Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thiebaud Takes the Cake.

In a previous post here, I blogged a bit about my Kinders' gumballs based on Wayne Thiebaud, our previous artist of the month.

I was just trying to clean up my camera and up popped some Second Grade Cakes and Third Grade Ice Cream Sundaes based on Thiebaud's works.  These bad boys look delish!

Second grade cakes were done with pencil and chalk on gray or blue paper...

The Third Grade ice cream sundaes used a mix of watercolor paints, chalk, and modge podge.  It's hard to photograph the modge podge, but each sundae was painted with a coat to give it a "glassy" bowl effect.

Gosh, after all those sweet treats, I am off to eat my remaining box of Girl Scout cookies.  Goodbye New Year's resolution of eating healthy.  It's fine though, I taught Kindergarten Art today, so I totally earned these cookies.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This is why I love Kindergarteners.

Don't know about you, but I LOVE teaching Kindergarteners.  Now don't get me wrong, after those kids leave I look like a cast member of The Walking Dead, but these kids are awesomely exhausting and exciting.

Here's how today's Kindergarten lesson started:

Miss French Fry:  Hi Kindergarteners!  Please criss cross applesauce on the rug.
Kindergartener:  Can I go to the bathroom?  I was so excited to come to Art, I didn't finish wiping.

What the WHAT?!

For this project, we focused on perspective which is a tough concept to convey to little 5 and 6 year olds.  I whipped together this large mural below to help kiddos understand how objects change in size the farther they get.  The Kinders loooved getting the chance to stick on the smileys in their appropriate place.

We also read The House in the Night by Susan Swanson.  This book is a fabulous and beautifully illustrated story with illustrations that clearly demonstrate perspective in a Kinder-friendly way.

Instead of homes, we created some penguin-scapes.  Kinders had to create at least 6 penguins, 2 HERE, 2 NEAR, and 2 FAR little birdies.

This little artist worked hard to write our Art Smart words in his penguin-scape.


Now this little artist below always signs his name as JAKE!, so, naturally I call him "Jake Exclamation Point."

He made a point to show me that he took "artistic license" with his penguins, giving one of them "spectacles," and another one saying "SQUAWK."  Scout's honor, the kid actually said "artistic license" and "spectacles."

That's all for now, but for goodness sakes Kinder friends, I love that you're excited to come see me, but finish wiping next time.  And how 'bout ya throw in a hand-washing too, okay?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Man, Magritte.

So, round 1 of the dress like a crazy commenced today...

Not quite doppelgangers, but I think we look pretty related, right?  Now, my outfit doesn't come close to my blog crush, but I do what I can sans sewing machine.  Hear that hubs?! My birfday will be here soooon.

Lemme tell you what, teaching with an apple in front of my face all day was tricky.  There were many a moment where I ended up rocking the backwards hat look, circa 1990.  Yeah, that's right Justin Bieber, you belong in the 90's.  

Or maybe just not in the United States circa any era, mmmkay?

We kicked off the lesson reading Dinner at Magritte's, which unfortunately is out of print, so track it down if you can!  The author/illustrator does a fabulous job taking inspiration from Magritte and Dali's work, both of whom are characters in the story.

Time Transfixed, 1938

We also looked at a LOT of Magritte's pieces.  My third graders couldn't get enough.  So many smarty arty students couldn't wait to contribute to our class discussion of his work.  When they found out that Time Transfixed was here in Chicago, you woulda thought I told them Bieber was visiting our Art Room.  I had FOUR different parents come up to me after school to tell me that their kiddos couldn't wait to check it out.  Yep, that's right kiddos, get off your sofas and put down your handheld electro boxes, and go look at some art!

Sixteenth of September, 1956

The Sixteenth of September was our piece de resistance and the whole inspiration behind our project.  

Check out the mini Magrittes in progress.  I will post the final products once they're finished...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Party in the USA, Part Two.

Hey babe, let's take a walk on the wild side...

For my next part-ay feature, we're gonna check out the jungle-themed shower I threw for my dear high school friend having twin boys.  If anyone can handle twins, it's this chick: she is one tough cookie.

Now, I'd be "lion" if I said I didn't want to do homemade invites.  I SO wanted to and I came up with some fun ideas, but again, same story: not enough time.

So, Zazzle to the rescue!  Again, the image is a screenshot from their site so don't try and come over for tea at my home in Frisco, TX.  Not even sure where Frisco is...

I made the pennants on the fireplace from leftover animal-y scrapbook paper I had at school.

I cut a bunch of zebra grass and allium from my garden to decorate the mantle and the dining table.  Free flowers are the best flowers!


Part of my gift to the future momma was a collection of jungle-themed classics such as The Scrawny Tawny Lion, Where the Wild Things Are, and Jumanji.

Hand-drawn chalkboard decor and Ostrich fern

I decorated the table with zebra wrapping paper to keep it on the cheap instead of buying a brand new tablecloth.

Thrifted silver tray and borrowed African giraffes from my mom.  The flower vase is an old science beaker from mi esposo's place of work.

I had WAY too much fun putting together the menu for this shindig and my fabulous friend helped out with the food in a big way.  Enjoy these tantalizing treats!

Walk on the Wild Side Menu

  • Jungle Juice (not like the kind we used to have in college)


  • Zebra Chow (pretzels and Hershey hugs)
  • Safari Snakes 'n Dirt (pudding, oreos, and gummy worms)
  • Animal Crackers
  • Zebra Cakes (red velvet cupcakes and cream cheese icing)
  • Spotted Leopard Cookies (chocolate chip cookies)

I gifted the momma-to-be a handmade baby mobile.  The mobile was constructed from a birch tree branch I picked up in Door County.  I drew and cut out the jungle animals from scrapbook paper.  Then, I used a needle and thread to gently pull the thread through the paper animals.

Annnnd finally, the guests lucky enough to attend this shower received a customized mason jar stuffed with animal crackers.  I picked up these jars real cheap at Walmart along with the plastic animals, which were glued on with my good ol' trusty glue gun.  Quick spray paint job, and BAM: jar-tastic!

Don't know about you, but the biggest kick I ever got, was doing a thing called the Crocodile Rock.  Have you tried it yet?