Saturday, May 6, 2017

DIY: Intro to Fashion Felting!

Last week was our very last felting craft night! All during the month of April, every Wednesday night at 8pm CST, me and a group of many others, learned the fine art of felting. I've had so much fun sharing my fibers hacks and learning from all of those who joined the fun. You can still participate and purchase supplies here as all the LIVE videos are archived both on my YouTube channel and on my Facebook page. For our last night, I shared how to create a palette hair clip. This one was created by Charlene @artteacher. Here's the video of our session together:
This week, we began a new creating adventure: working with clay! We explored Celluclay, one of my favorites. We are working with this kit (but you don't have to purchase to join the fun). We have been spending the first 20-ish minutes of our session just chatting all things art teacherin' and clay. Then we explored the medium together! You can see what folks are creating (and share your creations as well) by using the hashtag #creatingwithcassie

So to wrap up our fibers fun, I thought I'd share what we created. Shout out once again to the amazing Sue Bunch for creating those kits and joining our live sessions. You are a rock star! 
Don't you LOVE Heather's Leia? How perfect for May the Fourth, y'all. 
 Sculptural needle felting was new to me and I loved sharing the process with folks. Desiree's colorful owl is so stinkin' cute! 
 Maddie's fox is so cute. A coworker of mine had a baby fox in her yard this week and it immediately reminded me of Maddie's creation. 
 Ms. Yoon's shirt is just about the cutest thing ever. I bet you she could sell these cuties!
 Deborah's creations have been blowing me away every week. I never thought to felt on a straw hat such as this. She's got me excited to explore new surfaces!
 She also created this needle felted dryer ball. 
 Mariana's sweet daughter needle felted this portrait of Friday. How incredible! 
 I love the incorporation of embroidery with this needle felting. Maddie created this blouse that looks like it is straight out of Anthropologie. 
 Desiree's sparkly woodgrain on her palette was so creative. I loved seeing everyone's spin on their palette hair clip.
 Seeing photos of everyone's creation throughout the month of April really did make me so happy. I loved that folks got to experience something that I truly love. Look at all of this beautiful felted goodness!
 Angela's palette made me so happy but this knocked me off my feet:
Love her tribute to Klimt. 
 Meganne's addition of the two brushes was a super cute idea. 
 Love Rachel's needle felted name on her palette. 
Biggest heartfelt thanks to all of you who have been joining our live chats. We hit our 25th chat recently and it made me so happy...spending time with my favorite folks is something I look forward to all week. Thank you!!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Thursday, May 4, 2017

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Creates Arlo Needs Glasses

 We are winding down the year and heading to the art show...which means art projects now need to be short, sweet and a review of what we've learned. Today, kindergarten did a review of both pattern and texture while listening to the tale of Arlo and his need for glasses!
These cuties were created in 45 minutes and it was go time from the moment they walked in the door. I LOVE author Barney Saltzberg (his book Beautiful Oops is an art teacherin' fave) and I'm a big fan of Arlo Needs Glasses. Unfortunately, I don't own a copy but I did find a sweet little YouTube video of a boy reading the book. 
The kids were immediately interested in Arlo and couldn't wait to create. I had them gather up an 11" square piece of construction paper with any color of their choosing and a paintbrush. Once at their seats, the kids wrote their names and then used oil pastels to create a colorful rubbing. After a few minutes, we did a guided painting together. Here's the one minute version:

So much fun!
I loved how sweet and cute each Arlo was and so did the kids. I overheard the kids talking about how much they loved their creation. "I like mine and so does Mrs. Stephens!" to which another replied, "She likes everyone's art. That's her job." It's true. 
There were a lot of squeals when I said that we'd be finger printing. 
 I love how some of them look like koala's in glasses!
Once paintings were completed and drying racked, the kids met me on the floor to create the pipe cleaner glasses. 
 I played the book video again while those who finished early with their glasses helped those who struggled. 
 As they finished, I had the kids bring the glasses to me. I placed them on a large sheet of paper and wrote their names on the paper. Once the paintings were dry, I took them off the drying rack and hot glued them to the paintings. 
One more masterpiece for our pet-themed art show! Since the artwork for kindergarten is already hung, these just might be displayed on the cabinets in the art room.
 This one is so stinkin' cute...
 And this one completely cracks me up!
 Kindergarten is a tough beast to tame...but this project was definitely one that got them excited (more so than usual!) and one that I would def do again.
How about you, what are some of your fave kinder lessons? 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

In the Art Room: Clay Texture Turtles!

Need a fast and fun clay project that teaches kids all about texture? Try these clay texture turtles on for size! Here's a one minute how-to clip:
So easy!
 I did this project with my kindergarten (this was their second clay project...I'll share the other one soon!) and they loved it. Stepping on their clay and seeing the texture that the sole of their shoe left behind was their most favorite thing. Here are the kiddos in action: 
Stepping on the clay was def their fave part! 
 I loved using Mayco's Jungle Gem glazes for these turtles. I stressed to the kids that adding at least three layers of glaze would really make their turtles super shiny.
This is definitely a project that could also be done with air dry clay. In fact, every Wednesday night for the month of May at 8pm CST over on my Facebook page, I'll be hosting a clay chat, starting tonight! We'll also be creating in clay so be sure to bring your favorite clays...or purchase these clays as that's what I'll be working with: 
Of course, that book I wrote is nothing but non-kiln fire clay projects...I explored just about every clay medium in the making of that book. 
By the way, don't you LOVE that painting in the background? My fabulous P.E. teacherin' friend Ali is painting it as one of the backdrops for the art show! I thought it was a cute photo op for these happy and colorful turtles. 
See y'all LIVE tonight at 8pm CST...come armed with your fave clay tips!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

In the Art Room: Chalked Fish Ceiling Tile

Y''s getting down to the wire and I'm all about the last minute at this point in the school year. Between our art show, clay week(s), a ceramic mural undertaking (stay tuned!), our annual 2nd grade ceiling tile project just kinda slipped my mind. Not until a teacher asked did I remember that it was that time of year. After a mishap with a chalk order from China (they sent me HAIR CHALK, y'all!), I reached out to my friends at Faber-Castell and they sent us the most beautiful chalk I have ever seen. Last week, I sorted the chalk, created the following video and today, in just under 2 hours, my 65 second graders created magic!
The video so saved my voice! It's a loud room with lots of echos...I know that I would have struggled to keep my voice going and my patience in check. It was just me, one parent and a handful of super helpful 4th grade girls to assist these four classes of kiddos. The kids did wonderfully! I am so super proud of them...and they were so proud of's a short video of them in action: 
If only we worked that fast! 
In addition to the video, I spent about an hour in the morning with my super helpful specials team laying out large sheets of paper, setting out the chalk trays and the foam brushes. Last night I cut out 65 fish templates (we'll be painting them for our very last art project of the year!) and had them on the kids' tiles. We always work on the opposite side of the ceiling tile as it takes to the chalk so much better. 
32 chalk trays were ready for the kids to use. Check out that chalk, isn't it beautiful? 
Now, with 65 kids, you know they don't all work at the same pace. So I would share a little of the video and then put them to work. When they finished OR when they heard me ring my chime, they knew they were to stop immediately and meet again on the floor to learn the next steps. 
 Kids who finished early were asked to walk around and see if there were any friends who might like some help with their tile. I wouldn't normally have the kids work on each other's pieces but this is an exception. These tiles are BIG! And some kids wanted the help of their friends. Also, I emphasized that this was a collaborative project so help from our friends was great...but only if the artist wanted it. If not, move on to another friend!
This is our third year with this project and it's a big hit each time. This particular group was so excited about it! We do a different theme each year. Our first year, it was butterflies and least year was flowers. I'm so pleased with these bright and cheer fish, perfect to create a school of fish in our ceiling! 
 I get a lot of questions about this project so I thought I'd address them:

* How do you seal these? After the kids are done, these are sprayed heavily with Aqua Net. It does dull the color but not much...and def not noticeable from the ceiling.

* What does the Fire Marshall think? Our Fire Marshall didn't mention them! And, of course, we didn't ask. 
 * Do the kids get these back? No. I emphasize that the tiles are there to stay, it's our legacy, our magical mark we leave behind.

* How do you get all of the tiles? The first year, my custodian was able to order extra for me. Now, we just use the ones he has taken down. Meaning, when he takes down the clean tiles to hang the fish, we'll use those as our "canvas" next year!
 * How did you convince your administration to allow this project? This project came from a request from my principal! She saw artwork on the ceiling of a school and asked if I could do something like that. At that school, the kids had drawn on paper and the work was tacked to the tile. Originally, when our street painter artist came, we were going to do sidewalk drawings...but rain was in the forecast. Thinking that the texture for the tile would be the same as the sidewalk, the night before, I came up with the idea to do the back of the tiles. We do the back because it takes the chalk much better. 
 * Why chalk and not paint? Personally...I find the surface of the tile to be very porous and just absorbs the paint. This seems to take a lot longer...and I don't always love the look. Chalk, however, works great on the back of the tile and I love the look. 
 * What happens when you run out of ceiling tiles?! Pretty sure that won't happen any time soon. Our school is large and our librarian just asked today if I'd do something for the ceiling in there! Short answer: I'll retire, ha!
* Who hangs the tiles? One of our amazing custodians. He LOVES doing it and seeing what the kids create. I tried to hang them's a rain of chalk dust! He's the best for doing it for the kiddos. 

I think that covers all the questions about this question I've gotten in the past. But if you have others, feel free to drop me a line in the comments!
 Love to know if you've done a project like this before...or any legacy type project. They certainly add a punch of happy to our school. 
I'll be sure to share what they look like once they are installed. Until then, I'll be unloading/loading a kiln, matting artwork, scratching my head over a mural and having a nightmare about the art show. You know, the usual. 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png