Monday, December 20, 2010

Snowmen Castrophe

My challenge, teach a cartooning lesson that does not use people or animals.
 .I went through my comic book collection I have mostly people,superheroes and personified animals in there.I looked through my old examples of comic strips that I had made--all about my dog.."No,those are not  not going to work" I said.

I spent some time on several web pages  looking up cartoon tutorials. I found one on drawing a cartoon snowman..No tutorial really needed just three circles but I did like the cartoon eyes. This would work and gave me tons of great ideas.Snowmen could have facial expressions.They could have conversations and if personified they would also have problems,conflicts and issues just like other cartoon characters.

I tried this first  with the morning program kids. The students were  kindergarten, fourth and fifth grades.

They  had some great ideas of what could happen that would be bad for a snowman. I thouhght of limbs falling off mine other thins kids thought of were "They could melt". "A dog could pee on them","Someone could throw hot water on them."

I tried this again later the same day with another group of students. I showed them my examples and walked them through a few morecompostional  drawing tips then the morning crew had. This was the class I had prepred it for.The morning group I was using it as a timefiller . I talked to them about snowmen not being perfectly round and that they could be other shapes,I mentioned that they could be female instead of male. I got questions about this..  I clarified with "Keep it appropriate. I do not need to see snow people genitals. The clothing is descriptive enough."

 I was working along with another artist teacher this class and she is partial to using washable markers and brushing into them with water for a watercolor effect.  I worked very successfully for this project. It allowed you to get the bold markers colors were you wanted bold but to also get nice color washes in areas for snow or sky were you want some transparency.The students had great success with them and created snow people that wore tie dye, had huge hats being attacked by cats, triangular snow people, cubed snow people etc.

I really enjoyed these and honestly want to do a whole series with the three cartoon snow persons I created.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday gift tag making!

Tag making in my family was a recycled expedition. The old holiday cards that had been received the years previous were cut into little squares and used a gift tags. I always liked this idea!

So this year I came up with a few different tag making ideas and ran them with kids!

 With the morning program I had some small strips of white copy paper and several  large chunky foam holiday stamps so kids just stamped designs on.

At the art Gallery we had a drop in art activity on making gift tags. We used texture plates,  and white drawing paper art sticks and collage materials like colored paper scraps and cellophane. We also wanted to use stamps but had stamps that we really  more for teachers to grade kids work.  You know Ones that said Excellent! Awesome job! etc.  If you use only markers instead of stamp pads it is easy to apply color only to the places of the stamp that you want to actually have stamp. So I used the stars and symbols around the text and avoided the text.

The other teacher I was working with had the brilliant idea or using up a old materials and Styrofoam trays to make our own stamps that was ingenuity at work.We used rubber bands ans stretched them onto a foam square to make stars and

 I was talking with some teenagers and wondered what kind of gift tag would you give someone who was getting coal? I came up with this idea.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Why do I write about art shows I have attended and what is my media

 I hate labeling people but I guess you could but a bunch  of labels on me if you wanted to. I like labels on my bins of art supplies however just fine. I consider myself and art teacher and an artist. Some people would say that I am a Substitute teacher and therefore not a "real teacher" I hear that one a lot an it hurts. I write my own lesson plans I conduct art lessons even though I currently do not have my own classroom within a school. I have heard people cal me a painter, a jewelry maker but I consoder myself an artist plain and simple. I do not want to pigeone hold myself in to a specifc media. I actually fimrly belief that anyone who wants to teach art for k-5 should not specialize in  specificmedia because the best way to reach your student is to let them sample them all. Id students learn to use several materials and you as a teacher feels comfortable with several of them I think this is the best way to reach students.

I also belief strongly that  art teachers should know what is going on in there local community especially within their arts community. It keeps you from not getting trapped in a bubble of teaching, grading an lesson prep. It gets you outisde you classroom.  It gives you relevent thingsto talk to students about that are happening right in their community that they tocan be involved with. It takes learning outside of the door and makes it relevant to students in the "real world"

 I also do beleif that besides being a teacher that I am an artist to my core. This is why  I am not certified to teach another subject althought I have considered it and have taught preschool before. I love to look at art and talk  to other artists it gives me inspiration it gives me a sounding board, it gives me ideas and it gives me hope..

Everyone knows that the arts are the least appreciated field in schools and often in our communities. I think that artists need to support one another and not treat each other like competition....  I think that Good Karma is a good way to go. I give shout out to artists whose work I have enjoyed in order to help continue to promote the arts to advocate for the arts and because I hope that some "good Karma exchange will be put out there.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Puppets that use fingers for legs-steps tutorial and examples

In  morning care the other day the kids made puppets with finger for the legs.The kids all really got into it.  To do this project use card stock so that it is stiff or use white paper and glue it to cardboard with a glue stick.

This is fairly Easy to do. Draw an8x 10 inch sheet of card stock in half. cut it in half. On one of the cut cut pieces. Start with a simple form A circle for the head and egg like shape with no top and a flat bottom for the body.

Draw two circles about one inch up from the bottom of the shape for the fingers to go through

Have kids draw their own facial features, hair,arms, clothing and other details.

Draw in pencils first

When drawing is complete then color in clothing or other details with markers or crayons.

Have kids trim off the excess paper and carefully folder or pierce into paper at small circles to cut out the circles for the legs. 

If you were using paper instead of cardstock cut out your paper pattern and glue onto cardstock at this point.

Put fingers through the holes. Ta Da! your down you have a puppet ready to go!

Here some the kids made. These are made by kids in grades k-5

Monday, November 29, 2010

Grape Vine Wreaths

I was out walking the dog the other day on the Genesee River trail near our apartment. They have cleaned up and done a brushcut. This means easier shopping for art supplies for me. There is this wild bamboo that grows near us. I have used it for curtain rods in the past when dried out. I was looking for some new ones.

The grape vines had just been cut so there were still pretty pliable.  I started to twist then into a circle to make a wreath. I made two and then went through things at home for embellishment.

The landlord told me they just cut down several on one of their other properties. (He saw me walking home with a bundle.)

I have made around 10 so far and am really enjoying the process.

The only problem that I am finding is that after awhile they get dry and brittle and will not bend anymore.  I talked to a florist friend that suggested soaking them in warm water. I tried it yesterday let see it this works....Speaking of my florist friend she had hooked  me up with some left overs from a trade show awhile back and with this project I got to use them.

 I have a bunch more vines on the porch and i have been going through my stuff and hitting up the dollar store for decorating supplies.(love the dollar store)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Etsy sales!

New  fall  clearance section. I have slashed my prices again! also sale for Black Friday Etsy / Cyber Monday Etsy new items for sale including new hair chopsticks!

Hair sticks are made from bamboo chopsticks with polymer clay handmade findings. Each stick is sand ed smooth and coated with polyurethane to protect and add shine. wrap your hair up into a bun then stick this in for a little fun!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Food Pop Art

Okay, so must of us have seen the brightly colored silkscreen  faces by artist Andy Warhol. Many, many art teachers have had students do a variation on Andy's work by drawing their own faces multiple times and changing the colors...
Food is the inspiration for a lot of my art. so we did Pop Art Food.
Here is the images of my steps poster.

One of the students wanted a cat instead of food I told her fine so could do that. She said so really did not have a favorite food.
The hardest part of the assignment for the kids seemed to be that they had to reference the color wheel for the complimentary color combination. It was also a challenge to change the color of an object from what it should be. For example making an orange not orange.

In the past I had done the assignment with middle school students using their favorite cartoon character instead of food. We used tempera paint instead of markers of colored pencil. I preferred the pencils/ markers  to the paint. This worked best for quick dry time,easy storage and overall convenience.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Godess Hour Tribal Class debut Nov 2010

Debut performance of new tribal group at Goddess Hour.  Directed by Deirdre

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pyschodelic pinwheels

Inspired by the psychedelic show currently up at the MAG.... I created this lesson. The show utilizes bold patterns and bright colors. I also looked at some art work by Bridget Riley and op art patterns.

For these pinwheels I cut 6 x 6 inch two sided two tone poster board. I cut and folded it into fours. We drew designs with Sharpie and we added color with colored pencils. The stems are made from drinking straws and I opened paper clips to make the piece to connect the straw to the paper pinwheel.

Beutiful Beads

 When I was a young teenager I had a friend who had a lot of jewelry. I wanted lots of jewelry too. I started making my own jewelery. Lots of beads...... I made my own from polymer clay and paper. I took jewelry classes and learned to work with metal. The non precious materials were usually my favorite. I drilled holes in acorns. I used bolts and fishing lores, gi joe heads and barbies things. All kind of stuff. I still do this.

 I also  need to clear things out once in awhile this boxes and boxes of crafting supplies. I have collected these bobbles for awhile now and was thrilled to watch a group of children pick through my treasures the other day during the morning program I lead. I gave kindergartners through fifth graders three boxes of beads and bobbles,some beading elastic, ribbon and pipe cleaners.

 I brought a blanket to put down on the table. On of my past mentors showed my this trick. we kids drop beads and they hit the table they will stay within the blanket. Other wise they bounce off the table and end up all over the floor.

This one girl is part Native American and recently was learning about Native American tribes in schools. She says the most insightful things and is very creative. She choose the gold craft coins,the tribal  print beads and some polymer clay beads and made this great necklace.She wanted the necklace to reflect her cultural background.

Other kids used letter beads and bells and made necklaces with them. One girl made a choker from safety pins and beads

One girl even made her school art teacher a gift, a pipe cleaner with beads ans a mini roll of tape that she found in my treasure box she said "You never know when the art teacher might need tape".

Today they thought the mini golf tokens were "real gold".
I love to here kids talk about their process as they create. It warms my heart....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hand carved stamps with the kids

 I am still teaching classes on Saturday with kids at the art gallery. I have a new class called "Art Studio Follow Your Interests". It is fantastic fun, the kids are full of great of ideas. I teach the kids how to use a different materials and different technique each week the subject matter and what they do with it is up to them. I completed a series of printing techniques with this class. They first made Styrofoam prints where you use a pencil and press into pieces of foam similar to a Styrofoam tray. The lids of Styrofoam egg cartons also work good for this.

They also drew me a picture onto a small piece of garden kneeling foam. I took the garden kneeling foam pieces home and burned into them with a  wood burning pen to create reusable stamps.

The important thing to remember when making any print of stamp is that the image will print in reverse. I try to encourage kids not to do words unless they are sure they can reverse them. I have also had them hold up to the window what they wrote with text facing the window and trace it in the back to see it in reverse.

The last stamp we made was a carved plastic eraser stamp. The kids drew a design with a Sharpie and I carved it with a gauge tool like the type you would use for speedy cut of linoleum. I bought a packages of multiple plastic erasers for under a dollar and we carved those.

I can do all this with this class because it only has six students right now. I am unsure if a would try this with classes of twenty or more without an assistant to help carve/burn all those stamps.

I told the students that they could bring in T-shirts and using acrylic paint we could use the eraser stamps to print on a t-shirt with acrylic. Here is how one turned out.  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Meet selena

 My Halloween theme this year is skeletons. I remember I saw this is in a art project book for kids a few years back.

Selena here is made entirely out of milk jugs. These are strung together with cording to connect her head, torso and pelvic bone.The arms and legs are cut from milk jugs. So altogether you need about five milk jugs. We hole punched the "bones" and then connected them with cable ties. The face and other details are drawn on with Sharpie.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Etsy shop markdown

I might be moving. I have so many art teaching examples and so many crafting supplies. I move a lot. I hate this process!  However It does help me downsize and not accumulate to many things.

So I am having an etsy sale! my Halloween (halloween not capped on etsy) tagged items and several artists trading cards are on sale!Artists trading cards make great stocking stuffers.!

 These are just some of the items marked down.
I mean really marked down to the point I am not sure if I even break even.So look for this logo and save big for your holiday gift buying! especially if your friends are like mine and love Halloween themed things for Christmas!

All photos by Susan Link

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


 I work at the Art Gallery with a fellow artist named Eddie Davis he is the third Eddie Davis in his family so officially his name is Eddie Davis The3rd. He is a talented art educator and all around funny guy.Eddie gifted a fellow workmate with this awesome ceramic skull pendent and gifted me a with key chain ring. To quote my friend she said "That' hot". I still owe him a fantastic pink bow tie in fair trade. I am putting a shout out here on my blog for him. Check out his store and buy his stuff.
He silkscreens t-shirt to make his own line and creates his own original drawings and sticker art.
his online store and webpage is
or donate to his cause at:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


 I am actually very surprised that I have not yet written a blog about my dog. Smokey is my Humane Society rescue dog. I love her a lot. When I lived alone in Arizona I wanted a hiking buddy.I kept having these dog find me everywhere too. I figured it was sign. I found an apartment that allowed a dog first then checked out the Humane society of southern Arizona page. I have had smokey ever since. She has been a loyal companion and seen me through very many hard times.  Having a dog  has made many things in my life change.

Smokey and I have been to Arizona, Utah, Arkansas and many road trips states in between together.
She has been a trusted photography model. A reason to get out of bed, a reason to walk more and great friend and good conversation piece.

Smokey was 8 years old when I brought her home (we think) she is now about 13.Her eyes don't work as well as they used to but she sure can still hike. We hiked her on Friday, Sat and Sunday over the holiday weekend.We went to three different parks.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Adventures and lasting inspiration from Octobers First Friday

So, this last Friday was First Friday meaning that the Rochester area galleries had art show openings. We went to ROCO then meandered over to SPOT. At Spot we looked at teh photos.We realized we know alot of the models in the pictures.  while in Spot we saw this flier for a dance performance over at the Hungerford. So we hoped over there just in time to see the beginning of the performance.

Then we stopped by and checked out the Suzi- Zefting Kuhn  Co-op gallery.They were wrapping up. Beutiful portraits as always.
So we went over to see what was going on in the Design Gallery at RRCDC. Then we realized hey "That's are neighbor's car in the at photo". In many pictures were photos of neighbors.Many of our neighbors were also in attendance at the show.Ed realized" Hey I was there when that picture was taken" Basically we knew a lot of people in the photos.congratulations to Christin Boggs for making dirt look so pretty and on finishing you thesis.

So we were walking out through the building and i stopped to read the fliers and gallery cards in the stairwells and i saw one witha fun and quirky cartoon that said So i came home and checked it out.

So I wanted to get involved.So here is my submission

Getting all Halloweenie

So besides the Etsy line and the charm swap I of course have house decorating to do and costume accessories to make. Then cookies to bake and frost. I usually make a Halloween house with graham crackers and frosting.

I just started decorating.I should mention that I used to be a preschool teacher.So most of these decorations are from my preschool classroom. I made a tree out of cardboard and at each session the kids could hang charms on it that represented the season we were in. I hot glued yarn loops on onto "Woodies" shapes.  I have put them outside on a branch which is just stuck into a planter with dirt in it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Texture Rubbings

All you need for a texture rubbing is a textured object , some copy paper and, some crayons.We used the fishnet style wrappers from large Asian pears the other day.We combined those with clay texture plates.
Just put the texture plate under the copy paper then rub with a crayon.It helps to have one handhold the plate in place while the other uses the crayon for the rubbing. When you have finished the rubbing you can add watercolor washes in between.
Pictures are on my phone I will upload them later.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Halloween hair sticks!

Check out my hair sticks!great for the girl who throws her hair in a bun. Teachers usually use pencils. Save the pencil for writing. Keep this in your desk to hold your bun up instead.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Seemed like a bad idea but turned out well

Yesterday there was a bike ride sponsored by ROCO to tour graffitti art.Ed my boyfriend was of course all other this.I really wanted to check it out. There was alot of sites listed on there that I had been hearing about forever but have either never got to go see or its been so long I am sure they had changed by now.There was a light drizzling rain when we started out. I have been wearing a wrist brace for carpal tunnel related pain and my bike brakes are not so good. This sounded like a recipe for disaster. I whined to my boyfriend "Why can't we just be like normal couples who snuggle under a blanket and watch a movie when in rains. "It wasn't a disaster, it was great.This, typing hurts my wrist not biking. The weather was nice it stopped raining. My pants dried, it was not to hot of too cold.We saw things I other wise never would have seen because my live does not take me to those places.

Shameless self promotion

So if you are a Facebook friend of mine you already know I will tell you all when I have new things online, have an art show or have an art teaching event I would like you to attend.
This year I was part of the Artists row event at the Public Market and took things up a notch. I finally bought that pop up tent I have been meaning to get for years. I had my friend at Instant Signcenter make me some signs to hang on my tent. I had Print Vista make me a car magnet and I used iron on transfers at home to make a t-shirt and hoodie(its crumpled on top of the car) for myself and Ed. That is the logo we desinged for mt Etsy shop from one of my oil paintings from the Tarot series.

Halloween line of jewelry and accesories.

Halloween is by far my most favorite holiday.I hit up the Halloween stores in force (usually to get thing to wear other times of the year). I say that Halloween is like my Christmas. I also love doing things with students on this day and to pull out all my costumes accessories. I am creating a Halloween section to my Etsy shop. Here are some images. to purchase go to Also look there for hair falls clips and other items to complete your Halloween costume

Friday, September 10, 2010

Come make artists trading cards with me!

Tomorrow 10:30- 1:30 I will be leading an activity at the Memorial Art Gallery during the Clothesline art festival. We will be making artists trading cards in the Creative Workshop! Great place for kids to hang while adults go shop during the festival. Or hang with and make your own mini artwork to trade and share!

New food jewelry on My Etsy

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Visit me at Artists Row

I will be in space A74 where the the second large covering bends.Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Artist Trading Cards

I have seen all these other artist making Artist TradingCards and postcards and have been wanting to try it out. The collborative ones I had made before were a bit larger then these new ones. The new cards are the standard 2 and1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches that a deck of playing cards are.

I have began carrying around a little notebook with a pocket.I put all the precut cards in the notebook and carry around my own kit of markers ,watercolor colored pencils etc. I was at a comic book shop and founf the plastic trading card sleeves that protect your game cards. I have been putting in my newly created Artist trading card artworks in them.

I have really enjoyed making these. I am often on the go and have little time dedicated to working in my studio and making art. I can finish an artist trading cards while on the go,in between tasks or just as easily begin one then take it with me to finish later. I also found the size and media freeing. I am not so afraid to make a mistake like I am when I paint with oils on Canvas.
To buy any of the cards pictured her go to