The Small Places

I find myself feeling behind, when it comes to creating…again.  This school year I chose not to set a goal for creating (e.g. a specific amount of time to create).  I knew it was just not going to happen, therefore, why set myself up for failure?

Instead, I am finding time to create in small places.  Small projects that still allow me to create, but are not intimidating.

Each Christmas I am overwhelmed by the generosity and thoughtfulness from my students and their families.  Their gifts make me feel appreciated, loved, and remembered as a Specials (art, music, PE, Spanish) teacher.  I always write a thank you in hopes of conveying my appreciation, but this year I decided to make my thank yous!  Here was a “small place” for me to create!



I also made monogram mugs for my teammates.  Another small place.  Sharpie marker on a plain, store-bought mug, baked in the oven – and ta-da!  I really enjoyed designing and planning each monogram.


And this past summer, I made crayons for my classroom!  This turned out to be a not-so-small place to create.  It took me weeks, but I was able to work on them in short spurts.  Last year, I had my students peel and sort every last crayon that was in the classroom.  (This activity was surprisingly exciting for them.  I had students asking for more crayons!)  In muffin tins I melted down the old crayons in the oven at 250 degrees, let the pan cool, and then popped the entire pan in the freezer for a few minutes.  Ta-da!  Rainbow crayons that my students LOVE to use!  We have been using them for texture rubbings.  I found the crayons themselves to be rather beautiful.  Looking at them again, they are similar to my watercolors…




So instead of being disappointed with myself for not “creating” a big project or building a body of work, I am looking for the small places.

Posted in Art |


With my applied project much closer to being finished, I have more time to create.  I have been working on illustrating a children’s story written by a coworker.  It’s for a proposed book and children’s toy, so we’ll see!  Here’s a sneak peak:

Posted in Art |

Going Digital

I have been playing around with an ipad ap, ipastels, that a new friend and local artist, Bree Sauers (  suggested to me.  I love being able to draw anywhere with no clean up!  But I also miss the feel of the pastel, too.  I wonder if technology will one day be able to give me that tactile experience!

Posted in Art |

Getting into Flow

I will be honest, I have let my art making fall to the bottom of the to-do list since graduating from undergrad.  Other than a painting for my dining room, I have not completed a true finished piece since 2007…Once I am done with my master’s, my goal is to set aside time each week just for art making.


Here is a watercolor I did once school let out for the summer; I started painting as a way to clarify my thoughts for my applied project (art school term for master’s thesis).   Something compelled me to save the throw-away demonstration I did for my art club students.  It could just have been my inability to throw paper away…but I have layered on top, and I think have created the beginnings of a new painting series?

Posted in Art |


I’ve decided to work on making a book!  I want to do what I’ve asked my students to do this year — experiment with materials they’ve never used before & get to know them, build a dialogue.  So, I am going to make paper for my book.  I made paper for the first time with my 4th graders this year, and I’d like to explore the art form a bit more.

Posted in Art |