Showing posts with label art class. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art class. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Exciting News: Free Felting Workshop!

I have EXCITING NEWS!

I have been working with Sue Bunch of Back to Back Fiber Products for the last couple of weeks dreaming, plotting and planning a free online felting workshop

Like, what?!

That's right! It all started during one of my Wednesday night Facebook LIVE chats. I host one each Wednesday evening at 8pm CST. We cover all sorts of art teacherin' topics which are archived on my page. One evening we were chatting about Teacher Burnout and I mentioned that one way I combat burnout is by hosting craft nights at my home. I don't do it as often as I would like because, honestly, when the weekend hits I usually spend the following 48 hours in pajamas binge watching RuPaul's Drag Race and making big messes. This lead to following the idea: what if we spent the month of April, during my Facebook LIVE chats enjoying a craft night? We wouldn't have to leave our house, we could spend time with folks who get us (art teachers!) and we could learn a new craft while creating something beautiful and fun. What could be a more perfect evening than that?
So, how can you join the fun?

1. Start by "liking" my Facebook page. This is how you can stay posted and join the chats. If you've never joined a FB chat, it's quite simple. If you've liked my page then at the time when I'm LIVE, I will pop up in your feed. Don't see me? Then hop on over to my page. If you happen to miss the chat, NO WORRIES! All my chats are archived on my page. I'll also be archiving them on my YouTube channel. So you can join the craft night live or think of my page as an after pass. 

2. Purchase the supplies for the workshop. Sue and I have been working very closely to put together a kit which will proved all the supplies needed for our month-long felted workshop series. She's been super kind to keep the price economical and offer free shipping to those in the continental USA. If you are outside of the US, please contact Sue for shipping information. 

You don't have to purchase the kit to join the fun! If you already have the supplies, you don't have to purchase the kit. I'm teaching this class for free because I LOVE needle felting and craft nights. This is not a money making venture for Sue or me. We are doing this because we love felting so much and want more folks to explore this craft. So don't feel obligated to purchase. Just be sure to join the fun!

Here's a peak of what is inside each kit:
What does each kit include? All of the supplies you would need for the month of April's free felting workshops. Each Wednesday evening, for the month of April, I will be introducing you to a new felting technique. Here's a peak at our fibers schedule:

Wednesday, April 5th: Learn to Needle Felt
To kick off our craft nights, I'll share with you how to needle felt! Included in the kit, Sue has provided a little list of supplies you'll need for each session. I'll provide a more detailed description of what we'll be making right here in blog post form as we get closer to the date. Essentially,  I want to share with you the basics of this craft so that you'll feel comfortable creating whatever you like! All projects will be very open ended so that you can explore what interests you. 

Wednesday, April 12th: Intro to Wet Felting
While needle felting is one of my favorite crafts, sharing needles (ahem) with your students in the classroom might give you the shakes. Wet felting however is PERFECT for kiddos of all ages and it's super fun to explore. I'll be sharing a couple of my fave wet felting techniques on this evening.

Wednesday, April 19th: Sculpting with Fiber
Felted sculptures are so much fun! This is an area that I really want to explore more as well. I'll share ways to create basic sculptures with an armature and both wet and dry felting techniques. 

Wednesday, April 26th: Felting in Fashion
Y'all come prepared to create something fashionable! We'll be creating that wee palette hair clip I love so much and felting old sweaters into masterpieces. I'm super excited about this one. 
Are you excited yet? I know I am!

Join the chat right here tonight. If you have ANY questions, either leave them in the comments or throw them my way this evening. I plan to do an unboxing of Sue's kit so you can see what you'd be receiving. 

Interested in ordering a kit? Pop on over here! If you have any questions for Sue, feel free to reach out to her at sue@backtobackalpaca.com. 

I can't wait to have y'all over for a craft night starting in April!
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Thursday, March 9, 2017

In the Art Room: Folk Art Still Life

 Hey, y'all! A handful of my second graders got really close to being finished with their Folk Art Still Life which was my sub plan while I was out last week. I am so thrilled with their hard work (as are they) that I just had to share. Many of them are still adding flowers and leaves so I'm only sharing a handful. Their next step is adding small details with puffy paint which you know I love as much as they do. Here is the lesson video that my sub used with all of my students, kindergarten thru fourth grade:
Speaking of sub, if you need any tips, tricks and/or sub plans, I just hosted a Facebook LIVE chat last night on that very topic! The chat and all of the commentary is archived on my official Facebook page if you are interested. We have been doing those live chats for the last couple of months and they are blast. Well over 100 art teachers join in each time and it's a great way to share. So if you aren't busy on Wednesday night at 8pm CST, be sure and pop by!
While they were with the sub, some of my students had one 30 minute art class while others had two. So what the sub was able to accomplish was beyond her control. What I love about having a recorded lesson (and a project that the kids are in progress) is that when I return, I don't have to scramble to slap together lesson plans. I can just pick up where the sub left off. 
 With the sub, my students were able to get their sticks done and glued down to the background. When I came back this week, my students worked on their vases and flowers. By next week, they should have all of their flowers and leaves complete and be ready to add some puffy paint. 
One thing that was not in the video was the oil pastel background. One of the kids added color to the background with the bright oil pastels and we all lost our minds...brilliant! So we all had to do the same. You know how that goes, right?!
I know they aren't complete...but I just had to share! I think these are so pretty and perfect for spring and Mother's Day. If you give this project a go, you'll have to let me know. 

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In the Art Room: String Art!

Tonight, on Facebook LIVE at 8pm CST, I thought we could talk about how to prepare for a sub. I'll share with you what I do to insure that I'll won't come back to a Hot Mess Express. I'd love to hear your tips. ALSO...I have BIG NEWS about our LIVE chats that I think you are going to love love love! So I'll see you real soon.

My lovely and sweet (ahem) spring-break-ready third graders are starting their string art project this week. We have prepared the boards by painting them (we are using cardboard pizza rounds purchased in bulk via Amazon) and adding texture. We also punctured holes in them to prep them stitching. Next week, we'll sketch out our designs and start stitching. Here's the video I created to introduce the kids to this process. Feel free to use and share in your art teacherin' world.
Even if you don't do this project with the kids, you might wanna watch it for the needle threading trick alone. Or you can just follow me here and catch a short clip.
There are many methods of string art but I'll be introducing my kids to ones that I call Spectrum and Radiating Design. I found the above, the one I call Radiating Design, to be a little more taxing simply because you have to get more yarn to make the lines go all the way around the board. 
This one I'm calling Spectrum. This one is fun because you can use a lot of different colors. It's up to the artist just how much stitching happens within the design. 
 My third graders were at the end of this project when I introduced this new one. So during the second half of one art class, when they were finished with their candy sculptures, I had them quickly color, paint and scrape a texture onto their boards. 
Today, the first half of class, we did this. I had a handful of kids that were absent the day so they worked on coloring and painting while the majority did this. Thankfully, we had this project to also work on. Have I ever told y'all that I have a habit of having the kids work in exactly 37 projects at once? I ain't proud. 
The kids are stoked! I can't wait to share with you what they create. 
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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 31

If you've been joining in on my Facebook LIVE chats which I (attempt) to host each Wednesday night at 8pm CST, then you know it's a large crowd of art teachers from all walks of art teacherin' life: we've got high school teachers all the way down to pre-K. Our common bond is our love for creating art with young artists...and the gamut of feelings that come with that: joy, stress, frustration, celebration, etc. I look forward to our chats each Wednesday as it helps me know that I'm not in this alone and that the feelings I experience are shared by many. At the close of our chats, I'll usually ask what we'd like to talk about the following week. One art teacher tentatively threw out the topic of burnout. I think she was apprehensive to admit that she was experiencing this as what you often see here on this blog and on other social media platforms that art teachers use are the celebrations...not the frustrations. But, trust me, we ALL experience burnout. In fact, it was burnout that brought me to blogging!

It was several years ago and I was feeling stuck in a rut. I wasn't excited about the lessons I was teaching and it was reflecting in my art room. Then I would become frustrated when my students weren't excited either. It became a bit of a cycle and I knew I had to do something about it. So I decided to create a blog. I figured that if I had to weekly share a lesson that I was proud of, something that I'd created and whatever wacky outfit I wore, it might inspire me to try a little harder, be more creative and give my approach to art teaching the reboot it needed. 

That's what worked for me. If you are going thru a slump, you need to find out what is gonna work best for you. Maybe it's taking some art classes. Planning a craft night. Taking a mental health day. It's a super short life we live, y'all! We need to be healthy, happy and have the energy to share our joy for art. You gotta do what it takes to make that happen. But know that burnout is just a part of life. I think of life as a cycle. And burnout is just one of those phases that we all go through sooner or later. 

Love to hear what you do when you find yourself in a slump. And I hope to hear from you on Wednesday night over on my official Facebook page. See you then! 

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Monday, March 6, 2017

In the Art Room: Collage Landscapes with First Grade

Hey, y'all! Please pardon my absence. I know some of y'all were with me at the NAEA convention in NYC. I had all of these big plans to have blog posts and videos ready to roll while I was gone and then...time slipped away from me. Or maybe I just procrastinated my pants off as that is my nature. Regardless, I missed chatting with you here. I'm back now and, hopefully, back into the swing of things. If you'd like to see what my NAEA trip looked like, I don't plan to blog about it because I shared so much of it here. 

So let's kick things off with this fun collage landscape project I just wrapped up with my firsties! 
What I love about this project are all of the wonderful tie ins: we learned about pattern and how to create them, we worked with watercolor and tempra paint, we explored texture, went on a "cloud hunt" outside, learned origami and collage...and landscape. All while chatting out folk artist Kerri Ambrosino. Whew! That's a whole lotta artin'. 
Kerri Ambrosino is a Mexican folk artist. This is not the only project the kids are doing that is inspired by here. We are also creating these still life pieces. I love this artist's colorful work and I really thought she'd be a great way to introduce my students to pattern. 
Another reason this project was so successful was because of the supplies we used. Let me tell you what we used and the steps we followed to create these happy landscapes:

Supplies:
Day 1 and 2

* Gallery oil pastels in florescent by Sargent 
* Crayola Mixing Colors watercolor paint
* 18" X 6" sheets of white paper
Here's a collection of the painted pattern papers drying. I loved them just like this!
I have 30 minute art classes, twice a week. On our first day, I had folded the paper lengthwise in 8 equal sections. The kids used their pastels to draw a line down each one of the paper creases. From there, they drew a different pattern inside each section. The following art class, we had a reminder on how to use watercolor paint properly and used yellow, turquoise and magenta paint to explore oil pastel resist. 
Supplies:
Day 3 and 4

* 12" X 18" construction paper, any color
* Blue and white tempra
* Bristle brushes
* Texture tools. We use random things found at the Dollar Tree: dusters, sponges, scrub brushes, you name it.

On Day 3, the students were exploring tints and textures. We went "shopping" for a sheet of 12" X 18" construction paper in any color the kids liked. They applied white paint first in good sized globs on their paper. Then they added smaller paint puddles of blue. From there, they used their texture tool to blend the color, create tints and texture. This kind of painting is always a blast for the kids. 
On the following day, the kids were instructed to TEAR their pattern paper lengthwise. This was to create hills and valleys for their landscape. I had a handful of kids use scissors instead of tearing and the results were just as beautiful. 
When gluing, I tell the kids to put glue on the bottom straight line of their landscape and have that edge align with the bottom of their paper. From there, they add glue to the long edge of the other paper, pull back their front hills like a giant and place the other torn sheet behind the front one. This is a great way to introduce kids to foreground and background.

Then we went on a Cloud Hunt! This was so simple, short and effective. I simply marched the kids outside chanting "going on a cloud hunt!" We looked up at the sky and spent no more than a hot minute or two tracing clouds with our fingers. When we popped back inside, drew clouds in white oil pastels and traced them in the colors of our choice. 
Early finishers could create patterned suns and sun rays. I love a good spike-y sun, not even gonna lie. 
On our final day, we did some origami! I did directed origami and in five minutes, we had our houses created. The kids then returned to their seats and used paper scraps for the doors and windows. Polka dots were added with paint and Q-tips. 
Their sweet little origami houses drying. 
Today the kids added their houses and any other details they might want. They are just the sweetest thing ever and they put me in such a happy spring mood. Love to hear about your favorite landscape lessons!
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Sunday, February 26, 2017

DIY: Kid-Created Self-Portrait Dress

Last spring, I found this amazing frame-covered fabric and my head just about exploded from excitement. I wish that were an exaggeration but it's really the little things, like AMAZING fabric that get this girl all head-explode-y. I had really wanted my kids to create selfies on it then and debute their work at last year's art show...but between frantically finishing projects and slapping them on the wall, we just ran out of time. Not to mention, we ended up going with a 1950's diner theme and the kids ended up splatter painting my ensemble instead. So there's that...er splat. 
So this year, I decided to just bust the fabric out for my earlier finishers and leave it as an option for them to create on. It seems I have more early finishers with my kindergarten through second grade. Those are the grade levels that contributed the most. I didn't give much direction other than to draw their portrait with a black marker, color it in and do their best. 
In fact, earlier this week when I said, "Remember, please do your best!" 

First grader: Yes, Boogey.
Me: Who in the world is Boogey?
First grader: That's my mama's love name for me.
I laughed and that's when the rest of the class chimed in: Ms. Boogey!
Me: Let's just stick with Mrs. Stephens, okay?
First grader: Okay (whispering)...Boogey. 

There are so many happy memories tied to this dress! 
 On Friday, I had a kindergartener look me up and down and say, "Why do you dress different everyday?!"
Me, knowing full well what he meant but still...: Don't you dress different everyday?
Kindergarten: Not THAT different. 

Touche, kindie, touche. 
When the kids grew tired of drawing themselves, they started to draw me...or me with them. I'm so loving my big hair day on the bottom left. 
When the kids finally finished the fabric this weekend, I was determined to get it stitched up. I really wanna wear it next week at NAEA in NYC. When I told my second graders that I was going to make the fabric they were drawing on into a dress, they were completely stumped...even though we've done this before.

Second grader: Wait. This {pointing to the floor} is gonna be a dress? 
Me: Yes! And a bunch of other art teachers are going to see it.
Second grader: Wait. {is this a new thing? Why am I always "wait"ing?!} Are we gonna be famous then?
Me: Oh yeah. Totally!
And the crowd went wild. 
Many of my kids had colored the IKEA Coloring Book fabric that I stitched into a dress and they know the drill. They love that dress and have so much fun pointing out the spots they colored. It's my favorite dress to wear when I travel to art teacherin' gigs as the folks at airport security seems to know me based on that dress. It doesn't stop them from going through my luggage of oddities tho. 
Final touch: a French hook to close the top of the dress. We'll see if I ever get around to that. Why do the smallest of tasks seem like mountian-moving to me?!
 I love that I didn't give the kids any direction as it really allowed their artistic personalities to shine. I have highly detailed drawings all the way to scribble-ville and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I was so surprised that I knocked this dress out so fast...tho I should't be. This is only the MILLIONTH dress I've created in this style. I cut the fabric Friday night, got the bulk of the work done on Saturday and today I just added the second sleeve (ugh. don't get me started on slllleeeeeeves), put in the zip and stitched the hem.
I think the kids are gonna love this dress!
I know I smile at the little faces on it! 

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

In the Art Room: Folk Art Still Life Inspired by Kerri Ambrosino

 Next week, I'll be heading to the Big Apple for the NAEA convention (you can check out the dates/times/topics I'll be presenting and co-presenting here). In preparation, I've been working on my sub plans which, as you know, is always a really good time. Because I'll be presenting on folk art, I decided to base my sub plans around that theme. In particular, my students will be learning about the Mexican folk artist Kerri Ambrosino
I'm a sucker for color and pattern. I am using her work to also reteach the elements of art and introduce the principals of art. While I am gone, my students will tackle the first half of the sub plan video and we'll do the rest together when I return. Cuz there ain't no way those kids are using puffy paint without me! I'll be doing this lesson with all grades. When I create sub plan videos, I often do this because it is so much easier for the sub. They become experts at the lesson and don't feel flustered going from one lesson to the next, switching out visuals and supplies. A Happy Sub means Fewer Flubs! Here's the sub video. Feel free to use in your art teacherin' adventures:
Supplies needed:

* Popsicle sticks. I have ONE TRIZILLION popsicle sticks. I always get them donated and I never know what to do with them...until now. Of course, they aren't necessary for this project but they do add a fun three-dimensional element. 

* Matte board/cardboard. This will hold the weight of the sticks. I have a surplus of card and matte board as well so this was a good way to use that up. I cut it 4" X 7".

* Construction paper.  In various colors, also cut to 4" X 7" to serve as the background.

* Scrap papers. For the vase and flowers.

* Foam flowers. Again, another art room surplus. Let's use 'em up! They'll also add that fun third dimention.

* Puffy Paint!
 While I'm away, I hope that the students will get all of their sticks decorated and glued to their background. For my 30 minute classes, they might only get the sticks complete. For my hour long classes, they should have no problem knocking that out. We are also creating large scale flower still lives for teacher appreciation...so my early finishers start on that with their decorated strip for the table. 
 Kerri's work is just wonderful! I love everything about it and I think my students will as well. I'm excited about these small masterpieces. They'll make a great addition to our art show and the perfect presents for Mother's Day...which I know is far off but I always procrastinate. Not this time!
 I will be certain to share a follow-up blog post.
If you give this lesson a go, I'd love to know! Special thanks to my P.E. buddy Ali for working out the kinks of this project with me. 
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