Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Holly Jolly Christmas!

School is finished for the year and we are so excited that summer and Christmas holidays are here! 

Summer has arrived in Cape Town and the days are hot and the sunsets ate late into the evening. 

My husband and I went for supper at one of our favourite little restaurants at Kalk Bay with beautiful views over the sea. I love walking in and out of the little shops with interesting clothes, art, decor and antiques. 

There are lots of cute little lanes like this one to explore.

 I have been making these adorable little animals for orders. This is Georgina the Hippo and I made Benedict the Chimpanzee and I am busy with Emma the Bunny (one of my favourites)  

 A friend just bought 2 of my daisies and I hope to find time next year to start working with clay again! I miss it so much! 

This is the body and head of the Bunny in progress!

My crazy, funny, beautiful, loving furry friend Troy. My prescious Weimaraner boy who has just turned 3!! He makes me smile everyday and truly is my best friend! 

We are flying to my hometown Durban for a family wedding and staying for Christmas. I am so looking forward to seeing all my family and friends! Durban is where is grew up and finished my schooling and studies. I miss my family and Durban beaches and warm ocean! I have so many wonderful memories of growing up in this friendly beautiful city! 

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!! 

Shirley xx 

Monday, November 16, 2015


The week started with celebrating my birthday! I love birthdays and surprises and so I was up early with my family opening up presents! I was so spoilt and blessed with presents, phone calls and messages throughout the day. We spent the day in Cape Town at the Waterfront. One of my favourite places! The Christmas tree is so huge and stunning - just imagine it at night full of twinkle lights! 

My husband met us for lunch at Melissa's - their food is so deliscious. 

Beautiful Table Mountain! 

 My daughter had a photo shoot as part of her birthday present at Boulders beach. We love this beach with its crystal clear water, huge boulders  and the cute little penguins. 

It was a little chilly in the early morning so we didn't have a swim! 

 I made 11 little poppies for Remembrance Day on 11 November. We remember those in World War 1 - 1918! I followed a video tutorial by Bella Coco to make these little poppies.  http://www.bellacoco.co.uk/  

I just love these words and think that everyday we need to reflect and remember how blessed we are! I used my watercolour paints to paint this little design - added one of my little crochet flowers with a button and attached it to a small white hoop. It is a little extra gift for a friend for Christmas. Yes I am busy with my Christmas list! 

There was time to relax in the sunshine with our beautiful weimaraner! 

Saturday morning I woke to the devastating news of the attacks in Paris. I couldn't hold back tears as I watched the news reports in horror.  Some of theses attacks took place near where we had visited only 6 weeks ago! We all felt the pain and sadness! 

" later that night 
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world 
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered

- Warsan Shire 

 As we walked on Kommetjie beach in the late afternoon sunshine  and soaked in the beauty of this place we call home - I was reminded  - "Count your Blessings" - everyday! 

Have a wonderful week! 

Shirley xx 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hello November....

 It is hard to believe its already November and nearly Christmas! All the Christmas decorations are in the stores and the busyness of end of the year has begun.  It has been a very busy week and my husband was also  away on business.  We spent a much needed relaxing weekend  at my nieces apartment in Camps Bay while she is way overseas. There is something so  simple and beautiful about this seaside little bay near Cape Town city centre. We took a long walk along the coastal road and stopped at a favourite coffee shop "Baked". Delicious cinnamon croissants and the much needed strong cappacino! 

 I never get tired of watching the sunset with my man! 

Sunday morning we ventured back to our coffee shop for  almond croissants! I think this could become a Sunday morning tradition! Just like every morning in Paris! 

I could not resist this pattern when I saw it on one of my favourite crochet blogs -  http://byhaafner.blogspot.co.za/! The first square of a new blanket! I am using MoYa yarn in a gorgeous  - Lilac colour. This pattern is using a new stitch I learnt - the Popcorn stitch! I love the way it "pops" out! 

I started joining the little hexagons  together for the little baby blanket for my niece. Slowly making progress.  

My first large granny square blanket is now all finished and being put to good use! Magazine, coffee and chocolate break! 

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                    I am so excited my MoYa yarn order arrived! So many beautiful colours!  

A friends yarn order is all packaged and ready to deliver! She chose a lovely cream -" Sand" and is making a beautiful skirt. I will post pictures when she is finished. 

I am now a MoYa yarn supplier - so if you are interested in ordering please send me an email and I will send you my catalogue of colours. 

This week I plan to start a few gifts for Christmas presents and a new little Christmas cross stitch! 

What are your Christmas plans? 

Happy creating xx 


Monday, October 26, 2015

C'est la Vie ....Life is Beautiful

Summer has finally arrived in Cape Town and I am so happy! I am a summer girl and a real "beach bum"! We went for a beautiful walk on my favourite beach - Kommetjie which is a few minutes drive from us. I have been walking here for 16 years now - since we moved to Cape Town from my home town Durban.  This is my second weimaraner - Troy. He will be 3 years old next week and he absolutley loves his runs with us on this beautiful beach.  BEACH - Best Escape Anyone Can Have! :) Its defintely my place of escape ! 

I am blessed to have my niece living in Cape Town too. Her and her husband live about 45 minutes away from us in Camps Bay - near Cape Town city centre, Waterfront and Table Mountain. We often visit her and I love spending time chatting and catching up with her. This is the beautiful view from her apartment of Lions Head. You also have a gorgeous view of the Camps Bay  beaches and out the back of her apartment there is a magnificent view of Table Mountain! 

We enjoy having a coffee and almond croissants at her local  coffee shop  - Baked! Best coffee and croissants ( almost  as good as Paris) 

This is the view from my running route. My run takes me along the Fish Hoek coastline and at this time of year you are almost certain to spot whales in this bay. 

 This little chap is a friends tortoise who happily lives in his garden. He has become so tame that he follows our friend into his house and he hand feeds him slices of apple and lettuce. He is just so cute! 

My granny blanket is finished! Just in time for - Summer! It is sitting proudly in my lounge waiting  for - Winter!! I am so happy with it and already have plans to start a new one but different design and colours.

I  have also started a hexagon blanket in these simple colours - white, grey and charcoal. It is a special baby blanket for my niece who is expecting her first baby early next year! So exciting! 

After many months of not cross stitching i am feeling inspired! I want to finish this cute little Country Cottage Needlework chart - "The Cafe". It reminds me so much of the lovely little cafes in Paris.

 I love Country Cottage Needlework charts and this one is special to me. I was trying to order this chart and it was not available as it was out of print!. I was reading blogs as I always do and somehow stumbled upon this very chart on a cross stitch blog! I emailed the lady asking if I could buy it from her? She immediately responded and said she loved the chart and did not want to sell it but amazingly found me a link to an online shop that had this chart. Carol and I have now become friends through our blogs and love of cross stitch! Her blog is absolutely beautiful and my source of inspiration - please take time to follow her and read her blog. http://stitchingdream.blogspot.co.za/ My goal for next year is to stitch small charts as I really don't have the time to stitch large work. Her small charts are beautifully stitched and sewn with pretty fabric and lace/ribbon. I love her Christmas ones! Thank you Carol for all your comments, emails and support as I start on my blog journey! 

 I couldnt resist this beautiful chart of Paris! I am getting the thread and fabric ready to start it this week. I think I might make it into a pillow with pretty fabric and lace?  

Have a wonderful week of crafting, art and stitching! C'est la Vie!

Shirley xx 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Back to reality ...

It was so wonderful to come back home to my two girls and the comfort of my home. It has taken me a few weeks to get my head around the daily routine of Homeschooling the girls and so with Paris and our amazing holiday still very much in my head I chose 12 of my favourite pictures from out trip. I chose a simple white frame and cut all the pictures into perfect little squares and arranged them in a grid pattern. I am loving how it turned out and it is above my desk so I glance at it often! 

We were so blessed to be invited to Gordons Bay for a weekend away. Gordons Bay is an easy hour drive away from Cape Town and is a beautiful little seaside town with a lovely little harbour. This was the sunset view from our apartment. We had such a lovely weekend with family and exploring this little town.
Before we headed home we went to Waterkloof Wine estate which is just 15 minutes away from Gordons Bay. We enjoyed the wine tasting and the beautiful panoramic views from this beautiful wine farm. I especially love the very modern and interesting  building and the fynbos which covers the mountains. 


I love this sculpture tree in the garden of the wine farm and again the most beautiful views down to Gordon's Bay and the ocean. 

I have been very busy over the last week and weekend planning and organising my "baby" daughters 12 birthday and party! I cant believe she is 12 and so tall! She had a wonderful birthday and fun time with all her friends! 

 Here are all the hundreds of flowers that were sent in from all over the world for Yarndale 2015 project. The project was put together by Sheila Metcalfe who is the most amazing women. Her vision was to raise money for the Alzeihmers society which is such a worthy cause! 

 All the flowers were then pinned onto these large panels in colours and displayed at Yarndale. 

 Such a magnificent display! 

I just love this picture of Sheila pinning the flowers on! Amazing and so beautiful! Sheila emailed me to thank me for the flowers I sent and tell me they raised £1862 for the Alzeihmers society! Wonderful!

Here are my little flowers I sent. This week I have my crochet hook out at last and have started a new blanket project! I also took out my cross stitch and will post pics this weekend of my projects and progress!

Happy crafting! 

Shirley xx 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Countryside and the coast... Provence to St Tropez!

We arrived in Avignon which is a beautiful picturesque french country town and hired a car! My husband had to navigate his way around driving on the opposite side of the road and opposite side of car! 

 We drove to a gorgeous little town called Gourdes. 

Crepes and cafe au lait are a must when in France!     

These ancient buildings with their blue shutters are so beautiful.

 We stopped off in the town of Arles which dates back to 800 B.C! The magnificent Amphitheartre was but in 90 A.D. and was capable of seating over 20 0000 spectators. It was built to provide entertainment  in the form of chariot  races and hand to hand battles. Today it draws large crowds for bullfighting and plays and concerts in summer! 

 Crepes for lunch! My favourite lunch  with cafe au lait!


We stayed in Avignon. Beautiful boutiques and old buildings and lots of art and museums. I loved  stumbling  upon a puppeteer in the street! 

The Palais des Papes is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe! This building was the papal residence for Christianity in the 14 th century. Today it is a tourist attraction. It was so interesting walking around this ancient building and discovering old frescoes and reading fascinating facts about its history and the many Popes.

I was so excited when I found this beautiful "French Weimaraner! He was so similar to my weimaraner back home! 

Le Pont du Gard was my husbands highlight. This magnificent Roman aqueduct is in a town nearby Avignon. It spans the Gardon river valley and is 275 metres long, 49 metres high, 6 metres wide at the base and 3 metres wide at the top. It has a total of 53 arches. It was built around 50- 60 A.D. It is now a Unesco World Heritage site - truly amazing experience to walk around this structure. 

Creme brulee of course! French food is - magnificent!

 There was always time to stop and relax, chat and have a cafe au lait! 

 We then drove down to the coast of France and stopped at St Tropez! It was so busy and the weather was beautiful so everyone was out in their luxurious boats on the Mediterranean! 


We were told by friends to carry on along the coast to a beautiful seaside town called Cassis. Here we spent the afternoon in our costumes soaking up the warm sun. This was my favourite spot on the Med! The water was a little cold - similar to Cape Town water! 


 We then headed back to our hotel to meet our friend James who had also joined us for a few days in Avignon. This was the sunset from the  terrace of his room looking over the rooftops of Avignon. So beautiful! 

 My favourite place in the french countryside - Roussillon! There are many shades of ochre on the houses of the village, taken from the palette of the old ochre quarry in the valley nearby. It is on a ridge of steep red cliff and at the top as you make your way up the narrow winding streets you get a wonderful panoramic view across the valley to the Grand Luberon, the slopes of Mount Ventoux and the picturesque town of Vaucluse.


These colours are just beautiful. 

Chatting with James and trying to find a creperie and cafe au lait! Or maybe a glass or two of wine!! 

 We took the fast train back to Paris for one last night and day before flying home! After supper we headed to explore Centre Pompidou.It is an amazing art museum with a beautiful restaurant on the roof with a look out deck. Here we watched the sunset and the Eiffel Tower  light up in all her gold glory!  
"La vie est belle." ( Life is beautiful) 

Our last day in Paris we walked along the Seine and over the Love Lock bridges and did our last shopping and sipped our cafe au lait. How blessed we are and to have such a wonderful holiday together. Forever grateful for Paris and France and all her beauty and charm!