strip tease

strips 1

Please excuse the unmade bed but I suddenly thought I should lay out all the strips that Martli and her pals have knitted so far to see how much progress has been made. I had actually been on my way to brush my teeth but then tripped over my market basket which had my knitting in it so obviously and completely understandably got side-tracked. You know how it is.

strips 2

I think we can safely say – almost big enough! And now, I’m off to brush my teeth…

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patchwork pants, unicorns, leather straps and coffee

Quickpix from yesterday’s market at Somerset West:

Hands need to be busy if I’m not occupied with customers or friends. Crochet is still too uncomfortable with my gammy right hand but I can manage a bit of knitting. This is a long length of garter stitch which will eventually be joined to other long lengths of garter stitch and turned into a blanket for someone who needs one.

knitting

Extremely desirable cotton patchwork pants worn by someone strolling along – she told me where she bought them (Langebaan) and how much they cost (R250), and how often people commented on them. She said, You should make some, they’d sell like hot cakes. I said I wouldn’t put so much work into something that I couldn’t sell for a really decent price, so she should just take them off and let me have them immediately. Oddly, she didn’t go for that but at least I have a pic to remember them.

patchwork pants

I had a brief text chat with Martli: she’s making amigurami unicorns and sent me this pic of the little darlings lined up on her windowsill. Aren’t they divine?!

Martli unicorns

And then, my second greatest pleasure of the morning: seeing what leather straps look like on my patchwork tote. It’s a prototype, of course, I’m still working on getting the right size and how best to put the zip in at the top, but in the meantime I’d asked Faranaaz to come up with leather straps so I could keep going with the idea. Faranaaz is the “bag lady” next to me at the market, she and her aunt make beautiful simply-designed leather bags and purses that sell very well (I have a few myself, of course….)

leather straps

My biggest pleasure of the morning turned out to be a loooooong conversation with someone I’d met a couple of years ago at the same market, a lovely lady called Lisa. We talked about children and divorce and men and work and didn’t realise that time was even passing. Thanks for the coffee and the chat, Lisa, hope to see you when you’re next in the southern suburbs :)

 

taking (a bit of) stock

Making: elephant cushions that, hopefully, will be given the thumb’s up by the Kalk Bay shop:

for elephants

Gearing up for: sorting out and packing all my crafty things. Since the Big Tidy in January, which was sufficient to get the house looking decent enough to put on show, my natural love of chaos has taken over again.

Enjoying: compliments from customers – this from Enid, who stopped and bought a kitty cushion on Sunday while her family was on its way to breakfast at Woolies. She’s put the cushion on top of the throw I made for her last month.

Enid Son

Not enjoying: planning my finances for the next couple of months. Moving house is bloody expensive…legal fees, transfer duty, movers, aarrgghhh

Getting very cross with: Edward. His youthful naughtiness is rubbing off on my two old girls and they have started up with new bad habits, like sleeping where they shouldn’t and knocking phones and glasses off bedside tables. Here is helpful Edward:

help from Edward

Choco’s thoughts are clear: If he can do it, why can’t I? Now leave me alone while I’m trying to nap.

IMG_20180403_101010

Looking forward to: having a girls’ night at my house tomorrow – Gwen, Kim, Michelle, wine, pizza, ice-cream. All the good stuff.

Grateful for: meeting lovely people through blogging. On Friday at Made in the Cape, I was visited by Lynn, who introduced herself as someone who reads my blog. I thought you’d be older, she said, at which point I knew she would be my friend for life. I haven’t had time to arrange a follow-up, but we had a long chat about all kinds of things from crochet to self-confidence, and I feel like I’ve known her for years. Lynn, if you’re reading this, please give me til next week to sort myself out, I’m a bit behind with work stuff right now :)

Sad about: my wonderful Doreen, who had a stroke last month and is recovering at Booth Memorial in Gardens. She has made a very good physical recovery but isn’t quite ready to go home just yet. She has a loving and attentive family but, with the exception of her grandson, they all live overseas. She is so frustrated that her hands aren’t up to crocheting, I can share her impatience! Last night I took her biscuits and flowers, kindly donated by Karen, and with 15 minutes to go before the end of visiting time, her daughter Linda arrived straight from the airport from the US via London. Hugs and tears.

my doreen

I have so much love and admiration for this incredibly generous and hard-working and positive woman. xxx Doreen.

and cats

I’m still stuck on animal cushions. Here’s Cat Cushion #1, finished late on Friday night in time for Saturday’s market. It sold within the first hour.

kitten

I can be clever on occasion, so I knew what to do — make more! Here’s another one:

kitten 2

Another four cats are waiting in the wings, they’ll be finished and stuffed by this evening in time for the Made in the Cape market at Cavendish tomorrow. I’ve made 28 new cushions altogether in the last few days so, as it happens, it’ll also be me who’ll be finished and stuffed by this evening. Cushion collage

PS. The woman who bought the cat on Saturday phoned me yesterday to ask if I could make her another one (in a different colourway) so that she’s not without a cat cushion when the first one is in the wash. Purrrrrrr…..  

garage sale

It was my mother’s idea, to get rid of surplus. It’s scheduled for Saturday morning (when I’m conveniently not here), and she’s roped in help from Andre and Coralee-Ann so I’m staying out of it completely. I didn’t even think it was a particularly good idea at first, not realising quite how much unnecessary STUFF she has. But as I’ve seen the pile growing in the lounge, I’ve started to come round – and have even been adding to it myself. With increasing abandon, I have to be honest. It’s a bit addictive, actually, looking at something and thinking, “When did I last use this?” or “Where did this come from?” or even “What the hell is this thing?

garage sale

What have I been contributing? … clothes, books, a set of ceramic bowls given to me by an aunt I could never stand, a wrought-iron fish-shaped plant pot holder that I found at a junk shop and thought would be just the thing, handbags I’ll never use again, chipped and unchipped tea pots (I don’t drink tea), candle holders, side tables, pots and pans and flan dishes…the list goes on. It’s too good an opportunity to unburden myself before packing up and moving house at the end of May!

A couple of conversations have run along these lines: “Wait, what’s that grey furry thing?” “It’s a hooded poncho, I offered it to Karen but she didn’t want it“. “Well, I’m not Karen and I do want it. Thanks“. And then, “Do you really not want your braai?” “No, Philip has one just the same so we don’t need two.” “Maybe I should keep it then…” “Mom, you’ve never used a braai and you don’t even eat meat.”  “I know, but it’s just that I don’t have one…

Here’s to an emptier house, tidier cupboards, and a little bit of cash :)

cushions and houses

On the working side of life, I’ve been making cushions using the designs I usually print on pillow cases. I was keen to maintain the patchworky random look, so no two will ever be the same.

Still experimenting with sizes and layout – but it’s a brilliant way to use up small pieces of fabric left over from the bedspreads. The Kalk Bay shop has expressed an interest, but they would want the cushions to be a standard size. “Standard” – hmmm, a strange concept for me, I’ll have to give it some thought….

On the domestic front, we received three offers on the house within 24 hours of it being on show. We happily accepted the best one, and transfer is scheduled for the end of May. Aaaaaaannnnd, best news of all, Philip and I are now the proud new owners of a beautiful house in Claremont (a suburb of Cape Town about 10 minutes drive from where we currently live). It’s green and leafy and quiet, and the house is perfect for two people who both work from home and who like to entertain (on a relatively modest basis). It’s been wonderfully and attractively modernised, in pristine condition, and we don’t have to make a single change. So, 1 June will see quite a few removal trucks rumbling along in various directions between Mowbray, Rosebank and Claremont – housewarming to follow soon after :) Deep sigh of relief, gratitude and contentment!

cross stitch progress

Last week I had the opportunity to indulge in more cross stitch on my train trips to and from Johannesburg, with a night at a hotel in between. Starting out:

cross stitch 1

Arriving home:

cross stitch 2

Thanks to the inability of Shosholoza Meyl to keep to any kind of $#@*& timetable, I had more than nine unbudgeted-for hours in which to stitch. And read and nap, of course. Unpropitiously, the kitchen ran out of water a few hours into the return journey so there was no coffee to be had. Now that was a real test of endurance.

Not sure when I’ll have a chance to carry on with this piece but one thing is for sure – it certainly won’t be on a bloody train!