Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Joyful Collection of Things to Do!

I just don’t know where to find the time for everything I enjoy doing, and there are quite a few things I enjoy doing!
Top of the list is my crocheting then baking, blogging, reading all of your blogs, gathering inspiration, printing out some patterns(I have on my list of things to do) and gardening. 

I have tried everything to rotate this picture the right way and it just WONT, so on its side it goes... sorry!

It is spring here in Johannesburg so the garden is a wonderful place to potter around and enjoy.

I enjoy baking, of that my 15 year old son is making sure as he is eating everything in sight.  I actually have to hide the biscuits so that the rest of the family can have some too.

Crocheting:  I have joined the “one a day” group on and am actually doing 2 a day.  I am making blocks for my daughters blanket for next year.  I am also busy knitting another tea cosy, it’s not going too quickly as I am doing the whole tea cosy in knit 2, pearl 2, every row.  It will be rather pretty when I’m done though.

Blogging:  I have so much I want to post and say, photos I want to take but when my day begins at 5am in the morning and I have to be at work by 7.30am, leaving home by 6.40am, I do not always have the time.  I do get time though, to read all the lovely blogs I follow.

My parents are visiting from Port Elizabeth at the moment and I am really enjoying my time with them.  I feel super blessed that they could come to visit and that I still have them around. 

Have a super week whatever it is that you are doing!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Project Blanket Finale`

I had a wonderful birthday and got super spoilt with most of the goodies from my wish list.  I did finish my blanket and here are the photies!

It is wonderfully warm to cuddle under this blanket in front of the TV at night as the evenings are still a bit chilly.  I am very reluctant to share it with anyone else besides my husband on our bed!  The dogs try their luck to sneak onto the blanket but promptly get booted off.

My veggie garden is coming along and the seeds you see in the photo above still need to be sown.

I have been pretty busy crocheting tea cosies for the coffee shop I supply so haven't had too much time to blog.  This past weekend was my eldest daughters 19th birthday on Saturday as well as her matric dance.  I am rather exhausted this morning and do not really know why, think it's just been the high of it all!  My parents arrive this Friday for a 4 week visit, so it's going to be a busy month.

I will post photos of the tea cosies this week sometime for you to see!
                               ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Birthday Wish List

I love this time of the year when the weather warms up and spring is in the air.  Thursday is my birthday and here is the wish list for my family ˜

A crochet book/magazine to inspire me and keep the creative juices flowing!

Some different colours of the Elle Pure New Wool. 
           Love the feel of it, love the colours!
Tray of seedlings, maybe Petunias.
A Woollies potted rose!
Chocolate, especially love Lindt.
A pretty new Maxwell and Williams mug or any other fine bone china mug will do. I know I’m pushing it, but a tea cup and saucer would be nice!
To have my crocheted blanket complete! - I'm working my fingers off on this one!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Orange Roses and Strawberry Jam

What a lovely respite from crocheting my blanket!  Yesterday I crocheted some roses for a tea cosy I must finish for someone special.  I am calling it my “marmalade” tea cosy as I am making the roses with shades of oranges that you would find in marmalade.  I have this lovely soft wool that I was given that has nice changing tones of orangey colours in it.  There is even a little bit of blue in it, wonder what little blue rose buds will look like between the orange roses, mmmm a thought!  I have also received two more orders for other tea cosies from the coffee shop where I display the cosies for sale; so between Sophie and me we are getting these special little orders ready!  It gets me very excited and inspires more exciting pretty projects.

After reading a blog post on, I was instantly inspired to go out and buy some strawberries for jam making; hence these lovely photographs of the process! 

I have an Iphone and one of the photographic applications I have downloaded is called “Hipstamatic”, it takes these lovely “aged” photos I have displayed here.  It is such a nice “camera” that I have been snapping away at all kinds of things, look how lovely this lavender looks.  
I love making chalk board hearts.  My husband cuts the wood out for me and I paint them with chalk board paint.  “All things Nice” has magnets glued to the back of it and sits on my fridge! J. 

Look at this lovely photograph of my daughters cat Chloe, she is a very photogenic cat and of course Hipstamatic makes it even more HDR.  (High definition resolution- fancy photographic terms)
I will post the marmalade tea cosy as soon as I have finished it and not to mention, the baby I have been working on since the 1st of July – THE BLANKET, it is close, very close.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Pretty Crochet Corner

I am dying to get my blanket done as I am desperate to move on to some other projects.  I want to make some pretty cushion covers and am desperate to get working with some other wools and colours.   It’s been more than four weeks of Rustica chunky.  Make no mistake, I love it and I am delighted with how my blanket is turning out in looks and feel but GIVE ME ANOTHER PROJECT NOW PLEEEASE!  I will not stop though until I have conquered this Kilimanjaro of a project!!

With spring just around the corner, the weather is warming up beautifully here in Johannesburg.  As a result, I have found a nice little corner on my patio to sit and crochet.  Here I can enjoy the view of my “winter garden” soon to be a blooming “spring garden”!  I worked quite considerably in the garden over the past weekend so I am looking forward to reaping the fruit of my labour!  I was busy crocheting with the mauve colour of the Rustica wool and couldn’t help noticing how beautiful it looked against the Pansies I had planted in pots on the patio.  PRETTY!  Flowers do give us nice colour combinations; mm I think a crocheted Pansy cushion cover next!! Ok, let me just get finished with this blanket already, work hands work!


Some pretty little Primulas flowering at the school where I work!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Loving August

I love August not just because it's my birthday month but for many other reasons too.

·       I love August as it is a time of preparation for spring in the garden!  The shrubs, trees and roses need pruning and preening in preparation for the blooming and growing season that is waiting.  Shrubs need to be trained into their new growth and not be allowed to develop ugly scraggly tresses.  Perennials need to be divided and re-planted and annuals need to go in for a pretty show!

·       I love it that the sun is rising earlier and setting later.
·       I love the sound of the birds chattering and the sight of them getting active again.
·       I love observing all of creation as it waits in anticipation for spring, swelling buds on the trees and shrubs all ready to burst forth into a new song of joyous flourishment.
·       I love my garden in spring; it always has new little surprises for me and looks so pretty especially after the bland winter browns, bare trees and shrubs.
·       I love having my birthday in August; it’s right near the end of the month just before spring starts and I can wear something pretty and summery on the day.  It is usually always a warm, happy day!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
We celebrated “National Woman’s Day” yesterday being a public holiday and together with a days’ leave on Monday /schools being closed, resulted in a lovely long weekend.  It was lovely to have everyone at home doing their own little “pottering” but none the less together.
I had every intention of crocheting my way to my blankets end this weekend but got caught up in the lovely warm weather and gardening that I only had time to crochet in the evenings, thus it’s not the END of my blanket yet but very soon!!   I will definitely have it complete by my birthday on the 25th so "Watch this space!"

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

An agitated crocheter!

I must say, I am rather agitated that I can’t just sit and get my crocheted blanket finished.  I have to steal time in my every busy day to crochet a centre, crochet around the completed centre, sew in the threads, and sew some blocks together aaagh!  This weekend is a long weekend and I am warning you, I want uninterrupted crocheting time; this blanket needs to see its END!!  My family loves my baked goodies and so I have decided that I will either bake Thursday or Friday afternoon as when the weekend has started,  I don’t want to hear… I’m hungryyyyy, what’s there to eeeeeat!  J
Where I work at the Grade 0 school (that is the school readiness year) I often go for walks to clear my head and then get back to my work.  Just a few meters from my office is a large school field where there is always a frenzy of hungry birds that swoop down onto the grounds after the children have had their break time to feast on the left over dropped food.  It is an amusing sight to see, I have seen Pigeons, Crows, Indian mynas, Thrushes, Hadedas and the common little sparrows.   It’s an a la carte menu out there for the birds, sandwiches, fruit, biscuits, chips and more, enough food to feed a flock of birds.  Mondays always seem to be the busiest eating day as there has been no school over the weekend and obviously the birds start getting a little hungry. It is such a luxury to not have to search for food.  I swear, these birds must sit up in the trees around the field waiting for the children to scoot so that they can come to their banqueting table.  So think of the poor birds this weekend, 4 days of having to search for their own food, no buffet table laid out for them to feed on.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Marmalade: an exciting challenge and a wonderful result.  Never attempted it before as it seemed all too complicated but first time at making Marmalade was an absolute success, I am not sure as to the reason for my success as I didn’t even cook it with the little bag of pips. (Those were tossed into the bin unintentionally by my husband)   I sliced the oranges, lemons and grapefruit and set it aside in the water to stand overnight.  It stood for more than just overnight in the water as I had to get to the shop to buy the Methylated spirits for the pectin check of the marmalade.  So I’m thinking that maybe it’s because the sliced citrus stood for so long in the water that it drew a good amount of pectin out or that I just had a healthy bunch of oranges and lemons!

Needless to say the Marmalade turned out beautiful not only in taste but consistency and colour.
I am planning on making some more Marmalade this winter before all the citrus fruit is finished and then throwing a “Spring Fair” where I will sell tea cosies, marmalade, crochet cushion covers and more. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Project Blanket

It feels like ages since I have last blogged.

I have been on school holidays for the past three weeks as I work for a Grade 0 School and have the privilege of enjoying the school holidays.  During the first week of my holiday, I didn’t do any crocheting, but at the end of the week had finally decided on my next project.  It’s one of the biggest projects I have taken on in a very long time and that is to crochet a blanket for my queen size bed.  I have chosen to use Ella Rustica Chunky and it is exquisitely soft with a combination of 60% Acrylic, 20% Tweed and 20% Wool. 
I am now 110 blocks down and have calculated that I might still need to crochet another 100 blocks approximately. 
I do not want it to hang too far over the edge of the bed as I would like a blanket that is manageable when making up the bed, but then of course, I’ll just have to see as I get closer to the END! Oh, the end, actually I do not mind having taken on such a project as I know that wonderful feeling at the end when it is all finished and ones hands start itching for another project.  Not as quick as a tea cosy I might add, this one requires much more endurance as in running a 100km marathan.  I am determined to have it finished in the next 3 weeks!  Ooh, not sure if that is good or not, as some of you crocheters out there might be much quicker on the needle!

I end off with my cat Amy who she takes possession of everything in this home, including the new blanket, my lap and spot in the sun, WHAT A CHEEK!  She loves kneading blankets though, so will have to watch her with this one.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

You are invited to visit

You are invited to visit.  I will prepare the guest room for you with pristinely cleaned and ironed linen, extra blankets for warmth and an electric blanket to break the winter chill of getting into bed.  In your bedroom, you will find a heater and a towel rail for your comfort.  There will be a book or two to read and a few interesting magazines.  There will also be a little jar of sweets and biscuits should you wake up hungry in the night.  There will be cupboard space to hang your clothes and place for your belongings. 

The welcome mat is laid out just for you!

In anticipation for my guests, there will be a scurry of preparation to make your stay a wonderful experience, comfortable and welcoming with an air of, “let it not be too long before we come again!”  Biscuits will be baked to fill the tins and the pantry cupboard filled.  The preferred coffee will be bought that my visitors enjoy!

It is winter at the moment in Johannesburg, so I will set the scene for you.  A warm fireplace is lit for the evening drop in temperatures, the hearty soup is cooking on the stove, and the table is being laid for supper.  A hot steamy pudding is prepared for desert; it’s a time of sharing our life with you, our special visitors. 

During your stay, we will enjoy home made scones with jam and cream; freshly baked cakes for our tea time together.  We will share meals, stories and time together, bound to our heart to hold forever!  I cannot guarantee that you won’t pick up a pound or two during your stay but hopefully you’ll have lots to take home with you when it’s time to leave, that’s not in weight of the physical kind! 
So why not get your diary out, look at the calendar and make a date, I would hate for my welcome mat to get dusty and old. 

You are welcome to visit!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cosy in a Coffee Shop

So finally, instead of hiding our cute tea cosies in a box, they are now proudly displayed in Manna Cafe, a lovely quaint coffee shop in Fourways worth visiting.  They make the best coffee and cakes in Jozi, so why not pay them a visit, directly opposite Monte Casino where Garden World used to be.  They also have the prettiest waitress in town!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Whip this cake up in a jiffy!

I am very excited to share this recipe with you, it literally takes just 4 ingredients, 5 if you are going to make it a chocolate cake instead of just a vanilla cake, so here goes from my tried and tested kitchen.

125g Margarine
125g Sugar
125g Self Raising Flour
2 Medium Eggs(room temperature better as the cake will rise better)

1.  Heat the oven to 180C
2  Grease/Spray and Cook two 18cm cake tins, line with wax wrap if you prefer.  I used my oven proof rubberised type cake pans(if you can even call them that as they are rather floppy and I can't seem to see how they can be pans but, they most certainly make getting the cake out very easy) that I got from Clicks.
3.  Throw all the ingredients together, seriously yes, I didn't read the instructions and when I saw I had already added the flour in with the butter and only then added the sugar.  Give it all a jolly good beating, adding a little milk to get a nice dropping consistency, the result should be equally successful and YES, it was!
4.  Divide the mixture between the two cake tins, gently spreading with a spatula.
5.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, mine took just 15min in my thermofan oven.
6.  Allow to cool in tins and turn out.
7.  Sandwich the cakes together either with butter icing or whipped cream.

This little cake,(as it is a small cake) is perfect for a small family or even if it is just the two of you at home(children have left the home) as you will not have a huge cake to get through.  If you want to make it bigger, just double up and the result will be just fine.  If you prefer, you can just throw all the dough into one cake tin, bake and ice the top.

For the chocolate cake:
This is all purely Ala Janine as I figured if you substituted 25g of the self raising flour for cocoa powder, you would have a nice chocolate cake and YES again, so go ahead make a chocolate cake instead if you are craving chocolate!  When you make your butter icing, you usually need to add a little milk, instead of the milk make up a strong mixture of Ricoffy(or any other instant coffee), about a heaped teaspoon of coffee with a little bit of boiling water.  Add this to your butter icing for a nice chocolaty, coffee flavour, remembering that you will have added cocoa to your icing for the chocolate cake.

If your cake has turned out an absolute flop, this disclaimer protects the duplicator of this cake recipe from your demeanour in the kitchen and suggests you make sure that you added the eggs and more importantly, used "SELF RAISING" flour and not just ordinary cake flour.  It is suggested though that if you do use normal cake flour that you add 1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder to ensure a nice riser!


Find original recipe at below link -

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Where have you been?

Where have I been since the last time I blogged, and what have I been up to. Ok well I have been busy crocheting as always; I am busy with some stripy tea cosies.  
They are lovely cute tea cosies and turn out very pretty with an appliquéd crocheted heart or cup cake on the side just like the one in the photograph.  We, that is Sophie and I have also been very busy building up our stock of tea cosies as they are going into a coffee shop very soon for sale to the customers.  So we had better get cracking or should I say crocheting!  
In the meantime, it has been Emma's 6th birthday and as always I have totally exhausted myself in throwing a birthday party for her and baking an absolutely beautiful cake for the day.  Thankfully we only have one birthday per annum which allows us to totally forget about all the hard work that went into organising the previous birthday party. We, I say, meaning Tara (my eldest daughter) and myself gave Emma a Disney Princess birthday party.  Having viewed quite a few "Cake Boss" shows on TV and Googling for some images for Princess Castle cakes, we came up with a castle cake creation of our own.  It took Tara and me about 2 hours to ice the cake; it was great fun with everybody, including my Andre and Joshua sitting around the table while we were icing the cake.  We had to do a lot of guarding (from Andre and Joshua) of the sweets which we had poured out into bowls on the table for decorating. 
Emma with her Rapunzel Barbie from her Nanna and a beautifully knitted jersey from her Granny!

 Before all of this I finished a tea cosy for my mom for mother’s day, popped it into the post to Port Elizabeth and other than that, have just had my parents in law visiting for the weekend.

Excuse the grammatical errors as I am sure there are, but I must go and make supper now.  Busy, busy, busy, but all very enjoyable!
There is always time to bake scones on the weekend for breakfast!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pretty in Pink

I love soft pink colours, in flowers, on teacups, on tea cosies, in roses and more.  I do not wear much pink though I do have a pink summer jersey. Here are a few photographs of some of the pink items I have photographed.
Pink Chrysanthemums

Pink rose with soft yellow stripes.

There is much inspiration in nature to get me crocheting another tea cosy!