Friday, 31 July 2009

Excitement at Excsite

We paid a fleeting visit to Hamilton today, to explore the Exscite centre. Denver really misses the 'Shakey House' at Te Papa (the earthquake house), and I knew that when I lived in Hamilton years ago there was a similar one at Exscite. First we popped into Donovan's Chocolate factory to re-energise the troops after the long car trip.

When we got there the whole place had changed, I guess that is to be expected, and the house was nowhere in sight. There was a great range of other fun things to do though.

Then we headed downstairs to look at the new Waikato River exhibition. And there in the corner was the earthquake house....revamped as the volcano house. Denver was in bliss, though the first time round gave her a shock, this house is FAR shakier than the other.

The exhibition was awesome, loads to look at and take in, the kids lapped it all up.

After a quick pose with the natives, we headed into town for some lunch, then home for a rest.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Falling Rocket

Our next project from the Usbourne Art Treasury is an imitation of James Whistler's 'Nocturne in Black and Gold (The Falling Rocket)'

On some purple paper, Kyla ruled a line for the horizon, using chalk.
I had cut out some various building type shapes from some dish cloth sponges. Kyla painted one of the off cuts and used it to dab orange paint all across the paper.The Happy Artist

Then, she painted the 'buildings' and carefully printed them top and bottom of the horizon, giving it the look of a reflection.

I'm loving how completely asbsorbed she gets by these art projects.

After all the shapes were printed, we left it to dry.
Left to Dry

Once dry, she shaved some pink and blue chalk on it, then rubbed it in.
Shaving ChalkBlending Chalk

Then the really fun bit! Using yellow and red paints, she flicked the 'fireworks' across the paper. We ended up taking it outside so she could really let loose.

Splatter time

The end result was stunning.
An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision. ~ James Abbott McNeill Whistler

And of course, the little ones can never pass up an opportunity to paint. So they had their own fun with the sponges.
@ workConcentration

Monday, 27 July 2009

Sky Tower Auckland

We decided to go into the Sky Tower today. The girls had wanted to go up inside it ever since they glimpsed it. They were very excited by the glass in the elevator floor and doors, I have to confess I looked only at the wall. When the lift doors opened out raced Sienna and Denver, no fear at all, while the rest of us gingerly walked to the windows.
Sky Tower
Monkeys in the TowerFearless
Eventually the rest of us relaxed and were able to enjoy the amazing views from the Southern Hemisphere's tallest tower.
DownCity ViewsSky Tower Sisters

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Eel Pics

Sylvester the Eel

We went down to the duckpond today, not fully expecting to see the girls eel friend again, but hopeful. And as soon as we got up to the edge, there he was. They fed him whilst I took pics.

Feeding Sylvester

So sociable, an awesome unexpected experience for the girls, hand feeding an eel.

Denver Saying Hi


Unfortunately the next day when we went to the pond we found him dead. It caused much heartache for Kyla and Denver.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

One Saturday in July

Today was one of those Saturday's that seem to unfold themselves out without any real effort upon your part. After a slow beginning, we took a short stroll into our little township, bypassing the duck pond to feed our friendly ducks.
The sky was bluer than it had been in weeks, the sun bright, and if not for the chilly breeze that enveloped us, you might have believed it was Spring.
As the six of us stood throwing pieces of bread to the ducks, a completely unexpected visitor popped up from the murky waters, and eel! Not just any eel, but a huge eel, at least 3 or 4 ft long, and a good six inches thick at the head. He lazily snacked on our bread, and Kyla was instantly smitten with him. She has called him Sylvester. Unfortunately no pic, I'd left my camera at home. Hopefully he will return and I will get one.

After doing some errands in 'town' we headed home and had something to eat. The other day when we had called around to the in laws house, the kiddos had raided Nana's lemon tree, so to use some up, Sienna and I decided to make lemon muffins. Madi was in her room, and Ky and Denver were busy playing pirates, so it was just the two of us for a change.

Little Miss Muffin Maker

She sifted, poured and mixed. And licked the bowl when she was done.
Licking the Spoon

Yum. Her sisters managed to reappear, just as the muffins were emerging from the oven, strange that.

After that I decided to get a painting activity ready outside.
Stomp the Paint

She always makes me laugh as she chats away. 'Hey, white's like [whipped] cream mum!'
'Make me spotty, like Dora. I'm a spotty baby'

Denver didn't want to miss out on the fun, so Sienna kindly offered to paint her hands and feet.

And before long, the big girls had abandoned their other activities and joined in the fun.
Eight Feet of Paint

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Squares with Concentric Circles

Step One

Last week I brought some good quality watercolour paints for Kyla. I also got a great book out of the library, called Usbourne Art Treasury. It has short biographies of famous artists, a sample of their work, and an activity to recreate that work. Tonight she picked out Wassily Kandinsky's 'Squares with Concentric Circles'.

First she made the different rings using pastels.

I couldn't find my palatte, so I ended up using an empty ice tray.

Water Colours

Next it was time to carefully paint each circle with a different watercolour.

And the end result....
~ “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.” - Kandinsky


The Word Party

Loving words clutch crimson roses,
Rude words sniff and pick their noses,
Sly words come dressed as foxes,
Short words stand on cardboard boxes,
Common words tell jokes and gabble,
Complicated words play Scrabble,
Swear words stamp around and shout,
Hard words stare eachother out,
Foreign words look lost and shrug,
Careless words trip on the rug,
Long words slouch with stooping shoulders,
Code words carry secret folders,
Silly words flick rubber bands,
Hyphenated words hold hands,
Strong words show off, bending metal,
Sweet words call each other 'petal',
Small words yawn and suck their thumbs,
Till at last the morning comes,
Kind words give out farewell posies....
Snap! The dictionary closes.