Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Break I have missed you.....

Better late than never......Spring Break I mean. I am thankful it is finally here but oh mylanta how I was looking forward to it being here! And my first official day...what did I do? I slept in, went to a doctor's appointment, slept some more and did a few loads of laundry. So not really anything that amounted to anything. But Saturday I attended a workshop from Golden Acrylics artists and Instructor Merle rosin. The Ashland Art League sponsored her teaching. And WOW how fabulous!!! I even received a Golden Acrylic Coffee mug!

Sunday, we went to the local playhouse, the Mansfield Playhouse,  to watch the hilarious show Drop Dead!! Loved the cast, loved the show, loved it all!! and I loved the fact that Mr. Mac got an extra nap in and cooked dinner for us. The rest of my week is pretty well swamped. Cleaning all day Tuesday, Wednesday I have an open studio day for my students, and a family business meeting in the evening and lots of prep on the remaining days for the School wide art show held the next week. But, all that will be ok, because I will take a few breaks to enjoy coffee from my new mug.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Some of the works we submitted to the Governor's Youth Art Exhibition

Just a few of the pieces we took for consideration to the Governor's Youth Art Exhibition. So proud of the courage and strength to take a risk putting themselves out there!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

It is here....

Another competition, not just any competition, but the Governor's Art Competition. To be honest, our crazy winter has set us so far back that we just aren't ready for it. I don't have nearly the quantity of work I normally do. But I have some fantastic student pieces that I am taking on Saturday. These kids always amaze me with what they can do! Tonight will be filled with me typing and editing lists and starting to panic that I don't have one more dress stand that I really need still. and I am short on cardboard. But that just means I will be dumpster diving in the morning and headed to home depot tonight. Until then, here is a picture of two pieces, the rest will come on Saturday:)

Monday, February 3, 2014

SO MUCH TO CELEBRATE!! (warning-pic heavy)

Being Pinned
Oh my GOODNESS!!!! These past few weeks have been crazy! After experiencing the Polar Vortex with temperatures at -15 actual and -36 windchill, seeing ice columns and witnessing snow rollers and an amazing 4 days of cancellations in a row due to weather.... I was more than a little excited to head to Ft. Rucker, Alabama, to watch my oldest nephew graduate as a Warrant Officer in the Army. Unfortunately, the weather followed us there and a trip that should have been a 12 hour drive turned into almost 21 hours of driving! And although our travel was extended the ceremony was also delayed and we were still there in time for the pinning. I can not tell you what an honor it was to be there and see the man he has become. He will begin aviation school in the Army very soon. It was also a bonus to get to spend a little time with my family.

Sunrise over the Lake
I was also lucky enough to sneak in a sunrise or two which was right off the back of our cabin where we stayed. And on the second sunrise, sipping coffee with my sister, wrapped up in a fleece blanket braving 29 degree temps, checking my email and feeling a little like Monet must have as he watched the colors change through the day, I discovered that  my project on DONOR'S CHOOSE was fully funded! I had been notified that I had more donations this week but fully funded!! WOW!!!

The Camera's from Donor's Choose
 A few months ago I requested funding for technology on Donor's Choose. I was requesting 2 digital cameras for my classroom for my students to use instead of their cell phones. We can use them every day! I am so grateful, excited, overwhelmed and ecstatic for my students to receive their new cameras! And today when I told them the good news they were pretty excited too! Even more excited that they arrived during the School day! I was notified on Friday that we were funded and we received them today-Monday!!And they couldn't have come at a more perfect time! Intro students are starting their trace monotype self portraits and Drawing students will be starting choice media self-portraits, photograph their work for their portfolios and start the independent photo montage project as well! Thank you to Donor's Choose and everyone who gave! I can't wait to share the great results of my students!!! I truly have so much to celebrate!!!!
My sister, our Officer and myself
My Husband and I
Receiving my company coin
King Wes
Our Men
My beautiful niece

My dad with one of the sculptures

My dad outside of the U.S. Army Aviation Museum
My Sister and Brother-in-Law

Thursday, December 26, 2013


My sister is an animal lover. Her pets are just as loved as one of her children and over the summer her beloved Pedro passed away. Pedro was a small cream chihuahua that was loved by everyone for his quirky antics and anxious disposition. He was also our chihuahua Pepe's papa. I wanted to do something for her for Christmas, and I wanted it to be something about Pedro.She had given me an ornament last year of our Harley and it was my favorite gift.

I "appliqued" and slightly embroidered a portrait of Pedro.  I worked on creating a value map from a photo and used fabrics that related to her favorite colors and also to Pedro.. I layered them up and used wonder under to attach them together. Trying to embroider some of the details is a little more difficult through more than 2 layers of fabric and wonder under.   As a first effort, I don't think it was half bad, and I definitely want to incorporate this into my crafts curriculum now. I must say, I really miss the little guy and I really enjoyed creating this for my sister.

Testing out the bones for the background

Building the layers

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I am the Walrus...

In November my friend Mary and I presented a workshop on modeled sculpture at the 2013 OAEA conference. I started the "Walrus" as my sample. Just a bit of newspaper, paperclay and tape. After the workshop, I continued to work on him during my lunch duty at school. I would roll my cart(a short AV/tv stand with a drawing board on top) with me and work while I check hall passes and wrangle the "escapees". And after numerous lunch dates with the walrus, Medusa and the mermaid(a few of the other sculptures I am working on) and finally a classroom day of painting examples and demonstrations, he is now finished and painted.  I took my color selection to Facebook and let some of my friends help me decide his fate.  The nice part is that he kids really took off and the idea of layering their paints. I can't wait to share their results in my next post! Now the really hard part begins....figuring out what to name him..or her. Suggestions are very welcome!

A little bit of creepy clown happening here..
Looking a little loved this stage.
Zombie Walrus

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Classroom Project

I am blessed to have a community of people who are constantly on the lookout for unusual items for my students to recycle or a great deal on supplies to help supplement my secondary visual arts classroom. It isn't unusual for a random box of doll parts, wool pieces or games boards to be dropped off. And it is always a pleasure to see my students come up with creative solution in how to use these supplies. The hard part is knowing that there are a lot of other supplies that my students still need and that it will be difficult for them to attain unless I purchase them. I often pay for items out of pocket, just like every other teacher in my district and across the the country. I know I am not alone in this. I consider myself pretty lucky that my husband doesn't get angry when he notices as I toss something extra into the cart. He just smiles and asks what or who is it for this time. I wouldn't even want to guess how much I have spent this calendar year alone, but I know it is more than the $250 allowed on the federal income tax form. I spent that before school even started. And like most teachers, I don't mind spending a little here or there, but at then end of the year it all starts to add up.

The monies available to my classroom come directly from the supply fee that students pay. It stayed the same for over 10 years despite increased costs in materials but was recently reduced to help offset the financial burden to our students and their families who can't  afford fees. It is also for the district because they compensate if a student can't pay so then no student is denied a class because they can't afford the fees.  Before the reduction, we were able to purchase every supply our students needed, but now to offset the reduction, many of the supplies we used to purchase with the student fee have to be supplied by the students instead. It is difficult when half of the students don't have erasers in an art class during the drawing unit. At the end of every year we are recycling as many supplies as we can that some of the students throw away or forget like binders, brushes, paper, sketchbooks, pencils, color pencils, rulers and paints. We put out recycling tubs but often hit the maintenance room at school to do a little "dumpster diving" on the last day. I know I am not alone in this because many of my colleagues are in there with me digging as well.

My students deserve the same technology opportunities as other districts have, but I can't purchase those items. Often times because the arts aren't considered a core subject I can't get updates in technology or supplies like digital cameras, document cameras or tablets. I know that technology is a huge advantage for my students if it is available. And I know that my students are not prepared with 21st century skills in the art when they leave.  Some of the basic expectations for my students entering college in the arts field are simple photo editing opportunities, photo manipulation,  basic Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator skills and the use of digital drawing tablets. Digital portfolios for college applications are difficult for my students to complete and puts them at a disadvantage in comparison with other students.

As teachers, we have been continually asked to do more with less and we have accommodated these requirements, but with new standards and requirements, new evaluations and new common core connection but no new monies it becomes personally quite expensive. I am thankful for my creative colleagues who help to develop creative ways to solve our problems, my community for their donations and I am thankful for the opportunity to apply with The Classroom Project for much needed funds.