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in the light of the sun

moments of me and my life by the sea

A cheer up bunch of flowers

  
My lovely mum has had a serious amount of skin cancers removed this year. We’re talking about 100?!! The latest round had her feeling really down so we thought we’d get her some flowers to cheer her up. 

Never one to miss an opportunity to make art, we decided to make the flowers ourselves! We used a permanent marker to draw flowers on an old painting and cut them out. Then we used a permanent marker to draw butterflies and painted them with water colours. 

We used a glustick to attach them to a gorgeous bunch of Blue gum leaves and an extra special butterfly painting decorated the vase. 

And paper cranes of course because I just can’t not fold them!! 

  
The joy on the boys faces, knowing they were making something to make their nana happy, was so beautiful. 

They’ll last a little longer than a regular bunch of blooms and are a practically free gift really for the budget conscious.

We might need to make some for our house too!

Draw what we saw

It’s been very, very rainy lately so outdoor activities have been limited or brief.  We’ve also got too many germs to share with our regular playgroup friends so we thought we’d go to the art gallery instead and ‘draw what we saw’. 

  
It was a huge hit with my big guy! He’s almost five and his preschool teacher suggested working on his drawing skills 

and pencil grip for school readiness. 

We talked about colours we saw, shapes we saw, feelings we had when we looked at certain paintings. We saw art that made them excited, curious, scared and sad. 

   

    

We brought our own art supplies – just a few coloured pencils and two books of blank paper, and sat down wherever we saw something we wanted to draw. We couldn’t linger tooooo long at each painting as my two year old had ants in his pants but he did pretty well all things considered.   

My art theory degree was never put to professional use but not do I get a lot of enjoyment out of exploring, talking about and making art with my children. Art lovers for life!!

bento bag adventures

I made a bag that made me really happy. And I thought, why not make others happy too, huh? So I decided to sew up a few more and see if anyone out there might like to buy one. It’s been a loooooong time since I sold anything over on Etsy under In the Light of the Sun (especially since instagram killed my lo fi Holga camera) so I think I might stick to Facebook/Instagram for now.
But in the meanwhile I am having a reaaaaalllllllly fun time putting together Japanese fabrics from my collection and sewing up a storm into the wee hours of the morn…

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practising that pencil grip

We’re thinking about sending this guy to school next year and his preschool teacher has mentioned getting him to practise holding his pencil correctly and thinking about what he is actually drawing, rather than an excited and hurried dash across a page.

So I decided a spot of art and maths would be a fun way to practise. First I used washi tape to make a border around a sheet of water colour paper. Then I marked a dot in the centre of the page and got Wolf to use a ruler to draw lines through the dot, til we had lots of triangles. Then I used the washi tape as a guide to draw a circle round the dot and rubbed out the centre marks.

Then it was up to him to choose a colour and practise gently filling in the shapes with the water colours, working hard to hold his brush correctly, softly dancing the brush across the page, trying to make sure only the bristles touched the paper, not the hard shaft of the brush as well, and attempting to keep his brush within the lines.

(Now, I’m not bothered with militantly keeping within the lines when colouring, I think it stifles their creativity and limits their capacity to problem solve, but for the purpose of this exercise I think it was good to be mindful of the final outcome he was trying to create, and to practise his brush control.)

We counted shapes, we spoke about colours and shades and blending colours, we concentrated, we talked about direction, with a big smile on his face the entire time.

And when he’d finished I peeled off the washi tape and he was so pleased with the end result.

I like learning with a smile.

We tried a vertical garden once…

… But I just can’t keep plants alive. So it’s hanging on our balcony wall filled with dried out soil. I let the boys pull out the dead herb plants a few months after they withered away from neglect or lack of sunshine and water. I left them in there to visually chastise me everytime I looked out the window. A handmade macrame planter swings beside the verticle garden, sporting a dried out chilli plant doubling as a Halloween decoration (spiderwebs, so many spiderwebs.) . It’s bleak guys. Bleak.

So imagine my surprise when this happened!


We grew green stuff! Seeds! Germinated!!

Was such a huge hit with my boys we decided to make it an activity at Tt’s birthday party. The kids were very excited and it didn’t take long so attention spans were held and zero mess to clean up, bonus.

All we used was recycled plastic bottles cut into shape, cotton wool balls and cress seeds. Cress is super fast growing so the little ones see results before they’ve forgotten about the activity entirely.

I did originally plan on getting the kids to paint their planters first but it was too hard to round them up once the party started. That’s an option to explore on another day I suppose!

And a star is born… then moves onto something new 2 minutes later

My boys love to paint and I love to let them grow and discover and explore and learn through art. But small children often have a very small attention span and sometimes it feels like the set up and consequent clean up and pack away of an art experience is three times as long as the activity itself. Insert exasperated emoticon here!

So when we need a quick hit of art we turn to our trusty water colour palate. This time we added white crayon to the mix. Drawing with it first on the paper, then finding our drawing with the application of water colour on top.

Learning colours, shapes, fine motor skills and pretty well zero clean up for old mumsie – win win!

why are the polar bears dead mummy and other questions I answered at the museum this morning 

10 days old they were. Now they’re almost 100 years old. Well, 91, if my maths is correct, but truth be told I rarely know what day it is, let alone what year. So for 91 years these two polar bear cubs (pups?) have sat together in a glass case, next to a spectacularly large, glittering magical amethyst slab, in a dark corner of a museum.

For some reason the fact there was two of them seemed to tug at my heart strings all the harder. Crowds surged around me as thousands of Sydney siders took advantage of the museums free admission this weekend. A clingy two year old weighed heavily in my arms and a four year old pulled on my arm. But I couldn’t tear my gaze away.

But why did they die? It was at the London Zoo apparently. Oh. Is their mummy sad? Yes I imagine so. Now they’re behind the glass and their mummy is gone? Yes. *swallows back lump in throat and shifts heavy child to other hip* And are the dinosaurs going to come to life like in that movie we saw?

Um, no sweet boy that was just a movie.

But if those polar bears do come to life at night id rather like to snuggle with them. I’m looking for paid work. I should see if the Australian Museum needs a night security guard. First I have to night wean my co-sleeping breast feeding two year old, but that should be easy enough…..

well hello there

Just thought i’d pop in and say hi after a few years of being M.I.A…see if I still know how to type words. See if I can remember how to form those typed words into sentences. Sentences that are uninterrupted by the excited/demanding conversations of the small children who accompany my daylight hours and most of my night time ones too.

If you’re still here or happen to stumble upon my words, I thank you for your time and patience with me as I learn to juggle all the things you need to be a mum and a person and a wife and a writer and a friend.

in cahoots

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Today I feel like a Yoshimoto Nara character. My eyes are saying Screw You I’m Going To Do What I Like And I Don’t Care What You Think Anyway (but of course behind my rebellion I desperately seek your attention and approval). 

In fact, I think Wolfie and I are in cahoots in this respect, because he has been a rebellious little monster all day too. 

We must have forcibly removed him from the recycling bin in the kitchen over a dozen times today but he keeps toddling back for more swigs on empty wine bottles (it’s a good look) and for the wonderful sounds of smashing glass against tiles.

And if you don’t lift him up so he can switch on and off every light in all the rooms of the house over and over and over then he squeals like a pig. A loud, insistant, irritated pig hell bent on illumination. He screams through nappy changes, writhing, twisting and thumping on the mat spreading poo all over the place. Are you aware that the act of changing nappies is some sort of torturous punishment that parents inflict upon their innocent offspring just for shits and giggles?! (I always wondered what that saying was referring to, now I understand.)

So eventually I turned to the television and put on a Justine Clarke DVD. Because I Like to Sing. Wolf wasn’t terribly captivated (he can’t seem to pay attention to the tv for very long. I worry it’s because it’s on too often?) but gosh darn it I do love the lady and it cheered me up no end. I bopped, hopped and boogied around all the abandoned toys on the floor, the coloured pencils, all the money and cards from my wallet and the contents of a tissue box that has been emptied and re-stuffed several times over while Wolf amused himself with the recycling until it was time for dinner/bath/bed and here we are.

I guess I too should be in bed preparing for another day of adventuring or at the very least taking out the recycling or something useful but my Nara eyes are creeping back on and…. I don’t want to go to bed! I’m not tired! That didn’t hurt!!

 

 

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