Wednesday, 20 January 2010

WIPs: Current status

Nothing much to report WIP wise. I've done all the cutting and removing of threads on the hardanger needlecase, so that's now ready for the weekend and I should get that finished on the long-distance bus rides!! I hate the weaving bits, so doing those during 'trapped time' will both get them done and pass the time much more quickly.

The cross stitch is still progressing slowly. Is it just me, or do others find that greenery seems to work up far slower than other parts? Green is known to be an actively relaxing colour, so I was wondering if that slowed down stitching in some way. DH said, 'There's a PhD in that!', so if anyone fancies doing some stitching related research and calling themselves 'Doctor' ever afterwards, there's an idea for you!!!

I've sent, via e-mail, to a couple of schools re embroidery courses, such as the new City & Guilds programmes being run at Space2Create and the Certificate and Diploma courses run by the Royal School of Needlework. Just waiting for responses now, but I fear the latter programmes will be prohibitively expensive. Shame, as the courses they offer are most in my line, but who knows what may be possible at some point?=)

I finally finished 'Sylvia's Lovers' by Gaskell recently and made a good start on Frances Burney's 'The Wanderer', which unlike the former, had me gripped from chapter one! It's much easier to persuade myself to get to bed very early if there's a good novel on the go!! I think the Gaskell was really written by a Chinese author and then Yorkshire-y-fied by Gaskell as, in true Chinese literary fashion, everyone dies in the end!!!

Sheila, I've been thinking about your comment about 'typical Brit, unable to learn a language'. Oh so many Brits think that about a number of things too! So many of us are totally convinced we'd never be able to do any number of perfectly achievable things - often before even trying it ourselves! Sometimes, at craft/stitching shows, I get talking to some of the other ladies looking at the goodies on the stands and there's usually a seasoned cross stitcher looking doubtfully at a freestyle kit she wants to try, but lacks confindence. 'But do you really think I could do this?' she asks, 'I've only ever done cross stitch before.' I normally encourage her that, yes, of course she could do it, but if she lacks confidence she might want to try a small piece/a doodle pad first and so on. Many cross stitchers fear they wouldn't be able to do surface work, but think about it - the techniques are very similar to counted thread ones, and they already have almost all of the necessary equipment and skills, so why fear to move onto pastures new?

It's much the same with language. We've all already got almost all the equipment, skills and experience we need to learn another language as we'd be using the same mouth, vocal chords, brain, concepts as we already do with the very complex language we already learned in childhood! And think about how many versions of English there are: UK, US, Canada, Aus, NZ, South Africa, India, Singapore and a whole host of official language speaker variations on top of those and we can understand them all! Next to no-one can't learn a second language!

A lot of folk then point to their shaky experience with French in school and say, 'I was no good then, so why would I be now?' Basically because teaching methods and materials have improved enormously over the last 30 years and, frankly, did you do French in school because you wanted to or because you hadn't any choice?? Motivation makes all the difference!=) Try it and see...


Jules said...

Interesting thoughts. I'm very envious of people like yourself who I consider to be gifted linguistically. I actually enjoyed conversational French but hated the grammar. Keep saying I want to learn Italian (and Welsh!) maybe I should give it a go. I've never read "Sylvia's Lovers" but did thoroughly enjoy "North and South"! Good luck with your transportable stitching, it's coming along nicely!

Mylene said...

Both WIP's are looking great!

Speaking of languages, i do want to learn a bit of German and French but never gave the time for it.
Take care.

Wanda said...

Beautiful stitching! Really nice progress. I think YOU are proof that languages can be mastered no matter what one's nationality! With some people, languages are easier and others, not so easy. But probably everyone could get to the point of "getting by" in a foreign language if they stuck to it. Often, as in my case, I THINK I have a problem with learning languages and, therefore, I talk myself into having that problem. Know what I mean?