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Sunday, March 17, 2013

20 Days of Mess

Often when I post pictures of my house people tell me how clean it is in tones of hushed awe and disbelief. No one with kids can have a clean house - surely? Surely I don't! 

Photos only ever tell half of the story, more often than not I pick a good moment or photograph with a clear background. Nothing spoils a beautiful shot more than a looming pile of laundry in the background.  The reality is my house is in a constant state of ever evolving clutter.

Housework is often the last thing on my list during a busy day of parenting, and I mildly resent housework being considered to be the role of a stay at home mum, almost more than parenting is. There are whole websites devoted to women keeping the house clean and pinterest pages extolling the virtues of decluttering and organisation. I dream of having a house that tidy, but my dream falls short of devoting every spare minute to it. My husband and I share housework and as result, during the day, our lounge often looks like a clothing bomb exploded inside. It's a rare day that the sofa isn't covered in laundry and the floor is not covered in toys. But we enjoy our days, which means more to me than a tidy floor.

and worse

Friday, March 15, 2013

Why are clouds so big?

By Friday I've generally lost all my oomph for the week and a day of good intentions turns into lazy parenting, screen time and impatient mum. Its been pushing the guilt button for a month or so now, so I decided to listen to what my inner voice was telling me.

Today when my 4yr old asked one of his tricky questions 'Why is the cloud so big?' instead of fobbing him off with the quickest answer I could summon, I decided to drop everything and follow his lead.

A conversation about clouds turned into thunderstorms and lightning, some youtube videos helped us learn how lightning worked and we looked at some pictures of how beautiful lightning looked and listened to the noises it makes. I wanted to find a way to extend his experience I dug around in my memory banks for a favourite childhood activity and we started some wet on wet watercolours using candles as a dye resist. Before starting we wiggled the paper so that it made noises like thunder and lightning.

From a lightning filled sky we started talking about stars, and galaxies and moons. We started another page, and after showing him how to use salt to add texture to the paints he got excited and we emptied the pantry for other things that absorbed moisture. Our paper became a textural exploration in time and space (corny I know)

The whole time we created we talked, he asked questions, I could only answer half of them, but we had fun, so much fun. Learning this way is magical.

Here are the fruits of our labour.

Candle wax acts as a resist for the dye, magical pictures appear out of nowhere.

Sago, semolina, tapioca, citric acid and salt.

Fun with textures!

Salt creates a lovely speckled texture

Rice grains absorb the moisture and create swirly patterns in the paint.

We learned about red dwarf stars, he wanted to know why the stars were different colours and not just white. I muttered something about light and gases...

Looks a little bit about the pleiades