Thursday, July 24, 2014

Back in the Classroom!

So I went up to school today to work in my classroom for a bit (even though we don't officially go back until the 29th). I stayed for about 4 hours.. working the entire time.. and still feel as if it's only a drop in the bucket -- I still have SO much to do!
As promised I will be writing a back to school post (it's still coming), but I want to wait until I have my room fully set up so I can include lots of pictures! :)

I've been working a lot lately designing some extra things in Illustrator for my room and in the process somehow got sidetracked into making name plates.

These look super cute when put into a 5"x7" frame and placed on your desk!

If you would like one for your room just shoot me an email with some color specifications and I can make one for you too! :)

Also.. I was officially accepted into grad school today - so YAYYY! I'll be starting on my MAEd. in Art Education next month!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Getting Ready...

Only 9 more days until teachers go back to school in my county for pre-planning!
I've been working quite a bit this summer on my Teachers Pay Teachers store and haven't really worked too much on my classroom - but that changes this week!
A week ago I went by the SchoolBox and spent way too much money on classroom decor (I redecorate every year to keep things fresh).. but then realized WAIT - I have a concentration in graphic design and a professional grade printer... I could totally just make some of this myself! **Which is funny because I've made several classroom decor bundles for my TPT store.. but never considered using them myself.
My decorative theme this year is going to be a classy black and white chevron and dots theme.. but I've since decided to throw in some chalkboard decor too!
I needed some grade-level labels for my pull out drawers (where I store 2D work).. and for my essential questions board.. so I made these...

If you like, you can follow this link and download it for yourself for free from my google drive account.
Hope you enjoy! :)

Stay tuned for my upcoming back to school post, where I will reveal all the greatness for this upcoming year! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

GAEA Fall Conference

Woop woop - this lady got approved for her GAEA conference presentations!
That's right people - October 3rd, 2014 - Macon, GA. BE THERE! :)
Marriott Macon City Center
240 Coliseum Drive
Macon, Georgia 31217

My first presentation is at 10am-11am:
Teachers-Pay-Teachers: Getting Rich'ish Quick'ish  (Gram)
Intrigued by the financial allure of teachers-pay-teachers but don't know where to start? Come join the conversation about how art teachers can supplement their income by taking advantage of a growing arts-integrated niche market. Participants may bring their laptops if they'd like but it is not necessary.

Then the wonderful Mollie from Art with Ms. K and I will be presenting together at 3pm-4pm:
Connected Classroom: Building your network through blogging and technology  (Gram & Katzin)
Explore how to use personal blogging and other interactive resources to incite professional growth, build your own personal learning network, and renew your enthusiasm for teaching.

So excited to be presenting again! Please feel free to stop by and say hey if you're attending this year! :)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Wedding Planning - Part One!

Since my engagement on June 1st, I've been working away on wedding planning! Since I will be teaching full-time and back in school full-time beginning in the fall, I figured I should get as much done as I can now.
Picking out a wedding date was a tricky task. I had to find some period of time when I wouldn't be teaching (cause who wants to pay out of pocket for that time off?!) OR in school (I'll be taking classes every semester -- even in the summer).
For obvious reasons I wanted to avoid Thanksgiving and Christmas break (I do ACTUALLY want people to attend my wedding).. so that left me with only one other option - the time period between May 24th-June 7th, 2015. Of course the first weekend in that time period is Memorial day.. so I really had no choice (for a Saturday) other than May 30th, 2015. SOOOOO long story short - that's my date! :)
Once the date was set I immediately began my venue search. May-July is a VERY popular time to get married.. (I was surprised how many venues were already booked for my date)!!
^ Not me -- but this IS at my wedding location
After touring a few locations.. I finally found exactly what I was looking for! I wanted a venue in which I could have the ceremony outdoors overlooking some type of gorgeous landscape. My first thought was to go into the Georgia mountains.. but that idea was quickly pulled apart (travel expenses for guests, distance, cost, etc.). Then I thought about a lakefront wedding - but the location we toured was super expensive. My next thought was on the river - BINGO!
 The location I've settled upon and booked is right on the Yellow River - it is absolutely stunning!

Naturally I've also been thinking a lot about design, style, and colors (darn my art teacheriness) - and have settled upon a palette of plum and silver.

To help cut costs, I've also decided to do my own wedding invitations. After scouring Pinterest for what seemed like an endless amount of time.. I finally gathered enough inspiration to design my own invitation from scratch!

Preview of my invitation design!

I'm so excited to continue planning! :)

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Grouchy Ladybug Collage (K)

The end of the school year is always filled with awkward scheduling situations. Kids are out for field days, field trips, testing, class parties, blah, blah blah, blah blah. I could continue listing all the things that pull them out - but you already know this. The point is, because of weird scheduling I needed a 2-3 day project I could do with my kindergarteners (I normally see them 5 days in a row). AnvoilĂ  - Pinterest came through for me once again! This pin was taken from Artsonia.
On the first day I had my kinders create a piece of painted paper with either yellow and green tempera paint or green and blue tempera paint (uh ohhhh NINJA colors! ... That's what I call intermediate or tertiary colors in kindergarten - it makes sense.. I promise.). Students got to freely paint with these colors, overlap, blend, and add texture with a variety of tools (paint scrapers, bubble wrap, etc..).
Found on Pinterest -
pinned from Artsonia.
On the second day I had my students come in and meet me on the carpet to read the book "The Grouchy Ladybug" by Eric Carle. This book is probably one of my least favorites as I've said in a previous post, "I suppose you could say the underlying message of the book is that you should always be kind (like the friendly ladybug), however I found the more dominating message to be that sometimes grouchy people (errr- I mean ladybugs) deserve a good slap. Perhaps that’s just how I read it."
After we read the book I demoed how to begin the project. Students were given a piece of 9"x12" white drawing paper and a piece of 6"x9" brown construction paper. Students were to cut a wavy line on the top of their brown paper (or they could opt to leave it straight) and glue it onto the bottom of their paper. Afterwards, students began cutting out long skinny strips from their piece of green painted paper; these were layered on top (we also briefly talked about placement - the grass did not all have to be glued on top of the brown paper or at the bottom of their paper). Students could also cut out leaf shapes from this paper as well.
Once their greenery was added, it was on to the ladybugs!
Most of my kinders had to do their ladybugs on the third day. In an attempt to incorporate some math into this project, I began by talking about symmetry and doing doubles math with my kinders. Then I gave them a challenge (they had the option to participate or not) - I wanted them to include symmetrical ladybugs that showed me doubles addition using the addends 1-6. 
The ladybugs were created with red construction paper and the spots, legs, heads, and antenna were all drawn on with sharpie.
Last but not least, I had my kinders add some aphids to the plants (those ladybugs sure are hungry!).

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Art with Ms Gram.... or Art with Ms Nguyen? :)

This past weekend my boyfriend and I went camping at Black Rock Mountain State Park - the views were absolutely STUNNING. Especially this one - 

Yep! He proposed and now I have this sitting on my finger! Just wanted to share my happy news with all of my art-friends! No exact date has been picked out for the wedding yet.. but at this point we are thinking September 2015. :)

Below are some really awesome nature shots that my fiance and I took over the weekend! 

Yeah... I'd say it was a pretty good trip. ;)

My fiance and I. <3

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memory Boxes (3rd-5th)

I'm one of those people that collect random things in hopes that one day I may use it for an art project. Well this past week I finally did it! I got an email from another art teacher in my county a couple months ago asking if anyone wanted a bunch of small boxes; naturally I said yes. Upon receiving them, I assembled one of the boxes and began brainstorming what I could do with them. Unfortunately,  I didn't come up with anything so I just put them away in my storage closet. 
This past week I had to come up with an art lesson to do with my 3rd-5th graders. The way my rotation works is that I see each grade-level every day, but see the same group of kids for an entire week. So of course it just so happened that the last week of art, I got my first groups again and had nothing planned to do with them (they'd already completed all the projects my other classes had)! Lucky for me I have an astounding ability to come up with a lesson the day of (sometimes they end up being my very best).
That's where my idea for memory boxes came from. I pulled out the box of small boxes I had received and gave out one to each student (I did this with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade). First we assembled them, then began coloring them with Crayola color sticks (very similar to Prismacolor art stix - but way less expensive). These actually covered the boxes surprisingly well and best of all there was no paint clean-up! Students took about a day-a day and a half to completely color their box. Once they were finished I had them decorate their boxes anyway they wanted to with ribbons, rhinestones, sequins, and buttons. I had to help most of them hot glue something onto their box... but the students were also able to use Turbo Tacky glue to attach a lot of the decoration.
Once students were done decorating their box, I had them begin writing on strips of paper sized to perfectly fit in the box. Their task -- write one memory they shared or compliment they had for each student in their class. 
I figured this would be a great (and happy) way to end the school year! And the kids LOVED it!! :)

There were at least 15 'YOLO' boxes. **shakes head