Tag Archives: Community

Inspiring Ballarat Women Leaders (Parlour Instagram Guest-Host Series)

Talina Edwards Female Architect New Homes Houses Renovations Extensions Rural Central VictoriaThis post is part of my #Ballarat series of guest posts for Archi Parlour on instagram.

This series is all about Ballarat’s Inspiring young women leaders. Parlour is all about supporting women in architecture, but since there are only a small handful of female architects in Ballarat,  I wanted to introduce you to some of my tribe of inspiring women who are doing quite diverse roles in the community. They include photographers and videographers, creative professionals, architects, artists, mentors, a councillor, and the founder of a local women’s charity…read on to find out if anyone you know is featured here! Continue reading

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

How much fun is a cardboard box?!

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 Here’s a few pix from our Creative Cubby Project at the Ballarat Begonia Festival Weekend to show you just how much fun a cardboard box (or dozens of them!) can be!

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Visitors found our posters really helpful to know what we were all about.

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Creative Cubby Project – Ballarat Show 2014

You probably know by now that I’m not “just an architect” (nor just a mother), but that I also love sharing my passion with others about sustainable design, often by writing and speaking about it, and being involved with the local community.

I’ve been involved with a fabulous project with a great team that brings a lot of my interests together – it’s a Creative Cubby Project – to teach and inspire (and be inspired by!) our future generations about sustainable living. How much fun?!

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Our flyer… it’s all about FREE, fun and family-friendly!

Our first event was at the Ballarat Show, this past weekend. Three full days of creativity, fun, play, innovation, inspiration and learning a bit about sustainability, whilst building a giant cubby house out of recycled materials! We were very fortunate to receive a “Community Impact Grant” from the City of Ballarat to help fund the project. Most of our materials were donated – including some very large boxes, or purchased from the fabulous recycled collection at Reverse Art Truck (formerly known as Reverse Garbage). These included boxes, egg cartons, cardboard tubes, cereal boxes, card, bottle tops, synthetic grass, timber dowells, ribbons, magazines, straws, cork, pipe-cleaners, fabric and more!

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Just some of our materials… we had LOADS!

We were a spin-off from an “Eco-Cubby House” event at last year’s show, and were also very inspired by “Caine’s Arcade” – a 9yo boy who built an entire games-arcade from cardboard! Check out the heartwarming video about him, and the “Imagination Foundation” that resulted… We even joined our project in their Global Cardboard Challenge (which is all about engaging kids all over the world in creative play – over 46 countries are currently involved)!

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Our little makers (and some big ones too!) were so busy creating!

I loved the imagination and creativity that the kids displayed – and their parents too! We had a rule of “no glue and no paint” so everything could be dismantled and disassembled at the end of the project and then reused or recycled. This meant more innovation and creativity was involved with the building and making! Instead of glue, our fixings included: masking tape, pegs, string, rubber-bands, twist-ties, paper-clips, bulldog-clips,  pipe-cleaners, pins and staples.

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Our eco-cubby house and garden!

Our main cubby house was built over the three days and included tunnels, towers, secret rooms, openable windows and doors, skylights, peepholes, curtains, flyscreens, wind turbines, solar panels, ceiling fan, roof garden, green wall (with flowers), letter box, chimney, welcome mat and more! Our main garden area included a large tree (complete with leaves, birds, insects, swing, lantern, nest and more), a sky (including sun, clouds, rainbow and plane), our rooftop garden (full of trees, plants, flowers, scarecrow, caterpillars, rabbits, pig, birds and butterflies),  stepping-stones, a fish pond, and a patchwork shade sail!

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Look at some these fabulous creations!

The kids had free reign over what they wanted to contribute to the project.  Some of their ideas were fabulous! Check out the welcome-sign for the door, the barbecue complete with kebabs(!), the upholstered armchair, the stick insect and spider, and the fish pond complete with water-feature! We had a radio, a tv, a clock, all made out of cardboard! There was also a garage – as we had some truly inventive tractors, trolleys, cars and trains… all run on fuel from renewable resources of course!

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How much fun is a big box with a hole cut in it?!

I think our favourite thing was seeing the joy on the kids’ faces as they explored and discovered the ins and outs of the cubby, and then felt some ownership as they contributed. It was so gorgeous to see! We had such lovely feedback from both the kids and adults – many visited more than once, or stayed for quite a long time, and many said it was their favourite thing at the show! We especially loved hearing that our zone was a calm haven amongst the crazy, busy, noisy, expensive and instant-gratification of the rides/carnival-games/junk- food/showbags outside our pavilion. We had repeat comments about the value of ‘quality family time’, free-family-friendly, space to recalibrate, calm haven for kids, creative craft time, easy to replicate at home, held their kids attention, learning more about sustainability and reduce/re-use/recycle… and the words “slow cubby movement” were heard a number of times….

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Our Creative Cubby Project team!

I feel very fortunate to have been invited to be part of this fabulous community art engagement initiative!
A big thanks to the fabulous project co-ordinator, Pauline O’Shannessy-Dowling, (POD Design) who 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 imimaginative thinking.  And a big thanks to the lovely Liz Cummins, Ballarat Landscape Architect of ‘Bricolage Design‘ who specialises in play spaces and children’s landscapes. Liz also has a background in early childhood education – how lucky were we to have her wisdom and experience! Liz also wrote a great wrap-up of the weekend here. And for those who don’t know me, I’m Talina Edwards, of Ballarat-based sustainable design studio ‘Talina Edwards Architecture: elemental design‘, and also a mum to two creative young lads. I think together we made a great team, and please stay tuned for further news about where our Creative Cubby Project might pop up next!

Find out more:
Like us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CreativeCubbyProject
Follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/creative_cubby
Email us at: creativecubbyproject@gmail.com

And as always, if I can assist in any way with your very own “eco – cubby”, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! ;o)

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Do you value creativity in kids? What’s your creative outlet? What do you do to “slow” down? (Please reply in the comments box below).


 

Talina Edwards Architecture is a Ballarat-based studio, specialising in sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes. We like to help answer your questions about environmental design. Don’t forget you can click here to sign up to receive our monthly newsletter  (or over there on the top right-hand side of this webpage) so you won’t miss out on our news!

 

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!

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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!

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