January 30, 2013

colorful heart collage

I love this idea originally from // We Heart Art //.
I decided to cover it with my Kindergarten classes because we are doing // Jump Rope For Heart //.
Lots of good art targets to hit too.
Symmetrical Balance.
Overlapping.
Geometric Shapes.
Line Variety.

Day 1.
We took thirty minutes to cover a 9 x 12 white paper with different colors of tissue paper.
We talked about overlapping and there were lots of 'oohs' and 'ahhs' when colors changed.
I mixed glue and water into disposable dishes and gave each student a big paintbrush.
They painted the glue, laid tissue paper on top, then painted a coat of glue on top.
Ooh! Ahh!

Day 2.
I handed out lots of colors of 4.5 x 6 paper.
We cut out symmetrical hearts and kept both pieces.
Glued them down onto our background.
We used oil pastels and sharpies to draw more geometric shapes and lines around our hearts.
Joanna did some other neat things so make sure to check those out too!
I just love how colorful and unique they each turned out!

January 24, 2013

tint, shade, and tone hearts

A found this // pin // via Kathy at // Art Projects for Kids //
I tweaked the project quite a bit for my needs.
This project was geared to my third graders who were reviewing tints, shades, and symmetrical balance...
...but I added the new concept of tones.

I showed them a PowerPoint to review the basics.
Then we watched this video on YouTube created by MoMA.

Each student got white (9 x 12) and yellow (4 x 5) construction paper.
They drew and cut out their own symmetrical heart.
The hearts were traced a minimum of 10 times each.
Each kiddo got to come up with their own design.
Students were given purple, red, white, and black tempera paint.
Paintbrushes.
And empty egg cartons for mixing.
The mixing and painting commenced...
If kids had extra time they were encouraged to outline and add patterns to their hearts.
It was a fun one day lesson for the third grade!

January 20, 2013

glaze distribution and storage

How do you distribute glaze to your students?
In the past I would give each student a palette. 
They picked their favorite colors.
And I would fill their palette with those colors.
This year I am trying something new.
Why not pre-fill the glazes into resealable palettes?
I bought six of these so each table can have their own.
These one-piece palettes are from // Sax // for roughly three dollars.
See // my supplies //.
I took time to label the palettes and caps with either the name or initial of the glaze color.
That way the caps don't get put on a different glaze color.
Then I started filling them up.
When deciding what glazes to put in each container I decided to just choose the most popular.
Easy storage!
Because the price was so good, I'll probably buy more for my other glazes next year.
Now what about when the glaze dries out?
Easy again!
A few taps and/or hot water, the glaze comes right out.

January 17, 2013

chinese dragon relief sculptures

I saw // this pin // from // a faithful attempt // and decided to tweak the idea for my fourth graders.
My fourth graders spend some time every year studying Asian art and culture.
Plus they study relief sculpture.

Day one.
We looked at the Chinese dragon and it's importance to their culture.
Each student got some a large portion of cardboard from a cereal box.
They had some pictures to sketch dragons from.
One of my kids even brought in // this book // which had some fabulous dragon drawings.
They drew out a sketch of their dragon.
Students used either white or black glue to outline their pencil lines.
Make sure to tell them to put the glue on thick!
(next year I plan to purchase puff paint for projects such as these)

Day two.
Students got a thick brush and a damp sponge.
They also got a cup of metallic paint (my silver tempera, acrylic, and pearl it mixture).
And they got a cup of watered-down india ink.
We first painted on two coats of the silver mixture.
Before it officially dried...
We painted a section of the artwork with the ink and then wiped it softly with a sponge.
We continued to do this until the whole artwork had been painted and wiped with the sponge.
In the end if you need any additional silver coats it can be painted on top.
These were a big hit with the students!

January 15, 2013

clay cupcakes

I just can't get enough of these clay cupcakes.
Third grade loves them too!
And all the other grades are jealous.
These are all the tools you will need to make the cupcakes.
The cupcake molds were found at // crate & barrel //.
I bought 2 sets.
Cut the clay in half with a paperclip.
Make one pinch pot out of half of the clay.
Push it into the cupcake mold.
Use a paper clip to trim off the edges that go over the top of the cupcake mold.
That extra clay becomes the cherry on top!
Use the other half of clay to make another pinch pot.
This becomes the frosting.
Show the kids how to attach the cherry so it won't fall off the frosting.
Let clay dry out for a week.
Fire in the kiln.
I make a poster of glaze colors for my students to choose from.
Helps them to visualize what they pick.
See glazes in // my supplies //.
Glaze away!
I usually ask the kids to not glaze the bottom of the frosting and the bottom of the cupcake base.
But I got these:
So I may be throwing that "rule" out.
Enjoy these treats!

January 8, 2013

when your heart breaks

I've been writing this blog post in my heart for three weeks.
Even with all that time the words I have are anything but easy.
In fact the words break my heart.

Almost twenty-seven years ago I came into this world and completed the family of three waiting for me.
My two wonderful parents are more than I can ask for.
When I look at all the broken relationships people have with their parents I just thank God for what I have.
I thank Him when I am angry with my parents.
I thank Him when they are the only people I feel like I have in this world.

But God didn't just bless me with them.
He gave me a sister.
Rebekah.

She is everything to me.
As kids we were just that...

Making up pretend games, sibling rivalry, and just growing up together.
I have lived in my sister's shadow for most of my life.
And even though at the time I found a reason to not enjoy that spot.
Secretly, I was comfortable there.

I was happy knowing that...
Where I was, Rebekah had been.
Rebekah's friends became mine.
What I saw her do, I wanted to do.
When she is around I feel most comfortable to be myself.

Over a decade ago my sister met, dated, and married a wonderful man.
Austin.
Somewhere is the last ten years, I realized that Austin was so much more than my sister's husband.
He had suddenly become the brother I always wanted but never got.
I can actually remember the moment when I looked at Austin and realized I loved him like a brother.

I was feeling particularly unimportant.

We were riding in a car together.
And out of no where he just said,
"Jen, you look really beautiful today."
As that statement crossed my heart I could only think of one reply.
"Really? I think you are the first guy, besides my dad, to tell me that in months. Maybe longer."
And all he could say back was,
"That is not right. Someone should tell you that every day."
That one little statement meant more to me than he could have possibly known.
And from that point forward, Austin grab a special piece of my heart.

Two years ago I was in a bad place.
When I reflect on my life, this was a time marred by heartbreaking experiences.
But even in the dark, there is always hope of something beautiful happening.
And that is just what happened.

A miracle.
There is a little piece of my heart that thinks God made this miracle happen early just for me.
He knew how badly I needed to see a glimpse of Heaven.
So He sent her early.
Alba.
And life from that point on was forever changed.
The valley I was in suddenly had a ray of light.
And that little light has grown.
The word love cannot encompass how I feel about my niece.

So when I got the news three weeks ago I felt my heart break inside my chest.

We're moving.

States away.
These three essential parts of my heart and life will be just that.

I know a new break in my heart now.
So different from breaks in my past.

I don't write this for sympathy.
I certainly don't write this to make you sad.
I don't write this so you can tell me it will all be okay...
I already know that everything works together for good.
I write this because when your heart hurts anything is better than crying.

Writing helps me say what my tears cannot.

January 7, 2013

let's talk about the kiln

I realize I am one lucky girl.
I have a kiln.
But even better that, I am lucky enough to have an electric kiln.
Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of people who love their manual kilns.

So let me share some things I have learned.
First.
Never put pots or a shelf on the floor of the kiln.
You can buy small posts to go on the floor of the kiln and set a shelf on that.
Second.
Eliminate clay hanging over the edge of your shelf.
That gap in between is for air-flow and it will heat differently than the parts on the shelf.
Third.
Always do a post-over-post construction.
Clearly in this picture there would be a shelf in between the post.
Fourth.
Only use three posts per shelf.
(Unless you have a really heavy or large load)
Believe it or not three posts are a lot sturdier than four.
Fifth.
Kiln Wash. 
Get some.
I clearly need to redo mine.
Cheaper to buy kiln wash than to buy a new shelf.
Just sayin'.
Sixth.
Make sure you have ample clearance around your kiln.
Safety first people.

(Do note...I am not a kiln expert...just sharing some helpful advice)