Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Back in the swing of things

I am slowly getting back into the swing of things.  We arrived back from our hols on a Tuesday and were welcomed back with a bit of a sleet and a touch of snow as we drove from the airport.  Luckily, the weather has been kind to us since that day and I can't complain about the amount of sunshine we have had over the past couple of weeks.... but we are in January so the cold is expected.  

I went back to my LQS to the crochet group and the ladies have been much more industrious that me, and had lots to show and tell.  I myself, did nothing over the holiday period so that put me to shame, but my ladies are wonderful and full of forgiveness.  I am now trying to put that right ...... I have been sitting in the evenings making more of these 

goodness knows how many more I need to make a blanket

I am making them with the left over scraps of sock yarn, and I think they are looking rather good.  Just got to start putting some of them together so I know where I am heading.....will keep you posted.

I bought some new Summer weight, soft cotton pants while in South Africa and loved them so much I bought fabric to have a go at making some similar.  I would have liked a pattern, but am too impatient to search and buy one (even if I could find the right one!), so I had to make my own.  

They are bright but so comfie
and after just a few hours I had made my first pair.

Not bad 

I went along to Higham piecemakeres and our 'all day' session was making post cards.  Now I have never made these before, so armed with sewing machine, fabric etc. I decided to 'have a go'.  Some of the ladies really went to town, but I decided nothing "too taxing" as I still needed to chat to my friends.  My plan was to send the finished items to my South African grandchildren and keep my fingers crossed that they arrived.  I have to say, I really enjoyed making these post cards and think maybe they would be so sweet to send to friends.  

The background fabric is from a quilt I made for Little Miss I

While I was at the group I was also given my 'Challenge'.   If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that every year we are given a Challenge  but of course you don't have to join in, although most members moan and groan  take it with a smile and enjoy joining in.  This years challenge is to take an artist of your choice and recreate, in any fabric method,one of their paintings.  I can't really say much about this because we have a 'show and tell' at the end of March, and all the pieces will be on display at our bi - annual quilt exhibition in September.   All I can say is I was going to let  my one be sold at the exhibition, but my daughter has fallen in love with it and made a claim!.....have to say I feel quite thrilled that she wants it.  I have toyed with the idea of giving you a glimpse, but decided that it might just give the game away if you saw my sneak peek. so you, along with the members of the group will have to be patient.  

One thing I did finish at the end of last year but had no time to show you was this wonderful lap size/ or table topper quilt.  It is one of Jan Shepherd's patterns and I have to say I love it.  I did make mine a little smaller than the original.

Ready to go into the suitcase for a trip to S.A,

Last but not least, its really lovely to see some of these as it certainly makes you think Spring is on its way........we hope

The perfume from the Hyacinths was delightful 

Got to love a daffodil

Cold weather forecast, so going to bury myself under a quilt, to sit and sew, crochet, or whatever takes my fancy.   Keep warm

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Last pics of the holiday...I promiss

We arrived back in Cape Town for the last 10 days of our holiday.  We still had a few things on the list that needed to be crossed off, but one day had to be a trip to Sea Point to let the children have a bit of practice on their new scooters.  It was another beautiful day and the walk along the sea front is always a pleasure.

Just a bit of action

Marine Art along the sea wall 

  We were also going to catch the open top 'Hop on -Hop off Bus' around Cape Town, but the day we chose everyone and his dog had decided this would be a great day to sit on a bus and the queue was so long we decided that a trip out to sea might be a better idea.  We chose well, the Catamaran trip was the best.  The sea was calm, the trampoline netting between the two floats was just the spot to sit and catch the sun and breeze.

Chosen boat for our trip

Sitting on the netting between the floats

All smiles

End of our journet

Mr D. and I also wanted a bit of a challenge, so we booked to go on one of the longest zip lines.  The total length is 2.7 klm.  There are 7 lines altogether, and the longest of the 7 is 700 meters which may not seem like a long distance, but just you wait to see the length of the line once you are strapped in!  I think the  time my pulse rate went up the most, was when we got into the 4x4 that took us to (almost) the top of the Constantiaberg Mountains....phew! The road (dirt track) snaked its way around hairpin bends, but of course we were all in good hands.  The guides are with you all the way to help hook you up to the lines, but you do have to do your own braking.......just don't brake too soon or you will be pulling your way along the line 'monkey style' -  building muscles but tiring!  Luckily Mr. D and I listened intently and managed to ride to end of each line.  The whole trip took about 2.50 hours and was such fun I would put it at the top of my list if ever I was going to repeat any of our adventures.

Ready for the off
Make sure that helmet fits

Mr D coming in fast

One of the 'paths' to the next zip line

Not sure about health and safety, but we were brought up in the 50's / 60's when there was none.

Children were not allowed on these zip lines, but they had their own further down the mountain.

Ready and waiting patiently 

Those logs are wobbly

Zip line is the best

All good things have to come to an end, and the holiday ended on the 12 January with our flight back to Birmingham.

Next time I promise a bit of sewing etc.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

A little Extra

I know I have already done the 'Bum Slide', but I couldn't put many of the fun photos in because they needed a bit of censoring, but today I managed to do some editing so you can see a few more and also  a couple of photos of our 'home in the mountains' ......

Ben and Gaga picking up speed

Lost Gaga but gained his Mum 

Looks like Nana is on the move

All flying now
and this was our home in the shade...

The photo taken of our home in the shade by Mr A on one of his early morning walks

Bit of a closer look 

Next time it will be back to Cape Town and another tick on our bucket list.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Bit late, but take a look at my Christmas

Christmas, Christmas Christmas.....yes, I know most of you will have almost forgotten the big day by now, but I just have to share our very different day with you.

Firstly we arrived in Beaverlac on the 23 December and pitched the tents in the most beautiful spot. Once the tent and equipment was up and sorted, the Christmas decos and lights had to find a place, a tree overhanging our seating area was just right.  Solar lit candy canes were places as landing light for Santa (just in case he had trouble finding our new abode) - then we could start our holiday.

Candy cane landing strip ready for Santa's sleigh landing

Some of the tree top decorations

 The pools close by were wonderful, not too cold, just right for cooling off in the 32 + deg heat (there was always a breeze so it was never unbearable), Mr D and I took the children off to Main Pool while the last bits were added to our new home.

Getting in slowly 

The pool is just what is needed on a hot afternoon

Christmas day was a very relaxed day, and I have to say that Santa managed to bring so many gifts that we were all spoilt.

Breakfast so relaxed, just Ouma's Rusks dunked in coffee...

Yummy Rusks and what looks like the remainder of Santa's beer

Lots of dunking going on
The children were so patient waiting to open their gifts.  First the Christmas stockings were shown around and enjoyed.

Just look at those gifts on the table....I could hardly contain myself

Christmas lunch was another first for us......it was lamb shanks cooked in the 'potjie' with sweet potato's, carrots  onions etc. -  so yummy!!

Bit of prep work

Looks just about ready 

After the scrumptious lunch - the pools called us.

Just a short walk 

What a way to spend the day

Bit of sun catching and tadpole hunting

Each day we were camping we tended to wake very early, have a light breakfast,  pack up snacks
and walk then off to the pools.  We had many pools to choose from, main pool, baby pool, secret pool, amphitheatre pool, and the children's favourite - the 'Bum slide' pool.  Now, 'Bum slide' was an experience on its own.  Small amounts of water run over the rocks which makes the rock slippery, and you just have to expose your bum (if you want a fast ride) and slide down the rock into a small pool.  The way to go down on your bum can be very discreet....keep wearing your long 'cover up' and wiggle your 'cossy' up your bum and off you go....men can sit down, then just drop the back of their pants and go down. Of course - children just strip off and go naked, so we have to be very choosy when finding photos.
Making the most of the shade for a quick drink on our way up to 'Bum Slide'

Readjusting undies ready for the next ride 

Mr D making the most of a secret cave 

Lets work out the next moves down the slide
Lunch under a rock 

What a view!

Got to have a second look!

Cooling off
The walk back was just too much for this little puppy.....

Baby slings come in handy for carrying very tired puppies.

We had such a good time we extended the holiday two more days and this took us over New Year.  The children stayed up late which was a real treat for them and we saw the new year in with a glass of wine around a camp fire watching the stars....magical!

Just before the stars came out

Hope you all enjoyed your Christmas as much as I did.  Happy New Year to you all.