April 30, 2022


 Please go to this Vans link and vote for Central High School Knoxville, TN !!! Their art teacher is a friend of mine!!!!  https://customculture.vans.com 

April 27, 2022

Finished Weavings & Background

I’m thrilled with the circle Weavings my third graders are making! I’ve been doing this lesson for 24 years…it never gets old! I’m as excited as the kids. 
I’ve you’ve not tried this lesson…you can check out my blog(search circle weaving) or my YouTube channel! 


April 22, 2022

Clown Faces


What is the best way to get over fears/phobias...desensitize!! ha ha  
I thought it would be fun to create a board of clown faces using markers & collage. I did ask for happy clowns(though a few students were not feeling especially happy the day we created the clowns). We looked at many examples of clown makeup, hair, and accessories.  It is amazing once I started putting the clowns up how many teachers shared with me how they were creeped out by them.  I have never associated anything with clowns but fun! Maybe this will help some people get over their fear.  

April 20, 2022

Circle Weavings in Progress...

My 3rd graders are a class or two from finishing their circle weavings.  Over all, this has been a pretty good year for circle weaving.  A majority of my students did a great job on their work, and made few errors.  I was a bit concerned.  This year has been a struggle with basic direction following and focus on work (I think connected to the pandemic & online learning prior to this school year.).  


April 16, 2022

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: What is Your Story?

Narrative art tells a story.  I love challenging students to create interesting original narratives. They have to truly think through what their story is, and how to best share it with the viewer.  A narrative is at its best when it considers the setting (environment), main/minor characters (people that it involves), and plot (what's happening).  I ask students to periodically stop and share their work with their neighbor.  If their neighbor is unable to convey what is going on in the story, then the artist knows they must reconsider/rethink what they are doing so that they can have their work tell the story more effectively. 

      But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.  1 Peter 3: 15-16

Have you ever been asked to share your "testimony" (your faith story)?  For some, the idea of doing such a thing scares them.  Others might think they could do it with ease, but quickly realize when doing so that they lack direction/focus, and are unable to effectively share their journey of faith.  No matter where you find yourself on this spectrum, being able to share your story is an important "tool" that the Lord wants to use in your life & the life of others.  Like the narrative art work I have my students create, you must think through your story and consider how best to share it with others.  You don't want it to sound scripted/canned...but we must be ready in & out of season to give account for our hope!  Writing it down, sharing it with a friend, and thinking upon what you are sharing will allow you to refine it & effectively convey your story   I also feel it will allow you to reflect on God's love & faithfulness in your life. That is a WIN-WIN situation!!  

The Easter Story is on our hearts & minds right now....
but I want to know how the
Easter Story has impacted your story!  

Dear Lord...you have blessed me with a story to share.  Thank you for the testimony you have given me.  I know it your story of grace, love, and hope.  Something our world needs to hear.  Allow me to effectively &fearlessly share the reason for my hope.  Help me to glory you through the story of my life.  And may I see that it is not finished, but still unfolding as I go & grow in you.
In Christ's Name, Amen

April 09, 2022

Stained Glass Window Cling

I have always wanted to do this.  My window looks out to an unkept courtyard & a brick wall. I like the light…but not the view. I had seen them at Home Depot/Lows, but the selection was small and nothing that I was really excited about.  I'm a little late on the Amazon bandwagon (just this past year ordered my first item), but they had a TON of options. You have to be careful though because of size vs price...they can get ya if you aren't paying attention!  This was not my favorite design(that would be a roll that cost $50 and would not have covered the whole window!), but I really liked this one and felt it would work well in my room.  OH MY GOODNESS!!  I was not thinking about the light it cast into my room.  IT IS SO PRETTY!!!!!  We need happy spots in our day...and seeing my floors glowing with beautiful color....LOVE!!!!!

April 08, 2022

April 07, 2022

Testing Jolly Rancher Scented Crayons

I love FIVE BELOW!  Their arts and crafts section has some...SOME....great products.  Not everything is worth your money though.  They currently have Jolly Rancer, Mike & Ikes, and some other "scented" crayons.  I did not read the label and thought that each crayon would have a unique scent.  Not only do they each not have a unique scent(the box was suppose to be watermelon), but there really was no scent at all?!?!?  SAD!!!  Then I tried them out on paper.  Check out my review. 

April 06, 2022

Yarn Storage & Distribution

Some have messaged me and asked how I handle the "yarn situation" in my room.  How I do things is not THE way....it is just a way.  You need to figure out what works best for you in your situation.

Many years ago I asked our "carpentry team" (I'm not sure that department exists any more?) to build me some wall shelves in two places in my room.  One I keep supplies on that we use frequently and I need to be accessible to students.  The other is used for storing student art(I have baskets for each class). I purchased Sterilite shoeboxes and drilled a whole in one side(using sharp "adult" scissors...be gentle when you push it in...because sometimes the boxes crack).  If you are on a budget.. collect 2 liter bottles and cut the bottom off them & feed the string through the top.  You can hot glue them together to stabilize them. I teach the students to go up (2 at a time) and get their yarn as needed. They pull a wing span out (finger tip to finger tip arms wide opened) and cut the yarn at the lid below the box they are pulling from.  I have little issue with this...my students are respectful and do a good job(because they LOVE WEAVING!!!).  

My specialty yarn...I keep it in a 10 gal plastic box.  When we use the specialty yarn, I spread it out on my classroom counter top so they can see what I have available to them.  Once again, two students at a time are allowed to go up to get their yarn.  I have a cup with scissors next to the specialty yarn.  They are allowed to select one specialty yarn that they can use up to 4 times in their weaving (I tell them it isn't special if they use it a bunch! ha ha)


April 05, 2022

4th Grade Weavings: IN PROGRESS

Before we started with our weft string, we talked about "themes" using color that students could use in their weavings. They needed to select five "normal" yarn colors.  Once they had woven the first five, they were allowed to select a specialty yarn to add to their weaving(they also could chose not to use a specialty yarn).  We talked about how different yarns can cause "challenges" while weaving(pompom yarn, eyelash yarn, blanket yarn..etc). I collect specialty yarn in odd places...and only when it is on sale!! 

This is our second class time working on our weavings. They hate when I say time is up!! Weaving is something that really reaches students in a way other mediums do not. We will work two or three more class times to finish these.  If students don't finish...I open my classroom to them in the morning after the first bell & before the second (about 15 min).  There have been days in years past where I've had 40 students in my room weaving.  

Here are a few examples from my students.

April 03, 2022

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Perspective

People have strong opinions about art.  They will often draw a line in the sand concerning what they feel is art or what they may consider to be good art.  Though I do enjoy a good debate every once and awhile, I do not believe it is my place to "defend" my perspective on art/good art.  I do feel it is my place to "educate" others when the opportunity arises (in a non-condescending manner).  I come from a place of exposure, in depth study, and diverse training from a multitude of instructors from multiple perspectives.  This is not to say that my thoughts on art are "better", but it is informed differently than most.  When others express their opinions, they are sharing out of their experience, understanding, and perspective.  There is great value in this.  As an "art person", I should listen, ask questions, and encourage others to think about/process/unpack their opinions/beliefs about art.  If I remain open to what others are saying...they may remain open to learning, growing, and experiencing art.  If I am closed off  or try to shut them down, they will be less likely to open themselves up again. Plus..I can learn something new along the way!!

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of every opportunity.  Let your speech always be with grace as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
Colossians 4:5-6

Being open does not mean compromising your beliefs. Being grace filled does not mean you are allowing others to walk all over you.  In Colossians 4:5-6,  we see a statement to believers about their actions and interactions towards others.  We are not called to be confrontational and demeaning.  We are not called to be finger pointing zealots.  We are not called to be callous spewers of religiosity.  NO!  We are called to be wise, grace filled, and conscientious to the individual.  This means we must be open to share our own story.  We must be open to hearing their story (without judgement or condemnation).  We must be open to give and speak the grace that has been given to us.  Our actions, attitudes, and words need to reflect that life and love. God is all about relationships.  We should be about relationships.  We need to listen more.  Ask questions without expectations.  Encourage others to think, process, and unpack their own journeys. If we live life this way...it will be amazing to see how God might use us when we're open.   

April 01, 2022

Tying Knots For Weaving

In general, students have lost the ability to tie knots.  Even the simple knot that most know from learning to tie their shoes(They don't really tie shoes much any more?!?). I use that one to start the radial/circle weaving.  I will say...this knot I'm about to show you is a bit different(but simple). I want my students to use this knot because it is easy, strong, and cuts down on wasted yarn. I put this video on repeat for my students during the class.  Yesterday...no one asked me how to do it...they just watched the video! Hope it helps you out!!