Sunday, October 25, 2015

Good Reads: Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf.

This book...

Inspired this baby,

To go on a nature walk (or crawl, shall we say).

And with these found ephemera, some fall decor (and a lovely mess) was made.
Happy Fall to All.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Good Reads: Planting (and Picking) a Rainbow.

Today, this beautiful story

inspired these little fingers

to pick and explore

and (help) create this herb and flower bouquet.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Favorites: Summertime Sailing.

Okay, so far we're 2 for 2 in an effort to blog more regularly.  Here's a glimpse into an end of the year project that was the result of a morning drive to work and realizing I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM TEACHING MY FIRST CLASS...IN 45 MINUTES (because I am running late...always).

We used a limited palette for this one because it was the end of the year and I wanted to use up what we had. So the Third Graders used the primary colors and a tint of white and a shade of black to create these beautiful boats.

Before diving into the project though, we did check out many examples of Monet's paintings featuring sailboats and the kids made some pretty astute observations about the colors he used and how his paintings changed as his eyesight changed.  One kiddo even remarked, "Monet didn't give up painting. He PERSEVERED."  Darn tootin', my friend.

We painted in the following order to make sure we got a good reflection of our boats in the water: water, boat outlines, sky, and finally the insides of the boats and sails (or as one student said, "the boats' guts").

After painting the boats' guts, we folded our papers in half to capture a reflection and BAM, smooooooth sailing!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Friday Favorites: 'Merica.

So turns out, having a baby takes up a lot of time. I haven't been able to keep up with the blogging as often as I'd like. But, time with Little French Fry is really important and I keep telling myself I'll get to blog when she naps (which lately is for 15-20 mins tops and seriously cuts down on the ability to do much, other than down a coffee cup). Thus, in an effort to blog more often, I'm going to aim to do Friday favorites as frequently (or infrequently) as I can. The posts may be shorter (and not necessarily sweeter), but without further ado, here goes Friday favorite number one.

Every year, my school celebrates our military children during Month of the Military Child.  I like to work on projects that tie into not only celebrating our patriotism, but also connect to my art curriculum.  This year's project involved the Fourth graders studying Peter Max's many versions of Lady Liberty and the Fifth graders working on some pretty rad op art flags.

The Fourth Grade Lady Libs were large tempera paintings (24" x 24") and we used matboard scraps to create the blended backgrounds (channeling our inner abstract expressionist).  Each student then added in text that summed up what the military means to them.

And my fab Fifth Graders used a limited color palette to create their own op art-inspired waving flag.

 Annnnnnnd that's all she wrote, because I hear a baby beckoning for me.  Happy Fourth of July!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Baby Kandinsky.

Last weekend, while going stir crazy on yet another gray drizzly afternoon, I decided to get a little artsy with Baby French Fry. 

 I had been reading her Herve Tullet's Mix It Up, which is a great book to use in the classroom AND at home.  It makes color mixing super understandable and the interactive qualities of the book beat an iPad any day.

Now, I don't know how much my little nugget understood about tints and shades, but she seemed to enjoy studying the different dots and brushstrokes in the book, so I'll count it as a win.

Then we got to work painting.  Our supplies included:

- Large zipper bag
- Painters tape
- Primary color paint (I watered mine down a wee bit)
- Paper scraps

 We didn't need much and got to work quickly...

She studied the paint blobs for a while before I showed her what happened when we pressed down on the paint.

I really liked the little lady's painting technique as she used her fingers and her tummy on her canvas.  Totally channeled her inner abstract artist and made it all about the process.

We are certainly looking forward to many more art dates in our home!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April Showers.

It's tough finding an original baby mobile.  I looked around for a while and wasn't super happy with the options.  I made Baby French Fry a homemade mobile above her changing pad to keep her entertained during diaper time, but I still wanted a simple one for her crib too.
I found a mobile arm and music box  on Amazon and have been hand cutting out different designs seasonally to switch up the look.  We've gone from rain clouds to tulips and are switching out to something summery soon.
It's super simple to switch out our mobile: just untie or cut the sewing thread and attach the newest paper creation.
She seems to enjoy her cozy time in her crib as she watches her mobile and gets gently lulled to sleep.
Sweet dreams Little French Fry.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Diy Baby Gym.

Baby French Fry is growing like a potato and I am eating up every second with this little lady.  As my maternity leave time winds down, I've had some fun creating a few projects for her, and a baby gym was one of those.
She was gifted a lovely activity mat similar to this which she cannot get enough of.  The problem I've started running into though, is that she's grown SO quickly (she's only 3 months but already the size of a 6-7 month old) that she's able to grab and easily get a hold of most of the dangling toys and I can't adjust the height of the gym.  This baby's got some long arms.

Let's hope we don't have a baby Stretch Armstrong on our hands.  Remember this guy?  Ours developed a weird old rubber eraser smell after a while, which is a smell I'm fond of in the Art Room these days...

One of my favorite bloggers at Reading My Tea Leaves, gave a beautifully descriptive tutorial on creating a homemade baby gym.  And I'm not kidding folks, everything she writes and photographs is beautiful and simply inspiring.  So, I decided to give the baby gym a shot.

All I needed were 3 dowel rods, some leather, a pack of cabone rings (find these in the knitting section at an artsy store), and a little Boy Scout knot tying. If I recall I think my dowels were 3/8" and pre-cut to 36 inches long.  You can find dowels like this at any hardware type of store or most craft stores too. I picked up the leather and cabones from my local Michaels (and couponed it up).
All I could think about when I was tying these knots was some of the fun rhymes from Boy Scouts.  I hated Girl Scouts and all its girliness (learning dance steps and cooking were sooooo not my thing) and I participated in it for less than a year, opting instead to join my brothers at their Boy Scout meetings.  Right over left, left over right, makes a knot both tidy and tight.
To make this little tipi, I just had to weave the leather over and under and then loop it back around and repeat a few times, always making sure the leather was nice and taut.
Once I finished the weaving, I just knotted the leather back on the same pole I had started at the beginning.  And voila! I had a little tipi frame that I can collapse and store in a snap.
Next up, I used the cabone rings and leftover ribbon from my hoarding drawer to create a few different baby gym accessories.  Baby French Fry has about as short of an attention span as I do, so having a few different rings to mix it up helps keep her entertained.
I love how storage-able this gym is.  Is that a word?  No?  Now it is.  We've got limited space in our home, so the more storage-able something is, the better.
Baby French Fry (and her loyal furry protector) loves her little tipi and it only cost about $8 to make, including the cost of the dowels, leather, and wood rings.
Love these ladies so much.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Baby French Fry Lives Here.

Okay, Baby French Fry is sleeping. For now.  I've got T minus probably 10 minutes until she wakes up.  So here goes nothing. Or something. Let's stick with something.

In the past, I shared a sneak peek into my Art Room's ever-changing decor here and here, but now I thought it'd be fun to take a peek into the little Fry's room.  Let me forewarn you, it's like Crayola exploded up in here.  But, I am an art teacher after all, right?

We had a whole lot of fun putting together her nursery with a mix of thrifted, Craigslist-ed, homemade, and mid century mod decor.

I wrote about my homemade mobile here.  It was a fun nesting project pre-Baby French Fry.

The beautiful vibrant colored paintings in the nursery were done by my father-in-law.  He makes beautiful watercolor and acrylic paintings on whiteboard.  The pictures seriously don't do them justice.  They are AMAZING.

Baby French Fry cannot get enough of these paintings.  

I think we've got a little artist on our hands!