Showing posts with label what the art teacher wore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label what the art teacher wore. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

DIY: Back to Art Teacherin' Dress

Hey there, friends! After a week hiatus, I'll be back with you on Wednesday, August 9th at 8pm CST on Facebook LIVE! We'll be talking about all things Back to School: Rules, Routines and Life After Summer Vacation (sigh). I'll also be hosting a giveaway and sharing some fun news. So be sure and drop by right here (liking/following the page will insure that I pop up in your feed). 

For the last couple of years, I've been making Back to Art Teacherin' Dresses. I thought it was something I'd just recently started doing...but it turns out that this is an ongoing thang. At a school PD today a buddy asked, "How many dresses do you think you have, Stephens?" I didn't have an answer. I'd prob be embarrassed to admit just how many stinkin' dresses I have. I started purchasing vintage dresses many moons ago at thrift and resale shops. When I learned how to sew about 5 years ago, I just added more dresses to the collection...without doing any weeding. I just can't bare to part with a good ole fit and flair number, y'all. 
My very first Back to Art Teacherin' dress was this number. I rarely wear it now as, in my increasingly tacky eyes, it's a bit boring. From there, I've been hooked on creating a dress that helps me get pumped and excited about the new school year. I can't go out and buy back to school clothes as my overflowing closet is evidence that this gal don't need no more garb. However, I can shop for some super cute fabric and make a dress of my own, right? 
Feast your eyes on this mega-goodness. I'm gonna be honest, I'm starting to become a little bit disenchanted with the usual fabric options. Most fabric patterns are cute...but small. Since sewing with the big and bold patterns from IKEA, I've been on the hunt for more Large Marge prints. So I hopped over to Spoonflower and used the search bar to look for a pencil print. And that's when I found this mega-goodness
 Here's a short clip of me twirling in slow mo and fast mo (is that a thing? Who is this Moe and why is he so fast and slow?!). When wearing a circle skirt, it is the law that one must twirl no fewer than 29 times, hourly. Look, I don't write the rules, I just follow 'em. 
Having a deadline, like Meet the Teacher Night, gave me the inspiration to burn the midnight oil (and the early morning, em, oil? Grease? What do they burn in the early morning? Whatever it is, it stinks) and finish this bad boy. Let's face it, that print makes the dress. I LOVE the retro look of it!
It's the best twirling dress this side of the Mississippi. 
Some of my other Back to Art Teacherin' dresses include this number created from fabric found in JoAnn's discount area. I loved it for it's marker-scribble feel. This dress made me happy with the print but I feel like I'm about to fly away with those sleeve things. I don't wear this one very often as I don't find the bodice as flattering as I would have liked. But this van Gogh-inspired dress has all of my fave features: a fitted bodice, a giant waist band and BOWZ. Cuz I like big bows and I cannot lie. 
Everyone has their own way about getting excited about their "jobs" (can we really call art teacherin' a "job"?! I mean, it's like the best thing ever AND they pay us!). My way is sewing up a fun dress. Your way might be decorating your art room, painting your nails in a rainbow pattern, creating a sign for your art room. Whatever it is, dive in! Do it! It will make you happy and, as we all know, Happy Art Teacher, Happy Life...or something like that.
In short, you do you...and bring that what you be doin' to your art room. I promise you that it will not only inspire your young artists but those around you as well. 

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Art Teacherin' Book Club: A Visit with Barney Saltzberg!

Did your little art teacherin' heart just flutter in your chest?! MINE TOO! You guyz, I'm so excited that the one and only, everyone's favorite, one-heck-of-a-guy, book author Barney Saltzberg will be joining us for our Art Teacherin' Book Club this Wednesday night right here. If you have been apart of our book club, then you know we've been reading The Growth Mindset Coach and loving it. 
Last week we were so fortunate to be joined by co-author of the book Annie Brock. If you were apart of that chat, I think you will agree that Annie was AMAZING, INSPIRATIONAL AND ALL THINGS CAPITAL LETTERS. If you missed out on the live chat, no worries, you can still find our discussion here. Those of you who joined in, I promise that a blog post with all the links, books, videos and more that Annie mentioned is to come. 
Every week, when we discuss growth mindsets and resources that can help us introduce this concept to our students, we always bring up the book Beautiful Oops. It so wonderfully shares that what we deem mistakes can actually become something more magical than anything we could have ever imagined. I think this is one book that every art teacher should have in their art room if they don't already. I also think it is a perfect way to explain how to keep a growth, and not a fixed, mindset in place.  
With that in mind, I decided to reach out to my friend Barney. I was connected with Barney many moons ago via a mutual friend. Since then, he's visited my art room and I've visited his studio. And I can assure you, this dude is tops, y'all will love him even more than you already to. When I shot him an email just a few days ago to see if he'd be up for a Facebook LIVE session with us, he ready agreed. Because that's just the kind of awesome guy he is. 
So, on Wednesday, come join the fun! Even if you are not currently reading The Growth Mindset Coach, it's okay. You are more than welcome to come hang out with us and chat with Barney. If you are a first timer to our Facebook LIVE chats, it's really simple:

1. Like/follow my page. This will ensure that my live feed appears on your Facebook feed. 

2. Make sure you have a decent internet connection. Live streaming requires more bandwidth (this is what I'm told, I don't actually know what those words mean. Story of my life.) If I freeze up or don't show up, you might have a weak connection. Run down to your local Starbucks, get an overpriced latte and use their internet. For the love tho, take your headphones. Don't nobody need to hear my voice.

3. Speaking of headphones...Barney will be chatting via speaker phone which might be difficult to hear. For that reason, you might be able to better hear us with headphones. 

And that's it! Come with questions for our friend...he'll be ready!
Also...did you know that Barney wrote a companion book to Beautiful Oops? He sure did and you can find it here. You might not know that Barney is the author of MANY books...and songs! You can ask him all about it this Wednesday, 8pm CST.
This "officially" marks the final book club meeting but...we've only made it about 1/8th the way thru our chat! So. I've decided that we should probably continue our chat on this great book, what do you say? Love to hear your thoughts on that! I'll report back soon...until then SEE YOU WEDNESDAY NIGHT! 
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Saturday, July 22, 2017

In the Art Room: Stitching Pizza Plushies!

A little over a month ago, I got an email from Trixi Symonds over at Coloured Buttons. She asked me if I'd like to join her super fun #sewasoftie project for the month of July. Her concept was simple: introduce kiddos to stitching with a month long sharing of sewing projects via her Facebook page (which, by the way, is LOADED with fabulous sewing inspiration for kids of all ages). I happily agreed and used my recent trip to Italy (and love for all things pizza) as my inspiration. 
Another reason I chose pizza is because my kiddos always find inspiration in food. Are your students/kids like that? It's so funny to me: give a kid a piece of clay and it's guaranteed that they will come back with a clay cookie, pizza or a taco. I know when I share this project with my third and fourth graders in the spring, they'll be all in. 

Let's talk supplies:

* Craft Felt in bunches of colors. I find that I have a TON of craft felt. Does it multiply? Are teachers secretly dumping the stuff in my storage closet? The latter is more than likely the case. It would also explain the ziplock baggies of broken crayons I always receive (y'all, I don't even use crayons!). 

* Chenille Needles are my jam. They have a big eye that is great for threading and a nice sharp point which is perfect for puncturing that felt. 

* Thread can be tricky. Get the cheap stuff and it can break with a slight tug. We use embroidery floss with the single thread...not the one with 6 threads. Cuz we ain't got time to be splittin' hairs. 

* Paper for creating a pattern and for making a needle threader.

* Scissors are great...and if you have one for fabric and another for paper then you are just the bee's knees. 

* Pins and a Magnet to park those pins. They make these great pin wands that my students love. You just wave them and the pins snap right to the wand. 
When I first got the idea to create this lesson, I kept getting more ideas. First it was allowing the kids to create toppings that can be changed at any time. Kind of like the felt boards I played with as a kid. That's why I created the segment in the video where the toppings are changed. Then I thought it would be great to introduce button sewing...for that the toppings would have to be tacked down. And, of course, I had to throw on some puffy paint because PUFFY PAINT MAKES MY WORLD GO ROUND. Thank you, Puff Daddy for the Puffy Paint. He's the one who invented it, right?
Then I got the idea for a silly-faced pizza. I spotted these giant googly eyes at the craft store and thought it would be fun. Because I wanted to add arms like we did with the Stitched Monster project, I knew I'd have to go about sewing a little differently. Originally I was going to make one video...but I decided that two was best: one for the Stuffed Pizza and Button Sewing and another for the Funny Faced Pizza
So, just some thoughts on sewing with kids: I usually do a fibers unit in the spring, after clay. Kids love sewing, weaving, felting, you name it...and it's a great follow-up to clay as they pink-puffy-heart-with-sparkles LOVE clay. However, sewing is a challenge that you and your students need to be prepared for. Whenever we tackle something new, I remind the kids that we are learning and that takes practice and patience. I tell them that some of them will get it right away...and others will take a little longer...but we will ALL get there. With practice and patience. It's important to emphasis this so that frustration does not lead to a defeatist mentality.
Now, I'll have my students glue their items down with tacky glue. But, for those kids creating at home who wish to change the toppings of their pizza frequently, they could simply keep their cut pieces in a sealed bag. 
This pizza was created the same way as the first but I really wanted to introduce button sewing. What better way to do that than with pepperoni buttons?! And, of course, puffy paint. 
No doubting that I grew up in the 80's...I got puffy paint in my veins. 
Shortly after posting my Stuffed Pizza video on my YouTube channel, Jeanne Kemp, an art teacher out of Baltimore shared this with me. She'd done the project with her students! How fun and they did a fabulous job. I had pizza for dinner in their honor. 
This project is a little more involved simply because of the addition of sewing the arms and sewing three sides verses two. For that reason, I'll reserve this project for my older students. 

I def don't plan on purchasing them all googly eyes as I don't have that kind of budget. So, more than likely, if my students decide to make a face, they'll have to create the eyes from felt. No biggie. 
 I really had fun creating these pizzas. They got me excited about hand sewing again...and the upcoming class I'm taking at Alabama Chanin. More on that to come. LOVE to know if any of you all have taken a class there before! 

Until then, have a super fun time stitching your pizza! 

Arrivederci!

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Best Books for Art Teachers!

Summertime is my favorite time to reflect on the past school year. I often find myself uprooting all of my favorite art teacherin' books during this time. Sometimes, I'll just flip through them, look over my cryptic notes (I really gotta become a better note keeper!) and rethink my life choices, er, strategies in the art room. Other times, I'll dig deep into a book, really opening my mind up to new possibilities for the new year. I love this part of teaching: that we get the chance to hit the reset button every school year, throw out the old and bring in the new. I feel like Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day every August! 

In case you missed, during our last Facebook LIVE art teacherin' chat, we were talking about our favorite art teacher books. You can find that chat archived on my page. Be sure to peruse the comments to see what other folks are reading. We agreed that a book club would be super fun so, during the month of July during FB LIVE, that's what we'll be up to! 
How to join the book club? First, get you a copy of the book. We won't be starting until Wednesday, July 5th so plenty of time to get a copy and start flipping through it. Our chats our held here. In order for you to view the chat, you'll need to like my page. At 8pm CST on Wednesday, July 5th, I'll pop up in your feed! We usually chat for about an hour...but you can come and go any time. 
I'm very excited about sharing ideas with one another on how we can infuse art education and growth mindsets in our art room! Until then, I thought I'd share with you some of my very favorite books as an art teacher. Some of these books, I've had since my first year teaching and they truly helped me so much. One book I discovered during my first years teaching was Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks
 Wow, did this book teach me more than I learned in college about working with children! It's such a comprehensive book that explains child development; showcases lessons and examples; recommends supplies and teaching strategies. I followed this book to a T when first started out and it was like having a friend guide me. It is very heavy on the side of guided drawing which I know some folks feel very much against. But, for me, I believe that there is a place for guided drawing in the art room as long as it is balanced with open-ended projects. You would never expect a music teacher to teach a student how to play an instrument without first showing them how to do it. Why is art thought to be different? I also have Mona's book on teaching older children which is also very helpful. She dives into teaching more from observational drawing in that book. 
Ah, a classic, right? Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is currently in either it's fourth or fifth addition. I love the concepts in the book...but it is hard to use with children because it is so dry. Trust me, I know, I've tried. As an elementary art teacher, I really do want to use the concepts from this book, but change it up and make it more geared toward my fun and funny little audience. This is something I'm thinking about this summer. 
What I really like about Hooked on Drawing is that the author, Sandy Brooke, does a great job of sharing lessons that go beyond pencil and paper. She has her students work with chalk, charcoal, kneaded erasers; all that stuff I never used until college. My kids LOVE working with those supplies. Observational Drawing with Children is a great read. What I like about it is that it really explains the developmental stages of drawing. It also provides conversations between student and teacher to give you a peak into an art teacher's classroom. Open-ended lessons and ideas are provided in this small book. 
It's hard to teach what you don't know...and I definitely did not know color when walking into the art room. I used this book as a crash course for myself to become a better teacher. If you are a teacher of older students, you could use the concepts from this book with your kiddos. 
My first year was also helped out greatly by Cathy Topal's book Children and Painting. This book is beautiful with full color photos and great lessons that scaffold. Another beautiful book is You Can Weave! I was so fearful of introducing weaving to my students...this book was a game changer. Again, lots of full color photos and easy to follow steps. 
 I love art history. LOVE it! But how to teach it all? One of my favorite ways to teach is by telling a story. Another teacher who is gifted at this is Marianne Saccardi. Her book Art in Story provides inspiring, well-researched and fascinating stories of artists or art history. You can read them aloud to your students or memorize them and add sound effects, lighting, music and amateur acting skills as I like to do. My very favorite art history book is The Annotated Mona Lisa. Y'all, this is one of my top five. I use this when creating my Hot Minute of History lessons for my kids. It's snippets of art history are short, concise and to the point. 
 A fun and inspirational read is Educating Esme. This is the diary of a first year fifth grade teacher in an inner city school. She struggles with the kiddos, her administration and just finding herself as a teacher. It's a quick read that will leave you inspired. Speaking of inspire, Ron Clark, anyone?! Holy mary, the Godfather of Teacher, can I get an amen? I love all of his books. 
 Need more inspo? Teach like a Pirate is beyond awesome. Dave Burgess is the teacher we all wanna be. But Meena Srinivasan shows us that teaching isn't just about being as wild, crazy and energetic as you can. In Teach, Breathe, Learn, she shares her methods of inspiring mindfulness in her students both in and out of the classroom. 

The key is to discover who YOU are in your art room...reading these books should inspire you, not make you feel the need to conform to any one else's methods or styles of teaching. Your passion is what is going to drive you as an educator and make you  your very best. Just keep that in mind as you flip through the pages of these books and happy reading! 



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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

DIY: Viva Italia Dress

Hey, friends! I am wearing this here dress today in...Italy! I managed to snap some photos before leaving but I'll be sure to share my Italian adventures with you when I return home. Until then, let's talk dress-makin', shall we?
After (a handful of) years stitching and countless homemade dresses, I think I have finally found the mashup of dress patterns that I like the very best. I am loving the fit and look of this halter-style top with this circle skirt, it's my new fave!
It's taken me this long to realize that simply because a pattern looks good on the envelope does not mean it will look good on you. And that's okay! You gotta go with what is the most flattering for your body type and your taste. Personally, I love a good fit and flair. And I like my fit very fitted (ahem) and my flair super, um, flair-y (double crinoline, anyone?). But I also know that I cannot do a v-neck, scoop neckline or anything else that is meant to show off cleavage. Because, well, I ain't got none. So it just looks awkward trying to show it off unless I'm wearing my big ole "Insert Cleavage Here" necklace which I seem to have lost. 
And I'm cool with this. Not the loss of my necklace, that thing was expensive, but the fact that I can't wear a good ole cleavage bearing frock. Because I have bodice patterns that work...and I think this one works the best for me. 
Now, here's a little something else I've learned: size down on the bust. Do you see that bust measurement of 34"? That is my correct size but when using this dress pattern in the past, I always found the bodice to be a pinch roomie (remember, I like a good fit). You can see other dresses I've made with this pattern here and here. For a more fitted dress, size down on the bust measurement. I'll be using a 32" bust for the bodice in the future. Now, this works for me for the entire dress because I do an open skirt...meaning I can have hips for days and the skirt hides 'em (another reason I love me a circle skirt!). However, if you are using a hip-hugging pattern, you may need to size up for the rest of the dress.
Y'all would be so proud: the last couple of dresses I've created have been from fabric straight outta the stash. I purchased this fabric years ago with the intent to make a dress...but, Ima be honest, I didn't love the colors in the print. So in the stash it sat. Until 36 hours before leaving for Italy, that is! Another reason to love this pattern: it's a quick stitch!
You might notice I decided not to add the bow/belt insert. On the dresses I have with built-in belts, I feel limited. I love to add different belts to my clothing to change up the look. So I skipped that step in the pattern. I also made the straps thinner...the thicker ones just screamed "homemade!" to me. 
 Just a side and back view. Did I mention that this dress has pockets?! I've decided that no dress is complete without them. Forever and ever, amen. 
Despite my initial meh-ness toward the print on this dress, I now really love it. I know that the pattern has a whole lot to do with it. 
And now I'm off to explore the sites on my dress. Viva Italia, y'all! photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
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