Tag Archives: patchwork

ScrapHappy July

I picked up this little chap (I think it’s a kalanchoe) at a Christmas market in December, and he’s sat outside all these months without doing a thing. Two weeks ago I moved him to a shadier spot about three metres away, and he suddenly blossomed!

plant3

Fancy me leaving him in that grotty little plastic pot all this time. He deserved a bit of encouragement, so I made him a patchwork sleeve. I stitched a few scraps (leftovers from making yoga mat bags) into a piece the circumference of the pot (35cm), sewed the sides together, and hemmed the top and bottom. I had thought there might need to be elastic at the top, but it fits just fine.

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Perhaps, like me, he was just going through a dormant period. Patience may teach me a few things yet…

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a bum bag and other wips

When it comes to getting rid of old clothes, jeans have always been a stumbling block for me. I think, I might still lose enough weight to fit into these, or I might get fat again and then I’ll be sorry I chucked them out, or Now these would make a really great bag, I must never ever throw them away! With the help of this tutorial from Knotty Threadz, it finally happened.

denim bag 1

I decided not to make the straps out of denim but “cannibalised” an old bag (a great idea from The Snail of Happiness) so mine has nice leather straps.

denim bag 3  denim bag 2

denim bag 4

The front and back pockets are still in place for cell phone and keys, and it’s got a cotton animal-print lining. I left the labels in place as well, I don’t know why, I just like them. Without the scarf threaded through the belt-holders, and from the back, it looks like a bum, doesn’t it? The original bum that wore these jeans wasn’t a big one at all, by the way, but it was a man bum so maybe that’s why the bag looks so wide.

I found a little needlepoint cat that got stitched many years ago, it’s now part of a cushion that will be on sale at the Made in the Cape market from Thursday this week.

cat cushion And lastly, progress on the cross-stitch Guatemalan dogs is good. I’ve really enjoyed stitching these but I’m onto a new design already so they’ll have to get finished soon.

cross stitch 6

What is everybody else working on?

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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!