Thursday, December 24, 2009

a blessed Christmas . . .

. . . from our home . . .

. . . to your home . . . may you be the Lord's gift to one another . . .

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

cherries and picnic

It's summer holiday season . . .

last Wednesday we went cherry picking
and picnicking
at the feet of age old pine trees
on dry brown cracking pine needles
under a warm yellow sun with a soft breeze of wind

we took home a small harvest of sweet cherries to savour piece meal

. . . an unusual display . . .

Saturday, December 19, 2009

. . . by the grace of God . . .

I love who I am
I am grounded in my own power
I am secure on all levels.

I deserve to enjoy life
I ask for what I want and
I accept with joy and pleasure.

I trust the process of life
All I need is taken care of always
I am safe. (author unknown - I found this script written on a piece of paper in a library book)

(this photos of her enjoying life and laughing without holding back were taken without her knowledge)

Monday, December 14, 2009

autumn oak leaf or gecko ?

I like to think it is an autumn oak leaf as the pattern title indicates. My 11 year old daughter says it is a yellow gecko. What do you think?

I am not sure where I got the page with this pattern - maybe from the internet? I think it is a design from Nicky Epstein? I'm not sure - if some one can help, I will be very pleased.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

musical scattering . . .

a few loose pictures

were organised into this (oil on maisonite)

Monday, December 7, 2009

crossing over carefully

. . . humans can learn a lot from the animal world . . . looking after and caring for little ones . . .

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas market . . .

Our church support a christmas market or rather a craft market, where preferable handmade items are for sale. A small amount of the income goes to the church for charity.

The community support a project for street children (abandoned children who live off the street ). The project is named Arendsnes, translated in English as Eagle's Nest. There the children are provided with a good meal per day, they are taught reading and writing, they can bath, and are skilled through different lessons. One of the ministers, Fanie Marais, teaches art classes. Some of these childrens' paintings made into cards, are sold at this market. Each painting bears the child's name on it. I bought the following painting of Heinrich K :

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

baby blanket or table cloth ?

At last I finished this baby blanket (started in July), pattern from Brooklyn Tweed. I intend to give it to a lady working with me. She expects her first born in about two weeks time - that's if the little girl decides to make her appearence on time.

I am not an experienced knitter and struggled quite a bit. But it was also a great learning process, especially to interperate such a pattern. Now, afterwards I discovered one or two tiny mistakes. ( I have an urge to knit this again sometime in future).

This could also do as table cloth - I have a vague memory of a grandmother having a knitted or crochet table cloth adorning their table - oooh . . . that was more than 40 years ago.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

designer wear and white roses . . .

My version of the Mariniére pattern that Julija e-mailed me a while ago. I knitted the pattern but left out the palet in front and added a little bead to bind the two pieces. The garment is knitted in a 100% cotton yarn, namely Vinnis colours – Nikkim. According to the label the yarn is hand dyed and balled by women from an economically "depressed" rural area of South Africa. The colour is Lavender. It is double knit and knitted with 4mm needles.

It wears very comfortable and because of the hand dye the garment has a marbled effect (the second photo's tone seems more accurate than that of the first one).

By the way . . . it is mid November, the sun is supposed to shine and it is supposed to be hot here south of the Sahara. But the opposite is true - its raining, its cold and snow is forcast for the Southern Drakensberg.

The weather seems to affect even the roses - have a look at this iceberg - under normal circumstances it would be pure white . . .

Sunday, November 8, 2009

splatterings of colour . . .

Beauty of the pelargonium - photo taken early morning through the window while raining, complements of unusually late winter rains in early summer.

Monday, November 2, 2009

sewing weekend . . .

The first weekend in a long long time I spent time just sewing, preparing some easy meals and sewing again.

Trousers for myself in white linen - easy sewing, it fits nicely, wears comfortably.

A apron splattered top to wear with the trousers, but unfortunately not my style. It does not suit my frame - to bulky (the top!). I would need something more tailored, I presume.

A nearby shot of the print Lize assisted me to stencil the splatters on the fabric. I thought it would look better on me, but oh no, not quite - the style seems to remain the main problem.

And lastly Lize liked this fabric. I made a flair skirt to reach just above the ankles, but she wanted it shortened. She prefers it above the knee to wear with her ballet leotard. A very happy colour coded girl . . .

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

. . . the colour lavender . . .

a new project . . . in the colour shade lavender, knitted in cotton for our sunny summer . . .
. . . our gardens are filled with lavender blooming . . .
. . . all around lavender aroma fills the garden, even our dog reeks of lavender (sometimes) . . .

Friday, October 16, 2009

. . . while waiting . . .

Time spend well while I wait for Lize at the ballet and music lessons or any waiting session with time on my hands.
This is the Claude pattern by Anna Bell which I knitted in Sublime cashmere merino silk dk. It feels soft and warm on the skin. I particularly enjoy the swing in the shape and the loose fit - it gives a relaxed feeling. The twin buttons at the top are not part of the original pattern, but feature as cosmetic camouflage for an "out of line" buttonhole.

Monday, October 5, 2009

An old Celtic song . . .

We saw a stranger yesterday.
We put food in the eating place.
Drink in the drinking place.
Music in the listening place.
And with the sacred name of the triune God
He blessed our house,
our cattle and our dear ones.

And the lark says in her song:
Often, often, often goes the Christ
in the stranger's guise.
-- author unknown --

Saturday, October 3, 2009

. . . joy and sorrow . . .

Joy and sorrow . . .
. . . are inseparable . . .
together they come and when
one sits alone with you . . .
remember that the other is
asleep upon your bed . . . - (author unknown) -

Father in law passed away on 26 September. He was a healthy 94 years, going on 95 on 10 October. He lived with us for 10 years. And now we experience a lingering emptiness in our hearts and in our home that never could be filled it seems.

He was very fond of a particular poem that Goethe wrote early in his life and revisited when he was an old man (roughly translated in English, it reads alongside) :
Ein gleiches -- The same old story
Über allen Gipfeln -- Over each mountain top
ist Ruh, -- a calm ranges,
in allen Wipfeln -- over every treetop
spürest du -- one is merely aware
kaum einen Hauch; -- of a breath of wind;
die Vögelein schweigen im Walde. -- in the wood the birds fall silent.
Warte nur, balde -- Just you wait, soon
ruhest du auch -- you too will come to rest

Monday, September 21, 2009

spring (and love) . . .

. . . is in the air . . .

. . . for this peacock . . .

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September already . . .?

These last few weeks and days flowed into each other without us recognising the difference between each following day. We were just reaching forward to the end of the tunnel. We were in and out of the hospital with Father-in-law, and in-laws visiting, trying to help and make things easier for us. At last we could slow down somewhat although everything is not quite what it should be.

On a more arty note : I am participating in The Drakenstein Art Exibition starting on Tuesday in the Breytenbach Centre with these two paintings.

Oil on bord. This painting was done after Henry O. Tanner, The Banjo Lesson, in 1893. I was touched by the feeling (atmosphere) in the copy of the original painting in an art book - Mississippi blues ???

This one I titled : "First light", in Afrikaans "Eerste lig". Oil on bord. (Not a very good photograph). It was painted 2008, black and white.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

winter . . .

rain, snow, wind . . .

lavender blooming . . .
fields of arum lilies . . .
green green grass . . .
foggy mountains . . .

warm clothes . . .
black and grey
with spots of colour

healthy appetites
children playing
laughter . . .

life is good

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Women's day Flowers

I got flowers today.
It wasn’t my birthday or any other special day.
We had our first argument last night,
and said a lot of cruel things
that really hurt me.
I know he is sorry and didn’t mean the things
he said, because he sent me
flowers today.

I got flowers today.
It wasn’t our anniversary or any other special day.
Last night, he threw me into a wall
and started to choke me,
it seemed like a nightmare.
I couldn’t believe it was real.
I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over.
I know he was sorry because he sent me
flowers today.

I got flowers today.
It wasn’t Mother’s Day or any other special day.
Last night, he beat me up again,
and it was much worse than all the other times.
If I leave him, what will I do?
How will I take care of my kids?
I’m afraid of him and scared to leave.
But I know he must be sorry because he sent me
flowers today.

I got flowers today.
Today was a very special day.
It was the day of my funeral.
Last night he finally killed me.
He beat me to death.
If only I had gathered enough courage
and strength to leave him, I would not have
gotten flowers today.

- Author unknown - (exerpt from a book soon to be published by Griffel Media)

Today, being Women's day in our country, I was touched by this poem ripped from the heart of a woman speaking for others of her kind. In a sense I find it apt to share this poem on this day.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

book and garden winter wonders

Bed time is reading time. We have just finished Alice in Wonderland. During this numeral reading adventures Lize and I take turns in turning the pages, reading in turn. Through this reading pleasure around bed time Lize's English reading skills are being honed without her even noticing it. Next on the menu is Ann Frank's Diary from not quite such a wonderland.

From a winter's garden springs delightful surprises such as this orchid supreme. Just the stuff to warm a winter heart!

Monday, July 20, 2009

my aestlight delight

I am extremely delighted with my aestlight shawl. Pattern from

The yarn I used is Sublime (kid mohair blend) - the only fingering weight yarn I could find in our neighbouring town. I am quite pleased with the outcome, it has a lacy effect.

My thanks to The Shetlandtrader for designing and sharing this lovely pattern.

Monday, July 13, 2009

rain and birds' nests

These two photos were taken Monday, 13 July around 10 o'clock South African time.

This is an open field near our home. Normally dry land, now a small dam.

The Berg River on Monday morning.

Only a few days before we watched this Cape Weaver bird built its nest in our garden. His wife was sitting a branch or two away keeping an eye on the nest building process.

An amazing home for a bird pair to raise their little ones. And he only uses his beak to tear the leaves of the palm tree into strips and weave the nest.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

serene sunny sundays . . .

are for being together with family . . .

be with yourself . . . lost in thought, knit, listen to your child(ren) play and laugh, listen to the sounds of the neighbourhood, birds . . . and other animals . . .

and meditating on autum and winter.
The leafless tree reminds one that winter's eventually passing.

Our weeping mulberry tree adorned with its green cloak merely a month ago; now a sceletal figure welcomes patches of winter sunlight with swaying naked branches holding onto hope of summer to come.