Our annual beachside holiday. A week filled with swimming, digging, exploring, walking, puzzling (1000 pieces and bloody difficult!), fish-and-chip eating and - for one of us - painting faces on stones with nailpolish. Now we're back home and that sandy, sunscreen-scented holiday feeling is already fading as we return to work, school, kinder and housework.
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Playgroup has just resumed after a long summer break. As a Chinese New Year activity I bought some white mini paper lanterns for the children to decorate, thinking some of our Chinese members could tell us a bit about the significance of the Spring Festival. But it just so happened that all the Chinese mums had changed to a different day's playgroup session - and in that session everyone had helped make the most stunning dragon, which had been left on display in the playgroup room.
They had made it out of cardboard boxes and decorated it with an assortment of red, orange, gold and silver papers, cellophane and foils. It had scales, flames issuing from its mouth and some rather wonderful and dinosaur-like spikes on its back. Above the dragon they had written Chinese New Year greetings on red paper squares.
After much admiring (and photographing) of the dragon, I set out the materials for the lantern decorating. I had brought along some tissue-paper shreds (left over from my Mexican flowers - you'll be seeing these again, because I still have loads left!) to decorate the lanterns with:
In the end only a few children decorated them, but those who did enjoyed gluing the colourful paper strips and zig-zag bits onto the lanterns, and seeing how beautiful they looked when finished. These would be stunning hung in a child's room, perhaps with a little fairy light inside. And they also go well with Chinese dragons, if you happen to have one handy...
After decorating her lantern, R made herself this mask. When we got home she asked me to stick it up in the hallway so it would scare her - and I have to admit, it is kind of spooky.
Kung Hei Fat Choi, everyone!
Tuesday, 5 February 2013
R's first day of 4-year-old kindergarten. Our last year together before she moves into the world of school... but I can't think too much about that now or I'll spend the next twelve months in a haze of sadness that the early years are over. So let's move on, shall we?
Distraction is my key tactic at such times, so I was very happy to discover - just last night - a new tutorial and pattern for little bow hair ties on the Oliver + S blog. I made a few of them to match a few of R's homemade dresses, not because I'm into matching things (coordinating, yes; matching, no) but because those were the fabric scraps I had handy. And anyway, the first day of kindergarten seemed an appropriate time to be matchy...
...so I sent my baby off to kinder in a hair tie that matched her skirt. And then I sat and sewed a few more.