Friday, December 21, 2012

I "mustache" you...

My husband is in a wedding this weekend and the groom is one of his softball buddies. 
Needless to say, there is a lot of goofing around with this group. 
... elaborate Christmas costumes are being worn to the rehearsal dinner

The best man asked me to make mustache tie tacks and I thought I could give a try.
I used oven bake clay, finger nail polish and tie tack pins from Hobby Lobby.  
I think they turned out pretty alright.  
All my kiddo's at school sure wanted them.
my scarf was as close to a tie as I could get!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Celebrating Creativity ... Chuck Close Style

As I mentioned in this earlier post  the Celebrating Creativity students were able to see one of Chuck Close's amazing portraits at the Joslyn.  Therefore he was the focus of this months celebrating creativity.

We started by watching this video of him reading "a letter to my 11 year old self."  It is REALLY GOOD stuff!

With only 40 minutes to have "class" we couldn't do a whole painting so we logged onto the computers and did "Chuck Close Inspired Self Portraits" using Picasa.   Each student had to hand in one plain portrait, one pixelated portrait and two of their choosing.  They turned out AWESOME!  Here is a sampling....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Yesterday was a CRAZY day of end of the quarter work being finished, projects being handed back, missing work being reviewed, tracking down sick kiddos and starting with week "Monday Goodies" but in the midst of it all we made magic...

The kids LOVED the oil resist snowflakes.  It was super hard to keep them on task when there was always someone dunking their snowflake.  It was music to my ears to hear them "ooooohhh" and "aaahhhh" as they removed them from the black paint.
Then to finish them with glitter was almost more than they could handle.  
Day One's Creations
I don't usually allow student to make up clay but with so many of these going home as gifts, I made 25 extra "discs" for those students who were sick .  It really meant a lot to them that they didn't have to miss out entirely.... and they turned out pretty neat also!
(My lesson learned was to wear gloves while dipping them.  I had a hospital board meeting last night and had to attend with black all around my fingernails... ewwww!)

and speaking of "Monday Goodies."  Check out this adorable goody from one of my 5th graders

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sugar Cookies?



Before Mr. Koehn  left to graduate he started the 6th graders on a clay project (he had a passion for sculpture) that had them creating clay snowflakes.  I have never tackled a project like this and wasn't sure if we could make them more than a "cute seasonal project."  But I think we have that covered. 

On a side note, we did a few things during this lesson that helped make it all run a little smoother...

#1 We all have those students who finish early and have "nothing" to do (even though you have a file of projects they could work on).  This project had a lot of "left overs" that they were happy to wedge for me.

#2 Clean up can be a bit tedious.  I made the requirement that they give me a "ticket" on the way out the door.  Some classes were required to bring a piece of clay from the floor.  Some classes were required to bring me a specific number of papers.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Life is always happening around us and we often are so wrapped up in what WE are doing that forget about the other people in this world living their lives also... then something happens that stops us in our tracks.  It makes us re-focus on the truly important things.

My heart aches for the families who lost a child in the Sandy Hook Tragedy, their lives will never be the same.  My heart aches for the students, teachers and community who will forever be changed.  My heart aches for the people who will take this tragedy and try to make it a political talking point. 

As teachers we run through drills and we hope we never need that training.  However, we are entrusted by parents to take care of their precious children for a large part of the day.  It doesn't surprise me to hear of the teachers who died protecting "their children" and it breaks my heart that some of them won't get to go home to their own children.  

I pray that we not get so caught up in our lives that we quickly forget about this community.  I pray that we take some time to really appreciate those around us.  I pray that we say thank you to the people who keep us safe.  And I pray that we, as teachers, help each of our students find their sense of worth in the world.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012


One day last week Mr. Koehn needed a quick lesson for one class that was getting a "bonus" day.  He found this fun idea at Art with Mr. Hall and ran with it.

Students looked at refracted images
photo credit
He then had them sketch out an "nature themed" image.  On their watercolor paper they drew 2 diagonal lines.  They then lightly drew out their image.  They had to erase the "middle" section and "move it over."  When they had the image drawn out, they used crayola water based markers to "trace the outlines."  When they were done adding the color and details they painted the images with water to make the marker color "run."  Here are the finished images... 

I think worms and leaves won out as favorite subject matter!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sorry iPad, you loose out....

So I have been saving my money artsonia money to buy an iPad for the art room but today changed that.

Last year when we finished our slab projects I said, " I am never again doing that without a slab roller."  Well time helps heal all wounds so I forgot about that statement... until today.  I am 150 slabs into a 300 slab project and my wrists, elbows and hands all are aching.
So what does anyone have to recommend for a slab roller?  

I don't have an unlimited budget (want to keep it under $350 if possible) but want to buy something quality that will work well and last.  I don't have a ton of room to store it but wonder if the table top versions are "user friendly?"  

I would really appreciate any feedback from anyone out there.....

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Too Funny not to share...

Last week we only saw one of our classes.  Tyson (Mr.  Koehn)  had the kiddo's make snow globes 
             (I don't know where to give credit as it is his lesson but I know he got the idea from somewhere online).  

Today I was looking through them and thought some were just too cute not to share.
watch out for falling Santa!

Love that "his company" made this one...

while this one was "Made in China." 

Notice that the snowman is holding a snow globe.

Have a great middle of the week !

Monday, December 3, 2012

reason #124 that I love art blogs...

A while back (during our pumpkin project) I had a sub who majorly flubbed the assignment.  She didn't read the instructions carefully and just searched YouTube for a video instead of showing the kids the video I had made.  Needless to say, that project was one they "took home to finish" real quick and I had them restart our gesture drawing - medium practice project.  However, that left the class with less work time than anyone else so...


In my Google reader I star, group and keep track of art posts that inspire me. It is much like my old file folder/bookcase/file cabinet system but much easier to search.  I knew I had seen a cool post about using candy corn but couldn't remember where.  Thanks to Google Reader, I just typed in "candy corn" and a whole list came up.  Of course Shine Brite Zamorano's Post was right at the top.  A quick click and I had my inspiration ready to go.

Here are some of the finished images...
check out the rest at

So once again, thank you to all the bloggers out there sharing their ideas...