Monday, September 1, 2014

Life and Labor


Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

     Happy Labor Day Yall! So I'm sure most of us are off today and I for one am very thankful for any holiday that gives me an extra day off! Never really looked up the history of Labor Day before, just kind of figured it was a day to honor those that have worked and contributed to our country through their hard work and taxes. So I Googled it, and seems I was pretty spot on. Maybe at some point in one of my history classes I heard about this...who knows? So in honor of Labor Day, lets talk about crazy jobs! What have you done? What has been the best and worst (come on, we all have had that job from hell!), and what is your dream job?

     My working career started at a very early age, I had my first paying job at 12. I grew up in a family of 5 kids and we all had chores, but we didn't get paid for them. My parents saw it more as an indentured servant type of deal haha!!
Growing up I really did use to think that my parents had all us kids to fold clothes, clean house, and load and unload the dishwasher. Now I realize they wouldn't have needed us to do it if it was just them. Oh the knowledge that comes with age! 
Also, growing up in a large family with a stay at home Mom and a Dad that is a full time pastor we didn't have a ton of money. Growing up if we wanted the fancy Doc Martins or Girbaud jeans we had to pay for them. I quickly realized that I would need a way to fund my spending wants. Oh and FYI if you are dying to relive your early 90s look you can still get yourself a pair of these babies online. I know some of you are now off to relive your youth! haha!!! 

So anyways...lets talk about jobs!

     My first job was cleaning a camp for one of my Dad's friends. It was a 3 bedroom trailer and I was 12. Thanks to my Mom and how we were raised I could clean house! I made around $30

    I then to went on to do what most kids do, I worked with my Grandparents. Who hasn't worked for Grandparents?? I loved that gig! I cut her grass and ironed for her. If you can believe this I ironed my Grandpa's handkerchiefs. He always had one with him and Grandma always made sure they were ironed. I got paid well and the working conditions were Great! 

     At 16 I got a job at the local grocery store, the IGA. I was in Homeschool and so I was able to work the morning shifts and then I would go home and do school when the after school kids came in. I ended up working with all of the older ladies  since I ended up with the 7 to 1 shift. I also got to be on a first name bases with all the little old men that would come in first thing in the morning for a paper and bread and milk. I worked that job for quite a few years and learned a lot about working with the public. 

Now I've always had a love of shopping and this contributed to me working many jobs. While I was still working at the grocery store I would also baby sit on my days off, still worked for Grandma, and I would work with my cousin cleaning yachts at the marina. For a 16-17 year old making $20-25 dollars an hour was good money!! 
    But one thing I learned for my time cleaning up after people that are rich and use to having someone clean up after them is not what I wanted to do. I also cleaned hunting camps and WOW! Thats even worse!! Men who are drinking and killing things and use to having maids and wives do not clean up after themselves at all!! And for some reason they seem to think that when you're at the camp anything goes. Like lets pluck ducks in the bath tub or kitchen sink...really?? Lets walk around with mud covered boots, get drunk and puke in the tub, leave inappropriate magazines and movies laying about, and what the heck while we're at it lets cook with every pot in the house and then leave them for the cleaning girls to wash. Yep, some of those days of cleaning up that sealed the deal for me that I would never be in a cleaning position as a job.

     Once I finished up with high school it was time to get a big girl job. I was still cleaning houses here and there and working at the grocery store, but I didn't want to go to college and my parents were like, "Well you need something to support yourself." So after thinking about what I liked to do I decided to go and take a floral design class. I had taken a college course on floral design when I was in high school and really loved it. I was also pretty good at it and thought, "This would be fun!" It may have had something to do with the movie "Bed of Roses" with Christian Slater (who wasn't in love with him??) So I took the class, passed with flying colors and got hired on with the local florist...the week before Valentines! Now my deep hate for red roses steams from this time in my life. Just starting out all I was in charge of doing was unpacking flowers, cutting them for the buckets, and cleaning up. I also made tons and tons of bows. Now during Valentines rush we processed 1000s of roses and one of the fun things you have to do with them is de-thorn them. This is not fun! Also, roses have a bacteria in/on them and if you stick yourself, which happens often when you are cleaning them, your hand swells up and makes for a very un-fun time. So I worked as a florist, both full-time and part-time for almost 5 years. Now during this time there were times when we were very slow and I worked other jobs. I was those big characters that people rent for kids birthdays. Yep I played everything from Winnie the Pooh, Mickey, Minnie, Barney, Tigger, and Elmo. I also did this for festivals and let me tell you how NOT fun it is to be in a hot suit, you can't see, and to have drunk people come up to you and say, "Oh, let me tickle me some Elmo!" 

It seems that I have always been working and in most cases done multiple things while holding down other jobs.
     I've cleaned houses, yachts, and camps.
Watched kids, and old people.
Been a camp counselor and lifeguarded for 6 summers.
 Was a camp cook at an AG campground in Alaska.
Painted houses.
Youth Pastored for 2 years.
Picked oranges.
Worked at a framing shop.
Worked in collections...yep, I was the person calling you if you didn't pay your bills.
Worked at library for 2 weeks...found out that was not for me! 
Worked Craft shows.
Worked in a wood-shop.
Florist for 5 years.
Dental Assistant, hygiene coordinator, 
and dental lab tech for 5 1/2.
Went through orientation and worked one week on the OR floor at a hospital in West Monroe.
Was a Cashier and Customer Servies at Lowes.
Worked at American Black Fridays and floorsets forever changed me!
Worked as a tutor for ADD and dyslexia kids.
I even tried my hand in small business and made and sold my own soap and bath products and also had my own ceramic shop at one point. 
      I'm now on my 6th year of teaching and during the last 5 years I have taught, World history, World geography, U.S. history, Civics, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Fine Arts Survey, Pottery, and Art 1, 2, and 3! 
     I also realized that this is the first time that I've only worked one job with no side jobs! 
But then I guess it's all at how you look at job may be a teacher but I find that as a teacher you are so much more. 
As a teacher you also tend to be a:
event planner
guidance counselor
life coach
security guard
crisis manager
maintenance consultant 
Etiquette and hygiene instructor
data analyzer
and of course
most feel that you should also be an entertainer.

By far the worst job for me had to be in cleaning and my favorite so far is teaching art. All of my jobs have taught me something along the way, have helped me build character, taught me about working with people in the public, and helped shape me into the person I am today. I've meet many great friends through these jobs and found out a lot about human nature and workplace friendships. I've learned that even the worst job can still be ok if you have the right people doing it along side you. Pay does not always constitute wither a job is good or not but it sure does help!

So what is my dream job? Well, that would have to be a millionaires wife...I just know I would be darling at it!! 
Or I would absolutely LOVE to work at Flow Magazine! If someone from Flow happens to read this I would be an awesome addition to your team!  

So what has been your worst job ever? What was, or is your favorite job? And what do you consider your dream job? 

~Till Next Time

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Favorite 5 Friday

 I've been neglecting my blog lately....something I tend to do.

 Well, here is my 5 of my recent Favorite things.

1. Food
Iv'e been trying some new recipes and found some that I love. I really haven't cooked a lot but I started lately and really have been enjoying it.
  I tend to Pin a bunch of things and I've decided that I wanted to start going through my Mmm Looks Good Enough To Eat board and find out if they really are good enough. 

Been playing around with making my own Spring Rolls

I also tried this dessert called Empty Tomb Rolls and wow they were amazing!!!

Ok, I stumbled on these while shopping the other day and WOW these things are very dangerous! They are soooooo good!

2. Coffee & Tea Bar
My new Favorite place in my house is my new coffee bar. I've always wanted one and now that I'm in the cottage and have some space I was able to put it together. I love my coffee mug shelf that one of my students made me and looking at this picture now it makes me laugh since it seems to sum up my life...The globes (Travel) & Coffee...yep thats all a girl really needs right??

3. The Phantom!!!!!

 I'm so excited!! Got my tickets and can't wait to see it in Nov.

4. Yoga
I've really been enjoying my yoga time and love that I have a class that I can go to twice a week. I've also been doing it at home and trying to get in some yoga time at least 3-4 times a week. I love that it makes me feel strong and how great I feel after doing it. I've still been getting in my gym time and glad that I am feeling healthier then I ever had.
Here is a pic my instructor took of me doing the Crow pose. I'm still working on being able to do a handstand.

5. Anything Monogrammed!

 Yep I did it...I got my debit card designed and it has my monogram on it! Love it!

 So I love that me and my family tend to think that anytime is a good time to give a surprise. I guess me and my sister get it from my Mom. This was my most recent surprise from my sister.
I know you're jealous!

So that is just a few of my Favorite things. 
Here is a peek at some invitations that I created for my upcoming 
Favorite Things Party. I can't wait, I'm sure it's going to be loads of FUN!!!

 ~Till Next Time

Saturday, August 23, 2014

We've Crossed Over...And There's No Going Back!

        I made the jump, I took the leap...I switched to a Choice-Based classroom. We're only 3 weeks in but I can say...there is NO GOING BACK!
It was very scary for me, and took me some time to wrap my head around all the changes that I had to make. I also had to figure out how to make it work since I was not going to do a full choice-based setting with my Art 1 class. My Art 1 kids come to me having never had an art class and have no foundation. So I made the choice to do a modified choice with my Art 1 and full choice with my Art 2, 3, and 4. I can say that just with the first couple of projects I am super excited to see what they are coming up with.
I had the Art 2 classes come up with a list of 15 different Themes. Then the classes voted on what theme they wanted to do first. I knew that they all had a working knowledge of drawing and sculpture. So the first two centers that are open for this theme is the Drawing Center and the 3D Sculpture Center. The theme that they picked was Vintage. Here is what they are working on:
First project was a 3D Name sculpture.
 Each student used foam board, the letters of their name, and the Elements and Principles of Art to create their sculpture. This is a great project for the students to review some of the skills that they used in Art 1.

For the Vintage themed project I have one that made a paper doll and is now designing her vintage clothes. She even made the baby doll today haha! Funny enough this student has never had a paper doll or really knew what they were LOL...I felt old!!!

Another is working on a Zentangle designed vintage record player. 

Now this may not look like a project but it's the beginning of what will be the backdrop for a vintage King Kong and Godzilla sculpture. It's going to have a 3D sculpture of the Empire State building and the student is going to draw Godzilla and King Kong on poster board with a cityscape and skyline in the background. I also foresee a short video when she is done :)

This is by far one of my favorites and I can't wait to see it when it's all done! 
Pop Art style, old school Chuck Taylor in paper-mache.

To give you some idea of the scale! haha Love it!

   These are just a few of the projects there are all working on something different and I have to say it's been fun!

Now I also have a couple of Art 3 students. They don't have to stick to the Theme. It's no holds barred.
I have to say that I was very impressed with what one of my students came in wanting to do. I asked her what she wanted to do for a project and her reply, "I want to build a city!" She comes back the next day with a sketching showing me an amazing rough draft of a city with all these different sections.
She's going to use all types of materials, and its going to have a city, suburb area, forest, seaport, mountain area, a lighthouse, castle, and even a tunnel. She's going to be painting, collaging, making 3D sculptures, and we've even busted out the Spray Foam!!

Using Spay Foam to make her mountain cliff area...See her tunnel in there?? 
Oh yeah, it's big! It's 4ft x 4ft

This is also the kid who when I asked her what she did over the summer and if she made any art brings these in to show me:
I showed a video in art class on spray paint street art. 
Over the summer she watched some Youtube videos and taught herself how to create these amazing spray paint artworks. 

To say that I was Amazed and awed is an understatement...oh and kind of felt like a proud parent haha!

And to top off all of the amazingness...she tells me she made me one!
She even made her own stencil to make the unicorns. I was so proud of her and love my new artwork!!!

So I've got a new Exit Ticket board. Each of my Art 2 and 3 students are required to post an exit ticket each day as a way to communicate to me what they worked on, what they learned, what they have questions about, and what additional help they need from me. So far it's working good. I did make each ticket worth a point.

Here's another Art 3 student working on a Picasso inspired button project.

I was super excited to find out that I won the Gelliarts give away. One of the soon to be opened centers in my classroom is going to be the Printing Center and I love all of the ways that you can use the Gelli Arts Printing Plate. I enter contest all the time but never win and then out of the blue I get an email saying that I won!!! Yay!!! Then they wanted to know a little about me, if I had a blog, and how I planned to use the plates. I emailed them back and told them about my classroom, the change to Choice-Based and my blog. This is what they posted on their Facebook page. I had over 150 hits that day on my blog. 

So now I'm waiting on my package to show up so I can start playing with all these awesome things!!!
Check out the Amazing Gelli Art blog here for all types of projects, videos, and beautiful inspirations.
You can get your own Gelli Printing plate Here (this is not a sponsored ad...just showing some love!)

So lots of changes to the art room and one of the best has to be that this baby is up and running! The Clay Center will be opening soon!!! And I know how blessed I am to have a kiln room with storage for clay in progress, and claying waiting to be fired. It's a dream art classroom!!!

So far a good first couple of weeks of school, everyone seems to be liking the art room changes, and only one more week till we get our long Labor Day Weekend. 

I will post a more soon since this has been all about school and I have been up to more then just work. 

~Till Next Time :) 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Choice To Go Choice-Based

“If you get 25 of the same thing from students, it's not a project, it's a recipe.”
     So I read the above quote over on one of my favorite art blogs  and it seriously messed with made me stop and go, "Oh WOW!...Geezz (hand-smack to face)." 
Seriously this blog, the teachers, and the projects blow my mind. I will admit that a dream of mine would be to spend a week just hanging out with Ian Sands and observe him in his classroom. 
     But anyway back to what this post is really about... I'm trying to wrap my head around a teaching concept called TAB: Teaching for Artistic Behavior; otherwise known as Choice-based art education. TAB classrooms treats students as artists and allows the students to decide what kind of art they want to make based on their interests and their own ideas. Most TAB teachers have their rooms set up with centers for different materials that students can use freely to create their artwork. 

     I experimented a little with this the last few weeks of school when the seniors left and I had smaller classes. I let my students pick their projects and medium and I was beyond surprised at what they completed. Here are just are just a few of what they created when I just let them loose:

     Now I'm reading books and trying to figure all this out for the new school year. I read this great article if you're interested in checking it out
     I know that I need to rearrange my classroom and figure out how I'm going to tackle things like grading and lesson plans. So for now I'm researching, reading, pinning, and planning while trying to wrap my head around all of this and how it will all play out in my classroom.  But I feel that I have to move into this direction and start teaching my kids how to be artists and not just produce "art recipes" that I assign them.  I'm a little freaked out about all the changes, releasing control, things failing terribly, looking like I don't know what I'm doing to my students, and just the extra work I know I will have to do initially. But I'm also looking forward to this new adventure, pushing myself to be a better teacher, providing an environment that fosters creativity in all students, and  helping to create students that are better artist...I mean, really isn't that what its all about anyway??

~Till Next Time :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Enjoying My Summer Break With Some DIY

     I may have mentioned previously that I was moving. It's not a big move by any means, just next door. I moved out of my tiny trailer to the cottage my parents were living in till they got their house done. Its like twice the size of my old place. Now it didn't have a kitchen and needed some fixing up. So since I am giving my passport a rest this summer (first time in 8 years I haven't left the country) I thought this would be the perfect time to do some DIY and Pinterest projects. The first project was to build a cabinet and some open shelves for the kitchenette I wanted to add. 
I had some help from my Awesome Dad to install the heavy countertop. Now I know that many of you think your Dad is awesome but well...mine is not only Awesome but I'm pretty sure he can do anything! 

So I built simple open shelves for the bottom cabinets. In this picture you can see that I still need to get my sink drains and water hooked up. I also decided that I wanted to go with open shelves instead of cabinets. I love how they turned out! I was even more excited that all of this was very cheap since my Dad donated the wood for the bottom cabinets and I got the shelves and brackets all on sale. I found the brackets for the shelves at Target on clearance and got them for around $1 each!! A little white spray paint and Wow! I love how all the colors of my dishes really POP on the white open shelves. Makes me Smile :)

I also got this cube storage on Sale at Target and it fit perfect under my counter. I added some cute colored scrap paper to the backs and some baskets and Love the outcome! 
The baskets are from Wal-Mart and the cute tins are from Tuesday Morning 

Now my kitchen area is really small and I wanted to find a small kitchen cart/island for it. I looked at a lot of them online and most were running somewhere between $150-200. So then I looked through Pinterest to see what ideas I would come across. There were some cute ideas but I hit gold when me and my friend Sammie went shopping at Treasure Hunts in MS. and found this great little treasure.
This is a cart that Target sells for $149 and I got for just $39!!

Now I wasn't a fan of the color or the hardware but I loved that it offered a great spine to build on.
So I used the vaseline method to distress the cart, some spray paint, some washi tape, and some old antique pulls I had for the drawer and door hardware. Love the completed project!

I was also able to snag this awesome orange stool at Garden Ridge for only $20 and super happy with my little island and breakfast spot!

Here are some other pictures of little things around my new cozy little cottage:
Love this sign to go by my coffee pot!

My coffee mug pallet shelf that one of my students made for me in shop class. Love how it displays my mug collection...well some of my collection haha!

An old clock that I decided needed a little bit of a facelift

Working on a gallery wall above my bed...its not done yet, and Yes, that is a Unicorn above my bed, and Yep, I sleep just fine :)

Still got a lot left to get done and I'm sure I will be posting more soon. This was all I had pics of right now. I'm pretty excited to get my wall done with all of my art that I have picked up on my travels. I'm doing a travel gallery wall and using this quote to go with all the beautiful paintings and art that I've collected. 
Love this quote!!!

It's always one of my favorite things to do is buy art from the local street artists. One of my favorite is from my trip to China and I bought it while walking the Great Wall. I even got to watch the artist finish painting it and that made it even more special to me to watch her create art right in front of me while I was taking in all the was around me. Just one of the many reasons I love to travel!!!


~Till Next Time