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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Creative and Professional Growth...


Happy summer everyone! It's been a while since I've posted but all of the end of the year paperwork, two Family Art Nights and cleaning and organizing two art rooms left me with little time to do anything but collapse after school every night! I very often during the last two months had no clue what day it was... I just kept following my check list of what I had to get accomplished for that day...

Since finishing school a week ago I have been keeping myself busy...  during June I took part in a creative challenge from Journal Fodder Junkies . It kept me sane during the hectic month of June to stop for a few minutes each day and create in my journal... this is a quick look at some of the pages I created. There is definitely a growth in how I am approaching my journal as I work in it every day...

















I have joined in on another creative challenge, The Every Day Renaissance . This challenge was put together by the very creative, Tim Needles .  Check it out, it's been a blast joining in, seeing what other creative minds think and connecting with some great people! 

I am also doing some Professional Development for school during the month of July. I am taking a course from The Art of Education .  I am taking the , Assessment in Art Education class. It runs for 5 weeks and I will get PD hours that I can put towards my annual PDP and Domains for next year. Most importantly, I am looking forward to learning some new ways to assess my student's growth in the art room. I took a class last spring, Showing Student Growth in Art and learned a lot. The course involves investing a good amount of time into it so I decided to take it when I can actually devote time to it. My district is paying for the class so that's a bonus! 


I will be popping in now and then during the summer updating what I'm doing but don't be surprised if my posts this summer are far and few between! I have a huge list of things, personally and professionally, I want to get accomplished while schools out... let's see what I get done!

                                                                      Mrs."C"  :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Eco-Printing Sunday



After a morning of struggling to get up and move, the sun came out and I decided to do my first Eco-Printing of the year!


I went out on the back deck and unearthed my dying pans/pots from their winter hibernation...
I made an iron bath to mordant a couple of silk scarves. I used the iron residue from last year that was dried all around the edge of the pan, scrubbing it off with an old toothbrush.  I added just a little extra Iron powder I have... Both the silk scarves and the Iron mordant were purchased from Dharma Trading, my one stop shopping for my dying needs!
I put the silks in the mordant bath to sit while I went out to the woods by my driveway to collect some wild rose leaves.  Lots of little stinging thorns later I was ready! ( I have found that any rose leaves work great, I just happen to have these growing around my yard)


I squeeze the excess water out of the silk and lay them wet out on newspapers on my kitchen table. I place the rose leaves face down on top of the silk, arranging them as I go.  When I'm done placing the leaves I cover them all with plastic wrap ( mine is from Costco, but any that is microwaveable will work).  This keeps the leaves from creating a mirror images when you roll up the silk.  


I take an old paper towel tube fold it in half and in half again and wrap it tight with the same plastic wrap, sealing the ends up.  This becomes my form that I wrap my silks up on. I would use a wooden dowel but I need to be able to bend the fabric bundle to fit it into my steaming pot.  I wrap the silk onto the form tightly so there is good leaf to silk contact.  



When its rolled up I bundle it up tightly with string. 


I use an old pasta pot that has a strainer insert that I can use to lift the bundles out of the liquid.
*** Make sure that once you use a pot for dying you never cook food in it again!!! ***
This pot is ONLY for Eco-Printing/Dying.  
I will put the bundles into the strainer section of the pot and place enough water in it to cover the bundles.  I bring the water to a boil and then simmer the bundles for about an hour or so.  I check them and turn them in the pot now and then.  I have a pair of metal tongs that I use to pick the bundles up. Make sure you have good ventilation while the pot is simmering.


Depending on who you are reading some say to leave the bundles for as long as possible before opening up. I personally can't wait and usually unwrap them as soon as they are cool enough to handle...  
I hang the wet pieces on my deck to dry and then iron them to help heat set the prints. I leave them over night and wash them in a hand wash cycle in my machine the next day. I always air dry them. 


I've been saving onion skins in a bag on my kitchen counter all winter so I could dye with them. Red makes an amazing magenta/purple!


I spread them out onto a pre-washed piece of cotton canvas duck I had. The canvas was still wet from the washing.  I spread the onion skins out all over the piece and then sprayed them with a water/vinegar mixture to moisten them. 
I covered them with plastic wrap and folded the piece up several times before tying it up tightly.
I also simmered this piece for an hour using the same water I had from the silks and rose leaves.  There was iron in the water so I knew it would tun some of the yellow onion skins a great shade of green.


When I first opened this piece I had a lot of pinks/magentas with some orange/tans. I wanted to tone down the colors a little more so I just scrunched the fabric in my hands as I re-tied it into a long piece that I re-soaked in the simmering pot. I kept checking it frequently  because I didn't want the color to change too much. After about 7-10 minutes I took it back out and it was perfect!


It's now drying on my back deck in the setting sun...
I'm going to use this piece to make my bag/purse for the summer. 
I'll wash the fabric out gently tomorrow because it really smells like onions! 

I learned how to Eco-Print from Googling it and finding out as much as I could before practicing.
Some artists that I followed to find out more about it are:
India Flint ( I bought a couple of her books and read them cover to cover )

I learned a lot from trial and error and a lot of experimenting! I plan on doing a lot more Eco-Printing and Shibori this summer when school is out. 
Hope this helps anyone who wants to give it a try! :)


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sometimes Something's Gotta give....



Sorry for being out of touch here on the blog for so long but when things got REALLY busy around March something had to give and posting here was it...  if you follow me on Instagram you know I have been alive and well! It is so easy to quickly share on Instagram! It's really my favorite social medis site :)  I have a professional Twitter but I really can't get into "tweeting"  I do read the articles and follow what is going on though.  I've tried a "Twitter Chat" but just couldn't get into it... felt like I was in a room with a bunch of people all talking at the same time. I know others that love it though... to each their own...  


Spring has finally arrived here in NJ! It was really hot and sticky here last week for a few days and it felt more like July than May!


It has been busy in the Art room! I will take pictures and post them soon...


We have finished the final round of PARCC at school, all my Domain paperwork is done and submitted for my Annual Reiew,  SGO's and all their data are done and submitted for the year, progress report grades are done and submitted and now begins the process of putting together portfolios to take home...


I plan on relaxing this weekend now that I have all my paper work done! If you are looking for me I will be on my porch trying to finish crocheting the Spring Poncho I have been working on for the past couple of months!

                                                        Have a great weekend everyone!

                                                                        Mrs. "C"  :)


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Winter Weary...




It has been five weeks since we have had a Monday at school... I think we are going to finally achieve a full week of school this week as our weekly snowstorm is arriving Saturday night instead of Sunday into Monday...


The kids have been doing a lot of painting but the Monday and Tuesday morning classes are woefully behind and I'm resigned to the fact that I am going to have to redesign a couple of lessons to catch those classes up with what the others have already completed...


I'm starting to run low on certain colors, yellow tempera especially... I need to readjust the quantities I will have to order for next year...


My 4th Grades have been having a lot of fun with mono-printing these last couple of classes...



3d Grade worked within a heart shape for their mono-prints...



I spent a few days on our President's Break diving into the crochet rabbit hole and binging on Netflix... the result is my finished version of the Cowl Neck Poncho from Simply Crochet magazine...


I'm very happy with it and it's super warm and cozy... great for the cold, cold weather we are having now and it will be a great cover for cool mornings in the Spring ( when Spring finally gets here... )



I need to start surrounding myself with color and "Spring" things as I am severely Winter weary...

I have to start to purge the Winter from my life and pull some Spring in... I think i'm going to start with some Spring cleaning at home today....

                                                                     Have a great week!
                                                                             Mrs. "C"  :)