Seaming Made Simple

On Saturday, May 25, I’ll be teaching a class at Penelope Craft in Amsterdam – Seaming Made Simple.  If you’d like to learn everything you need to know about successfully putting your sweaters together, beautifully, be sure to sign up!

It’s a 3 hour class which will be mostly hands on practice.  You’ll have to make some swatches ahead of time, so be sure to ask about homework!

You can sign up at Penelope Craft, Kerkstraat 117, Amsterdam or on their web site.

There are a lot of other great classes planned for this summer.  Here’s the first few months’ schedule.

I’m also teaching Sock Design Studio on June 8th.  In this class you’ll learn how to make socks fit YOU, how to design your own socks using your favorite stitch pattern, and how to design socks for others.  What things do you need to take into account when designing socks?  Do’s and don’ts.  Hints and tips.  It’s going to be amazing.  I’m VERY excited about it.

Hope to see you there!

Taking Flight

You know I never write about work on this blog.  Work is work and everything else is fair game for the blog.  But today I’m making an exception and I promise not to make this the slippery slope to posts of complaining and moaning about work.

I’ve been teaching English at a school that prepares students to work in the travel industry.  One class is specifically for prospective flight attendants.  Today was the last class, my first class at this school.  I felt really sad and I will definitely miss these people.  We’ve come to like each other and it’s been so rewarding to see how they’ve grown.  Not only has their English improved, but their confidence has blossomed.  We work hard in this class but we also laugh a lot.  It will feel so strange not to see them next week.  I think of them as my chicks, now getting ready to fly the nest.

The above photo was taken during one of the “role play” exam days where they had to wear their uniforms and pretend to be working a flight.  Other students played the roles of passengers with specific problems to play out.

Good-bye my first fliers.  If you are reading this, when I see you on an airplane sometime, someplace, I’ll be expecting an upgrade!


These days I feel like I’m living in a whirlwind.  As you may know, I left corporate life at the end of 2011 and decided to become an English teacher.  I went through training.  I went through long periods of unemployment.  Then a short stint at a “training” job that had nothing to do with training.  And now, in early October, I am, by golly, an English teacher!  And suddenly I’m in big demand and keep getting asked to teach more classes.  I started out with 1 class at a travel school and 1 class at a language school.  Then they both started asking me to teach more classes.  Nice, but crazy and chaotic right now.

Here are some observations about this life change.

First of all, I’m having a hard time getting used to this un-schedule.  I spend 2 hours here, 2 hours there, 3 hours somewhere else.  I have a worse schedule than I used to have as a split shift waitress (lunch – break – dinner).  And I have to find time to prepare for classes.  This isn’t like teaching in a high school where you have lesson plans and books all ready for you and you just have to come in an hour early and your day is sorted out.  Oh no.  Maybe there is a book.  Maybe it’s a reasonable book.  Maybe it isn’t.  Thank GOD for the internet and all the teaching resources I can pull from there.  I’d be totally lost otherwise.

And I guess that’s my second issue – I’m very slow at preparing for classes because I’M NEW AT THIS!  And of course I want to be good at it.  I have good ideas I think.  I just have to keep coming up with ideas and finding resources to get those ideas across.  Everything takes more time than it would a more experienced teacher.

I really like actually teaching the classes.  Once I’m organized and have my lesson plan ready, I really enjoy the teaching.  The students are interesting and interested.  This is the fun part.  This is what I trained to do.

So, I have to get the hang of this life and decide, after one year, if this is the direction I want to continue going.

The photo above was taken at a farm we stayed at last weekend, Huis ter Lucht.  They have turned part of the farm into vacation houses.  It was the yearly Family Weekend.  I think, kids and all, there were 26 of us.  We watched the milking, petted cows and chased cats.  I went for a long walk Saturday and ended up in a boat.  It was good to get away (not very far away, but still) and not think about anything.  Here are some more photos from the weekend.  I didn’t take my camera with me, so all photos were taken with my iPhone 4S.

In the Classroom


Today I gave an exam to 15 teenagers at a school in Amsterdam.  Their usual teacher was off eating tapas and speaking English to Spaniards.

The students were very nice and the staff were also welcoming and helpful.  It was a great experience.  I really do love being in a classroom.  Maybe they will need more subs this coming school year……