Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Artist Traiding Cards

Its that time of year. Projects are finished up and there are not enough days left to justify starting another project. It's time for Artist Trading Cards.
 They really are cool, the kids like the hook that it is something artists really do (although I never heard of it till I was in my Art Ed classes, so who knows really) and they like that it is small, so they can easily finish at least one, and then take it home when they are done.

I usually have a bad example, and a good example, we talk about how the good example has a background, color, and details, and the bad example is a quick sketch. We also talk about how you want to make your card something that someone would be willing to trade a card they worked hard on for.

If you want to do this all you have to do is cut some card stock into 4x3 inch cards. They also sell pre-made cards, but I have a ton of donated card stock. I like to put out a variety of supplies, so they really feel like they are getting to do something, if I just have them use crayons, they don't get as excited.

My problem comes with the little guys, they start to get into competition with each other, and by about minuet 30 they are rushing to get another every 5 min! That's when class stops, and we have a conversation about how it is not a race, and the person with the most is not going to win, they are just going to have lots of sub par cards on their hands. Nobody will want to trade with that!

I'm glad I had this in my back pocket when everyone finished up projects with a few days till break. We are doing we are doing winter centers after this, If I have time I'll scan my worksheets for you.

How are you using these last few days?
Until Next time

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Album covers

Art club started this past week, and we hit the ground running. Our school feeds into a fine arts academy, which the students have to submit portfolios to become a part of. This year I turned art club into a portfolio prep class, so the serious kiddos could get a little extra direction. We started off the year doing a fun collage. Each student had to invent a band with a name that gave a clue to their personality, come up with an album name, then collage an album cover. They turned out really well.

 Some people even made a song list. Love it.

 Those plastic CD covers were donated, they may have had AOL disks or something in them. It was interesting having to explain to the kids what an AOL disk was. It made me feel really old.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lesson plans with Artsonia

Hey all!
Just a quick note to tell you I submitted my first lesson plan to Artsonia! If you haven't checked out Artsonia yet you should. It is an online art gallery of student work. I can do a whole post later about how to use Artsonia as a fundraising tool, but for now I just wanted to show you the great lesson plan I posted, and hopefully you can use that link to find others too.
  ChineseZodiac Collage.
Have a great day

Monday, September 16, 2013

Peak Inside My Sketchbook- Zentangle.

Hey all-
School is in full swing here, so I thought I would share what my 4th graders are working on.

This has consistently been lauded as the best project 4th grade does all. year. long.  Of course by the 4th graders. Who knows what everyone else thinks of it. I LOVE this project because it can be a quick or long as you need, its easier then it looks, and if you aren't a great drawer it doesn't matter. I like doing this as a first project of the year, because it gets the kids in the right mindset for the year. You can however do it any time. I like to stay away from Christmas though, otherwise I get lots of cups of hot coco in the kids zentangles.

There are books all over the place with directions on how to do this, but I don't have any. I like doing it kind of free form. I show the kids my examples, take them through my process of drawing ideas in my sketchbook, (the process is I think and draw, but it's fourth grade, lets cut them some slack) and show them a few videos.  I like this one and this one. That alone is usually enough. If you want to pick up a book it can be helpful if you have a kid that just cannot think of anything. I have a sheet of visual texture I give out that helps jog brains.

What are you working on this  fall?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer thoughts

One of the hardest things about being on maternity leave has been this feeling of OOOOOH SUMMER! As you know I am a teacher, so summer is a legit thing around here. The problem was I had all this extra summer, and was absent my teacher hubby, who was still..... teaching. Ugh.

This would have been fine without the adorable reason I was on summer early, but guys, you cant get anything done with babies. Sure when we first brought her home she slept 80% of the time. Great but the 20% she was awake was at 4:00am. so you know when she was sleeping those first weeks so was I.  Then she hit the 6 week I WILL CRY ALL THE TIME FOR NO REASON jag, which sucked. Now she has finally evened out, gave herself (!!!) a consistent nap time and bed time. And when we can trick her into letting us put her down things can actually happen.

At about this point in the summer I usually have been off for 4 weeks, have about 6 in front of me and have accomplished exactly nothing. occasionally I can kick my self in the butt and start to get things done, but the lethargy of summer is great. This year I have been sitting on my butt for 3 months as of today, and it is getting OLD. And I know that when school starts I will have even less time then usual at the start of the year because of Munchy.  Then I read  this great post on APW about doing things you have pinned, and you know pinning has been all of the things I have been doing, because babies. M is done teaching, and done with summer school too, so I need to ACT! This week has been very productive. I.....

1. I went to social security to officially hyphenate my name. (yeah a year late)
2. went to DPS and got a new license, with new name, address, and picture (that is not from when I was an 18 year old goth.)
3. I renewed my car  registration (also a year late)
4. I went to all the Doc appointments I needed.... even the dentist!
5. I scheduled a photo session for family portraits (and would haven done them if I had called her back to confirm the time.... babies.) which is now happening on Wednesday.
6. I got life insurance
7. I orderd birth anouncements
8. Framed these
Munchy's room is almost done, I just have to strip the paint off her changing table.... this weekend.
9. Made this for M
All the places we went on our honeymoon.
10, bought a fridge
11. Scheduled Munchy's baptism
12. made this
 and this
and I'm teaching my self how to embroider so I can finish the quilt for my cousins baby.

I'm not unplugging because.... nursing, but I am doing. And you will see all the other doing soon.
the Artsy Girl

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

German Potato Salad

Hey Y'all-
I have been beating myself up every time I cook something great that I don't take process photos. I know I know not everyone needs that, but I know my favorite cooking tutorials have them, and I try to write a blog I would want to read. I've made several really good things lately, and I decided that sharing the recipe with only the finished product is better then nothing.

This is something I have always loved, and since it will be a while till I go to Oma's Haus in San Antonio (My go to dinner after Six Flags) and M's aunt's mom probably wont share her recipe (although I haven't asked) I decided to try it myself. This is a mixture of a few things I found on pinterest. Also I added eggs, because I like it that way, its not traditional.

German Potato Salad
 1 pound potatos
2 hard boiled eggs
Olive oil
Half a medium onion
2 cloves garlic
2-3 slices Bacon
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
dash of rice vinegar (optional)
2 Tablespoons mustard
salt and pepper to taste
chopped parsley

Boil potatoes until you can pierce with a fork (depending on the type you may want to peel them first) I just put the eggs in with the potatoes to hard boil them at the same time. drain and set aside, potatoes will need to be warm enough to handle to room temp. Cook bacon too.

In a pot (the same one you just drained?) add olive oil, diced onion and minced garlic to sweat out: About 2 min. add vinegar, mustard, and bacon.

Cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes, dice peeled eggs ( I usually throw out one of the yolks, less cholesterol) stir to combine in pot over very low flame until all the liquid is absorbed. add more olive oil (one recipe said until potatoes are glossy, I thought that sounded like too much, just use your best judgement. I might have put 3 more tables spoons) stir in parsley, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
The Artsy Girl

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pepper Steak

M's family ween beach camping this past weekend. I don't really care for it, but usually go along, but this year I refused, newborn babies don't need to sleep on the beach. I went to my Grandparents for the weekend (Nana and Papou) because they love seeing their first great grandchild. When I was there we cooked a lot, because Nana was sure that I didn't want to take the baby to a restaurant. While Munchy does fine out in public that was fine with me, you know I love cooking.

This is one of Papou's favorite meals. Just like me he doesn't think that there are many things worthy of eating the next day, and this is one of the dishes he thinks holds up after reheating. Also Nana had been thinking about it since she was in the hospital. she was going off of a recipe so old that no one could really read it, and she still has some speech delays from her stroke last year, so needless to say it was an adventure. I wrote everything down, but just realized that I sent the paper through the wash! Ugh! Here it is to the best of my memory.

Sirloin beef tips (we cut a sirloin into strips, because the meat was better)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1-2 green bell peppers, cut into rings
1-2 Cups chopped mushrooms (optional)
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 can beef broth
2 Tbs corn starch
2 tsp soy sauce (although Nana called it Worcestershire sauce)
1/4 cup warm water
1 Tbs oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Use one of the 12 in skillets that is wide and has deep walls, or a pot, there is a lot of liquid and stuff here.

In a little olive oil saute onions and garlic until translucent, about 5 min.
Add beef tips and saute until brown.
if using add mushrooms and saute 5-10 min. 
Put in the 2 cans of tomatoes. If you are using whole caned tomatoes cut them up first. Add beef broth and oregano, Bring to boil, then cover and let simmer for 25 min.
Stir in bell peppers, let simmer 5 min. 
 Add corn starch to water, dissolve, add mixture to pot, add soy sauce.( I really think this is optional)
When thickened it is ready

Serve with pasta.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Freezer Meals

With any luck I will get to meet my wee little baby in just eight short days!  Well I don't start maternity leave till Friday, so the days won't feel short, but I have plenty to do in the mean time.

Since last week was spring break the nesting instinct had chance to gain a foothold, as I had little else to do. The nursery is almost finished, and I started making meals to freeze.

Never one to reinvent the wheel I headed over to pinterest to find some freezer recipe. I wish I could say that I hit a slam dunk, but with the combo of M's finicky eating habits, Crohn's, and my corn allergy there was not much out there.  I did manage to cobble together a list of things that will work for us, and am attempting to adapt a few of my own favorites into things that I can freeze and cook later.  I'll put my list of meals with links here, as much for me as anyone. I'll be sure to post any of my own recipes that I freeze. and link them back to this page. Not every recipe was touted as a freezer meal, but if I list it here then I froze it!

Recipes from around the web:

Homemade Applesauce This was not planed, but we had a ton of apples last night! It freezes just fine.
(UPDATE: This worked out really well!)

The Best Pot-Roast I have ever eaten (sorry Dad) I'm going to sear the meat, add all the veggies and whatnot and then freeze to put in the crock-pot later. I haven't ever frozen this before, but I have made it in the crock-pot and it works fine. (UPDATE: this turned out really tough, which is something that I have never experienced making this. I guess it didn't work out as a freezer meal.)

Gourmet Magazine's Meatloaf  I'm going to make this up until the: and then cook for an hour step. I leave out the celery, use all beef (no pork for M), and substitute the cherries for raisins and it tastes amazing. (UPDATE: cook this in fist sized balls and cook for 30, they freeze, defrost and microwave perfectly)

 Crock-pot Cilantro Lime Chicken
(UPDATE: This was fine, but its so easy you really don't have to freezer meal it, especially if you can keep fresh celantro around.)

Chicken and Wild Rice
(Update: We really didn't like this, which was surprising since we like all the parts alone. My advice, up the oven time or cut the chicken into bits, it needs more time to cook.)

Breakfast Tacos
(Update: AMAZING)

Mom's Keftethes (Meatballs)

Beef Stir-fry
(you can do this however)

Need more about freezer meals? This blog has lots of good info about prepping freezer meals (and lots of recipes M will never eat)

Now I know there are lots of things that I could have made and frozen, but honestly there are some things that are not worth making myself sometimes. If there is a commercial version available that M and I can actually both eat, you better believe I would rather just buy it then make it. Example: hamburger patties. Yes I am capable of flattening out some beef and freezing it, only to thaw and grill later, but unless I am having people over chances are hamburgers are being made because we are out of food and I'm too lazy to make anything. Guys, if that is the only reason why I am eating a hamburger then newsflash: THEY SELL THOSE PRECOOKED! And there is usually a coupon giving me buns or ketchup or soda for free if I buy it. You must be thinking "But you can buy precooked meatballs!" You are right there, but for some unknown reason they put cheese in those and M will not eat it.

Let me leave you with a genius freezer meal I made yesterday. At HEB they sell this premeditated Fajita meat. I usually don't buy this unless I have people coming over, but I thought, humm..... dinner tonight, dinner after baby comes.

There were 7 chicken thighs in there. I made three last night for dinner, and cut up an onion and pepper to throw in with the remaining four.  I figured there might be extra people around visiting the baby when it comes time to eat this.

All I have to do when the time comes is put it in the fridge in the morning, and have M grill it in the evening! Done and done. Could I have marinated my own chicken? Sure, but not for the price I paid. It also took me about 2 min to prep since I was cooking this for dinner anyway. Just had to label the bag. Bonus: this leftover meat makes awesome Arroz con Pollo in about as long as it takes to cook some rice. Yep, that was dinner tonight.

Hope my freezer rambeling hasn't driven you too nuts!
The Artsy Girl.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Craft Fail: Ombre Curtians

So you may have deduced from some of my recent posts that I am having a baby in about a week and a half.  It's very exciting, and I think that the combination of  it being spring break, my being too large to do anything efficiently, and the reality that she is almost here is making me start to nest. Or maybe it's because people keep telling me I'll have no time once she arrives.

Anyway,  I was cleaning out the room that is to be her nursery and realized that my purple and grey color scheme is really just grey at this point. I decided a quick fix to that (other then actually hanging the mobile or putting art on the walls) would be to dye the curtains. They were a lovely white, but came with the house so who cares.

After a quick Facebook poll my friends said go for it, and M's cousin mentioned doing it ombre just in case it messed up. I WAS TOTALLY THINKING THE SAME THING! I had read a tutorial on ombre dying fabric on APW before my wedding and thought, OK it seemed easy.

Then I found a tutorial on pinterest:
diy ombre curtains 

Which didn't lead to a tutorial. Maybe I should have gone back to the APW post and re-read it, but when I have an idea I really can't be expected to read things. M and my bro happened to be going out to get supplies for a backyard project, so I tagged along, got my dye and skimmed the directions. I had dyed fabric before (10 years ago) so I was pretty confident in my abilities.

The first issue was that apparently I was doing the whole thing backwards: Putting in a little at a time rather then taking out a little at a time. When I was rinsing the totally not ombre fabric out I also sorta remembered the bottle saying I needed to add vinegar to the dye so it would stick to certain fabrics. hummmmmm.... Did I have one of those fabrics? Who knew, I didn't read the label.

 Luckily I didn't ruin the fabric totally, and they are just pink rather then purple. I think they work just fine, even though it wasn't what I was going for. In person you can see that the stripes of texture are actually more purple, and it still helps the room look more girly. 

What craft have you failed on?
The Artsy Girl

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Peak Inside My Sketchbook- Primary color collage

Some of you may remember a post I did last year about my new favorite way to write lesson plans. I just keep a sketchbook now. It really is the greatest thing ever.

Obviously this won't work for everyone. Some people work at schools with principals that need to have everything in the same format for everyone NO MATTER WHAT!!!!! I showed this to my principal and she loved it. I write down all the stuff that I need to have in my lesson according to the district visual art standard, I just don't fill out their sheet (but I have them on file just in case I need to submit anything, I just have to pull it up on the computer and fill in the blanks from my sketchbook.

Anyway, have a look:

This is a kinder project from the beginning of the year. basically we talk about primary colors, sing a song about it, then they hunt through magazines and tear out the colors and group them together. I use glue sticks, so we can talk about using a material properly. otherwise nothing else special, I don't want to over load them. This is literally day 2 of class. we talk about how to hold and use scissors the next time. I just want to see if they know these colors, and how each kid works.

I hope you can see my lesson there. Let me know if it is unreadable (not my spelling and handwriting, just the photo!) If it doesn't work I'll type the lesson up next time.

The Artsy Girl

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bad blogger

Can I tell you how many blog posts I write in my head? Thousands. And for every post I wrote in my head there are three I would write in my head if I ever had a chance to think about it. It's not even like I'm busy. I stop teaching at 3:00, and unless I have a meeting, I have until 3:45 in my classroom, till M comes to get me. I know I do stuff, because somehow things get planed and prepped for the next day... But I don't remember what I did most the time. All time stands still from 3:45- 6:30 because I go home and usually fall asleep. I wish I could blame this on the baby in my tummy but this happened before I was pregnant too.  So I'm sorry I'm so bad at being a blog writer. I really do have good things in the works and I think about you my readers, that I hope are there and not just in my head, loads.

On that note I am going home today, not falling asleep, and trying to get stuff done. yeah OK, I may just pay bills, but I guess that is a start. 

and because I think you are awesome here is a link to my district's art wiki, which has lots of lessons submitted by my fellow art teachers. I helped upload some of them..... because I am on the tech committee.

The Artsy Girl