Sunday, February 27, 2011
Funny, while I was looking for the wood, I found some 4’ x 8’ sheets of Styrofoam…. too bad, I already bought and covered most of the 2 x 3 Styrofoam boards I had already bought. Oh well…. this will do and it is better than nothing!
So now let me tell you about the items hanging on the wall.
I belong to a group of quilters and artists called the Sparkly Chickens- and we swap. This time we are doing a ‘Receiver’s Choice’ swap. Each member has chosen a theme, and the rest make a block to fit the theme. Some of us have rules and others a simple color guideline. My theme is Paisley, and it can’t just be fabric, but the makers interpretation of a Paisley. It takes forever to get mail here, and the first block was in transit for a month; 2 weeks from Canada to the US, and then 2 weeks from DC to South Africa! So it finally arrived last week. The maker, AnneMarie, blogged about it on her blog, Artful Dreamer. It is stunning.
The other block is also from a Sparkly Chicken. Candy, does not have a blog, so I will have to tell you a bit about it. Its raw edge applique, and Candy let the fabrics and colors play for design. There are flowers, hearts and swirls. Truly inspired. Candy didn’t like that I have to wait so long to get mail, so she mailed it as soon as she got it done and it came a day or so after Annemaries. Candy also sent along books. Great looking novels that will keep me occupied, when there is nothing on TV, which is quite frequent here.
The other item on the wall is a Fat Quarter. I am in an International Swap. My
request this year was batiks. This one came in the mail also this last week from Australia, Thanks Suzie. It was a great week for mail.
One last piece of fabric, I had to get more flannel. This fabric store has lots of upholstery fabrics too. I saw this a couple of weeks ago and liked it… Today I saw it was almost all gone, so I picked up a meter and a half. It is silk, a loose weave of different weights of threads. I am not sure what I will do with it. … maybe a little jacket or a tote… I’m thinking a jacket… maybe someday it will be cool enough to wear pants and a long sleeves here.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Not much going on in the studio- can it be called a studio without a design wall? I am still working on making one. Nothing wants to stick to the wall and the Styrofoam… generally one or the other… so I am now contemplating a wooden ladder frame… and glue the foam to that. By the time I figure this out it will be time to go home.
We went back to Kruger National Park for the long weekend. A very different trip than the last time. We did not see nearly as many animals, and mostly that was due to the heavy growth. South Africa has had a very wet summer, so the brush is thick and the grass is TALL.
Once again we did a “Game Walk” early in the morning… assemble at 4:45. Of course the walk was not quite like the last one… but we did see and hear some interesting animals… right after we started the walk we heard the Lions… roaring and chuffing and we heard them all through the walk. We saw Wildebeest, Zebra, Giraffe, heard and saw an Eagle Owl (no pix) and a few other regular critters. The real surprise was seeing the lions… in the distance watching us! The grass was 4 feet tall…
I think the overall theme for this visit was babies and birds. We saw lots of them…. the wildebeest looks its best as a baby, we also saw baby zebra, Cape buffalo (looks just like a cow calf), squirrel, chicks and an Impala. The other was the colorful birds- some really spectacular colors!
Cape Buffalo and calf (about 1 day old)
In the first photo do you see the animal? It’s an elephant, full grown, and it is about 30 feet away. That is how thick the brush was…..
So what do you think about this safari? The photos aren’t the best… as I am learning the new lenses…. and light.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
So a post or two ago I did a little rant about terrible customer service and even worse online service from Ritz Camera and suggested that you choose any other online or retail outlet for your camera needs; which I really hope you do.
So on the positive side is a Brita experience. We had been using a Brita Pitcher for drinking water that we have had since at least 1996. So I ordered some new filters for the pitcher and a filter to put on the faucet. So the pitcher filters arrive first, but in the meantime the insert is cracked… but it is better than drinking straight tap water… so we keep using it. Then the Tap Filter arrives, but of course the fittings don’t go with the size here, but the booklet says to call their customer service line. So I do, after a little scrambling to figure out the time zone and time difference. I get lady named Amelia M. I explain I live in South Africa and need to adapt the faucet connection. While she is looking for the part numbers I mention that we really need the fittings because the insert to our pitcher cracked right after I placed the order. She says which system, I say an old one… she says do I know the name, which as it turns out is on the bottom of the pitcher. She looks and they still make and have the inserts and says she will send one- no charge!!! So about 2 weeks later a new insert shows up and a few days later the fittings to adapt the Tap Filter to the South African faucet. So for a little inconvenience and some time we have both a working pitcher and Tap Filter for all our cooking and drinking water!!! So if you ever consider using a filtered water system or have a problem with the Brita Systems, give them a call. It’s real ‘Customer Service’!
So, the design wall is not quite working the way I needed it to… so I am back to the drawing board for a solution. I have tried 3 different ways to attach to the wall:
- the 3M Command Picture Hangers –didn’t want to stick to the wall and stuck to the Styrofoam ok.
- the Velcro Sticky Backed tape – didn’t want to stick well to either the wall or the Styrofoam.
- the Double Sided Stick Foam – didn’t want to stick to the Styrofoam.
Next is a trip back to the hardware store for a different approach. Thinking of building a wooden frame and hot glue the Styrofoam to the crosspieces…. but again I’m still percolating on a solution. I have considered hot gluing them to the wall too. I may try a bit of the glue on the wall and see how well it will come off after a day or so.
Not much sewing or anything else around the house will be getting done. A return trip to Kruger is coming up!!!
As always… more later!
Friday, February 11, 2011
I did receive a goody in the mail… I think maybe the last of the Crazy Quilt 4x4’s. These are supposed to be 4 inches by 4 inches, and embellished. Some of makers had design block or stage fright and it took them a while to get them done! But they are all lovely and worth the wait!
So where did DH go and did he bring anything back for me? DH left South Africa for a few days in Brazzaville -Congo, then to Kigali -Rwanda for a few days and his last stop was in Bujumbura -Burundi. Yep. 2 pieces of fabric from West Africa. One still has the labels on it. The are both about 12 yards!!! Not sure why he picked the chicken one… unless he knew I might want to share…. These are Wax Block Prints… (batik) on 100% cotton. The labels do NOT have the word China on them anywhere!