Sunday, 15 July 2012

Day 337, 340 & 341- Hubcap Garden

23rd June 2012

The idea of a hubcap garden came to me quite soon after we started our project junkyard. I had these silver pill packages that I thought could be used for making mini hubcaps. Nat helped me cut the pill packages into small silver circles on Day 337 or our 8th Saturday, so they could be made into old, dented and of course rusty hubcaps. 

23rd June 2012

I knew we would not have much time for our junkyard on our 9th Saturday because my parents planned to throw a durian-party at my home that day. The party was to start at about 3pm, a few hours after Nat's arrival.

23rd June 2012, Nat punching hole in mini hubcabs

I was however determined that Nat must once again assume some responsibilities for our project so I made him work on the hubcaps. It was just punching holes and it didn't take him long to give all the silver circles we had, holes in their centres. At about 1 pm, Pam and her 11 year old daughter, Jewel, arrived at my house for the durian party. They were early but Nat and Jewel really hit it off and they became friends quickly. 

The Durian Party

These are the durians my dad bought from 3 different locations in Johore, Malaysia, just the day before. By the time my dad drove what must be 20-30 of them straight from Malaysia to my home, it was almost 12 midnight. It had taken him a whole day in Johore to source for these durians and they were to be some of the best durians I have ever tasted. 

I don't know any young children who like durians. They often find the smell intolerable. Nat is no exception and will often move far, far away from these fruits, calling them stinko. That day however, FaiZ offered to teach Nat how to cut open the durians and that got Nat really excited. What can I say? Give a boy a chance at wielding a butcher knife and nothing else matters. So for those of you who have never heard of this fruit or know how to cut open one, here are the steps: 

Step 1: watch the master. Notice how he had used newspapers to protect himself and the floor from the prickly husk.

Step 2: Find the base of the fruit and pat the knife against the fruit there a few times to flatten the thorns. You will be able to see the lines that separate the fruit into a few segments. Use the knife to poke through the center where the lines meet and when the knife is about an inch inside the durian, twist the knife to force the fruit open.

Step 3: As you can see, you will need to eat lots of rice, meat and vegetables to pry the segment of the husk apart for the fruits. If you are like Nat who hates vegetables and doesn't eat enough meat or rice, then you may have to go on all fours to exert maximum strength. At one point, Nat looked like he was doing push ups against the durian and that he could fall flat, face on fruits.

So it was that our 9th Saturday marked the 1st day Nat was allowed to handle a big knife. I am not sure if his mum and dad know this yet but I remember being very nervous watching him that day. 

 Jewel and Nat

After all the durians were cut open and while the adults were enjoying their feast, I brought Nat and Jewel out so they could take turns spray painting the hubcaps. 

At that time, we were not sure how the hubcap garden would look yet so Jewel showed me an example. Jewel proved to be such a wonderful helper that I made her mum promised to bring her again the next Saturday. I told both Nat and Jewel that we would be working on something exciting the next week.

10th Saturday

27th June 2012

Did I mention something exciting? I knew nothing exciting was possible if I did not get the 4th car so I thought of a good compromise. I went to my mum's house 3 days before our 10th Saturday meet when Nat was not there and broke the roof of the mini cooper off from the body. When I told Nat that I only took the roof and that he could still have the car, he was quiet for a while. So does that mean that I now have a convertible mini cooper? he asked me. Yes! I smiled as I answered.

30th June 2012

Nat was really pleased that Jewel came that 10th Saturday but he was not as pleased as me. Pam left her with me so she could run some errands and the three of us spent a delightful afternoon together.

We started that day spray painting more mini hubcabs that Jewel brought with her. They were from her grandma's pills. I then showed her how I wanted to make the hubcap flower and told her to make about a dozen of them.

Apart from the 1st one that I showed her, Jewel made every one of the other hubcap flower that we would eventually used in the garden. In this picture, Nat was trying to poke a branch through the hubcap very reluctantly as his mother has just scolded him for playing on the iPad instead of working on our project. He did not however make any flower in the end.

We did manage to start on the exciting part of the junkyard that day and also complete the yellow garden, a large part of which is this hubcap garden. This is the only part of the garden that is not glued down and the arrangement can be changed. The biggest credit goes to Jewel, of course. She hasn't been here since and Nat asked for her every Saturday. We must invite her back soon. 


Remco said...

Interesting to see the kind of food we don't know over here!
And making something out of it, suberb.
About the roof of Nat's "new" cabrio... Shame on you.
Don't they have toyshops in your country?
Looking at the pictures, I believe this project is only made by childhands :-)

CWPoppets said...

You can't find Durians in Germany but one can buy them in Canada. I found the smell just too horrible to even try them. Brrr .... ;-)
Ok, the thing with word recognition is going to be a challenge here. What the heck ???

Daydreamer said...

Sans, You are SO Inventive!!! Those pill packages are Pure Genius!!! I LOVE it that Jewel brought more when she came again... and that she proved to be so adept at the mini making!!! As for Nat-who-doesn't-like-girls... Hee hee, Guess we know better, right? I think your hubcap garden is Awesome.... did you know that there are places where people have "re-cycled" hubcaps, along with other "trash" into the very structure of their homes? Of course, I can't remember where I saw the pictures....I'll have to go have a look in the internet...
As for your methods of acquiring the "partial" mini cooper... I bow to your determination.... good compromise!!!!
Your little yellow "buttercups" are really sweet.... I can't wait to see what's next....!

The Old Maid said...

Hahaha I knew you'll find an interesting way of convincing Nat to get the next car, dear Sam. Of course I didn't know it will be a part of it only. But this is a good solution for both of you and your project.:)
Jewel became a real jewel in helping you with miniatures.;)
And your endless ideas of making flowers always inspire me so much!
I have never heard of durians but they look interesting and hope that no matter the smell they are tasty?
I love the little chairs Nat and Jewel sit in. Haven't seen this kind of chair yet.:)

Margriet said...

I've never heard of durians...they don't sound very appealing...I don't like food that smells bad ;-)
But I would love to try...I always want to try something new!
Aaaah, you have recruited another little helper, very good, because nat is only interested in the iPad LOL
The hubcaps flowers are really nice!!!
Oooh, you just ripped off the roof?? You are terrible ROFLOL

Sans! said...

But , but Remco, seriously, I promise you, I only took the roof off because it was already broken! Why waste a broken car , right? In a way, the compromise is good because we each get to keep one part of the car :):):). I really only wanted to use old broken cars for this project, otherwise where's the meaning right? teehee :)

I tell you, Nathaniel has way too many cars and now he's into sinking ships, so he won't miss the car, rather, the roof at all :).

This project is partly made with childhands and all with childhearts :):).

Sans! said...

Christine, I discovered this about the word recognition. 1stly, the one in the box? You can type anything and it will still come up ok if you get the other one almost right. I suspect you don't even have to be 100% right with the word verification, just close enough. But the word (usually numbers) in the box? Doesn't matter what you type so just type something close or maybe even "idiot"..hahaha.

And about durians, let me tell you, we all hated them as children. I still remember how Shir (Nat's mum) would pinch her nose at the sight of one till she was almost a young adult and now look at her! Her father-in-law's plantation in Malaysia yields really great durians and shes always brought us tubfuls of them, after keeping a fair bit for herself whenever their family visit. I have no doubt one day, Nat and his sisters will love them too :).

Plushpussycat said...

Fun watching your process, Sans! The kids are adorable. BTW, I ADORE durian and eat it regularly. My favorite way? I take the contents of one pouch and mix it with a little coconut milk and a little vanilla extract in the Vita-Mix (or other blender). It has the texture and taste of vanilla custard or pudding--yummy!!!! xo Jennifer

Sans! said...

Bets, firstly thank you :):) for correcting my mis-spelling of hubcaps :), teehee. I almost forgot what they are called too :). Haven't owned a car for too long :).

Just wanted to make a car theme park I guess . This hubcap garden is a bit of a compromise on the realism but I like it too :). A lot of it is because it's made by a child :). And somehow this garden blended really well with everything when the project was completed, even though it was only one of 2 "man made" sculptures.

Jewel is very talented and really really good with her hands. Her mum crafts so Jewel grows up always making things with her hands. She also paints very well. Nat only really enjoys painting :) and yes, designing and giving me ideas.

Sans! said...

Haha Ewalina :) I think Nathaniel wasn't angry because he knew how the roof was going to be used :).

Those chairs were picked up from a Japanese restaurant that closed down and were left in the open to rot! It was only when the kids were here that day that we cleaned them so they could sit properly and not break their backs (especially poor Jewel who was also bitten by mosquitoes) making the hubcap flowers.

Durians are named the king of fruits in this part of the world. You either love love love them or hate hate hate them.

The smell is a little like walking into a cheese cellar. I once did just that and I think if I hadn't left in a hurry , I would have fainted there and then. Imagine driving 20-30 of durians the whole day in the confine of an air-conditioned car!! But then again, if you love durians, that will be like being in heaven :)

Sans! said...

Margriet, the smell of durian is divine!!!!!! But for the uninitiated like me and blue cheese, the smell is a little hard to take at first.

Durians are high caloried fruits and can be fattening:). They claim having durians and alcohol at the same time will give you a heart attack so that can be an exciting experience as well :):). A really good durian can cost more than S$100 here but some crazy Singaporeans will pay that kind of price to eat what I cannot tell to be worth that much. Otherwise the cost of 3 of these fruits is about S$20. If you travel to Malaysia like my dad, then you can get these really quality fruits (all 20-30) for a little over a S$100 when over here, it may cost you about S$50 each or S$25 /kg.

That's why people organise durian tours to Malaysia here.

But I can tell you what is really foul tasting, my mother's durian congee! She cooked it once when we were very little and everyone gagged and so she never did it again ..hahahaha. My mum is a fabulous cook by the way so it must be that durian with rice is a definite no no!

илья мамлюков said...

Мне очень понравилось)) с большим интересом читал и интересно что будет дальше?.Вот бы мне заинтересовать своего сына в каком нибудь проекте..Хех аа ДУРИАНЫ спасибо за просвещение я до этого даже и не подозревал о их существовании так как живу не просто в РОССИИ а в ТОМСКЕ что находится в сибирском округе..

Sans! said...

oooooooh Jen! A fellow durian lover :):).. hi 5, girl!

Yes, durians with most desert-y things are great :). And with coconut milk ,super duper yums! But double the calories! Lucky thing you are skinny :).

I sometimes eat my durians frozen and with a spoon :). In fact, I eat them with a spoon if I am home, frozen or not so as not to get the smell on my hands :).

Another trick to get smell off IMMEDIATELY. Keep one of the husk and then drink water from it. It neutralises the effect (increased blood pressure, heatiness and the smell, heavenly or not) and then wash your hands with the water from the husk and all smell gone!

Sans! said...

Эй илья мамлюков :) Я так рад читать ваши комментарии. Очень может быть My 1st комментарий на русском языке :) :).

Мальчик мой племянник :). Мы строим там, где все его сломанный автомобиль может пойти. Я надеюсь, что вы будете читать больше моих сообщений, потому что я буду так рад слышать, что вы думаете, когда видите завершенного проекта :).

Дуриан является плодом только в этой части мира :). Я буду очень удивлен, если вы когда-либо ели их :).Старый учитель наш только приехал в Россию и купил нам некоторые из своих конфет :) так что в одно время, как наши дурианы и ваш конфет были в том же месте .. Хахаха

Natalia's Fine Needlework said...

How on the earth you make everything so realistic!
SANS!inator, your Russian is fabulous! I probably will leave my posts in Russian too. You will not surprise me if tomorrow you start speaking Russian - there is NOTHING impossible for you! I JUST ADORE YOU, SANS!

Cote said...

Vaya dos ayudantes de lujo!!

BiWuBär said...

Never heard of durians - but as you know, we're more the strawberry-loving type around here *wink* What an interesting fruit, I've read in your comments you have to organize them in Malaysia. Hope there's no blackmarket for durians in Singapore... *grin* Nice to meet your new lovely and talented helper, another sorceress' apprentice - this Hubcap-flowers are a great idea. And as for the car... I told you to say "ooops", didn't I... ;O)


Susan said...

The hubcap idea is brilliant! How wonderful you have another budding miniaturist to teach.

Ara said...

I love the hubcap garden idea and it looks wonderful! One of my favorite gifts from my father was a hubcap that he had driven all over to find me to match the other 3 on my car lol! Again, Nat is so adorable!!! You guys make a great team and Jewel seems the perfect helper! hugs, Ara

Fabiola said...

I like hubcup idea. Great job. The two children are adorable and very talented.
Bye Faby

Eliana said...

Beautiful pictures of the kids, loved it! ;)
The junkyard keeps getting better.

Ascension said...

Susan cada vez tienes mas aprendices en las nota que eres una buena maestra.
Estoy segura que esa preciosa niña, volvera para seguir disfrutando de tu saber.
Habeis hecho un fantastico trabajo con los tapacubos.
Esto esta siendo, como una fantastica novela por capitulos, siempre es un placer ver en lo que habeis pasado el tiempo y en los geniales resultados.
Por cierto "nunca" he probado los durians y viendo lo dificil de manejarlos, me parece que no tendria la capacidad de poder abrirlos para probar jejeje
besitos ascension

Roberta said...

You have a very good helpers!!!
With a sweet sweet faces!!
Abuot italy you must come again and you mast have to visit the middle and the south.
A big hugs

Drora's minimundo said...

You made me go search the Wikipedia to learn more about the unknown durian fruit. I also did'nt know what a hab-cab was although I guessed right.

Your two little helpers are so sweet and seriously taking on their tasks. This project is really nice with their cooperation.

Hugs, Drora

Piikko said...

Hubcaps garden!!! Oh, my garden... what amazing imagination you have!
Your hub garden looks so great! And what a helpers you have! Soon you'll have a mini club working in your house. :-) And what a grandma Jewel has! Sweet granny is eating all the pills at once to get caps to her little one's craft works. ;D
Sans, I can't wait to see what will be your next project?

Piikko said...

Hubcaps garden!!! Oh, my garden... what amazing imagination you have!
Your hub garden looks so great! And what a helpers you have! Soon you'll have a mini club working in your house. :-) And what a grandma Jewel has! Sweet granny is eating all the pills at once to get caps to her little one's craft works. ;D
Sans, I can't wait to see what will be your next project?

Sans! said...

Xaxaxaxaxa, Natalia :):) My Russian teacher is Google Translator. So I gather it did a good job?

What I found really cute is that we all say hahahaha but in Spanish it is jajajaja and in Russian, xaxaxaxaxa :):). I think I really like the Russian version.

Adoration is mutual , dear Natalia :). May visit US sooner than I think and I hope I will be passing by your town :). Too bad they don't allow durians on plane or I will threaten to bring you some..xaxaxaxa

Sans! said...

Hola Cote, Jewel por sí solo es un lujo, como su nombre :) :) :)

Sans! said...

Ya Birgit,let me show you how much of an oops that roof turned out to be :). At this time, Nathaniel definitely prefers strawberries to durians. I can tell you though, the strawberries here are so sour that even Nathaniel won't eat the fruits :):):)

Sans! said...

Susan, namesake sister ")") thank you for that term, love it! :):)

And yes, I do feel blessed that I have such a delightful time with the kids.

Sans! said...

Ara, your dad sounds just like mine!! We are truly blessed because I don't think I can be even half of what my dad is when it comes to doing things for others. Those hubcaps of yours must be treasured and recycled even when you don't have the same car anymore. Use them for gardens :):).

Kikka said...

Hi Sans!
Looks again very Creative Artwork!
(I havent even seen those fruits ever..)
Love the the hubcap garden :) the flowers make the are real with the cars !

Sans! said...

Faby, I am lucky to be able to work with kids but not too many at the same time. 2 is just about perfect especially when 1 is as industrious as Jewel :).

Sans! said...

Faby, I am lucky to be able to work with kids but not too many at the same time. 2 is just about perfect especially when 1 is as industrious as Jewel :).

Sans! said...

Thank you Eliana :):). Kids make me happy because they always make me laugh but they can also be exasperating . Pluses outweigh the minuses though :).

Sans! said...

Usted sabe, Ascensión, tengo la sensación de que les encantará durians! Usted es un tipo aventurero y apuesto a que les gustan las cosas cremosas. La fruta durian es de color crema al gusto y muy rico. Es como comer queso derretido :).

Acabo de mensaje de texto a Pam, la madre de Jewel y espero que vendrá de nuevo este sábado :) :). Me encanta estar con los niños. Ellos me han enseñado mucho. Sus ideas son siempre fresco e inusual. Una conversación con ellos es con frecuencia más agradable para mí que las conversaciones en el trabajo :) :). Atesoro esos sábados :) mucho.

besosssss y abrazosssssssssss

Sans! said...

O Roberta! I will definitely go to Italy again! Umbria, Tuscany, San Giominano, here I go.

The other day I was watching a food programme and they were showing this Italian meat sandwich that I suspect is available only in the US! I don't remember seeing much meat being eaten when I was in Genoa :). So when I go next, I will want to experience all the meat dishes haha :)

Sans! said...

Drora, do you know what's a Casuarina tree? The dried fruit look exactly like a miniature durians :). I hope to find some of them here in Singapore. Maybe the next time I run, I will keep a look out. I find really interesting plants when I run :).

This project is a joy to work on because of the kids.

Sans! said...

teeheeeheeheheehee, Piikko. You really got me thinking now about the pill packages from grandma. Did she really swallow all those pills in one go? Now if she takes 2 pills three times a day, that will give us 21 pieces in 1 week :):).

Another 3 or 4 posts and I think I will be done with blogging about this project :). We should be starting on our next project pretty soon :)

Sans! said...

Kikka, durians are really amazing! Soem say it;s a very potent aphrodisiac .... hahaha :) So yes, everyone should try it! :)

And thank you for your compliments!

Amy said...

A hubcap garden! Well, of course! You know how much I adore gardens made out of other things, so I'm loving this especially. Nat and Jewel did beautiful work, they are artists for certain.

A year ago I posted about a garden, five minutes away, behind a shopping center, that grew jackfruit. I'm pretty sure that they're the same thing as your durians. I love photographing them hanging from the trees, love the way they look, but I had no idea how they're eaten or what they look like inside. Now I know! It's wonderful to see them part of family life, instead of just an amazing fruit that is about as mysterious to me as it can be! And I love that even though we live so far apart, our weather lets us share so many of the same flowers and fruit...even when we call them by a different name...

Maria Ireland said...

I also have never heard of Duians they look very interesting :D Wow love the hubcap garden Your ideas are always amazing. Jewel looks like a great helper. haha I knew you would find some way of getting that car or half lol.
Hugs Maria

Sans! said...

Oh no no Amy, we have jackfruit too and they may look similar to durians but are far from the same :). I love jackfruit! They are sweet smelling, chewy to taste and not at all creamy like durian. Durian is unique to South East Asia and I believe it goes by only 1 name, different accents sure, but we all call it "durian" whether in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and even in Mandarin, we say "Liu lian" :):):). This fruit is not called the king of fruit without asserting its right to be addressed by its one and only name "durian" which means "thorny" in Malay :).

Amy, if you have a chance, make friends with the owner of tehe jackfruit tree and asked to taste the fruit one day :). I love them cold and when you are here, we will eat all the jackfruit dessert we can find :). Florida's climate is so much like ours that I won't be surprised if durians can grow there too. The hibiscus flower you photographed ? So familiar :)

Sans! said...

Thank you Maria Ireland :):). Really fun to be able to show you all something new :). Today, at least 15 more people in the world know about durians :):).

plumbing said...

Very creative and i just want to emphasize the idea of engaging your kids with very cool and enjoyable learning experience. Very great!

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