Tulips in January?

Oh dear.  Its been over a year since I posted anything on the blog. Tut tut. But rather than offer up any excuses I’m just going to show you a picture of a tulip bulb that we brought in from the cold a couple of weeks ago, which had started to sprout but hadn’t been planted deep enough in the ground.
I’m glad we did as although it had been extremely mild up until Christmas, on the 27th December we had 30-40cm of snow and the temperatures plummeted to -8C.

Two days ago, this little beauty flowered.


Dino Girl -isms

Dino Girl is now 3.5.  A year ago (i.e when she was 2.5) she didn’t speak much.  There were very few words that were recognisable to other people, but not many more that only we could decipher.

Then suddenly a few months before her 3rd birthday, her speech exploded.  We had proper words and sentences and she could be understood by just about everyone.

But, there are (along with a few dodgy sounds) a few things that only we can understand.  This is nothing to do with her speech ability but more to do with her understanding of whats being said around.

And amusingly, they seem to revolve around food.  Here’s a few (see if you can guess what she’s saying, answers below):

1) “Wakey wakey, nice and dry!”     (that one’s quite easy)

2) “I’ll have 2 yogurts and chips please”

3) “Can I have a greedy pig for breakfast please?”

And, just because I despair of it, here’s a pic of her bird’s nest hair.  I know the more I leave it, the worse it will get, but it already seems past the point of no return.

Dino Girl hair

Answers to the Dino Girl -isms:

1) “Wakey, wakey, rise and shine” (told you that one was easy)

2) “I’ll have chicken nuggets and chips please”

3) “Can I have a weetabix for breakfast please?”

The Mona Lisa (as you’ve never seen her before!)

About 6 months or so ago, Lego Boy started at an art class.  He’s not really shown too much interest in drawing before, much preferring to have Lego bricks in his hand than a pencil.
But this group is held on a Wednesday morning and is attended mainly by homeschoolers (which is a rarity here, there are very few homeschool-specific groups) so we thought he could try it out and see how it went.

He loves it.

Right from the start it became clear that Carmen, his teacher, has a passion for art, and a passion for sharing that with her classes.
If I’m honest, I wasn’t expecting too much from Lego Boy, based on his previous lack of interest in the subject.
So when we were invited to a La Joconde exhibition (thats Mona Lisa to non-francophones) I was interested to see what he had produced, particularly as he hadn’t been in the class long.

I was blown away.

La Joconde

The difference in his art in just a few weeks was incredible.

At the exhibition there were slips of paper with adjectives on.  We had to stick an appropriate word below the pictures that we liked.  At the end, each child got a certificate according to the most popular word under his/her painting.

Lego Boy got:

La Joconde la plus brillante.

The theme for this semester is Alice in Wonderland.  I can’t wait for the exhibition at Christmas🙂

Middle Ages Camp

In some cantons in Switzerland, schools are already going back after the summer break.  That’s not the case here in Vaud (they return next week), but holidays have been in full swing for a while.

This year, Lego Boy went on a summer camp in the mountains.  He had only been on one camp before, a skiing one, which he didn’t like very much, as he didn’t like having to ski all day everyday, and apparently the boys in his dormitory were too noisy at bedtime.

So this year, I found a camp in the mountains run by a montessori-trained teacher, who also runs outdoor skills classes for adults. (Her website is 123nature.ch)
With a variety of activities on offer, and a much smaller number of children taking part, I thought it would be right up Lego Boy’s street.  And it appears I was right!

However, as I was not there, it would be amiss of me to describe the week from the tales I have been told.  So I asked Lego Boy to prepare an account of what happened.  When I said that I wanted to put it on my blog, he jumped at the chance!

So, here it is:

My Adventure in the Mountains

Last week I went to a camp near Morgins.  The leaders were Véronique and Mathieu.  I was nervous at first.  I was nervous because I didn’t know the people there.

I did some archery in the morning.  It was very fun!!

I slept in the boys’ dormitory next to Ueloin.  I didn’t take bunny, but it was ok.
Each night we had a story.  One night the girls came to us and the next night we went to the girls’ dormitory for a story.

There were lots of games to play.  We played some rounds of Uno, and sadly I lost.  We played air hockey, sometimes I won; sometimes I lost.  We played outside.  We played cache-cache 14.

I also did some arts and crafts.  I got to make some bread.  I made four name cards, for Mummy, Daddy, Dino Girl and one for me.  I made a komodo dragon/postosuchus and a snake from clay.  I made an Indian pouch from leather, and it’s very cool.  I made a catapult with Mathieu.

One afternoon we had a tournament which involved: a wooden tower course, a golf course, knocking over cardboard figures with some pinecones, getting pinecones through a hole and a quiz.  It was super cool!!

We had a 2 hour hike to Morgins to the swimming pool, but I didn’t have my swimming shorts.

I forgot to take some money to the shop, but Véro gave me some money.  Noë gave me 2chf as a birthday present.  Thanks Noë!  I forgot to take some pictures, but I have some great memories.  I had a very good time, but I was happy to see Mummy, Daddy and Dino Girl.

The End

So a successful camp, gauged by the response when I asked if he would like to go again: “Cor, yes please!”

(Photos taken from the 123nature website)

The Waiting Game

This afternoon I have started to make a batch of cold-brewed iced coffee, following the method blogged by the lovely nexttonicx.


Unfortunately, it has to be left to work its magic in the fridge for 12 to 15 hours, so in the meantime, I am having to make do with a cup of tea, although it is in my favourite mug from Pip studio:


I only drink tea from this mug, and it’s just perfect for when I feel like something special, but I don’t want to get out the teapot and one of my many mismatched cups and saucers.
I warn you: don’t look on the website.  There is lots of gorgeousness on there, and you may either be poorer at the end of your visit, or need to get a napkin to mop up the drool😉

So, afternoon tea (even though it’s only 2.30pm) wouldn’t be complete without a piece of cake.  So I have my spice cake with honey glaze in the oven.

Unfortunately, that means more waiting……

What have I been up to?

Last Saturday was the second of two artisanal open houses I hosted at our house.

In the lead up to them, I was very busy making lots of stock (and worrying that I didn’t have enough), organising the vendors and making sure that the house was clean and tidy (not a mean feat with 2 children at home all day, although I can’t solely blame them; I’m not a very spick-and-span kinda person).

That’s one of the reasons why I’ve been a bit slack in the blogging department. After all, all the other daily stuff (washing, educating the kids etc) had to be done too whilst snatching moments to sew.

It was hard to find the right time to host these events. The first was on a Thursday morning, to catch I hoped, the school mums, who after dropping Johnny and Ginny at the school gates fancied browsing some gorgeous handmade goodies and having a cup of tea and some cake.
We had 5 people come.
(I guess some marketeers would say I shouldn’t be telling you about the times that are less than successful, but I say, sod it, its the truth and it shows that this stuff isn’t plain sailing).

So I was a bit apprehensive about Saturday’s event. I felt guilty that I’d got the other vendors involved, that they had lovingly crafted items, and taken time out of their busy days to turn up. (Of course we were all involved in inviting people and advertising the event, but I just felt like, as the host, I should be able to conjure visitors out of the ether)

I’d like to say that Saturday dawned bright and sunny. But I can’t, as it didn’t. The weather could’ve been worse, granted, but there was just enough rain that made me wonder if anyone would want to come out.
However, I’m pleased to say that our friends, neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances didn’t let us down. There was a constant buzz in the room, with lots of chatter going on, and even some purchases made! We also had a free draw with all the vendors contributing so several guests got a nice surprise over the next couple of days.

Myself, I managed to sell a few bags, and picked up a few more ideas for new items to add to my range. And everyone else sold something too.🙂

I think a comparison of the two days can be made by the amount of cupcakes from Kids Party Cupcakes left at the end.
After Thursday, my diet went completely to pot. After Saturday it was still relatively intact (with a couple of blips!)

We are planning on holding more events, probably in September and just before Christmas, so if you are interested in coming, then drop me a line and I can add you to the invite list.
We’re also on the lookout for a couple more vendors, so if you don’t clash with one of our current group (list below) and handmake delicious looking items, then please contact me. Obviously you need to be in Switzerland, unless you fancy a short break😉

So, who were the lovely businesses who participated?

First up, me, Twinkly Things, selling my handmade bags and rucksacks, made from PVC and other repurposed materials. I have a gallery on this blog under Creations For Sale.

Un Lieu Sur Terre – Celyn is a storytelling textile artist. She makes handmade eco conscious designs. – http://www.unlieusurterre.com

Kids Party Cupcakes – Kate is known in our house as Cake Kate. She makes delicious cupcakes for kids and moms to enjoy at parties. They are homemade and delivered to your door. – http://www.facebook.com/LausanneKidsPartyCupcakes

Dika Designs – Marika makes handmade cards using fabric and other nick-nacks. She collaborates with textile artist Karin Wheals to make cards with handmade lace designs too.

SessaKids – Svenja makes original clothes and accessories for kids, handmade with unique fabrics and patterns. She makes bibs, aprons, gym bags, shirts, dresses, and more… – http://www.sessakids.com

Onglaise Mobile Nail Services – Chris is a qualified English Nail Technician offering a mobile nail service in and around the Lausanne and Vevey area. – http://www.onglaise.com

(I have some pictures of the 2 days, but I’m afraid they will have to wait until I can find my camera cable!)