Friday, July 31, 2015

DIY: Let's All Go to the Art Room! Prints, Posters and More

Hey, y'all! Me and my super happy and excited art supplies are thrilled to announce that A. I actually made a wee bit of headway on a project that I started in, er, JANU-FREAIN'-ARY and B. you can purchase prints (and more!) of these fellas over on Society6
So I've had it in my oversized and vacant head for a while that I wanted to create my own fabric. But I'm so stinkin' low tech that for me that currently means drawing my ideas out by hand and painstakingly painting them in. The hubs has been telling me for months that I outta scan in my designs and alter them that way but, y'all. This old dawg isn't down with new tricks. Tho I am suriouzly thinking that is the way I've gotta go if I ever do wanna transform these lil drawings of mine into something other than paintings. So! If y'all have any advice on scanners/drawing tablets/photoshop vs. adobe, that'd be greatly appreciated. 

But! That's not why I'm here today! I'm hear to share with you what I have managed to accomplish: finishing of a wee series that I've titled Let's All Go to the Art Room inspired by this gem...

Bring back memories, y'all? Puts me in the mind of those summer nights, swatting at mosquitoes, falling asleep in the backseat while watching a double header at the drive-in movie. 
Being all kinds of old school, you can see my slow process of sketching and painting. You can also see that I use our dinner plates as a palette. Which is why the hubs is always suggesting we go out to dinner. Surely there's some nutritional value in paint, amirite? Some folks are just such picky eaters. 
Tho, truth be told, I do love the process of sketching, erasing and drawing again. Would I love it as much on a tablet? I dunno. 
You know, it's a sad thing about glue bottles. They always start their lives this happy...until they get a lil "congested" and a kid decides to stab the end of a pair of scissors into their heads. Tis the reason we don't use glue bottles in my room, y'all, nuthin but glue cups and crappy paint brushes for our glue applicatin'.
Oh, look. It's said glue-stabby scissors. This painting went thru a coupla color changes. Initially the handle was a dark blue...I'm happy with the lighter color. 
Everyone loves a brand new box o' crayons. We don't use 'em much in my art room but I do seem to get tons of donations of them. I have a rarely used cabinet full of them! Time to bust out the encaustic crayon melter and make some masterpieces!

Another big influence on this project of mine? One of my faves: Katy Perry. 
So, lil known secret: the hubs and I are pretty big Katy Perry fans. Actually, my husband is the one who loves her so (I do believe there might be a KP calendar hanging in his office? I don't ask) and turned me on to this video. I could watch it all stinkin' day. I loved the 80's references, the Pee Wee Herman lookalike dancers, the Mondrian HAIR and, of course, these guys...
 Tell me I'm not alone in my KP love, y'all. What, you got a problem with it? Then, just, deal.

If you are interested, you can order prints from my Society6 shop! Are y'all familiar with Society6? It's AWESOME! All you have to do is upload your high resolution work, select how you want to have your work reproduced (prints, mugs,'s like an adult ArtSonia for those of y'all familiar) and you receive a small portion of the profit. You get to decide just how much you'll earn based on how much you charge. I'm trying to keep the prices as low as I most def won't be making too much. But I'm more interested in sharing my silliness with y'all not making retirement cash! Society6 processes the order, prints, packages and ships. After having used etsy for so long (and loving it), I do like that this is so hassle free. 

By the way, I've got several more art supplies to this Let's All Go to the Art Room series so I'll keep you posted.'ll see my Mary Blair-inspired piece that will be featured in the book If Picasso had a Zoo! More on that excitingness soon (hoping to get my copy of the book next week to share with y'all!). 
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

In the Art Room: What to Wear

Sure you can buy a fur realz pair of Jeffrey Campbell pencil shoes (because, ya know, we teachers got money to burn) or you could have way more fun and make your own! I simply painted a thrifted pair of kicks with acrylic paint and covered that in ModPodge. I've seen other fine-footed art teacherin' types take a more sensible route and paint canvas shoes in the same style. With lots of wear, mine have started to cracked at the crease. If I were gonna do it all again, I'd prolly invest in some leather paint as it's got a bit of a give. 

On this here blog that I call home, I thought I'd run a lil series called Back to Art Teacherin'. If you are an art teacherin' type like myself, the end of summer vacay is nigh and what better time to prep for the Return of the Children (of the corn) then meow? So in this here series of Back to Art Teacherin', I'll be chatting at y'all about the following:

* What to Wear (which, hello, is this here post!)

* How to Decorate Your Art Room to it's utmost fabulousness (always a blast)

* An updated version of that dreaded Art Supply Order 

* And, best of all, what to teach those chillins on those most important first daze of schoolin'!

So, without further ado-ness, let's talk about sumpin near and dear to my baked, battered and blackened heart: Clothes!
 Just admit it, one of your fave things about getting back to art teacherin' is the smell of sharped pencils and freshly cracked boxes of crayons. So why not have an outfit or two to match? Pencil appliqué skirt here, needle felted crayon sweater there

What's a crayon sweater without crayon shoes? I mean, really? 

I didn't always have an obsessions with What I Wore. Nor have I always created my own clothes. Naw, y'all, this here is a new-ish thing for me. So if you don't know how to sew, felt, embroider or appliqué (yet), don't you fret! I taught myself simply cuz 1. We don't have cable and I get bored easily and 2. Because I've always wanted to create my own clothing! It's been that nagging creative outlet that I'd ignored for years thinking, eh, it's not real "art; I should be painting, drawing, sculpting, whateves-ing!" How lame was I to put off something I was truly interested in? If you find yourself doing the same with whatever it is you are intrigued by, tell that Sally-Self-Doubt, Negative-Nelly, Trash-Talking-Tina to hush it and go make you a Rock Star Apron if you wanna!
Why you mad, bro? Jelly of my kick arse art teacherin' apron? This is one of the first things I stitched up several years ago. It was so much fun to make and the kids loved it! That inspired me to create even more craziness. 
 What to wear on those painting days in the art room (which is pretty much everyday, right)? Why a palette dress, of course! I love the vintage charm of this Michael Miller fabric, y'all! 
 Tho if your wee artists are anything like mine, there's likely to be paint In which case a dress that you've painted or one stitched from Jackson Pollock-esque fabric is prolly the way to go. 
All of which calls for paint splattery shoes

Now I know that if y'all have been by this blog before, you've prolly seen just about everything I've got here for ya's today. Like, for instance, this here montage of artist-inspired numbers. 
 So it turns out I double downed on my Monet ensembles this year but I just couldn't help it. What's not to love about that painterly dude? That stitched and needle felted number took exactly two sessions of Project Runway reruns to get thru while that summery dress was a snap. 

It's funny, the other day I saw an article about people who take a buttload of selfies (FYI, not the actual title of said article. Tho "People Who Take a Buttload of Selfies" is a killer title, if I do say so. And I just did.) and, according the the author who apparently has NEVER taken a selfie in her LIFE (hair flip), those that do are manipulative (CHECK!), selfish (CHECKITY-CHECK) and, basically, just arsehole-ish. Well! There you have it! Me, in a nutshell. It's like she could see my manipulative, selfish sssooooouuuuuulll. 
 Last year's Kandinsky show at The Frist was the inspo behind these two numbers. Maybe it's cuz I'm totes clueless but not until seeing them now, side by side, am I realizing how opposite they are. Lil black dress here and wild -n- crazy in white here. 
It never fails, every winter, I take up needle felting all over again. That Scream Dress is one hot lil number to wear what with the completely wool lined inside (I think the screaming is actually due to the smell comin' off me). The Starry Night took all of eternity what with the embroidery (which you can't really see so why'd I do it, y'all? WHY?) and the lights.  
 Oh, applique. I always forget what a super fun pain in the rear you are. Fur serious tho, I do love changing the look of my clothing with appliqué. It gives a great flat look (perfect for pop art!) that you just can't quite get with needle-felting. Applique was one of the first methods of sewing I learned. I think I liked it because it reminded me of collage. In fact, to get over my fear of sewing, I told myself that the stitches were just like glue holding everything together. For some reason, likening sewing to collage (something I'm comfortable with) made it a whole lot less frightening. Lichtenstein-y here, Warhol-ishness there. 
 I was chatting with our weather-predicting custodian today and he claims that we are gonna get MASSIVE snow this year (which, for we Tennesseans means, like TWO WHOLE INCHES). We had quite the winter this past year which for me meant Snow Days/Sew Days. I got so much stitched! This here tribute to Mondrian was one o' em. 
 Now even if you can't sew, felt or appliqué, you can draw, right? That there Keith Haring number was just doodled on some pleather with a white Sharpie paint pen. And that Great Wave dress was the thing that started this whole Artist-Inspired series! The most easy artist dress made: that Magritte number. All I did was make the hat and add the birds! 
 For the last couple of years, I've made a Back to School dress. You know, one complete with school supplies and artsy whut-nots. Like that crayon and chevron thing and that crazy art supply number (with sleeves big enough to fly away with!). 
 My fave thing on the planet? Shopping for fabric, y'all. And when I find me some artsy fabric like that pencil fabric on the left and that marker fabric on the right, my palms get all sweaty, my heart skips a beat and I might cry a lil bit. 
 I love me a great big skirt, y'all. The kind that when I walk past a table, my big swooshiness knocks over cups, glasses, small children, you name it. That giant shower curtain skirt on the left does the trick quite nicely but that puffy pencil number isn't too snabby neither. 


Yes, sir and madams, I most certainly did. I've got a small grab bag cache of art teacherin' books that I'd love to send your way (not pictured. Obvi.) But here's the catch (there's always a catch): you gotta tell me your most fave back-to-school shopping memory! Mine involved my dad taking me jeans shopping at the dollar store before my eighth grade year. THE DOLLAR STORE, Y'ALL. All this girl ever wanted was some Guess jeans! Pretty sure this is why I don't wear pants to this day, the flashbacks are killer. Lemme hear your tale and don't forget to leave your lovely lil email addy so I can be sure to send these awesome art books your way. Until then!
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Sunday, July 26, 2015

What the Art Teacher Wore #143

Summer-day: You know, my fave thing about summer vacay is when you get to the point where you forget what day it is. That's when you know you've hit toootal relaxation AND, sadly, that the end is nigh. Just one more week of freedom before we return! dress: vintage score from Buffalo Exchange; crinoline: Amazon; shoes: old, BG's; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; Enid Collins Box Purse: ebay

Hi, friends! I realized the other day that I've only shared with y'all maybe one (or two) What the Art Teacher Wore blog posts this summer! One part cuz during the summer, I'm off my routine which means my blogging schedule (as if there ever was one) gets all kinds of jacked up. The other part cuz, well, when I'm not wearing the same stinkin' outfit for days in a row, I'm in stretchy pants (I just can't bring myself to admit that I'm in the yoga pants camp so "stretchy pants" they shall be) and a hole-y t-shirt. It's a glamorous life I lead, lemme tell ya.

This week kept me on my toes tho as I had to venture out and teach teachers! Our local art museums The Frist and Cheekwood Botanical Gardens offered a wonderful three day professional development and I taught a lil bit of fiber arts on the first day...
Teaching art teachers is so stinkin' fun because they come up with the very best of ideas. We focused on needle-felting and ways to both tie that in to the current art exhibits as well as bring the craft back to our art rooms. I shared some of my student projects involving needle-felting as well as some that I'm planning to try out with my students this year. Being the most creative teachers I know, these dudes came up with great ideas as well as the most beautiful of needle-felted creations! 

SIDE NOTE: I'll be leading another fiber arts workshop at The Frist on Saturday, September 26th. This one is open to everyone, not just art educators. We'll be focusing on needle-felting, embroidery and more...the last I checked, there were only 6 spots left so if you are interested, go here and I'll see you there! 
I loved everyone's different take on the craft of needle-felting and the inspiration they got from the both the Italian Style show as well as the Wiener Werstratte. This artist was inspired by an incredible fur coat designed by Karl Lagerfeld. I love how she layered and needle-felted through the felt. 
Two artists created landscapes and I just love them both. The impressionist style of the one on the left is so subtle. Needle-felting really seems to be perfect for that kind of look. Although the one on the right is very graphic, which I love. My work in needle-felting is usually very flat and graphic as well so I can totes relate to the style and look of that one. 
Ah, summertime happy place. 
The artist on the left created a Japanese family crest. I had no idea that you could needle-felt synthetic yarns until she gave it a go with her boarder. I love the roses in the foreground of the one on the right. 
And this artist drew her inspo from the graphic designs of the postcards and fabrics we saw. I love the colors and joy in this piece, makes me so happy!
 Fave Purse Tuesday: So you mightah noticed in these here photos that I'm carting around a box-purse. I've always loved Enid Collins box purses but this summer, after scoring a couple at the flea market, I've become obsessed. I was so thrilled to get this one which is currently my fave. I've now got a lil (growing) collection that is gonna require me to install a shelf to showcase 'em all! sweater: thrifted; dress: vintage; shoes: Jeffrey Campbell; brooch and earrings: estate sales
 Rainy Day Wednesday: We've been having these rando outbursts of rain then INSANELY humid (we call it "muggy" where I'm from) weather. I mean, it literally feels like you are walking into someone's mouth the moment you step outside. No bueno. So it requires footwear like these Crocs that can take a lil rain and a lil shine. sweater and blouse: thrifted; skirt: Anthro found at Buffalo Exchange; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; brooches: estate sale
So-Cal Thursday: I finished off my Artsy Sew Along skirt right before we took a lil vacay to Southern California! If you are sewing along, don't you worry. I'll get the vid clippies up soon once we return from the land of eternal sunshines. shirt: thrifted; skirt: made by me!
Evenings at Disneyland: I'd love to share with y'all photos from our Cali-adventures but I dare say this blog post is photo-heavy enough! However, if you follow me here, you can keep up with the craziness even more (hurray! -ish!). When in Cali, we venture into California Adventure every evening to see The Mad T Party band as they are Uh-Maze-Ing. Here I am chillin' on the streets of Muppet-ville waiting for the next show to start. top: Old Navy? Target? I can't remember; skirt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; belt: Amazon. Fur realz. Just type in "big a$$ belt" and you'll find this; shoes: TJ Maxx

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