Wednesday, May 26, 2010

GLASS ART ~ AN HOUR WITH DOMINIC FONDÉ

Jonathan, Harith and I spent an hour with Dominic Fondé today to learn about glass art at Glass Art Solutions.

A small quaint private house that was turned into a simple studio that also conducts classes by Dominic or his business partner Jane Cowie.

It was an eye-opener for us, especially Jonathan, even though he was more observing what Dominic was doing and I'm sure he was listening too.  But Harith and I asked all the questions :)

Come along with me on our glass art journey:

But first a little about Dominic's techniques.  He uses the drilling method to engrave anything on glass.  This engraving tool can be purchased from art stores.   You can read more about what Dominic has done at his website.

Some artists use the dentist drill but Dominic prefers to use this portable one cos it's easy to travel with.

This is the drill bit (which has diamonds on it) to engrave on glass.

Over here, we are preparing Jonathan to engrave his own cup. Wearing mask is necessary cos of the glass dust. He was so game for this that he didn't mind having the mask on and was all ready to hold the drill..LOL!

Jonathan's name written by Dominic using a marker as guide.

While I held Jonathan's hand, Dominic maneuvered the drill.  Notice he still crosses his leg while doing his work...haha!

Concentrating ....

The finished work.  Jonathan moved his hand a little and so the letter "t" was slightly off.

Our next demonstration required us to wear dark shade goggles.

Colored glass rods to be melted into glass beads.  While clear glass is cheapest, the red ones are the most expensive.

This is the reason why we had to wear the goggles.  Looking at this bright yellow light for a prolong period of time will hurt the eyes.  Dominic uses these torches that produces fire that goes up to 1000 degrees Celcius. 


The final product.  The bead is red because it's very hot.  Once cooled, it will return to the color that was used to create this bead.

The heated beads are placed in this box filled with cork-like materials to cool them down.

Jonathan holding a bead that was not totally cold.  His expression tells all :)

These are the beads created and we got to keep them :)

More pictures on bead making can be found in my FACEBOOK.

Different types of glass...opaque, clear, colored ...

Dominic showing us a metal looking glass.

The kiln used for molding projects.  We didn't get to see what's inside or do a mold because some projects by students are in there.  And if we open the kiln before the "baking" ends, the glass will crack as it reacts to the environment.

We just got to have a picture with the Artist himself :)


I would have enrolled for the engraving class if I have the time.  It's such an interesting hobby and you can make gifts on drinking glass for friends!  Maybe one day.

Classes are available on weekdays in the evenings.  SGD200 for 8/2hour class.  But if you want a session for your class just like what we did today, Email Dominic for more details.

Jonathan said he enjoyed himself.  He liked engraving better than making beads.  When we asked if he wants to be a glass artist, he said "NO."  LOL!

Dominic was very clear in his demonstration and we had a good time.  He even showed us some works that they were commissioned to do.  Amazing work!  Thanks Dominic!

Then we adjourned to Parkway Parade for lunch.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

AGAIN...

Jonathan's nose stuffed up again.  Last night, he couldn't sleep.  Finally managed to dose off at 3am.

I told Harith we have to bring him to the doctor's and confirmed that he has the flu.

Lungs are clear.  Nose and throat a little inflamed.  No need for antibiotics.

He refused to take his nap even though he was drowsy with the medication and needed the rest actually.


Normally I will stay up till around 3am just to change his diaper then go to bed.  But last night, it's been quite tough for me cos I had backache and he wanted me to hold him upright all the time, making the nerve more tender and my right leg numb.

I'm actually getting sleepy now ... Hope tonight will be better.

In a way, I'm glad we brought him to the doctors today and got him medicated.  We're going to bring him to Art Glass Solutions for an hour of art experience with glass this Wednesday.  I'm looking forward to that.   More on that later this week.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING TO JONATHAN?

He's not been going to school and he's still not keen.  Health issue has settled somewhat except for the stuffy nose once in a while.

The weather's been really hot.  That's one contributing factor.  The other is that he's switched his bowel movements to the afternoon.

When he was in the morning session, he used to want to poo in the morning.  Now, he's doing them in the afternoon.  That's one of the reasons why I'm so reluctant to go.

Doing "business" at home is fine.  He's on the mat.  No matter how many times he does it, it's still easy for me to clean  him.

But in school, it's a totally different matter.  The toilet bench is short in length.  And carrying him up and down is a total strain on my back.  I cannot always rely on the school warden to be around.  She has other classes to help.  Also, to wait for him and stay in the toilet is also very hot.

I dread this.  Yet...I can't let this stop me from bringing Jonathan to school.  A friend said I should train Jonathan to do his "business" at other times.  But it's hard.  If I do that, he will get annoyed and angry and just refused to do it.

Then again...how can you force nature?

Today I got a call from Nurse Lisa from the school asking how we are doing and when we will be going back.
She asked if I've been doing any exercises..."No" was my reply...sadly.  Well..he's just been watching tv and we bring him out for walks.  I've worked with him on a couple of times but that has stopped because I lose my patients quite quickly now.

So...that's what's been happening.  Do I feel guilty just making him stay home?  It's a mixed feeling.  He's still weary about going to school and coming home ill.

Since we just got his new buggy, I'm going to use that when we return to school and this is another issue.  The buggy is huge and heavy.  Without Harith it will be a struggle.  But this is something that I have to deal with even if Harith is not around to help me.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

PHEW!

I've been dry in coming up with designs.  Thank God I've started creating again :)

Found this really nice music graphic and decided to print a shirt for my friend's daughter who's going to Poland for a choir competition this June.

This is the front crest (above).  I didn't want to put her full so decided on just the initials.  Harith was wondering why I tilted the music staff.  Well...I didn't want it to look squarish  heh heh.  below is a close up:


The main design was put behind.

Close-up:

I've got another 2 more birthday cards to finish before June and 4 children tshirt design to complete.  Have just finished a Singapore National Day design HERE.  If you know of anyone who wants to order the national day tshirt, do let me know.  Hope to come up with another ND design later.

Phew!  I'm glad I could get started again.  Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

NEW BUGGY ~ AFTER ADJUSTMENTS

We were out with the Convaid again today.  Before that, I adjusted the back rest straps and lowered the mid-section because there is a little cushion bump that is actually meant for the arc of the lower back.

Jonathan is not that tall.  So I loosened the strap and it was a little straighter.  I also lowered the inner seat.

Jonathan sat better today.  His body at the waist didn't protrude out, unlike the first time he sat.

And I was able to handle the buggy better today, going up and down the escalator.

We're getting used to it now. Thank you Jesus :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

NEW BUGGY ~ CONVAID CORDURA

We got our new buggy on Saturday (8th May).  I was so excited about its arrival that it didn't occur to me that it was the wrong size, wrong color.  Only after the delivery man left that I asked myself why was this new buggy bigger than the one we got from Make a Wish Foundation.

I put Jonathan on it and he looked like a small fish in a big tank..haha.   Thought I should bring him downstairs for a walk but it was already too hot so we didn't do it, which was good cos we had to exchange it :)

Harith came back from his music classes and said the size is absolutely wrong.  He was amused that I didn't even see the obvious signs that this new buggy was the wrong one..haha.  Well... I was blinded by excitement LOL!

Ours was 14" and the color green teal (but in the photos below, they look blue haha)

Ok...so we got the exchange on Monday morning.

Yesterday, we tired it out.  We went to Changi Airport because it was less crowded to try on the escalators too.

Here we are on the travelator just above the train station that connects Terminal 3 to Terminal 2.  We were walking T2.

Our prince, aka boss (to some friends)..haha.  Never fails to cross his legs.

At Terminal 2.  He's still trying to adjust to the new buggy.  At the beginning he kept moving himself out, ie dangle his whole body out of the buggy and we had no choice but to use the shoulder harness to keep him in position.

Before we left, we went to the viewing gallery that had a display on the history of Changi Airport and while standing infront of a big mirror, we took this:

I'm glad we went to the airport for a tryout.   It was easier with less people than at the shopping mall.

Now...more about the buggy:


The leg rest - Looks like the front of the normal wheelchair.  We have to swing the foot rest to the sides when folding the buggy.  The front wheels are blocked by the seat.  I have to look left and right before landing the buggy from the escalator.  Almost got stuck on the top of the escalator earlier.


The big hind wheels.  We were not sure if these hind wheels will fit into the steps of the escalator but they did...phew!

The buggy seat is comfortable.  There is a kind of material strip on the middle of the whole seat that is kind of heatproof.  So sitting on the buggy will not be too sweaty for Jonathan.

The only drawback is the handle bar.

It's a 5-positioning handle.  Just press the knob on both sides and you can move it up and down.


When I'm moving up and down pavements (whenever there's no ramp around), I will bring the handbar down and hold the actual frame.  I'm afraid that if I use the handlebar to press down on the buggy, it may break.


One thing good about the backrest is that it's adjustable to the contour of the body.  The double side straps on velcro, allows you release the tension if you don't want the backrest to be too upright (picture below)

The back of the buggy.

Although the main frame is tilted on 30 degrees, the inner part of the seat can be lowered just by adjusting this flap (above) that is held by velcro.  Not much allowance is given but still it will help to push Jonathan into the seat even more.

All in all, it's a sturdy and good buggy.  It's whole frame is metal and it's strong.  Although it's heavy, it's still manageable when we carry (well ... Harith has been the one doing the carrying.)  10 kilos (approx 20 pounds).  The suspension is good and Jonathan seems comfortable in it.  But I still have to make adjustments to his backrest so he will be more comfortable.

So goodbye to the Maclaren buggy.  It was good while Jonathan could fit in it :)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

MOTHER'S DAY SURPRISES

I had two surprises today.

While I was taking a shower, Harith got Jonathan to sign a cute mother's day card for me.  I don't know how he managed to hold his hand with the pen.  But the writing was pretty eligible..haha.  Then I got a mystery novel from Harith.


Together we prayed.  Not only for me but also for our own mothers.  And the best present was when I opened my eyes, Jonathan was smiling and looking at me.

Sweet.

But on a sad note.  This afternoon I received a call telling me my good friend's husband suddenly passed away while at work.  He's a container truck driver.  Works the night shift with hardly any rest day.  His friend found him sleeping in the truck probably taking a nap but couldn't revive him when found that it was more than him sleeping.

He was only 50 years old.

I felt so sad for my friend.  Because she also has a child with special needs.  Her husband was the sole provider.

I felt sad because she lost a man she love with a growing child with special needs.  He was always the one carrying her son up and down transport even though the boy can walk, although slow steps.

I felt sad because my good friend and her husband were lovers.  They were the most loving couple I've known.  He would do anything for her whenever she needs help.  He's always patient with their son.  He will always try to earn as much money as possible to make life comfortable for his family.  She told us she must have a conversation with him everyday.

Now...all these will change.  But she did assure me that she will be strong because she has family and friends like us to help her cope and take care of her 2 children.

But I'm thankful that she's got a great older daughter who is going to be a pillar of strength to my friend. LT has been able to take care of her little brother from a very young age.  And my friend also has a big family of siblings who are there for her.  And for that, I'm also sure that she has cherished all the years she's spent with her husband.

Unexpected events brings a sudden awakening to us.

I have to keep reminding myself to cherish each moment with my loved ones, especially my closest boys beside me.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

PRESIDENT STAR CHARITY 2002

Well...I been having this clip in a video tape between all of Jonathan's game shows. Been wanting to transfer it down to DVD but I don't know how to hook up the DVD recorder to the VHS player {yes ... we still have VHS player heh heh }

So I used my camera and recorded it. I wanted to show my friend (Lorraine's son) who was also featured for a few seconds.

Jonathan was in Rainbow Centre then. The school was one of the recipients of the President Star Charity so they needed someone to be featured and we were asked to help. I didn't record the actual show because we were at Mediacorp for the show :(

But I'm glad I have this and another shorter trailer featuring only Jonathan (if I can find it in one of those tapes haha!)

Please excuse the bad recording.  Was trying not to have those flickering images.  You can hear Jonathan's voice laughing in the background because he was so amused that I kept rewinding the tape.

video

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

MY DANCING PARTNER

He loves to stand whenever my back allows me to hold him.  Today Harith managed to catch a picture of us when I stood with Jonathan dancing and swaying. haha.  My beloved dancing partner.  He's so tall now :)  (and I'm glad his arm blocked my big tummy!  hee hee)


And the CONVAID CORDURA buggy we ordered (HERE) has arrived after 6 weeks!  Yay!  Will be picking it up on Thursday morning.  Hopefully from then on, Jonathan will be comfortable whenever we go out for long walks.