't just a costume, it's an installation piece! The amount of work that Sarah's sister, Melissa Marie Abend Kolb, put into this is nuthin sort of stellar. 
Chris Baer as Frida Kahlo. I know that there are a lotta Frida's in the mix but don't you love how unique each one is? Just like a real Frida painting. But wait, there's more...scroll down, friends. 

Here's Chris with her colleagues! Doesn't this look like a ridiculously fun group? Gah, I love art teachers. 

And now for our Non-Artist/Artwork related entries...I did have some fantastic submissions that weren't based on any particular artist or work of art but where just too good not to share with you here. Since they don't meet my silly specifications, you can't vote on 'em but you can most certainly admire their awesomeness and leave a sweet comment for 'em below. 
Jeanne Bjork's expertly painted face, beautiful flowers and shawl are perfect for el Dia de los Muertos. She looks like she shoulda been hanging out with these guys...
Heather Kostal said this about her costume: I made these masks at school. The kiddos were studying Dia de los Muertos for Hispanic Heritage month. I looooved the sugar skull designs and had so much fun painting them. My husband and I wore them for Halloween - and he hosted and sang an entire ukulele circle wearing his.  
Emily Samuels and Nicole Gustafson wore their monster costumes because their students were creating monster-themed artwork! Not only that but her third graders were performing in a monster-inspired performance. How fun!
Oh, you KNOW there were some girls losing their minds over Karoline Daly's outfit! Here's what she had to say: All items were hand painted with acrylic and puffy paint. I found the material (camisole and an electric blanket) at a consignment store and modified the length of an old prom dress. I hand-sewed the trim and hand-stamped the pattern on the cape. The kids loved it!
Isn't this make-up job stellar? I mean, Lisa Walle looks like she could run off and join Cirque du Soliel, amiright? This reminds me, I need to learn how to put on false eyelashes. Lisa, you gonna teach me how, riiiiight? Love this look!
 Samantha Copthorne sent me this image of her and her work buddies looking like statues of the subjects they teach. Scroll down and read what Samantha had to say about the costumes. 
We weren't a specific work of art, but I think my team was pretty amazing. We posed at car arrival, outside our classrooms and during the parade of costumes. Much fun to have the students try to make the statues move and wince!
Sheryl Depp's costume was inspired by the book Too Much Glue. Apparently, she found herself with just a little bit of the sticky stuff. By the way, Sheryl has recently started an art teacher blog that you need to check out, visit here
Liz Van Allen's outfit has got to be the most clever thing ever. Here's what she had to say about her creation: This year, my students in North Philadelphia were very surprised to find that instead of Ms. Van Allen, their teacher on Halloween was their Fairy Art Mother.   She's the embodiment of that little voice in the back of your mind that encourages you to keep going when your art isn't going exactly as planned, the one who reminds you of all of your creative strengths. I started each class by announcing that Ms. Van Allen was in a very messy and colorful accident involving quite a bit of
 paint and that I, her Fairy Art Mother, would be taking her place
  for the day.  The Costume was a complete success.  My principal couldn't look at me without laughing, my colleagues loved it, and the students actually started telling each other to call me fairy art mother instead of Ms. Van Allen! Liz blogs here
Doesn't Tracy Evans look like a super fun box o' crayons?! Here's what she wrote me about her costume: I had to be a little subtle because we were not encouraged to dress up for Halloween so I said I dressed up for Red Ribbon Week! Which was very convenient to be in the same week..whew! It was crazy sock day so I just turned it into a glitter blue crayon (hence the light up hair).....with crazy socks on! Gotta do whatcha gotta do right?
Jennifer Carey, art teacher in Flower Mound, Texas is a, well, you guessed it: A paint brush! I love this costume to bits, thank you for sharing it, Jennifer! I know her students loved it.

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