Archive for May, 2008

The African ladies here carry their babies on their backs. I’ve always wanted to get a photo of it, but feel a bit awkward snapping shots of strangers going about their daily business. Well, this week Gorgeous Girl was being a bit fussy, my helper picked her up and walked out of the room and returned like this:

I got her permission to post the picture here. I’m going to ask her to show me how to do it. I think it’s very cool. Gorgeous Girl enjoyed it too.

In quilting news I have 4 and 1/2 blocks to go!! I may get it done by Monday (Monday is guild meeting). I’ll have to go binding shopping tomorrow, I’m pretty sure I don’t have anything in the stash to match, and not enough scraps to do a scrappy binding, but I’ll check that out tonight.

I got a desperately needed haircut on Tuesday. I left the salon feeling fabulous

‘scuse the dodgy self portrait. Unfortunately this look is dependent on a certain level of skill with a blow dryer that I don’t have (and in the wet weather it’s a lost cause anyway), so my hair has reverted to this…

It actually looks better in the picture than it does in real life.

Gorgeous Girl has been wearing her new shirt.

The sleep training is going well. The sleep journal showed that Gorgeous Girl was only feeding for one or two minutes in the obscene early hours of the morning. So we went cold turkey and cut them out. The first night was a bit rough, but last night was much better, and I’m hopeful we’ll see continued improvement tonight as well. I’m expecting it to take about 10 days.

Well that’s about all the news I have to share. With any luck I’ll have a finished – finished quilt to show very shortly. Then knitting and other sewing will resume 🙂

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I’ve been keeping my eyes open for plain clothes to embellish for Gorgeous Girl, and picked up a plain little shirt a few weeks ago. I was planning on cross-stitching a fish to it, but realised that she would outgrow it before I got that done (I’m going to buy one two sizes too big to do that). So I dug through the stash and found some very cute cat fabric in the scraps that Syko sent me when I won a prize on her blog a while ago. In a very short time I had this:

Thank you Syko! I love how it turned out, and I have some plans for the rest of the cats.

In quilting news, I am down to single digits!! 8 and 1/2 blocks to go, the end is finally in sight.

Whenever I have a few spare moments I’ve been cutting blocks for me leaders and enders project. I’m cutting 2 inch squares, but whenever I come across fabric that’s too small for that it’s getting cut into one inch squares. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them, either a square in a square or a postage stamp type quilt. I’ll wait until I’ve amassed a whole stack and then have a play with the little ones. The two inch squares are for a disappearing nine patch in blue and white. Because it’s part of the guild’s scrap challenge I’m using only my own scraps and scraps that other people have very kindly given me. The test blocks have worked well so far.

Here’s Gorgeous Girl’s weekly photo for 8 months:

The ground was wet when we went out to get the washing off the line, so she sat nicely in the basket for me.

We have decided that waking up to feed every 2 hours in the night at 8 months is an inappropriate sleeping pattern and so have started sleep training this week. We are keeping a sleep diary for a week to establish a base line and have instituted a bedtime routine – bath, book, bed. We are also trying to cut back on the number and duration of sleeps during the day. Once we have the baseline sorted out we will begin to reduce the night feeds by a minute each night so that she gets used to going without the milk. Hopefully she will then begin to sleep through.

Wish us luck, it’s going to be a rough couple of weeks. 🙂

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Two firsts for Gorgeous girl, and one for me:

Gorgeous Girl’s first drink of juice

I love the expression on her face in this next photo.

Most days of the week I teach for one hour. Gorgeous Girl gets to spend that time hanging out with Gorgeous Man, as we’ve managed to coordinate our schedules quite nicely. On Wednesday I teach for two hours. Guess what Gorgeous Girl did for the first time on Wednesday – she stood up. Would you like to guess when she did it – during the two hours I was teaching… At least Gorgeous Man got to see it. 🙂

Ok, so that’s her firsts. My first is, yesterday I ran out of petrol (gas). I had Gorgeous Girl, and my helper in the car with me when it started to lurch. I managed to get around the roundabout (or circle as they call them here) and pointed back towards the service station. About 60 metres (70 yards) from the station the car died completely. Two very nice men pushed the car to the garage. Oh the shame. I knew I needed petrol, but I didn’t think I was that low…

Far too long ago (I have been remiss) Quilting Fitzy tagged me for a 7 Random Things about me meme.

I think everyone I know has done this, so I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you’d like to play again feel free.

1. I am a very reluctant driver. In Australia I was so paranoid about driving, I would walk before I’d get behind the wheel. I am better here (different model of car), but I don’t really know why. I’m quite happy to drive around town here – I wasn’t in Australia. I am however very reluctant to get on the Freeway into Cape Town – in the two and a half years we’ve been here I haven’t driven myself into Cape Town. I was very proud of myself earlier this year when I drove on the freeway to get to the airport to fetch Gorgeous Man, the airport is half-way.

2. If there is a difficult way to get somewhere I will find it – usually with a few detours along the way. I am terrible at finding my way to new places. This year I’m on the committee for the quilting guild and we meet each month in a different committee member’s house. I have gotten lost on the way to every meeting bar one – I knew where that road was. It’s been good for me to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Funny story to go with that. Last Monday was committee meeting, and true to form I got lost. I pulled up at a house where people were in the yard to ask for directions – I knew I was close. Before she would give me directions the woman insisted on knowing why I needed to go to that street. Neighbourhood Watch gone insane – like a lady in a car with a baby is going to be burglarising houses on a specific street…

3. I think blogging has made me a nicer, more thoughtful person – but there may be those who beg to differ.

4. I was never going to get married. I was famous for saying it. There were speeches at our wedding reminding me of that. I met Gorgeous Man and well, changed my mind.

5. My friends at school were tall, thin and beautiful. I wasn’t. I believe the word jolly was used. I am not in touch with any of the group that I used to hang out with. There was no falling out, we just grew apart and lost touch – it may have something to do with the next point.

6. The first seven years we were married we moved 7 times. In the 11 years that we have been married we have lived in 12 houses, 3 states and two countries. The cat has come with us for each move. He joined the family two weeks after our wedding.

7. I had planned to get my PhD before reaching 35, I had even started collecting research (see point 4 about not getting married). After seeing Gorgeous Man go through his, I have no immediate desire to begin mine. Perhaps at a later date…

So there you have 7 things about me that I don’t think I’ve mentioned before (or too often) on this blog.

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I had a good run over the weekend and actually managed to finish three of my blocks. So I’m now down to the final 10! Here’s the latest block done.

The starburst was Gorgeous Man’s idea, and I really like it, so there’ll be a few more like this.

Not much else going on. Work is keeping me frantically busy, some parts of it are really interesting, and other parts not so much, but I’m learning a lot.

My ‘helper’ wasn’t able to come today and so Gorgeous Girl had to amuse herself quietly while I worked on the computer. Here’s part of what she got up to:

Into Mummy and Daddy’s recipes. I need some more bookshelves.

Finding the leftover fabric from the doorsnakes.

Finally, playing with her toys.

Stay tuned for exciting pictures of Gorgeous Girl taking her first drink from a cup!

There has also been reading.

2008 Book List

20. Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman – by Walter M. Miller (boo hiss, this was a sequel that should have remained unwritten, in my humble opinion0.

21. Invisible Escort – by Rose Christensen

I’m slowly getting around the blogs. Speaking of blogs, my friend Kerin is a great scrapbooker and she enters a competition each month for her local scrapbooking store. She’s won at least once. Go and check out what she did with a picture of my mum and Gorgeous Girl for this month’s competition. It’s great. Even better, she’s going to post it to my Mum as a surprise. I love my friends.

Well, Gorgeous Man is at a meeting until who knows when. I’m off to update Gorgeous Girl’s blog for the grandparents and then surf the blogs for a while before settling down with a dvd and my hand quilting. I hope your evening is wonderful

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There has been some sewing here at Ruth’s Place – though not as much as I would like. My self-imposed deadline of a block hand-quilted every two days has gone by the wayside. Gorgeous Man (after overhearing me cursing at the neverendingness) suggested putting it aside for a while since it’d become a chore. But with only 13 blocks to go, I’m so near the end, and if I do put it aside it’ll turn into a 10 year UFO I’m sure, so I’m persevering.

I finished sewing the hand-made part of my giveaway on Sunday, I can’t show it. But I have to say I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Good thing I’ve got more of that fabric since I’m going to need to make another one or two of these. Chocolate Cat I’ve got everything ready to send you now, I just need to get to the post office. Hopefully it should be on its way this week.

In addition to hand quilting and gift sewing, there’s also been sewing of a more practical bent. You all know it’s winter in the southern hemisphere right? Well, here on the southern tip of Africa it’s cold. And my doors have inch gaps between the door and the floor.

This is the front door. Anyway, my favourite pair of jeans (my last pair from Australia – Jeans West fits best) died beyond repair. So behold, the door snake:

Because I have short, stumpy little legs, I had to add extra fabric in to make it long enough to cover the door. The extra fabric came from the giant bag of scraps my next door neighbour gave me last year.

While I was on a roll, I dug into the scrap bag again and came up with this.

This fabric is a really stiff nylon and when I’ve made one more it’s going to live behind the couch. We have a living room that used to be two rooms and so don’t use one of the doors. (Gorgeous Man just walked in and told me I should be embarrassed for showing these).

Gorgeous Girl has a new trick.

She can’t pull herself up yet, but can stand for a surprisingly long period of time (resisting all attempts to get her to sit down) if put into that position.

This picture is for Emily.

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Yesterday someone gave me $101000 dollars. What’s that? You want proof, ok. Here are the notes:

$100 000


Unfortunately they are ZimDollars and therefore worthless. While it’s very interesting for me to see notes of this size, the hyperinflation and associated political and social problems in Zimbabwe are no laughing matter. Still, I thought you’d like to see them.

I have a finish to report. I know I said I wasn’t doing anything else until the @£$%* quilt was finished, but I was so close to finishing the second sock when I got back from camping that I kept going – besides it’s been cold and I need another pair!

I would like to point out that they match perfectly! This is the first truly identical (if you don’t look at the heel) pair of socks I’ve knitted so far.

We hired a housekeeper/cleaner/baby watcher this week (I’m uncomfortable with the term maid – which is what most people here would call her). Working from home in my new job, while continuing the part time teaching, has left me a little stretched, and while Gorgeous Man does do more than his share of the housework, his professional work keeps him very busy as well. Also, now that Gorgeous Girl is a little more mobile she’s harder to keep an eye on while I’m typing on the computer. So we hired a very lovely young girl. I have to say, it’s so nice to log off the computer and walk out to a clean kitchen and bathrooms! She does cleaning for us while the child sleeps and watches her when she’s awake. Today they went for a big long walk in the sun while I was working. I do feel guilty at times that she is watching my child while her toddler is in daycare…

We continue to introduce solids to the child. I came home from choir rehearsal yesterday evening to discover that Gorgeous Girl has a new favourite food. She had the stuff smeared all over her face

Prunes! She finished up all that was offered to her and asked for more (a first) and she continued to eat them with no complaints, and in fact eagerness today) (and yes, the resulting nappies have been spectacular). 😦

Gorgeous Girl also learnt her first lesson this week: – the teaching experience was “What happens when you repeatedly pull on the cat’s tail”. Poor Fat Boy is old, it was only a little scratch and she’s been much more circumspect since.

Well, it’s getting late and I haven’t had a chance to touch my quilting all day. I’m off to put in a few stitches before going to bed. I hope you have a great day, and thank you for coming to visit my little corner of the innernets.

Oh, and have you seen WordPress’ default pictures for everyone – quilt blocks! Awesome!

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Last week, South Africa had public holidays on Monday, Thursday and Friday, so we took Gorgeous Girl on her first-ever camping trip.

We went to the Karoo National Park. This park doesn’t have a lot of big game, and doesn’t get a lot of international tourists (I’m pretty sure we were the only people in the campsite that didn’t speak Afrikaans) but is a lovely spot to get away from it all and relax. The five hour drive took us through the mountain (literally through a mountain via a tunnel) at Worcester. I love driving in this part of the Cape. I never know which side of the car to look out of.

Stunning isn’t it. It’s autumn here and in the vineyards the grapevines are turning red and yellow and just look so pretty.

It was quite cold out in the Karoo at night (and the early mornings), but the days were lovely. Here’s Gorgeous Girl enjoying an early morning with Gorgeous Man. She’s wearing her hat from The Secret Knitter.

That’s our little tent from Australia in the background. It’s been across the Nullabor, in the far north of Western Australia, Uluru and various other places in New South Wales and Victoria. It really has seen better days and this was it’s last camping trip, it’s also a bit small now that we have a Gorgeous Girl to accommodate.

The scenery in the Karoo is spectacular too, flat plains with high mountains with lovely flat tops, like someone sliced the tops off.

Gorgeous Man is a keen bird watcher and he spent quite a bit of time wandering around the park looking for birds while I stayed with Gorgeous Girl and knitted while she napped. We also did some drives slowly around the park looking for birds.

It was really difficult to spot, but I managed to find this one:


Because Gorgeous Man is wise to the ways of the knit blogger, he pulled over at the top of a particularly scenic spot and asked if I wanted a sock photo.

I give you travelling sock in Africa!

Please excuse the wild hair, camping (and a desperate need for a hair cut will do that to me).

We will not discuss that out of the 4 projects that I packed for only one came out of the bag. The sock was cast on in the car just after we left home. It is nearly finished though. We have a dinner party tonight and I’m planning on taking it with me to finish it off…the host is a knitter that I reconverted to knitting, so she won’t mind.

Finally the time came to load up the car and come home. Gorgeous Girl was very good and waited patiently in her car seat while we packed everything in.

I’m planning on creating a website with all of our holiday photos on it, (I need to familiarise myself with web-design for my new job and this is a good way of doing it), if you are interested I’ll give you the URL when it’s done. I have lots more pictures of Gorgeous Girl, and the fantastic scenery around the area.

Oh, nearly forgot the BIG news. Gorgeous Girl pulled herself into a sitting position for the first time while we were away.

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