Friday, December 14, 2018

Making It Announcement


Billy Kheel is coming to Hassan Elementary. With the funds raised from Art To Remember, and a Donors Choose that I recently put online, we are fully funded to bring this AMAZING Artist to our school.  There so many families that helped fund this opportunity as well as a large donation from Education Closet to bring in Billy Kheel, a Fiber Artist who recently participated on NBC's Making It!

To celebrate, I have some homework for the students of Hassan Elementary.
  1. Watch 'Making It' on (Bonus points if you watch as a family)
  2. Look at Billy's Website (
  3. Or... Take a look at his Instagram... maybe even message him! (click here)
  4. Finally, I'm very excited to share that we are going to do a Making It, Hassan Elementary! This will give everyone an activity to do over the break. Check out the details below. 

Making It Challenge

  • Students must be the primary maker, but assistance can be given by friends and family.
  • Students can work in groups, but it's outside of school time only.
  • The size restriction is 12 inches tall, by 12 inches wide, by 12 inches deep. Art can also be two dimensional but the same restriction of 12" by 12" is applied. 
  • The BIG requirement is the Artwork must incorporate recycled materials. That means some parts of the Artwork must have something in it that was going to be thrown away.
  • The Art can be brought to Hassan Elementary January 29th through February 1st. It will be displayed when Billy comes to visit us in February! 
  • Some students will be awarded an apron for their creativity and use or recycled materials. 
This is going to be amazing! We have so many creative brains at Hassan Elementary! To inspire you as Artist I would like to show you Master Artist who create using recycled materials.

Look close!! Can you see what Federico Uribe used in this work of Art?

Yep, Federico Uribe used colored pencils to create this work of Art. Going to his website (click here), you will discover he uses garden tools, boats, bottles, forks, shoes, and so much more to make his Art.

Related image

How about this butterfly Art by Michelle Stitzlein. What did she use?? You will see licence plates, toothbrushes, records and bottle caps... so many bottle caps. In fact, Stitzlein has created a book of how to use bottle caps in her Art. Please take a look at her website to discover amazing use of recycled materials... and also find out how big these butterflies really are. (click here)

Here's a good idea from Charles Kaufman.  He uses crushed cans to paint on for his recycled Art. That would be challenging, but maybe you want to give it a try at home! Find more from him on his website (click here)

These are really fun projects for the home.  Look around your house as Carolien Adriaansche does.  What do you have at your house to create new 'creatures' from the 'garbage' we toss in the trash. Carolien too has lot's of great ideas on her website. (click here)

Image result for Mario Caicedo Langer website

Maybe this robot is more what you would like to make, you can search the images of Mario Caicedo Langer to find more inspiration like the image above. 

In my research, I ran across this amazing article (click here) that can lead you to lot's of other inspirational Artist for this 'Making It' challenge. I can't wait to see what you come up with Hassan Elementary Artist! 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Fox in the Woods

Just a quick post this morning... I have been seeing fox projects similar to this one I did a couple of years ago on Social Media.  Every time I see another post I think... awe, yeah... I really liked that project, I should do it again.  As I looked for my resources today to make that happen I realized that I never posted on this project and I have videos to all the steps (or at least the version I did with my students). If you too are thinking that this project looks like a perfect one for your class, feel free to use the videos I have below. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Making It, Billy Kheel as a Visiting Artist

I have been sitting on this for a while now... I can't any more because I want to make it happen... and I've run into a road block. So... Here we go!

I fell in love with NBC's 'Making It' this fall. It was a crafting competition for Artist. Each week the contestant would be asked to make two projects and then one person would be asked to leave the competition. This show was amazing because it allowed Art to be highlighted, it chose mostly 'unknowns' or more like 'The Artist Next Door", and it was positive, funny, and promoted creativity (something we need more of on TV).  I would get together with my Art Teacher friend, Leah Schultz and we would laugh at all the puns and analyzed the work.  We would talk about how we could use it in class and dream about having the opportunity to take part in such a program. It was Sunday Night Football for Art Teachers!! I would jump on Twitter and talk to my online PLN (Professional Learning Network) about the show and was happy to have dialect with people from all over the USA about this show that brought us together.  OK... So I kind of like the show :) 

Anyway, there was one Artist who was so interesting to me. His name is Billy Kheel. He is a fibers Artist that really had a different look then the typical 'crafty' person.  His work was masculine in subject... sports, fishing... that kind of thing. He showed humor in his Art and created with the same kind of spirit.  The whole season, all I could think is WOW, this guy would be great for the boys of Hassan to meet. As I mentioned, I was social about the show 'Making It' and would message the participants after I would watch an episode.  I messaged Billy after he was asked to leave the show and just put out a big question to see what if...

I asked if he has been a Visiting Artist before to a school... He said yes. So we started talking about how he might be able to come and visit my students of Hassan Elementary. This means Billy would be working with all 850 students Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. He would come to our school for 6 days so he would meet with each class. He said yes!! So now the logistics. 

Here is my plan.  I will be pumping up the kids starting this month. We will have a 'Making It' Challenge for students at Hassan Elementary. I will be introducing it in the next week or so and students will be able to 'Make It' outside of class (I will be posting about this opportunity soon). Then we will use a few minutes of class to just get a taste of the show... Making It. This will allow my students to know the show, and 'meet' Billy... Don't be surprised if your kids want to watch the whole season at home. Then, the hope is to have enough funds to bring Billy in soon after Holiday break.

I have been able to fundraise some money for the Art Program but I'm still a little short. I have now placed a Donors Choose wish out there to make the final amount of money to make this a reality.  If any parents of Hassan might be thinking about donating a gift card to the Art room for the holidays, can I ask you to put your money here instead? If there is a family who is passionate for this opportunity, please donate. If there is a family who has flight miles, or access to a hotel room for a reduced rate, contact me... Let's get Billy to teach our kids for a week.  Think about it... they would be learning from a 'Movie Star'.  A person with this much Social Media presents will certainly be a powerful experience.

If you have the funds and desire to help out the students of Hassan... Please visit my Donors Choose Wish

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Paper Bag Decorations

We have a live tree for the first time ever in my children's lives. My son asked for one last year and we made a deal that we can get a 'real tree' if we decorate the tree with all handmade decorations.  The best deal I have ever made! See my kids are 11 and 13 now and it is getting slightly more difficult to engage them in family activities. They are totally into the decoration creation. 

I love using recycled and reused materials! This particular decoration is quick and easy too! Always a plus. I have two ways to create, one using some sewing stitches, and the other using staples. Other materials for this project will be markers (I love my Posca Pens), a paper bag, scissors, and some stuffing. If you plan to staple, you will need a stapler and maybe some pipe cleaners to hang the ornament.  If you plan to sew you'll want some string, a needle, and a hole punch.

I like to cut one sheet of paper twice as long as I need it. I fold the paper in two before drawing my design. 

Then I used a pencil to outline a design. 

With my pens, I add the decoration to the paper. I like to have some brown showing from the paper bag to highlight the fact that it's recycled materials. Once this step is done I trim off one side of the design. I leave the side that is folded so the two sheets of paper are joined while I start to sew the edges. 

I used a thin paper punch (1/16) to make holes through both papers in an equal distance of each other.  

I used a whip stitch to sew the paper together but a running stitch would be just as efficient.  I typically start at the top and leave a long 'tail' so that I can use the end to hand the ornament later.

Then I trim off the rest of the paper now that one half is secured with the stitches.  Now I finish off the design with holes around the other half. 

Before closing up the ornament with your stitches, fill the papers with a little stuffing.  I had some in my 'inventory' so decided to use that, but shredded paper would work as well. Be creative and look at what you already have available to you.

Then finish the stitches. Both tails (ends of the string) would be at the top of the ornament. Simply tie a loop at the top to create a place to hang your ornament.

A second way to make a similar design is using staples instead of a string. For this option, I like to use wire to make the hanger. This works well for younger kids, or if these are the supplies you have. 

We have a good start to our tree now. The Hahn family will continue to add homemade decorations to the tree throughout the month!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Can Can Garland

Several years ago I started collecting cans for a Process Pig I created (see this previous post). I ended up with some 'extra inventory' and this has been sitting in my basement for quite some time. Today, I decided to use up some of that inventory in the basement... and made some 'Can Can Garland' for the holiday. 

These are the materials and tools I needed; some tin from cans, a Fiskar thick cut circle press, a 1/16th hole punch, string, darning needle, and some time... 

I cut the tin cans into flat sheets and cut them into circles with the Fisker press.  I show this in the video but didn't get any images of this step. Then I add 4 holes in the circle with a hole punch as shown in the image below. 

To string the circles together, I lined up the whole punches together.  I went up through the bottom and back down on each side of each circle. The string is more visible on the back as shown below. The video gives a better description of this step as well. 



When finished stringing the circles, the garland will be curled up.  I simply pressed along the string bending the tin just a bit. This flattened an allowed the garland to lay correctly when hung. 

I strung about 25 circles to equal about a yard of garland. I loved the variation of colors and the way it ended up hanging. They are festive and engaging for the viewer.  I find that you want to go look at the art on the tin to discover the brand and type of can. It's a beautiful conversational decoration.

The following video is a better description of the steps to making Can Can Garland.