Friday, 28 June 2013



I enjoy learning German and for the past few weeks, each evening I have listened to a little German radio (B5 plus or Bayern 2) or watched some online TV. (Last night there was a programme called "Tierish' Tierish" and since there were lots of cats and dogs on it, I'm guessing it was about pets.)

Earlier on this year my energetic, warm and very funny German tutor died after suffering a massive stroke. The little local church could not hold all those who came to pay their respects to this lovely lady. A couple of weeks later I was allocated a new tutor but I found it hard to apply myself. Over the months since she took on the task of teaching me I have found her also to be warm, funny and supportive of my laborious attempts to understand cases, reflexive verbs and modal verbs.

(Even though as soon as I conquer one subject and learn another, I forget the first subject.)

Under my new tutor's care I've found my enthusiasm creeping back. Having the right teacher goes a long way to making you want to emerse yourself in the language or surprise them with a new word (my lessons are sadly full of surprising new words but I'm getting better!) I'm lucky to have had two tutors who know how to fire that enthusiasm :)


Saturday, 22 June 2013

The village fete

Each year the village holds a fete to raise money for the local church. Considering how small the village is, 2,000 people, there's always plenty to look at, listen to and throw things at.

Such as the skittle alley...

No win this time.

Or you can listen to the local brass band.

Or admire the view.

Or win a coconut.

Or have a nice cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake while you admire your coconut.

And when we tired of the fete, we went to collect no 1 son who had arrived back in the UK after a week away on a school exchange trip to Germany. Apparently it all went very week and we don't know how he did it but he managed to bring back a gift to warm any father's heart.


Thursday, 20 June 2013

Handmade Silk Paper

Nearly a year ago, I bought some silk fibers at the Malvern Quilts and Needlecraft Show with no idea of what I was going to use them for.  Luckily, my ever enthusiastic sewing teacher Catherine at knew exactly how to use them and she kindly turned the usual weekly sewing class into a silk paper making session. Within an hour we had transformed a bunch of loose fibers into the papers below ready to be stitched into and used as if it were a piece of fabric.

We added a few thick pieces of wool across this piece.  Once it was fully dry I sewed some French Knots along one of the pieces of wool and added some beads along another length of wool.  I'm not sure exactly what type of silks we used on this. 

The piece pictured below was made with 2 textured silk fibers called Carded Cocoon Strippings and White Noil bought on the internet.

I'm already thinking of ways to use this new skill perhaps to make cards or as covers for handmade scrapbooks. We have lavender growing in Himself's garden which I'd like to try adding for texture, colour and if I'm lucky maybe scent too.  

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Father's Day

Our tradition says that on birthdays and Father's Day, the person having the day gets to choose the activity and everyone has to join in. And no one is allowed to complain.

The cards were from one very organised son

And one less organised and slightly confused son

The day began with a trip to not one but three motorbike shops

Where we played the "how much?!" game on the price of accessories

And guess where it ended? I'm hoping this much patience around motorbikes has earned me a lot of brownie points the next time I want to visit a craft shop :)


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Bird search

Up early this morning to look for kingfishers near Slaughterford. We didn't find any but we did find a beautiful walk along side a river.

And this pretty bird....

And then some more walking.

We are really making the most of this weather, more time is being spent in the garden and very little on the Internet or blogging or crafting. Our activities at the moment are focused almost exclusively on the country house because...we are finally moving in together! After 5 1/2 years of weekends in the country house and week days at the week day home so I can commute to work, we've decided we will both live in the country house. Putting two (fairly full) houses into one is taking time, thought, sacrifice and wall plugs and doesn't leave any time or space for crafting. We've cut back on camping and not gone anywhere so far this year because our weekends are full of painting, sanding, packing, e-baying and trying not to feel too daunted by all we want to achieve while still working. This morning's escape to spend time soaking up some scenery blew away the cobwebs, even if we didn't find our kingfishers.