Sunday, May 29, 2011

365 Project: Week 20

This week brought a little of this, a little of that, and lots of love :)  

I'm LOVING the project my 7th graders are working on - I'm absolutely blown away every time by what they come up with - A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! They've inspired me to create a new project series that I plan to start this summer.... I'm SO EXCITED to start it and share it with you!

I LOVE the fact that a bird has built it's nest right out my front door - I'm like a little kid waiting to see it come to life!

I LOVE the fact that I finished TWO handmade books this weekend - I gifted one to my sister (the one pictured above) and am holding the other one as a 'prototype' for possible future books. VERY productive!

I LOVE the fact that I got to spend some quality down time with my sister (my roommate for 3 more days!), my Bella and Jasper and got to spend a few hours with my brother, dad, stepmom, etc. at my dad's 50th birthday party today. Happy Birthday, Dad!!

I am truly blessed!! Have a great week!
A big, huge, ginormous THANK YOU to our many veterans who have given their life for me to be blessed with the life I have - we all owe them so much. I APPRECIATE YOU!!! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Inspired Wednesday - Tippecanoe Art!

With our impending move to Indiana getting closer and closer, I've been researching different options for me once I get there! If I DO find a teaching job, GREAT! (I'm still searching...and it is daunting) If I don't find a teaching job for next year, I've started researching new art opportunities for me in the Lafayette area - things for me to be involved in whether I'm teaching or not! Here's a great video that was created by the Tippecanoe Arts Federation (TAF) advocating for the arts and education. (Tippecanoe is the name of the county we'll be living in - how funny is that?!:) This video gives me hope and gets me excited about what Indiana has to offer!

Thanks to our Realtor, Kristy Miley, for sending me the link to the TAF website! She's helping us on our way to our first real HOME! How crazy! Stay tuned for more information!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

365 Project- Week 19

This week brought some fun happenings IN and OUT of the art room! First of all, we are doing a super fun project in my Art 7 class - I play a song for the kids that they then 'visually interpret' in the form of lines and shapes on a large paper using only a Sharpie. We then take these designs and transform them into really awesome linoleum tessellation prints! (if you couldn't tell, this is one of my favorite projects!) This semester, the kids listened to THIS SONG - and they were really into it! It's such a powerful piece that the kids can't help but focus on and get INSPIRED by!

On Tuesday, we took a class trip to the Minnesota Zoo - it was SO MUCH FUN! I didn't expect chaperoning a group of nine 7th graders could be so relaxing! It was a beautiful day spent wandering the zoo and checking out an amazing 'Coral Reef' 3D IMAX! 

I was also awarded a 'Top 10' award in the annual Wisconsin DNR 'Great Lakes' Photo contest for this photo that I took when we were in Door County last summer for our 1st Anniversary: 

I was very flattered - it always feels good to be recognized for photos I take! You can check out the rest of the entries in the 3 different categories here. Being in the top ten, my photo may be chosen for the DNR's 2012 calendar - we'll see!

Top that off with an AMAZING weekend in Indiana with Justin and Bella exploring covered bridges and viewing possible houses to buy, (yay!) it was a great week!! 
Only 11 days of school left! Time is FLYING BY!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

365 Project- Week 18: Spring on, Spring off

This week was downright HOT, with sun and rain and storms. It was really nice - like spring had actually arrived! Then Saturday came... the day of the big 'garage sale' at my house... and it was 45 and raining. ALL day. My mom and sister Jenna (bless their hearts for keeping me company...I couldn't have done it without them!!) froze their butts off with me sitting in the garage to greet the few and the brave that came to check out the 'Best Sale EVER!' Oh, well. I tried! It was a fun day anyway despite the weather! 

Also this weekend, I went to see 'Bridesmaids' with my sisters - and laughed until I BAWLED. It was so funny. I highly recommend it.

On another note: We only have 3 1/2 weeks left of school!! Time is flying by! We're taking a class trip to the Minnesota Zoo on Tuesday - I LOVE the Minnesota Zoo!! I can't wait to see what photos present themselves there!!
This also means that I'll be moving soon to join my husband in Indiana (thank God... I'm missing him too much!) The movers are coming tomorrow to take an 'inventory' of our stuff - what a busy time the next month is going to be!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Inspired Wednesday - Songs in my head!

There are a few songs I've been listening to lately that I just can't seem to get enough of. 

The first is a cover of HOME by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros by a father/daughter duo (The daughter having the sweetest little voice I've ever heard in my life.) 

The second is one that my 6th graders ask me every single day to play over and over and when I play it, they all buckle down, focus on their work and bob their heads - I gladly play it daily to get them to focus AND because it's an amazing tune. It's called INTRO by the The XX - I found this great 'long version' on YouTube that someone mixed up (bless their soul) :)
 Enjoy! Feel free to listen over and over and over and over again! I do!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Inspired Wednesdays!

By Wednesday, I'm always ready for a little pick-me-up of some sorts to get me through the rest of the week, so every Wednesday I'm going to start posting something that's inspiring to me that week - and hopefully you can be inspired by it too! Now that spring is here - I'm finding that I'm getting my 'creative mojo' back! 

This week, I've been thinking a lot about how many awesome books I've read lately that have soon after become movies.I am somewhat of a trend follower when it comes to books but I figure there's got to be something to them if they're so popular!
I have been reading LOTS of books on CD lately during my drive to Eau Claire and back every day. It's really the only time I have to sit down and 'read' during the school year! If you haven't tried it, I would recommend trying it. It's not for everyone, but it really helps me to pass the time and 'read' books that I otherwise would never get to. (plus the radio just gets old after awhile...) 

Here are some books I've listened to lately that I would highly recommend putting on your summer reading list:

 Harry Potter By far, the most epic book series ever... I can't get enough. If you haven't read them yet, just do. If you have, it's time to re-read them! The movies are also spectacular. 
The Help (movie coming out in August! Trailer here)
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle A great story that takes place in Wisconsin and highlights the human/dog relationship (although I really disliked the ending, it's definitely worth a read) There's been talk about this one becoming a movie too! 
Water for Elephants I just saw the movie (trailer here) and it's AMAZING - GO SEE IT!! Water for Elephants was seriously one of the best books I've ever read. I listened to it and would HIGHLY recommend listening to this one on CD - to me, the voices MADE the story!  

** For the record, I did read the Twilight series and was really engaged - the books were page-turners! The movies aren't bad either, although I think it's the middle school teacher in me that enjoys this series so much, it's not for everyone.
I just recently finished reading The Hunger Games series (it's all the rave at school and beats out Twilight in my opinion!) 
I really enjoyed these books - a very interesting, political, futuristic fictional series that uses very strong metaphors for what our society is/could be like!
Now, if I know how to pick the made-into-movie books the way I think I do, this series is next!

Next on my list: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - have you read it? It has already become a movie (trailer here), which I haven't seen yet and is part of a Trilogy. (I didn't realize I was that much of a trend following series reader until this post - but they suck me in! I'm just a big middle-schooler inside I guess!)

Enjoy! Get reading!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

365 Project: Week 16 - A Rollercoaster of a Week!

Wow! This has been an emotional week! On Monday evening, as I was finishing up my project creating fingering charts (mind you, I've worked for MANY LONG HOURS on this project and was so close to finishing, I could taste it!) the flash drive that I had saved the ENTIRE project on fried. (I mean literally fried - burned up - the thing was HOT when I pulled it out of the computer...) Despite desperate attempts by myself and the Tech dept. at school, it was gone and along with it, all my many hours of work. I was pretty upset for the majority of the week (hence - the watercolor project I did as 'therapy' for a few evenings this week) because it could have been avioded by me backing up the files on my backup hard drive (that IS why I bought the thing...!)

Let me take a moment to remind you to BACK UP YOUR FILES!! ALL OF THEM!! ESPECIALLY THE IMPORTANT ONES!!! Buy 2, 3, 4 different sources and back it up 2, 3, 4 times! Memory is cheap! Learn from my rookie mistake and just DO IT! (because it WILL happen... even to your 'fail-safe' flash drive.) Thank you.

So after all that drama in my week, Friday afternoon rolls around and the office calls to tell me I have a gift from one of my students waiting for me in the office. Nice! I go down and realize it was a homemade chocolate pie!! Bless her heart!! On my way out of the office, a package arrives for me - a really super heavy one - with an urgent label on it - from Justin! Why is Justin sending me a package at work?! I open it up and find a brand new MacBook Pro! REALLY Nice!! Needless to say, it was the greatest Friday-afternoon-after-a-stressful-week surprise ever!  **I should mention that although it was totally my fault because I didn't back up the files, I blame my (now former) computer for the loss of my flash drive. The tech dept. says my computer probably sent a 'power surge' out through my USB...** Problem solved! New MacBook Pro! :) I love my husband...

Besides that, its been raining pretty much all week and is 38 degrees today... May 1st. Gross. I also started to clean out our 'spare bedroom' that has become our 'storage space' apparently. Stay tuned for updates on THAT mess.