Tag Archives: patchwork

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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quick change

Starting with:
one crummy yet very comfortable cane and wicker chair

grey 4

Doing:
two coats of grey matte acrylic paint and new patchworky-ish seat cover

Ending with:

Done. Many more things lined up for revamping but it seems I only have enough energy to deal with one a week. Not going to get very far before Christmas….!

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.

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.

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!

have a heart

Experiment in patchwork heart-shaped cushion: relatively quick to make, enjoyable to stuff and hand-stitch edges with perle cotton while watching a Season 2 episode of Top of the Lake, make sure the bottom lines up properly next time. I plan to make a batch for the next Made in the Cape market, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

heart

The bathroom took longer to sort out than I’d anticipated so no worthwhile pic to show you yet. I’ll be moving on to the sewing room next, but the week has been interrupted – very happily – with more overseas orders for pillow cases and the discovery of a fabulous new Italian restaurant in Observatory. Forneria Italia doesn’t have an alcohol license yet, so take your own wine. Best.pizza.ever. Thanks to Gwenni for the recommendation.

And the last thing for today, particularly for Cape Town readers: Level 6b water restrictions will be coming into effect from 1 February, as you probably already know (and we’re all trying not to panic too much) but how useful is this from EyeWitness News:

50 litres

RAIN. PLEASE. SOON.

All malled out

The ten-day Made in the Cape artisan market ended on Sunday. It was a big success on all levels, but exhausting — obviously to be expected, and this is not a complaint, but I hadn’t anticipated the draining effect that ten days (eleven hours each) in a busy shopping mall would have on me. You may or may not know this about me, but I am not a shopping-mall kind of gal. I will go to one of the smaller ones if necessary but far prefer to stick to my local shops down in Rondebosch village. The post office is also there, and the library, and a superb barista, and the bank. And there’s always parking.

Anyway, hard work never killed anyone and I’ve had three follow-up orders already, so there is also a good long-term effect of being on show, as it were. The patchwork cushions were especially popular.

thurs1thurs2

We also had some drama! A woman had had her cell phone taken out of her handbag as she was coming down the escalator closest to me. The thief ran past my table and slid the phone in between a pile of my cushions. This was captured on cctv so within seconds I had a swarm of security guards “helping” me go through all my stock. We searched in vain, which made no sense, so I suggested that she had probably had an accomplice who had retrieved the phone very quickly and made off with it in a different direction. Further cctv footage proved me right, and a ring of four women was eventually caught and arrested.

I was reminded of something in one of Ben Trovato‘s priceless blog posts about shopping malls and holiday crowds:

And remember that even though pickpocketing and purse-snatching is considered quaint and old school in this glamorous age of state capture, the pilferers and purloiners are still out there practising their ancient craft. Fleet of foot and nimble of finger, not for them the tedious complexities of tender rigging and money laundering. Handbags are their thing. This is why women should keep a small explosive device in their bag at all times. If the bag is stolen, they can detonate it with a remote control. This will not only teach the thief a valuable lesson but will also help thin out the crowds in the mall. 

So, be alert and keep your handbags zipped up tight !