Showing posts with label halloween. Show all posts
Showing posts with label halloween. Show all posts

Monday, September 18, 2017

DIY: Top 10 Favorite Fall Crafts

Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday. So it should come as no surprise that I start thinking about it in August, decorating for it in September and craft for the big day all the way up until October 31st! Today I thought I'd share my Top 10 Favorite Halloween Crafts. These are my personal DIY's...not ones that I've done with my students. I'll be sharing my fave fall projects for kids this week, so stay tuned. Until then, here are my Top Ten!
1. Celluclay Pumpkins These pumpkins were so stinkin' fun to create! You can read all about the process right here. I was inspired by a SUPER expensive collection of vintage Halloween buckets that I so wanted to purchase. But the price was just bananas. Once I took a closer look, I realized I could make them myself with Celluclay. This was the start of my love affair with Celluclay (I'm not ashamed to admit it: I'm addicted to the stuff!) and a whole slew of pumpkins was created. Here's a tutorial:
What I love about Celluclay is that you can adhere it to anything. It doesn't require gluing; it doesn't crack or flake off; it dries with a great texture...my list could seriously go on and on. It's just fab. Which leads me to my next craft...
2. Celluclay Book of Spells More fun with Celluclay was had when I picked up an old jewelry box from the thrift store and made it into a Book of Spells! I covered the entire box with the Celluclay and then built up the skull with additional clay. 
While at the thrift I picked up a stash of bottles that I decided to make into potion bottles. I simply added the clay to the bottle and it stuck!
Add a little cotton to the top for a puff of smoke and potion bottle complete!
3. Zombie Head Planters Easily my most favorite thing I created last fall were my Zombie Head Planters. These guys crack me up! I stuffed 'em full of fake plants so they could be used year after year. 
Oh, look, it's my ex-boyfriend. He always was such a looker.
4. Cheesecloth Bride and Frank The miracles of liquid starch, y'all. I found this figurine at the thrift and covered it with cheesecloth and liquid starch. This gave it a great texture for me to paint. Find out more about how this was created here
Or check out this quick tutorial!
5. Bride of Frankenstein Painting My painting pride and joy is this number...I loved creating this painting! It was def a challenge as tonal paintings aren't the easiest but I really loved doing it. I was all set to create a Frankenstein version but I spent so much time on this one, I didn't have time for the other. Maybe some day!
6. Day of the Dead Clay Heads I LOVE hosting Halloween craft nights, it's one of my fave things ever. Here is one craft we created with polymer clay. More details here on our craft night fun
 7. Embroidered Day of the Dead This reversible Day of the Dead necklace was a great way to pass the time while traveling. I love embroidery but rarely have the time/patience for it unless we are on the road. 
I love being able to wear this necklace two ways since it is reversible.
8. Dead Head Planters This idea I found whilst pinterest'ing and had to bring it to life. I simply spray painted some planters white and then went to town! More details here
9. Pumpkin Marionette This paper clay pumpkin was inspired by more vintage Halloween decor. I simply created the parts of the pumpkin and, when dry, added the wire. I think I might have to make more of these. It's always fun to have a little collection of canvases and clay laying around for painting and sculpting fun
10. Witchy Textured Painting Speaking of paintings...the base of this one was actually an old painting of mine where I was playing with texture. On an impulse I decided to paint over it and I love the result for this painting. 

Okay, brace yourself. Not only do I have fall projects for the kiddos lined up to share with you but I've also got a huge blog post of JUST my Halloween ensembles! Stay tuned. 

Love to hear about your fave spooky creations!
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Sunday, September 10, 2017

In the Art Room: Collaged and Printed Landscapes

I'm launching a ton of landscape projects with my students this fall. I shared the Claire West inspired landscape project my fourth grade is working on here. This week, I'll be rolling out my third graders' landscape lesson. Today I thought I'd share with y'all the Elouise Renouf-inspired landscape collage that my first graders will be doing! Here's the video'ed lesson that you are more than welcome to use in your art teacherin' world:
I was recently asked how I share these videos with my students: do I show the video in it's entirety or just in bite sized bits. Definitely the latter: I share what we will be working on that day. I share the opening, of course, as an intro to the artist...and we dig deeper into the work of the artist in LIVE format (meaning sans vid). The first day I taught this lesson, I didn't have my video ready for one class so I did it LIVE. I managed to get some footage of me teaching and thought I'd share:
Once again, what's my take-away? I TALK TOO MUCH! Seriously, filming myself teaching has really helped me grow as a teacher. I know what it is I'm doing wrong (so many things!) and what I need to improve upon. I also see what I am doing right and what the kids are responding too. It's painful to watch but super enlightening.
If you've not explored the work of Elouise Renouf, you really should. I love everything she creates and found so much inspiration. 
I will definitely share the progress my first graders make on this landscape adventure. Until then, have a great week, y'all!
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Sunday, October 30, 2016

DIY: Cheesecloth Makeover for The Bride and Frank

Happy Halloween, kids! If you are a parent or a teacher, bless you. You know that this day is just completely a wash as the kids are gonna either be jacked up on sugar or hitting some intense withdraw. Either way, brace yourself. Might I recommend digging the chocolate outta the treat bags and holing up in a dark, quite place for the next five days? Cuz things about to get real.
While you're off in a quiet corner with your Snickers and Reese Pumpkins, how bout getting your crafting on? That's what I did this weekend when I discovered the wonderment that is cheesecloth and starch (wow. Did I really just refer to cheesecloth and starch as "wonderment"? I really need to get out more).
In my previous post, I mentioned that I went on a wee thrift shop bender this week. Don't you judge. It's how I cope with the struggles of being a crazy art teacher. I'd already had it in my head that I wanted to spookify some bottles for Halloween. I'd seen some online tutes featuring cheesecloth and starch that was used to antique bottles. When I was poking around at the thrift, I spotted several items I thought would be fun to cover in cheesecloth (again, not a sentence I thought I would ever say but whateves). And these sweet Made in China figurines were one of 'em. 
And Holy Candy Corn! If you don't mind me saying so, look at that transformation!
For this fun craft, all you'll need is over-priced cheesecloth (why you gotta charge $3 for this stuff, craft stores? WHY.) and liquid starch. I prefer Sta-flo because I appreciate their abuse of the English language. Keep that Flo, Sta. You'll also need whatever grubby goods your thrift store can provide and an active imagination. Here, lemme show you:
Like, whuh?! Did you hear how excited I got? I think I mightah said "the possibilities are endless" about a half dozen times. I repeat: I NEED TO GET OUT MORE. 
Because we are friends from way back, I ain't even gonna lie to you: covering this thang in el queso-cloth (OMG, I'm totally gonna refer to cheesecloth as that here on out just so you know) was not my most favorite thing in the world as it had a lotta nooks and crannies. 
There was a lotta cutting and shoving el queso-cloth into parts unknown. It didn't take long...but the slick surface of the statue made the cloth slide around a bit which was not cool. Once I got it all in place, I set it in front of a fan and it was dry within an hour.
 Creep-tastic. By the way, my initial idea was to simply paint the faces of these guys with skulls, a la el dia de los muertos. However, as I was checking out at the thrift store, the gal behind the counter said, "I think you should do the Bride of Frankenstein and Frank" and I was all, "OMG. YOU ARE A GENIUS. YES!" So, shout out to Our Thrift Store and their imaginative staff. 
From there, I covered the entire thing in white acrylic paint and plopped it back in front of the fan.
And then the painting commenced. Y'all might remember that I have a thing for The Bride. I really wanted to keep her in a range of gray as a nod to the black and white film. However, I thought Frank deserved a punch of color so I went with a purple and lime green palette for him. 
And I kinda love how they turned out! In an unrelated side note: I ALWAYS have Netflix running on my laptop while I'm working. I just finished Sons of Anarchy (late to the party much, Stephens?) and I'm hungry for a similar show. I just started Peaky Blinders which is like the post-WWI sister show. What are y'all watching now that I need check out?
 Just a lil detail of the sides. Seriously, this was such fun. The thrift store had a ton of these figurines...I so wish I had another month of October. 
I guess I'll just have to find out what el queso-cloth and starch can do for my Christmas decor. Until then, Happy Halloween, y'all! 
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

In the Art Room: Monsters of Creativity

Fall means art teacherin' conference time which I so totally love. What I don't love is prepping and planning for taking those days off. I mean, I gotta create content that's educational and engaging both for the sub and the kids all while using materials that aren't too difficult for someone who just might not have an art background. I recently shared with y'all a bunch of my sub videos. Because I'll be out for the next couple of days attending an art conference in Wisconsin (can't wait, y'all!), I created this lesson and thought I'd share it as well.
 It's been my goal this year to introduce my students to contemporary artists with a focus on street artists. I recently did that with our wings mural project. This go-round I wanted my kids to meet the street artist who goes by the name Phetus.  
I think my students will love his colorful and humorous monsters...and hopefully be inspired to create their own!
 My hope is to display their monsters in a grid-like manner such as this. We're calling our display Monsters of Creativity. This will be showcased right outside the art room. Kinda fitting, no?
 I had so much fun creating my own examples for this project. I just love these!
Tomorrow, in Art Teacherin' 101, I'll be sharing with y'all just how I prepare for being absent and what I believe to be the essentials for a sub. 
Fingers crossed my subbo has a great time and that the kids create monsters...and not behave like them. 
 I'll be certain to share a follow up to this blog post and let y'all know how it all goes. Until then, put that tongue back in your mouth and...
Make something monstrous!
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Sunday, October 9, 2016

DIY: Zombie Head Planters

These here Zombie Head Planters are the ugliest things I've ever made and I really couldn't be happier. Weird? Yes. Okay with that? Totes. 
I mean, you gotta have respect for something that finds brains appetizing, y'all. 
 So I got the idea to create these Zombie Head Planters last week after I wrapped up my last Celluclay creation. I STILL had half a bag left of the stuff (a little goes a long way...and even with these guys and the pumpkins, I still have some left over) so I actually have another project I'd love to do...but more on that later. 
Let's talk about the brainz-eaters at hand, shall we?
Over the summer, I picked up these little plastic planters from Target with the grand idea that I'd plant herbs in them or something. That didn't happen and so six of these dudes were sitting around collecting dust. I had been using them to prop up my pumpkin heads as I worked on them...which gave me the idea to create these. 
Need a review on how simple it is to work with Celluclay? Here you go!
Originally, I was just going to make the heads but I really liked the idea of the zombies having a body as well. So I used the upturned pottery for that. 
Again, I didn't sand the plastic or prep it in any way. The clay did take longer to dry this time as the weather is now cooler. So I put them in front of a fan overnight and they were dry the next day. They've yet to crack or flake off which is great. They are rock solid once painted and Modpodged. 
Painting was easy. I just picked a dark green color to paint everything, put them in front of the fan and started to dry brush on lighter colors. With a smaller brush, I added details. But, really, the painting is the easiest part. The surface of the Celluclay is perfect for zombies...who knew?!
My original idea was to have herbs in the planters but let's get real: I have a black thumb. So I shopped the heavily marked down fall floral isle of my local craft store and picked up what I thought would look good as hair and brain matter. I'm sure that's what everyone looks for in the floral isle, right?
True fact: I am no floral designer nor do I pretend to be. I seriously just used those floral foam thingies, hot glued some moss on that and stuck in some flowers. 
Side note: hot glue and styrofoam don't play well together. The hot glue melted the foam and, um, that was fun. I was watching Project Runway so I channeled my inner Tim Gunn and I made it work (which for me always means: ADD MORE HOT GLUE!).
And I'm kinda sorta thrilled with how they turned out! With faces only a mother could love. 
It's funny, whenever I'm tasked with creating something at a PD or otherwise, I ALWAYS make this lady. Sassy retro mama with a gnarly expression and usually a cigarette dangling from her lips. I think she's my spirit animal. 
This is my tribute to Gene Wilder's character in Young Frankenstein...note the hair. Of course, I had to zombie-ize him. I love how the moss looks like brains. 
P.S. these will NOT be on display in our bedroom. Their eyes seriously do follow you everywhere. 
Don't tell the others but this one is my favorite. It reminds me of Beetlejuice...which is super duper in my book. 
Now off to find just the perfect place in my house for these lovelies. Love to hear from you if you've worked with Celluclay and what you've created. You can comment below or shoot me an email. In the meantime, steer clear of the brain-eaters, y'all!
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