Thursday, 26 November 2009

This is for Juanita!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I went to a party this week with my husband and children. I got talking to my husband's newest male collegue and the inevitable question arose. "What do you do?", he asked. My heart sank. All too often I've said I'm a stay-at-home Mum to see people's eyes glaze over and it's also a complete conversation stopper. At this point, may I say, if you are guilty of your eyes glazing over when faced with this reply to your question, please learn a couple of useful sentences to get yourself over this, something like "Yes, well that's a very worthwhile career" or "I bet you could tell us a story or two", or something like that. But, I digress. So, yes the dreaded question had been asked. This time, quick as a flash, I told this chap that I was a Domestic Engineer. He was suitably impressed. "Oh, oh, yes, I see," he said. Then a frown formed on his face. "What is that, exactly?", he asked. "Well", I said, "you are probably more familiar with the term Hausfrau". At this point he laughed so much that I thought he was going to spill his drink. And I had to laugh too. And Juanita? See her blog and more specifically her profile. Thanks for the tip, Juanita!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Recycling rules OK!

I was invited to a party last night with my husband and children. Fortunately I had a fairly new top to wear, but it needed a necklace. As I had to pop into Wintherthur (Winti) on Monday morning, I thought I would quickly stop by the Bead Shop and pick up some beads in the colour of the top and make a necklace. Not so. Both the Bead Shop and the Craft Shop in the same street are closed on Monday mornings. Duhh! Probably to compensate for being open on Saturday and, anyway, who on earth wants to buy beads on a Monday morning ? Apart from me, that is. So I came home and rummaged in my bead stuff and found a necklace which I had made some time ago, but never worn, as I found it too purple in the end.

However, I did like the pendant on this necklace and had made it by re-using the amythest nugget and chips from something else and reworking them onto sterling headpins and a large sterling silver jumpring. And the stones were just the right colour for the top. So I just detatched the pendant and added it to a ready-made cable choker and Bob was my Uncle, if you see what I voilà:

amethyst choker necklace

That all took a couple of minutes - quickest piece of jewellery I've ever made..

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Jewellery Organiser

I'm always looking for ways to organise my stuff and have finally got round to finishing off this necklace/jewellery holder. It is hanging on the inside of my wardrobe door:

Not that it was rocket science or anything - just that anything involving sewing causes me to break out in a cold sweat - I'm actually a bit scared of my sewing machine - I have to psyche myself up to use it. First of all I found a coat hanger, the kind which you can hang trousers over, like this:

I then took an IKEA cushion cover that I no longer used, cut it down to size and hemmed it (is that the right terminology) from the wrong side around all 4 sides, leaving a big gap to turn it to the right side and then hand-stitching the "gap" from the right side. I think it's good to use a thickish material, as this cushions your necklaces from banging against the wardrobe door when you close it. Next, decide which side should be the front and fold the top over the bar of the coat hanger. I added a velcro "spot" to each of the top 2 corners and 2 more spots a few centimetres underneath to be able to "fold" the top few centimetres over the coat hanger and fasten. You could also sew it on. After this I hand-stitched some old-fashioned hooks and eyes onto the front part. I used the same colour thread as the cushion cover for this, but it would also look great in a contrasting colour. You have to play around a little bit with the position of the hooks and eyes - if they are too close together or too close underneath each other your necklaces will not have enough room to hang without getting tangled up with each other. The final stage was to decorate the upper part of the coat hanger - for this I used buttons, press-studs and glass stones that I had in my stash.

I then used a self-adhesive hook from TESA to hang it inside my wardrobe door.

Obviously, pieces of jewellery made from silver or other metal which could tarnish should be kept in air-tight containers, but this is fine for jewellery made from wire, cord etc.

The total cost was a few Swiss francs for the hooks and eyes -all other materials I already had. So now I can take my jewellery out of the shoe box I have been keeping it in since we moved house - hey, maybe I can use that shoe box for something! Watch this space.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

CELTA interview

I have applied to do a CELTA course at the beginning of next year. CELTA is the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. Having now been a stay at home Mum for nearly 9 years, I feel it is high time to edge my way back into the adult world and I am hoping that this qualification will enable me to teach English here in Switzerland on a freelance basis and so fit in with the school schedules of my children. My application for the course consisted of a fairly lengthy pre-interview task - grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation questions, a proof-reading task and a 500-word report. My application has been successful and I have now been invited to an interview this Friday, which will last for 4 hours (!) and consist of general information on the course, a group task and a one-to-one interview with a tutor to discuss the pre-interview task I submitted. Getting an interview does not mean that I have a place on the course. I have worked out that the last formal interview I had was in 1995, so naturally, I am feeling a little apprehensive, let alone the fact that I don't have anything really suitable to wear - obviously can't pole up in my normal "uniform" of jeans and a fleece! So, wish me luck and, if anyone has any comments, information or the like on the CELTA course, I would be really interested to hear them.


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