Friday, November 11, 2011

Shapes in Franschhoek

This is the official description of Franschhoek for those of you who have never been there! "Nestled between towering mountains in the beautiful Cape winelands lies the magnificent Franschhoek Valley. This is the food and wine heartland of the country, where splendid wines are grown and our top chefs create international cuisine. Here breath-taking scenery, warm hospitality, world class cuisine and the finest wines all combine to create lasting memories.
Spectacular vineyards cover these mountain slopes settled more than 300 years ago by the Huguenots, who brought with them their age-old French wine and food culture. This is a valley rich in history centered around a picturesque village of friendly, welcoming people.
The wonderful spectrum of visitor accommodation ranges from internationally renowned auberges and guest houses to self-catering cottages on wine farms and much more besides.
In the village you will find wonderful crafts, art and antique shops and galleries. The main street is lined with coffee shops and restaurants. Only 45 minutes from Cape Town Franschhoek is the ideal base while you explore the entire Cape winelands."

For us it was a day of visiting the famous Car Museum and having lunch in the village. These are some interesting geometric shapes and arrangements I noticed while we were having lunch. I love things that are systematically arranged creating patterns with shapes and colours.

Wine, wine and more wine with a few bottles of softdrinks added in for a bit of colour!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Optical illusions

Following on from my 'op art' bracelet, I used the left over beads to make this necklace. It creates and optical illusion as you move the piece around. From one side all the cool colours are visible and from the other the warm colours. This necklace was only in my shop for a few days before being sold so I am going to try some more in these colours.

Two new bracelets added to my shop. I have tried to create an optical illusion with these where the spiral of the pattern goes on way and the black and white beads go the opposite way.It does take a lot of concentration and they did take quite a long time to make!

I seem to be using the words 'optical illusion' rather often but I love playing with the colours to create 3-D effects and interesting textures. The concept of the stark contrast of black and white with a hint of another colour also appeals to me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Birthday Gift

A Birthday gift for my husband!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

cellini bracelet

My latest bead creation was a custom order with this psychedelic pic as the inspiration for the colours. I loved doing it because it's not a combination I would normaly do and it took quite a while to get used to, but I must say once I did,I absolutely loved it!

The beauty of it is that from one side all the warm colours are visible and from the other, all the cool colours, creating a lovely rainbow effect.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Winter Fruit

In between all these grey winter days a burst of summery citrus colours!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Thanks to Mietjie for including me in her treasury.

It is so encouraging to see so many South Africans on etsy.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Talking of birds.. ........these paper sculptures were made by Anna Wili Highfield.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Zebra Finch

A 'doodle ' of feathers.

This Zebra Finch flew into our house and perched on a mirror frame. With a lot of flapping,running around and trying to distract the cat, we finally caught him and put him in the only available (hamster)cage. After a few days we felt sorry for him so went to the pet shop and bought him a mate. Apparently they do breed in cages so we bought a bigger cage and are waiting patiently! I do love the markings , especially the spots on the wings and the zebra stripes on the tail.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Succulant Chicken

Lovely succulant chicken with a yogurt sauce and seasonal vegetables. My son, who made this delicious meal, is in his final year of school and will be going away to study next year. Besides missing his company, we are really going to miss his cooking!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

gift for a friend

A cushion made for a friend...I hope she likes it! I used a vintage pattern but thicker cotton and crochet hook to update it a bit.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cushions complete

Cushions finally completed an in my shop.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Happy to be included in rainboeliza s treasury....summers eve.

Friday, July 15, 2011

embroidered bird cushion again!

Still working on the cushion cover, which has now become more of a collage than patchwork.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

embroidered bird cushion

Work in progress.......decided to take a break from beading for the moment and make up some cushion covers. I have piles of fabric and need to use it. I also enjoy doing the embroidery but HATE making up the cushions. No matter how many times I measure, I never seem to be able to get them square, or straight, for that matter! Can anyone give me some tips on how to get the wrong side neatly finished off without an overlocker?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Autumn Beads

My latest necklace! This is also a 'cellini spiral', creating a spiral ropey sort of effect. I have tried to do a closeup shotso that you can see the detail of the beadwork.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Still with the beading, I have become fascinated with making shapes and 3-d effects. Besides the obvious hearts and balls I came across this starfish and as it is with these things, everywhere I look I see starfish. This one is made by sally starfish and can be found on etsy. With starfish on my mind I couldn't help but notice this felt starfish on etsy made by fog and swell.

This is my creation, a cellini spiral and 3-d starfish which can be slipped off if you prefer the necklace on it's own.The small beads are iridescent shades of dark green highlighted with a crystal bead in a champagne colour.There is a third bead in the mix but is a bit difficult to see in the pic.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Necklaces for a wedding. Unfortunately I didn't take a pic of the necklaces, only the packaging!

Won't make that mistake again! They were rather beautiful in crystal, white and silver beads with a hint of grey.

The cards were attached with white thread and matching beads. I was very happy with the outcome and hope the bride was too!

This is a "Cellini Spiral "and uses over 3000 beads. The pics don't really do it justice, this "bead photography" is completely different to photographing fabric. I took some close ups but they were all out of focus so I need a bit more practise. My digital printing is now a thing of the past and I intend to restock my shop with beaded products. I need to build up a bit of a range and then hopefully start selling again. I do really enjoy the beading but it is extremely time consuming. I love the textures you can create by changing the size or type of bead, the colour combinations and different designs. It really is a learning curve for me but I am loving every moment !

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

More Beads

I have been busy beading (in between a number of family happenings, some not so good!)and have found the process really therapeutic. All of these necklaces are made from two very simple patterns, the colours creating the different effects. I have moved on to a bit more complicated designs and would you believe, more time consuming processes! I will post those soon.

This one I made for a friend and found the very simple envelope/box on the internet. Unfortunately I can't remember exactly where at the moment. You can use coloured paper or decorate the box to match the gift. I tried all sorts of complicated patterns and eventually settled on this one. It 's simply a matter of cutting a square and folding it. The staple is not really necessary and the trick is getting the right paper (too thick won't fold and too thin tears). The colours havn't come out so well and are much brighter and more shiny in real life. I will have to try and improve my photos!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Addicted to Beading!

A new pattern, which unfortunately you can't see too well in the pic, made up of a combo of matt and shiny red beads. I will try and get a better photo when I have completed the necklace.

The completed slate grey and aqua.I have hundreds of colour combos going around in my head but I want to learn a few different techniques first before I get to carried away with the colours! It's really fun and I have to say ADDICTIVE !

Friday, February 18, 2011

A new pillow I am working on combining a few of my favourite things - linen,birds, maps, embroidery and lettering! I'm not quite sure how it's all going to come together at the moment but I'm just going to let it evolve as I go along.

I love the way the light comes through the blinds and makes shadows across the pic. I must say I hated the blinds when we bought our house and I wanted to rip them all out. They are not very pleasing to look at, in fact quite ugly if the truth be told, but have turned out to be very practical on those really hot summers days when the sun is beating down on my workspace!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


My latest venture! A friend of mine invited me to come to a beading class with her and this is my first attempt. It's very time consuming, but the repetition is so therapeutic and I LOVE doing it!

The trick is the tension - if it's too tight the necklace won't bend around your neck, if it's too loose the cotton thread becomes visible. As you can see I started off very loosely and ended off a bit tight. The good thing is you can undo it from where you started, once you get the tension right. Also, the beginning is at the back of your neck so it's not to serious if it's a bit wobbly.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pencil cases

Patchwork pencil cases I 've been working on. Some I have given away as gifts and some I have listed in my shop.
I love doing the embroidery, beadwork and patches, but am not so keen on making up the bags. Nothing ever seens to be straight, no matter how many times I measure and iron!