Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Summer Goes By Too Quickly-A Peek-a-Boo Project

I'm now into my 33rd year of teaching, 23 years at the same middle school. It is still early in the school year but I always begin full with hope. The more things change the more they stay the same. My father went to a one room school house near where I grew up in Pennsylvania, My mom's mom trained teachers to work in one room schoolhouses. The Golden Rule of treating others as one wants to be treated should never goes out of style. These are the inspirations for this artwork.

Supplies:  GSLC ATC Folder Frames 2, Transparencies of Vintage Black and White Schoolchildren, Copies of Vintage Classroom Rules,  Copies of Grade 2 Manuscript Practice Book, Dot Glue Runner, or Double Sided Tape Glue Runner, Embossing Folder of your Choice, Sizzix Big Kick Embossing Machine, Shades of Yellow and Brown Acrylic Paints, TH Pumice Stone Distress Stain, Blue Lagoon and Neon Blue Acrylic Paint, TH Rusty Hinge Distress Stain, Art Alchemy Metallique Flame Acrylic Paint, Weldbond,  UHU Gluestick, Blue Neon Highlighter, Matte Gel Medium

1.  Gather Supplies.

2.  Make Copies of Grade 2 Manuscript Practice Book and Transparencies of Vintage Black and White Schoolchildren.

3.   Use Dot Glue Runner or Double Sided Tape Glue Runner  to Adhere Transparencies to Manuscript Backgrounds.

4.  Print Copies of Vintage Classroom Rules on Vintage Looking Paper. Add Patina by Spraying with Water.

5.  Use Sizzix Big Kick Embossing Machine and Embossing Folder of your Choice on Front Portion of GSLC ATC Folder Frame.

6.   Randomly Paint GSLC ATC Folder with Shades of Yellow and Brown Acrylic Paints.

7.  Fill in Any Empty Spaces with TH pumice Stone Distress Stain.

8.  Paint Back Portion of ATC Folder Frame  With Blue Lagoon Acrylic Paint.

9.  Add Neon Blue  Acrylic Paint Using Dry Brush Technique.

10.                Add Patina by Randomly Adding TH Rusty Hinge Distress Stain.

11.                Paint front Portion of GSLC ATC Layered Frame with Art Alchemy Metallique Flame Acrylic Paint.

12.                Glue Layered Portions of Frames Together with Weldbond.

13.                Attach Prepared Black and White Manuscript Images to Frames Using Dot Glue Runner or Double Sided Tape Glue Runner.

14.                Use a UHU Gluestick to Add Wider Washi Tape to Spines of GSLC ATC Folders.

15.                Attach Frames to Back Inside Portion of Folder with  Dot Glue Runner or Double Sided Tape Glue Runner.

16.                Use a UHU Gluestick to Attach Copies of Vintage Classroom Rules to Inside Portion of Folder.

17.                Seal Everything with Matte Gel Medium.

Some Final Thoughts.

I used to say that by the time students made it to 6th Grade they knew the difference between right and wrong, students came to school with an understanding of social norms. It seems like the pandemic has seemingly changed our collective ethics and common etiquettes. We have lost the Golden Rule as this poem titled The Golden Rule by Jim Yerman contemplates:

 As I watch many world religions fight, acting inhumane and cruel
It makes me ask the question, what’s happened to the Golden Rule?

Countries at war with one another, soldiers dying, a world of dread
Again I ask, has the Golden Rule been buried with the dead?

People going hungry every day, so many in the world oppressed
Is it possible the Golden Rule has been forgotten or suppressed?

We read of people murdering one another, even children, and we’re stunned
And I ask as we wipe our tears, has the Golden Rule been shunned?

Yes, so many sorrowful stories we hear each day...we hope they can’t be true,
And we ask, have we forgotten Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?

As I see people hating people just because of how they look or who they are
I think to myself...Do unto others hasn’t really evolved very far.

In a world where we are so connected we should look within our hearts
And find the reason why, when we’re so close, we still so far apart.

I believe the answer is a simple one and will come as no surprise
For it’s been around since the dawn of man sitting right before our eyes.

If you look at most of the world’s religions, (I remember learning this in school)
A basic lesson in all of them is some form of The Golden Rule.

Ah, but it’s not enough for the religions of the world, the Golden Rule to teach
Another thing I learned in school...we must practice what we preach.

We can point fingers as to the cause but we all shoulder part of the blame
For it’s up to each of us to follow the rule and treat everyone the same.

Is it possible the answer is so simple or am I once again the fool?
For thinking the world would be a better place if we all practiced the Golden Rule.

If it worked, if starting today we all practiced The Golden Rule
And the world became a better place...then I would gladly play the fool

I want my students to know the joy I felt when the Scholastic News Flyers were handed out in class and if we had the money my momma would allow me to choose one or two items. Students today seem to have no appreciation  for their immense requisitions, so much is given to them and they do not have a need nor a care. They live in a world of instant gratification and privileged entitlement.


The two items I would most often Choose from magical Scholastic News Flyer was the latest Clifford, the Big Red Dog book, who originally was the runt of the litter, seemingly fated to small and sick, but grew to an enormous size apparently due to Emily Elizabeth's love and care. The second treasured item was getting a yearly subscription to Highlights Magazine.


Highlight Magazines had wonderful features like "Hidden Pictures", "Jokes and Riddles" and "What's Wrong" being my favorites.

Not to brag but I was always a 'teacher's pet" because I was a people pleaser and did not want to be noticed in a crowd. I did not need the  Goofus and Gallant cartoon feature created by Garry Cleveland Myers and drawn by Anni Matsick. The strip features two contrasting boys, Goofus and Gallant. In each cartoon, it is shown how each boy would respond to the same situation. Goofus chooses an irresponsible, immature and unkind path, while Gallant chooses a responsible, mature and kind path. My hope for my students to more often choose the path of Gallant and less often the way of Goofus.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Lazy Daze of Summer-A Peek-a-Boo Project

Growing up in the countryside of Pennsylvania, Summer was time spent going to the swimming holes, building dams in the brook, catching crayfish,  searching for hellgrammites and night crawlers-the perfect bait for fishing. Staying up late, camping out in the backyard, taking nighttime walks, catching fireflies some call them lightening bugs, dipping our head  in the refreshing spring at the bottom of our property where the brilliant salamanders hid under the flat stepping stones. Often there would be a watermelon chilling in there along with a rainbow trout who enjoyed the oxygen rich waters. These are the inspirations for this artwork.

Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-ATC Frame Folder 1, Transparencies of Summer Gone By Illustrations, Copies of County Fair Covers, Pieces of Copper Foil, Glue Dot Runner, UHU Gluestick, Wider Washi Tape, Acrylic Pain in Tones of Green, Brown, Yellow, Red and Gold, TH Distress Stain Evergreen Bough, Weldbond, Brayer, Scissors, Copper Paint, Flower Stamps, Matte Gel Medium, Rub On Transfers, Glossy Accents

1.  Gather Supplies.

2.  Make Copies of Resized and Re-Colored Summer Gone By Illustrations on Transparencies and  Copies of County Fair Covers on Vintage Style Paper. 
3.   Cut to Size. Attach Transparencies to Cut Pieces of Copper Foil Using Glue Dot Runner-I Would Prefer Regular Double Sided Tape, But I am Adding This as a Decorative Element.

4.  Use a UHU Gluestick to Add Thicker Washi Tape to the Spines of GSLC ATC Folder Frames 1.

5.  Paint GSLC ATC Folder Frame 1 With Shades of Green and Brown Acrylic Paints. 

6.  Fill in Any Empty Spaces with TH Evergreen Bough Distress Stain.

7.  Paint Back Part of GSLC ATC Frames with  Shades of Red and Magenta Acrylic Paints.

8.  Color Front Part of GSLC ATC Frames with Shades of Yellow and Gold.

9.  Once Fully Dry, Attach the Two Parts of the Frames Together Using Weldbond.

10.                Use a Brayer to Randomly Add Hints of Red to the GSLC ATC Folders.

11.                Cut Out Printed Country Fair Covers and Glue to Front of GSLC ATC Folders Using UHU Gluestick.

12.                Use Copper Paint and Flower Rubber Stamps to Add a Layer to Inside Cover of GSLC ATC Folders 1

13.                Once Fully Dry Add Highlights of Pale Green Acrylic Paint to the Folders.

14.                To Add a Bit of Shimmer Dry Brush Aqua Flash Color Shift Paint to ATC Folders.

15.                Still Needing More Depth and Interest Add Rub on Transfers to These Two Parts of the GSLC ATC Folders.

16.                Use Dry Brush Technique to Add Splotches of Yellow, Cooper, Gold and Red to These Two Parts of the GSLC ATC Folders.

17.                Coat Everything in Matte Gel Medium.

18.                Use Double Sided Taped to Attach the Copper Layered Transparencies to Illustrations  to the Right Inside Section of the GSLC ATC Folders.

19.                Use Glossy Accents to Mimic a Glass Cover Over the Copper Layered Transparencies to Illustrations.

20.                Once Crystallized and Clear, Fold in Half and Allow to be Weighted Down Overnight.  

Some Final Thoughts.


Summer time is finally here

School is out and fishing time near.

Barefooted boys and fishing poles,

Down to the creek, to the ole swimming hole.

Running through the woods, along the river bank,

That old boat they used went and sank.

A can of worms, a hook and line,

Looking for a fishing pole, if they can find

Two good friends who share their fun,

They run and jump and chase the sun.

Running here, and running there.

Not any worries, not a care

But too soon, it must all end

For these two that were good friends.

Summer comes and summer moves on.

A few summers in your life, then you're grown.

But there are days we can recall When we were friends, we had it all.

-Doug Beggs


'Tis fine to play

In the fragrant hay,

And romp on the golden load;

To ride old Jack

To the barn and back,

Or tramp by a shady road.

To pause and drink,

At a mossy brink;

Ah, that is the best of joy,

And so I say

On summer's day,

What's so fine as being a boy? Ha, Ha!

With line and hook

By a babbling brook,

The fisherman's sport we ply;

And list the song

Of the feathered throng

That flit in the branches nigh.

At last we strip

For a quiet dip;

Ah, that is the best of joy.

For this I say

On a summer's day,

What's so fine as being a boy? Ha, Ha!

-  Paul Laurence Dunbar