Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas craft 2009 (II)

I found a great tutorial (thanks Lisa!) for making a simple and beautiful Christmas wreath with cardboard and leftover scraps of wrapping paper. It was so easy, I completed it in one afternoon (working furiously during Stardust's nap!)

Step 1: Cut out cardboard doughnut and leaf shapes from wrapping paper. My doughnut is about 45cm in diameter and each leaf is about 12cm in length. I used some old wrapping paper that I bought from IKEA - gold and silver patterned paper, and some plain red paper.

Step 2: Staple leaf shapes to doughnut, overlapping leaves to cover the base of the leaf. The more overlapping you do, the more leaves you'll need. I used 78 leaves in total. As you can tell from the finished product, I ran out of gold and red paper and had to finish the rest of the wreath with silver paper. I still think it turned out rather nice.

Step 3:Tie a length of ribbon or string to top of the wreath. I used some gold ribbon that I picked up at a wedding I attended earlier on this month. Hang the wreath up on door using blu-tack.

Step 4: Fish for compliments from dumbstruck MDH.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas craft 2009 (I)

Last week, we drove through the shopping district to admire the Christmas lights. Christmas decorations have been up at Orchard Road since Hallowe'en and I do love wandering down the road surrounded by all the twinkly lights.

This year, most of the big malls decided to put up stylised versions of Christmas trees. I was very drawn to the simple, two-dimensional designs which reminded me of the Jesse trees that are sometimes used in Christian art to represent the geneology of Christ.

I decided to make a Jesse tree for our house and decorate it over the course of the Advent season, using symbols to represent events leading up to the Nativity story. I've been working on it during my spare time over the course of the week.

Using a grid, I copied the outline of the tree onto a sheet of cardboard and painstakingly cut it out. Afterwards, I reinforced the back of the cutout with glued on strips of left over cardboard.

I bought some printed green corduroy ($9.90/m at Spotlight) and wrapped it around the cutout, stapling it at the back to hold it in place, using masking tape to hold down the loose flaps of cloth.

This means that the back of the tree is an untidy mess of staples, fraying fabric and masking tape. I could have taken more time over it to make it neater but I have been inspired by Rowena of Rostitchery who says that 'Done is better than perfect'.

We decided to follow a forty day Advent calendar that our church pastor had printed in the Sunday bulletin.

Last night, I sat at the computer for hours, searching for images on the internet. My task this week is to colour and cut out forty pictures and mount them onto felt circles.

I feel rather proud of myself for sticking to this project!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Walking with sunflowers

Here's where we were yesterday:

I've visited Dover Park Hospice, which is one of the (very) few places in Singapore that provides an inpatient palliative care service, and found it to be an excellent, well-run facility with staff and volunteers that are well-trained in end-of-life issues. So when I found out that there was a fundraising event, I was only too happy to lend my support!

It was a lovely breezy afternoon - just perfect for a stroll through the business district!

There was a costume competition, so there were quite a few people wearing sunflower wreaths and sunflower hats...but this group of ladies from the Breast Cancer Foundation caught my eye. They were dressed in green, orange and yellow, with summery hats and had Van Gogh sunflowers painted all over them. They were just so energetic and happy and comfortable with themselves! I always envy people who aren't self-conscious and just want to have a good time.

Stardust was very excited about having an afternoon out in the city, especially when he saw the field of sunflowers that had been planted by Dover Park Hospice volunteers and donors. I bought him a sunflower so that he could 'plant' it with the other flowers, but he seemed much more interested in parading around and waving it like a standard.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Update: Androgyny

Here's an update from my previous post on androgyny. Did you guess right?

Painting (in) the house

So, we're starting the move out of the Aged P's house. This is a highly emotional time for my mum, so we're softening the blow by moving our stuff out slowly over the course of several weeks.
Last night, MDH moved across all of our old kitchenware so that I could do the unpacking and cleaning whilst he was at work today.
So, I put Stardust in his highchair, poured some poster paints in an egg carton and he kept himself busy whilst I flitted round the house with a bucket of soapy water and a clean rag.
The best thing about having our own place is that being able to mess it all up. In fact, I have kept Stardust so clean that he is much too fastidious now. He gets distressed if so much as a bit of fluff lands on his shirt front. Our previous painting sessions have involved nothing more than a paintbrush, tap water and some newspaper! I did not dare to crack open a case of paint in my parent's house - all their surfaces are porous and stain easily.
Stardust was a little worried about getting paint on his hands but when he saw that I had some paint on my fingers too (from handling the leaky paint bottles), he relaxed and just carried on with his artistic endeavours.
I think I will have to do some finger painting with him to help him get over his aversion to messy hands.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Happy Hallowe'en to me

Spotted this gorgeous vintage dress at Parasol Circus and fell in love with it. I kept going back to the boutique to gaze adoringly at it.
It was the romantic ruffles at the neck and the lace at the bust that caught my eye. It reminded me of the cascading lace that Edwardian ladies wore on the front of their bodices. Viva La Belle Epoque!
I'm not sure why I spent so long dithering over it, but after about month, MDH told me to stop ogling and to just buy it for goodness sakes.
I went back to the store and found out that it was on sale! Hooray! What a bargain! I was so excited that my hands were shaking when I emailed Natalia (the owner of the shop) to ask if the dress was still available.
When the package arrived from Natalia , I saw that she had decorated it with a thumbnail sketch of jack o' lantern riding atop an umbrella in true Sleepy Hollow style. Happy hallowe-en to me!
Ever so carefully, I lifted the dress out of the packaging. The fabric was so delicate and fragile on the sleeves that it had already developed a few holes during transit.
Fortunately, I managed to get them repaired and Natalia was kind enough to cover the costs. Isn't that just great customer service?
It felt so good to put it on - and ohhhh! the soft silk went swish against my skin as I pulled the dress on. There's nothing like the feel and rustle of silk.
MDH liked it so much that he danced me around the room so that he could see the skirt swirling about my legs.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Stardust is starting to attempt to form sentences and he is pretty much unintelligible to most people. I, on the other hand, have become an expert interpreter of Toddlerspeak, which means that we hold real conversations now. I must say that Stardust is getting to be a very interesting person to talk to!

His enunciation still needs alot of work and I don't always remember to correct him when we are out in public. His enunciation doesn't seem to bother me - I know that he will eventually pick up the correct sounds if I repeat them often enough. However, I was really surprised at the reaction we got from eavesdropping bystanders who seemed to get really upset and angry when I failed to correct him!

Here's a good example of a conversation we had recently on the bus that sparked a chorus of tut-tutting from fellow passengers:

Stardust: Mummy! Mummy! Look there [on the side of a passing bus]! Frogs sitting on lilypads!
TSCD: Wow! That's right! How many are there?
Stardust: We shall count them - one, two, three, four! Four frogs.
TSCD: Well done, that's excellent!

On retrospect, this is probably what they were hearing:

Stardust: Yummy! Yummy! Loo loo loo! F***! S***! Lily pat!
TSCD: Wow! That's right! How many are there?
Stardust: I c***! Yummy c***! Un, doo, tree, fork! Fork F***!
TSCD: Well done, that's excellent!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Book Review: The Problem with Chickens by Bruce McMillan

I just love this simply written little story about a village of Icelandic ladies and over-domesticated chickens illustrated by the artist Gunnella. Stardust just happened to stumble across this book in the library and enjoyed it so much that I was loathe to return it.

It's the playful, comical illustrations that make this book a real treasure. Gunnella's richly hued oil paintings very literally depict the text with rosy-cheeked, round-bodied ladies dancing, drinking tea and going to birthday parties whilst being imitated by their chickens.

Stardust couldn't stop laughing when I read the story to him, and he was so entranced by the pictures that he wouldn't let me turn each page until he was ready!

I would love to have one of Gunnella's gorgeous oil paintings. I felt warm just looking at them. I like the way she depicts women in her pictures - they look strong and happy, as if they could do anything they wanted.
The best thing about this book is that I cannot actually find a 'moral' or a 'learning point'. It's just a really fun read and I didn't get tired of it, even after reading it three or four times a day for six weeks!
Conclusion: Nice book for the under 5's, for older children the simple graphics might be inspiring for the young artist, Might even make a fun coffee table book!

This morning

This morning, I...

1. Made breakfast
2. Cleaned the floor
3. Commenced potty-training with Stardust (with some success!)
4. Reorganised the wardrobe
5. Did some laundry
6. Cooked lentil soup for lunch
7. Made preparations for a spaghetti bolognaise dinner
8. Read storybooks to Stardust
9. Took Stardust for a tricycle ride
10. Ate a piece of blueberry sponge cake

It's amazing what you can do in 4 hours!
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