Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tidy Retirement

I am wondering what retirement holds for me.  Though I have have 30 years' worth of summer vacations, off from school with which to practice, they have been spent with deadlines in mind.  Parts of my summers were always spent trying to reinvigorate my lessons.  The creative part of me got a good push because the time to do it was so short.  It was a kind of "now or never" thing.

My first day of retirement, I got some of my goals knocked off my "to do" list.  I applied for substitute teaching and I checked out an artisans' gallery.  The subbing will be an occassional thing, meant to fund vacations and play.  The artisans' gallery didn't look that promising.  The artist behind the reception desk said that it was pretty slow there.  His lack of enthusiasm didn't inspire me into donating 20 hours every 2 months and for giving up 30% of my sales.

So now I am looking around online, checking out all the arty stuff I have not had the time to oogle at the last few years.  What's etsy like these days?  How are crafts fairs doing now?  Are there any teaching or craft sales opportunities I don't know anbout?

Hopefully, in retirement, I will be inspired to do a heck of a lot more than to keep a tidy house.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Retirement.....the Rest of My Life Begins











The last weeks of school were tough.  For one thing, everything that I didn't give away or haul home, had to be packed up for summer storage and cleaning.  Three days before the end of school, I found out that the room I was in was no longer going to be an art room.  So, I had to go back and pack everything ........... EVERYTHING........... in boxes and on carts so it could be moved downstairs.  Ugh.  A little more notice would have been nice.

Then there was grading and finishing projects.

And there were parties.  Retirement parties and gatherings.  This was the nice part.  The instructional assistants gave me a party.  We ate all sorts of dishes from their home countries.  We danced and we laughed.  Three of the I.As, who were from Egypt and Iran, belly danced!  It was so much fun.  I am going to miss those ladies so much.

My art, music and p.e. team honored me at our end of the year picnic and that was a lot of fun.  More laughing. Lots more eating.

The art teachers served by the closest high school took me out to eat at my favorite restaurant.  I love that bunch of ladies.

The school honored me and the assistant principal, who was also retiring.  We did a crazy dance routine in orange wigs.  We twerked.  We Wu Tanged.  We Stanky Legged.  You would not believe what we did.  It was a big hit.  (I would post the video but I don't want to see myself on some tv show as "crazy old ladies twerking.")

And then the school board honored retirees at a formal ceremony.

On the last day, I took pictures with special friends and missed photo ops with even more special friends.  I crammed my truck with way too many books and supplies that I just couldn't leave behind and I drove myself home.

Now the unpacking begins and I am left figuring out how to spend my "golden" years.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Eleven Days Left

Third graders... I have taught some of these kids since they were in preschool. I will miss spending time with 8 year olds who must be the happiest people on the planet.

The time is flying by faster than I would have imagined.  As of this morning, there were only 11 days left in my full time teaching career.   It is incredibly exciting, but I admit that it is a little scary too.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Retirement Countdown

A second grader asked me today why I had a picture of Sacajawea on my door and why she had a number by her. "Is that how old she is?"


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pysanky Ornaments for Christmas

Before Easter, I had lots of commissioned work for my pysanky.  People were ordering them for the holiday.  But now I am still getting commissions, only they are for Christmas ornaments.  I am so happy to still have reasons to do my eggs.  It is nice to be able to do the work, but not to have a bajillion of my own eggs around the house.







Before I pass them along, I glue a gold ring on the top so it can be hung.

I am having so much fun!!! 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Displaying My Paper Sculpture

The snip that I cut for my  retiring high school art teacher is all boxed up and ready to ship off to my sister.  My hometown is two hours away in the best of traffic, and three plus on most days, so it will just be easier to let my sister take care of the set up for me.

The small 3D pieces that I make are easily set out flat.  Some folks use the loop of monofilament on the top and hang them.  At home, when there is little breeze around to disturb them, they pretty much stay in place.  However, having a large one on display in public presented problems.  I cut this piece thinking that it would sit on a pedestal, but I didn't consider the fact that the breeze from folks moving around would make the snip fall over......often.  Hanging it like a mobile from the wall was an option, but I don't know what kind of hanging system they use.

And on top of everything else, I had to think of a way to display the piece that would not be too much of a hassle for my sister to have to deal with.

Worrying about the display woke me up multiple nights this week.  I conjured up several solutions and finally came up with what I thought was a good solution. So, this afternoon I shopped for the things I needed to construct it.  On a fluke, I stopped by the thrift store to see if there was anything there that would work. 
I was happily surprised to find a heavy wire stand, made to hold this funky, bejeweled candle.  Though the size was right, I wasn't convinced that it was going to work, but for a buck and a half, I wouldn't be losing too much.

Well, it turned out that it works pretty well.  I asked Mark to chose which one he liked the best and he chose this one. The snip is suspended about an inch off the table surface.  It should provide enough stability to not fly off the pedestal.

Phyl asked how both my art teacher and I are both retiring the same year.  I took my first art class my junior year in high school and my teacher was only a couple of years out of college.  She's only 7 years older than me.  The woman is well preserved though. I am envious!



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tribute Piece - Scherenschnitte for my First Art Teacher

My first art teacher is retiring.  (So am I, in case you didn't know!)  My home town is having an art show in her honor.  Former students have been asked to submit work.  So I made a snip for her. 

It is the largest paper sculpture I have done and it took me probably 20 hours or so from start to finish.  (Though I have yet to figure out how to put it on display without having it fly away when a breeze hits it.)

The figures represent parts of her life.  There is one figure of her painting.  There is a clothesline with tee shirts hanging that represent her annual tee shirt design for the town festival.

There is an image of her walking her dog and on the opposite side is her with her family.  Up in the tree limbs are hidden art supplies.  Palettes, paint brushes, tubes of paint and buckets of paint are just a few of the items.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cave Egg

This is a gift for a lady, who I don't know, who is right now driving my truck. Mark went to a caving convention in another part of the state this weekend. Yesterday, he made a misstep in a cave, and dislocated his shoulder. He made it out of the cave and they drove him to the nearest ER to set it back in the socket. He is better today, but thought better of driving my truck home. So some local lady who was at the convention is driving my truck back here as we speak.
The egg features a caver crawling in a cave and has bats covering the whole rest of the egg.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Acid Etched Brown Eggs

When dying eggs, I found that the normal store brand eggs didn't take dye well.  In my search for a solution, I read where organic eggs had not been treated with the same chemicals as the regular eggs.  The chemical treatments were what kept the dyes from taking properly.   As I went to buy the organic eggs I discovered that there was a national shortage of organic eggs.  Figures.

A friend of the family sells eggs produced on their farm, but it turned out that they only had brown eggs.  This led me to look into how to do pysanky with brown eggs.  One of the things I discovered was acid (vinegar) etching.  This weekend I finally had the time to try it.

Here is what I got:




You draw on the egg with wax, the same as you do a normal pysanka design.  Then, instead of dipping the egg in dye, you let it sit in the vinegar for a while.  The acid in the vinegar eats away the layers of the egg.  The longer it sits, the deeper into the shell you go, and it turns out that it gets whiter as you do deeper.

The last steps of the process involve varnishing the egg then emptying the yolk.  I am a little concerned about the strength of the shell as I puncture it.  We'll see how it goes.