Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Miss French Fry's Art Room: Version 2014.

I wanted to share a quick peek into some of the new additions to my Art Room this year.  I just did a lil' bit as we are in the midst of TOTAL kitchen redo at the French Fry house and I've gotta say, I am getting SICK of french fries and takeout food.  So, to take my mind off of electrical whips and wires and drainage tubing and drywall, here goes my Art Room version 2014-2015!

This year's theme is "Off to See a World of Art!" I ordered these flags from Party City and the banner is HUGE, like 23 feet long huge!  I draped it in my narrow entryway and then continued it all the way over into my reading rug nook.

Just around the corner, is my colleague's office (complete with the lovely bird privacy curtain I made for him) and my Smartest Artist wall.  I've played Smartest Artist with my kiddos the last few years, but I thought it would be neat to have trivia flashcards on hand for each grade (mostly so I don't have to invent questions during those moments in the day when all I want is coffee not kids).  Each baggie is attached with 3M velcro and is going to hold our art vocab cards, which I'll jot down as lessons commence and have a kiddo drop them into the baggie.  In the little white basket are our echo mics which I use to interview the Smartest Artist.  Even the 5th graders dig these bad boys.

Next to that area is the same shelf I use for fabrics, yarn, string, and other miscellaneous things, but I wanted to show off the cool artwork my father-in-law painted and passed onto me. They remind me of fireworks, and my students are ALWAYS enchanted by the colors in his works, so I like to switch out his work every year.  You know, give the kids something different to stare at when they're tired of my voice, right?

Reading Rug nook with art trading card board...

At the end of lessons, my students are dismissed table color by table color, and the line leader is expected to start the line on the blue square by the Reading Rug.  

Apparently, standing on the blue square is difficult for children of all ages, when Apparently there are like two random blue tiles in my room nowhere near the other blue tiles, and Apparently a new solution needed to be found.  So Apparently, now I had to tape a paintbrush to the floor and make it the Brush Stop.

Dude, if you don't know what I'm talking about with all the "Apparently's," just look up the Apparently Kid video.  I want this child in my classroom!

Next up, a couple of posters I put together to remind the kiddos of the school (and my) expectations.  I added the Be Unique line because I think that's pretty darn important in the art room!

 I also added these lovely dots onto the floor to help with sink traffic jams.  Fingers crossed these work!

Below is the Art Store cart where kiddos come to pick up their supplies at the beginning of each lesson.

Works in progress display board to showcase what's on the docket for the week.

I decided to expand my Art Word Wall this year as it was getting a little cramped in its old digs, so I dug up this pocket chart from my Kindergarten teaching days and put this up on the kiln door.

Just another little reminder to write your name on your papers, KIDS.

 Sweepers and our flag, pretty self explanatory...

And finally, the project which I will probably be eternally paint-stained from: my super duper organized brushes!  The brushes are grouped by type and color-coded.  In the next year or two, I am hoping to upgrade to some sweet Royal & Langnickel brushes, but for now, these painted brushes will hopefully do the trick and help with some of the clean-up catastrophes...

And tomorrow, it's back to school for me with teacher meetings and the like before the big game starts again on Thursday.  Well for now, may the Art Force be with you teachers!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Springfield State Fair.

This weekend we went to Springfield, Illinois to visit our family down there.  Currently, our kitchen looks like this:

So, needless to say, I was very happy to escape for a little bit.

This past weekend was opening weekend for THE State Fair, which if you haven't been, you seriously should.  I have gone to the fair just about every summer for most of my life and I am still not tired of it.  The livestock, the people watching, the fried everything.  I can't get enough.

Now when I say fried everything, I truly mean it.

I refrained from indulging in the "Fried Anything" booth, but I did get my fair share of corn dogs, elephant ears, and salt water taffy!

 The ancient-looking taffy pulling machine.  I seriously think it has been the same one for 50+ years...

 When you go to the Illinois State Fair, the visit is not complete without checking out the butter cow in the Dairy Building.

Yep, that's right.  Our fair boasts an entire cow (plus many other details) carved entirely from good ol' butter.  I've tried to explain the butter cow to many people, but you truly just have to see it to understand.  It's been a State Fair tradition since 1922, and is usually constructed from about 600 lbs of butter.  The sculptor works in a refrigerated case at about 42 degrees to make this puppy (or cow, I should say).

And the dairy building is also home to some award-winning dairy products, like CHEEEEEESE.

The fairgrounds hosts multiple historic brick buildings, each with their own featured exhibits.  We love checking out the Horticulture building, the Arts exhibits, and then the Crafts and Hobbies building.

This past weekend, an impressive display of gladiola were in the Horticulture building.  The colors were breathtaking.

The Crafts and Hobbies building is always entertaining as there is usually some sort of cooking contest going on, along with a display of people's collections of things, homemade baked goods, fruits and veggies, and handcrafted textiles.  It is seriously the strangest amalgamation of items, but everywhere you turn, there is something new to see!

There is seriously a juried competition for magnet collections.  I kid you not.

Oh yes, and wreaths of course!

Totally digging this awesome Day of the Dead cake.

The quilts are my favorite part of that building.  I want to take them all home and alternate using them.  What a beautiful art form!

And now here's the part I'm the MOST proud of (no, I am not the most proud of my fried food eating habits).

My husband entered the juried Professional Art Exhibition after not entering for about five years, and had one of his gorgeous ash glazed tea sets accepted and on display with some of the most talented artists in Illinois.  How lucky am I to be married to this talented guy?!

And while I recover from my fried food coma, we are continuing to work on fixing up our scary-looking kitchen.  All before school starts.  In FIVE days.  Good grief.