Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Progress report..

We spent a very sunny Saturday at Spieleland, near Ravensburg, Germany. Paradise for kids and pretty enjoyable for the parents too! At the moment it is open from 10 a.m. til 5 p.m., with the "Grüne Oase" section near the entrance/exit open until 6 p.m and you really do need all day to get round everything. On the way home we stopped off for dinner at Immenstaad on Lake Constance and spotted this fabulous ship.

On the crafty front, I have managed to make this bag charm

green bag charm

If using wire to make these charms, sooner or later it becomes brittle from all the swinging back and forth and snaps. If you don't notice, you lose all of your beads, so this time, instead of using wire, I have threaded the beads onto cord. Hope it lasts a bit longer. Any bag charm experts out there - please feel free to leave your tips/comments.

Finally, on the job front, I have been offered my first student by a small local language school. I applied to them in January, pre-CELTA course and they contacted me last week to say they had a potential client for me. I am meeting with him tomorrow, so fingers crossed all goes well....

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Other people's stuff!

I've been a bit lacking in the creative department lately - not that teaching isn't creative, of course, but you know what I mean. For that reason, I'm going to show you some things that my nearest and dearest have made recently.
My daughter made this cute pen holder from a tin can at school.

decorate tin cans

I searched around a bit and found that you can do all sorts of things with tin cans. Look at this and this.

Just before Easter the Mummies were invited to Kindergarten for the afternoon. Any visit to a Kindergarten in Switzerland will involve doing some crafting (Basteln) at some point. And this visit was no exception. Look at what we made:

Easter decoration

This started life as a plastic envelope. Draw the basic shape of the chicken with black marker pen on the plastic envelope. Then, before cutting the shape out, put about 3 staples around the black line. This stops the plastic from slipping away from you and disappearing underneath the table when you cut out. Next cut comb, wings, feet and beak from felt. Add all these but the beak by "trapping" them between the 2 layers of plastic with more staples. Glue the beak on the front. Draw the eyes with black marker pen. Finally put a few white feathers in the "body" of the chicken and staple up any gaps in the plastic. We added a thread to the top and our chick is happily hanging in my son's bedroom window.

And last but by no means least, a lovely project from my very talented friend Monique. I know Easter is over for another year, but I am definitely doing this next year.

Monique has kindly provided the instructions for this project:

*Fill one corner of a classical sandwich plastic bag with Plaster of Paris (liquid Gipsmasse/Giessmasse)

* Hang it to dry so that exactly that shape stays

* When dry, paint the chicken in any colours you like

* Cut the beek out of red paper and stick it on the chicken with glue

* Paint eyes or glue on shop-bought funny moving eyes

* Glue feathers to the back

Back soon!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

It's not Paris....

....but it's pretty good! We had planned to go to Paris this weekend. A treat for finishing (and passing) my CELTA course and the children's first city break. However, the cloud of volcanic ash meant that our flight was cancelled, trains were full and we didn't fancy driving, so we stayed at home.

On Saturday we visited the thermal baths at Schinznach , nice, if pricey for a family and definitely more for adults than children. On the way there we bought 6 dining chairs here, something which we've been meaning to do for about 8 months! On Sunday we bought 9 O`clock passes on the Zurich Transport System (11.50.-CHF each with Halbtax, kids free if they have a Junior pass). What great value this was! First we took the train from our village to Zurich main station. Then we rushed over to platform 2 and onto the S10 which took us up the Uetliberg.


Spectacular views from the top despite the murky weather - or was it the volcanic cloud? Then back down into Zurich again, a walk along the Bahnhofstrasse catching the children's parade for Sechseläuten, Zürich's Spring festival. At Bürkliplatz we were drawn to the boats on Lake Zurich and, discovering that our passes entitled us to get on them, on we hopped. An hour later we got off the boat at the lakeside town of Küsnacht and took the train back along the lake to Zurich and then back to our village. Phew! What a lovely day!

Yesterday we had a relaxing day visiting the little town of Stein am Rhein, then continuing along the shores of Lake Constance. We stopped off for ice cream and a paddle and more or less had the lake to ourselves


Then finally dinner on the island of Reichenau before the short drive home. A word of warning, the sun is stronger than you think and my husband and son both got a little sunburnt yesterday. Time to get that suncream out, I think...

All over this weekend, we kept listening to the reports of suspended air traffic and thought of all the unfortunate people stranded at airports. We were grateful that we'd been able to stay at home and still enjoy all these things on our doorstep. I'm sure we will go to Paris sometime, but for now, we'll be checking out our local attractions....

It's nice to get back to blogging - will be showing you some crafty things later this week!


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