The Crafty Shrimp

My crafting adventures in fabric, clay and more…

Personal espresso time and a language lesson June 19, 2008

Filed under: Pottery,Switzerland — Eva @ 6:02 pm
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Everyone has their own rituals in the morning whilst waking up….but from the no breakfasters via the cereal and fruit people to the fry fanatics, many enjoy a lovely cup of coffee in the morning. My preference is a nice fluffy cappucchino but my brother for example prefers a strong espresso to give the day a kick start. So when he decided to move in with his girlfriend (yeah!!), I made these two personalized cups as their housewarming present. They were inspired by some cups I saw in Bon Marche on our Paris trip Iast September and I used a stamp set from Muji (bought that trip) to put their names on the spoons and “espresso” on the cups.

These are still leftover projects from my old pottery class (and there are still some more to follow) but a few weeks ago I found a new one! It’s just around the corner from my home, the teacher makes beautiful stuff and is not only intent on teaching me pottery but German as well! And it’s working really well, sometimes it’s a bit of a struggle but as the teacher also speaks English and French we generally work it out. I think it’s really a fabulous way to practice the language, learn a new skill and meet some new people. I’ve talked about this briefly before and wanted to emphasize the point as I had some comments about it in a previous post.

I guess my family has always had to learn languages. Before my brother and I were born, my parents moved from the Netherlands to France for my Dad’s job. Whilst he was working, my Mum was trying to learn the language, make friends and also find a job. She joined several courses and clubs, all in French and slowly, through cooking courses and flower identifying walks, learned the language and made friends. So I would definitely recommend anyone to join something like this. Many foreigners here often complain that it’s hard to meet the local Swiss people but I always think this is quite unfair as they often also don’t speak German or French. We can not expect everyone to speak English (well, or feel comfortable speaking it all the time) and therefore will have to make a bigger effort ourselves learning the local language. But once you do, you will find many lovely, funny, genuine and loyal friends.

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Quiet time August 26, 2007

Filed under: Random Craft,Switzerland — Eva @ 6:17 am

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Not much to post about at the moment…I’m up to my arms in clay as yesterday was the first out of four sessions of my pottery course. We’re learning to work with big quantities of clay, so after banging up 20 kg, we threw our first 5 kg pot. Very different but learned a lot so will hopefully have some nice stuff to show after this week. In the mean time, I leave you with a picture of my newest purchase last night at Basel’s Brazilian festival. I found these beautiful earrings at one of the stands. They live locally and make so much pretty stuff I had to stop myself from buying more. I particularly liked the way they combined felt with silver (you could also buy these with little tufts of felt inside) but in the end decided on these. I’ll definitely be visiting their stall at the Herbstmesse this year.

 

Celebtrating 1st August in style! August 1, 2007

Filed under: Switzerland,Uncategorized — Eva @ 8:27 pm

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A non-crafty post but anyway….happy 1st August!! Also known as Swiss National Day, and we have been celebrating in style. In Basel, they have the customary huge fireworks display on the 31st July instead of the 1st so we could sleep in on our day off 🙂 So last night, we wandered along the Rhine, found ourselves a nice spot across from Les Trois Rois and waited for the fireworks to start. The council put on a fantastic show including dinghy races, skydivers landing in the water right in front of us, sparklers flying off into the air wired to helium balloons. Then at 23.15 a huge display of stunning fireworks with lots of variations. Very nice!

Then today, we had a lazy day with some cooking, a bike ride to France to buy Marie Claire Idées for a friend and then….the highlight of my day off….the first swim in the Rhine! When I moved here last October my colleagues were telling me about this. Every summer, when the water warms up people walk upstream, get into the Rhine and float down the current. I’ve been looking forward to this for the last 10 month and have been eagerly waiting till we could jump in! But after a promising April it hasn’t warmed up and the water has been pretty cold (16°C) and I didn’t fancy freezing. So today we finally we took the plunge: after being warm from the cycling, we bought ourselves a fishbag, stuffed our clothes in it, took a deep breath and jumped in! It was cold at first but it quickly warmed up and we enjoyed the ride. We went up and down twice (takes about 15 min) whilst floating past beautiful buildings, dried up in the sun and ate icecream. I’m totally hooked and will definitely be doing it again soon…probably tomorrow at lunchtime!