Friday, December 30, 2016

DIY: Marimekko Memory Game Wallhanging

I am a complete, total and utter procrastinator. I always have the best of intentions in mind but I rarely follow through with my ideas. I have this habit of psyching myself out that a task is too daunting; too difficult for my skill set (or lack thereof); too time-consuming; you name it, it's an excuse I've put to good use. One of my resolutions over my break has been to do the following: relax (things have been too crazy for me and I don't handle crazy well) and stop putting things on the freaking back burner. That burner is boilin' over! If you follow me on Insta, you know I've been hitting the sewing machine hard with that crazy eyeball dress (and matching jewelry, stay tuned!), a Mary Blair-inspired quilting project and this here Marimekko wall hanging. I've had the idea to create this bad boy since I scooped up all things Marimekko this spring at Target. Well, I can finally scratch this one off my To-Do!
I have a habit of buying frames whenever I find unique ones at the thrift store. I always spray paint them a satin black so they create the illusion of matching. I have an enormous stockpile which comes in super handy when I get an idea like this one. I remember picking up this one a couple of years ago because I liked the rectangular shape and the angle of the frame edge. You can see it better below.
If you go here, you can see what used to hang in this place at the end of our upstairs hallway. 
When Target was selling all things Marimekko this spring, I'm not ashamed to admit that I went bananas. Marimekko has been my muse since I discovered the fabric design company many years ago. If you know anything about the brand then you know their prices are pretty steep. So when a place like Target partners with them and sells their wares at affordable prices, well, you go bananas. I scooped up a couple of these memory games. One I gifted to my best bud and the other I kept.
But what to do with the game? Selfishly, I didn't want to take it to school and chance it getting ruined (sorry not sorry). And the hubs and I are more of a Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens kinda card game playing types, not memory games, no matter how cute. So I got pulled all of my thrift store frames outta the closet and found one that seemed to work the best. 

And that was last spring. 

Did I mention that I have issues with procrastination? Yeah. Obvi. 
 So the other night, I decided to scratch this one off my list. I had a large sheet of cardboard in the garage that I cut to fit the back of the frame. Then I started to lay out the design. 
Once I got it all in place, I started to hot glue the back of the pieces. Purists will not be happy with me about this one...but I will get so much more enjoyment out of my memory set now that it is out of the box and up on my wall. 
To secure the cardboard in place, I did add hot glue but I also added tape. Then I hammered in one of those wall-hanger-thingies and was ready to put it up!

I hung it at the end of the hall that leads down these steps to our bonus room...which has become my crafting and recording-of-lessons area. 
For a more thorough tour of this room, visit here. And, yes, my Christmas decor is still up. I don't like to take things down until after the first. The sparkle makes me so happy!
The large painting on the left was created by me years ago and is a direct copy of a Marimekko design. In fact, you can see my much loved copy of a Marimekko book on the far right under the lady vase. 
Yesterday, before heading out to catch up with a long lost friend, I realized I even match my decor. Wow. 
Speaking of thrift stores, it's there and estate sales where I find my favorite things. Oh and the sale room at Anthropologie (I don't even bother with the rest of the store!). 
 All the gory details on these finds here
 Speaking of Marimekko, these large plates are from the Target line as well. I waited until they were half off and I'm so glad I scooped them up. I need to eventually hang them but for now they are happy to be propped right here...just above the map I trash picked from school (which hides all of my hubs drum gear and our big-butt television. Yes, we still have one of those). 
And there you have it! I'm so glad I stopped putting at least one thing off, I'm so happy with how this turned out. 
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 27

Hey, y'all! I'm taking a break from tonight's usual Facebook LIVE session as the husband has requested a night out. Which will probably involve dining at the fine Southern establishment known as Cracker Barrel (who can deny those biscuits, I ask you, WHO?!) which I ain't above passing up. But I'll be back next Wednesday, 8 pm CST to chat about all things First Year Art Teacher-y! You can still catch our past couple of LIVE chats here. 

This week, I thought I'd chat about how to do something you'd think is basic but is actually pretty stinkin' tough: speaking your mind. It's one thing to do it...and it's another thing to speak your mind in such a way that folks are open enough to listen. Even if your opinion isn't a popular one. Here are my suggestions:

* You can say anything, ANY-STINKIN'-THANG, if you just choose your words wisely. It's funny, I'm super duper non-confrontational but have noticed of late that if I don't speak my mind (nicely) and stand up for myself (calmly) no one else will. It's time to wo-man up and say what needs to be a way that will be listened to.

* Speak with your end goal in mind. This is directly from my extremely wise husband. Do you want your end goal to be that folks pause, listen to what you have to say and give it some thought? Of course you do! So don't offend them with your words. Use words that will get you to your end goal: a conversation. 

* Say it with flowers. Does anyone else remember that old ad? I'm not saying send folks flowers, I'm just saying use words that are pretty and smell good not ones that stink and are offensive. Put yourself on the receiving end. Is that a bouquet of words you'd wanna hear? 

* Start with "I feel..." No one can argue with your feelings. Unless you are irrational and crazy. In which case they will just say, "well, she is irrational and crazy, so it would make sense she feels that way..." Be honest without don't be a drama queen.

* Don't yuck someone's yum. This is a direct quote from my buddy Patty Palmer. I love it so. Say what you need to say but don't yuck someone's yum while doing so.  

Sigh. If only doing such was this easy, right? Practice makes us better, y'all. I find that being honest with your feelings and open enough to listen to other side of any conversation is the very best way to go. Love y'all!

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Monday, December 26, 2016

DIY: The IKEA Eyeball Dress

Happy Post-Christmas, y'all! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and is recovering nicely. Santa was super good to me this year (thanks, hubs!) and I got a ton of fun gifties. My favorite present was the insulated Starbucks cup that, as I was unwrapping it, I was told was a freebee from the work lounge. Um...thanks? My man is so silly, y'all don't even know. 

Speaking of prezies, I used one of 'em to film this wee gem that my entire neighborhood (and now all of the internet) was at privilege to witness...
I can only imagine what my poor neighbors think of the Hot Mess Express that lives next door to them. 
So if you've been following me here and here, first off all, bless your heart and secondly, thank you for suffering along with me as I figure out this thing I call The Eyeball Dress. After creating my last Ikea fabric dress with the giant cat motif, I decided that big bold prints are my new favorite thing. You can see another Ikea print dress here and here. When I stumbled upon this Ikea print on ebay, I scooped up all the yardage that was available. Unfortunately, there were only 3 yards...which normally is plenty for a dress in this style. However, because of the placement of the eyes on the fabric, it made for some tricky pattern cutting. 

So I had to do some thinking. Which really isn't my jam so I posed the question to y'all: what to do about that bodice. Initially I created the top right but the fact that the eyes didn't match up just about drove me bananaz. So I toyed with the idea of a solid bodice which got the most positive feedback from y'all. However, I've been power watching Schitt's Creek lately and if it's one thing I've learned, it's to let your crazily-dressed-freak-flag-fly...
This scene is reenacted multiple times a day at my house. My poor hubs. If only this were his reaction:
He's too brutally honest to ever fib about how I look. I've learned it's best not to ask. 
Every since I scored this fabric, I knew I wanted it to be all eyes, all the way. I mean, otherwise, it's just a crazy skirt with a top stitched to it. So even though it took some unfun pattern play, I opted to do the eyes right down the middle which then continued on down to the skirt. But if I'm being totes honest, I mostly put the eyes on top so I could say stupid stuff like, "Hey, buddy! My eyes are up here! No, wait...that's not entirely true." I know, I missed my calling as a stand up comedian. I get told that ALL.THE.TIME. (well, this one time. But I think the person was drunk.)

On Christmas eve, I was just about done with this thing when my dear ole faithful sewing machine decided to flake out. I'm all NOW IS NOT THE TIME! I was determined to finish the determined that we braved The Twilight Zone, aka Walmart on Christmas eve... 
I returned home with just a few minor bruises and scratches and a brand new Janome sewing machine. Just in time to finish this bad boy. 

By the way, the ENTIRE time I've worked on this dress, I've had that Twilight Zone eyeball on my mind.
I thought taking photos outside would be fun as it is currently a crazy 70 degrees here in Nashville. C'mon winter, man up!
Of course it is super windy outside, which explains the peepshow I gave all y'all and my 'hood. I was going for something a wee more graceful, like this.
Of course, Roger (the monster in the Playhouse) also kept popping into my head. Although, I'll admit, I have thoughts of Pee-wee's Playhouse on the daily. 
I managed to not stitch a single dress for the holiday season. Which is super unusual for me...but I actually didn't have enough days in the month of December to wear all of my Christmas garb, #tackytroubles.
Mike Wazowski, much?
 My favorite part of this dress: the eyeballs on the back. Now I can channel my inner Roz...
Speaking of windy, I leave you with photos from the end of my camera roll. I'd apologize but I'm just keeping it real, kids.
Crazy, that is. Thanks for all the advice on the dress, I so appreciated it! And, of course, thank you for dropping by. Xo!
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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 26

Hello, most amazing art teachers! In case you missed last night's super fun chat, you can find it archived here. Be sure to join the fun next Wednesday, December 28th where we'll be talking about the advice we'd have given our young art teacherin' self. 

Last night's chat was create but lengthy. I decided to put together my favorite take-away's in this week's Art Teacherin' 101. Be sure to follow me here if you'd like to see more 101's, lesson videos, One-Minute Art Teacher clips and a random Elf surveillance clip. I'll be creating a lot of new video content to go along with this new Classroom Management adventure that we'll be kicking off in my art room come January. 

Love to hear your favorite classroom management tips! Leave 'em below so we can all get better at this magical thing called teaching. Love y'all!
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Facebook LIVE! Tonight at 8 pm CST

In case you missed our chat on Classroom Management (and a preview of next week's chat!) get your goodlookin' self here

I had so much fun chatting with y'all last week that I thought we could do it again tonight. Since today was our last day before the holidays, I'm in an especially GRAND mood (I'm already in my pj's and on the couch, how's that for kickin' off my break right?) Last wee, the subject of classroom management came up...a lot. I know that I'm definitely feeling like that's something I'm going to be (re)addressing come January (along with establishing new clean up routines because...WHUUUUT IS EVEN HAPPENING?!) so let's chat about that also. Getting the new year back on the right foot is what's gonna make finishing the school year fun. So let's share ideas tonight! 

I'll be chatting right here at 8 pm CST. I hope you'll drop by, introduce yourself, tell us where you are from and share your classroom management tips, tricks and/or woes! See ya real soon.  
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Monday, December 19, 2016

In the Art Room: Rizzi-Inspired Love Birds

With winter break right around the corner, I'm thinking ahead (for once!) about the projects my students will be working on come January. We are experiencing a break down in behavior in my classes of older students (nothing major, just more chattiness and lack of focus than what I'm used to) so we'll be returning to our start-of-the-school year chat about rules and routines. But I do want my students to still feel the love! So I'm putting together some love-themed projects for all of my classes. This here Rizzi-inspired Love Birds for my third graders is my first installment. 
Lots of focus on vocabulary in this lesson. This project will really help us explore creating a gradation, mixing tints and shades, discovering value and that's just on the first day! From there, we'll be working on creating a composition of our choice. I'm excited to see what my students create when we start these next month.
I have noticed my kids respond really well to Rizzi and his colorful works of art. A couple of my third grade classes are working on large-scale Rizzi-inspired buildings to create a city. I'll be certain to share them in an upcoming post.
Rizzi's landscapes often features a gradation of light to blue as he often will have day and night in his work. I thought this would be a great tie in and give the kids a chance to learn how to create a gradation.
Aren't his bird pieces so fun and happy? 
My biggest concern with kids creating at this age is that they do not draw large enough. Such is the reason I provided a guided-drawing activity for them in the video. This will help them understand the scale at which they are to create the most impact.
Do you have some favorite Valentine's Day/Celebration of Love projects? I'd love to hear about them. And if you give this lesson a go, please let me know!

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

What the Art Teacher Wore #171

Happy Holi-daze! These photos are completely random and outta order which is fitting for this week, don't you think? disco top: UAL; Christmas tree skirt to lady skirt: found at Big Lots, made by me last year with my tacky teacher buds; tights: Amazon; silver chucks: Journeys; big red bow turn hat: Hobby Lobby

Hello, Craziest Time of the Year! I know I'm not alone when I say WOW. Could things be any more bananas right now? And yet, would we really have it any other way? I think not. 

Adding to the craziness, I also decided to start sharing short videos on Instagram with y'all this week. Stay tuned for more of those. And if you've missed any, I'll be archiving them here

I also hosted my first Facebook Live chat this week! It is still up in case you missed. I'll be back this Wednesday at 8pm CST to chat about classroom management...something I know I'll be cracking down on after the holidays. Hope you'll join me! 

I'm still in school until's to makin' it, y'all! 
Last year, my kindergarten teacher friend Heather (left) and my second grade teacher buddy Bethany made these skirts from tree skirts found at Big Lots. We wear them every year for our annual Tacky Holiday Sweater day! Aren't they the cutest? We're so famous for our tacky, we were even featured on BuzzFeed
Fourth grade is rockin' and wrapping up their Faux Stained Glass project. I am so in love with their work!
Light Up Dress Ain't Got Nuthin on No Elf: Seriously, after showing the kids the Elf Cam 2016, they were so not interested in my light up dress. They're all, "nice but WHERE IS ESMERELDA?!" sweater: vintage, thrifted; light up dress: made by me, details here; shoes: Aldo
Second grade is weaving right now and it's just the most perfect project for this time of year. I see my second graders at the very end of the day when we are both tired. For the last week, we've been siting on the floor in a "Weaving Circle" while chatting, reading books and helping others learn to tie knots. It's just been the best way to end our day!
Polka Dotted Holidays! I so love this noisy dotted dress. It was a lucky estate sale score and it's one of my faves. sweater: Target; dress and brooch: vintage; boots: Frye...paint splatters by me
This week, I went LIVE on Facebook! If you weren't able to join the fun, it is currently archived here. I'll be back this Wednesday at 8pm CST to chat about Classroom Management. I think that is on everyone's mind at this time in the school year. I hope you'll join the fun!
I forgot to snap a photo on this day...but I did make a run to the grocery store. I was stopped by one woman who said, "My nana had a tree skirt in that same print!". I didn't have the hear to tell her that I probably was wearing her nana's tree skirt. Then a dude stopped me and said, "OMG, I was so going to wear that exact same outfit!" I told him it was a good thing he didn't seeing as how I looked so cute. Nobody wants to be the loser in a Who Wore It Best, right? 
First grade had a blast painting their Bebo-inspired birds. I heard comments like, "I'm a serious artist!" and "I love painting" the entire time we were working. It was so sweet. 
Friday Funday: I think everyone's schedule is cray right now what with programs, plays, etc. I've decided just to let it go and ride the crazy rollercoaster. Having a wacky outfit certainly helps. dress: made by me, here; tights: Amazon; candy cane chucks: Marshall's years ago
One of my favorite things ever is to host a craft night. I try to do one every coupla months but life just got so crazy this summer and fall, I just couldn't squeeze it into my schedule. I was determined to make a Christmas Craft Night a thing this year. So I through out an impromptu invite and we had a house full of food, booze, crafts and laughs. We missed y'all who couldn't make it and so sorry we didn't get a photo with everyone! Our Christmas Crafts of Holidays Past here and here
 The next morning, I went to my first ornament exchange at my friend Camilla's home. I had the best time opening ornaments from these sweet ladies. What a wonderful way to share our talents! You can see my ornaments here
I hope y'all have a fabulous week! May it be full of friends and fun. 
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