Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Art Teacherin 101: Episode 2

Hey, y'all! Thank you so much for your positive response to Art Teacherin' 101 (notice how I've already failed to even remember the name of this series in the title above. Tired brain, much?). I'm excited to share with you my TOP THREE TIPS to art show success: deer mesh and Gaffer's tape, amazing parent volunteers and a day off the day of the art show! Take a listen, I promise it's short and sweet unlike me...
I will share with you two (yes, TWO) blog posts about our show with video tour. It's a big one, y'all! You'll see the 2-D show as well as our 1950's diner with our 3-D food. Until then, here's just a couple of the things mentioned in the clip:

Deer mesh and Gaffer's Tape. Both can be purchased from Amazon. About four rolls were used outside of each classroom. My hope is that the classroom teachers leave the mesh up so that 1. We don't have to rehang and 2. So they can utilize it when it's not Art Show Season. Last year it pretty much got trashed due to the annoying paperclip tangling. I'm confident that this year the clothes pins will prove to be much better. The Gaffer's tape isn't cheap...but it's the one thing that we've found to actually adhere to those annoying painted concrete walls. It's holding the mesh to the wall as well as carrying the weight of the artwork. The parents do a fabulous job of hiding the tape behind artwork. You'll also need to invest in some Blue Dapp that can anchor any fly away corners of art. 
Here's a rather fuzzy view pulled from my instagrammerz. More photos to come...but I did want to give you a sneak peak of first grade. In the clip, I was standing in front of just ONE portion of ONE second grade class. Like I said, we hang everything that every kid has made. It's wall to wall wonderment, y'all! 

I'm so fortunate to have the best administration that not only supports the art program but the art show as well! Having a day to set up clay in my room while the kids are working on other art activities with a sub in another location is super fab. I'd be a hot mess without that extra time to finalize art show displays. 

AND, most importantly, parent volunteers. I have the best...THE BEST...and the art show would not be hung without them. Special thanks to them all with a big hug to Molly, Terri and Donna. Y'all are super stars!

So, what are your fave art show tips? For more, you can visit this blog post of my other Top Ten Tips to Putting Together an Amazing Art Show!

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Monday, May 9, 2016

DIY: A Coloring Book Dress

Factiod: I'm a super awesome starter of stuff. I'm a super miserable finisher of said stuff. 

Don't believe me? Just ask my mama. Every time I chat with her, she'll begin every other sentence with, "Hey, did you ever finish...?", "Whatever happened to that one thingie you started?", "When are you gonna get that whatchamacallit done?!" 
On those rare occasions when I do FINALLY finish a UFO (UnidentiFied Object), to the rest of the world, it looks like I just pulled a project outta thin air. Many folks have asked me how I manage to "get so much accomplished" and have commented that I "must have more hours in the day." Y'all. I'm seriously one of the most slacker-tastic peoples you'll ever know. I just happen to start many a-thing and, randomly, when the wind blows sideways outta my butt, I finish them. 

Case in point: This Coloring Book Dress!
I picked up this fab fabric from IKEA back in October (for $7.99 a yard, foolz!). This is my second dress made from heavy IKEA fabric (check out the first) and I gotta say, I'm totes hooked. Not only are the designs great and the prices right but the fabric...THE simply perf for making a circle skirt. 

But I'm ahead of myself, as usual. Let's back track to the coloring of the fabric:
This year, more than any other, it seems I have kids that finish at different rates. Some that work FOR-EVERNESS on any and everything and others that zip right along. As a slow worker, I always allow those kids who need it all the time in the world (to a fault, perhaps). As for the Zippies, as they're known, if their quality is up to snuff, then I allow them to do some early-finisher activities: blocks, dry erase boards, games, books, painting the occasional mural. Or, in this case, coloring on a giant piece of fabric with fabric markers!
Here are my kindergarten friends deep in conversation and coloring. When I came over to snap a pic, the wee one on the right was explaining to the dude in the middle: "Mrs. Stephens can sew clothes. She's making this into a dress." When this was met with a Nuh-uh! we chatted a pinch about how clothing is made. I showed the kids dress patterns and even took some votes on which pattern I should follow. In the end, I did a mash-up of several patterns, as is my nature. 
By the way, these are the makers we used. They seemed to do well on the coarse fabric and held their color after one good washing. Since the kids had walked all over the fabric, it was in need of a cleaning.
When I got the fabric home and washed it, I sat on it for some time, trying to decide which pattern to use. Like I said, in the end, I decided upon a mashup. Now that I have a plethora of dresses under my sewing belt, I know what I really like to wear: a circle skirt, a cinched waist and BOWS! Anything with bows!
Having just finished my circle skirt at Anna Maria's very own shop Craft South, I felt comfortable using this pattern for the skirt. 
For the bodice, I opted to go the Butterick-route (despite my occasional HATRED for Butterick patterns, ahem) only because, you guessed it, BOWZ. 
If that there pattern looks kinda-sorta familiar, it's because I made this lil number from it last summer (ooooooh, that reminds me. SUMMER is almost here! I am so looking forward to endless days spent in PJ's and sewing projects). 
And, y'all. That cinched waist I mentioned? I've used this trusty vintage Simplicity 8087 more times than I can count!
The rest of the patterns I could toss but I do love that bold waistband. I'm not in love with the skirt or the 1960's fit of the bodice. For this dress, I did shorten that band about an inch because I didn't want to lose the cute castle design. 
I am pretty pleased with this mashup. I even went so far as to line the bodice with that sweet dotted fabric I used at the waist and the bows. I didn't want the coarse IKEA fabric against my delicately soft porcelain doll like skin, y'all. 
I can't wait to wear it to school this week! It's most definitely a twirling number. And y'all better believe I'll be hitting up IKEA for more fabric soon. Until then!

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Saturday, May 7, 2016

What the Art Teacher Wore #161

Hello, Monday. Let's Do This: So much to little time. Story of my procrastinating life, y'all! I ride the struggle bus everyday and wonder, "just how does the other half live?" Oh, the life of an unorganized hawt mess art teacher. The fun NEVER ends. dress and necklace: made by me! here; sweater: thrifted; belt and crinoline: Amazon; shoes: Marshall's

Oh, y'all. Don't let the smile fool you. It's that wild -n- crazy time o' year: Art Show! Thankfully I am backed with The Best parent volunteer reinforcements. These volunteer mamas of mine show up Every.Single.Day. to mat, frame and hang some of the best masterpieces in Tennessee. My fave part...they are NOT procrastinators like myself and the show is actually ahead of schedule! Like, what the whuuuut? I'll be sure to post pics after I regain consciousness from my post art show coma (art show is May 17th. If you are in the 'hood, consider yourself invited). Not only that, but we've had all sorts of other artsy mayhem going down. Because when it rains, it pours. And beautiful colorful rainbows are the result!

In other news, seeing your #WeCanMakeItMay snaps on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram seriously MAKE.MY.DAY! Thank you so stinkin' much for playing along. If you've not joined, jump in now! Follow me here to find out more.
Second grade ceiling tiles are up, thank you to just one of our fabulous custodians, Mr. Scruggs! Lil known fact: Mr. Scruggs is also our in-house DJ. How many of y'all can boast that? I seriously teach at the best school, y'all. More details about our ceiling tile project here
 Tuesday, I Kinda Thought You Were Friday: When you wake up with that feeling, you KNOW it's gonna be a long week! This week actually zipped by...mostly because I just stayed so crazy busy. dress: made by me, here
So our theme for the art show is diner...which is why the kids have made a ton of clay food (if you follow me here, you've seen it all!). When one of my students acted like he was eating his food, I got the idea to snap photos of the kids in The Diner (a mural they have been working on) with their food to use as adverts for the art show. They have had the option of dressing as a customer (themselves), a chef or a server. It's been so fun. I can't wait to share what we've created with their photos!
 Only Clean Spot in the Room Wednesday: Like, seriously. The only reason I took a couple snaps of me standing in random other places is because THE REST OF THE ART ROOM IS TRASHED, Y'ALL. It's all of my own doing. Welllllll, I did have the help of about 400 artists. But, whateves. It's worth it. Although the mess is giving me a bit of an eye-twitch...and I have an exceptionally high tolerance of messes. So that's when you KNOW it's bad! jacket: Gap kids; dress and tights: Target; boots: Frye
 I did manage to escape my art room occasionally to see what the parent volunteers had been up to...look at that first grade display, y'all. It makes my small heart grow ten times it's size with this amazement! Just a lil over a week til the big day. I'll def share all the gory details. In fact, this coming week's Art Teacherin' 101 will be all about who we hang the work on that there deer mesh.
 Paint Splattery Thursday: Because I am COMPLETELY INSANE, I decided that I needed a new ensemble for the art show. AND I decided that the kids should paint it. So I laid down some cold hard cashola for a canvas-esque drop cloth from Walmart (they claimed it was canvas, I beg to differ) and some house paint from Home Depot (BIG shout out to Dave, QT and Ms. Mary for cutting me and my students a great deal for this project. Go to the Home Depot in Franklin, y'all. They are awesome!). For the occasion, I thought I'd wear something which was already pretty painty. This way, when hit with paint-splatter shrapnel, I wouldn't be so sad. dress: painted by moi, here; tights: RIGHT?! Amazon
 Lord. What kind of art-makin' animals have I created?! Notice how I snapped this photo from a VERY safe distance. They had entirely too much fun. Meanwhile, the rest of 'em were in my room "working"...aka going bananaz. It's that time of year! 
Oh, but look at the result. I couldn't resist cutting into the fabric and starting my ensemble this weekend. Looking forward to sharing with y'all soon. 
Friday in the Diner: The kids are nearly finished painting the diner mural...I've had so much fun taking photos of them there! I can't wait to show y'all. I'll be so sad when the art show is over and this comes down. dress: Buffalo Exchange; necklace: Anthro
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 1

Confession: I have been art teacherin' for closing in on 20 years. Yes, I started teaching when I was 12 (insert tongue-out-winkie-face emoji). Despite my vast experience, I still have SO STINKIN' MUCH TO LEARN. I'm reminded of this on the daily. However, because I do have those years under my belt and I have a tendency to overshare on this here blog (as well as YouTube, Facebook, the Twitter and Insta. Guess who is a social media get-about?), it would appear that I kinda/sorta/sometimes know what I'm talking about. So, for that thar reason, I've decided to start vlogging (that'd be video blogging) every Wednesday for a series called Art Teacherin' 101. Here's my first installment!
Each Wednesday, I'll share a short video about something art teacherin' related. Sometimes we'll chat supply orders, clay basics, management tips, you name it. In fact, seriously, YOU tell ME anything you'd like to chat about and we'll do it! You can email me ( or just drop me a line in the comments. Also, if you subscribe to my YouTube channel, you'll never miss a breathtakingly amazing episode (insert eyeroll emoji here). 

In other news, not only am I launching Art Teacherin' 101 but also...#WeCanMakeItMay, a super fun photo challenge going down on Instagramz! Which is INCREDIBLY INSANE as I'm currently putting in 12 hour shifts at school to get this art show happening (and I'm not even hanging the artwork...I have SUPER art mamas for that! I'm just that behind on matting, framing, kiln firing, you name it, I'm buried under it). Anyway, I always find that I get the most ideas and the most motivation when I'm the busiest. Are you the same? If so...join #WeCanMakeItMay!
No instagram? No problem (tho you really should get on Insta, it's my most fave social media platform, y'all. Just pictures, no politics. Me likey). Feel free to share your pics on Twitter and Facebook and take me! I'd love to see your pictures. In fact, here's mine from the last coupla days... 
Day 1: Art Room. Did I mention piles on piles? Well, here they is in all their glory. 
Day 2: COFFEEEEE. Multiple times a day. Mostly cuz I lose my cup under stacks of stuff and have to make a fresh pot. Without coffee, I'd be a puddle on the ground.  
Day 3: Art Hands! I only managed to grab a photo of these two cuties after they'd finished painting their cupcakes and were heading out the door. "Don't you want a baby wipe?" ... "Nah, we like art hands!" Ha, me tooooo.

Can't wait to see you on Insta and hear what y'all think of Art Teacherin' 101!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Sunday, May 1, 2016

In the Art Room: An Art Teacherin' Challenge for the End of the Year!

Okay, y'all. Starting tomorrow, The Countdown to the Bitter End beings! Dunno what art teacherin' land looks like on your side of the universe, but if I were a Bettin' Betty, I'd say that it's just as chuck full o' craziness as mine: stacks of half-finished projects, piles of art show prep, a kiln waiting to be unloaded and reloaded, an over-turned coffee cup, paint spills, lost car keys, a missing cell get the picture. Well, I say that we need not suffer thru this insane time of year alone! Let's attack it together with humor (and adult grape-flavored drink) and more humor! To do that, might I suggest a wee Photo-a-Day Challenge that I've dubbed #WeCanMakeItMay.

One of my fave bloggers and instagramers Art Teachers Hate Glitter did an art teacherin' photo challenge back in March which I had so wanted to participate in. However, my fugly To Do List made that impossible. Here's to hoping I can stick with THIS challenge!

So here's how this works: each day o' May, snap a photo. Tomorrow, being May 1st and all, we'll start with numero uno. Take a picture of your art room (or wherever you work, I don't wanna exclude any of y'all!), pop it up on instagram, use the hashtag #WeCanMakeItMay and be sure to tag me (as well as all your friends, the more the merrier!). Let's share this journey to the end together and have fun while doing it!
I'll have you know that this is EXACTLY what my face looks like every morning I walk into my art room. That's me just looking at all the messes, stacks and piles. I don't plan on sugar coating it for y'all. If you follow me and ride along for this journey, you're sure to see some of the hawt-est, stankiest messes in town. Almost immediately after dropping my bag and chugging my coffee, I go into full blown hustle mode:
 If I only had an Ethel, I'd get so much more done! 

Now, I just did a look-see and, despite the recent occurrence of undesirable behaviors in my art room that leave me making this face:
there's not to be another full moon until the end of the month! I coulda swore we'd been experiencing a full moon of the last coupla weeks but turns out I was wrong. For once.

I have been writing down the random silliness that has been taking place from kindergarteners eating clay (WHHHHY) to another passing so much gas I coulda swore an elephant was in the room. Like, a BIG elephant. Who just ate five pails of beans. Anyway. Share those silly stories with your photos, y'all! We could all use the laughs. After all, it's just a matter of time before we do this...
And wake up at 10am every morning only to stay in our pj's everyday and do this...
Can't wait to make it to the end with some of my favorite people! And, dudes, don't worry if you miss a day, just pick up the following. I'd be willing to put money on it that I'll totes miss a day or five. Looking forward to seeing your snaps of the countdown cuz...#WeCanMakeItMay!

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png