a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Sunday, May 24, 2015


There are seven days of school left this year.  I am not usually one to count down the days, but there it is: seven more days. 

However, this is a celebration post.  So, instead of focusing on the reasons behind my countdown or all the ways in which I like a failure of a teacher this year, I am choosing to spend my energy focusing on something that has inspired me this school year: ART CLUB. 

Inspired by Keri Smith's Guerilla Art Kit, I was determined to lead my student artists to create art that could be shared.  Students had become accustomed to showing up for art club, working on a project, and taking it home.  I wanted to do something BIGGER.  

So, we started with life-sized packing tape sculptures that turned into a modern art installment when we discovered how many sessions we would need to complete entire humans:

We contributed a gallery of self-portraits to display at our school's Barnes and Noble fundraiser event:

Just before our first round of PARCC testing, we decided to yarn bomb the stairwells with positive messages made from my grandma's old yarn collection:

We have also made pipe cleaner sculptures, a giant paper flower garden, and watercolor resists, but I failed to snap photos of these projects.

Our final project this school year is putting the knowledge from my Kelly Rae Roberts Hello Soul, Hello Mixed Media Mantras class to work.  After seeing our other projects, our principal offered to purchase the necessary supplies to create mixed media art that will be permanently installed in our hallways.  These paintings are still in progress, but here is a sneak peek of an earlier layer of our paintings (I promise to post the final products soon):

Sunday, May 17, 2015


I spent a few weeks struggling against an inner and outer ear infection, and I am finally able to think clearly and move with energy.  

Although I am not completely out of my funk, I do have enough clarity to look around and notice that when I am feeling weighed down (and when I am not) I am surrounded by people who reach out to me, brighten my day, and validate my struggle.

This week I found a surprise package from California waiting for me when I checked the mail (usually Mark's job, but since he is now under the weather, I took over).  A dear friend sent me a reminder that my words are worth coaxing out and even sent a handmade reminder that I am an author.  She sent me the messages my heart needed to hear.

Another friend, in Missouri, reached out to me through a text that included the words: "Teaching makes me insecure and crazy at times."  What a relief to know I am not the only one feeling this way! 

At school this week, when I was nearing a full-on meltdown, a supportive colleague, who had every reason to look at me like I was crazy given my irrationality, smiled and told me, "I have been there.  I have had days like that."  And just like that, I could feel the tension drain from my shoulders.

This weekend I have been able to reflect and acknowledge how I am feeling, but I am still struggling to work my way through it. 

In the meantime, I have been catching up on my latest Ali Edwards class, Type, hopeful that creating will at least keep me moving forward.  Here are some of my latest projects: