February 25, 2021

Water Color / Water Color Pencil Landscapes: 4th Grade

My forth graders created unreal color landscapes in watercolor last week.  This week we are using watercolor pencils to add details, and finish up any "unfinished" areas.  They have loved getting to use supplies that just weren't able to use while we were virtual!  

February 24, 2021

Tints & Shades Turtles: 2nd Grade

 When we returned to in person classes, I decided that we would do ALL THE THINGS!!  I was a little more cautious when we returned for 6 weeks in the fall (using supplies I could easily disinfect). So my students had not painted since before the tornado & then pandemic (which is going to be a year ago next week I believe).  I was so excited to just give my students supplies they could get messy with & create whatever their hearts desired.  Well...that lasted 1 day.  I quickly realized my students were out of practice with.....well....a lot of things!  I needed to reign our project in a bit, and use it as a stepping stone to be more creative as we got back into the swing of being "in" school.  

So we worked on tints & shades creating turtles (my fav. animal). 

The students loved it & I remained relatively sane that first week back! ha ha We're starting to get our in person school groove back!!  

February 23, 2021

1 Down 1 To Go

1st round done!  Our district just started vaccinating teachers this past weekend, and I was able to get a time slot for after school Tues!  The nurse that gave me my shot was amazing...I didn't feel the needle at all! Wonder if she does phlebotomies? Haha (I have a genetic condition that requires blood letting several times a year) 😆 
I have not started receiving or emitting transmissions from/to the mother ship.
👽 All is well!! 

(no second heads were grown in the receiving of the Covid-19 Vaccine)

February 21, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Stuck Together

Adhesives are tricky.  I'm a trained professional and still burn myself with hot glue & stick my fingers together with super glue. Young artists often struggle when using adhesives.  They often feel more is better, but that just isn't the case with glue.  Too much can lengthen dry time, and cause pieces being attached to a sculpture not to adhere or slip out of place.  The opposite can also be an issue.  Too little glue can cause work to seemingly attach, only to fall apart with any tension/movement placed upon it. Yes, there is an art to gluing.  If you want things stuck together....you will need to learn the proper application of the product and be aware of your part in the process. 

 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3:13-14

Unity is allusive in our world.  There seems to be too many people placing their opinions, wants, and needs ahead of....well...EVERYONE & EVERYTHING!  How can we come together when we struggle to see past ourselves?  Unfortunately, this is not just a problem with the "world".  The church also struggles at times to come together in true unity.  I feel Colossians 3:13-14 is a "guide" or "how to" in regards to pursuing unity.  We see some words/phrases that should be noted. 

BEAR: endure or carry the weight of

FORGIVE:  stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone/ cancel debt 

FORGIVE AS THE LORD FORGAVE YOU:  (I'll let you think on that one!)

PUT ON LOVE:  to make a conscious choice to love God and others

It is easier said than done...I KNOW!! We all have struggle with this at times in our life.  I feel what God is calling us to in Colossians 3:13-14 is remember where we once were (and how people had to endure you), what God did to bring us into a personal relationship with him, that everyone is at a different point in their walk with God & grace needs to be extended, and if it isn't easy....choose love anyways!!! 

We need to be stuck together with our family of believers....because we are better together.  

February 19, 2021

Snow Days: New Masks

 On this episode of SNOW DAYS & MR.E SEWS....

I was in need of some more masks now that we are back in person.  Once again...my big head causes issues with "normal" adult sized things (see previous post of my new hat I made).  I use two pieces of fabric with a "pocket" to place a filter in between. (I actually place an adult size paper mask as a filter.) I use t-shirt "yarn" that goes around the back of my head & a tie at the base of my neck.  Early on in the pandemic I realized the ones that go just around the ears were rubbing my skin raw.  All the fabric I purchased at Wal-Mart.  

February 17, 2021

Snow Days: I NEED A HAT!!!!

We were back to school for a week.....and then BAM!!!!!  Snowed in for a week (Middle TN started with ice...about 2 inches of it....then we received about 4 or 5 inches of snow on top!).  I realized I did not have a good winter hat so I could go outside with my kids.  Hats are an issue with me because I have a HUGE head.  No really...I have to buy my hats at www.bigheadcaps.com  (awesome company based here in Middle TN!).  I used an old sweatshirt to create a hat.  


I used the waist band area for the bottom part of my hat. I folded it up once to make it thicker over the ears, and then sewed in an extra layer of sweatshirt material so it was triple thick! I love a "elf" hat style because my students crack up (I finger knitted one years ago that I would wear to bus duty, but don't know what happened to it?!?).  

After I was finished sewing I painted turtles onto it.  I think I may add a few more....you can see there are some large spaces without.  It is warm, fits well, and one of a kind! 

February 14, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: A Heart For...

A love of color.  A passion for design.  A deep felt desire to create.  Unexplained art supply marks on your skin and clothing?  

 What is it that defines an artist?  Is it someone who can execute beautiful and thought provoking work?  Is it someone who makes money from their creations?   Is it the pursuit that defines an artist?  A person that applies the desire of their heart.  A person that seeks out opportunities to not only practice but develop their skills.  Someone with a need to express themselves through alternate means.  

Maybe you have a heart for art? 

A person with a heart for art will consume it (museums, arts & craft stores, books, magazines, YouTube, shows, or whatever other sources they might find).  A person with a heart for art will share their passions with others (sometimes even when the other person isn't expecting or wanting it).  A person with a heart for art will express in an artistic manner (not limited to only the physical creation of art). 

What is your heart for???? 


I have heard people talk about feeling "distant" from God.  I've heard people share that they once had a relationship with the Lord, but they just weren't sure any longer if that was the case.  There are many reasons for this.  Sin often gets in the way of our relationship with the Lord.  Apathy also seems to take our eyes off of God and places them on ourselves.  Whatever the reason...there is a need for change.  In Jeremiah, we see a "simple" truth.  You will seek me and find me if you seek me with all of your heart.  What does it mean to seek God with ALL OF YOUR HEART?   ALL MEANS ALL!  We can not seek out the Lord with a divided heart.  His desire is that we give ourselves whole heartedly to pursuing him.  So often we hold on to things for comfort, security, selfish ambition, and a host of other reasons.  This keeps ups from seeking God with all that we are....because we are trying to make our own way.  

Do you have a heart for God?  Do you have a heart for his Word?  Do you have a heart for his people?  Do you have a heart for the lost?  What are you doing if this is true about you?
What do you have a heart for? Do others see that in you? 

February 11, 2021

The Mural Is Finished!

 While we were virtual, I was working on a mural in the entrance of our school. We are using the Ron Clark house system...so that was the color inspiration for the mural.  The design I created after researching "Mod Art".  I really just wanted something bright & fun.  The kids have LOVED it (we returned "in person" classes this past week). 


February 08, 2021

Crayola’s Colors of the World Colored Pencils

OH MY!!!!!!!!
My wife called me from Wal-Mart, and told me she found Crayola Colors of the World Colored Pencils for only $1.  YES...$1!  She asked me how many I wanted.  ALL OF THEM! ha ha I'm not sure if your local Wal-Mart will have them for that price, but it is worth a look.  


February 07, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Why It Matters

 Over the years I've had many students question why we have to study art and artists of the past & present.  They are sure that there is nothing they will gain from it that will impact what they are doing currently.  They just want to make art. In time, most will come to realize that it does matter.  They see the ever changing purpose, styles, materials, and themes. Through that insight they will see a place for themselves.  They will draw inspiration. They will find their own boldness in the risks taken in the past.  They will see their own struggles in the struggles of great artists that have come before them.  This and so many more reasons is why it matters.  

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. 

Romans 15:4

 There are times where we feel studying the Bible to be laborious. How can this document from so long ago hold meaning for us today. Why it matters?  The Word of God is a gift given to us. It is a love letter, a source of history, teaching, and great inspiration. We seek instruction on how to live our lives.  We see those who have gone before us in the midst of struggle and pain, but who did not lose their faith & hope.  We see the constant pursuit by a God who loves us, and desires for us to have a deep and meaningful relationship with him.  The Word of God is so much more than a book.  

Ask God to bring a passion & love for his Word.

February 05, 2021

Making a Portrait Using Kleki

Have you all tried kleki.com
It is so much fun, so easy to use, and free!  A majority of our students use the same type of computer provided by the district.....but some do not.  I wanted to make sure we were all using the same thing so I could give them instructions that worked for EVERYONE! I'm using it with 2nd - 4th grade, and they LOVE IT!!  Here is my asynchronous video for portraits.  
Give it a try...and let me know what you think! 

January 31, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Am I Missing Something?

Have you ever taken something/someone for granted?  You get use to it/them.  They no longer seem special, just "the norm".   A new restaurant, romance, music, friend...at first you talk about them to everyone you know (and some you might not know). Then you mention it every once & awhile.  Soon people are having to ask you...."Hey, what was that restaurant you went on & on about?"  "How is your relationship going?"  "Are you still enjoying working out?"  

 Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.  Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.  For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.  Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.

Psalm 96: 1- 6

When I first saw Christo's work,  I thought it was.....interesting.  The grand scale was enough to cause awe/wonder, but I still wondered WHY? Am I missing something?  However, as I asked the question "WHY?" about Christo's work....I realized something.  I was noticing something I might have overlooked otherwise.  Somehow the art brought attention to what had been right in front of me all along.  Though I appreciate his work....it made me appreciate "HIS" work even more!  Christo's art brings back the awe & wonder to what had been there all along.  

Too often I find myself use to the goodness of God.  I take for granted His gift of love, grace & life.   I forget the blessing I have in His Word! There are so many out there asking..."Am I missing something?"  I want to point people to the Lord.  I want to put a spot light on His awesomeness.  I want to bring Him honor...and glory.  He is great and worthy to be praised!  May I never become so use to His creation...His grace...His presence in my life that I "forget" or "forgo" giving Him the praise!

January 29, 2021


Any medium. Any style.  Any theme (or no theme at all). 
Just make a heart & post it on social media with #heartaday2021.
Invite students, faculty, friends, and family to join in the fun! 


January 25, 2021

Primary & Secondary Colors: Kindergarten

We are still virtual, and supposed to be teaching color. My students do not have access to many supplies. So I did these two drawing lessons with my kindergarten students to teach primary & secondary colors. The books are great, and I feel they know what the colors are now. Well paint when we can return to face to face!! 

In the story Hide Clyde, a Clyde is unable to change colors like his family until he is in a situation where there are crazy colors and patterns all around him (and he is in trouble!).  I had the students use the primary colors for a patterned background, and then they used the same colors on Clyde so he was "hiding". They could also make a bug on his tongue that used different colors if they wanted.  We are studying color this 9 weeks in kindergarten, and are looking at our color wheel, discussing color families, and such.   You could use this lesson for any color concept that you wanted, or as a way to teach/reinforce patterns.  

The dust bunnies can also be taken in whatever direction you wanted in regards to color (warm/cool, primary/secondary, analogous , complementary).  The students have a lot of fun making funny faces on their dust bunnies & you can sneak some color concepts into your lesson! 

January 24, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Sharpen

 Scissors, box cutters, paper cutters, X-Acto Knives, rotary cutters...art people are all about the sharp things!  They are essential for creating so many works of art.  However, they often are a "supporting" player.  They get used, abused, and aren't considered until they no longer do (or do well) what they were designed to do.  I've had blades dull, rust, develop build up, bend, and break.  I'll get so frustrated when "they" ruin paper, destroy a mat, or hack a piece of fabric to bits. However, was it really the cutting tool's fault for the issue?  Not at all.  If I clean, sharpen, store properly, and replace when necessary, there won't be an issue.  I have to take responsibility, and look out for my tools.  If I don't take care of them...they will not be able to take care of the jobs I have for them.

Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Lone-Ranger Christian".  They think they can do things on their own.  They may be operating in their gifts, doing an amazing job, and fulfilling a real need. They look like they have it all together.  However, we were not designed to do this life alone.  More than likely, the Lone-Ranger Christian will burn out, become bitter, or fall into a sin pattern that will cause them to be ineffective in ministry & will distance them in their fellowship with the Lord.  We were designed to sharpen one another.  What does that mean?  You have to live life with other believers that will encourage you, challenge you, and hold you accountable for things you do & say.  You need to have people in your life that know you so well, they can see it in your face before you ever say a word.  Sometimes those types of relationships can be uncomfortable.  I think many of us like to hide our ugly.  We would rather people see the person we'd like to portray to the world...and not the real person who is struggling, tired, and doesn't have it all together.  The thing is...if we live life alone, we won't be able to fulfill the job we were designed to do.  A dull pair of scissors still looks like it can get the job done, but when you try to use them....you find out that they can not.  We need to sharpen one another so that we will be able to fulfill the purpose God has for us!

If you aren't sure about this whole "sharpening" one another thing & 
feel you are better with just you & Jesus..

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:1-4

Maybe you need sharpened...maybe you need to sharpen others?? 
Either way...God has designed us to live life together.  

January 23, 2021

Crafter's Square: Tempera Watercolors?!?

What is this stuff?!?! While at Dollar Tree I found this package of Tempera Watercolors. I had never heard of such a thing...so I had to try it. What's the worst that could happen...it was only a dollar!
Tested out Crafter's Square Tempera Watercolors?!?! Used my phone taped to a ladder ...sorry for the video quality. 

January 18, 2021

Line Design Complementary Colors

The students are really enjoying creating these works.  I will say..at first they were kind of intimidated when it came to creating the background. Once they got into it though...they LOVED it.  
Great for those of you teaching virtually! 

January 17, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Affected

Have you ever used a marker, crayon, or oil pastels and had an unexpected color/mark appear?  These materials can often "pick up" color from use, misuse, and abuse. I always warn my student not to color marker over top of marker.  This can cause a transfer of color onto the tip of the marker that may have unappealing results for whoever uses that color next.  Crayons and oil pastels can easily pick up the "crumbs" of other colors while in use or storage. Just being together in a box is enough to cause a transfer of colors on to each other. If you are not careful, these seemingly harmless acts can affect a work of art.  

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:30

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

I have a very diverse group of friends & people that I associate.  I feel that just because I'm a Christian does not mean I must only spend time with other people that believe the same way I do.  How boring would that be?!?!  Plus, I feel that we must get outside of the church walls if we want to have an impact on the world around us.  Jesus made a point of spend time with those the "religious" people would not consider.  However, we must be very careful not to place ourselves in situations or with individuals that will have a negative impact on us. I would not place myself somewhere that I felt would cause me to struggle or would influence my ideas & attitudes in a negative way.  Many people will say, "But it is my ministry!"  The Lord would not place you in a ministry that would corrupt you & your character!  We must take responsibility....knowing ourselves, the people, & the situation well enough to know if we need to be in the midst of it.  Because if we are not careful...we will be affected by the influence.  So often people just assume they are unaffected by the company they keep, the places they spend their time, the music they listen to, the websites they visit, the things they read, or the things they listen to on radio, podcasts, or television.  Like the transfer of color that can happen so easily...we pick up things when we are unaware.  We must protect ourselves & those that look to us for guidance by making wise choices in all we do.  

January 15, 2021

Analogous Color Blending

Here is a fun lesson (great for virtual teaching!) to work on color blending using analogous colors.  I used the idea of "feathers", but this would also be great in the fall using leaves.  No matter the form it takes...focus on using analogous colors in order to create beautiful color blends.

January 14, 2021

Drawing An Animal & Habitat

Students have a lot of choice when it comes to selecting an animal & it's habitat!  This is a great time to bring in some of the science standards, and possibly writing standards.  They can write about their animal and where it lives.  


January 13, 2021

Op Art Fun (w/ Video)!

 My 3rd & 4th grade students love creating op art!!  This is a great entry level op art project where students can experience a ton of success! It is a great lesson for those teaching online! 

January 12, 2021

January 10, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: INFLUENCED

 As artists, we are influenced by a multitude of external sources.  We may take from our family, community, affiliations, education, interests, emotions, attitudes, entertainment, travels, or even other artists/artwork.  Not that we simply regurgitate those influences, but more so synthesize the information gathered through our own internal processes to produce works of art.  Often influences manifest themselves in style, content, and/or meaning.  

Van Gogh's fascination with Japanese art is extremely evident in many of his paintings.  Carmen Lomas Garza's work centers on her own family, community, and culture.  We see examples across time & place of movements in art, geographical proximity, and cultural changes impacting multiple artists in similar fashions.  As much as we would like to think of ourselves as completely unique/original, we are impacted by our life & experiences.

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
Proverbs 13:20

You were running a good race.  Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?  That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.  "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough."   
Galatians 5:7-9

Influence is an extremely important concept in our journey of faith.  Both... WHO (OR WHAT) IS INFLUENCING US? & WHO ARE WE INFLUENCING?  These questions can often be glazed over because the answers are challenging to what we've become comfortable with in our lives.  Things we watch, things we read, things we listen to, people we spend time with, and places we frequent can influence us negatively or positively.  We must take a hard look at what we are allowing to impact our hearts & minds.  Though we may say, "IT DOESN'T IMPACT ME....I'M STRONGER THAN THAT!".....scripture warns us that "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough." (Galatians 5:9) The negative influences in our life can quickly impact us though we might not see it in the beginning.  It seeps in and slowly starts to take hold of us.  In Proverbs we are encouraged to keep good company..."Walk with the wise and become wise."  Those we choose to surround ourselves with can & will impact us!  Also, we need to see that we are placing ourselves in situations where we can influence others.  Sometimes it is as simple as a smile.  Sometimes it is deep conversations about God & what He means to you as a believer.  We have the ability to positively influence our family, friends, co-works, and total strangers!  Are we seeing those opportunities?  Or are we shying away from the responsibility that God has given us.  

January 06, 2021

Crayola creatED Writing Art-Inspired Stories Pre-K-2nd

 As a  "THANK YOU" for participating in a recent Webinar with Crayola, they sent me several products to try out.  I received their Crayola creatED series!  I have three children (ages 6, 9, and 11) are the target ages to try out these boxes by Crayola.  For our first project I had them work together using the lesson found in the pre-K - 2nd box. 

The hardest part of this lesson was having my kids agree on a theme for their story! ha ha  Unicorns, Llamas, and Godzilla would have made for a very interesting adventure, but they finally agreed on creating a story about our cat, Ali.  They talked about different ideas of what she could do in their story, and decided to have her home alone and getting into trouble.  
(Bonus points if you can tell me the segment of the story that was originally Godzilla! ha ha)


ps...I do like the boxes!  They have the product and easy to follow lesson plans.  The lessons are connected with the national art standards and pull in cross curricular elements. They have Writing, Math, and STEAM.  The price point (last time I looked) was $19.95.  If you are home schooling, a parent dealing the teaching your child at home during the pandemic, or just wanting a fun arty activity to do for family time....I think they are great!  

January 04, 2021

Puzzles of Color

Over the pandemic puzzles have become a must have!  I saw a segment on CBS about Puzzles of Color.  It is an African American owned company (brother & sister team), and they create puzzles using the art of African American artists! The images are stunning. 
If you enjoy puzzles...please check them out! 

January 03, 2021

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Change

Are you in an artistic rut? Are you bored or frustrated with yourself for doing the same thing over and over?  Maybe you are comfortable with a medium, set of colors, style, or subject matter.  Sometimes when we become comfortable we fear trying new things because we don't want to become uncomfortable.  We fear not being successful.  We fear being misunderstood.  We fear the struggle.  We fear starting over.  These fears may be very real, but we should not let them keep us in the rut we find ourselves.  Change is a natural part of the artistic journey.  Picasso didn't pop out the Picasso you might think of artistically.  In fact, the work you might closely associate with Picasso...I may not.   He grew, developed...CHANGED!  He wasn't afraid to try new things.  Because of this, his body of work is prolific, interesting, and diverse.  If he would have been unwilling to change, I doubt we would think of his impact on the art world the same way.  

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  Isaiah 43: 18-19

Change has never been easy.  We see here in Isaiah a reminder to God's people that they need to leave behind the things of the past. The writer is reminding them that God is "doing a new thing!"  Do you ever find yourself clinging to the past?      I COULD NEVER DO THAT. I'VE NEVER DONE THAT. I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH. SOMEONE ELSE WOULD DO BETTER THAN I COULD.  I'VE TRIED AND DIDN'T DO A GOOD JOB.  We look to our past/past experiences/lack there of experiences to move forward....or not.  God is calling you out of what was into what is in Him.  Our life of faith is all about change.  We don't need to fear being uncomfortable, unsuccessful, misunderstood, or the struggle.  God is with us as we face change.  He desires us to trust Him.  What change(s) are you having trouble trusting God with in your life?  

January 01, 2021

Faber Castell Watercolor Gel Sticks

This product is so interesting!! Have you all tried it before? It is similar to watercolor crayons, but has its own characteristics. Check out my product review & let me know what you think of it! 

Faber-Castell Watercolor Gel Sticks