WHITTLING

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.

DEAD TREE GUIDE TO COMPUTER MONITORS

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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guitar hero sing star rockband buzz sims call of duty world of warcraft grand theft auto super mario track mania

DO NOT IMMERSE THE MONITOR IN WATER

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boole babbage leibnitz maxwell henry faraday ohm

USE PLASTIC TO PROPAGATE

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DO NOT PLACE IN SUN

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email skype blog twitter google letters iphone myspace wikipedia livejournal youtube

USE BURNING COAL TO POWER

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silicone copper gold dielectric lead silver

DO NOT FOCUS

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MULTITASK

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i am a child of the digital era but sometimes i yearn for something real

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IDEAAL EN WERKLIKHEID

An altered book.

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“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.”

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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.

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Obviously, there is a difference between the ideals we have, and the truths that play out.

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When this page is turned, the book becomes a bit undone. But THERE

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when you open it up becomes HERE

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And this page opens up completely

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And it looks completely different when held up to the light

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The page asks “is there consciousness in the mineral realm”

But it folds back up, and gets turned over.

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And no. The front cover has no reference to Green Lantern.

LEANDERTJIE’S MOBILE

What is that between the pomegranate blossoms?

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Bumblebees and hummingbirds!

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A mobile for little Leander who should be joining us soon.

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FRIDAY FOX

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A knitted fox scarf.

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As worn by Alicia Boshoff‘s Selkie.

HAPPY SPRING DAY

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You probably can’t notice it but that flower

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is entirely infused with Rose Geranium Essential Oil and

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now everyone is flitting around.

ISABELLE’S BUNNY


LEANDERTJIE’S JERSEY

LEGO HOUSE

I was inspired by Tom Alphin’s model for LEGO House (the museum in Billund) competition.

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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:

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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.)

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ADELE’S PURPLE JERSEY

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Sweet Adele is now more than a year old and I made her this purple jersey with the lovely Elle Baby Soft.

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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).

 

MOTLEY FINGER PUPPETS

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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.

Patterns on Ravelry.

TINY BABY JERSEY

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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.

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CHIBI TOTORO

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Chibis pattern

 

These chibi totoros are stuffed with plastic eggs that contain a single wooden bead each. The babies I made them for loved them. The parents thought they were bunnies.

(Studio Ghibli isn’t very popular amongst my peers).

The tail is very cute:

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And the size is perfect:

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FROG WOMEN

It was my mom’s birthday recently. She wanted roses.

I complied.

Packaging is important:
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The box is decorated with a cut-out from a page my baby boy made with food-coloured spaghetti.

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The magic inside:

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The roses, but also my version of the Venus of Hohle Fels, plus two tiny frog-woman-earrings.

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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.”

Frog Goddess

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.

KNITTED FROG

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ERATO

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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.

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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.

BOARD GAME CUSTOM BOX INSERT: POWER GRID

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.

 

01Before

 

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.

 

02PowerGrid

 

I wanted to do something different from my first design. I decided that I wanted to go for a minimalist design.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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).

 

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The incline is adjustable from 56° to 70°.

 

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So this is how it looks with everything packed in.

 

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And then after the current and future market stand is packed.

 

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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.

ELEPHANT FINGER PUPPET

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FINN’S CARDIGAN

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This sweet little cardigan has actually been finished for a while now. It was really fun to knit, I love the colours and the cable pattern.

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BOARD GAME CUSTOM BOX INSERT: NINJATO

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.”

A friend got me hooked on making custom box inserts using foam core and pointed me to The Esoteric Order of Gamers to get me started. You can see some of the stuff he’s done at Pimp My Games.

Here we have one such fine specimen:

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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:

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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.

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And as you can see, everything packs up neatly:

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FINGER PUPPETS

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:

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Here is where I am with the next one:

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And here is the lion and a crazy hedgehog (I finished the lion yesterday, after re-doing the mane twice):

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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.)

PENGUIN MOBILE

Willem made a black-and-white felt penguin mobile for Finn’s one-month-old day (work-in-progress pictures here).

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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.

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ORANGE HOODIE

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TINY JERSEYS AND OTHER KNIT PROJECTS

I have been very busy knitting!

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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).

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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.

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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.

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HAPPY WEDDING LEILA

Knitted toys on the confetti bags.

(The confetti was popcorn. So much fun!)

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Paper cranes hanging as decorations everywhere.

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And then, she gave each guest a little basil plant.

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DECORATIONS

A pile of paper cranes
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And a bag full of ribbon bows

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THIS LITTLE PIGGIE

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And check out the curly tail:

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LION

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Now this one, this one I’m happy with.

Check out the tail.

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Roar!

UGLY MOUSE

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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.

 

 

We’ll see.

FOX GIRL

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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 GARTER

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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).

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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.

 

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VINYL TOY DISPLAY CASES

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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.

PINK BUNNY

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?

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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.”)

But my one colleague at work has very generously bought me a ton of new toy patterns that I’m dying to try out… just gotta get the other wedding‘s tasks out of the way first…

Yay weddings!

CROWNS

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:

 

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They liked it so much they didn’t take them off all day, even after the party.

KITCHEN TEA INVITE

While we were still planning a more traditional kitchen tea (in the end we went for something totally different) I made this design to act as the invite.

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A WALK IN THE WOODS

Illustration made for my sister’s bachelorette party (it was a joint bachelor party too).

 

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(I know, the pixelation!  Only realised it afterwards.)

KNITTED BIRDS

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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.

TAKEN OUT

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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.

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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.

FISH CASE

Tablet case.

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HOWLIN’ WOLF

Key chain.

Front.

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Back.

 

Howlin Wolf Key Chain Back

OWL

A felted Kindle case.

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Owl Kindle Case Detail

Owl Kindle Case Detail Face

BEARD IN THE WOODS

A felted CD cover.

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GOLDFISH

 

“How hard can it be to make up my own knitting pattern?  I’m bored with just following patterns other people wrote down.”

 

Turns out, it can be very hard indeed.

 

This is what I came up with.
 

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A knitted goldfish!

 

RED BUNNY NUGGETS

 

 

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.

 

I’ve been knitting like mad, starting with this pair:
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Danger Crafts presents Bunny Nuggets A Very Lovely Knitting Pattern

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.

 

BUNNY NUGGETS

Rabbits, a ninja, a penguin, Sam and Finn:

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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.