Friday, April 29, 2016

An Art Teacher Vacation Day to Play!

We decided that we needed to get some regional art teachers together over the spring break (this past week).  After considering serious professional development topics, we decided that what we REALLY wanted was a relaxing art-making play-date!
 I suppose I should explain who the "we" are.  It includes me, obviously; I serve as region rep to the state board of our art teacher organization, NYSATA.  And it also includes my "partner-in-crime", our region chairperson Kathleen.  (You can see Kathleen in the photo below with the skeleton apron.)  We enjoy working together as a team to plan for our region.  Kathleen is a newly joined member of the Fiber Guild, and thought it would be fun to use this "play-date" to give folks a chance to try their hand at wet-felting, and spinning, and such.  At this idea, my spirit took a nose dive, because, well, I'm kind of sensitive to wool.  Being around a lot of it makes me itchy, and makes my eyes water.  So would this mean I couldn't participate in the play date?  I didn't want to be left out.  So Kathleen suggested that, in another room, I lead a workshop in embellishing usable/wearable items, with oil-based paint markers, acrylic paints, and more.
So we organized the day, free for our region members, and got the message out.  There was some skepticism among others we work with; they guessed that everyone would be busy starting their vacationing and wouldn't be interested.  But it turned out great!  I think, in the end, 15 people showed up, and all  had a relaxing fun day learning, playing, and creating. You can see some of the items people made, in this picture of the whole group, below.  That's me in the red apron. 
In the "wool room", people were making wet-felted flowers, and learning to spin batting (I think I'm saying that correctly, but I'm really not sure).  And also, dyeing silk scarves!  (I admit to sneaking in for a bit and dyeing a scarf or two...)
 In "my" room, participants were embellishing mostly tote bags, aprons, and shoes. Everyone got to experience everything, switching rooms after lunch.
The photos in this post are all from this fun, relaxing, artsy day!!  We invited our neighboring region as well, and one person drove three hours to come and play with us!!!  She's a blogger too; you can read her blog here.  That's her in the pic below, working on her tote bag.
 Did you get a chance to make anything fun over spring break?  Did you create alone, or did you get to have an art play-date too? It can be inspiring to see what others will create in a group setting!!  By the way, I worked on a couple of things - besides my scarves, I also embellished my Blick tote bag, and also a pair of  old clogs in desparate need of an update! Here they are!


  1. Wow! Inspirational! I want to know how you were able to get all that cool stuff AND offer it free to members.......

    1. Our members pay a membership fee for the state organization. A percentage of that amount comes back to our regional treasury. We feel that when possible, we should use that money FOR our members! I spent approx $90 for materials for my workshop, granola bars, and water bottles. I'm not sure how much was spent purchasing the fiber materials/silk scarves/dyes etc, but we were happy to provide this workshop! The only people who paid a fee were non-members of the state organization, NYSATA.