Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Flower Feedback: Franschoek 23

Janco Siecker sent me this fun photo last week:

My friends and I decided to go adventuring one Saturday, last week, and found our way to the Monument, we're three students, studying at Stellenbosch, and love the rich cultural history of the Cape,
I'm the one on the right, Janco, and next to me is Anja.

I hope this project still carries on for a while, it creates loads of fun,

Kind regards,

I hope so too, Janco! Thank you for participating.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Article in Inspirations 79

As usual the latest edition of Inspirations - the world's most beautiful embroidery magazine - are filled with an array of delicious embroidery projects covering a variety of styles and methods. 
I love the pink and green cover - it is my favourite* colour* combination! 

The other reason I really, really like it, is because there is an article on pg 10, I wrote about my African Flower Chain. It's already a year ago we took that trip around South Africa. I can't believe how time flies! That icy cold day in early August when we left Pretoria (and had a very rare snowfall) feels like yesterday... 

And here we are, all settled in Australia, with many new friends and new stories to tell.

*One of the many great things about living in Australia now is that I can ignore the spell checker when it tries to tell me to omit the 'u' in favourite and colour. This is the way we spell it in South Africa and in Australia. Is it a southern hemisphere thing, I wonder?

Flower feedback: Three Rondavels 5

I was very happy when I received this message a few weeks ago. I haven't heard from this flower for a while and assumed that it has been removed. I thought this was a recent visit but it turns out that the photo was taken in September last year. I am really grateful that Charnette still sent it to me even though she visited almost a year ago, but it does mean that the flower is most probably not there anymore...

Our company sent me and my colleague for a weekend away.  We decided to go to Hazyview and visit all the attractions there.  Amanda De Villiers and I, Charnette Wanty, took our boyfriends with, Quinten  and Nelius. Nelius  and I just started dating shortly before we went on this holiday, enjoying the lovely sightseeing around Hazyview.  

Thank you for sharing Charnette!

Flower feedback: Franschoek 21 & 22

This is the flower that keeps on giving!

This lovely picture comes from Rob and Tina Kuipers - in love in Franschoek, 
tasting wine and loving life!

This next picture comes from Henk Pitzer from Pretoria.

Henk and his family traveled to Cape Town to celebrate his youngest son's 21st birthday. He tells me his whole family loves to learn about their heritage and cultural history, and that this is the reason they visited the monument in Franschoek. 
Here he is with his eldest son Willem.

Thank you all for sharing your story!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Flower feedback: Franschoek 20

Yeahhh! The 20th message from the Franschoek flower! 
This is definitely the most visited flower of all.

Hello. My name is Elsa and with me is my friend Elise. 

We are from Paarl/Franschhoek and we went for a walk to the Hugenote Monument.

What a great idea your flower chain is!

Have a nice day! :)

Thank you girls!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Flower feedback: Witsand 9

I thought they have all gone, but the Witsand flower is still hanging in there!  
I received this lovely email from Lisette Valentine.

Thank you for the lovely gift of colour at Witsand National Park, it looked so bright in the midst of the dry orange sands and thorn trees. 
My name is Liz and I spend a fair amount of time travelling around South Africa with my partner Ian. Both of us have done overseas visits but find that SA is filled with many beautiful places still to be visited. We try to go out camping or to self catering cottages at least twice a month and also do a couple of longer trips to the many parks and nature areas around us. 

I am originally from East London and Ian is from Rugby in the United Kingdom. He has lived in SA since he was a young child. The Eastern Cape is a favoured place to travel to as I have family there but we also go to Hopetown where my sister has a farm - Northern Cape is extremely different but also very beautiful. 

I teach art (painting and drawing) to adults and love to do craft and as there are so many I tend to do mosaic, paperwork, sketching and not much else as there are not enough hours in a day. Hobbies after this are reading and photography. 

Hope my note isn't information overload! 
Thanks for the lovely blog and I will keep reading and following your journeys and craft. 

All the best wishes 

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Embroidery Magic

One of the treasures I found at Junktion yesterday: An Embroidery Magic binder filled with embroidery patterns.

The binder contains 120 (yes, really!) pattern sheets, each with a different design. The sheets are A3 size with a photo of the finished design on one side and the instructions on the other side.  

There is no information anywhere on the binder about the publisher or designer(s). 
I tried Google, but can't find anything either.
If you know anything about this folder (I think it is part of a series), please let me know. I am mystified..

Oh, and can I just add that I paid a full $2.00 for this file...

Adelaide in Pictures 3: Junktion

In my pursuit of a place to join the Knitting in Public Week, I came upon this little gem of a shop in Marion.

Junktion is more than a shop though, it's a place where people meet, drink coffee, shop, share with the community and make friends.

The proprietor is a lovely woman called Pixi, who welcomed me into her shop like an old friend.

She describes Junktion as a Non profit Recycle store, but it feels more like a treasure trove filled with lots of clothes, household items, some furniture, books, lots of hand made stuff and... food.

The shop is delightfully decorated with all sorts of knitted and crocheted things to celebrate not only KIP-week but also International Yarnbombing Day which just happened to be this past week.

I went there to knit, but we talked so much, that between all the chatting and browsing, I didn't do any knitting!

I will have to go back for that...

So, if you are looking for a bargain, or a coffee, or a nice chat, or a piece of cake,

Junktion is the place to go.

Visit her Facebook page here.

Flower feedback: Franschoek 18

It seems Franschoek is the place for great love stories! 
Here's another beautiful story from Rumbi and Tristan.
This picture was taken way back in December 2012, but I only received it recently.

The love between Rumbi Goredema and Tristan Görgens took a little while to develop. They first met during Rumbi’s third year of school. She was taking a psychology class and he was the tutor. Despite Tristan’s valiant attempts to get the whole study group involved in discussion, Rumbi recalls that it “pretty much became a conversation between the two of us. With nineteen other undergrads there. Conventional start to a love story.”

Tristan and Rumbi lost touch for the next two years. They reconnected through work, as they both began working for an alumni association. Even though they saw each other at work every day, their romantic relationship was still slow to develop. Tristan remembers that “it was during the long meetings and period in between and after meetings that we could really get to know one another.” Over the months, they became good friends, and one day Rumbi got up the courage to ask Tristan out. She says, “Our first date was a disaster: neither of us was sure whether or not it was a date, and it dragged on for about six hours.” Even though the first date wasn’t great, they tried a few more times, and thanks to online chatting through their work, they finally connected. “We fell in love quickly after we started dating,“ recalls Tristan. This realization came when Rumbi left on a trip shortly after the two had gotten together, and they missed each other desperately.

According to Rumbi, “we’re a pair of homebodies” who spend most of their time at home. They both have jobs that keep them busy all day, so being at home is the perfect place for these two to relax at the end of the day and enjoy each other’s company. Although they have recently moved in together, Rumbi says, “I think as a couple, though, we like to create home within our relationship for each other.”

They both are very passionate about certain things, and love to have long talks out on the porch about current issues. Even with that, Tristan believes it is the balance between them that makes them work so well. “In some instances I am the impulsive and risk-taking one, and in others she will be the one who will stop me from dragging my heels and being too ponderous about decisions. And, perhaps most importantly, we are both intensely committed to one another’s happiness,” Tristan says.

Love can be hard to find. But the best love comes when you are not looking for it, like in a college study group, or at the office. In the end, it is the love that has taken its time that is the love that will last forever.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Adelaide in Pictures 2: Art Deco

To mark History Month the Adelaide Chapter of the ArtDeco and Modernism Society 
held a walking tour of the CBC on Sunday.

As a newbie in Adelaide I thought it was a great opportunity to see and hear more about 
the architectural history of this fair city, from those in the know.

The city is littered with Art Deco buildings of all sizes and in all states of repair. It was great to meet people who are passionate about the heritage of this particular era, and who are working hard to preserve what is still in existence.

The tour lasted almost 2 and a half hours and we only covered a very small part of the city.

My favourite was the Bank of South Australia building in King William Street. It is a gorgeous example of total Art Deco high rise design. The interior is still in its original condition too. Unfortunately, as it was a Sunday, we couldn't go inside. It is on my to-do list for the next time I am in town during business hours. 

 We saw quite a few smaller buildings that survived modernisation. It seems their size saved them, as it is not economically viable to demolish and rebuild on such a small plot.

The only interior we were able to see was the former West's Cinema, now the headquarters of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, in Hindley Street. The circular foyer with its two flights of stairs are still in original condition. The balustrades, mirrors and  domed ceiling revoked something of the (now fashionable) gatsby era.

*Have a look at the Adelaide Chapter's Facebook page for more photos of 
these and other Art Deco buildings around Adelaide

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tribute to Kathreen Ricketson

It was with great shock and sadness that I learned about the tragic death of Kathreen and her husband Rob last week.

When I started blogging four years ago, she was one of my main inspirations. I first 'met' her and her blog Whipup via the Craft blog, which I had been following for some time. She was creative, fun, helpful and prolific.  Her blog was always jampacked with creative ideas and inspiration. She loved to share and to teach. Her kids magazine Action Pack is testament to her - and her family's - dedication to creating a happy, healthy and wholesome environment for their kids to grow in and learn.

When we decided to travel to Australia in April 2012, I wanted an Australian craft blogger to do a guest posts for me while I was away. Kathreen was the obvious choice. Her post on why she loves Australia can be viewed hereSoon after our visit, our lives changed and we relocated from Dubai to Adelaide, Australia. We became Aussies too. We kept in e-mail and blog contact and when I learned that their roadtrip would take them through Adelaide, I was delighted to have the opportunity to finally meet her.

We met on a Tuesday afternoon in late January, at the Adelaide Central Market, where we had coffee and chatted for an hour of two. We talked about blogs, quilting, travelling and motherhood. I met Rob and the two kids. I went home that afternoon and told my husband that if we lived closer, I think our two families could become good friends. We like all the same things: camping, outdoors, travel, creativity and sharing it all with our children.

I followed their trip on her blog and made mental notes of all the great places they were exploring, adding them to my list of Places We Still Have To See.

Her last post written at Coral Bay starts like this: We are bush camping at a station on Ningaloo reef, Western Australia. A dream come true — is that totally corn ball?

Although this story has one of the saddest endings I ever experienced, and my heart breaks for the children, I am comforted by the fact that they were living their dream. They had several months where they could devote themselves to their children and create family memories that can never be taken from them.

When I think of Kathreen, this is what comes to mind:
Inspired crafter
Prolific writer
Devoted mother

Dear Kathreen, 
it was a priviledge to know you.

* A fund has been established to help support the children. Find the details here.

*Photos taken by Kathreen, cropped and edited by me

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Flower feedback: Blood river 2

Another sighting at Blood River!

My name is Jacqui du Toit and I am a 30 year old mum of 2 boys. I came to the battle of blood river with my husband an 2 kids on our way to Balito for a holiday..

Thank you, Jacqui!

Flower feedback: Franschoek 16 & 17

I am amazed at how many people who visit the Hugenot Museum in Franschoek are in some way related to the history surrounding the Hugenots and the museum. This is the third response I received from someone who has a direct family connection to the place.

My father, mother and myself visited the monument on 1 May 2013 whilst on holiday.
The monument's history runs deep in our family roots.

I, Samantha Spencer am the great great grandaughter of James Andrew Clift whose company JA Clift Pty Ltd built the monument.

The family tree runs as follows :

James Andrew Clift, founder of JA Clift is my great great grandfather
William Andrew Clift, son of James Andrew Clift is my great grandfather
Patricia Elizabeth Swart, nee Clift, is the daughter of  William Andrew Clift and granddaughter of James Andrew Clift and my grandmother
Winifred Alice Spencer, nee Swart, is the daughter of Patricia Elizabeth Swart and my mother

We visit this monument every visit to the Cape as we live in Pretoria and when I saw the flower chain I liked the idea and wondered how many people have responded to the sighting.


Samantha, as you can see, you are the sixteenth person to respond to the flower and the third who has a family connection. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

But it is not only South Africans who enjoy the place. International visitors are equally attracted to the place:

 From the UK and touring SAs Western Cape for a one week holiday after two weeks work.
Steve and Sheena Mottershead.

Friday, 17 May 2013

First Afrikaans article published in a South African magazine

My friend Christelle started a Facebook group about two years ago called Ons Hekel (We Crochet). It has grown from strength to strength and has brought together many fabulous women who loves to crochet.

I wrote an article about her and the group for Idees, an Afrikaans magazine celebrating creative inspiration in true South African style. The article can be seen in the June edition which will go on sale this week.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Recycled blanket continue

After I finished the blankets, I was left with these knitted triangles from the original blanket. I thought I would use it to make a cushion cover or something similar, but as usual plans changed along the way...

I ended up with a string of knitted bunting instead.

I used slip stitches to attach the triangles and chain stitches in between. I followed this with two rows of single crochet stitches.

Here you can see the 'front' and 'back' of the string.

I had this ball of variegated turquois yarn for a while, but it never really spoke to me. It just sat there in the stash. And then suddenly last week it had something to say... (such fickle things, yarn)

Monday, 29 April 2013

Recycled blanket

Many years ago my mother knitted a blanket for our home. 
It was huge and multi-coloured and full of love and hard work. Over the years this blanket was used for picnics, for lounge forts and garden tents and for keeping us warm by a camp fire.

But as life happened on and around this blanket, it collected it's fair share of scars and wounds. In the end, it just didn't look good any more. It was time to be upcycled and recycled into something new.

Over the past month I seperated all the blocks, sorted them by colour and reassembled them with crochet borders into three seperate, smaller blankets.

Now every child has his and her own blanket, knitted by Gran and crocheted by Mom.

Blue for Jandre,

pink for Anika,

and green for Stefan.

Ready for the next round of forts, picnics and campfires..

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Flower feedback: Franschoek 15

It is stories like this which make me so grateful that I planted all those flowers:

This photo was taken on the 1st of April 2013 (no joke), in Franschhoek. That day me and my boyfriend from Belgium were visiting this very cute town together with my parents.
We decided to go visit the Huguenot Monument and whilst doing this, we stumbled upon this little flower hanging from a bench. So we read the description and took a picture as instructed.

Now, let me tell you a little about us. My name is Bianca Vermaak. I was born in Johannesburg in 1993. My boyfriend is Cédric Gerain, born in Brussels, Belgium in 1994.
When I was 4, we moved to Belgium, where we have lived for the past 15 years. This is also where I met Cédric, during high school. I couldn’t' t have wished for anything better to happen to me.
Cédric was going to study Civil Engineering at the VUB in Brussels and in matric I decided I wanted to come do my Bachelor at Stellenbosch University. I applied and got accepted. Of course I was over the moon, but I knew this would mean me and Cédric being apart and having to take on a long distance relationship. He told me, the darling he is, that he didn't want to stand in the way of my dreams and wished only for me to be happy. So, on the 17th of January I left for Jhb, to fly down to CT 2 days later.

It was very hard in the beginning, my parents moved with me, but my two older sisters were left behind, as well as all my friends and of course, Cédric, so it was pretty sad to say the least..
However he had managed to get a ticket to come down in April for two weeks, so I was ecstatic! Even though it cost him a fair amount of money, roughly R10.000..
So he came over in April and we were reunited once again, which was magic. We then spent 2 unforgettable weeks together, with the visit to Franschhoek included.
He was absolutely blown away by this country; its beauty, culture, the people and not to forget.. the weather. So, he will definitely be coming back.

Given this, you now know our story and hope you enjoy it and who knows which next flower we'll stumble upon..

Thank you, Bianca! This is such a great story. I am so happy that you shared it with me.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Recently published articles

I wrote a few articles over the past months and two of them have recently been published.

On the WEG website there is a story of our travels through South Africa. It tells about the African Flower Chain trip and is written in Afrikaans.

Merise is a magazine published in Australia, aimed at the South African diaspora living in Australia and New Zealand. I wrote an article about my new hometown, Adelaide, for Issue 5. Merise is published in both Afrikaans and English. The article was originally written in English but a translated version also appears in the Afrikaans edition.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Flower feedback: Mac Mac 14

My flower messages are getting few and far between... I wonder how many flowers still survives?

I received this message from Jaruska Warriker a while ago:

We are at the Mac Mac waterfall and we were on a trip through the Lowveld. Although we stay in the area it was the first time we visited this waterfall.  We are cousins that differ only a year in age and we are more like a brother and sister than like cousins.

Thank you Maritz and Vera!