Thursday, 31 January 2008

Head Start

Our parent-child angel clay session is featured in the latest issue of Young Parents magazine. We are currently happy to host weekly parent-child sessions every Saturday.

Thanks Wai Yin for that wonderful quote.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Grow Up Reading

For many teachers, it has been our hope that our children would enjoy reading. I dare say that many of us are mostly clueless as to how exactly to get this to happen. Even at the polytechnic, this is one of the things that is seen as crucial for growth and development.

I enjoy books but I cannot claim to be much of a reader myself. If I were asked to recommend books to the younger ones, I wonder what I would do.

In one of my serendipitous trip at the library, I came across this interesting book.

Welcome to Lizard Motel: Children, Stories, and the Mystery of Making Things Up

It is an initmate and impassioned memoir from a mother, writer and educator about the kinds of books she calls "problem novels" that are being awarded and recommended to kids. Barbara is great with words and tells her journey with lyrical descriptions that draws you in and brings you close to her. She also weaves in her arguments so beautifully with her own story. This is the way I wish academic thesis were written.

Whether you are parent, teacher or just someone looking for a good read, this is a book worth picking up.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Magic School Bus

When I read in yesterday's Chinese section of MyPaper about Aunty Rosalind, the school bus driver at Henry Park Pri, it is clear that this lady's demise has meant much to many because her life has touched them all. Although just a school bus driver, she took pains to interact with the children on her bus, talking to them, encouraging them and even rewarding them when they do well in their studies. She has even taken time to call up the parents, exchange notes about the children and share parenting tips.

Well, I have not met Aunty Rosalind but I can sense the impact of her life. Aunty Rosalind loved the people whom she met and so in her ordinary ways she had become a most extraordinary person.

I too took the schoolbus in the early years of my primary school days and this was a very long time ago. Yet, I still remember the "go starn" from the bus lady each time she guides the bus in reversing. (Only to learn much later that she was actually using her own version of 'go astern'.) And there was this time when she teased us about our favourite cartoon Little Frog's theme song. A part of the song goes "gu-kua gu-kua" and she asked us why we were singing about papaya which is "muk kua" in Cantonese. There are not many events from the past that I easily recall but these are two of my more vivid memories. I reckon it was the person, not the incidents, that left that mark.

Thursday, 24 January 2008


The Big Moo: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable
Currently reading The Big Moo by the Group of 33 writers led by Seth Godin and his idea of being remarkable. It contains 33 stand-alone and rather thought-provoking articles by some remarkable folks. How much of it is just hype and how much are really things that should give us a good shake, I think we should just let our curiosity bring us to reading the book for a start.

And curiously, curiosity was just what Godin was talking about in this little clip.

And here's something else to pique your curiosity - pillowig from Korea.

I wonder if they were inspired by their ancient court dancers. These ladies sure have big hairdo that could well have been pillows! A Korean period drama about these ladies is currently shown on Channel U - Hwangjini.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Older and Growing

I came across this quote recently: Not growing older, but am older and growing. Not sure who said it though.

In these past few months, one thing that I have enjoyed has been producing small little art pieces. I am always amazed by what I have drawn, often knowing that I am much influenced by the many things I have seen in books, on the web and around me, and yet surprised that each bearing a stamp that makes it uniquely my style.

Someone remarked that my pieces usually look happy. I do have an affinity towards children art and a play with words. Here are 2 illustrators that I recently enjoyed looking at.

Yannick Thome Can't read the text, love the drawings.

Cozy Tomato, a Japanese illustrator, Koji Tomoto. Kawaii desu-ne!

And there are all these fantastic illustrators at Illustration Friday who would contribute a piece of artwork each week according to that week's theme. I am like a child let loose in a candy store.

So much to learn from. It is simply wonderful. In the month ahead, I will be working hard towards creating my first ever picture book.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Over the Top

This is for my friend Albert. Here are some ideas for wedding cake toppers but some/all might be too wacky to try. All the same, they are fun to look at.

An Elena look-alike cake? Shudder?

These look cute, don't they? The folks at Hunters Design make personalised ones. What would yours be?

Ok, these are not quite as wacky. There's a 20's touch to them. Do remind me of those good ole army pipe-cleaners though.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Pauseabilities One Stroke at a Time


At our last A-Live session, we got to try out my newly arrived Zentangle kit. With my humble attempt at leading the session, we managed to create some nifty pieces of art. We were all rather delighted with what was possible.

I went on to create a few more at ATC size and I must say I enjoy this as it is very similar to some stuff that I have created a few months back. And I am happy that Zentangle is so well put together for sharing the joy of this creation process.

Of the later pieces I made, this one stands out for me. It reminds me of a whale. Do let me know if you wish to try it out for yourself.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Can't Blame Gravity

Fall in love with this very interesting flash game where art meets physics - and don't blame gravity for falling as Einstein would have said.

Post It is one of those modern inventions that is sticky enough to defy gravity and yet allow you to remove easily. If you ever have an urge to share your art publicly, why not join this little project on 1 Feb 2008. Put Singapore on the map.

postitnoteproject copy, originally uploaded by redtinsel.

And after this weekend, when Monday comes along and you feel gravity having a stronger pull than ever, this little video should cheer you up.

Monday, 7 January 2008

When Digital Goes Analogue

For those of us old enough, and I mean that in the digital age kind of way, we are more likely than not to have played tetris. This film of a humanised version of tetris is funny, and it comes with humanised music too.

While we are at it, look here for a tetris-inspired table.

(15 Jan: A little additional info. For those who like playing tetris, how about a 3D version done in flash. Mighty cool but to me, it shows up my inability to play in stereophonic 3D proprotions. Haha!

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

MiniJournals at Pauseability

Come make your own or ask to have one customised just for you. More details are found here.

Works well as a gift for your special someone this Valentine's.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

By Any Other Name?

It is a cliche by now to say that China is changing rapidly. It has very quickly plugged into the world's economy and also the larger world culture, including the use of English.

Here is a funny clip about some rather unusual English names that some has adopted in Beijing. I like how Sophie takes a dig at her own translated name too, and her mandarin is impressive too.

Didn't we in Singapore go through a phase like that with our names?