Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On My Desk & Dolly Parton

In between singing and dancing to High School Musical songs with my son and doing homework with my daughter, there is a few moments a day to get some work done in my little art studio space. 

I love this little space, (quite often it's littered with paint brushes, scraps of paper, and fabric as I tend to be the messiest person in the world at times). When the mess is cleared, and space has returned. What a difference a clear bench can make to your mental mess capacity, phew!  

So what's on my desk?  Standard issue: there's wet paint, only 1.5 hours to go till next coat. 

Rubber mallet for closing paint tins, 120 sanding paper, paint tin opener, cling wrap/plastic wrap for when I'm not quite done with brushes and rollers. Two smaller planks of wood for resting projects on, and my phone, which has run out of space, thanks for the reminder! Must download! 

I paint on an old door mat (one of many drop sheet options, this is the smallest). It's a thick cotton mat that I can throw in the wash if I need to.

Down the other end I have spare timber, Plywood, metre long level, jars of paintbrushes, pink polkadot whiteboard which is perfect for To-Do lists! and a Zanzibar Gem plant to purify the paint fumed air a little. Big breaths in of O2.

Can I just say that a Zanzibar Gem is supposed to be the hardiest plant, and thrives on neglect. I have actually killed one before- I have awesome plant skills. not.

Well that's whats on my desk for this week! You got anything crafty going on?

Looky, Looky! See what me and my mummy got to do!

Dolly Parton!  

I love Dolly Parton! She's a little pocket rocket with a huge voice! And I'm pretty thrilled that I actually got to hear her sing live. What a thrill, and even better I got to have the best girls weekend with my mummy! 

...and yes, I did sing working 9 to 5 at the top of my lungs. No shame here ;-) 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Learning Through Fun: Alphabet Stamps

My aim, as you heard last post, is to make learning fun at home. Complimenting what my daughter is learning at school, beyond the homework sheet, into the craft box! 

Alphabet stamps are inexpensive, and very fun. 
(You can also DIY your own set of alphabet stamps with foam letters and glue)
When you get bored with them- you find a new ink pad colour and away you go again!

These particular stamps are from Kikki K. 
A birthday gift from a wonderfully thoughtful friend.

 Sorting out the letters. 

Several great things about using ABC stamps with kids:

  • Eye strengthening/training (searching for the letters)
  • Hand/Eye coordination 
  • Letter recognition
  • Fine motor skills (depending on stamp size)
  • Concentration
  • Fun

Starting our spelling words for the week.... Purple...

Each letter has to be found, inked and stamped. and repeated for every word. It's a bit more time consuming so it takes more concentration. But when you're using glittering gold ink, life is pretty fanatic really and you get lost in the sparkling of it all.

There was no distracting Milla from doing this activity. Princess Sparkle and all things glitter, was in her element.

O.o We are about to have a lesson on which way to press down the stamp 
to have the letter the correct way up.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Learning Through Fun: Water Painting Sight Words

Milla is in grade one now, she is loving it, and she is doing really well. I, however, really want to make sure I'm doing my best to make sure her home learning is happening along side school learning.  Not just the boring fill in the sheet and off you go... but something a little more creative to make it super fun and stick in her mind.

What's handy is Milla has a super messy.... err crafty Mumma who can set up these activities while she's at school, ready for homework time after school. As with most of my at home projects, I try to keep expenses to a great big whopping $0. 

Practicing Spelling With Milla
{Sight words, spelling, writing, memory skills, etc}

Water Painting. 

We used to do this when she was much littler for fun... now that she's much bigger we can do it for  
{hidden practical} fun

Things needed... Water and a Paintbrush (or finger)

Fill up a little bowl with water,
Call out the spelling word or show them the word.
Dip paint brush and "paint" the word.

We used our chalk board cupboards as our canvas, however there are many other options to do on different days: cement,  pavers, outside walls, outside plastic table, anything you need cleaned exceptionally slowly with a paintbrush, or anything you don't mind getting damp.

 Once the words are done... continue to paint as they please.
Feel free to revise shapes, letters, symbols...

Learning through Fun

When Life Stops To Weep

This year, 2014, has been a huge year already. It has been filled with incredible heartache. Heartache that has such depth, that it is exceptionally hard to breath at times. When you can feel every one of your heart's beats followed by that sickly heavy feeling. Countless tears that have been wept over too many cherished souls gone too soon. Each and every one of them dear, dear , dear. Each and every one desired, loved and wanted.

Today as the sun is out, and with the heartaches still so fresh and heavy within the depths of Ones self, I am reminded to look up, and look to the Son. Not the sun, the Son. Jesus.

That I, and you, don't have to bare life's sorrow alone. Jesus, who weeps along with us, is close. When life is way to big to breath, there is Jesus. When life is too fast to function, there is Jesus. When life is punching you in the face with everything it can find, there is Jesus. When life doesn't make sense. There is Jesus. He is our hope.

When life stops to weep, so does Jesus.
Take heart in that,
It's not skipped over, 
It's not washed away,
He weeps when you do,
He rejoices when you do.

In all of life's seasons.
Thank God for Jesus.  

So Be Brave Dear Friends. 
Brave involves tears, 
Brave involves using the last milligram of strength in the tank, 
Brave involves leaning on One who cherishes every tear we shed. 

Thank God. 
For Jesus.

{Photo: Excerpt from Lisa Leonards Instagram, original source unknown}

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Almond Banana Pancakes

I love pancakes, such a simple way to start the day... and a great go-to snack, and well, lets be honest, in my house it can be a lazy dinner and a requested lunch as well! 

Mastering a pancake that works with our dietary needs has been a mission, with several gigantic failures and a few nice accidents in between. But I think we have settled on this recipe. Everyone likes it, and that's what matters. I've even tried it out on my in-laws and extended family and everyone asked for more. That is success! 

Almond Banana Pancakes.
(or Almond Apple Pancakes)

1 cup of Almond meal
1/2 cup of GF Plain Flour (I use Choices)
1/2 cup Potato flour
1 very ripe Banana (OR 1/4 apple puree)
2 Tbs Coconut oil
2 Tbs fine Sugar (Or sweetness of your choice)
2 Tsp GF Baking powder
a pinch of Salt
3/4 cup Rice milk
.... then enough water to make it your desired constancy.
I think I end up using about 1 cup of water

1. Throw it all together, whiz it up (I use my Thermomix for about 5 seconds on 6) or use a mixer to get out any lumps and bumps.

2. Pour out batter onto a med heat, greased, frying pan. Cook as you would any pancakes. 
3. EAT! yum! 
(It took a lot of sneaky cooking to get this many on the plate at one time!)

Modify it to however you want!
Happy Saturday Everyone!