Tag Archives: Children

Victoria Premier’s Sustainability Awards – Winners announced!

Eureka Mums charity Winner if Premier's Sustainability Awards 2015 Talina Edwards  Architecture Ballarat Blog post

I was thrilled that the winners were announced last week for the Victoria Premier’s Sustainability Awards – and local charity, Eureka Mums (with sister organisations St Kilda Mums and Geelong Mums) were awarded both the Community Award and the top gong with the Premier’s Recognition Award!

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards have been run by Sustainability Victoria since 2007,  rewarding and recognising those who implement environmentally-sustainable measures to better manage waste, water and energy consumption. You can check out the full list of 2015 winners at http://sustainabilityawards.vic.gov.au/2015-finalists. and read an Eco News article about it here.

I was extra proud of this win, as I helped out Eureka Mums with some pro-bono architectural services earlier this year when they moved into their new warehouse. If you haven’t heard of them, they are a fabulous crew of volunteer women, who arrange collection of, store, organise and re-house pre-loved babies’ and children’s gear to those in need. St Kilda Mums was where it all started in 2009 with Geelong Mums and Eureka mums to follow soon after. The founder of ‘Eureka Mums’ Ballarat’s Erin Malone and her dedicated team are an inspiration. Continue reading

Creative garden wonderland for Ballarat kids!

I wanted to share with you a few photos of a gorgeous art exhibition/installation/experience that is currently on in Ballarat. It is called “Emily and Margie’s Marvellous Magic Garden“…. and it truly is magical!

Local designers, artists and mothers, Margie Balazic and Emily Van Der Molen (Bunty and Sars) both spent many months putting this together! You can see their attention to detail and love of design, nature and the wonder of gardens. 99% of the installation is hand-made, and they also had the help of many local schools and pre-schools. The exhibition is very interactive, and encourages children (and children-at-heart) to engage with the art; including a chalkboard inside the cubby house, wall-murals to colour in, neon-coloured spots to decorate the house, a mini clothesline to colour in and hang up paper-dolls-clothes, a giant nest to read in, and a craft table with loads more activities! We could’ve stayed for hours! It is open until the 26th Oct, so I encourage you to pop down to experience it in person.

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Open Thurs-Sun 12noon-5pm at Backspace Gallery, Camp Street

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My boys exploring! How amazing are the origami clouds?!























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A fluorescent tree! (So clever!)












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The attention to detail is truly amazing. Most of it is made from paper, card, straws…












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Gorgeous hanging vines of colour!












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My youngest chilling out in the nest.












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More teeny tiny flowers, and lush green leaves.












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Love the re-use of packing cardboard, and cotton-tips, and drinking straws.












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And complete with a miniature fairy toadstool house…so sweet!












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I think the daffodils were my favourite flowers!












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Neon-fairy perched on the roof tiles.





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Kids enjoying being involved in the art – decorating the house with spots and dots.
































I love supporting the local creative community, and often share the love for all sorts of amazing events through social media, but not so often on the blog. But I wanted to this time, as it was such a lovely idea and outcome (and these women are rather fabulous!), and also because  I am excited to announce that I too will be involved in an artistic community event especially for children, “The Creative Cubby Project“, supported by The City of Ballarat, as part of this year’s Ballarat Show.

The project co-ordinator, Pauline O’Shannessy-Dowling, (POD Design) is a local Visual Artist, who creates intricate, whimsical drawings often with bright, bold colours. She regularly runs art-workshops with school children, encouraging creativity and artistic expression of imaginative thinking.  The other member of our team is Ballarat Landscape Architect, Liz Cummins of ‘Bricolage Design‘, who specialises in play spaces and children’s landscapes, and she also has a background in early childhood education. And of course myself, as an architect who loves sustainable design, and a mother who loves creative kids projects. I think we’ll make a fabulous team, and I’m really looking forward to it!

Talina Edwards Architecture POD Design Bricolage Design


We will be working with local children and their families to create an enormous eco-cubby house incorporating sustainable elements such as passive-solar design principles, solar energy, water tanks, vegie gardens and chooks. The Creative Cubby Project is FREE with show entry on Fri 7th, Sat 8th, Sun 9th November 2014, 9:30am-5pm in the Youth Pavilion. Please come by and say hi!


To find out more, follow us on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/creative_cubby

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CreativeCubbyProject

Email: creativecubbyproject@gmail.com





I love encouraging creativity and imagination in kids! And getting them involved with thinking about nature, gardens, buildings and their relationship to them. Do your kids love the outdoors too? What about your memories as a child – what did you love doing? Would love to hear in the comments below!


5 Architecture Gift Ideas for Kids

Do you know a little creative person who loves architecture? They might love building cubbies and forts, constructing sand-castles or making dolls-houses for their toys out of cardboard boxes! However if you need a few MORE ideas for what else they might like for Christmas, here are my top five gift ideas for encourage your budding little Architect! (Or for ALL children really!)

1. Kids Architecture Books

There are some fabulous books about Architetcure for kids! Some of my faves (and the ones my kids love too!) are “Iggy Peck, Architect” where young Iggy is passionate with architecture and manages to save the day, or “Roberto: The Insect Architect” which is a very humorous tale about a termite that loves building with wood (instead of eating it!) with clever references to world-famous architects, or “See Inside Famous Buildings” a flip-the-flap book by Usbourne.

2. Wooden Blocks

Every kid should have a set of wooden blocks! I love the texture of the wood, I love the open-ended play (meaning kids use their imagination and creativity to use the blocks in any way possible through exploration and discovery) and I love that kids are sub-consciously learning about science while they play (physics when constructing a tower, and then the law of gravity when the blocks come tumbling down!). Whether they are home-made or shop-bought, blocks are a great toy for all ages. And world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright  said his inspiration for Falling Water came from his love of playing with blocks as a child!

3. Lego

Lego was always my favourite toy as a child! I’d spend hours designing and building houses, and then keep them for months – not wanting my masterpieces destroyed! I kept my big box of lego, and my sons now love it too! Yes its a plastic toy, but it is so durable and lasts for YEARS, and still always fetches a high price if you’re willing to part with it! They even have Architectural lego sets for the grown-ups now too… I might put that on MY wishlist for Santa this year!

4. Architecture 3D Puzzles / Models

My son was given some of these great sets as gifts, and he loved constructing these world-famous buildings, and then being able to look up images online of the real deal! They’re made of cardboard/foam-core so are lightweight and the pieces just punch out and slot together with no scissors or glue required. They look very impressive once built, and were a big hit at school for “show and tell”!

5. Sketchbook and Pencils

Every little Architect loves drawing! So provide the materials they need to maintain their passion! The gift of a special sketchbook that can be used as a “Visual Diary” to be creative daily with their drawings is sure to be gratefully received. Stay away from colouring-books where the pictures are already drawn, and provide a blank canvas instead with no preconceptions about what ‘should’ be on the page. As a child, I desperately wanted a box set of Derwent pencils for a gift… finally one year I got the prized set and I finally felt I was a ‘real’ artist! I still have them (although some favourite colours are on the stubby side now), and my kids now use them too!



I think these ideas are great for fostering creativity and imagination for ALL children – not just those who have shown an interest in building and architecture! I’d love to hear your thoughts – don’t be shy – comment below.

What was your favourite toy as a kid? What do your kids love playing with? Do you think you may have a little architect in the making?

If you want to learn more about all things design, architecture, sustainability and healthy homes, please sign up to follow my blog by email (top right hand corner of this page).

Talina x