Monday, December 30, 2013

The Night Before Christmas Illustrated by Will Moses

This rendition of the Christmas classic The Night Before Christmas.  Will Moses' folk art captures so many beautiful details in his work.  You will find it hard to put down because the illustrations are so captivating.  His wintery landscapes are stunning and you will want to jump right into the book to cozy up to the fire. Will is a mostly self taught artist with influence from his grandfather, Forrest K. Moses, also a folk artist.  Of course, Forrest's mother was Anna Mary Robertson, better known as Grandma Moses. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Drummer Boy by Loren Long

Drummer Boy is the first picture book Loren Long both wrote and illustrated.  The book is inspired by the song "The Little Drummer Boy".  The drummer boy finds his way to a little boy and into his heart. One day he is knocked into the trash on accident and carried out with the garbage.  The drummer boy makes a journey to various places and each time his gift of drumming seems to save him.  Eventually he finds his way back to the boy and plays to a most precious audience.  

Loren Long is also well know for his recreation of the classic book The Little Engine That Could, and one of my favorite books to read to my girls Otis (I'll have to go on about this book in another post!!)
If you want to read more about Loren Long, here is his official site.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Teacher gifts

Being that I am a non-classroom teacher I really make an effort to recognize and give a little something to all the teachers and teacher's aides that come into contact with my children.  They give as much of themselves as classroom teachers and many times go unrecognized.  I want them to know that they are appreciated and their commitment to my children is recognized.  Plus it never hurts to butter up the people that work with your children on a daily basis!!  I also give this to the pediatric group my kids see.  For the last 6 years I have made jalepeno jelly.  It started one year when I was growing a salsa garden and I had so many jalepenos I didn't know what to do with them.  So, I found this recipe, it is awesome because it actually uses jalepeno instead of bell pepper, which most recipes do.  So, it does pack some heat.  Here is the link to the best jalepeno jelly ever.

Puree mix ready for cooking.

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WEAR gloves, the juice will burn your skin for hours.  

Great holiday snack... cream cheese, your favorite crackers, and jelly.

I also made s'mores chocolate bark, super easy to make.  

I do this as well, it lets my kids join in on the process since they can hardly be in the room when the jelly is being made, the jelly odor is a bit strong while it cooks.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Little Holiday Spirit with the Nutcracker

My daughter is a part of a local dance company that has been putting on a production of the Nutcracker Suite for the last ten years.  This year was it's first full production Nutcracker.  This was very exciting for everyone and they did a fabulous job!  This is one proud mama!!
I love this time of year, hectic but happy!!
Savanna in her polichinelle outfit with little sister Ellie.

Savanna in her rat costume, ready to take the stage.

I love this photo.  All the girls checking out our Mayor get made up as Mother Ginger.

Lucy and Greg waiting patiently on the show to begin!

Ha. I laugh at the pictures, with 3 young children it hardly ever comes out where everyone is looking at the camera and or smiling!  This was the best out of 4-5. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Picasso's Hands with Flowers Collage

This project I did a couple years ago at my previous school.  I decided to try it again with a few changes.  The students started by tracing 3 stems I drew for them.  I do this because I learned the first time around that they spread them too far out and it didn't look like it was in someone's hands.  Then we spend a few days cutting flowers and leaves out of painted paper.  We collect these in a zip lock bags till we are ready to glue.  On glue day, we have a nice long talk about how glue is the enemy of all art, but we still need it to complete our picture.  Most get it, but there are always a few that insist on using half a bottle of glue, which takes 3 days to dry!!  :)  And then there are the hands.  This is a project for kindergarten, the first time I tried it I had smaller classes, plus they were a very cooperative group of kindergarteners.  This year we are packed in like sardines and while there is always really mature kids in the group, well....  Helping 29 kinder trace and cut out hands just didn't appeal to me this time around.  So I cut them, they glued them, win-win.  They have a beautiful picture and I still have my sanity!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Campus Art Show

This past week we hosted our campus art show, Eagles Art Night.  It was a fabulous turnout, despite the cold weather. Along with each child having an art piece displayed, there was also a performance by the school choir and individuals who sang, played violin and guitar, and recited poetry.  It was really a great school function.  As you can see below there are empty spaces  where the artwork was hanging.  That is because the PTA framed art pieces for parents for $12, which was a fundraiser for the art room. Unfortunately my phone was very low on battery and I couldn't take pictures before the show started.  I charged up and was able to take a few pics before take down.  There were approximately 30 panels just like the ones below representing the school.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Metal Embossed Trees

The metal embossed trees project is one that I have been doing for a long time.  It came up with the project about 10-11 years ago and have done it a variety of different ways.  I have found that the best use of the metal is to cut from the roll at 7 1/2 inches and then cut that sheet in half (6 inches).  I typically use black paper as the background, but any color will do.  I have also learned that doing the border first seems to make for a better picture.  I require symmetry on the border, or some sort of balance. I also like for the kids to color in about 80-90% of their border.  Once this step is complete and looks nice then they move on to the steps for metal repousse.  I have the students draw out their image of the tree, foreground and any hand drawn details for the background.  Once they are done they get they're embossing tools and layer their image on top of the metal and foam.  Once the image is traced into the metal and then retraced directly on the metal, the kids can start working the metal from both sides (of course being carful not to put too much pressure and make holes).  Once they are done and I can see the metal has enough definition, they can use texture plates to add details for the background.  The final step on the metal is to add color with sharpie.  Below, you can see a couple different examples. This top example we rubbed India ink into the creases, but on the artwork below we skipped that step. 

The project is sometimes done with realist or exaggerated realism.  Other times we do fantasy trees or even specific fantasy trees, sports related, trees with different shaped leaves, candy themed trees, and sometimes I leave it open and let them choose.  I like the diversity of the project and this one always gets noticed at art shows. You may notice this project is also on the cover of my page.  :)
This is a very time intensive project, I would allow up to 6 weeks for completion of the background and  metal.  This is done with 5th graders.