Monday, April 23, 2012

Raine Moments: Music Mondays

I can't believe it but it's been 15 weeks since I started taking my daughter to Kindermusik classes at a private home studio. I first heard about Kindermusik through my cousin in laws who took their children to these music classes when their children were young. As a part time stay at home mom, I'm always looking for different and new experiences for my daughter.

I believe that the more she experiences as a young child, the more development there is. Brain development for children is an amazing thing and although I don't know all the specifics about it, I learned that different, repeated experiences will strengthen the connections in a child's brain creating a pathway for the way the child learns. I did a quick google search and came upon this article, Understanding Brain Development in Children by Sean Brothersome.  The following lines from the article really stood out to me,  
"The interactions that parents assist with in a child's environment are what spur the growth and pattern of these connections in the brain.
As the synapses in a child's brain are strengthened through repeated experiences, connections and pathways are formed that structure the way a child learns. If a pathway is not used, it's eliminated based on the "use it or lose it" principle. Things you do a single time, either good or bad, are somewhat less likely to have an effect on brain development."

When I took my daughter to Kindermusik class, I had the intention of getting her to socialize for more kids her age. What ended up happening was she was the only student in the class (until recently, in the last 4 weeks of class, 2 more kids joined the class). Despite this, it was really amazing to see how fast she caught on to the words and movements of the songs. Over the weeks, I've seen great development. She's more open at expressing herself through song and today, she stepped out of her shy little shell and said a lot of things out loud in front of the other kids (she gets really shy when there's other kids or adults around). She's also learning to share and take turns with the others during the last few weeks.

Kindermusik classes are normally structured with a theme. My daughter started her class with a Milk and Cookies theme where there were songs related to food, kitchen, and groceries. There are home materials provided such as a small instrument, a CD with songs learned in class, and a few books some full of ideas of what to do with your little one. I found the CD was so nice to have to include some music time during a regular day with my daughter. During class, the songs are sang with opportunities to use different instruments to tap, clap, shake along with the music as well as scarves, parachutes, and much more. There is a lot of imaginary play as children pretend to pour tea, buy groceries, wait for toast to pop. It's a lot of fun and I always feel refreshed and happy after the class. I guess music has a way of uplifting everyone's spirits.

I would definitely recommend Kindermusik classes for its variety of music, imaginary play, uses of different instruments, and children socializing opportunity but any classes are great for a different experience. And of course, experiences are not restricted to classes...interactions with your child, different things you do at home are all wonderful experiences that may shape who your child becomes.

Raine Moments: Painting

Taking care of my toddler can be tough sometimes. Everything from potty training to transitions to a maintaining a proper sleeping schedule can get a little bit frustrating. At the end of each day though, there are always beautiful moments to remember. I've always meant to blog each night about my day with my little girl but of course, that never happens.

One of the golden moments today was when my toddler was pretending to be Rapunzel from Tangled (I absolutely love that movie) and wanted to paint on the wall. What do I do? Tape some paper on the wall and let her paint away while I put on some of my favourite music.

She seemed like a true artist as she held her palette of paint and painted a bit, took a couple steps back before adding more paint strokes. She even attempted painting her name (which are lines for each letter of her name). Watching a toddler draw or paint is one of the most amazing things because looking at the finished art may look like abstract art. However,  as my toddler draws/paints, she tells me exactly what she is drawing and the strokes make total sense to me. eg. horizontal line for a bed, spiky lines for her daddy's hair, circles for glasses. She was also imitating the paintlounge I've gone to (from my last entry) by saying how she's going to have drinks and also paint lol.

  What she came up with the other night...the lights from Tangled and the long hair from Rapunzel.

What she painted tonight

I'm very lucky that I get to stay at home with my daughter most of the time and see her grow up in these precious early years. I felt really warm inside when this happened sometime last week:

I picked my daughter up from my aunt's house after work and we just came in the door. My daughter went face forward against the wall and with her arms open wide. I asked her, "What are you doing?" She replied, "I love my home."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Painting session

Today I went back to Paintlounge with a couple of friends and celebrated our birthdays together (yes, our birthdays are all around the same time). This is the painting I came up with.

Just like last time, this painting is for my daughter. It has a little Arrietty, a little of my daughter, and a little of a photo inspiration all put into it. The quote is another Dr. Suess one, "A person's a person, no matter how small."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Your guiding light...

Making my last two posts about cards got me itching to make a card tonight before I call it a night. Here it is!

I was inspired by the lighthouse photo from For Your Inspiration so this card is made for the Challenge #27 there.

I've been guided by so many people in my life and I'm very thankful for all those who led me to become the person I am today. If there's one person whom I would give this card to, it would be my mom. She's no longer here as she passed away exactly 10 years ago today. Her strength, positivity, and selflessness is something that I can never achieve but I can try. Her beautiful spirit when I knew her guides me to be a better person today. I know a lot of times I forget to be positive and grateful for all that I have. Every year as I commemorate her passing, I am reminded of how lucky I am. I hope I can remember this and strive to be half the beautiful person that she was. Love you forever, Mom. <3

Vintage Inspired Birthday Card II

My second birthday card. I had a lot of fun making everything on this card. One of my friends feels like she's reached a milestone age so a little congrats for that :)

 I think this card design would be nice for little boutique or bakery anniversaries too :)

Challenge entering in:
CASE Study Challenge #86 (vintage inspired)

Vintage Inspired Birthday Card I

April seems to be filled with birthdays (including my own that just passed during the weekend). I created two birthday cards for my friends both in a similar vintage style.

I had a lot of fun using the distress ink and also using foam tape for the first time on my cards. Sorry about the variation in brown. The lighting is quite poor but the original is closer probably closer in colour to the first picture.

Challenge entering in:
CASE Study Challenge #86 (vintage inspired)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Balloons away

A little handmade card for my dear friend. I love the feeling of giving a handmade card and seeing when someone admires it too :)

The pastel colours gives this card a baby feeling and I think I'd definitely try something like this again for someone's young child. I had a lot of fun with this card as this was the first card I made since last year (I just didn't get a chance to post it). I also tried out a technique inspired from Carloe's Drawer of using erasers from pencils to stamp. What a brilliant idea. I would like to try this technique more.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

One of a Kind Show Recap: Noujica

I promised I would make posts about the artisans/work I liked from the One of a Kind Show. The first one is about the company Noujica. I absolutely love their work and I ended up buying a scarf, belt, and a 3 in one scarf/tank top/skirt. I am wearing the button scarf up top in the picture (and enjoying the cherry blossom bloom). The silkscreened prints are on the clothing/accessories are so eye catching and has a neutral colour palette that matches my taste. I'm really happy with what I bought :) Even though it's kind of pricey, it's a handmade one of a kind product that I'm willing to pay for.

Band-Belt. Love how it can be used in so many ways :)

                      Belt that be can be reversible.                             Linen scarf with button. 
           Great to add a little accent to a dress/top.          I've always had a thing for buttons so when I  
                                                                                      saw this scarf, it was love at first sight :D  

Braided scarf that I wish I got too.

What do you think of their clothing/accessories?

P.S. Thanks for all the recent comments on my card making posts. I've made this blog back in February and I was hoping for some comments and here they were in the last 2 weeks :) I'll be posting more cards soon but I haven't gotten a chance to upload my pictures.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rain or shine...

Another card making post. I noticed my last card resembles a similar style to this one. That's what happens when I subconsciously use my last card as a jumping point/inspiration.

Challenges I'm entering in:

Hero Arts (Sunshine and Showers)
4 Crafty Chicks (Flower theme) 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I've caught the card-making/crafting/arting bug ever since I went to Paintlounge and painted for the first time in at least 3 years. You can read more about it here.

I got a chance to make another card. Actually it's my 4th card this month-the other two I haven't gotten a chance to post yet. I'm actually behind in my posts because I really wanted to post about the One of a Kind show and all the artisans I've purchased and really liked. I will be doing that in future posts.

Anyway, here's my card! The picture with natural did not turn out as good as the first card with artificial light so I guess it'll be ok for my take pictures of my cards at 1am in the morning @_@...

Since I just started card-making again, I've been mostly playing around with what I've got. (Although today I am guilty of going to Michael's and purchased a few more ink pads which I hope to still have time to try tonight).

Challenges I'm entering in:
Stampin' for the Weekend (anything goes), Lily Pad (flower theme), Make It Monday (Anything goes), MilkCoffee (Throw on the Flowers)