Monday, January 11, 2010

Snow Joke…

Aaarghh! No snow! Well, no serious snow anyway; not enough for the schools here to declare a legitimate holiday snow day, so poor ole Samsara had to drag her unwilling arse to work. It’s not that I hate work or anything, in fact usually I quite enjoy teaching; some days it’s like free entertainment. Today for example one of my art students asked if he could ‘go to toilet, to do poo’. Um, well of course you can ***, but that was too much information. So *** was gone ages, then eventually he came back to class informing me that ‘poo not come’, grimacing and patting his abdomen'. English is not his first language by the way, and sometimes I wonder whether he’s actually paying attention in EFL classes at all! Two minutes later he announces that ‘I go try again’. Great news, I’m so glad you feel comfortable enough with me to share details of your bowel movements, especially before lunch! Still at least there’s not much marking to do since universally most students ‘forgot’ their holiday homework! They have to hand it in next lesson though, so they’ve ended up with more homework than usual this week. Yes, I give homework out on the first day back. Harsh Miss eh? 

Anyway, enough of the ‘back to school’ stories, I have been very very productive this weekend. Yes indeed, I can tell that you’re impressed. Enjoy it folks, once term’s in full swing again, I will probably won’t have much time for crafting until half term, which we worked out today is only 24 working days away!

Yesterday, as promised, I hennaed my hair and am now sporting a lovely coppery mane.

I frogged and then finished my Retro Rings Tam, using doubled DK (UK) yarn and an 8mm hook. 

It’s quite chunky and hopefully will be quite warm.

I’m planning on wearing it this week. Tomorrow if the outfit allows!

I embellished my long sleeved tunic dress by sewing an organza ribbon along the bottom hem with a decorative herring bone stitch in a black and grey variegated thread

then I free embroidered a wavy line in silver thread a couple of times, and embellished with multi-coloured sequins which I piled up in sets of three to create a flower like embellishment.

Yes, I went with multi-coloured in the end. I had planned to do silver, but I think the little splashes of colour go very well with the black dress. It’s alot more striking than you can tell from the photos. Black doesn’t photograph well, especially using a flash which I’ve had to do since it’s dark here from about 3.30pm and I don’t finish teaching till 6pm!

I even had time to cut out the felt flowers and leaves for my jeans. Remember last year I embellished a pair of jeans with felt flowers? Well, they were too big for me in the end, so I sold them and now I have another pair of jeans to recreate the much loved embellished jeans.

And hopefully, this is kind of what I’m aiming for…

Obviously there’ll be embroidery and sequins and beads and stuff…You know me…

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

There’s No Business Like Snow Business…..

It back to school time…no, wait, maybe not….it’s snowed….can we open schools with snow on the ground? Yes…no…um, we’re not sure…okay, you teachers come in and see if any students turn up….

My first class on Tuesday morning started with an astounding four students! Wednesday it dropped to three students and we went home early because it started snowing quite hard and we were worried about buses not running and students being stuck. Thursday I had the grand total of one student! The new term has really started off gently!

Still, I really don’t mind as it’s given me the chance to finish Mum’s snowball Boa, a wonderfully cuddly and luxurious looking scarf made from pompoms!


And then, because I also had a giant pompom maker, I whipped up this huge pompom using scrap yarn that was too short for anything else. Okay, so I just wondered how big it would be. It’s next to a regular sized cotton reel for comparison! The colours are a bit random, but this is just a tester.

The other projects I’m working on are hopefully all short and sweet ones. My last projects were all looong term and I feel like I need some instant gratification, so I’m working on the Retro Rings Tam ( a crocheted hat) which is actually taking me alot longer than I thought. I didn’t have any worsted weight yarn, so I doubled up some DK (sport?) yarn hoping that it would be okay. Actually I guessed it would make it a bit bigger which I wasn’t too bothered about because I wanted a slightly slouchier hat than the picture showed. I’m pretty near the end of it now and it’s not big enough. It’s not even near big enough to fit on my head and I’m pretty average head wise. Pah! I’m going to have to undo it all and re-crochet it using a bigger hook. This is already my second attempt because the first time I used a hand painted yarn which was lovely, but not enough of it because I ran out when I was almost finished! And because it’s a US pattern, the yarn weights and brands are completely alien, so sometimes it’s guesswork as to substituting. *Sigh*

I’ll get it sorted; the actual hat doesn’t take that long to crochet once I get going, it’s the frogging and redoing which is taking the time!

The next project in my WIP’s bag is Mosey from Knitty, a pair of thick cabled legwarmers which look really warm and cute with their pompom decorated ties. I’m not really obsessed with pompoms at the moment, well sort of a little bit, I guess. Anyway, I’m using the same yarn as I used for my BPT Hoodie since it’s another cable project, I love the colour, and I have probably a couple of huge balls left of this stuff.

For those of you who haven’t checked out the pattern yet, this is hopefully what they will end up looking like! With any luck I’ll finish them in time to wear them this winter *lol*

I’ve just done the first part of the ribbed cuff, made the eyelet holes, and am now carrying on the ribbing, it has to measure 9 inches, so it’ll fold over nicely. This is quite a nice easy knit so far, a no-brainer and quite therapeutic. Whether that will change when I start cabling I don’t know…

However, it’s not all yarn projects in progress at the moment. I bought a nice black long sleeved tunic dress from H&M which will look great with either jeans or tights and boots, but apart from a bit of lace trim, it’s quite plain.

So with the addition of some of these embellishments I plan to pretty it up a bit and add some sparkle!

I did think about using lots of colours on it, but I figured that using silver would still allow it to be teamed with almost anything. Hopefully I’ll finish it in time to wear it for school on Monday, although there’s more snow predicted for Sunday and Monday…fingers crossed eh? Tomorrow I plan to spend the day doing some more well earned personal maintenance. I had the time today to get on the Wii Fit Plus and try out the new additions to the game. I love the Rhythm Kung Fu and the Rhythm Parade, but I couldn’t get the Step routines to work. Hmmm. Will have to do a bit of research and figure out why. Tomorrow I’m going to henna my hair using the Lush henna red that I’ve had sitting there over Christmas and just haven’t got around to. I have to devote the whole day to sitting there with my head wrapped in cling film – delightful but the results are definitely worth it. It smells divine and I love the red in my hair! I once used a chemical semi-permanent colour on my hair and although it looked nice, I hated the way it made my hair feel afterwards, so brittle and harsh feeling. I swore then never again! I’ve always used henna, and I always plan to! Luckily I’m not quite grey enough to need to do this on a regular basis, I just like the colour. Whilst I’m waiting for the colour to deepen I can carry on knitting and ponder on my next projects. I have lots of ideas in mind, lots in my Ravelry queue and lots in my mind; ideas are never a problem, it’s having the time! 

I know many of you hate the snow, but this girl’s hoping for more of the stuff so I can get a paid holiday *lol* So much to do and so little time!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2010 an Odyssey…

Happy New Year folks! I hope your New Year got off to a great start? How could it not with such an amazing Blue Moon to herald in the New Year! It was glorious and so bright. Just as the moon was starting to rise, I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of it and it was huge and heavy, sitting on the horizon. Sadly I didn’t have my camera on me at that time, but I managed to get a few shots in after the magic hour…

We had a great night playing Wii and seeing in the New Year.

So as always, I like to do a little recap on the past year, it helps put the year in perspective. Even the worst years have silver linings when you look hard enough. I like to remember the positive things, the successes and the achievements rather than the failures or disappointments. So what have I achieved this year? Well, the thing that  is most memorable about this year is my flying lesson! What an amazing experience and certainly one I’ll never forget!

I’m most proud of the fact that I passed my TESOL qualification and I now teach EFL for a few hours a week. This was particularly an achievement because of my stroke a year and a half ago. I also now teach full time, having got another teaching job as well this year. Sadly, my jobs are two part-time, hourly paid jobs which equate to full time hours but without full time benefits like holiday pay. Sad, but true, but I still count it as an achievement. We also managed to get a holiday in this year, the first for years. It wasn’t without it’s hiccups *cough*clutch*cough* but our visit to Cornwall was lovely and we managed to get to Eden which was great. Actually, we got two holidays if you count our weekend in Glastonbury which was so relaxing.

So what else have I done? I’ve lost almost two stone this year, bringing me back down to my pre-TESOL weight, I’ve been to see a musical in London…

I was a volunteer steward for the Barefoot Festival, a festival of dance…

I danced at two Halfas and went to Alton Towers with my Sis…

I finished my first cable project and a number of other outstanding WIPs. I did a lot of reconstruction and embellishment projects, and some jewellery projects. I cleared a large part of my garden and made a little seating area which hopefully I’m going to improve this year. There is more, but I’m not going to bore you with all the little details. You can look back over my blog for those.

So, plans for this year? Well, this week we’re finally getting our living room floor laminated. Hurray! That’s a major outstanding project. I’m going to get out and about more, and now I have Pearl to guide me (my new SatNav), there should be no problem there. I’d also like to play around more with my mini microwave kiln because I haven’t had much of a chance to do that this year. Too much work and not enough play time makes Samsara a very frustrated girlie! I’m going to go to more festivals and parties, get away more in my caravan, and hopefully get a bit fitter. I’d like to de-clutter my house a little this year. Like many crafters, I’m a terrible hoarder. I’m going to try and getter a better balance in my life, between work, creativity, social and virtual (I discovered Facebook this year and spend way, way too much time on there *lol*)

Well, that’s all I’ve got at the moment. I’m not one for making ‘Resolutions’, I just have things I’d like to do if I get the opportunity'; then I don’t beat myself up about things if I don’t manage them! So, 2010, a new year and a new beginning, another chapter in my personal odyssey. Bring it on!



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