Category Archives: sewing

cubes and black holes

I found this little cube stool thing on one of the zillions of facebook sales pages I scour every single day as a major work avoidance strategy I occasionally look at. I’m going to use it in the new room so it can be sat on if required, but I couldn’t let it remain beige and plain. As you may have noticed, I’m like fully into more of a groovy boho vibe if you know what I mean, so it had to get jazzed up.

cube 1

Finally sewed the seams this morning! The colours don’t show too well but they are lilacs and different shades of grey, all cut from upholstery swatch books.

cube 4

cube 2cube 3

It’s not 100% perfect but I’m happy with it for now, may get around to edging the bottom with something or topstitching the seams a bit later on.  At least it’s another tick on my to-do list. That list is supposed to keep me focused and busy, but in the last couple of weeks it’s felt more like an albatross round my neck.

One of my lovely blog readers recently commented that she guessed I was always an upbeat, positive kind of person. I haven’t been able to get this out of my mind because that is the absolute opposite of what I am really like, and it strikes me how well some of us hide behind our facades and manage to fool others. My mind is often restless and disturbed, and sometimes I don’t even have that – I just have a black hole where creative thoughts and emotions and initiative are supposed to be. It’s a zombie-like state, a symptom of depression, and can vary in magnitude. Sometimes it’s minor and passes quite rapidly and doesn’t get in the way of doing basic stuff, and other times it’s worse and I can barely function. It’s almost impossible to engage with other people, to find words,  and absolutely nothing gets done – no work, no reading, no nothing. I had one of these wonderful ‘episodes’ recently and it lasted about 10 days. I had to cancel social outings with friends, put off running errands, and try and switch off the voice in my head that was constantly telling me what a useless waste of skin I am. It sounds so extreme, doesn’t it? It’s not really that easy to explain, except perhaps to someone else who is familiar with the joys of that particular roundabout. I’ve started referring to it as “brain flu” because when I get flu or a bad cold or something similar, I don’t put myself under the same kind of pressure to recover. I just endure.

I suppose what I’m saying is that none of us can ever really know another person or their reality, and how they express themselves through their words or demeanour is sometimes just a social pretence. Most of the time I feel like a fraud because I wish I was naturally positive and well-balanced but, left to my own devices, I’d fold in on myself like a little house of cards.

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scrap (belated) happy

This post was meant to have been in time to tie in with Kate’s Scraphappy, hence the ‘belated’.

A customer at Made in the Cape asked me if I ever made yoga mat bags. I said No but I’d give it a go. She liked the one I made so much she immediately asked for another one for her yoga friend. Then a friend of mine asked for one via facebook (have I ever told you how much I love facebook?)

 

In a stroke of pure genius, I added a denim jean pocket which closes with a bit of velcro, so the yoga girls can keep their keys in it while they’re doing their yoga-ery thing and keeping flexible and toned.

An aside: I tried yoga once and it didn’t go well. The guy said If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, just go into the recovery position for a few minutes. The recovery position became my default, and by the time the class was over I had to be eased up to vertical by two strong lads.

So, it’s really spring again already!

I know this because tomorrow is the first market day of the new 2017/2018 season at the Country Craft Market in Somerset West.

country craft market.jpg

The Country Craft Market differs from other markets in and around Cape Town because it is a true CRAFT market, not a flea/food/farmers market. This means that everything has to be hand-made and that the artists/crafters themselves attend the market.

The range of items that a trader wants to sell requires approval from the organisers in advance. This prevents having too many stalls selling very similar things, and also prevents the syndrome of “imported product creep-in”.

I’m looking forward to starting the new season, in my permanent stand (#26) under the oak trees. The weather seems set to be just right, and my fellow traders are all lovely. I’m keen to see what they’ve all been working on over the past winter. Me? Same same, with the pillowcases and the bedspreads, but now also with patchwork cushions. These three are hot off the sewing machine:

 

Taking stock in September

Inspired by Rachel, inspired by Pip

Making : two patchwork cushions for an order for Lindi

Cooking : there’s a photocopied recipe for Julie Sahni’s green bean curry on the kitchen counter, but so far no actual shopping has been done with the making of it in mind

julie sahni

Drinking : coffee. without sweetener because I forgot to put any in and I can’t be bothered to leave my desk now and go back to the kitchen

Reading: The Steep Approach to Garbadale by Iain Banks

Wanting: my unsorted boxes from the house move last year to disappear into thin air

Looking: through the French doors at the sparrows outside on the patio

Wishing: that my unsorted boxes from the house move last year would disappear into thin air

Enjoying: the spring days and the cool nights

Waiting: for Thursday, when Karen and I get on the train for the long trip to Johannesburg and switch off from our normal lives completely

Liking: my slowly improving sense of well-being

Wondering: how long the Guptas will be allowed to run our country, and where all the good guys are

Zapiro

Loving: my garden and how much everything has grown in the last 16 months

Pondering: quantum physics. I read In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat by John Gibson, really slowly, and still can’t understand any of it

Listening: Jim Croce (in the car only)

Considering: whether or not I deserve/can afford to splurge on new cosmetics from Mac

Watching: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (on youtube, in bed, on my phone, late at night)

Hoping: for a lucrative 2017/2018 market season – my bank manager is also hoping for that, on my behalf

Marvelling: at how fat both my cats have become, despite being given the correct amount of Dr Hill’s Science Food at meals

Needing: already have everything I really need

Smelling: being a smoker, not that much!

Wearing: old jeans and an old hoodie of Rob’s with black and white skulls on it

Knowing: that first I have to be content with myself before I can find happiness in a relationship with anyone else

Bookmarking: hair tutorials on putting my hair up

Feeling: optimistic

Dreaming: of independence

Hearing: yes, it’s occurred to me that I should go for a hearing test but, in general, selective hearing makes for a more harmonious home life. A lesson I learned from my ex-husband :)

Anyone else out there taking stock today?

patchwork pinny

So, the patchwork pinny that I made last week for Karen caught Sharon’s eye via facebook.  She asked for something outrageous, and she came for coffee and to collect the pinny this morning:

pinny sharon 3

I had thought of adding some applique flowers and/or a few buttons and beads, but decided to leave it at a mix of leopard print and florals, with purple ribbon and pink lace. And a bit of orange lace around the crimson pocket. The inside is lined with shweshwe. Nothing matches. She loves it <3

We were laughing about how she should pose for the picture, which accounts for the lack of focus, and it really doesn’t do her justice – she has a flawless skin, stunning red hair and beautiful blue eyes. She’s beautiful on the inside, too. xxx

twins but different

Last year at one of the Kirstenbosch markets, I met Corinne. She was planning a trip to New Zealand to see her family this year, and wanted to have bedspreads specially made for each of her 10-year old twin granddaughters.

A bit of sorting and printing and fabric painting later, here we have vibrant purples and pinks for Erin and gentler greens and greys for Sami (if you look, you can see the squares with their names on).

Corinne line 2100_3139

Corinne line 1

Unfortunately, the New Zealand trip is off because Corinne has been undergoing serious back surgery and has a while to recover, but the girls should get them within the next 12 months.

Corinne’s friend came to my house to collect them on Sunday afternoon and, since she and I have had many conversations by phone and email, I had expected to hear from her quite soon. Sunday, nothing. Monday, nothing. Tuesday – well, by Tuesday I had convinced myself that she loathed the bedspreads but couldn’t bring herself to tell me.  I had visions of removing and replacing certain squares, or even making entirely new ones. Tuesday evening – phone call! The friend had been too busy with his work and other commitments to get them to Corinne until then, and SHE LOVED THEM BOTH, especially that none of the fabrics were “kiddy-ish” or old-fashioned. Ah, the relief!

I never used to get stressed unnecessarily like this (the customer had approved all fabrics and colours via whats app pics before I even touched a pair of scissors), so I’m wondering if it’s an age thing, or an anxiety thing? Or both. Or neither. I’ll try not to spend too long thinking about it…..

evidence

Work in progress: bedspread with 14cm-squares. Taking a bit longer than usual.

14cm

Experiments in fabric pots. Yes, pots. That is the word I have chosen.

fabric-pots

The view from my sewing machine. Note the little pile of bird seed on the tiles. Yesterday I had three sparrows, two pigeons and an olive thrush. I am happy with these humble visitors. If the sunbirds want to spurn me, it’s no skin off my nose.

bird-seed

and, lastly, some growing things: the clerodendrum had to be relocated because it was getting more shade than I’d realised (like 99%). After two weeks it was close to death. Peter replanted it in a sunnier spot and I have hovered over it every day since, even giving it a side dressing of bonemeal. It seems to have found some inner strength.

clerodendrum   plectranthus   osteospermum   dietes-grandiflora

What’s the equivalent of bonemeal for humans?