Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Leaf Batiks!

I just love how these fabric projects turned out! 

I introduced my 2nd graders to batik with an original from Africa (my best friend was lucky enough to study abroad there in college and bring me some suveniers) and a Mrs. Carvitti original. After explaining to them how most batiks are created (blocking out colors using hot wax), we talked about how ours would be made with a flour-water mixture using pastry decorating bags!

Supplies needed:
Flour, water, pastry decorating bags and tips, a thick enough fabric (I used muslin) to take the resist, leaf shapes or actual leaves, fabric paint, iron and ironing board

To make the paste:
1 c flour
1/2 c water 
2 tbsp alum
mix to a pancake consistency

Lesson one, I had the kids choose some shapes they wanted to use and transfer them to paper. Outline those shapes with black marker to be seen through the back of the fabric.

The cut the paper to a circle that would fit behind the embroidery hoops holding each piece of fabric.
They helped each other hold the page if it wasn't showing through enough, some of them were dark enough, some not.

 During the second lesson, once it was dry, the kids could either use the spray bottles (with diluted paint) or use a brush to add the color. Or both! We let them dry over night. 
The next morning, I used a metal spatula to scrape off the dried flour mixture, and then ironed them as the fabric paint sets that way. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Huichol Sun Yarn Paintings

I love love love the way these rockin' yarn paintings turned out! Just love them! 
They make for such a bright, bold display too. We use recycled cardboard (mostly boxes that the cafeteria is tossing after shipments) as a foundation, draw out our sun design after viewing some examples from online galleries, and discuss warm and cool color schemes. This yarn project is good for when you have a bunch left over scraps from weaving projects and such! I never throw anything away (the art teacher's curse, right?!)
 They get a little spent after 3 or so classes, but the effort is well worth it.

Here is my example:

 And here's what the kids did:

Stained Glass Windows

This is the first lesson of the year for Fourth Grade. We take a "field trip" over to our church (lucky we have one just next door, and observe the stained glass windows. I read the kids a short history on the purpose of stained glass windows originally, and they are always a little surprised that there was a time when most people didn't know how to read.
We spend some very quiet, respectful time in the pews at church, sketching our favorite images in the windows there, and come back to make our foundation for the project.

After they have folded their chosen color of paper, I demo to them how to line up the template so that they don't end up with two halves. Watch them really closely, because as you know, they might still make that mistake!
We draw out our chosen sketches and add more elements that we create on our own. You can see in the example above how I will have them trace their lines with Sharpie. Once they have done that, they are ready for oil pastels. We talk extensively about blending, layering the colors so that it appears that light is shining through the window like so:
This is time consuming work, but they are usually very good at spending the time on each small space. Here are some of the finished works!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Art Room Additions!

Whew! I am finally catching my breath after 3 and a half weeks of school, now.
This year, I have added a few things to my classroom to stream line the art making process and all of the procedures in my room.

Here's just one of them:
This will help students pick up on the fact that their art is missing from their folder because their name wasn't on it. They will eventually learn to come find it pinned here. :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A little project on the side....

I worked on this wall art for another teacher friend for a couple afternoons this month. She requested the color and we used "rules" that she found on Pinterest somewhere. I customized a bit, and this is the result!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Joined a challenge the other day posed to me by Mr E. 
I committed to challenging my few, but awesome, followers to join in the fun! 

FIRST:  I will create something for the first THREE people to comment on this post....who say they would like to participate in the challenge(who are not already participating through another blog/post).

SECOND:  If you say you would like to must issue the challenge somewhere(blog/facebook/twitter..etc) & personally make SOMETHING in 2012 (sooner than later so ya don't forget) for three people who will pledge to make something for three more people!
THIRD:  If you are one of the first three to respond to this challenge & say you will participate...send me your mailing address in an e-mail so I can send you your creation when I am finished with it!! 

Sound fun? Alright, let's go!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


The best (and busiest week) of this school year just came to a close! I had my Artist in Residence at our school for 3 glorious days! She was truly AMAZING! Waaaaaay back in November, I wrote a grant to host Michelle Stitzlein and in the time she was at school, create a mosaic completely made from bottle caps. Think beautiful, brightly colored caps that end up in the garbage (90% of caps cannot be recycled, did you know that?!) because, well, what else are you gonna do with them?? Well, we made a masterpiece.

The sorting started last school year. We have been collecting caps as a school (and, er, my family and husband is the most excited one to see this project come to fruition) for the last two years. Kindergarteners learning the color wheel as they sort caps for the future project. 

The week before Michelle came, we needed to project and transfer the image to be created onto four 4'x 8' plywood boards. I did the enlarging, but had help from a group of 7th and 4th graders to fill in the areas with bright paints. (P.S. the imagery was a compilation of design ideas from 6th and 8th graders earlier in the school year.)

Thanks girls!


The following photos are only a fraction of the action in my classroom this past week.
Day 1:
 Starting out small with the lady bug and the bird!

Caterpillar in the works!

Bangin' out the snowflakes! love my parent helpers :)

 Gotta love the intensity.
Day 2:
 Kindergarten through 2nd graders were only allowed to push the button to make the drill go. Help was SO essential, and I have the best from these parents, homeroom teachers, and high school cadet teachers :)

The BIG kids looking tough and un phased. Don't believe it, they DEFINITELY got into it!
 It's coming along...
 Big 8th grade boys
 Thank goodness for meticulous students!
 Our arms are sore by the end of the day! (Don't you just love Michelle's wearable bottle cap clothing and accessories?!)

Day 3:
Love these boys!
 I think they were surprised to find how easily they were able to use power tools!
 A new day, a new apron :)
 4th grade is so great
 Taking a break for a photo op, of course!
 The button pusher.
 Thank you, thank you parents!
 Silly boys...."we're at the spa"

On the 5th day, two days after Michelle left......we hung the mosaic! Are you ready?!

View from the left.
  View from my classroom, since it's hard to step back enough to get the entire mosaic in frame.
 View from the right.
 Just the summer and fall panels.
 Summer, fall and winter.
 Spring panel.

I am in love with this installation. The reaction from the kids once they saw it hanging was priceless. I have to confess, I was in tears at one point. AND-I get to see it every day, since we decided to put it right across from the Art room, between the computer lab and the library. The basement is definitely way brighter and friendlier now! :)