Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Five fantastic books to teach your child resilience

A while ago I went to a presentation about teaching your children to be resilient. It was a good presentation but the best thing about it was the suggested book list at the end. I went straight out and bought them all and each one is fantastic. My kids love them and I love them too.

"Zagazoo" is an absolute must for every new parent - The story is brilliant and the pictures just lovely! One of my favourite children's books of all time

My kids get really sad when Gerald is teased, but you can feel their exhilaration at the end, when he finds his own way in "Giraffes Can't Dance."

My husband was given this book ("Oh the Places You'll Go") by his boss when he started as a financial advisor and its inspiring for children and adults. My favourite line is "With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street... Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you."

"Possum Magic" is an australian classic (happy Australia Day for tomorrow!). Mem Fox is a master storyteller.

And talking about master storytellers, here's another one by Dr Seuss.  "I'll watch out for trouble in front and back sections By aiming my eyeballs in different directions." Good advice!

We have tonnes of books bulging from our bookshelves, but these have been great additions. Although I must say, my kid's favourite is their dad's made up stories - can't beat them (my dad used to tell us made up stories and we loved them too.)

Do you have a favourite storybook?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pictures at Pittwater

Before Todd and I were married I thought I knew him pretty well. He loves to surf, great with money, a teensy bit tone deaf etc. We have this saying when one of us does something that is slightly annoying but predictable "You knew what I was when you picked me up". For example if I were to eat a block of chocolate in one sitting and Todd were to make a 'comment', I might say "You knew what I was when you picked me up".  Or if Todd 'needs' a surf and then a nap, he might say the same to me. Anyway, when it comes to quilting and creative pursuits, this is certainly a new area that we didn't know about each other. I only just discovered my love of quilting a few years ago, and I've also discovered that Todd has a great eye for design too. In many of my patterns he has made little suggestions that have really added something different (although sometimes he makes suggestions that are wildly impracticle and I have to kindly shoot him down).

Anyway, Todd designed this quilt for his cousin's son, Cohen. He picked the fabric and designed it, and then I sewed it up. It was fun sewing something together where I didn't have to make all the decisions! I like his minimalistic style.

I designed this simple back as Todd was at work by the time I was up to this bit.

I was planning on straight line quilting the whole lot, but I liked texture created by quilting densely in some sections and leaving other sections plain. It kind of looks like the little fish are swimming through sea weed (sorry I didn't iron the quilt - we have been away on a wonderful beach holiday and I couldn't find an iron).

Todd took the pictures as well.

They were taken at Clareville beach on Sydney's northern beaches, where we used to live. Such a beautiful place!  One of the days we went out on a boat with Todd's cousin and his family and the kids had a great time discovering little coves that were only accessible by boat.

I hope you like it, Cohen - sorry its a bit late!

I also wanted to share with you a couple of quilts I've come across lately.

I love how Marit paired my Skittles pattern with a dark background and organic straight line quilting (blogged here).

And you can see Jess' beautiful quilt (using my Fussy Fairytales pattern) over at Quilt Story today. The quilting on this is amazing too.