Family


My fabulous sister-in-law has finally got around to starting a blog for her Jane the Clerk range of beautiful clothes. None of her clothing is pictured yet, but her gorgeous range of African-styled cravats is there, and she’s promising a tutorial (I can’t wait to see it, but I’ll probably still buy hers, since she’s incredibly stylish and chooses the most beautiful fabrics). Her musings on clothes, life and, most importantly, the perfect red lipstick are well-written, funny and interesting. So go on over and take a look. And buy her stuff!

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I’m downloading half of these as I type. Fantastic free, open-source educational softward, including a very cute OS designed for kids. Now that I’m ready to have my kids start playing around on my computer, I’ve been looking for things like this. At least two of these are actually being used at their school, so they’re already familiar with them and my daughter’s been begging me to get ‘the picture programme with the penguin’, which I’m assuming is Tuxpaint.

I just love this cute little bag. My daughter has been asking for a sewing project to work on and I think this will be perfect. Plus, I think I want one too.

Tutorial on The Object Project

Tutorial on The Object Project

Well, our friend arrived and of course I had got nowhere near finishing Caitlin’s comforter (though I am doing well with the embroidered panels and have added a couple more fabrics – a post on the embroidery next week). I decided I wanted to make our friends a special gift. I’d seen a few wonderful blog entries from creative embroiderers who had turned their children’s drawings into embroidered pieces, so I had some inspiration … I had my daughter, who is crazy about art projects, draw pictures of our friends, and then embroidered the pictures on a set of cotton pillowcases. I think they turned out quite nicely…

Slightly blurry photo of rather creased pillowcases.

Slightly blurry photo of rather creased pillowcases.

While they were here, we took our friends on a whirlwind tour of the Victoria Street Market in Durban, and fabric shops in the surrounding area. Needless to say, we shopped up a storm. Just look at all those beautiful fabrics…

Shopping and eating and having fun

Shopping and eating and having fun

And on that shopping spree I got these marvellous plastic-framed mirrors, which I plan to make into a display on the orange wall in our lounge…

Pretty pretty

Pretty pretty

I have a shopping list. On this list is:

1 x tent with at least two rooms and an undercover but not outdoor space.
2 x sleeping bags
4 x blox-up camping pillows
1 x high-quality inflatable camping mattress
1 x large basin to be the bar (keeping the drinks cold being *extremely* important, you understand

Gorgeous view, including neighbouring tent that I covet.

Gorgeous view, including neighbouring tent that I covet.

This list is based on the fact that, while our camping weekend was a very large amount of fun, it was also plagued by leaky tents, nowhere to sit while it rained, hard ground and some cold early-morning hours. And, of course, the necessity of keeping the drinks cold. Since we’ll probably not going camping again for several months, what with Autumn kicking in and our aversion to camping in snow, I have some time to get the equipment right. Of course, we may need to buy a new car, or a trailer or something, to accommodate all the equipment, but we’ll worry about that later. Nonetheless, as I pointed out to a friend who queried why we didn’t just stay somewhere with nice chalets with en-suite bathrooms, even with the outlay on equipment to make our stay more comfy, camping is about as cheap as it gets for a family of four. And the kids just love it. We practically didn’t see our kids the whole weekend, except when they wandered back to camp to raid the snack basket. We stayed at a great campsite in the Champagne Valley, called Mountain Splendour. It’s owned by lovely people who are incredibly helpful, as are the friendly staff who put your tent up for you and keep the camp spotless and lovely. There are pony rides and jungle gyms, a swimming pool, and even a boma with a TV helpfully tuned to the current Important Sporting Event (this made my friend Gareth happy when he woke up really early Saturday morning and got to watch the Sharks win at rugby). Beautiful views and electrified, nicely shaded sites make for happy campers, and the lovely clean ablution blocks with ample hot water make for clean campers. And all this cost us less than R400 for the weekend for the four of us (ok, obviously not counting the food). Now that’s what I call a good deal.

On the whole, I had a marvellous weekend, and was thoroughly spoiled by my marvellous family. I count myself extremely lucky.

I took many many photos this weekend, but I am particularly pleased with the ones below. I’m not a photogeek really, so when I get a shot I am quite impressed with, it’s generally just fluke. That’s particularly true of this first one, which was intended to be a shot of a friend, but somehow cut most of him off and made something else quite lovely instead.

camphalfdsmall

Driving into a small but fierce storm on the road home.

Driving into a small but fierce storm on the road home.

roadtrucksmall