Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Simply past photos!

So this weeks lesson plan for my TESOL involved the simple past and talking about childhood so I asked my Mum to dig out some photos from the archives for me to use, and boy did she pull out some corkers! This is me sporting a very natty knitted trouser and cardi combo, with a crocheted poncho! Look, you can see the cables on the trousers! I can only imagine that my Nan knitted that particular outfit for me because she loved cables – I don’t think my Mum was very keen on knitting, she preferred to sew, she sewed her own wedding dress, and those of her bridesmaids. I remember Mum had a knitting machine at some point and she churned out  jumpers and things (which we hated at the time because everyone else had shop bought stuff and it made us feel like poor kids to have hand-made stuff) but I don’t think she really enjoyed it. Funny how things change isn’t it? She did make us some awesome clothing though – I had a pair of tartan bell bottoms which were sooo Bay City Rollers that I felt the kiddie in them. Okay, if you’re not from the UK you probably won’t understand much of that last sentence, but trust me, it was all very cool! At the time!


I believe she made this dress too! That’s my lil brother there, nicking my trike! Lurve the bowl haircut Bruv - actually Mum cut our hair too! All these early photos my Dad developed and printed in the bathroom. Dad’s Dad had been an keen amateur photographer and had taken photos of the 1914 Naval Review in London coz Granddad was in the Navy (he was bombed twice and shipwrecked once). They were unofficial photos because it was still a reasonably new thing then and he was very young. My brother is now a medical photographer and I have photography qualifications and stuff, so I guess you can say that photography’s in our blood. You really take your parents skills and things for granted when you’re young; my parents were do-ers, they made things, they did things, they read, they had hobbies, they took us out and showed us the world. We were lucky, some people never have that start in life.    

Anyway, I have one more teaching observation to do and then some assignments to complete; then it’s compiling my portfolio ready for assessment! Eeek! It feels like time’s running out now and panic’s starting to set in! I’ve also been asked to do some English teaching at school next term, as well as my art teaching and my vocational studies. I’m soo busy at the moment, summer can’t come quick enough for me (wait, I think I agreed to teach some summer school this year too!)…who needs holidays!? I’m just going to clock up the money to see me over the summer months when I don’t get paid, so it’ll all work out in the end!

So what else has been going on with you guys? I finished my flower pin, you can see it above. Each petal layer is blanket stitched with a different colour of the rainbow and I found a lovely spiral button for the centre. I have also have a jacket and a cardi waiting for embellishment, and I’ve been slowly but surely working on my  Hoodie. And I’m ashamed to say that I got a bit of startitus again! I crocheted some granny squares for a blanket; purely stash busting you understand! I *ahem* need the space…yarn takes up so much room! That’s my excuse anyway! I have this week left at school and one week left at college, and then I’m on holiday!!! Hurray! If only I could have a proper break but I have assignments to do, lessons to plan… *sigh* who’d be a teacher eh? Who else has to work during their holidays? I have got a lunch date arranged, a jewellery party and a night at the West End in London. Suppose I can’t complain!

Toodle oo folks!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bring me sunshine!!!

The weather here has been unseasonably warm for the last couple of days! Really! In fact yesterday at 17 degrees, it was hotter in London than in Athens! The sky has been blue, the sun has been warm and the flowers are starting to bloom. I’ve been sneezing like mad, so hay fever season is obviously on it’s way too, but we don’t think about those things. Not yet anyway! I’m just relishing every last ray of sunshine whilst it lasts!

Friday the Thirteenth passed with a bang; we celebrated two birthdays with a double party, twelve of us girlies with balloons, pass the parcel and various other party games and grown up goodie bags with jewellery, make-up, sweeties and other trinkets in.

The gifts went down well with the birthday girls which was great and we also had a neon blue party cake which was scrummy! We all took lots of food and gifts and had a perfectly splendid time! Ally's (who was hosting the party on behalf of the birthday girls) husband was so terrified at the prospect of being invaded by twelve raucous and inebriated women that he decided to go and fight orcs at his mates house.

I don't know about you, but spring time always makes me feel like I need to have a clear out and get organised. I felt the need for a notice board or two in my house because my memory is so bad that unless things are wrtten down, I forget about them. I considered for maybe two minutes the thought of buying a couple but then realised that my handy dandy laminator could whip me up a dry wipe notice board in a jiffy! And of course if I’m making it, I can decorate it! This one’s for the kitchen.

And this one’s for by my desk! I use a dry wipe pen on it and it’s so easy!

I also finished a painting this week. I’ve been working on this peacock painting for a couple of weeks, here and there. It’s quite textured with sparkly glitter and jewels. Because you can never have enough sparkle!

I used texture paint to create the feathery textures. I might go back and add more gold to it, I think the gold needs to continue along the line of the feather a little more. You can't really tell in the picture but there’s loads of colours in it, all laid over each other.

And just to prove that I am still knitting, here’s my BPT Hoodie underarm. Gotta love those double cables! I'm beginning to think that I won't get much opportunity to wear it this winter, but I think I'll be ready to rock it for next winter *lol*

This is a little doodley project that I pick up when I’m waiting for the pc to turn on, or stuff to load, or when I’m too tired to study any more. I haven’t quite decided whether I’m going to make it into a brooch or a hair pin yet though.

One of the women at work is a cross stitcher and brought in a load of embroidery threads today to pass onto a couple of us crafty types. Look at all the yummy colours! This will help me finish my flower brooch/hairpin because I had run out of red and was planning to restock. Hurray!

I have 3 observations down now for my TESOL and two more to go. And just over two months till the end of the course. Eeekk! I can’t believe how quickly time is passing!I'm trying to get some summer school stuff organised so I'll have a bit of income over the summer.

I’m fasting at the moment, I have a blood test in the morning which requires a twelve hour fast! Nowt but water till then. Will I make it out of the house without my cup of rosy lee (tea)?

Well, that’s enough rambling for tonight. Sleep is threatening to overcome me quickly and I need to be at the doctors at eight o’clock tomorrow morning! Hope you all have a good weekend!


Monday, March 09, 2009

Tree of Happiness Award!

Hey, it feels like aaages since I last blogged but it’s only been a week! It’s been a crazy week though. I’ve done my third observation for my TESOL and transferred to my second class which is a lower level than my other class (Entry One level), I’ve done my second class with my new Vocational Studies students, I’ve done my art lessons as normal and covered another teachers lessons. I’ve been to belly dancing and worn my new tassel belt which is super swishy by the way in case you were wondering! M and I went out to dinner  one evening, we had our grass verge partially paved (it was getting worn down and muddy by the cars being driven on and off the drive because our drive is very windy), I went to yoga, I spent the evening with Sis playing the Wii (she’s just got Family Trainer) and she cooked for me. Family Trainer is hilarious, you have a plastic mat with sensors in and you jump around on the mate to do all the challenges like climbing mountains, jumping hurdles and skipping. You can play competitively or as a team. Sis has patio doors which are very reflective at night and the sight of ourselves leaping around clutching various parts (I had to hold down my necklace because it kept bouncing up and cracking my teeth, and Sis was holding her trousers up, was almost too much to bear! Last night I went over to my mates whilst M and his mates watched the footie here. We cooked pizza and had salad and played Mario Karts till almost the wee hours. Her eleven year old beat us. Alot. Sigh.

A high point of this week was receiving the Tree of Happiness award from Ducky! Thank you so Tre of Happiness Awardmuch Ducky! It’s so lovely to get a bit of recognition from my fellow bloggers:-)

Okay, so I nominate Kookie because she desperately needs some happiness right now, her niece is very ill, so send all your healing thoughts and vibes her way; Morgiana who always brightens up my day; Lauralness who is nursing N at the moment; Cinders who always puts a brave face on things and hand-dyes the most amazingly happy colour ways (check out her shop if you haven’t discovered her yet!); Ducky your felty creations always make me smile and of course your colour ways as always are gorgeous; and 2Paw your puppy adventures always make me happy, so I’m passing the love back to you! 

My crafty endeavours this week have been concentrated round the production of gifts for Friday; I have two friends with birthdays this week so they are having a joint party with party bags and party games because we are kind of juvenile like that! We each have to take a mini gift for each party bag and there’s going to be twelve of us so here’s what I’ve made for the party bags 


Twelve sparkly key rings



And then here’s what I’ve made for the birthday girls


Can you see a pattern emerging? Each birthday girl will receive a matching pair (either blue or pink) of candle holders with matching T-light candles and a bath bomb. Which may have glitter in too! Hee hee, there’s no such thing as too much sparkle! Wanna see a bit more?




Keilo approves…



Pippin was too busy chilling



I finished my freeform hat (Better pictures will follow, I promise!)


I also busted the beads out to make a necklace in my favourite colours and a bracelet. Which doesn’t match so don’t get all disappointed now!

I’m not a hundred percent happy with the dark blue beads, they don’t really go with the pale blue in the beads, so I may look out for some beads to match and deconstruct it.

This bracelet is made using that stretchy nylon stuff; don’t know what it’s called. It’s not exactly elastic because it’s not woven. Hmm. Maybe I’ll remember the proper name, but let’s pretend that it’s called plastic elastic.

The faceted beads have a iridescent coating which really sparkles, and they go with the blue in the lamp-worked beads.

Hey I was on my way home from College today and I pulled up behind a vehicle that was parked in the middle of the road leading from the car park, still on college grounds you get me? I couldn’t get past coz the road was pretty narrow and the doors were spread wide. Suddenly a huge gaggle of people burst out of one of the reception doors and bustled in a group towards the car. There was maybe eight or ten people in the group; I recognised security and some ambulance men, I saw a tutor I recognised from my faculty and a few other people. And right there in the middle I saw the limp bodies of a couple of girls being dragged and carried to the car. The tutor recognised me and came over to tell me that the students lessons had been cancelled at lunchtime due to staff sickness and some of the students had decided to go to the pub. They turned up later to college absolutely rat arsed. You know what that means? It’s a bit of English colloquialism which means that they were super super drunk! They were being collected by one of their Mums! We (me and my colleague) laughed about it quietly to each other and wished them a hefty hangover to make them rethink their misdemeanours! I’ve been in some scrapes in my time, but I’ve never ever had to be bailed out by my Mum! Ha! The shame! I don’t think they were students that I teach, which is maybe a good thing coz I don’t think I could resist the temptation to do a little bit of teasing! Sometimes teaching brings it’s own rewards in the form of free entertainment!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Freeform hat-top

So I have survived another week. Life is good. I’ve done my second and third observations which both went okay; not perfect but not too bad, that’s why we do them after all. To learn from our mistakes. I make a few but I’m trying to learn from them. Each lesson is better than the last. I also survived the first class with my new group; Vocational Studies. They’re not a bad bunch of kids, they make me laugh and I’m sure I’ll be pulling my hair out with some of them soon. In fact I already know which two in particular! We started with a human knot and an arctic survival ice-breaker (no pun intended!)

Craft wise I’ve done the whole hat for my freeform hat now, with lots of hand spun and textured novelty yarns.

I finished the earflaps Sunday morning – I should really have been writing my comparative/superlative lesson plans for this weeks observation, but I just needed a break and I wanted to get the bulk of the hat finished. I just have to finish the decorative bits  and I’ll be done! I managed to get the lesson planning done anyway. I’ll be so pleased when I’ve finished the TESOL course and can relax a little in my downtime. At the moment I feel like all I do is work!

And look, I made a nail! I bought some teeny tiny gems  and painted my thumb nail tonight. Okay, I was just playing, to see how difficult it would be to do the whole lot. The left hand would be a doddle, but the right might prove problematic! It would probably be easier if I had false nails because then I could paint them before I applied them, but to be honest, my hands are regularly covered in oil paint or acrylics, clay or some other stuff that means I have to scrub my hands.

Raaar! Just look at that paint job *lol* I wonder how long the little gems will last? This photo was taken yesterday, which is lucky because I cut my thumb badly earlier (I got in from teaching at 7pm and couldn’t be bothered to cook and sliced my thumb open whilst trying to prise apart  frozen English muffins with a large kitchen knife. Wow! So much blood! Who knew that a thumb could bleed for over two hours?



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