About Meri Cherry

http://www.mericherry.com

Posts by Meri Cherry:

Why I’ve Been MIA-Kindergarten Classroom Set-up

Woah, it’s been a loooong week setting up my classroom for back to school next week.  Long but really fun and exciting.  It’s definitely not done yet, but much progress has been made.  Here are some homemade highlights:

International Silks and Woolens was nice enough to donate some fabric to our classroom so I made the cute little red and cream pillow above.  It gave our couch a perfect little facelift.

I’ve been collecting recyclables from around the house all summer.  I got out the spray paint today and went wild.  The water bottles took to the paint best.  The toilet paper rolls didn’t go as well as I had hoped.  In the end though, everything had a nice yellow tint.

Everything dried in ten minutes, which was pretty cool.  Then I stapled and hot glued gunned the best pieces to make this super cool bulletin board.  I LOVE IT!  Really cool and a great conversation piece for the kids.

By the end of today I was totally exhausted and needed to sit, so I worked on labels for a while.  I am trying to reuse and repurpose as much as possible, so I found some old cardboard and made these labels for some of our art supplies.  I think I’ll use cardboard for all the other labels as well.  I like how thick they are.  It’s somehow very satisfying to me.

This our main art supply area.  It’s a fabulous buffet of everything from paint brushes to rubber bands.  Everything is set up at the perfect height for the kids to experiment with.  I love this thing.

And last but not least, thank you IKEA!  THe lids may be a little flimsy, but the clear windows on these rule.  Well done.

I’m resting all weekend and then back in the classroom Monday for bulletin boards, more labels and planning.  It’s going to be a great year.

You can see more photos of my classroom here

New Eco Friendly Packaging by Geami = Awesome Gift Wrapping

We recently received a wedding gift from Williams Sonoma with the most amazing packaging by Geami.  I looked it up and it turns out this stuff is recyclable, compostable and renewably sourced and pretty much totally amazing.  I saved all of it and have been wrapping gifts with it ever since.  Just add a little ribbon and it’s on.

I wonder if YOU will be the one to receive these gifts in the mail shortly?

Art Studio For Kids

I finally completed the art studio I’ve been working on transforming for the past few weeks for a friend.  This project came out of nowhere/my morning pages and poof, there it was.  I had no idea how much I’d enjoy this process and how much I would learn from it.  I really had to trust myself and my vision.  It was truly amazing.  I hope the family loves it as much as I do!!!

Special thanks to Ev for drilling, consulting and loving me through my doubts.  Thanks to Ted for his super duper uber camera for the after shots and thanks to my friend Chrissy, for being a good one.

Tomorrow-Stenciling and Chalkboard Paint

So, I think I mentioned I’ve been working on designing an art studio for kids at a friends home.  It’s been a pretty huge undertaking that will be completed this Friday, when the family returns from out of town.  It’s a 20×20 white space that was pretty seriously trashed when I started.  The first week was organization and clean up.  Week two, this week, is all about the details.  The family has a rock and roll vibe so I made a skull and cross bone stencil from their doormat and plan to stencil it in random spots on the cement floor.  We’ll see how that goes.  Fingers crossed.  And then, after a week and a half of waiting for ocean colored chalkboard paint to arrive from Hudson Paints for the back wall of the studio-still no sign of it, grrr-I turned to Martha Stewart for her DIY version.  I hit the paint store tomorrow at 8.  Wish me luck!

I may have made this a little more complicated than necessary, but hey, that’s one of my specialties.  First I drew the skull and bones on paper and cut it all out.  Then I taped all the parts to oaktag so I could trace them and make sure everything was in the right spot.  I taped each bit down so they didn’t slip around while tracing.

Then I taped an old folder the the back of the tracing so when I busted out with the exacto knife I didn’t scratch the table.  (for the second time.  oops.  Sorry Ev)

I cut out the parts with an exacto.  Lookin good.

There you have it folks.  I’ll be spray painting tomorrow.  We’ll see how it goes…

DIY Light Box

So, I made a light box to take shots of Alien Army and I’m not sure it’s working out as I planned.  I can’t seem to get the light quite right.  I’m definitely not giving up, but slightly frustrated none the less.  Anyone have any tips?  Does anyone even read this?  Hello?  Are you there G-d?  It’s me, Margaret?

Anyway, it was fun to make and the photos do come out better than without it.  So here’s how to do it.  All you need is a box, white paper or white tissue paper or white fabric.  Use white unless you want the photos tinted with another color.  An exacto knife.  Scotch tape.

Cut out three of the four side panels of the box.  My box happens to be white.

Tape white paper over the panels and a white sheet inside the box that slopes down from top to bottom.

There you have it folks.  Then just place a lamp on either side and the top or any combo of the three or just the top.  I’m still working that part out.  Here are some experimental shots.

The background is coming out grey and maybe I have to fix that in photoshop but I don’t really know how.  Grr… I wish I knew how to lasso the images too, so I can just put them on a total white background.  Maybe it’s time for a photoshop class.

The Rose Bowl Flea Market

I went to the Rose Bowl today in search of 4 chairs, a trash can and oversized letters.  I came home with 4 chairs, many letters and a superhero poster from Thailand.  Huh?  How did that slip in there?  Ev says it was a mistake and definitely NOT worth the 18 bucks I paid for it.  I think he might be right.  Oh well.  Can’t be right all the time.  I did however refrain from buying the following, though I really wanted to.

These are actually gourds someone designed into cool peeps

I would make this penguin the mascot of our classroom, obviously.

Pipe Cleaner Rings

Martha Stewart had a mega blogger night out last night that blogger Erica Reitman from Design Blahg was lucky enough to go to. (That’s got to be a run on sentence.  Blogging = Grammer Pressure)   Anyway, she posted pics and details here, which lead me to the amazing Pipe Cleaner Lady.  She has a super easy video tutorial up on her site about how to make one of her famous daisy rings.  It took me like two minutes to make and I don’t plan on this ring off any time soon.  I see many more in my future.

ps I took these photos with my new DIY light box, which I still haven’t figured out how to get the color quite right.  GRRR.  Will NOT give up.

A Felted Hamsa

I’ve found so many felting activities online over the past few weeks.  And with the recent success of my felt balls, I was inspired to give a new felting project a try.  I wasn’t exactly sure of what I was making.  I figured I’d see what happens and how easy it would be to do with my kindergartners, which is pretty much a constant motivator.  Anyway, I saw this post on Moment to Moment, which looked totally inspiring, so I tried a mini version.

First I layed down some wool on bubble wrap

Then I wet the felt with hot water and soap.  I actually started off with a squirt bottle and then just drizzled it on with my hand until the felt was pretty saturated.

I folded over the bubble wrap and rubbed, pounded and banged, which Ev wasn’t too into because he was trying to nap.

Then I rolled the felt up and moved it up and down the table making a pretty big mess.  Ev wasn’t so into that part either.

I rinsed the felt under hot water and then cold-to shock the fibers.  It wasn’t felting just yet, so I repeated the whole process about 3 times.

Then, as instructed, I put a few tennis balls and my new felt in the dryer for about 15 minutes.  Then I let the felt dry out in the sun for a few.  To be honest, it looked super cool, but I kind of was like, ok, now what?  Then I noticed a shape making itself known in the felt.  Is that?  No?  It can’t be.  Yes!  It’s a hamsa.  It was totally there, practically lined out for me ain the fibers.  So I got out my scissor and an old frame waiting for use, and voila!  A felted hamsa.

It’s pretty darn pretty too.  I can’t wait to make these for holiday gifts.  I am planning to make Jewish Stars and Christmas trees and maybe a bird or too for a special friend of mine.

ps This process is totally suitable for kindergartners.  They’ll love it!

Art is Everywhere

One of the greatest side effects of doing the Artists Way is beginning to see art everywhere-when I go on a walk, when looking through discarded trash on the side of the road, everywhere.  I feel so grateful to have this new perspective.  What a difference it makes.  So this weekend it didn’t surprise me at all, when I literally found art in the middle of the desert.