in the light of the sun

moments of me and my life by the sea



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.


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!

flickr friday faves

Wow, I cannot believe it’s Friday already! Admittedly, my weeks are lacking in the usual routine of 8 til 6 Monday to Friday full time work, but all the same, where does the time go? How is everyone?!

Shots from Tassie will be up soon – it was VERY cold there! (So glad I wore double leggings.) But in the meanwhile I thought I’d share some of my flickr faves – the weather has been so grey and rainy in silly Sydney lately, I for one am in desperate need of BRIGHT, HAPPY, CHEERFUL IMAGERY!

Brilliantly crocheted smart car spotted in Rome via StartTheDay

A lovely Charley Harper illustration circa 1964 via liefpeng

Darling little stencil of my favourite royal – the Little Prince! via mmelox

Bright, happy peach blossoms via Caterina TD

I think my house would be complete with this gorgeous Blancucha wall decal. Isn’t she amazing?! There’s nothing more cheery than red balloons! I love the simplicity of her art.

I hope you’re all feeling warm and cheery. If not, have you tried the new Snickers Hazelnut bar?!! I have been scouring supermarket shelves all over Sydney with no success, thankfully I have the best friend ever and she sent me some in the mail from Melbourne. Nothing beats hazelnuts and chocolate and lovely people who send you it in the post. Nothing! Another reason to move to Melbourne perhaps?!

books + art = love

I’m not good at maths but I do believe that this equation is correct.

books + art = love.

how could you not love this amazing book sculpture?

(found via some lovely peeps on twitter such as @PenguinBooksAus and @HelenOBrien, which led me to this weheartit page and eventually I just googled the artist)

Who made this? Mike Stilkey. Check out his website for more amazing book art. I especially heart Elephant Relaxing. Lovely stuff.

Don’t keep calm and carry on

Don’t keep calm and carry on., originally uploaded by moleitau.

I have loved the “Keep Calm and Carry On’ mantra/poster for years. It was my motto when I first moved to full time work after finishing uni, helping me to stay calm whilst adapting to the crazy world of office politics and demands.

I think this message is more me these days. I especially need to remember the second part – make things.

I’m going to make something this week. Not sure what yet. What are you going to make?

Drawing for a Cure

I have to share the amazing work of Pretty Little Thieves. I can’t believe I haven’t discovered her before on my travels around Etsy and the blogosphere. The girl has BUCKETLOADS of talent. Super cute colours and characters.

Even though my walls are pretty chocablock full of wonderful art right now, I could not resist purchasing this original artwork in her Etsy store because the proceeds of the sale are going to charity. I love humanity.

It’s called How Lucky Cat and I think it shall forever remind me of how lucky I am. Unless I can bare to pass it on to a lucky friend… we’ll see!

Thanks ever so Pretty Little Thieves! Keep up the good work.

rainy days

I bought some new paper crane paper from Kinokuniya. They are the prettiest colours. Colour gradients never fail to make me smile. I loved organising my pencils by shades of colour as a kid. Still do! Organising things by colour and making paper cranes is so calming for me. I scanned some of my paper cranes and some water colours I have been working on and I they have definitely brightened up my rainy day!

It’s been raining quite a bit lately. That time of year I guess. Rainy days make me want to stay in bed with a good book and stare out the window. Drinking cups of tea. Cuddling the cat. Listening to Billy Holiday. Or Nina Simone. Funnily enough, “Little Girl Blue” is playing right now.

“Sit there and count the raindrops
Falling on you
It’s time you knew
All you can ever count on
Are the raindrops
That fall on little girl blue”


This guy, Craig Damrauer, is damn funny. And clever too.

It’s true, I could, but I didn’t. Check out his amazing website, you could click on for hours.

Spotted on Design for Mankind, thanks Erin!

Sculpture by the Sea – Bondi 2008

Hands down this is my favourite annual exhibition. As if the cliffs along the Eastern Suburbs from Bondi to Bronte weren’t dazzling enough, these sculptures just make the whole walk even more exciting.

As does the look on little kids faces as they see each new sculpture. Kids interacting with art is so much more honest and refreshing than tired old adult eyes.

If I learnt anything from my Art Theory degree (and I don’t know how much of it I retained anyway, in between all those beers) it would be that whilst a whole lot of studying can teach you a lot about art, not a great deal of people ever bother to learn in the first place. Not in Australia anyway. So you could argue that a lot of people don’t have the ‘skills’ necessary to ‘read’ an artwork, to understand what the work is about. But kids just dont seem to need those skills. The amount of times I’ve heard the following – “My 3 year old son could paint better than that” and “I don’t know much about art but I know what I like” is depressing. Adults are so boring. So closed off. It’s sad.

I guess that’s why public art programs are so important. Hopefully people will be more open to all forms of art simply through osmosis?!

See the rest of my holga shots at
Or check out the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition in Bondi yourself – on until Sunday 2nd November!

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