Friday, September 30, 2011

The bribes

DH suggested I rest my muscles the day before the big golf game but now you try telling it to the 2 witches, I once thought were kind friends, seen on the photo below!!

 No, no, they reckoned we should get in another practice session on Wednesday around 10 am.  Now my day didn't start off well with a scream coming from the blonde’s room.  Ran to find out what the issue was and saw that this little guy caused the commotion. 

 Captured little old spider to set it free in the garden but then I had to get going as ‘walking-partner’ too had her own plans for the day.  She didn't feel much for me having a huge game the next day so we set off to the Botanical Gardens for a steep uphill hiking trail, followed by a couple of tummy exercises and jogging back to the car.  Out on my feet by then but had just enough time to take a quick shower and change attire for the new exercise routine.

I guess the witches read my blog as I barely arrived and was showered with bribes.  Look at this neat hand work case with our festival logo on the outside from witch Karin.

And then I got the lovely needle case from witch Rina.

Once soothed with the bribes, I got my team T-shirt with the name of our team and our sponsor embroidered on the sleeve. 

Then it was time to go hit some balls and don’t I just look the part?  However do not be fooled for a moment, that ball most probably ended just outside this picture.

 Here witch Karin can be seen in action – as she herself put it…. It looked as if it snowed around her with very few of the balls landing very far.

 Then we got thirsty and Rina magically brought out box wine – cool and soothing and that’s about where my practice ended.  This part of the session I enjoyed most!

 Now some of us can take our wine but to some……. They still need plenty of practice and after having her tiny box of wine; Rina thought it a great idea to roll down a grass embankment with her grandson.

 You seriously didn't think I’d help you up now Rina, did you?  All of this was after all your bright idea!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Being organized.... for once

I wasn’t even as stiff as I thought I’d be after the golf so my day started out well with our brisk early morning walk before getting home to do the ‘rescue-after-the-weekend’ duties.  I however have a nice system going with a little of the ‘must do’ mixed with a little of the ‘want to do’.  So I’d never just be cleaning like crazy, instead I’d do a little cleaning i.e. collect all the laundry and start the washing machine and then take a little ‘me’ time by reading a couple of blogs, back to work alternated by a little play and in the end all gets done.

The only part in this system that I don’t like is when I have to drive anywhere which is the case this morning.  I have lamb shank curry with spinach on the menu for tonight and need a couple of ingredients.  Driving anywhere just seems to take such a chunk out of the day for once I have to go out I always think that it is a good idea to run a couple of other errands while out , in the end losing valuable hours of the day.

Today’s trip however paid off as after purchasing a Max Factor product I got a watch for free.  Way too much ‘bling’ for me but the blonde loved it – can’t imagine her not loving anything that is for free.

Back home the gears started rolling again and I even got dear old mom to sit outside while I cooked, unpacked the dishwasher and folded laundry.  Did the ironing too and early evening with the aroma of curried lamb filling the house, I could kick back and page through a magazine while waiting for the rice to cook.

I might just get some quilting done this evening.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Going to sleep like a baby

Still didn’t get to enjoy my clean sewing room. DH took me for some golfing practise and I nearly died.  Hitting a ball a short distance into a net and doing the real thing proved to be totally different.  We started off with putting – as DH put it, ‘before your arms get tired’ – proved he knew something I didn’t!  Then hit what seemed to be 50 balls from the driving range and 50 turned out the magic number as that was about the furthest I could hit a ball and then not necessarily in the right direction.  Back to the number 50..... Why o, why would women in their 50’s decide to play golf?

I think by then I moaned so much that DH decided to buy me breakfast and it turned out the bar opened just then and I must confess, this was a first for me.......... a glass of white wine with plenty of ice, with breakfast!  Heck but it was SO good.

Not done, I had to do the pitching thing – for in case I ended up in a sand bunker – more likely DH should have said ‘seeing that you’re going to be more in sand bunkers than anywhere else’ but with the golf stick in my hands, he selected his wordings rather carefully.

Then ‘the brain’ thought it good to take me out on the course to experience the real thing by playing only 5 holes.  I don’t have any idea of who thought up this game, made the rules, decided you needed more than one stick, have to remember how far you hit with which one and get a ball in the tiniest hole ever but this person (most likely a man) must have been terribly bored with really not much happening in his life.  He should have tried quilting!

When done I, for the first time, understood why men have the ‘one-for-the-road’ drink as I then insisted on one.  Felt as if I would never make it home without it, so another glass of ice-cold white wine.

I could already feel my muscles stiffen in the car – everything from my neck to my ankles with my arms and shoulders feeling the worst.  Stopped by the shop for milk on our way back and rewarded myself with a huge slice of cheesecake – I think it should be shared by 3 people – but my body obviously burnt more calories on the golf course today than in the last 15 years of my life, so I had it all by myself!  In retrospect, it looked better than it tasted but I finished it anyway.

Early evening I mustered up the courage to take up a quilting project I started earlier this year but this quilt is going to turn out huge with hundreds of tiny pieces and my clean sewing room proved to be slightly too small, so I came down to the classroom but quilting with muscles that doesn’t belong to me, was no fun and I did not achieve much.

DH promised to give me a good massage tonight and I so looked forward to this however the soul is already sleeping on the couch in front of the TV so I can’t help wondering whether this is going to realize.  Massage or not, I’m going to sleep like a baby tonight.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Spring cleaning

I do believe that any house with a craft corner, sewing room, quilting studio or whatever you prefer to call your space, this is the room that works the hardest yet are cleaned thoroughly the least.  Simply because there is always a project or two waiting to be finished which cannot be disturbed quite yet.  Well, my quilting room is no different.

However being on a self imposed quilting ban for the week in an attempt to get my life back on track, I thought now is the time to tackle this room.

I still had a free motion class on Thursday morning but on Friday my sewing room was stripped to the bare minimum.

I was still in bed Saturday morning when DH and one of his employees, trusted old Ernest, arrived to rip the carpet and replace it with laminated flooring.

Just before lunch the floor was done and the men moved back the skeleton furniture and then it was my turn to get up a ladder and down on my knees to give my room a thorough wipe down.  

Early the evening I was back in business!!

Anyone want to bet on who had the cleanest sewing room this weekend?  But this weekend only!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Dragged the laptop to the kitchen on Wednesday morning to try and do some multi-tasking.  With carpets washed, major grocery and meat shopping done, I set aside today to do some cooking-in-advance.  With most of my quilt classes in the evenings from 6 – 9 pm, dinner is always somewhat of an issue and I need this ready beforehand.  So cooking in advance has become a life saver.
I mostly do the meat dishes and even if I can only partially cook some, it already helps a lot.  Occasionally, when I am in a very good mood – seeing that I am not too fond of the kitchen/cooking I’ll even do veggies in advance but only if I know they’ll freeze well and freezing won’t alter the taste.

With laptop in the kitchen I can play my Facebook games, write a blog post, cook, do dishes, check the washing machine, oven and even fold the laundry as they dry.

So in the evening, while teaching, I at least know the family can dish up for themselves.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Final 3D cube workshop for the year

Scary to think how fast this year is running out but sadly it is.  With that comes scaling down on classes and I had my final 3D colorful cube workshop for the year.
 The ladies came over on a Saturday from 9am to 4pm and started working like crazy.  The cutting took up most of the time but once everyone saw how the pieces fit together, it was time for a welcome break.
Then all they had to do was to take photos of at least one cube to be able to finish the rest at home.
Can't wait to see your completed quilts, ladies!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How many misses are allowed?

I finished reading more than 600 blog posts yesterday evening in an attempt to get my life on track again.  The previous week was rather rough with me attending a (two full day) quilt course and having my own classes 2 more days and to top it all spent most of my Friday at the dentist.  Housework and all the other regulars fell along the wayside for a while.

With Spring in the air in the southern hemisphere I also had the urge to open everything up, clean and de-clutter but the mind often works faster than the body causing more tension and adding to my list of things I need to do.

So I made the decision to NOT quilt this week but do the important stuff.  However I have friends; stupid friends.... annoying friends...... bored friends and what did they think up this time?  We have to play in a golf day!!  I don’t do golf, in fact I don’t do much of anything outdoors unless you count sipping wine by the pool as an outdoor activity.

I tried hitting a golf ball many moons ago in a fun sports day DH’s business had and missed the stupid thing so badly I almost dislocated my arm.  I then realized that hitting that little ball with that little ‘batty’ stick is not as easy as the Tigers on TV make it look.  So I was not impressed with my friends at all and even though they all say they can’t play golf either and we’re just doing it for fun, I somehow have this gut feeling that they might just be lying to me.

So that is where my weekend, after the rough week went.  DH had to help me get to actually hit that stupid ball.  Shame, he was so patient but heck there are just so many things to remember – stance, grip, one arm straight, pendulum swing action, head down, focus on the direction of your hand and what not and................. then I still missed the blooming ball.

So with all the physical labour I had planned for myself, I started the week off with arms feeling like they belong to someone else.  I didn’t have a single muscle not aching, yet another stupid friend had no sympathy and I had to meet her early Monday morning for our daily walk, weights in hands as usual.

Back home I thought it couldn’t get any worse, so I started washing the carpets and with my house of pets, several sections demanded thorough elbow grease as the little carpet washing machine was no match to some of the stains left by the pets.

Dead tired, around noon, I sat back and actually got to read all my e-mails, haven’t responded to everyone yet but at least read all.  I needed a shower badly but then one of the mails was about the ridiculous golf day which plucked me back to reality and the shower was postponed for a little longer as I had to face this:

Yip, DH gave up, put this net up and told me to practise on my own.  So okay, I get to actually hit every 5th ball and DH told me a miss is called a “freshie”.  So now I am just wondering.... how many “freshies” are allowed in a game of golf?

Second note to self:  You desperately need new friends!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trip to Petrusburg

Last week I took a lonely trip to a teeny tiny town about an hour’s drive from us.  I’ve been invited to speak about quilting by a group of crafty ladies, from the community, who gathers once a month.

The trip was lonely as I couldn’t find a willing participant to undertake the trip with me and some of my friends were just so busy with facials, pedicures, manicures and what not that a short trip was just too much asked.  Note to self – you need new friends!

The ladies warned me that I had to leave an hour and a half before the time due to several stops for road construction and I did just that.

My quilts for show and tell in the boot and a myriad of entertainment and sweets on the passenger seat, I started the trip.  Not too far out of the city or I got to my first stop, so I made the most of it, grabbed my camera and took this photo of the view.
Good thing I didn’t hesitate as I hardly put my camera down or the line of vehicles started moving after only 3 minutes of waiting.  By the second and third stop for road works I went through without having to stop.

So I got to my destination with plenty of time to spare.  Drove around in the little town but honestly times like these I am so grateful for living in a city albeit one of the smaller ones in our country.  Found a little restaurant (that’s what it was called but it was more or less a make-shift corrugated iron kiosk with tables and chairs) and had a cup of coffee to kill time.

Drove to the church hall where the meeting took place and was quite surprised to see how neatly organized this little group was set up for their monthly meeting.  Tables set, decorations, snacks, agenda for the meeting and speakers introduced.  They even had a judge for their own crafting and baking seated very formally at another table away from the others.
Had my speech or rather ‘show and tell’ and was nicely surprised by the interest shown by the younger ladies and after answering some of their questions I wondered whether I would be able to ask such ‘related’ questions on a hobby I know nothing about.
On my way back I was not quite as lucky at the stops but still only waited 13 minutes in total and got to take another photo of the vast nothingness in central South Africa.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My second fabric postcard

O, I can so see this becoming an addiction as I’ve just finished my second fabric postcard and how often can one say I finished 2 projects in 4 days?
Still staying with the theme of our festival I chose a mini version of a Kaleidoscope and this is how it came out.

I have to turn on the brakes on these little projects for now otherwise I won’t get through my already long list of more important things to do.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My very first fabric postcard

Fellow quilter, Elsie van der Bijl, now with her own blog over HERE is a fabric postcard addict and you know how it goes with quilters, the more you talk about something, the more inquisitive you become and sooner than later, you’ll try it out yourself.

Elsie hinted that she needed postcards for a display at our festival and I didn’t promise a thing as I prefer to only commit myself to things I know I will be able to do BUT you will remember it was her son that helped me set up my I Pad, so I owed her BIG time.

So without knowing too much I started making my first fabric postcard and this is the result.

 I cannot see myself getting involved in a postcard exchange program but loved the fact that I could start and finish a project in 2 days.

Still no promises but I might just make a couple more.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Our local PFAFF fundraising block lotto blocks

Every quarter we have a block lotto organized by our local PFAFF dealer as a fundraiser for our National Quilt Festival in 2013.  I’ve participated in every challenge since the beginning and subsequently also won the previous term’s blocks.  Still need to stitch those in a quilt but I am already working on this term’s blocks.

The challenge now is to make 10½” square crazy patch blocks in red and purple with either hand or machine embroidery on it.  Little old me decided on hand embroidery, which I am totally ignorant about, but needed the preparation for a course I am attending later this month using quite a bit of hand embroidery and I didn’t want to sit there, keeping the rest of the class from moving forward.

Friend Karin had to come to the rescue again with matching embroidery thread and fancy decorations and did this little one give specific instructions.  See, she desperately wants to win this challenge!!

I’m glad I tried this but whether I would now turn into a hand embroidery fanatic I’m not too convinced about.  About as boring as machine embroidery and not my cup of tea.

So on a public forum I pledge to, should I win this block lotto, kindly hand it over to friend Karin – who should then be indebted to me for the rest of her bloomin life!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Testing blogger from my IPad

Voila! As the saying goes, it's not who you are but who you know and today I am grateful for knowing fellow quilter, Elsie van Der Bijl. With Mac and Apple not being too popular in darkest Africa, I had trouble using my IPad.

Luckily Elsie imported her son from the USA and he came over to help me. Not nearly as impatient and rude as my own son and he added a couple of new Apps for me to play with. Appreciate it SO much, thanks Leendert.

Even got mom to come sit outside while I cook and took a photo of her as tester.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Simple Yet Elegant BOM – Block 9

Not getting this block done, even though prepared beforehand, during our Saturday group meeting I started hand appliquéing the block early the same evening.

DH and the blonde went to buy us some Cinnabons and with that and a cup of coffee each I took my hand sewing to sit with mom on her bed and finish this.  Sad how our parents have to deteriorate with age.  I used to take hand work to hospital when visiting my mom after operations up to 2006 and she always knew exactly what I was working on and for which room/event.  Now her Dementia is so bad that even when sitting with her the whole time, she'd ask me every 10 minutes or so what I am doing.

This block is from the BOM by the online quilt magazine The Quilt Pattern Magazine and with this block having only 1 applique shape, it didn’t take me too long to finish.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Saturday’s group meeting with the Golden Threads

These group meetings become nicer the longer I belong to the group, I suppose not having to teach plays a big role for now I too can just be one of the girls and do my own thing, and I don’t have to be on high alert all the time.
Unfortunately being surrounded by such good company meant I only got 1 project done.  I completed the turquoise secret project for the National Quilt Festival in 2013.  It is depressing how fast these 3 hours fly by.
Friend Karin came to say ‘hi’ (dressed in her Sunday best!!) and shared some of the lovely cake group member, Petro, brought to the meeting.
The real reason for Karin’s visit however, was to bring me a little present.  O how I do like to have rich friends.  We are both attending a course mid September by National teacher, Marilyn Pretorius, but with me being as traditional as can be in my quilting; Marilyn’s innovative style will be a new venture for me.  So upon getting the list of course materials needed I realized I didn’t even know what half the stuff was.  (Fabrics other than 100% cotton). 

So I set off on a begging spree, list in hand and read the list to everyone prepared to listen to me, hoping to get something from them.  Our local PFAFF dealer, Marie, was the first to help, then a trip to my DH’s aunt whom makes ballroom and wedding gowns and got more help and then just to get some coffee I stopped by Karin and discovered a gold mine in her sewing room.

I named the item off the list and she’d open a drawer and out comes what I need in every possible color.  I left there with my ‘ingredients’ packed and sorted.  Marilyn won’t even know that I’m a total novice.  Okay, Karin could not neglect to tell just everyone about this annoying friend who visited her twice in one week to mess up her whole sewing room organization but be fair, when you see a pot of cold, will you be able to keep your hands off???  Wool and beads, sequins and fabric………… to die for I tell you.

The whole time in collecting (begging) what I need the only problem I had was not having space to keep all of these new goodies, so friend Karin, solved my problem with her lovely gift.
Back home I immediately started packing and now I look even more professional. 
Now I just need to practice my embroidery skills and I’ll be as good as any other innovative quilter (I hope).
Suppose I better stop bragging now for with my luck I’ll forget to take my machine, with all these new goodies that I’m so excited about, and how professional will I look then?

Friday, September 02, 2011

How peaceful can one evening get?

Hubby played golf today and obviously got stuck on the 19th hole – this one always seems to be the hardest to get done with, the blonde went out with her pathetic boyfriend and dear Karin wasn’t done with her monthly statements to ‘quilt-thru-the-nite’, so here I was all by my lonesome self.

Tomorrow I’m getting together with my ‘once-a-month’ quilt group The Golden Threads and with the group gathering on the other side of town for only 3 hours I dread taking my sewing machine.  The amount of packing involved just doesn’t seem to validate the time spent there.  So I had to prepare some hand work to take along.

Moved myself out to my ‘classroom’ to escape mom’s (with Dementia) one- line- for- the- day’s- sentence, made myself some crackers with blue cheese and olives to go with a couple of glasses of wine and prepared my hand work for tomorrow.

The first was stitching a binding to a secret project for our National Quilt Festival in 2013 which I can then just hand stitch to finalize.  This is the turquoise in the photo.  Then I made a freezer paper appliqué shape for my BOM block from The Quilt Pattern Magazine.  This needs to be hand stitched to the brownish background fabric.

Why I drink my wine from a stainless steel picnic glass............  well, I seem to get rather clumsy after the second glass and has broken way too many glasses – so I got myself a ‘child-proof’ glass – been lasting for a couple of years now!!

Done with my preparations I just noticed the movie ‘Saw 6’ is about to start on TV, so until DH arrives this is how I’ll spent the rest of my very peaceful evening.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Sleepless night

The time on my IPad shows 3:14 (am that is) and if I knew I would have another sleepless night I could have been more productive and quilted a little. Unfortunately I cannot predict these nights and I am extremely grateful for my IPad. Caught up on some blog reading and listening to mom visiting the bathroom every 20 minutes or so! Another reason why I don't sneak out to my sewing room which unfortunately is halfway between mom's room and her bathroom and she would peek in and say her 'one-sentence-for-the-evening' every single time which would drive me nuts. My mom has dementia and simply cannot remember anything recent (old memories still in tact though), so having to hear 1 sentence such as: "What are you making" up to as much as 60 times a day has become somewhat of a new obstacle I have to deal with.

So a non-quilting related post just another attempt in trying to find something that would make me sleepy.