Welcome to the Workshop

Welcome to the Workshop

Friday, June 29, 2012

Random Shots Of Happy

Hello there. It's been a while. The last few weeks have been a little crazy. A combination of dance concerts and birthday parties and hot weather and fatigue. School finished yesterday and we begin our journey through 10 weeks of school holidays. I'm trying to embrace the concept of such a long break, we'll see how that goes.
There will be some changes to the blog eventually, nothing too major but I'm aiming for a bit more structure. I have some exciting collaborations on the boil, ever the one to have my finger in too many pies, and they will eventually come to fruition in their own way. Meanwhile, I'm working on some Xmas in July stock for my Etsy store and getting a real workspace setup so I don't have to keep putting the sewing machine away. Fingers crossed that it won't be too hot over the summer, need to work and we need to get out and enjoy the break.  We have new bicycles which we're slowing learning how to ride and some family are coming to stay with us next week. Yay!
For now, I've compiled a few photos from the last week or so which have made me smile...

I love this Family Tree they've created at school. Each child's name is on it.

Great window display at the bookshop. All made of paper.

Obligatory ice cream at the dvd library.
Carved out a corner for some Ikea desks. Drawers and shelves to come.

A journal for girls and their 'moms'. We are going to play with this through the summer.

I bought these gorgeous Rob Ryan plates but don't have the heart to take them out of the box and use them. Things seem to get chipped in this house. Maybe I'll hang them on the wall.

Quite happy with the way my snowmen are coming along.

Took this Grade 1 'graduate' out for pizza last night to celebrate.

And now she's driving me nuts on the crappy keyboard I bought her to play with. Keeps trying to figure out the "Here comes the bride" song, lucky me.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Finally Finished

This kid has been in Grade 1 for 18 months. Six months in Australia and a year in Canada.
She adores her Canadian teacher and is sad that she may not have her again next year. 
She's the type of teacher who focuses on scholastics but also takes time to ensure kids are working on their weaknesses. Poppet has been forced to confront tormentors (in the guise of 7 year old girls) from time to time and her teacher has gently encouraged her to stand up for herself, to articulate her feelings. We have a long way to go but my child is finally able to take things people say with a grain of salt, most of the time, and to tell them when it's not ok. We have a very feisty and quite often bossy group of ladies in that class so Poppet has had no option but to toughen up. Not a bad thing at all. But her teacher is also there with the cuddles and the support if it's needed. She strikes a great balance.
Meanwhile, my daughter is using terms like 'inference' and already starting on fractions and developing her passion for reading and writing. She has never once asked to stay home from school, regardless of what's been going on in the yard. I think that is a great testament to her teacher.
It's that time of year when everyone is rushing around buying/making gifts for their teachers and Poppet decided to write a poem. We put it together on a poster and framed it for her classroom. I think she'll love it...

The poem reads as follows...

To Mrs Nitsis,
Extra love for you!
A teacher that is nice!
Care for your students!
Help children learn!
Every one likes you!
Room 213.

After this Thursday I will have a child at home for almost 10 weeks. It will be a long haul, but we have some visitors and a couple of camps, and possibly a holiday to break it up. When it's hot, the splashpads at the playgrounds will be open to frolick in, and when it's not we will go for lazy cycles through the park on our new bikes (more on that later). I'm hoping I'll actually manage to enjoy the holidays, embrace them. It's not really one of my strong suits but I'll give it a good shot!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Something New

It's been a lot of fun coming up with the new designs for my Birthday giveaway. Having some external input is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. And it's helped me to come up with lots of new ideas (stay tuned for some new Xmas product soon).
Foxy Lady and Geisha Girl are finally finished and will be winging their way to their new owners in the morning.
Foxy Lady was finished first, so she waited patiently for Geisha Girl to arrive...

Here they are, enjoying a quiet moment in the sunshine before being packed away.

I'm really happy with them. What do you think?

The Brat Pack

We love our local cinema. Not only do they pick up movies once they've finished their cineplex runs, they also show lots of other great films from back in the day.
Last night, a friend and I giggled our way through "The Breakfast Club".  "Dirty Dancing" was screened just before it, but we opted for dinner in a real restaurant, sans enfants instead. "The Breakfast Club" was probably my favourite film as a teenager, followed closely by "Say Anything" and "Valley Girl" (thanks sis) and "Stand By Me".
My high school friends and I could quote the entire film and did so regularly. Our favourite character to quote was the principal Dick Vernon.

"Don't mess with the bull young man, you'll get the horns".

The evening was spent discussing the merits of John Cusack vs Andrew McArthy, and trying to remember which Rob Lowe films we liked best.
Even though we grew up on opposite sides of the planet, we have so many shared experiences. Teenage angst is the same all over, which is exactly why "The Breakfast Club" is still such a great movie. Wonder what teens would think about it now.
My sister told me that she showed her kid (I guess she would be considered a 'tween' now, hate that term)  "16 Candles" the other day, expecting her to be shocked by it's content. When it got to the scene when the boys had Molly Ringwald's knickers in the bathroom, her daughter asked if they could turn it off. It was boring.

Guess we're getting old?

What's your favourite 80s flick? Who's face did you have pinned all over your walls? Did you love the "Brat Pack"?
Did you want to be Molly?

image via here

Or Ally?

image via here

Or Demi?

image via here

I was definitely an Ally. And it was always John for me....

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Arty Splurge

We have an absolute favourite store in Toronto. It's called Magic Pony.
Whilst you can certainly buy your Moomin toys and Totoro pencil cases, what we really love to drool over is the art. Our favourite artists at the moment are part of a collaborative group who call themselves Team Macho. We fell in love with their name, have bought the book and have been coveting their art for months now. We are certainly not in the market for original works at this point in our life, but on a whim today we decided to grab a few of the limited edition prints before they disappeared.
It was a tough choice, and we will probably have to go back for more later. But today we purchased "Fizzle Kitten"

image via here

and "Tiger Silkscreen".

image via here

Yay for art! We have bare white walls, it will be nice to put something on them which makes us smile. Luckily the framer down the road is having a sale at the moment...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fun At The Fun Fair

The end of the school year is cause for great celebration in our house.
It marks the survival of said year (with all the trials and tribulations young girls and their friendships are frought with) and means that Poppet will finally complete Grade 1. She's been doing it for 18 months!
We have loved being part of such a strong community, and are keeping all fingers and toes crossed that we will continue to do so. I now have some amazing new women in my life and rarely walk down the street for milk without stopping half a dozen times to say 'hello' to someone.
My Dad used to go for a 'quick' trip to the shops and it was always hours before his return. In part, it was his search for the perfect grey sock (which he finally found a few months before he died) but I'm guess he was mostly shooting the breeze with the many people he knew. He was a teacher after all. At least my husband can track me down with my cell phone if I get  too lost in conversation. 
Last night the school hosted a Fun Fair. There were five bouncy castles (I believe a local parent owns the company, handy) and cotton candy (yep, fairy floss), face painting and a huge bake sale. I contributed choc chip cookies which were pure evil, couldn't wait to get THEM out of the house, and some banana bread.
It was a lovely evening chatting to parents whilst the kids ran amok. 

And would you believe there is a street festival in Roncy today (music and art etc) and tomorrow is Father's Day in North America, AND there is a kids' festival at our local park. Yeesh! Better go re-charge the camera. Have postponed bicycle shopping until next weekend, no time to ride them!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Design Time

Yay for working on something new. I'm so glad I asked the blog winners to help me come up with these new designs. It's a lot of fun for me and a little creative output from outside the vacuum is always a good thing.
Interestingly, both their ideas were something I had a while back and had shelved. Great minds!
So, here are the first sketches of Little Fox and Geisha Girl. I always start with some graph paper and a basic template then turn the sketch into a 3D design. 

Then I choose some fabrics (which takes me an age, don't seem to be able to speed up that part of the process) and get to cutting. 

You can just see my lovely Rob Ryan vase in the background, I'm a huge fan of his paper cutting and am slowly amassing his ceramic work. Sigh.
And here are the little characters so far. I'm pretty happy with them at this stage. 

I'll work on the stitching tomorrow.  Waddya reckon so far?


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