Apr 29, 2007

Chocolate Bee cake

With modern technology, we were able to share my son's birthday cake with him over in UK.

Lorna, his wife baked a delicious chocolate cake, filled with nuts and decorated with marzipan bees with almond wings, mmm just looking at the photos we could taste it. Aah now if only we could have been there.

Apr 28, 2007

More surprises

As well as the wonderful wild flowers, the view is spectacular and each morning it presents a different picture.

Morning Surprise

Every morning on my walkabout, nature surprises me with a new flower, scene or other delight.
This morning, despite the cold wind and autumnal weather, there were new flowers to be seen.

These are all wild flowers, growing in their virgin land, untampered by man, one of the reasons why we leave our bottom acre as it has always been.

Who knows what this greenery will bring tomorrow?
More in next post.

Crazy Patchwork -Scissor Fob and Old boxes

Today I learnt how to do crazy patchwork. Anne my quilter friend gave us a workshop making a scissor fob using crazy patchwork. I LOVE IT! oh I can't wait to try out more ideas, ideas that just kept tumbling around in my head as i was working on the scissor pouch. Crazy patchword is wonderful to use up all those scraps of fabric and bits and pieces for embellishing. Will show a picture of mine as soon as it's is finished. Here are some samples of the ones Anne did.

Old boxes. I love boxes of all sizes, especially old wooden ones. Here are three smallish ones from my collection.
The one on the left is quite old and has mother-of-pearl inlay. The centre one is not as old and has a working clock inside. The little one on the right is the latest one in my collection and comes from Egypt. My daughter bought is as a gift from her recent holiday there. It is very pretty and lots of inlay work.

Apr 27, 2007

Tips for Ageing

My favourite tip for ageing is burnt umber. I love this stuff and use it on most of my pieces.
Place a little on a cloth and using your finger under the cloth, gently rub burnt umber in places to age, especially around edges and corners. I use it on paper, cloth, wood, clay well anything and everything.
Another thing I use frequently is shellac. Shellac is basically used for french polishing but makes a great ageing medium as well. Shellac is mixed with methelated spirits and the liquid can then be applied to paper, wood, fabrics, clay. Be sure you have done all you need to do on fabric like stitching etc before adding shellac as item will get quite hard.
To make great aged tags, paint your paper with one coat shellac, let dry completely, then write your wording once dry. Shellac on paper gives it a lovely almost waxy feel and your paper won't tear as easily.

Apr 26, 2007

aged box

I acquired 15 nesting boxes, covered in a pale creamy/yellow paper with a light tan lid. I thought i would paint and age these but it was harder than i anticipated. After much sanding, painting, sanding and rubbing i finally finished the first one, the smallest box about 3inches in diameter. I did a watercolour on the box of a fraktur bird. Knowing me and repeating things, i will probably do different ones, but would like to make another to match this. Love to know what you think, click on comment under the posting and leave your message.

New Seasons Oranges

The first new seasons orange's are out, just in time to chase away our winter colds. These are surprisingly sweet and juicy for the first of the season. The blue china bowl is an old one of mine, I love its floral pattern of tiny white daisy-like flowers, its patterned inside and out. When held up to the light and you can see right through the china.

Old Stuff

I love to surround myself with old stuff, especially old kitchen ware. I have a passion for old wooden items, bowls, rolling pins, old baskets, scales, old enamelware, well anything old.

Its hard to find stuff here that is really old, most of it has been snapped up by anitque dealers or collectors, so its always extra special when one does come across something that brings a pang to one's heart and an itch to one's hands to grab it and savour its history.

Here are a few of my treasured items.

Penny Rugs

Today I finished my first penny rug, I loved doing this and it was thanks to Karen from KMPrimitives for giving us an online lesson. Thank you Karen, you're a great teacher and wonderful person! Picture will have to wait until all penny rugs are completed.
Next i want to learn rug hooking and punch needle and so many other things. It never stops and I cannot understand anyone ever being bored with all that there is to do in the crafting world!
You can visit Karens wonderful penny rugs at

Apr 25, 2007

What Bliss!

What bliss:
I am sitting outside on our deck, it’s a beautiful day, clear blue sky, gentle warmth from an autumn sun, the trees are hardly nodding their heads, they too are just enjoying the moment of stillness. The only sound breaking the silence now and then is the call of the wild birds. Little manikins have come to feed, although twittering excitedly; they are sitting in a neat row, heads bobbing up and down while gathering food. The Marico Sunbirds are out in their gorgeous colours, iridescent scarlet band across their chest, contrasting with the metallic greenish-blue of their heads, they are truly one of nature’s beauty. The Blackheaded Oriole was early this morning; his fluty song could be heard above all. Flycatchers and woodpeckers dart in and out joined by the many weavers, laughing doves and forktailed Drongo’s.
I have a lovely CD playing in the background, it’s a flute arrangement by an old Chinese group, I am sure its beautiful sound has called to the birds for there are more than normal at one given time. Even the dogs are at peace, Jessie basking in the sun, (she is a sun worshipper), Sherlock resting under my table. How fortunate we are to enjoy such a beautiful world!

Here is a picture of a Tipuanatipu tree that has the Queen of the Night growing all over it. How it remains support is beyond me as the "Tipu" tree is quite a brittle tree and branches break off regularly. The Queen of the Night took 30 odd years to produce its first flower and then the flower only lasts for the night. Its a big pale yellow protea type flower, really beautiful.

Two new items painted and ready for my shop, tin milk can and tin watering can.

Apr 22, 2007

Sunday's work!

I am trying to update my website and write the next free newsletter from Mother Hubbard's Cupboard.
If you would like to subscribe to my mailing list and receive your copy via email of my next newsletter, just drop me a line at
The last one I sent out is still on my site at http://www.geocities.com/motherhubbardza/inbetween.html -The In-between Newsletter.

You can see a sample of what the next one will be about here
I should have it finished in a week or so with interesting tit-bits, freebies and lots of wonderful pictures and ideas.

Apr 21, 2007

Caroli Workshop -Carol De Wet

Saturday dawned bright and clear, it was the day of our special workshop in memory of our dear friend, Carol De Wet who recently passed away. Carol was the most positive person we have ever met and despite her battle with cancer over the past two and half years, she attended every club meeting and workshop since she joined us. One of her favourite bears she made was Tripoli, a special workshop bear I had designed to bring the members closer together. The workshop is called "And together they made a bear". Each person was given the same fabric (mohair) and pattern. We worked on the head first and completed these. The heads were then passed to the person on the left who attached their bear body part. This was once again passed to the person on the left who attached their bear leg parts and so on until the bear was totally finished. Each person was then given the bear back with their original head and had been made by all who attended. It is a wonderful workshop, bringing friends together, conversation is always hilarious and fun and Carol absolutely loved this. She had planned to attend this workshop with us on Sat 21st April and so in memory of our dear friend we named this bear "Caroli".

Apr 20, 2007

Gone too Soon.

I often think of that song title by Michael Jackson, although not a fan of his, this song struck home. How quickly things come and go, good things seldom last forever and certainly time does not stand still -yes "gone to soon" fits into my life very easily.

This week has flown by, I feel I haven't achieved anything I had set out to do, yet I suppose if I sat and wrote down all that has happened, it would fill a page.

I have made a start on my first penny rug, well its a penny rug wall hanging. I am enjoying it though progress is slow and being one of those who needs to finish an item before I can start anything else, I just want to get it done now. I have all these ideas tumbling around in my mind, bursting to get out. I thought writing them down would help but its only made me more impatient to try them out. That is something I need to develope more of -patience, not of others but of myself. I need to pace myself more when creating. Gone are the days when I would sit five to eight hours without a break, eventually emerging from my workroom, bent, unable to straighten up, but so excited to have completed a creation from start to finish. It was too much for my health. Now I sit no more than an hour at a stretch, walking the doggies in between or seeing to the many household chores and shopping. I still try to create every day, and many times into the night as well, but on a smaller scale.

Well hopefully this penny rug wall hanging will be completed in a day or two and I will post a picture as soon as its done.

In the meantime here is a beautiful scene to share with you, its a picture we took on a trip to the berg.

Apr 16, 2007

View below

I love walking through our bottom acre, its untamed and in its natural vegetation bar for the trees we have planted. The dogs love it, its like an adventure everytime we go there. Jessie rushes off, her strong hunting instincts start from the moment we are through the gate. Every stone, tuft of grass is inspected, eyes alert, body square and tail stiff, not much gets pass her attention. Sherlock strolls around inspecting his terriority like a true Scottish gentleman, ears up, nose in the air, cheeks puffing. I just amble on, taking in all the beauty of the valley below, its like another world. I love it!
I count my blessings every day! and try to enjoy them too, you know the saying, "stop to smell the flowers", well I try to stop every day on our walk and admire this beautiful world we live in. The sounds and sights change constantly. If one stands still, one can hear the tropical birds housed down in the valley, their cry for food as they are at their hungriest, the bells ringing in the little Lutherian church, the trafiic flow, distant dogs barking, even on a still clear day, folks talking, you can't hear what they say but you can hear the sounds, clip clopping of horses going for their early morning exercises, the resident wild guinea fowls just in that bush below, the birds of prey circling above, never mind all the other wild birds. It as if you are on top of the world. Its almost a 360 degree view.

Apr 15, 2007


Finally completed my bunny, Abby. I was very tempted to age her quite a bit but once i dressed her, I decided against that and just gave her a gentle aging. Abby is made in wool, has wool socks cut from an old pair (hubby doesn't know he has a pair missing), a hand knitted cotton jersey, plaid cotton skirt, calico bloomers and a wool scarf.

Apr 14, 2007

It's never too late!

This is what I'm working on at the moment, its a creation I should have completed last week, but its never too late to finish. Can you guess what it will be? I'm one of those people who can't have any UFO's lying around, I have to complete each creation before I continue with something else. That doesn't mean to say I only have one thought in my mind, I am in a constant state of ideas whirling around in my head, pen and paper are always handy, ready to draw or jot down thoughts for later use.

I should have this little creature finished by the morning, that is if i can stay awake all night. Well let me know what you think it will be, and we'll see if you were right.

Apr 13, 2007

Ducks of Nature

Yesterday on one of my meanders i found these gorgeous and unusual ducks, made totally from a natural tree root. The body (skirt ) of each duck are the fibrous roots and the neck and head have been carved out of the wood. Its all in one piece up to the neck which has been joined on and as each fibrous root is different so each duck is unique.

Apr 12, 2007

Paper Creations

Thank goodness the bees left without too much fuss. On a group I belong to, the conversation got onto paper creations. I love working in this medium and turning flat white plain ol' paper into a 3D creation. One of the best ways i have found to preserve your paper creation is to give it a coat of shellac where possible. Stitching the paper together gives it a great finish, you can stuff parts to make them 3D, add embellishments, dress them up in fabric and other papers, in fact wherever your imagination takes you.
Here are some samples of paper creations I have done. These were simple paper creations, old music sheet, mica flakes and rusty bells

This one is done by printing a picture of a face, with hat and heart ruffle. I added vintage tinsel around the ruffle and painted the back of the head/ruffle where necessary. I printed an extra hat to glue on the back of front of hat, so the back view looked complete. I then made an armature of the body/arms/legs using chenille stems and glued this to the head. Finally made a skirt and sleeves using crepe paper and painted hearts on it. I stuffed the shirt slightly. I glued printed shoes to the ends of legs.

Apr 10, 2007

Bees and beehives

I love bees skeps and think the little bees
are amazing in what they do but I am terrified of having them in my garden because I am allergic to them. Well you can imagine how I felt when I discovered this newly formed bee hive on one of our garden gates. According to the bee collector who will be arriving soon to remove them, an external hive doesn't last long as the bees will soon fly to find another place. mmmmmmmmmmmm just what I don't want- a swarm of bees when I'm outside walking the dogs.

Apr 8, 2007

Happy Weekend

Apr 6, 2007

Easter Tree

I love to have a tree up permanently in my home. I decorate my tree according to the seasons or events. Here is this year's Easter tree, with nest and baskets of chicks. I have used the sunflower throughout my Easter decoration as its a perfect flower for this time of year going into our Autumn. The baskets are all painted in a mellow ochre and i made natural coir nests and baby chicks.

Easter Basket

Just finished one of my Easter Basket displays for atable centre, corner table or a little spot that needs brightening up. Add a candle or two in front and your Easter display will have a warm glow to welcome in visitors.

I have painted and aged this lovely hand made basket with hinged lid in a mellow ochre. Inside, placed on natural coir, is a small feathered hen sitting on her nest, a few hand speckled eggs and some ivy growing around. The basket is accented with four rusty stars. Everything (except the stars) can be removed and the basket can be used for other seasonal displays.

The entire display comes to you for $15 plus postage.

Apr 5, 2007

Easter Weekend

Just want to wish everyone who celebrates this weekend, a Happy and Peaceful Easter.
Stay safe on the roads.
Yesterday we all went meandering, it was a wonderful day with amazing views.
This one overlooks a valley of gently rolling hills, called "The valley of a thousand hills" its name describes it well.

Apr 3, 2007

Primitive pinkeep

Here is my latest primitve pinkeep. I just love pincushions, pinkeeps and make-do's.

This one is well aged, baked and stained muslin head and wool hair. I painted in her features using watercolours and faded it as i stained. She has a pinched nose. Her collar is vintage and has an old leather button. She is weighted so sits well.

Wacky Chicks

Today I just needed to do something wild and wacky and so Wacky Chicks were born.

These were fun to make and certainly made me smile.

Wacky Chicks are picks, covered in real feathers, wool beak and goggly eyes, great to add to a gift, plant etc or something to cheer someone up and a hundred other reasons. It will be interesting to see how these go at my Easter fair this saturday.

Apr 1, 2007

Humpty Dumpty -no fall down

Last night i just couldn't sleep. I awoke having dreamt about making a Humpty so so that was the end of any shut-eye.

This miniature humpty is made in old wool, beige for the egg shape and burnt orange for the coat, trimmed with tiny vintage bows, chenille stem for the legs which I painted in stripes and painted on boots. His eyes are two tiny buttons, painted mouth and the entire piece aged with burnt umber.

He sits perfectly or would be great with a thread attached for hanging on an Easter tree.