Archive for the ‘Daily life in South Africa’ Category

This year marks Papua New Guinea’s 38th year of Independence. Each year Gorgeous Girl’s school puts on a concert celebrating the cultural diversity that makes up PNG. Each class dresses in traditional clothes from different regions and does a dance or sings a song from that area. PNG has over 800 different languages, so there are a lot to choose from.

Here’s my Gorgeous Girl dressed up. I snapped this after her performance. Her class was performing a dance from New Ireland.

With her class.

Some of the other classes.

I hope you enjoyed a little peek into our celebrations here.

I’ll be offline for a week or so. Talk to you when I get back.

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Last week we had two reasons to celebrate.

Firstly, this little baby

Turned 4.

Birthday cake made by Gorgeous Man, candle placement by the Gorgeous Girl.

She’s growing up very quickly.

This was taken for Spring Festival at her school.

The other celebration in the house was the news that Gorgeous Man is now officially Dr Gorgeous Man! All paper work pertaining to his PhD thesis has been completed and the degree conferred. We are hoping to get to Australia for the graduation ceremony in June next year. So I can take pictures of him with in a funny hat and gown.

I may have had a birthday as well, but we don’t need to talk about that.

Coming soon in a post for you, finished sewing and knitting objects, because this is still a craft blog…

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Recently a certain Gorgeous Man had a big birthday (starts with a 4 and ends with a 0).

We took the opportunity to head away for the weekend. We stayed in accommodation with some interesting recycled decor.

There was no electricity, so at night we used these lamps and solar powered lanterns. I don’t know how people did handwork at night back then.

We saw some wonderful scenery.

And Gorgeous Girl had her first experience with sparklers.

A little while ago I finished a shawl from some of this handspun.

It was my first, but not my last time, adding beads to my knitting.


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In previous semesters Gorgeous Man’s time table has worked out so that he could do the Gorgeous Girl pick-up from school. This meant that I had about 45 minutes between finishing work and them getting home when I could take pictures of finished objects, upload them to the computer, write a blog post and visit my bloggy friends. However, this semester he is scheduled to teach at that time every single day. So I get to finish work, throw on some shoes, run out of the house, pick up Gorgeous Girl and race home, have lunch and play with Gorgeous Girl before going back to work for the afternoon.

This means that I have fallen behind on photographing finished objects, and with my blog visits.

A little while ago Gorgeous Girl’s teacher asked if I would mind making a chicken finger puppet for the classroom.

I made a sweater cardigan for Gorgeous Girl. (Can’t believe I typed sweater first! Guess I’m losing my Aussie flavour).

It is Helena from Knitty. The yarn is from ColourSpun – a very talented South African Indie Dyer.

These little booties will join the hat shown in an earlier post as a gift for a friend who is having a baby soon.

And I’ve been up-cycling. I took this candle box.

and turned it into this:

Finally a gratuitous Gorgeous Girl picture.

According to her, she slipped in the mud puddle…


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This post should have been posted weeks ago…

In July, Cape Town hosted an International Quilting festival. One of my blog readers let me know that she was coming from Australia to attend the festival and so we made plans to meet up.

Jenny arrived with some Sanitarium Marmite (the recipe is different from the Marmite sold here) and some Cherry Ripes which were most gratefully received. Jenny actually lives in one of the towns that I lived in when I was in Australia, but we didn’t know each other then.

Here we are at the festival.

The quilts were amazing. Since I no longer belong to a guild, I don’t get to see quilts in person anymore, so it was nice to get up close and personal with quilts instead of viewing them on a computer screen.

Here are two which impressed me the most:

And with my finger for scale (please note I did not touch the quilt at all).

I can’t even begin to imagine how to make something that small.

The mind just boggles!

The quilt show did prove that I’m more of a knitter than a quilter though. Carle and Dana had a stall in the shopping area at the festival and I filled my bag with yarn in about 10 minutes. (I did have a list and was shopping for specific projects, but still). I did buy a little bit of fabric in some lovely bright colours which I will mostly use for soft toy making, but most of my money that day went on yarn.

I have been quilting though, I’ve been working on finishing a quilt that the mother of a friend of mine started about 15 years ago. That’s been an interesting challenge. I’ve just gotten it back from the long arm quilter and need to put the binding on and then I can deliver it to her.

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The creation of small things continues here at Ruthsplace. (Though there is a cardigan for Gorgeous Girl and one for me on the needles at the moment).

My brother’s wife is expecting a baby any day now. I’ve knitted a small hat.

This is the top.

And the view from the sides.

I dusted off my beading supplies a few weeks ago and made some more stitch markers.

I’m pleased with how they turned out.

Gorgeous Man recently bought me some patterns from the very talented Two Little Banshees. He bought the elephant, the hippo and the platypus.

So far Gorgeous Girl and I have made a baby platypus.

Gorgeous Girl is the artistic director and selected the fabrics and the felt for the nose. Mummy is just the piecework hack who puts it all together. I’m hoping to find some time on the weekend to make some more of these as well as a larger platypus. The pattern is really clearly written and easy to follow.

The Two Oceans Aquarium  is a wonderful place to visit and on the weekends they have free activities for the kids. On a recent visit Gorgeous Girl got her face painted.

Gorgeous Girl put a skirt on her head last week and declared she was a chef.

She cracks me up.

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Our entry to South Africa five and a half years ago was not as smooth as it could have been, and in the beginning I was very sad and a little lost. Gorgeous Man was busy with work and I was stuck in one room with no radio, tv or transport while we waited to find a house and for our things to arrive.

Gorgeous Man asked me what I needed to make me feel better, and then he borrowed a car and we drove around until we found a store that sold yarn. After that I needed a pattern, so I searched online for ‘free knitting patterns’ and I found this blog. I had never seen a blog before and this was a revelation!

I’ve been reading Emily’s blog ever since. So when I saw that she was the guest designer for the Mystery Knit Along in the Knitted Toys group on Ravelry I had to join in.

Here is the finished toy.

If you missed the Knit A Long. The pattern will be available for sale soon on her blog and you can make one of your very own.

It was a fun knit and really didn’t take that long. For my first multi-part toy I think he’s turned out pretty well.

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I’ve been indulging in some quick knits lately.

This little cardigan used up deep stash. I don’t remember buying the yarn or what it was originally used for.

The pattern, as written, had a very unfinished look to it, so I crocheted an edging on the neck and bottom. Not as much as I’d like to though because I ran out of yarn.

I have a lot of pregnant friends and relatives at the moment. Here is a little hat for a friend who’s having a boy.

The yarn is left over from Gorgeous Girl’s dress.

This was also deep stash yarn – it’s left over from a blanket I made Gorgeous Girl before she was born.

I’m really pleased with how this has turned out.

I made this small scarf as a gift.

It’s from early handspun that I dyed and spun myself. The whole time I was knitting it Gorgeous Girl kept trying on and asking if it was for her, so I made a second one.

She uses it mainly for dress up play when she piles on the layers and heads off to ‘explore the Arctic’.

There are another two hats finished and on Sunday Gorgeous Girl and I sewed a toy platypus which has come out very well. I just need to find time to sit down and transfer those pictures from the camera onto the computer.

Pattern details for all knits can be found on my project page in Ravelry.com

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A few posts back I posted about the lovely owls that Gorgeous Girl and I received from my very talented sister-in-law.

I got word today that their parcel has been received and I can now show you what I sent.

First a little rabbit,

and two little owls.

These were for the kids.

For Rochelle I made this.

It’s a mug mat and my first attempt at free piecing letters.

I was very excited to see Tonya’s book for sale in our local book store. I had been debating whether to order it online or not. This was my first (but not the last) project from the book.


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Gorgeous Girl is now at the age where she can help with making things. She’s also starting to raid my stash to ‘make’ things on her own, and can operate my ball winder really well.

Recently a friend had a knitting pattern in a local South African craft magazine. I don’t normally buy the magazine but I picked up a copy and found a wonderful soft toy pattern in it.

Gorgeous Girl went through my stash of felt and fabric and picked out the ones we should use. She then selected the buttons for the eyes and I put it all together.

This was really fun and only took about an hour to do. I think it took as long to choose the materials as it did to sew the thing together. It’s lightly stuffed with wool.

I’ve been quilting. In fact I have a quilt top finished and will be dropping it off to the long-armer on Sunday. As I’ve been working on the top I’ve also been trying to use up my strips as leaders and enders.

Here is the strip box.

and some of the blocks

I’ve now got 25 blocks done, so it’s growing. Lots of left-overs in these as well as some strips from friends (Kate you should see some of your fabric in here).

I’ve been on a roll with the knitting, but have only managed to get a few things from the camera to the computer.

Here is a recent finish:

I’m a bit fond of this knit as it was with me a few months ago when Gorgeous Girl was here

having bilateral grommets inserted, and it kept me from chewing off my fingernails with nerves.

Her hearing is back to 100% and we don’t need to go and check with the ENT surgeon until December, so it’s all good.

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