Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Have Mural Will Travel

Me and the Ninja Baby are off today we are possibly going to deliver a bundle of boys to Hockey Training at North Harbour and then we are definitely off to deliver the Wardrobe, mural

and some Ninja mail

to some good friends.

Share some favourite stories and then head back home to stay away from the rain... then I will have less than 24 hours to complete the digital book if I want to upload while it is still on special! Hmmmmm not too sure that will happen. I have only managed to whittle my stack of possible photos to 264... so there's a mission on it's own!!

NB I'll get Kieley to take a better picture of that mural once it is up on the wall and after all the Hero's get added.


Don't call CYPS ok?

This is our afternoon highlight... apparently it was Elliot's idea. (He says 'Hi' by the way)....

Apologies for the poor photography it's hard to drive and photograph at the same time...

Can you see the kid in there?





their very own Wood paneled Narnian Apple Tree Wardrobe for bookweek....

Don't they?

Who's that girl?

The one at Wing Defence....

Nice netball shoes Kieran. :-) Merenia's team were a player short on Saturday. Les said he did a good job although he did get pulled up for travelling a bit...

Wet Wet Wet

It seems there is a depression in our street the culminates right at the end of our drive way... we do have a drain there but we also end up with every piece of loose junkmail and all the leaves and rubbish from the street. That's why this happens....

The kids were bummed because it was a school day so playing in wasn't an option.

We of course had to drive through it to get to school and it was kind of nice when Kieran said "it's a pity we can't go around the block and do it again" to say "yeah we can!"

It reminded us all of this day back in October '06 which was luckily in the holidays. :-)....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lots going on...

I have an increasing feeling of frustration as there is so much that I want to do and so little time... I have 3 solid hours during the day when Will is asleep and the rest are interrupted and kind of stilted. I have a bunch of jobs that are one offs that have been on my list for far too long... I'd so love to just finish them! I'm constantly trying to get to what I call maintainence level and I generally don't take anything anything more on (Yeah I hear you Kieley) but I do have a new client album to do now, the photos got delivered yesterday, so now that perfect point is even further away.... so that's why I think I am going to take another blog break.

I do have a couple of post series planned (a bit like the book week one) I want to write a series of posts on how we document our family and another set with what I call "Suzy Duncan Stories" - Suzy was my best friend when I was in primary school although we didn't even go to the same school. :-) I want to get those stories into my personal scrapbook so I figured that the blog could be good motivation and it might be fun. I also need to give an update on the housing situation- some interesting developments that from all sides. So I will see what happens... I may have to crack out the laptop and work alongside Will when he's down on the floor... the temptation of the laptop may motivate him to crawl as well. :-)

Funny story about the client album I am doing. It's a girls 21st album and the younger sister of the girl was one of my students when I taught a term at Hobsonville School BEFORE Kieran was born!!

Right now; I need to work on the production photos I need to weed out the crap and put them in a document for Les to print so we can sell them at school and I am also going to make a photo book which is digitally scrapped... it needs to be finished and uploaded by the end of the day on the 31st so a nice little deadline there... should be cool.... will share pictures later in the week.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Celebrating Children's Book week Pt 7: MYO

Yay this is the last in my children's book week posts! When did this start? I'm not sure but I'm almost done now so yipeeee!!

This is probably one of the most important posts of the lot it deals with the books you make yourself! We have a bunch of different books in out house that were made by me....

Music Books- These books collect the songs poems and rhymes that we enjoy. I got some from TV; watching playschool and The Wiggles etc, some from books that we love and included some from Kindy. I just printed them out on the computer or even wrote them by hand in the good old days and ten stuck them in. I either illustrated them myself or found pictures from magazines.
In the first music book I did I also included a column for pictures of musical instruments so that they were a part of our every day life- neither Les nor I play an instrument and we aren't big on attending or watching many things where the kids might be exposed to musical instruments, so I figured the pictures were a good way of getting them in there.

Gymbaroo Books. Both Kieran and Merenia attended Gymbaroo which if you can get to it (we can't anymore) I highly recommend. Each term there was a theme and each week there was a word that related to that theme. We got the word and a picture of it to take home and stick in our books. The method changed over time but in the start you used the book a little like a flash card flashing the word and then the picture. My kids loved their Gymbaroo books, so much so that when we extended what they were doing at Gymbaroo with our own words and when were in Nowra and couldn't go we made up our own themes and did the words and pictures for them.

Readers. Some books that we have I made for Kieran who was already starting to read before he was 3 years old. These books have simple sentences in the with the regularly used words on subjects pertinent to our family. One of them started out with just one word and the picture and then the sentence got added around the word as Kieran got better and better. Just as a side note I never 'taught' Kieran to read. We read to him practically everyday from birth and he developed his own passion for reading which I simply facilitated and built on.

Informative. We have some homemade books which I made simply to help the kids understand things that were happening around them. This included a book on F3B which is a type of modeling contest. And another on the butterfly life cycle which was done with pictures of the Monarch butterflies that we had on our own swan plants. And one that had photos of family members who lived back in New Zealand.

These pages are from the F3B Book...

"Rememorative". Finally we have books that were made to remember the things that we have done. Holidays, zoo trips, gala days and such... occasions where I had too many photos to just do a page in their scrapbook. These were the days before scrapbooking was an 'industry' in New Zealand and it was just something I did because I wanted to, not realising that in the states there was a growing culture and business of scrapbooking.... a mini album wasn't in my vocabulary.

This was a summer Holiday to the Christchurch for Christmas and the Nationals in Carterton...

I took K and M to the Zoo and we had a bunch of clues to solve to do a treasure hunt around the zoo....

This is a page from "When we lived in Australia"...

This is from our big holiday that we went on in Australia
(I was pregnant with Merenia at the time)...

In the beginning I either used exercise books or I used light card, I did them in my own writing with a vivid and bound the books myself with masking tape. After we got a computer I printed the pages onto card adding the photos etc later and when I discovered how cheap it was I started to get the books spiral bound at the local stationery shop. Sometimes I covered the cover in clear duraseal or used a sheet of transparency. A cheaper and easier alternative was to just cover the spine and corners with duraseal (I used to do this to ALL our books). Some times I just left them as is, especially the 'readers' which were never meant to last, although they have quite well indeed.

What I didn't do, but will hopefully do with Will, was to write some stories together and have the kids illustrate them for us, that will be cool.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Celebrating Children's Book week Part 6/ Part 2

Elsie Locke (and here (isn't the Christchurch Library site the coolest!)).

I love Elsie Locke because her books are based on real New Zealand History and the pictures they conjured in my head of places I was already in love with were both exciting and comfy at the same time.

I probably need to give a bit of background here... I grew up in Dunedin. My Dad and a couple of Uncles were surfies that meant we got to blat around the Otago Peninsular. The ocean and the hills, the sea creatures and birds, all that good stuff were my backyard. I lived just down the road from the Otago Museum and visited there EVERY day on my way home from school. Like my darling boy I used to make up my own projects to complete. One in particular was about Pengiuns and I interviewed one of the Museums zoologists John Darby who was a penguin expert; Yellow-eyed in particular but he had also done the whole Antarctica thing. The story is that he has a glass eye because his eye was picked out by an Emperor Penguin- he definitely had a glass eye... but I am not so sure how he got it. I also had a membership to the Otago Early Settlers Museum so I could go there whenever I wanted, and I did often. It was a friends of the museum volunteer type thing so you had to earn your keep... sometimes I just got to dust and and sweep. Other times I scored cool jobs like trialling the activities they were planning for the school holiday programme and things like that. I earned myself back stage passes essentially for both places. I ate up all the delicious Natural and social history that I could... if only my own kids could have that opportunity! About the same time as all this was going on my Dad moved to Christchurch and so the Canterbury area became a part of my perspective and Banks Peninsular and the Port Hills became slightly familiar as well. So Elsie Locke's book The Runaway Settlers was like literary gold to my mind... a story with children in places I knew, using tools that I had the opportunity to see and touch way cool! She has also written Canoe in the Mist which I have read but for the life of me can't recall. Elsie's books would suit an audience 10 years +

The Otago Early Settlers Museum

The Otago Museum

Joan De Hamel.
Take the Long Path is one of my most favourite ever books for many of the same reasons that I like Elsie's books except Take the long path is set in the present time in Otago. And it's got Yellow-eyed penguins... and I love Yellow-eyed penguins... some of the coolest times spent with my Dad were trips to Little Papanui beach and Victory beach in search of penguins! Joan de Hamel also writes for the smaller reader set she did Hemi's Pet etc. Take the Long Path and her other book X Marks the Spot for readers 10+ years.

CS Lewis.

CS Lewis wrote the Narnia books, you know The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe etc now made famous by the movie of the same name. {Sidenote; ever since The Neverending Story I vowed not to watch a movie based on a book I love, I had to make an exception here because it was partly made on the airbase next to our house and a friend worked on it . As far as turning works of Fantasy Fiction into a book can ever go this is a good one.} I have to admit that I totally missed the whole religious element until someone pointed it out to me as a grown-up (stupid grown-ups have to be all analytical and stuff... just enjoy it for what it is; a damn fine story).

There are 7 books in the Narnia series and TLTWATW is the second one. The Magician's Nephew sets the scene and tells you how Earth became connected with Narnia in the first place. I can tell you from experience this is NOT a book to read aloud... it's hardwork, CS Lewis was born in 1898 and was a proper Irish Gent and wrote the books in his proper Irish gent english. For that reason also I'd suggest that these books are suited to 12 year olds + or gifted/very mature younger readers. I prefer to read them in order but that's just the sort of girl I am... if you aren't that way inclined the I think The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the best.