Artists' Inspired

Dale Chihuly Inspired Lanterns

We visited Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom exhibition at Gardens by the Bay and loved it so much (check out the blog post on the exhibition here), we decided to diy our lanterns for mid-autumn festival as inspired by some of our favourite installations from the exhibition.

Lantern Inspired by Cardinal Red and Gold Persian Wall

Older Gem picked Cardinal Red and Gold Persian Wall as her lantern inspiration. We used coffee filters of two different sizes to form the shapes and assembled them over fairy lights.

Cardinal Red and Gold Persian Wall at Bayfront Pavillon

Lantern Inspired by The Setting Sun

The Setting Sun was younger Gem’s choice. We used straws, cellophane paper and coffee filters and attached them onto a store bought lantern.

My Gems by the Setting Sun

Although we did not manage to catch the moon since it was a cloudy night, we enjoyed our walk around the estate slightly past their regular bedtime!

Art & Craft, Travel

Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom

Gardens by the Bay

The family spent two consecutive days at Gardens by the Bay during the September school holidays; covering the two conservatories (Flower Dome and Cloud Forest) on day one and the outdoors on day two. We embarked on a journey to spot all the installations of Dale Chihuly’s masterpieces as part of the Glass in Bloom exhibition. I was first introduced to the art of blown glass in Venice and it was fascinating to watch the craftsmen moulding the glass masterpieces under intense heat.

I thoroughly enjoyed the well curated exhibition throughout Gardens by the Bay. Where art meets and nature… In the outdoors where the art pieces are exposed to the weather effects such as sun and rain, reflections in the waters, at the Cloud Forest with the misting; the same masterpiece but gives off a different vibe each time the surrounding atmosphere changes.

Check out our Mid-autumn lanterns inspired by some of Dale Chihuly’s art here.

The Setting Sun Meets The Moon at The Meadow

Entering from The Meadow, we were greeted by the majestic Setting Sun. This version of The Setting Sun was created for Singapore. Backdropped by The Moon from an angle and MBS from another.

The Moon was created for an exhibition; Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000 and was displayed on the Tower of David Museum. Here, we have The Moon on display in Singapore after its debut more than two decades ago.

This is also the first time The Setting Sun and The Moon are exhibited in the same setting.

Brilliant Boats

Tremendous Towers

Resplendent Reeds

The Reeds are scattered throughout the exhibition, either standalone or in variety of forms. The rich red Reeds in the Serene Garden is my favourite amongst the Reeds exhibits as the red contrast against the greenery makes it outstanding and not overly busy. As for Older Gem, her favourite was the shiny violet ones found in the Flower Dome; installed with Tower and surrounded by Trumpet Flowers and Reeds. The Reeds were created in Finland and older Gem’s favourite was made of rare mineral neodymium, which gives the shiny purplish effect.

Persians

Nesting Persians of different sizes in a variety of compositions. The effects of light on the Persian series made the installations even more brilliant!

Gallery at Bayfront Pavilion

The Glass on Glass Paintings were my favourite from the Gallery. Using light to transmit through layers of glass that were painted with vitreous-glass enamel. Stand at different angels to view the depths of each painting.

Fiori Verde; Free Flowing, Playful Forms

Fringe Activities

Art Zoo was on exhibition at the same time and the girls had fun working on the activity sheet to earn their stickers!

I guess we will be visiting Gardens by the Bay more often since we have gotten the annual pass!

Art & Craft, BFIAR, Books, Learning Through Play

Before Five in a Row (II)

The Big Green Pocketbook, Caps for Sale, Angus Lost, Blueberries for Sal

I decided to journal my BFIAR journey (in parts) with younger Gem as I was clearing photos to make more space in my phone. How I miss spending more time with her and older Gem previously before they started formal school. We took a BFIAR hiatus as they started school but I think I would like to resume and possibly move on to FIAR (for younger Gem) and Beyond FIAR (for older Gem).

Each book we rowed has a key memory verse as well as lap book to “document” her activities as keepsake. More than a year on, we still have them and she would take them out for a “review”!

The Big Green Pocketbook by Candice Ransom

“The fruit of the spirit is kindness.” Galatians 5:22

“圣灵所结的果子是恩慈。”加拉太书 5:22

The key theme I was trying to bring out from this story was kindness. The kindness of the people the character met when she went to town as well as the bus driver who returned her pocketbook, which contained her entire day! Kindness is doing good and not expecting anything in return.

We also discussed about the invisible bucket from “Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?”

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

“In your anger do not sin.” Ephesians 4:26

“生气却不要犯罪。” 以弗所书 4:26

Angus Lost by Marjorie Flack

“I will not be afraid for you are close beside me.” Psalms 23:4

“因为祢与我同在。” 诗篇 23:4

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

“Wherever you go I will go.” Ruth 1:16

“你往哪里去,我也往那里去。”路得记 1:16

When grandpa gives you blueberries, read “Blueberries for Sal” and make blueberry muffins!

Credits: https://www.homeschoolcreations.net/printables-from-a-to-z-from-homeschool-creations/

Art & Craft, BFIAR, Books, Learning Through Play

Before Five in a Row (I)

Goodnight Moon, Prayer for a Child, Play with Me, The Little Rabbit

I decided to journal my BFIAR journey (in parts) with younger Gem as I was clearing photos to make more space in my phone. How I miss spending more time with her and older Gem previously before they started formal school. We took a BFIAR hiatus as they started school but I think I would like to resume and possibly move on to FIAR (for younger Gem) and Beyond FIAR (for older Gem).

Each book we rowed has a key memory verse as well as lap book to “document” her activities as keepsake. More than a year on, we still have them and she would take them out for a “review”!

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

“God gives rest to His loved ones.” Psalms 127:2

“惟有耶和华所亲爱的,必叫他安然睡觉。”诗篇 127:2

This was the first book younger Gem rowed when she was 29 months old.

Prayer for a Child by Rachel Field

“May the Lord bless you and keep you.” Numbers 6:24

“愿耶和华赐福给你,保护你。“ 民数记 6:24

As we rowed “Prayer for a Child”, it reminded me to be thankful for even the simplest things in life we often take for granted. We spent time listing down the things she is thankful for and prayed for the people around her.

Play with Me by Marie Hall Ets

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10

“你们要休息,要知道我是神。”诗篇 46:10

“Play with Me” is such a lovely story about a little girl who wants to play with all the animals around her but all of them frightened away as she approached them. Finally she decided to sit and be quiet and one by one the animals came back, sat near her and even had a little surprise from one of the animals at the end.

We made all the animals which appeared in the book (printables in this link) , which took a long time, but she had so much fun doing it. This is her favourite book because we role played; one by one the animals would appear as we read the story.

The Little Rabbit by Judy Dunn

“God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“神必与你同在。” 约书亚记 1:9

A story that provided a glimpse of what having a pet rabbit is like and learning the days of the week too!

Credits: https://www.homeschoolcreations.net/printables-from-a-to-z-from-homeschool-creations/

Art & Craft, Books, Picture Books

The Little Kangaroo

Younger Gem has been on a kangaroo craze after learning a tune in mandarin at school titled “我是只小袋鼠” (I am a Little Kangaroo)! Riding on her enthusiasm we found out more on this animal from down under at the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari. Catch her sing the tune at the Wallaby Trail in Night Safari.

Got younger Gem a kangaroo keychain from the zoo to accompany her to school on her bag!

Younger Gem enjoyed the story of “The Little Kangaroo” so much I had to repeat it countless times. The story speaks of mummy kangaroo trying to encourage her little joey to come out of her pouch and explore the world to no avail until…

As usual, we headed to the library to borrow books on kangaroos and here are three facts she learnt from “The Story of the Kangaroo”.

  1. Kangaroos are marsupials; mammals in which females feed and carry their young in pouches.
  2. They live in small groups called mobs.
  3. They move by hopping on their huge back legs and feet, using their tails for balance as they leap.

How can we forget about kangaroo crafts! We went for some kangaroo silhouettes and painting with some fruit sleeve covers. Yay, you can tell she was enjoying the process as she was singing while painting. A singing child is a happy child!

Artists' Inspired, Books

Rousseau Inspired…

Spending time on painting is quite a luxury these days. I took an interest in older Gem’s HBL art homework and decided to work on it as well! That’s to create an art piece of the jungle, drawing inspirations from Henri Rousseau’s jungle pieces. It’s amazing that Henri Rousseau painted his jungle pieces based on imagination when he had never visited one before! A Malayan tapir in my version after my recent fascination over the animal with repeat visits to the Night Safari the past month.

Diving deeper into Rousseau’s work, we looked at his painting “The Sleeping Gypsy”; a painting of a lion peering over a gypsy in deep sleep. The painting currently resides at the MoMA. We read a book of the same title and it explored a possibility of why only a lion was in the painting, which older Gem found hilarious!

The beauty of an art piece, where you can have your own interpretation and create your wild imaginative ending. Older Gem thinks that the gypsy will be the lion’s breakfast!

Art & Craft

Sketching Outdoors at the Zoo

Got the girls a new sketch book each to initiate a habit of sketching outdoors. Their first entry was done this morning at the zoo. Sketching helps them to focus and pay attention to details, at least for older Gem! Their “reward” for good behaviour was a postcard of choice from the gift shop as a cover for their sketch book.

These were their responses when I asked about their favourite part at the zoo. Older Gem – “Sketching the white rhino.” Younger Gem – “Choosing and buying the postcards!” I think it was a good day!

Art & Craft, Learning Through Play

Learn to Spell Your Name!

In my bid to generate ideas for younger GEM to learn how to spell her name previously, I headed to Pinterest for some inspirations. I came across the following website and followed the idea of using pegs. Having each letter of her name on a peg and matched it to a card with her name. I used popsicle sticks instead as it appears more aesthetically pleasing.

This was such an engaging activity for her; to match the letters and use her fine motor skills to attach the pegs on the right space. I was amazed that younger GEM could learn to spell her name rather quickly.

Seeing younger GEM enjoying the activity, I proceeded to using numbers and alphabets. Upper case on the popsicle stick and lower case on the pegs. She would often take these out to play during quiet time. 

These are also excellent personalised gifts, hence I gifted these DIY sets to kids for their birthdays and Christmas instead of getting store bought items!    

Art & Craft, Books

Henri Matisse Inspired Activities for Kids

Our Matisse inspired space

My first encounter with Henri Matisse’s art was a visit to the Rosary Chapel located in the South of France. I was 14 then on a school trip to Europe for an art history tour. The facade of the chapel was white and plain looking; a stark contrast to the majestic churches filled with Gothic and Renaissance frescos, which I was used to seeing earlier during the trip. It was a welcome change for me I recalled. 

I remembered sitting inside the chapel and in front of me just behind the altar was a mural of a man drawn in black outlined. I thought to myself “Hey! I think I can do that too!” It was Matisse’s masterpiece of Saint Dominic. What caught my attention was the bold coloured stained glass which stood out against the white interiors. The chapel was designed by Henri Matisse in his final years.

Using resources from the Singapore library, I borrowed two books “Henri’s Scissors” by Jeanette Winter and “How the Snail Found Its Colours: The Art of Matisse ” by Jeong-Yi Kee. These books opened the world of Matisse’s cutouts to younger GEM.

Book I: Henri’s Scissors

The story briefly details the life of Matisse from how a young boy who enjoyed the arts became a lawyer but eventually followed his passion to become an artist.

Matisse’s art in his later years were putting together coloured paper cut outs as he was no longer able to hold a paintbrush due to his ailments. Despite his inability to paint, he didn’t give up but channeled his passion of art to another artform. He formed collages using his colourful cut outs on walls. I am a fan of his collages!   

I planned for younger GEM to create her own coloured paper and make cutouts to decorate the wall and a recycled milk bottle to be used as a vase. 

Materials & Tools:

  • Drawing paper
  • Paints
  • Brushes
  • Scissors
  • Recycled milk bottle
  • Double sided tape

Our Process:

  1. Just like how Henri’s assistants painted the paper for him to cut, younger GEM painted the drawing papers with the colours she chose.
  2. I traced the some of the designs found in the book for us to cut. Both the “birds” were cut by younger GEM while the rest were too challenging for her.
  3. Decorate the milk bottle with the cut outs using double sided tape. A little fine motor skill practise from peeling the tape!
  4. Create a little Matisse inspired space! See image at the beginning of the post!
Painting papers for the cutouts

Practising her cutting skills.

Decorating her vase with cutouts.

Book II: How the Snail Found Its Colours

This is a story of a colourless snail embarking on a journey to find its own colours and along the way met a number of artworks by Matisse. Finally, the snail found its own colours from Matisse; from a colourless sad snail to a colourful fabulous one!    

From this story, younger GEM saw some of Matisse’s art such as “Dance (II)” and “Music”. The highlight was “The Snail”, which we will attempt to replicate. 

Materials & Tools:

  • Picture of “The Snail” by Matisse  
  • Square drawing paper
  • Crepe paper: black, orange, dark blue, dark and light green, yellow, red and pink
  • Scissors
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Tray

Our Process:

  1. I cut out the shapes similar to the original piece using crepe paper.
  2. Display the cut outs and place square drawing paper on tray.
  3. Younger GEM to place them on a blank piece of drawing paper according to the original artwork.
  4. Spray water over the entire piece of artwork and let the crepe paper colours “bleed”.
  5. Wait for a while and remove the crepe papers gently.
  6. Let dry.

The end product looked similar to a water colour painting and it was perfect as a birthday card for grandma!