Thursday, October 19, 2017


2-harness tabletop loom, warping board & weaving essentials

Let's see what our 3rd year 3-D girls are up to.
In 2nd year 3-d they learned to weave on a frame loom,
so this year they graduated to a 2-harness tabletop loom,
and also learned to use a warping board.
Above we see senior Shreya Sheth helping senior Jacqueline Yu remember her warping sequence.
And below Shreya is bored waiting for her turn.
Pretty cute Shreya!

Here is Jac's lovely and yummy finished scarf hanging on display at Open House.
And a couple of close-ups.
Fringe was optional.
I really like how Jac played with several different sizes and types of weft yarns.

Next we have Shreya's finished scarf.
She went a completely different route then Jacqueline.
She was inspired by hounds tooth cloth and made up her own pattern
for a very striking piece.
The girls told me the warping process was way too tedious but once they started the actual weaving they were loving it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


hand dyed wool rovings, hot soapy water, wash board, washing machine,
& needle felting supplies

thought senior Helen Park after she wet felted her dyed wool rovings into this spherical form.
But after more hours of hot water, soap and elbow grease her sculpture began to emerge.
She cut an opening in the sphere,
turned it inside out and aggressively worked it some more
 on the washboard to shrink and stiffen.
When she felt she could do no more herself,
 she took it home and put the form in her washing machine to full and shrink it EVEN MORE!.
Satisfied she brought it back to school to sew and tweak the shape into a pleasing vessel form.
She was also required to add a bit of needle felted design.
In this close up below you can see the extra work she put into the neck area
 using raffia over a jute core.
 She coiled and stabilized the neck with a basketry technique called Figure 8 stitch
(also a requirement).
The grey and dark brown shapes are needle felted over top and the little white pearls
 are really needle felted balls. 
Talk about a herculean effort!
So proud of you Helen!!!!!

Monday, October 16, 2017


I just want to send out a thank you 
to the gardeners in our school district who care for and take great pride 
in the gardens around our school.
It is a pleasure to walk around our campus.


dried or fresh leaves, needle and perle cottons

Gee no!
Not here in the So.Cal.
99 degrees today if you can believe that?
Crazy weather.
So let me show off a little something to cool things down a bit,
these sweet leaf constructions that senior Helen Park created last school year.

Inspired by the work of Susanna Bauer,
Helen picked a few dried leaves I'd collected for her over the last year and went to town.

she made the most difficult one first
 after she saw the little box my son bought me for Xmas from U.K. mixed media artist
She enjoyed the tedious process so much that she made several more.
The grouping above was bought by English teacher Donna Hall to be displayed in her classroom,
a great honor.
One of these days I need to photograph Donna's classroom.
Every year she spends a couple hundred dollars at Open House and fills her walls with student art.
The effect is incredible!
I would say she has close to 250 pieces carefully arranged.
I had Helen frame out her leaves in small box top lids for Open House display.
So delicate and lovely!
I admire your workmanship and stick-to-activeness Helen.
This was a very difficult assignment.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


junk mail, gesso, watercolor,  & Sharpies

Famous last words, right?
Wanting to please our new Principal ,
John Briquelet,
I gladly told him I'd have my Intermediate 2-D art kids do a mural on one of the walls
 in the new student union building for him,
 the new idea he was hoping for.
I had to figure a spot large enough to put it into
inside my already tightly packed Tentative Schedule. 
1st Quarter Final,
which was to be their Junk Mail Book,
 was the only place I could work it into,
So I renamed it the Junk Mail Mural.
 as an artist, 
I have never enjoyed working on assignments together with others.
There is always a slacker,
and then there are the procrastinators.
I used to get too anxious that we wouldn't finish on time.
Not for me.
But I had faith in this Intermediate group that they just might be able to pull it off.
To please the new Principal...
Let's see how it worked out.
We had six kids in this group,
5 seniors and 1 junior.
All of them wanting to be art majors of some sort.
Now we needed a thumb nail design to work from and I wanted it to be an original student design.
For homework I had them all draw up a couple of ideas then they voted on their favorite.
Senior Malaya Sithichai's was chosen of a sweet little astronaut floating in space.
Now the fun begins!

Above are the kids spreading out all my junk mail from the last year I had saved for them.
A ridiculous amount!
Each student picked one favorite visually pleasing piece first,
then auditioned it next to all the others they picked for Visual Flow
(color scheme, text, envelops).
Next they divided up the wall in 6 equal vertical sections,
then lotteried off each section to make it fair.
Can you see the pencil lines?
The wall we chose was small and narrow as you can see,
we didn't want to overextend ourselves.
Next each student had their own brayer that they used to roll on  "YES" glue
onto the back of each junk mail piece to attach to the wall
(we experimented with many glues,
and this one was the strongest to attach those thick mailers with).

Look at those cuties go!

Almost done with this portion.
Honestly I kinda like it just like that.
Could we have called it done at that point???????????
For me personally,
Notice the visual flow thru each vertical section??
Kinda feels like a rainbow effect.
Next came the gesso over top the junk mail.
Two things were not quite working.
When we build the books 
they were required to have at least on piece of mail that opened up like a flap.
We tried it on the wall but it seemed a little too much.
the kids over applied the gesso too thickly and not enough of the mail parts were showing.
What to do?
We ripped off several of the flaps to calm down the distraction,
and I had them sand off some of the gesso.
much better.
Up close.

Next came the watercolor.
Each student chose a color scheme to work in and lightly brushed watercolor over the gesso areas.
What I forgot to take a pix of was what that looked like before the Sharpie drawing was applied.

It didn't look good at first 
because the color schemes were so different and created a hard edge separation.
So then I made the kids go back and overlap their watercolored section edges
 and use a wet sponge to blend them.

Next came using the overhead projector to enlarge Malaya's image,
and each kiddo had a Sharpie to draw over the design lines.
More gesso was then added into areas that needed popping
 like the astronaut and his safety line,
and all the little twinkling stars,
and of course the planets.
Pattern that reads as texture from a distance was added with a Sharpie as well.
Used to be called doodling now is called Zentangling.
You can see that better in the pix below.

Here is the gang standing in front of each of their sections.
From left to right we have Ayesha, Eileen, Kevin, Malaya, Jazzarie, and Samantha.
And sadly below we have the chairs back in place that belong in front of it.

And it wouldn't be complete without their signatures.
We have Senior Ayesha Durrani,

Senior Eileen Lee,

Senior Kevin Ma,

Senior Malaya Sithichai,

Senior Jazzarie Lo,

and Junior Samantha Tun.

What I totally forgot to mention in the post 
is that it took almost the full school year to completely finish it.
Much of that extra time was taken away from their regular class assignments.  :(
So I really admire their sticktuative-ness in bringing this mural to fruition.

What a wonderful legacy these children are leaving behind
at a school they spent 6 years of their lives at,
their Alma Meter,
Whitney High School.

Monday, October 9, 2017



Oh my,
I just found this brilliant piece by coach Milan.
Coach was the paraeducator that helped out in this class last year,
who also participated in the projects.
Turns out he was one of the finest artists in the class.
A natural designer and craftsman.
He felted, designed and constructed this fabulous purse for his girlfriend,
ex-art student of mine,
Alumni Sabrina Lopez.
Lucky woman!
And look at the magic when you open the flap.
You outdid yourself Milan!
So happy you could join us last school year.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


hand dyed wool rovings, hot water, soap, washing machine, perle cottons,
buttons, feathers, beads, leather, & needle felting SUPPLIES

This assignment is always a massive undertaking,
 in the preparation of gathering and ordering materials,
but so worth the effort involved
It also creates a big soapy mess,
so not for the weak of heart.
Weeks before I begin this project
 I place an order at The Woolery for washed and carded wool batts in all their neutral colorways.
They come to me in huge pieces that I gently pull not cut apart
 to make student sized pieces for their foundation
(approximately 13" by 18").
I also order dyed wool roving from Gleason Ranch
and Capistrano Fiber Arts so I have a wonderful,
 colorful selection for the children. 
And then there are the leftover bags of wool scrap roving
and pre-felted wool cut-off pieces
 that I've saved from previous years that the kids can use as well.
Since they are pre-felted,
they can cut out specific shapes to place a top their foundations.
And believe it or not
 I have another bag of fiber goodies that I collect off the floor;
things like bits of laces, ribbons, yarns, old doilies
 that are also available for their use
 to add small bits of texture and bas-relief to their colored foundations.

So let's take a peek at their work.
These two pixs above and below are a take on Starry Night 
and were done by junior Jillian Morris.
The pix above was just after she had finished pre-felting it in my classroom 
with lots of hot soapy water and a lot of elbow grease.
Below is it's shrunken fulled self after I bullied it in my washing machine.
(too much lighting below, true color above)
Bullied refers to how hard I washed it in my machine.
Hot soapy water on wildest speed with old shoes and towels thrown in for good measure.

And here it is in it's finished 3-D form 
along with junior Britney Hong's gorgeous clutch above.
Jillian turned hers into a pillow with terrific embellishment
which really enhanced her Starry Night.
And Britney's clutch had the most glorious movement in color from light to dark.

These next two cuties were designed and made by junior Samantha Tan.
Adorable but difficult to pull off in this 3-dimensional state.

And not to be outdone by Sam is 8th grader James Lara.
He has truly remarkable critical thinking skills,
and designed his own pattern for this hat,
cut up his one slab of felt into all the necessary parts,
and needle felted it together.
And James being James,
the cherry on top is the cute little bear he needle felted below.
The older kids were awed by this remarkable construction,
as was I.


Junior Rachel Kannampuzha pulled off an epic work with this purse.
Everyone loved her pre-felt and couldn't wait to see what she was going to create.
 the critical skills needed to pull this off are incredible because of it's dimensional form.

These children have no experience with pattern making,
but they truly give me their all as they push themselves into scary terrain.

And then were did she find the leather?
Too expensive for me to afford to give the kids.
Although now that I think about it,
perhaps I should thrift some old purses that the kids can break down for parts next year.

I'm really loving the use of feathers on the top piece above by senior Hannah Park.
My neighbor friend and I collect feathers all year long up on the mountain 
so I can share them with my students.

And what a beautifully crafted clutch senior Crystal Lai-Ton-Nu has made above.
Those 3 strands of boucle' yarn really add a nice linear element to the elongated form.

And then we have overachiever,
English teacher Donna Hall.
Only kidding Donna, 
we are all just so jealous of the time and effort you are able to give each of your pieces.
Above is her pre-felt,
before it went into the washing machine.
Amazing right?
Below is her 3-D opened journal cover she made her felt piece into.
Donna's attention to detail is remarkable,
veins embroidered into every leaf, 
as well as the layering of all the fall colorways into her landscape.

And do you see the sweet little bird she sewed on,
and it's nest with blue egg she needle felted on?
A brilliant art piece Donna!
We are so proud of you and this remarkable work!

Next we have super star junior Lynette Lee.
I have shown off her work for almost every assignment.
She truly has so much innate design skill going on inside her,
and it's always a treat to she what she will create next.
Above is the backside of her 3-D felted journal.
She needled felted the deer head onto her foundation after I ran her felt piece thru the washer.
Everyone was astounded by the amount of effort she put into this journal.
Then check out the front side below.
She cut up a pair of recycled jeans and lined her journal with the fabric,
then allowed a bit of it to peek out.
The first time I saw the finished piece,
 I was flabbergasted with the critical thinking used to pull this lining off.

The gorgeous color scheme used in this next one by junior Juliana Oliveira had us all swooning.
So very sensory.
The prefelt above and the washed fulled piece below. 
And what did she make with it?
This artful purse below.
Love how she used the cut off edge bits and pieces as bas relief elements.
It adds even more interest as she spirals them around the backside below.

This is her front with the blanketed perle cotton edging and the braided strap.
Wonderful Juliana!

Another super star,
8th grader Loren Kim,
 created this next clutch purse.
She needle felted all the edging and the leaf.
The contrast she achieved between the lighter marbled foundation and the leaf is breathtaking.

Senior SarahWoo thought of a clever way to pull extra color into her construction.  
She used up several different scrap pieces and did a bit of quilting with the felt.
Almost feels like she is log cabining around her foundation.
She turned her felt into a wallet that had several compartments.
I wish I had thought to take a pix of the inside.

We end with senior Vicky Hur's pencil case she built.
The form was really cool.
She curved the side pieces so that the top rounded as she pulled the cover overtop.
And if you look closely she found some fun embellishments to either sew or pin on.

I am so proud to share all these amazing pieces.
Have I told you lately how much I love, love, love my job?
ha ha