Friday, March 23, 2018


clay & oxides plus planting mix & various flowers

This was the final assignment of the year for my beginning clay kids 
and once again I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the kids about planting.
many of them have never worked in the dirt or planted
 or felt the natural high from getting soil under their fingernails.
I recently read that the organic matter and properties in the soil is soothing to the soul.
No wonder I like to dig in the dirt so much,
and don't mind pulling weeds!

We do the planting on the day of the final and give the plants a good long gulp of water
 before the kids take them home.
Let's take a look see.

Senior Eunice Shim enjoyed building the planter so much that she made two beauties.
Just look at the fabulous texture she brought to the clay's surface!

Senior Ashley Iseri took a completely different approach and rolled out a very smooth slab,
carving away her design.
Both girls only used Metallic Oxides to stain with for a finish.

Senior Lauren Kennedy choose some vibrant Coleus plants for her planter.

And I really like the asymmetrical design of senior Avanthi Dev's planter.
She was more interested in building up a succulent garden in her planter 
so we raided Josh's garden for some starts.

And check out this unusual piece by senior Brian Aguirre-Hernandez.
I love all the pierced holes in his design.
Perfect for trailing succulent tendrils from.

And sophomore Olivia Krueger achieved one of my favorite finishes 
on her under the sea themed planter,
staining it with Cobalt Carbonate.

 and this fluid looking piece belongs to me,
hee hee,
Debra Sposa.
I believe one of the kids pieces broke apart so I gifted them mine to glaze and plant.

And we end with this very pregnant bird by junior Sarah Oh.
She did half plants, half succulents for her piece.

All these planters looked so terrific leaning against the outside wall of my classroom
before the kids took them home.
I always wonder how many survive the summer heat 
cuz the kids forget to water them?? 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Oh boy,
here we go, 
the Freesias are up and bursting into bloom 
in Josh Berger's Succulent Garden at school.
We have been so lucky this last month to have gotten several inches of rain,
so all the plants and trees are happy, Happy!
And more rain to come,
Looks like we will have another drought free summer.
2 years in a row now.


Yesterday in the post about Woven Gift Card Journals,
I showed you this one given to me at the end of last school year by English teacher Donna Hall.
What I forgot to insert next was the love & effort she put inside the journal.
She had completely filled all her pages with a beautiful handwritten letter,
and in between the writing she had cut and pasted all these marvelous passages 
that meant so much to me.
I'd like to share them.

Thank you again Donna for this heartfelt gift of words,
both your musings and your passages.
You were a ray of sunshine on a daily basis.
Both the kids and I adored having you join and create with us.
We love you to the moon and back!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


cotton fabric, indigo bucket, tye-dye buckets, solar printing fabric, cardstock in various colors,
multi-colored sewing threads, sewing notions,beads, buttons & other embellishments

Earlier in the year the kids learned how to create a journal with fabric & stitch,
so I thought it would be cool to have them make a whole new decorative piece of fabric
 to cut up and weave with for another journal.
This would be their cover,
and their would be revisiting a former assignment that I didn't have to re-teach
because we were running out of time as it was the end of the year
They had enjoyed the paper weaving so they were excited to give this a try as well..

my art room was buzzing with energy as the kids got these journal covers underway.
Because this was their 4th Quarter Final,
I wanted them to revisit and reuse their favorite printing/dyeing or shibori technique
to create a very beautiful piece of fabric 
that was to be cut up and woven into their journal cover page.
The results were spectacular as you will see.
Junior Connie Wu created the most glorious piece of tye-dye to work with.
I brought in my own multi-colored quilting threads for the kids to use as warp string
which they threaded thru a sturdy piece of card stock.
You can really see those multi-colors in the close-up below.
Then they wove their cut weft pieces thru. 
The hardest part for many of them was carefully and exactly cutting 
an opening into another piece of card stock to frame out their weaving with.
This piece of paper was to be the front and back cover of the journals
with an extra flap that covered their knots on the backside of the cover.
Very complicated and had to be demoed many times.
Of course next came the handmade signature papers for their journal pages
which they strung in with waxed linen in a figure eight pattern.
I also required the embellishment of beads on the string ends.

Junior Margaret Yiu also came up with a spectacular piece.
She made 2 tye-dye pieces to work with and alternated them.

So very beautiful wsa this more subtle one by junior Rachel Kannampuzha.
Can you figure out her clever alternation pattern
which makes this look so terrific?

Senior Sarah Woo reused a practice piece that she had made for the Solar Dyed Pillow project.
I love that she chose to weave it with orange paper for more of a mixed media effect.
I also really liked her diagonal lines.

These next two belong to seniors Vicky Hur & Daphne Wang.
Let's see what they did.
I believe Daphne used 2 pieces that went into the indigo bucket.
One light the other more dips for a darker value.
And below is a close up of Vicky's.
Looks like she used a piece of her stitched Shibori fabric thru the center,
and a tye-dye strip on either end.
I really like that effect!
Makes a nice border around the special Shibori piece.
Also note that both Daphne and Vicky are warping on the horizontal rather then the vertical.
Below is a close-up of the inside of Vicky's journal pages.
I like that she has used different colors and different sizes of paper 
for more interest.
Also note below on the cover backside
 that there is a flap of card stock that covers all the inside knots and strings.
We used a glue stick for that so it didn't warp the card stock paper.

This little cutie belongs to senior Julie Ahn.
Looks like she also alternated a couple different tye-dye fabrics.
And note that her journal cover opens on the horizontal rather then the vertical.
for that the beads flow over top.
Senior Saba Fatima also chose to have hers open horizontally.
I love her tye-dye fabric as well as how her beads hang thru the middle.
This next one was made by English Teacher Donna Hall,
and she wrote inside it and gave to me as a thank you card/journal at the end of the school year.
What you can't see real well in the photo 
is the tiny pair of scissors that hang with the beads,
 and the metal tag that says "Made with Love".
And let me show you the love and effort that she put inside this journal.

We all loved the effect that junior Lynette Lee got with this piece of paper towel 
that went into the tye-dye bath.
And when she wove with it,
notice the perfect alignment with itself.
So gorgeous!

8th grader James Lara turned out a super cool journal as well.
He dyed thicker cotton string then wove a difficult "Ying-Yang" symbol.
And the buttons looked great over top.
I also appreciated that he incorporated several of his Polymer bead creations from earlier in the year.

Oh my,
look at these pretties by juniors Britney Hong & Samantha Tan.
Both girls made new tye-dye pieces 
and it looks as if they both off set them rather then perfectly lining the strips up over top each other.
It gives both pieces a really op-art type of look.

And then we have 8th grader Yusra Azmi.
Always an outside of the box thinker,
she usually comes up with some very clever,
 never done before ideas.
We all really liked her design and how she wove it.
Instead of setting up he warp vertically or horizontally,
she warped in a circular way like we did on our dream catchers.
I believe she dyed some yarns in our tye-dye buckets,
but it's what she did with pen & ink on her cover that I really enjoy.
A bit of Zentangling.
 are you ready for this one by 8th grader Dylan Lin?
It is an absolutely remarkable creation using the stitched Shibori method we learned.
But instead of going into the Indigo bucket,
he went into the black tye-dye bucket for a super cool effect.
Since the black bucket was loosing it's potency,
instead of showing up solid black,
Dylan manged to get lots of purpely grey values
 which made his stitched bug look even scarier.

We end with para-educator Couch Milan.
First he made a lovely piece of tye-dye cloth,
but it's what he did with the cover that we all respected.
Using an x-acto, 
he cut out a nighttime landscape.
What a great idea!! 

So what started with simple paper weaving 
turned into something incredible with these creative young minds.
Thanks all of you for a really wonderful year.

Monday, March 19, 2018


construction paper scraps & scissors/x-acto knife

At the end of last school year
 we ran out of time for the elaborate crafty assignment I had planned for my beginners,
so I asked them if they'd ever done any paper weaving.
Most didn't know what I was talking about.
So first we tried an experiment in paper which you will see here,
and then we did something amazing with the concept which I will show tomorrow.
I'm loving that these two 8th grade boys really thought outside the box
 and went for different format shapes.
Above we have Rishi Mannava,
and below Dylan Lin

Next up is senior Crystal Lai-Ton-Nu.
I really like how she varied the colors of her paper weavers.

And 8th grader Selina Luo used some wild and crazy curves for her weft lines.

Senior SarahWoo did some tricky alternation with colors above 
and so did Vicky Hur below. 
Vicky also used all diagonals for both her warp and weft.

Junior Lynette Lee and senior Daphne Wang both found a patterned paper
to alternate with their solids which adds even more interest.

Even though this was such a simple task,
it was fun to watch the kids thoroughly enjoying it.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


About 2/3 of our entire student body choose to walk out yesterday
in memory of the students and staff killed at Parkland High School in Florida.
They calmly gathered around the American flag in the front of the school, 
and for exactly 17 minutes these children bowed their heads and were completely silent.
It was a sight to see and extremely powerful.
Standing with them was an Almni from 1982,
Hope Yoneshige. 
So very proud of our students for the respect they showed.