Tuesday, January 03, 2017

New Years Resolutions

So a few years ago I made some New Year Resolutions. I probably didn't follow through with many of them but this year I'm hoping will be different somehow...life changing even...I have the support of good friends, family and most importantly my loving husband who has stuck by me no matter what.

This year I'd like to focus on my well-being and overall health; physical and mental. So last year was probably one of the worst years of my life but not the worst or toughest. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and I know how that can feel.

To start the 2017 with a real focus on my health was an active decision I took today and I know I will be in good hands, even though I'm a bit far from family and friends. To my husband Daniel, thank you for all your support, love and patience. I will be thinking of you and missing you very much.

To my friends and family, see you again soon.

Monday, October 31, 2016

And now for something completely different - Early Childhood Education

I left my full time job back in April and took a break from design. In the break I thought I'd fill the time with trying something completely different for a while. I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing but thought I'd give it a go anyhow. I took a short 6 month course in Earlychildhood Education and Care at Nirimba TAFE close to home.

It was interesting and informed me about how to care for children under the age of 6 years. Every Thursday I had play group at TAFE where the students got to put theory into practice by organising play experiences with the children. I'd never really interacted with young kids like this before so this was a little scary for me. Although we were only with the children for part of the day it gave us a glimpse of what working in a day care would be like. We observed three different children in the different developmental age groups: 0-18months (baby), 18months-3years (toddler) and 3-6years (preschoolers).  

The first child I observed was Lauren and she was 4 years old and was at a craft activity. She was very happy making an autumn tree collage. There were lots of different materials for her to use and it extended on her fine motor skills. From this observation I decided to set up a craft making and planting seeds experience for her. I used cotton balls instead of soil, small tongs, cupcake paper cups, water, quinoa seeds and coloured markers. I was happy to see Lauren be the first to my activity on the day so I was able to guide her in what to do. She was able to do the entire activity where she coloured the cup, wet the cotton balls and put them in the cup and then placed the seeds on top. A lot of other children of various ages visited my activity and had fun playing with the different things, not necessarily in the right order but that was okay. 

The second child I observed was Alexis who was 1 year and 3 months. Alexis was playing with prams and baby dolls at the time. From this observation I thought I'd extend on her fine motor and cognitive skills by creating a ball and coloured holes activity. I took a large cardboard box and coloured the holes in four different colours. I then had a bucket filled with coloured balls. Alexis was able to do the activity with guidance as she was still a bit young to recognise the colours went in certain holes. She clapped her hands when she was able to put all the balls into the holes and I congratulated her on her efforts with verbal praise and some high fives.

The last child I observed was Vihann who was 2 years and 2 months. He was using a small tricycle at the time and I noticed he was pushing himself along with his feet rather than using the peddles. So I thought I'd focus on his gross motor skills by having a soccer and goal activity to strengthen his leg muscles and his leg coordination skills. He was a little shy at first but with a little encouragement he was able to kick the soccer balls to their goals.

I even made some finger puppets for one of the TAFE subjects. I chose to do 5 little ducks and a mother duck. They were a language prop that we could use on our four week compulsory work placement at the end of the course. The song I chose was 5 little ducks went swimming one day...
These ducks were made by hand using coloured felt and craft wadding for stuffing. I used them in work placement which proved to be very popular with the children.

At the end of the course I did my compulsory work placement at a long day care centre in Blacktown. It was interesting and the ladies who worked there were nice and supportive. I got to interact with the children and do a couple of play experiences which were different to my TAFE activities. 

One of the activities which I enjoyed making was a cityscape and car activity. I used a cardboard box and toilet rolls to make the cars. My focus child Yash was 2 years old and had an interest in cars. He enjoyed playing with the activity in the sand pit. Unfortunately the cars didn't last long though as the wheels fell off after the children played with them for a while. But the children enjoyed the activity even though the cars were falling apart. It attracted children of all ages which was fun to see.

Another activity I did was for Ashvata who was 4 years and 4 months. She enjoyed craft activities and had an interest in dinosaurs. So on this particular day I did a craft activity where the children could make a dinosaur habitat using different materials. She is a very smart girl and knew what a habitat was and began making a collage right away. Some other children joined in and made some really interesting collages.

One other activity I did was water play using a trough which was a very popular indoor activity. The children really got into it by splashing and playing with the water using their hands and buckets.

Another activity I did was for Cameron who was 10 months old. I set up a milk bottle and duplo lego activity where he could practice his fine motor skills by taking out the pieces and putting them back in again. He used the bottles similar to a rattle and the pieces would fall out. He also reached into the holes to grab the duplo. Some of the older children used the bottles as sorting containers and placed the coloured duplo in the same coloured bottle.

Making these activities was fun and it was good being outdoors away from the computer for a while and interacting with the children. I'm not sure if it's for me but I did enjoy doing the course and received some really positive feedback from the ladies I worked with. I'm sure it will prepare me for motherhood one day. 

In the meantime, I've turned to more traditional art and craft, you can follow my creations on Instagram at @artynor. Contact me via my website if you're interested in anything you may find there or on Instagram. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Photo by: Daniel Collins

Meet Milton, a cute jack russell cross that we picked up from the Hawkesbury Animal Shelter late in May this year. He was 5 months old when we put our names down at the shelter. 

Milton got his name from one of my favourite movies, Officespace. A character in the film that works at IniTech, who loves his stapler. Our Milton though loves chewing on our empty plastic pots, playing with his toy dinosaur, and chasing wild birds. He has unfortunately made our backyard a war zone with all his digging too! 

He gets along with my doves and doesn't come up to the aviary very often which is a relief. Milton is quite obedient and clever. He's picked up the commands of sit, down, shake and up. We're still teaching him how to stay which he doesn't quite understand. 

At first he was quite timid when we picked him up from the vet on the first night, but he soon got used to his proud new owners and is very happy to chill with us indoors during the day or night. He gets lots of love and attention through tummy rubs and hugs from us. We sometimes go to a near by dog park on the weekends where he enjoys socialising with a lot of other dogs, mainly bigger than him.  

Milton has already starred in a few home videos; from taking his red coat off to adventures in the dog park. We love him to bits and welcome him to our home.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Easing back into it

It's been a busy last couple of months but just recently Daniel and I came back from our trip to Egypt and Dubai. Both places had lots to offer and were very different from one another. I'm hoping to get round to writing a bit about our adventures very soon with a few pictures to go with it sometime this week.

Tomorrow I head back to work at the DET but this time as a full time employee. I've been feeling a little anxious about the position, even though I've been working there as a casual for a year and a half. I'm hoping the nerves stop soon, I do need my sleep! Maybe it's due to the fact that life is moving a little faster these days, with our house edging closer to the finish line this month! We maybe moving in this month too! There's lots of new challenges heading our way but I'm looking forward to it.

It feels a little surreal being back home in Sydney after the holidays of extreme heat in Egypt and Dubai where the temperatures peaked to 50 degrees celsius at times. I'm now chilling and keeping warm in the house while it's 17 degrees celsius outside. Brrrrrr! Winter is almost here...time to dig out the winter wardrobe now!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Sign of Commitment

In the last 14 days...I have felt more alive and happier than I have in the last year...or forever for that matter!

I look back at my last post and reflect on the last point

'10. Be happier'

and I've found it...
I found it in Daniel; my fiancé.

Daniel made me the happiest woman of ALL TIME when he proposed to me last Thursday the 7th of January at Sydney Tower's 360 Bar and Dining. It was simply perfect...

Since then I've experienced and shared incredible waves of emotions with family and friends; for the most part they've been tsunamis of happiness!

I've been up...very high up! Up in the clouds...and then I've been down...but still up in the clouds at approx. 30 000 feet high (lame joke...I know). Right now I'm feeling life at it's fullest and it feels amazing! I've managed to control it a bit now which is good! I was starting to look and feel like Mary Poppins!

I broke the great news to family and friends over the first 3 days since the Engagement. It was both a nervous and joyous time for me. Mostly I was worried about what my family and friends would say because their opinions mattered (almost as much as my own) and I wanted them to share in my happiness. However I was worried about nothing because they were all very delighted with the news! It made me feel so much better and also helped me realise that I tend to worry too much about nothing! My happiness was their happiness :)

Daniel and I have grown up together and we've been through a lot. We've struggled at times but what relationship doesn't? We've come to understand each other and support one another over the years and we have recognised when we've let the other down. With any let downs we've been able to pick the other one back up and strengthen our relationship even more.

All sorts of people enter your life through time. Some come and go whilst others stick around. It's the bonds and the experiences that you share between the people you meet that help form the person you become over the years. I'd like to thank all my family and friends for helping and supporting me along my journey and especially to Daniel who has shown me love and care beyond words...

(Warning: Soppy content ahead)
Daniel has turned my world into something real and has catapulted me into euphoric happiness! He means everything to me and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him! The night he proposed to me he left me completely speechless... how could a simple night turn into something so beautiful and reveal so much more about him?! I see so much more in him than I ever saw before; I see us and it's just such a wonderful moment to be able to share it with the man I've come to truly love.

To finish off this post I'd like to dedicate this song/video to Daniel who has left me feeling quite unproductive at work lately as I sing, hum and day dream of him at work even more since the 7th January. Thanks Daniel! :P

This song was the most appropriate choice for four very important reasons:

  1. there's a ukulele
    (anything with a Ukulele is AWESOME!)

  2. there's a cute factor
    (the cute little Asian boy reminded me of Daniel who is part Asian, pulls silly faces, sings a little bit and plays a Ukulele...

    oh wait...
    Daniel plays the guitar!)

  3. it's a love song
    (yep... a love song....self explanatory really)

  4. has somebody that would sing it like me and more importantly...not better than me!
    (I only ever know tunes to songs...no matter how hard I try to remember the lyrics!)

For evidence of my day dreaming at work: Here's a little sketch I did on the first day back from the holidays after the recent announcement of my Engagement to Daniel.

p.s. Apologies for the rather lame reference to the famous Kanye West quote earlier in my post...that was purely intentional of course.