Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taken to a Magic Place with Finger Paint

Inspired by my last task for course one of my playcentre diploma, and the wonderful book "Magic Places" I got stuck into making K some finger paint.

Oh how glorious this stuff is!  Silky, thick, rich in colour and texture.

Here is my modified recipe (playcentre ingredients in brackets)

Finger Paint
1c        cornflour         (2c)
1/2 c    cold water      (1c)
2c        boiling water  (4c)
2tbsp     liquid soap      (1/4 c lux soap flakes)

Whisk together and when blended divide into  smaller bowls and add as much or as little of tempura paint as you wish.  This should keep well for a few weeks in sealed containers.

One of the self led learning opportunities finger paint can offer our little lovelies is the chance to interact with and observe colour blending along with texture and pattern making.  So appealing to the senses!

I limited the colour choices to red and yellow so that K could enjoy and observe those colours.  I have noticed that when she paints at playcentre the colours are not as important to her as the feeling of the paint on her skin.  So finger paints offer her the best of both worlds, and the small colour pallet helps her to appreciate colour.

It was truly relaxing to watch her immerse herself in her painting, listen to her language which accompanied her experience, and observe how she used palms, forearms and fingers in a variety of ways.

" scooping, circles, smashing, fingers, push, painting, what's dis one? bubbles, squeeze"

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thanks for the "Versatile Blogger" Award

What a surprise I got when I went to my blogger dashboard this week  to see that NZEco Chick had recognised my young, wee blog with this award!

My initial thought was that it was spam!  Having never seen the award before, and with such few (visible) followers, and my irregular posting I think it was natural to be a little intrigued.

NZEco Chick exists, so does the award of recognition, and on her beautiful blog there is my blog along with others she recognised too!  Super!!

Being the curious kind I wanted to investigate the award further.  Its point of origin is hard to find.  Many other curious recipients of the award have found it difficult to pin point its beginnings.  The award has found its way around the world of blogging over the years.  It is essentially a positive form of chainmail.

The Versatile Blogger award has held varied criteria too.   In receiving the award  you need to share more about yourself, and award a selection of other blogs you love.  This number has varied from three to fifteen from my research.  With the high number of blogs to be awarded you can see the chainmail effect.  However it is the "versatile" blogger award and by definition it is about adaptability.

So thank you NZeco Chick - it is wonderful to be acknowledged by a fellow mummy blogger, especially when you don't strive for recognition.  My blog was born out of the need for connection, reflection and recollection.

Just last week I strolled along the beach reflecting and I realised how grateful I am for the blogging community I have become a part of.  I wanted to post about this gratefulness.  Now I can combine this appreciation with the awardees!  Choice.

There are three simple rules I need to follow in accepting the award:

1.  Thank the person who gave you the award.
2.  Share seven things about yourself.
3   Give the award to up to 15 newly discovered bloggers.

More about me...check out my updated profile here. (coming soon - needed sleep!)

Blogs I am lovin' (I went for the less is more approach here)

Softearth's World 
Marie is a kiwi needle felting crafter.  Her creativity and passion is both inspiring and infectious.  Marie I am so grateful for your kind and encouraging comments on my blog.  Especially by offering a new mum a fresh new approach to my wee girls sleeping patterns - our sleeps time are much more relaxed and successful thanks to your suggestion.

A crafty and home keeping blog by Megan.  Megan shares her crafting and eco steps in a beautifully presented blog.  She also connects her followers to other fantastic blogs and ideas.  She has established the Crafty Stitchers group here in Tauranga.  Megan, as a mum of three and as busy as you are I have appreciated your encouragement and support here in the blogging world.

Greedy for Colour
Another local blogger!!  Kate shares her crochet crafts and patterns with us.  They are oh so funky and colour bleeds from this blog through word and image.  You really brighten up my day - and make my list of crafty aspirations longer and longer!!

Midget Magic
A local old school crafter - crafting long before the blogosphere appeared.  Maree entered the blogging world recently with the encouragement of moi!  Her eye for colour and ability to quilt like an artist paints is impressive.  Her crafts and quilts capture the true essence of the recipient for which they are created.  Maree is an international blogger now, an ex pat and I am really keen to hear more about her international adventures in crafting with her hands, and crafting the potential of the children she learns with.

Olive and Esther
A quilting artist based in Australia.  Creative Spaces connected me with this blog and I am thankful for the wise words of encouragement reminding me that art comes in many forms in response to my cake crafting - in particular my retro caravan cake.  Megan is another nurturing mum who weaves her creative eye and passion and love for her family into her blog in an always attractive way.

"Daily insight from a Mumma taking steps toward a more sustainable, compassionate and conscious life". Your blog is a source of motivation for me, you live your philosophy as strongly as you are able and this helps keep me on track as I try to focus my lenz on what is important to me.  I am enjoying the Steiner pathway you are journeying on as my family begin their own Steiner journey - this is especially valued as only one other person in my community shares these values as well as my sister who lives a province away.

Thank you fellow bloggers!  If you choose to accept the award that would be wonderful.  If not, please accept my gratefulness for what you have given to this beginning blogger x

Please visit and follow these blogs, you will enjoy them!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Children's Play Resources

This area was set up using easels and mostly paints of primary colours with brushes and paper.  I have also contributed to this station on other occasions by cutting the paper into the shapes of the session theme for eg egg shapes for Easter, or if the children are choosing to paint body parts then placing tote trays of paints on the grass along with long sheets of paper to step along.

Eve was the first child to find her way to the painting after being busy at with play dough on this particular session.  She was attracted to the colour blue and used large strokes up and down the paper.  Eventually she moved away from the brush and used her hands, dipping them into the pottles.  Eve chose to use just a limited palette.

We discussed her painting.  I asked her questions about the colours she was choosing, how the paint felt, and offered connections - "blue like the sky today", and how the paint colours changed as new colours merged with others.

My daughter is going through a sensory stage with paint ( between 20 and 23 months of age) preferring to use her hands by dipping, and now using a paint brush to paint her hands, fingers or arms to then paint on the paper.  I think she would enjoy body/face painting next as she is starting to notice this on others.  During this sensory stage she appears immersed in the feeling and tends not to talk about it rather observes the cause and effect.   During her painting time at this stage I am a listening and observing participant allowing her to enjoy that which she is focussed on.

The responses to tasks one and two of module 1.1 were completed during and up to May 19, 2011.

Introducing Playcentre..completing course one!

We love Playcentre...here is a little introduction to Playcentre from my new perspective.
I would love to hear your thoughts about Playcentre...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Upcycling to help "get up"

I found this foot stool at my favourite local op shop.  Just what I had been looking for to help my little girl climb up into her big bed.

Sew Pretty have some gorgeous Dr Suess FQs which I have had my eye on for sometime.  Little K adores Dr Suess and so my first efforts at upcycling were born....

She is chuffed!  And now that we have redesigned her room, we are on the hunt for the perfect head board.  The quilt hanging in her room is a source of inspiration for me.  It was a first bday gift from Aunty 'Ree of Midget Magic.  The groovy knitted blanket was a gift for K at her birth by her Nanitex.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Many Projects on the go! Piles of washing makes me slow!!

It seems my posts have taken a back seat while I try to conquer the accumulating piles of washing due to inclement weather!

 My pup Tilly had a gastro virus too - so been playing pet nurse.  And my little girl seems to be of the opinion that she no longer requires a day sleep.  So there goes Mama time for crafting or my own napping so that I may craft in the evening!

My hands have been filled with baking, cooking, natural remedy creating and trying to solve the ever constant question of "How do I deal with this new stage of child development?"

All sprinkled with the occassional thought and hand given to some sort of crafting. So, I still exist.  Today I wanted to share with you the gorgeous fabric for my first ever quilt.

I am about to embark on using my new cutting mat, and rotary cutter to prepare my blocks.  Exciting!

Sew Mama Sew have many wonderful tips and tutorials and I shall be following them over the next few weeks.  If you are new to quilting like me check out this tutorial for preparing and cutting.

So, please leave me some comments of encouragement over the next couple of weeks to move me along through my quilting project.  Hopefully I will post more soon!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Banana Choc chip Muffins and a Delissimo Cake!

Delissimon's Double Chocolate Mocha cake was today's inspiration for baking.  Perfect for a friends birthday and just the right type of baking for a wet and windy morning.  This will be served with a dollop of cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

You can find Monica's deliciously easy recipe here.
The tissue paper flower is a decoration I slightly modified from this pattern here found on Prudent Baby.

We followed this event with banana choc chip muffins.  Recipe courtesy of NZ's Womans Weekly.
This is a great recipe - very sweet.  We used less sugar and only a third of the choc chips recommended and they were still very rich.

Then my lovely sister arrived with loads of her 'Breastfeeding Bar' - which I just love, love, love.

Clearly all of the chocolatey baking was enough to set off the terrible twos in our house.  I am exhausted from exercising all of my patience and consequence today!!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend and get the chance to make one of these scrumptious recipes x

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Maeve Magazine - A Classy Online Mag you will Love, Love, Love!!

My cousin is writing for this fantastic, Melbourne based online magazine.  Great reading for Mums, crafters, food lovers and people passionate about the arts, all that is pretty and fond memories.

I love their vintage look and their appreciation for intelligent readers.  Check them out here and on Facebook!!

Check out my Aunty rocking the Ducati - she and other fabulous Mum's can be seen in the "Fabulous Mums with Style"  feature.

Jasmine Norrie her daughter is a fledgling freelance writer to watch out for!  Way to go my cousin x

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Have you seen our Busy Book Block Swap for our little ones and Starship?

Have you always wanted to create a busy book for the special little ones in your life?  We have created a busy book block swap to help you collect some wonderful pages for your book from crafters around New Zealand.  Please click on this link for details and share the concept by sharing our swap button too

Lavosh, Good Nosh, and Budget Posh

Have you visited www.pigstitsandparsleysauce.co.nz?  The story of a NZ woman who challenged herself to a weekly grocery bill of $100 for her family (dogs included) to save at least $12 000 in a year to invest in a rental property.  Long story short she exceeded her savings goal and now writes and shares about how she achieved this.  I found it all very exciting.  So I am giving it a crack.  Will let you know how it goes!

One of Lyn's tips is too shop at Bin Inn (or the like), your local butchery and produce stores. She says avoid supermarkets and if you must go there have a list and stick to it.  Well I have been doing that for the last fortnight.  Our local Bin Inn type shop is Simplifood in Mount Maunganui.  I spent quite a bit of our budget, with most of the cost going toward supplies for Wendyl's cleaning products.  I was very excited to see that they stock her range including the liquid soap she recommends - Dr Bronner's castile soap!! Wonderful!  My next cleaning product will be the peppermint paste as my bloggy friends are raving about it as a jiff equivalent.  My stove stop is hideously dirty so wanted to see if the peppermint paste can work its charm there.

I stayed mostly to our list in the supermarket managing to forget one item - K's corn thins.  This inspired me to dig to the back of my pantry and memory banks and  create Annabel Lanbein's Lavash.  Mmmmmmmm, low in salt, filled with yummy sesame seeds - I am liking this option for K's savoury snacking.  It is so easy to make.  Takes a while to roll.  I love the taste and the rustic, odd shapes.  I am looking forward to Dad and K's reviews as they took it too the park for afternoon tea.

On this particular weekend morning I was up before the family and whipped up soup for dinner and some delish home made bread - thanks to the Edmond's Cook book wholemeal bread recipe - we are really feeling like we eat well with the seasonal food focus, homemade goodness and budget attempts.

This week I will use the last of our tomatoes to make more tomato sauce, and try some pear and date chutney from my gorgeous recipe book "Ripe" pictured above.  These will hopefully become birthday gifts.

What's cooking in your seasonal kitchen?
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