ScrapHappy May 2022

We’re solidly in the middle of autumn in Cape Town, but we still get to enjoy some beautiful sunny days with just a hint of cold when you’re in shadow. Nights and early mornings are much cooler of course, but the winter rains haven’t set in yet. The poppies and nasturtiums in my garden are sending out their first little leaves but they’re going to have to put up with a lot of wet before they see spring!

At the Spier Craft Art market, the ground is fairly thick with autumn leaves. Below the top level of the leaves, the soil is damp. Boots are needed, despite the sun. Boots, tights, scarves, and a new furry leopard print hoodie to keep out any surprise nasty cold winds.

Love my new jacket. Nothing like fake fur!

Anyway, enough of the weather, back to ScrapHappy. Many of the crafters work with beads. It’s easy to lose a few when you’re making things – and there was once a memorable occasion when Bongani accidentally tipped over a 2-litre box of black beads that he was using for a wire elephant.

The scavenger in me can’t help but give in to the temptation to scratch around on the ground for beads. Yesterday the pickings were particularly good, and at one point I was on my knees with a stick getting at lower-level beads that must have been tramped into the soil over many years of markets. I felt like a forensic anthropologist or archaeologist or whatever you call those clever people in crime fiction.

Once washed, the beads are good to go. I turned them into three memory bangles last night, and the only rule is that there are no rules – whatever gets picked up gets used, in no particular order. I noticed that there were more white beads than any other colour then I realised that this is most likely because they are easier to spot than darker colours.

There are a few plastic letter beads in there. I didn’t find a J for Jill so I get to decide what a letter may stand for. See the G? Today that stands for Grumpy. Grumpy because some twerp was in such a hurry to get in and out of the supermarket last week that she grabbed decaffeinated coffee instead of the real thing. How is decaf even coffee? It isn’t, is the answer. It’s ground-up brown stuff and doesn’t count in my book. Never again!

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25 thoughts on “ScrapHappy May 2022

  1. Going Batty in Wales

    Those bangles are lovely. Nice to see a photo of you – now I know who I am ‘talking’ to!

    Reply
  2. katechiconi

    G could also stand for Gorgeous… The hoodie does look super-cosy. We’re not very far down the winter path yet. It was 27°C today, despite the rain…

    Reply
    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      Gotta have a proper hoodie. Don’t know how I’ve managed all these years without one. I may need more….
      I suppose some people drink it for health reasons, or because they like it. Each to his own. As far as I’m concerned, I may as well drink stewed twigs.

      Reply
  3. Quimper Hitty

    Grubbing for beads in the dirt! How fun (says the retired museum professional and archaeologist) and a bonus that you get to keep and use the finds! G is for Gnashing teeth about the de-coffified coffee, but also Glorious furry hoodie, and Great job on the memory bangles!

    Reply
    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      I’m getting good at grubbing, not always so good at getting back up after spending a long time on my haunches….. I’ve found a couple of euro coins as well – now that really IS hitting the big time !!

      Reply
  4. Gail

    Gorgeous you in that awesome hoodie, Jill. I really hope this confession doesn’t affect our many years of friendship, but I can only drink de-caf coffee! However, I do spend a lot of time enviously sniffing the air around Paul’s filter coffee pot and mug.

    Reply
    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      Gail, it won’t affect our friendship. I’ll just remember to bring my own supplies when I next pop in to say hello. Last time we were in Kleinmond was just for a few hours, mainly to see N and J.

      Reply
  5. nanacathy2

    I can’t believe you found so many beads, and what a terrific use of them. Don’t worry about the coffee ,you’ll have some visitor who will ask for it in that slightly patronising virtue signally way that pretend coffee drinkers do.

    Reply
    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      hahahahaha! My own GP told me to cut down on my daily caffeine intake, so I said that life wouldn’t be worth living without it. He saw the look on my face and shut up.

      Reply
    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      And I started to feel sorry for the beads. There are so many of them, just discarded and left lying there. At least these ones no longer feel like they have no purpose.

      Reply
    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      Fake fur seems to be “on-trend” this year, although I’ve been doing it since I was about 25! I’m not interested in fashion trends, I prefer to see it as people following my lead (hahahaha)

      Reply
  6. insearchofitall

    That hoodie is a perfect color and style for you. A nice frame for your grumpy?? face. ;) I’m a dirt digger too but only found pine cones or seed pods. Nothing quite so pretty as your beads. Great scrappy project. I agree with you on the coffee but one day I found I was shaking too much to get anything done so I started watering down my coffee and now I drink half and half. One scoop of the good stuff and one scoop so I can hang onto a needle. It’s a bear getting old.

    Reply
    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      Fair enough. One has to adjust to certain things over time, I’ll grant you (and the medical professionals) that! I was indeed grumpy at that particular moment, I’m not much of a one for being out in cold wet weather. Just as well I don’t live in the UK any more!…

      Reply
    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      While I was digging, I thought of that old cliche where the rural innocent goes to the big city in the belief that the streets are paved with gold and diamonds. “It’s come to this,” I thought, “grubbing around on the ground for other people’s discards. What a sorry sight I must be.” This struck me as hugely funny at the time – a senior citizen in fake fur lurching weirdly along on her haunches with a bit of stick in the hope of finding one or two cheap glass beads in the damp earth. That was the point when my gammy right hip kicked itself into locked position and I had to call Meschelle to help me get up. “You will forget you ever had to do that,” I hissed. As Kate said above, it’s a bear getting older.

      Reply
      1. cedar51

        if you had lived in the era of the bead economy – there probably was never a “dropped bead” – but this in a way shows how our world has changed. I remember my brother was forever picking up things on his visits to town, and if you ever needed a screw or a nail, he was sure to have one in his box of cast-offs.

  7. Linne

    Love your beads and bangles. The hoodie looks perfect for that weather, too. And you are cute in it, as well! I pick up all sorts of things and tuck them into my pockets; you never know when something will come in handy . . . plus it’s one way to combat waste, right? And fun!

    Reply
    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      I don’t know about combatting waste – I seem prone to taking other people’s waste into my own domain and then… it’s still waste but then it becomes MY waste! Not in this particular case, because I’ll probably give the bangles away, but I’m sorting out my garage at the moment and am learning rude and unpleasant lessons about my tendency to accumulate things of this nature. I’m coming across some stuff that is so meaningless to me (like, what even IS this thing?) that it’s going to end up at the dump anyway. And while we’re on this topic. the landfill thing has been bugging me – we say it’s good to keep things out of the landfill, but (a) it’s only going to end up in future landfill, right?, and (b) even when it isn’t in landfill because it’s in use, it’s still a material thing taking up space on the planet. Am I rambling now? I should get more coffee then google “landfill” and inform myself properly, I think!!! xx

      Reply
      1. Linne

        I know what you mean, Jill; I had a look at the front of my smaller unit last week and the thought of going through it all (and making decisions) is pretty daunting. Has to be done, though.

        I wonder if all creative people accumulate things in this way. I tend to feel that we see potential in everything . . . I do, for sure.

        I think the thing about keeping stuff out of the landfill is more that if we upcycle, re-use, re-furbish, etc. it’s more eco-friendly. Of course, if we would only use natural materials that will decompose, the whole issue would be less important . . .

        No worries about ‘rambling’; I do it all the time, too. One thought sparks another and then there we/I go . . .

        Hope the coffee helped . . .

      2. Nice Piece of Work Post author

        Linne, there is never enough coffee. One day, when I am rich and famous (but I’m not holding my breath…), I will have my own barista. He/she will ensure there is a never-ending supply of the good strong stuff. When I travel, Barista will accompany me. When I’m at home, Barista will be at my side.

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