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Monday, December 31, 2012

Celebrating 2012-- Highlights of My Year


I read Carin's post today about her creative achievements of 2012 and it got me thinking "what would be on my list if I were to make one?"  At first I thought, well, I don't have a whole lot to say, but then I thought back to all the little things I am proud of, that made me happy and experiences I had this year that were fantastic.

I'm not going to lie, this Christmas season I was not fully in the mood to celebrate the holidays.  I pay a lot of attention to the news and read many of the stories that come across my way.  Of course, there were the big tragedies in Newtown and the movie theater and the one in my own state at the Sikh temple.... and many more smaller tragedies that I hear about all the time.  All of the bad things in the world have really weighed on my heart and I have just not felt right celebrating when the world is so broken.  How can there be such evil in the world?  It really has thrown me for a loop.  I try to keep my blogging light and happy and positive but it just seemed like one after another this year.  Because of this, it has really made think about how I treat other people and how I need to be a positive force.  I need to keep perspective and not let the little things irritate me.  I need to focus more on the big picture rather than the day to day.  Letting things go that are really not a huge deal!  We all need to be kinder to each other because we do not know the burdens another person bears.  And I'm not just talking about a random act of kindness thing, but overall a shift in perspective for myself.

It's important to not take the little things (and the big things) for granted.  It easy to let things slip by without really celebrating them.  It's easy to focus on what you don't have or what you are not, rather than the things that you do well or the things that make you happy.  I encourage you to make your OWN LIST of things that you are proud of or great memories you have from this year.  Celebrate them!  Embrace them and be proud of them.  Carin had 60 things on her list! 

Here are some of my creative and personal highlights of this year:

1.  Participated in a fun online workshop from Strathmore with Traci Bautista.

2.  Showed my students artworks in the Youth Art Month Show at the Hilldale Mall and the State Capitol. 

3.  Created some amazing collaborative canvases with my students (2 of which were auctioned off and 2 of which are hanging in my school.)

4.  Conducted several fun and messy afterschool art classes for kids.

5.  Went to New York in March for the National Art Education Conference and had an amazing time!
I got to hang out with some of my favorite art ed bloggers in person, and saw Peter Max and Chuck Close give speeches!

6.  In January I started working with Marit and the team on a new mixed media art magazine called Featuring.  The first issue came out in April!  I interviewed artists and wrote 3 articles for the first issue. 

7.  Put out another school yearbook successfully with the middle school kids at my school.

8.  In June I volunteered at the Re-Art Swap at a local art store in Madison where you can drop off unwanted supplies and then pick up new ones.  Amazing!  I am so volunteering again next year.

9.  In June we also took a family trip (with Andrew's family) to Disneyworld!   Yeah, I want to go back.

10.  Had a lazy summer filled with art, friends, Daria time and relaxation.

11.  In August, I wrote a lesson that was published in Scholastic Art magazine.

12.  In August, I created a new logo image for our school's 30th anniversary that was printed into a big banner and used on our school t-shirts.

13.  In September, I launched the Weekly Doodle-- printable drawing prompts for kids.  I'm considering make some more e-packets for download.


14.  Had a drawing page published in the Doodler's Anonymous Coloring Book yeah!  It's so cool.  The book, I mean.. my drawing is nice but the other ones are so amazing.

15.  Sold a few things in my Etsy Shop!

16.  Bravely experimented with glass fusing at school!

17.  Got a new phone with a texting plan!! (Welcome to the year 2005, right?)  And I joined Twitter. Woah!  Technology overload.



18.  Was in the running for the Art Ed blog of the Year with The Art of Education.. did not place in the top 10, but still honored to be one of the 20 in the running!

19.  I had a few activities printed in 2 books in October.  The best part of submitting to these sorts of things is that you get free copies of the book!  And it looks good on your resume.  Not that I am planning on ever leaving my current job but it's still always good to pursue recognition in your professional field.

20.  Issue #2 of Featuring Magazine was released in the fall and I wrote 2 articles in this issue (one really long and intensive one and the other was a shorter interview.)   

21.  Continued to moderate the online group Artists in Blogland and continued to connect with more and more amazing, soulful and positive artists across the world.  If you have not joined us there, the New Year is the perfect time to commit to making more of your own art.  We have lots of fun challenges, swaps and interviews in the works.  

22.  Wrote an article for Art Journaling magazine by Somerset Studio which hits the newsstands any day now.  I am very (humbly) proud of it!  I have submitted to many, many publishers and contests this past year and received *many* rejections, but also a few acceptances. That is part of the process I have learned.  Maybe some people have an easy time with it, but I am simply proud of what has been accepted.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer for a magazine as my career.  Now I am simply satisfied with a few articles here and there.  :)  

23.  My husband started his foray into the world of blogging with a Lego blog.   It has been fun to share the experience of writing a blog.  There is a whole community of adult Lego collectors who buy and sell sets.  Very interesting.  

24.  Bought a binding tool to make my own sketchbooks:

25.  Kept several art journals and filled a few of them!

26.  Experimented with Gelli plate printing.

27.  Made several mixed media collages for fun!





28.  Filled two scrapbooks with Project Life style scrapbooking!


29.  Participated in an ATC swap where I received some beautiful cards in the mail and made some to send out.

30.  Read a whole bunch of inspiring books


Well if you have read this far, thank you!  I hope you will create your own list now and share it with me.  Going forward 2013 seems full of possibilities.  Happy New Year!!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Papermache Masks-- 3rd and 4th grade


This is an art project that I repeat every year, because it is such a great process for the kids... starting with an initial sketched idea, building an armature, applying paper mache, painting and adding embellishments.  I tie this lesson to the Pacific Northwest Coast masks.

You can see masks from previous years here and the process photos here.
 




Thank you if you voted for me in the Art Ed blog of the year contest!  While I did not place in the top ten, I was honored just to be in the running.  Thanks for reading my blog and interacting with me!

I'm on Twitter now! What will I say? Maybe I will share more fun things I come across on the internet.   Join me!

 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Round Up

Two of my classes made pictures frames like these: 

They turned out really cute and I did not take pictures until after the kids glued their pictures in, so I did not want to post any of the frames with their pictures in it. 

This year, I did not do too many holiday art projects, but here is a round-up of some that I have done in the past. 















I usually do these in January, but this could be a holiday landscape.

 (I did these again this year, but forgot to take pictures.)



Glass Fusing

The fourth-sixth graders made these glass fused pendants.  We are gluing the "bails" on the back to make necklaces.  The kids are going to give these as holiday gifts to a family member or friend.  They each made two pendants.  

This is the first time I have done fused glass with kids.  I used the how-to guides from the System 96 website and ordered the glass from Delphi glass.  

Have you done fused glass in your kiln before?  If so, I have some questions to ask you and maybe you can help me troubleshoot a bit.  Let me know and we can connect!

Some of the pendants turned out wonderfully (as I expected) and some of them did not seem to melt evenly.  They are still beautiful and the kids are proud of their work, but I am wondering if anyone has any insights.  













Monday, December 17, 2012

Free Printable Holiday Card to Color


Free Printable Christmas Card!


Marit, founder of Featuring magazine, suggested that we all make print and color holiday cards to post on the website. This was perfect, because now my holiday card is done for school.  For the past few years, I have made little cards from my artwork to use as thank you notes at school.  If a kid gives me a holiday card or gift I will give them one of my little artwork cards.   Some kids at school saw me drawing this and they all said they wanted one, so I'm going to print off a bunch.

If you would like to print off this card for yourself or your kid to color, go ahead!

Do you make your own holiday cards?  Do you share your artwork with your students?



Friday, December 14, 2012

Prayers and Love

Prayers and love to those in Connecticut.  I pray for peace, I pray for love, I pray for our country and world.  As a teacher, parent and human my heart is heavy today.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mixed Media Canvases with Kids

 Thanks for your kind comments about my fingers!  They are actually healing much faster than I expected. 

As you might know, I am a lover of all things mixed media!  I also enjoy occasionally teaching an after school art workshop for my students (I'd love to do more, but since my daughter goes to daycare it's a bit tricky.)  I thought painted canvases would be a great gift for kids to give someone in their family, so I decided to do an after school art class which I taught today.  The kids in this class were in grades K-5, so I had quite a range of skill levels.  23 kids signed up!
1st grade artwork

I bought a bunch of canvases, scrapbook papers and paints on Black Friday (yep, I braved the craziest shopping day to pick up some cheap art supplies.)
5th grader

Each kid chose a 12x12" or 9"x12" canvas and a selection of scrapbook papers.

The kids cut out shapes and imagery from the patterned scrapbook paper.  These were decoupaged on to the canvas using Mod-Podge puzzle saver glue (the kind that you can paint on to a finished puzzle to save it.)  Paint underneath and on top of each shape.  Smooth any wrinkles out with your fingers.  When you are finished mod-podging, use a hair dryer to dry the glue. 
3rd grader

The kids used acrylic craft paints to add paint and designs to their canvas.  Colored sharpie markers were also used for fine details.  It is very important to make sure the paint is dry (with a hair dryer) if you are going to use markers anywhere near the paint.  It will ruin the markers if the paint is wet.  Some students chose to write words on their picture.
Do you see the "love Marcia" at the bottom?  so sweet!  (made by a kindergartner)

The class ran from 3:15-5:00.  The kids mostly all finished by 4:45, which was good because we had a HUGE mess to clean up.  If I did this again, I might split it into two sessions.  It was a long day for the littlest kids. 
Kindergarten-- Lots of expression!
2nd grade

3rd grade
Kindergarten


2nd grade  Great shapes!
1st grade  I love the colors in this one.
4th grade girl

The four seasons-- 5th grade boy





(I just got a twitter account if you're interested in becoming my twitter friend.)

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