Saturday, June 30, 2012

Camp Broadstone


Counseling Staff
Two summers ago, I had the fabulous opportunity to teach at a summer camp for academically gifted children. I got to develop my own lesson plans, and the camp provided me with my materials and a salary (also, camp food three meals a day!). There was one catch, well, two. The camp is up in Banner Elk, North Carolina, up in the Appalachian Mountains, and two, they didn't provide housing for the daytime teaching staff. I was at Cal State Northridge at the time, right in the middle of my degree. What resulted was an awesome cross-country road trip and a summer shared in a single-wide trailer up in Boone, with my friend Brittney. My mom and I drove the van out to North Carolina, and she flew back to California so I could drive to and from work. I have really awesome parents. 

While at camp, which lasted from June 6th (we had a training week the week before) through July 30th, I taught over 300 campers, ranging from 4th-9th grade. I also got to participate in campfires (which I adore), "Memoirs" (the yearbook for the 2-week resident campers), and Staff-run activities (like Mystery Night, and Formal Dinner). These campers were remarkable; all of them were academically gifted, many of them had OCD, ADD/ADHD, Asperger's, or other learning conditions. I loved working with these kids, because my style in the classroom is about breaking the normal ways of learning, through art, and attacking the problem from a different perspective. 

.
.
.

Sadly, Camp Broadstone has been cut due to budget restraints at Appalachian State University, which ran the camp. 


The Cup of Gold, my Teaching Cabin

The class I designed and taught was called "Makin' Monsters!"

Campers will learn how to sew (or expand on their sewing skills) while creating a one-of-a-kind stuffed toy.  Campers will discuss real animal adaptations to provide inspiration for the design of their creation, which they then, will be able to bring to “life.” 



These are a few of the kid's monsters, at the end of class 1. I got each set of campers for two 90-minute class sets.  The first class we discussed animal adaptations, designed our monster on paper, cut out our pattern, and did the decorating. The second class was all about sewing technique and finishing the monsters. It was the perfect two-session class. Everyone finished their monsters, and because we had done all the glue and such on the first day, by the time they finished the last stitch, the monsters were ready to play. 


The Staff Yearbook Cover I designed

 


Pi, on my Teaching Desk. He was the Class Mascot

A Better Look at Pi
Pi, in addition to being the class mascot, became my date to many a "Formal Dinner" at camp. He donned a monocle, a suit and a bow-tie. The campers LOVED him, and really got a kick out of him being my "date." 

I found a picture from when I got home from camp! Dathomir, my green iguana, is covering up the monocle.




Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sugar Skull Bag, Finished

Design and Pattern

Wool, all Felted

After Embroidery

The Sugar Skull bag I was working on is finished and up for sale. 

The bag itself is made from 100% wool, which formed the perfect canvas upon which to work. The design is securely needle felted on, and is also cut from 100% wool. It was then hand-embroidered with faux pearls, silk ribbon, and beads from Bazaar Del Mundo, in Old Town San Diego. The skulls are magnesite and the cross is CloisonnĂ©. 

The handles are covered in hand-woven textiles from Guatemala, also picked up from a trip to Bazaar Del Mundo. Not only does the fabric add a beautiful contrast to the skull design, but it also makes the bag comfortable to wear, as wool won't be touching your skin.

The bag itself is 12" wide and 16" tall, 21" tall with the handles. It's small enough to be used everyday, but it holds enough to be a fun tote for an outing. 






Design © Katherine "MayugeSeishou" Stocking

Monday, June 18, 2012

Marvelous Monsters


I promised there'd be more to the Cornelius drawings. After his archer was completed (to catch the beginning of this story: http://katherinestocking.blogspot.com/2012/06/cornelius-archer.html

Earlier in the day he had been inventing his own Pokemon, so to be put on the same level in his interests, to be driven to create characters for MY universe, to put his creations alongside mine -- I was humbled. 

This picture started out as fun way for me to "test out" how my characters could move. I haven't played with poses with them since Zembillas' class at CSUN.  So, Pi, Rhomb, Llyn, Oid, and Tor were jumping on a trampoline. Then Cornelius came over with a scrap of paper and started to design his monsters. He took a particular liking to Rhomb (the purple one), as you can see in his yellow and b&w striped monster, named Rhobe. Cornelius then told me the story of how Rhomb lost his leg and how Rhobe was there too, which is how he lost his leg. He went on to tell me the story of my characters, unprovoked, and without asking what their story actually was. He also chose the colors for the planet. The planet, apparently, is the Geometry planet (I was so proud that he caught on to the fact that my monster's names are math-related), and is divided into separately colored sections each inhabited by the corresponding-colored triangle character he designed. 

As he told me this, I added his designs into my picture. 



Cornelius' Monster Designs

Also did this that weekend, Rhomb, Pi, Llyn, Tor, and Oid (c) K.Stocking


I've also included some gestures that I did of Maddie and Cornelius, as they played soccer and drew, respectively. 


Monday, June 11, 2012

Cornelius' Archer

I had the cutest art encounter. Cornelius, the son of one of Eddie's Marine friends, was drawn to my, well drawings. We were at a soccer tournament for his sister, and normally content to play his DS, he took a previously nonexistent shining to me, and was my best friend for the weekend. He's just under 10 years old.

Eddie and I were collaborating on an upcoming project; per our normal routine, Eddie was designing and I was illustrating. This confused Cornelius. He wondered, "well, who does it belong to?" So, we explained to him that the idea was Eddie's, but the drawing was mine. After mulling it over for a few moments, his eyes got really large. 

"So, if I design something... will you draw it out?"

I couldn't resist. So, we set out, Eddie and I helped him to design his character. When he was done, I drew it out and inked it. Then I handed it back to him, saying that he got to color it. It was his own self-designed coloring page. I only got to snap quick photos of the sketch and my line-art before they were snatched up with enthusiasm. We had another adventure with my monsters, but that one needs to be scanned. 

It was adorable to watch Cornelius show his creation to all the other little boys and watch him explain: "well,  you see, this is my idea and concept, she illustrated it, but the idea is mine." Kids crack me up. :)  

Cornelius' Design


Side-by-side


Showing an in-progress picture to his sister, Maddie

Ginger-undead-men



I got a new toy from Think Geek. It's made by Fred and is a "gingerdead" man cookie cutter. Needless to say I HAD to make cookies, ASAP. I used a pretty standard sugar cookie recipe (that is, until I got to the decorating part)

Ingredients: 
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar 
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough



Isn't it just adorable?!
The dough, with impression

After they were baked, I decided to spruce them up with a "zombie virus", which was some fresh squeezed lime juice and just touch of green color. After brushing it on and letting them dry, it was time to frost. I used royal icing for the bones, and a diluted red gel frosting for the "blood" splatters. The super sweet frosting mellowed out the lime and gave the cookies just the right amount of kick.