Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Reason #546 I became an art teacher....

I need lots of hugs.

I just didn't realize how starved for hugs I was until I went 9 days without any.

To put into perspective how long 9 days is, generally our Christmas break is only about 7 1/2 days so on February 1st, when the big blizzard hit, no one realized we would be out of school for NINE days!!

The problem was the extremely cold temperatures and the repeated small snow storms that made back roads and side streets impassable with ice and snow.

I have to say, I enjoyed all of my days off. Every, single, one, of them.

I cooked, cleaned, baked, sewed, made Valentines, made movies, painted my nails, took naps, folded laundry, matched all of the un-matched socks, organized my crafting supplies, watched movies, spent time with friends, played games--both with friends and on my iphone, worked out (A LOT), shoveled snow, and got caught up on my favorite trash t.v. shows.

I did things that I normally just don't have time for--having nine days off was awesome! I didn't get bored...maybe a tiny bit lonely a couple of days, but I had friends over, chatted on FB and SKYPE and went to the gym to combat the loneliness.

I read blogs. I mailed packages.

I drank coffee and stared out the window.

It was so relaxing and wonderful.

Now I am back into the swing of things....and I find myself longing for those free days....

My real life is just so busy. Almost every evening is full the next few weeks--not including going to the gym--which will make for really long days if I go AFTER the late afternoon and evening things I have to do. Many things got messed up and postponed due to the snow days and now they are all getting crammed into the 5.5 weeks until Spring Break. Some nights are so full of things to do, I need TWO of me just to do everything.

I am dreading St. Patrick's day-- I was looking forward to the 3rd Thursday art walk, but now it looks like I will be doing an all-school art show that night--I just can't be two places at once-- and I would rather go to the artwalk!

So the moral of the story is, I will need a steady supply of hugs to get through the next few busy weeks. I didn't realize how much I appreciate hugs until I went 9 days with none. Today a girl hugged me and I almost started crying---it was exactly what I needed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Valentine Cards

Friday night I got the urge to make a whole pile of Valentine cards. I used cardstock, Ek success dimensional stickers and some doilies. I love how they turned out! Here is a video with the cards and a time lapse segment showing me making the cards and my cat helping. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow day thoughts...and a stop-motion film.

Snow days are like a gift.

A gift of time.

The weather forces us to do things we wouldn't normally do without 16" of snow on the ground. 

We are forced to stop everything, cancel our busy week and just stay home.  We are forced to stare out the window. We are forced to find things to do inside.

A gift of energy.

We are forced to rest, sleep, relax.

To some people this type of isolation is hell. (I know because they've made numerous status updates saying so) But I am trying to embrace every second of this gift. A routine is a will be here next week....I love being forced to stop. I love it that I am motivated to create things I wouldn't normally have the time or energy to do.

I have had 4 days off this week and I have tried to keep busy every minute. I can't really leave--the snow is up to my I am hanging out around the house.

Cooking, cleaning, organizing, painting my nails.....

..making felt garland...
...updating my inspiration boards...
....doing my makeup, changing the sheets on my bed, skyping with friends, taking snow-walks at dawn to capture the early morning sunrise glittering on the snow at dawn.

 ....trying to stay off facebook.....

To constantly update your status or post on Facebook during a snowstorm. Normally, because your stuck inside and bored out of your mind.
Also can be used to describe Facebook users who constantly discuss, complain, or post pictures about a snow storm.
Sarah must be snowed in and bored, because she's been snowbooking since the storm started.
The roads haven't been plowed so everyone's snowbooking

I haven't been able to sleep much, I have been waking up really early actually....

Here is a little stop motion film I made with some of my cute little ceramic figurines.

I have another idea for a short film (See Tuesday's Snow Day movie here)....I'm going to make it later soon as the sun comes up...maybe I'll make a Vlog too?

Anyway, what have you been doing with all of your 'snow day time?'

Loving all the moms and dads out there.....

When it gets close to Valentine's Day, I am always in the mood to make some pretty Valentine cards for my friends and family. With the snow days this week, I have plenty of time for that.

To me, Valentine's Day is a good time for a service project too, both for myself and for my are usually in a pretty giving mood.

Last week at school, I told my students that I would love for them to contribute some artwork to a special organization in town. I explained that the Ronald McDonald House is a place for families to stay when they have a sick child in the hospital. It is a place for mommies and daddies to go so that they don't have to go all the way home if they have a baby in the hospital, they can stay close by. Some of my students had stayed there, some had heard of it, and some have had other family members who have stayed there.

I told them that I would like for them to make something that would make the parents happy. Something that would make them smile. I showed them a blank door hanger, showed them how it hangs on the doorknob and asked them to draw and write a message about love.

I was pleasantly surprised with the results. This is something any teacher in any classroom could do for any organization. Door hangers are very cheap to reproduce (I printed mine on cardstock) and this could be a writing prompt with a bit of drawing thrown in, it only took about 10 minutes for most to complete the task.

One boy asked me, "Do you think these might make the parents cry?" And I told him that they might....seeing a message about loving kids, from loving kids....while your own child is sick....might make a few parents cry....I explained that it was okay....we were doing something very special and nice, just for the sake of doing it...and that was the most important thing.

Here are a few of my favorites.
  (Ronald McDonald House is the hero of the world)
 (And yes that 4th one does say 'may the force be with you')

I can't wait to deliver the artwork (as soon as the roads are a little more clear). 

Here is a link to a Google doc with the basic door hanger image. You might enlarge it on the copier a bit so that you don't waste too much of a 8.5" X 11" sheet of cardstock.

Collaborative art....

A couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to help a group of artists create a sculpture. I wrote about it here.

The student visit to the local art center is well underway and they have started covering the first big sculpture with bits of fabric, paper, tissue paper, cardboard and other things. Students are weaving colorful bits of this and that through the chicken wire mesh.

Still much more to be done...this is an 'in-progress' stage...I can't wait to see it finished!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I made a short film yesterday during the blizzard!

Snow days don't have to be boring. I made this little short film yesterday. ENJOY!!

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

One of my goals this year was to go back to some of the online classes I signed up for last year (style school, summer camp, home ec) and actually try a few more of the projects.

Two teachers at school are expecting and I really wanted to make them something special for their shower gift. So I decided to make a quilted baby bib for each of them. Luckily they are both having boys, so that made it simple to make 2 of everything.  The 'VWX' fabric is from a sesame street sheet I got at the Salvation Army. I went there recently and bought a bunch of sheets--they are a perfect supply of solid and printed fabrics at a reasonable price -- some were only $2 or $3 for queen-sized materials.
This baby bib was fun to make and it was really easy. I will definitely make it again!
These designer burp cloths are not from any of the online classes I have taken. I actually got the idea from a friend.
It is a cloth diaper, with some pretty fabric and a ribbon added to make it more 'designer'. Super easy to make!!
I put two burp cloths, a quilted baby bib and a book together for a nice little shower gift.
Oh, and I used some of the leftover fabric to make a drawstring gift bag. Super easy and cheap!! (I think I got the basic idea from one of the online classes, but I don't remember which one.
If you are looking for any hand made baby gift ideas, these were very easy and cheap, hope this post helped!