Sunday, December 11, 2016

Term 4 in a Nutshell

This term has seen us doing a broad range of activities as we wrap up our planned school work for 2016.

A large part of Arden's activities have involved looking at fibres, how they're made and making a piece of clothing.  We've done work with wool and cotton this  year.  Spinning our own wool using a drop spindle, and using the wool to know with.  Arden is currently knitting Christmas decorations.  He's also done some weaving this year, and has spent much of the year, sewing pyjamas by hand.

Our spun wool drying.

Jammy top in progress. (I just need to finish the buttonholes for him now!)

One of our other themes, has been looking at buildings and structures.  Damien and Irving and I all head out to visit the Old Mill, and take a look around the building, as well as see how they used to mill grain there.  We had been to the Old Mill before (when we first moved to Perth) however at that time Damien was so busy with work that he was unable to come with us.

Grind stone at the Old Mill

Appreciating the Swan River from the South side

We also visited Woodbridge House in recent weeks, a beautiful old mansion, and we were quite sad to see how few are left in Perth and how under appreciated that they are.  Sadly Woodbridge House's lattice work and paint were in poor repair, and given how many beautiful homes of this style, Damien and I grew up surrounded by and visiting, being from Adelaide, we were sad to see that this house, being unique in its style in WA, was not being appreciated for its story by enough people.

Stopping for coffee at Woodbridge House.

Arden and I have also being doing some work with a dip pen, in the aim of supporting him creating beautiful print and cursive.  I found with Gabriel that the friction of the dip pen was useful for slowing his writing, and enabling it to come out clearer and crisper.  I thought that this might also be helpful for Arden, and it certainly worked!  I am thinking that we might focus on using a dip pen most of next year, and also do some drawings with it.

Dip pen writing

Dip pen sketches by Arden

Dip pen sketches by me (left and right handed- I've been learning to write right handed whilst helping Arden with his writing.)

Willow has spent a bit of time filming the youtube series, "Focus" that she will be in, this term, as well as doing a lot of music preparation for her audition at WAAPA last week.  She's also taken a bit of interest in making make-up and has made her own lip gloss recently.  She's been continuing with learning to use the sewing machine, and recently made her own bra.

Willow's sewing.

Whilst Willow was busy with filming and hanging out with Damien, Gabriel, Arden and Irving and I, headed out to Perth heritage days festival, and toured some of the historic buildings around the city.

Government House (the Gardens were beautiful!)

The old Palace Hotel

And Gabriel and Arden took a ride on an old fire truck!

Gabriel has been doing a lot of studying of WW1, and this past week he and Willow went to the Spirit of Australia ANZAC exhibition.  He has also spent quite a bit of this last semester studying transport, and it's evolution.  We picked up a model 4cylinder motor to construct recently and are in the early stages of construction.

Working on the engine model.

Attaching the cylinders to the crankshaft

Gabriel also had an opportunity to do a metal smithing class, which he was very please about!  He's been asking me where he could do jewellery making for a while, and we felt lucky to finally find somewhere.

Gabriel's metal work

I've been doing a lot of sewing recently, and it seems that in recent years I've discovered my passions; rock and roll/rockabilly dancing and sewing!  I've been loving sewing since I've made friends with my machine ( we were a bit at war to start with...)

Jammy shorts for myself.
Irving in his new jammies.
A cushion cover

Pockets for pants!
The pants the pockets belong to!

Irving getting fast and splashy on his balance bike.

A new space craft for Benny!

Australian Ringneck eating flowers in Midland.

And finally another cow in Perth's cow parade.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Term 4 Madness

Somehow I've managed not to post anything about what we've been doing this last term, though I do partly know why.  For some reason google is not logging Gabriel out of his blogger account, and so I am unable to log in.  Though last week DH suggested I use a private window and so here I am.

Our final term has been filled with all sorts of interesting outings and experiences, and this week (where Arden is on holidays, and Willow and Gabriel are finishing up) has been a little more relaxing and busy all in one.  Arden turned 9 on Monday, and we headed out to Petition for breakfast to celebrate.  Damien headed off to work, and we went to Elizabeth Quay for a walk, where we found a rainbow cow.

Gabriel, Irving, Arden and Willow with the Perth Cow!

Perth has been doing its own cow art exhibition this past 6 weeks or so, and we've been trying to get out and see most of them.  Irving has been loving it; and we were lucky enough to come across a public art painting of one,which Arden, Irving and I participated in.

The King St cow.

The rest of the week has been busy with me writing homeschool reports for our review and sewing and ballet.  Our homeschool review was this morning and is over and done for another year, and likely next week I'll sit down to plan year 10 with Gabriel and year 4 for Arden.  At this stage we're still waiting to hear if Willow will be offered a place at WAAPA; she did her test and audition last week, and she is currently semi-impatiently waiting to find out!

I spent yesterday afternoon sewing myself a skirt to wear to the ballet (just finished in time) and unfortunately hadn't gotten to photograph it before Arden accidentally dripped oil on me whilst at Jamie's on the way home from the ballet.

This year's Christmas ballet was The Nutcracker, and it was quite beautiful all round.  We all enjoyed it, and they did a good job trying to cultivate the feel of a European Christmas.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Science, Arts, Craft

Arden and I have still been working on a Bible block, looking at Hebrew and learning about seasonality.  We've been doing a bit of art and craft and science.  We started reading about the tower of Babel, followed by Moses, and next week we will read about Noah.  We've been looking at the Hebrew alphabet, and had a connective learning moment, last week, when we came across some written Hebrew on a sculpture in the Supreme Court Gardens in remembrance of all the Jews that suffered during WWII.  Since we've been learning about Moses, we've also been looking at different sorts of rafts, and this has combines nicely with some of the physics that Gabriel was doing earlier in the  year on steam engines.

Arden's painting of the tower of Babel.

My painting of the tower of Babel.

Making our steam boats, using a cigar tube.  Gabriel's model.

Arden and Gabriel's boats in action.  They moved slowly and steadily, and required some patience on our part waiting for the boats to get moving.

Basic boat design, flat piece of wood, with soap inserted in the back v-shape.  The soap causes changes the surface tension of the water to change, and sails the boat along.  This version sailed better than our steam boats!

Working on toothpick framed, wax covered boats.

Out to the Old Supreme Courthouse.  Fascinating day out looking at the history of the Aboriginal Rule of Land, and the later rule of modern Australians. 

I have just finished reading "The Test of Courage", and was planning on Gabriel reading it for English, but after reading it, decided it was probably more suitable in a couple of years time.  (Instead I'm encouraging Willow to read it).  Gabriel has just finished reading "The Great Escape"  instead.

Arden and I have been doing paper basket weaving.  Mine is now finished, we should be completing Arden's tomorrow.

We decided it was best for me to work out the cross weave before doing it together, so that I'd have a better idea of how it works, in case Arden needs help.

Finished, with a coating of beeswax.

Willow has been working on making her first home made bra.  (This was her practice run.)

I received some vintage seersucker in the post recently, and started off with a skirt out of this fabric.  I made it from a vintage '80s pattern, so it has an elasticised waist (which I'm not keen on), so needs to be worn with a belt, and with the way it sits, it looks better with a petticoat.

Willow has been experimenting with hairstyles.

Found this on our hard-waste trek around East Perth.  Was missing some mirror on the side, so I sawed off the extra bits of wood and sanded it back, moved a few clips to hold the remaining mirror, and now it's back in use!  Has moved into Arden's room.

Arden doing some woodwork, working on waterwheels and boats.

Arden working on sewing his pyjamas.

Irving playing with his paper butterfly.

Willow has sold a few more copies of her first book, the short story Ruby.  She still has it reduced for anyone who might like to read it at a reduced price.

Time Flying

Somehow  with all the things that have been happening recently, I've totally managed to neglect blogging.  Out holidays flew by, and saw us doing lots of different activities and catching up with friends, as well as lodging Willow's application for WAAPA, and me being a bit unwell;totally lost my voice for a bit.

In the lead up to our holidays,  Irving, Damien and I managed to have a little adventure in the lift at Perth Train Station.  The lift went down, and the doors did not open.  For a few months Irving, had been wondering about the telephone button in the lift.  He now knows what it does, and every time we go past the lift, he comments, "I don't like stuck in lift".

Waiting to be freed from the lift.

Arden making sandwiches for dinner, with Damien's help.

We headed out to see ballet WA, just before the break; Damien took everyone bar Irving to see Radio and Juliet, and I took everyone (again bar Irving) to see Romeo and Juliet.  Radio and Juliet received mixed reviews (Damien loved it) whilst everyone loved Romeo and Juliet.  Willow in particular said that she's a fan of classical ballet.  Whilst everyone was out seeing Radio, Irving and I made chocolate coated pretzels, to have with icecream and peanut butter; was delicious!  I'm never eating shop choc coated pretzels again, they're much nicer freshly made and crispy!

Gabriel and I came across this cute little cafe on the way home from basketball, just before break time.  We loved their sign, and that they offer polite conversation (we both had one).

We headed to the Royal Perth show, for the second time.  We spent the first part of the day, wandering through the animals, machinery and looking at the crafts.  The second part of the day, we bought show bags, went on the rides, and watched the fireworks.  (After all the yelling I did near the sideshow, with my cold, I lost my voice.

We loved this vintage motor bike.


We pulled out everyone's bikes to fix them up, and discovered that our selection of tyres was very unhelpful.  Need to visit the bike shop!  Hasn't happened yet.  :/  Though Irving has totally gotten into riding his balance bike.

Arden and Irving and myself, stopping for a swing.