Friday, April 14, 2017

Chalked Folk Art Fish

Need a happy and colorful project for your kiddos that reviews the elements of art, introduces the artist Sandra Silberzweig and allows them to explore the messy and fun medium of chalk? Well have I got a project for you! Here's the lesson video...
Please forgive the quality. I filmed this video at school using my iPad (I normally use my camera) and the iMovie app. I really love filming short clips this way as it's lightning fast! However, when I watched the video back on my laptop, I noticed the quality was not what I had hoped. 
I get asked often about making a video for the art room. I created this video last year at about this time when I was just starting to get my feet wet with filming. I use almost all of these techniques still so if you are interested in creating filmed content for your kids, you might find this helpful!
Back to the lesson: I'm doing this project with my second grade kiddos. This will probably be the last project for the year as they still have a couple of their clay projects, hot outta the kiln, to paint. We are going with a Pet Shop theme and my students created these birds:
They have all come out of the kiln so cute! I purchased some florescent paint, feathers, beads and wire for us to embellish them. I noticed on the bottle of paint I purchased that it says it works in black now I'm on the hunt for a black light for the art show. How fun would that be?
 All that to say, since we are going with a Pet Shop theme, any final projects created will feature animals or fish! My students are using 12" X 18" paper (I used half that in the video) because I wanted big, bold and colorful art. On the first day, we traced the template and did the glue drawing, all in 30 minutes. 
I am going to rethink my black glue recipe for next year. I use tempera paint and Elmer's Glue All...but I think the paint is too thick as the bottles sometimes get clogged. Next year, I'm going to try using India ink as my buddy Ginger uses. That being said, I do kind of like the variety of thick and think lines that the glue produces. 

Y'all know I've caught the Black Glue Bug this year. Check out what third grade created: 

And fourth grade: 

 What I love about chalk work is how vibrant it is. 
We have a couple more days of work left on these lovelies so I'll keep you posted on what happens next. Until then, enjoy your long weekend!
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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Exciting News: Free Clay Workshop!

I have got to be honest with y'all: I am LOVING our Wednesday night craft nights! If you aren't familiar, I've been hosting a free felting workshop over on my Facebook page each Wednesday at 8pm CST during the month of April (in fact, if you are joining in the fun tomorrow night, I'll have a list of supplies needed below). You are ALWAYS welcome to join, even if you do not have the felting kit. That was simply created with the help of Sue at Back to Back Fiber. And, if you decide you do want to join, you can still pick up your kit from Sue. All of my LIVE chats are archived both on my Facebook page and on my YouTube channel. Remember: I would LOVE to share what you create right here. Just use the hashtag #creatingwithcassie when you share your work on your preferred social media outlet. 

So now on to the exciting news: I'm going to continue the craft night fun with Clay in the month of May! I've partnered up with Activa Products to create a kit just for you and our creative evenings. Here's what your kit will include:
 A 1lbs. box of Celluclay, a 1lbs. box of ActivClay and 4" X 180" of Rigid Wrap which can all be purchased here. Knowing that we art teachers love a bargain, Activa is offering us a very special rate. I want to throw a big shout out to them for working with me! I know I've shared this before...I am not making a profit from these craft nights. I am doing them simply because I find creating, teaching and spending time with y'all so much fun. Thank you for joining me on this adventure. Remember, you do not have to make a purchase to participate in this free Clay in the month of May workshop. These are simply the supplies I will be using if you want to create along with me. You might have heard me mention both Celluclay and Rigid Wrap before. Here's a peak at some projects I've done with both materials:
This was my first experience with Celluclay and I was HOOKED after creating these vintage-inspired treat buckets!
Maybe too many episodes of Walking Dead was the inspo behind my Zombie Head Planters
Obviously, I'm a fan of the Halloween. This Book of Spells was big fun! 
I also introduced my second graders to Celluclay with this project
I shared Rigid Wrap with my fourth graders when they created these Candy Heart Sculptures

This is the perfect opportunity for you to explore new sculpture materials before introducing them to your students. If you are without a kiln, these materials are just the thing as they don't require kiln fire. I became very familiar with Activa Products when writing this here clay book of mine
My book is currently available for preorder here and slated to come out early June (I previously said mid-May but that release date has changed). In this book, I work with a variety of air dry, polymer and handmade clays. Once you are done with our 5 Wednesdays of clay exploration, you'll be ready to dive into this book and bring the fun to your art room next fall. 

As for this Wednesday, we'll be Wet Felting. So bring a zip lock bag (whatever size you have handy), a bowl of warm water, a bar or pump soap and scissors. Can't wait to create with you!
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Monday, April 10, 2017

In the Art Room: Stitched Monsters, Update!

Now that Clay Week(s) has come to an end, it's back to business as usual in the art room. In order for all of my kids to work with clay at once, I have the kids "push the pause button" on whatever we are currently working on. That means, after clay week, we un-pause and resume what we left behind. For fourth grade, that meant our Stitched Monsters! Here is the lesson video I created for this project. Feel free to use in your art teacherin' town!
Out of all the projects we have done this year, my kids have ranked this one very close to the top. Clay was a first place winner, of course, but it was a tight race. Many of my students have started sewing at home, bringing in their pillows, monsters and other creations. I remember when I was first introduced to hand sewing as a kid. It felt like a whole new world of creating was opened up to me. I think the kids are feeling the same. 
 I really liked having the kids use Smart Fab for the body as this made it easy for them to see thru and insure they were "capturing" the arms and the legs of the monster as they stitched. Once the stitching was complete and the monster was flipped to the correct side, if they noticed that part of their arm or leg was not securely attached, the kids had to go back and restitch. This really taught them the importance of good, even stitches. 
Once flipped, the kids had to complete a sketch of their monster. This sheet asked them questions about their monsters to really get their creative juices flowing. Once the sketch was done, they were to slide a card into their monster, cut the shapes of the face and glue them down with tacky glue. The card inside made it so the monster would not be glued together. 
Not until the kids started stuffing their monsters did they really seem to understand that they were creating a stuffie. One told me he was going to go home, make a bunch and sell them. Right on, dude! I had many requests to take them home today...but I need them for the art show! Give me a month, y'all.
Have y'all done stuffed monsters with your kids? I know there are may ways to go about making them. 
 Earlier this year, one of my sweet students gave me a small stuffed monster with a rectangular body and dangling arms and legs. That look is what I based this pattern on. 
Learning to sew monsters this way taught my students how to properly pin, stitch and create a monster. I definitely think this is a lesson worth repeating! 
Love to hear about your students stitchery projects! 
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Sunday, April 9, 2017

DIY: Felted Clutch

Well, after a whole lotta water, soap, roving, blood (only one stabbing, I promise!), sweat and tears (which proved helpful with the wet felting), the felted clutch is complete! Granted, I only started it last weekend, but this was definitely time-consuming and a step outta my comfort zone. The only other item I've ever successfully wet felted was the necklace I shared last week. So I'm on the proud side of DIY-town with this one. I've been sharing one minute tutorials nearly every day over here. I put those short clips all together to create this one which, hopefully, will help you understand how this felted clutch was created:
Y'all know I love needle-felting so that portion of the clutch was enjoyable. I just hit play on whatever show I'm watching on Netflix (fellow Art Scout Laura got me hooked on Breaking Bad) and go to work. The wet felting, being something new for me, def had a bit of a learning curve. I found myself asking, "am I done yet?" over and over. I ultimately threw the thing in the washer to speed up the felting process. 
Something I also discovered is that wet felting requires a LOT of roving where as needle felting only takes a small amount. I do have a lot of roving on hand thanks to my mom-in-law who is always hooking me up. A visit to an alpaca farm a couple moons ago also made it so I have a big stash.  
Since I was using this as kind of a demo for my free online felting class, which, if you've not seen what folks created that night, check here and also search Insta with the hashtag #creatingwithcassie, I decided to keep the motif simple. Well, that was the plan, anyway. But I'm kind of a more is more is more person, so this is the result. By the way, if you missed Wednesday night's session, here you go:
It was so fun...even if my LIVE creations were lackluster!
I wanted a bright color on the inside so I opted for yellow roving when wet felting.
 Nice and bright for me to find my stuffs. 
While at an estate sale the other day, I picked up a vintage clutch with a strap like this across the back. I decided to add something similar to mine. I'm so tempted to make another clutch with a vertical strap and wear it fanny pack style. Please give me permission to do this!
My grannie hands fit, hurray!
I had to teach myself how to do the blanket stitch to finish the edge...I'd never done a blanket stitch before. Isn't that nutz? 
 I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I truly love the look of all things felted!
Until next Wednesday night at 8pm CST right here, have fun felting!
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Thursday, April 6, 2017

DIY: Intro to Needle Felting!

In case you missed it, last night I hosted my first free felting session over on my Facebook page and it was a ton of fun! We had almost 200 folks join me for about an hour of Intro to Needle Felting. If you'd like more details on this free craft night, pop over here. You can still purchase a kit if you'd like to join the fun! Those that participated and used the hashtag #creatingwithcassie on their Twitter and Instagram posts are being featured here today. If I missed your post, my apologies! I'll share it here next week. By the way, you might wanna give these folks a follow as they are creative artsy types just like you. I'll be certain to share their IG handles. This masterpiece was created by @jill_nettels!
Felted masterpiece by @dwade1721.

If you missed last night's session, no worries. It's been archived on my Facebook page. I've also uploaded it to my YouTube channel. So even if you miss me live, you don't miss a thing. 
It's a long you go!
 Isn't this gorgeous? Created by @swshumaker!

Last night was my second attempt at creating LIVE. If y'all remember I tried it once before with creating my Art Teachers in Training badges...and it was a struggle. I couldn't see the screen to field questions, I couldn't get a good angle for y'all to was not pretty. I was determined to give it another shot and I hope last night was better. But there are some things I learned! 
 A needle felted pouch! So perfect, by @echopaitsel. 

1. I'm not so good at creating and talking. I notice this in teaching too, do you? I'll lose my train of thought, forget what I was saying, end up just making a muck of things...I think it's that whole right brain/left brain thing. At least that's the excuse I'm using for those not-too-pretty examples I created live!
 Aren't these pins going to be so cute?! By @mary5409.

 LOVE this sweater by @mrs.newtonsart!

2. Keep projects open-ended. I really didn't want to tell y'all: this is what we are going to make and this is what yours will look like when you are done. Because...what fun is that? The beauty of needle felting is that there are no "rules", no "right and wrong" ways to do it. I think I succeeded in that...just look at the variety of awesomeness that y'all created! 
 Look at this sweet flower by @artteacher!
 One question that came up a lot was: what can you needle felt on. Y'all...ANYTHING! Check out this flower felted onto cotton by @ms_kibbe.
 I so loved seeing everyone's set up where they were going to be working. Look at this art room corner! @chapin_schnick, I love it so much, I might be able to forgive the Purdue sign (I.U. grad here, sister, ha!).
 I am loving this ladybug...I think I need to add some bugs to the clutch I am felting! @mrsmillsartfromtheheart, this is fabulous.

3. Y'all are fast learners! When it took me 30 minutes to create a circle and a leaf, y'all were busting out stuff like this. I was just floored when I saw my IG feed. 
 I mean, @emilystuver, for reazzz tho. Beautiful!
 Anything with a cat gets my seal of approval, y'all. this is so cute!

 4. Y'all are problem solvers...and great at helping each other. When someone asked how to felt on a pocket without felting the pocket closed, the idea of cutting the foam and placing it inside the pocket was shared. I love that the questions I couldn't answer, y'all solved!
 I have one word: wooooaaaahhhhh. @visualpraisestudio, this is amazing.
  I so love that the boyfriend decided to join in on creating with us! How awesome is that @daynabayna?!

 I loved the running cat theme. There's actually a book called Felting with Cat Hair that my mom gave me some time ago. I've yet to take Crazy Cat Lady to THAT level tho. Isn't this adorable by @nachtule?

 I think one thing everyone learned is that needle felting is a labor of love...heavy on the labor. But this sweater by @disneychica1313 is going to be so cute when she is done!

5. You guys are the best recruits! I loved how you involved fam members, boyfriends and pals to join the fun. It really was like a craft night with a ton of buddies. Thank you for making it so worthwhile. 
I love this photo from @jenjencarey...she cracked me up! I do love her C...even if her collar is hiding it. She just needs to flip her collar Rizzo-style! 
 Another beauty from @nachtule!
 Look how pretty this is by @cherishines!
 This one makes me so happy, I love this color combo by @chapin_schnick. 
 What I love most about needle felting is that you can start out small and simple...and grow so much from here. I can't wait to see what @artsygirl1978 creates with this! 

 Those of you who I missed, my apologies! I'll add you in next week's update of our craft nights. Remember if you'd like me to share your photo, simply use the hashtag #creatingwithcassie on your preferred social media outlet. And be sure to join the fun next week as we dive into the waters of wet felting. See you then!
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