Thursday, August 30, 2007

Random Halloween Prize Give Away!

Well I started working on a painting to get back into Emily's challenges, but then this came out. I can't help it! So I guess it will just have to fit with Week 37's idea for "Draw Something". There's something that gets me going as soon as school starts. Even though it's in the upper 80's and 90's, not a leaf has changed color, and I haven't even seen one little ghoul or goblin I just get so excited for Halloween to come! I like to start planning costumes and begin sewing at the end of summer so I can have a few months to get the costumes made in time (here, here, here, here, and here). Today the Halloween bug bit me! To celebrate the approaching fall and ghoulish delights I made this little painting.

I want to try something fun too. I'm ready to go get some candy! I'm talking the good stuff! (Not what people usually pass out at Halloween). I'll pick up some extra and send it to one of you! I'll also make a copy of this little painting and send it along. It's my way of getting everyone else nerdy-excited with me so I'm not alone in this. Leave your name (or more) in the comments. On Sept. 8th I'll draw a name of who to send some treats and this painting to. I'll post the winner on the 9th! Go ahead, don't be shy. Good luck to the only 5 friends that look at this blog. :) hahaha Oh- and one entry per person. :)

P.S. Kendyl says the kitty's name is Cat-tail and the witch's name is Pretty Spidery Girl. Just thought you'd want to know.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Some projects from last year.

I've been meaning to post some of the projects that I did last year while we lived in L.A. all year long actually and just never got around to it. While organizing my photos on my computer today I saw these I thought I would put them up. :) Teacher Appreciation Week: I made this tree in the display case with Kendyl at Makenzie's elementary school. Every leaf has a different teacher or staff name on them. We just twisted up butcher paper and stapled it up. Angela got different kids to write thank you notes to the teachers and the PTA and she put them in there. I thought it was a great touch!

Here's a close up. :)

The Winter Luau: This first picture is of the volcano that we made for when you first walk in. I have a 5 light lamp that I put underneath. Then we put chairs around the lamp and covered the chairs and lamp in butcher paper. I taped different lava colored tissues to the top, put a fan underneath so it would be billowing the tissues, and draped orange lights around the volcano to look like lava pouring down.
This was how we decorated the front of the stage area where the dj was. Barb thought this one up! It looked so cool in the dark.

We drapped different colored blues and green crape paper ribbons twisting across the ceiling mixed with white twinkle lights so it would look like the ocean and light up the room. I made big palm trees for the front of the party and made huge 7 foot tiki god totum poles. Really I just drew tiki god faces on 4 foot wide butcher paper, cut out the eyes and mouths, put yellow and orange tissue paper behind it, and shone lights from behind to look like their eyes and mouths were glowing. I also hung these little asian parasols from the ceiling for fun. I hate to admit it, but I had a big stash of these because I found them for a $1.50 each in L.A. I always wanted them when I was a kid so that meant I needed to buy about 40! hahaha. I figure we'll find plenty of uses for them. Right now they are fun decorations in our girl's play room and I use them in my preschool class. :) In all it took way too long to decorate for this dance even with my committee of 10-12 people.

Halloween Dance: This was the entrance into the dance and inside we had a lights all over and a huge spider made from oversized garbage bags dangling from the ceiling. We used 50 feet long black table clothes cut into strips and attached to the spider draping out across the ceiling to the edges of the room to look like his long 8 legs.

Here's a picture of us cutting the rug at the dance. We had so much fun. We sure loved that school!

The Primary Bulletin Board At Church: Seth, Trista, and I made this for the Primary in our Los Angeles Ward. Trista found this great background paper and Seth and I sketched the people (mostly Seth). I outlined them, scanned them, colored them in photoshop, cut them out, laminated, and hung them up on the little brown path I made.
The theme this year is "I Will Follow Him In Faith" and so we pictured a bunch of kids on the path to Christ. :) At the end of the path is a painting of Christ and the Los Angeles Temple. It was so fun to work on. It was nice to not have to tear it down after a few hours like when the school parties were done and to see it every Sunday.

Running the Fall Fundraiser: This definitely took the longest time of any project. I ran the fall fundraiser and it was SUCH a headache I wont even go into details of how much work that was. Let's just say Seth was on 10-12 hour days and we worked about the same amount. :)

The reward was awesome though. Who ever sold at least 20 items won the limo ride lunch to Chuck E. Cheese. We raised over $37,000 total, which was about %40 more than any other year because of this incentive. There were 128 kids that sold over 20 items. One girl sold 144! I couldn't believe it. The kids were crazy! Because of school policy we could only fit 8-9 kids in a limo (depending on chaperones) so we did 16 limo trips! Of course Kenzie sold enough to go too. She picked out her own clothes so she could feel like a movie star. Her teacher kept teasing that she was going to Chuck E. Cheese that day to get married.

Kenzie's Classroom And Enchanted Eve: I spent every Monday playing the guitar for Kenzie's class and throughout a lot of the year I came in on Tuesdays and Thursdays to teach art. I loved these kids! (You can see me in the middle with the red hat on.)
For Enchanted Eve Heather Bradley and I pulled the kids a couple at a time and had them paint butterflies on a mail box and write letters about what they love about school. We put in a cd of Heathers that has the Cleo the Butterfly Song that she wrote and recorded.

Here is their little mailbox. We copied the letters and drawings and bound them and gave to their teacher Ms. Burns. It sold for quite a bit at the auction. It was so fun.

It's wonderful to be able to be involved in your kid's schools and lives. It doesn't have to be something huge. (You don't have to be quite as psycho as I am) :) You can spend an hour a week. Really that isn't much to sacrifice. Even if it's to help organize an event, grade papers in the classroom, serve on a site council, cut out pieces for an art project, be on a decorating committee, whatever. Just ask your child's teacher what you can help with. Let them know when you are available or join a PTA and actually go to the meetings and help in something. :) I know I'm on my soap box here, but I feel it so deeply! If more people were involved than 15 parents out of the whole school wouldn't be doing 100% if the work. I love being apart of my kids lives while they still want me apart of them and heaven knows the schools need us. :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Funniest Mom

This is the funniest ebay posting I have EVER read. That poor mom. Bless her heart. Bless all our hearts. Get a box of tissues. I cried to tears. (Partly because I know what she's talking about).

Sunday, August 26, 2007

ICMM (I Can Manage Myself)

Am I being too ambitious? I don't think so. :) Can 4 year olds learn how to manage themselves? Meaning, keep their hands to themselves, not shout out over and over again during lesson time, push in their chairs when they get up so other kids wont trip, etc. I really think they can and after using this 1 day I can see the beginnings of it working. This is something that I made for my little preschool classroom. Some teachers at my preschool do this and I've adapted to be more "me" and fit my classroom theme. I drew and painted this big castle (3 feet tall) and attached velcro to it and little princesses and knights with photos of my students attached. I drew the little figures, scanned them in my computer and colored them in photoshop in my students favorite colors. Everyday they will take their little figure out of their cubby and attach it to the castle meaning they are ready to start the day and make good choices. I can't believe how excited they are to see their little person on this castle. It they are hitting the kids around them or trying to bug them or not listening during lesson time (which is only about 10 minutes) then I give a warning that they need to manage themselves and they know just what I mean. Quickly they straighten up, but if they don't then I have them walk over to the poster, take off their figure, put it in their cubby and sit in the "thinking chair" and think about how to fix their behavior. It's heartbreaking to see them so sad about taking their little person off, but quickly they change their attitude and modify their behavior. After they've decided to fix their behavior than they can put their little figure back up. (This makes them so happy they will jump up and down- it's pretty cute.)

This is what it looks like with all their figures on. The red knight is missing Payton's picture because he wasn't at open house when I took the photos, but don't worry... I took his picture on Friday and he will have it ready for Monday.

Here's a close up of their little faces. I'm so lucky to have such sweet little stinkers in my class.

The first day I used this I had to have two boys take their figures off and it was so shocking that no one tried to push the boundries. The two boys did so much better for the rest of the class. It's hard to be strict at the beginning, but so important so you can relax and have fun with them later without them pushing you and trying to get away with stuff because believe me, they will. I've nipped a few things in the bud and I think the kids will be surprised at how silly and fun I can be once I've "puppy-trained" them.
(P.S. Just so you know, I mostly give positive reinforcement like praising the kids who push in their chairs or sit well or are being kind and then those not doing so will quickly follow suit to receive praise as well. I just needed to make this for the special few who push and push and are too wild during un-wild times. :))

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blogs that make me smile

I've decided to spread some love. I want to let you know of a few blogs that put me in awe or a smile to my face...

1. Seth's Blog: yah, I know. I'm a little biased, but he really is one of the greatest artists I know and I get to kiss him at night. woo woo. He hasn't updated in a bit, but look out because he's been sketching and is about to. Even when he hasn't updated I love looking at the same drawings I always do. My favs are his Halloweenish ones. The posts from last Aug-last Oct. are great! That really cool one of dead couple dressed up fancy about to kiss is one of my favorites (Oct. 20). The girl's dress was inspired by the one I sewed last year for Halloween and I wore on my geeky girl trip. He's won two world wide web contests with that one. One of the prizes was a 5 by 8 foot poster of the Nightmare Before Christmas which is hanging in our garage making us the coolest people on the street I'm pretty sure.

2. Shane's Blog: This is probably one of the best blogs out there. It is hillarious to me! Shane is one of our friends I'm proud to claim. He's a most marvelous artist and so funny too. He will make these little drawings every week or so and have some random story or whatever about them. Seriously, it is fun to look at for hours and hours. Check it out, make it a regular stop, leave comments, have fun.

3. Sunny Smart: This is my brother Joe's wife. She is one talented writer. She has a way of writing about regular stuff in the most witty way. She just begun it a few weeks ago, but already it's brought much joy and I am excited to read more posts from her.

4. Emily's: She's amazing folks! She's one of my friends from LA. She had just moved from Australia when I first met her and she's an incredible artist. She creates layout pages for several scrapbook magazines and teaches seminars all around the world. I love how she has no boundries with what she creates. She's started an art challenge this last January where every Sunday she posts a topic and creates a small card around that topic. I participate in this but with purely painting to the topic. She's a marvelous person.

5. Shannon Hale's (Austenland and Goose Girl Author) Husbands' Blog: He's an author too, but a different sort. I've just discovered his site, but may have found my new obsession. His "micro stories" are so derranged, funny, twisted. Anyway, he posts little stories that are 500 words or so and are crazy. You just gotta try it out. A "meat baby" so weird. You'll see. Everytime I read one of his stories and see where his mind went I wonder if he is socially awkward or if he hides it.

Of course I spend a lot of time looking at my friend's blogs reading about their families and happenings. I love all the cool projects my sister does and get a kick out of the way Kristen and Jessica write. If you know of a great blog let me know in the comments. I'm always up for an entertaining new blog to explore. :)

I'm Repenting... :)

Ok. So I've decided that life has begun to settle down enough to try and get a painting in every week again. I just have to for my sanity. Yes, we still have things to do from the move, and the girls have just started school, and I have just begun a new teaching job (Preschool), but I've got to get back into my creative schedule again. I'm going bonkers. I started sketching a new painting and am going to set aside a little bit of time every night to work on it. I may not get one a week done like I use to, but if I at least work on something creative for a moment everyday- than I'll be a happier person. (My kids and dear Seth will love that). :) In honor of repenting and to get my creative juices going again I compiled this year's paintings so far to look at and get excited for my little moments everyday. It's fun to look at them all at once and remember what has happened throughout the year. I love keeping a journal this way.
P.S. The pirate one in the corner was Seth's... I just needed one more to make it even. :) Wish I could claim it. Still can't believe how quick he whipped that one out.