Thursday, September 26, 2013

I do like to be beside the seaside....

oh I do like to be beside the seaside

I do like to be beside the sea

I do like to stroll along the prom, prom, prom

Where the brass bands play!


Suffering from a big dose of cabin fever I was delighted when my hubby asked if I would like to join him on a walk along the promenade. I usually turn any invitation down as I am so busy in my sewing room but after nearly three weeks of non stop sewing I needed to GET OUT!




I really do love being home ...and although I don't often do any beachy things I enjoy pausing at the front windows and staring out at the sea. Last week we had much action here when a "micro light" went missing over the sea just in front of our flat! East Coast Radio had a minute to minute update, sirens were going off as the police vans arrived and an ambulance was on stand by and the masses were gathering. Two helicopters searched for hours!


Several hours later the only thing that had been picked up out of the sea was a big piece of plastic. No body had been found, no one was reported missing. Although it was a waste of resources and time it was wonderful to see that if we did have an emergency such as this, our emergency services would cope very well.


What do I do with all this precious free time?...I get into my sewing room and I SEW! I have the radio on so that I can keep abreast with what is happening in the world, and while listening to sweet music , I SEW! Needless to say I am very happy.


To start off I have a couple of U.F.Os that I need to finish and a couple of requests for quilts to make to. Let me begin at the beginning.

A friend, Anita, moved to New Zealand. Before leaving Anita had the task of clearing out her late Mother's things. She came across a quilt top and a quilt backing plus lots of bits and pieces of fabrics. Anita packed them all up and sent them to me with a request to make TWO quilts for her daughters. I looked at Granny's efforts and wasn't sure how I was going to approach this challenge. I asked the opinions of two of my quilting friends and the first one shook her head and said she would never take on the challenge. The second friend was constructive and gave me a little advice and much encouragement.

With all my travels it was a LONG time before I could actually begin on these challenges. Bless Grandma.....the whole time I was working on these quilts I tried to get in her mind and have good positive thoughts.

The back of the quilt consisted of pieces of Sanderson Linen from a book of samples. I pulled the pieces apart, washed them recut the fabrics and put them together with a lovely dusky pink sashing.

I am very pleased with the final result, I hope Anita is too. Now for the bigeye



The second quilt is a greater challenge as Granny had designed the top and had not got it anywhere near completion. I removed all the papers from the hexagonals, did some mending, added more hexies etc and then to cut a long story short, I managed to finish the quilt top and got it quilted to the backing.


After .....finished! I do enjoy the sense of achievement when the last stitch is stitched!

I asked Anita to tell me a little about her Mum and this is the info she sent.

Full names: Thora Sylvia Noome (Meyer)

Born;15August,1922 in Benoni.

She preferred to be called Grandma, loved all arts and her hands were always busy. Grandma used a Bernina treadle machine and loved creating.

I hope I have done Grandma proud and that her Grand daughters will enjoy and treasure these quilts.

I do like to be beside the seaside.....but there are no brass bands playing. There are vendors....



and whales!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Holocaust Centre.

Yesterday I visited the Holocaust Centre in Durban. I did not even know that it existed. Evidently it opened in 2008. I am sure there are all sorts of nooks and crannies of interest in Durbs that I am unaware of. My sister read in the local newspaper, that the Coffee and Gift shop at the centre, serves the best cheese cake in the land!

We went into Durbs on a mission and once it was achieved we followed it with a visit to the Coffee Shop for its famous cheese cake. True to its reputation , the cake was unbelievable.....worth every calorie!

How sad I had not put my camera in my bag! Oi!!

The Coffee shop was just the beginning.....

The Garden of Remembrance was charming and in it was a memorial to all the children lost in the Holocaust. It is estimated that 1.5 million children were killed by the Nazis. It is unfathomable!

A group of high school girls were wandering through the centre and one wonders how meaningful the experience is for today's children. It is good that there are Centres and Museums such as this one to serve as a constant reminder of those desperate times.

The following poem is inscribed on the wall of remembrance for all the children who perished during those shocking times,

The Garden.

A little Garden

Fragrant and full of roses,

The Path is narrow

and a little boy, walks along it.

A little boy,

A sweet little boy,

Like that growing blossom,

When the blossom

Comes to bloom

The little boy will be no more. Frants Bass

Therensien Concentration Camp

After the yummy Tea and cake, we took a tour through the Centre and were absolutely touched by the presentation. It reminded us of the monumental loss of lives during 1939 and 1942. Lest we forget!

A special tribute to Anne Frank and a replica of her room has been created for all to see and appreciate. The wall is adorned with "pages" from her diary. It is amazing that a girl so young could write with such wisdom and depth. On reading the debate on-line about her writings, its authenticity has been debated. However, I choose to accept that Anna wrote the pages and will get a copy and reread Anne's diary.

A quote from Anne Frank's diary, painted on the Coffee Shop's walls..

How wonderful it is that nobody has to wait a single moment to improve the world.

How true!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Quilts, quilts, quilts.

How lucky can I get? After spending a week in JhB. helping Oscar settle in at the French school, I got to spend the day at the International Quilt Conference - Africa. I have not managed to get one of these exhibitions for many a year so I was like a child on Christmas morning, waiting to open her gift!


The event was held at Emperors Palace near the airport. As I arrived, I noticed all the quilters arriving in twos and threes and was a little sorry I was on my own. As it turned out I need not have worried! The quilting world is a small world and I met lots of friends. Some from KZN, some from Johannesburg, Swaziland and Nelspruit.


I headed for the vendor's hall first and it was truly magical as each stall outdid itself in it's presentation. In addition to all things to do with Quilting being sold, there was Lacemaking, Beading, Embroidery, wools etc. a feast for any crafter! Look at those Kafee Fasset fabrics on the Bench.

The very first stall I arrived at was called Dot's Quilts and while standing gaping at the beautiful array of fabrics I heard a voice say "Penny Boden, I know you" it took a few moments and then I was able to place a friend from our early years in JHB, Dot Lubbe. Our children went to primary school together. The Lubbe family had moved to Cape Town and when her husband's business folded, she took over the premises in the middle of an Industrial area, followed her passion and opened her Quilt shop! Dot has her whole family involved in the business and seems to be doing so well. It was lovely seeing her again.


After visiting every vendor it was time to see the exhibition. It was a collection of smaller collections plus the Challenge set by the organizers. Some of the collections were Fibreworks, the SAQC Traveling exhibition, fiber Revolution Tour and the Scandanavian Collection.

The VIP of the IQC event was Ricky Tims. This is one of his quilts on show.

Not a great picture but a great quilt made by Phil Fisher, a friend from KZN and was the first person I met on arrival. The lighting where hers and Sue Stevensons quilt were hanging was SO bad it was difficult to see the quilts. This was my only criticism of the day! I hear that Sue won a prize, which means the lighting did not affect the Judges decision.





These are some of the wonderful quilts on show. I am sorry I don't have all the names of the artist but they were truly wonderful


This is one of my favorite quilts. It took Mari Strydom SEVEN years to complete...a lesson in itself!


This quilt caused a great deal of amusement.




I love this Baobab!



...... and the list gets on and on! I am so inspired and I hope you are too. One cannot even believe that these are quilts and not photographs! The quilting on the quilts was absolutely wonderful. I have still have lots to learn! What a feast for my eyes and my soul!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Is it Spring?

Spring is sprung,

The grass is riz

I wonder where the boidies is?

The boid is on the wing

But that's absoid

The wing is on the boid.

Frederick Ogden Nash.

It is difficult to find appropriate poems about Spring pertaining to the Southern hemisphere but I do enjoy this fun poem by Ogden Nash. Coming back from the heat of Malaysia to a freezing cold start to September we have really felt it. The locals are thrilled as the days are longer and the mornings more cheerful with the birds singing. Despite being in the middle of suburbia I heard intermittent banging on the bedroom window and wow i was thrilled to find that the culprit was non other than a red collared Barberton. I managed to call the attention of the family but little Oscar got too close to the window and our little friend was gone. Unfortunately I did not have my new camera on the ready but today I was prepared for our little visitor but he chose not to make an appearance.

Instead it is Garbage day. All the black bins from the partment blocks are lined up on the pavement waiting for the big diosal trucks to arrive. Before they arrive a team of treasure seekers arrive and go through the bins. I watched while the amazing team work was carried out. One person collects plastic bottles, one cardboard, one is looking for glass, and so it goes. There were about 24 bins and a team of six guys did the sorting. I call them a team as they would pass the appropriate stuff around to whoever collects it. What a mess but before the task was concluded they all helped and cleaned up. The fellow collecting what seemed like paper had a huge bag assembled on flat trolley on wheels with a long handle attached and once done off he went riding on the trolley at a merry speed. We actually saw two of these collectors whizzing down the main road yesterday singing and laughing. We are part of an amazing society. It would be interesting to see where these collectors take their treasures and what follows. How does that little saying go....One man's trash is another man's treasure.

We are spending the week here before heading home as Sarah has asked us to be around while Oscar settles into his new school. Today the family start a new chapter in their life as Oscar starts at Lycee Jules Verne, the French school in Morningside. We went for a drive there yesterday to find the easiest and quickest route. While they still live in Parktown it Is quite a trek but once the renovations are complete and they move to Victory Park it will be much easier. Oscar understands French as his father Adrien, only speaks French to him and I am sure he will be parleying after a couple of months at the Lycee. His French Grandparents are coming out in December which will sharpen his skills too. He was so excited this morning while the parents were a little nervous. His first question to his Dad was "will I be starting ballet today". It helped break the tension and gave us a giggle for the day!

I hope you are enjoying pleasant weather wherever you are. I would love you to leave a comment on my blog just to see that the comment box ACTUALLY works.

Thanks Erica for your loyal comments. Xxx