Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Summer "Off"

I learned yesterday that we have only been on summer break for two weeks. It's amazing that it feels like it has been two months! Well, at least a month anyways.  I'm sure other teachers have done this, probably on accident or regretted it as soon as they did it, where they think about how many weeks we actually have off. I did this today as the puppy took her afternoon nap in my arms. 
There are lots of links I'm stumbling past about the top five, ten or nine reasons we have our "whole summer off" and attempts to explain why it's so important for teachers to have the summer away from school. I'll jump on the bandwagon. Hey, it's summer and I actually have time to see the bandwagon AND jump on it! 
Here are how my ten weeks off this summer will be spent: 
Week 1- I cry because school is out and have a crazy weird feeling I'm forgetting something. I reflect on if I did enough for my students and make notes for next year. I wrap up any loose ends from my classroom which usually means playing Tetris with odds and ends so I can start vacation. I eat lunch without methodically planning out every minute for the next three hours. The dogs play so much because mommy is home that they are exhausted by 8:00pm. Win! 
Week 2- I rediscover my beautiful porches and all the other amazing rooms of my house. I relax in the quietness.  I blog, make art and garden. I potty train a puppy and snuggle lots with the dogs. I also pin lots of ideas for my classroom on Pinterest and read a book about writer's notebooks. 
Week 3- I miss school so much I take a week long training. I'm so lucky to work in a district with amazing technology training during the summer. I work a full day every day this week at my local high school and come away with a crazy to-do list! During this time, I learn about new curriculum, redo and update my classroom website, dream about the cool techie toys out there. 
Week 4- I spend every day with friends! So many I've missed during the year so I'm be booked for coffee dates, luncheons and dinners. When not with friends, I work on that to-do list I created last week for my classroom. Oh, and there's this great book by Ron Clark I've been wanting to read! 
Week 5- Fourth of July is already upon us. I host friends and that means all those projects I neglected during the school year must get completed before company comes! Oh, and I'll read books I've picked up for my classroom library and complete one of those projects from the to-do list for my classroom. 
Week 6- I get to travel to see my family and spend time with the littlest niece! 
Week 7, 8, 9- I take a class to learn about the new science curriculum.  I get to develop lessons for the NGSS (next generation science standards) so my students have hands-on, student centered activities. Collaboration with other teachers and dreaming big for what we want for our students is nice during this summer class. 
Week 10- Time to prepare my classroom! The students come back in a week and I have tons of boxes to unpack, a library to reorganize and all those ideas I gathered all summer get to take flight now!  

When you know a teacher "taking the summer off," realize that means we are recharging our batteries while preparing for our next school year! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

This Beautiful Life: 2015

The current collection at Kelly's Bakery & Cafe is titled The Beautiful Life: 2015. It has been awhile since I put my artwork together as a collection but they were all coming together so perfectly this time! I really enjoyed using some old letters that I bought when Blooming Grove Academy closed to create different sayings. I've used the letters on top of my upcycled cabinet and utilized various filters and editing features to get really cool images. 
I also used the letter to create parts of words in my collage pieces or to create negative space. 
{this piece has already lived several lives- it was a Christmas piece that I re-upcycled again into this! I love the square frames so much!}
This framed collage piece is one of my favorites (I know, I shouldn't have favorites but this one really hits my favorite colors and techniques).  Most of my frames come from estate sales, garage sales, friends leaving things on my porch or from roadside finds. However, sometimes stores have crazy sales on pieces. This had a horrifying pig picture in it so I got it for just dollars! Luckily, there were like three horrible pigs! I'll have to stay on the lookout for the wolf now! 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Rainy Days and Mondays

It was a rainy week here in Illinois. We finally got some snow today but when I started this piece earlier during our winter break, it just kept raining. 
I found some paint that I had painted a cabinet with years ago! Probably nine years ago! So, when I opened the cans the paint had separated and made these wonderful colors. The density and texture of the paint was really interesting and I loved watching it on the canvas.