June 30, 2012

two things & stay tuned

I'll start off by saying that you should all stay tuned for the patriotic craft tutorial I will be posting tomorrow. If you love the fourth of July as much as I do then I think you will love what I'm making.

I have an addendum to the vacation post from a few days ago.
First, when I was in Destin, I was inundated with opportunities to by a Destin t-shirt.
Now, that is probably something I would have done when I was 8.
But now, I dunno, I don't dress like I did when I was 8...well maybe sometimes. Ha!

Anyway, I caved.
Mostly because I knew I could destroy the t-shirt enough to make it 'me'.
I bought a t-shirt that was neon (a must) and not too tacky...because many I saw were.
And just like the tutorial I did here...I cut it up as soon as I got home.

I dunno. Maybe you have old t-shirt or trip shirt that needs some revamping.
All I know is I go through tank-tops like crazy, especially when June has decided to already display triple-digit temperatures on a daily basis.

It took 5 minutes to do. You might consider trying it.

Also, the night I got home from vacation, I had this lovely book waiting for me.

I want to give a shout-out to Pat who always dazzles the art-teacher-blogging-world with her lovely posts.
I won this book in her first giveaway! 

I hope to one day be as cool as her and have 100 followers.

Remember...stay tuned.

June 27, 2012


I'm back!!
It is amazing how a one week absence can feel like a year in a blogger's mind.
In case you were wondering what edge of the world I fell off into this past week that would be

I have never visited Destin in my twenty-six years, but I have every intention on returning because nothing has quite compared to it (at least within the continental United States).

Enjoy some of the photos from my eight day adventure.
See, I didn't totally forget about you all.

The closest you've got so far to a self-portrait of me. My identity is slowing piecing together.

The wharf dazzled me with fireworks one evening.

These birds were everywhere on the boardwalk. Couldn't help but snap a silhouette photos against the sunset.

Have you ever taken a once in a lifetime photo?
Right place. Right time. Perfection.
That's how I felt after taking this panning photo.

Great restaurant. Hard name: Fudpuckers. Loved that they had these little guys crawling around the place while you waited to be seated.

Guess what I crossed off my bucket list?

Yep. That's me on the left and my momma on the right. Such an amazing feeling to fly like that.
Parasailing...check. Skydiving...perhaps.

You don't need to pay for a dolphin cruise. These guys are everywhere.

And right at the end of the trip...Debby hit.

Debby only enhanced the trip. Sure she put a stunt in my tan. But I am pretty fascinated with natural disasters. I don't want them to happen, but since we all know they do, I am interested to know what they are like.
Weird. I know.

All I've had my whole life is Tornadoes.
Even though Debby didn't become a Hurricane, I did experience what a tropical storm is like. 
She only last a day, then the sun came back out.

Anyway, the trip was amazing.
If you haven't been, go, just go.

June 18, 2012


I'm not going to lie.
Sometimes, professional development as an art teacher, rocks!
What elementary students doesn't want to do a little origami?
Then again, what art teacher doesn't want to sit down and create art too?
Simple folds.
Beautiful colors.
Creative solutions.
Repetition at its finest.
And sometimes going that extra mile.

June 16, 2012

perfectly patterned

Brace yourself, I have an art lesson to share.
This is a lesson I did right at the end of the school year with my first graders.
Boy-oh-boy did they impress me.
My little heart was first so excited because their work showed me that:
1) they had the patience to make good patterns
2) they were ready for second grade

either way...
these are my babies, the very first students I ever taught that were mine-all-mine...so I was so proud!
Start off by stamping black rings onto 12x18 white construction paper.
I did this for 30 minutes then we had a  end of the year star party for the last 30 minutes.
In case you are wondering, these are what I used (#2) to dip into the black tempera paint (#1)
Once they are dry you should explain patterns to your students.
Growing patterns. Repeating patterns. Etc.
In order to peak their interest and show them what really complex patterns look like I show my kiddos some zentangles that 5th grade did earlier in the year.
They spent 60 minutes working on these and I had to give them another class period to finish.
If they finish before others I had them draw line patterns in their background.

Here is the funny part.
Sometimes I pull out the kid's artwork to look over it again...admire it...ya know...be a teacher.
Well I did that with this project and I started laughing at something I found hidden in their art.
Look and see.
Porcupines? Little Ninja turtles? Who knows?
I just love it though.
These little surprises are yet another reason why I love what I do.

June 14, 2012


Now that it is summer I have the time (sort of) to read whatever I want.
besides my Analysis of Research textbook ;)

I found this amazing website via Pinterest:

Basically you type in the name of a book you liked and it gives you similar types of books you might like to read.
I found this gem because of it.
It's called "Matched" by Ally Condie.
I had typed in "Hunger Games" and this is one of the results it gave me.
Gotta say, I am LOVING it.

Signs you know your 1-year-old niece is spending a few days with you.

Recently introduced to this gem also.
You need to know 3 things about me:
1) If and when I drink soda pop it is Dr. Pepper. That is my go to favorite.
2) I hate diet sodas. HATE them.
3) My favorite drink of all time is Lemonade.
the best friend gave me one to try and I was hooked.
10 calories and oh my goodness SO refreshingly wonderful.
Go to the grocery store and get yourself some.

Almost finished another journal.
Not hard to write when your quite comfortable like this.

Though this picture does not show it, I've been catching some rays too.
Of course, slathered in some number of spf.
My paleness needs to prep because I will be beach-bound in less than a week.

I've also received word that my art room is now painted.
I've yet to check it out.
But when I do I will for sure show you the update!

June 11, 2012

...and the wardrobe

Even as an art teacher I LOVE to dress up for work!
Don't be surprised if you come to my class during a clay project and find me sporting a dress more fit for a office. 
So after 9 months of classy I allow myself 3 months of relaxed. 

Imagine my disappointment this morning when I went to put on the usual:
running shorts and a men's white v-neck undershirt...
only to find...
a small hole in the arm of the t-shirt.

I threw the t-shirt on my bed and decided it would become a craft later in the day.

Hence, later in the day.
Now, you've probably seen some awesome tutorials doing this craft on Pinterest. 
I myself have had one of my youth girls say this is an easy tank-top to make.
I totally agree!
All you need is scissors and a t-shirt.
Cut off the collar close to the hem.
Cut off the sleeves. (Hem on sleeves should get cut off)
1. Cut another 1.5" off the sleeve
2. Fold shirt in half. --Use symmetry to cut other sleeve-- same on both sides
3. What mine looked like
I folded the shirt in half again, and cut the back of the shirt.
1. Use one of the sleeves and cut off 1"
2. Cut in half so it isn't in a loop
3. Stretch it, this will cause the strip to curl
Tie the back of the t-shirt together.
I added a little bow to "girl" this t-shirt up a bit.
Here is the front of the tank-top.
The back of the tank-top.
Since it is a workout tank I decided to pull out the muscles for this photo.

This literally took 5 minutes to make.
And it totally fixed a t-shirt that had a hole in it.
Nothing is a lost cause when you are creative!!

June 7, 2012

the commission

Have you ever been commissioned to do an artwork?
I have a few times.
This time it is for my aunt.
She recently got herself a fancy office with some walls that need some love.

This is what I was told:
Modern, Abstract, Cool Colors, Pollock, Rothko..etc. 3 artworks.
Today I tackled one of them.

Medium: My favorite watercolors
The inspiration for this artwork is Pollock with cool colors.
The driveway started to get a paint job too.
This is where you go when you have no studio space. Outdoors.
What do you think? 

Oh ya, here is the best part, I'm getting paid in manicures.

June 4, 2012

it's blue!!

*Update at bottom of post*
Today I chalked my hair.
I had to wait until I was done with teaching and my masters class last week--you know--dresscode.
In case you aren't sure what this is, go take a look at my pins or keep reading.

Little (or widely) known facts about Jen:
1. I have dyed my hair a lot in the past (red, black, brunette, blonde...I've tried it all)
2. Despite my crazy dyeing habits, I always want to do something drastic but stop myself because...
a. I'm scared
b. I've been growing my hair out since '09 and have panic attacks when someone gets scissors too close to me

When I stumbled across "hair chalking" it seemed like the best option.
Currently I am mid-experiment with it (and I'm lovin' it!)
But if I wake up tomorrow and it doesn't wash out...this will be me:
Let's hope not!

On to the steps.
You will need: Water, Straightener or Curling Iron, Soft Pastel Chalk (more on this below)
Go through your normal routine.
Wash hair.
Blow-dry hair.
Brush hair.
Section hair off.

Don't wear anything white while doing this or even after.
Here I am right after I have sectioned off my hair.

You could use a spray bottle to dampen the ends of your hair.
I just dipped my fingers into a bowl of cool water and did it.

Take your soft pastel chalk and rub it on the front and back of the wet part of your hair.
You could blend two colors together.
I was very hesitant to do very much because I want to make sure it comes out first.

Try and have a sink nearby because your hands will look like this.
I washed mine after each level of hair came down from the clip.

Use your straightener or curling iron on that part of your hair.
You will have to go over it more than once because the hair was damp.
Did you know you could curl your hair with a straightener? You can!

This is what you get.

This is about 6 hours after I originally did all of my hair.
It has faded some already just from my coming and goings.

Subtle enough for my first attempt.
I will tell you, I've had more people stop me to compliment my hair today then I can remember.

About the Chalk.
Sidewalk chalk...not going to work.
Chalkboard chalk...yah...not going to work.

Go to hobby lobby or another art store and find yourself something that says soft pastels...not oil pastels.
Mine very much feel like chalk and look like chalk...not like an oil pastel.

I do believe this could work for any hair color.
I gave my sister warm colors, so maybe she will give me a pic to share with you later.

I will update this tomorrow and let you know whether it came out or not!

It came out!!!!
Two scrubs of shampoo, one slather of conditioner, and I combed after each.
*My sister did warm colors, word to the wise, if you are blonde and use pink, it won't wash out. So be like me, use cool colors, after all, they are cooler.*