Category Archives: Events

A Change is Gonna Come…


Summer break is drawing to a close and there are big changes on the horizon for my family. I’ll get back to that. 

I have had such a fantastic summer that’s also been a bit of a roller coaster. This year, I decided not to return to my summer job that I’ve had for 7 years. I loved the job and it provided me with extra “summer fun” money but it also required a lot of time away from my family and a lot of time spent with kids, some of who were also my students at school. After 12 years of teaching and 7 years of this summer job, I decided I wanted (needed) a break from everything and took the summer to spend how I wanted. My daughter and I went on several trips, we did a big family vacay, and I got lots accomplished around the house that I had been avoiding. 

We went to Beaufort, NC for a long weekend to explore the sights and the food of the coast. It was beautiful and I can’t wait to go back! 

Then we spent a week driving to art camp and exploring a cool city! Art camp at the Greenhill Center was great and she enjoyed her time there – I enjoyed a new coffee shop each day! 

Our family vacation was so much fun and I loved spending time with my sister and her babies and my mom and dad all under one roof. 

We also went to see The Little Mermaid live and it was awesome! I would have stayed for another showing right then. 

For the first time, I feel like we were able to really make the most of every day of summer break!

Now, getting back to that whole, a change is gonna come thing…

My husband has been working for a company an hour and a half away from home for a year and a half. He loves his job so much and it really shines through in the other parts of his life. We had discussed moving closer but it was not in the immediate plans. But we all know how the best laid plans go. An opportunity was placed in my lap that I could not pass up. An art teaching job at one of the best schools in the state! And it just happens to be in the city he works. It was still a difficult decision and one not made lightly. I have chosen to leave my current school system and my family and I are moving and embarking on this new adventure together. We are excited but also very sad to leave such a great life of having amazing friends and family so close by. Luckily it’s still only an hour away so we will get to visit and hopefully we will get to share our new city with them. 

I think about my students I’m leaving behind and I get so anxious about their future. I hope my quiet, shy students who tear up at a strong “teacher look” continue to gain confidence in themselves with the help of compassionate teaching. I think about the babies who I snuck pencils and crayons and markers and paper to and pray they will continue to get supplies that help them create outside the classroom. I think about the kids that search me out in a crowd for a hug or a high five and they will think I left them without a backwards glance. But then I remember that I work(ed) at the best school ever with the most caring teachers ever and they will get the hugs they want and the supplies they need and the gentle looks and the guiding hand. It’s so hard to say goodbye when you’re leaving something you loved. 

In the words of Sam Cooke:

“There have been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long

But now I think I’m able to carry on

It’s been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will…”

Cheers to a new year, new students, new adventures, and an old love for all things ART. 


Dia de los Muertos Festival

Dia de los Muertos Festival

As much as I love the traditions and art of Dia de los Muertos, I’ve never really been around or involved in any legitimate celebrations. I read about it. Watch movies about it. Make art with my students about it. But I’ve never had an opportunity to see it and be a part of it in real life. All that changed on Sunday. 

I found out about a Dia de los Muertos festival happening in Charlotte. It was held at the Levine Museum of the New South and it was great! There were T O N S of people there so we didn’t get to do everything. But we looked, and read, and observed, and listened to everything we could. 

Before we even walked in the door, we were greeted by La Catrina! Photo op!

They had an altar competition and there were many entries. They were all big and bright and heartfelt. 

I loved all the symbolism found in the altars. They even inspired my daughter to make one to her cat and her great grandmother that both recently passed away. 

We made sugar skulls and played games and colored calaveras. We bought some pan de Muertos too but that was eaten pretty quickly! 

One of my favorite parts was when the music started and we were able to watch the singers and dancers from the balconies of the second floor. 

After a long day at the festival, I went back to my first love (French everything) and ate crepes and macarons in Romare Bearden Park. It was a perfect day and I enjoyed spending it with family, learning about a different culture together. ❤️

Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest

Made it! Rules and procedures: taught. 600 fish: created. First week: done.

Glitter glue, watercolor, foam shapes, crayons, color sticks, sequins, and gems. Oh yeah, and rules and procedures. Week one was a success! 

Thank goodness for a long Labor Day weekend to recover. Next week will include some fun elements of art projects! 

Tinyartroom is on Instagram!


After years of bombarding my friends and family on Instagram with tons of photos of my students’ artwork , I finally decided to create an account just for the Tinyartroom. If you are also on Instagram, please follow me at @tinyartroom! (So thankful that name was available. : ) 


Sun Stone Prints


Fifth graders are also making the Aztec sun stones but they are using printmaking as their medium.

We started by painting the background with orange, yellow, and gold paint. They created foam printing plates and were totally impressed with the process. They only made the face for their prints and then used other stamps I’ve created to add to them. They are turning out beautifully!








AOE Online Conference Recap

AOE Online Conference Recap

Wow! What an awesome experience! I truly enjoyed attending the Art of Education’s Winter Online Conference yesterday. THAT is what effective PD is for me. I rarely attend a meeting at school – even when they are FOR the art teachers – that is useful and encouraging and inspiring. Yesterday was all of those things and the best part – it is a huge best part – is that I was able to do it in the comfort of my own home, in my pjs, while petting my puppies and drinking coffee!
This was my set-up yesterday:

Hi Jessica!
And this is me, with no makeup and in my sweats, super excited about the conference. I did fix my hair, obviously. (Lies.)

The conference was so engaging and I know I could (and still can) go back and watch the videos at my own pace, but I was so into it, I really didn’t move much the whole time. My husband and our friend, Matt, were even putting in my new kitchen floor and I didn’t get up to check on them but once!
Oh, hey, check out my new kitchen floor:

And this, because it’s true:

So back to the conference… I learned so much yesterday! About assessment and integrating with the new common core and that it’s totally okay for my lessons to fail because good teachers fail and great teachers fail a LOT. (Thanks Ian!)  I can’t wait to play some of the games from Art Project Girl and Cassie Stephens was totally entertaining. Pretty much every speaker was relevant and helpful at least in some small way.  Most were big ways.  A few things I’m looking forward to trying are some of the organizing tips, posing projects as questions and asking for solutions in the form of their artwork, creating a few choice-based opportunities, and attempting to organize an art show. Oh, and I’ll definitely be purchasing Songs in the Key of Art!
Time well spent and great information that I can look back on and implement immediately.
Thanks again, Jessica!

Art of Ed Online Winter Art Conference!


Just received my swag bag (box) from Jessica at Art of Ed for being one of the first 1000 to sign up for the online conference that’s happening this weekend, January 25th.
Love all the samples they sent! I especially love the apron from Art to Remember (always need a new apron!) and the “Keep calm and teach art” button.

Who else is signed up?



Art to Remember 2013/14



I’ve been working with Art to Remember for four or five years to help raise money for my art program. They have some new products this year that I’m pretty excited about, like the iPhone cases and the little ceramic trays.
I’m posting an example of the project each grade is doing as we do them.

Kindergarten will be making handprint peacocks20131106-140752.jpg

First graders are making owls.


Second graders will be making cute little umbrella color wheels.

Third grade will be doing warm/cool trees.


Fourth will be creating Charlotte skyline cityscapes with a rainbow sky.

Fifth grade will be showing school spirit with a bullpup paw print filled with zen tangles.


I will be updating with pictures as we complete the projects throughout the year so check back often.

Run Your Heart for Boston Online Registration


Run Your Heart for Boston Online Registration.


Because of the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon, I am joining forces with several local running clubs/timers/event coordinators and my beloved running community to support a family from Charlotte that was severely injured at the finish line.  To read more about the story you can click here:

“If you’re trying to defeat the human spirit, marathoners are the wrong group to target.” -Mighty Brighties

Jars of Madness


Last project for the Story Laboratory book fair! I usually do bug jars with the first graders in the Spring. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make some mad scientist jars. We had lots of fun discussing what you might find in a jar on a shelf in a mad scientists lab.

I already had the jars drawn out for them, they just had to cut them out. Then we added eyeballs, brains, snails, spiders, crazy bugs, and more. We made sure to press down when we were coloring so that our colors would be super bright.

They have done a great job. I’ll post some pictures of all our decorations when the book fair actually arrives and it’s all on display!