Monthly Archives: August 2014

New Building, New Tables


During the middle of last year, our old building came under new management.  The new priest wanted to do something different with the building, so we had to pack up and move when we were done with the school year.  Remember, we’re a co-op, so we don’t have an official “place.”  Because our co-op grew a LOT within those last two years, we were now having to scramble to find a building that (A) would fit all of us, and (B) not be TOO expensive.  That was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

We visited so many buildings, and we even considered splitting the co-op up, based on age-level, but the places we were looking at wouldn’t let us leave anything there.  So basically, we’d be hauling in our stuff every morning, and hauling out our stuff every afternoon.  I was willing to make it work, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to it.  I have 5 art classes – can you imagine having to bring in all that stuff, and take home all the drying stuff every day???  If would have sucked for the other classes as well…

Finally, we found a building that, while was a BIT more expensive than our last place, was able to house all of us AND let us keep our things there.  It’s a three-story building with plenty of rooms, and we have basically the run of it.  We’ll have to have fundraisers to help offset the cost, and we’ll all have buns of steel by the time the year’s over (from all the stairs), but it’s now home.  It used to be a military barrack, and while we were cleaning it, we found spent shells!  Cool, huh!  The kids thought so.

School in Love

I was a little worried when I noticed that most of the rooms are carpeted or have beautiful stone tile.  I was envisioning all the paint and what-not falling to the floor, and then I saw that two rooms had old linoleum, which was PERFECT, and I got one of them!  Bring on the messes!


At the last place, we used their tables, BUT we didn’t have enough tables for everyone at this new building.  My husband and I sat down and brainstormed, and we came up with a plan to build 4 tables that would be ideal for my art classes.  You have to understand that NEITHER of us have ever built anything substantial that didn’t come in a kit (where it tells you to match B with B, and so on), but we were determined to make this work.  Our prototype table is a little… off, but we learned from it, and each table got faster and faster to build.  They’re 4’x4′, so they allow for the perfect work-space, and they’re a little taller than we anticipated (I promise we measured!), which worked out perfectly to use stools.


Apparently the stools need to be 2′, in order for a student to sit comfortable under the table, and when I asked for stool donations, I got some 3-footers, so now I need to cut them down.  We’ve already had the first week of school, and the kids love the table/stool configuration in my room!  Good job, husband!

Art – Making Masks


If you’re an art teacher, and you haven’t heard about Art Room Aid from Dick Blick, you’re missing out!  It’s a great way to ask for what you need, because you just might be blessed by an angel willing to cover the cost of the supplies!  This is how we were able to make the masks in my high school class.  Thank you again, angel, whoever you are!

We did these at the end of last year, but between all the end-of-the-year stuff I normally have to do, the totally awesome art show, my daughter graduating high school, and packing up the entire school to move to a new building, by the time everything was said and done, I “checked out” for the summer, and all I did was create artist trading cards for the last month.  It was SO good for my soul!  Now, I’m getting back in the swing of things, as we’ve had to move into a new building (3 stories!), and that’s a LOT of steps!  I should have buns of steel by the end of the year, since I’m on the second floor.

Now, on to the masks!

The students paired up and decided who would go first to have the mask done to them.  Some people get nervous about their mouths being covered, and some people have more issues with their eyes, so I had the partners ask the models which made them more nervous, and they would cover that part last.  I also played music to help the models relax, and I used my son as a model to walk them through the steps.  The partner creating the mask then smeared a LOT of Vaseline all over their model’s face, making sure to add extra along the hairline, eyebrows, and eyelashes.  I pre-cut the bandages into workable pieces, which really helped a lot.  Once the petroleum jelly was thoroughly applied, they took two bandages, dipped them into water, and created an “X” between the models’ faces,  After that, they were to take bandage, wet them, and smooth them over the forehead, down the sides, and over the jawline.


Then, it was on to the rest of the face, making sure every bandage laid partially across another one to connect them.


Once we had their faces covered, we had a little fun taking selfies with them and such.  The models were instructed to just lay there and relax.


Once the masks were dried, even the models joined in on the fun!  They tried walking to each other, writing, and dancing.  It was really funny!


When they were finally done horsing around, it was time to remove the masks.  We allowed the models to remove their own masks, because no matter how much we tried to cover potential tender spots with Vaseline, some hair did get caught in the plaster.  I asked the models to smile and scrunch their faces and wiggle their jaws around to release the masks.  Some had a harder time than others, but all the masks were removed in good order.

Schooled in Love:  Making Masks

This one looked a bit like the joker!


We put the masks on cups to help support and keep the shape while we were gone over the weekend, and when they were good and dry, the students began decorating them.  Originally, my plan was to have them paint the masks, but I gave them an option to collage, and they liked that idea.  I had them cut out words from magazines that described them.  Some words were serious, and some were just plain silly (which completely works for these guys).  They used a homemade glue/water sealer to affix them, and they all turned out great!


To hang them in the art show, they punched holes where the temples would be, and tied string in the back.  Then we used pushpins to put them on the panels.  They looked like they were coming out of the wall!

A Mask of Me

A Mask of Me