Category Archives: needlework

on the shelf

Someone once told me that, if you don’t do the things you plan to do within the first six months of moving into a new house, you never will.  For the most part he’s been right but this time round, happily, I’m proving him wrong.

I was left with a piece of pine flooring from a temporary work-around (so that no-one would fall through the floor when they came in at the front door!); I painted it grey, gave it a sand, had a friend drill four holes in it and then hang it up with rope and the help of reef knots. It’s probably high time I got my own drill and learned to use it properly, but in the meanwhile, well, I’ll just have to take advantage of clever friends….

wall for shelf

Blank wall above. Now this:

shelf 2shelf 1

I’m particularly pleased with the addition of a bracket for a hanging plant (I’ve been following the Instagram ‘boho’ accounts very carefully – plants are key!)

New cross stitch project underway, ‘Guatamalan dogs’ by Mary Norden. Originally stitched with wool on canvas as a cushion cover, but goodness knows I don’t need any  more needlepoint in my life. Cross-stitch is making me very happy right now.

Happy weekend, everyone :)


mini needlepoint gallery

Wow, I’ve never published a gallery before, that was quite cool! Reason I did, I got a phone call yesterday out of the blue from someone who used to give embroidery lessons in my old shop. She has a friend who wants to make a needlepoint cushion but only likes African designs and can’t find one anywhere. Since designing and painting canvases used to be my favourite thing to do, Jane thought of me. Her phone call led me to scuffle through the boxes of stuff in my garage, where I found three canvases that her pal might like. I’m not sure what I’d saved them for, perhaps I thought I might take needlepoint up again some day – but it’s been over 7 years and I haven’t felt the urge yet! I did so much in the past that I’m completely stitched out.

Anyhow, after finding the canvases, I embarked on a long walk down memory lane.  I dug out the finished cushions I’d made; they used to live on an old oak bench in the shop, all 24 or 25 of them, to inspire my customers. Here are some pictures, not great quality, but you get the idea.

So, what I’m now wondering is – are there still lots of people out there still needlepointing away (despite the high cost of the tapestry wool)? I had a look for handpainted canvases on Etsy, and there is very little available (that isn’t ribboned lavender posies and bluebells, at least) . Might it be time for me to look for my paints and brushes and stencils again…? Any comments from you crafty lot?

To be continued…  






&^*%$!%*^& buttonhole

For once I thought I’d use a button for the purpose it was originally intended. And if using a buttonhole foot on a sewing machine is supposed to be like riding a bicycle, I am now cruelly reminded that I never actually learned to ride a bike in the first place. 

I just can’t get it right. And I’ve googled tutorials, but none of them are for my particular machine and foot combo. And No, I can’t find the manual and Yes, I have searched high and low. It has vanished.

Now, where are those *(%)#@&^5* press-studs?  

To be continued…



and another Goldberg

One of the very first things I like to do when visiting a new place is to check out the local wool and craft shops.  More than restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries – for me, a well-stocked needlework shop is an indication of the creative spirit of the town.  And The Wool and Needlework Shop in Knysna didn’t let me down. Tucked between Marcia’s fancy frocks and Fat Susi’s Bistro in the little square near the library, it was a wonderful place to be.  I was in search of crochet patterns for wraps and shrugs, and was handed a stack of files with patterns from magazines going back 30 or 40 years.

There was a cappucino waiting for me outside at one of Fat Susi’s tables so I couldn’t take too long, but I found what I needed.  And when the chatty lady rang up my purchases, we discovered we shared the same surname.  Unlike me, Elaine Goldberg really is Jewish, but despite my lack of authenticity she was still happy to play the family game – So are you related to David Goldberg? He lives in Cape Town but his sister Rebecca married a Cohen and now they’re in Toronto… Melvin, you say? Now you must know Rachel and Michael, her dad was Hymie Gundelfinger…. etc. Gotta love a network.

To be continued…