Welcome to my blog!My name is Melody M. Nuñez, and I’m an artist and a writer. Please look around my website and make yourself at home. I post new blog entries weekly, and hope you’ll subscribe to my blog and come back often! To learn more about me, please view the “About” page…
Tag Archives: Pay It Forward
As you know, I gather art supplies, gift cards, and monetary donations in order to provide at-risk public school children with art instruction and supplies. This year’s donation drive went well, and I was thrilled to have enough supplies to teach three classrooms of students for the first time ever – this is one more classroom than last year/ever before. Woo hoo! Three cheers for all my donors!
I taught all three of my classrooms over the past two weeks, two in Ontario and one in Santa Ana, and it all went incredibly well. The kids are always SO excited to get to learn about art and to actually do it, and they take to the art and writing involved in art journaling like little baby duckies to water! They’re super excited when they each get their art supply kits, and are especially happy when they learn that they get to keep all the supplies and take them home at the end of the year. It was a thrill for me to see all the kids so excited, happy, and engrossed in the activity.
Many of these kids don’t have anything like this in their lives, which makes it that much more important to them. In fact, in one class, two girls sitting next to each other were overheard saying, “I’ve never had this many art supplies!” and “I think I might cry!” (Happy tears, mind you.) All the teachers I talked to were very thankful, too, saying they’d never be able to provide/buy the supplies they received. In addition to the three classes I teach in, at least five more teachers received boxes of assorted supplies to share with their classes.
Here are some numbers for you, so you can get an idea of what all went on, and how many supplies were passed on to schools that desperately need them:
Number of people that donated supplies, gift cards, or funds between June 2012 and December 2012: 31
Number of boxes and bags of assorted supplies that went to the two schools: 20
Number of art supply kits provided, so each child would have their own set of supplies: 125
Number of individual pieces/items in each art supply kit: 60+
Total number of 4th grade classes I taught: 3
Number of children who’ve received the gift of art via my program this year: over 85
Awesome, right? I’m so thankful that so many of you lent a hand and helped me provide for the kids. I can’t do this alone, and am so pleased so many of you got involved! :]
A truck full of supplies – and this was only some of what I was able to take out to the schools!
Here are some photos from the three classrooms I taught. I don’t show the faces of our budding artists for privacy/safety reasons, but I’m sure you’ll agree that the art speaks for itself. These images are of their very first art journal pages and journal covers.
I hope you’re as charmed by their artwork as I am! I’ll be returning to both schools before the school year ends to have art journal shows for the children, and will be sure to share photos from both events here on my blog.
If you’re interested in donating supplies to help bring art, writing and positive self-expression to children in need, please contact me. I accept donations year-round, and appreciate any supplies, gift cards or funds I can get since I have no budget, volunteer my time, and provide some of the supplies. Thank you for your consideration. :]
I’m thankful for so many things, and always strive to express my thanks. Saying thank you in person, sending thank you notes, and appreciating life’s many gifts – big and small – are ingrained in my spirit and in my being. I believe in expressing love and appreciation as you feel it, partly because there’s no guarantee for tomorrow. There’s no time better for expressing thanks than our here and now.
In that vein, I’d like to thank everyone who gave so generously and helped so much with my Art Supply Drive. The response was so good that I have enough supplies to teach two classrooms of children for the first time since I started my little grassroots art journaling project.
Approximately 80 children will receive the gift of art and positive self-expression this school year. I’m SO excited and happy – my heart is full, brimming with appreciation for all your help. Whether you sent supplies, a gift card, a check, re-tweeted my call for supplies, or simply offered moral support and encouragement, I sincerely thank you.
I’ll post about my teaching experiences after I’ve taught the two classes. In the meantime, thank you for helping me to plant seeds of creativity and kindness. I think we’d all agree that this can be a crazy and disheartening world – it’s a pleasure to be involved with something so positive and helpful, and to receive such support!
I’m a big believer in being kind. I like to do kind things for strangers, and for people that I know. Not only does it make my heart happy, I like to think it makes others happy, too. There are so many things in the world that we can’t control, but we can choose what we put forth into the world – and I choose kindness.
While brainstorming my newest design team project for crescendoh.com, I was inspired by the Ordinary Sparkling Sentiments stamp set, and just knew they’d make some great Random Acts of Kindness cards (RAK cards). I’ve already given some of these cards away, and will carry the rest with me daily so I can brighten someone’s day when a situation arises or inspiration strikes. You can leave your finished cards just about anywhere…
Some people carry RAK cards that say something like “Smile – you’ve been gifted with a Random Act of Kindness”, which they hand to the person who is receiving their good deed, but in this case the cards themselves are the act of kindness and speak for themselves. You can certainly give them along with something else, but they’re nice on their own as well.
There are a million ways you can make, customize, and embellish your RAK Cards – here’s how I made mine: I started with Strathmore Watercolor paper, and cut the sheets into smaller pieces. I created the painted surface by first brushing on a mixture of Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic, walnut ink, and water. While the color mixture was still wet I loosely brushed on some watered-down gesso, and then sprinkled on a bit of metallic gold or silver powder (Schmincke) while the cards were still wet. Don’t worry if your color application isn’t uniform, or if your gesso blends with the color and/or drips off the edge of the cards. I applied my color and gesso very freely, and allowed the two surface treatments to blend together.
Once the card dried I stamped a quote onto the card using black StazOn ink. On some cards I also stamped another image, like a flower, a heart, or a butterfly.
The last step, before handing out these RAK cards and brightening someone’s day, is embellishment. I embellished my cards by punching out shapes, adding ribbon hangers and attaching rhinestones, but the possibilities are endless. Consider using beautiful scraps of paper or lace, beads, or buttons to embellish your RAK cards.
Where would you leave these cards if you were to give them to strangers, friends, and family? Would you pair them with another gift? I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions…
Happy Tuesday! I hope this blog post finds you well and happy. Today’s post is a both a thank you and a friendly reminder.
First up, THANK YOU: I’m sending out a big thanks to all those who have sent donations for my Art Supply Drive for at-risk public school children. You’ve made my heart happy, and I know the kids will be utterly thrilled, too. They get so much out of the donated supplies and the art journaling class – thank you for helping me to help them!
Next, a friendly reminder: If you’re interested in helping, but haven’t yet mailed your donation, there’s still time! Though my “deadline” for the Art Supply Drive is November 6th, I’m happy to accept donations beyond that date. There is such need that I can’t (and won’t) turn donations away, so please email me today and help give the gift of art journaling and positive self-expression to children that desperately need it.
Here’s a link to my initial call for art supplies, in case you missed the first post. It includes a bit about my art journaling program and a wish list of things I gather for the children. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Again – thank you to all the generous souls who have already donated!
My heart is full of gratitude…
A New Design Team Project
Here is a new project I created for Jenny Doh over at crescendoh.com. It’s a photo card with a twist! Rather than just featuring the photo by itself, I’ve stamped vellum and stitched it to the photo. It’s easy to do, and adds both a message and texture. To see more photos, and to read the project instructions, please click here.
Yours Truly on video…
As many of you know, I teach art journaling to at-risk elementary school children. I’ll be teaching this year’s class this coming Friday, and am so excited! I spoke about this project, and how it’s one of my favorite ways to Pay It Forward, on a video shot for crescendoh.com – you can watch the video by clicking here. Thanks again to everyone who donated to this project – I couldn’t do it without you!
Please keep your eyes peeled for my future design team projects – they’ll be posted monthly! And please look for a write-up about Friday’s art journaling class, coming later this month or early next month.