Monday, September 26, 2011


I will admit it, I am addicted! Pinterest is my new favorite thing in the whole world, or at least on the Internet these days. If you haven't been there, try it. And you shall soon be an addict too!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sister School

So recently I sent out a request on Twitter and even a couple emails, but have no response. I am looking for a sister school art program. I would love to hook our programs together and share what we do. If you are interested, send me a note on there. How much fun would it be to brainstorm and share ideas and artwork! We don't care how far away you are!!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I don't know if anyone ever has this happen, but sometimes I simply feel uninspired. I have artistic brain-freeze. I search and scour the Internet for new ideas for my kids. Some great project that will wow me, and little miss negative Nellie (that's me) looks at them and thinks, "well that is just about the ugliest project I have ever seen", or "already done that." All kinds of things. But, nothing just hits the spot.

Today is one of those. I have been scouring and scouring and can't find anything truly cool to try with my kids. Sooo, if you are out there and feel like you might want to share with me, I am all for it! Bring on the ideas, I need them!

Advanced Art

Right now the advanced art students are working on a second portfolio piece. This particular project is open subject matter and open media. In the words of my four year old... we'll see.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


So, outside of school my very good friend and I have a wedding decorating and coordinating business. I love my job, but I also enjoy this new venture in my life as well. I get the chance to use my creative side by designing and arranging new venues for special events. I am always planning a party, how fun is that!

We work so hard to come up with creative and exciting ideas for the people we work with and for and because of that, by word of mouth, our business is very productive and exciting.

Brainstorming for us is getting together and hitting Jo Ann fabrics or Hobby Lobby and doing a little visual shopping. We also do a lot of Internet reference as well. But one thing we are so proud of is that our ideas are our own. It may take us a little longer, but then our clients get a one of a kind event and things turn out great!

I understand that "imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery" however when someone imitates you or your work, sometimes it is a bitter pill. We have had that happen to us recently, and I am not sure how to take it. I know it shouldn't bother me, that it should make me feel good knowing that someone else enjoys our work enough to reuse our ideas. However, when it took us a while to come up with things, it is awful tough to be OK with it. My other concern is that when we feel we give our clients that individual personalized event, we turn around and see someone else giving their client our same event, it isn't so personalized anymore.

I guess my thoughts are if you are going to be a in a creative business shouldn't you be able to be creative enough to come up with your own ideas or at least make them your own by alteration? I don't know, something to think about.

Friday, September 9, 2011

As we are getting ready to venture into the art of Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne and Braque, I always start my students out with an artist that they can relate to and they simply "get." We watch a video on Alexandra Nechita.

At the time the DVD was made, she was a high school student talking about balancing her high school life and her art. I think it is great for them to see someone who started enjoying and creating at a young age and taking her works to where they are today. Today she is still creating and graduated from college a few years ago. Her work is inspiring and the DVD is great. 20 minutes, to the point. Check her out.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I often wonder if anyone really reads my blog. It doesn't really bother me if people do or don't. I guess I feel sometimes as if it is more a therapeutic thing for me. Like now for instance. I find it hard to believe that tomorrow is already midterm of the first nine weeks and although I need to be grading and getting those into MMS. I can't. Right now at this very moment, I simply can't think. My head is spinning about lesson plans, grading 200 projects that all came due at once (and I am not even joking, it really is 200), keeping certain students busy who I know will find more unproductive things to do if I don't keep them focused, how we are going to get a float built and powder puff practices run if we don't have a theme yet for homecoming, getting my art club meeting agenda settled, scheduling a field trip... And on top of all this I have to go home tonight to make supper, check homework, pick up my house, give the four year old a bath, and do laundry. And now you can completely comprehend how one becomes so overwhelmed they can't do anything. It's paralyzing.

My husband used to be the one who always thought teaching was so easy. He would laugh at me when I would come home at the end of the day tell him I was exhausted. Then he would reply..its not like you do much except spend time with kids all day. .......No really he has said that to me on more than one occasion.

What I think he and so many people do not understand that a teacher wears hundreds of hats. Hats that mentally exhaust, physically exhaust, and sometimes spiritually exhaust. We are known for being cheerleaders, inspiring and motivating speakers to those students we see everyday. We are the motivation that keeps students going and doing and growing. Sometimes I wish I had a teacher that I kept in my coat pocket that I could pull out, set on my desk, wind them up and let them go. My own little motivation and inspiration when I needed it. My own personal cheerleader.

So many teachers out there feel completely under appreciated. We are asked to raise and educate today's youth. To instill what values we can with all the underlying "junk" that they already have in them from today's society. And the minute one of those kids fail, it becomes the educators fault. Sometimes I want to fire back, you try it. It is easy to lay blame, we always need someone to blame or at least we think we do. Perhaps before laying the blame, we need to step back and see the bigger picture. We are not superheros, we are people. Plain ordinary people who love what we do and try our best everyday. Some days are better than others, but still we try. So to all you teachers out there that are sitting at your desk at this very moment, completely overwhelmed and don't know what to do next, know that I am out there for you. In the land of bloggers. I get it and I get you. You are awesome. Don't forget it. Oh and thanks for making a difference in the lives of our children today.

Day 1 Creativity Challenge

Last night, while grading art projects, I did my first day creative challenge. I made playdough. You remember playdough. We use to love the stuff! Of Course, some of you weirdos out there, ate it;)

Now my son loves it and so I decided that heck, I'll give it a whirl making it. Let me preface this with, I tried making it last week and after three very unsuccessful batches, I deemed myself a failure. But it turned out so easy ,with the right recipe and so fun! Little Mr. Jake took it to school today for everyone. He was quite the proud 4 year old and I am quite the proud art mom!



1c. salt

2t. cream of tartar

1 pack of koolaid

dump in a sauce pan and mix together

2 cups water

2T vegetable oil

any additional liquid food coloring if needed

add to saucepan

heat on low/med.low and stir

it will form a ball as you stir

dump it out and knead it on the counter

store in ziplock


*thanks to one of my FB Friends for the recipe!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

30 Days of Creativity

I stumbled upon a site today that is Pretty cool really, it is all about taking a few minutes every day for 30 days and being creative. It states that creativity is like a muscle and the more we excercise it, the stronger it gets. Although this was meant for the month of June, I am going to take the challenge starting today and see what happens. I don't know if I can "man-up" to this task, but I am sure going to give it a try. If I succeed I will try and post what I do each day on here!

Photo One - Basic Image

photo by Christine A.

Photo By Aubrey L.

Photo By Jordan B.

Photo By Jordan B

Trying to decide what to teach the first few weeks of Digital Photography has always been hard. Kids want to jump right in and take pictures. I have read several blogs and lesson plans but none really fit us. We only work in Photoshop CS 2 and we really need the basic beginning. The first thing I have to do is make sure that students understand that a camera is a camera and a phone is not a camera. Then we read the camera manual. Yes, I make them read it. Heck most adults don't know all the things their cameras can do. We talk about the idea, that although it's fun to hold the camera out and take pictures, that isn't something we turn in for a grade and if you are in the photo that means you are not taking it so don't turn that in either (no I don't encourage the timer right now)

So our first project is simply about basic photography rules. We talk about Rule of Thirds, diagonal and curved lines, simplified background, etc. Photoshop basics are focused on such as cropping, cloning, using curves, and working in color. Most years the projects are pretty average. They learn the skills but don't care about taking their image much farther. This year, I am quite proud of how excited many of them are in taking a little extra time in their imagery.

On my way to go get my much needed Iced Tea with 8 splenda from Mickey D's this morning I pass by a student who is riding a school. And I begin to think that may have been my sign for the day of what is to come! Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The "TIES" have it!

Our first project in art history, formally known as Art I was to study the artwork of Peter Max. The 8th hour class took his work one step further and created ties in his style. Pretty Cool outcome!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Drawing Class

From Ordinary to Extra-Ordinary is the book by Ken Vieth that our current project was obtained. I like this book alot. It is all about challenging my students and taking them past initial drawing into creative thinking and problem solving strategies.

The assignment was to create a drawing which would then be created from "pencils." You can draw anything, but to come up with something that would work well with the idea of the pencils created a challenge. Several students re-started once they realized their basic subject matter was not going to work. It was so interesting to watch this lesson unfold.