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.