Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Progress made.. I found a rug

 The final touches of the home renovation (ie decorating) are taking forever.

But we finally found a rug that we liked, could afford and was available!

So yay!

Are you an "inch deep and a mile wide" or a "mile deep and an inch wide" person?

If you have read even a couple of my blog posts, you know that I have a great love of learning and that I am all about figuring out something new. 

I have recently figured out that not everyone thinks like this.. :) And this got me thinking and wondering.. 

Are you an "inch deep and a mile wide" 
or a "mile deep and an inch wide" kind of person?

This "inch deep and a mile wide" philosophy guides my teaching style as well. I really want my students to experience all kinds of art so that they can move into the next phase of their lives saying that while they may not know much about something, they at least have had first hand experience with a technique or art medium.

To that end, I am having one of my art 1 classes learn how to make slip, pour molds and make ceramic pieces.

It is messy and fun and so cool to watch students who have been given the freedom to learn, create, FAIL and then finally succeed!

Maybe that is why I am such a proponent of the "inch deep and a mile wide" philosophy... When you are willing (or required) to learn new things, you have to understand that failure is part of the process. But if you only do what you already know how to do, you don't have to worry about the possibility of failure.

That's not to say that choosing to get really good at one thing is bad. We need both kinds of people to make the world work. But my question for those of you who are "mile deep and an inch wide" people is.. don't you get bored? It's a real question. I'd love to know your insights!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

My Amazing Middle

Parenting is hard.

Many days I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water. 

The last few weeks have been worse than normal. Maddie had a horrible October, as most of her October's in her life have been starting with her very first one at five months old sixteen years ago! She was sick every day of October. It was scary.

In the midst of this, my healthy girls get less than the best of me. It's not that they get forgotten, but everything slides. Homework, chores, bathtime.. the routine goes out the window and we all suffer.

You would think by now I could have figured out how to parent a chronically ill child as well as how to parent healthy children.

I haven't.

My heart's desire this fall is to learn how to be a better all-in mom to my middle child. Lexi is my "mini-me" and she is at a crucial age that needs me to be focused on her.  Sixth grade is tough enough on a kid without having a mom distracted by the continual health needs of an older sibling and a vocal little sister!

So how am I going to be all in? I don't know. But I'm going to start tonight by inviting my girl to go out for Starbucks after I teach my evening class. It may just be a few stolen minutes here and there, but I have to be intentional about these moments or the years will pass and I will miss the opportunity to get to know my amazing middle.

Monday, October 17, 2016

I fixed our broken recliners!

I'm rather proud of myself. I fixed the two broken recliners on our couches. Sidenote: my side is just fine. Doug has broken his side on two couches! 

We were so frustrated with them that we were looking at new furniture. But it wasn't in the budget. So I decided to try to fix it. 

Who knew it would be that easy!

And should he break another one in another 6 months, no biggie. A $10 fix is all it takes!

I was so excited about it that I made a snapguide tutorial. I haven't done that in probably 2 years!

Check out How to Fix a Broken Recliner by Emily McLemore on Snapguide.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Nail Polish Flowers.. Not a simple Pinterest Project!

I don't spend much time on Pinterest. I am too busy. However, while looking for something else, I saw "nail polish flowers" and really liked them. I have quite a few art 2 students that are not gifted drawing or painting students, so I am looking for ways to reach them using non-traditional means. I'm also looking for cheap and simple projects that can have a big wow factor. 

Nail polish flowers seemed like they might be a cool project that wasn't too hard and looked great.

Knowing that the way things look on pinterest and real life are often not even close, I looked up a couple of tutorials and found that tacky glue was a necessary, yet left out instruction on most of the pinterest pins.

I didn't have any tacky glue. So I tried Elmers. Don't. It doesn't work.

So I bought some tacky glue. I already had wire and nail polish.

I made a simple wire flower with petals that were about an inch long. This is not a big flower.


This was not easy. The center worked because it was rather small so the glue didn't have much space to span. But filling the petals was hard!

It wasn't impossible, but it took me almost 2 hours to get five petals filled with glue. Crazy.

After I finally got all of the petals filled, as they dried, the largest petal broke. I refilled it and left it a little thicker this time!

After giving the petals an hour or so to get mostly dry, I decided to go ahead and paint the petals before something happened to my flower!

I was surprised at how simple this step was.

And there you have it. One simple nail polish flower made from a little wire, some tacky glue and nail polish.

And is this a project for my students? 

Well... I haven't decided. Getting the glue to stick to the wire in one think film was hard. I don't know that I am ready to hear my name and help together that many times in one class period! But man I can see in my mind the incredible projects that could be made with this process!! 

Nevertheless, I learned something new today and ultimately, that is my goal. One new thing everyday! I'd say "who would have thought" my new thing would be making a nail polish flower, but really for me, it fits! Now I have to go finish my bouquet!