Sunday, December 26, 2010

Afrikaans Language Monument

We visited the Afrikaans monument in Paarl and thought of the following poem by ID du Plessis. I think it was written during the 1940's - the time when Afrikaans was the language of poor white people and it was spoken of as a "kombuistaal" (kitchen dialect).

The English translation by hubby following the Afrikaans :

Soet is die stryd - Struggle is sweet

Jy sĂȘ die stryd is verlore, - You say the struggle is lost,
Ons nasie te arm en klein, - Our nation too poor, too petite,
Ons taal uit 'n drang gebore, - Our language spurn from an urge
Wat een van die dae verdwyn? - that one of these days will seise/dissipate?

Ag vriend, dit mag heeltemal waar wees; - My friend, yes it may be quite true
Wie weet wat die toekoms gaan baar? - Who knows what the future will ensue?
Miskien moet ons oormore klaar wees - Maybe we ought to be finished tomorrow
Om weer hierdie droom te laat vaar. - to give this dream over to sorrow.

Maar as ons net altyd m0et strewe - However, if we must continually strive
Na wat tot oorwinning gaan lei, - to that which will help us survive,
Wat help dan die stryd van die lewe - What help is the struggle for life
Waarin ons onseker moet bly? - in which our uncertainty relive?

Solank jou bedoelings maar goed is, - as long as your intentions were good,
Gaan jy jou oor neerlae kwel? - will you tarry on your failures?
Solank jy volhard en vol moed is - as long as you persevere and keep faith -
Dis mos die probeerslag wat tel! - have endeavored is what matters!

Nee, soet is die stryd vir die stryer, - Nay, sweet is the struggle for him who dare,
Al moet hy uiteind'lik verloor - even if he eventually despair -
Maar die man wat sy deelname weier, - but the man who forsake his share
Is die man wat sy nasie vermoor. - is the one who kills his kin.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Joy Art / Pretkuns

While paging through a book by Kelly Rae Roberts, I was inspired to try other styles and the following two paintings came to light. I work only in oils, although Kelly's art is done in mixed media.

Stretch your wings . . . (I prefer the mouth of the girls by Pieter van der Westhuizen and therefore tried it in this painting; and the eyes of the girls done by Kelly have touched my heart.)

'n oomblik om te onthou / a moment to remember . . . (I enjoy the innocence of this painting)

These following two paintings was done with a boy's room in mind. Both are framed with distressed frames made from old painted wood.

They are both sold. I am happy!

Painting is pure enjoyment . . .

Sunday, November 21, 2010

If I had my life to live over . . .

"If I had my life to live over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the
spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies."

-- Nadine Stair --

I think most of us have this feeling of doing and living more if only . . .

Father in law passed away Septerber 2009 on the brink of 95 years of age.

While sorting his possessions presently, I came upon this piece of embroidery. I remembered him showing it to us a few times. He told us of how his mother made their clothes, taught them and fed them during the most appalling life conditions of the 1930 ressesion. He was very young when she passed away, and told us how he had to look after his sisters.

He cherished this piece of work done by his mother. This embroidery must be about 80 years old, if not more. It will now claim a prominent place in our house and in our hearts.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weekends are for . . .

. . . trying out something new
painting on old pieces of wood lying around . . .

. . . watching what the neighbours are up to . . .
or rather their canine specimens . . .

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Slow dance

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?
You better slow down, don't dance so fast,
time is short, the music won't last.

Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask "How are you?", do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?
You better slow down, don't dance so fast,
time is short, the music won't last.

Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
'cause you never had time to call and say hi?
You better slow down, don't dance so fast,
time is short, the music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
it's like an unopened gift thrown away.
Life isn't a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.

(a poem by a young lady diagnosed with cancer)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

toe the ribbon -- ballet

"Some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end.
Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next."

~ Gilda Radner ~

The painting is done after a photo by Jeanette. Please visit Jeanette's blog to view her photos. Her photos portrays a very thoughtful, sensitive and stylish approach. I changed the background colour for more contrast.

The painting is in oil on stretched canvass.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

a story on eagles

a lovely fabel with the permission of Johan Potgieter of Gecko Homeloans. Find him at

It is said that before eagles mate the female eagle will pick up a rock or large object in her claws , then flying very high, she will drop the object. The male eagle will then have to swoop down and catch the object before it hits the ground. This ritual is continued until she is assured that he can catch – only then do they mate.

A nest is then built on a very high ledge of a steep cliff, with thorny branches which is then covered with soft down from the mother’s chest features – onto which the egg is laid.

When junior hatches – you can imagine the wonderful life he lives for the first couple of months. He has great view over the valley, nestled in a warm nest and Mom & Dad stuffing food down his throat at every squawk.

But, eagles are clever – at some point, the mom will start removing the soft features in the nest, thus exposing the thorny branches. At this point, junior becomes very uncomfortable and climbs out of the nest – only to find himself on a very precarious, cold and slippery ledge. It is at this point where the mother eagle offers him her wing.

As he eagerly climbs the wing, she kicks herself from the ledge and soars the sky – with junior on the wing – and then suddenly, she’ll collapse the wing, dropping junior to the valley below. It is here where Dad shows off his catching abilities again, grabbing junior & dropping him into the nest. This ritual continues until finally during one drop, junior, out of desperation – opens his wings and finds out he can fly.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

a hug for you . . . girls

I received an e-mail from our bookkeeper this morning and thought to share it . . .

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning the devil says,

Dear God:
this is my friend, whom I love
and this is my prayer for her :

Help her live her life to the fullest.
Please promote her and cause her to excel above her expectations.
Help her to shine in the darkest places where it is impossible to love.
Protect her at all times, lift her up when she needs you the most,
and let her know when she walks with you,
She will always be safe.

After thought :
Do not ask the Lord to guide your footsteps, if you are not willing to move your feet.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

the days pass swift and silent . . .

. . . if busy and enjoy what's on hand . . .

We had a full and enjoyable weekend . . .

Lize went on a camping adventure at the sea (Betty's Bay) for three days

Meanwhile we visited the African Penguin Colony at Betty's Bay . . .

Penguin chicks basking in the sun

From hatching to about 90 days of age the chicks loose their fluff and gain blue feathers

Some interesting facts on African Penguins :

* Penguins have an average height of 1/10th of the average human's height. Penguins weigh between 2 and 4 kilograms

* Plumage and facial markings can be used to distinguish between adults and juveniles. Juveniles are entirely blue-grey colour and lack the white facial markings and black breastband of the adults

*The Penguins can reach a speed of up to 2 km/h when swimming and can dive as deep as 130 meters. A dive last for up to 5 minutes while feeding

And we visited friends living at the sea side village Sandbaai (Sand Bay)

While there I helped Annet to create a blog and Claude kept Norbert company

Sunday, September 19, 2010

the past week : a photo a day . . .

Today (Sunday) - sandals for a sunny day

Saturday . . . pooh(f)-reading the grass

Friday - cock a doodle doo . . . follow my leader . . .

Thursday - brick a brag in the grass . .

Wednesday - where flowers flourish in the face of danger

Tuesday - a picture against the wall drawn by the stem of a plant

Monday - favoured clothes for a day's work . . .

Monday, September 6, 2010

spring sprint . . .

After weeks of indoors and trying to survive the rat race, we took the dog for a walk yesterday afternoon (or rather Jessie took us for a walk . . . ).

We were thrilled at the fields rejoicing in springtime. Spring slipped unnoticed and silently into our world. Besides being aware of spring, the little girl (not so little) in the picture above turned twelve. We rejoice in her enthusiasm for life . . . by the dozen.

The most lovely and colourful vistas met our eyes. The grace of God is amazing and touching . . .
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant . . .

Saturday, August 14, 2010

sliced orange and girl . . .

The doctor's room closes at 18:00 on a Friday afternoon.

Just before closing time Lize and I stumble in. Lize needs some stiches. She loves oranges and eats it in two ways. (1) She squeezes and rolls the orange without breaking the peel until it is softend. She cuts a hole in the top and sucks out the juice, whereafter she breaks open the peel to eat the flesh or (2) she cuts it in half, drink the juice and eats the flesh. She never peels it.

This was one of those times that she did cut the orange into halves, but . . . the knive slipped and her middle finger was in the way. She pierced her skin and sliced it nearly to the bone beneath the web.

Luckily nothing worse . . . only three stitches and a few tears later we're home and on our way to dinner at one of our neighbours.

One of my first paintings a few years ago - oil on stretched canvass (framed). I never was quite happy with it and gave attention to the colour and shading this afternoon and are now more fond of my oranges - one of which are neatly sliced.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

winter haven for pampered feet

french press knits slippers attempted

pattern . . .
yarn and needles . . .
time . . .
and feet to wear them . . .
. . . a present to a friend . . .

never felted before, but now a fascination

see above, the red ones, my first try
felted by hand
maybe the felting process was a bit short - see the toes

But look at the next pair
much better
recon I have the hang of it now

this is smaller - will fit a childs feet (size 1 - 2)
the colour is called Africa
the yarn is Elle Merino Solids

why not . . . a give-away?
anyone interested?
just leave a comment
and I will pick the lucky feet . . .

Thursday, August 5, 2010

florigraphy - the language of flowers

A gift of a single rose, most of us know, is a message of love.

But how many know that the ivy stands for fidelity, the peony for bashfulness, the orange blossom for such a giddy turn of phrase as "your purity equals your loveliness," and that the peach blossom proclaims "I am your captive"?

(The Illuminated Language of Flowers, text by Jean Marsh and illustrations by Kate Greenaway)

Can you guess what message a bouquet of poppies conveys . . . ?

Or what about arms full of pure calla lillies growing wild in the valleys around us?

Monday, July 12, 2010

cold and wet and blue

While enjoying the cosyness of a fire, I knitted this beret the past weekend. It is a pattern by designer Kim Hargraves. The yarn is Elle Elite - 50% cotton and 50% wool. The colour is denim.

Friday, July 2, 2010

pink words . . .

"Almost all words do have color and nothing is more pleasant than to utter a pink word and see someone's eyes light up and know it is a pink word for him or her too" -- Gladys Taber quotes

collage of a pink palette in our home and garden . . .

Visit Anneke for more pink . . .

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

minimalist cardigan

mid winter . . .
looking forward to spring / early summer . . .
wearing this knit . . .
in moss stitch . . .
winter overhang like the clouds on the mountains . . .

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

red = rooi

Ek en Anneke kleur hierdie wintersweek, waar die berge rondom ons oortrek is met wit sneeu, rooi in. Anneke and I decided to colour this week red while the mountains surrounding our little town is covered with snow caps.

Ek vind groot plesier in my pot rooi malvas. I really enjoys this pot of red pelargoniums (?)

Monday, June 14, 2010

the pic-riddle . . .

a picture taken . . .
does any one have an idea what this is . . .

leave a comment whether you know or just want to take a guess . .
and tell what fires your creativeness . . .

the lucky one could receive a surprise in the mail . . .

Sunday, May 30, 2010

pure pleasure cape

I am thrilled with the outcome of this knitting . . .
To photograph the model was pure pleasure . . .

I ordered Knit, issue 7 from Jo Sharp about two months ago. This is my second project from the publication.

Note that I did not follow the pattern throughout - I crocheted a scallop edge around the front and neck to finish it off. I thought it would be more suitable for a 11 year old. I also knitted it slightly longer.

Unfortunately I cannot afford the prescribed yarn (it is not available here) and had to compromise. The yarn I used is Elle Tweed Aran, colour Mulberry, Sublime kid mohair, shade 024 and a very thin handspun cotton (which I bought about 7 years ago) of which I used two strands together.

This is quite satisfying to view my pleasurable hand work on such a colourful sun drenched late autumn day with a nip in the air.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mother and daugter evening

One of our school's fundraising campaigns entails a Mother and Daugter evening for the grades 6 and 7 girls. The grade 6 girls were the hosts for the evening while the grade 7 girls entertained the guests / mothers. The girls staged a fashion parade of home made hats, using only recycled materials (a pity no photo of the hat creations is available). Some of the girls amazed the guests with their creative talents.