5th Grade Art

It was the beginning of the new school year and Kathy was upset.  She told me that in talking with the four 5th grade teachers, she had learned that they had not set aside any time for art projects because……..well, they said they weren’t good at art so they just decided not to include that in their curriculum!!   According to Kathy, that was “not a good thing”, every one needed art!  I agreed, kids needed a creative outlet.  Once  I got to know Kathy I realized that she had a wonderful way of getting people involved in her “projects”….or was it just me?

That year at Happy Valley Elementary School, there were three 5th grade classes and a 4th/5th split class, so in all about 108 students.   We need to talk to the teachers.  By the time we had walked from the office to the end of the hall where the 5th grade classes were, (a two minute walk), we had a plan.  There was no way the 5th grade teacher could say “no”.  They didn’t stand a chance. We were excited.

And so it began.  We had no money, no supplies, zilch, zero, nada, but we were determined.  In the end, thanks to the willingness if the teachers to set aside time each month, art was back in the curriculum.  We decided a project a month for the next nine months was doable.  We would be using recyclables, a good lesson in itself, as well as low cost items, but we still need some money.  We sent a letter out to the parents explaining and detailing the upcoming projects.  We asked for a $1.00 per student art fee to help off set costs of supplies that we would be needed.  The response by the parents was WONDERFUL.  Not only did we receive about $100.00 but they heeded our plea for volunteers to help.  We ended up with quite a nice supply of paper, buttons, glue, scotch tape, glitter, ribbon, craft sticks, anything related to arts and crafts.  We were thrilled!!

Here are a few of the art projects.  Hand puppets were made using small brown lunch sack adorned with construction paper, pipe cleaners, and glitter resulting unique monster faces, just in time for  Halloween.  For Christmas, we collected several 500 piece puzzles that were pieces.  The pieces were spray painted to cover the puzzle image.  The kids had a great time gluing several pieces together and embellishing to create an unique ornament for the Christmas season.   Glue and glitter was all over the place.  Thank goodness Mr. Peck, the custodian was so understanding!  Another project transformed plastic bread clips into one-of-kind necklace bauble for a Mother’s Day gift.  Paint and glitter could magically transform just about anything.  More than one mom could be seen proudly wearing their necklace.

Even though the materials used for many of the projects were anything but traditional, the kids always looked forward to their hour of art each month.  We both enjoyed this challenge.  It was a lot of work, but very rewarding. A very good memory for me.

Karen Rowell, member of Crafty Ladies

Lucky Penny Ball

2000 Lucky Penny Ball (1)

Lucky Penny Gazing Ball

To create your Lucky Penny Gazing Ball garden art, you will need the following:

An old Bowling Ball
450 Pennies
“Goop” Outdoor Adhesive
Wire Brush
Face Mask
Rubber Gloves
Cardboard Box

For Grouting:
Weld Bond Glue
Grout or Paint Color Additive

Sand and wire-brush the bowling ball to roughen the surface and remove all gloss. Wear a facemask to avoid breathing in the dust. Wipe the bowling ball with a clean dry rag. Cut a circle in the cardboard box to support the bowling ball while gluing on the pennies. Starting on the opposite side from the finger holes, apply a thin layer of glue and press pennies onto the bowling ball face up. The amount of glue is important; the pennies must adhere to the surface without glue coming up around the edges. If this happens, use a toothpick to remove excess glue. Work a small area at a time as pennies may slide down the curved edge of the bowling ball until glue begins to set (approximately 10 minutes). Leave a small space between pennies to allow grout to fill in around them.

Let glue cure a minimum of two days prior to grouting. To prepare grout, mix Weld Bond Glue with sand until it reaches the consistency of thick paste. Add enough colorant to achieve desired color (“rust” was used in the pictured project). A few tablespoons of soil may be added to darken the grout. Wear rubber gloves and use an old spatula to apply grout to penny ball. After grouting, first wipe with a damp sponge, then a soft cloth until grout residue is removed from pennies. Allow to dry one week before putting in your garden.

To keep your Lucky Penny Ball from sitting directly on the soil, pound a small stake in the ground until 4” remains above ground and insert one of the finger holes over the stake.

Your Lucky Penny Ball can be left unsealed if you want the pennies to change color with age. Older pennies will turn green, newer pennies will darken as they contain less copper. If you decide to seal your Lucky Penny Ball, several coats of marine varnish such as Man O’ War will keep your Lucky Penny Ball looking new for many years.

Chocolate Cherry Cake

1 Deep Chocolate Cake Mix (Duncan Hines, Pillsbury, or Devil’s Food)

1 can cherry pie filling

2 eggs unbeaten

1 T almond flavoring



6 oz. package semi sweet chocolate morsels

5 T butter

1 C sugar

1/3 C milk



Preheat oven to 350°.

Stir cake ingredients together until moistened and bake 30-40 minutes in greased cake pan.


Bring butter, sugar and milk to a boil. Stir in chocolate morsels and whisk to blend. Pour over cake when cool.

Kathy Loved to Cook

Kathy was an excellent cook…some even thought of her as a “gourmet” cook, and she liked to try even the most complicated recipes. Then again, some of her most memorable creations were simple recipes with a few creative tweaks to make it her own. One that comes to mind is her fabulous Chocolate Cherry Cake, which was basically a cake mix with a can of pie cherries added to the mix. This recipe and others from friends and family will follow. If you have one of Kathy’s recipes that you would like me to include, please comment below. I will contact you by email to get the recipe.