Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rustic Quartz Necklaces

Last spring, I stopped in at the Bead Bonanza show at the Southfield Pavilion and did a bit of browsing and a bit of buying. One of the strands of beads that I bought was a rustic quartz that was cut in a rough crystal shape. I liked these beads because they looked worn and vintage.

I combined one quartz bead with some turquoise and a neat mixture of seed beads that I also picked up at the show. This has been one of my favorite necklaces to wear this summer.

I also combined some quartz and a cute little silver dangle into a pendant that I have been wearing on a chain. This goes with everything, so it also has gotten quite a bit of "wearplay."

The next Bead Bonanza is on October 10, 2010 at the Southfield Pavilion. If you like beads, they have a great selection from vendors from all over!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Oxford Shirt Art Smocks - Tutorial

When I found out I was going to be teaching art this year, I knew I needed to come up with a easy way to make some smocks that could protect my clothes! I decided to use striped men's oxford style shirts as a short cut to quicky sew something together. Once I figured out what I wanted to do, it took less than an hour to make each smock.

I picked up a bag of 11 men's shirts at Encore, our school's new resale shop. They were having an end of season sale, so I got the entire bag for six dollars! I bought large sizes so I could get maximum coverage.

I found two shirts that I wanted to combine that were similar in size. For the top, I decided to cut off the collar so that the smock would fit comfortably over my clothes. (You could choose to leave the collar on, if you wished.)

I rolled the edge under, and used a zigzag stitch sew it down. Nothing fancy, just fast and durable. This is how it looked when I was done:

Then, on the top section of the smock, I drew a straight line across the bottom edge and then cut it to even out the edge.

Be care to avoid running into the buttons when you draw the line- try to trim either a couple inches above or below the button so you have a clear area to sew your seams.

For the bottom part of the smock, take your second shirt and draw a line just under the sleeves. Once again, be careful that you don't run into any buttons.

Put the right sides together, and sew the top and the bottom together. If the sizes of the two shirts don't exactly match, make little tucks along the seams - no one will notice!

I pressed the seams down, and then top stiched along the edge of the lower shirt.

Then I had to figure out an easy way to make a pocket! I used the cuff and part of one of the sleeves. I carefully took it apart at the seams, and pressed the edges underneath. Then I sewed the cuff onto the smock to make a pocket. I did two lines of stitching to help make it durable. It is a cute and practical touch! I sewed the buttons back on top the buttonholes because I thought it added a cute touch.

So that's all it takes to make these smocks. They are now my signature art room look, and provide my clothes with lots of protection from paint and mess!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oxford Shirt Art Smocks

I am a new art teacher.
I also am a slob.
My clothes need protection from the dangers of the art room.
I needed a
inexpensive way
to create some art smocks
that I could wear in my new classroom.
I needed them to be big enough to cover me completely.
My clever solution was to make these clever smocks out of stripey men's shirts!

I cut off the collars.

I even recycled the cuff of the sleeve to make a pocket! Pockets are a must!

I made a short sleeve version, too.

In my next post I will give a little tutorial on how to put these fun little art smocks together!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A New Identity for Clever Karen

If you are a regular follower of my blog, you may recall that around this time last year I found out that I was going to be teaching 5th grade. It was an unexpected and a totally new teacher assignment for me. Being a new fifth grade teacher seemed to consume every moment of my life last year and I did not find much time for many extracurricular clever pursuits or the time to blog about them.

Well, my life as a teacher has taken another interesting twist. I was asked to return to my position teaching K - 8 technology in the computer lab - a job that I always loved. But in early August, I was also asked if I could fill in for our art teacher, who had a stroke, and teach elementary art. Now, I have never taught art, other than what I have done in my third grade classroom. But hopefully, all my clever genes will serve me well in this new position. I spent several weeks in August cleaning and organizing all the materials and treasures in the art room. Now I am busy finding all kinds of interesting project ideas for the students to create.

So I'm not sure if I am going to have much time for Clever Karen blogging over the next few months. But if you are interested, you can check out my new tech/art blog Pixels and Paintbrushes. There isn't anything much there yet, but I promise there will be lots of clever work from my students throughout the school year!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dining in and around Glacier National Park

For my final post about Glacier, let me share a bit about dining during our visit. If you are staying at the historic inns located in the park, there are limited options. Here are some of the places we ate:

Lake McDonald Inn - we ate dinner at Jammer Joe's Grill. Meals were casual - burgers, pizza, and pasta. I had a delicious bison burger with onion rings. We ate breakfast in the dining room in the main lodge. Most of the historic inns have a breakfast buffet for around 10 - 12 dollars. Nothing fancy, but it typically includes coffee, tea, juices, and a variety of pancakes, French toast, fruit, pastries, and eggs. Usually it was plenty to hold us until dinner (with some kind of snack during the afternoon).

Prince of Wales Hotel - we ate in Royal Stewart Dining Room and it was a big disappointment. Expensive, with mediocre food. I think you might do better having the high tea at the Prince of Wales if you arrive in the afternoon before 4 pm. The town of Waterton is nearby and there are a number of local restaurants. We ate breakfast pastries at a coffee shop called Pearl's so we could take advantage of their free wifi. We got sandwiches for lunch at another place in town near the boat dock. It was fine, but overpriced.

Glacier Park Lodge - We had a huge pile of nachos at the Empire Bar one evening. Really good and cheesy! The windows look out at the mountains - great view!

There are a number of family restaurants in the East Glacier area near Glacier Park Inn. Almost all of them feature huckleberry pie, cobbler, and ice cream. I say get the cobbler and the ice cream together!

And you don't want to miss the Red Jammer Huckleberry Cream Soda. (They also have a Red Jammer Rootbeer.) My brother liked combining huckleberry ice cream to the soda to make a float.

We had this THICK fried stuffed French toast at the Whistle Stop Restaurant. It was almost too much!

Many Glacier Inn - The inn has a Swiss theme and features a cheese fondue. It came to our table very runny and the cheese wouldn't stick to the bread, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower that came with the meal. We asked if they could heat it up a bit - much better when it came back. Very filling - I was disappointed that we didn't have room for the chocolate fondue!

When we got back to Calgary, we ate at a Canadian chain restaurant called Joey Tomato's that was very good!

So that tells you a bit about what we discovered about dining in Glacier. If anyone out there has any other good tips about dining in Glacier, please add them into the comments! Thanks!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Many Glacier Lodge - Glacier National Park

Our last night in Glacier was spent at Many Glacier Lodge. It is tucked in a valley next to a lake with gorgeous mountains in the background. This was my favorite lodge location of the four historic lodges that we stayed at in Glacier. We had misty rainy weather during most of our stay.

The lodge looks like a Swiss Chalet. The lobby is small and has a great fireplace in the center that is very cozy on a rainy afternoon.

Unfortunately, the rooms are very deary. We had a shared balcony again, with an unfortunate view of the road to the parking lot. I had a peak at some of the lake view rooms and they were very tiny. We heard that the lodge and the dining room are scheduled for some refurbishing next year. Good news.

We did some hiking around the lake and there are lots of trails that start by the lodge. I was very nervous while hiking because of all the recent bear activity, including Jack Hanna being charged by a grizzly bear about a week before our visit. We did watch a couple bears on the north slope - but they were very distant and we viewed them through binoculars.

Here are a few more shots of the Many Glacier area:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Blog Widget by LinkWithin