Thursday, 30 May 2013

Playdate Etiquette Update

I've had an update from the Twin Playdate Conundrum mum.

Her plan is this::

when one twin is invited on a playdate, the twin left behind has someone over to play with as well.



Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Playdate Ettiquette for Twins!

Gouache on Paper

Our most recent Twin Conundrum:: The Playdate Minefield
Oh, the emotional pain, the potentially traumatic situation of the playdate invitation, the one where one twin is invited but the other isn't.
It has just happened to one of the twin families at school. The mother of twin 8 year old boys was talking about it at after-school soccer practice as she had experienced it for the first time yesterday. She said that she didn't handle it well initially; she had started with anger - "how mean to invite one and not the other".  She then moved to sadness - "I had a cry". And then she asked us what we thought. 
I gently suggested that maybe here was a perfect opportunity to develop her twins' individuality, that the family treat this playdate situation as if the children were of separate ages, in which case they most certainly would have different friends and therefore different playdates. I also suggested that this was also a good opportunity to do something special with the uninvited twin while the playdate was underway, an activity that was just for him and not his brother.
One of the other mummies piped up: "But what about the invited twin? Wouldn't he feel as if he were missing out on his mother's attention, then?"
I don't think so - there will be other times when the roles are swapped and then it will be his turn to have his mother's attention. And if there are other siblings to be considered as well, there are other options for that, too.
Twin mummy looked at me rather strangely, and then she remembered that I have twins too.
Now, I haven't yet encountered this situation, but it is definitely on its way, and I have already thought about how we might approach it with my twin girls.
We are currently experiencing the joys of sorting out who likes which after-school activity; yes, it would be great if both twins liked the same dance class, but with one liking the traditional approach and the other preferring a more, er, holistic style, there is no way we can get around their need to attend different classes at different times. Or two concerts to prepare for at the end of the year. Joy.
I know, I know, it seems a no brainer, but when the twins and I are used to them doing everything together, suddenly having to do something separately is a bit of an event and needs to be managed as sensitively as we can.
Playdate etiquette for twins. Look, it isn't a happy situation, nor is it likely to pass without someone's feelings being hurt, but at least that hurt can be reduced with careful management. Every child is different. Even twins. Of course!
Do you have any other ideas for managing twin playdate situations? I'd love to know.
Or any other interesting info about playdates you would like to share?
Take care!
Sam xx

Monday, 27 May 2013

Handy parenting hint

One of the best bits of parental advice I have been given by a friend is this:
If your child is having a case of the attitudes, if they shout or speak to you in a rude manner, if they forget to say please, or thank you....
to help them think about their manner and give them time to take a breath and regroup,
say, "I think you should try that again."
This has been brilliant for me with my sometimes moody brood! It helps to diffuse overwhelming emotions - on both sides! Of course, there are times when a little person's emotions are completely out of control and in need of a different strategy, but 4 times out of 5, this works a treat.
So, thanks, Deb! Mwah!!
Do you have a favourite handy parenting hint to offer?
What helps to calm your little people down?
On another note, we had another 'magic day' yesterday - the weather was glorious, and we took the opportunity to head east to Cheyne's Bay/Beach, hence the photo at the top. Beautiful day!
Hoping you all had a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Painting Groove

Little Beach II
12.5cm x 12.5cm
oil on paper

I've been doing a bit of painting of late - the seascape, oil painting kind of painting - and, consequently, I have been having a lot of fun!
It has been some time since I did so much painting; 10 years ago I had an exhibition in a well known Perth art gallery and sold really well. But since then, marriage, full time teaching and children have used up all my brain space and energy so nothing was left for painting.

Until now.

Not quite finished yet, but it's a painting of Green Pool near Denmark.
Miss M is at school full time, the twins are at Kindy for half the school week, and this means there is some time, not much, but some that has become mine again. And I have also found that moving to such a beautiful part of the world has also helped. Of course it has - being surrounded by so many awesome beaches and landscapes have made me itch to paint again.
My first painting was not good. At all! Not surprising given that it has been at least two years since I last got the paints out. But the last four little paintings have been much freer, happier. Maybe because I am happier?
Some of my photo gathering field trips have been conducted alone, some with a companion, and most with my family. And all of those trips have refreshed my soul with beauty and joy. Maybe that's why these little paintings have come together for me so readily.

And Yes, I paint from photographs - mine! For me, there is no artistic integrity in working from someone else's photographs. I need to have experienced the landscape, to have taken my own shots, to paint from my photos in order for my paintings to have authenticity. It works best for me that way.

And there is more painting to come! I have once again found my painting groove, probably more than ever before, and I'm not ready to give it back just yet. I paint when the kids are at school, and I knit (or crochet) at night. And my house is messy.

Life is good.



Sunday, 19 May 2013

Great Day

The perfect morning view,
a family beach adventure,
and Knitting Club.
(or Crochet Club, or Bubbly Club, or Wine Club as some have suggested it should be called!)

A great day!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Hexagon Happy

My hexagons are finally out of hibernation. Hooray!
I started following Attic 24 Lucy's pattern (in solid colours) last year as an attempt to use up all my yarny leftovers, but I have, of course, found I've had to buy more wool along the way. How strange! Some of the original yarn labels have run away, some of the yarns were easy to match, some are substitutions, and some are newly introduced to spice things up!
I've recently become a bit (!) obsessed with instagram (@wildplumhill) which brought me one day to discover the crochet blankets made by @babylovebrand which can be found here. These are supremely sublime blankets and, joy oh joy, she also sells her patterns - I'm considering using her squaring off and edging pattern from her gorgeous Geometric Lace blanket for my hexagon hooky. Hmmm. Thinking, thinking......
And one thing is for sure - it's been rather lovely having all this colour surrounding me after my gorgeous greys!
Sharing with other Creative Spaces here.
Sam xx
Edit:: I tried to link to the current My Creative Space but it doesn't seem to be working for me right now. I'll try again later! Sorry about that!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Typical! I put my apron on to try and sneak in some more painting, and the twins decide that now is the time for some painting of their own!
And then they produce beautiful watercolour wet-on-wet pieces like these and I really can't complain any longer. 

Except I'm glad I took a photo - the paintings don't look like these anymore! Boo hoo!!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Line Break Shawl Ta-dah #2

My second Line Break is now finished. Which is great, because the colder weather has arrived with a blustery blast and I get to wear my new little scarf as much as I like! Yay!!

pattern::   Line Break Shawl by Veera Välimäki
yarn::       Madelinetosh Merino Light
colour::    Charcoal (not quite as dark as the photo suggests)
needles::  4mm
yardage:: 1.6 skeins = 672 yards / 614 metres

It's so warm and cosy. Lovely! Details ravelled here.

So. What's next?


Happy Mothers Day for tomorrow!


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Line Break Shawl Finished...

....and blocking!
This time I decided to dispense with the dental floss which I used last time to assist with achieving sweeping curves along the eyelet edge. I've decided that this shawl is for me, that I'll wear it as a scarf, and that having perfect eyelets is not as necessary.
And now the shawl is off the needles, I am having some trouble deciding what to do next.....
....although I can pretty much confirm that there will be some hexagon happenings in the next little while! That pile of colour I purchased last week in Perth is calling my name.....
Sam xx

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Work Space

My beloved G gave me a very welcome surprise when I arrived home on Friday to find my new-to-me bookshelf had been painted - all ready for my workroom!

And here it is all set up! Hooray!
It's great to have an inspiring backdrop to work with. Brushes and paint equipment is within easy reach, and I like to place exhibition invitations within sight. You can see, too, that I have propped up one of my 'I-think-I've-finished-but-I'm-not-quite-sure" paintings so I can peep at it from time to time before it heads off to the framers.
The top shelf I'm saving for little arty bits and pieces that come my way. They often accompany the girls home from school - there seems to be an amazing number of box constructions that make their way home!
Unfortunately I have had to sacrifice some of my work table space so G has the room to set up his desktop PC, but having these shelves allows me to use the space far more efficiently than I have in the past. And even though my studio in our last house was way bigger, I believe I will get far more work done in this room. Already have, in fact!
I love seeing how other artists work and organise their spaces. Recently Christina Lowry Designs posted about her work table, as did resurrection fern. Not only do I love their work, but I find their spaces inspiring as well.
It all makes me very happy!
Hope you are also having a lovely weekend.
Sam xx

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Yarn Chicken

I've been playing yarn chicken.
And now, after my rather arrogant declaration at the completion of my first Line Break shawl, that I had soooo much yarn left over that I could add another section before the border, it is clearly evident that I am wrong.
So wrong!!
'Bok, bok, begerk!!'