Thursday, 20 December 2007

Christmas countdown draws to a close

This is where we are headed to spend Christmas, the quiet village my folks live in.

Here Christmas is a small affair, closeknit and communal.

Here little children still sing christmas carols and people don't shop on Boxing day.

It's peaceful and it's importance is not measured in gifts.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Hopefully you can experience some joy and goodwill somewhere peaceful so you can remember what it's all about after all.

'But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight
Happy Christmas to all and to all a good-night'

"Night before Christmas" - Clement Clarke Moore

Friday, 14 December 2007

Mr Greedy and the Gingerbread house

Another week ends... I cant believe it. Next weekend is Mans birthday and then ta daaa its christmas.... ouch... where does the time go??? As you can see above, Mr Greedy and his salt dough counterpart..... it turned out well and my little student was really excited when he saw I made it for him (it was all dry for his arrival thank goodness)

Below you can see the dough decorations we made. These are my students ones, which we threaded and got ready to hang before he left. We also watched the muppet christmas carol and I gave him the 'Mr Men christmas carol' to read for next year.

And here was our second christmas activity last night... A gingerbread house, complete with snowy icing and sparkly jellies. Was great fun.

Ok, I'm off for the weekend. Take care and keep warm.... it snowed here today!! I am hoping that (as usual) my folks had more snow as we are off to visit them.

See you monday folks.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Christmas dough

I promised my little english student that in the last few lessons before christmas we would do conversational english for the last half of each class, over a fun christmas activity.

Last week we made paper chains.

Today we made dough ornaments for the tree. This is the last batch going in...

The big blobby thing that looks remarkably un-christmas like is in actual fact this fellow here.,...

Sorry about the picture quality, glossy books are hard to photograph. My english student hasnt really shown much enthusiasm towards anything we have read till I found one of these old books and thought I may as well give it a go. Last week we read Mr Rush and he loved it. So for this week.... Mr greedy. Student even did extra unrequested homework... pics of mr greedy with a little blurb about him in english below. I'm so impressed.

so. I am making the squiggly dough monster tonight (instead of going to bed like i should), while student is gone to surprise him tomoro when he comes. Hopefully it will be painted and dry by then.

Oh yes... and extra stars for good measure.

Opera season commences

Sunday night started here....

In our favourite restaurant, which was all festive and cheerful while still being exceptionally tasteful.... check it out....

Man had Beciul Domnesc - feteasca neagra... superb (though I avoided) a wonderful romanian grape. In general romanian wine is vastly underestimated and underappreciated. People don't realise romania has been making wine far longer than france and has a really rich variety and an interesting classification system.

Then, on to the Opera, we've been waiting months to go and we couldn't make the first showing of this when it opened the opera season, but we finally made it....

We collect the programs and this one is a beauty..

I thought it would be nice to post some pics of the actual opera house interior

The chandelier...

The stalls....

The boxes..

Where we sat....

This is the frieze in the intermission recess

here, is the square, at night, with christmas lights, from the balcony at the front of the opera house.

Can you tell how much we love it?

Madame Butterfly was superb and the finale was magnificent. The walk home afterwards was chilly but really lovelly.

I realise it's wednesday and we went to the opera on sunday, however, i have been moving furniture and de-junking for 2 days..... no crafting either. Bit of knitting... finished my tam-o-shanter.... although... it's a disaster... hideously large for me and completely unsuitable.

I'm off to do something useful...

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Operations and Opera

The other day as we walked up the little path to our block I commented on how much I hated the state of the pavement and wondered if they were ever going to do anything about it.

The following morning I had to laugh when I woke up to this.....

Clearly, the intention to make a path ... woo hoo!!

we're going to the opera tonight, madame butterfly. I have been waiting to see it for ages and it will be my first time tonight. It will also give me a chance to model my opera gloves. Though I am sad I wont be able to have champagne or coffee in the interval.

I was very productive so far this weekend so I think it merits the treat. I listed my new needle roll and 2 bags. Very pleased and sunday mornings are easy to list on as we are awake over here before america :).... very sneaky huh?

enjoy your sundays...

Pay it forwards

Ok... so not many people were interested... free gifts obviously just wern't appealing enough.... maybe next time I should offer free pints of blood with the free gifts, however.... 3 lucky (term used losely) ladies did respond. So... sewvain, Tracey and Rani, Please send me an address so that I may rain handmade gifts upon you :)

In other news... I'm trying to upload the new items into etsy which takes an age. I love making the stuff, it's relaxing.

Almost finished (halfway through) my EZ tam-o-shanter.... I got this gorgeous soft wool to knit with and mmmmmmm I love it in a lovely smokey grey.

Anyway, I had better get on.

more to post tomoro (hopefully) sorry this was a bit on the boring side.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Christmas at Christmas : : Mos Nicolae

I took this picture last night as the sun set and brought the eve of christmas festivities.

Today was Mos Nicolae. This means that last night, before all the children went to bed, they cleaned their shoes and laid them on the doorstep so that Mos Nicolae (Old Man Nicolaus) would leave them sweets.

The tradition says that good girls and boys will have sweets in their shoes in the morning, whereas bad little girls and boys will have onions and turnips (winter veg) and birch rods in their shoes (the birch is to beat them)

These are our birch rods and mistletoe. The birch rods we use as part of our christmas decoration and the mistletoe hangs on our front door.

However, as time has progressed, so have birch rods, which are now thousands of varieties of decorated sticks (of various materials) and everyone gets one...and sweets.

We also went to see the nativity which was still being set up....

Much to our joy, the sheep are indeed real. Munching happily away on some hay, watching over Jesus and the gathering.

Of course, as you will have noticed (maybe) this also signifies the end of my 'no christmas til christmas' protest. We have also put up our decorations (most of)

I just love these hanging lights and modelling modestly in the foreground is Pickwick, my ring necked parrot. He will be moved the warmer room now as it is too cold for him there.

So here it is.... Advent and the christmas countdown.

Christmas is coming
The goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man's hat
If you havn't got a penny, a ha'penny will do
If you havn't got a ha'penny then God Bless You

Monday, 3 December 2007

Rest and Recovery

This weekend we went to visit my folks. Well, my mother at least, my father is away atm. We also happened to visit the huge second hand market with everything from car bits to jumpers. I did my usual raid. I found a jumper stall and had a rummage. I emerged with 4, but trained myself down to 2, and that was only 5 mins of looking. Anyway, one of my finds was this...

A mens XXL stipey, 100% shetland wool jumper. I absolutely love it, the colours are perfect for me , the length was good and the neck is nice. So, with a bit of this....

And some of this...

I got this...

a long wooly, striped (I love stripes) jumper for a curvey lady, so pleased.

And now for something completely different.

I have 2 sisters and a brother. One sister is 'grown up' as is my brother, and my littlest sister (I am the eldest) was adopted recently, once we had all 'grown up'

My grown-up sister 1 was playing with a bead set that belonged to littlest sister 2 and produced this....

It made me smile (giggle a little too) but it's true, we get on well and we can have a good laugh together.

Sister 2 also gave me a gift this weekend...

Items : Hello Kitty purse with handy clip for belt attachment
Hair bands for my long hair
Melty love heart hand made herself (with a little help at the ironing stage)
Letter with a picture.

If you look at the letter you will see two people, the little one is her and the big one is me. Personally I think it's a keen likeness ....especially the hair. The letter says :

'I love you lots and please come to visit us more often so I can see you I love you lots'

She's such a little monkey but we do love her so much.

So, as you can see, I have had a great weekend. Hope you all did as well.

Dont forget 'pay it forward' for friday. I think that the point of pay it forward is not to force people to do such, merely for you to do your bit, and hope that others will do theirs. Feel free to leave your comments without worrying about the other end (paying it forward yourself), these are supposed to be 'random acts of kindness' so everyone has the same rights to them in my opinion and I would love to send any 3 of you a handmade gift from me.