August 30, 2012

over 100 strong...

It's official.
August marks the end of the month long birthday celebration of "Draw The Line At".

Two years ago I decided I wanted to start blogging.
I really only had two motivations behind starting a blog. I wanted to do something creative and share it with others. And I wanted to write. I get to do creative things all day long in my classroom but rarely do I get the chance to use my creative writing skills---with the exception of our family Christmas card and my journals.

So I created this blog in August of 2010.
I was just starting my first year as a real teacher. Attempting to eat, breathe, and sleep is hard enough your first year of naturally I decided I needed to add something else to my plateful...hence this blog.

You know what I did then?
Fell off the face of the worldwide web.
No, it wasn't because I was trying to eat, breathe, and sleep.
I had total and complete writer's block.
I could not for the life of me come up with a blog name. It is by far the hardest challenge I have faced when blogging. So half a year later I finally buckled down and did something about it.

If you haven't read my first blog post ever, here it is:

Guess what I found out?
Not only did I have to come up with a blog name...
I have to come up with post titles every time I want to write you.
Turns out creativity never ends.
And currently I am staring at a blank post title wondering what I should call this one.

You've all made this second birthday a great one.
Just yesterday my blog hit 100 followers.
And I totally missed it.
Woke up to 99.
Checked my blog later and it was at 101.
It was like missing Midnight on New Years Eve.
This is SO something that would happen to me though.
It is in the past now.

Speaking of the past...let's me be a cheerleader to others who really made this blog happen.

You were the reason I wanted to start a blog in the first place. 
Your inspiring blog, posts, and creativity are the reason this blog exists.
And I must tell you, when you joined my blog a few months back, I nearly died of excitement.
It was like the Queen had come to my house for dinner.
You were my first blog follower. You believed in me even when I had no clue what I was doing.
Thanks for the confidence---and the continued support!
Your comments on my posts always make me smile. Remember when I won your giveaway because you reached 100 followers? I said I hoped I could be cool like you one day. Well, I don't know if I am cool, but I am a little more like you now. Thanks for the support and laughs!
I don't just follow and frequent art teacher blogs. These are two of my favorites that I call '"life" blogs. These ladies will have your taste-buds craving, your noggin thinking, your heart melting, and your life changing.
I know I have many followers who simply follow my posted links on social media outlets. Whether you are a youth, a best friend, a family member, or a distant friend I have to say thank you. Even though I remain mostly a mystery on here, you all know me, you know my heart, and you continue to support anything I put my mind to. Thanks for the love.

There are so many more thank yous to give but I will stop for now.
I can't believe it was just April that I had

Thanks to you. Thanks to Pinterest.
Thanks ultimately to the One who guides all my endeavors.
We are
I think I just found my post title.

August 27, 2012

back to school night

Do you ever get ready for the year and realize you could use a few more things?
Or at least have a few extras on hand?

A wish list.

I make a sign every year that makes it easy for parents to see what the art room could still use.
Then I display it at back to school night.
Parents can simply grab a post-it and go.
No need to write down a reminder.

I usually get a few things back too.
Last year I showed up to school one morning and had a huge box of brand new colored sharpies waiting for me.
Be still my heart!

August 24, 2012

glitter is my favorite color

Have you ever bought a present for someone who was with you while you bought it?
That was me a few weeks ago.

Leave it to my newly twenty-nine year old sister to ruin the best part of any present:
the surprise.

She was not only with me...
She picked out what she wanted and handed it to me at the cash register.
She even handed me something she purchased just so I could have something else to wrap.
Good grief.

I couldn't leave it like that.
So when we were shopping the other day I heard her mention she wanted pink sparkly Toms. 
Well that's just perfect.
Her birthday budget was toast and I wasn't prepared to fork over a bunch of cash for those specific shoes.
My only solution.
Craft time.

I went to my favorite shop
nooo...not hobby lobby...yet

I picked up some white sneakers.
The other supplies I had on hand.
You'll need:
Mod Podge (glossy) - glitter paint & glitter in roughly the same color - paintbrush - painter's tape - sneakers
(the gold glitter...well...see below.)
Tape off the rubber soles.

I used a cupcake tin and added the glitter paint and glitter. It should be a smooth mixture...not gritty.

Mix. Use a small brush to do the tongue of the shoe and carefully maneuver the laces. 
Big brush for the rest of shoe.

After the mixture has mostly dried, put a coat of Mod Podge on top.
It will look white - it dries clear - don't forget to do the shoe tongue too!

I took the tape off about an hour later.
Let dry for at least 24 hours.
After my sister opened them, my one year old niece claimed them as her own. Sigh.

Surprise! I made some for myself too.

Sister Sister!

August 21, 2012

my supply closet

Sorry for falling off the map this past week.
I was teaching my first week of art for the year.
--which by the way - my voice - my teaching stamina - totally gone because of summer--

I was also setting up a new page for the blog.
You can see it over on the right-hand column.
It is called, "my supplies".

We always talk about what to order and what we ordered.
Now you can see it.

As for the first week of school, whew, I was exhausted after day one and two.
It is hard to repeat the same 45-minute speech about 20 times.
The weekend was great for recovery.

Today I finished my last speech and I couldn't be more excited to actually teach art now!!
Good luck to all of you who are beginning to teach this week!

August 13, 2012

end of the day "reset"

t- 1 day and counting
Tomorrow is the last day without students.
Between all the meetings this week I've been able to get a little more done in my room.

Last year I had an epiphany while doing end of the day clean-up.

Now --- we all clean-up at the end of every class --- but the last class of the day does what I call the "reset".

My schedule changes every year.
Year one I had 3rd grade at the end of the day.
Year two I had 2nd grade.
This year I have 5th (which is great because they did this when they were the 3rd graders).

Basically they not only have to make sure my room is clean, they have to reset it for the following day.

Last year I would use a dry-erase marker and write out what each leader's responsibility was when the end of the last hour drew near.
Once it was written on the white board I would refer the students to that instead of repeating myself.

However, I was still repeating myself.
Because I was writing and re-writing the same phrases day after day.

Thus the epiphany.
Behold the solution:
I cut out long strips of white poster board.
Used a thick sharpie to write the same phrases that I always write.
Laminated them.
Set the stack on the marker tray right underneath the leadership positions.
Now I can easily shuffle these around for the end of the day "reset" clean-up jobs.
I won't use them every hour because their leader job already covers what needs to be done at the end of a regular class period.

These were some of the phrases I wrote:
* Sharpen Pencils *
* Organize Tubs *
* Clean Floor *
* Clean-up tables = 1 paper towel *
* Clean off the glue bottle tops = 1 damp paper towel *
* Put art materials back on bookshelf *
* Organize free-time Area *
* Hang up and organize art Aprons *
* Help out where you can *

Lastly, I added some signage or "footage" to my room this year to help with organization.
This will help the flow when we need to use the sink.

I also made paper paintbrushes that I put out in the hallway to point the way to the bathrooms.
The kids need a map to make it there and back safely.

August 10, 2012

jewelry board

Two days in and I'm at my first weekend.
No students yet.
Just me, my room, and lots of professional development.

I'm going to submit my last craft for the summer season --- but not my last craft ever.
I just might have to wait till I have more time.
You'll need a bulletin board, painter's tape, paintbrush, scissors, acrylic paint, nails, and a hammer.
Use the scissors to cut the painter's tape to a design of your choosing.
Something else?
You choose.
Use the acrylic paint color of your choosing and paint the bulletin board.
Once it dries, pull off the tape.
Grab your hammer and some nails.
Start hammering the nails into the top of the bulletin board. (be careful!)
Mine just happen to have a wooden frame around it.
Start arranging your jewelry.
A little view from the top.
You have your own work of art displaying your necklaces.
I had all these supplies so this craft was free.
But I am much happier now with how it has all been re-purposed.

August 8, 2012


I remember waking up on the first day of summer break.
I stayed snuggled up in my bed as the sun crept through my window. 
I just wanted to let the last ten months of hard work and my life sink in before facing the next seventy-six days of freedom.

Freedom always is just
The summer was free to be what it chose to be.
Free to be the best summer of my life, the worst, the hardest, the most remarkable, even life-changing.

I usually know what I am going to face each summer.
The previous few always have the same faces. 
The same nightly routines with those faces.
But since life happens, I knew this summer would not be what previous summers had been.
In all honesty, even if you're in summer, it can still be winter.
Life might not be fruitful and fragrant at the moment.

Knowing all that --- I got out of bed --- I embraced the freedom.
I trusted God to take me through it.

It turned out to be all those things.
The best, the worst, the hardest, remarkable, life-changing.

I read a quote last night that struck me quite significantly.
How true that is for me. For this summer. For life.
He has had so much to say.

I was sitting outside Starbucks with my best friend Lauren just the other day.
We both had remarks about these last three months that we just walked through.
For both of us, though the journey this summer has been significantly challenging we both had the same thing to say about it.
I wouldn't trade this past summer for anything.
Though there is pain, there is growth.
There is beauty from ashes.
Endurance gained. Character strengthened. Hope resilient.

As I lay here in my bed again on this my last day of summer break.
The clouds keeping the sun at bay from lightening my room.
I look ahead to the next ten months of my life and wonder what God might have in store.
I might still be in a season of winter.
I might feel as if I've been snowed-in and rained-out.
But God clearly has my attention.
I refuse to spend my time wanting to get out of winter because God created it for a reason.

As much as we may want to spend our whole lives in  a season of summer, if we want to grow we just can't.
We need the abeyance of winter, the rejuvenation of spring and the transformation of autumn.

August 2, 2012

art room bulletin boards

UPDATE: see a year's worth of // facebook bulletin boards //

It's August!
Which means school will be starting soon.
I'm trying to enjoy the last few days of summer, but I know once I start having school nightmares I need to get in the classroom and get productive.
Hence my visit into my room today.

Today I tackled most of the bulletin boards.
I must say I am loving the Facebook board which was inspired by this pin.
First I selected 10 artists. One for each month (August-May)
I started by sorting some of my art prints.
Then I googled each artist and found them a "Profile Picture"
I wrote each artist's name and their "about" information onto a piece of poster board.
Found a brief biography for under their profile picture.
Put some of their artwork up in one of their photo albums.
And then I was so obsessed I made a Wall with a few status updates, comments, and likes.
Not gonna lie, I had a lot of fun making this.
I am anticipating it will be a hit with the kiddos.

I also made this bulletin board from this pin.
Now all I have to do is finish my personal bulletin board and the safe seat bulletin board.
But, who knows, sitting at the pool may win out.