Thursday, May 11, 2017

Tips for nurturing good readers

Below are some tried and tested tips on how to nurture a good reader. This post is likely to be updated as time goes by.

- Let your child see you reading
Children learn from what they observe. If he/she sees that you love reading, your child is likely to follow suit, too.

-Create a reading space.
Your reading space can even be a corner of the couch or a chair in your child’s room. Picking out a comfortable spot that has good lighting and room to keep some children books can help your child learn to connect coziness and comfort with reading.

-Allow your child to pick his or her own book.
He/She would be interested to listen to the story especially if it is something he/she had chosen. If the chosen story is too wordy and you do not have the time to read and summaries to the child, just explain that the book is too difficult for his/her level. If the child insist on having the wordy book, what you can do is a story telling from looking at illustrations.

-Get books that has a topic that your child is familiar with. 
If your child shows lack of interest in books and yet familiar with "Sofia the First" and "Jake and the Never Land Pirates"? What about Disney Junior? If your kids are familiar with these characters, good chances is that they would read these books or ask you to read with them. It will be good to introduce reader series to pre-schoolers.

- Encourage reading all by oneself. 
As a rule of the thumb, choose book that contains not more than 5 new words per page. This is ensure that the child would not feel overwhelm by the presence of numerous new words that he/she do not understand. The new words make reading less pleasant.

- Read wordless books occasionally. 
I used to think wordless books are not good for children to read simply because they are wordless. However,  I was told by a librarian that wordless books are good for children because it encourage children to look through the pictures and narrates based on their understanding. Reminds you of  Oral Test or Picture Composition? Yeah... that is how wordless books are supposed to work. I would listen to Little One's narration and correct her when she phrases her sentences wrongly.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Amoy Street Mural on a rainy day

During the March Holiday, we visited the mural at Amoy Street. They are located on the back walls of Thian Hock Keng temple. This awesome heritage mural is done by Yip Yew Chong, an accountant,who loves painting. I have been following him ever since he painted the Everton Road murals. This set (below) I believe is the best to date murals that he had done. His paintings are always well painted and this is not exceptional in this one.

Too bad, it was a rainy day. The photos who not just photobombed by cars but by rain as well. We could have returned on the Car Free Sunday to take better photo but unfortunately, we could not make it on that day. 

Nevertheless, I will revisit it again! 

The artist pays tribute to his father-in-law using this painting

Linking with

Friday, March 24, 2017

5 not to be missed installations of i Light Marina Bay

If you have not headed down to i Light Marina Bay, this weekend is your last chance to do so!
3-26th March 2017
Marina Bay Waterfront: Free Admission*
Main event 7:30PM to 11:00PM (extended to 12:00mn on Fri & Sat nights)
*Charges apply for some attractions.

i Light Marina Bay,  the fifth edition of Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival , returns this March to set the Bay aglow with 20 sustainable light art installations at the Marina Bay waterfront. 

If you like photography, this year installations are very instagram-worthy. Some of which are interactive. These are the 5 not to be missed installations.

 THE BODY OF THE SEADanny Rose | France

Location: Merlion Park
Don't you love the Merlion? I love the play of lights giving it a change of dress. The light installation gives the Merlion a coral dress, a surreal skin of fish, shells and other marine creatures allowing it to return to the sea. Very pretty if you ask me.

Lee Yun Qin | Singapore

Location: The Promontory 
A simple but lovely display of wire-meshed flowers invites passers-by to take a walk through the garden in the dark. Talking about sustainability, each flower is powered by its own solar powered LED. Best of all, it can be adopted in support of the Garden City Fund, a charity that runs sustainable projects in Singapore! I am not sure whether they are fully adopted. You may want to check with the Information Counter.

OCEAN PAVILIONLuke Jerram | United Kingdom

Location: The Promontory
Inspired by the microscopic organisms found in the rivers and seas around Singapore, the Ocean Pavilion allows visitors to walk in too! Made from 25,000 upcycled Evian plastic bottles with the help of students from 11 schools around Singapore, the artwork promotes reuse and upcycling efforts. The blue lights made it look real cool!

THE URCHINJin Choi and Thomas Adam Shine | USA

Location: Lower Boardwalk

Inspired by the sea urchin, this delicate installation allows passers-by to get into it for photo-taking. It has textured and permeable surface interacting with light while the intricate lace-like pattern is constructed through mathematical repetition. At night, the lighted up Urchins make their occupants glow, but during the day, the Urchins interact with natural light projecting shadow patterns over the boardwalk and offer shade under the sun.


Location: Clifford Square
The peonies (not in picture) and the delicate multicoloured butterflies slowly changes colours and brings an unusual and surprising relationship between nature and the city. I like especially the butterflies which moves in the wind.

I am sure these installations will brighten your night. In additional, there is performances, a bazaar, fun fair and an Art Zoo.  It is not easy to walk at a shot to see these installations. Hence, it is better to look at the festive map  to plan your trip.

NoteIn support of Earth Hour, installations will be switched off from 8.30pm to 9.30pm on 25 March 2017. Other attractions such as Art-Zoo Inflatable Park @ The Float, GastroBeats @ Bayfront Event Space, & Recharge with Pacific Light @ The Promontory will remain open during Earth Hour, so do continue to check them out!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Oil Painting

Towards the end of last year, I attended a oil painting class in the library. The instructor, David Chan is great! We were to draw a fruit basket that day. I have learnt some techniques and how to wash off oil paint from a paint brush.  

I also realized that oil painting can be painting over and over again like acrylic. Compare below 2 pictures. I could not achieve brown initially and I painted a totally off colour for the basket. It is only much later, I painted a close to the original colour not the exact colour of the subject. 

Comparing oil with acrylic, oil takes a much longer time to dry. While carrying home the artwork, some paint actually came off.

Completed piece: total time taken : approximately 2 mornings

At the end of 3 hr class, compare to above, addition 1 morning to complete the work.
I had some oil paint left after completing the fruit basket. Hence, I decided to use them all up. I managed to borrow a book on oil painting. The below book , "Oil Painting Step by Step " by Noel Gregory, James Horton, Roy Lang and Michael Sanders gave good tips on painting. In the book, the authors would also advise what colours to use to create the paintings in the book.  As I had mainly left blue paint, I thought I might paint just a picture of the sea. I managed to find a picture in the book to copy but did not copy the colour scheme. I have only 2 blues, 1 red and white. I had ran out of yellow! I followed the tips on how to create waves, especially those on the horizon. Below is the result.

Oil on cardboard, within 1 hour.  Jan 2017
I admit I am surprised with the outcome. I am not sure whether I would be able to reproduce such a work with acrylic (still my preferred painting medium) next time.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wrapping up 2016

We are well into the new year!
And Chinese New Year is around the corner.

If you notice my blog becomes quieter, it will probably stay that way unless I have something interesting to blog about. Not that Singapore is a boring place. In fact,  it has plenty of interesting places to explore and visit. Just last month, I visited Jalan Besar. And I think it is pretty awesome and quite an eye-opener. I have not been blogging about it because I could not find any time to do so. School holidays makes it even harder so. My primary focus is still on the family. However, I am allocating a time slot for blogging and I will see how that goes.

I never expect to find these at Jalan Besar!

This year, I intend to finish up the crafts which I had left undone. I intend to pull up my socks on calligraphy. I had bought a lot of crafting stuff and I shall see that they are being used. Probably I would pick up one or two new skills this year.

Last year, not only had I learnt to slow down , I had also learnt that not to expect too much from Little One. Throughout out her P1 years, I had thought that Little One could have done better for the assignments I gave but I realised  later in the year that she had been doing fairly well in her cohort. Although she was not the top student in her class but nevertheless, the report book and comments from the teachers were rather positive. That made me think I had probably expect too much from the child. Nonetheless, I feel that there is a lot of room for improvement on her Chinese.

Blog's progress

Top 5 post of 2017
These are selected based on total page views.

5. The art of Batik
Batik is one of my favorite subject. I was fortunate to attend a batik tour and some classes last year. For the first time, I attempted layering something which I had wanted to do for a long time. Although I did not blog about the pieces that I did.
This is done by layering but not by me.

4. 10th Anniversary at Goodwood Park Hotel
We celebrated our 10th anniversary at Goodwood Park Hotel. It was the place we celebrated after our solemnisation 10 years ago. The tower block is actually a monument of Singapore! Back then, I did not know.

Tower Block of Goodwood Park Hotel

3. Lessons from the school holidays
From the June holidays, I learnt to slow down! Slowing down lets one enjoy one's time better and also to recuperate.
Labrador Park during low tide. I never know the tides can be as low as this!

We enjoyed the street parties at Singapore Heritage Festival. It was a time to revive olden days livelihood. I just hope these culture will never disappear.
Various performances

And No. 1 goes to...
This is another site which I visited during the Singapore Heritage Festival. A enchanting site for musical box lovers. And yes, the site is also gazetted as a national monument.

Doesn't this reminds you of a vinyl player?

I noticed last year top posts were mostly heritage related. This is also one area of interest which I had developed over the years. It is quite addictive once you start to learn about it.

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