Sunday, 21 September 2014

Spontaneous Sketching

So far this year Friday's is my only day off work. Tilly and I spend Fridays together, just us girls. Next term, Tilly starts going to Pre-School 5 days a week! I am hoping that this will assist her with the transition to school next year. Spending a term getting used to 5 days, in a familiar environment. She is very ready for it, but boy am I going to miss our Fridays together.

On our final Friday as a duo, we decided to go to the National Gallery. Tilly has been spending much of her time sketching. Her drawings have become detailed and are providing an amazing insight into her thinking.

When drawing this one apparently the 'bobbies'
were the essential element to include.
We headed for the Sculpture Garden which, to me, is an amazing place to introduce children to 'formal' art. They can run, touch and explore the art, really connecting with it. I happened to have some paper and pencils with us and was delighted at the ways Matilda choose to explore and spontaneously sketch the sculptures in the space.

She first wanted to feel them with her body, but not by touching them. She copied the sculptures with her body, felt the positions, and then sat down to draw them. She would have one go, watch me as I had a go and then do another, refining her ideas and techniques.

She engaged in so many area and elements of the garden. The sun was shining, the Spring blooms were out. It was delicious.

Here are some of the ways she engaged with the space, spontaneously sketching...

Feeling the positions before drawing them.
Really looking, observing, studying before drawing 
Colour matching the pencils to the wattle

Her first wattle sketch

Noticing the shadows created by the sun and the wattle.
Asking me to hold it and then sketching the shadow in 'real colours'.
Watching her body move in the reflection
Playing with her reflection

Pure joy and self amusement at how her body gets distorted in the different angles of the sculpture.
Drawing her response to the experience.
After our garden visit, we went and had some lunch and meandered through the exhibitions. We got talking about John Pollock's techniques when he created the Blue Poles, the brush strokes and colour pallet Monet used and how Picasso was a "little mixed up". She had so many ideas. So much insight. So great to have a conversation with. 

She thought the plain white canvases were a 'bit funny - maybe they only had white paint left" and that the Pop Art pictures looked like ads, selling you something.

I am by no means educated in the way of artistic theory, but on this day we experienced 'art appreciation' that was authentic and joyful. I just love that I experienced it with a 4 year old.


 "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Matilda: Her joy is contagious. Her smile melts my heart. Her beauty astounds me.

Orlando: After having a vomiting bug all week, he is finally starting to feel better. Still slow and gentle but his strength is returning.

Both: On a visit to Floriade and we discovered 'The Great Hunt'. He read the clues and searched for the answers. She followed him and explored writing it all down, watching and learning from the mentor she admires so much. She has missed him this week while he has been sick and was so pleased he was ready to play again.

Saturday, 20 September 2014


 "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Orlando: He has become a Joey Scout! So proud of his uniform he is too (first uniform as he doesn't have one for School) He has loved every week and is becoming a part of a wonderful team of kids, developing a new community for himself.

Matilda: She is in love with the flowers that herald the start of Spring. The garden is bursting and she is dancing from one flower to the next declaring and showcasing it's beauty to the world.

Pair:  The iPhone has created a new relationship. He is the film-er, recorder, choreographer. She is the performer, the presenter and the actress. We have to download the data weekly to keep up with the storage.


 "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Orlando: Inspired by older peers at school he requested to learn how to knit. YES!!! I would LOVE to pass this knowledge on to you!

Matilda: The first signs of Spring in Canberra is the wattle. It's buds burst and bring sunshine to the naked trees. Tilly has been on a wattle hunt for a week. All of her car trips consist of "Wattle! Wattle! Wattle More Wattle Wattle!" I love how in-tune with her world she is.

Pair: We brought some garden beds, Orlando said "these look easy to put together" and so I set them the task. Work together to build all 6 new garden beds. What a team they are!!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Sharing Skills

I don't excel at many things but I can do a pretty good job at most of them. The age old 'Jane' of all trades, master of none! 

A wise woman once mocked me saying "Of course you have lost interest in it, you have figured out how to do it, so it is no longer a challenge!" I think this really hit the nail on the head. 

I love learning how to do new things. Racking up the skills, feeling that if I needed to I could make most things for myself, without the need of the shops.

I also love sharing these skills, learning from others, teaching others. I have a strong belief in crafts and cooking skills being passed on from one person to another. Usually through shared experiences and communal moments. 

Learning to cook something new while sharing wine or having a bench full of little bottoms, all eager to nut out how to crack that egg without getting shell, or crank the pasta machine and see the spaghetti come out.

Sitting in the sun or around a fire with a pot of good tea and teaching someone how to crochet or read guitar tabs. Sitting side by side and mosaic-ing with someone, continually learning from each others techniques. 

The world is full of teachers and those eager to be taught.

Orlando has asked me to teach him how to knit. I have been waiting for his interest and with me doing quite a lot of knitting of late, I was not surprised at the request.

I have a delicious memory of my Grandmother teaching me to knit. She had a little poem that has stayed with me through many 'non-knitting' decades ready to be recalled as soon as I picked the needles up again. It went:

"In the rabbit hole,
round the tree, 
out the rabbit hole,
and off!"

So Orlando selected his wool, we choose some bigger needles to begin with and set to work. 

He took a movie of my instructions to remind him later if her needed (talk about techno-native generation) He settled himself in the crook of my arm and off we went. Hand in hand to begin and then just that little poem being repeated over and over.

He caught on really fast, seems interested, has come back 4 times in 2 days. I am loving that he is at an age where he can start to comprehend these more complex tasks and his fine motor control is developed enough to achieve what he needs.

Another skill shared in the beauty of a communal experience. One that hopefully Orlando will teach someone else one day.

Sunday, 31 August 2014


We love a good dress up at our place! 
So when the party invite came saying 
"Dress up as your favourite character from a book" 
That's exactly what we did!

 "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Orlando: As Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third (How to Train your Dragon)

Matilda: Sleeping Beauty (or any other Disney Princess she feels like at the time)

Friday, 29 August 2014


A Friday reflection of the week that has been, my head space and my "into the weekend" thoughts. So here goes! 

Wondering - where the year is disappearing to. We are on the down hill run of Term 3!

Nourishing - ourselves with sunshine! The Winter sun is out, hinting of Spring. We are loving just sitting on the grass and basking. Defrosting from the cold winter.

Playing - "Blackbird" by the Beatles on the guitar and loving how the music tells a story in itself. 

Creating - space in my mind and feeling all the better for it.

Growing - flowers! Natures beauty at its best.

Listening - to Roald Dahl audio books and loving how expressive the actors voices are.

Preparing - nothing! Just living every day :)

Appreciating - Warmth, I have had enough of Winter and am ready for flowers, beaches, growth and swimming!

Inspired by Steph over at this brown wren