Monthly Archives: July 2009

Soren Qvist and Pandas love a splash of colour.

I went to the fabric store last week to get some cotton to make Clare’s BIRTHDAY NAPKINS. Just as I was about to leave I discovered they were having a “buy on meter, get two free” sale.  As I was on the I-said-I’ll-just-be-fifteen-minutes-but-I’ve-been-in-here-for-twenty-five kind of time, I just went for the same print material I got for Clare but in red. A floral and a geometric.

Then I made a red cushion for our green room! Who doesn’t love a splash of colour. Works well with my quartet of red cut-paper pandas. Incidentally, if you haven’t read The Trial of Soren Qvist, you should.

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I used a combination of both prints and I’ll make the second cushion the reverse. Still can’t sew a straight line, but I’m not letting that stop me.

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Happy Birthday Clare!

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Happy Birthday Clare! Here are some birthday makings. Obviously, I made these things before but I didn’t want to share them lest I ruin Clare’s surprise. At first I was at a loss for a theme for the card but then I remembered the chicken story. When we were growing up, there was a year that my sister asked for a chicken for her birthday. What makes this a quintessential “Clare” story is not that she asked for a chicken, but that she was SURE SHE WAS GETTING ONE. Nothing could dissuade her. In preparation for her birthday chicken she even painted a farm scene on the walls inside her closet. To help the chicken feel at home. Ah Clare -Never give up the dream! (and why stop at one, is what I say! Chicken or dream.)

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I also made some BIRTHDAY NAPKINS!

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This is about the limit of my sewing abilities at the moment and they still look “delightfully handmade”. They are from  a pattern in Weekend Sewing. (I know – you wouldn’t think I would need a pattern for square napkins. But as I don’t really sew it’s good to have everything listed step by step.) Found some beautiful blue and white fabric in a variety of patterns so each side of the napkins match without being the same. I don’t have wonderful pictures of these as I was in a rush to get them sent off in the mail.

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Crossing my fingers that the package arrived on time! It’s fun to make things for people!

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Tea and roses at Chebucto Head.

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Afternoon tea and roses at Chebucto Head!

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We are feeling pretty proud of ourselves! The day was very gray and moist with no promise of improvement, but we decided to head out and “do something” anyway and were rewarded with with a big piece of SUN! All in all a lovely afternoon outing.

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Rain and the love of shiny things.

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Rain today! We painted while listening to some rain soundtracks. Didn’t need much imagination for this today!  Then we made rain sticks and created our our rain sound scape. I love how the rain sticks looked lined up side by side.

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As it was our last day we were really busy finishing things and getting ready for our “show”.  I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get more photos of our work. I guess I was always otherwise involved.  But sometimes it’s the small things, and the things that often go unnoticed, that make your smile. And I did catch a few of those! Take this child’s colour choices for her rain stick. Conscious or unconscious coordination?

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And long after everybody else had left the table I caught lovely little Maya quietly studying her sparkling hands.  Ah, the love of shiny things.

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On waking in the forest.

This week I reinterpreted the contact paper group project to work with our nature theme. (love the contact paper) We went into the gallery and saw a painting by Will Gorlitz. (please excuse poor photo of postcard, but you get the gist)

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After a bit of bending over sideways and upside-down we theorized that the painting looked as though the artist was lying on his back looking up at the trees.

Back in the class we made our own forest.

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None of the children could remember ever lying on their backs in the forest, so they lay on the floor with their eyes closed while we held their forest over them. When they opened their eyes they were looking up into branches and trunks and leaves. Just the way it would feel if you woke up in a forest.

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The quiet looking wood was enlivened the next day when we populated the forest with a variety of woodland creatures, a few exotic species and a “daddy in the shower” (seen here in red, positioned rather immodestly in the centre clearing ).

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Past halfway!

I’m more than halfway through my Naturally Creative class and I’ve a few more things to share. The first being  that this week was not as wonderful as the last….. every group of kids is different, and this one has a few challenges. Some of it could be me too! But I am trying to have a positive attitude and make sure  I am learning from everything. So here are a few things we’ve been up to.

Beads and pipe cleaners – and old standby. I like to have something simple for the children to sit down and do when they arrive so they can warm up before we start a project. Initially we were making bugs but then one child announced she would make a caterpillar. Good call! Dug out The Very Hungry Caterpillar as inspiration.  I’ll definitely do this again sometime, maybe with bigger beads and larger pipe cleaners so our caterpillars can be chunky.

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On Tuesday we made some animal tracks using a printing method of cutting foam pieces and gluing them on cardboard. Children love seeing their designs printed. This makes it a great activity but it is definitely one that requires a fair bit of support. Here are some cute “mouse tracks” (also note the random “horse’s hoof”) :

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And finally,  some field flowers. These are done by blowing paint drops around with straws and then adding stems. Give the children straws, I say. The quiet focus is pleasing.

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From the ocean

My first day of Naturally Creative, another summer art camp with kids 3 – 5. Today we focused on the ocean.

Love this one. It’s a shark  with small fish swimming around it and many small fish in its tummy. The tissue paper takes away from the drawing a bit, but it’s still a good one.

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We also did some mono-prints on Plexiglas, again drawing on ocean inspiration. This one is quite poetic. (Happens to be the same child, so you can see again the “circle-fish”.) It’s a school of fish.

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And this is also lovely. For younger children, painting (on paper, or in this case on Plexiglas) is less about representation and more about moving paint around. But this child was moving the paint in a very rhythmic fashion, perhaps even like the chopping or swelling of the waves. The result is quite beautiful whether you see the ocean or just feel the motion.

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