Friday, February 25, 2011

Decorated the plastic bag into a present wrapper

little shiranne helping out by removing the paper from the foam sticker

Present is a big Minnie Mouse soft toy.
Plastic bag was used to contain the soft toy when we first purchase it.
I've used tape to bundle the top first then used a recycled red ribbon to tie a bow.
The polka dots are made from foam stickers which I have many left from my previous crafts. Foam Stickers are from Popular Bookstore.

I find this way of wrapping is so much easier than using paper wrappers. I don't have to worry about tears, whether during the process of wrapping or transporting! Also, it's rather environmentally friendly as I don't buy paper wrappers and I've made use of the big plastic bag. HOWEVER, foam stickers are not environmentally friendly which I've just realised after searching google and reading this article! I guess i'll just finished up whatever foam stickers I have and never never to buy them anymore. In the article, foam stickers are just like styrofoam cups, they do not break down and only land up in landfills...

Looks like I'll think of alternative ways to decorate a plastic bag as a wrapper the next a more environmentally way. Anyone has done so?

Snippets of the Day

 Made a simple hat by rolling a big piece of mailer and stapling top and bottom to secure. Shiranne had fun doing a little decoration on her hat : stickers, picture chops, colouring etc. After that she had fun wearing it around the house.

Shiranne is getting better with her imaginaton too. She imagined her hat to be a magician's hat and pretended to take out a bear (lying on the floor behind her) and she'll will go 'da da' with both her hands wide open! She also playfully put her two legs in the hat and managed to wobble a few steps before asking for help to get out! haha!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I don't have to nag at kaylene to play the piano!

This post is an update of Kaylene's progress on her learning to play the piano. From my last post here, I wasn't sure how long it will take her before she can play a nice piece of song. Lessons at the beginning were some basic notes recognition, playing and counting. There weren't much interesting or familiar tunes to play and Kaylene was progressing slowly.

The real enthusiasm came when she finally learnt to play 'Mary had a Little Lamb'(one hand version)! She was so happy that she played the piece for at least 2 weeks until she can played it without the book! I kept persuading her to learn new songs but she preferred to hang on to this piece. For me, as her mum cum teacher, I've decided not to pressure her in learning a new song, preferred to let her learn at her own pace since I'm always available for her if she's in the mood. Kinda different when I had students because I only get to see them once a week.

I guess after gaining some confidence and enjoyment from playing a song she is familiar with, she progressed very fast after that. She learnt other songs and practiced some of her favourites till she don't need the book. Recently, she seemed crazy about piano playing. In a day, she will ask to play the piano 2 or 3 times in a day. I don't even have to nag at her! I was often nagged by my mum when I was learning to play the piano!

Below are some of the videos I took. They were mainly taken to spur her on as she has a competitive nature and rather showy. If I tell her to practice till 'perfecto' so that I can video and show daddy, she will usually be very motivated to practice more.

On 4th October 2010. Her C-note playing and counting on semibreves.

On 16th January 2011, her attempt on a piece using both hands for the first time.

On 2nd February 2011, using both her hands to play Mary had a Little Lamb

On 18th February, playing Old MacDonald had a Farm.
I video-ed this playing down because she refused to admit she did not count properly. Kept saying she did not count too fast, despite I was tapping and counting out loud the beats to her! It was only after I played the video to her then she can really listened and realised that her playing was a little off beat!

Shiranne 'training' Kaylene to concentrate on her Yankee Doodle piece with her distractions. Haha!

Kaylene is currently stuck with this piece as she couldn't play well for a couple of bars. She said she is giving up on this piece! For my style, I wouldn't really let her give up. What I did was to let her play other pieces in another book. I will go back to this piece again once I think she's in the mood for challenge again! Training my little one not to give up easily!

Something else : I intend to let her do her practical exam when she's ready. Since the exam has a aural test segment, I decided to test her singing pitch while we were goofing in the bedroom. And my gosh, she sang DO RE MI FA SO LAH TI DOH almost flat,  pitchless!

 so....i suggested that she sings DO RE MI and imagine she had to sing a tone higher with each step her fingers takes to walk up a imaginery stair. It seemed to help!

I did mention earlier that Kaylene is crazy about piano playing. She's also crazy about the stickers she get  if she played well. My stickers are actually just simple stars and some heart shapes but this undemanding girl will get over the moon with these simple stickers!

The sweetest thing that Kaylene will do sometimes is that when I praised her for playing a piece well (I don't praise indiscriminately), she will feel so happy that she wants to give me a hug! Ah...this is something that I had never had from my students in the past. It was heartwarming and really gave me a sense of achievement to be able to teach my own children a skill that I possess!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

precious photos to remember our loved ones

My papa had passed away for a week already. A heart attack had took his life away from him and also from us. It was sudden and we didn't get to hear his last breath and he didn't get to see us for the last time. We are all still grieving for the sudden lost. My sis and I have kids to keep our minds occupied but I think my mum, amidst all the things that have to be settled, will need much more time before she will grieve less.

We did not really have a very close father-daughter relationship. But at least since I got married and have kids, I began to realise he was a jovial grandpa to his grand kids and during family gatherings, he was there playing and having lotsa fun with the kiddos.

My girls knew of Ah Gong's passing and they seemed to understand death. Kaylene was asking why Ah Gong looked different when I brought her to see him for the last time in his casket. Told her Ah Gong did not have a healthy heart and the heart couldn't work anymore so Ah Gong died. He had make-up to look nice and is lying in the coffin for us to see him the last time. I also mentioned our fishes couldn't swim anymore when they died too.

As for Shiranne, I just told her Ah Gong had died and she seemed to able to repeat the word 'died' when people ask her where is Ah Gong. I guessed she might also understood death, since she witnessed our fishes died, not swimming anymore and had to be taken away. I did not replace the fishes so I think it was a good way to let the young ones understand death better.

There are regrets here and there but for this moment, I really wished I had more photos of him taken with the family. As I tried to show my girls more of Ah Gong from the photos we had taken on occasions together, there were actually about five or six that I can show them. Would like to put them here in remembrance of him, and as another backup, in case the physical photos degenerate or the softcopies somehow disappear..

 precious photos, precious memories..

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

the wall decals craze in our house (part 2 ?)

We were trying to create the effect that our air-con is blowing the pinky petals in one direction, scattering the petals towards the TV.

For the kiddies' play room.

Recently saw more designs of wall decals selling at Gmarket and got tempted to buy more. But first, I've got to locate a good spot in my house suitable for more wall decals! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

some little CNY crafts decoration for the year of rabbit

 兔年快乐 !!
our own origami rabbits 
  年年有余 !

The two girls helping out with the fish making this morning. The small one cut the tape, the big one paste and do the fish cutting. Distribution of work to keep all occupied with the craft! Kaylene still got agitated with Shiranne when she couldn't cut the tape properly..I'm still working on her quick temper.

Explained to her the reason for folding the fishes during Chinese New Year and thought her how to say 年年有余 Nian Nian you yu. Nian Nian You Yu is a greeting Word for chinese new year~~ Meaning having abundance or surpluses every year. "Yu" is also the sound for "fish" (鱼). Kaylene doesn't understand abundance or surpluses so I told her it means to have a lot of something eg food or money. 
Anyway so much craft for now, looking forward to our reunion dinner tonight!