Floral Watercolour Workshop

It’s been incredibly hard to keep up with blogging this year because things at work and at home have gotten so crazy I can barely breathe. But I have an obsession with learning new things and so I managed to make some time (with help from the husband and one of my aunts) and signed up for a floral watercolour workshop. I dragged the sister along with me for company and it turned out to be a really enjoyable session.

I think technology has taken over our lives so much that there is an increasing desire to DIY and get your hands dirty. There are so many crafty workshops available these days but I decided on Natalie Studio for the watercolour class because the location was very convenient for me.

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Natalie’s samples

We paid $95 (the price has since gone up to $120) for a 3-hour class and there were 7 students in our class (but I think it’s supposed to be 8 cos there was one extra setting). There were a few sheets of floral samples on the table and Natalie our instructor demonstrated each type of flower with helpful tips on what to look out for and common errors.

After each demonstration we attempted the flower on our own while she went around and guided us and pointed out what we were doing wrong (too little water, too much force, etc.) When we were done with the different flowers, she showed us samples of floral wreaths, taught us how to plan the shape and layout, then we painted the wreath with her guidance.

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my attempts at flowers and a floral wreath

I’m glad my first learn-something-new class for 2016 went so well. I would like to try brush calligraphy, some kind of sewing workshop, and maybe work with leather or metal as well!

Hello, Gruffalo!

It seemed like just another ordinary Saturday morning but the kids were actually in for a treat! The Gruffalo dropped by and paid us a visit to the delight of the older children (and the horror of the younger ones).

The kids adore the Gruffalo (terrible tusks and all) and love to read about him, watch him on DVD, and see him in action on the stage. So when the Gruffalo himself appeared at their grandfather’s doorstep with his knobbly knees and turned out toes, they were beside themselves with excitement!

The babies were a bit frightened of this creature with orange eyes and purple prickles, but when it was time for him to go, they decided to put aside their fear and gave him high fives and hugs. The older ones couldn’t bear to see him go and followed him all the way to the lift.

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who’s that coming out of the lift?

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it’s their beloved Gruffalo!

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the little ones were not so enamoured

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I just wanted to hug the cuddly guy

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Bye bye, Gruffalo! Please come back again!

You can still catch The Gruffalo and the other forest creatures from the story at SOTA Drama Theatre tomorrow at 10 am, 12 pm and 3 pm. The Gruffalo is one of 6 productions being performed over 4 weeks (from now until 14 Feb) for Kidsfest 2016 and it’s extremely entertaining for the whole family!

Also check out the other Kidsfest 2016 shows – Room on the Broom, I Believe in Unicorns, Snow Child, Little Red Riding Hood, and Aliens Love Underpants – because tickets are selling fast!

A Smashing Time with The Tennis Club

It’s the end of the first week of 2016 and if your new year’s resolutions are already starting to look a bit out of reach, consider taking up a new sport!

I wanted to be a bit more active because being out of shape and sluggish all the time is not fun at all, so I started a term of tennis lessons at The Tennis Club with my sister. The husband has been playing tennis at The Tennis Club for a couple of years now and enjoys his sessions tremendously.

To be honest, I was quite nervous about the whole thing because I have zero stamina, I’m not the sporty kind AT ALL, and my hand-eye coordination leaves much to be desired. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that tennis is actually a lot of fun, even for someone who doesn’t like physical activity!

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So psyched to be starting tennis lessons!

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explaining the basics to two clueless women

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the husband attempted an artistic shot

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getting familiar with swinging the racquet

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I don’t even know what’s going on here

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getting some help with my forehand

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is this how it’s done?

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picking up the balls

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learning to serve

In the first few lessons, the focus was mainly on getting us familiar with the basics of forehand, backhand, serves, etc. with some drills and exercises. In the subsequent lessons, while still practicing the basics, my sister and I would also try to keep the ball in play up until the point our coach had to step in and rescue us.

Our coach Stephen Pellow has the patience of a saint (and a sense of humour) so the sessions are never tedious or stressful. I like how he constantly gives us little tips and reminders of what to look out for and switches things up if he sees that something is not working out too well for us.

After that first term of lessons, my sister and I decided to sign up for another term because the tennis lessons at The Tennis Club are truly something we look forward to every week. So whether your resolution is to lose weight/ keep fit/ try something new, consider taking that first step with some tennis lessons!

The Tennis Club
200 Turf City
#01-63
Singapore 287994
Tel: 6466 2643
Email: info@thetennisclub.com.sg

Disclaimer: We received a term of lessons from The Tennis Club. All opinions are my own. 

Tasmania Day 7 & 8: Salamanca Market & Farm Gate Market

We left Bruny Island very early to make our way back to the airport so that we could return our camper van and get a rental car. I wanted to get to Salamanca Market as early as possible. Salamanca Market is a street market in Hobart and is held on Saturdays between 8.30 am and 3 pm. There’s so much to see, eat and buy!

I love how almost everything in Salamanca Market is grown or made in Tasmania. We bought some honey, magnets, baby bibs, and books. The author was there to autograph the books we bought! And I know I’ve said this in many of the Tasmania posts, but Salamanca Market is definitely a must-do when in Tasmania.

Another market we visited was Farm Gate Market. Farm Gate Market operates every Sunday on Bathurst St, from 8.30 am – 1 pm. I was delighted to see Get Shucked oysters from Bruny Island at the market and had half a dozen for a second breakfast.

If we are lucky enough to go to Tasmania again, we will make sure we visit Farm Gate Market to stock up before we embark on our camper van journey so that we can have lots of local vegetables, meat and bread for our trip.

Tasmania Day 6: Bruny Island

We said bye to Ratho Farm and drove to Kettering to catch the ferry to Bruny Island. Our first stop was Get Shucked where I promptly devoured 17 ridiculously fresh and delicious oysters (Adrian stole one). We then made our way to Bruny Island Cheese Company and bought some of their awesome cheeses. The Raw Milk C2 and Otto are to die for.

After a very windy climb up to the viewing platform at The Neck where we had a great view of the isthmus of land connecting north and south Bruny Island, we took a rather long drive to Cape Bruny Lighthouse, the second oldest lighthouse in Australia.

Our last stop for the day was Captain Cook Holiday Park for our final night in the camper van. We walked along the beach and then Adrian cooked up some steak, potatoes and carrots for our dinner.

Tasmania Day 4 & Day 5: Tasmanian Devils, Cradle Mountain, Ratho Farm

We had quite a long drive from St Helens to Cradle Mountain on Day 4 and also stopped to buy more groceries for our meals in the camper van. By the time we got to Cradle Mountain, we had just about enough time to go to the visitor centre to familiarise ourselves with the route we were going to take the next day.

We spotted a wombat wandering around outside the visitor centre and some wallabies and echidnas here and there. We also managed to see some Tasmanian Devils and quolls being fed at Devils@Cradle before getting our own dinner.

It was really cold the next morning and even started to snow while we were walking the Dove Lake Circuit. We didn’t bring the tripod with us so I was very thankful that we managed to get a nice photo taken of the two of us by some random stranger. The Cradle Mountain area is simply gorgeous and a must-visit in Tasmania.

We were initially planning to stay at Cradle Mountain for two nights but decided that we were too cold so Adrian randomly booked accommodation somewhere in between Cradle Mountain and our next campsite.

Ratho Farm in Bothwell is home to the oldest golf course in Australia and is a charming property with luxurious rooms. I loved the heated floor tiles in the bathroom. Definitely the most comfortable we had been the entire trip!

When we arrived, they asked if we knew about the special event for the evening and it turned out that Matthew Evans (author and presenter of TV show Gourmet Farmer) was cooking dinner there that day and also filming an episode of the show. That was truly an interesting experience for us!

Tasmania Day 3 – Freycinet National Park, Bay of Fires

We packed quite a bit of sightseeing and driving into Day 3. After breakfast (cooked by the husband using the grill on the side of our camper van), we walked up to see the breathtaking view of Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park. There are several walks of varying difficulties that can be attempted and ours was probably the easiest one.

We popped by Cape Tourville Lighthouse before driving to Bicheno for some lunch. I was starving and hoping to sit down to a proper seafood meal, but since we arrived after 2pm, most of the restaurants were no longer serving lunch so we got some fish & chips to go.

Finally, we made our way to St. Helens to explore the Bay of Fires which is famous for the dramatic orange-hued granite rocks.