Friday, July 21, 2017

Clay Mushrooms- 2nd Grade

I'm cleaning out all of my pictures and realized that I didn't post on some of the projects I did this last year in class.  This one was such a great project that my students got to do with Sue Davies (Art Teacher from RES) during our teacher swap.

Sue created some videos for my students to observe before her visit.  It was nice for the kids to get pumped up for the upcoming project. She was kind enough to share it with you as well.  The first video show how to make a pinch pot and the second is how to create the pinch pot into a mushroom.

I got to do the finishing. I asked Mrs. Davies to use these tiny tiles I had in the Kiln room for a while.  I'm not sure where they came from... one of those 'Art Room' treasures. I placed clear glaze on the top of the mushroom before the first firing to keep these tiles in place.

Then we had the kids make a little environment for their mushroom.  I used up a lot of recycled materials in my classroom for this.  I had a bunch of uninformed container tops.  I gave them a little spray to identify the class and to give it a fresh new look.

As the students came in on the final day I had them use liquid watercolor to finish their mushrooms.  The clear glaze on the top repelled the watercolor. 

Then they started working on the environment!  This was just a small sheet of card stock. 

Some did more cartoon like backgrounds and some stayed very realistic. 

The mushrooms were then brought to me and I hot glued the background onto the container tops and on this set, we used modeling clay to keep the mushrooms in place. I found that a little hot glue works better to keep the mushroom in place and can easily be peeled off if the student wanted to. 

Placing these little gems on a cart allowed me to run these down to the homeroom teacher for the students to take their projects home.  We happened to finish them in time for Mother's Day this year. 

To see other projects we did in our teacher swap, please click here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Creating a Sewing Kit

We had 'sew' much fun making our Owl Softies that we wanted to make more... and more... and more.  My daughter has turned into quite a little teacher. She wanted to bring her project to her cousins two hours away as she visited my parents for a week. We decided to make a sewing kit for each of the participants. 

I used some charm packs that I had laying around for years... Using the 'good stuff'.  A charm pack is coordinating fabric pieces that are 5 by 5 inches. I cut some fusible batting to 4 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches and ironed it onto the back/middle of one of the fabrics.

Then I sandwiched the fabrics with the plastic in the middle.  So it was fabric one, face up. The plastic was placed on the bottom of the first fabric. Then the other fabric was placed on top with right side down.


I sewed on three sides.  The plastic is on the bottom of this 'sandwich'.

I wanted to make the part that folds into a trapezoid so that it fits into the plastic easy. I simply drew lines from the center to the top to make an upside down triangle on either side (as shown).

Sew and trim the corners. 

Now flip this inside-out. Iron the top into itself. 

Sew around the top of the trapezoid securing the open edges so that it remains closed.  

Fill the sewing kit with the materials needed for an 'on-the-go' project.

Turns out I love making these.  I think I'll make some for school as well for students to borrow for sewing projects in my 'almost TAB' classroom.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Bedroom Makeover

My son is going to middle school this year... He's going on 12-years-old. When we moved into our home he was going into first grade.  I was so excited to design his room.  I thought about who he really was... He was interested in maps from his Montessori Preschool. He loved legos and beyond that, the room choices were all me.  I loved his little room, the colors, and designs. 

I promised him when he was going into 6th-grade, he could design his own room and we would update it. I never imagined that 6th-grade would come so fast. My son has been researching his room for about a year now.  He has a Pinterest board and loves to go to decor stores with me.  One of his favorite things to do is going antiquing with me.  This kid did not take my words lightly.  He had certainly prepared for this change to his room. 

A lot of my son's interests have changed.  He plays baseball, basketball, shoots archery, and trap. He has an RC car that he and his buddies race around the neighborhood. He is part of the SustainERs, a group of kids investigating how to make our city more sustainable. He goes fishing with his dad in the winter or summer. He sews, builds, and creates. He is above all a patriotic person! This boy drinks out of a US Navy glass. His recent purchase of a that has a US flag made out of fish. He still loves legos, but his creations now revolve around our Great Nation (the white house pictured above). So this room was going to be RED, White, and Blue. 

Last week he went to his first overnight camp for a week.  It was a hunter safety camp and at the end of this camp, he now has his license to hunt. My daughter went to Grandma and Grandpa camp.  So you know what that means... a wee alone for Mom and Dad... If you have been married for almost 14 years, and you have kids you know this doesn't mean a week vacation for the parents... it means we get things done around the house. I decided to do my son's room for him while he was away.  First, the collection of materials. 

I watched the movie Minimalist on Netflix and have a bit of a new outlook on life.  I have been slowly getting rid of the extra in our house... and let me tell you, there is a lot of extras.  One of the things on the chopping block was this trunk (pictured above).  I had it on the 'to go' pile but as I was looking at his, I thought... maybe I could upscale that.  I talked to my son about adding legs (found on Etsy) on it and making a table with it.  He loved the ideas so there it was, our first 'new' piece of furniture for his room.

My Aunty gave me some of her collection of keys once upon a time, I arranged them, glued them down in a shadow box and knew someday I would find the perfect place for them... My husband was also busy minimalizing our garage at the time.  He too has an abundance of 'things', tools being one of them on the list.  He came up with a upcycling project for the room as well. 

I found this mirror at an antique shop about a year ago and it was perfect for my son... impulse buy finally used and hung up :) 

Looking around the house, I had this great lamp but the gold needed a little updating.  A little plastic wrap and black spray paint gave it the look that would fit perfectly in this room.

A donation of a 1940's blanket from a coworker made its way into the room too.  I cut it down and made a pillow sham out of it.  I was able to use the 'character' of the blanket in the newish pillows. It brings a little charm to the room for sure. 

Then, the biggest change... the color.  My son wanted red. I have painted red before and know it's not easy to get an even coat... but that was several years ago.  The new paint that I bought did a great job and in two coats the Neon Green turned 'No More Drama' Red. 

Then we had a couple of new builds.  We had to make a run to our local hardware store to gather some pipe after seeing this amazing post from Remodel Aholic which gave such wonderful directions for the DIY desk we added in the bedroom. 

We did a little laser engraving for the focal artwork in the room.  We used the same stain as on the shelving unit for this amazing homemade US flag. 

Once the materials were all gathered... it was time to assemble the room.  I couldn't wait!!!! Here's what we ended up with.

Because the flag was so light weight we simply used a trim gun for the flag to be hung.  You can't even see the little nails. 

The bedding and curtains were purchased new from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  They were picked out by my son.  

The light-up star was a reused from another area of the house purchased at Target a while back.  See the trunk?? It fits perfectly against this tiny wall and I can see it being used for a docking station because there is an outlet behind it. 

The desk turned out amazing!! We made it a standing desk with a 3-foot pipe below. We then added a 2-foot pipe so there is enough room for a laptop. 6th grade in our schools goes 1:1 devices so we need to think about that for this room.  The stool was a purchase from World Market... I love that store. It's a real sturdy piece of furniture.

Everything on this shelf I'm sure will change on a regular basis, but for now, the keys, some old books, and cigar boxes fill the shelves. The boxes double as storage for pencils and whatnot. 

See what a little spray paint can do?? I love spray paint for refreshing what you already have. 

Check out the hat display my husband designed. We made the bottom of the hooks align so that anything hanging from them would be straight. We also varied the size of the wrenches.  We measured it for hat display, however, I'm sure my decorating kid will switch this up now and again.

So there we have it.  A week's worth of hard work to last this kid until he leaves the house.  I hope he continues to love this room as much as he does right now.