Saturday, April 23, 2011

My "Little Wool Shop"

The crocheting bug bit me quite unexpectedly and as a result I have been a little disorganised since I started in January.  Some pattern printouts lying here and there, my wool basket bursting at the seems to hold all the new wool I have purchased, an ice-cream container holding my needles and crocheted flowers and so on, I’m sure you get the picture.  I have thus organised my wool into my very own little “wool shop” cabinet.  This is a writing table which first served as my scrap booking “boutique” then as a desk for my laptop and printer and most recently, just a dump zone for my filing.  I think this has put the writing desk to a better use.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Good Morning

This morning I am going to attempt to paint a visual picture for you. 
Firstly I woke up and thought it was a weekend only to realize it was Tuesday and a work day.  I lay in bed for a while as it was so gloriously warm and comfortable there.  Traffic is not so hectic at the moment with the private schools being on holiday; we could therefore have an unhurried breakfast and sip our tea or coffee leisurely.  We (my son, youngest daughter and me) left the house around 7:02am and within thirty minutes made it to school and work on time.  I grabbed my camera as I left the house in the hope of snapping some of the beautiful morning scenery on my way to work.  Unfortunately the traffic did not allow for stops and my camera batteries were flat.  I will thus attempt to paint this mornings’ scene for you.
On leaving the house, a thick mist had come down, all the rough edges of the buildings, trees, traffic and such softened by the mist as with a misty camera lense.  The early morning activities had begun, African men were riding on their bicycles to work, some with packets hooked over their arms, and another cyclist was riding with white gumboots on, jackets and scarves.  Happiness was displayed across the faces of people, especially the Africans on the side of the roads.  They are a sociable culture so there were smiles and waves and lots of conversing.  They never seem too perturbed by the pressures of life or about getting to work on time; somehow they just calmly and happily make their way to wherever they are going.  The Maple trees in autumn are just my best, their response to the change in the season amazing.  They display the most magnificent colours to herald their season of rest ahead.  There are shades of yellow, orange and red.  With the mist in the air, the leaves   brightly boasted their autumn shades, especially the auburn, orange and red leaves!
There are early morning smells I take pleasure in too.   I like the smell of coffee brewing and breakfast being made especially the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs cooking and toast being made.  The clanging sounds of activity in the kitchen or a radio playing softly.
Whatever your morning, I hope you will savour it all.  It could be the sun seeping in through the window, the dew twinkling on the grass and plants, the lifting mist, the soft falling rain, whatever your weather, wherever you live, whatever your day brings, take a moment to absorb it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Winter Woolies and other Warmings

It started raining on Friday evening and has been mostly cold and wet all weekend.  The winter woolies have been hauled out of the top of my cupboard and are slowly making their way into my daily attire.  I must say I am not mad about winter clothes so am hoping to add some soft jersey colours in this year like pink, soft green and such.  Whether I will attempt to make any for myself is a big question?  I may just be up for a new challenge I will see.  I am currently busy making a “Granny Crochet” poncho for my 5 year old daughter.  I tried crocheting with the fluffy wool my mom sent me but it got a little confusing seeing my stitches in all the fluffiness so I will attempt to knit something with that wool instead.  While busy crocheting yesterday, my cat decided to come hijack my wool basket and it was just too cute for me to throw her out, needless to say I did not get any more crocheting done until much later in the evening. 
In the afternoon we visited our friends. My friend is very happy with her tea cosy.  This is the photo she took of it.
We had some of her lovely Danish treats with coffee, they are called "Aebleskiver".  Friends are a blessing.

My sister and her children came around for supper last night; I made pancakes and a creamy chicken as a filling.  It was delicious and we had a good time around the dinner table talking and laughing.  We got to watch the video taken of my dad at the hospital, it was good to see him and we love him dearly.  It has been a very worrying time with my dad in hospital but we are not without hope and are trusting for a miracle.  Thankfully we have a Father in heaven who hears our every prayer.  When my eldest daughter went on her first school tour, she was just eleven or twelve years old.  I prayed over that big bus taking them to Mpumalanga.  I prayed for the driver, the tyres of the bus, the engine, you name it I think I had it all covered.  The Bible says we are to pray without ceasing –
1 Thes 5v17 “Rejoice always, 17(AA) pray without ceasing, 18(AB) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  I have my dad covered in prayer.
If you are not praying for a need, be sure be giving thanks  and even when you are praying for a need, be thankful too.  Have a blessed week.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Count Your Blessings

If there is any encouragement I can give today to myself and to all needing it, it is rejoice and be thankful!  God has attended to my dad and He is doing much better, we continue to pray for improvement and strength and many happy, joyful, blessed days ahead and days of good health. 
Psalm 118v24 says “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
The words of this song come to mind.

Count Your Blessings
Words by Johnson Oatman, Jr. (1897)
Music by Edwin O. Excell (1897)
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

God does care

After finding out yesterday that my dad had to be admitted to hospital for heart failure, I have been in such turmoil.  Can't sit down, can't finish a cup of tea, the food tastes bland, the chocolate chip cookies my daughter made tasteless.  Everything inside of me was there with my dad in hospital, filled with worry and grasping at peace.  Nothing seemed to bring me that peace.  But I sit here today and I know that my God is great, He may be the creator of the universe but I know He cares about those He created. He works in our everyday things; little answers to prayers we did not even realise were answered even though we were still praying for it.  We just don't see things the way God does. Proverbs 16v9 says "in his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps."  We so easily forget that God is interested in our well-being.  If you doubt this, just consider how many times in the past He guided you through difficult circumstances, look back and see.  Just this last Sunday a prophetic word was brought in Church that God cares about us each individually and wants to enter into our lives and bless us.  Yes He does want good for us, what father would not want good for his children.  So today I am thankful that we are not alone and His hand is on my dad.  In my human failing though my emotions are often like a see saw up and down, I will praise my God though and there will be joy, yes we are allowed to have some joy, we are not in a candy store that costs money. God’s joy and peace are freely available to us, come on in and help yourself.  There is even more on offer, love, hope, thirst quenching water, living bread for our hunger, a river of peace (not just a trickle), and a fountain of joy.

I got this from
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)
1.      The word “Spirit” is with a capital “S” – which means these 9 fruits are coming directly from the Holy Spirit, not from us.
2.      What this means is that God’s love, God’s peace, God’s joy and God’s goodness can start to be transmitted up into our personality. These are His attributes and personality qualities that will start to move into the core of our personality.
3.       Think about the ramifications of this – that God the Father Himself is allowing us to share in a part of His divine nature by allowing His Holy Spirit to transmit and impart these nine divine qualities right up into our soul and personality!
This is why God the Father is specifically telling us in this verse that these 9 fruits are coming directly from His Holy Spirit – so that we can all fully appreciate the magnitude of such an experience.
Jesus has already told us that He is the vine and we are the branches. The branches draw their life from the vine, not vice versa. Just as the branch draws its life from the vine, so too must we draw our life directly from Jesus. Jesus will release His life directly into us through the Holy Spirit in the exact same way that the vine will release the life of the tree into the branches.
In one short, but incredible powerful Scripture verse, God the Father is giving all of us an incredible revelation on what can go on behind the scenes in the spiritual realm for those who are willing to work with Him in this sanctification process.
So to conclude, in David’s moments of despair, he strengthened himself in God.  Read the Psalms and you will see. Praise be to God.
Isaiah 40 v 31 "Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the LORD will be renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and won't become weary. They will walk and won't grow tired." - This is for you my dad, wait with hope, your strength will be renewed.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm reading a very good book!

Every time I start a new one I am a little hesitant as I do not always have the end result worked out.  It is always nice to have a photograph of another tea cosy to give you an idea of what you are going to achieve but then sometimes it makes it interesting to just work it out as you go along.  So here is another tea cosy I am busy with, well in fact quite complete, I am just busy with the finishing touches.  I might do flowers around the tea pot lid or I might sew hearts on the sides, I’ll let you see in due course.

I have another leisure pursuit of interest that I enjoy but it is time consuming as you have to go rummaging around in second hand shops to get these findings.  I was out yesterday actually looking for an old teapot I could pretty up with a new cosy.   They are simply just too hard to find and it would seem out of fashion.  It’s time we revived the teapot and cosy era, it is not dead!  I found this lovely little serving plate instead and it is made in Staffordshire England, a Swinnertons “Birthday Rose” plate.  I searched on Google to get an estimate of whether it had any worth and found a side plate selling for around R200 on E-Bay.  I paid R5 for this little plate, so I think I got quite a bargain!

My holiday is over and I will be returning back to work tomorrow morning, starting at 7.30am to be precise.  It is fortunately quite a lovely little job and my hours are until 2pm in the afternoon.  I have been going back to gym in the holidays to tone up and increase my fitness so I am planning on continuing my fitness programme three times a week in the afternoons after work.  I will thus only have the evenings to do my crocheting but then again, we do not want to kill this lovely little hobby.  It’s like reading a very good book but having to put it down to attend to other responsibilities then looking forward to getting back to the story as soon as you can!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Some Poetry

Thank God For Little Things

Thank you God for little things
That often come our way.
The things we take for granted
But don’t mention when we pray.
The unexpected courtesy;
The thoughtful kindly deed;
A hand reached out to help us
In the time of sudden need.
O make us more aware dear God
Of little daily graces
That come to us with sweet surprise
From never-dreamed-of places.

                                                                              Helen Steiner Rice

So here is a little thing I have just completed, 
my friend for the past few days.
Shall I add this or shall I add that
The colour combination all very exciting.
It's done and now my hands are restless.
But a chicken pie I must go make,
My family hungry for supper to give me a break.

A crochet beanie, I did not make
It's my daughter who's crochet needle
it did take!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tried any new things lately?

When it comes to baking and cooking, I am always keen to try out a new recipe.  One of the things I have always considered baking but never tried was croissants.  They just looked too complicated and yeast was involved.  I think the thing with yeast is that you must be patient and need to wait for the dough to rise adequately.  I made the croissants and must say, I am impressed, and success it was!  Don’t think you can whip them up in a jiffy like scones, oh no, they need lots of resting and rolling time.

I have started another tea cosy; I might just enter this one into a competition being run in the “Ideas” magazine.  Twenty Five finalists win entries into the magazine, hampers valued at "whatever" and the overall winner wins a trip away to a resort in Mozambique.  I would far rather have the money so that I could choose my destination but then I am not banking on winning.  As I have mentioned before, I am making the tea cosies for fun and if I can sell a few, great.  I do not want to crush the joy of it by it becoming another job!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A perfect fit!

I have mentioned before that the whole knitting and crocheting of tea cosies started about two years ago when we (the whole family) moved out of the house and into our small cottage on the same property to do some alterations to the house.  All five of us, including three cats squashed into the two bed roomed cottage for three months.  While waiting for the alterations to be complete and sitting without a kitchen for three months, I busied myself with knitting tea cosies for my new kitchen.  It helped me to dream of our new home and pass the frustrating days of waiting for the building to be complete and see the rear end of the builders!    

I did not get the crocheting of tea cosies right until this year when Sophie moved in.  I asked her to look at a crocheted tea cosy I had bought and to show me how she did it.  My eyes opened and my understanding of crocheting increased.

Where am I going with this, for a moment I forgot?  I wanted to show you my daughter’s tea cosy which she knitted together with me two years ago.  We had forgotten all about her knitting this after moving back into the house and never sewed it together until now.  I completed it for her by adding crocheted roses on top and sleeves around the side openings of the cosy.

Making a tea cosy is like dress making, you have to have the tea pot in front of you to get the fitting right.  It is quite tricky making a “fitted” tea cosy for a tea pot for which you do not have the size, height or width.  That is when you have to make a general one size fits all.  Sounds like some items of clothing that one buys where it says “one size fits all”.  I am weary of such a labet as for example with hats, there would have to be something added to the hat to make it adjustable to fit your head.  I really enjoy making the cosies to fit the tea pot.

 It was such a beautiful morning out in the garden. 

Emma on her swing, posing for the photo of the next lot of crochet bunting I had just completed yesterday.

Hope you had an enjoyable morning.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


 I quite love baked Cheesecake!  The thought of Cheesecake used to sound awful to me as did cream cheese icing for carrot cakes.  I have over the years come to enjoy the sweet tangy taste of Cheesecake and the lovely kiss, cream cheese icing gives to a carrot cake.  I do not make carrot cake often as it is not a favourite with everyone.  I guess it has to do with the fact that there are vegetables in the cake and a "cheesy" icing.

I found this Cheesecake recipe in one of my Ideas Magazines, it jumped out at me and thus the decision to bake it today. Strawberries are not in season at the moment and as I asked my husband to pop into the shop, I got a punnet of Blackberries instead.  The label reads "deliciously tasty and sweet"... they are anything but sweet even with icing sugar sprinkled on them.

I am very please with the result of the Cheesecake however there are just two things I need to change.
Firstly I need a deeper pie dish and secondly, I have to find strawberries or a can of sweetened apricots as a substitute.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A box of treasure

A box of treasure arrived at the Post Office today, I was surprised to see the size of it and very excited to get home and open it.
I knew what was in the box which made me all the more thrilled to see the contents

Oh what delightful colours!

Some lovely complementing wool colours to crochet or knit in with the fluffy wool!
Oh..... and what do we have here, looking all sad in the box?
A toilet roll man!

This treasure box arrived all the way from Port Elizabeth from my parents, thank you mommy and daddy.

A cup of tea

~ ~
Oftentimes a cup of tea
has altered everything.
What a blessing it has proved!
What a comfort it can bring!
Just a tiny pinch of leaves
can make a magic brew - -
That can soothe a woman’s mind
and change her point of view.

Many a heart has found new hope
when things were looking grey - -
finding strength to fight against
the troubles of the day.
Many a soul has found the faith
to face life cheerfully - -
wrestling with it’s greatest problems –
over a cup of tea.

Patience Strong

~ ~

Photo taken by Tara Douglas - January 2008 Photoclub entry - "Come join me for tea"