Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the frog!

the madness of sewing!

We have bought a sewing machine! And the sewing bug is eating us alive. So far I have made several pairs of pants for both the kids, a shopping bag, a bag to keep my book in when I go out, a toy cat, and I'm altering a skirt I bought as well.

Stylish has also been infected with the bug and is madly sewing a toy frog from entirely second hand material. We went to reverse garbage yesterday and bought lots of scraps of material. There wasn't anything green though, so we went to Newtown to scour the second hand shops there in search of greenery suitable for the frog. There we found a football team scarf made from polar fleece. One side is nvy blue and the other side is green. 

Using the cutting board Stylish cut the green half off and then made a frog shape with baking paper. She traced the shape onto the green material and then cut it out. Now she is using the scraps of material to make spots and sewing them on by hand. It's looking fantastic and I'm so glad she is enjoying it!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

sustainable living

So now begins social consciousness year ... why not make it a decade! Here are some of the idea I'm tossing about in my overworked, underpayed brain.
  • making a hat with the sewing machine
  • buying an outfit second hand
  • learning about sweat shops
  • making some art from recycling material
  • a trip to reverse garbage (to buy art material)
  • making recycled paper
  • and maths coz she's struggling with a few basics that we really should bowl over rather than let them hinder progress.


a trip to the powerhouse

As stated we had some friends staying here for a few days. We decided to take the kids to the powerhouse museum yesterday. I'd forgotten how great it is there! It's changed a fair bit since my last visit, there are more interactive things for the kids to do. We managed to see about half of it before the kids were worn out, so Stylish, Spikee and I will go back ASAP and finish off what we started. I think I might get my dad to give Stylish a membership there for her upcoming 11th birthday. It will complement the Australian Museum membership nicely!
This is a sculpture made from household waste. Gives new meaning to the word recycling! We're going to attempt something similar here as art in the next little while, and a trip to "reverse garbage" might be just the way to kick it off!
check out reverse garbage here
trying out a unicycle. Her feet reach the pedals!
When we go back to the PH Museum we will have to take our own lunch I think. The food prices were extortionate! And we always love picnicking anyway. The other thing - probably more related to home learning - is that we will have to explore the ecologix exhibit. Spikee was enthralled by the steam engines, and loved climbing all over the one that's open. And he loved the helicopter as well. There is a giant helicopter (or maybe it's just normal size!?) hanging from the ceiling.

Friday, March 13, 2009

social consciousness week begins!

Our week of nothingness has gone well. She spent it doing schooley stuff anyway, that made me giggle. She even got right into collaging - go figure! Her interest in frogs has re-emerged and she has spent quite a bit of time looking at videos on youtube and writing in her frog book. We have a tadpole which is getting lots of love! She notes all it's business in her book, including what it eats, how fast it grows and anything else of interest.
I have decided to do a theme week. The theme is ... SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS, in case you couldn't work that out! We might wait a week to do this because we actually have friends staying with us from Sunday. Although they're the sort of folk who would probably happily partake in these activities.

  • So I'm going to show Stylish some articles about sweat shops and get her to paste stuff in her book, coz that always looks good for rego purposes! Then I'm going to give her $10 and tell her to buy herself a second hand outfit

  • I'm going to get her to think about ways to reduce her footstep on the planet. (starting by telling her to turn OFF the light and the television she isn't using atm!) We might make some recycled paper, there's no shortage of news paper around here.

  • I'm going to give her some articles to read about slave chocolate. We might buy a block of fair trade chocolate to "help" us read them! More pasting in the book will follow.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

the day of the great lemonAID stall!

The day of the great stall has been and gone. Stylish raised $34.25 and her grandfather is donating a top-up to $40. She started out quite shyly asking people if they wanted to donate, and then the little girl from next door came over to help and started shouting "COME AND BUY LEMONADE TO HELP THE ANIMALS" and there was suddenly $15 in the basket, it doubled over the next two hours. In the quiet times we sat on the pink velvet chairs out the front and chatted and drank tea. We put Stylish's radio up in the front window and turned it up loud so we had music and also to attract attention.
The stall and the rusty fence
the stall
The first customer. A lovely American womyn who was very excited to be seeing a lemonade stall in Australia!
first REAL customer
the loud next door neighbour sampling our wares
first lemonAID customer
relaxing with a cuppa inbetween customers
So a great day was had by all, it was very successful! We will be transferring the money to the Victoria Wildlife fund later on in the week.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

LemonAID stall preparations underway!

Today Stylish prepared the front garden for the lemonAID stall tomorrow. She is getting quite excited about it now. She went all out to beautify the garden and wipe the table clean. She decided that a gold coin donation will be the price for a cup of poison ... I mean red or yellow fizzy drink.
lemonAID preparations!
cleaning 4 lemonAID
This afternoon Spike was rather grumpy so we decided to go to the park for a dinner picnic. I got to take lots of photos with the new toy, I'm so in love with it! They had a great time playing on the play equipment in the cooler - daylight saving - evening. Stylish took the rats and they played in the grass, then she ran home with them so she could play on the equipment. I totally forgot to take photos of them first which is a shame coz they were very cute (despite their unfortunate genetic disposition) frolicking in the grass.
diner picnic

note the rat in Stylish's lap

Friday, March 6, 2009

subtle shifting....

Lately I have noticed a subtle shift in Stylish. It's been 7 months since she stopped going to prison and she is starting to take an interest in things! Life is becoming interesting again!!! When we were walking around the supermarket she asked me "what is vinegar made of, how do you make it Mum?". And although I'm not actually SURE how vinegar is made I was interested to note that she herself has started to develop natural curiosity all over again.

Another shift occurred when she wandered into the kitchen and just started COOKING the other day. She decided to make biscuits from scratch with no recipe. She succeeded with very little help other than advice on consistency. She has always hated the idea of cooking, which I think is odd for a child, but to take an interest in it off her own accord was a big step towards un-learning I think, and I am very happy about it!
biscuit batter ala Stylish
mmmm tasty pink goo!
Stylish's biscuit recipe!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

snake voyage

Here is the first paragraph of the snake story:

It was an early Autumn day, Meggies Father had just woken her
up to start home school. Mo had made breakfast for Meggie when she was asleep,
in front of her at the table was a small white and blue spotted plate with some
jam on toast next to a glass of apple juice. Meggie went up to Mo, who was
making sure his tie was straight, she leaned up and kissed him on the cheek. Mo
walked to the front door and said “bye Buttercup“, to Meggie. When Mo was gone
Meggie sat down at the table and started devouring her toast and gulping her
apple juice like there was no tomorrow! When her plate had nothing on it she
plunked it in the sink. She walked back into her bedroom got out of her pajamas
into a bright green dress and tied her hair up with a red ribbon.

today ....

Today we went and had lunch with my dad. He's struggling with the whole "home school" thing a bit I think. he was a teacher for 30 years so I can see that this idea is a bit off the beaten track for him. After that I cooked dinner while Stylish sat at the table and did some fractions and other sums. She is getting more confident with maths stuff since we hired a tutor. Speaking of which, her tutor dropped in today with a list of sums for Stylish to try, just so she knows where to help and where things are going ok. The snake story is coming along nicely, it won't be finished for another decade though, she's really making it long. I dug up some info about keeping on track with stories, how to manage a plot and character development, and that seems to have helped enormously. She was bored by it last week, since we did a big edit and made a proper story line plan she's really going for it. The story is up to 8 pages and I think it's only half complete, if that! I will have to post some of it here while we await the finished product.
I thought more about the social consciousness thing. I thought I might print some information about child slavery for starters. I think it's a good thing to tackle with Easter so close. She likes the idea of making our own eggs this year so that's a good start I think.
She is getting into the idea of no list next week but she asked if we could do some tests since that's what they used to do at school when they had down time. I (laughed on the inside) and agreed that I could make some sheets with some questions and she can see how she goes. The board of studies will like that when they come to do the re-rego stuff!
It's been over three months since her father showed any interest in her at all. She goes up and down, back and forth with that. Sometimes she's really glad and other times she worries about him. She ever was the parent in that relationship. Last week we fought quite badly while she was thinking about him, this week it is a lot calmer. I have ordered some bush flower essences for u s, they should help. And she also takes Adol-essence, a blend of bush flower remedies to assist with feelings of rejection and feeling unwanted (other stuff too, but those are the main reasons).
Currently Stylish and her brother are playing out the front with toy cars. I'm sure the neighbours are scandalised by it, it's nearly 9pm. I don't really care. I'm scandalised by their bottle feeding and controlled crying. He forgot to have a nap today so he's heading for bed pretty soon I think, entirely worn out! Owing to the fact that he's playing in MUD at the moment I might need to wash him before we climb into bed!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

social consciousness

Teaching social consciousness is a complicated business when my daughter has been institutionalised for nearly 6 years and her father and grandmother were both huge "consumers". And once I was far more of a consumer than I am now too, so she started out life thinking that fun was BUYING STUFF!
Since those days I have become far more socially aware and concerned, and this is something I want my children to embrace. There are many socially conscious living decisions I have already made in life
  • no slave chocolate or coffee - we get fair trade organic chocolate and coffee / tea
  • we try to avoid sweat shop produce - and shop second hand as much as possible
  • cruelty in farming - we buy organic and free range animal products
  • environmentally aware - we use enviro friendly cleaners through out the whole house, we re-use and recycle as much as possible, we do not waste power, we do not waste water
So these are some of the basics that I have implemented around the house. But I am struggling to get the family to go along with it. It really bothers me the way consumerism is so NORMALISED in our society. Here comes Easter! Lets buy lots of chocolate!!! How many people know the truth about chocolate production I wonder???
Anyways what I'm trying to get at is that I want to find ways to get the kids on board with this. I think I'll have to start getting Stylish to read up on a few things.

Bushfire affected wildlife appeal


In order to contribute to the Wildlife Victoria efforts to save and rehabilitate injured wildlife Stylish has decided to hold a lemonAID stall next Saturday with all proceeds going to help injured wildlife.
Here's some pictures of what happened incase you haven't heard or are from Mars .....