Monday, April 24, 2017

From the Art Docent: Tin Foil Owl

How can one incorporate metal into a third grade art project that doesn't require loud hammering and sharp edges? Thankfully, I came across an awesome blog called Make It...a Wonderful Life that offered up an amazing idea using tin foil. Sign me up!

This was a two part lesson, because I needed time for the glue to dry in between. So the first part included the following:
1.) simple line drawing of an owl on cardboard, using familiar shapes: oval for the body, upside down triangles for the forehead and beak, circles for the eyes, and more ovals for the wings and toes. No details! 
2.) We set that aside, then worked on a Zentangle-type project to explore patterns and details that the kids might want to use later on in the tin foil assignment. 
3.) While half the class worked on creating patterns, the other half outlined their owls using tacky craft glue. Then the kids alternated until both projects were done.


Outline Drawing with Tacky Glue

Let It Dry

In the second class, the kids were given their dried projects, a tube of glue stick, a piece of tin foil, a paper towel, and an etching stick (or use a dull pencil). Part two consisted of:
4.) Smear a decent layer of glue stick to the surface of the owl project. 
5.) Lay down the sheet of tin foil and with a fingertip wrapped in paper towel (so as not to mar or tear the foil), rub the foil onto the glued cardboard. Start in the middle and work your way out, burnishing the foil into place. Find the dried tacky glue edges and mold the foil gently. 
6.) Use the etching stick (or a dull pencil) and with a light touch, score the foil with details (remembering Zentangle-type patterns from the first lesson). 
7.) Each student then took their turn wiping their project with shoe polish (the kind with the sponge applicator) to give the tin an antiqued look.

My Finished Project

I had a bit of a problem using the shoe polish. At home I applied a liberal coat and immediately wiped it off, which removed everything. I tried to let the polish sit for awhile, maybe a minute or two, and then when I wiped it, it all came off again, leaving no antiquing affect. The third try, I left if on for five minutes or so, and the shoe polish had dried. I couldn't remove it, and it left dark brown blotches (insert eye roll). What was I doing wrong? I had to get out the steel wool to remove most of it, but I managed to get the antiqued affect I was looking for. Check out the image above.

When in class, the shoe polish dried very quickly, and I barely had time to remove it before it started setting up. It was the same bottle, so the only thing I could think of was that perhaps when the bottle of polish was full, it was a lot more "liquidy," which took longer to dry. As the shoe polish in the bottle was reduced, it came out more foamy and thick and dried a lot quicker.  

Some pieces looked a lot more rusty than others, but overall, I was quite pleased. It was a fun project!

Students' Work Mounted for Art Walk

Students' Work
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"Observe and reflect and become a little wiser everyday." ~ Author Unknown

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fabulous Five: April and Fools

I guess I use the word "fool" a lot in my writing. I wanted to get a blackout poem posted for April Fools Day, but instead, decided to dedicate the entire month to all the fools out there, whether they be a dunce or oblivious to the obvious or someone who rushes into things or even a person without skills. I think we all know what it feels like to be a fool or to be fooled.

Enjoy! And know that everyone starts off as one...but hopefully they don't stay that way ;)


FOR A GOOD TIME CALL
Everyone knows his number.
It was written on a big truck.

THE UNIVERSE
Serious? What a fool,
choosing Mr. Easy
over the universe.

LEMON
She'd soon pickup a fool
with a cup of ice and a lemon.

LITTLE FOOL
The only way out
Was to ask a little fool
Could you help me, please?

WAITED FOR THE LIGHT
The big fool waited for the light,
half aware of the kiss.
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Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Or shame on you, again ;)

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Fabulous Five: A Tribute to the Road

Every morning and afternoon, I walk around the streets and avenues of my neighborhood. If there's no rain, then I take my ever-sun-loving Cherriers, Tilly and Tango. My phone camera is usually ready as I search out my the next close-up shot to share on Instagram--Come visit me! Poop bag in hand, two 10-pounders pulling on the leash, glasses to contend with...but somehow out of a bunch of blurry pictures, I manage to get a decent one.

We had some road construction/pipe fixing thing going on, and the finishing touch was filling the cut marks in the asphalt with black tar, and as the pictures show, it's turned into my latest fascination. On rainy days, the droplets sit poised on top. On sunny ones, the tar is shiny and reflects the light. Then there are the tread marks and thick, gloppy drips, which create great textures.

Now with spring break looming, a bit of wanderlust calls. I feel a road trip coming on... 

The Road has Legs

Rain Drops on Road Tar
Time to see the details. A time for reflections.

Yin and Yang
It's dark and light, good and bad.
It's balance...or maybe it's just a blob.

Roadkill
It's that crazy tar on the road, reflecting the sun.
I nearly got ran over by the school bus.

Passenger
Get outta my way...I'm Riding with the Hides of Hell!
Ready for a road trip. Whoot!

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"Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination." ~ Roy M. Goodman

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Thank You Cards for the Coaches

It's been awhile since I've been in card-making mode (see last year's Coach card), and being the paper nerd that I am, I volunteered to make two thank-you cards for the girls' basketball coaches. I sorted through my stash--scrapbook paper, hole punches, and glue--and told Alexa to blast Sam Hunt for some good times. This morning I put on the finishing touches and crept out of my basement studio with two cards, just in time for the awards/pizza party.

Ta da!

Coach Dan
(Atlas by L. Renard from Hammond's
World Atlas Classics Edition, 1958)

Assistant Coach Sebastian

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"A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever." ~ Mary Lou Retton


“Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back. Play for her.” ~ Mia Hamm

Friday, March 17, 2017

Fabulous Five: Lucky or Unlucky Blackout Poems

Here are five blackout poems that one could consider lucky. Give the black cat and the umbrella (opened in the house) a second chance. Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick's Day. May good fortune find you.

LUCKY
He ignored the thought of impending doom.
"I told you. I feel lucky."

CAT MAN
Never once had wrecking his heart
made him want a cat.
Things change.

NEW BEGINNINGS
One time a chance kiss happened
and new beginnings broke out.
"This is unreal! It's silver."

CONNECTED
He connected to the universe.
You there? Text back a message.

THE RAIN
The rain rolled down her cheek
and fell into a dream.
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"You gotta try your luck at least once a day, because you could be going around lucky all day and not even know it." ~ Jimmy Dean

Monday, March 13, 2017

Etsy shop: ESPIALDesign and Art for Heart Donations

I enjoy doing these blackout poems--which I affectionately refer to as BLOUTS--so much that I have a decent sized collection brewing. Here's the latest:

THE WALL
Officially starting another observation of the wall.
It was an exercise in staring.

So...what to do with them all? Why not sell 'em? I tucked them into cellophane envelopes and then uploaded them to my new Etsy shop. The proceeds will be equally divided between the American Heart Association as an on going effort toward my Heart Art Challenge and publishing costs for book #3. Check out a sample of the goods:



Check back for a running tally of the donations here.

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SOLD!


 $8.00 will be donated to the American Heart Association (AHA)

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Green Books - A March Reading Challenge

I've got TBR piles all over the place: library books, e-books, new paperbacks, and old hand-me-downs. Writing, marketing, cooking, romances, and kid lit. How does one decide which one to read next? That's right...

Green book challenge, coming right up!

Last year, Green Books for March 2016, I read six out of seven on my green list. Not too shabby. This year I found six green books within reach. Below is the list of *potential* reads. I say potential, because I probably won't get to all of them, but they're pulled from the dark depths of the stack to make an appearance at the top once again.

Green Book Pile

Matched by Ally Condie (YA Dystopian) Used from the thrift shop
Up in the Treehouse by K.K. Allen (New Adult) New book from Amazon
Pack of Dorks: Camp Dorks by Beth Vrabel (Middle Grade) New from Barnes & Noble
Five Ways to Fall by K.A. Tucker (Romance) Used from the thrift shop
Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts (Romance) A giveaway from the RWA conference

...and not in my picture above but still green is Squish: Captain Disaster by Jennifer and Matthew Holm (Chapter Book Kid Comic) Borrowed from the library



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Other Reading Challenges