January 31, 2012


It has happened again.
It will probably continue to happen.
I made another necklace after pinning a picture of it a few weeks ago.
This was the original picture I pinned:
The details were hard to see, so I had to do some investigating at local jewelry stores.
These are the supplies you will need.
All of the supplies on the left were purchased at Hobby Lobby.

Before getting started I was literally scouring the house for Ollie. I couldn't find him for the life of me. I even shook his cat food bag and he didn't come running. I was fairly certain that he was dead somewhere in the house. So I gave up looking and started my craft. Guess who showed up within minutes...?
I guess I could have ditched the food and just yelled out that is was craft time...
And he reminded me yet again that I don't like doing crafts with him around.
Especially when I found him playing with a needle. Sigh.
Back to the necklace.
Using the scissors, cut off the "chicken tail" part of the feather. Trim back a little bit of the feathers to reveal a small stem.
Place the stem in the cord crimp.
Using jewelry pliers fold one side of the cord crimp over the stem. Then repeat with the other side.
Tug on the feather to make sure it is secure.
I used all the cord crimps that I bought, so I ended up with 16 feathers.
Add jump rings to the end of each cord crimp.
The above was my first version of this necklace. It was pretty, but I decided I wanted the feathers to be a bit more spread out. The only beads I had on hand were the ones from this project.
I put one bead in-between every two feathers.
I also added a few more jump rings to lengthen my necklace.
I tried it out with two outfits. I especially love how it kind of moves when I walk. 
I think I will probably make some other versions of this necklace using a 24" necklace and maybe different colors for my feathers.
So fun!

Total Cost: $7.12
Feathers: $1.19 w/ 40% coupon
Necklace Chain: $2.99 (on clearance)
Jump Rings: $1.47
Cord Crimps: $1.47
Wooden Beads: previously owned

January 25, 2012


I do this lesson with my 3rd grade when we study Latin American art.
First we draw out our animals. 
(Options are crocodile, wolf, crab, fish, sunshine, etc)
Use markers to make patterns on the inside.
Emphasize outlining multiple times.
Cut out.
Glue on black paper.
Use color copier paper in bright colors to make background strips.
I don't worry too much about them being the exact same size.
Glue down.

January 21, 2012

Pop Art Raised Relief Prints

My second graders study Pop Art and Raised Relief Prints this year.

I based the background off of this lesson.
We use pop bottle caps to create the Pop Art background. We talk about how the artists from that art period used everyday objects as the subject of their artwork. So we are going to use every day objects like pop bottle caps to make our artwork. Plus we utilize bright, bold colors, just like they did.
We chat about raised relief prints.

We use Valentine's day as our inspiration and create a raised relief print that reflects that holiday.
Once both those are dry, we print!

January 14, 2012

Rubber Ducks

Love this lesson for the Kindergartners.

They are just learning about watercolor, so you start with the basics.
A watercolor wash.

We read this great book.
Create blue & green wavy lines on watercolor paper.

Next class we cut out our geometric shapes to make our duck.
A feather and googly eye are added for some extra fun.

January 11, 2012

Printed Peacocks

Kindergarten - Marshmallows - Finger painting - Peacocks
What could be better?

I show the little ones pictures of Peacocks.
We use the "letter C" with our hand (minus the thumb) and place the side of our hand in blue paint. This is the body of our Peacock.

We used BIG marshmallows and stamped them in green paint to make the outer color of the eye spot.

We used little marshmallows and stamped them in turquoise paint to make the inner color of the eye spot.
(you can reverse these colors)


Give the little ones a felt-tip pen and make a beak, eye, legs (for body) and lines for feathers.

We read this fantastic story and they get a little marshmallow to eat...
(for not eating their stamping tool from earlier)

January 8, 2012

Silhouette Portraits

I first did this lesson with 6th graders in middle school. However, last year I tried it out with 5th graders and they did a great job too. 

We looked at Colonial times and how they used silhouette portraits as a cheap alternative to painted portraits. Then we looked at one of my favorite artists, Kara Walker and talked about her silhouette installations. (Note: you will have to do some editing for the younger eyes). Finally I made silhouettes hit home for the kids. We talked about commercials and how they use silhouettes. We discussed reasons why they might use this art technique. The kids decided that the advertisers are trying to get us to focus more on the products and less on the people using them. Smart kids. Check out these videos: Ipod and Coldplay.

Before class, I take a profile picture of every student and print them out to 4x6 black & white.

Students get a 8x12 piece of white paper. They make a one inch graph on top and label the columns and row with letter and numbers. Then they get their printed photo. They do a half inch graph on top of the photo and label it with the same letters and numbers. Then they get a colored pencil or thin marker and draw a line around their profile in the picture. The find the matching box from the picture graph to the larger graph and try to copy the same line they see.
(I didn't post a photograph for privacy reasons, sorry...)

Anyway, this is a challenge for the kids, but they can do it! Encourage! Demonstrate! Support!

Students cut out their profile.

Then we talk about complementary colors and the students pick a pair. They trace their profile on one of the colors and glue it down on the color.

Parents love them and they make great keepsakes.

January 6, 2012

PB painting continued...

Thought you might like to see the final results of this post. I was very pleased with the results...so were the kids!
The hallways now look extra cold even though the weather outside is 60! Where is January? I am so thankful though...anything to ward off the inevitable seasonal affective disorder. 

Love the shadows on this one!

January 4, 2012


Apparently these are called zen-doodles and not zentangles (because that word is copyrighted)...that was something I learned today.
Back to the kiddos tomorrow. Make sure you continue to take some creativity breaks for yourself.

January 1, 2012

Printmaking Cards

Hello 2012! Starting off the new year right with a new art lesson.

So I got this lesson when I was just a mere college student taking one of my Visual Art Ed classes. However, I still love it! It is great for upper elementary and middle school art students with just a little change of materials.

The basic premise is discussing greeting cards. Where they came from, how they got started, why they might be considered art. Plus, I talk with my students about Hallmark.

Gather a bunch of "odd" holidays that happen throughout the year. Check out this website to get started. Print off the ones you like and cut them up into individual pieces of paper. I mix them up in a bowl and let the students come up to select one. They LOVE doing that. Plus I LOVE that each kid gets a different holiday.

Start the printmaking process. If you work with middle school students the materials they use are more advanced, but it can easily be done with fourth or fifth graders using Styrofoam.
My middle school students printed two colors using carving tools and E-Z printing blocks. So their artwork was slightly more challenging than elementary.
In elementary the students get their holiday and make a few sketches. Since they only print with one color everything will get pressed into their styrofoam with a ball-point pen on the first go around. Also you have to stress why letters and words must go on backwards. I put the following posters up on my board during this process because some kids are visual learners.
When the printing starts give the students a template like the one seen below. This helps the kids print their image on the card so the it actually appears right side up and on the front of the card. Kids can print in more than one color if you choose or have a few different card color choices.

TIP: have the students make a few and give you one of them or have them do a card exchange. So fun!