Chubby Anecdotes | Singapore Parenting and Kids' Art Blog: January 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

2 Minutes Homemade Foot Salt


How would you like a little spa experience in the comfort of your own home? Wouldn't it be better if your little ones could join you in a little make-believe spa game? Sounds like a fun activity for the CNY holidays, I hope :)

If you are nodding in front of your computer screen now, I've got just what you need for a no fuss, quick and quality foot soak - Super-easy-to-make Foot Salt. All you'll need is 2 mins and 2 steps to prepare it. 


What you will need:
1. 1 cup Epsom Salt
2. 1.5 tablespoon Johnson's Baby Bedtime Oil (or other children massage oil of your choice)
3. a little food colour (optional)

Method:
1. Add Massage oil to Epsom Salt and mix well.

2. You can add a little food colour to the mixture to make it look more interesting. I chose purple cos Johnson's bedtime oil comes in a purple bottle... See, I am so creative :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Painting Faces at Menchie's Store Opening

Menchie's Store opening
It was Menchie's big day on 14 December last year (sounds like long ago, though it was just a month or so back).
Getting a Froyo had never been so much fun! 
Everything about the store was bright and colourful.
Everything about the store was bright and colourful. Everyone was happy and cheery - well who wouldn't? There's Froyo!

There were photo booth, balloons and I couldn't be more honoured to face painting there. Here are some pixs of the colourful little happy faces I painted that day:

Menchie's logo face painting

Flowers and Butterflies
Basic Flower Crown
Peacock body art
Rabbit Face Painting
The Super Heroes brothers
Me and The Ironman

Little moments, BIG lessons


It's a quarter past 2am and I am wide awake. Nat had woken me up for milk after which, it was as if the sleepy spell was broken - I am tired, no doubt, but I simply can't go back to bed. I packed the messy dinning table and checked my phone instinctively - one message from a client, 5 new emails, and some feeds from instagram and facebook. I replied the message and put the phone aside.

Sitting alone in the dark in my living room now has a calming effect on me. The house is quiet, except for the tiny white noise coming from the water dispenser in the kitchen. 2 little school bags, packed and resting against the wall next to the dinning table. I can see vaguely, a couple of dolls and books resting lifelessly on the sofa. There must be some on the mat too, but I shall ignore it. Right now, I just want to spend some time with myself. It seems like I haven't spoke to me much lately. I guess now makes a good time to reflect on some lessons from the past year, albeit a little late, it's better now than never.

I try to look back, the first thing I recall is the facebook notification that took over my screen near the end of last year - I recall it saying, "The highlights of 2013". First on the list, "Left Great Eastern Life" - left my comfort zone. Many big things happened after that, and a twist of event (and perhaps a couple more turns), led me onto a new course - I find myself standing at a point I've never dared to dream of. I've lost much and gained much too- I've left the corporate ladder after years of effort trying to climb higher, further. It was devastating, and though I often try to be as optimistic as I can, it was undeniably was painful, too painful. My consolation, and perhaps a greater gain was a new career of my own. This time, no project teams, no bosses, no deadlines, just me and how I work so that the bills are cleared, on time.

While the big changes are overwhelming, it's the little things that I gained the most satisfaction from. My mind strays to a line from Puccini's Madam Butterfly, "Ah, love me a little, Oh just a very little, As you would love a baby...Accustom'd to little; Grateful for love that's silent..."

How often are the little things forgotten - little notes, little whimpers, little toy in my bottomless sack, little conversations in bed - little things that I've taken for granted. So here am I, in awe of my little home, the little things around, and revising and sharing the little lessons I've learnt from my little ones...

Keep Calm...

Hubby was vexing over some issues last night, I knew, cos I saw him staring blanking into an excel sheet. He was focusing intently on it, with a deep winkle between his brows and I knew I should leave him alone. As much as understanding a problem is important, sometimes, it's better to leave it aside for awhile a do something else. Cos, dwelling in a problem doesn't makes it go away, it helps to give the mind a break and perhaps a better solution may come to mind later, or sooner, who knows? Taking your focus away from the problem and invest the much needed energy on finding a solution is a much better way to deal with difficulties, don't you think? :)

It's Okay to make mistakes
It's a drag working with a perfectionist, least to live with one. So, you can imagine my kids having to live with me - yup, not exactly the nicest mom on planet earth. Some time, a few months back when Shanice and I were working on an ice-cream stick treasure chest together, I chopped off the wrong length and we had to redo the sides, she quietly wrote these on the length of coloured sticks...
Shanice's message to me. Some time last year.

She must have learnt it from Doc McStuffins! O, I love Disney! It's so true, sometimes, it really does help to go easy with ourselves and more so with the kids. Of course, we re-did the treasure chest, and we will work on the spelling - eventually. I didn't want to spoil the moment for us.

And, if you do make a mistake, 
it helps to apologise, promptly.
If it's tough to say it, then write a little note. As shown in the picture above, good words and compliments always helps :)

Make your thoughts known

Life is complicated enough, so keep it simple with your loved ones by making your thoughts known. Although, telepathy is a very romantic notion, we need to recognise that even tele-signals fails sometimes, and nobody has formal training to read another's heart, least to comprehend it. Making your thoughts known also help others to love you in the way that you want them to, and that would make you a happier person. 

Don't judge a box by it's cover
Sometimes, it really helps to not open a paradora box over little things. Sometimes, little things looks bigger than they are - more often, way out of proportion when we are overwhelmed with anger. However a situation looks, it helps when we just take a step back, cool off the heat and look deeper before judging or jumping into conclusions.

Two is better than one 

Invest in relationships. Because no one's an island, we all need company, encouragement, comfort and love. Sometimes, it's the most precious relationships that we neglect. We spend time and effort to nurture relationships with business associates, stick to our Ps and Qs with our bosses and clients, because we are fully aware of our dependency on such relations. Perhaps having spent more time at home in November last year, made me realised my greater dependency on the relationships I often take for granted. This being said, I should really be working out my weekday schedule to allow more time at home in the evening. Currently, my classes starts from 4 on most weekdays, the plan is to allow a no-work weekday every week which will give me more time to catch up with the people that matters most, and with the little things at home that matters much :)

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Still.

Up and down, my heart on my sleeves
Flickering and dimming, i hug myself to sleep

Broken and tattered, my pair of paper wings
Swaying and dying away in the errant wind

No sense, no senses, no more, no nonsense
No scrap, no scape, no place, no escape

No want, no wanting, no heart, no hurting
No tears, no longing, no fear, no more

Still.
Yet screaming.

Will.
Yet wailing.

Stop.
Please stop.

The pain, consuming. My core, aflame.
Hush now. Contain it,  and burn, and die, and cry....

No more.

Still.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Kids' Art Exhibition

I was about to start this post with a new year greeting when it hit me that we are already 2 weeks into the the new year! Whoa, where did all the time go?! And I thought (then, with much anxiety) that January would be a restful month after an eventful, albeit hectic December. Nevertheless, here's wishing everyone a blessed 2014 and I hope it has been a good start for all.

As for me, I am thankful for a splendid start to the new year - face painting gigs, tuition assignments and, to top it off, a lovely exhibition, showcasing my students' work in a childcare center I worked with. Just thinking of the excited little faces and our little 'gallery', makes me swoon with pride. Yes, I have very talented students! You will see...

Empowering "Cans"
The children's work were set up for silent auction and the donations garnered from this little exhibition will go on to help less fortunate children supported y MWS (Methodist Welfare Service). 
These little soup cans provided by the parents (thank you!), were clothed with bright colours and given a new life by the little ones. They formed the center piece of the exhibition, as evidences of little yet powerful hands, that can go on to empower more “cans.” 

Cans displayed on stands
The children were introduced to Andy Warhol and the concept of printing. 

Image taken from TheArtJunkie.wordpress.com. Campbell's Soup Can. Andy Warhol. 1965.
They were given instructions and guidance to make their own limited edition soup cans by printing on coloured paper. Nursery children did fruits and vegetable printing while the Kindergarten children did potato carving and printing. 

Image taken from DesignBoom.com. Andy Warhol limited edition Campbell's soup can labels
Bigger picture of the setup
Action Painting
By Pre-Nursery children
Art at its purest beginning - It’s a messy messy colourful palette of expressions by Pre-Nursery children. There was no agenda, no greater motive than to have fun with paints and colours, the Pollock style! I introduced the little ones to Pollock’s Composition 1A and gave them only 1 instruction – to fill up the huge paper on the floor with colours and fun!

Circle, Circles Everywhere
Inter-class project by Nursery children
I got the children to collect and bring to school, the circles they see around them. And here’s what we made together with circles everywhere! 

The Children were introduced to Kandinsky’s Colour Study - Squares and Concentric Circles and given instructions and guidance to create a composition using the circles they bought to school. 
Image taken from Art.com. COLOUR STUDY – SQUARES AND CONCENTRIC CIRCLES. Wassily Kandinsky
smaller scale version done by 2 classes of Nursery children

Apart from COLOUR STUDY – SQUARES AND CONCENTRIC CIRCLES, the Children also were introduced to Kandinsky’s Several Circles. Similarly, they were given instructions and guidance to create a composition using the circles they bought to school. 
Image taken from Guggenheim.org. Several Circles. Wassily Kandinsky

Ta-dahhh! Here's the final work done by Nursery children.
Teacup Pup
Paper craft cups and pups by Kindergarten children
We took 2 parts of Karen Davies’ Teacup Pup and made teacups for ourselves. 

 TEACUP PUP

I'm just a sad little pup
who got myself stuck in this cup.
I was thirsty and wanted some tea
but I drank too much and fell in you see.

My owner says I'm her favorite pet
but, now she'll have to take me to the vet.
She'll be real mad when she finds out
all the money she'll spend, no more favorite without a doubt.

A closer look at the cups. Ain't they beautiful?
Multi-colour version done with coloured paper squares.
Twinkle, Tinkle Starry Night
Mix-media painting on canvas, by children from the graduating classes
The graduating classes learned about Van Gogh and his Starry Night. Van Gogh spent 1 year in St Remy (an asylum), where he produced 150 paintings. The Starry Night was the view from St Remy’s window.   Though it wasn't a cheery story, the children however, had lots of fun putting their own Twinkle, Twinkle Starry Night together with tissue, colour squares, glue and lots of paints!

These pretty much sums up my work for last December - the most eventful month the year 2013. Looking back at the many ups and downs, contours and detours in the past year, I am beyond grateful to have ended it on a good note, and even more so, to have ushered in the new year with new hope, and lotsa paints! :)

Related post:
http://www.chubbyanecdotes.net/2013/11/making-sense-of-cubism-art-appreciation.html

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