Category Archives: tutorial

Holidailies 9: Flashcarding, how I play the game

Last time I talked about how I create my flashcards and I also talked a bit about why I think it’s useful. This time I’ll talk about the other aspect of it, how I play the flashcard game. There are multiple ways of learning with flashcards and I will talk about a few of them here.

Just remember that even though I assume you have a foreign word on one side and the translation on the other side you can also use this for other things than learning languages. This is just to keep it all simple.

1. Sight reading.

This is my most used technique. This basically means that you repeat the flashcards as often as it needs that you read the foreign word and no longer need to think to know the translation. Sight reading is one of the reasons why I can quite quickly pick up a language by reading because you can grasp a lot of context of a sentence if you can understand the key words. It’s not a lot of use knowing a word if you can’t sight read it easily (barring of course words that are just plain difficult no matter if you’re native or foreign, those don’t count).

To make sure you don’t need to keep repeating the words that you already know you can always put the words you had wrong to the end of your stack and keep repeating them until you have them right or until you have just one card left in your hand. Then repeat again with the full stack, just to check if you really know them all.

When learning Japanese I use this for the first couple of rounds, so that I can make the connection between the kana and the sound of the kana.

DSCN0369<- not the way I actually do it since you can too easily cheat by checking which cards you’ve already had, but I didn’t want this point to be boring. Also, you can see both sides of the cards here.

2. Writing until your hands bleed

A bit dramatic but it gets the point across. This part is where you only look at the translated side of the card and write down the foreign words. And you repeat this until you’re absolutely sure you know all the word. The technique is largely the same as above, only that you don’t just check if you can come up with the word, you write the foreign word down before you check and then see if you spelled it right.


Here you can see how I do this. Because hiragana are only small I fold the lines back over so I can’t look at my last round of practising when I can’t come up with the right kana. This stops me from cheating and using a lot of paper when not needed.

A regular session of practising for me starts with sight reading the kana I already know, then I run through them the other way around and write them all. Only when that is finished I start a new set of cards. Remember to always learn new words in sets of 5 to 15. Otherwise there are too many new ones and it gets really hard to keep track of them all. If you keep the sets small it is a lot easier to make all the practised words add up.

Well, that’s it. Those are my 2 ways of practising a language.

Learn on!


DSCN0380 <- my folder with practise sheets and flash cards.


Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Holidailies, Japanese, learning, tutorial


Holidailies 8: Flashcarding, not as dirty as it sounds, rather useful even

So, apart from having totally too many things to do anyway, I recently decided that I should do some more… Yes, insane idea, I am aware of it, but it has been a long time coming:

I’m learning Japanese, and I’m mainly focusing on the reading/writing aspect of it. Which is totally cool and okay, if it weren’t so damn difficult. To be able to read Japanese you don’t just need to learn words, you need to learn whole new scripts. Which is both the fun and the hard part of it.

Japanese will be my 5th language. My first language is Dutch and I learned English, German and French in high school. My German and French is rusty though I can understand some bits of it still. My English… well, you can see how crap that has gotten over the years… kidding 😉

I’ve had a long interest in Japanese, back from the days that I got to know subbed anime and picked up words from there and later when I got into manga and was sad that I couldn’t pick up on some of the more interesting word jokes in it. But for the past year or so Japanese has been a language I’ve been surrounded with each day (mostly by music) and I found it time to finally take the plunge and learn it.

What I will be sharing today is the technique I used back in high school to learn foreign words, but it also works really well to learn other things. I learned part of the periodic table and salts for Chemistry on it, for one. It works really well when you need to “translate” one thing into the next, even if that is a chemical element to it’s symbols and electrons.


you need:

DSCN0353– thick paper to make cards
– pen
– paper to practice on

1) Make the thick paper into decent sized cards, I cut my index cards into two to get them to the right size. The right size is somewhere between where you can easily hold and shuffle them and where you can fit what you need on the card.


2) Practice what you need until you’re sure you can write it without errors. Here you can see me trying the first 5 kana of hiragana to make sure I get them right on the cards. Plus, always repeat to yourself what the word/thing you’re trying to learn means. So while writing the A kana I kept softly repeating to myself that is was the A. This really helps with trying to remember the words.

On one side you write the thing you want to learn (the kana in this case):


On the other side you write the translation if it. Here you can see I wrote the romaji letters on the other side. For learning full words I would write both the romaji and the translation, just to be sure I don’t mess up.


And honestly, that is all you need to get started with flashcarding. I’ve used it a lot in the past and today I upped my sight reading ability of hiragana to 25. I learned 10 (well 5 with their respective dakuten) this morning in an hour.

This is all you need to get started with your flashcarding. I will do another post soon that will show some of the ways that I actually learn with flashcards, because some ways are more effective for some cases than others.

Learn on!



Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Holidailies, Japanese, learning, tutorial


Update 28 December 2011

Todays update is about two things. New Black Sheep chapter is up on the regular places and I wrote a blogpost about how to make a multi coloured cake (written in both English and Dutch).

Black Sheep Part 2, Chapter 17

WordPress / Blogspot / GayAuthors / FictionPress

Easy Rainbow tiered cake

WordPress / Blogspot

Write on!



Easy multicoloured rainbow cake / Gemakkelijke gekleurde regenboog cake

I really love baking and one of the things I love making are cakes and pies. A few years ago I found a brand that does an amazing box for making cakes, no more sugar and butter but fluffy light cakes every time. Love Love Love this stuff! The brand is Pondan and the cake itself is called a Chiffon Cake. I first found the green cake, which is amazing in colour so I tried it out and I now swear by this kind of cake when making cakes.

Yes, the cake really is that colour when you bake it, it is a paler green when it goes into the oven but it truly does come out like this. The best thing is that you only need to add eggs and coconut milk. You can make it from scratch (recipes are easy to find, just use google) but I just do it the boring way and use a pack.

For this cake I use the vanilla version of this cake, which should be a pale yellow when finished. I honestly have never made one like that but always like I will describe below because the first time I made a multicoloured cake was because the green was sold out at the store.

Here a pic of our first attempt at a multi coloured cake, this was our birthday cake:

A lot of people were amazed by how the colours were so vibrant and not blending at all and wondering what kind of amazing kitchen princess I was (honestly, I’m not, this is just easy.)

All right, here comes the tutorial on how to make this amazing tower of Nom. This will be a bilingual tutorial, English will be in the normal typesetting and the Dutch instructions will follow in italics. The pictures in the tutorial are made when I was making the bottom layer of the above cake, extra instructions on how to put together that cake will be posted at the end.

Oke, hier volgt de tutorial, ik zal em in twee talen posten. Engelse instructies zijn in normale tekst en Nederlandse instructies in schuin er onder. De foto’s zijn van toen ik de onderste laag van de cake aan het maken was van bovenstaande cake, instructies om de rest van de cake te maken staan aan het einde van de tutorial.

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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in cake, tutorial


Knitting, first project and first design.

So, a couple of months ago I taught myself how to crochet, as that was something I had never done before. I have now tried my hand on knitting. My mum had taught me how to do it when I was young but I never could get into it and I never could quite get my head around casting-on.
A while back I found a tutorial for continental knitting and it seemed easier to me then the standard knitting I was used to. With that in the back of my mind I decided that when I could crochet pretty well I would try my hand on knitting. Well the time came and I found this amazing website with great tutorials on how to knit from start to finish. The website is called and it has tutorials for both continental and standard/English knitting.
So after watching the videos and making a small sample to get some ease at knitting and purling I decided it was time for a project. I chose this wrist warmer though I had the wrong yarn and needle size for it and if I changed these into fingerless gloves the cable would be at the side of my hand since the stitches on both sides of the cable are the same amount (I did this myself since I never found the new pattern the person who commented on it had made).
So I found a converter for gauge and size here. And changed the pattern so that the cable would be positioned down the middle of the hand.You can also find this pattern on Ravelry: here.

Easy cable fingerless gloves

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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in knitting, patterns, tutorial


Manga and (fan)fiction

Sorry for the long break, was busy with uni before I lacked internet for about 2 weeks. So I’m back again with something I found when I could only use the uni library for a couple of hours every day. While looking around for things to read I found that it was hell to use manga websites on my kindle and I remembered a program someone advised for fanfiction.

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Odd count Peyote / Oneven peyote – Tutorial

On a beading forum I frequent someone asked what our techniques for odd count peyote were. This is a technique a lot of people have problems with. Some of us make long or shorter tours back into the beading work to be able to go on beading. This is one of the longer ways of doing this. I use a way I myself find a lot simpler also because I usually make bracelets that are just 5 to 9 rows thick and I find the touring back into the work doubles the time I need to make them. I use this simple and effective method to make my odd count works, though I find that the finished pieces are a bit stiffer than would for even counts.
Op een kralenforum waar ik vaak kom vroeg iemand welke techniek we gebruiken voor oneven peyote. Dit is een techniek die veel mensen erg lastig vinden. Ik weet dat er veel mensen zijn die terug weven in het werk om vervolgens op de juiste manier uit de bovenste kraal te komen, zoals hier te zien is. Ik gebruik een techniek die ik wat minder langdradig vind. Ik maak vaak armbandjes die maar 5 tot 9 rijen groot zijn dus heen en weer weven is bijna dubbel het werk dan wat nodig is. Ik vind de techniek simpel en effectiever voor oneven peyote, alhoewel het eindproduct iets stijver word dan een even peyote.
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Posted by on April 3, 2011 in beading, tutorial