Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blah Blah Blah Vampire Emergency Blah


I would like to share that I have a post over at the Birds of a Feather blog this week...you will love the owlie goodness!!

Since school started a couple of weeks ago, I haven't had much time for crafting, art-making, blogging, or exercising. Whew. What have I been doing?? I don't even know. I think I needed a nap every day after school on the first week.

I have been playing a lot of Words With Friends. I am seriously addicted. But that isn't new. I used to be addicted to Scrabulous, then Lexulous on Facebook...but then I got an iPhone and nearly every day I wake up and play...its truly the first thing I do in the the morning...and the last thing I do before bed.

Blah Blah Blah let's skip over all the boring stuff and get right down to it. (In case you are wondering about the title of this post, it is from a quote on this season's Trueblood.)

I've got some delicious (seriously, they are delicious pictures) photos from my iPhone of things I have done (or eaten) the past month. Do you take pictures of food? Am I the only one?

 Oh coconut cream pie....the things you do to my thighs....I don't care, you are so delicious in every way.
 Hello club sandwich, so nice to see you!
 Blue oysters on the half shell....YUM!
 Fried frog legs....yummy yummy yummy.
 I baked the most delicious chocolate cake. (I didn't eat the whole thing!)
 The Cheesecake Factory...how can you go wrong?
 I always save room for dessert.
 Or at least a snow cone. Especially if it matches my fingernails.

 Farmer's Market....Homegrown tomatoes are the only ones I like.

Also at the farmer's market in St. Louis...Check out the gorgeous flowers!!

And I guess since I am sharing iPhone photos, I must introduce you to this Unicorn I met at art walk. He was being nice that night (he wasn't being a jerk.) I totally went vintage that night with a fabulous head scarf and a bring orange dress. It was a super fun night!

A couple of weekends ago, I helped my team dominate at Trivial Pursuit. It was so amazing, I had to take a picture.

And how was that for random. I hope to post some pictures from a recent photo shoot this week....Seriously, there as a baby that almost makes me cry she is so cute...almost....

All of the photos in this post were taken with my iPhone...using the hipstamatic app. Enjoy!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A REAL post, please.....

Who am I as a blogger? Am I a leader? Am I a follower?

Why do I like fawns and owls? And vintage? And the hipstamatic? And holga?

Is it because of the blogs I read?

I think so....I find myself gravitating towards stripes when I go shopping because of bloggers who wear the cutest stripes in the whole world....

I think it has to do with subliminal advertising. If I see something over and over again, I WANT it. Whether it is a coke, french fries, or a cool headband. Even if I do not realize that I am subjecting myself to the influences of others....I totally am.....

Blog hopping, seeing certain themes over and over again....it influences the decisions I make when I go shopping....when I 'like' a certain photo on Flickr.....

And the influence seeps into my blog content. Whenever I click on a 'New' blog on someone's sidebar, it seems like they are exactly like me. And all the blogs on their sidebar are exactly like them, and so on and so on forever.

And I have a feeling everyone's blog content is starting to look them same.

Are all blogs starting to look the same?

Say it isn't so!

I love to get inspiration from the internet, especially blogs...Inspiration posts from we heart it, favorite interiors found online, an occasional music video youtube video, a DIY, a recipe......

Am I capable of new content? Is any blogger? Are we all just FLUFF?

My goal for the next 6 months is to step away from 'inspiration' posts.....and try to create REAL content. Real is more important than happy.

Don't get me wrong, I like a good 'happy' feel-good post just as much as the rest, but I crave the real life of the writer. I love to make new connections.

Either with my art, photos, writing.....however I find it....I am going to try to be original. I've given it a go this week....

I may post LESS often, but I hope that my posts are more vibrant, more powerful, more creative.

I have found a few new blogs on Blogs of Note.....and they are less about fashion, crafts, etc...some are about reality T.V. (I know, REAL content, right?).....but I am on a quest to find some REALLY great blogs.

Do you have a great blog that is nothing like mine? Do you have a favorite blog that is powerful?

Share it in the comments, I would love to read something NEW!

Oh and the photo above is of my brother and is family at the beach....it INSPIRES ME!! It is real life and it is really special.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Orchids and Onions

In Lake Havasu, AZ the local paper, the Today's Herald has a feature called: Ochids and Onions in which local residents may write in to vent frustration or send praise things going on in the community. The entries must be 40 words or less. Do not type in all caps. Use sentence format when typing. Entries must begin with entry with 'Orchids to:' or 'Onions to:'

When I was visiting my brother this summer, I loved reading these every day in the paper. It was a way of finding out what was going on in the community. I loved it so much that I decided to have a similar feature on my blog. I will try to stick to the 40 character limit as closely as possible. Enjoy!

Onions to the construction company at my school for deciding to tar the roof on the first day. I don't want it to leak, but where were you all summer? On vacation. We noticed that you weren't working on the new addition and we are frustrated that it isn't going to be ready to use this year.

Onions to my bank for never having a pen when I go through the drive through. I can't always reach my purse if it is in the back I hate having to ask for a pen just to endorse a few checks.

Orchids to the little girl that puked on me today. It was the first day of breakfast, on your second day of school. You were scared and crying. I forgive you. Good luck in kindergarten.

Orchids to Steve at the Ozark Camp and Retreat Center. I am planning a crafting getaway in September and you have been nothing but nice and super easy to work with!

Onions to the 1st grade boy that farted during art on your first day. I know that people get gas and I tried to ignore you, but you kept going while looking at me and laughing. Not funny. Not appropriate. Oh, and stop crying whenever I you aren't following directions, you get in trouble because you need to learn how to behave.

Orchids to the teachers at my school for being so great to work with. My room was so cold today, I had to huddle next to a teacher's heater in her room to warm up during lunch.

Orchids to JRs Westernwear Gas station deli for making the most delicious, most affordable cheesecake ever created. So rich, so chocolatey, a little goes a long way. The best after school snack ever.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A {Second} Peek into My {Second} Art Room

First day of school.

Two sweet things I heard today:

1. First grade boy: 'Mrs. Mitchell, you are the best.'

2. Kindergarten girl: "Um, can I tell you sumpthin? You have....beautiful hair."

Heart meltingly sweet!!!

I totally rocked my LoveTaza headband today!! To see pictures from my other art room, click here.

 My aprons are all hung on the papercase with care. In hopes that the art teacher, might soon be ready to wear.
 I just can't bear to take down my Carol, from the Wear the Wild Things Are Unit from last year....I want to make more of these black electrical tape installation with other book characters, he makes me so happy!
 A work friend gave me that awesome huge spiral poster!! I can't bear to take it down!
 The beaded corner in the corner has Mona Lisa on it....my only window is glass blocks that open to a hallway...I figure I might as well have Mona hanging back there. I am addicted to these paper lanterns. Sorry for the low-quality images. I am typing this up before bed and I wanted them to load faster....Maybe that was a bad idea?
 In the classroom is wear I spend most of my days.
 The elements of art hang above my markerboard and the principles of art hang at the back of the room. They are attached to the wall with that foam tape...I never take them down!

I learned how to make the styrofoam 3-D blocks in college.

Super easy.
If you are interested in making your own 3-D foam blocks, they are great for all sorts of things!!

Follow these instructions and email me if you have any questions:

1. Basically you just cut the foam using a handsaw into a shape that you like.

2. Using regular white Elmer's glue, you 'draw' your lettering, lines, designs....whatever you want to STAY RAISED UP....if that makes sense.

3. Let the white glue dry.

4. Heat the foam with a torch. (Do this step outside...I wear a mask. I use a little propane torch from Home Depot.)

5. The torch melts away all of the foam except for where the dried white glue is....it creates a really cool relief effect.

6. Paint the foam. I used cheapy school tempera paint! I painted all of the raised up areas white and all of the edges and sunken areas with a solid color so the relief would be more prominent.

A few years ago, I fell in love with a paint set in a Pottery Barn Kids catalog. I wanted it so bad, but it was really too expensive for my classroom decoration budget...I found these long white scraps of foam in the trash and created my own watercolor strip with the torch technique. I just need to buy the huge paint brush (or make one) to hang above it. The foam is super light so it will stay up on the concrete walls.
Anyway, I am super glad the first day is over.

The anticipation of the first day must be similar to jumping out of an airplane (I wouldn't know, I can only imagine)....all the anxiety, fear, anticipation...and then all goes well, the chute opens and you float down to earth and go on living your day-to-day life.

Today I jumped, floated and tomorrow I go on living, teaching and taking each day as it comes.

A Peek into My Art Room

It is the first day of school. The past few weeks I have been working really hard to get my art rooms ready. Yes, I did say ROOMS. I am fortunate to have not only one art room, but TWO....I work in two buildings within one school district. So I have double the work before school starts in regards to bulletin boards, seating charts, and hauling the new supplies from one school to the other.

Here are a few pictures of my room. I thought I would take some pictures while it is still clean. I moved a few things around this year and I am excited about the changes. 

 The cabinets in the corner are new. I used to have a window in the corner, but they added on to our building over the summer so I lost my window. I was really sad about it, but I decided to request some storage. They don't include closets in classrooms anymore so it is tough to store all those supplies and keep the room organized.

 Last year, I had my students draw an owl for me when they finished one of their projects. I saved all the owls and put them up on my metal cabinet doors. I LOVE these little masterpieces!!
 They are all so different and so sweet. I just love them!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My summer with Holga Part 3

To see more summer Holga photos, read part 2 and part 1.

These photos are from my summer trip to visit my brother in AZ. We took a little road trip to Cali and stopped at the beach and the Costa Mesa Swap meet (so awesome!).

School starts this week. Bleh. ;-) Trying to be optimistic.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Recipe for Success: Themed Brownies

This weekend, we had a Video Game theme party for a good friend. It was a total surprise. We decked out the house by turning it into a Mario land. You can read more about our decor and see pictures over at the Birds of a Feather blog.

I decided to try something totally new and create some brownies for party, instead of a cookie cake or a regular cake. They turned out really well and they were super easy.

I baked the brownies and once they were cool, I cut them into squares and put them on a platter....then I snapped an Oreo Funstick in half and stuck it in for the handle....and added a red M&M for the red button. They were a big hit!

Ooh, here is a little peak at the party decorations....My friends have a great picture window on their door so we created a 'mario pipe' so that people could pretend to go up and down it from outside. It was super cute! (The lighting in the dining room wasn't great at dusk, but I did what I could for these picture ;-)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

4 Simple Goals

With the school year officially starting later this week, it feels like a good time to develop 4 simple goals. Thanks Elsie for the inspiration!!

These goals are things I want to accomplish before 2011.

1. Cook more meals at home. It has been a ridiculously hot summer and I have taken to eating junk these past view weeks. I am going to eat healthier lunches when school starts and try to cook 3-4 times a week so that I will have yummy and healthy leftovers. (And since you asked....tonight I am making Rhodes rolls for some BBQ pork sandwiches....and the entire house smells like rising bread)

2. Make all my Christmas cards. I am excited about this tradition. I have made my all my Christmas cards for the past 3 years. It is one of my favorite things. I love stamping...and I recently organized my craft room and I want to make as many cards as I can without buying anything.

3. Keep exercising. I started working out 10 weeks ago and I've managed to stay pretty strong running/walking 2.3 miles 3-4 times per week. I am worried that I will fall off the wagon once school starts. But if it cools off a little bit, hopefully I can keep going in the evenings. I've been doing it in the morning and I really love that but it will be impossible to do that when school starts. I woke up early last week and I thought I would try to go at like 5:30 but it was pitch black out and I only made it to the end of the walk way before a shadow spooked me, and I was so scared that I would get chased by a dog, skunk, raccoon, or scary guy.....so that isn't going to happen.

4. Do some soul searching. I feel like I need to do some planning for the future. Do I want to go back to school? Do I want to teach forever? Do I want to do something else for a while? I'm going to do some research and talk to people and figure out what I want to do, and try to figure out what I can do that will lead a rich, fulfilling life and career.

Friday, August 13, 2010

My summer with Holga Part 2

Ahhh, my very last morning of summer vacation. I can't believe it is already over. I've decided to enjoy a nice cup of coffee and do some blogging. In my pjs. Because this time next week, I'll be longing for next summer while training hundreds of kindergarteners to obey the procedures of the art room. I'm having lunch with my mentor art teacher, then going to the pool with work friends...and tonight I'm going to a friend's birthday party. (shhhhh, its a surprise!)

I thought it would be fun to share some recent Holga pics with you. This is the first roll of black and white I have done in quite a while.

The photos were taken in Las Vegas @Freemont street...mostly at night....the first two however, are @ Death Valley. 

The first two are from Death Valley....I love them! You might remember my original digital pictures from this post. Hope you like these analogues too....

Oh yeah, check out my yummy recipe for Summer Tomatoes over on the Birds of a Feather blog!