Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Premium graffiti canvas

Thought I'd share with you some pics from a recent visit to an amazing site in Perth. It is probably really really old news for those who follow graffiti art but this site has become a premium graffiti canvas. The stuff on the walls were really good. Look at the layer upon layer of colour. Simply breath taking!

These are some of my favourites.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hello and goodbye to my very first bunny

Say hello to my very first bunny.

It's been doubly sewn to make sure that my little niece won't be able to tear it apart. My favourite bits are the knotted ears and cute little tail.

Now say goodbye as it boards the plane tomorrow and makes its journey to Singapore.

My kids love it so much, they have made me promise to make them one each. I'll get a pattern together and post it here soon.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My first draft

I have never done trials when I make things. I just jump in and hope for the best. Tonight, I made my first "draft" for a softie I am designing for my niece that will be welcomed into this world in about a month by my brother and his wife. All very exciting.

I like the "draft". When I finished. It sat on top of my computer and stared at me. Almost trying to stare me down, daring me to make it into something. I like the shape and the balance between the body and the head. I like the ambiguous nature of it. I can see a cat, a bunny, a dog, and all the permutations from those. I think I'm going to make it the base shape for the next few softies I make.

The first one off the production line will be a bunny for my niece. I thought it most fitting as she will be born in the year of the rabbit. I'll have to make the rabbit tomorrow night as the bunny will have to jump on the plane on Sunday.

Wait for the photos.

Friday, June 17, 2011

"My! My!"

This week, I've started doing dictation with Zach. I know he is only 5 but he loves it! You should see the satisfaction in his eyes when he spells a word correctly. I have started with the words in the Dolch word list. I don't do any drills. I don't insist on him memorising the words. I'm sure the need for that will come in time but for now, he simply enjoys the ability to form the words both verbally and then translate it into letters. It is such a confidence booster for him.

This is his Dolch word list as at Wednesday night. Here's how it works. I separated the list of words into the appropriate levels as suggested by various different educational websites. Each level corresponds to a star below his name. When he gets an entire column (level) in red, he gets a gold star and a reward (to be negotiated). To get a word in red, there are two ways. The first way is rather incidental. If I find that he is reading a word on the list without hesitation or sounding out during our nightly story book reading session, the word goes red and I confirm it by asking him to write it. The second way is simply asking if he knows how to write a certain word during dictation and if he writes it correctly the first time, the word goes red.

How did I make the chart? It's rather simple to the point of almost embarrassing. I copied the list from a website. There are hundreds out there if you search "Dolch sight words". Printed it out on to A3 paper and then laminated it. I then printed the word list separately on red paper. I've been cutting each word out and using double sided tape to stick it onto the laminated chart. Simple but all so effective. Zach gets a kick out of seeing the words turn red and wants to work through the words quickly.

It's been really fun for him as he sets the pace and I simply follow his lead. He does get a little frustrated when he can't spell a certain word and I refuse to turn the word red if he didn't get it the first time around. I want to instill in him the need for attention to detail and perseverance. One thing he often says now is, "Practice makes perfect, mummy." But the dictation sessions are always fun and in true Zachary style, you never know what to expect. This is what I got on Wednesday night when I asked him if he could write the word, "my".

I got a drawing of a regular nightly scene at home when I am herding the kids into bed. I'm piggy-backing laughing Amelia whilst Zach is chasing us crying out, "my my!". Translation: He is being a seagull in Finding Nemo, calling out "mine mine". Ah, the joys of teaching my son to read and write.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Making and playing

The best thing about having kids that love to draw and create isn't the oodles of paper all over the house or the cut out paper animals blu-tacked/taped to the walls or the "wallpaper" that decorates our glass doors. The best thing is the 10% of that "mess" that floors you. Zach's been on fire lately with his creating. He is more than compensating my lack of crafting lately,

On Monday, he exclaimed as I walked through the door after a day at work, "Mummy, I found some fossilised bones!" He raced through his dinner so that he could get to "working" on them. I watched as he pieced the pieces of fossilised bones together with sticky tape. Occasionally, he would look up and say, "Paleontologist work is difficult."

After a little while, he exclaimed with such genuine excitement, "Mummy! Mummy! The fossilised bones were part of a plesiosaur! I discovered a plesiosaur fossil!"

On the weekend, the kids made hand puppets with some store bought hand puppet socks (you can buy these in Riot Arts and Crafts, if you live in Australia), googly eyes, some foam, felt and crepe paper. Zach made a crocodile. I'm surprise he didn't say it was a dinosaur!

Also on the weekend, he made these funky monkeys from some wooden beads and pipe cleaners. You'd recognise these from the Chicken Socks book called Fuzzy Little Monkeys. The kids and I simply love the Klutz series.

They are so simple to make. I went out and got some wooden beads and pipe cleaners for next weekend to see what creations, he will come up with.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Marwa Fahmy

Remember my favourite sculpture from Sculpture by the Sea? The one with the origami boats? Well, one of the artists who collaborated on that piece, Marwa Fahmy, has won the opportunity to have her design to be made into public art.

Here's a little piece I found in Urbano, a publication from the East Perth Redevelopment Authority, about Marwa. It includes a little picture of what the designs look like. I like the whimsical nature of the houses. I already have a soft spot for Japanese motif. So all in all, liking this very much and can't wait to see it installed. I promise to have photos when its up.

Click on the image above to read the article.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Journey so far...

Almost a month ago now, I embarked on the journey of taking a photo a day with a simple camera (no zoom, no aperture adjustments, a simple point and shoot camera). Joy in the Everyday has been a therapeutic daily ritual. Here's a quick photo mosaic of the most recent photos.

Follow my journey as I try to find beauty in the ordinary things of my everyday. It's been an eye opening learning journey so far. I must admit it is difficult some days but as I have charged myself with this task, I always something beautiful. Try it for yourself. Things will start looking more than ordinary.
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