Tuesday, April 12, 2016

In the Art Room: Art Scouts, Update!

Hello, art teacherin' friends! Thank you SO MUCH for all the Art Scouts love, y'all. We are beyond thrilled that so many of you have signed on to be a Scout that our Tennessee camp is officially SOLD OUT! Because we wanted to share the Scoutin' love, we decided to open up a second Art Scouts Camp in Laura and Ginger's home state of Ohio! Here's more...
That's right. I'm giving Leo a run for that Oscar with my emotional performance, y'all. 
Because of how quickly Scout spots filled in Tennessee, if you are interested in our Ohio camp, might I recommend you act fast. Both camps will be the same, just different scenery. Registering is easy but if you are a visual person like me, you might appreciate this lil step-by-step-to-register process...
We have been having so much fun putting together our badge-earnin' activities for y'all! If you are as excited as we are, you might wanna take a look-see at what our Camp will entail:
So, we hope to see y'all Scouts real soon!
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Sunday, April 10, 2016

What the Art Teacher Wore #159

 Tuesday Because I Forgot to Snap a Pic on Monday: Sorry, y'all. This here blog post only features the four outta my five day work week. I've slipped into the habit of forgetting to take pictures until the end of the day when 1. I look haggard (and by "haggard" I mean not that far from looking like Merle Haggard) and 2. I've already changed outta my dressy duds into my workout ware. So, long, uninteresting story short, I missed Monday. Aren't you glad I 'splained all that to you? scarf, sweater and top: vintage; skirt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: Anthro

Hello, besties! I hope y'all had a fan-fabulous week and are ready for more! I know I'm not alone when I say that this time of year is BANANAZ. 
(Okay, seriously? I could watch this for the next five hours and not get bored). And I don't like that feeling of everything being bananas. In fact, I dislike bananas ALMOST as much as this guy...
I mean, how do y'all deal with stress? Personally, I know when I'm getting myself in too deep when my eyes start twitching. I'm a naturally lazy person who likes to do things in her own time (read: NEVER) so having things pile up on my To Do list kinda wears me out. To prevent myself from becoming overwhelmed, I like to have certain sayings on a constant loop run thru my head: One Day at a Time; Easy Does It; When Eating an Elephant, Take One Bite at a Time...
Dude! I was kidding! I'm not gonna eat you, I'm a vegetarian. Although I might chase you for those sweet converse!

So, what stress-relieveing tips and tricks do y'all have? I'd be welcome to some. Mostly cuz I'm having the darnest time Sharpie-ing my newly sprouted gray hairs with a twitchy eye. 

Until next time, kids!
 June Cleaver Wednesday: When I recently found this vintage dotted number at Buffalo Exchange, I knew I had to have it. I felt like a cross between Lucille Ball and June Cleaver all day long. Prolly not the wisest thing to wear vintage on a painting, sculpting, and weaving day but when has that ever stopped me before?! brooch, scarf, dress: vintage; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: Dolls by Nina
 Artsy Thursday: One of my lil kindergarten students came in with the most amazing outfit: a splatter painted jean jacket with the words ARTIST stitched across the back. Y'all better believe I checked the label on her jacket to see where it was made: Gap Kids. They make an XXL, y'all. If you don't think I ordered one over my lunch break than you just don't know me by now. top: Forever21; art supply skirt: vintage, etsy; belt: Amazon
Fri-YAY, y'all! Knowing that I'd be spending my day prepping for CLAY WEEK, I wore my fave flats: those hawt pink Minnetonkas. I can't wait for the kids to get elbow's deep in clay next week. I'm so excited about their projects, can't wait to share! skirt and shirt: made by me, more here; spool necklace: made by me, more here

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

In the Art Room: Embroidery with Third Grade

When I was a kid, I spent two weeks of my summer in rural Indiana with my two grandma's. One grandma had a pool, my aunt and cousins and a freezer stocked with enough White Castle burgers to last a lifetime (my record for those wee burgers was 5 in one sitting. You better believe I was proud). The other grandma had no A.C. or no kids to play with and pretty much only hot dogs to eat (she liked to eat them cold {insert dry heaves}). Now all y'all might assume I dug stayin' at Pool Grandma's house better and, well, I'm not gonna lie, you'd be right. However, the one thing that Cold Hot Grandma (Grandma Rosie, that is) and over Pool Grandma (Grandma Marilyn) was that she was super crafty and loved to teach me. One summer, she taught me how to embroider and it was just about the best thing ever. 
With that memory, I thought I'd share embroidery with my third graders. Last year, they created these little embroidered hearts for our mural. This year, with my new third graders, I thought I'd give them the opportunity to really explore embroidery. Here, lemme talk you thru it since I'm super good at jibber-jabberin'.

Now, I'm sharing with y'all their unfinished pieces as many still have embroidery they want to do. I truly am having a hard time stopping them, they love it so! Not gonna lie, some kids have decided to move on. For them, I'm going to offer some puffy paint as an alternative to stitching more designs. Once complete, these bad boys will be framed and embellished with a metal tooled frame. I'll be sure to keep y'all posted. 
Here's the video I shared with the kids. Having a video for something like stitching is great because you can replay it for those that missed the directions the first time. 
Like I said in the video, we used stencils to create our initial design and stitched that the first day. From there, the kids were able to use chalk to add more details to their design like little fish, bubbles and stars as seen above. 
Many kids used hoops but some preferred to just go it without. I wanted them to have the experience and learn how to use the hoops. 
I found the colorful burlap at Joann's. Tapestry needles are the best way to go. You can score a dozen of the metal ones through any of your art supply catalogs.
As you can see, sharks and dolphins were the most popular stitched creatures. Having a ton of choices made it so every child found something of interest. We also had turtles, toucans, crocodiles, tropical fish, lizards, frogs and parrots.
 It made me so happy when kids wanted to learn another stitch. I have a giant embroidery sampler in my room that I made years ago that have satin, running, flower and star stitches that serve as inspiration. 
 Love those flower stitches!
Love this toucan with the satin stitched beak.
"Look! My lizard is a Love Lizard!" This was after we all agreed it looked as though it'd fallen in love. 
Not gonna lie, this has been a long project...but one that the kids have enjoyed. I hope they have happy memories of stitching one day as I did with my Grandma Rosie. If not, then they can go eat a cold hot dog (juuuuuuust kidding)! What are some of y'all's fave embroidery projects for kids? For more fiber arts art class fun, go here
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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

In the Art Room: Exciting News!

Tennessee Art Scouts is SOLD OUT!
Ohio Art Scouts still available, go here to register!

Exciting news, all y'all art teacherin' types! Me and fellow art teacherin' troop leaders Laura Lohmann, Ginger Pacer and Jennifer Alvarado are calling YOU to join Art Scouts! Listen here and learn more...
Are you as excited as we are?! Just imagine: two days packed with enough clay projects, painting lessons, printmaking activities and sewing -n- weaving fun to set your art curriculum for the entire school year. All projects will be geared toward those who teach kindergarten through eighth grade art. Our theme for this two day adventure will be nature which will tie perfectly in with science, social studies and math (that's right, y'all. We're gonna get all kinds of STEAM-y!).
So, how do you sign up? Simply contact me and let me know you are interested (and if you have any questions) at cassieart75@gmail.com. Unfortunately, we can only host 50 of y'all  scouts, so lemme know as soon as you can. Now let's chat about those art teacherin' badges you'll earn...
When I was a kid, summers were my time to explore all things fiber-artsy. At church camps, I learned to weave; at my grandma's house, I learned to embroider and at vacation bible school, I stitched the ugliest pillow that I was so stinkin' proud of. Kids simply love fiber arts but it's often a lost art in the art room. Let's bring it back by introducing our young artists to the math, science and social studies behind weaving, stitching, embroidery and more! If you're new to sharing this art with your students, have no fear. With this intense two day camp, you'll definitely earn your fiber artsyin' badge as well as the confidence to share with your students. 
Truth or Dare Time...TRUTH: I once completely melted down a kiln. I remember it like it was yesterday: having never taken a ceramics class in college, it was just expected that I'd know how to operate this super expensive piece of machinery. After a coworker quickly showed me how to turn it on, I left for the day...only to return to find that all the pieces in the kiln had melted. It looked like a kiln full of melted marshmallows! I had never had a panic attack until that day (I immediately lost sight in one eye...and then my lunch). My incident cost the school a pretty penny and made me realize how little we actually know about what it is we are supposed to be experts on.

All THAT to say, twenty art teacherin' years later, me and my troop leaders know plenty-a-thang about teaching all things clay! We'll walk you thru some awesome clay projects that scaffold on student learning. No kiln? No problem! These projects will be centered around both kiln-fired and air-dry clays. Not to mention some unique alternatives to glazing. And, I promise, the only marshmallows you'll see will be the kind you can eat!
Okay, not sure if you know this or not, but Laura Lohmann is thee painting guru in our troop. I have been a huge fan and follower of her blog for years. It wasn't until meeting and getting to know her last summer at a week long arts camp that I discovered what an amazing art educator she is! You'll learn all of her incredible painted paper tips and tricks that can be applied to your art teacherin' lesson plans.
Don't let the image fool you: we're gonna take printmaking beyond the brayer, y'all. Get ready to discover unique and unusual methods of printmaking (marker prints! gelatin printing! collagraphs! foam carving!) and learn how to manage the mess without losing your mind. Printmaking is a magical experience that all of your students will love. 

Now, let's meet those troop leaders!
Laura Lohmann of Painted Paper in the Art Room is an awesome art teacherin' super star. I was a huge fan of hers before even meeting her because her projects always left me shaking my head and waving clenched fists at the sky thinking, "How are her kids creating such magnificent masterpieces?!" Well, y'all are gonna get a front row, badge-earning seat to find out just how she does it. You'll be amazed at how ingenious and easy her teaching technique is!
If you just pop on over to Ginger Pacer's blog Paintbrush Rocket and watch some of the bird's-eye view videos of her kids creating, you'll be sold on what an art teacherin' super star she is. I am always amazed at the creative projects Ginger dreams up from huge murals painted to sweet woven pouches, she covers it all! Not to mention, her mama was an art teacher so she comes from good art teacherin' stock, y'all!
Art teacher and instagram'er Jennifer Alvarado is one of the most warm and happy people I know and it shows in everything she teaches. I am always in awe of the bright and colorful pieces her students create that cover the walls of her school. Jennifer is one of those people who has a genuine love for both her "kiddos" and their art education. You'll be inspired by her energy and enthusiasm...I know I always am!
So! Do you have what it takes to be an Art Scout? Are you ready to earn your art teacherin' badges? Trust me, it's going to be a wild, crazy and amazing two days of creating of mess and memory making. If you're up for the challenge, just shoot me an email to reserve your spot! 

See you real soon, Scouts!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

What the Art Teacher Wore #158

What's a "Monday"?: I've not been to school or seen the likes of a Monday in almost two weeks due to some art teacher conventionin  and spring breakerin . It was hard gettin' my Monday-on but with the help of my new most favorite sweater in the world, I did aight. head scarf, blouse and skirt: thrifted; sweater: Buffalo Exchange; belt: Amazon; tights: Target; boots: Anthropologie

I'm not even gonna sugar coat it for y'all: This was the best/worst week I've seen in a long time. I sprouted more gray hairs and counted down to summer/retirement more times than I'm proud to admit. But the happy highlights like an amazing visiting artist and a happy write-up in the Tennessean balanced out the cray. Thank goodness. Cuz it turns out I got a whole lotta years before I can start slingin' back the Metamucil and hangin' in my pj's all day (which is how I plan to spend my retirement. Don't judge). 
Let's talk about the good stuff, shall we? A coupla weeks ago, our local newspaper, The Tennessean sent photographer Shelley Mays and reporter Melanie Balakit to my art room to snap some pics and do some interviewing. Melanie and I chatted at length about my love for creating artist-inspired clothing that I wear in my art room. You can read the article here. Shelley even came to my house and visited my sewing room (pictured above) which was so fun AND meant that I spent a good part of my Saturday frantically cleaning my otherwise disturbingly messy abode before she arrived. It was such a wonderful opportunity to chat and share what I love. Special thanks to Shelley, Melanie and The Tennessean for making me look and sound less crazy than I truly am! 
 Murphy's Law Tuesday: Y'all. If it was gonna go wrong, it most certainly did on this day.  Between an assembly, a fire drill and a visit from the Fire Marshall herself, the day pretty much imploded after the first bell. I just kept applying more red lipstick and attempted to smile thru the trauma. In other news, CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW FREAKISHLY PERFECT MY ART TEACHERIN' DRESS IS?! sweater and scarf: thrifted; dress: vintage, etsy; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; tights: Targs; shoes: Fluevog 
Wednesday, Whatever: After Tuesday, I was all, it can't get ANY worse. Brang it, Wednesday. sweater and headscarf: Anthro, thrifted; skirt: Anthro, not-thrifted; belt: Amazon; tights: ya know, Targs; shoes: aren't they the best thing everz? Aldo
 Thursday, I Always Did Like You: As a kid, Thursdays were always my fave because that's when the Cosby Show aired. Not gonna lie: highlight of that show was seeing what wild outfit Lisa Bonet (aka Denise) would be wearing. She was always my fave. splatter paint dress: made by me! DIY here; sweater: thrifted; shoes: Clarks; palette hair clip: DIY here
 A big part of what made my Thursday awesome was a visit from artist Richard Heinsohn! He's an abstract artist from Nashville who had plenty to share with a third grade class. The absolutely loved him! I mean, check out these smiles...
 After learning about Richard's style of abstract painting, the kids got a taste of their own. I can't wait to share with you what they created. This is the second time my artists have had the chance to learn from a local contemporary artist and I'm so happy that they've had the opportunity. I can tell it's going to have a lasting impact. 
Fri-YAY: Thank goodness. I love my Fridays as they allow me to really catch up. I've started sorting, stacking and framing student work for our GIANT annual art show which is gonna go down in a lil over a month. Routine panic attacks have already set it. Awesome! pencil dress: made by me, DIY here; pencil sweater: needle felted, more here; giant pencil: made by fourth grade, blog post to come!

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

In the Art Room: Springtime with van Gogh and Charley Harper

So here, in middle Tennessee, we pretty much decided to do winter for about 10 days and move straight on to spring. It's been a mix of rainy, muggy and/or sunny (sometimes all in one day!) every since! For that reason, the first graders and I decided to create these Vincent van Gogh/Charley Harper mash-ups!
Now, I'm sharing this lesson with you in it's in-between/van Gogh-y stage. We started it right before I was absent for several days and then we promptly entered into Spring Break-ville. For that reason, my firsties are actually finishing their Everybody is a Star project. Once that's complete (fingers crossed that we wrap it up this week!), we'll start the Charley Harper portion of the project. 

Ah, van Gogh. It was fun sharing with the kids that I'd seen his work in Chicago while at NAEA. I left out the part about the exhibit being so crazy busy that all I truly saw were the backs of people's heads. If you are like me, you have a coupla fave van Gogh paintings that aren't The Starry Night. Personally, this Almond Blossom painting is one of mine.
You can see the influence of my good friend and fabulous art teacher Laura Lohmann in this lesson what with the painted paper and textures. She's the best! 

Here's a list of supplies we used:

* 12" X 18" paper. We recycled our messy mats but you can use construction paper for added color.
* Paint. Because I see my kids for 30 minutes, I premixed the tints of blue. 
* Brushes, texture combs.
* Sponges or paint brushes for cloud texture.
* 1" X 2" pieces of cardboard for printing.
* Scrap paper for collage.
* Scissors.
* Glue
I created a video that introduces my students both to van Gogh and Harper as well as walks them thru the process. Feel free to use it! I've been creating weekly lessons here so all y'all should subscribe. Like, now. 
Because I see these kids for 30 minutes, I break stuff down into bite sizes for them. On the first day, we were able to get about this far.
Love all of the colors in this one!
The following day, we learned more about van Gogh and printed tree branches!
We did wait a day before printing out flowers and leaves. I thought they'd smear with the brown paint. 
Now, we totes coulda stopped here. But I have a sweet college student who comes to my room every Monday. She said, "Have you seen the Portlandia skit 'Put a Bird on It?' I think they should!"
We put birds on things!
This idea lead me to the artist Charley Harper. If y'all have not been to the Charley Harper website, you need to check it out. I can't wait to share the animated version of his work as well as the studio tour he gives Todd Oldham. I also plan to play this live bird feed from Animal Planet while the kids work. 

Funny/tragic story about Charley Harper: a frame shop was going out of business about 15 years ago and gave me a TON of stuff. Among that stuff, three Charley Harper prints. At the time, I had no idea who he was but I loved the prints. Because two were duplicates...I GAVE ONE AWAY TO A FRIEND (I knoooooow). Wait, it gets better. Then I CUT THE BORDER OFF ONE TO FIT IT INTO A FRAME (TRUST ME, I KNOOOOOOOOW). His prints are worth big bucks. Pretty sure his chopped into ones aren't worth squat. Now I can't even hang them in my house because every time the hubs walks past them he says, "Aren't these the prints that are worth a lot of money? Which one did you cut up again?" UGH. These are the things that happen when you are an idiot. Moral of story: Don't be an idiot. Now, let's move along, shall we?
Grace, the sweet college student, started collaging birds inspired by Harper. This here is a teacher sample. Cuz, if you were paying attention, you'd know my firsties haven't gotten this far yet. 
And here's the one I create in the video. I'll be sure to share with you the kids' creations as y'all know they will come up with so much awesomeness. If you decide to do this lesson as well, I'd love to see! Be sure to tag me here on Twitter or there on Instagram so I can check it out. 

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