Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Jim Dine Warm/Cool Color Printed Heart!

I need a project that is big, energetic, colorful and fun for my students right now. They have the wiggles big time and I think that lack of recess due to the weather is playing a big part. So I thought we'd use up some of our paint in our trays, use some of this large yellow construction paper I had in my closet and go crazy with some printing and painting. Here's the video lesson, if you are interested!

Have fun!

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Sunday, January 30, 2022

Taking my Creative Vitamins

Here lately I've been in a bit of a creative funk and I've not felt excited or interested in pursuing my usual creative outlets. I love to sew funky clothing to wear and have an endless amount of projects in various stages in my sewing room but each time I go in there, I just look around and feel...exhausted. Is it that time of the year? Although, if I'm being honest, this feeling of disinterest has been going on for a while (gee, I wonder why) and it's starting to affect my teaching as well. Yep, I just said that out loud. 

I know it's not a good place to be so I'm trying to do something about it. I learned a long time ago that beating myself up and shaming myself about things just doesn't work. It only makes me feel worse. So instead of feeling badly about not sewing, I decided to dry something totally different: painting. 
I got out an old round frame found at the thrift store from my stash as well as some blank cards. I painted a dotted and flowery design on the frame just for fun...but then I had a lot of paint left over on my palette. So I kinda went nuts and started painting and printing on the cards. I got really excited about all of the colors and textures I created. Then I set up a little still life and drew and painted it on one of the cards. 
I thought I'd just start creating one painting an evening before bed. I've been keeping them quick so I enjoy the process but...some of them I've slowed down and taken my time on. 
I've been sharing the process on both TikTok and Instagram but got some requests for a longer video of the process. I also had someone mention wanting to share a video with her high school students. So I hope the one I created helps. For me, the key has been just enjoying the process, keeping the paintings small so I can do them in one sitting, using colors I like and creating a simple still life. 

I have a lot of random things from the thrift store that have been fun to paint. 
I'm not gonna say I feel so much better now or that I'm cured of my funk...I'm not. But at least I can say that I did at least one thing I'm proud of at the end of the day. Taking the time to create is something we creative types must do. Sharing my quick videos seems to have gotten some other folks creating too and that makes me so happy. 

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Pegboard in the Art Room

To know me is to know my love of pegboard. It's a big part of the teacher cart I designed with Prang. It played a huge role in making my sewing room more organized. And it helps keep my painting supplies organized in my crafting space. I would cover the world in pegboard if I had my way. 

Last fall, my instructional space was relocated. The area you see above was my teaching space for many years as that's where maintenance decided to place my television which I use with my document cam. I never understood the location: it was close to my entranceway; it was a small space and it was far away from the view of my students if there were at their desks.

Because that space was too small for children to sit with one another due to social distancing, I requested my TV be relocated to a more centralized spot in the art room. It feels SO MUCH better to have it there (like, it makes so much sense, you can see it here). However, this once-beloved area soon became forgotten and, well, sad. So, over the summer I asked my dad, who was visiting from out of town, to help me hang some pegboard.

It was easy! We had to purchase concrete drill bits and screws and I say it was easy cuz he did it all. We only bought three pegboards but I decided I wanted the whole space covered. So I bought more and my custodial friend Mr. Joe hung the rest.

And then it sat blank and unused for the start of the school year. 

In October, I finally figured out what I wanted to do with it: make it a black and white doodle drawing! I have A LOT of rainbow action in my art room but I like to balance it with black and white. So I used my handy dandy bingo dauber and went to town. Here's the video:
I work on things VERY SLOWLY meaning that I'll do a little here, there, take a massive month-long break...and then finish it off. That's kinda my thing. 

On Amazon you can create your own neon signs, did you know that? It was a splurge but I spend more time in my art room than I do my actual I figured, why not? I love it. Yellow is my fave color and it really seemed to pop. The photos do not do it justice!
So...what's gonna go on the pegboard? Aprons for sure. Dustpans for messes. And everyday supplies that my "store" (the large table where kids go to collect supplies) can't hold like Sharpies, pencils, etc. Not sure! I'll be certain to keep you posted. Thanks for letting me share!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Simple, Small and Fast Stitching Project for Kids!

Last week, my fourth graders were wrapping up their pillow sewing project (we were doing the Faux Shibori project that you can find in my book Stitch and String Lab for Kids). I discovered that with my HUGE cookie cutter collection, I could give my students the opportunity to continue sewing if they wished. All you need for this project are the following:

*Cookie Cutters
*Chenille Needles (they are my favorite as they have a sharp point and a large eye)
*Stuffing or shredded paper or grocery bags for stuffing

My students were able to create these in my 30 minute art classes, if you can believe it! This is after their previous sewing project so by now, they are experts. If you want to make your own, I created a video for you! Here you go:

And if you are new to sewing and wish for a slower tutorial, here you go:

Please be sure and subscribe to my YouTube channel as I upload videos frequently. Have fun! 

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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Let's Weave a House!

Let's weave some cute little houses! Here is a project I'm currently doing with my second grade students and they are loving. I will say, I have VERY small second grade classes that make helping these new weavers easy. If I had larger classes with little weaving experience, this would be perfect for fourth grade. But my second graders have been weaving since first and had experience with this lesson

Supplies we used:

* 6" X 7" cardboard
* 72" warping yarn (easy! Hold the end of the yarn between your fingers. Wrap from your fingers around your elbow three times and BOOM! you have the right, watch this:
* Yarn monsters for weaving
* 6" Plastic needles
* Small folded paper for a 'hotdog bun' 

Here is a wee video that I created for my students and YOU! My apologies for the audio about half way through. I'll try to fix but until then...feel free to share in your art teacherin' world:
I can't wait to share with you my students' finished weavings. Until then, have fun! If you need more weaving ideas, try searching my playlist titled Fibers on my YouTube channel. Have fun! 

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