Tag Archives: stool

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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Day #? at the Waterfront

I’ve lost track of time. Can’t believe I’ve been at the Red Shed for two weeks already, and only have another thirteen days left. The occasional ‘odd’ tourist has been just that – occasional; most people are just wonderful and complimentary and funny, wherever in the world they’re from. Just a couple of highlights:

* the gorgeous (and I mean gorgeous on more than one level) German businessman who gave me a hefty tip when he returned to collect a pair of house slippers for his wife in her favourite colour (which I didn’t have on the stand and so made them overnight). Vielen dank, Herr Hunk, next time I make you a pair for your own feet, ja?!

* the lady from Somerset West (in Cape Town) who was walking past with her husband on their way to a movie; she fell in love with my crocheted stool and wasn’t prepared to leave without it.
Husband: But, Susan, we’re going to the movies now, we can collect it afterwards.
Wife: No, Nigel, it’ll be too late.
Me: We’re open til 9 and I’ll put a sold sticker on it.
Wife: Nigel, just give me the car keys, I’ll go and put it in the boot.
Husband: Susan, that’s ridiculous, the parking is miles away.
Wife: I don’t want to leave it.
Husband: What do you want me to do? I’m not taking it to the film with us.
Wife: I can’t risk forgetting it. Could you sms me at about 8.45, just in case?
Me: Sure, no problem. And I’ll put it behind this display case for now and then no-one else will see it in the meantime.
Wife: And with a sold sticker.
Me: Yes, ma’am, with as many as you like.

stool

* the sweet young woman who didn’t know what a hedgehog was:
Woman: Ah, these hats are darling! Look at this penguin.
Friend: And this bear. Awesome!
Woman: Do you have one that fits a three-year old?
Me: The only one left in that size right now is the baby hedgehog, there’s been a bit of a run on the bigger hats today.
Woman: A baby what?
Me: Hedgehog.
Woman: [turns to friend] Is that like a …like a…raccoon?
Friend: No, it’s like a…like a….
Me: It’s a small prickly woodland-sort of animal, very cute, lots of spikes.
Woman: Like a porcupine?
Me: A little bit like a porcupine. But smaller and cuter.
Woman: Oh, okay! I’m sorry, I’m from the United States, there’re so many things we just don’t know about over there.

hedgehog hat baby hedge

Back soon x

a WIP Wednesday

Seems like there’s a bit of a “work in progress-Wednesday” thing going on with the crafty blogs, so here’s what I’ve been fitting in every now and then.

100_6913

You knew I was gonna come up with something like this one of these days, right!? It’s almost finished, and Alex made me drag it outside into the sunshine for a proper pic. Jessie (aka Flotsam) refused to sit on it but that’s because I used the sheep to model the blue hat yesterday, and not her, so she’s sulking.

100_6915

I picked the stool up at some junk shop or other, with the idea of painting the legs and mosaicing the top. As far as I can remember, anyway. But I’m very pleased with my first yarnbomb effort and I’m starting to look at other things around here that might benefit from similar treatment. The couch? Bedside table? Jessie?

And I haven’t forgotten that midnight tonight is the cut-off time for picking someone’s name for the owl cushion give-away. It’s been such a fun and gratifying thing to do, I wish I could give everyone an owl!

Watch this space….  owl tog

this little piggie went to market(s)

Thank heavens it’s Monday. Jam Tarts did two markets this weekend and all I can say is that I’m ready for some R and R.

The Harfield Carnival was a mixed bag for us – the intermittent downpours and high-force winds didn’t bring anyone any joy, but in the in-between bits it was wonderful: Karen completely sold out her rice-bag pillowcases and shorts, plus one customer sent a mail ordering a further ten. We felt Karen deserved the day off yesterday – so she could stay home and make more. hahaha

Yesterday was the Kirstenbosch Market, always a pleasure to be there! The weather had sorted itself out, and the steady flow of holiday shoppers and tourists was very welcome.

You’ve seen a zillion pics of Jam Tarts’ stuff, so I’m not going to bore you with more.
Here is other stuff: we all fell in love with these meerkats, made from jacaranda wood. Gran bought a whole family of them, I think.

We had a new neighbour, Carolyn from Car-o-Shop, who makes car seat covers at incredibly reasonable prices. Since crocheting a car seat cover is going to take too large a chunk of time, I think I’ll ask her to run something up for Mini-me. I’m thinking lime and shocking pink zebra stripes…

Dear friend Lara came to visit, with three lovely boys in tow. She’s good like that. The boys loved our owl monsters, and Max and Noah took it upon themselves to name any owls who had made it to the market without name tags. On the left in the middle, you can see a little turquoise chap who became “Snowflack”, and I had meant to put him in my basket to take home with me. But alas, I got distracted – and Snowflack got purchased by a complete stranger.

Lara tried on a button bangle and it looked so nice that I gave it to her as an early xmas present.

The only reason she is covering her pretty nose is because she’d just smeared thick white sun protector on her face – the South African sun is a real killer, so take note and take care. Seriously.

Last but not least, here is our amazing mountain in the background. The Kirstenbosch market is held right across the road from the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, and the entire area is – what can I say? – like paradise. Life would be very flat indeed without our Table (no pun intended).

To be continued…

PS. I finally returned the fixed-up stool to my across-the-road neighbour. Seems I had timed it just right because her mom was visiting her at the time, and was overjoyed to see it – she says she remembers her gran sitting on it in the kitchen back in the day. So it belonged to my neighbour’s great grandmother.

another stool sample

{Sorry, I love that pun}.

So, a couple of weeks ago I was standing at my sink doing the washing-up. It was a Monday morning, quite early, and everyone was putting their rubbish bins out on the pavement because Monday’s the day the rubbish men come to Rosebank. I see the woman from the house across the road dumping her black bags and then she chucks out a piece of furniture!!! I was in my flip-flops and over the road before you could say “Other people’s junk”.

Turns out that it was a stool – was originally once a chair but the back disappeared – that had been in her great grand-mother’s house back on the farm.  I don’t which farm, or where, nor am I particularly good pals with this neighbour, but I do know that I can’t bring myself to relieve somebody of something that reminds them of their family history. No, not even me. Are you sure? Yes. Sigh.

         

That’s what it looked like. I said I would clean and sand it down and maybe give it another coat of paint. I also decided to make a round cushion for it. Now it looks like this:

      

As you can see, I got two free models – Jessie, and part of Alex.

I did give it another coat of paint, and tidied it up very nicely underneath, but I like the distressed look so I sanded it down all over again.  For the cushion, I couldn’t decide which fabric looked nicer so I used both! The orange is a shweshwe cotton that I love, and that you can get in all different colours now. The cushion also gave me the opportunity to try something I’ve had on the back burner in my head: crocheting an edge on something fabric. It’s hardly original, you’ve probably all been doing it for years, but Janette’s post about her apron (here) and the useful tip about working a row of chain stitch first  (here) via Ellen, finally got me going. My crocheted shells ended up being a bit tight, which is why they’ve flipped up and stayed flipped, but I still like the effect.

Liesl was getting rid of it because she said it was cluttering up their garage so perhaps it means less to her than it would to someone else (me!), but I said I’d do it for her and I have. Now all I have to do is take it back across the road. But what’s the rush? Maybe later — I’ve gotten quite fond of it.

To be continued…

Still on about stools

Whaddaya know, it’s a two-blog day.

In response to a suggestion that I make a cover for the stool for added comfort    (although my own posterior is plenty well-padded and certainly needs nothing further), I shall show you these: for weeks I have been playing around with variations on crocheted covers for footstools, and, as it happens, the first one (knitted) was unsuccessful. It is, however, PERFECT for the stool.

And here are the crocheted covers. As much as I like the shell edge, I find it’s better to do a border that tightens up because it sits better on the foam.  Can’t show you any actual footstools… they are in the wings awaiting paint.

Incidentally, it was through Tamara that I found a tutorial for a granny rectangle.  Thanks again for that :-)

To be continued…

Stool sample

Every time I go into the foam shop in Claremont, my eye is drawn to the ancient little stool that is kept at one of the sewing machine tables.

It looks so shabby and tired, as if it has tried really hard over the years to earn its keep!

I asked if I could borrow it for a couple of days to show someone I knew who works with wood, because I wanted my own version. Long to short, Gerrie made me a beautiful stool out of reclaimed wood, which I collected on Saturday at the Hope Street market.

It isn’t as A-frame as the old one, and the top is slightly bigger – which I think is a good thing (from a comfort point of view). I can’t decide whether to leave the wood as it is or to give it a weathered look.  I also can’t decide where it is going to live, so for now it’s in the lounge and gets moved around every couple of hours.  Such a silly, simple thing – but it makes me happy.

To be continued…