Sunday, May 24, 2009

New Moon Countdown Official Poster

I'm an obsessed fan!! I can hardly wait! It's gonna be amazing... I need my Edward and Bella fix!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Black River Designs


I am proud to announce that I was chosen as 1 of 8 designers to join the first DT of Black River Designs!!! I am so excited! They are a new company that is based out of Canada and has some very eye catching paper and rub on designs for scrapbooking, crafting, and various other paper crafts! I am thrilled to join them on this journey! I can't wait to get the product and play with it! Just wait for my creative artwork featuring this company in the coming months... here is the blog... Black River with the news!

I have another HUGE announcement too, but can't quite spill the beans yet! It's TOP secret! Check back here on June 1st for a preview!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pros vs. Cons

I'm still here... just forgot to post in blog world. I have been dealing with some reeling news. After 11 years of teaching secondary level art, I am being forced to go to an elementary school. Granted, I am certified to teach art K-12th grade, but I never thought I'd teach the lower levels. I just didn't want that. Now, I find myself low woman on the totum of hiring in the HS art dept. and I'm being sent down. I feel like I'm being demoted. I am sad to leave my HS staff, kids, room, and curriculum. I love the HS schedule and challenges. I am truly happy at that level. This is change and change is scary for me. Well, I'm sure it's scary for alot of people who don' t have jobs now. SO I should be grateful that I have a job and one that I like but yesterday when I sat in that meeting where administrators who haven't taught in a classroom told us that we are losing a person and unless someone volunteers to go to the Elementary, it will be the least senior person going... that's me. I am mad and frustrated! I am sad and angry with administrators. However, I have to find the light at the end of the tunnel, the silver lining, the cup half full in all this. Here are my pros and cons list that I made up last night:

Cons (I believe in getting the bad out there first and then looking for positives):
1. the Schedule! I will only see the same kids every 4 days for 40 mins. NOT very productive.
2. Moving all my stuff out of my HS room and into another room.
3. Creating new curriculum... for 7 levels with ONE prep period a day! YIKES!
4. I'll have to drive a bit farther away to this school... my HS is literally 3 miles from my house.
5. New staff, new Principal, new room... scary!
6. I have never taught at elementary level... not even in student teaching.
7. Coming off of maternity leave, I will be starting over at a new place.
8. Runny noses, little fingers, quirky behavior... could be messy and exhausting. ( I have this at home, why would I want a room full of them???)
9. Level of art will not be of the HS level... I will have to lower my expectations for outcomes, but can still challenge them just won't be of the caliber I am used to.
10. Student teacher can't be placed with me... he needs HS.
11. Grant will have to be adjusted to 6th grade rather than 9th.
12. National Certification is Secondary not Elementary... will that affect it?

Pros (the upside of it all):
1. Same schedule as my 4 year old who will be starting Kindergarden in the fall... same parent conference days, same 1/2 days, etc...
2. FUN! I don't have to worry about graduation requirements or mandates.
3. NO grading... just do art to do art. No dragging 150 sketchbooks home to grade and entering 300 grades or more in a 5 week term!
4. Kids LOVE art! Seriously love it... so excited to get there and make messes and create!
5. Not too many discipline issues... kids misbehaves... send said kid out and they don't participate. Kids WANT to do art and don't want to miss out.
6. Excited parents, staff, and kids... much more enthusiasm and support there.
7. Empty Bowls Project... I started doing this in MS and they have it there at the school I will be going to... I taught the teacher who is retiring there how to do this project so I can't wait to get into that again!
8. Helpers... older kids love to help younger ones.
9. More grant opportunities at K-6 level.
10. Get to do fun projects that require kids to try new things. At this age, they love to try new things. THEY don't whine about how they are not good artists.
11. No Scholastics art competition... I won't have to stress about this!
12. No weekly meetings with HS staff, Union, or curriculum meeetings. Just a monthly meeting and faculty meetings. No biggie!
13. No school store... I will not have to worry about that.
14. NO gym requirement forced on us this coming year.
15. The kids! Full of energy and enthusiasm! THey are cute and funny...
16. No student teacher... just focus on my classroom.

Okay, so that is my list. More pros than cons. More of a chance to have fun and play with the kids without the serious deadline factor and grading over my head. Notice that all the cons have to do with ME and all the pros deal with KIDS. So, how can that be bad? Ok, so it's not the level of work I want to work with, but I'm sure I'll be surprised at what they can do and what I can do. Visual Journals will still be made in 5th and 6th grade next year, a grant will need to be adjusted for 6th grade rather than 9th grade, and a new opportunities to try some things I have always wanted to do with younger kids. I could shine at this level...I could LOVE it! I just hope I can do it ! I dread packing up my room... 11 years of stuff. Pack, ship, unpack, order new stuff?? WOW! Not what I expected to happen for next year.

Okay, so on to other news. Mosh Posh is having a blog party... LOTS of prizes and fun there...check it out:
MOSH POSH BLOG PARTY

Still working on Etsy stuff... Hope to have more up next week. I'm behind on alot of things. I have some new things in the works.. just waiting to announce those when I get the go ahead. Secrets kill me! I am not good on keeping them... I just want to yell them to the world! Okay, hold off... I'll tell you that it's BIG and new...

I didn't post a new tutorial yet. I may have to hold off for a bit as I find myself so busy with a 4 year old home all day everyday this summer and a baby who is deciding that sleep is unnecessary but fussiness is not. It's challenging on so many levels. I am tired, short on patience, and annoyed that I'm home all day alone with too kids who do unexpected and annoying things but adorable and fun things too. It is tough being a SAHM... only for another 3 months. Then, I get to be a sodo mommy to 300+ kids all day every day in small doses. Hmmm... I have to believe life has reasons for all change.

Have a good day!
XOXO
JEN

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ETSY!!!

Yep, I did it! I opened an Etsy shop. I have been thinking about it for awhile and decided it was time. I need an outlet. Right now, there are only a few things there. I am working on some scrappy embellishments and fun tags to sell too. I am also doing a few baby related items. Those should be up sometime soon. As soon as I find a supplier of cute onesies to alter. I'm so excited to start this... I will be featured some of my art on there soon too. Here's the link : Florish and Bling

Okay, I forgot all about Serendipity Sunday! It was Mother's Day and well, I was being mothered. We went out to lunch with the IL's and then dinner at Mom and Dad's. The kids were fine until later in the day... Mark got wound up and was being extra sassy. My dad even had had enough of him. Well, not him in general, just his attitude. He never gets annoyed with him, so you can imagine how annoying he was being. Over all, it was a nice day.

So, onto my Serendipity Wednesday picks (for this week only)... back to our regular schedule next week.

Copperinc's shop on Etsy is full of journal like prints and text incorporated into paintings or commentary on everyday life. The drawings are charming and the images are figurative mostly... Here is one of my favorites in her shop... Grumpy People

And this one... Her Pretty Manners


PearsonMaron's shop is fun and whimsical... I LOVE this little sculpture. Cloud Factory... simply adorable and child like. There is a whole series of these... I think I must have this one or the Rainbow Factory! So cute!
The above sculpture is also based on lore and tall tales. LOVE that it is mostly white with a hint of color for interest. This would be charming in a child's room or knick knack shelf. I am charmed.

CottonBird Shop is adorable little birds made of papers and old vintage maps. Just genius! It's my bird love talking!!! I just love these so much... especially the house with the birdie. I'm all about old vintage papers and fabrics right now too!
They are so cute and fun that I want a whole flock for my artroom!

Okay, that's it for today... I'll be back tomorrow with another video tutorial... BTW.. if you are having difficulty hearing me over my playlist, just pause the playlist music for the duration of the video clip. I love my playlist so I don't want to take it off, but it is irritating to try to hear me on the video over the loud music. Sorry.... Enjoy the day. It's a gorgeous one here. XOXO

Jen

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cardboard Tutorial and other ramblings

Here is your tutorial this week... It's on how to create the torn cardboard backgrounds that I use on my layouts. More recycling!!! It's easy and gives lots of texture to your page.

video



Leave a comment here for a RAK of Prima goodness again!!! Comments close at midnight on Wednesday, May 13th.



Okay, other news... ScrapMojo #34 is up!! It's all about Cinco de Mayo and PARTYING!!! I really want to go to Margaritaville someday in Key West and PARTY with yummy frozen drinks, beach clothes and weather and of course, Jimmy Buffett! That's my dream...
Here's my layout for inspiration:









Sunday, May 3, 2009

Serendipity Sunday

I hope everyone had a productive and fun NSD! I finished 4 pages! I will upload those later but I wanted to share my Bad Girls Kit projects for May. Here they are in the completeness (is that a word???)...



I loved this kit so much that I have a few other projects that I'm doing with the scraps! I hope to finish those soon and post them. This kit is full of vintage and lush embellishments and papers. I truly loved creating with it and felt that these are some of my best layouts! I want to say that Wendy truly has a talent for picking product that goes together beautifully!!! XOXO...
Hurry!!! Get your kit today before they are all gone!
On to the second part of the post.... Serendipity. It's a word that I love! I love to browse the internet for inspiration and share with others my favorite things. Here are three fun finds:

  • Sally Mankus has the most amazing images on fabric using a carbon transfer process that I have ever seen! I must find out how she does this! I love the effect! Here's her artist statement:
Much of my work has evolved from a unique process of lifting rust, carbon and markings from charred surfaces (mainly bakeware). The work explores layered and diverse meanings incorporated in everyday, overlooked objects one would find in the home. The work has moved into the realm of installation incorporating numerous domestic items, primarily items used in the ritual of preparing and serving food. Objects (pans, pot lids, napkins, etc.) and materials (rust, carbon) used are so common they become symbols in a universal language. Photography has become a part of the work in the form of manipulated (sometimes layered) Xeroxed images. Participation in the work involves not just the visual, but sound, smell, taste and touch. The viewer is invited to look more closely at that which is and has been experienced on a daily basis. Objects and images take on multiple, often contradictory, meanings leading to diverse interpretations.

I am truly in awe of her work and I might have to try more image transfers! I love the distressed and artistic look they give to the surfaces.


  • Tricia McKellar's work is truly another favorite that I have found... If you know me at all, you know that my work has featured alot of bird, nest, and motherhood symbolism. I am fascinated with all bird references right now. So, this artist caught my attention right away. Her bird series is specatular! I am awed by the quality of her images and the colors she creates! I also love her other work with machinery drawings and nature combined. It is truly worth the time to look! She has an Etsy shop too with her work.. just go to her site and click on an artwork and it will take you there!
  • Browsing Etsy, I found a shop that has gone green with jewelry... Beadkeepers.
I love the textures and there are nests!!! Such a great find!! All items are made with found or natural materials...



I hope you enjoyed the art today! Don't forget to post on Thursday's thread for a chance at a RAK! If you were a winner in the last 3 tutorials, please email me!!! I want to get your prizes out by Friday or they will go back in the pot for future RAKs!

xoxo,
Jen