Friday, August 28, 2015

It's Back to School Time!

It's that time of year again people! School starts for me on Tuesday and all the kids come back on Thursday!  Both my art rooms are unpacked and basically back together... few finishing touches here and there, but seriously I could probably organize from now until the cows come home and still have more I could do so... lets just call them a work in continual progress!

It's been a busy, busy summer! I took an a amazing on-line PD class from The Art of Ed on Assessment in Art. I learned soooo much! Looking forward to implementing some of my new found info on assessment in my art room! Great ways to collect the growth data I am looking for without the "testing". 

Spent a lot of time journalling, and reading. My favorite teacher read from this summer is, Learn Like a Pirate, by Paul Solarz! So many great take aways to implement in your classroom right now! Easy to read, interesting to read, I ended up tabbing the pages so I can find my favorite parts fast and easy! 

I "attended" The Art of Education's Summer on-line conference in July! Check out the pic of all the great swag they sent attendees! It was the first time I signed up but it was well worth it! There was so much information from all the sessions I am still using the "After Pass" to go back and re-watch sessions!

I went to Philadelphia with my mother and daughter to meet up with my sister who I just don't get see enough since she lives in Illinois. We had an amazing time! 

We saw an amazing show at the Philedelphia Art Museum called, Discovering the Impressonists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting. Be still my heart! It was incredible! One whole gallery was just Monet's Poplar paintings! I was in awe! After sitting in the Monet Poplar gallery for what I guess was a while( 'cuz hey, I lost track of time staring at all the Monet beauty... ) my daughter asked me," How long do you plan on sitting here?" Seriously? Basically forever! :)


We also went to Storm King Art Center ! If you are anywhere near this amazing place you need to hop in your car and get there! It is huge! Spacious lawns, forests filled with sculptures! The main building on the hill houses beautiful pieces! I loved the Louise Nevelson pieces! I am not a huge Modern Art/sculpture fan but I loved it! The place is so big we are going back this Fall to explore an entire section of fields we never got to! I wish I lived closer, I would go often just to sit and relax there! It's about an hour and 15 min drive from my house. We took the scenic route so it didn't seem that long at all, it was a nice drive up through Greenwood Lake area.

I've been journalling and doodling all summer and playing with photo apps!


I also bought a Zutter Bind-It-All so I can make my own journals! So much fun! 

I've been busy the past couple of weeks getting my art rooms unpacked and getting all my teacher paperwork together...

Yesterday was spent typing up all my class lists ( all 36 plus 24 SGO data sheets) while binging on The Walking Dead Season 5  :)   I got it all done! All my documents are digital now so if I need to make any changes to my class lists ( which I know is inevitable ) I can just copy and paste my changes, easy peasy!

Today I am working on seating charts... I want to get at least the first two days of classes done today... we'll see how far I get before my brain starts to feel like it's going to explode...

I found a great PLN on Twitter, #K12ArtChat, #K12ArtChallenge, #Terpart, #Reflect31, #jfjfor15 and have been inspired by all the great educators out there on Twitter! I created a Growth Mindset bulletin board for the hallway of my 3-5 school inspired by other growth mindset articles, posts I have read on Twitter. 

I think this is a keeper! The other teacher I share the bulletin board duty with agreed that this one can stay up for a while! :)

I started this Summer Shawl last month and have not gotten very far but hope to have it done for the start of school! I ordered the book, Puur Haken this summer after debating about it for the past year!

It's written in Dutch but has graphs for all the patterns so I can follow the patterns! Google translate on my IPhone has come in handy also! Hey, I love a good creative challenge! I figure all the translating has made me grow new brain cells! 

And lastly for today I drew out some of the many flowers I have been doodling all summer onto a piece of canvas that I eco-printed with red and yellow onion skins this Spring! 

I sewed it into a great tote bag for school! I really love how it turned out! I'm curious to see how the drawing stands up to my using it everyday... I can always touch it up if I need to... :)

I hope everyone has had a great summer and is looking forward to Fall! I know I am, I love Fall...

Mrs."C"  :)

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! :)