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Blog on the Move!

12 Aug

A Sharper Focus Blog is now at: www.asharperfocusblog.com

That’s right, I’m moving! Last fall I took a web design class so that I could customize my blog more and expand my web capabilities. After a summer of working on the new blog, I’ve moved the blog from a wordpress.com site to a wordpress.org site and am ready for you to join me. Come on over and don’t forget to press the Follow button on the bottom right to stay connected!

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May o’ My

18 Jul

Physically I’ve been back from our yearly family trip to Gulf Shores for almost a week now, mentally I really want to stay in vacation mode. It’s been hard to snap out of it and get some things done, like work on this blog, think about the up coming school year and so on… And, to make matters even harder, it’s been wonderfully rainy. All I want to do is read or think about craft projects. Is that so wrong?

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Oh well. I have little less than a month left before I have to go back to work, so hopefully I can relax a bit and get some things checked off my to-do list. The month of May was busy with finishing up the school year, some fun photography sessions and the garden finally started to produce. We got a late start because of an abnormally cool spring, but the green beans seemed to love the cooler weather!

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My kids did at great job at this year’s Spring ISD Spring Art Show. Four of the entries received the Judges Merit Award! I was so proud of all of their hard work. Above are a Matisse inspired fish bowl work done by a 2nd grader, an awesome neon tiger portrait by a 5th grader, a Jamming Giraffe by a 1st grader and winter birch trees by a third grader.

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If you where checking in around May you probably saw some of the senior sessions I did. I also did some prom sessions and I got to document beautiful handmade quilts by a local Houston artist! If you want to see more prom photos check this post at A Sharper Focus Photography!

It was definitely a busy and fun month.

April’s Trips and Changes

28 Jun

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This past April I got to go visit my friend and “neighbor for life,” as we call it, Allie, in Chicago! She was my next door neighbor for almost 20 years and is like the awesome little sister I never had.

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I had never been to Chicago before and really liked it. I was only there for an extended weekend and definitely need to go back and see more. We spent some time in Millennium Park and it snowed big wet fluffy flakes on us.

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Since it was cold and kind of wet there weren’t too many people at the park. Here’s the middle of Cloud Gate looking up from underneath.

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Can you tell we we’re chilly!

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  1. Walking over the bridge between Millennium Park and the Art Institute.
  2. Pie for breakfast from Hoosier Mama?
  3. Squishy!!! This is her greeting me in the morning.
  4. One of the Thorne Miniature Rooms!
  5. Cappuccino from Intelligentsia.
  6. I really liked this graphic mural.

In other news, I decided to see if I could find myself an art teaching position a little closer to home… and I did! After six years of teaching at Burchett, I will be moving to a school about ten minutes from my home. I’m really going to miss my kiddos and awesome teammates and co-workers at Burchett, but I’m also excited for a new adventure.

Stay Tuned!

DIY Tutorial – Paper Mache 3D Letters

26 Aug

Or, if you want to be fancy pantsy about it, Papier-mâché. I decided to make some 3D letters for my classroom this summer after seeing Mrs. Nights Artroom posted on Pinterest.

I went shopping first trying to find letters that I could buy and then just decorate, but after looking around and letters that were big enough for what I needed were out of my price range, so I decided to make them myself. The process was easy and cost me under $10!

I started off by drawing each letter nice and big on poster board. I then cut each one out and traced it on another piece of poster board and cut that one out to make the front and the back of each letter. With the extra poster board I cut two inch strips that I then taped between the front and the back of each letter. (To spell Create, I used 4 pieces of poster board)

I then made the paper mache with by mixing flour and warm water until I had a liquid that coated my finger, but was still translucent, so not too thick. From there I just covered each letter in paper macho and newspaper strips and then let them dry in the sun, flipping over occasionally.

From there the rest is up to you! I decided to decorate each one differently for my art room.

I used Mod Podge to cover one letter in tissue paper squares.

I splatter painted another.

I doodled with a Sharpie on this one after painting it white. (I hadn’t quite finished drawing on it yet in this photo)

This one was glittered.

I used Mod Podge again with this one to cover it in book pages.

I wrapped the last letter in yarn. To do this I taped the yarn to the letter and started wrapping the entire letter horizontally first, then vertically until the letter was entirely covered.

And here they are in my art room!

Doodling – What the Smart Kids are Doing

5 Aug

I came across this video on the benefits of doodling while looking for activities for my art room the other day and thought it was very interesting.  As a visual/kinesthetic learner I felt that adding drawings or doodles to my notes helped me learn information better, and it was always more fun. But, as I’ve gotten older I’ve also felt that doodling in public is thought of as kind of childish or that people thought I wasn’t actually listening to them during presentations or such.   This definitely helps justify the humble doodle.  So go forth my friends and doodle away!  You know I will.

Want to have some doodling fun?  Here are some ideas at Doodle Lab.

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