Sunday, 30 October 2011

Boo! It's Halloween!

The girls and I arrived in San Francisco a few days ago just in time for our first ever Halloween.

Ava is so excited about Halloween (as am I!) and has been eager to get into the spirit of the season with decorations, costumes and pumpkins.

Today we had our first go at making jack-o'-lanterns. We chose two perfect little pumpkins so the girls could have one each.
Ava wanted to help out as much as possible but there's only so much a four year old can help when it comes to carving hard vegetables with a sharp knife! After I cut the top off the first pumpkin I gave Ava a spoon to start scooping out the seeds and stringy "pumpkin guts". Ava was revolted by what the inside of the pumpkin looked like, and apparently by the smell, so she gave up on this job pretty quickly!

Ava ready for pumpkin carving

Monday, 10 October 2011

Graduation Day

Today Ava graduated from her pre-school, Adelaide Montessori.


Well, ok, she didn't actually graduate but she was close enough to it and so excited about graduating that they held a little graduation presentation for her today in their circle time.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Tim Burton: The Exhibition

My last post about The Art of the Brick exhibition has reminded me about another wonderful exhibition that we went to last year at Federation Square.

Last June we stopped by Melbourne for a day on our way to the snowfields. Our trip happened to coincide with one of the most popular exhibitions ever held at Federation Square; Tim Burton: The Exhibition.

Ava and I outside ACMI, Federation Square

Kim and I are both big fans of Tim Burton's movies so we were pretty excited to see his artworks in real life. We were amazed at the sheer number of works on display. Every time we thought we'd come to the end of the exhibition we'd turn a corner and a new wing of the gallery would open up in front of us full of drawings, paintings, sculptures and movie paraphernalia.

Assorted Artworks

As well as  artworks the exhibition included a large range of props and costumes from movies such as Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Alice in Wonderland... pretty much anything you've seen Johnny Depp in! Ava was pretty intrigued by the Edward Scissorhands costume on display. I had thought that she may be scared by the long shears but this was one particular item that she kept going back to see.

Original models used for the animated movies Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride were also on display and a delight to see. These were another item that Ava loved and on returning home from our trip she watched these two movies repeatedly for the next few weeks.

Models from Nightmare Before Christmas

I think that Ava's favourite part of the exhibition was a dark tunnel with walls painted black featuring paintings that glow in the dark. Towards the end of this tunnel was a round chamber featuring a glow-in-the-dark carousel. I was so sure that the monsters featured in this part of the exhibition, along with the darkness, would have scared Ava but the bright colours seemed to trump the darkness and subject matter and she did not want to leave!

Monsters glow along the walls of the dark tunnel

Glowing carousel

Ava was also pretty excited to discover a room full of paper, crayons and pencils where she could create her own masterpiece to hang on a wall full of fan art. Here she is with her drawing of dinosaurs.
Ava with her masterpiece

What a wonderful exhibition this was. If only it was still on now I'd recommend that you all go out and get yourselves tickets!

Here are a few more shots of us outside the exhibition.

Aarrghh!

It's going to get us!

Ava and Kim at the entrance to the exhibition

Ava at the entrance to the exhibition

Ava and I in Federation Square after the exhibition.
Lola's there too, tucked away in that big belly!

Please note that as photography was not allowed inside the exhibition I have borrowed exhibition photos from zimbio.com to use above. You can view the rest of the Zimbio album here.

Friday, 7 October 2011

The Art of the Brick

A few week's back Ava, Lola and I travelled to Melbourne to visit the USA consulate to attend our visa interview. Due to an early morning interview time and the available flight times we had to arrive in Melbourne the day before our interview. I decided to make a trip of it and show the girls a little bit of Melbourne before we head off to the USA.

Being the cultural and artistic heart of Australia, Melbourne always seems to have at least one or two wonderful exhibitions on the go at any given time. This time was no exception with Federation Square playing host to New York artist Nathan Sawaya's The Art of the Brick.

Now, an art exhibition may not sound like the most exciting place to visit for a four year old until you realise the medium chosen by Nathan Sawaya for his work: LEGO!


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Precious Jewels

Ava loves making necklaces and comes home with one or two from pre-school most weeks.

Ava's favourite mediums to work with seem to be macaroni and straws with the odd button, patty pan or cardboard embellishment here and there.

Here's a selection of some of her beautiful handicraft; perfect to go with any outfit :)

The "Coloured Macaroni on Plastic Thread" collection 




The "Macaroni Naturals" collection 




The "Straw and Patty Pan" collection



The "I Almost Look Like a Real Necklace" collection


Lovely!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Shiver me timbers... it's a pirate party!

Arrrgggh! It's pirate time!

This weekend my nephew Malachi celebrated his 5th birthday with a pirate party.

Ava was pretty excited to dress up in her pirate accessories: head scarf (or a bantana as Ava called it!), sword and of course, an eye patch. Malachi was very cute in a full pirate costume.

Both Ava and Malachi love drawing treasure maps so they were pretty excited to take part in a treasure hunt. Clues had been left around the house and yard with pirate themed gifts for the birthday boy attached.



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