30 July 2012

Worm Gamble

The Worms
It was a mostly wet weekend and I was reading various things and we watched a lot of Olympics, and had to ban anyone from singing the disturbingly catchy song on the ad for Swisse vitamins that plays every ad break, and also the annoying song advertising the 'new' big brother (really? I mean really?) and singing it involved forfeits like having to run round the house naked or making me a cup of tea, and I cooked a bit and we ate quite a lot but we all needed to get out, but it was freezing and wet out and so cozy and warm on the couch, with the fire going, but the kids were bickering and threatening 'I'm telling on you' and I was pretending not to hear, and Grace was getting quite teary as she has to wear an eye patch a couple of hours each day and it's hard, and games were starting but ending in arguments and I was thinking that I really should do something with these children, take matters in hand, help out here, but I was keeping on not doing that in favour of reading another chapter and the fighting and arguing was escalating and I was starting to feel really rather annoyed because I couldn't ignore it anymore and I was wondering at what point I would actually rise from the couch and whether I would be hale and hearty 'come on, shoes on, we're going for a walk' or firm and controlled 'right, you, to your room, you over on that couch, no DO NOT look at each other' or fearsome and loud 'you kids are driving me insane!!!' and whilst I was pondering this, worm gamble happened.

It began with Ruby drawing something which she decided was a worm. She drew a worm and Nina got a box and cut a hole in it. And then more worms were drawn and the box seemed like a good box for a lucky dip. If there was a lucky dip, there must be prizes. And if there are prizes there must be players. And if there are players there must be a wager. Five cents a go, pick a worm, any worm. If your worm matches a 'lucky', win a prize. A chart must be drawn, to indicate the 'luckys' and the corresponding prize. The prizes are pretty good, I was assured, you won't be disappointed.

The Prizes:
'Pirate set - it's awesome'

'Garden Nature Mix'

'Variety Stones'

'Beauty Bowcay'

The stages of boredom, in our house anyway, tend to go like this:
  1. whine;
  2. whinge;
  3. bicker;
  4. pick a fight with a sister;
  5. blame a parent;
  6. cry;
  7. sulk;
  8. make something.

'Worm Gamble'

Any one of these things can happen on its own (I wouldn't like you to think that every bit of creativity is preceded by all the above, or that every bicker and whinge results in a productive output), but when it is a time consuming, and complex effort, it's usually a by-product of boredom. Often I baulk well before we even get to sulks, but if I can resist interfering, resist offering solutions or suggestions, then sometimes something happens that seems to me the very distillation of childhood. All my 'creative' efforts are derivative dross, really, in comparison to the effortless originality of a child's most banal imaginings.

22 July 2012

One day very soon...

...I am taking a weekend photography course - a Christmas gift from Craig that I am finally using. And after that course I hope I will have at least some idea of how to take a reasonably decent photograph of pictures, like these latest offerings from Ruby:

Until then you'll have to put up with my crappy efforts.

I would like to know what a rather unworldly nine-year-old understands of situation she has drawn above. I like the expressions she captures.

edit: okay, I'm just back from my course, and playing around. Of course there is nothing I can do now to improve the actual composition of the image, but a bit of post production might assist. Here are the images altered post production (though only modestly). There is a lot to learn....

18 July 2012

Something Wonderful

Today something wonderful happened for one of our clients at work. It was the sort of thing that most lawyers probably never get to experience in their professional lives and I was privileged to be a small part of it. I work with some pretty special people. I also live with some pretty special people and today I was made especially aware of just how damn lucky I am to have four healthy girls.
Nina ready to go to the show

Grace with her new glasses

Lily asleep under triangle quilt

Ruby playing chess with her Great Grandpa's chess set

Dance Floor This Way

There is a mouse ball

The Dancers

The Musicians

The Spread

15 July 2012

13 July 2012

Some people

Like their marshmallows just so,

And others thrust them into the flames and take what comes.

11 July 2012

What she does

This is what Nina does. She makes a mouse.

She makes a bed and bedding for him.

She has two other mice toys - Ross and Mimi. She writes letters to Mousie from them.

Dear Mousie Brown
I'm sorry but you can't come to stay with us in the holidays this year because of Ross, he is very sick and it is very contages and if anyone goes near him they shall catch it and I really don't want you to catch it because we don't yet know if it even goes away.
From Mimi

She makes him his own toy.

She makes the toy's toy a hat out of a nut.

Then she has a photo shoot. These are her photographs. She is never bored.

09 July 2012

Bloody cold

This weekend was freezing, literally. It probably has been colder but I can't remember it.

Grace was moved to draw cold things - a penguin, a snowman, and a walrus (of course, you could tell that was a walrus couldn't you?)

03 July 2012

Making Do

Over the past few months I've been making little things every so often for our school fete in October. We get donations of fabric and notions from the school community once in a while, and we put out requests for certain things which sometimes are forthcoming.

Normally I have an idea and then search for the fabrics with which to realise it. But sewing for the fete requires me to look at a piece of, for example, striped knit, and figure out what I could do with it. So, my first attempt at sewing knits are these little baby pants (from here).

I turned odd pieces of chiffon and tulle into tutus, based loosely on this one, with the addition of some flowers.

Someone donated enough of this cute flannel:

To back all these baby bibs:

There is still a bit of the chenille left for pigs

And itty bitty bits of fabric have been turn into these itty bitty baby dresses using this free pattern from made by rae. (I purchased the license to sell because they will be for sale at the fete, and $10 seems extremely fair).

My sister gave me a bundle of upholstery fabric samples which worked well for these bags (pattern loosely based on one in a japanese craft book but I can't find the link).

And lastly, someone's ex-bedroom curtains have been transformed into kit bags - especially useful for compulsory swimming in term 4. 

I don't love all these items, but hopefully someone will, at least enough to fork out a couple of bucks for them at the fete. But I do like turning other people's cast offs into something useful. Making do with what you've got.

p.s. Someone has donated a large piece (a curtain I think) of Ken Done fabric - the print is 'Little Flowers of the Sea' from the early 1980's and it has a deep blue background and multi coloured hibiscus flowers interspersed with boat sails. It's a polyester or polyester blend fabric. As a child of the 80's I just cannot do the retro 80's thing but people much hipper than me tell me that Ken Done is pretty cool right now. I am at a loss as to what I could do with this. Any ideas?

01 July 2012

Quilts in Use

Sunday morning hot chocolate