Showing posts with label fibers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fibers. Show all posts

Monday, January 8, 2018

DIY: Yarn Bombing in the Art Room

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that last Wednesday, I had the chance to attend an amazingly fun PD lead by an art teacherin' buddy in my district. Her name is Madison and she shared with us all about yarn bombing! We watched this TED talk about Magda Sayeg who is attributed to "inventing" yarn bombing. It was fun to learn a little about the history of this street art movement.  
Yarn bombed things are usually knitted items...at least that's how Magda began the movement. What I loved about Magda's talk is how she never thought of herself as an "artist" per se...but found herself in the middle of an artist movement. Yarn bombed items since have been knitted, crocheted and wrapped...which is what we did. Madison asked that we bring something to wrap. It just so happened that I'd picked up this heart the day before at the Dollar Tree. I didn't even know that I needed it...but when she mentioned bringing something I realized the benefits of being a shopaholic. Here's a video of how I created this heart:
Of course I had to get a little bit tricky with the needle and all...but this heart would have looked just as cute without going that extra step.
The best part about this project is using up random yarn. I always get a TON of yarn donated to the art room. Oftentimes, it's not enough for a project...so it just sits unused. Now I can add it to an Early Finishers center of objects to be yarn bombed! But more on that in a moment.
Lemme just say that yarn bombing, while easy, is a pinch time consuming. Especially if you go the fancy route with sewing in the yarn like I did. The crazy thing is, I bought SEVEN more of these hearts on my last run to the Dollar Tree...I wanna create a whole wall of these lovely hearts!


Cuz I have just a pinch more wall space left in the art room for that sort of thing. Ahem
So, let's talk Early Finishers. Ya'll know that's been my thing this school year...trying to conquer the Early Finisher Beast. I'm trying to add more and more to my early finishers rooster...to allow more open-ended choice in my art room. I'm currently trying to wrap my head around my fibers area...I think yarn bombing would be just thing thing. Add a basket of yarn, some mundane objects that need a little yarn-love and viola! Yarn Bombing!
 I know it worked beautifully for me when I was avoiding lesson planning on a recent PD day. A few minutes between lessons and my class broom went from Blah to OHHH-LAAA-LAAA.
I had so much fun yarn bombing my broom that I realized the kids would surely enjoy it just as much. And I could use up those small amounts of yarn that seem to be multiplying in my storage closet (is that why I keep hearing Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On coming from my closet?!).
 Have you kids yarn bombed before? So, what gives? Do you love it as much as me?!
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Thursday, June 29, 2017

DIY: Needle Felted Postcards

Ciao! Last Thursday, my mama and I returned from a whirlwind trip to Italy...photo and video heavy blog post to come. Over the past weekend, as I was scrolling through my endless photos of Rome, Florence and Venice, I decided to recreate some of my favorite memories in the form of postcard-sized needle felt. It was super simple to do...although, like all needle felting projects, it is time consuming. However, I love to sit, relax, watch something that doesn't require too much focus (anyone else watching Glow right now and having 80's flashbacks?!) and create. So needle felted postcards it is! 
After sharing these on my IG, I got handful of questions about how these were made. So I filmed the process and slapped it together in this video. I hope it answers your questions...but if not, feel free to drop me a line in the comments!
The hardest part about creating these postcards...was not having a drawing of the image created beforehand. I didn't draw on the felt or work from a sketch, I just went for it. Sometimes this was frustrating as I had to (gently) tear out what I didn't like. For the most part, working without a script, so to speak, was pretty dang freeing. It felt like painting. I think that's why I enjoy felting so much. It takes me back to my painting days...but it is a medium that I find much easier to work with than watercolor or oil paint. 
I asked mom many times what her favorite part of our trip was. We both have had a hard time answering that question! For me, one of my fave days was our bike ride thru Tuscany to visit a couple of vineyards and stop for a traditional Tuscan lunch. It was magical and a day I definitely wanted to capture on a needle felted postcard.
To give the sunflowers a more 3-dimensional look, I didn't needle felt them entirely so they were raised up a pinch. 
One daily question while in Italy was, "Where should we watch the sunset tonight?" The sunset it late, close to 9pm so we usually tried to be somewhere magical every evening to catch a breathtaking view. On our last night in Rome, that meant the top of the Alter of the Fatherland. I loved the silhouette of the statues even more than the view!
For a couple of Euro, we took a glass elevator that was packed with tired tourists toting bottles of wine and cameras. 
With paint, colors tend to mix...with roving, you can layer many colors and it takes on an atmospheric look that I love. 
I have never worked this small with needle felting before...it can be tedious. I have a tendency to over work images (which is what I think I was doing with the image of Venice below) so I always have to take a break, step back and look at what I'm creating from a distance. Anyone else like this?
Gondola man just about did me in. At first I was hesitant to put a gondola in the image as it seemed rather cliche...but there are literally gondolas EVERYWHERE in Venice, it's no exaggeration. And the light between the buildings really is that beautiful. 
Venice has this magical ability to be "postcard ready" everywhere you look. One person I met referred to it as being like Disney. She's right. Except Disney would charge you a small fortune to get on the island and require you to have a magical tracking band to get to the front of the line at St. Mark's Basilica...which is actually a really great idea. But I digress. 
 I've already started on a fourth postcard...I just can't stop. I'll be certain to share those with you when they are complete. 
 Until then, I need to figure out how to display these bad boys. Small frames? Large frame/large mat? A frame that can hold multiple images? 
Until I get that figured out, y'all have a wonderful day and we'll chat real soon!

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Exciting News: Free Felting Workshop!

I have EXCITING NEWS!

I have been working with Sue Bunch of Back to Back Fiber Products for the last couple of weeks dreaming, plotting and planning a free online felting workshop

Like, what?!

That's right! It all started during one of my Wednesday night Facebook LIVE chats. I host one each Wednesday evening at 8pm CST. We cover all sorts of art teacherin' topics which are archived on my page. One evening we were chatting about Teacher Burnout and I mentioned that one way I combat burnout is by hosting craft nights at my home. I don't do it as often as I would like because, honestly, when the weekend hits I usually spend the following 48 hours in pajamas binge watching RuPaul's Drag Race and making big messes. This lead to following the idea: what if we spent the month of April, during my Facebook LIVE chats enjoying a craft night? We wouldn't have to leave our house, we could spend time with folks who get us (art teachers!) and we could learn a new craft while creating something beautiful and fun. What could be a more perfect evening than that?
So, how can you join the fun?

1. Start by "liking" my Facebook page. This is how you can stay posted and join the chats. If you've never joined a FB chat, it's quite simple. If you've liked my page then at the time when I'm LIVE, I will pop up in your feed. Don't see me? Then hop on over to my page. If you happen to miss the chat, NO WORRIES! All my chats are archived on my page. I'll also be archiving them on my YouTube channel. So you can join the craft night live or think of my page as an after pass. 

2. Purchase the supplies for the workshop. Sue and I have been working very closely to put together a kit which will proved all the supplies needed for our month-long felted workshop series. She's been super kind to keep the price economical and offer free shipping to those in the continental USA. If you are outside of the US, please contact Sue for shipping information. 

You don't have to purchase the kit to join the fun! If you already have the supplies, you don't have to purchase the kit. I'm teaching this class for free because I LOVE needle felting and craft nights. This is not a money making venture for Sue or me. We are doing this because we love felting so much and want more folks to explore this craft. So don't feel obligated to purchase. Just be sure to join the fun!

Here's a peak of what is inside each kit:
What does each kit include? All of the supplies you would need for the month of April's free felting workshops. Each Wednesday evening, for the month of April, I will be introducing you to a new felting technique. Here's a peak at our fibers schedule:

Wednesday, April 5th: Learn to Needle Felt
To kick off our craft nights, I'll share with you how to needle felt! Included in the kit, Sue has provided a little list of supplies you'll need for each session. I'll provide a more detailed description of what we'll be making right here in blog post form as we get closer to the date. Essentially,  I want to share with you the basics of this craft so that you'll feel comfortable creating whatever you like! All projects will be very open ended so that you can explore what interests you. 

Wednesday, April 12th: Intro to Wet Felting
While needle felting is one of my favorite crafts, sharing needles (ahem) with your students in the classroom might give you the shakes. Wet felting however is PERFECT for kiddos of all ages and it's super fun to explore. I'll be sharing a couple of my fave wet felting techniques on this evening.

Wednesday, April 19th: Sculpting with Fiber
Felted sculptures are so much fun! This is an area that I really want to explore more as well. I'll share ways to create basic sculptures with an armature and both wet and dry felting techniques. 

Wednesday, April 26th: Felting in Fashion
Y'all come prepared to create something fashionable! We'll be creating that wee palette hair clip I love so much and felting old sweaters into masterpieces. I'm super excited about this one. 
Are you excited yet? I know I am!

Join the chat right here tonight. If you have ANY questions, either leave them in the comments or throw them my way this evening. I plan to do an unboxing of Sue's kit so you can see what you'd be receiving. 

Interested in ordering a kit? Pop on over here! If you have any questions for Sue, feel free to reach out to her at sue@backtobackalpaca.com. 

I can't wait to have y'all over for a craft night starting in April!
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