Tag Archives: inspiration

The Evolved Snowflake

The sun is so generous to share her afternoon beams of joy with me. At the end of the school day, when my teacher work is done, the lighting in my art studio inspires many clever photo shoots of freshly made works of art. Showcased below are images of kirigami snowflakes.

kirigami snowflake

Kirigami is the art cutting paper to create intricate symmetrical designs. Does the term remind you of origami? If so, it is because they both end in “gami” and when translated in Japanese, “kami” means paper. Origami is the art of paper folding. “Ori” means folding + “kami” means paper = folding paper. Can you guess what “kiri” means? That’s right: “kiri” means cutting. Therefore kirigami = cutting paper. Typically, kirigami begins with a folded base, which is then cut and opened offering a magically surprise in the end.


These snowflakes were created using a tri-fold technique which produces a 12-sided snowflake. To read through an informative snowflake tutorial, visit Michele Made Me. And take the time to snoop around her beautiful website, it is one of my favorite places to spend free time!

Have you made your holiday decorations this year?
Or maybe a clever advent calendar?
If so, please share your creations!

Have a lovely first day of December! -MJ


Filed under Creating Art, Inspiration


I just have to share this image with you. It illustrates the JOY of my Friday.

How stunning is this selection of contour ink paintings? I can’t get over the way each piece is unique yet they work together as a unified whole. Harmony.

The photo itself offers so much to the collection of artworks. The way the sun’s rays kiss the floor so calmly. The shadow of the afternoon light.

Just in case you were eager to zoom in, two close-ups await you below. All images are of observational ink paintings of African masks created by my fourth grade artists.

Happy Friday! -MJ


Filed under Inspiration, Teaching Art to Children

Happy New {School} Year!

September marks the beginning of a new year for teachers, children and parents. It may be a tough transition for some, but for others it is an exciting time. I always did enjoy the Staples commercial that synced “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” with an overjoyed father taking his children shopping for supplies. Watch it on You Tube below. Classic.

For teachers, September means promise. It opens us up to an array of opportunities to make this year the most successful year yet. This year we will try out new classroom management tactics. We will re-design our studio space to make it exciting, user friendly and a comfortable work environment. Oh, and we will start report card narrative writing two whole months before they are due. Let’s make those last three statements into “I” statements because that is what I plan to do. What are you excited about this year? And if you are not excited, you can share those thoughts too…

Above is an image I found on Grey Matter. I plan on including it in my selection of inspirational phrases that hang in my art studio. I have shared a few of my favorites with you below:

Celebrate Differences

Feed Your Curiosity

Practice Making Creative Choices

Always Play First  (shared by a fellow art teacher I met in grad school)

Practice Makes Better  (a friend of mine heard this from their child’s teacher)

Take on a Creative Challenge Today!

Trust your Hands  (shared by a fellow art teacher)

Creativity Takes Courage  Henri Matisse

See. Think. Wonder.  (Visible Thinking, Project Zero)

Today is a New Beginning

Feel free to use these in your classroom or studio to encourage awareness, openness and risk taking.

Have you tried anything new that has lead the year to a successful start? What are you most proud of in your space?

Happy New Beginnings! -MJ

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Filed under Inspiration, Teaching Art to Children