Please Vote For My Blog-Pretty Please


The Art of Education is holding its annual Blog of the Year contest.  This is your chance to nominate my blog in one of the four categories.  Just to be included with other art teachers blogs would be an honor for me.  Please see the link/info below and take a minute or two (really that is all it takes) to vote for  I really do appreciate it 🙂


Here we go again! It’s time to open up the nominations for AOE’s 4th Annual Art Ed Blog of the Year contest!


We’re shaking things up a bit this year with the format, but the event still remains the web’s only contest that exclusively honors Art Education blogs. If you’re new to AOE and don’t know what it’s all about, check out last year’s winners then come on back to nominate your favorites!

What’s New This Year

This year, we’re once again on the hunt for the best of the best in Art Ed Blogs. However, instead of having one catch-all category, we’re breaking it down a bit.

We’re recognizing the best blogs in the following 4 categories.

1. Best Elementary Art Ed Blog
2. Best Secondary Art Ed Blog
3. Best Rising Star Art Ed Blog
4. Best Wild Card Blog

God Has A Plan-Favorite Quotes of the New Year

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This week was back to teaching art…I had First, Fourth and Sixth Grades and they we had some fun.  I also wanted to share with you the two best quotes of Christmas and New Years Vacation.  Got to give quote credits to Mrs. Colosi who said this on New Years Eve.  The second one I saw on a dish towel in Truckee.  They both are so true and are words to live by 🙂









In First Grade we did George Rodrigue’s “Blue Dog.”

first grade blue dog




Then I did paper portraits with the Fourth Grade class which was also fun 🙂

fourth grade paper portraits

And to finish my week I worked with the sixth grade on these Asian Bamboo watercolor pieces.  They really got into using the different brushes and simulating the bamboo. Continue Reading »

Celebrating 50 Years Was So Much Fun on the Island of Namotu in Fiji

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hamock in namotu fiji  Namotu Island Fiji  namotu fiji sunset private pool by our villa

It was a bit crazy getting out for a family trip before Christmas but I have to say we had so much fun.  We have never celebrated Christmas away from home since the kids were little.  Now that they are 18, 16 and 13 it was nice to go away and have time together as a family away from all the holiday hype.  The Island of Namotu only house about 23 visitors and you can only have one internet connection at one time for $100 so our technology was limited.  The above picture is the hammock and the island, our first sunset and the pool that was by our Villa.

santa came to fiji girls catch mahi mahi

We stayed in the back of the property in what was called the Villa.  I think originally this was built for the owner of the property but now is used for guests.  The girls shared a room and my son had his own with a joint bathroom.  Kent and I had the master bedroom with a lovely bathroom and amazing views to Cloudbreak and Namotu lefts.  There are breaks all along the island and a boat ride away from some of the best surfing in the world.  Above is a funny plastic Santa I found on the beach and the girls torturing their brother with the Mahi Mahi they caught.  The trip gave us plenty of family time and also lots of fun water activities to do besides surfing.  One day we went out for a “skull drag” which consisted of hanging on to a few 2 x 4 pieces of wood and being drug around the reef for an hour.  It was amazing and the reef is still very much alive and beautiful since the last trip Kent and I took to Fiji 25 years ago when we lived in Japan.

shell I found on namotu island fiji heart coral in fiji

The staff was amazing.  Very friendly and welcoming.  Even with all of our food allergies they rolled with it and made us feel at home.  The picture of the shell above is one I found on the island.  Also lots of coral and beauty on the beach.  Thanks to Scottie and Mandy who own and operate the island.  We had a memorable family trip we will not forget.

Kindergarten Christmas Tree with Doves

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kinder christmas tree art lesson

I had those fabulous Kindergarteners this week 🙂  They always make me smile and I truly enjoy my time with them.  I wanted to get them into the Christmas spirit so we did this Christmas tree with doves project.  It has a few cut outs but always looks beautiful.  Hope you get to enjoy some time with your family this holiday.  Looking forward to time with mine 🙂  xo  renee Continue Reading »

Inspirational Holiday Word Lesson

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I had a fun week of lessons with the students.  I had the fourth grade class on Wednesday and I promised them if we finished our first lesson we could do a fun Christmas project after.  Well of course we finished and got to do the below project.  I usually do this with the 8th graders but wanted to see how my fabulous 4th graders would do.  I love this project for two reasons it gets you into the holiday spirit with words that inspire and create fun and joy.  It takes minimal materials (oil pastels and black 12 x 18 construction paper).  Hope you have some fun with your students or kids with this project.

8th grade art lesson

Skills Learned:

Sketching and using proportions for layout and design.

Materials Used:

  • Black 12 x 18 construction paper
  • Oil pastel sets of 16 colors (craypas)

Start by having students discuss words that are inspirational to them at Christmas. Show picture of sample like JOY, PEACE, etc. Make their art with 5 loops and 11 light bulbs to make it include math. Then remind them not to do bulb the same color as background or it will disappear. Fun holiday project with some great words.

8th grade christmas inspirational words art lesson 8th grade christmas inspirational words art lesson 8th grade christmas inspirational words art lesson 8th grade christmas inspirational words art lesson

Carmel Valley Ranch-Girls Weekend for 50th Birthday Celebration


We got to get away the weekend before Thanksgiving to celebrate a couple 50th birthdays.  It was mine and my friend Carrie’s 50th birthdays a week apart so we decided to get away and do a spa weekend.  We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place its sometimes hard to find a place to get away too that doesn’t cost a fortune.  But I found out that Carmel Valley Ranch has a few two bedroom suites along with a spa so we decided to go for it.

carrie and renee's 50thWe got there early on Saturday around noon so we could have lunch on the property then I could get to my massage appointment at 2PM.  Lunch was incredible I had ahi tuna salad nicoise which was amazing.  Then I headed off to my massage.  Then later in the afternoon when the rest of the girls and Carrie came we had appetizers and wine and sat by this outdoor fire pit by the pool.  It was so much fun to catch up and relax with these amazing women 🙂  I feel truly blessed to have such beautiful women in my life to share 50 with.

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Simple Holiday Wrapping Ideas

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beachy gift wrapping holiday gift wrapping

Yes I know you think I am crazy but I almost enjoy gift wrapping more than buying the presents 🙂  This year I of course took inspiration from pinterest from and  I just ordered my holiday cards on etsy from and she is going to print them with the same chalkboard theme I have going on my wrapping paper.  Cannot believe I got this all done before Thanksgiving!  Below are the links to buy the items you need to do any of the 4 wraps.  Email or message me if you have questions.  Happy wrapping!

simple holiday wrap with rosemary sprig holiday childrens wrapping

1.  Marvy gift tag punch- Overstock has it for a little over $20 and free shipping.  You will use this forever so it is worth the money.  Continue Reading »

Art Conference and Shopping In Orange County

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byredo flowerhead perfume

christmas tree newport beach  Fun time this weekend going to Orange County for an Art Education Conference and doing some shopping with my oldest daughter Hailey.  She came down from San Diego and stayed with me in Irvine for conference and we did a little damage at Fashion Island.  Also got to see our good friends the Pearson’s who live in Corona del Mar.  I had my presentation early Saturday morning then headed down to shop with Hailey.

First stop was Neiman’s.  They were having their sale and had lots of designer items discounted.  Plus I love their shoe department.  So fun to look and ogle at the really expensive shoes like Jimmy Choo, Prada etc.

My friend Lisa had me try this perfume by Byredo and it is awesome.  I am not one to wear perfume but this smells so yummy.  I guess they are known for their Gypsy Water one but I really like the flowerhead. Continue Reading »

Fall Art Lesson for 3-5th Grades

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3rd-5th grade fall art lesson

3rd-5th grade fall art lesson

I had to move around some lessons for 4th grade because I could not start their mission painting yet.   So I thought it would be fun to do something seasonal like a fall pumpkin patch scene with chalk pastels.  I searched the internet and there are so many how to draw pumpkin lessons.  Of course pinterest has many options below are the three I am going to use to show the students there are many easy ways to sketch a pumpkin.

3rd-5th grade fall art lesson

3rd-5th grade fall art lesson


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100th Blog Post-Auction Projects Galore

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Sorry I have been absent for the last few months.  I am trying to update my blog and make it more user friendly.  If any of you have ideas I would love to hear from you.

For my 100th post I thought I would share the fabulous auction projects the students have created this year.  I love doing these but its gets a bit crazy when we come down to the deadlines and trying to fit it all the normal curriculum etc.  I assisted with about 6 classes this year and I want to say thanks to all the parents that helped with materials etc to get these done 🙂

First Grade-Crosses

First Grade Wood Piece Auction Crosses

So happy to have Mr. Silva the science and math teacher on campus this year 🙂  He taught woodworking and has a love of it as I do of art.  He helped cut and prepare the wood for the First Grade Crosses.  We got the ideas of course from Pinterest and went about trying to figure out how to get them done with the students.  I again used my Annie Sloane chalkboard paint with students with water to have a whitewash effect.  Thanks also to Claudia my fearless friend and room mother who was with me all the way on this project.  I hope one of use gets to purchase one of these.  I truly love them!

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