Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Post Birthday Blahs.

It's true, I do feel quite blah, after all the excitement around my B'day. You see the thing is, I hardly ever get to see my grown children because well, they're all over the place living their hectic and high-paced lives. My middle son, for instance, is a software developer and many of his clients live in the USA! This means while we're all tucked up nice and cosy like, he and his wife , who is a computer graphics designer, are working well past the wee hours because the USA is almost an entire day behind us. Time-wise that is. :D Arranging anything with them is sort of like complicated holiday travel plans.

My youngest son does longboard skating competitions so he's often away racing down hills and giving me mini-nervous breakdowns, and my eldest son has recently left to help set up a restaurant in Manama, which is in The Kingdom of Bahrain! He had a small meltdown on my B'day when he called home to let us know that at 10pm at night the temperatures there are 10 degrees higher than our ever most hottest recorded midsummer day here!

Of course, I immediately wanted to jump on a 'plane to go and  spray him with cool water while serving up non-stop iced teas as he diligently slogs away at his 16 hours a day new job! So the reason I have a post-Birthday hangover has nothing to do with alcohol and everything to do with seeing four darling people for a few hours and crying my eyes out at another darling person " suffering". Introvert Hangover is real! :D It has been so bad I couldn't even pick up a crochet hook!

Around all the activity over the past few weeks, and after finishing Frida's Flowers, I did dabble a bit in some new designs. I have ideas. I'm not sure where they're going or where they'll end but they are there.

Also, I started a belated B'day afghan for my one and only ( so far ) daughter-in-law. She wanted "fairy colours" so fairy-colours it is! Because we're going into Spring and Summer I wanted to design something very simple, not too bulky...more of a throw really. Anyhow, it doesn't seem to matter how  bad I feel, I always have something at hand to crochet! Yay for that.

As you can see I'm using my favourite vintage colours. Oh, I DO LOVE pastels! I find them so peaceful, calming and restful. I can literally feel tension in my body ease as I play with these colours. Honestly, I LOVE all shades of brown too, all those lovely "grounding" earthy colours! I really want to make an afghan that evokes EARTH!  Americans call it Dirt...sorry, but I cannot equate that with my beloved soil and earth. :D

Anyhow, I'm sure a few quiet days, the phone off the hook, and social media down to a minimum will help recharge my creative batteries and physical energy again. Until then, it's hermit time for me.

Love, always,

Monday, 22 August 2016


This week is my Birthday week and I am giving myself a very special  birthday present by rounding up an entire year's crochet projects which I have completed since August last year. I'm not sure if other crocheters also tend to lose sight /count of their projects? Anyhow...this is not a blog post about * The Big Round Up *. Although I did start this Lapghan last year, so it does count.

I do tend to sort of forget all the projects I tackled! So much so that I often feel that I've accomplished " absolutely nothing! ". I have taken to recording each of my finished projects in my Ravelry account. This way I can keep a record which will serve to encourage me when I feel I've done " absolutely nothing!". Sigh. Being a Virgo is exhausting sometimes! Hahaha!

I've called this lapghan *Riviersonderend *. In Afrikaans ( derived from Dutch/French/German ) this means River Without End. The  first reason I named it thus is because there are no tails, yes, NO TAILS WHATSOEVER,  to sew in at the end of each row. You just snip off the colour you are using, then attach your new colour by joining it to the previous colour with a sturdy knot. Reason two is the easy-peasy wavy Shell Stitch.  Reason three is the blue flowy colours flanked by greens and browns or otherwise described as "the river running through the trees".

I used a lovely soft acrylic DK called Pure Gold by Elle Yarns. It's a bit fiddly to work up with a 4mm crochet hook as the yarn does tend to split. This only happens occasionally though so no biggy! The Shell Stitch, combined with the long rows of soft acrylic makes this lapghan ( 40" x 38" ) drape beautifully. It's cosy, soft, warm and very pliable. The colours are very much ME. :)

Mostly too, this worked up quickly and there wasn't much going on here so a lovely easy piece of hooky!

It's a rainy pre-Spring Monday here and I'm enjoying these cooler months so much. Suddenly everywhere there are clear signs of Spring and it makes me just a little bit sad. I'm most definitely a Winter Hooker!

Crochet is my happy place. No matter the weather!
Love, always and crochet on... :)

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

My tadaaa moment!

Well, yesterday was really a special day. First, it was Women's Day. Women's Day is celebrated in South Africa on August 9. There is history ( her-story ) behind this date. In 1956, 20 000 women walked to The Union Buildings ( which is where our country is administered know, where the big guns live ) to peacefully protest the Pass system. This is still an important public holiday in South Africa and women from all over this country find ways to celebrate it. You don't need to look far to see exactly how I celebrate any free time.

My husband was at home for the day. The weather was LOVELY! Perfect in fact. I had in mind a day of unadulterated hooky but no. By 10am we were showered, dressed and breakfasted and on our way out to enjoy the day starting off at our * top secret*  coffee shop, who serve my favourite pecan nut cookies ( I ate four... and they are HUGE ), also, the best coffee this side of the equator. After which , filled to bursting we trundled along the catwalk between Muizenburg and Kalk Bay, jumping off the path every now and again to collect a pretty shell, or pebble. My husband's eyes are incredibly good. He always picks up or spots the best treasures! But nevermind about all that! More importantly!! I finished my Frida's Flowers CAL! Typically late, because I kept getting involved with hooky on the side. But yes, it's all done and dusted. And then, well I was SO PLEASED with my efforts of four months, I really wanted to post it somewhere, know those "look at what I've made! ". moments! So I posted one pic to The Official CCC Social Group. My, let me say one thing, those Ladies are so generous with their compliments boy, I was hot all over with the pleased-as-punch blushing! Wow, I can learn a thing or two from them about how to make a gal feel FANTASTIC! If any of you lovely Ladies are reading this then know, YOU MADE MY YEAR!! Thank you!

Here I have it pinned to my bed because we replaced all our carpets in the house with stone tiles. Now I don't have anywhere big enough to block larger projects. This worked fine. I made sure to count the pins though! :D

Wanting a good blocking! I sewed all the pieces together. I'm not sure why because I could have done a seamless single crochet. I'm sure I had a good reason at the time, which has slipped my mind now. And, tadaaaa! There it is. I'm not sure where it will end up, but I do know I can't part with it.

Thank you to the crochet fairies who always whisper encouraging words into my ear when I feel I just can't hook another stitch! Isn't it just the best feeling to finish off a project and be well pleased with it too?

Hope wherever you are in the world that you always find ample time to play hooky!

Love, always!

Monday, 1 August 2016

Calendars 2016

I seem to never have a Calendar handy when I need one. Just to ensure I have one right under my nose I began making calendars for my desktop computer. Works like a charm! I use bits and pieces around my little workroom. These are fun to make too. Please feel free to use them if they take your fancy! :D

September 2016

Large Desktop

Small Portrait

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

Midnight Owl

It seems to me that the older I get the less I sleep. On the face of it. this is in the "normal" range for many people.  However, after nine years of being either pregnant or breastfeeding, my internal clock, at least as far as sleep goes, is completely wonky. I used to think I could survive on three hours sleep a night, but that was mostly because, with children, all the household chores, extra-mural activities for the children, farm animals, managing the farm, growing vegetables, baking, running art classes as well as homeschooling three boys of different ages, there were never enough hours in the day. What I mean to say is, when you're busy almost every minute of your waking day, with situations you cannot simply avoid, then your body learns to adapt to "overdrive mode". This becomes normal. Even though it's not, and later you WILL feel the effects of this unnatural rhythm. Body rhythms can be extremely resistant to change!

Now, my children are grown and out of the nest. But...will someone please  let my body know? I still burn the midnight oil more often than not. It's not that I stay up late but rather that I fall asleep early and wake up around midnight. Then between midnight and 3am I am WIDE AWAKE and also full of creative energy. Then, you will find me in my little studio, crocheting or writing in my journal, reading, drawing, sewing, thinking or making colour palettes.

The Crochet Flow

The truth, the BEAUTIFUL truth, about creative energy is that the more you use it, the more you are able to mine it. When you resist your impulses to create the less you will create. It's like waiting for the right moment to do anything you wish for, but feel you can't unless you have  more time, more money, less stress, the perfect space, supportive family, or friends or partner. This is what frightens many Creatives. On the inside, they have dread and regret, sorrow, even debilitating grief. They are convinced that  their "time of creating " is gone, forever, that their creative flow has run bone dry. 

But this is not true. NOT AT ALL. Creative flow is always there. Always. You just need to begin excavating, digging below the surface of your daily life. It will be difficult because digging into a parched and hardened river bed will never be easy. This is where the gentle, flowing Art of Crochet is so very helpful. When the going gets tough , then sit down, fan yourself in the cool shade and look to your immediate life, think about it for awhile and you'll soon realise how much creative energy you put into everyday living. Then pick up your hook and yarn and continue.

When my life settled into a quieter more manageable routine, when I had some moments to reflect, I could take comfort in the realisation that creative energy, so much of it, had always been present in my life. There was no reason at all to feel regret, or grieve over what my creative life "should " have looked like. I'd unconsciously applied creativity, sometimes creative genius even, to every aspect of living and to the lives of others around me, my relationships, my children, my community. My life was, and still is, a complicated, intricate mural! All of our lives are.

I hope wherever you are in the world, that you're in the flow, creating your life like the work of Art it most surely is.

Love, always.