Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Art Class

The teachers at Ellie's kindergarten suggested that we find a way that she could start doing some art with someone who could provide some guidance, exposure to new media, and encouragement to further explore this world that she enjoys so much. The good news is that the “Werkstatt für Kinder” is literally a stone's throw (or, more literally, a stone's toss) from our house. The woman who runs it has been privately teaching children about art for 20 years. Ellie got more and more excited as she looked at the online gallery to see the various things children do there -- like building a giraffe-chair! So I sent her an email and phoned her up. The bad news is that she retires in just four weeks! But the good news is that she said Ellie was welcome to join her 5-year old group for the last four weeks as they started a new theme of "big painting".

So, off she and Crystal trundled this afternoon, where the theme was "magicians". Here's Ellie's masterpiece, a fairy princess with wand. The teacher used her technique as an example of keeping brushes clean so that you can get pure, rich colors without inadvertently mixing them together. They mixed their own colors and Ellie was a little shy about asking the teacher how to mix “peach” for the skin -- maybe next time. Although we only get 3 more weeks, we'll try to make the most of them. And maybe the teacher will have a suggestion of something else she can do at the end of that time!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Ellie and I did some painting this afternoon with nice new watercolors (thanks, Karen!). I wouldn't be surprised if you couldn't figure out who did which....

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Still Crazy after 8 Years

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Teenager Already?

Combine her verbal and social focus with her love for Grandma and Grandpa, and the result is Ellie monopolizing the phone for our catch-up chat. By the time she was done with her 30 minutes (at my urging), there really wasn't much more news to share.


Meanwhile, Isla just gets cuter and more fun every day. Recently she's been doing lots of pretending -- she brought an invisible elephant in for breakfast this morning.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

An Evening Walk to the Park

After a nice Saturday afternoon and early dinner, we decided to take a walk to Cheltenham park to climb on the pirate ship and explore the pond and ducks. There's nothing like experiencing life through the eyes of children.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Literacy, Numeracy, and Artistry

Sometimes it's hard not to talk about the amazing things one's kids are doing, so I guess I'll stop trying to restrain myself for a moment.....

Isla (just past her second birthday) started counting the other day and surprised us by heading right up the line to 8. Seemed pretty impressive. Then tonight she went to 14. Who knows where she goes next? She's also pretty funny singing the alphabet song. A B C D...M N O P....S T C D....C D C D C D....or something like that.

Meanwhile, Ellie continues her love affair with drawing. When we had our parent-teacher conference at her kindergarten last week they also noted her love for and skill at drawing. So I thought I'd share a few of my favorites from the last few months. (We have piles and piles of drawings -- only the particular keepers are added to the pile, otherwise we'd be completely overrun every week!)

She made a book of cutout dog silhouettes. I was amazed at the different dynamic poses. A few samples:

Here's a copy she did of a Valentine's card that she particularly liked:

Her favorite movie for a long while was Disney's version of Robin Hood. Here's a scene where Robin (a fox), disguised as a stork, wins the archery contest to gain a kiss from Maid Marion:

Always warming to romance, her favorite part of the film is Robin and Marion getting married and going off on their "marrying trip". Here's here depiction of her own wedding when "I finally get married" (!). Notice that she has her lei on — all ready for that marrying trip to Hawaii!

She's been enjoying a book on "how to draw people" that gives some step-by-step instructions for a wide range of people and their activities. Unsatisfied to just draw the people, she has to situate them within stories. Here's an ice skater with her hair flying as she skates so fast, protected by helmet and pads, playing a game with a net and a ball:

A diver and swimmer (Ellie and Isla love their weekly visit to the pool):

Finally, here's a mommy helping her baby walk as her legs collapse underneath her, guiding her over to her trolley so she can practice. The other person has their leg in a cast. Maybe they fell down while learning to walk.... The planked, brown wooden floor is what we have at our house. She really enjoys figuring out the hidden lines as she draws these things. I'm guessing the trolley was a last-minute addition!

And no blog is complete without new pictures of the girls themselves. Here are a couple of shots from Saturday's play time in the park.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

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