Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Galaxy forest animals

Although I've been blissfully off on maternity leave for almost a year, every so often I get an idea for an art lesson that I just need to try now.

I was scrolling through Pinterest one night in December and came across this photo. It spoke to me - outer space paired with art? Who did I know that taught grade 6? More importantly, who could watch my kids so I could go play art teacher? I needed to do this lesson, fast. The next afternoon I was in my friend's classroom, armed with an idea and...not much else. Luckily this lesson is very low prep. You'll need:

  • black construction paper
  • white cardstock
  • an assortment of paints (we went with red, blue, green, and white.)
  • paintbrushes and sponges

 To start, give your students a sheet of white cardstock (8.5x11 is a good size.) I did a demonstration on the board of how to draw three different animals - a bear, a wolf and a deer. I personally found the deer the easiest to draw, followed by the wolf and the bear. Clearly the kids disagreed with me, as most opted for the wolf . The most important instruction here is to keep your animal BIG and to anchor it to the bottom of the paper. I had to remind some kids not to do floating animal heads.

After the animal is drawn on the white cardstock, cut it out carefully. Then, PUT THE WHITE PAPER AWAY! Oh goodness, put it away. If not, I promise you someone will paint on it or rip it or color on it or SOMETHING and then you'll have to find another white paper and the student will have to restart and then you'll have to stay in at recess while they finish. Or maybe that's just what happens when you haven't taught in a year.

The next part of this super simple activity is painting the galaxy. I actually did a lesson on how to paint nebulas here and the idea is very similar. Students can use big brushes or sponges to sponge color on in circular motions until they're VERY faded, then build on them with more colors until they have a dreamy, cloudlike look to their paper. The most important part is not to oversaturate the paper with color. We're talking light coats of paint, all over the paper until it's covered.

After that, it's splatter time! Kids will love this. Teachers and custodians will not. Use a small brush to gently splatter stars all over the black paper.

Now, put the black paper aside to dry.

*Here's where a bit of planning and perspective comes in. You know what would make more sense? Paint the black paper first, THEN do the drawing and cutting on the white paper. Hindsight, 20/20 and all that.*

Once your black paper is completely dry, glue the white paper over top and you're done! This project could be modified in SO many ways. I plan to try it with my toddler, letting her paint the background paper and I will draw and cut the animal in white. So many possibilities!

Have you tried this project? Please link me in the comments!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Back to blogging

Oh hey guys!

So it's been a while...Like a long while. A long enough while to give me some trepidation about re-enteting the blogosphere.

I've been absent from this blog for the better part of three years. There are many reasons for this - motherhood being a big one (I've doubled my number of kids from a mere one to a mindboggling TWO since I last wrote.)

As well, my most recent teaching assignments have been less art-heavy and more other-subjects-heavy. What can I say about this? Schools aren't focusing as much on specialists and are going for more for the teachers-teach-everything approach.

That being said, my heart is still brimming with art and DIY ideas. So my plan is to come back to this blog and use it for whatever is inspiring me or motivating me at the time. I still plan to do lots of art tutorials, but I will mix in more house decor, craft ideas for grown ups, and maybe even a little bit about motherhood.

On that note, here's to (somewhat) new beginnings!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ryan Berkley inspired portraits

Ahh I am becoming the worst at updating!! Between being mama to a 6 month old, home renos (photos to  come!!) and making baby shoes, I just haven’t had as much time to sit down with the ol' blog!

I do have a few projects that I’m really excited to share! I had the pleasure of doing art this summer with a great group of kids, and some amazing projects were turned out.

The first one that I’ll share is one I’ve wanted to do for a while, inspired by the art of Ryan Berkely. Are you guys familiar with his work? It's awesome. He does amazingly detailed portraits of animals in fancy outfits. I just adore them, and, as you can imagine, kids do too. We did a mini artist study of him, looking at his drawings and his style of art, and then everyone chose an inspiration animal, cartoon, or person to work with. They used ipods to find inspiration photos, and manipulated their subject in a way that it would work perfectly in a suit. They first drew in pencil, then traced with thin sharpie. When they were done, they painted them in with watercolor. They’re too cute!!

I'm going to post some reno pictures soon but for now, I'll leave you all with a picture of my little girl, who is almost single handedly responsible for the demise of this blog.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Baby shoes

I'm still on my maternity leave and am really enjoying myself. I've had three wonderful months so far, and still have another 9 MONTHS to play with my girl.

I of course need something to do to keep me busy while she's sleeping (which sometimes doesn't feel often, but it does happen!) so I have started making baby shoes! I began one night about a month ago by making my girl a pair of moccasins out of an old pleather purse. Since then, I've had fun playing around with different styles, fabrics and leathers to refine my shoes!

 I am running a giveaway for a pair of my baby shoes on my Instagram @LittleYetiShoes - I'd love a reader to win them! I also have some pairs for sale on my Etsy page!

Before I leave, I'll share a few pictures of my little family! This was my husband and I with Juliet, at about 10 weeks old.

and here's Juliet's progress from 1 month to 3 months old! I can't believe how quickly time goes by.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I'm still around!

It's been over 2 months since I've updated, but I have a good excuse - our baby girl was born! She was born on February 19th (we had a beautiful home birth which I love talking about, so if you have any questions, please ask!) and she has kept me extremely busy!

I'm sure I should have known this, but it's very hard to find the time to do crafts and renos with a little one around. Since she's been born, I've had the time to make a few things for her (knotted beanies and shoes, which I will post tutorials for soon!) and I've started working on a quilt, which will probably take me forever to finish.

I still have a few art projects that I will share in the next while from when I was teaching. I won't be back in the classroom for another 10 months, but I am running a little art camp for 2 weeks this summer, which means a whole bunch of new projects to share!

Aside from that, I will leave everyone with a little taste of who I spend my time with everyday.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Simple bathroom makeover - for around $100!

Our main floor bathroom was a hideous disaster that I'm surprised we tolerated for as long as we did.We went a good 7 or 8 months living with the "before" bathroom, which I actively hated, before I took this renovation on in the summer. Had I known the makeover would have been so simple and inexpensive, I would have done it the week we moved in.

The previous owners had the bathroom decorated like this, and I would actually argue it was better than what we did when we first moved in. At least their shower curtain had a bit of life in it.

We moved in, used an old shower curtain from who knows when, changed out the toilet seat. and called it a day. But, like I said, months of seeing that dank, dark bathroom finally got to me, and for only about a hundred dollars, we were able to transform the bathroom into a much more beautiful space!

The first thing I did in the bathroom was repaint. A while back I scored an amazing deal on paint (25 cans for a buck a piece, that I could come back and retint whenever I wanted) so I brought in two cans and got one tinted in a nice teal color, and a second one tinted in an antique white (to paint the wainscoting.)It took a couple of coats to cover that awful beige, but I was so happy to see it gone.

The wainscoting made the biggest difference in the room. Since the bathroom isn't very big, it cost really little to do. I can't find the exact product we used online, but at Lowe's, we found a big sheet of wainscoting that, when cut in half, gave us the perfect height for what we wanted in the bathroom. Each sheet cost $35, and two sheets was enough to do the entire bathroom. In the interest of keeping it really easy, I had the sheets cut in half at Lowe's, so that we would only have to do minor cuts to fit it in the bathroom.

The installation was super simple, and I ended up doing most of it myself. I placed it over the previously existing baseboards (which were double height for some reason, but I actually really like the way it looks.) I used a nail gun to put the pieces in place, and then topped them off with a piece of chair rail. I then painted the entire bottom portion in the antique white color (baseboards included.)

The last thing I had to do was find the perfect shower curtain, and find a few decorations to spruce things up. It actually took a couple of months for me to find a shower curtain, but I finally came across one at Home Outfitters for about $20 (it was on sale half price) that fit the room perfectly.

Joel's parents had a great old scale they were getting rid of that they gave to me, which matched the walls really well. The old window I got for $5 at a garage sale a few years ago, and I've just been waiting for a spot to put it (it used to be hung here in our kitchen, but we since put in a real window!)

There are many things I'd do if money weren't an issue - I'd love to change the flooring (can you believe that's actually the color of the grout? It's not just dirty!) to something much darker. Maybe a dark, wood look ceramic tile.

If I had the money, I'd also change the vanity to something much cuter - probably to something simple and modern, still white cabinets with a darker counter top. And while I'm dreaming, I would throw in a claw foot tub instead of the standard builder tub that's there right now. But for now, I'm content to live with our inexpensively made over bathroom!

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