27 January, 2015

Grade


 At the end of my first week back at school, I was able to start putting up my 5th graders work that they have produced at the end of their observational drawing unit.  Remember the dead fish in the classroom?
 They had a number of choices about how they wanted to show how they were influenced by their drawings in a final projects.  It could be 2D or 3D.
 I'm very proud of their work.  I love how varied it is and the amount of work they put into it all.
 They had to write "artist statements" showing how they were inspired by their drawings.












This display took me 3 hours of work to put up.  A labour of love!
 Hanging the mobiles was probably the biggest challenge!



I loved doing this unit.  While it was very hectic doing so many different projects at once I think the kids are really happy with their work.

15 January, 2015

Musings on things of a interwebby nature


While in the US over Christmas, my lovely friend Em and I were talking about her upcoming adventures and courses for the year (too many to link, but seriously check them out: in our element, soulful escape to Bali, a year of soul makes) and we got around to talking about blogging and blog readership.  Em said "does anyone really blog anymore?".  Let me back track a little to tell you about how Em and I met:

In 2004 we moved back to Australia from the US.  At that time my sister-in-law, Chelsea (and one of my favorite ever people) was still living in the US.  She'd started a blog around that time, and I started reading it to keep in touch.  As a stay at home mum in a new and foreign (to me) city (Sydney) I took to blogging like it was mother's milk.  Suddenly I discovered this world out there of like minded people who shared their loves, their makings, their very varied lives.  I'm not a great collector of friends, but suddenly I found I had a tribe of people who understood me.  And, missing the US, I found Emily's blog as a creative Australian living in the US (California at that time).  I followed her (and many other) blogs.  I commented from time to time, and she responded.  I connected Chels with Em's blog as they had a lot in common too.  And Chelsea started an online friendship with her.  And as it turned out in those stranger than fiction moments, Emily had met both Chelsea's husband (my husband's brother) and another brother in the family from when they went to Perth.  The world is indeed much smaller than people think.

Chelsea met Em and became very good friends and I continued my online acquaintance with her.  Fast forward some years to 2006 when we moved back to the US and I decided to start a blog.  As a foreigner in a new town, my blogging friends were more and more real than the people I knew around me.  It got me through a lot, and through my blog I met in person some very wonderful people (shout out to Simmy if she still visits here; we became blog friends and on a trip from the UK to the US she and her family stayed with us.  We got on so well they did so the following year and I few years ago I stayed with her in the UK, unfortunately her life became to busy to keep up with her blog, and I miss that regular connection with her life).  At some point, Emily moved from California to New Hampshire (via Perth) and found the move to the New England winter challenging.  By this point we were firm online friends and it didn't take long after we bought our VT house for us to meet in person and we have continued to be friends ever since.

My point, I guess, is that blogging has been such a wonderful world of connection for me.  I have grown creatively through the connections I have made through blogging.  (When I talk blogging, I really mean all those wonderful creative blogs out there- some of which are in my blogroll).  I've seen people grow fledgling businesses, write books, have children, discover new passions.  And I have loved the ride.  My own family feels they have watched my children grow up, even though we have lived far from home for so many years.

And yet, I do wonder if blogging has had its day.

Don't get me wrong, I adore instagram, and I think a lot of blogging people have moved over there for the simplicity, the lack of time commitment (blogging can seriously suck up time), for the lack of pressure to say "something".  I'm not a fan of Facebook which just feels like noise to me and I haven't yet worked out what I think of twitter. Pinterest is my brain storming site and I have discovered some good blogs through it.  Who knows what the next big social media will be.

But I miss the almost curated feel of blogging.  People taking the time to write, to post beautiful pictures, to share a public journal of their lives.  And while I love connecting with people I know on instagram and seeing what they are up to, it's not really the place where I discover new friendships.

I guess where all this is going is that while there are times when I feel like there is no point blogging anymore, that I have nothing worthy to say, and I am merely resharing my instagram photos, I like that I have a space where I can be thoughtful and present.  And just maybe there are other people out there in the world who I will connect to over time.


*************ALL PHOTOS ARE RANDOM AND HAVE COME FROM MY INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT OF THE LAST FEW DAYS****************

13 January, 2015

walking the dog

I think my favourite part of every day is when I take Meeka out for a walk.  She must be the only dog I have EVER known who hides when "walk" is heard; she's quite a scaredy cat for a street dog.  But I'm hoping to desensitize her to all the noise and people everything else she is scared of by taking her out every day.  Since I have got back (and now have an anti pull harness that I bought for her in the US) I have been making an effort to get out and explore my "hood".

Today I finally remembered to take my phone with me (and my son who made it back from the US with his brother this morning and is here for mere days before heading back to Aus).  I am amazed with all the things I am discovering around where I live.  I always knew that Balestier Rd area was a Singapore heritage trail, but when you look out the window, all you see are condos, and it's only when you start heading down the back streets that the magic starts to happen.  I love the juxtaposition of old and new, the little gems hidden away.  And the fact that these historical buildings are all protected in Singapore these days and will stay there no matter how many of these high rises spring up all around them.

Here's some photos from our walk today....



Really looking forward to going to this trendy bike shop/cafe- I've spent a few walks trying to find it.  Although Oscar and I went there today,  we had no money with us.  Maybe tomorrow.







12 January, 2015

Family

 On my first night in Vermont I announced to my gathered family that before our holiday was done I wanted a photo of all of us together.
 It didn't happen until the Sunday night right before Matt left to for NYC and his trip back to Singapore.
 4 very fast shots on the self timer.  I'll take what I can get!
 And a selfie with Steve and Heather next door...
 Kit with their pups
 A very whirlwind shot at my dear friend Mireille's as her 4 kids, her 2 nieces and my 2 descended upon pizzas for dinner.
 If you look closely it's NYC as we were heading to the airport in the taxi.
 The new boeing 777 plane that we took.
 Fantastic views of the setting sun (at 4:30 pm) as we flew out of New York.

And turned and flew right back over Darien CT where we'd just come from.

The mood lighting on the plane was a hit.
 But our favorite thing was the reaction of this lovely little fluffykins when we got home.

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