Sunday, March 24, 2013

A busy couple of days!! Papier-mache, and a childhood crush!

I have been crazy busy these last two days.  How in the world did I ever have time to teach full time?  Yikes!

I am a night-owl, in my retirement now staying up late and rising about 8am, when you are all already hard at work.  But not this Friday!  On Friday, I spent the day in my former art room, getting up really early for the first time in ages. My replacement was beginning papier-mache projects in grades 3 &5, and with no prior papier-mache experience other than attending a workshop I taught, she was nervous and wanted guidance/assistance and I was happy to volunteer.  I consider myself a huge papier-mache aficionado!  So we worked on building internal structures, and I also demo-ed some of my technique for applying the papier-mache to the armature.  The kids were excited to see me and I had a fabulous time with them. As you can see in the photos, the 5th graders were using stuffed paper bags and assorted other materials to create silly monsters.  The last three of these armature images are samples I built while demonstrating.

And then I made a visit to the library in the town of my former school, where my replacement had hung an annual student art display for the month of March.  Great display!  But I had slept poorly, practically not at all, the night before, and I was exhausted.  I was planning a pit stop at the gym on my way home, but my head was pounding and I just wanted to put on my ratty sweats, curl up on the couch with brainless TV and order take-out!  Which is what I did.

Then, I was up early again Saturday morning, to attend a board meeting of NYSATA, my state art teachers association (I serve as a region rep).  The meeting was in Albany, an hour from home.  Luckily, I worked out an arrangement with my sweet hubby to drop me off while he did something else in Albany, and he picked me up after the meeting ended in the afternoon for the 1/2 hour drive to another location where we had concert tickets, stopping along the way for some dinner.  Then, at almost 11pm, the concert was over and we were back in the car driving 1-1/2 hours home again, tired but happy.

After more than 45 years, I had finally seen my teenybopper idol live and up close, and he was as adorable now as he was then.  Move over Paul McCartney; Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone, you still have my heart!  For those of you 'youngsters' out there, you probably don't have a clue who I am referring to.  But any female near my age (60) will know!  Peter was the lead singer of Herman's Hermits, a British invasion (musical invasion, that is!) band of the 60's that had a string of hits in the US. He was still a teenager himself (only 5 years older than me!) when I fell in love with him around 1965, with his cheeky wit, adorable toothy smile, twinkling blue eyes, shaggy blond hair, and catchy tunes.  And now, at the ripe old age of 65, he still maintains all of those characteristics that made me and my girlfriends swoon.  And, amazingly, he still sounds the same!  Mrs Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter; There's a Kind of a Hush; Silhouettes; Can't You Hear My Heartbeat;  I could keep going; he sang them all, and the audience went nuts. My teenage dream, fulfilled after 48 years!

Meanwhile, below the photos of Peter, which I shot with the amazing digital zoom of my trusty old Canon PowerShot, are photos of student art done under the tutelage of my replacement.  She started a blog a while back, but has just been too busy to even think about posting, so she's OK that I'm showing the work to you, I'm sure.    A word about those photos - they were shot with my still relatively new Nikon, which I am having trouble loving right now.  I do not feel that it is autofocusing sharply, and I don't understand why not.  These pictures lack the crispness I expect and I'm frustrated.  If anyone can offer any advice, it is appreciated!  Here are the photos. (By the way, as usual I am  having weird formatting issues, so forgive me for any strange layout and spacing of this post.)

I love these 3rd grade painted paper birds.  The nests were made with strings pulled from burlap, when the same students were doing burlap weaving!  Clever re-use of material!
 Tooling foil, Sharpies, construction paper and construction paper crayons were used for the Mexican mirrors below; next to them are burlap weavings.
 How cute are these triple-view snowmen below?  I'm not sure what grade they were made by; 2nd, maybe?  And then are pics of some 4th grade wampum belts, and 5th grade woven pouches, both using processes that I had done with the kids in past years.  My replacement, however, had the kids make the pouches a slightly larger size, so they could be used for iPods or cell phones!  Cool idea.  The macrame owls were made by 6th graders.
 And somehow this sideways photo ended up here, so I'll leave him.  He's a papier-mache 'monster' I made several years back, that now resides with my friend 'C' in the middle school math room.  We borrowed him to show the 5th graders a finished monster, and so they could get an idea of what kind of embellishments might be added for the final step.


  1. LOL my sister was at that concert and the Gazette gave it a great review. I can believe you had a ball! Oh, and did you see anyone there who looked like me? It was my sister.

  2. I'll have to look for the review! It was a really fun concert. There were a LOT of people there; I didn't even see my old friend who I knew was there! Did your sister enjoy it?

    1. Awesome fun ! I'm surprised at how many similar projects the new art teacher has incorporated what an honor!

    2. Yes- the 4th grade wampums relate to their social studies curriculum so I'm glad she was able to continue the project. I was surprised she took on weaving those pouches in her first year with these kids because of the time it takes to make them, but I think she did a better job than I ever did with them! She has also incorporated a lot that she found on the logs- some great stuff!!

    3. Yes my sister enjoyed it very much. I sat with my dad for the evening so she could go! Fortunately for us it's a lot closer then it is for you! I'll have to go next time I hear they perform a couple times a year.