Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ready for Christmas....ALMOST!!

Today is the first day of my children's Christmas break, and I NEVER thought I would feel....RELIEVED!!! With all of the Christmas programs, class parties, and just general running around I've been doing, I am happy that for the next couple of weeks I have NOWHERE to go and NOTHING to do!!  Well, except for family Christmas celebrations and gifts that still need to be it really only FOUR days until Christmas??  I've got to start SEWING...GAH!!!  So this is what I've been doing for the last couple of weeks...oh, as usual it is kinda photo heavy!  :)

I know they have some fancy intros, and blog buttons that you can use....but I have NO TIME for all of that!!  SO...this is my version of I MADE SOMETHING THAT I SAW ON PINTEREST...

I have lots of the really thick cardboard left over from my Symposium tent...I am putting it to good use!!  I cut out my ornament shape, primed the cardboard, then used Tempera Paint and glitter glue.  I was going to use some fancy lettering, but ended up with a Sharpie instead! :)  I'm really happy with how it turned I just need to spray it down with a clear sealer before I store it!

Next I converted my Literary Pumpkin into a Christmas tree.

I did it really fast, so my pages aren't exactly folded evenly...oops!  I was moving from project to project so quickly...and my dining table was ALWAYS filled with crafts in various stages of completion!  Thankfully, Ms. Priss' fourth grade teacher is a little crafty I didn't have to come up with this project OR go to school to help do it!!

Don't you just LOVE it?  So simple, but so sweet!  Not our Elf, Rex...he just liked hanging out on the cool wreath that Ms. Priss made.  It is a wire coat hanger, approximately 300 sandwich baggies...the ones that fold over, not zip, and a sweet little velvet bow!!  I LOVE crafty teachers that think outside of the paper and foam box!! :)  I made up some treats for the class...also ASOP (as seen on Pinterest!).

The original printable called them Grinch Pills!  I didn't really want to use "Pills" in anything I was giving to I came up with my own saying...

I used a free SVG file and my Cricut to cut the "boxes", then Ms. Priss glued on the label.  Her class loved them!  The fourth grade hallway celebrated a Cajun Christmas.  All of the parents were asked to send in a food that was native to Louisiana...of course I made a King Cake...

A CHRISTMAS King Cake!! :)  And for the Teacher's gift...a bunch of things I've been wanting to make, but never have...thanks SMS for compiling some AWESOME tutorials :)

They were so FAST and EASY to make that I did the same for The Middle Child's and The Boy's (not pictured) teachers...

As you can see, I didn't have the fancy key FOB hardware, so I just used two key rings!  I couldn't find them locally and had no time to wait for an internet order!!  The Middle Child's Substitute Teacher didn't get the Channeled Rice Therapy bag...I was already doing TONS for her and running out of time!   I did mention that my daughter's Kindergarten teacher is out on Maternity Leave, right?  Well, that left our Sub to do ALL of the Christmas programs and parties...and not knowing really what/how to do it!!  Enter the most AWESOME Room Mom EVER...HA!  More like the CRAZY person who thinks she can do it I send a letter to all of the parents telling them that I am HI-JACKING the class Christmas party!!  I planned and bought all of the craft supplies, and they just needed to send snacks!!

The first craft was pretty easy...Jingle Bell necklaces.

But I didn't like the idea of just plain pony beads, so we used wooden beads and some snowflake buttons.  I also found some metallic stretchy cord, which I liked better than any other alternative.

The next craft was a little more work...for me and the class.

They were originally supposed to make a Christmas tree centerpiece using sugar ice cream cones, icing, marshmallows, M & Ms, gum drops, etc...but I thought that would be WAY too messy and time consuming! So I googled some other options and came up with this 3D paper version.  It is a sheet of green cardstock cut in half width-wise, then stacked together and folded to cut a symmetrical tree-shape.  Once the tree was cut, I sewed a straight stitch down the middle to make it stand on its own.  We used foam stickers, sequins, glitter glue, and strands of Mardi Gras beads to decorate it!!  It took the longest for the class to craft, but still much better than ICING a cone!! :)

The last craft was more involved for me, but I figured there are enough paper and foam ornaments on my tree and wanted something a little more sturdy.

This is the back side of the ornament.   This was another ASOP project that I thought was just too sweet not to do.  The materials used are aluminum can lids...cut using a safety can-opener which leaves a nice smooth edge, scrapbook paper, mod podge, and various trims hot-glued around the edge! There is also a picture of the child that is on the front of the ornament.  Can I tell you HOW IMPORTANT it is to have a good CIRCLE cutter for this craft!!  I bought the Martha Stewart one at JoAnns using a 40% off coupon!  It really saved time and my SANITY!!  I did mostly ALL of the preliminary for this craft...I didn't really want to be sitting in class hot-gluing all the class had to do was write their name and the year on the back and glue their picture on the front! :)

After all of the crafting, the class had just enough time to play a game...Pin the nose on the Snowman!

The Boy's Pre-school had a Happy Birthday Jesus party where Happy Meals from McDonald's were brought I had NOTHING to do for them...except make a couple of initial ornaments for The Boy to pass out!

Notice how mostly ALL of my pictures only include the craft for my child??  That's because this momma was so busy making sure everything got done on TIME, that I forgot to grab my camera to snap pictures of all the prep work covering my table...GAH!!  Oh well, when you are trying to do it a CRAZY person, I guess somethings gotta give!!  HA! this last item was done for a friend who needed it before Christmas...some jeans that her daughter outgrew in length!

I've never done a TRIPLE ruffle before...what a PAIN!!  Looks cute though.  Here is why it was needed before Christmas...

It needed to match this shirt, but also be wearable after Christmas.  She chose the colors, because those are the colors her daughter mostly wears...whatever works...right?

So...FOUR days until Christmas and I have about TEN gifts needing to be cut, sewn, and monogrammed...then of course WRAPPED!!  Think I'll make it??  Here's hoping we all have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  Until later...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Still Busy...but it's not all CHRISTMAS!

So when I was done with ART Symposium at the Girls' school, I thought for sure I would be starting on my Christmas crafting....oh how I was wrong!!  You may try to leave...but they will PULL you back in!!  Kathy and I received a distress call from another mom who was in charge of the Library Book Sale decorating...yep we answered it!!  I guess when you do something crafty and put it on display, you should expect to be asked to do MORE!!  So I showed up to a "paint party" at the mom's house thinking I would be putting a day into creating a panel for the hallway leading to the school Library...NO ONE was there...except for the mom in charge...and she was sick!!  So I left her house with THREE panels to decorate!!  The only "instruction" I was given was that the theme was "Wild about Books"!  

Here is the first one:

I wanted it to be "girly" so I could put some Girl Book titles on it!  I had the hippo from Fantasia in my head and just went from there.  The panel is actually a giant foam board covered in bulletin board paper.  I then used wood paneled Contact paper to make the "tree", and some more paper for the leaves.  The hippo is tempera painted on with a tulle tutu glued to the panel.  The giraffe is paper pieced then painted on.  I used hot glue for the ribbon, but Craft Bond glue stick for the paper piecing.  The cheetah is my favorite!!  She was roughly drawn on the paper, then I pieced craft FELT to fill her in!!  I used the Craft Bond EXTREME glue stick...that stuff WORKS!!  I had so much fun doing these panels...but it did take away from my Christmas crafting...oh well...

Here is the second panel I did... 

I wanted to do a "Night-themed" one because of the book Stellaluna!!  I had a whole bunch of craft paper scraps after I cut 22 "V" vests for The Middle Child's Thanksgiving Feast...and I HATE to waste!!  So I used the rolled paper to make the trees!!  Once again, I used the Craft Bond EXTREME glue stick to adhere them to the panel.  Then threw some tempera paint to add "texture"...Kathy must be rubbing off on me :)  I didn't have a lot of time to work on this panel, so I printed outlines of the animals then cut and glued them to the panel.  After, I went over them with tempera paint...worked out much better than me trying to draw or trace all of the animals!!   Thankfully, Kathy saved me from the third panel...she took it and did a Rainbow Fish underwater theme...sorry, no picture!!  So once that was done, I was free to work on other things...but first, I wanted to show you my really QUICK Thanksgiving wreath I did for my momma...

It was my Halloween wreath that I did with the orange drywall tape.  Same scrappy burlap flowers...I just added some thick felt leaves, a different ribbon, and a scrappy "Give Thanks"!!

So I've been knitting....a little...

This was a really quick hat I did for my SIL's new baby niece!!  Her momma sent me a couple of picture texts of hats asking if I could make one...for that sweet babe...OF COURSE!

Her big brother had a birthday in November...this is what he requested...

Spiderman is his favorite super why shouldn't he have a cape?? HA!  I made it reversible...just in case he realized that Spidey is NOT a cape-wearer!!

 Ms. Priss had a couple of birthday parties to attend this month also...

Pillows are my "go to" gifts these days!!  And headbands...

These are for the second birthday girl...

 YAY!!  A little Christmas crafting!! :)  The last two headbands were actually for Ms. Priss' BFF...she got a bag full of goodies and an I.O.U. from me!!  I promised to make her a pair of jammies, but realized too late that I didn't have enough fabric...GAH!!  So she is owed a trip to the fabric store to pick out her own PJ fabric! :)

I mentioned a couple of post ago about making ornaments with my GS Daisy troop for a swap...well here they are!!

They all did such a good job!!  I brought them white air-dry clay and cookie cutters; floral wire, jingle bells, and some ribbon; and some pre-cut felt circles with the GS logo already stitched on!!  They all picked which type of ornament they wanted to make and went to town!!  I brought them home...under LOTS of protest to let the clay dry and add the hanging ribbons.  The air-dry clay took a LONG time to a WEEK long of constantly turning to make sure they dryed evenly.  Maybe it is the humidity in LA that makes them take sooo long.  I want to do some with my kiddos...can I put air-dry clay in the oven??

Any way, the swap was cancelled...bummer!!  BUT the girls were sooooo happy to get to keep the ornaments they made, so all ended well!! :)  This month we did some winter-themed tee shirts...

I was just going to paint the mitten on the shirt, but ended up not getting all of the tee shirts in time!!  So I cut the mittens from felt and the cuffs from various fleece and felt scraps.  Then decided to go ahead and monogram all of the girls' names on the cuffs...for FUN! :)  I used a machine blanket stitch to sew them to the just looked RIGHT!!

Then  brought them all to the meeting so the girls could put their handprint on them....too cute!!

As you can see...some of the girls still forgot their shirts...and one little girl tells me, "my momma doesn't want me to get paint on my hands..."  WHA-???  So I improvised by putting her hand on the mitten and painting AROUND it...think they can THWART me, huh??  HA!

So wrapping up this super-long post....The Middle Child's teacher has left to have her third sweet baby...which means aLOT of work during pre-Christmas week for this ROOM MOM!!  Anyway, before she left to have her baby BOY...after having two girls, she asked if I could re-fashion her baby swing cover to make it more "BOY-ish".  She sent me the cover and a thrifted bed ruffle...this is how it turned out.. 

Not too bad...but my machine did NOT like all of those LAYERS!!  I finished it and got it back to her a whole day before she left for maternity leave...yay!!

SO this is SMS GIVEAWAY WEEK!!!  Are you participating??  I'll be should everyone else!!  Head over to Sew Mama Sew! for the list of link ups!!!   Until later...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ART Symposium 2011

Well, I made it through Symposium week...YAY!!!  For those of you who are new, our PTC puts on an educational Symposium every year for the students of our Elementary school.  It is paid for by our annual BBQ dinner fund raiser and is done completely by PARENTS, and it is alot of WORK!!  This year's theme was ART, and we had a ball!! We started the week off with a parade Monday morning, and ended it Friday with Tent Day.  Each tent was represented in the parade.  This is my friend Kathy's last year, since her daughter is in the fourth grade with my oldest and will be moving on to Middle School next year.  I allowed her to talk me into doing a tent with her, where in the past I've only worked in someone else's tent!  Our tent's theme was Art in Literature, so for the parade we dressed as book characters.

Sorry for the blurred faces, but check out those HUGE letters!!  I used a circular saw for the first time, and cut them out of plywood...go ME!!  I also primed them, but made someone else paint them!  I also used a miter saw for the first time cutting the PVC pipe at a 45 degree angle to prop the letters up!  I was Olivia, and the kids were the dinosaur from Chalk, Fancy Nancy, Lil Bo Peep, and Madeline.  The only sewing I've done in the past couple of weeks was to make the Madeline's cape using this awesome tutorial!

Not only did I allow Kathy to talk me into doing a tent, but she also wanted to go into EVERY class and teach an Art we did!!  Seven Kindergarten classrooms and seven first grade classrooms did Buffalo skin "paintings"!

We taught the children about how Indians used symbols to tell stories of the Tribe's year.  Each child got to use a symbol that they liked best.  The buffalo "hides" are made from thick brown craft paper that we found at Lowe's by the paint department.  The children used charcoal to make the symbols.

For the six 2nd grade classes, we split them in half and taught two different techniques used by book illustrators.  Three classes did Eric Carle's painted tissue paper collages...

Did you know that Eric Carle and his wife opened a Picture Book Art Museum in Amherst, MA??!!  I would LOVE to visit it!!

And three classes did Marcus Pfister's watercolor technique used in Rainbow Fish...

 At the end of the week, we chose two paintings from each 2nd grade class to display in our tent!

Six 3rd grade classes learned about Clemetine Hunter, and re-created one of her paintings.

Clemetine Hunter was the granddaughter of a slave.  Although not a slave herself, having been born after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, she worked on a plantation for very low wages and never learned to read or write.  She painted on whatever she could find, mostly paper grocery bags.  So the students used the same thick brown craft paper we used for the buffalo "hides", to represent Clementine's "canvases".

For the six 4th grade classes, we had to stick close to their curriculum.  So some classes learned about Lewis & Clark, some Pioneers, and one class learned about the first assembly line.  We taught the lessons then had the students paint or draw something they learned.  Then we put them all together for a Story Quilt!!

I didn't get a picture of the Assembly Line Grid, unfortunately, but it was AWESOME!!  Kathy really put alot of thought into the 4th grade lessons and art projects!!  She did a really great job, and we are very proud of what we were able to accomplish with lots of help from other Parents coming in when we needed them!!

Once all of the Classroom projects were done...we still had to get our tent together!!  Since we were in the classrooms all day, we were usually up painting storybook characters ALL NIGHT!!  Thankfully, we had other super talented moms and dads helping us out!!

Here is a walk through of our tent!   As the children walked up they were able to view the 4th grade French classes' work using Cubism.  Our French teacher uses this technique to teach shapes!  The Eiffel Tower was done by a parent last year for the Library's Literature around the World night, and has resided in the french class ever since.  It tied in very well with our Madeline.

 The front of our tent was done with our Kindergartners in mind.  We used the Nursery Rhyme characters to greet them, and of course the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree!!

 The mushrooms are from Alice in Wonderland...we had an Alice after this photo was taken!  The mushrooms got bigger as the children begin "shrinking" into our giant Book!

 The first presentation was on all the various types of ways illustrators use to tell stories.  We talked about Dr. Suess, Eric Carle, Marcus Pfister, and other illustrators' techniques.  Storybook Art is not always drawn pictures.  It is really a child's first introduction to Concept Art.

 Don't you LOVE this??  Rhonda, from You Sew Silly Mama made it.  It is stitched, painted, name it!!  She took characters out of her favorite children's book to make this masterpiece!!  She is AWESOME, and with three adorable girls running around it amazes me all she gets done...thanks girl!!!  BTW, she also did the Chicka Boom tree...that's what she gets for telling me she was done early!! teehee!

This was done by another momma!  She came to our first meeting, then we saw her at the Art Walk downtown.  We knew we wanted something special to represent Suess....she NAILED it!!  Thanks Margo!!

 One of Ms. Priss' oldest friend's mom did the Bone piece for me!!  This is what she tells me, "oh, I draw a little...I guess I can try to do something"  WHA-??  A LITTLE??  See the AMAZING talent I'm surrounded by?  My neighbor across the street did the Green Eggs & Ham character as well as Curious George and the Wild Thing with Max!!  I am soooo thankful to have such wonderful friends!!

Having all of these talented friends made me want to attempt a character without having Kathy come back and fix it like she did with many of the other characters I did....what do you think?

I drew him WITHOUT the projector and painted him freehand....of course he would have look 20 times better if Kathy had put some artsy touches to him, but I was pleasantly surprised with the little bit of skill I had!! :)  The table next to him was set up with Caldecott winners.  That was the next part of the lesson of the tent.  I went over the history of the Caldecott medal, and that they could all be found in a special section of the Public Library.  Kathy and I also "read" from our favorite Picture Books.  Hers was The Lion and the Mouse, mine was Chalk!!  Here's a quick review of the book.  I LOVE this know how the Boy LOVES dinosaurs!!  We found it at the Library one day...and I've had it ever since!!!  I finally returned it yesterday, with the 30 other books I used!!!  Santa will be looking for a copy to leave under the tree this year!!

 So leaving the tent, was our display for our 2nd grade winners....

 And of course CHALK!!

 The kids got to use some of my magic chalk to make their own art come to life!! 

Sorry this post is sooooo picture heavy!!  I am just so proud of all the work that was put into Symposium week!!  Of course, there were OTHER tents besides ours!! HA!  Although I didn't get a chance to see them all...I gave my camera to Rhonda to get a couple of snaps....

 The Art of Motion Picture tent where the kids learned how to make drawings into moving pictures....

 And here is the Bead Art tent where the kids used LOTS of Mardi Gras beads to make Art!

 Speaking of Mardi Gras....we had a tent for that!!

The students learned about Mardi Gras inspired art and got to eat King Cake...out of season!!

 They also made Mardi Gras masks!

This was the Museum Art tent...

 The kids had a BLAST making their own ART!!

Well....this post has taken me a couple of HOURS to get out...whew!!!  I did not have any time to finish any Fall crafting I wanted to get done, so I guess the next time I post it will be all about CHRISTMAS!!!  Are you ready?  I plan on being in the stores with my belly full of TURKEY in a day or so....Black Friday shopping is FUN!!  I know I'm crazy, but it really helps to have it out of the way so I can sew and craft until Christmas without having to think about SHOPPING!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!!   Until later...