Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bookmarking Bounty

Hello sweeties, how’s your summer going? I’ve actually taught my first ESL lesson now! It’s kinda like learning to drive…you’ve taken the lessons, you’ve passed the test and then you’re out on the road on your own! Very nerve wracking for the first time, but getting easier! The students did say that they liked me because I wasn’t strict as the other teachers, which is a trifle disconcerting, and probably means that I need to be a little lot more formal….art doesn’t always work with rigid structure, and once you get the ‘how to’ out of the way, the students are generally working on their own individual work, and the TESOL teacher training I did was with adults, so it was much more relaxed! I’m doing more of the leisure activities with the under sixteen's outside of the school day too, so they’re more relaxed with me. A double edged sword? I dunno, its good fun, I do an art and craft club on a Thursday night with them, and we do things on Sunday afternoons like photography outings, and this Sunday we went to see the new Harry Potter film. They were all excited to see the film with the characters true voices, apparently Russian dubbing’s not quite the same *lol* They were surprised that Prof McGonagall had a Scottish accent – they’d never guessed that! It was funny listening to them talking about the film afterwards, and hearing them talk about their various crushes…apparently Hermione was a big hit with the lads! I did enjoy the film, but I think there were a few key characters and events that were cut out, and that spoilt it for me. I won’t go into it too much though, in case people haven’t seen it yet! I remember when I got the Deathly Hallows book, I had mine on pre-order and for the day or so beforehand, I didn’t dare read a paper, watch the telly, or go online until I’d read it!

I went to stay with my sister on Friday night, the plan was to have dinner, play on the Wii and work off the dinner we’d just consumed, but alas her batteries died, so we ended up playing with her kitten Missy instead. Let me tell you now that Missy is about six weeks old and has Very Very Sharp Claws and Teeth! She is also learning to Hunt People. Ouch!

She has her favourite toys…

but prefers the taste of manwomanflesh

She also loves to climb legs!

I finished my last bookmark for the bookmark swap and sent them all off across the pond to the USA. Here’s my final bookmark

My partner gave one of her theme choices as Spock, from the original series, so this is a slightly different twist on that theme – I thought about having his face on there, but you know, that was just toooo easy! I traced around my hand to do the Vulcan salute – what… you can’t do it? Maybe I’m a geek, maybe it’s natural talent…M can’t do it, Kirk can’t do it, but I can! Then I added the Star Fleet insignia, with a blue circle to show Spock’s science background, I added ‘Live long and prosper’ in Vulcan script on either side…you can’t read it?

Look a little closer and read downwards…can you read it now? *lol* Okay, it’s not actual Vulcan script, but a close approximation of it! Did you know that Scotty (James Doohan was a linguist) developed the Vulcan spoken language and also had a major part in the development of the Klingon language. I found  out this in my research for this bookmark! There you go, if this ever comes up in a Trivial Pursuit game, you’ll know the answer! And I coloured the hand Vulcan green – yeah I know Spock isn’t this green, but I took artistic licence! And on the flip side?

A true Spock-ism!

All in Federation font. That little insignia at the bottom is the Science insignia! So now it’s in the post and I just have to wait for it to wing its way over the ocean to my swap partner. In the meantime, I’ve started my first item for the Summer Slamdance over on Craftster, which is an ‘Invite Your Partner’ swap. The lovely Javede invited me, so my mind is now buzzing with ideas for her! Right, the sun is shining and the sky is blue which is a rare moment so I’ll be bidding you all farewell so that I can take the Uberhound for a nice walk!

Ta ta for now!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sunkist in the rain!

Meet Joe, aka the Uberhound, aka the Clyde part of the Bonnie and Clyde partnership of Joe and Pippin, kitchen bin burglars extraordinaire! Joe looks  like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth but he currently stands accused of snaffling the last of the chocolate bar that M left on the sofa while he went to the bathroom. He’s not In The Good Books at the moment! However, M’s books are not my books, so yesterday morning I took advantage of the morning sun to take him to Harlestone Firs for a walk.

Harlestone Firs is part of the Althorpe Estate (where Princess Diana grew up) and I always imagine that this part might have been part of the main route to the Stately Home: I can picture horses and carriages travelling along this wide avenue of trees.

Schools haven’t broken up for the summer yet so the Firs are deserted at this time on a weekday, but there is evidence that the little people have been here!

I finished my Sunkist a month ago but I hadn’t really felt the love for it yet. Bizarrely the left side kept puckering and wouldn’t lie properly. I had visions of having to frog the whole thing and didn’t really want to do that. So I decided to redo the ribbing round the sides and front to see if that would sort it. I’d done this twice before it seemed to sort it out. I think I was picking up less stitches on one side than the other. I had almost decided to give up and crochet an edging but I seem to have sorted it – hurray!

I even found the perfect button for it in my stash! I couldn’t have found a better colour match if I’d have gone looking for one to buy!

Look it looks great! I am loving it now! It’s a little on the big side – I’ve lost weight since I started it!

I signed up for the bookmark swap on Craftster and my partners themes are Spock, black cats, Art Nouveau, and peacocks. Here’s the first one that I’ve made for her, based on the artist Mucha it’s a pen and pencil drawing on textured card. I used brown artists pen for a vintage look.

I crocheted this today, a squashed black cat bookmark. I hope she doesn’t think I have a sick sense of humour – it made me laugh anyway!

I’m going to my Sis’s tonight for an fun evening of kittens, wine and Wii! Enjoy your weekend!  Wink

Monday, July 13, 2009

Parcels in the Post

Well the news of the week for me was the discovery that Michael Jackson had Lupus (like me)! That explains alot about him! I’m not a big fan of MJ but I feel a little angry that he just couldn’t come out with it and say that’s what he had. Maybe there would be more understanding about the condition with such a famous spokesperson. Ah well, I guess he had his reasons, but I think the world would have treated him a little more kindly.

So this morning there was a little break in the weather and I decided to talk a walk up to the post office with the Uberhound to post some eBay sales and also my Hippy Swap package.  I handed over my packages and my money to the post office clerk and then we took a stroll in the park enjoying the sunshine!

It’s always nice to be in the sunshine

especially when you see such beautiful colours and wild flowers…

Sometime’s it’s nice to take a seat and watch the rabbits ….

There’s an old play area tucked away in the centre of the park which is sadly in need of a fresh lick of paint but makes for a good photo…

Anyway, my Hippy Swap package is finally in the post! I had to get it in the mail because the package was getting bigger and bigger and it was going to cost me a fortune to post as it was *lol* so here’s the whole lot spread out on the bed

And here’s a few of the things I made for the package that you haven’t seen yet…

These are window clings, you press them onto the window or a mirror and they’ll stick there until you want to peel them off again.

I also made a fairy pen from Fimo

and plenty of earrings for my partner as she’ll be getting her ears pierced soon. Now she’ll have plenty to wear…

I also made a crocheted bag

And some reversible hair bands

I made a little extra as well; this isn’t really a hippy item, but my partner mentioned somewhere in the thread that she pole-danced as a hobby, and that she really wanted a mini top hat, so I created this for her from felt and scraps that I had in my stash!

The crown inside is an old toilet roll, the brim is the flexible clear circle that you get in cd spindles, and the rest of it’s from stash items

I sewed a strip of elastic onto the bottom to keep it on her head when she’s dancing. I was really really happy with how it came out!

And remember I had a school t-shirt that was the typical boxy tee; just the sort of style that I hate. It was a small, but still too huge for me, so I chopped off the crew neck and cut it a little lower (but not too low, it’s for school trips after all!). I also cut about three inches off the length because it came nearly down to my knees, and a couple of inches off the sleeve length! I zigzagged around the neckline, and lettuce frilled the edges of the sleeves and bottom. 

I reconned it just in time to wear it on Sunday to escort a student from Gatwick airport to school as the person who normally collects students was ill, so I stepped in to help. It’s definitely much more ‘me’ now and more comfortable (though still white), and looks like it actually fits me now, and not like I’m wearing borrowed clothes!

Wow, so much to tell you today, I hope you weren’t bored Wink


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Painting potty! (swap spoiler alert)

The weather has become more sultry over the past week, alternating between scorching hot blue skies and tempestuous clouds. We've had thunder and lightning, gale-like winds, sudden and speedy monsoon downpours and beautiful sunsets. No time for sunbathing, no long and balmy days uninterrupted gardening and no light sheen of sweat adorning my body most becomingly *lol* I love the heat, sunshine how we doth adore thee...with my medical history, sunshine may not exactly be the best thing for me, but the heat certainly makes things more comfortable ...I like being able to feel my extremities, I like to move around unencumbered by layers of clothing and I like to be able to touch someone without them exclaiming on the coldness of my hands! My INR however is lower than it has been for almost a year, dangerously low in fact, and I'm back to weekly testing and ultra high dosage. I can't work out whether this is due to my current diet which is high in vitamin K rich foods like salad and chickpeas, or whether it's down to the increase in sunshine and my recent inactivity, but last summer my anti-cardiolyphid antibodies kicked off in precisely conditions like this although there was considerable more stress involved this time last year. Anyway, let's not linger on negative thoughts like that, my blood clotting levels may be dangerously low, but I am being tested weekly and I'm having my meds adjusted accordingly, so things should be okay.

Well, at least with the cooler weather the cats have reappeared from their garden haunts, Keilo is back on the window ledge and Pippin is on the sofa. I've been alot more productive. There's been housework done which I'd been putting off because it was so hot. I've been painting like a demon...

It’s for my Hippy Swap partner so I hope she's not looking! I also made her an embroidered flower hanging...

It’s a flower, different colours on each side, embroidered and embellished with sequins in each centre. Then I strung beads on each side (top and bottom), and hung ribbons at the bottom to flutter gently in the breeze.

These are destined for sale in my eBay shop if you fancy having a look....

This would be lovely to burn a tea light candle in, or just as a trinket/coin dish…

And this would be a great ring pot to keep in your bedroom, or by the sink…

This is an oil burner/diffuser; you put a tea light candle in the base, then put some water and essential oils in the glass bowl and place it over the candle-light. The oils will then diffuse into the room and fill the room with scent. I love the shape of the base, so unusual!

I've also been reconning some t-shirts; I don't like crew neck shirts, so I’ve been recutting them to be more comfortable, then zigzag stitched round the neckline to be more stable, otherwise cut t-shirts have a habit of growing! I have a work one in the pile to do shortly; we have to wear a recognisable t-shirt when we staff summer school trips...we have groups of very young people for the summer school this year, the youngest is 12 years old!

The latest girlie get together involved the consuming of cake and sangria, the painting of nails and bouncing wildly on a trampoline!


Hope your week’s been as fun as mine!





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