Monthly Archives: August 2015

Painting with salt water

IMG_4221 A few months ago a package arrived from Orbit’s cousins in Canberra with some truly wonderful presents in it. One of the presents was a Paint With Water book. This book and others (we now have a growing library) are my “go to” activity when I need Orbit occupied for about 15 minutes.

Orbit takes a great delight in ‘painting’. Its lovely when he says “Yeah!” when I suggest we do some painting or refreshing to hear him say “painting” when I ask what he would like to do. It has been really interesting watch his skills develop, from how he holds the paintbrush to where he paints – on the paper, off the paper, trying to keep within the lines or not.

Paint with Water books are fantastic for any number of reasons, there is less mess to clean up (compared to paints), are relatively cheap and easy to find (I buy mine online), they don’t take up much space, we only need water and a paint brush, the ‘paint’ comes off skin easily and doesn’t seem to effect the varnish or upholstery (as long its cleaned up relatively quickly). The pictures can take sometime some time to dry (depending on the amount of water that has been used), so I just pat them down with hand towel and hang them up on the safety lines with some pegs to dry.

From experience (hence the library of Paint with Water books), I’ve found that the books with a picture only on one side and with perforated edges, so one page can be pulled out and painted at one time are the best.

I have also found an answer to my question of what to do with Orbit’s growing collection of artwork – use it as wrapping paper! ‘Homemade’ wrapping paper just adds that special touch, doesn’t cost any extra money and means we don’t have to carry wrapping paper for presents.

IMG_4297This week I decided to experiment to see if the pictures worked with saltwater, and they did! Not a earth shattering discovery I know, but because we’re conscious about our water use, any little bit of water saving adds up. I am constantly on the lookout for activities that suit the cruising lifestyle (limited or no water, limited or no electricity and doesn’t take up too much space) and I think this one is another winner.

Another fabulous thing about Paint with Water books is that there is no age limit on them. I really enjoy painting my own picture while Orbit does his (hence my need for him to be occupied for about 15 minutes). I suppose it ties in with all the ‘mindfulness techniques’ that are around at the moment, like the colouring-in books for big kids (i.e. adults). So, Paint with Water books are a winner on Medina, may our library grow!

A big thanks to Orbit’s Aunty Kelli for sending Orbit his first Paint with Water book – we haven’t looked back!

Its only chalk dust

We’ve had some fantastic winter days this year and I have been thinking of some activities for Orbit to do while we are still in the marina, the sun is shining and its not too hot to be outside.

DSCN1813

Orbit’s chalk drawing

There are a number of activities we can do within the marina. We can go to the play area, visit our marina family, explore the gardens (i.e. look for lizards), roll down the grassy hill or watch the activity at the hard stand area (watching travel lift put boats in and out of the water is a particular favourite at the moment) to name a few.

But its always good to have a few extra activities up our sleeves – in case we don’t have these activities at our next marina.

Our plan is to cruise but we’ll be based in floating marina’s while the Skipper goes to work to top up our cruising kitty. As it will be Orbit and I on Medina by ourselves (while the Skipper is at work), we’ve chosen to be based in floating marinas because it makes life for me so much easier. The thought of getting myself and Orbit in and out of the tinnie with the groceries on my own is not something I really want to deal with now or in the next few years. No worries if the Skipper is with us, but not on my own, not until Orbit can drive the tinnie anyway.

Anyway, back to activities we can do in the marina … I have come up with a few and will post more in the coming weeks.

DSCN1828This week we tried drawing with chalk on the concrete walkway of the floating marina.

We checked with the marina manager and he said it was ok as long as Orbit was supervised, we don’t draw on the main walkways and to clean up afterwards, but then clarified that this shouldn’t be an issue, because “its just chalk dust”.

I also checked with our neighbours who we share a walkway with. They thought it was a great idea and said they looked forward to seeing some of Orbit’s art work.

I spoke with a few other families in the marina and one mum suggested I lay hoses down the side of the walkway to prevent the chalk rolling into the water. We only have one hose (that is handy) and thankfully our neighbours have ‘permanent fenders’ partly along their side of the walkway which are high enough to prevent the chalk from rolling in.

Orbit loved drawing with the chalk and was keen to have me draw as well. This triggered me to write the alphabet. Once Orbit had finished his drawing, he began to practice the alphabet and we tried to come up with words from what we could see, like B for boat, C for chalk, F for fish, W for water … not very creative I know!

We both enjoyed this activity, although, I think Orbit’s preferred part was washing the chalk off the walkway. It’s something we’ll definitly be doing again.

Cars, cars and more cars

Playing with cars on deck

Playing with cars on deck

Sorry for not posting last week. I had the flu and Orbit had a cold.  I think we set a record for going through a box(es) of tissues! 

One of things that enabled us to get through few days of not feeling well was Orbit’s love of cars. They are a close second to anything water related. And even better when they can be combined with water! 

Thank goodness toy cars are a boat friendly toy. They don’t take up much space, can be ‘driven’ on almost anything, are portable and some even float! 

I am forever finding toy cars stashed around the boat – tucked in between cushions, in the washing machine, in the freezer, on deck and in the cockpit. I try to consolidate the ones that are easy find at the end of each day. But alas, if I found all of them, there would be no surprises during the day!

The 'road' masking tape not the saloon table

The ‘road’ masking tape not the saloon table

Orbit has only lost one car into the water. Without trying to sound mean, I am glad it was a bit of a traumatic experience for him, as it was a good learning experience. He hasn’t lost another one since.

Orbit’s Aunt found some masking tape with a road printed on it, which has been fantastic for making roads pretty much anywhere on the Medina. We have a ‘road’ ‘permanently’ on the saloon table which keeps Orbit occupied. To keep things interesting the Skipper and I randomly change the design of the road so every now and then, Orbit gets a surprise when he pulls the table cloth off.

You should have seen Orbit’s face the first time he watched the Cars movie, he was enthralled by it. The movie was a godsend last week when we weren’t feeling well. We both snuggled up in the v-berth with our pillows and blankets and watched the movie (a few times) on the lap top. It was like being in our own (very small) movie theatre.