The day I finished this set of earrings, I saw three white-bellied sunbirds, and I’m 90% certain I saw a black sunbird too (hard to tell, it flew past overhead and I was squinting against the sun). Today, I was wearing these earrings, and my son asked me to wait for him outside. I sat down, and heard a chirping, and looked across into the yellow weeds, and there was a pair of white-bellied sunbirds, sampling the early flowers and singing. I’ve been contemplating planting more strelitzias to attract them and it’s good to see that they are already present in my garden.
Star Realms is a super fun two-player card game. The only downside is that when we put on the card protector sleeves, they wouldn’t fit into the original box. And the life counters. The life counter cards don’t work. We had received the game as a gift, and included in the gift were two sets of 10-sided die. But we didn’t like this as life counters either.
So, lots of issues with Star Realms. The solutions?
First off, a new box:
Secondly, plastic knitting row counters for the life indicators:
All packaged neatly with a custom Plexiglass insert:
I’ve recently taken up whittling. My very first attempt, a peg man, was not particularly successful, despite a lick of paint and a scarf. My second item, a tiny little bird, came out much better. I made a modelling clay mock-up before I started- that’s the brown bird you see in the photos below.
I love the tactile experience that the knife marks create. The photos don’t really show the scale – the bird is really tiny, like in “nestles in the palm of your hand and you can close your fist around it” tiny. Unfortunately I’ve given it away as a gift otherwise I would retry photographing it.
A book made from the manuals that came with the computer monitors installed on my desk at work. There are only three monitors but somehow I had ended up with seven driver disks and 10 manuals.
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DO NOT IMMERSE THE MONITOR IN WATER
boole babbage leibnitz maxwell henry faraday ohm
USE PLASTIC TO PROPAGATE
edit this page requires cleanup please read standards here no references citated incorrect format
DO NOT PLACE IN SUN
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USE BURNING COAL TO POWER
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DO NOT FOCUS
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i am a child of the digital era but sometimes i yearn for something real
An altered book.
“Ideaal en Werklikheid” by G. van N. Viljoen
Altered to “the mystery of things that go bump in the night” during an art retreat with Emma Willemse. The topic of the retreat was “Sound.”
I have to confess, I did not read the book prior to altering it. It was published in the 70’s, and seems to be about how the Afrikaners have done a good job.
Obviously, there is a difference between the ideals we have, and the truths that play out.
When this page is turned, the book becomes a bit undone. But THERE
when you open it up becomes HERE
And this page opens up completely
And it looks completely different when held up to the light
The page asks “is there consciousness in the mineral realm”
But it folds back up, and gets turned over.
And no. The front cover has no reference to Green Lantern.
What is that between the pomegranate blossoms?
Bumblebees and hummingbirds!
A mobile for little Leander who should be joining us soon.
A knitted fox scarf.
As worn by Alicia Boshoff‘s Selkie.
You probably can’t notice it but that flower
is entirely infused with Rose Geranium Essential Oil and
now everyone is flitting around.
I was inspired by Tom Alphin’s model for LEGO House (the museum in Billund) competition.
My version turned out to be a home rather than a museum. I was inspired by the open plan of the Farnsworth House (okay so it’s more of a bachelor pad to bring the ladies to for a weekend romp). But when I wanted to add Tom’s pool I got into a bind: I don’t have enough of the round tiles to really get that LEGO bricks look that Tom’s so cleverly managed.
The great thing about LEGO is that one can just dismantle certain portions and try again.
So here is my final LEGO House:
A Lego model of two floors of @88 in Ballito
The windows and large balcony of this vacation home was especially inspiring, and I wanted to replicate that with Lego. It’s always frightening to start a new endeavour, Lego Architecture being my latest. What helped was being able to build this from the privacy of our own balcony on holiday (although my mother-in-law did keep on photographing me as I progressed.)
Sweet Adele is now more than a year old and I made her this purple jersey with the lovely Elle Baby Soft.
The pattern called for six buttons and two back panels. And I knitted the back panels only to realise that the jersey is constructed to have two fold-over pieces buttoned with only two buttons at the top, which basically means that the back can flop open. Not what you want when your primary concern is to keep a child warm. My version has one solid, proper, warm back (basically a duplication of the front but without the buttonholes).
A set of four knitted African animals finger puppets made for Baby Finn. He loves it when they give him kisses on his cheek.
With the hippo I ran out of yarn halfway through! And the poor hedgehog’s head is skew, and with that furry wool it is impossible to unsew. I like how the lion came out at least.
This jersey is so tiny! I loved making it. The baby girl is due in June/July. The mother is not doing too well.
May this jersey be worn by a perfect, healthy little being. May she be born after gestating long enough to form properly. May she bring her parents so much joy.
Dear Finn’s hat:
It was my mom’s birthday recently. She wanted roses.
Packaging is important:
The box is decorated with a cut-out from a page my baby boy made with food-coloured spaghetti.
The magic inside:
The roses, but also my version of the Venus of Hohle Fels, plus two tiny frog-woman-earrings.
The figures are made with polymer clay. The idea originally was to make the earrings both like the Venus of Hohle Fels, but I made the first one too big and then when I tried to re-make them I got frustrated with re-doing something that’s not originally mine. So I rather made my own version of the Marija Gimbutas Frog Woman. Because, frogs! Frogs are the best. I should have named this website “Creative Froggeries.”
When my mom showed her one friend, she said that she would never have thought she would live in a world where one could get earrings such as these. I think she was disappointed when my mom told her that they were made for her, not bought.
Book cover, made from felt, for a friend’s morning pages. Erato is the muse of lyrical poetry – the type of poetry that deals with emotionality. Of all the muses, she suits our friend the best.
Willem and I both worked on it. I had started but due to work obligations was unable to finish. Willem works more neatly than I do anyway, so it ended up looking much better than it would have.
We had end of year exams and instead of marking, I decided to start my next game box insert. The thing is, I had a lot of ideas for Power Grid, but didn’t know how they would fit together. Luckily, during the exams, I have to invigilate (being a teacher) which gives me ample time to figure out the nuts and bolts.
This is what I had to start with. The challenge with Power Grid is that the box is shallow, even though it has a big surface area.
I wanted to do something different from my first design. I decided that I wanted to go for a minimalist design.
To keep the box in order (control freak that I am), the different shapes underneath each box correspond with a unique shape on the bottom of the main box. The idea was to give the boxes rotational symmetry so that it doesn’t matter which way you place it in the box, but my lack of accuracy made that each box unfortunately only fits one way. Oh well.
For the bank, current market (also called actual market) and future market, I got this inspiration from a guy on BoardGameGeek. But I wanted to tweak it a bit. The bottom of each money slot is slightly curved for ease of use.
I used a label maker to indicate the current and future market. I added a strip of mounting board to each shelf to make it stronger (that’s the white lines you see there).
The incline is adjustable from 56° to 70°.
So this is how it looks with everything packed in.
And then after the current and future market stand is packed.
Just like with Ninjato, I wanted to use mounting board to create a surface on which the game board can rest. Although, with Power Grid, the insert that came with the game was so beautiful that I thought I had to reuse it. So after a few cuts and a little bit of glue, there it is.
With most board games these days, it seems that the creative juices have dried up once the game has been designed, and that someone in marketing says “Ah, just throw the stuff in a box.”
Here we have one such fine specimen:
I love Ninjato, but let’s face it: having two columns for all the pieces and cards?
Here’s what I came up with using foam core:
I thought it was done, but something was nagging. I realised that the game board might damage the box insert or vice versa. So I got mounting board, which in itself is quite thin but strong.
And as you can see, everything packs up neatly:
When I was a little girl, I really wanted finger puppets. I guess I never actually told anyone this because I’m sure my mom would have gotten me some if she knew I wanted them. Anyway, I read that it’s beneficial to expose your baby to finger puppetry because it helps teach socialisation skills. Not that my kid needs help (he’s a flirt) but I’m making finger puppets because I can.
Here’s the Work-in-Progress picture I took on the 13th already:
Here is where I am with the next one:
And here is the lion and a crazy hedgehog (I finished the lion yesterday, after re-doing the mane twice):
Babies take up a lot of time, but I’m very excited, I’m starting my art classes again next week. Hopefully I won’t let a month pass before sharing what I’m doing, but I’m not making any promises.
(And apologies for the blurry pics but honestly, I’m too lazy/tired/meh right now to do anything about it).
(And by the way, what my baby did when I tried showing him the finger puppets? He promptly grabbed the hedgehog by the hair and stuffed the face into his mouth. I should have known better.)
Willem made a black-and-white felt penguin mobile for Finn’s one-month-old day (work-in-progress pictures here).
They are installed above his nappy changing station and embroidered with the words “VIR FINN LIEFDE PAPPA” (For Finn Love Daddy)
Apparently he can’t really see them yet, but they do capture his attention. He can be screaming bloody murder and then, suddenly, out of nowhere, stare at the penguins without blinking.
I have been very busy knitting!
First is the jersey I made for my friend’s baby. It was so sweet, they were saying that their little girl (95% sure it’s a girl) won’t have any handmade things except for what I make her! And then, as we were leaving their house after presenting this pink jersey, their beautiful Golden Retriever retrieved the only hand knitted jersey … ai. Luckily, my friend saw it before the dog had a chance to start chewing. And their dogs are well trained, so he actually listened when she said “Stop! Down!” whereas my Labrador would have taken that to be the start of the game. So the jersey was just a little wet, no actual damage done.
Then, I’m making an orange jersey for my own boy (due 1 April).
He’s also getting a frog.
Who is currently armless because I ran out of wool. Who would have thunk it? I originally started making this frog for Leila’s wedding but she was too big.
And finally, I finished a sock. The stitches pulled funny because I was knitting with only three needles, not four, and using the fourth one as a cable needle. Turned out to be a bad idea. I fashioned a different cable needle in the end, but should probably have just started over.
When there are only a few days left and still many toys to knit, one shouldn’t be too critical about the results.
But I really really really dislike this mouse.
It’s not even ugly in a cute kinda way.
I almost didn’t post it, but I think years from now it’ll be nice to have a record of them all.
I actually made this little one for Leila’s Wedding, but she’s too big. So she’s going to be a gift for a recently pregnant friend. Congratulations!
Knitted with cotton, adorned with an earring and suede ribbon to go with the bride’s purple shoes. The bride has an off-white dress, and I thought that a knitted garter would add to the rustic feel of the whole wedding (not that many people are actually going to see the garter).
I also made a sample for the bride to keep. It’s one of the things I regret about my own wedding, I had made this beautiful beaded garter and never even took a photograph of it. The sample also acted as a handy prototype: in the final piece I decided to do only one repeat of the shale lace pattern at the bottom, in stead of three.
During the July holiday, I worked on this project to make these nine display boxes with built-in LEDs for exhibiting my vinyl toy collection, and at the same time keep them dust free. The display cases were designed to complement our DVD collection.
This wool is such a favourite, my instructions are now to make all the rest of the toys in this. Soft and pink, what’s not to love about this bunny?
I’m not very good at doing the same thing over and over though… I’m starting to make silly mistakes that make the toys look a bit warped. (It’s the same reason it’s taking me so long to finish painting the fishes, it’s like “okay I’ve done three now I’m bored I’m not having any fun.”)
Over the weekend we held my sister and her fiancé’s pre-wedding party (in lieu of the traditional kitchen tea and bachelor parties, we had one big party for boys and girls with hiking and yoga and milk tart). But the bride and groom have to stand out! So I made them some ribbon crowns:
They liked it so much they didn’t take them off all day, even after the party.
Using the free pattern – thanks Ms Kellner. I love her patterns, they’re knitted in the round and mostly in one piece – so after knitting, it’s just a quick stuff, a small bit of sewing, adding eyes and you’re done.
We decided that it would be a good idea to have a dedicated place in our DVD shelf for borrowed and taken out DVDs.
Being Afrikaans, in stead of labelling it “taken out” or “rentals” to use the Afrikaans word, “uitgeneem”. It is laser engraved in reverse at the back of the transparent Plexiglas, which was bent at 90 degrees to fit exactly over the shelf.
We are currently borrowing Modern Family from a friend, and the other five was rented from Cinema@Home. You might notice that The Squid and the Whale is not in the Cinema@Home packaging, this is because the excellent employees at the store went into the back room to get it out for us, as it is not currently on the shelves.
The choice of transparent Plexiglas was influenced by the Spike Jonze movie Her.
A bunny nugget and a sweet little bird.
This handsome fox, Ash, is also based on Rebecca Danger’s Bunny Nuggets, if you can believe it.
Knitted bunnies made from Sarah Elizabeth Kellner’s free pattern. I love how the tail came out.
My sister-in-law Leila has asked me (and a bunch of other crafty people in her family) to make small soft toys, to be given away as wedding favours at her upcoming very special day.
A very lovely pattern indeed, given how many of these I’ve made already! I modified the Rebecca Danger pattern to give the bunnies shaped ears.
Who needs to post a gazillion pictures when one anigif will do? You are looking at a bunch of little knitted objects that I had made for Willem’s birthday. One day I’ll add a “craft” section to this site where there will be more details. These nuggets started with this pattern but I made a sum total of zero exactly like that design.