Monday, December 21, 2015

A gift for my dad

My dad is an amazing man. He is a daily example of unselfish love. 

Over the years he has spent countless hours helping me with my art program, tackling chores that most people not only don't want to do, but never see. For example, just last week he sorted, washed, dried and stored a thousand soiled flag blanks for me. And these weren't just dirty.. they were rodent soiled from being in cardboard boxes in a storage building. UGH! 

So anyway, I wanted to do something to show my appreciation and I've been wanting to try a new art project, so I figured this would be a good time. When I think of my dad, I think of music and art. Specifically, screen printing... and I just happen to have access to some of the screens that he used in his business for twenty plus years!

I pulled this photo off my dad's facebook page. This is so him!  In fact, this was him in his early twenties.

I took the picture and edited it in photoshop and used it to draw on the silk screen. I used a couple of different kinds of sharpie markers as I found that the plain sharpie dried a grey color, but the one that was created for fabric dried black. You can see the difference in the two below.

Here is the piece in process. I ended up going over the entire thing a few times as I liked the dark contrast on the screen. (If I had time, I would have used both shades to create more depth.. but no time!)

Here is the piece complete.

It was so much fun giving him the gift. 

I have to say, this was one of the best gifts I have ever made. I loved creating it and I loved giving it! I know that what made it special was the meaning behind not just the piece but the screen as well.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A new tradition, the interactive Christmas Pageant

Last Sunday we had an "Interactive Christmas Pageant" at church. It was so much fun and was such as success that we have decided that it is our new tradition!

So what did we do that made it so successful?

We took the stress out of it!  Instead of practicing for weeks and stressing everyone out about learning lines and making it to practice, we embraced our need for flexibility and said to everyone, if you can be here on Sunday for the pageant, great! Bring a soup to share and let's spend time together.

And that's just what we did.  I found a script that I tweaked for our church and we ran through it a couple of times with the kids during Sunday School, but we didn't ask anyone to learn lines, and no one was required to do/say/wear anything special.

We arrived early and got out all of our props.. fabric, a baby doll, some angel wings and some left over costume parts from a local elementary!

Yes, we really were that rag tag.

Here are Kylie and Kai... Mary and Joseph. They were absolutely adorable.

We had different youth read various parts of the script that outlined the story of Jesus' birth.

But those are the normal things...  what made this pageant special was we invited the adults to join the pageant as the "extras" and during each song (the congregation sang the songs to set the scene such as "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly"), different adults would come to the back and we would dress them as animals, shepherds, angels, wise people and so forth!

Below is a picture of the "animals." 

And as angels. Those little wings were hilarious on the adults!

and as Shepherds.

For the ending, the kids sang "Happy Birthday, Jesus."

Then we had our soup supper!

We had a lot of varieties!

This event was a lot of fun and I really think a huge part of it was the fact that families weren't stressed about it for weeks.  It was also great to watch different people get up to be a part of the service that don't usually volunteer.

So will First Presbyterian Church, Stephenville do this again? Absolutely! I'm already making a list of props I want to get for next year!  And Doug will be making a larger batch of his chicken and dumplings!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Jingle is back.

Jingle is back.

Doug did it. Not me.

Our kids have him totally wrapped around his finger.

Lexi asked if Jingle was coming back and lo'and behold, the next morning he arrived.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Simple Christmas

With life absolutely nuts, I'm purposefully taking things a little easier for Christmas. This means fewer decorations, fewer gifts and fewer obligations.

In fact, while I had already explained to the girls that we were going to be doing the 4 gift Christmas this year (1 gift you want, 1 gift you need, 1 gift to wear, 1 gift to read), I was reminded tonight of why we all need to refocus.

Because you see, while Kylie and Lexi were decorating the tree, Kylie thought it was fun to place the little elf figurines with the nativity scene. And that BOTHERED ME!! 

I am completely aware that my sweet girl had no disrespect in mind, but really? Is this were we are at? Has elf lore taken over my home?


I quickly called on my pastor/husband to explain in a calm fashion that the elf means nothing. In fact, the elf isn't making an appearance at our house this year. "Jingle" is needed elsewhere.. and that's cool. We have Jesus.


As I worked on my digital portfolio for my class, Maddie finished off the decorations for the tree.

 Thanks Mad.

And there you have it. Our decorations. DONE.

I'd say that was more than enough to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Art and Soul Painting Class

On Saturday afternoon I had a painting class at church (First Presbyterian Church, Stephenville). I invited my friends to come paint a nativity scene. And boy did they show up!

I had 40 people painting. It was so much fun!

We had moms and kids, friends and church members. 

Here are a few pictures of everyone painting.

It was a little crazy.

Thankfully Doug and Maddie didn't paint and helped by taking care of refreshments and ran interference with Kylie!!

And here are some of the finished products.

Everyone did great!!

I LOVE this picture!! :) :)

I realized this morning at church that I didn't get a picture of Lexi and Kylie together with their finished pieces, so here they are.

This event was such a success that I can't wait for the next one. 

I'm thinking February...

Monday, November 30, 2015

Perler Bead Gift

One of the best parts of being a teacher is living life in community with your students.

This week, I had the opportunity to be at the christening of a couple of my former students baby.  I had both mom and dad in art class a few years ago, I attended their wedding two years ago and now I had the joy of seeing their baby boy welcomed into the church.

How cool is that.

Well, I couldn't go empty handed and I didn't want a traditional gift. This couple is fun and quirky and likes odd things.

So perler beads it was!

I messaged the grandmother and asked for a picture and then got to work.

I didn't realize when I made the template that I made it quite so large...

Each square is 29 beads across by 29 beads down. That's a lot of beads times 9+ squares.

Here are the first 3 squares ironed together.

And here is the completed piece. Well, this is 6 squares. I left off the bottom row as I ran out of time. (I wanted to complete the rest, but I realized that 6 rows took 14 minutes.. so in order to complete another row I needed another 3+ hours easily.. and this was if my daughters allowed me to think!)

So instead of continuing, I took it to our local frame store and they helped me. Truly, in 2 hours they framed this thing. (That's why you shop local people.)

Isn't it awesome framed!

And here is the gift delivered. I love the fact that the dad took it out of the wrapping and immediately said "perler beads" and grinned!

And there you have it. A non-traditional baby gift for a couple that I dearly love.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A 4H Seamstress

During the month of October, Lexi learned how to sew!  She under the guidance of her mentor, a retired seamstress Linda, made a dress for the local 4H competition!

Lexi did incredible!

Lexi learned about the entire process from picking out a pattern and choosing fabric to sewing seams and putting in a zipper.

I was and am amazed at her work ethic and ability.  Miss Linda didn't sew this dress. Lexi did!  Can you believe it?!

After the dress was made, Lexi wore it to the local 4H competition. We have never been to anything 4H, but I have been watching 4H and FFA kids for years and am always so impressed with their public speaking, their work ethic, their manners and just their way of handling adversity.

I want this for Lexi. ( I also want scholarships for college.. but we are a little young for that as of yet.)

Anyway, Lexi competed in the Junior Construction Dressy category.

She not only had to interview (maybe the hardest part of this entire process for her) but she had to model her dress as well. She was MAD at me about this as she was blindsided. But so was I! When I say we didn't know what we were doing, I'm not joking.

But she did FABULOUS.

Here Lexi is at the competition.

 Lexi won a 1st place ribbon and advanced to the District round. (We didn't even know that you could do this!)

Here are all of the local competitors.

And then it was time for the District 4H competition. As a Junior, Lexi was not eligible to advance to the state meet. (Good to know.. something to prepare for when she gets to high school!)

The competition was 2 hours from home and it started at 9am. I'm glad I got this picture of Lexi as they were calling role as this was the last time I saw her until she was finished at noon!

She then had a break as she wasn't competing in the other events. (shock.we didn't know about those either. next year...)

Then it was time for the fashion show. This time Lexi knew what to expect, but she was still very serious. She did think having a raised platform to walk on was rather cool.


Lexi won 1st place in her category!


 Pretty cool stuff.

And what will she be sewing next year? No clue. Lexi and Miss Linda have a great bond and I'll leave it up to them!