Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Not just skiing

Someone before us had built a small ramp, so the kids decided to ride on the "bum sleds" over the ramp.

Not content to just sled, they also needed to see if they could ski jump off it as well...

Cameron and a giant snowball.

Cameron has a hidden talent of being able to ski down a slope, find where Nicole is standing, bend down, whilst skiing to pick up a handfull of snow, make it into a snowball as he skis towards Nicole, and then throw it at her.....all while still staying upright, and going rather fast! Then speeding off down the rest of the slope laughing loudly!

Photos from St Oswalds

Having a lay down on the snow to cool down after a long day of skiing.

Nicole and Phil.

The boys want to go skiing again next week, and the week after, and the week after that!

The last day of ski school os "race day". The kids all do a timed slalom course. At the end of the week, they all get a medal, photos and a certificate. Something to be able to take to "show and Tell" when they get back to school.

at the top of the mountain

Phil had a bit more confidence this year, and would head off to catch up with the guys by himself after lunch. The slopes in the afternoon were often slushy, with rocks popping through (sounds like skiing in Australia, doesn't it??), and it was a lot harder on poor beginners like us! Some of the best slopes up on top of the mountain would be really busy, as everyone chased to best snow.

One of the views from the top of the mountain

The boys would be back in Ski school after lunch, and often Nicole would do a couple of runs and then relax, watching the boys, shopping, drinking coffee or just enjoying the sun! There were lots of deck-chairs, complete with "nana blankets" to keep you warm, and even wooden hammocks so you could really enjoy the non-skiing time!
Cameron testing out the hammocks!

Phil and Dave would always plan their afternoons to be back to pick the kids up from Ski school at 3:45, whereafter it was time to put all of the ski-geat into storage and head back to the apartment for a shower and a rest before dinner!

Cameron on one of the beginner slope lifts

Alexander on the beginner slope lift

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Ski lessons

We got ourselves suited, booted and ready to ski! We went first to the nursery slopes so the kids could get a feel for skiing again, and we met a girl of Cameron's age (Amy) with whom we could hear their parents talking English. We introduced the kids, then ourselves. Here is a photo of Cameron, Amy and Alexander....not that you can see much of them with their ski gear on!

The boys and Amy skiied together on the nursery slopes and became good friends. They were all going into ski school together so at least they would have someone else they knew to hang out with. Amy's mum (Nicola) was a school teacher with a big group from Lincolnshire in the UK, and her dad (Dave) was a policeman who had tagged along. As it worked out, there were 4 other dads who had tagged along (all good skiiers) and Phil was invited to join them skiing. It was quite easy to remember the names, because there were two Phils, two Daves and a John. All were great blokes and across the week Phil caught up and skiied with them (and had a few beers, too!).

This was half-term holidays, and the ski school was overflowing! I'm not sure that they coped all that well, but after some disorganised chaos, the boys were put into groups for ski lessons.After a bit of disorganisation, the kids were put into ski groups. Unfortunately the boys were not in the same class, and it was all too hard for the teachers to put them together. Cameron was a bit stroppy about it, and we hoped this wouldn't cause him to 'crack the wobblies' and refuse to have a good time. After the first day, he was OK, and had made a few friends in his group. Amy and Alexander were in the same class, but later in the week the groups were reconfigured and they all ended up in separate groups! However, they ate lunch together, and did the afternoon session in the same group, and mucked around / skied before and after lessons.

Cameron's teacher was Marc and Alexander's teacher was Franzi. The kids really enjoyed their lessons, and again proved how quick they are to learn new things (also having no fear helps as well).

They are able to go quite fast down the slopes, and on the the second day were already at the top of the mountain going down the red (intermediate level) slopes. Alexander went up first on day 2, and Cameron on Day 3. Phil was also having lessons on the upper slopes and kept an eye out for the boys. It was great to see how well they were doing, and to see them about having fun was also really pleasing!

Alexander (above, Cameron below) It was hard to get a photo of them skiing this year. They are both getting quite fast, and we ended up with lots of blurry ones! They are ready to go skiing with Uncle Stuart now! :)

Nicole started on the beginner runs, and 'graduated' to the top of the mountain on day 4. The resort is great for beginners / intermediate skiiers with lots of 'blue' and 'red' runs of varying difficulty, and unlike Werfenweng, it is possible to get to the intermediate slopes on top of the mountain without having to go down very steep slopes (which put Nicole off a bit last year).

Nicole's teacher was Hubsi (a bit like skiing with your grandpa - very patient, and very caring!) and Phil's teacher was Alfred.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

St Oswald/Bad Kleinkirchheim Ski Trip

The February half-term holiday is now our 'skiing holiday', and once again we headed to Austria. We were not able to get into the village we went to last year, Werfenweng, but our great travel agent suggested a small village in called St Oswald, near a place called Bad Kleinkirchheim. This is only an hour's drive north of Klagenfurt airport, into which we flew on super chepaie flights direct from Berlin!

This year has been terrible for snow. Without the snow-cannons making snow each night, we would have been lucky to ski at all. The weather this week was all above zero during the day, and the snow each afternoon was slush at the bottom of the mountain. Luckily the temoerature was colder at the top of the moutain and the runs up there had good snow.

We stayed in a little apartment with two bedrooms, in an 'all inclusive' hotel - no cooking after a hard day skiing! It was simple, clean and really nice, and only 5 minutes walk from the bottom of the ski lifts!

On Saturday, when we arrived, we went into town and got some cash and 'supplies' for the apartment, then took care of all of the ski hire, lift passes and ski school booking. Following this, there was no time left for skiing!

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Angel #9 Beauty

Here is the angel I finished tonight. Only 3 more to go now and the whole piece is complete.

Here is a picture of the entire thing so far....

Next week I can hopefully do a bit of knitting, I bought some wool for a scarf, and I am also going to try a pair of socks....it is the "thing" to make at the moment! :) I have never worked on 4 needles before....the challenge intrigues me!

Beginning of Quilt #5

Here is a picture of the blocks so far for the purple "Wicked Easy Quilt" I am trying to work out how to put some pinwheels into the pattern, and then decide which colour...I am leaning towards orange! :)

It looks messy so far...but trust me, it will work!

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Altes Museum

Alexander's class is learning about Ancient Egypt. This is a topic that has them all amazed!

We went on a trip to the Altes Museum, which holds the Egyptian Collection
I went along as a helper. I had a great group, Isaiah, Verena, Alexander, and Emily. They amazed me with all the things they were able to tell me about Ancient Egypt. They were able to pick out hieroglypic symbols, tell me the names of the Gods, Pharoahs, and all sorts of other things. As this was my favourite topic in Art at school and university, it was a real thrill for me too. It was great to see pieces that I have only seen in my text books. The Alte Museum in Berlin has the Bust of Nefertiti!

There is talk of a lot of the Egyptian collection being sent back to Egypt. Supposedly a lot of the stuff was smuggled out many years ago??....but I do not know the full story. The kids were amazed at the Mummies.
It was great to see them so excited about seeing the exhibition, and obvious that their teacher has them all captivated!

Monday, 12 February 2007

Project Spectrum Strips

Project Spectrum colours for February and March are Blue, White and Grey.

I pulled all the 1 1/4 and 1 1/2" strip boxes out, Phil sorted them for me, and I have been sewing them together.

This afternoon I sewed the blue strips and got 12 x 10" blocks sewn, and used up all the blue strips. I thought I would get 8 blocks, so I was not too far off the mark!

I think they look quite good when they are laid out like this!

Here are the cream ones I did a few weeks ago.

These are sewn directly onto the wadding, so I can try some reversible quilts (see 19th Jan post). I have thought of a block to use on the other side of the wadding, but I want to get all the strips sewn on first, to see which colours I will group together!

Project Spectrum colours for April/May are Green, Yellow, Pink. I am going to start on the green strips next....getting a head start, as there are heaps of green strips.
but for now, I am about to start quilt #5.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Pasta of Love

It was our 11th wedding anniversary today. We only celebrate the 5 and 10's with presents/dinner. The rest of them we give each other cards. Having our anniversary so close to Valentine's Day, means we can often find something unusual. I managed to find this Pasta last week.....and so last night we had our favourite Salmon Pasta, with love

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Berlin-Brandenburg Quilters Meeting

A few weeks ago I joined a Yahoo German Quilt group...it is helping me with my German. I can write my messages in German, and practice a bit more...on a topic I love!

Marga, a fellow member,who lives close by, sent me a private email to invite me to the above group. I bundled up my nerves and along I went.
The yahoo quilt group I belong to in Australia, call meeting people from the internet, "meeting axe murderers" ;)

When I arrived I introduced myself at the doors, and was asked who told me about the group.

I say "Marga, but I don't know her last name, I talked to her on the internet"
She replies "Ahh Marga.....yes, I will introduce her to you"

So, I met Marga, and a few other ladies at Marga's table. There was some talk about new exhibitions, a big quilt show coming up in June, and other stuff. It was spoken in normal German speed, which I am not terrific at....so I missed a lot of it, but that will all come in time. Then there was show and tell, with some divine quilting and lovely quilts, wall hangings, bags. Marga wanted to know if I had bought anything for Show and Tell....no not this time....perhaps next meeting (they meet once a month). We watched a short film about a weaver in Southern Germany....he was 88, and travels to peoples homes. The owner supplies all the wool, and he weaves these amazing pieces of cloth, which the owner then makes into clothing. He made a piece that was about 1 metre wide, and just over 7 metres long. It took him 3 days in total to complete, the woman paid him 80 DeutschMark....about 40 Euros in today's currency! Man....so much work for such a small amount of money. The accents were very thick, and even Marga had trouble understanding some of it.....and some of the film had German subtitles...lol.

So, I joined the group, bought a pin, and a CD with all the show and tell from May 2005 -Dec 2006. The CD has over 350 photos to look at...I had a quick look this morning, and there is some lovely things on the CD. Above is the logo of the group, that is part of a friendship quilt. It loks like each memeber made a star, and signed their name on their block, and it was all sewn together. It is a lovely quilt!

Marga is an amazing applique quilter...she thinks she will be able to turn my into a hand quilter.....my Sydney quilting group will be howling with laughter with this one.....usually I don't even use the "A" word....we will see!!!! :)
Marga invited me to her place on Tuesday fora sewing day, unfortunately I have already agreed to help out at Alexander's school trip to the Egyptian Musuem...but I will try to go to the next one.

I wish I had have met this group when I first got to Berlin. I think this would really have helped with my quilting, and my German, and getting to know where the quilt shops in Berlin are...and internet shopping a lot earlier! (Although I think this is a bonus to the credit card) See, the internet really can be a helpful resource!

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Quilt # 4 complete

Here is the same quilt pattern as the Japanese fabric quilt below, but with a coordinated colour combination. This one is for Lisa downstairs, who is expecting a baby boy in June.

Wicked Easy Quilt, link below.

Right, now to try the same pattern with some pinwheels!
I am also going to sew up the blue strips, like I did with the beige/neutral strips. I am going to guess that I will get 8 10" squares out of my blue strips. I will see how that goes!

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Quilt # 3 finished

The Japanese fabric quilt complete. This one is for me...lots of Japanese fabrics that I have collected over the years... Alexander held this quilt up for me to take a quick photo of the quilt...It is a little bit taller than him.

The pattern is a very simple one from Wicked Easy Quilt..I have a few more ideas with this pattern, and hope to make a few more. I want to try to add some pinwheels in there as well.

Wicked Easy Quilt, link below.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

UFO complete. Hooray

Finally, this one is complete...it was great to remove it from the frame.

The designs are by Lauren Tucker from Twilleys of Stanford. I won them in from a cross stitching magazine. I wrote a letter to them with a photo of a piece I had made from the magazine.

These are not to my liking...thank goodness there was no backstitching involved.

Here is a photo of the matching one that I finished last year!

now back to those angels!! 4 to go!

same pattern different fabrics

It has been a good day for sewing. Cameron is at Mohammed's, Alexander is at Martin's, and Phil is asleep on the couch.

So, I am being left alone to sew.

Here is what I did today.

Sorted strips into the right boxes...I have been lazy and not putting them away. It only took 20 minutes to do the whole lot. So my sewing space is looking neater...for the moment!

Sewed the borders on to the Japanese fabric quilt (see previous post)

Pulled out appropriate strips for Lisa's baby quilt....all from the scrap boxes. I only had to pull 2 fabrics out of the stash to add to it. It is the same pattern as the Japanese quilt. But I decided to colour co-ordinate it a bit more. I think it can be used as an "I Spy" quilt. Lots of things in there to point out. If I can get it sewn and bordered tonight, I can pin both quilts tomorrow afternoon, ready to quilt!

Japanese prints from stash

Quilt #3 for the year. I pulled out the Japanses fabrics to start something new. Here is a really quick pattern to use stash, and it doesn't take long to sew up at all.

Wicked Easy Quilt, link below.

It will be lap size by the time it is finished. Today we found out the girl in our same apartment building is pregnant. She is having a boy, so I will pull out some fun fabric and use this pattern to make a cot quilt for her baby. She is due in June, so I have heaps of time, but I would like to get that finished this week as well. Another great way to use up some of that "boy" fabric that I bought so much of when the kids were smaller.

Right, Phil has taken the boys ice skating, then Cameron goes to Mohammed's for a play date, and Alexander is off to Martin's party...I have plenty of "me" time to sew.
Gotta go......stay tuned! :)

Thursday, 1 February 2007

15 instead of 8

In a previous post about these strippy blocks from the Reversible Quilting book (see 19th & 28th Jan post), I thought I had enough fabric strips to make 8 x 10" blocks. Today, before I begin sewing the next quilt, I thought I would sew all the beige strips, to get that colour group finished.

I ended up with 15 blocks! Almost enough for a lap size quilt....just of my 1 1/4 and 1 1/2" strips. I can't even imagine how many quilts I can make out of the 2' strip box!

This weekend, I hope to start a quilt with Japanese fabrics, and try and work on some blue strip blocks as well.

P.S. Family is all well. Boys are at school and happy and Phil is busy at work...seems to be a lot of quilting going on, and not much else! :)