Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Summer Art

Well there has certainly been a lot of plaster painting around here this summer. I received a huge bucket of plaster and so I thought I'd launch in and make lots of little figurines for the kids to paint, and they proved a huge hit  - with the girls on their own, when friends came over, and as I mentioned before, on holidays with lots of kids of all different ages. It's my plan that this year I will make up kits of plaster things with paint and brushes etc for birthday presents for all the parties my girls go to. With 4 now on the party circuit (does it slow down as they get older???) I will be sent broke financing all the presents so I'm hoping this plan will be a winner all round.

Just recently I've been looking around the web for some arty inspiration. There are so many great sites and blogs where people have uploaded whole lesson plans for art projects with kids. A new  favourite of mine is Millions of great ideas which I'm busting to use with the girls. Sadly the routine of school and all that has overtaken for the moment. Need to carve out some art time soon!

We recently had a go at some cow portraits - inspired by this. I did a directed drawing of the cow with Jasmine and Madeline - they are a little wonky, but I think it adds to the charm. Upon finishing her basic drawing Jasmine promptly asked if she could make hers a bull - and added horns and a ring. I just love her creative little brain - always just has to be a little bit different.

Anyway, here are their end results -

Jasmine's bull

Madeline's cow

They kind of forgot the bottom of the cows face and tongue, but I love them just the same. Emma did one too, but I failed to take a picture and they were given away for a gift. The best part of it all was that they were very proud of their pictures.

I haven't been doing much sewing of late, but 2 weeks ago I pulled out the machine and spent a quiet Sunday afternoon putting together a quilt top for Miss Lucy, who will no doubt want to be in a big girls bed before the year is out, and I'm hoping to be prepared. I've had the bubbles fabric probably since she was born (it's a Prints Charming one!) and I just love it. Now I've just got to work out how I want to quilt it.

And all this happened just in time as I recently bought some absolutely scrumptious fabric to make pj's and a little jacket for Lucy for winter. Not that we've really been out of winter pj's much this summer, but Madeline and Lucy especially are growing like weeds and need new jarmies.

Anyway, here's the quilt top - the question - do I machine quilt (ie quickly finished) or hand quilt (possibly never finish but potentially better results if I do).

And my gorgeous tribe going back to school/pre-school/early ed!

I'm on a blogging roll tonight!

Screen Printing success

Something I've been meaning to get into for a while is screen printing. I've been eternally inspired by Prints Charming, whose fabrics and beautiful creations I've been guilty of ogling over for years! Anyway, I got the book, got the supplies and finally got to give it a whirl. So fun! It's probably lucky that it's a bit painful to get set up and pack up and there is fabric ink involved because otherwise I think I'd be a bit addicted. There's something wonderful about putting down the screen, playing with the gorgeously thick and oozy ink and squeegying it about, then lifting the screen to see what's happened! Anyway, here are my first attempts!

My photography isn't very good, but I was pretty pleased with how these turned out. I am going to make a kimono style lightweight bathrobe, and these are printed around the bottom. In true Liz fashion I managed to print half the designs on the wrong side of the fabric, but a quick scrub and line dry later I was back on track..... I haven't got to sewing up the robe yet - it looks fabulously simple but will post a picture when I do. Maybe saying this will inspire me to get it going! All the details, instructions and patterns I got from the book:

Prints Charming

You can also check out Prints Charming at

I had another go at printing and these were the results....

 So fun! I'm really looking forward to doing more and trying out more different designs and mixing colours. Will keep you posted...

One Mile Beach and Summer Fun

Oh goodness, so much has happened since I last posted! I'll stick to highlights which included a lovely beach holiday with gorgeous friends, and then launching back into school and pre-school and everything else the last few weeks!

First things first, the holidays. Well it was a pretty soggy summer here in Sydney, but thankfully the week we went away with friends to One Mile Beach, despite of forecasts for a week of rain, was pretty fine. Not to roasty hot which was great, and only about a day of rain with more at nights which was just perfect for us. Lots of boogie boarding, playing in the spa, bike riding and eating! I panicked the week before we went away and made a whole load of plaster animals (3D - the cutest things you ever saw) and packed them up with paints to amuse the kids. We did use them, but not because it was raining - just for fun. And everyone, from an 11 year old boy down to 4 year old Maddie loved them! I think Lucy would have too if she could get her little hands on them.

I had a little dream come true while we were away - riding bikes with all my girls - no training wheels in sight (yes Lucy goes on the back of my bike!). Just gorgeous, and Madeline, our most recent graduate to 2 wheels was VERY happy with herself.

I was even lucky enough to be able to go quad-biking with Brendo, Steve and Josh. It rained the whole time, but it was unreal! The sanddunes at Stockton Beach are just unbelievable - and we all want to go back for more. Josh (who's 11) was the biggest daredevil of the lot of us!

Tormenting a poor koala who decided to sit very low down in this gum tree!

Chillaxing in the spa

Riding to the beach 

Quadbiking at Stockton Beach

We opted for full blockout protection with zinc - that wouldn't come off. I think the girls started school with remnants of pink and blue in their eyebrows!

The lure of the beach in the evening

The rest of the holidays passed all to quickly - but we did squeeze in a little trip to the mountains to see the Noakes before they went back to Adelaide. We even managed a bushwalk with all 7 children!

We had a few other fun outings in the holidays, including a fun trip into town on a ferry (called "Friendship" - reminding us of Justine Clark's song...). We went to the Opera House where they had free activities for the kids including hearing stories read and made up by authors, and making bugs and flowers to contribute to the display in the foyer.

Special bike ride and park outing with Maddie.