Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Hand and Other Stuff

First my hand injury is better, the stitches are out. I will have a small scar, but nothing that will really bother me…. I figure I’m lucky its not much worse. I think I just missed the nerve that runs up the thumb, at lease every time I saw a physician, they would ask me about the nerve.

Second we are without broadband internet again. It’s been more than 2 weeks, and who knows how much longer. It’s amazing how much more time I have to read…. when the Internet is down. I read the one book on the Xoom (there is a lesson here…. keep at least 2 books on it for electronic reading) and I have read 2 paper books and started a third.

I was delayed getting back into the sewing room, due to the hand injury. I was asked by one of the “home groups” to show my small Twinchie, 4x4 and postcard collections, I have received from swaps and friends. More specifically, some of the ways to display them. The postcards were easy…. since I have displayed them. I use a chain, and hang them by hooks on the chain… like a clothesline (no picture). The Twinchies and 4x4’s had been languishing and not displayed. Twin-4x4-disp

So I whipped up a couple of boxes- one Twinchie Box and one 4x4 box (no top). I also put 6 4x4’s together…. that if folded would make a box or left unfolded as wall display. I also showed one in a frame (no picture), added a magnet to the back of a 4x4 (red heart 4x4)…. because sometimes the kitchen needs some fabric art too. I put the rest of the Twinchies on a fabric panel display.


I passed the Postcards around, and there were lots of questions about them going through the mail…. They just loved looking at them, reading the notes, and where they came from. In South Africa, the mail system is not quite as reliable… as the US. The interest was also in the filler we use (Peltex, which I brought samples of) and at the end gave each a sample of Peltex and a challenge…. to make a postcard. Which we will exchange at the end of October….

And 2 weeks ago I was taken to the Oriental Market in Johannesburg by my friend and (sister) Elmarie. What a fun place. I could spend a day or more poking around in the shops and stores. Lots of fabric, mostly decorator… but a few gems here and there. I did purchase this fabulous hand embroidered Elephant panel, which is destined as a Christmas gift…. (click on the picture for a larger/better view). There is lots of gold thread and many bright colors…. but it is not over powering…. I did not realize that the elephants were not identical… until I took the picture. The shop where I purchased it has aisles that are barely 2 feet wide…. so seeing the whole thing was impossible…. in the shop.


More Later-


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Union Day

I spent last Friday with a good friend and her husband learning about a beautiful South African building and landmark.

Susara has been a wonderful friend here in South Africa. I met her last year when she presented herself at my door, because another friend of hers (now also mine!) and  president of the Pretoria Jacaranda Quilters that I  had been corresponding with mentioned to her that I had moved in on her street. One day Susara arrived on a whim, and was just going to leave a note attached to a Fat Quarter of Shwe Shwe with the guard. But I was home, still waiting for our House Effects to arrive, and really didn’t have much in the way of stuff, but I did have the makings for tea.

Susara and her husband Johnny picked me up and we went over to the University of Pretoria for day of lectures and presentations on the Union Buildings; the history, the architect and the location.

union bldgs

(I did not take these pictures, the building is huge- the picture above is only showing a bit of each side, the photo below shows the whole building)… I learned a lot about a beautiful building and the grounds and the people that were instrumental in building. The last lecturer did a talk on the furniture in the building, much of it was designed by the Architect. Talk about industrious. The University has a web page devoted to the South African Architecture and the histories. I will use this when an area we are visiting doesn’t have much in the way of other things to photograph.The Union Buildings are coming up on the Centennial of their completion in 2013.imagesCAYKW2EG

The Union Buildings sit up on a hill and are remarkable to view, and I would absolutely love to see inside. There is from all accounts and the few pictures, lots of wood, large windows and wide halls and passages. The building is still the seat of Government here, so having a bunch of people troop through… is not condusive to a work environment.

One thing everyone can seemr gardensare the gardens. We were here in 2010 on a beautiful summer day in January and saw the flowers and roses in bloom. I would love to take a trip back, but I can’t go alone, as security on the grounds is ‘iffy’, especially in the ‘Natural Garden Area’.

The picture on the left is looking up the hill and the ub gardensphoto on the right is looking down the hill.

More Later-Beth


Sunday, September 4, 2011

More about FABRIC!

It’s amazing how debilitating a hand injury can be. I have  had to be careful to keep my hand clean and not pull on the stitches. …. Which means… no slopping through the dishes in the sink, cooking takes a bit more precision, and sewing has been pretty much a non-starter.  Although I did do the dishes and I even made some attempts at cooking for one. Good thing most of the time I just wanted to eat…. so PB&J would have tasted just fine.

I did try to put a little time in the sewing room, but to complicate my life… I have either acquired a head cold or allergies. Since it is spring here… Allergies are a distinct possibility. The last time I had this much difficulty with my sinuses… I got an ear infection just before leaving for South Africa. Took more than 8 weeks and several visits to a ENT and prescriptions for it to clear up. I am hoping… it’s a head cold!

The DH is home. He arrived yesterday. Of course…. he went shopping in Rwanda for some additional fabrics for my collection. So I couldn't wait for him to unpack and show me what he brought home!!! (In previous travels he brought back these and these and more… here.

The prints are so enchanting, and I noticed several different things I didn’t see when they were either folded or, even when hanging on the wall for the picture. For instance, this one.


When it was folded, I didn’t notice the different sizes of the print. There do you see it now? I really like the log cabin-ish centers too. DH was sure to bring me home a ‘green’ print because I think it’s my favorite color.

This next one is great because it has circles on it and a very bright red. I would love to make a jacket or a shirt out of it… but unfortunately, I just can’t wear red. I can sleep under it though!!!! so it just might have to become a quilt… (disregard the crooked photograph…. I’m using an old point and wait and wait and wait for the sewing room camera…now. The waiting gets to me!)


and the last one….


Would be a great piece paired with denim…. either shirt or jacket…. but the pinwheel… also says great quilt back too. I asked DH if he knew that there was pink on the print…. it was folded in such a way that unless you unfolded it…. you wouldn’t have known there was any pink on it!!!

Each piece is 6 yards long and about 50” wide. Plenty for making a shirt, jacket and some quilt pieces too. Speaking of shirt… does anyone have a recommendation for a simple blouse shirt pattern …. for cottons? I get so frustrated looking at patterns on the Internet… maybe you have a hint or two so I can take a short cut!!!

I think I am going to have to plan some fabric cutting soon. I really like this little jacket, but it doesn’t have any pockets. I like a pocket… but I think I figured out a way to add a pocket…. and I will make it a bit longer too… for a little different look. This LITTLE JACKET goes together in a few hours, a bit more if you make your own binding. (You going to have to go to the page… and scroll about half way down. Can’t figure out how to get it from Picasa to here…. and this is just EASIER).

So I hope everyone has a great Labor DAY!

More Later- Beth