the in between

It has been a frantically busy week around here with the wrapping up of the stampmaking series and preparation for the holiday workshops - 50 children over 4 days - oh my!
We have also had sweet 2yr old birthday's, friends to welcome home to stay with us, a wedding to attend and a short country stop over! Sickness has seeped into the household and put a dampner on things, but generally speaking it is joyful energy that fills and fuels us in these days!
The creativity that has inspired our current classes has spilled over into our everyday as we return from nature walks with hands overflowing with materials - moss, pinecones, leaves...

[photos: Caroline; venue: our friend's amazing farm; pinecone art 8yr old friend!]

Our in between days have been spent, gathering, preparing, dreaming. We took a trip to GOMA today for the girls to experience a little 'surrealism' - there was some wonderful making! We always finish our visit with a quick hello to 'Roy and Matilda' the Art Gallery's resident mice (there is a great story book behind these sweet charicters, produced by the gallery) and some sketching of our current favourite paintings...

Now our WEAVE+WONDER workshops are in full flight, I can't wait to show you some of the magnificent work the children are producing, here in the coming days! Check back soon....

stamp making wrap up

What a wonderful series this was! The children produced such amazing work and are inspired to go and purchase their own tools and keep carving! They headed home loaded up with handmade stamps, gift tags, journals with handmade cover and a small drawstring bag to keep their stamps in - half the fun is all the things you can take home after all!!
I will let their work speak for itself below...what amazing artists!

thanks so much to my friend K for snaping some photos of our last session xx

Final Stampmaking class

We have had such a marvellous time in our intimate afternoon stamping class. The children have tumbled in windblown from a day at school and it has been wonderful to see how much enjoyment and enthusiasm they have shown for their art class!

:: Australian Artist, Rachel Newling linocut

In our first week, we looked at the ancient art of woodblock carving, through lino carving and enjoyed inspiration from the masters, Matisse and Picasso as well as contemporary Australian linocut artists. We then began planning our designs, drawing and learning about positive and negative images. We completed this full class with a basic introduction to stamp production, a negative image using a blunt pencil and sheet of foam...

:: Caleb's creations - aren't they wonderful!

In our second class, the confidence and enthusiasm was mounting as the children learned a new skill, the art of carving their own positive and negative images in soft rubber to make their own stamps -the results were spectacular!
This week, we complete the series by using our very own stamps to make gift tags, gift bags, and stamp on fabric and produce a journal cover! The children will take home the products together with their handmade stamps, and most inspiringly, a new skill learned. It is my hope there will be many more making days ahead at home!
I have so enjoyed the intimate group and watching their confidence blossom as they mastered the techniques. Our conversations have been imaginative and inspiring!

Thank you to each of my students - you truely are artists - keep creating! xx M

booked out!

Oh! There is excitement mounting around here for the upcoming school holiday art workshops! With a week to go, we are FULLY BOOKED! Materials are being sourced, inspiration carefully selected, tracking down 'just the right story book'....the details are coming together. It is so important to us that the materials and resources we use are of the highest quality and nature-inspired. At WEAVE+WONDER we believe in creativity inspired out of the environment we live in...the seasonal treasures we can find on a family walk or on holiday! Our project ideas are grounded in this foundation and as much as possible, our materials and colour palette reflect this. I can't wait to see the creativity blossom in each of our 40 (oh my!) children over the coming weeks!

a way of seeing the world

There are some days when I am keenly aware of the privilage of working creatively. The way it trains the eye to see the beauty in the everyday - the way light falls, the way colours catch my eye + blend harmoniously or jarringly as the case may be, compliment or contrast, the rich ever-changing beauty of nature is a gift for the eyes that really look to see.
At the moment I am noticing: the vibrant blue of the sky against a changing theatre of clouds; the warm-bright-light bouncing tranquilly off my white walls; the random glimpse of fushia as we pass a gum tree bursting blossom out of it's bulbous gumnuts; the golden orbes of orange on my neighbour's tree; the regal majesty of a deciduous tree ablaze in colour and gracefully letting down it's leaves.

And I am searching to find: lavender beginning to bloom; bare branches standing sculptural against the sky.
This training of the eye is a choice that brings much joy + fulfillment to the beholder and I find that children have this gift innately, not distracted by abstract worries of the adult world, they are fully alive + present to wonder, all around them, Our job as parents is to catch some of that and encourage it for all it is worth - art is a way of seeing the world - we need only to practice taking the time to see it!

weekend wandering

This weekend was muffled with sickness, yet strangly alive to simple pleasures! I always find it interresting that when health is suspended, other senses are often heightened.
This morning I woke to light dancing at my window:

:: I rolled with laughter as this wee one tried (successfully) to steal some of her 'soccer-star-big-sister's' glory by showing us her 'moves' in pajama's and dress! All those little-girl dreams trying so hard to fill big-girl shoes...I hope she never stops dreaming!

:: We all made our preparations to welcome home treasured friends

:: I keep returning to these fresh-cut slabs and their natural beauty as preparations for holiday workshops take on a frenzy!

:: we all enjoy home-grown goodness at a shared table with friends...the fetta + basil pesto was my favorite!

Leaves! lesson preparation

...INSPIRE the imagination through the work of Great Artists....
..GROW knowledge through the use of age-appropriate art theory...

Just thought I would share some of the preparation that goes into the classes we design for your children! I am working on the 'Leaves' workshop at the moment and thoroughly enjoying putting together the vocabularly and inspiration that undergirds each lesson.
Some of the concepts the children will learn and we will practice and discuss are below:
Texture: the actual way a piece of artwork feels or looks like it should feel when touched.
Composition: the arrangement of the parts of a picture
Contrast: the use of opposites together, dark and light colours, rough and smooth textures.
Pattern: a repeated design or sequence
Blending: using two colours to make another ie. red + yellow = orange. Introducing the colour wheel.
Our inspiration is by ANDY GOLDSWORTHY a favourate artist who works primarily outdoors with nature. (born 1956) a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist living in Scotland, who creates site-specific sculptures in both rural and urban settings. His art involves the use of natural and found objects to create both temporary and permanent sculptures that draw out the character of their environment.

:: Work by Andy Goldsworthy


some things I am loving right now:

:: freshly stacked fabric ready for young artist's creating

:: paperbark art!

:: lots and lots of stamp carving around here

:: little hands loving the testing + tweeking of their designs

:: trying out the vintage brayer

:: the perfect 'lemony' end to a perfect 'student-free' day

:: fresh pickings for dinner

weekend wandering: lemons!

A friend of mine posted an old saying this week in discovering a lemon tree on her new farm - 'when life gives you lemons......make lemonade!' And she sure did make some yummy things....

We visited my sister on her new 'farm' yesterday and with this quote in mind, we plucked her tree free of sunshiney goodness! And similarly tackled the mandarin tree with lots of little helpers!...
There is rewarding work in planting + harvesting your own produce and great wonder and enjoyment to be had by all the family...sticks gathered became firewood or sculpture, rocks for fairy houses, paperbark to draw on, hard unripe fruit became balls tossed around, fruit peel can be boiled for experiments in natural dying...and the list of creativity goes on and on, most of these discussed or undertaken in our wanderings yesterday!
WE were most excited about all the lemony, yummy goodness we could make from the harvest and after peeling what seemed like a truck-load of lemons...we made our first BIG mistake...instead of manually, and painstakingly juicing the lemons like most people, we decided there would be more goodness in whizzing the whole peeled lemons in the vitamix!
Three jugloads of pulpy goodness later and after adding sugar to our first batch of lemonade, we taste-tested to a sad end - the plith just under the friut's skin had given the mixture an unbearable bitter aftertaste!! We had reduced the tree's whole harvest to this pulpy disaster!!
When we recovered from the sadness of this reality, we were left with a small tin pail of lemons which we humbly juiced in the traditional manner!
Wearily, we began the much-anticipated lemon cake. Our lemon-disaster went from bad to worse when my sister savaged her hand in the mixmaster! The ambulance was called and damage patched up in hospital - a dramatic way of getting out of dealing with the lemon-affair!!
I even more humbly and wearily, but determined not to let the day's events have a 'bitter' end, made a syrupy lemon cake and stored the lemon-pulp-concoction to be used in 'organic cleaning products.'
So when 'life gives you lemons' on my sister's end up in hospital!!...but on her celebrated return, a yummy lemon cake saves the day!!

it begins today!

kits packed
inspiration collected
weather perfect for cozy-creating
an afternoon coffee-break for mama's
so looking forward to beginning the journey of stampmaking with children today
this class will inspire with great art and equip with new skills
most of all, it will encourage confidence in thinking creatively
here's to an exciting journey!

weekend wonder

I find that in the noticing of the details, there is a richnes to our everyday that is comforting...the slow-moving work, the stitching together of a life, this weekend I am noticing:

:: 'pebbles' in a stitching series almost complete

:: '5 treble, skip 2, 1 treble, skip 2, 5 treble...' this slow crochet rhythm almost complete

:: 'peeping-glory' the first camelia's to crown the bush

:: unique beauty unfurling

:: a regular stop along the hall

:: ahhhh, complete...a warm satisfaction