Sunday, July 17, 2011


While I was in the sewing room the DH was out hunting. He spent the first week of July looking for animals and freezing. To be fair I was originally supposed to go, but we decided there wouldn’t be enough to keep me occupied while they were out stalking dinner, (just a euphemism). The hunting place was primitive and the only heat would have been from a campfire, and it would have been too cold to do handwork or just sit and read and in the winter… not much to photograph (possibly). We checked out the surrounding area for other distractions… but sadly not many.

So was DH lucky? Yes, he got a beast (DH is the Smurf in the picture with IMG_0065our friend Faan [Farnie]). An Nyala (En ya la). As, Lana E. recently commented on one of the groups I belong to, of a picture I posted on Flickr.   …”I have to say that my favorite is the Nyala. What a strange looking creature! He's my favorite because he is such a curiosity. So many strange body features in one creature”.  And she is right! The Nyala looks like someone made a beast from leftover parts: yellow socks, shoulder hump with fringe, long horns, white stripes, dots, big ears, thin nose, etc.

In case you are going to be up in arms… about killing a creature… the Nyala is a long way from being endangered here and we will consume a considerable amount of this guy. Of course the skin will become part of our possessions, as will the skull and horns, (not a stuffed and mounted head).  So far we have packaged and frozen much of the meat.

In addition to the meat we have in the freezer we will have some boerwors (farmer sausage); ground, seasoned meat in tubes that you can eat as is as sausage, braiibiltong (bbq) or put in casserole being made. And the best is Biltong, South Africas version of Jerky. Here you use salt to remove moisture, rinse and then season, refrigerate, and then hang in the air for 3-5 days depending on how dry the air is. In winter the air is dry here. Very very dry. Biltong is one of South Africas favorite snacks, and is available in most grocery stores and malls. The meat found most often in the stores of course is beef, but we have seen several other animals too.

So far we have tried the fillet and some ground meat that we made using the grinding attachment to the Kitchen Aid mixer . DH likes my big mixer now too. The meat is sweet, similar to venison (US deer) here it’s also called venison, but it encompasses most of the deer-like creatures. The texture was similar to beef, but a little chewier. The ground meat was dry… very dry. So, it won’t make hamburgers…. but it will make some interesting packet meals or Bobotie, a South African main dish . If, DH gets another deer-like creature… we will season and add some fat or oil to the ground meat, so it will cook up a bit more edible.

Our first batch of Biltong is done… and it is a bit salty and a little too dry, but sincebtong-slicer this is really a guessing game… we’ll do better on the next batch. I found us a Biltong slicer, and it really makes short work of slicing the meat… and it is so much easier than a knife! The piece of biltong on the slicer is from our second batch an while still salty, it is much more moist and tender.

Hopefully the next hunting trip will be some place I can go and find something to do… If not, I am saving all these opportunities up for a special vacation for myself! Can you say Bali? Wanna go?

As usual, more later.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Recently in the Sewing Room

I cannot believe that we are finished with the first week of July!!! Next thing you know it will be Christmas!

Jeans-paisleyI received a swap block, from the Sparkly Chickens, and I’ve had it for a month now.  It is just the cutest take on a ‘Paisley’ don’t you think!!! It is so cheerful and bright. Jean B. the maker has the most amazing imagination. Everything I have received from her has a simple twist that is truly her own mark!

I also received a postcard from Oregon! Becky (blog is here) took a detour intobecky-pcard

fabric postcards this earlier this summer and has made a few. I think she has a new addiction. She sent me one of a Bird, because I feature so many here? I have it on the wall where I can look at it all the time! I love it. I have a plan to reciprocate… and a new series of African Postcards! More on those when I get to them.

I have put the UFO Challenge for July, #2 on the design wall. It was a challenge project from a guild I belonged to back in the early 90’s in Chico CA, called Annie Star.

paddle-boat-1 I don’t know if the guild is still in existence. The chairperson of the “Music Challenge”; who I can still see in my mind but her name escapes me set forth the rules.

paddle-boat-2 About the only thing I can remember is it had to be based on a song and as I think about it… I think that was the only rule.  In looking at what I could do and what it needed… I think “eliminating” is the way to go on this project. Now to the borders.

In the mean time I have finally completed the swap block for June. I had a terrible time Journal-cover-lgwith my original idea, which was going to be brightly colored pieced block with a Lemoyne star as the center. I could not get the center to line up at all. I made 3 blocks and they were all off… so I gave up. Then I had difficulty coming up with a better idea. But in the end I did, but alas no picture until the recipient sees it first!!! I like it, so I hope she does too. One of the ‘off’ blocks was turned into a Journal Cover… and I think it is destined to become a gift for Christmas in July. Except for the black and print fabric, it’s all hand dyed fabrics.

journal-cover-smA  month ago, (maybe more) I was messing around with a journal cover… and made this one.  Nothing special… just wanted to sew… and this was easy. Laid the strips on in a flip and stitch… so it was layered and quilted at the same time.


I spent a few minutes in the sewing room today… but I am sponsoring again, and I had to make ready for them. Food and niceties in the house to say welcome!!!


As Usual, More Later-


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Of course this weekend marks our 1 year anniversary of living in South Africa.Things look much different today than they did last year. We were in a hotel… and Axel the dog and Spaz the cat were in the kennel. I did not have much to keep me busy, but I did have my friend Jan, who came and rescued me from long days in the hotel. Now I have just about everything I need….  So here is to another year!!! Not sure what I will blog about this coming year, but tell me is there some aspect of South Africa you would like to know about?

cr-GI-progressive-compI have finally found some time to be in the sewing room. DH has been home for a month… and I don’t know where the time went!!! I completed the June UFO, #8 from the UFO Challenge at Judy Laquidaras Patchwork Times. There really wasn’t much to get done. I finally just decided to be done. This top came about while I lived in Grand Island NE. The guild sponsored a ‘Progressive’ Round Robin. Our beginning instructions were to make 5 blocks of different sized, of which only 2 could be the same. I made the cranes and the coots. The next step was to arrange the blocks, the third and 4th were adding borders. I am not happy with the fish in the pond… but it’s been a UFO for too many years. I think the quilting will be by machine… on next years list though.

I  also finished Mays UFO, #9. If you recall I didn’t get it done because after I had figured out where I wanted this to go… I had to order fabric. I ordered on May 15 and received it exactly 1 month later. I don’t know what the malfunction was, but you can bet I won’t order from them again. But on the bright side I really like the way it turned out. It has a luminosity the reflects the center… and now I get to contemplate the quilting. Any ideas?


The next UFO is #2. It will be a challenge… to complete. I know what I want to do… but I am really uncertain on how I’m going to accomplish it!!! If you want to see what some of the other finishes for June were go to Judy’s page.

And of course what would my post be without some nature? Today in the back yard cr-Lapwing-Ploverwere 2 Lapwing Plovers, and adult and a juvenile. The adult (mom) would really put up a warning (a very high pitched cheep) every time I moved, and the little guy didn’t pay her much mind at all. Actually coming within 10 cr-juv-lapwing-ploverfeet of me. Mom on the other hand stayed a good 50 feet away at all times.

More Later-