Monthly Archives: March 2018

Patterns in a 9 patch


I had a bunch of 3 inch strips leftover from cutting paper for a project and needed to do something with them. I also have a larger than necessary stash of bright orange paper that had been languishing in the cabinet for a while. We put the two together and came up with these cool nine patch images.

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There were a lot of reminders about how to use and read a ruler but they did a great job.


I can’t believe I remembered to take a picture of the steps we came up with! I put the time on the board since we only have 45 minutes from beginning to end so they could gauge themselves and have enough time to cut and glue.


Lettering Like Niki



A few weeks ago, I went to see the exhibit on Niki de Saint Phalle: Mythical California at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.


One of the K teachers saw an IG post about my visit and the second Saturday class I took at the center that was about lettering. She asked me if I would do letter embellishing with her students. I agreed.

The classroom teacher printed the student’s names in large block letters. We talked about many different ways you can embellish letters and how Niki de St. Phalle decorated many letters in her journals. We looked at letter like Niki as well as other decorative lettering and then the students embellished their names in marker.

I think they are so creative and fun. I can hardly believe they are just kinders.



Martina Nehrling



For as long as I have been teaching art, I have been going to art shows, gallery openings, and museums as well as taking classes.  I think that if I want my students to be life long learners, I need to be one myself.


I love to look at gallery sites and find things that might inspire me or my students to create something fun. That is how I found this artist.


I came across an article about Martina Nehberg on the Markel Fine Arts blog.  Her art is colorful and fun and my students loved seeing her work and the pictures of her studio especially when it included her dogs.


We used scraps from our box of colorful paper strips. It was a great lesson for my 1-2 combo class to practice cutting and gluing skills while creating amazing works of art.


Voluminous Art


rob sidnerThe Mingei in Balboa Park often holds educator’s preview nights. These happen before the show opens to the public and usually the curator of the exhibition speaks.


The newest exhibition which opened today is a really cool exhibit that brought in books from the collections of our local Universities: UCSD, SDSU, and USD. It is really an eclectic collection of beautiful books.


The curator for the exhibition is Rob Sidner. Rob is the Executive Director and CEO of the Mingei and an absolute treasure trove of knowledge. His passion for what he does is so evident when he speaks.  This evening for educators was no exception.


He talked about how they decided to bring the books to the Mingei and said that the privilege of a curator is they often get to choose what they like. He talked about how he spent an entire afternoon with the Nuremburg Chronicle, because well, he just had to.

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The books on display span from the 1200’s with a spelling book, a 1400’s Geometry book by Euclid of Alexandria,  to modern art books such as Directions of the Road and Hanging Laundry.

There are also classics like Moby Dick and Leaves of Grass as well as The 500 hats of Batholomew Cubbins including an illustration by Theodore Geissel.

500 hats

Perhaps my personal favorite was The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham with an intro by AA Milne and illustrations by Arthur Rackham. A treasure to have that trio contributing in one book! My father read it to me as a little girl complete with different voices for each character so it holds a special place in my heart.

wind in the willows

If you get a chance, go and see this exhibition and then try to make your own book at home as we teachers did after the preview. Rod says they will be turning pages once a month on many of these books so you might want to go monthly until it closes on September 3, 2018.