portrait party!

Start with food and end with food - a successful recipe for any party and no exception for this one! Of course all our food was portrait themed for this very special 9yr old's birthday party. Six buzzing girls gleefully gathered around our creating table when they realised that our creating began with all things edible! We tested our portrait skills out using lollies and worked hard (and ate harder!) to create the most 'true to life' portrait of themselves.

We rambled and giggled our way through conversation about what makes up a face and the differences and similarities between our own. The girls were then invited to gather fabric scraps that best represented the elements of their own face: blue eyes, brown hair, olive or fair skin, etc.. we talked about technique. If we chopped our fabric pieces roughly and overlapped them, we could add texture to the hair; sometimes it is good to choose fabrics that are joyful but not necessarily a real representation of the colour of a facial element....and on we conversed, all while cutting busily!
The girls really came alive as they created and encouraged one another - I think that the end results were spectacular!

The second part of the class involved an introduction to stitching. I allowed the girls to lead according to their enthusiasm for this next step and one by one, after a little cake and refuelling, they approached me to thread their needles and show them how to add character and detail lines to their artwork. The girls enthusiastically took this newly learned skill home with them - I can't wait to see how they got on!
Overall, the project was a wonderfully colourful representation of the unique and special friends who shared this beautiful birthday.
I am off to plan a portrait party for BOYS - having 'my favorate hero' as the theme!! Very much looking forward to that!


'Creativity is the first tongue of children.
And when we, on into adulthood speak it, even haltingly, we return home to happiness.'
Ann Voscamp

It was one of those slow, quiet, recovering weekends in my home...for the most part. Perhaps following my lead, perhaps I theirs, my children and I often wander into creative lands on days like these....its a slow meandering process that might start in a 'polly pocket treehouse cum magic faraway tree' and travel through lego kingdoms to roll play with gathered nuts, grasses or seeds as pretend food. Our creative meanderings often end in the 'making' of something...today we raided the fabric scrapbin and made collages, exploring portraits + landscapes for my soon to be 9 year old's art birthday party making! Once this tumbling into creative process starts, I find it is easy to loose hours as we dream big dreams, try new things, make mistakes, pick up new materials and start all over again.
The biggest gift I can give my children is encouragement, the boost to try instead of saying 'I can't' and when all doesn't go as they had planned, they need only to look over to Mama's work and see that mine doesn't always go as I had planned either! We make mistakes and laugh together!

'There are no two identical persons on the planet. Anything created that expresses the essence of a person is wholly and entirely origional. And whenever I look at a creative work, I am looking at the IMPOSSIBLE CREATED. Because before those hands created it, it was impossible to have ever been created before!' Ann Voscamp

So can I encourage you, on days when you have time, or days when you make time, come alongside your children, create together and come home to happiness!
And when we might be quick to put away those pencils, glue, scissors, scraps, lego...leave them out a little longer....'for tomorrow, and all the artists and all the makers and inventors and dreamers and co-creators who will rise under the sun.' A.V.

Easter Holiday Workshop Outline 2011

Lesson 1 'an eggs-traordinary event'

Using beautiful natural wood, wool + clay to create an array of contempory eggs + egg designs. Focusing on sculpture, composition + colour theory, the children will explore new techniques as they paint + create! And of course, we will weave some Easter tales through our making time...

Lesson 2 'woven wonders'

Talk about how birds make their nests, gathering, weaving. Introduction to weaving techniques, share stories of communities who weave for a living. Using wool, string, feathers and basic weaving techniques we will make a nest fit for our 'tiny egg treasures'!


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for our
follow links above for class outline and refer blog margin for dates + times

Limited Places Available
Contact Melissa 0407 778 907
email melissa@guyatt.net
or book in store

a prototype

A little industrious sewing and a little midday over-exposed photography and we have a sneek peek of the art aprons that will be available for sale with each class series...I am very excited to explore these being made through fair trade contacts in Cambodia! The divine fabric used in our classes and for these aprons is sourced in Cambodia, using natural dyes and provincial weavers. I look forward to sharing more about these businesses in the days to come.

dreamed it into life

Look what arrived in my hot little hand today!!
I am so excited to see the beginnings of this dream become reality and for these postcards to travel the city in search of children + their Mama's who are interested in nurturing creativity with a sense of style!
I can't wait to see who might cross my path, inspired, even just a little, by these images....


Gratitude abounds to Jen + Emma who honed their photographic tallent to my great benefit! And to Mel who spent countless hours laying out + editing the final product.

flights of fancy with 3 year olds!

It was extraordinary...the flapping, fluttering, feathering focus in my home this last week! Several divine wee ones graciously joined me in road-testing the 'bird life' lesson of the Autumn series classes.

We jumped right into an enchanting world of birds as we read together, practiced our 'crests' and our 'flapping wings' - I just adore hearing what tumbles out of their mouths as they are carried along with the story!

Making time began with excitement - what are the 'presents' in the bag? With a tickle of feathers and a rambling dialogue of art terms like 'sculpture' and famous French sculptor 'Pompon' the children are transfixed through the session.

With the occasional call for help and outstanding effort for wee ones, my little students create the most beautiful masterpieces!!

We conclude the class with the messy stuff! Our leaf-litter blankets need some colour and stamping - such unique creations come out of this as the children mix and layer autumn colours!

With messy hands and happy hearts, our morning was a success indeed!
Thank you so much little ones and wonderfully supportive Mama's xx

props, props, props

Often the environment we create in can be a significant influence on our creation! WEAVE+WONDER classes are mobile and therefore our 'stage set' is EXTREMELY important! Inspiring both to those who create and to those who pass by.
A great deal of research preceeds each themed series of classes and part of this research is into the tactile and visual inspiration which will surround the children on our table. Quality, natural materials need quality natural settings! I have had such fun searching and finding many of our vessels for creating - amber glass bottles, recycled timber, jam-jars, felted bowls (my favourite!), clay pots - a giant canvas drop sheet and several 'little-size' cover-alls to keep the mess from our clothes!
In the Autumn series, we will surround ourselves with leaves, pine cones, nuts and seeds....so many of these tumble through our home regularly, they are wonderful tools for imagining and creating!

weekends are for

Just having a little play with the left over materials from the week's art classes!

birds + beautiful hands

These girls of mine have been just as excited as I am to see some of the projects we have done together fine-tuned, practiced, photographed and included in the first series of Art + Craft classes for WEAVE+WONDER.
We have been making LOTS of birds lately...clay birds, handstitched + stuffed birds with button eyes, fluffy wool+feather birds, stitched birds. Lets face it, who doesn't go into flights of fancy when imagining soaring, floating, gliding, chirping, sweet-song birds. We spend a lot of our nature time listening + looking for birds...what colour, what type, what call, nests, eggs, you name it and we have uncovered it in our wanderings.
In two of our Autumn Series classes, birds take centre stage.

'Bird Life' explores the wonder + diversity of birdlife. The colours, the calamity...and partners this exploration with an introduction to sculpture. We look at famous artists who produce art by carving, moulding, forming objects in 3 dimensions - we have uncovered some amazing bird sculptures by Australian Artist Anna-Wili Highfield who forms magnificent bird + animal sculptures out of paper!
When we get down to the making, we explore quality natural materials and form clay, feather and wool birds...and make a special 'leaf litter' blanket...just to keep them warm when you take them home, you know!!! I will post photos from our recent trial class where we completed these projects.

'What do we see in Autumn' focus' on the power of observation and how much of the seasons we notice in Brisbane. This class is an introduction to stitching + silhouettes class. We talk of what we see in Autumn, the leaves, colours, what the birds do, etc. We discuss silhouettes - what is a silhouette? And look at some ways to make these at home with torches, pictures and a black marker pen, etc. We then learn some basic stitching techniques, how to thread the needle and begin...we create these divinely beautiful stitched silhouettes, contemporary enough to grace any wall, even hung in the embroidery hoop!

Autumn Series Class Outline

This series of classes is designed for 3-5 year olds.
Parental assistance welcome for younger children.
We begin every class with a picture book relating to the theme and WEAVE this story through our making time.
Children will be INSPIRED by Great Artists and their work!
They will GROW in their knowledge of art theory.
Children will NURTURE their creativity through experimenting with quality + natural materials.
Children will leave with display + play-worthy art and a sense of WONDER in all they have learned!

'Leaf Litter' collage project
Explore the season of Autumn. In particular the texture + colour of leaf fall. Introduction to tonal colour + contrast. Using watercolour + pastel, we create unique leaf designs. Layer and play with additional texture to make unique presentation board collage.

'what do we see in Autumn'
Introduction to stitching and silhouettes class. Begin with observational drawing of what we see in Autumn. Discuss silhouettes - what is a silhouette? Complete class with introduction to stitching, either 'bird nest' or 'autumn leaf' project. Stitching presented in embroidery hoop.

'bird life' project
Talk about birds in our neighborhood, encourage observation skills. Introduction to sculpture + stamping. Using mixed media, wool, wire, feathers, clay. Experiment with making your own bird family. Using paint stamping on fabric, complete a special 'leaf litter' blanket to take your bird family home in!

'feather your nest' project.
Talk about how birds build nests, gathering, weaving. Introduction to weaving techniques, share stories of communities who weave for a living. Using wool, string, feathers, and basic weaving techniques, make a nest fit for your bird family!

'fungi forrest' project.
Enter the magic world of mushroom houses, fairies and miniture charicters. What stories can we create in our 'enchanted wood?' Using clay, wood and natural props to create a sculptural garden, perfect for imaginary play or table display!

[Please leave a comment or contact Melissa melissa@guyatt.net for class pricing and inclusions]

making + gathering

There is a frenzy of making and gathering going on around here. The kind that has mama and girls in a creative whirl...'mama can I test out some of the making for the art classes, you know, to see if my age can do it!!' Absolutely my girls, create away, after all much of what I have to offer in these classes are what we weave in and out of our creative days at home.
As opportunity would have it, the launch of WEAVE + WONDER has stepped up pace. We hope to run an Autumn Series in the coming days. This making constitutes some of the pieces being trialed and photographed for the upcoming classes.
The beautiful handstitched and stuffed bird is part of the 6-10 yr old range, the woven nest and eggs fit nicely into both age groups. My dining room table is regularly taken over by autumn-toned materials to test a new technique, in this picture we are testing the watercolour work and overall project composition for 'leaf litter', lesson 1 in the 3-5 yr series.