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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Learning with the Five Senses

Young children need lots of multi-sensory activities. As an art teacher and parent I have learned to be aware of these things while teaching and creating lessons. There is always that one kindergarten student that decides to mix up ALL the colors because in his mind, no matter what you say, it is going to make a rainbow! Once they see that it makes a muddy brownish grey, they won’t do it again. They learn from their experiences! Much of the brain wiring and development during the first five years is centered around the way a child gleans information about their environment.
 Play soft music without words in the background
Give them different textures to feel, draw on sand paper!
 Let them touch the paint.
Add peppermint or vanilla extract to make the paint smell good! Add cinnamon to your play dough, spray the paper with something that smells nice,use shaving cream
Make sure there are lots of  colors in your class room
Let them build sculptures out of food and then eat them!
Shaving cream is a great medium to use because it makes your room smell good! They can draw in it, and practice writing their letters!
Just ask yourself…does it feel good? Is it slimy, crunchy, rough, sparkly?
These projects generate some awesome vocabulary!
Is it BIG?

Does it smell good?


Yesterday I let the girls draw on the mirror with shaving cream! They were so excited! First they used their fingers and then my daughter suggested a Q-tip which worked great!
They also wrote letters and numbers. Studies have shown that the letters are better committed to memory when written with something other than a pencil, like when they write in sand, a bag of gel, shaving cream, or anything that has great texture because it makes more connections to the brain!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Jewelry with Polymer Resin and metallic Designs

We have so many amazing artists in our district! If you missed the batik class, see my last post, it was awesome!  For one of our staff development classes we were so lucky to have Mrs. Mary Tavares teach us about making jewelry!
If you are interested in purchasing any of her beautiful pieces above or have questions, here is her info! Check out her website here

Mary brought a variety of metal sheets to work with. You can use colored sheets or silver sheets and color them with a permanent marker.. You can buy the metal here
You can use a variety of molds to press into the metal. Here is where she bought these, and the tools
She brought a variety of pendants and rings that you can get online or at craft stores
just press the ring/pendant against the metal to measure its size/shape. Then cut it out and press your design into it.
After you press the design, you can remove the color from the top with a nail file or sand paper to reveal the silver, or add color with a marker
Use a tiny piece of tape to attach the metal to the ring/pendant

You will need a cup and some modeling clay or polymer clay to place the ring upright so the resin can settle and dry evenly
This is called Enviro Tex Lite and comes in a kit at the craft store
You MUST mix it equal parts perfectly. You can buy little medicine cups at the drugstore to help you measure and mix the two together
Then pour in or on top of your jewelry piece with no bubbles
You can cut shapes out of the metal, or use beads, sprinkles, etc to suspend in the resin
The finished products were beautiful!
Staphanie, one of our extremely talented (Texas Middle School Art Educator of the Year) teachers did a class at our local newspring art studio using this Mod Podge Dimensional Magic. It is similar to the other stuff
They made these ADORABLE coke cap photo bracelets!
They also made these pendants/ key chains out of a washer covered in scrap book paper, glitter, and then the Mod Podge Dimensional MAgic!
I cannot wait to make pendants with my kids pictures in them!! If you make your own, I would love to see an image of your results!!! You can send it to me at

Thursday, August 23, 2012

AWESOME Crayon Batik!

I got an amazing comment from Phyl...if you are going to do this, you might try these tweaks to my lesson that was left in the comments section by one of the greatest art teachers, Phyl, that ever lived!!
I used to do crayon batik every year when I taught 7th and 8th graders. It was one of my favorite things to do. We also did some 'authentic' batiks with clear wax and multiple dye baths. Anyhow, your results are absolutely lovely.  

I did a few things a little differently when I did batik with my classes. First of all, we put our wax in muffin tins floating in electric fry pans - that way you don't have to worry about cracking glass. We used some paraffin and then added crayon color. The paraffin crackles quite nicely, and extends the crayon color so you don't need to use quite so many crayons. We also had a couple of wax melter units that could be used for smaller amounts of wax. For fabric, to save money we used old white sheets. The whiter the fabric, the brighter the results. So if you buy muslin, you want to make sure it is BLEACHED.

We did not use Rit Dye, because at the time they did not have cold water dyes. I recall using Procion cold water dyes - the colors were very vivid. If you add water to dye, it cannot be warm! 

We ironed between newspaper, and used a LOT of newspaper to get out all the wax for a whole class of students. I would be concerned that all the colored wax of the crayons could really ruin a dry mount press. I had an old iron that was just designated for wax stuff.

Today we had our art in-service and the AMAZING Kathy Frith, taught us all about BATIK MAKING!!!!
Tomorrow I will post another class we had making jewelery with metal and resin by Mrs. Mary Tavares and Stephanie Walton!!
Thank you Mrs. Frith for coming and teaching us ALL about BATIKS!!
Batiks origins can be traced back to Asia, India and Africa. Some say the word is of Malay roots and translates "to write" or "to dot".
Batik is an art medium and methodology for creating design, usually on cloth, by applying wax to portions of the material and then dyeing it, then removing the wax. This can be done to make vibrant colors and incredible designs.
Batik is said to be an ancient art that has been handed down for thousands of years. It is said to be wide spread as the Middle East, Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Philippines, India and more!
Although the exact origins of batik are unknown, it is most common on the island of Java, Indonesia. It is known when the art of batik was first practiced in Java, batik belonged only to royalty and families of wealth and position. It was a hobby for the royal woman. Aristocrats and royalty had certain designs identifying a family, social status or geographical location on the island. Many of these designs have survived to this day. Today it is believed that certain patterns have special meanings and are thought to bring the wearer good luck, wealth, prosperity, health, etc. We hope it brings you good luck and prosperity when you wear your sarong from 1 World Sarongs.
Currently, batik art has spread to India, China, Malaysia, Europe and Africa. It has become a skill and art of many great cultures. Today it is worn world wide by men and women, and can be seen almost anywhere. Artists typically decorate their batik fabrics in any way they are inspired. Because the art is becoming more and more popular there are lots more resources for the artists. This is yielding many types of designs, colors, and patterns. Batik is being used to make many different items some of which you'll find on 1 World Sarongs. Mainly clothing and sarongs, but if you go to our Indonesian Art page and look under Masks you'll find batik is being used as well.

First off, here are the directions with the materials listed…
Kathy lets her students peel crayons when they finish their work through-out the year
You will need muslin, and a paper to draw on. Another paper is needed  to put on top and trace to make sure there is room for tape and a nice border
draw your simple design and trace with a sharpie.  Then tape the drawing down to a piece of cardboard with two pieces of tape and tape the muslin on top( all four sides )
Use baby food jars in an electric frying pan filled with water. Heat the water until the crayons melt inside the baby food jars. Make sure the water doesn’t run out or the jars will crack. The construction paper crayons work very well because they have white in them. Use crayola crayons, because any others tend to get clumpy and gooey. You can add white to the colors to make them appear brighter on the muslin.
I used an image from my ipad of my daughter, but I would not recommend doing a portrait since it ends up all wrinkly looking!! A simple design with little detail works best. After you draw the design, outline with sharpie.
Tape the muslin over your drawing on a piece of cardboard
Then paint!! It was really fun painting with melted crayons! Remind students that they can’t overlap. Whatever color hits the muslin first, is the color it will be at the end. If they drip on their design, tell them to wait for it to dry and then scratch it off.
When the painting is finished, peel it off the cardboard,
and crumple it up into a ball OVER THE TRASH (the crayon crumbles off a little) Don’t crumble too much just one or two times, then open it up and shake it a little over the trash)
Pour some Rit dye into large, labeled containers. Add a little water, but you want it to be very thick and dark. Royal blue, red, purple, and black work best
Let the muslin soak for 10-20 minutes or more if desired, and then pull it out and ring it out a little. You can rinse a tiny bit if desired, but not necessary
Place the design on a clean white paper to create your print. Then put five pieces of newspaper on top and five pieces on the bottom
Place it inside a dry mount press or use an iron for about one minute. Do not over do it or the colors will all melt together.
When you take it out, you will have two works of art. A print, and the batik!! It will be dry, and flat, and beautiful!!! This melts the wax out of the fabric and into the paper, so all that is left behind is the beautiful colors on the fabric!!
Judy specializes in Zen tangles, which make beautiful designs for batik!!! She ended up with a beautiful print on the paper AND the newspaper!
This project works well for fourth grade and above. If you want to modify it for the lower grades you can use melted clear parafin wax to paint with, and then one color dye, as seen below.
You can also paint a design with the clear paraffin wax, and paint it with watercolor paint!!! You will do the same thing as with the crayon batik, by ironing or pressing it after its painted to melt the wax out of the fabric.
If you try this, pleas send me an image to add to this post! I love when my readers send me examples of what they have made!!!

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