Category Archives: classroom

Who’s Greek Now?

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I decided to infuse the 8th grade Medusa  drawing project with real people.  I was driving to work a few weeks ago and the idea just came to me, lol, but would the teachers at Chittenango Middle School go for it?

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On the half day, I sent out an email then I ran around taking pictures of those who were receptive to being immortalized as Medusa.  The principals were even on board, which was so, totally, awesome!

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Students selected from the faces and added the snake hair and Greek pattern border.  We watched excerpts from 1981 and 2012 Clash of the Titans while using Sharpies and colored pencils.  Here are the results.  They used 16″ x 20″ white heavyweight tagboard and Prismacolor colored pencils.

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I have two classes working on a new batch on brown Kraft paper.  It is such a fun project.  So many possibilities with regard to color schemes and composition.  So incredibly satisfying!

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This artwork is currently on display in the hallway outside of my classroom at Chittenango Middle School in Chittenango, New York.  It will be up for a while, at least until the end of the semester at the end of January.  I will display some of them at the school fair in May too.

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Educational Center at Green Lakes!

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The Educational Center at Green Lakes is now up and running!  Wow – it has taken something like a year to rebuild the boat house and transform it into this amazing space.  It is really beautiful.  And it has Stickley furniture!

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There is a lot of history here.  Information on the meromictic lakes, the story behind the purchase of the land – and its stunning World War II connection.  Yes – there was a POW camp on-site.  It was near the golf course by the east entrance to the park.  German soldiers created many of the trails and farmed the land!

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This education center is chock-full of information.   There is a large map of the park on the center island.  A bunch of interactive displays can be found in pull-out drawers. There’s an outdoor classroom too.  They offer classes that are aligned with New York State standards and they welcome all age groups (and not just science students).

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To set up a school field trip, contact Katie Mulvihill at katie.mulvihill@parks.ny.gov or call (315) 492-1756.  Green Lakes State Park is located at 7900 Green Lakes Road, Fayetteville, New York 13066-3385.

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Dish Babies

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Gratitude is in abundance in November.  It is in the air we are breathing here in Syracuse, New York  The cold air that is making its journey across the ocean as I write this, which may actually bring with it a snow day or at least a two-hour delay on Monday (according to my meteorologist friend), is actually clearing our sinuses of the allergens from last season with every breath we take.

We are grateful for the freedom from headaches and nausea associated with said allergies, lol.  By we I mean specifically me, but I assure you, there are many who share the same sentiments.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, we (again me, lol) are all more keen to bring conscious awareness to our love and appreciation for our lives – our families and the pets we love, our friendships both near and far, and all of the things we love (yes! like art!).

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I hosted a dinner party last night along with my friend Bobbi Rock Petrocci – Friendsgiving 2017, our 3rd annual and the biggest to date with thirty people dining together in the private room at Grover’s Table in Fayetteville, New York.  It was a blessed evening.  I just feel so overwhelmed with gratitude and love for these amazing people.

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Last week, I met Bobbi at the Half Moon Bakery & Bistro in Jamesville, New York to assist her in installing her latest exhibition of Christian Brothers Academy student artwork.  I did very little.  She is an epic installer, equipped with level, hammer, tiny nails and the perfect plan to display these very special diminutive plates.  I just provided the oh-that-looks-so-goods, and was the first to make a purchase.

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They were made by CBA art club students in grades 7 – 12 for the purpose of fundraising for Hope for the Bereaved, a grief counseling group.  These dishes are infused with color and spiritual messages, and/or delicate imagery meant to allow the flow of positive energy to encompass the viewer and subsequent owner.  They are priced at $10 each.  You put your money in a jar on the counter and write your name on the accompanying master grid to secure the one you want.  A butterfly sticker is then placed under the purchased piece until November 30, 2017 when the show comes down and all the artwork are released to their respective new owners/homes.

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These dishes epitomize kindness, the idea that we help each other heal; that children are just as capable as adults are to feel, express and share the positive vibe of love.  Each piece is unique.  I am sure that you will find one that speaks to you.

And while there, give thanks to amazing proprietor Debbe Titus who has been busily creating, crafting and baking pies to sell for Thanksgiving, as well as offering daily specials of breakfast and lunch – soups, salads and sandwiches that are very, very yummy – and of course, desserts like half moon cookies and pumpkin bread, cupcakes and all things deliciously amazing!  So grateful! ❤

 

Pigs for Sale

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You may have noticed the development of pig sculptures – I’ve had them on the counter as background in my #ootd pictures.  The project had a couple of components.  Students created armature with paper towels, masking tape, aluminum foil and a recycled bottle of juice or iced coffee (I have tons!).  The sculptures were engulfed in Pariscraft then painted.  Once they were done, the artists took their pigs to a secret location somewhere in the school and using their I-Pads, photographed them in a composition.  It was a really fun project.

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My Facebook friends inquired if the sculptures would be auctioned off.  I mentioned that to the students and a few got the professional artist bug, lol.  So, some of the pigs are for sale.  Proceeds will teach students a valuable lesson about their time and effort.  All pigs are priced at $50 each.

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These eight pigs are available.  Artwork can be collected at Chittenango Middle School.  Email me at ktashkovski@chittenangoschools.org to make arrangements to purchase.  All proceeds will go to the budding artists.

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School Fair 2017

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Last night Chittenango Central School held their annual School Fair at the high school.  Each year, my colleague Katy and I spend several hours installing the middle school art show on the walls of the hallway between the two gymnasiums.

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Then at 8:00 pm we take the whole thing down and pop the art into our cars to return it all to the middle school on Monday.  We displayed around three hundred pieces of 5th – 8th grade artwork.

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This was my twentieth year of said fair.  Here are the pictures I remembered to take!  It is pretty cool to see this visual representation of what we do all year.

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#fashionintherealworld

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Banana Republic cardigan, Free People top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, BCBGeneration sandals
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Banana Republic cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top, Trina Turk pants, BCBGeneration sandals

If you search Instagram for the hashtag #fashionintherealworld, you will find all of my posts.  I invented it and #fashioninrealtime, and #fashioninreallife.  I just checked them; I think there are only two or three posts on them from random fashionistas.  The rest is all me.

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Coach hat and jacket, Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots
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Free People cardigan and top, Calvin Klein jeans, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots
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Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top, Banana Republic skirt, Ralph Lauren boots

Here are my outfits of the day from the last two weeks.  The landscape of my background keeps changing as I shift student work around the room.  All of my clay projects are complete.  The last batch went into the kiln today.  The 5th graders are currently working on a three-dimensional wood sculpture, my Studio in Art students are learning watercolor techniques and the rest of the 8th graders are immersed in the various SLO test projects:  Statue of Liberty paintings, “under the sea” landscapes with fish (mixed-media lesson), Japanese fan project (also mixed-media) and abstract paintings with realistic horses thrown in.  So four additional different lessons for the six classes.

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Banana Republic suit and leather shell, BCBGeneration sandals
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Free People cardigan, BCBGeneration dress, Nine West booties

There is a lot going on, which will culminate in the School Fair set for May 12, 2017.  I will have my hands full preparing for that exhibition and hopefully even with the upcoming state math tests looming, we will get everything accomplished.

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Jcrew cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots

But first – Spring Break!!!  I will be working on the business of making art as soon as tomorrow.  Can’t wait.  Watching students make art is clearly a fun job, but nothing beats the guilty pleasure of creating my own artwork – even though it is super messy and therefore cannot be done in designer clothes.  So…I will be sacrificing fashion for my art.  I did buy a new dress for Easter though.  It is Halston Heritage. ❤ OMG, I love it!

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Michelle DaRin Jewelry ring, Banana Republic top and Free People top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Guess sandals

 

Going Gif

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JCrew cardigan, Bailey 44 top, Inc pants, BCBGeneration sandals

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BCBGMaxAzria cardigan, top and leggings, Ugg boots

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Here are my most recent outfits of the day.  We take a bunch of photos every day in order to get one decent one out of the bunch.  Google photos has been animating the lot to produce these hilarious gifs.  You can see how far away Katy is when she takes the pic.  We do that to insure I can get my body to fit into the square dimension of Instagram.  Should I begin to add these silly things to my Instagram account every so often – just because they are sooo stupid funny or are they just stupid?  I have lost perspective.

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Free People cardigan and top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Nine West booties

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Honora necklace, Banana Republic cardigan and dress, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots

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Banana Republic cardigan, Trina Turk top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Nine West booties

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Bailey 44 top, 7 for All Mankind jeans, Nine West booties

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Free People cardigan and dress, Hue tights, Nine West booties

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Chan Luu necklace, JCrew cardigan and T-shirt, Banana Republic pants, Nine West booties

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Baublebar choker, Banana Republic suit jacket and pants, BCBGMaxAzria tank and T-shirt, Coach booties

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Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Karl Lagerfeld boots

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Lord & Taylor cashmere cardigan, Banana Republic and Bailey 44 tops, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Karl Lagerfeld boots

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