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Christmas Creativity Classes – two wonderful venues!

I don’t know why, but for some reason every year, Christmas tends to sneak up on me….

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It could be the enthusiastic flutter into spring or the crazy-buzz of end of school year, but I seem to feel it comes racing at me with ever-increasing speed each year.

And I long to choose to be mindful and put the brakes on to remember gratitude.

…For my family and our peaceful home.

…For my children’s future looking bright when so many don’t have that luxury.

In our home, we often gather around creativity in order to slow.

Making things with busy and intentional hands, allows room for hearts to be full of love + gratitude. A gift thoughtfully made gives so much more than just the object.

If you are like me and want to make the choice to slow and be mindful, can I invite you to join us at our Creativity Workshops – two locations this year!

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[ picture: from our Riverbend Wreath class! Just stunning!]

Riverbend Books and Cafe have been such an incredible supporter of local community and mindfulness – we just adore running classes in this beautiful store!

A new inner-west venue for WEAVE+WONDER is the gorgeous gift + design store OneGirlStudio in Graceville. We have recently completed term time Architecture + Design classes for children and students are eagerly awaiting more Christmas-creativity!

Again this year, we are offering classes over two weeks to accommodate private and state school finish times – please choose a class that suits you! These are Christmas-time favourites and even if you have joined us for a similar class in years gone by, these treasures make wonderful gifts and we will include new colours + materials.

DON’T FORGET TO BOOK NOW – THESE CLASSES FILL INCREDIBLY QUICKLY – CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW:

Create a stunning + unique leather wreath

Paint or Stitch – create gorgeously tactile leather + ply ornaments!

 

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We can’t wait to share creative time with your children this Christmas and help them to craft handmade gifts of love to treasure!

Riverbend Christmas Creativity returns!

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WE ARE SUPER-EXCITED ABOUT THIS YEAR’S CHRISTMAS CREATIVITY AT RIVERBEND BOOKS, BULIMBA!

With warm tactile leather + fabric alongside sustainable design processes, we are proud to present a fresh new take on Christmas decorating!

Of course, these are first and foremost children’s classes and so we are excited to jump into the wonderful world of artistic inspiration from the famous Alexander Calder on through other screen printing + fibre artists. From this inspiration we have developed skills-based classes that are fresh and contemporary!

For the first time this year, we are offering an ADULT CREATIVITY CLASS and also a PARENT+CHILD CLASS! In these classes, you are able to choose the project you would like to complete – please read the class description carefully and leave your selection in the comments section of your booking.

Take a wander through the classes we have on offer below and click on the title of the class to go to our events page and BOOK NOW – these classes fill very quickly! We hope you enjoy:

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WIRE + LEATHER WREATH

Alexander Calder was an American sculptor known as the originator of the mobile, a type of kinetic sculpture made with delicately balanced or suspended components which move in response to motor power or air currents. Calder’s stationary sculptures are called stables. He also produced numerous wire figures.

Using inspiration from Calder’s work, we will experiment with the wire medium to form 3D shapes. We will use these twisting+bending techniques to create a unique Christmas-inspired wreath form. Calder also added solid forms to his mobiles for counterbalance. We will look at ways to weave gorgeous leather + fabric leaves into our wreath-sculpture for a truly stunning result! The perfect marriage of art + craft for Christmas!

Each student will create 1 wreath in this class.

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LEATHER STARS

Oh soft caramel leather you truly make us weak at the knees! Students will engage with the slow art of hand stitching to create these beautiful leather + fabric ornaments or gift tags.

These are a beautiful layered addition to your tree, a hanging garland or a unique handmade gift tag. Students will choose and cut fabric stars from our beautiful selection of handwoven + naturally dyed fabric and accented with vibrant felt in Christmas green to layer behind their leather stars! The sparkling bronze adds a festive touch as the students thread + stitch their fabric soft sculpture together!

Each student will create 3 stars within this class.

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PRINT YOUR OWN FABRIC + PAPER WRAP

This year we are excited to announce a class with a sustainable message!

WEAVE+WONDER are proudly offering the gorgeous naturally dyed and handwoven fabric sourced from traditional weaving families in rural Cambodia. As we introduce this gorgeous fabric into the Australian market, we are motived toward sustainable uses for it. We couldn’t think of a better beginning than using custom sized pieces as fabric wrapping for Christmas!

In our printing class, we will learn simple printing, stamping + stencilling techniques and work on pattern repeat in order to create unique designs for our fabric wrapping. We will use humble brown paper also as a ‘test run’ for our fabric pieces but also as useful wrapping in itself!

Students will print 1 large fabric wrapping sheet (can be used as two smaller sheets) as well as significant length of custom printed wrapping paper.

There will be additional fabric wrapping sheets available to purchase in all classes.

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Friday Five is celebrating flowers this week, inspired by the abundance of bursting blooms of colour in our gardens, in our homes, along the streetscapes, down country roads and … well, everywhere really!

 

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We love Katie Marx’s flower artistry – she reminds us to think BIG when it comes to flowers making a statement.  Aren’t the wattles above gorgeous!  Take a look around with Katie-inspired eyes and maybe bring some of your outside inside!

We are also inspired by another artist bringing the outside in.  Argentinian artist Alexandra Kehayoglou hand crafts stunning rugs that make you just want to take your shoes off, roll around and play (a bit like the people in the photo!).  You can watch here how she created this expansive rug for a Parisian fashion show in four weeks.  Truly amazing…

 

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The Ladies Fancywork Society are responsible for this Flower Garden Fence in downtown Denver, USA.  This fun bunch of street-artist crocheters are not fazed by size and scale and have created some fantastic projects and installations around the world.   Maybe you too have a piece of chainwire fencing which could do with a creative makeover?

 

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We love street art with a sense of humour!  A perfect silhouette image on this blank wall which must make passers-by smile!

 

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And lastly, a sweet nod to our Jacaranda-filled city.  This iconic painting, Under the Jacaranda by R.Godfrey Rivers hangs her purple-blossomed branches on the walls of the Queensland Art Gallery, and has been a long time favourite of both our families.  The painting depicts the artist and his wife having tea under what is believed to be the first Jacaranda tree grown in Australia.  She was planted in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens in 1864, was captured in this painting in 1903, and lived until 1979 when her lovely boughs and trunk were blown over by a cyclone.  This weekend, why not find a spring-laden tree to take tea under?

Whether you are bringing spring’s flowers inside or enjoying them outside, have a sweet-smelling weekend of creativity friends!

hello school holidays!

Our two-week September school holidays are about to launch and we are extra-excited about weaving creativity into these slowed-down days.  This week past we’ve hardly had time to look ahead and think about how we want to engage with our children these holidays, so today we’ve stopped the WEAVE+WONDER machine and taken a wander through the sweet memories of holidays past.

We’ve re-inspired ourselves and we thought we’d share some of our favourites with you and spread the spark of ideas.  We hope you enjoy the little stories below and maybe you’d like to print out the printable at the end and let your family pick and choose and get excited about the days ahead!

 

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NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY—have fun gathering nature in your yard, park, beach, or forest. Bring your treasures home and set up a piece of white paper or cloth as a photography background (your white background works best if it’s big enough to lay on the floor or table and also run up the wall behind).

Experiment with different groupings of objects and different layouts of the same objects.  Try taking photos from above and from the side, zoom in and zoom out.  Play around with some photo editing software (this one is my favourite free online photo editing option) and even print out your favourites.  Set up a photo gallery and invite people to your opening event!

 

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ALL DAY BREAKFAST—stay in your pyjamas and enjoy a slow day at home! Try out some new breakfast recipes, and make breakfast for lunch and dinner as well! Feel like pancakes* for lunch? French toast for dinner? Try toasting muesli or have a go at making hollandaise sauce to go on your bacon and eggs. Make a menu, set up a café and invite your family to enjoy your cooking!

*Pancakes for Sunday breakfast is one of our family’s traditions, and over the years we have experimented with paper thin crepes, fluffy fat pancakes, and disastrously rubbery pancake-frisbees.  We love fluffy pancakes, and if you do too, here’s our best tip for getting your pancakes nice and light.  Start with your usual pancake recipe which includes eggs, but don’t add them in whole.  Separate your eggs, add the yolks to the flour and other dry ingredients, and then add the milk as usual.  Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk until stiff, then gently fold them into the batter.  Pour and flip your pancakes, and this time they should be just that little bit higher, a little bit lighter, and lovely and fluffy.  Mmmm!

 

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GRASS SLIDING—Grab a large cardboard box from home or ask for one at your local shops and repurpose it into a grass sliding machine! Find a grassy hill at your local park and experiment with the best slope, the best size of cardboard and the best way to slide—maybe it’s riding it like a surfboard, maybe it’s on your knees or tummy, or maybe it’s being towed by your dog or parent! Persevere with your experimenting – it might take a while to create the best sliding solution – but you will find it’s a perfect way to slide away a day.

Once you’ve worked out your technique, get artistic with your cardboard – decorate, colour, and add accessories – and make grass sliding a holiday-filling activity!

 

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ART GALLERY / MUSEUM TREASURE HUNT – We love visiting our local art gallery and museum and appreciate their school holiday activities.  But if these are a bit too busy, head to the quieter parts of the gallery and have a treasure hunt.  This should not be a race (you don’t want to encourage your children to run around the gallery!) but a tool to encourage thoughtful, observant and responsive wandering around your local artistic space.  Most importantly, pack an attitude of fun discovery – you don’t want this to feel like a chore to be endured!  Give each child a clipboard or hard surface to write/lean on, some paper, a small collection of pencils and an eraser, and a list of treasures to find – here are some of our suggestions you can pick and choose from or add your own:

  • find a painting which includes your favourite colour and sketch some/all of it
  • write down the name of a painting by an artist who was born in the 1800s, and pick three words to describe the painting
  • find an artwork by someone whose name starts with S (or any other letter)
  • draw the most fanciful frame you can find
  • find a piece of art you like the most and sketch it
  • can you find an artist with the same first name as you?
  • sketch a wall of the gallery
  • can you find an artwork that includes an apple/car/dog/book?
  • can you find a painting of a lady wearing a hat?
  • find a painting of a house you’d like to live in and draw that house
  • list as many different types of artwork that you see (eg painting, drawing, sculpture, photograph etc)
  • take a photo of a painting which has a tree you’d like to climb or flowers you’d like to pick
  • how many artworks can you find that include clouds?
  • choose an artwork you would like to hang in your bedroom
  • pick an artist’s name which sounds interesting to you, and look at their artwork.  Use this information to draw a portrait of what you think this artist looks like.  (and when you get home maybe take a look on the internet to see what they really look like!)

Encourage your children to collect their ‘treasures’ and include some time at the end of the visit or once you get home to share their findings and maybe even reward their hunting efforts.

 

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YOUR AVERAGE GARDEN STICK! – In our home, countless varieties of these walk in and out of our door on a daily basis! Gathered for a myriad of purposes from walking stick to sword, a treasure mobile or ‘just because’, every shape and thickness of branch has opportunity to rest awhile here, on the whim of one of my children’s vivid imaginings. At some stage on our ‘branch journey’ over the years we decided that a simple way to celebrate these forms could be to yarn-wrap in rainbow colours and designs. Whenever we have scraps of wool leftover from projects, I can often find one or other of my children quietly embellishing a branch with a burst of colour + pattern in soft texture.

Perhaps this is a simple way for you to gather from nature on your next bush walk or backyard forage and create a unique work of art. Gather your sculptural branches together in a robust vase or lean quietly in a corner. Lay them against a solid background and have fun making initials or words. And of course, who wouldn’t love to be wielding a boldly coloured walking stick or sword on their next adventure!

We’ve created an A4 printable of these ideas for you so you can stick it on a wall to remind you of holiday creativity.  We’ll share some more ideas next week, but for now, linger over these ideas friends and let the creativity spark and shine!  And we’d love for you to share with us and others some of your creative ideas for the school holidays…

 

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Preschool creativity at Teenie and Tiny – NEXT WEEK!

‘My daughter looked forward to Tuesday classes each week and the books and bird theme opened up her eyes to the world around her. She started noticing birds all around her and was excited to draw them in her journal. She got to try lots of different art techniques….although drawing and painting were her favourite! ‘

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WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THE RETURN OF OUR POPULAR PRESCHOOL CREATIVITY CLASSES!

This series is hosted by the wonderful inspiration + gift shop, Teenie and Tiny. [ 130 Leicester St, Camp Hill ]

Teenie and Tiny have a beautifully curated range of books and gifts for children of all ages and we are thrilled to partner with them again to nurture creativity in children.

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BOOK HERE NOW – WE START NEXT WEEK! CHOOSE FROM TUESDAY OR FRIDAY MORNING CLASSES

Class Outline

THEME:  All about Birds! Based on the book ‘Phoebe’s Feathers’ By Rod Clements. This series will encourage children to observe the birds in their neighbourhood, draw from their observations using our handmade journals and explore a number of creative media tailored to this theme.

WEEK 1: Focus on Clay – children will explore the clay medium after reading our story. They will have opportunity to create gorgeous clay birds with rainbow feathers together with nests and eggs for mama-bird to care for! A wonderfully tactile and imaginative introduction to clay!

WEEK 2: Focus on Paint/collage – Phoebe is a bird who loves to ‘stand out’ and make an impression! This week we will use a beautifully handcrafted wooden bird house cutout and paint/collage to create an architectural masterpiece worthy of the flamboyant Phoebe!

WEEK 3: Focus on beginning stitching – In our final class we will learn beginning stitching techniques. Children will create a beautifully colourful nest for our silhouette bird on hessian using colourful wool and blunt needle! They will then cut out felt eggs to tuck into her nest! This piece creates a beautiful wall hanging!

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‘I wanted to take the time to thank you for such an enjoyable series. My daughter has loved the stories chosen and getting her hands in amongst all the beautiful materials you have supplied. You may have noticed I couldn’t resist getting my hands in amongst it too! Taking the time to stop and enjoy the process has been almost therapeutic! I’ve really enjoyed watching my daughter with her friends in this type of setting and look forward to the next block.’

a few things: art + creativity

Wow! I didn’t expect to hybernate my way through January, although that is what it seems like in terms of this space – I expected to be here often during our care-free summer days! Children, however, have a way of insisting you be present in the ‘now’ and life always throws curve balls and so our January flew by – in both bliss and crazy-business!
I do like January for the thrill of setting new times + plans and there is no shortage of these things humming into place in the background for WEAVE+WONDER this year. While I am still sifting, sorting, organising and planning, my thoughts often wander back to some of the inspirational time spent wandering abroad before Christmas and so here are a few pics following on where I left off…..

I did thoroughly enjoy time spent immersed in a taste of London’s art, highlights included the Gerhard Richter exhibition at the Tate Modern and the Power of Making exhibition at the Victoria & Albert…
There is nothing like spending a few quiet hours alone with your thoughts and endless creative genius!

:: as a student of architcture, vista’s of buildings keep me captivated for hours!

:: I can’t recall the name of this work, a 20-odd metre movie screen with changing cinematography, very sensory and interactive..the ever-changing audience in the foreground part of the animation!

:: The Surrealist permanent exhibition was sensational, nothing like a few of Picaso’s works up close!

:: will post more on Richter’s work soon – he was prolific and diverse, love!

:: Mind bending making at the Power of Making exhibition, V&A.

:: Power of making exhibition, V&A: wall-size knitting; ballgown made of dressmakers pins; rug made of tesselated wood!

:: Banksy street art culture in Notting Hill

a way of seeing the world

There are some days when I am keenly aware of the privilage of working creatively. The way it trains the eye to see the beauty in the everyday – the way light falls, the way colours catch my eye + blend harmoniously or jarringly as the case may be, compliment or contrast, the rich ever-changing beauty of nature is a gift for the eyes that really look to see.
At the moment I am noticing: the vibrant blue of the sky against a changing theatre of clouds; the warm-bright-light bouncing tranquilly off my white walls; the random glimpse of fushia as we pass a gum tree bursting blossom out of it’s bulbous gumnuts; the golden orbes of orange on my neighbour’s tree; the regal majesty of a deciduous tree ablaze in colour and gracefully letting down it’s leaves.

And I am searching to find: lavender beginning to bloom; bare branches standing sculptural against the sky.
This training of the eye is a choice that brings much joy + fulfillment to the beholder and I find that children have this gift innately, not distracted by abstract worries of the adult world, they are fully alive + present to wonder, all around them, each.and.every.day. Our job as parents is to catch some of that and encourage it for all it is worth – art is a way of seeing the world – we need only to practice taking the time to see it!