Friday, May 12, 2017

How to build a pretend play airplane in 5 minutes

Do you ever build a blanket fort? Do you enjoy it? Good! Then you should try building a chair airplane!

Through most of the posts on this page, you can see that Emir is deeply fond of the airplanes of all kinds. Not that he has that much of the toy airplanes - maybe like up to ten of those - I’m not really of fan of the available airplane franchises anyway. But, the Miyazaki’s cartoons are full of nice retro-styled biplanes of bright colors and quirky designs. 

These planes give me a lot of inspiration. Particularly, it was from The Wind Rises for Aviator and Cloudy boards. Also, we’ve been watching Porco Rosso endlessly on repeat ever since Emir was born. My heart just bursts out with joy when my boy dives into impersonating “The noble and valiant pilots of the hydroplanes”. It is a great story to be played by himself, with his friends when he has someone visiting, or with us.



Friday, April 28, 2017

Is the booming tropical Saigon a perfect place to move with family?

Someone asked me a while ago to share my experience as an expat parent in Asia - and I was more than happy to, for sure! Moving with kid turned out to be a huge challenge. The fact that it was my first overseas move ever, didn't make it any easier. Now I'm extremely grateful for the incredible opportunity, that let me grow so much over old me. So, below are few of my tips and insights about parent's challenges in Saigon - one of the most popular expat destinations nowadays. I'm not naming any places or schools since it wasn't the point. But if you need specific info, I'll be really happy to share the details - just ask in comments!



A balance bike, few favorite toys, and books in check-in luggage. A handful of matchbox cars in cabin bag. In just nineteen hours, three flights and two transfers, we were to collide with a heap of unpredictable reality, called “Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam”. Now I can recall the huge shock and enormous challenges we faced during our first months. Our family of three had to cope with them and adjust to living in this 12-million vibrant city, also known by its old name – Saigon. While much stuff here turned out to be shocking, much other stuff resembled home a lot. As a Vietnamese saying goes, “same-same, but different.“


Lovely Thao Dien area is an expat enclave of comfortable villas and apartment buildings


Friday, March 24, 2017

Princess Busyboard - a proof busyboards can be cute


What I love about little kids is that they’re so free of gender prejudices. My own big passion for hardware junk started when I was barely four (probably earlier, but that’s what I remember). I can recall it very clearly: my mom was an engineer at the shipyard. One day she couldn’t find anyone to babysit, so she took me with her. A little girlie me in my bright pink jacket was walking along the giant cargo ships with my mouth wide open. All around me there were big metal things, like anchors, and sheets of metal, and cable rolls, and anchor chains. And a heap of loose chain links, each size of the palm of a hand of a grown-up man. And huge metal beams piled neatly. And even half-of-the-ship-huge-as-hell-right-above-me. As we were leaving the shipyard territory, security guy noticed I was crouching down to the ground because of something really heavy in my little pink pocket. Yup, I sneaked a 2-kilo cast iron cargo ship chain link. 

Like a little cutie pie in a pink jacket, I was. 


That’s why I was more than encouraged when I got a request to make a busy-board for a girl, for little Maya. I do believe that the busy-boards are for all kids, definitely not just boys. 


This Princess busy-board was made for the sweetest 1-year-old birthday girl, who loves - surprise - princesses and a certain British piglet. (And, just maybe, cast iron chain links.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Cloudy Busy Board for Frankie

Lil’ Frankie Banana Pants got his own big and all cloudy busyboard for the 1st birthday. Yay!

This realistic baby picture is the best I could get at a frantic party of 10+ kids (and their parents) in one apartment. 



Monday, December 12, 2016

Mars View Apartments

This is another mixed media artwork of mine, dedicated to IKEA furniture.

I would make a chair gray now, too.

More gray.


I dug through a hell of magazines for this Mars article with big picture. National Geographic, how can I ever thank you enough?

p.s. I would for sure take a much better photo. But that's what you get when you give a farewell present before moving half-world away to a friend who just puts a gray painting on a gray wall. Jesus. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Weekday Chart

As Emir got deeper into preschool and we had to postpone some funnier activities to the weekend, I felt a need for this. Frankly, I just got tired answering a thousand of “Is it tomorrow? Is it tomorrow? Is it tomorrow?” Now we can wait for the Saturday in more visible and fun way with this kitchen-fridge-mountable weekday chart.


Doesn't Cyrillic look funny?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tandem Busyboard for Car Lovers

I was extremely excited to work on this one. It was custom-made for little Ash for his first birthday. The tricky part was that he had to share it with his 3-y-o brother Luca. So, I came up with a tandem. 


The theme was a no-brainer. Of course, CARS is what little boys are all about. So, I dug into the idea and had a lot of fun. The project took me about 2 weeks. You, however, can squeeze it in 2 days if you have tools (jigsaw & powerdriver) and details stocked up. See below the few pictures of making-of.