Sunday, June 21, 2015

What the Art Teacher Wore #142

 I Often Take Ridiculous Pictures...and Especially Ridiculous Pictures Look Like This: It's like I'm all "heeeeyyy, tripod snapping my photo! I tooootally didn't just put you there and I toooootally didn't just know you were about to snap my pic!" Golly. Could I be any worst of a model/actress? You don't have to answer that. It was one of them rhetorical question thingies. dress and poodle brooch: vintage; necklace: J.Crew; owl sandals: ancient Anthro; Enid Collins bag: y'all I LOVE Enid Collins box purses. They's my fave. This one was scored off ebay.

So I did a lil scrolling thru my blog a moment ago (is that called ego-blogging? Blogger-bastion? Bl-arcissist? I'm guilty.) and realized I'd not posted a What the Art Teacher Wore in almost a month. And I know all y'all were like, Praise Hey-Zeus, she's finally called it quits on that mess but SURPRISE! I got dressed and was semi-presentable for 5 outta 7 days this week, which is really something during summer vacation, amirite, teachers? Therefore, you're a-gonna have to endure this here WTATW for yet another post. YOU'RE WELCOME. 

Not only did I get dressed, put on my face and comb my hairs, but I also settled back into some stitching. You know I've been on that declutterin' train for some weeks now and, I gotta tell ya, I was starting to lose steam. I think it's because I kept looking longingly at my now uber organized sewing room wishing I could create. So I allowed myself this week to finish a dress and this weekend to start a new one. Wanna see?
That fabric is from Joann's and I scooped it up thinking I'd make me a second Monet dress. I'm just a zipper, a hem and some pink bows away from completion. I'll be sure to share it with y'all here next week. It got me thinking that y'all might wanna get in on this sewing game too. Many of you participated in last year's Apron Sew Along and I thought it might be fun to get the band back together, so to speak. When I spotted this at Joann's I thought it might be just the thing for us to stitch.
 This skirt spoke to me for a coupla reasons:

1. IT HAS POCKETS. Pockets are the answer to all the world's problems, I tell ya. 

2. IT HAS A CUTIE-PAHTOOTIE BELT/SASH/THINGIE. I am a big supporter of a belt. They singe the waist, they make you look all put together, and, personal fave, they are the perfect way to bring the colors of an outfit together. Just scroll thru the rest of this post. I'm wearing a belt EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

3. IT CLAIMS TO BE FOR THE BEGINNER. Welp. I hope so. I'm a forever-beginner sewist. 

I like the variety of lengths, particularly the longer. With all the moving around I do in the art room, I prefer not to flash anyone. Scarring children for life it not my goal, ya know? 

So! Who's in?! For now, all you gotta do is leave a comment here or on my Facebook page. I'll be sharing the details next week. If you wanna get your kitten mittens on that pattern now, you can scoop it up at Joann's. I hope you'll join me! Til then, later cats!
 Yet Another Dork Pose Tuesday: Like, why, y'all? Who knows. Had a lovely night out with a birthday buddy despite the fact that it's currently an inferno here in Nashville. We decided to take our chances and eat outside at Epice. Where we melted. Good thing the food was delish! AND a popsicle from Las Paletas made us feel must less hawt. dress: vintage; cumberbund: gift from a friend; shoes: Clarks; purse: another Enid Collins
 Stripey Wednesday: Oh, how I loves this dress. But, y'all. I cannot breathe, eat, or sit down in the thing, that waist! Such a waste! I'm putting it in my etsy shop this week for someone else to enjoy. dress: vintage; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: Anthro
 Sewing Class Thursday: Did I tell y'all that me and a sweet buddy of mine are taking a sewing class at Craft South? If you aren't familiar, Craft South is this amazing crafting studio and sewing goods store that was recently opened by fabric designer Anna Maria Horner. The class has been so fun and it's taught by sewist and blogger Devon Iott of Miss Make. Devon's been an excellent teacher and I cannot wait to share with y'all what I've made. If you live in the area and have a chance, I recommend you take a class at Craft South! top: Old Navy; belt and skirt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: TJ Maxx
And here's that lil number that I started over a year ago (so I have this habit of cutting out the pattern pieces...and actually getting to the stitching part 12 months later. Sumpin wrong wit dat?) and finally wrapped up this week. I'm excited to sew with y'all on the skirt. Hope you'll join the funness! 

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

DIY: A Dress and Necklace That'll Leave you in Stitches

Well, would ya lookie who detached herself from declutterin' for a solid two hours this mornin' and finished up a dress that was started, um, let's just say a while ago (meaning: I can't even recall when I began this thang!). I'm as happy as can be in this colorful number cuz I just love these two prints together. I so wish I could recall where I scooped 'em up as I snipped off the salvaged edge and threw it away ages ago. I know I've spied the sewing machine fab on so if you're dying to get your kitten mittens on some, that'd be the place to start. 
But, for now, back to the dress! Complete with piddlin' pockets! (or, as I once heard Michael Kors refer to 'em on PR: Pleasure Me Pockets. Y'all. That placement. WHHHHHHHY?! And yet, I stitch 'em in every.single.time.)
This dress pattern and I, we go way back. I think I've made, I dunno, about a dozen variations of this dress! For zample, check here, here, here and some other rando places. I'd list 'em all but I'm lazy. So there.
This dress was also the topic of a great debate ole instagram when I popped it up. I was going back and forth with the idea of a sleeve. Just about every dress I've made is sleeveless and I'm starting to feel like that's a copout. So I thought this one could Be.That.Change. But then everyone was all eeeeeewwww, the sleeves are terrible, they're burning my retinas! (not for realz but there was most def no love for those sleeves, y'all). So I opted to go with el cap-sleeve-o. 
And I totes dig it. Here's a lil belt-less view of the front and the back. That sweet scoop in the back is one of my faves. Even if my long-a##, in-need-of-a-hairs-cut 'do usually covers it up.
A close up. But the real reason I'm sharing this photo is to say: DOESN'T MY HEAD LOOK EXTRAORDINARILY LONG? I look like some sort of freak-show real-life Modigliani! 
Why the loooooooooooooong face, brah?

 Of course no sewing machine dress is complete without a necklace of spools, right?! I've had this small vintage collection of wooden spools in my stash for a while. I glued the loose string in place, painted some wooden beads and strung 'em together on a strand of elastic. It slides right over my big ole Modigliani head like a candy necklace. 
 Cuz it's perfectly reasonable for a lady of my advanced age to be seen out and about in a necklace o' spools, right?! 
Y'all, it felt so good to wrap up the dress and be back in the sewing saddle again. Next up, that sweet thing beside me. What have you been up to this summer?!
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

DIY: My Accidental Blog-Cation

So, guess who took a totes unintentional, completely accidental, thoroughly unforeseen (why yes I have a thesaurus and know how to use it. Was it that obvious, er, conspicuous? Or maybe it was straightforward, self-evident and/or unmistakeable? [side wink to Mr. Thesaurus]) blog-cation?! That's right, this person. Seen below. Lookin' crazy. 
Hiiiiiiiiieeeeeeee! I really didn't mean to ditch all y'all, it just happened. And I don't know if it's gonna keep happening or not. You see, I've been at this bloggin' biz for quite some time with the mostly strict routine of blogging thrice weekly (that's right, I just said "thrice". I'm bringing thrice back, y'all). But since summer started, I've shifted my focus to other thingies. Like cleaning the shizz outta my biz aka decluttering. You know it's fur serious when I've even stepped away from stitching to do this thing right. Because, as things currently stand, my dining room table looks a lil like this: 
I know, riiiiiight? When I popped this picture up on Instagram, my mom called and all she said was "Cassandra.Lane." That's when you know it's bad. Mama's using full first name and middle? Someone is thoroughly disgusted. 
So, I'm a super stuffy person. Meaning, I got tons o' stuffs. I've been collecting vintage since high school and, as you might have guessed, have the worst time parting with it. Especially the clothes. I blame my childhood (that's right, mom!). Can we have a soul-gazing, hand-holding Dr. Phil moment together? Please? You see, I went to Catholic school for a pinch in junior high (no, I'm not Catholic. Yes, I need therapy. I was always so ticked I never got to sample that body of Christ wafer! I always imagined it tasted just like a ranch Dorito) and I wore THE SAME WHITE PETER PAN COLLAR BLOUSE AND PLAID SKIRT for two years. We're talkin' even the weekends. Why? Because my parents totes got a free ticket to not have to buy me any new duds. Did I mention I went thru my growth spurt and that skirt (which at one time had crisp pleats and was threadbare and pleatless on it's deathbed) had me lookin' all Brittany Spears "Baby One More Time."
Okay, maybe I didn't look like that. More like if The Brit had braces, glasses and was about 20 lbs skinnier/gawkier, particularly in the tots, that'd be me. All that to say, I think my clothing-hoarder ways stems from my severe deprivation during my formative years. (muahahaha, mama, you know I'm kidding! Ish! Therapy bill is over due, btw!).
But I just can't bear to part with these lovelies without knowing they'll go to a good vintage-loving home (not to mention, I do love me some side cash). So I've been loading my etsy shop daily and shipping out to the far corners of the earth (Thailand! Australia! Ohio!). For my non-vintage-y goods, I've discovered all of these amazing buy/sell/trade pages on Facebook. It's awesome! You simply snap a photo of your item, list your price and an interested person picks it up and leaves cha-ching under your doormat. Of course, there's always Craig's List, Varage sale, you name it. It's been a motivating means of decluttering, this cash-making biz-natch. And it's made it so I've cleared space to make a studio...
 Eeee! A real live studio space that isn't my dining room table. Not that you can do anything on that dining room table anyway. Ahem. With the cash-ola I made from selling some stuffs, I was able to pick up that lovely 1940s drafting table from Craig's List (which I've renamed Crank-list as I'm currently a total addict). I even scooped up a vintage Luxo lamp and an aluminum bar stool to go with 'em. I can't wait to get to painting! 
 Cuz that lil masterpiece is sadly overdue. I started it ages ago before I lost it under a mountain of clutterness. 
And now that much of the mess is gone, I can enjoyably function in my sewing room. Previously, I always had to sh** shovel before doing anything. Do you do that? I'm constantly sh** shoveling and I'm determined to stop. I stack, move, restack, move's a vicious cycle, y'all! But with these two rooms shipping up nicely, I'm hoping to throw out that shovel! Hold hands and pray with me, will ya?
Part of my (many) probs is that I use up a lot of surface area of my stuff. So I up and decided to hang everything that I could. Buttons, embroidery floss, thread and bobbins. I even have a place to hang the hubs! 
So! All that to say, I do hope my Accidental Blog-Cation is over. I've missed y'all! And sewing, painting and general mess-making. But I'm still on my decluttering mission. If you don't hear from me, y'all, just know that I'm here cleaning. Or buried alive under some rubble of vintage goodness. Regardless, I'll be back! Xo!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

In the Art Room: School-Wide Collaborative Series, Our School has Heart, Part II and A Giveaway!

 Hi, kidz! Welcome to the second installment of postings from my school-wide collaborative series (btw, I've decided "school-wide collaborative" is just too much work for my mouth. Hence forth, it will go by it's abbreviated and funner name: scollab. Pronounced skoal-lab, not school-lab. Cuz art class in a school lab is just bound to end in 'splosions and flames. Which actually sounds super funner-er.) In this here post, Ima share with you one of the happiest scollabs we did this year: Our School has Heart Mural!
If this looks vaguely familiar to you, that's because I blerged about the first phase of this project here. This lovely scollab masterpiece hangs happily in the front office of my school. Previously, the front office was referred to as the DMV for it's warm and welcoming wall color (what is that, Sherwin William's "Institution White"? "Padded Room Gray"? "The Last Color I See Before My Date with the Principal Blue"?). It was mentioned that some art might cheer the place up and that's all it took for my ears to prick up. ART?! Did somebody!
We started this project way back at the start of February so love was in the air. Which explains the smell. I decided that each kiddo was gonna contribute and each grade level would do a little something different. I'll give you the quickie version here but you can visit this post for the full story

The kindergarteners were given a paper heart template to trace in black oil pastel. Then they doodled in warm or cool colors and then proceeded to water color the daylights outta that thing in either warm or cool. 
The first graders were given 3" square pieces of felt in whatever color they liked. Then they traced that same hear template in chalk and painted with tempera. Painting on felt is really rad cuz it gives the piece this almost oil painted appearance. If the kids painted the hear with warm colors, they were to reverse that color scheme for the background. Puffy paint was added because why not?! Puffy paint is the jam.
Second grade town created these pipe cleaner hearts that they yarn bombed and bead attacked. I had the pleasure of hot gluing them to the felt of their choosing. 
Third grade thought that Christmas came early when I showed them how to embroider. Every last one of them enjoyed this so much and was able to complete their stitching (and button sewing!) in one hour long class. 
 Needle felting was introduced to my fourth grade students. We really enjoyed this and only had one bleeder (those needle felting tools are both sharp and serrated, y'all. They ain't for sissies). 
As the students completed their work, I started to lay them out on two pieces of foam core. I happened to have two 3' X 6' pieces of foam core to my name because, well, why not? I originally thought of doing a value gradation but rainbow order ended up looking the best. 
Hot gluing over 400 hearts wasn't exactly my idea of a good time. The upside is I no longer have finger prints and the cops will never find me! Take that, coppers! 
Once all the gluing was complete, I took the two boards to the office and my super awesome bookkeeper buddy and my radical rockstar custodian friend hung them up for all to see. 

Don't miss! I'll be presenting on school-wide collaboratives at the AOE conference this summer
And now, let's talk GIVEAWAY! Last week's winner is Lil! When asked what her fave collaborative project was, she wrote:

This year my third grader class created large, beautiful, textured and patterned frogs. Then each table created their own scene on huge mural paper. There was an outdoor birthday party, with an airplane toting a birthday wish sign. One group made a water theme park setting with a lazy river - one frog was definitely relaxin' on his tube!! Another group made a nail salon - now who doesn't like a good froggie pedi??! Oh my gosh, the kids absolutely loved working together on such a huge creation. Do you think it was because they got to spread out on the floor to paint and cut and create??!!!!

Congrats, Lil! I hope you enjoy the artsy t-shirts!

Now, I know most of y'all are enjoying your summer days. How 'bout you spend some time creating with a good book? To enter this giveaway, just do the following:

* Tell me what dream scollab you would create with your students. A permanent mural? A tile project? I'd love to hear! Maybe if we start dreaming big now, we'll have the energy to make it happen come this fall!

* Leave your email address in your comments so I can contact you.
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Friday, June 5, 2015

DIY: Selling on Etsy, A Vintage Vendor's How To

Well, hey there, long lost friends! Since that big fat hairy art show blog post, I've been to Cali and back and have since continued my never-ending effort of decluttering and tidying (follow that excitement here, y'all!). In case you've not read my blog or spoken with me for more than five minutes, Ima reading this book and cleaning the shizz outta my biz as I've recently discovered that A. I'm a hoarder! and B. I'm a compulsive shopper! and C. I'm the proud owner of 6 deodorants (which I frequently forget to use, ahem), 9 toothbrushes and 13 chapsticks! Why? BECAUSE READ A. AND B., THAT'S WHY. It's funny because I was at the dentist the other day and as the hygienist was taking out her frustrations on my plaque she mentioned how she had read this great book on tidying up. And I was all "Me too!" although, with her hands all up in my grill it sounded more like "Muefeefs Oooooo!", but whateves. We both agreed that the book is indeed a miracle worker and I need to floss more. 

Anyway, what's all this jib-jab got to do with the blog post at hand? Well, I happen to have a lot of vintage clothing and whatnots to my decluttering name. I've been selling these wares in my vintage shop on and off of a couple of years. It's a great way to share my vintage finds as well as rake in some fabric buying cash (shhhhhh, don't tell the hubs). More often than not, I also spend that money on etsy, scooping up great vintage finds and unique artworks. And that's how I met Sharon Hernandez of Sassy Señorita Vintage. I purchased one of my very fave vintage hand-stitched skirts from her and we struck up an vintage-lovin', etsy-sellin friendship. You might recall a couple of months ago, I interviewed a jewelry-making/art-teacherin/etsy-seller Beth Heishman. This time around, I thought you'd enjoy hearing from the perspective of an active and successful vintage seller. Enjoy!
You are the owner of one of my fave vintage shops! Tell us a little bit on how you got started selling vintage items on etsy.

My adventures on Etsy started after I suffered a traumatic physical injury.  It was definitely the worst and best thing that ever happened to me.  The best part of it was that it really brought my life into focus.  I had been working at a soul-sucking job, and after my injury happened, I would just sit at work with the thoughts, "what the bleepity bleep bleep am I doing here?" just racing through my brain all day.  So, I literally walked out of my job with no plan.  Luckily, I learned about Etsy from a friend, and a lightbulb went off – one thing that I knew I was good at was shopping for deals at thrift stores and garage sales!  So, I was able to start up selling pretty quickly and bring in some badly needed income.

Right now, Etsy is my part-time gig, and I am currently in school studying hydrogeology.  Even though I plan to become a professional hydrogeologist, I think I will always be a seller on Etsy.  It really is part of a creative part of my life that I need in order to balance out the more sciency/technical part of my personality.
Having a vintage shop is a tough balance between selling vintage without looking like an online flea market. How do you curate your shop? In other words, how do you know what to sell?

In looking for items to sell, I definitely start off with what would I like or what would I wear.  If I am thrilled by a piece of clothing, I certainly hope someone else might be too.  Otherwise, it has been a bit of a trial and error.  Sometimes, I’ll find an item that I’m unsure of and will try it to see what kind of interest it gets.  I’ve been often really surprised at all the different niches there are out there and what can be really popular.  Of course, I’ll snap up anything unusual….old trapeze circus outfits, Halloween costumes, or antique nurses outfits!

If we promise not to shop in the same places, can you give us a hint as to where you find your awesome finds?

I am really lucky in that, in addition to doing my own shopping, my mother is an estate sale whore, and so she is always out looking for items for me as well.  Besides frequenting garage sales and estate sales, I treasure hunt in local thrift stores, charity gift stores, and even Goodwill.  I would love to take a cross-country trip looking for goodies some day!
Is selling on etsy your full-time gig or do you work elsewhere? Would you like it to be your full-time gig?

Selling on Etsy is requires an amazing amount of multi-tasking!  I’ll typically wake up and answer emails from customers, package items, go to the post office, and then return to the house for mending items and then promoting the store.  The fun days, maybe once or twice a week, are when I get to go shopping or work with my models.  

What's your fave thing about selling on etsy? Do you have a least fave thing?

My favorite things about Etsy are the hunt for amazing things and also interacting with many awesome customers and people.  It’s also great to have a customer just love what you send them.  I really like pushing myself to be more creative with photography and how to put together an outfit so that it looks fashionable.  My least favorite thing is all the garment preparation…the ironing and the mending – I wish I could claim workman’s comp for all the times I have burned  myself with an iron or stabbed myself with a sewing needle (many are haunted, I swear!).

Any advice to someone thinking of selling vintage on etsy?

My advice for people who want to start selling on Etsy is to stick with it and always push yourself to do better.  There is often a big learning curve…from learning to where to take photos and how you want to present things, to figuring out how to label your items so that customers can find your fabulous treasures.  One of the most important things is perseverance, especially when you go through a dry spell!

 Thank you so much for the great chat, Sharon! Y'all, don't forget to drop by Sharon's shop Sassy Señorita Vintage!

If y'all have an etsy shop of any kind, please feel free to add a link in the comments so we can check ya out.

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