Friday, December 28, 2007

A Real Work of Art!

My last post of the year is going to feature one of my favourite works of art...

A recent Americano [Lungo] which I enjoyed at Mark Gold in Durban! Besides designing stunning jewellery, they really know how to make an excellent cup of coffee!

My daughter reckons that their hot chocolate is pretty legendary too.

We sipped these delights, cooled by a complimentary fine spray which helped to take off the edge of the intense Durban heat!
We will see the New Year in at Ballito - and I will be back in early January. All the Best for 2008!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Proteas and ....

Our Christmas Eve table - ready for food...

We were delighted to find these beautiful indigenous Red Proteas at our local florist.

But the beautiful Red Berries, - Schinus terebinthifolius - with the common name of "Christmas Berry Tree" which we found growing in our garden are classified as "alien invaders" in our area.
Oh dear, we will have to get ruthless in our garden in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Up Close and Personal!

My Faith is an all important part of my life.
So today, I would like to publish a short to note the person in whom I have that faith..

Dear Jesus
Thank you for...
Coming
Caring
Hearing
Befriending
Loving
Saving
Transforming
Me
Love Denise

Monday, December 24, 2007

Getting Ready for Christmas Eve...

In our family our main celebration is on Christmas Eve - the dinner, the ham, the presies, the pudding, the family!

This is what the table was looking like at lunch time in preparation for tonight....

My daughter has done the most beautiful graphics for the table mats - which we printed out.

To all my Blogging Friends - who have become such a special part of my life - Have a wonderful Christmas.

God Bless

Here is Hoping....

Here are some things I would not mind opening tonight...
1. I love Tara Murray's Doiley Chair. [via The Style Files] I like old + dowdy + inspiration = Exciting!
2. Anything from Aurelie Mathigot. [via Bloesem]. She can cover anything in crochet work and make it stylish and surprising!

3. Jesse's amazing red protea print - I just have to make some cushion covers from this!

4. A Coptic Bound Notebook from Paperiaarre

5. And there are a few more things I might add by tonight......

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I've been Tagged!!

Carolina Eclectic has tagged me! I have to tell you 7 random things about myself...

1. I make our own muesli - based on a recipe given to me by my mom-in-law
2. I was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in a hospital called: "Die Moedersbond"!
3. My favourite local coffee shop - "Sprigs" - closes from the 24th Dec until the 15th Jan! Serious withdrawal!
4. I was 14 years old when I met my husband and we married when I was 20!
5. My husband and I are very interested in personality types. We have taught a "Gifting Course" for years. We love to see the "lights switch on" as people understand why they are the way they are. Here I am with a group of young moms who recently did the course...
6. I don't like cooking! Although I trained as a Home Economist - my passion for cooking has passed - that season has moved on. Being the mother in a family of 5, though, I still have to do it a lot!

7. I walk 7kms - 3 times a week - from 5.15am to 6.15am and have done so for about 10 years! I don't like swimming. We have a pool in our front garden and even in the peak of a tropical Durban Summer, I don't feel inclined to get in!

I am going to tag... Debi Van Zyl, Pozzynet, Miko Design, Laissefaire.

Here are the rules - Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog. Share seven random and or weird things about yourself. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Final Fling...

Yesterday I managed to squeeze in some last minute pre-Christmas shopping - the kind I really enjoy!

This is what I came home with...
Some vintage saris, crochet work and gloves - just so ready to be remade or re-purposed.
And a Marshall Cavendish "How-To" book from the 70's

So many ideas! And hopefully enough time to try some of them out!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Beautiful Berg

Last week my husband and my son took a day out of their lives, left home early in the morning and drove 2 hours to the Drakensberg Mountain Range to spend their day hiking!

The Drakensberg Park has been declared a World Heritage Site because of it's universal value to mankind.

According to KZN Tourism's Drakensberg Web Sight, it "meets the criteria for both Natural and Cultural listings, the site can now officially boast 'superlative natural phenomena and beauty, unique richness of biological diversity, the conservation of all-important endemic and threatened species plus masterpieces of human creative genius in the form of 35 000 'San rock art images'"
I am so glad they took the camera with. It has made me determined to spend some more time in this beautiful part of the world again!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dyeing for Change

I’d like to introduce you to one of my favourite kitchen appliances. Besides my amazing espresso machine that is!

It is a huge big aluminium pot. Unfortunately it has never been the bearer of a Spicy Briyani or Aromatic Curry. But... it has helped me to brew up all sorts of colourful concoctions. Half of my wardrobe has had it’s colour enhanced.
It started with some tired white shirts and a new direction on my wardrobe's life, when my friend, image consultant Fay Coleman convinced me that I had been wearing the wrong colours for my skin tone. I could not buy an entirely new set of clothes overnight - so I quickly learnt to dye the ones I had. Now I'm hooked!
Let me tell you how I do it! Remember that Natural Fabrics take up colour best and are the easiest to dye.
Firstly, I fill my pot with boiling water and add the hot water dye and salt.

Then I place the wet items in the pot. I use my pasta spoon to gently grip the clothing as I turn and stir.
I always make sure that there is plenty of water in the pot so that the items are able to move freely. The fabric must be stirred almost continuously for about 20 mins. Don't allow to stand in the pot, because it will dye unevenly. It really is worth setting the time aside.

Then I remove the clothing from the pot, rinse and wash at a slightly hotter temperature than I normally use. This helps to ensure that other garments are not stained by the newly dyed item in the wash!
It's addictive! Once you start - you can't stop!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Our Christmas Tree!

Every year, we decorate our Christmas Tree differently. We don't use the same ornaments in the same way year after year. This year, we decided to paint all of last year's shiny baubles and stars WHITE! Of course those lovely red patterned cutout hearts are also there.

We have a tradition of buying our Christmas Tree from Overdale Farm in Kloof , which is just around the corner from us.

Since we have had a Fresh Green Tree, we cannot go back to having an artificial one again.
The farm is so beautiful that the trip there is a Christmas experience all on it's own. As you drive down the driveway, you can see the fields of Christmas Trees on the right.

Well the tree is done. Just the pressies underneath that still need a lot of working on!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bouchara Beauties

Look what delightful little French numbers my tree is going to be sporting this Christmas!

They came all the way from here!!


Visit Bouchara for more delight! Here is some more of what I would like...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Delectable Designs

Do you remeber the fun we had a while back with Katja Gruijter's Patterned Bun and Heloise's Patterned Pita? I tried my hand at printing a pattern on food too - but the results were not worthy of publishing - unfortunately.
I am delighted to see that help is at hand for those of us who need it! Scrapcooking have a baking paper with the pattern printed onto it in edible ink.
By placing the slightly dampened biscuits onto the baking paper - they turn out beautifully patterned when they are baked!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chocolate Cheer!?

Bloomsbury Chocolates are made in New Zealand. I am sure the chocolate is delish - but I have really enjoyed the design of the packaging! This Mistletoe Man Magnet instructs the eater to "Hold strategically above head and stand by for action - Note: Individual results may vary!"
The Christmas Survival Chocolate - warns that "Festive Fever can be highly contagious" and advises the 'patient' to "Break off the desired dosage to ease discomfort"Finally this one can help when Family Tensions are running high:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Quirky and Countrified!

The Midlands Meander was the first "craft route" in South Africa. It was started many years ago by a group of local artists and crafters, who decided to try and entice visitors to this beautiful part of the country to explore their studios and galleries.The Midlands Meander has grown into an inspiring destination for craft, art, excellent food, wedding venues and delightful places to stay.
Betty's description of her Vintage Shop as "Quirky and Countrified" is an apt way to describe much of this beautiful, booming part of KZN.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Destiny!!!?

We had a lovely time in the Midlands. The wedding was great! So was the accommodation.
On the rare occasions that I go away to a lovely place and am treated very well - I get a sort of a feeling that this is my destiny - I was actually made to be pampered!

A sweet good night letter and choccies on our pillows...
A print-out of the weather forecast for the next day and suggested activities in keeping with the weather...
Fluffy white bathrobes hanging behind the door...

And beautiful gardens to explore...

Aaahhhh!!!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Les Blogs des Couture

I am off to the Natal Midlands for a Wedding this weekend - but before I go - the last French Fling for the Week - Some French Design Finds!
Le Petit Atelier de Paris is a boutique with a workshop on sight which specialises in Unique Handmade Goods. The towel holder is just one of their beautiful porcelain products.
Objet Deco has this magnificent pure Egyptian damask cotton.

Being the "Recyling Queen" that I am - I just had to add these 2 items featured on Pozzy Net!

These Delightful "Shirt Cushions" [I just have to try this some time!]

And this stunning Chandelier!
Au Revoir!