Monday, August 25, 2014

Shrink Art Bracelets

These are the shrink art bracelets my kiddos did at art camp this summer.  (Sorry, I do not have any pictures of them with the strings attached)  These are all done with colored pencils and some have a bit of sharpie for detail.  I gave them free choice on their shrink art, so some of the shrink art has names, characters, or landscapes.

Here is a batch before shrinking.

Another batch before shrinking.

You can see that even if the kids don't really press the colors they get a finished product that has great vibrant colors.

For the bracelets, I took a sheet of shrink paper and quartered it.  I also had an edger that took the points off the corners.  A regular hole punch will give you the perfect size hole to feed string through.

Keep a metal spatula handy to flatten before they cool. 

I can usually get 5-6 small pieces like this in one batch (with my oven at home).  You may have to play with the heat setting, but I always use 300 degrees for about 2-3 minutes. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Baby's Got Class!

No words.  This is just down right FUNNY! 
The countdown is on for most of us.  Enjoy!

True dat!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Weaving Fish

I have seen something like this on pinterest, although it was not traditional weaving.  But, I thought what a great way to introduce weaving to kids.  It is small and they only have to go a few lines.  Their looms are original, and quite frankly just cute.  

You can see below I had my 6 year olds doing this, and they did great.  In school, we usually don't introduce weaving until 4th grade (yarn/loom).  But, this little project really opened my eyes that they should be at least trying this much sooner.  Even if it is one of the large looms that individuals can take a turn at.   I always think about doing one of the big box looms and it just doesn't ever happen.  This may be the year!

We used cardboard from cereal boxes, they designed the fish with pencil first, they cut out images once checked. Each child was asked to use 2/3 colors to paint their fish (acrylic paints).  As they were working on another project I cut the spaces for the loom.  Once they were dry and all cut, I demonstrated how to wrap the looms, the assistants/myself helped younger kiddos with this step.  Then, we tied yarn and threaded the needle.  After this step, I demonstrated the weaving process and went over key vocabulary and finally they were on their way to weaving.   I had to back track a few of the younger kids, but once they got a one on one, they were off running.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Back at the beginning of May, I received a call from a woman whom I've known a long time.  I taught her kiddos many, many moons ago.  About ten years ago she was hired by the district, I don't know her exact title, but she does lots of things for the district, one of the biggest being our Hays Education Foundation, which gives grants to teachers.  When I answered the phone, she told me she had been looking for me everywhere, she though that maybe I had left the district.  Probably because not only did I move campuses, but the district made me change all my information, including my email I had with the district for 15 years, to my legal name.  She told me that I was being honored by a student who was graduating.  She informed me it was a special banquet held each year for the top 10% of our high school students, in which they get to honor their most influential teacher.  I was really taken off guard by this and I don't think I said a thing for a long, long moment.  Tears filled my eyes as I tried to answer questions and take down some information.  
 The next day I met my student at a photo shoot at her high school, where one of the facilitators was telling me and another teacher there that we were only a handful of elementary teachers being honored.  Out of 94 students, 86 picked a high school teacher, 3 chose middle school teachers, and 5 chose an elementary teacher.  

This is such a huge honor to me, I know she could have chosen an elementary teacher she was with for hours a day for a whole year or even an art teacher in high school she worked closely with.  It just goes to show if you come to work everyday with a smile on your face and excitement about what you are teaching, you WILL influence someone somewhere.  We don't always know it,  or even hear about it, but we do.  Even elementary art teachers that see each student for 50 minutes at a time, maybe 35 visits a year.  But, even for that small amount of time we can take students to a really beautiful and magical place, one that they will never forget.

Here is the essay she wrote, that was read while we walked the stage.
If it were not for the endless encouraging words of Mrs. Pruitt, I do not believe I would have been able to realize my artistic potential later on in my academic career.  She made art class my favorite part of the day as a child.  I remember seeing her ink stained fingertips and thinking they were beautiful.  I wished to work as hard as she did in art so that one day I, too, could leave a trace of art on my body.  She was the first teacher to make me feel like I could excel in a subject.  Her nurturing nature and gentle spirit made a lasting impression on me, as did her art class. I consider myself lucky to have had an inspirational teacher like her in elementary school who ultimately influences my growing art career today.

I love this photo of Anabel.  That is the sweet little face I got to teach art to from kinder thru 5th grade.  This young lady is going to California to get her degree in studio art.  So proud of her!  Feeling blessed!

This is after the Linebarger reception.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Summer Art Camp Beach Silhouettes

This summer I decided to do a beach themed art camp.  It was a blast hanging out with these 26 kiddos and 5 helpers!  We had so much fun creating these mixed media beach silhouettes.  We started out the artwork by drawing out our beach scenes.  

Most were very simple, but others created boardwalks with Ferris wheels and more.  Instead of painting, I opted for black sharpie.  It is so much easier to control, especially for little hands.  The black isn't as dark, but it is a good substitute, especially for younger students.  

The students then drew out their desired wave and we filled it in with blue acrylic paint.  I really like the ones where they didn't completely cover the silouhette images.  The last step was to sponge the white foam to the crest of the wave.  We asked the kids to blot the white paint on instead of wipe.  This picture was one of the last to be finished, so I regret that I did not get a picture of everyones finished art piece.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Splash Painting

What kid doesn't enjoy splattering paint??  O.K, so maybe a few, but not many...  We took full advantage of summer camp and not having to clean up between classes, no time limits!  If you scroll down you will see that we began the artwork by doing a marker waterscape, crayon sky.  They used a little water over the maker to bleed the blues together after they were done coloring. On a seperate page, students were able to choose a fish, shark or whale jumping out of the water or even a surfer for more of a challenge.  They drew, colored and cut these out to add to the waterscape created earlier.  The last step was to add the splashes of color.  I chose to do this as a rotation with some other unfinished art pieces, so I helped 2 to 6 kids at a time with the splattering.  Big hint, and a hard one for kids to get on board with, less IS more!  Don't load your brush too much, a small amount of paint on the brush will create the right kind of splatter for this kind of picture. 

The waves were done with marker and just a small amount of water brushed on to bleed the marker colors together.
For the splatter portion I used watered down acrylic paint.  We used a medium sized flat brush to spray the paint.