Monday, 21 September 2009

Am I missing the point?

Do you ever flick through a magazine, see a piece of jewellery and then the price tag and wonder how an earth it can cost that much? I don't mean the pieces crafted from gold and precious stones, but things made from plastic, wool, cotton, wood etc. I was looking for a tutorial on how to make a ribbon necklace when I stumbled across this from Jessica in her blog Happy Together. Basically Jessica spotted a ribbon and pearl necklace in a magazine for $1,320. Well, I'm sorry if I'm missing the point, but how an earth can a couple of lengths of ribbon and 4 pearls add up to that much money? Unless the pearls were really valuable? Anyway, in the tutorial, Jessica makes more or less the same necklace for just a few dollars and it looks great. In fact, her blog is really worth looking at for the diversity of creative ideas up there. Right, off to find some ribbon now...

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Obsessed with Constance

One thing we hadn't considered when we bought this house is the proximity to Lake Constance. It's a half hour drive. As we haven't had a seaside holiday for a couple of years, that water has become a bit of a magnet to us. The lake is bordered by Germany, Switzerland and Austria and is Central Europe's third largest, after Lake Balaton and Lake Geneva. It is 63 km long, and at its widest point, nearly 14 km wide. Lake Constance (Bodensee in German) provides fresh water for many cities in south Germany.

There are lots of things to do there. So far we have taken a pedalo out on the lake, wandered around the narrow streets of the town of Constance, taken the ferry across the lake to Meersburg, taken the speedy catamaran


across the lake to Friedrichshafen


where we visited the Zeppelin Museum and, most recently, swam in the Thermal Baths which are fabulously warm and situated directly on the lakeside. When you swim out of the indoor pool into the very heated outdoor pool, you have the sensation of swimming out into the lake and you can watch all the sailing boats and pleasure boats go by. BTW we didn't do all of these things on the same day!

As far as domestic matters are concerned, we are still trying to furnish our new living room, which is a funny shape and a bit tight for size. For weeks now my husband has been saying we should move our largish sofa over to the other wall. I have repeatedly pooh-poohed this idea, coming up with a host of reasons why we shouldn't. At the beginning of the week we consulted an expert in a rather nice furniture shop and presented him with a plan of our living room and a little paper cut out (yes, really!) of our sofa. Imagine the look on my face, then, when his very first comment was that we needed to move our sofa onto the other wall. Duh! Well, we took his advice and moved everything round as soon as we got home and it has really opened up the room. Said husband tried (and failed) not to look too smug after this. At least he didn't say "I told you so"......

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Parents are usually right....

My parents insist on carrying 2 different credit cards - in case the first one doesn't work. I have always scoffed at this - why should a credit card NOT work? Well, I was made to eat my words the other day. I had a free morning and the car and decided to go to a shopping centre I had spotted on the outskirts of our new local town. Not a fan of shopping centres usually, but I needed kids' clothes, toiletries and food and all that was available under one roof, with parking underneath and I reckoned I could do all of that door to door within 2 hours. Not so. In the first shop I stocked up on all kinds of toiletries and went to pay with the (ONLY) credit card I had brought along. It was refused 3 times. I knew I had paid the bill off in full, was not therefore over my credit limit and that I had informed them in writing of our change of address. I was really embarrassed and ended up using all of my cash to get out of the shop with my purchases. As I had no other means of payment on me, the only thing I could do was go home, fuming, where I had to raid my swimming bag for a few coins to go to the local shop to get some stuff for lunch. What a palaver! An irate 'phone call to the credit card people shed light on the matter. It was a technical fault which would be sorted out by early afternoon. AARRGGHH. The moral of this story? Always carry 2 different credit cards, IN CASE THE FIRST ONE DOESN'T WORK!!!

On a more light-hearted note, I made this card yesterday for a friend who wanted our new address, but who wouldn't be fobbed off with an email or a text message containing that info. No, she wanted a good, old-fashioned card. As most of my craft stuff is still in boxes, I was a bit limited, but managed to come up with this:

I have to admit, it is much nicer than an email and I had fun making it - spot the copycat - have copied the design my daughter did in her art lesson at school.

Right, off to cook the kids a gourmet lunch - joking, obviously, more like rustle something up in the kitchen that they will actually eat....


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