Feb 21, 2015

Stitched Bird Series...My one a day...otherwise what I did for the month of January 2015

This is my second year participating in the fun-a-day project  in which you work on project or art series for the entire month of January, specifically every day. Last year I did self-portraits which lead in to a very deep month of exploration of emotions since my Dad was in the hospital for most of the month until his death on the 29th of the month. This year, I'm going a bit more towards strengthening my drawing on my sewing machine and bird theme. So I drew with my sewing machine, freehand, a new bird everyday and appliqued it on a patterned background. All birds are then mod podged onto a 5" square wooden canvas. Today, I made labels that will be glued on the back that will have the name and a photograph of the bird . Once again, neglecting my blog, I am going to revived it with posting my birdies. The exhibit is not until the first Thursday of March.

Sep 24, 2014

I am An American Made FInalist! And I need your VOTE!!!!

WOW..what a year! I applied for the Martha Stewart American Made contest and I AM A FINALIST!

 It is currently people's choice time and I am begging everyone to go to my nomination page and VOTE for me! You can vote 6 times a day until October 13. I would LOVE to win $10,000 towards my business and I would love to meet Martha Stewart! So please VOTE and spread the WORD! Hit the Link HERE

Aug 27, 2014

Design Conversation #63 Teaching from the Edge

Come see how great my first day of school went with my introduction to Photography! Taking it to the edge....not jumping off of it! ha!

Aug 26, 2014

Who's That Lady in the Front of Room


I try to think about this every year:What am I going to do to make a really good impression to my students on the first day of school? In my fantasy world, I see my students telling their parents all about how excited they are about their art class, and that awesome teacher that they can't wait to see again. You know, as they are eating their dinner all together as a family, and the Dad at the end of the table asked his child, "Well, how was your first day at School ?". Guess that sounds very Ward Cleaver of me. But that was me, and we were asked that question every year.  I'm sure as we got older and into our high school years, the answer got shorter and more of a grunt than a sentence. A good teacher puts herself/himself in the student's point of view. People ask me, How do you look so young ?  I think its because I am always in the spirit of the high school kid. So what motivates the High school kid these days? My first day I teach only one class (guess its good to be the chair for something) , which is Photography 1. I think right away to go to instagram and the selfie. So I'm having my students look at a power point full of my photographs that I have posted in either facebook or instagram that I feel show something about me. Some are obvious and others are more abstract. They will have to pick and choose photographs to use to respond to a number of questions. including "which photo is a fib?" Leading to a compiled list of a successful narrative selfie. I've included photos of me in various stages of my life: youngster on vacation, graduate with my Dad, punk rocker at the Marble Bar, on my latest travels and antics with my friends; along with views of my desk, studio, sweatshop, and screaming blueberry pancake man. And then I will have my students sum me up; tell what they think makes me tick!  Hope it works. I will actually be talking about this lesson and its results on Sept 2, for the design conversations at the Wind Space. Wish me luck! Happy Back to School!




Aug 24, 2014

Look who is "American Made"

Martha Stewart - American Made 2014 - Nominee Badge

I saw this last year and had been kicking myself for not doing it. Luckily it happened again this year. I loved the questions. Hoping my DIY punk attitude came out in the question "What does American Made mean to you". Check out my profile and pass the word about jennyjen and her Birdy birds! Comments are welcomed ! 

Aug 22, 2014

Here we Go..... School Year 27!

We are off and running! Or should I say, we are going to laugh and have as much fun as we possible can this school year! This is going to be my mantra for this 27th. year of teaching. This is my first goal for this year. The closer I get to retirement the more I'm going to teach the way and what I want! Luckily it all gels with  the rigorous,creative and relevant art curriculum of Baltimore County. Another year for me to work on establishing the artist community in my classroom that contain enthusiastic, open minded, critical and creative thinking, cooperative and pleasurable beings! I tell my department that you need to train your students into being the people you want to spend time with! A huge challenge for the high school beast...but it is doable! My other goal is to keep an updated blog...yes Again I am going to try this! If I figure out how to make time work for me, this could work! I have so much to tell you about my amazing summer and all of the places I went to along with my best craft show ever! So I promise to be back with more post! OK, back to planning! Cheers!

Mar 26, 2014

jennyjen spring schedule!

Here it is...my very busy, but very exciting spring show schedule!

Its starts out this Friday night @ the Artisan Gallery for the NAEA conference in San Diego ..I will have my new pencil cases and tool rolls....and what ever else I can fit in my suitcase!

Sunday April 13 I will be at the BEST Spring Show Ever! at the Union Mill

I will be at Flower Mart in Baltimore's Mt. Vernon square May 2 and 3

Art Star in Philly May 10 & 11

And then I will be at Art Outside , that is around the Druid Hill Park Reservoir, Sunday, May 18
Fingers Crossed that I get into Artscape! Which may be my only summer show.  Come by any of these shows and say hello!

The Cluster Cuse of a Year

So here we are, 26 March 2014 and I have not posted as I promised, for more than a month. My school year is going down as one of my worst. With over size classes full of personalities, IEP's, and massive neediness and a studio class that is still working its way to some place, I'm not sure where. Load on more work and expectations and paper work, SLO's and yet another survey I'm suppose to complete in my spare time. Somehow I decided to take a night off from sweatshop duties and grading sketchbooks and planning and placed myself in front of my neglected computer and blog for me to pour out a little of my soul with out screaming for help and crying myself to sleep. I am so over worked that I can't put in the needed time in the sweatshop and I'm so tired by the "take, Take, Take" that feel like I cannot do any job properly with the needed attention both require.  Can;t let up on the jennyjen42 business because I am still growing my business so that I have something to go to once I retire to, and I have to stick it in for 3 more years to get all of the benefits and pension I have worked so hard to receive. I'm in my on catch 22 hell. So I'm trying not to drink myself to death or write too many complaints or often thought that are on my head on facebook or on this blog. I miss my dad more than anything because he would know what to say to make all of this feel better. HE would give me the strength to carry on. I have great support...my family, my loving husband, my peers who are going through the same ordeal..but sadly have even more years to teach till retirement is at hand. we are all fantasizing about how it was, even just last year, and of better places to be and other careers. What has happened to the teaching profession? When did become so fucking hard? OK, enough of that...that felt good but I must stick this out and find a better attitude. I'm hoping I will find it Friday as I fly out to San Diego for the NAEA Conference! I'm looking forward to the west coast! Even bought myself a new spring dress! I will be presenting with my teaching buddies about teaching beyond the classroom. How we get our students to participate in the real art world! The shitty part about this is that I have not been able to do any of this this year! But here's hoping I will get some needed energy! 

Feb 10, 2014

Finding Peace in the Water

I have been an avid swimmer most of my life! We were brought up as close to the water that we possibly could for a suburban family in Baltimore County. We had a Donald the duck vinyl pool that had a metal frame and corners made of metal that you could sit on. We would put the sliding board up to it so that we could make a big splash!

We moved on to a pool membership at Rollingwood Pool which we went to as much as we could. This would lead our Dad into being very creative on those days that he had lots of work to do around the house while we begged him to take us to the pool. Out favorite is the "individual swimming pool". Dad told us to each go get a large trash bag and bring it to the back yard. In our bathing suits we would climb into the trash bag for him to come fill it up with cold water from the hose! Not much you could do but hold up the sides of the bag and cool off!

When I went to college I was so excited about the swimming pool at Burdick Hall. You could swim every night after 7 until 10 except Tuesday nights. I took a life saving class for a gym credit to be int he pool during the day and then actually join the swim team my senior year that turned into me playing water polo in the spring! Things I did even disguised as a punk rocker. Little did my punk rock friends know what I was doing in my afternoons.

Now its the YMCA and my weekly mile swims. My goal is to make that 2-3 miles a week. I get rewarded with some solitary time in the sauna to get rid of my day at school. All stress goes away and I can enjoy my evenings after that. I think this year, it will be my heart saving routine that I need to stick to. If you do it more then 22 times, it turn into a habit! Lets hope it does!