Monday, December 22, 2014

DIY: A Christmas Craft Night

 Can't take credit for this lovely. It was created by my super talented friend Tamara. Isn't it so stinkin' sweet?

Just so you know, my house only gets cleaned when company is coming. Now, not the entire house, mind you. Just the places I think peeps be seein'. And if Ima gonna go all out and decorate for the holla-daze, then somebody best come around for a visit. For that reason, 'tis the perfect time to host a Christmas Craft Night, says moi.
 When I popped in to visit my buddy the other day, I totally stole her little lovely off her tree and promptly placed it on her front door for a photo op. What you can't see is her standing just on the other side of the door asking, "Is it cute? Do you have it on the wreath straight?!" Oh, if these poor blog photos could talk, y'all. The stories they'd tell. 

'Kay, so I super duper love having buddies over for crafting. For the occasion, I usually make a big ole pot of soup (minestrone is my fave), have some bread/cheese/wine handy and a dining room table all covered in crafts. As folks trickle in bearing gifts of apps and zerts we usually vent about the day's teacherin' events (as expected, most of my buddies are art teachers) before bucklin' down with a bowl of soup and get to crafting.
On this particular craft night, we did some needle felting. I thought it'd be fun to just needle felt whatever (like I said, most are art teachers, you give 'em the goods and they'll go to town) and frame it in an embroidery hoop. As for supplies, you can see (from left to right) I had some foam cushions for underneath the felting, wool yarn, wool roving, fabric (not necessarily wool), embroidery hoops and needle felting tools. I loved seeing the variety of what everyone created.
So simple and sweet, right? Meredith outlined her R in wool yarn which really made the letter stand out. 
My best gal Mallory made a sweet little "L" for her daughter Lydia Dot who's celebrating her first Christmas this year. You might recall we had a Pee Wee themed baby shower for the arrival of El Dotto. 

Here was my lil 'zample that I busted out about 10 minutes before everyone arrived. Mostly cuz I was running around like a crazy person attempting to get my home to look less an-army-of-clown-hobos-live-here-esque. 
Need a coupla needle felting toots? Cuz I've got some for ya. Check here to see what you need to shop for and here to see just how you can go about creating. Oh, and a lil more here. AND if you need a barrage of my needle felting DIYs, you can go here and follow the linkzzz
Now whilst everyone was needling away, I got the notion that the hoops would be super cute wrapped in this amazing gold leafed yarn I picked up at Joann's. 
It actually was easy to do and I think looks great. But I think a lotta things look great so what do I know?! To start, use the outer hoop an remove the screw. Hot glue the end of the yarn to the start of the hoop and commence wrapping, you rapper, you.
AND hot glue the other end of the yarn! Now, the yarn will make the hoop so large it won't be able to close with the screw. So we used some jewelry wire and closed the hoop with that. Which was pretty unsightly so we covered that with a lil pompom. 
 Like so! Totes adorbs, amirate?! By the way, in case you are wondering, that's a fox that has hyper extended his neck. 
What that lovely lil dinning room table looked like near night's end.  Sadly, I didn't get a pic of everyone's creation. Although, I did manage this gem...
Not only are my friends so exceptionally good looking that it's almost criminal, but they are a super talented crew too. Meredith, top left, is an art teacher and incredible paper flower fabricator whose lovelies you can see here and here. And Aimee, red apron in the middle, sells the most fabulous vintage classes in her art teacherin' spare time. Crystal, who is just to the right of Aimee, creates incredible jewelry with guitar strings from her husband's band Old Crow Medicine Show. All of these ladies are awesomely wonderful, I was simply thrilled to get my Christmas craft on with them.
Which brings me to my most exciting giveaway goodies of them all (mostly because needle felting is my ab fave!). A slightly used needle felting tool and cushion. AND two pieces of lovely fabric and roving! Here's how you can enter to win...

1. I'd love to know...if I shared more DIY video clips on this blog, would you be interested? Would you view them or is that simply not your thing?

2. Please leave your email so I can reach ya!

As for yesterday's winner...congrats to Debbie! I'll get those lovely magazines out to you soon. 

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #127

 Monday Mayhem: Oh, the Monday before break, always a beast. But I seriously had so much stuff to do that I couldn't seem to focus on anything else but my Titanic-sized To Do list. vintage dress: etsy; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; tights: Target; shoes: thrifted

Hey, y'all! I hope you dudes and dudettes have had a super fantastical week before the holi-daze that you're sure to experience. I feel like I definitely bit off more than I could chew this past week (blogging everyday? giving stuff away? what was I even thinking?!) but I've really enjoyed every bit of it. And I hope y'all have as well. I truly appreciate y'all playing along. I've got a coupla more fun goodies in store for you before the big day (including in this post!), so be sure to keep dropping by!

In other news, I recently discovered that my craziness has been shared on Buzzfeed's 21 Teachers Who Nailed the Holidays (I'm #14 and #15, yippie!). Something tells me y'all aren't surprised, le sigh.

So, without further jib-jab, here's a lil what I wore and a look-see at today's giveaway. Until tomorrow, friends!
 Well, Hello There, Boots Tuesday: So I was not completely prepared for the response that these kicks would receive. The kids loved them and the dude at the grocery store really loved them. My feets? Well, by the end of the day, not so much. dress: made by me, DIY here; belt: thrifted; tights: Amazon; boots: ebay
 Don't Nobody Get Paint on this Skirt Wednesday: I mean, really. This here outfit is not art room safe. And, yet. Ima wear it anyway. Just everybody keep their distance. tacky Christmas sweater: DIY heretulle skirt: DIY here; gold-leaf shoes: DIY here
 Santa Called, He Wants His Clothes Back Thursday: Oh, whatever, Santa. I look way cuter than you in this, you just peanut butter and jealous (anyone else so sad about not being able to see The Interview on Christmas Day?!). sweater: Anthro; blouse: thrifted; skirt: DIY here; boots: Lucky Brand
 Guten Tag, Friday: The last time I wore this dress, I was asked if I worked "at one of those sausage places in the mall". Um, no. Just an art teacher. Sorry to disappoint. dress: A lovely find in Germany; two-toned Christmas tights: Amazon; fishnets: Target?; boots: Seychelles
 Sunday on the Appalachian Trail: The hubs and I are in Gatlinburg, Tennessee for the weekend before joining the fam for the holidays. We've been spending our days hiking the AT (not staying overnight, mind you. I do enjoy me a hotel bed). Today we discovered that this patch of the trail had been decorated! It made me so happy, we had to stop and snap a picture!

And now for today's giveaway...
 A vintage collection of Workbasket magazines! These lovelies have retro knitting, crafting and sewing patterns on each and every vintage-lovin' page. Here's how you can enter to win:

1. Lemme know what your fave crafting/artsy pastime is. Do you knit? Sew? Decoupage? When you have time, what are you creating?

2. Don't forget that lovely little email address so I can reach you!

As for yesterday's giveaway, the winner is...Darlene! Congrats, my friend and enjoy your art doll and fabric stash!

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

In the Art Room: How to Draw Penguins!

Ask any teacher, "What's the worst time of year to teach children?"

And, if you can get that biggie-sized glass of grape-flavored adult bevvy out of his/her hands long enough for 'em to answer, they're likely to say, "The time before a break. Particularly winter break. NOW GIVE ME BACK THAT SOLO CUP!"

So, what's an art teacher before winter break to do, you ask? Come up with something that is 1. Not so taxing. Judge if you wanna, Judge-y Pants but, c'mon. I mean, a teacher's got presents to wrap (oh, what am I saying, s/he's not even started shopping yet!), a room to tidy (as if that ever happens) and countless Tacky Christmas Sweater parties to attend. Not only that but there's a classroom of chillins to keep entertained which brings me to 2. Something that will hold the kids' attention until the bitter end. 

Friends, look no further, I do believe I have just the solution for you. Enter first and second grade penguins! 
Hurray! Originally this lessons was just for my first grade kids. I only saw them for one more art class this week. They're actually in the middle of another project where the next phase is painting. But, c'mon. If I prep all that paint, it's simply going to dry out before we return and can use it again. So I decided a lil one-day guided drawing thing might just be what the doctor ordered (really? A doctor ordered a penguin? Is this doctor even certified?!) 
Now, as stated, this lesson was meant for my first grade friendies. However, when my second grade class waltzed in and spotted these bad boys, they were all, "When are we making that?!" and "Why didn't we make those last year?!" After I explained to 'em that I only do the fun lessons with the classes I like (heehee, yes I say that. After a beat, they always give me a "hey, wait a minute!"), I asked them if they'd like to draw a penguin too. And after a resounding "yes!" we did just that. 
So here's a lil visual of the directions we followed to make our variety of penguins. I went over the steps to drawing a Cool Dude/Dudette Penguin, one with ear muffs and one wearing a bow. While the kids enjoy guided drawing, they really love having choices thrown in the mix. 
After we finished our drawings, we laid them all out on the floor for a little chat. The kids are always so pleased with themselves and their drawings that they naturally wanna show them off. We take turns saying something nice about each work of art. 
Like how this cool snowboarding dude has a rad patterny scarf that matches hit rad patterny snowboard.
Or how this sweet pony-tailed penguin appears to be twirling in the air.
Or this sweet sleepy penguin just snoozing in the snow.

You'll have to lemme know if you give this penguin project a try. I assure you, your lil friends will love it!

And now, for today's giveaway...
This doll and some super fab artsy fabric! I've had this doll forever with the idea that I'd make an artist doll out of her/him. And yet, I never did. So, now I challenge you to do it! Here's how you can enter to win this stash:

1. Tell me what you'd make with him/her and how you'd use it in your classroom (I just might have to steal the idea and make one myself!).

2. Leave your email in the comments. Some of you are forgetting that lil step and I can't consider you without it! Sadly, it's my only way to contact the winner. So don't forget, friends.

As for the winner of yesterday's giveaway...congrats to Victoria Smith! Yippie! I'll get that vintage book out to you soon! 

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Friday, December 19, 2014

DIY: Another Christmas Tree Skirt to Lady Skirt

Well, well, would you lookie here. Yet another tree skirt gone lady skirt in the hands of one tasteless gal. If I didn't obviously have a problem, I'd kinda feel sorry for the naked -n- skirt-less Christmas trees in my house. I mean, would you look at that poor tree behind me with it's wad of velour dumped at the base? Once upon a time, it had a lovely tree skirt -- oh, who am I kidding, it never had the chance of getting a tree skirt! Especially not a super cute faux fur Santa-stunt double of a skirt like this one. I mean, c'mon. It was just begging to be a lady skirt. 
I scored this gem a month ago whilst out thrifting with my moms-in-law. Who, bless her, even after all these years, is still a little taken aback by my tackiness. When I excitedly showed her my find, she was all, "That's cute." And when I proceeded to tell her that it's fate was to become a lady skirt was like, "Um, you're kidding. Right?

Like, no. Totes not kidding. I kinda fancy myself the Scarlett O'Hara of tree skirts. What she did with those drapes was simply amazingness...
Although, if we're being honest, my ensembles look a lil more like this...
Anybody else grow up watching Carol Burnett and loving every minute of it? 
Now this lil lovely only set me back $1.99. The only problem was that someone else really took to it thus making it difficult to start any sooner. C'mon, kitty! That's my tree skirt! 
 By the way, this was a breath away from being our Christmas card this year. That is until I dropped the ball and didn't make one at all. But if I had...
My apologies. We are working on our kitty-cat manners. Ahem.
 Now I can totally see why kitty-bear didn't wanna give the skirt up. It's so snuggly and soft, kinda like having a wreath of teddy bears wrapped around your hips (hey, there's an idea!). The only prob was that the fur made it impossible to install a zipper due to it's thickness. Fortunately, there was velcro on the back. Unfortunately, velcro is not so secure. To those patrons at the local coffee shop that mighta seen more of me than they had bargained for (a little candy-striped booty with that latte?) my sincerest sorry, not sorry. You know you liked it.

[If you are new to this blog, welcome!. My name is Cassie and I have a slight tree skirt obsession. Please visit Exhibit A, B and C if you don't believe me. Thank you.]
 And now for today's giveaway! How about a Vintage Christmas Craft Book, y'all!
Each page looks like this. Wonderment, amiright? Here's how you can enter to win:

1. If you haven't had a chance to "follow" this blog either on bloglovin or by clicking the icon on the right of your computer screen, please do. I'd totally appreciate it, y'all. 

2. Leave me your email in the comments (so I can let you know if you won!). AND tell me what you want for Christmas! I'm hoping Santa brings me a phone that's not from 2004. But I've not been very good this year, so, there's that. Can't wait to hear from you!
As for yesterday's winner that would be...Marsha Silver! Congrats, friend! 
By the way, so sorry for the super late post. After a hectic day at school, the hubs and I hopped in the car and drove 3 hours to Gatlinburg, Tennessee! We're here for a couple days of hiking and, well, more hiking. So tomorrow's post will prolly be just as late as this one. Regardless, I'll see you tomorrow with the winner and another round of giveaway goodness! 
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

In the Art Room: A Legacy Mural

Hey, y'all! I'm super excited to share with you a project that my fourth graders started just last week when their certifiably insane art teacher decided that they outta create a present for the principals of our school. I've mentioned before that our school is participating in a Be Nice campaign. In the art room, I've been trying to post a weekly "Give Nice a Try" idea in my room each week. A coupla times, we've actually had the opportunity to make it happen in the art room. You can read about how we wrote Thank You notes to a local art museum after our field trip, created a Gallery of Gratitude for all the faculty and staff in the school and wrote kind notes to each other. This time, our Give Nice a Try was to give a gift (especially during the season when most kids are thinking about receiving). And this here Legacy Mural is the result of their hard work.
I got the idea for this mural at NAEA during a presentation by Janine Campbell (thanks, Janine! If you guys ever have a chance to see her present, do it, she's amazing). She had her middle school students paint on black canvases that she'd taped off the words ART onto. Then, when the kids were finished painting, she simply removed the tape. So smart, right? Well, being the crazy Last Minute Lassie that I am, I didn't bother with the masking bit. I just let the kids start attacking the black canvases with fluorescent paints.
Well, okay, "attacking" is a bit of a stretch. We kinda sorta did the whole circle painting thing. You know, paint circles and more circles and don't paint over anyone's circles but enhance them with more...wait for it...circles. I did give them the chance to enhance the designs with patterns and lines of their choice. I only had a coupla rules: 

1. Don't paint over anyone's design. You can build upon their painting but you cannot cover it up.

2. Paint on dry areas. Painting over wet areas will muddy your colors because they'll become mixed.

3. This is your legacy as the out-going fourth grade! Do your very best to leave your mark behind. 
At the end of four fourth grade classes working on 17 canvases for an hour at a time, we had this. It's like an acid trip on canvas. And I mean that in the best possible way. I'm dying to get my kitten mittens on a black light, y'all. 
 Oh! In case you are wondering, the black canvases came from Blick (are they just "Blick" now? Like, are the "Dick"less? [heehee, sorry, not sorry]) and the paint was by Sax. Because I'm now in love with Sax Versa Temp. It's my jam. 
The amazing bookkeeper at my school worked out the canvas dimensions and was able to scrap together enough dinero to purchase 'em. She also was kind enough to print off the lettering. I originally had the genius idea to have a sign company print the letters. Then I could just slap 'em on top. However, that was gonna cost us well over a hundred smacks. Plan B was to use the printed letters. After the kids had completed the canvases, I traced the letters in yellow chalk and painted them in with India ink. 
Obviously, it woulda been swell to have the kids paint the letters but I was in a time crunch. In fact, these letters were painted just last night. I did notice that the India ink was cracking on the surface in some spots so I sealed it with high gloss ModPodge. The happy accident there was that it gave the letters a great shine.
 This morning, I got to school at the crack of dawn to hang the letters. My BFF the custodian helped out tremendously. Because this was a surprise to be revealed at the end of the day, he and I "wrapped" the present so the principals wouldn't see it until the unveiling.
During the unveiling time, I had all fourth grade classes gather in the lobby. The wrapping paper was removed and the principals were escorted out blindfolded. On the count of three, the blindfolds were removed, the kids shouted Merry Christmas! and the principals saw this.
To hang next to the mural will be this small golden sign. This was wrapped and given to the principals after the unveiling.

It was a super exciting event, albeit a very crazy and noisy one. I don't do well with managing a crowd of over a hundred kids so it was a pinch cray but a happy kinda cray. 

And now on to the winner of yesterday's giveaway...

Yippie, Rachelle! I'll be in touch so I can ship that stash your way!

And now...for today's goodness...
Four whole rolls of paint-splattered duck tape! Here's how you can enter to win:

1. Leave your email in the comments.

2. If you are an art teacher, I wanna know, what's been your fave group project to do with the kids?

3. Not an art teacher? Tell me what you plan to create with this tape stash!

Good luck and I'll see you with another giveaway tomorrow!

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