Sunday, January 26, 2014

AOE Conference...Totally Relevant and then some...

I have to give kudos to Jessica Balsley and all the fantastic presenters from Saturday's  Art of Education Online Conference!  I learned so much from the first AOE online conference last June, so signing up to attend another was a no-brainer for me. I already felt like I knew some of the presenters because I read their blogs and Facebook posts, but it's always fun to see them in action and hear the enthusiasm in their voices as they talk about their experiences in the classrooms and studios they manage in so many creative ways.
And it doesn't hurt to be able to attend a conference in sweats or pjs, coffee cup and knitting needles in hand...especially in southwestern Ohio with snow falling, wind blowing, and temperatures in the single digits! After the sun came out and the thermometer registered in the upper teens, I even took a short break to drive up to school to begin selecting student work for an exhibit at a local art gallery, but I was able to continue with the conference on my classroom computer. That's some serious multi-tasking that I wouldn't have been able to do with any other conference format! And I can even go back now to listen in on the conference segments I missed, as well as the ones I want to hear again, something else that can't be done at any other kind of conference either. 

It's easy to feel snowed under (sorry...I couldn't resist!) at the mid-point of a school year, so this conference came at just the right time for me. I'll be heading back to my classroom on Monday with some fresh ideas and a renewed sense of the creative possibilities for the next few months!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Time out for Teacher!

My three day Martin Luther King holiday weekend turned out to be a four day event, thanks to a snowy Tuesday morning!  Which was perfect because it gave me time to actually finish a project that I had started on Saturday. A friend of mine, who is an art quilter, hosted a Quilting pARTy with an unusual twist, kind of like Project Runway for art quilters.

The invitation said to bring our sewing machine and supplies, fabric, buttons, beads, basically anything we thought might come in handy. There was mention of a needle felting demonstration, but other than that, nothing too specific. So....I went, knowing that whatever the day brought, it would be creative fun, something I definitely needed!
My original face
The challenge: create a face on a 14-inch square of quilt batting in about two hours time...then cut it into four equal away three...then reassemble and complete the face....

 I had to leave early  for a date night with my husband and some friends, so here is how my quilt piece looked when I brought it home. This was probably a good thing because when I returned to it on Monday, I began to see all the possibilities. By the time Monday evening arrived, with the promise of a snowy Tuesday morning, my little studio space was a blizzard of fabric scraps, thread, buttons, and beads. When I got the early morning wake up call with the "snow day" message, I confess that I went back to bed for an extra hour of sleep, but the rest of the day was mine!

So here she is...Mother Nature maybe?
Whoever she may be, the weekend was a success!



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Clay catastrophe!

Here is how our fifth grade Face Jars and seventh grade Robert Indiana inspired clay projects looked when we left for Christmas break...


And here is what a few looked like on January 8, as our frozen pipes began to finally thaw:

A few slightly damaged "survivors"

The "lucky ones" that were inside the kiln

Phoenix rising??
The seventh graders who lost their work in this disaster took it well, thank heavens! Most of them took the option to recreate their projects and hopefully the kiln will be back up and running soon and I can get them fired. For now, there are almost 200 unfired clay pieces adorning every available art room shelf.