Thursday, 28 March 2013

Odds and Ends,

Just a couple of things to show you before my daughter and family descend on us for Easter.

At Highampiecemakers,  the sewing group I go to, we were give a challenge back in December and it had to be finished by the end of March.   We all picked out (blind) a paint sample from an envelope with our initials on it. Three samples using your three initials (or two initials and your maiden name initial if your parents could only decide on one name!)  Mine was J.C.L. so I picked my three samples, - 'Jungle Fever, Cappuccino Candy and Lemon Chiffon'.  The Challenge was to make an item using the three random colours, but  you could add two more colours - plain or tone on tone.  I got sewing back in January, and took photos of the progress but could not blog about it as we were all supposed to be keeping our items secret.   I forgot to take more photos of the finished block  (!!!), but I can show you the start of my block and maybe when I get it back I can show you the finished item..

My paint samples

Not bad colour matching.

How many times do you make something, and really not enjoy the journey? Luckily this doesn't happen to me often but, I decided to make a satchel from a book called 'A bag for all Seasons'.  I have to say when I first thought about the bag I did have a granddaughter in mind, but after just sewing a couple of seams I realised that this bag was going to stay with me just so I could award myself gold stars for completing it, and complete it I have done.  I do like it now its finished, but swear I will never make another bag...........well that's until I see the next must have pattern.

I love the side release buckles 

The bag is called 'too cool for school' but maybe should be 'too old for school' 

 For Christmas my sister asked my friend, who owns Poppy patch to make up a gift bag of goodies from the shop.  I had lots of great things in the bag and many of them I never would have bought myself and what fun I have had playing.  One of the gifts was a C.D. called 'Triangulations' and I started to play before my holiday and since being home I have carried on with it.  I just loved this project.

Just 1" square

just need to get the binding done now
and before I disappear for Easter I will show you my progress with that crochet jacket.

Back and front finished.
the sleeves I am attempting to work together because I am making the pattern up as I go, so any increasing of stitches need to be worked on both sleeves ..... after all who wants odd sleeves.
Looks allright so far
And last but not least these are for some little people we will be seeing over the weekend

Filled with mini eggs.
Happy Easter to you all.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Holiday over....

Yes the holiday is over, so I thought I would show you a few things that were given to me.  My daughter has her own business selling bags, purses, sunglass cases etc. so she made me a new bag (she doesn't make these to sell) and I had to have a new glasses case to go with it (she does sell the glasses case).  We also had our own designer pillow cases..... Nana and Gaga appliqu├ęd on them and a new laundry bag.

Just right for summer days
My friend V has the embroidery machine that we used to make the Easter Baskets, and she had made me an early Christmas Decoration...... 

This fabric is sparkly and stunning.

This is supposed to be the wrong side of the tree, but with all that beautiful stitchery I think this will have to be hung somewhere that it can be seen from all directions.
My fingers were not idle.  I had planned some hand sewing while away, so I bought a pattern from Geta and prepared my little hexagons before I left.  I was amazed just how quickly the little pieces went together and was very pleased with the result.

I love the 3D effect.
but of course there is always a lot of this....

Such a good feeling getting these out.
I have not finished yet, but since being home I have managed to get some quilting done.

Just the binding and this will be another one for the wall.

When we left Cape Town it was 35 deg. C. and back home here we have been lucky if its been 5 deg. C. and my hands have been freezing - even in the house.  A friend sent me this link so I have been busy.

Lots of buttons

and toasty warm.

recommend these.
Now the crochet hooks are out, I have been playing at making a jacket for my granddaughter.  There is no pattern, but there is a crochet-a-long where different rows go to make up a blanket, and on the Ravelry site this lady  has a pattern for a coat, so I am going to combine the lot and see what happens.  This is the story so far......

Not sure what to do next.....mmmmm!

wish me luck with it....... see you soon

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Last weeks in South Africa

We had planned a beach holiday in Paternoster for our last few days in South Africa.  Now the last time we were in Paternoster was when we lived in Cape Town, and Paternoster (always famous for its fishermen) was a sleepy fishing village with just a few fishermen's cottages along the beach, Oh, how that has changed.  The town which consists of perhaps two shops is much the same, but the few fishermen.s cottages are now surrounded by new developments of beautiful white stucco holiday homes (and maybe a few with full time residents).  Its nice to see the houses are all in keeping with the 'old Paternoster'.

Our home for the hols.

Full Moon over Paternoster
Top of my wish list was a crayfish supper, and the fishermen didn't let us down.  As soon as we arrived in town, the fishermen were standing on street corners with some of the days catch in carrier bags for sale.  Our son-in-law 'A' is a dab hand in the kitchen, so he was left alone to prepare supper, and what a feast we had.... crayfish pasta, crayfish braai (BBQ) crayfish straight from the pot and of course salad etc.

Where do we start??

Day one and we are off to the beach.... sandcastle first on the list, but you can't go to the beach without building your own sand boat.

Beautiful blue skies and a beach to ourselves

Other days meant bubbles in the wind, chilly paddles (tooooooooo cold to swim, it is the Atlantic not the Indian Ocean you know), walks with baby and generally having a good time.

Gotta catch those bubbles.
Too chilly.

OK now our bums are wet, shall we jump the waves??
Maybe not..
See you later..

We are off

Our days in Paternoster soon came to and end, but before we left we had to visit the fishermen again, and if I had to cook the live crustaceans then those 'scaredy-cats' had to hold one.  What a laugh that was...

Brave Issy was the first to say hallo to Mr C.

Even I could hear her heart beating with fear..

Not quite ready for this

but he made it in the end.

Time for Mr D to reflect on the holiday, and what a wonderful time we had.

Holiday over, back to normality.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Durban here we come

Our trip to Kwa Zulu Natal was delayed by a couple of days, but as a consolation we gained an extra day with V and M.

We flew into the new King Sharka International airport which meant we flew above the wonderful sugar cane farms and that took me back to the time when I used to travel out to a sugar farm to teach smocking.  The sugar cane floats in the breeze and changes colour from vibrant green to a silvery grey, really beautiful in my mind.

The day we arrived, clouds had built up and rain fell overnight. Now that is not such a bad thing in Durban as it does cool the air. On Saturday morning we decided to drive up to the Valley of the Thousand Hills (just up the road from our old house) where it is not so humid, but I don't think we really needed to worry about that as it rained and rained!

Bit waterlogged
Rain never seems so bad when the temperature is around 25deg. in fact its rather nice.  We stopped for lunch at a place we used to take visitors, now as a visitor ourselves the view is just as spectacular even in the mist and rain.

Cameras could never do justice to this view

You can't come to Durb's with out a trip to the sea, and we chose to walk along the beach at Umhlanga.  That water was so tempting I just had to have a play in the waves.......no point trying to swim as the waves and current are so strong, but its a great place to play.


Durban was our time for rest and relaxation, so Mr D and Mr M had some dates to play golf, while V and I should have been sitting on the stoop sewing and crocheting watching the Weaver birds and others feeding close by and appreciating the garden.

Those banana's were just not ready for us to eat!

It all started to our plan, then V mentioned that she wanted to make Easter baskets for her grandchildren that would be visiting for Easter.  Now I am not saying that everything she has I must have, but should my grandchildren miss out on some pretty little baskets....OH NO!  The embroidery machine worked like a 'trojan' as we now needed to make 4 baskets.....  each motif takes about 35 to 40 mins to embroider, so plenty of time spent in the sewing room.

Got to admit they were worth the time spent,,, too cute!

Time in Durban soon ran out, but I had met up with another dear friend and we had a trip out to a store that sells fabric, chatted, lunched and generally had a good time.

I have to ask why do we do this to ourselves....

 we all know the limitations of luggage when travelling by air, but still have to buy that extra little bit.... now I need a big bottom to sit on this!! (oops I already have one of those).. .

Paternoster (west coast of Cape Province) is the next port of call.....

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Jolly holidays

After leaving a grey England, it was wonderful to see the bright blue skies of Cape Town, and to see our two grandchildren running to meet us made the long journey worth it.
Look who also made the journey?........ he did have a minor accident on the way, but repairs are in hand.
He will be a good friend to Moosie.
 I did try to remove his shoes before he left, but you know what these men are like....he was stuck like glue to them.  Oh, maybe that's why they wouldn't come off, well that and the screws and nails.

The "littlies" had a few things planned for us, and one of the most important was a trip to 'build a bear'.  Bears chosen, stuffed and dressed, what a lot of deliberation on which clothes to buy and wear, but we got there in the end, and everyone looked very pleased with themselves.  'Cutie' the white bear and 'Jack' the rabbit were born.

Stuffed, hearts in place, dressed and housed...perfect!
We then had trips out to Butterfly World and a picnic in Green Point Park.

Green Point Park has some work out area's for the "yummy" Mummies and Daddies, so we had to try them out!

What a place to exercise!!
we did allow the kids to play after we had worn ourselves out!

Love those swings.

Table Mountain had kept its table cloth on for our first few days in Cape Town, so at the first clear day we had a date to take the children up the mountain (first time visit for them), and a possible abseil for Mr D and I....

After a bit of training, we stepped over the edge...literally!

OK this bit of string is really strong...don't worry!
Over you go!....just a short climb down to the man with the thicker rope..

Its a long way down...
No turning back now..

Are you ready....
High Five for the photo shot....

Down we go!    Whoop Whoop!!!
If ever you are in Cape Town and want a thrill, this is it.  There was just one snag.... once down we then had to climb back to the top.  The young guy at the top told us a 25 minute walk...... it actually took us a very exhausting 50 mins on a hot day with no water and from what we heard it was similar for other people, so be warned!!  As our reward we both got one of these....

That's another tick on our 'bucket' list.

Next time I will take you on a short trip to KwaZulu Natal.