Friday, April 26, 2013


Lets blame this re-purposing post on the fact that my son has been sick for over a week. He's been up half the night, night after night, and I'm getting a bit loopy.

Anyways, my AP Art History students needed to take a practice test and, since it was multiple choice, I gave them an answer sheet to bubble in. It was only AFTER they finished that I realized I could have saved myself a LOT of time grading by actually using a scan-tron form and letting a machine do the work for me. Oh well! I was just settling in to grade each test by hand when a friend suggested a grading template. This seems so quirky, but if you find yourself in a similar situation, here's a solution.

I got a screw (a nail might have been easier, but work with what you've got) and a copy of the answer sheet. I pushed a hole through each of the correct areas on the bubble-in form. Then I laid the template on top of a test and touched a marker to each hole.

When I removed the template, I could easily see if the marks matched (right answer) or not (wrong answer). It still would have been faster with a machine, but this was easier for the kids to see which questions they missed, so it might be better after all.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ribbon Trim on an Adorable (but controversial) Dress

My daughter and I often have "creative differences". Lately, the disputes have been over her cloths. I just bought her summer outfits at the big consignment sale in town and she isn't as excited as I am about her new wardrobe. The problem is the color pallet. I have started buying her more pink but its mixed with a good amount of brown.

I asked her what was off limits and had to promise to stop buying her brown, black, and grey because those were (in her opinion) boy colors. Blue is allowed because Cinderella wears blue but white (according to my four year old) should only be worn on wedding dresses. I had to pinky promise to change my ways in order to get her to pinky promise to wear the things we already own.

And that brings us to this lovely dress. The dress that I splurged on because it had such cute scenes if Paris on it. The dress that I considered mostly pink, but that Lydia quickly pointed out had too much black!

Good thing she had already agreed to wear the stuff we already owned, but I wanted her to really love this dress, so I took it over to the studio and pulled out my ribbon stash.

A few quick machine stitches and the black binding had a pink ribbon accent. I don't know if I get creative mommy points for this solution or if I'm a sucker for giving in to a four year old fashionista! Either way, I fear this is only the beginning, but at least we will be well dressed for the battles to come!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Our Chalk Walk Art

So the morning of the chalk festival I showed Lydia my idea for drawing her holding up a piece of paper and then letting her draw what was on the paper. We apparently had creative differences!

While I got dressed, Lydia drew a picture of her design, a rainbow with our family under it. She was very specific that she would draw the people and PJ and I would draw the rainbow and write all the names.

I still wanted part of the finished artwork to be realistic, so I asked Lydia to pose for a photo like she was drawing the rainbow.

Here is my quick sketch of my idea incorporating both of our designs.

I arrived early to get the realistic part finished and to get everything ready so that Lydia could get right to work when she arrived. Below you can see multiple shots of the progress on our design.

Something that I read suggested starting with a detailed part of the design, especially eyes if possible, to draw in public interest. So, I quickly drew the face and got the eyes and smile detailed as soon as possible.

The hair is only a start, but the face is coming together. She's not as smiley as I wanted and she looks to old, but she looks human so I'm happy!

Next I added more shadows to the face and started putting in the shirt color.

In order to draw the arms and hands I needed to start the rainbow shape that the girl would be drawing. I knew Lydia could do the rest of the rainbow so I stopped with the red.

The legs and hair came together quickly. It all felt like it came together quickly, though, because I was enjoying it so much! PJ showed up with Lydia and they immediately got lunch. I kept thinking it was only 10 am when it was probably much later.

It really got fun once the family showed up. By then the crowds had picked up and having a picture of a little girl drawing and a REAL little girl drawing got lots of attention.

Once the rainbow was finished, Lydia started on her drawing of our family.

I love the details like our red hair, the glasses on me and PJ, the fingers on our hands, and the three hairs on Joshua's head!

Before we knew it, we were finished!

I added some fake chalk to make the drawing more realistic and we added some white chalk writing around the top to fill the empty space.

I am a little sore, slightly sun burned, but VERY proud of our family!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Chalk Walk Competition Preparation

About a year after Craft Wars, Team Burchett is preparing for another crafty competition. We have entered the family category if the Dogwood Arts Festival Chalk Walk.

For years I have wanted to take Lydia downtown to see the chalk artists work away in Market Square. We came close to going last year and then it poured down rain and we reconsidered.

So we are entering this competition and we have never even seen the competition before. Add to it that this week has been too hectic to plan our submission and its getting a little worrisome! Oh and did I mention that our design has to include areas that our four year old can draw! My thought is to do something where a part of the picture is intended to be childish, like a sleeping child and the dreams are a child's drawing or a child holding up a paper with their drawings on it.

I'll be sure to take lots of pictures of whatever we come up with, but if you want to see the real thing come find us at the Chalk Walk on Saturday. I'm hoping we can start early and finish before nap time. Wish us luck!