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Wedding Planning - Part One!

Since my engagement on June 1st, I've been working away on wedding planning! Since I will be teaching full-time and back in school full-time beginning in the fall, I figured I should get as much done as I can now.
Picking out a wedding date was a tricky task. I had to find some period of time when I wouldn't be teaching (cause who wants to pay out of pocket for that time off?!) OR in school (I'll be taking classes every semester -- even in the summer).
For obvious reasons I wanted to avoid Thanksgiving and Christmas break (I do ACTUALLY want people to attend my wedding).. so that left me with only one other option - the time period between May 24th-June 7th, 2015. Of course the first weekend in that time period is Memorial day.. so I really had no choice (for a Saturday) other than May 30th, 2015. SOOOOO long story short - that's my date! :)
Once the date was set I immediately began my venue search. May-July is a VERY popular time to get married.. (I was surprised how many venues were already booked for my date)!!
^ Not me -- but this IS at my wedding location
After touring a few locations.. I finally found exactly what I was looking for! I wanted a venue in which I could have the ceremony outdoors overlooking some type of gorgeous landscape. My first thought was to go into the Georgia mountains.. but that idea was quickly pulled apart (travel expenses for guests, distance, cost, etc.). Then I thought about a lakefront wedding - but the location we toured was super expensive. My next thought was on the river - BINGO!
 The location I've settled upon and booked is right on the Yellow River - it is absolutely stunning!

Naturally I've also been thinking a lot about design, style, and colors (darn my art teacheriness) - and have settled upon a palette of plum and silver.

To help cut costs, I've also decided to do my own wedding invitations. After scouring Pinterest for what seemed like an endless amount of time.. I finally gathered enough inspiration to design my own invitation from scratch!

Preview of my invitation design!

I'm so excited to continue planning! :)

The Grouchy Ladybug Collage (K)

The end of the school year is always filled with awkward scheduling situations. Kids are out for field days, field trips, testing, class parties, blah, blah blah, blah blah. I could continue listing all the things that pull them out - but you already know this. The point is, because of weird scheduling I needed a 2-3 day project I could do with my kindergarteners (I normally see them 5 days in a row). AnvoilĂ  - Pinterest came through for me once again! This pin was taken from Artsonia.
On the first day I had my kinders create a piece of painted paper with either yellow and green tempera paint or green and blue tempera paint (uh ohhhh NINJA colors! ... That's what I call intermediate or tertiary colors in kindergarten - it makes sense.. I promise.). Students got to freely paint with these colors, overlap, blend, and add texture with a variety of tools (paint scrapers, bubble wrap, etc..).
Found on Pinterest -
pinned from Artsonia.
On the second day I had my students come in and meet me on the carpet to read the book "The Grouchy Ladybug" by Eric Carle. This book is probably one of my least favorites as I've said in a previous post, "I suppose you could say the underlying message of the book is that you should always be kind (like the friendly ladybug), however I found the more dominating message to be that sometimes grouchy people (errr- I mean ladybugs) deserve a good slap. Perhaps that’s just how I read it."
After we read the book I demoed how to begin the project. Students were given a piece of 9"x12" white drawing paper and a piece of 6"x9" brown construction paper. Students were to cut a wavy line on the top of their brown paper (or they could opt to leave it straight) and glue it onto the bottom of their paper. Afterwards, students began cutting out long skinny strips from their piece of green painted paper; these were layered on top (we also briefly talked about placement - the grass did not all have to be glued on top of the brown paper or at the bottom of their paper). Students could also cut out leaf shapes from this paper as well.
Once their greenery was added, it was on to the ladybugs!
Most of my kinders had to do their ladybugs on the third day. In an attempt to incorporate some math into this project, I began by talking about symmetry and doing doubles math with my kinders. Then I gave them a challenge (they had the option to participate or not) - I wanted them to include symmetrical ladybugs that showed me doubles addition using the addends 1-6. 
The ladybugs were created with red construction paper and the spots, legs, heads, and antenna were all drawn on with sharpie.
Last but not least, I had my kinders add some aphids to the plants (those ladybugs sure are hungry!).


Art with Ms Gram.... or Art with Ms Nguyen? :)

This past weekend my boyfriend and I went camping at Black Rock Mountain State Park - the views were absolutely STUNNING. Especially this one - 

Yep! He proposed and now I have this sitting on my finger! Just wanted to share my happy news with all of my art-friends! No exact date has been picked out for the wedding yet.. but at this point we are thinking September 2015. :)

Below are some really awesome nature shots that my fiance and I took over the weekend! 

Yeah... I'd say it was a pretty good trip. ;)

My fiance and I. <3

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