Tuesday, April 25, 2006

These are a few photos from our artist-in-residency project that finished up today at school. Deanne Warnholtz Wortman spent 6 days painting with my 4th grade students and the result is an amazing mural that stretches across an entire wall, then jumps across the doorway and continues on the next wall (the wall to the left in the picture below - it was still blank when I took this picture. It was a wonderful experience and the mural makes me really, really happy - it is great to see the younger kids squeal when they walk by and see a new part of the painting. It was also wonderful the way Deanne taught the students to find stories in the painting and use their imaginations to make up stories about it. Just a few little details to fix up this week, and she's coming to put a finishing clear coat on it on Saturday and it will be finished.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

newly 27

So... Wednesday was my birthday, and I haven't posted because it feels like I've been here there and everywhere since then. I taught a mini-book class at the scrapbooking store where I work Thursday night, then I headed over to Des Moines to stay with my younger brother and sister since my parents went down to Las Vegas to meet up with some friends. Today, I came back home to take a scrapbooking class at my store, which produced a couple really awesome projects. Also, I'm in the midst of this exciting mural project at my school. A visiting artist is leading my 4th grade students in painting a huge wall mural. It changes every half-hour and it is so amazing to see the collaboration process and really special details that are showing up! Pictures to come of all that stuff!

But, back to my birthday. I think as you get older, birthdays are more like every other day, but at the same time, it makes you pause and think back and forward. I'm thinking back to when I was in high school - 27 sounded *old*! Wow, I don't feel old, but at the same time - I can't believe I'm only a few years away from 30. Not that it is a bad thing. I think life just keeps getting better as you get older - I'm learning and becoming more interesting every year, right? ;) Anyway, I got some really special birthday gifts. My parents gave me the best teacup ever! It transforms to steep the loose tea leaves, keeps the tea warm, and is a coaster. Wonderful for my desk at school! And Bill was very crafty this year (for him) and wrote me a card that gave little clues to my gift - which all began with the letter "W". We're going to see the musical Wicked this June in Chicago, which I have been so excited to see since I've been hearing about it in the last few months. He also got me the book and soundtrack, so I can be adequately prepared. My friend Wendy also gave me a wonderful book all about alphabets and type. It is *eye candy* - she and I are both inspired by shapes, letters, and patterns and this book is all about that.

Monday, April 17, 2006

my new hat

Self-portrait I drew tonight - in my new white hat. Perfect for sunny days on the beach. I had a gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket - so I stopped after school to shop for a few minutes and found this hat. It will be travelling to Tahiti with us this summer for the honeymoon!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

Bill and I drove over to Des Moines last night. We didn't get in until about 9:30 since he was stuck at work late, but then we spent a couple hours having a blast decorating eggs. My brother Thor was down from the Twin cities and we all got really silly. I made a series of seasons eggs, and we made some robot eggs, a kitty egg, self portrait eggs, and lots with various patterns and colors.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Just a quick note to say I've updated the blog for my visual correspondence journal with Beth (mostly - I'll probably add some more scans tomorrow) and I've added and shuffled around my links (on the left).

Today's been kind of crazy here. You may have heard that Iowa City got hit by a nasty round of tornadoes. Lots and lots of damage. Thankfully all my friends and loved ones are safe - especially my dear husband who was taking cover in the car dealership where he works while the tornado essentially ripped off the front of the building. It is really incredible to see the strength of nature on display all around town.

We're headed to Des Moines for Easter. Hope that you all have a very safe and happy holiday weekend!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Papier Mache Craziness!

If you want the definition of a crazy person, just talk to an elementary art teacher who is doing papier mache projects with 3 grade levels at the same time - that's right - 11 classes x approx. 24 students equals a classroom full of muck. And creativity and messy fun, of course. And full counters.
I'm also working with a visiting artist who will be painting a permanent mural in our school as part of an artist-in-residency program. So exciting! Pictures to come. If you want to read more about what's been happening at school, click here for my latest newsletter.

Here's a scan of the cover of the book I'm altering for my Artists Books class. Yeah, after procrastinating over it for days, I finally started to work on it tonight. As I imagined, the ideas started flowing once I got started, but I have nowhere near the time I need to put those ideas into reality. Luckily, my professor is pretty laid back, and I can probably show her what I have so far, then continue working on it.

And - I didn't even have time to post about Lion King! We saw the musical on Saturday night in Des Moines. It was incredible - don't miss it it comes anywhere near you. The costumes alone are worth the price of the ticket.

Alright, off to sleep and recharge for tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sunflower ATCs

I was making a couple sunflower atcs for a swap, and for the one on the left, I decided to use a collage of paper shapes to form the flower. I was really pleased with it - the paper was textured cardstock, so the flower seemed to have lots of weight and depth while still looking semi-realistic. So, I've been mulling over an upcoming assignment for my Artists Books class - we have to make an edition of 15 books. I'm thinking I might use this collage method to make a series of different flower atcs and color copy them to construct into a book. Of course, much depth would be lost in the translation from original to copy, but I think it could work. Now... to decide on a structure. Oh yes, and actually make the atcs. Not to mention finish my altered book assignment first! (more to come on that soon)