Sunday, November 20, 2011

November:A Month to Celebrate

In our household November is a month to celebrate. 

Seven birthdays of immediate family members: three grandchildren, one son, a daughter-in-law and both my mother and mother-in-law and then there is Thanksgiving.

The celebration only ends to begin the next one. 
And me.... trying to watch my weight!
Good luck with that!

In the spirit of celebration our November projects have been the Pinata del Estrella (six pointed star), our rainbow fish pinata and a cornucopia.
Not one of them has been completed until the day of the party so far.  We are usually rushing to glue on the last few pieces of tissue paper to fill the bare spots.  

Side view of Rainbow pinata
Check out the kissy lips on this fish!
All pinatas nearing completion, Reese comes in from school asking if we could make a cornucopia.  I am assuming I must have reached Super-Nana rating in her mind since she just assumed I would know how to make one.  You know, just whip one up right quick so....
we just whipped one up right quick!

Now Pearson, 3 months shy of four is planning our Christmas tree pinata. 

Where do they get this ideas?

Okay, it going to be a beauty!

Papier mache cornucopia embellished with moss and dried leaves and greenery from the yard.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Child's Play Mixed Media

My grand daughter has a shirt that says, "I learned everything I need to know in kindergarten."
She is in kindergarten!
I am expecting this to be a really busy year for her.
Crayon and glue line drawing and painting has started.
In my high school art class we are leaving behind the papier mache pumpkins, pinatas and masks we have been making and are moving on to mixed media.
The supplies we are using for the assignment are all the things you would use in kindergarten:
Glue and
Prang or Crayola Brand Watercolor (8 color tray)

I set out bunches and bunches of cheap, artificial flower bouquets in red, yellows and oranges  I found at Walmart this past week for three to five dollars per bouquet.  I flooded the tables with the flowers for this spontaneous and quick painting.

  • Begin by making a contour line drawing using crayon.  
  • Switch to white Elmer's glue and continue drawing using glue, adding details, outlining and applying glue where light areas are needed.
  • Set aside until all the glue is completely dry (up to 24 hours or more sometimes, depending on how deep the glue is).
  • Drop a little water in the top of all the colors in the watercolor tray to begin moistening the colors so you will have very intense color available.  
  • Wet only the area you want to paint such as one leaf or petal, apply color on one side of the wet area then apply a second color on the opposite side quickly, then stop!  Allow the water to transport the colors, blending sponanteously. Resist going in and "fixing" it.
  • Paint directly on the paper using primary colors to create the secondary colors on the paper. (IE:Add blue on one side of a leaf then yellow on the opposite side and watch the green develop)
  • Continue painting using this method.  
  • When the paints are all dry go back and adjust colors as necessary, deepening the values and contrasts. 
Demo piece for Child's Play Mixed Media
Resist the urge to try to make the painting "perfect".
Often that is when you lose the painting by overworking. 

Most importantly, let loose and enjoy the spontaneous nature of watercolor.

Both the glue and the crayon resist absorbing paints leaving a white or faint area in it's play. 

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Installation of the Papier Mache Tree

What a project!  
We started it about a month ago and it is great to see it come together. 

(The banquet hall is not decorated yet so more pictures to follow after tomorrow.)

Here is just a taste.
Pictures don't do it justice. 

You can not see how 3-dimensional it is and stand in it's "shade".

Decorating the rest of the fellowship hall is tomorrow morning to make it look like a Fiesta!

Check back in for more.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Papier Mache Tree Nearing Completion

The tree is nearly completed and moving day is Saturday to go to it's new location.

The tree is nearly nine feet tall and varies in width but probably averaging about 28 in. diameter for the main trunk.  I made about seven branches that will be suspended from the ceiling and leaves and moss will help fill in.  The decorating will begin on Saturday to be completed in the next few days.  Hopefully, next Friday I will have pictures of the completed job!
Can't wait!

I let the students "carved" their names on the tree.  They thought that was so much fun.

 Tomorrow all of my students are beginning their papier mache pumpkins starting from a balloon.  I have instructions on my previous post. 

See my previous post on how to make papier mache pumpkins. 
Quick and easy! 

Painted Not Really Carved

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Fun/Papier Mache and Homemade Candy Corn

Fall hit finally in South Texas.  We had rains and the night air is actually cooled down and mornings are foggy with heavy dews.  I think that is cause for celebration!

It is hard to ignore all the fun times that come along with the changing seasons and coming holidays when you are surrounded by adorable and I must say, easy-to-impress children.  So I decided to surprise the little ones with a small, hollow, papier mache pumpkin filled with candy for Halloween.  And it is so simple to make.

I started with a 6 inch balloon blown up.  I wrapped twine tightly around it to form the divisions in the pumpkin.  I mixed up flour, salt and water to make a paste like a thin pancake batter.  Using my fingers I wet the balloon with the flour paste then applied strips of dry newspaper over the paste, wetting over the top of the paper with more flour paste until the newspaper was wet and would lay flat.  Continue adding layers.  The more layers the harder the finished product will be when it dries.  I usually try to get between 10 or 12 layers of newspaper but less would work fine.  I squeezed a little of the long strips up to make a stem and then wrapped the paper around it when I got several pieces gathered together to make a fair size stem end. 

At this point patience is a necessity!  DO NOT PUT THIS IN THE OVEN TO DRY!  If you do the heat will expand the balloon inside and the pumpkin will pop like popcorn!  Don't ask me how I know this!  Let's just say....I know.  It may dry overnight or it might take a little longer but be patient, it will dry.  I try to put cleaner paper on for the last paper so I do not have lots of black paper showing through but I am not a stickler about it.  It will just add more texture to the surface of the pumpkin if you have a little bit of text on the paper.  I finished my pumpkin using one full sheet of orange tissue paper, tearing it into strips and applying it so it overlapped and kept adding layers to build up color.  Pictured is my pumpkin with orange tissue paper but it has not had a finish put on it and my stem is still just newsprint.  You can finish the pumpkin by spraying with a polyurethane, coat with an acrylic medium or even a thinned down white glue.

Well, the fun did not end with papier mache.  We had fun making Homemade Candy Corn.  The kids loved making the candy and everyone loved how they tasted.  The recipe is posted on our family blog Thyme Together

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Paint Party Friday: Papier Mache

 Linda and I are the decorators for an October banquet.  
In preparation for the upcoming banquet my classroom has become the crafting center.  

We are creating a tree! 
This is the beginning.  
I will post additional pictures as we progress.  
The photo here is of the main trunk.  Branches will drop down from the ceiling as if the tree grew through.  Only one branch has been constructed so far (not pictured).  So far, I have done this with one small roll of chicken wire.  I need another for the branches.

The assignment for a few of my advanced students has been to assist me in the making of a papier mache tree. We started by measuring out the chicken wire and creating an armature of sorts from it.  (In retrospect I would now start with wooden slats or something more substantial and attach the chicken wire to that so it would be sturdier. As it is, we have had to make wire hangers along the edge of the tree to catch nails to secure to the wall.  This will have to be moved on a trailer and set up on location.)

 Next we taped full sheets of dry newspaper over the chicken wire to completely cover it before beginning to paste anything.
The paste is flour and a little salt mixed with water about as thick of pancake batter.  
The paste is applied directly onto the tree, layering dry newspaper, paste, dry newspaper, paste, etc.  Smoothing as you go.  We did several layers and then allowed it to dry overnight before adding more. When enough layers are applied to make a hard surface when dry it is ready for the next step which will be to apply colored paper an /or paint the surface.  

More next week.

Oh, the painting in the photo is the work of one of my Art IV students.  It is his first attempt at watercolor and the white part is the bridge that has not been painted yet.  It is going to be beautiful.   

There are so many different projects going on in this room it is hard to photograph the room without catching other projects in progress.  What an exciting time to be a teacher!

Happy Paint Party Friday!

View the completion of this tree! 

We now change it seasonally. 
Right now, we have added willow leaves and hanging moss and that is my favorite look so far. I will have to update the photos.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Buddy Walk 2011

Buddy Walk 2011
Our family has joined together in an effort to support people with Down Syndrome every year for the last eight years.  There was a time in our lives that we never thought about those with DS but when one of our own was born with it we educated ourselves and began to take notice of this special population.
The Down Syndrome Association organization sponsors an annual event called Buddy Walk all over the nation to help local families and help with the local organizations as well as support research.

As many of our family members who can make the walk in the Texas heat will do the walk. (There are 21 in our immediate family, 19 were there plus aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors equaling 37 for our team this year, I think.)  Sometimes, we groan that the weather is too hot and we are not up to dealing with the heat but once we get our family together, joined in the effort we always have a good time.

This year was no different. 
Not only did we do the walk but the kids got to ride the train and do the bouncy castles.

It was fun.  Then we all met at Chester's for hamburgers.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Paint Party Friday:Mixed Media

Mixed Media

Completely unplanned!

Mixed Media using
acrylic then a splash of alcohol,
acrylic then a splash of alcohol again, different colors this time,
collage of magazine clippings of fonts to add texture and multi-layers,
acrylic paint squeegee'd off,
and again, different color. 
And then the work began.  
Once I had layered in all the textures I could stand I finished this piece by detailing with more  paint, colored pencils, Sharpie marker and even glued in some silk flowers I found on the floor of my art room(glued, painted and the buffed then outlined with Sharpie).  
I am forcing myself to stop. 
It is so fun I want to keep going but then I will overwork it.
I want to leave a bit of mystic in it.  

I am guiding a few of my students at a time through this process.  I wouldn't make it through the month if I did all of them at one time.  
They are loving it!
It is just play!!!

Happy Paint Party Friday!

Below: Just doodling with a random acrylic wash, pen & ink  and a quiet evening.

Just playing around mindlessly.
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Friday, September 9, 2011

Paint Party Friday: Notes for Linda notebook cover

Last week I did the sketch book cover for a demonstration piece for my classes.  This week I made a notebook cover for my sister who requested "make me one and make me skinny, too".  So here is Linda's notebook.  Linda's passions are all about quilting and she loves to bake cakes and has the biggest collection of pedestal cake plates I have ever seen.
(Oh, no!  My mice are missing.  I drew them in after I scanned this!  Shucks! They were cute!)

For the record this has been a very random week starting off with a holiday and family in to visit on Monday, Tuesday a new baby born in the family, Wednesday another visit to the hospital after teaching all day, Thursday they came home from the hospital and I spent a chunk of time in Walgreen's  getting a prescription for Gaby and now, thankfully....
it is Friday!
So as I put this tiring work week to rest let's hear it for    
Happy Paint Party Friday!
(not that Saturday is not a work day.  It is just another kind of work.)

See Paint Party Friday here.
See Linda's Buzzing and Bumbling here.
See a picture of the baby on my previous post here.

You may also, notice a new page on my blog entitled Art Teachers Blog. 
It is linked to Artists in Blogland, a new art blog directory with two directories one for art blogs and one for art teachers blogs.  I found both interesting.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011


Eason finally arrives!
It wasn't all fun and games but finally Eason arrived, healthy and content.  
What a sweet little one he is; the second son to my second son.
It amazes me when I look at the children born in our family and I see the thread of commonalities. 
There is no mistaking the children born into this family as one of us. 
If the look is a little different a thread connects them to another who looks like another who looks like another and on and on through the family!
I can see it in his eyes, his nose, ...and blended so well with his mouth's sweet rose bud lips and dark hair.  
I am going to label him a "heart-throb" from day one!

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Paint Party Friday: Sketch Book Covers & Zentangles

Friday we are finishing up our second week! 
Second football game!
Second pep rally!
Second project!
Students are now going to complete a drawing combining Zentangle design and cartooning to create a sketch book cover which they will be using in their art classes.   

My Sketch Book Cover (8 1/2" x 11")
The project has a good bit of  flexibility built into it yet  it can be used to teach several concepts such as:  focal point, design and composition and we can even touch on a little bit of color theory and application of color, "painting" with  washable markers. 
This is my demonstration piece I have been working on during the classes to model to my students.  I will use this for my Sketch Book. ( I am not sure I am finished but if not, it is nearly finished. )

*And yes, that is another cartoon of myself again. My students think it looks like me.  Hum-m!

I also posted a small Zentangle completed last week or the beginning of this week that had color added using washable Crayola markers.   (I have lost track of my days.)

I am still having fun!  Have a Happy Paint Party Friday. 
Adding color to Zentangle (4 1/2" by 6")

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Paint Party Friday: A Great First Week

I have had a great start to the new school year and I think I owe my friends from Paint Party Friday a big thanks for inspiring me and helping to keep me motivated to be creative!  
After all the necessary paperwork, rules and procedures are behind us I had my students begin by drawing themselves as a cartoon.  They are adorable and I will share them when I get an okay from my students.

Zentangles have been all the rage in my room.  Not only in my room but my co-teachers in art are using them also.  The kids are loving them.

A third year student stayed after school today just to talk to me about how excited she was over Zentangles!  And she is not even my student but has visited with me every day.  

The photos are of my in-class demonstrations I completed for my students.  We are using heavy paper cut to about a small postcard .

Tuesday: Instructed to use 2 Zentangle designs
Wednesday:Instructed to use 3 Zentangle designs, repeat Tuesdays plus one.
Thursday: Instructed to use four Zentangle designs.  Previously used

Tomorrow we will be doing Fun Friday and completing Splotch monsters!
(In case you are wondering what is a Splotch monster: A Splotch monster is a creative creature created from a random splotch of paint.)
Here are my demonstration pieces.

I am not sure who are having more fun... the kids or me!

Going Postal Splotch monster
Splotch monster Meet Goose

Baby Tutu Splotch

Mrs.  Howl Splotch

Super Splotch!
  Thanks, again to my friends at Paint Party Friday!

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