Monday, 27 February 2012

One-A-Day, or...A Production Line

...of African Fower centres: 29

(I got the mini-skeins of tapestry wool (new wool) for almost nothing, plus another bag for free - might have been in the shop for too long!)

The Sea-colours Ripple has grown to 17 double rows:

The GRB didn't really grow...but there's hope for this week.

How did you do?

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Pretty. Crafty. Home.

(He heee, I can hear the sniggers from those in the know..., and the raised eyebrows! :-)

'Cause those terms don't really describe me and my khaya.

 "Pretty" conjures images of pink, pastels, splashes of red, flowers, Cath Kidston, Greengate etc,  - which I do love, but being Gemini, and having 1 husband, 2 boys and 2 Boxers, we tend to be ...untidy, cluttered, lots of retro, but a bit more masculine, lots of shabby (but real, not created), and lots of dust (thanks to the empty servitude erf next door, serving as access route to the nursery school.

And with my husband being a hunter, there's also the odd zebra and kudu skin on the cement floors (which make us healthy, organic, low-fat venison eaters!).

(still unpacking and moving into the room here)

But there's always space for improvement, and this what is going to happen.

Six years ago we bought a tiny, tiny, square little matchbox house, built for railway workers in around 1933 (oldish for South Africa). It was a pretty little thing, with (neglected) wooden floors, lovely pressed steel ceilings, absolutely no wardrobes of any kind, 2 sinc cupboards in the kitchen.

But sitting on a 1300 square m erf. Thus lots of space for kids and dogs. A huge sandpit. Jungle gym and trampoline.  And located in a old, worker class suburb with relatively little crime (very NB in South Africa).

So since then we have almost doubled the size by adding a huge kitchen/living room, changing the old kitchen to a bedroom, the sitting room to a home office, the back stoep to a bathroom, adding a guest toilet, doubled the garage and tamed the bushveld to create a simple, yet huge garden.

Our taste in decor is very specific.  The addition has tinted cement floors, we have almost no tiles anywhere, we eat at an old desk from a police office, I store my kitchen stuff in a old police filing cupboard and shop counter. The guest toilet is also a library. Most of our furniture comes from Bellbottoms, the greatest vintage shop ever, and me and the owner joke that  our house could serve as a showroom for his shop!

The boys have just moved out of a small room-between-two-rooms, and This, dear friends, is going to be My Room:

(Current state a bit messy!)

The floors will be sanded, the walls repainted, I'm thinking a new Design Team fabric blind for the window and...a Permanent Spot for my 19 yr old little used sewing machine.  On the little green table that I got just yesterday, for this spot.

Watch this space.   From this room, many things will sewed and planned.  I started moving my yarn into the (horrible) wardrobes that we are going to retain, and look how I'm using my Ikea Hanging storage again, after six years!

(Sports equipment and scrap to be moved  Somewhere Else).

So excuse me please. I'm quickly finishing a pillow for Leandra, and then I'll search high and low through the house for all my bits and pieces which can now come live in My Room.

Where I'll be crafting and sewing and being extremely productive.

Prettifying the home.

(Thanks to Sandra at Cherry Heart for this nudge in the right direction, and also hosting Pretty Crafty Home!)

(And sorry if I don't get to the Flickr group too much - fighting for  time on email, Blogger and my two groups on Facebook as it is!)

Friday, 24 February 2012


Wat is hierdie?
What is this?

(Ja, dis 'n klein tafeldoekie, maar wat noem jy dit?).
Skoonma bring dit hier aan met 'n onlangse kuier.  Ons wil weet hoe dit gemaak word.

(Yes, it's a small table cloth, but what do you call it?).
MIL brought it along during a recent visit. We want to know how it's made.

Kyk, dit lyk op die oog af baie eenvoudig, amper soos kruisiesteek op gingham.
It looks deceptively easy, like a simple cross-stitch on gingham.

Maar die draadjies volg 'n baie spesifieke patroon. Skoonma het dit al probeer na-doen, maar kry dit nie reg. Dis gemaak deur haar ma, ouma Alkie, baie baie jare gelede, en ouma Alkie is nie meer hier om ons te leer nie.  

But no.  It follows a very specific pattern. MIL has tried to figure it out, but cannot replicate it.  It was made by her late mother, grandma Alkie, many many years ago.

Weet iemand?
Does anyone know?

Ek het na 'n klompie voorbeel van smokwerk gekyk - maar hierdie is plat, nie ingetrek nie.
I looked at examples of (point) smocking, but this is completely flat, not gathered.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Wolle van ver

Dit het begin met hierdie post van Suzanne...waarin 'n foto was van die mooiste mooie wol:
It started with Suzanne's post, with a photo of this loveliest of yarns...

Sjoe.  Dis net van die mooiste kleure denkbaar.  Hé?? En die tekstuur va die draad!
Wow.  How pretty can yarn be. And the texture!

En toe vat ek 'n kans, en gan soek dit bietjie op internet...maar kan dit nie bestel nie  :-(
I took a change on being able to order it online, but no can do :-(

Toe kry ek 'n lys Ierse winkels wat dit aanhou.  En dalk kan my sus dit in Ierland kry en Maartmaand saambring! En sisi moet toevallig vandag in Dublin wees.
EN sy wil 'n draai in die wolwinkel gaan maak...
So I got a list of Irish stores that might stock these.  Maybe my sisi could get me some in Ireland when she comes to visit end of March!  And sis just accidentally had to be in Dublin today.
AND she wouldn't mind to going to a yarn store...

Sy loop toe na die rak, en steek eerste haar hande uit na 'n mooie kleur...wat MYNE is!
So she walk to the shelf, reach out to a beautiful skein of wool...which is MY COLOUR!

Hierdie ry vandag op die trein van Dublin na Cork, en vlieg einde Maart al die pad na Pretoria :-)
Now these two traveled on the train from Dublin to Cork today, and will fly out all the way to Pretoria at the end of March :-) 

Wat sal ek daarmee haak??
What will I hook with it??

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

One-a-Day... or, New WIP's!

Lot's of hooking going on here...

With High Hopes of a Europe visit coming Dec, I completed 7 of these...

and 9 1/2 bands of these for a friend's coming baby...

and The Great Romany Blanket is going to Get Started today:

with one of these:

I think the tomato red in the right hand corner.

Wish me luck, think of me!

And have fun with your projects. I love meeting for Tuesday's Tallies at Carole's to see what everybody is doing with their One-a-Days. 

Thursday, 9 February 2012

My amigurumi

My seuntjie se Montessori-voorskool samel elke jaar tweedehandse speelgoed in, wat op 'n stadium na die George Mukhari-hospitaal gaan. Ek het nou eers besef hoe groot hierdie projek is, en wie dit doen.

Die skooltjie behoort aan Shan Ellis, wie skoonfamilie (skoonma? "Ma Ellis") jare gelede hiermee begin het.  Op Kersdag gaan die Ellis-familie na die hospitaal, met hope en hope speelgoed.  Hierdie Kersfees het Shan reuse rooi sakke gemaak waarin die speelgoed gelaai is, en dit word met groot gejuig, gejubel en gebed ontvang.

George Mukhari is 'n akademiese opleidingshospitaal (voorheen Ga-Rankuwa) in die noorde van Pretoria en het baie pasiënte met wie dit finansiëel en andersins swaar gaan.  Hierdie geskenkies is dus vir baie die enigste wat hul vir Kersfees sal kry.

Natuurlik wil ek toe nou kyk of Familie Botha hierdie jaar kan beter doen as net tweedehandse speelgoed, en terwyl sagte speelgoed daar baie gewild is, en ek hierdie lekker nuwe hekel-hobbie het, kan ek mos maar lostrek en iets hekel.  Amigurumi is ideaal, want dis klein en vinnig, bevredig mens se lus vir 'n vinnige projek en dit word dan sommer gemaak vir 'n goeie doel.

So. Ontmoet my eerste poging, 'n "Slime Drop", en die patroon word hier gevind.

Hy/sy is gehaak in elle Pure Gold DK se Avocado. Die ou dingetjie het nou regtig nie lank geneem om te doen nie, en dis goeie oefening :-)  Slime Drop gaan nou na die jaareinde-mandjie toe, en ek wil probeer om ten minste elke maand so een dingetjie te haak.  Volgende is 'n Baby Monster!

My little boy's Montessori-preschool collects  second hand toys every year, to be taken to the young patients at the George Mukhari hospital. I only recently realised how big this project is, and who is the driving force.

Shan Ellis is the directress of the school, and their family (mother inlaw? "Ma Ellis") started this tradition years ago.  On Christmas Day, the family visits the pediatric wards with piles and piles of toys.  This Christmas, Shan made huge red gift bags, filled with the goodies, which were received with great joy and jubilation.

George Mukhari is an academic training hospital (previously Ga-Rankuwa) to the north of Pretoria and has many patients who lead difficult lives, both financially and otherwise.  These gifts were typically the only that they would get for Christmas.

Of course I wanted to see whether Family Botha could do better than only second hand toys this year, and while stuffed are very popular with the kids, and I do have this new hooky-hobby, I could just as well hook up something!  Amigurumi is ideal, it is small and quick, it satisfy one's urge to 'just hook something new' and it is for a good purpose.  

So. Up there is my first try a "Slime Drop", of which the pattern could be found here.

I used elle Pure Gold DK in Avocado. It really didn't take long, and serves as good hooky practise!
Slim Drop will now go to the year-end basket and I want to try and finish at least one similar project each month.
Next up is a tiny Baby Monster!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Of a Mobile Monster and Versatile Blogger

I had to get myself a new mobile phone after trusty old Nokia tragically drowned in 1 teaspoon of water.

Luckily it was time for my contract renewal, out of character, I made a huge technological leap and upgraded to an iPhone. Now, the whole prospect of dropping that screen and having it break, combined with the cost of the bloody phone (luckily luckily free on contract) had me immediately buy one of those jel/silicone type skins.

And then we went away for the weekend to a camping place on a game ranch and I wanted to walk around an take photos - but not having to hold the phone in my hand the whole time!  So I proceed to hook up a pouch, which I usually actively dislike.

I had my Rainbow Ripple with me, with the two remaining colours of wool.

Orange it was going to be.

And this is how the pouch turned into a monster:

First I hooked a rectangle roughly twice the length of the phone.
It was too narrow so I went around again, in singles.
Managed to crochet that together, decided to make ears, and not wanting to have to cut and not anywhere, had to slip right around to the front.
Stitched a smile, and back home found two eyes. Plus black wool for the sling, as in the end I didn't have enough!

Voila, one Mobile Monster! :-)

The inspiration comes from a post I saw at Crafty is cool , and I basically just used the facial expression from there. And it stirred up a new fascination for simple amigurumi, which gave me an idea that I want to ponder on ...and will report back on...


Earlier this week I received another fun award - that of Versatile Blogger, from both Karisma @ Karisma's Kraft and Shelley @ All4meggymoo.  Thank you both so much!

So this label will be added to the right somewhere:

And here follows 7 random things about myself:

  1. I've been crocheting now for almost a year, and absolutely love it.
  2. I learnt (erm...still learning) to swim breaststroke this year!  Actually go for lessons every week, at my kiddies' coach.
  3. Reading defines me. I'll read the back of the cereal box  if there's nothing else.  Last year I actually tried to list the books that I read, forgot quite a few times, but came up with a total of 95.
  4. I've been living in my current house for 5 yrs now, which is the longest I ever lived anywhere (grew up with a dad who was transferred a lot.)
  5. I have a masters degree in agriculture, majoring in agroforestry - but I'm happily in service of my husband and children now.
  6. I (we) must be one of the few South Africans who chose not to stay on in Australia (the new frontier for many from here), but to return to good old Mzansi (that is some of our's pet name for RSA).
  7. Our Boxer dogs have surnames. We now live with Shamila K (daughter of the majestic Maximas Jamal) and Ben-girl Twelve.  Previously there was Ounooi van Jaarsveld and Sasha Bardot.

I'll pass on this award to only 3 other bloggers (sorry for breaking the rules) - 'cause many that I would nominate have already been nominated:

  1. Kate at  Fox's Lane.  She blogs about her life on their organic farm, being a mom, crocheting and sewing, cooking and their amazing 6-month caravan trip through Australia. Always interesting.
  2. Tina at The Quiet Home. She's another homemaker, way up north in Scotland, battling away with her cooker, finding such joy in her handiwork and home work, and being a Godly inspiration to many of us with her posts.  
  3. Ansie at Sol y sombra. This is my second nod to Ansie, a South African expat currently living in Dubai, and one of the most creative people I've encountered in Blogland. The things she comes up with!  There's no stopping that creative brain.  
Please visit their pages!  There will be something interesting, inspiring and uplifting to read about.

And here are the rules for my nominees...

1. Add the award to your blog.

2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you.
3. Mention 7 random things about yourself.
4. List the rules.
5. Award to 15 bloggers.
6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

One-(Ripple)-A-Day...or Klaar! Die Reënboog Ripple / Rainbow Ripple

(Ok...technically this is not a One-A-Day post, but since I showered you with my ramblings and cussing during the making of the Rainbow Ripple, I thought you'd like to see The End of it!)

Wie het gedink dat hierdie dag ooit sal aanbreek!
Onthou, toe ek met die ywerige entoesiasme van die oningewyde met my Ripple begin het...

Who would have thought that this day would arrive!
Remember when I started out with the Ripple, all unbound enthusiasm...

Dit het semi-goed gegaan, die kleure was pragtig, maar o!, die gesukkel om die randte reguit te hou!
It went semi-well, but oh!, the struggle to keep the ends neat!

Ek het regtig van hierdie kleure gehou, mmm, miskien moet ek tog weer die kombinasie nadersleep.
I really liked these colours, mmm, maybe I should try the combination again for another project.

En toe trek ek alles uit.  Alles.  Kon net nie die randte reguit kry nie, kon dit nie red nie.
En ek begin weer oor.

Dit het gehelp dat ek weer begin het met 'n kort vakansie by die see.  Daar's net iets aan die branders by Kenton-on-Sea wat die senuwees kalmeer as die kombersie weer so hoog soos 'n duin voor jou lê!

And then I frogged. All of it.  Couldn't get it right, could save it 
And started again.

It helped that I started again during a short trip to the sea side.  There's just something about the waves at Kenton-on-Sea that calme the nerves when the prospect of this blanket started looming like the highest dune over you!

Maar toe begin die strepe en kleure, bergies en valleie bymekaar kom.  Ek het die olyfgroen uitgehaal, en die res in reënboogvolgorde gedoen.

But then the stripes and co,ours, peaks and valleys started to come together. I discarded the olive green, and arranged the rest in a rainbow. 

Skielik is daar eendag net 3, 2, 'n laaste ry oor!  En die berg is oor, die Ripple klaar! Ek was so bly dat ek dit net daar laat lê het, kon nie eens dadelik lus kry om los drade weg te werk, of 'n randjie the maak nie.

Maar dis nou ook gedoen.  My Reënboog Ripple is klaar, met 'n rooi randjie, en is supermooi en supersag en ek het nie gedink ek wil ooit weer so iets doen nie.
(Daar's klaar weer 'n Ripple in my kop...).

And then, one day, it was finished! I was so overwhelmed and relieved I couldn't even bother to weave away the ends or do something about the edge, I just put it away.

  But is done now!  My Rainbow Ripple is finished, with a red edge, and it is super pretty and super soft and I thought I never want to do anything like it again .
(But already there's another Ripple being planned...)


Ek het besluit om die reënboogbande rug aan rug te doen. En met die tweede rondte die ligpienk uitgehaal, want dit was nie helder genoeg nie. En een heldergeel strepie vergeet!


I decided to mirror the rainbow bands.   And took out the light pink, because it wasn't bright enough. And forgot one bright yellow stripe!

Ek lief dit.  Oor 7 weke gaan dit Hartenbos Huisie toe :-)

I love it.  in seven weeks, it's going to The Little Beach House :-)