Friday, December 30, 2011


I finished crocheting a bowl/basket from the grass twine I bought at the car boot sale. (The knitted squares became two mats for putting hot dishes on the table.)

Slow and painful work, but I like the result. Kind of wabi-sabi, don't you think?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New fabric tape.

When I last tried to make fabric tape it was a bit of a disaster. It involved wax paper and glue and sellotape, if I recall correctly. Glueing the fabric on was a messy business, and when I tried to use my tape, the wax paper did not peel off properly. I have since discovered another method on this blog - using double-sided tape. Amazingly simple.

Dang. I should have made these in time for all those Xmas parcels I had to wrap ...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Berlina in Baardskeerdersbos.

I acquired my newest art work - a beautiful reduction woodcut by artist Joshua Miles -  on a visit to my brother in Baardskeerdersbos.  Miles is his neighbour. (The car belongs to my brother - a  vintage Alfa Romeo Berlina.)

If you are ever out Baardskeerdersbos way, and you would like great food, visit my bro's restaurant Baardies. My favourites are the mutton and waterblommetjie pie, oxtail stew, bobotie, carrot and courgette soup and Guinness cake - très yummy!

Have a great weekend, everyone.  Be kind and be good.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lazy Bunting.

Summer is almost here. I thought I would welcome it with some cheerful bunting, but alas, the energy and enthusiasm for the task waned after stitching the individual triangles. So I simply pegged them onto the washing line.

Not to boast, but I think it is a pretty clever idea - now I can change the order of the flags at a whim. And I can add new ones when I find the time to whip up a triangle or two, and I can change the spacing between them. Wow, after all the worries my parents had about me, it turns out I am a genius!

Of course, when laundry day comes around, I'll have to take them ALL off, and then put them ALL back on again.
Perhaps not a genius ...

Friday, December 9, 2011


I found a big bunch of grass twine at the car boot sale last week. Of course I had to buy it.

It makes for interesting (but difficult) knitting.

It may become a bath mat. (I think.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Boro lappie.

Inspired by boro.

More stitching needs to be done.
Have a lovely weekend, everyone. Do some stitching!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Southern latitudes.

Haven't done a BC for a long, long time ...

BC #12 of an installation called "armchair traveller" by Raymond Smith , January 2005.
(Pen and colouring pencils.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dear Mr Covey.

At the Library Book Sale, I found this delightful little book:

Full of examples, instructions and admonishments on the art of letter writing (by ladies), it makes me want to take up my pen. I mean, I would just love to write an official letter, and end it with:
I have the honour to remain, Sir, Your most humble and obedient servant.
Here are two examples in the section on accepting and declining invitations. The first is the model letter for Declining an Invitation from a Gentleman to go Motoring. The second is for Declining an Unwelcome Invitation.

Poor Mr Covey.

Have a lovely weekend, all. 
PS Some good news - my work is finished for the year. Six projects in total - all DONE. Yippeee! I am free, free as a bird ...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pop Art.

I have habits that some may consider weird. For example, when I have finished using my laptop for the day, I wrap it in bubble wrap, and hide it. This is not as strange as it may seem. The area where we live has become very popular over the last two years for burglaries in the middle of the night, while owners are fast asleep. The culprits carry away anything that is lying about and quick to lay their hands on - notably laptops, cellphones, cameras, cash and credit cards. Now, while I have no problem with someone taking my cell phone (I rarely use it), I have absolutely no intention of handing over my laptop. No siree. So every night before I go to bed I hide it. But first I wrap it lovingly in a little blankie of bubble wrap. And it was in the middle of one of these wrapping episodes that the idea struck me.

It is so obvious, I am surprised nobody has thought of it before. Then I remembered my Great Stitching Discovery and the subsequent sad realisation that there is nothing new under the sun ... so I guess someone has thought of it before. But for the moment I'll believe it is my idea and mine alone. And no, I am not going to google it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Filling up the spaces.

I just had to fill up those white spaces on the batik lappies. (And some coloured ones as well.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

And this is the end.

Not quite, though. I still have about 40 words to go. 
I am embroidering part of a poem by Billy Collins. 

"And this is the end,
the car running out of road,
the river losing its name in an ocean,
the long nose of the photographed horse
touching the white electronic line.
This is the colophon, the last elephant in the parade,

the empty wheelchair, and pigeons floating down in the evening.
Here the stage is littered with bodies,
the narrator leads the characters to their cells,
and the climbers are in their graves.
It is me hitting the period
and you closing the book."
                                                                  (from Aristotle by Billy Collins)

Friday, November 11, 2011

So what.

I went to a great applique workshop on Wednesday, run by Liz Chojnacki.  Apart from jabbing myself with my needle a couple of times, I had great fun. (I am clumsy - so what.)

Have a great weekend, everyone! Today is our wedding anniversary. I am hoping for some flowers. (Probably not ... sigh.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Un-natural History.

I have of late become interested in curiosity cabinets. The concept of collecting, documenting and exhibiting has always resonated with me. While these have traditionally been used to house natural history collections, I have been playing for a while now with the idea to record and display my finds of the metal and plastic kind. A few years ago I made my F-O-U-N-D piece, and since then I have also filled up a printer's tray with some of the more interesting pieces. But I have lots of tiny pieces that must be displayed in a different way - this is what I came up with:

(Curiosity Cabinet #1 (above) and Curiosity Cabinet #2 (below) - found objects displayed in chewing gum blister pack on found cardboard)

My next step is to document a (fictional) history for each object.

Have a look at Maissa Toulet's cabinets. Bizarrely beautiful.

Monday, November 7, 2011


espoir m (plural espoirs)
  1. noun: hope
As I am near the end of my final Maths project (the second book), I thought it apt to buy myself a pre-celebratory gift. Actually, two.

 (Pinky Cut (above), and Mr Cool (below), colour lithographs by Burundian artist Espoir Kennedy.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Simple Food.

Sometimes simple food is the best.

(Lunch: lightly steamed asparagus, a tiny knob of butter and some grated parmesan to dip into.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happy Birthday.

Sweet Snous is celebrating her 2nd adoption birthday today. We took her for a walk amongst the Boulders Beach penguins (on the other side of the fence obviously, otherwise there may have been tears); she had a special Cesar gourmet supper (thanks to Auntie Tana she is now hooked on it), biltong treats throughout the day, and a special birthday biscuit from the lady at the DVD store.

(Looking out of the window and sharing her thoughts on life with  Beertjie.)

Happy birthday, my sweetest, bestest, loveliest, most beloved and most genius doggie-in-the-world.

Friday, November 4, 2011

New journal.

I made myself a new journal with a hand-stitched binding  -  using watercolour paper, cardboard for the covers, and the same beautiful cover paper that I used for my triangular book.

I had a problem with tearing the watercolour paper - one is supposed to wet the folds and then tear, and I wetted and wetted and wetted, but the tearing did not work very well ...

But I will have fun filling it up.

Have a great weekend, everyone. I am almost, almost done with my second Maths project. Woohoo.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011



  1. A person who claims an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.
  2. A person with an amateur interest in the arts
Dilettante has such a negative meaning. Yet I have always considered myself a bit of a dilettante. I can be brutally honest when I need to.
I dabble.
I dabble without commitment or knowledge. This to me is not a bad thing. After all, how am I to discover my passion if I do not dabble first? How am I to learn something if I do not not know it first?
I find many things along the way. I see no reason to commit myself to any one of them.

So when I happened upon a site called superdilettante, and saw that she created zines, well, enough said. My two zines arrived last week. They are pretty damn amazing.

(Finders Keepers & The Indifference of Places, by Carolee G Wheeler)

PS Maybe one day I will find that ONE thing. Who knows?
In the meantime: Dilettantes, unite!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I went to a workshop this Friday on resist dyeing. Taught by the brilliant Faiqah Abrahams, it was a great deal of fun.  I tried out most of the techniques taught - folding, tie-dyeing, painting the wax, stamping, bleaching and using the tjanting tool. Here are a few of my efforts:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Mutiny. (Title pages and endpapers of old books, masking tape, glue)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Sweet Little Purse.

I am a bit of a recycling nut, as you probably know. A few months ago friends from Swaziland brought me the sweetest little purse, recycled from a tetra milk carton. It was held shut by a rubber band, which unfortunately, after some vigorous openings and closings by moi, broke. The purse has since disappeared in the swamp that is my study and workroom. But luckily I had the foresight, before said sweet little purse disappeared, to have a good look at how it was manufactured, and have now recreated it, and if I may say so, improved upon its design.

The Thens (aka the instructions): To make it you cut off the top and bottom of a 1 litre tetra milk carton, and wash it WELL. That is because you want to end up with a sweet little purse, not a stinky yoghurt maker. Then you kind of concertina the sides in. (If you try to make one you will know what I mean, I'm sure.) Then you fold over the bottom two fifths, or whatever fraction you decide upon, but it has to be less than half, because you need to leave a bit for the flap, see? Then you press down the edges well. Then you cut off the front bit of the top bit, to leave only the back bit which will be the flap bit. (No, no, I am not going to explain that bit again or draw pictures - just MAKE one and all will become clear). Okay, so where are we now?  Oh yes, then you staple the inner two pockets together at the top. And then you punch a hole in the flap and I did the little extra bit of putting in an eyelet with my very special and handy eyelet punch which I got at the car boot sale. And then you you take a button and thread some strong thread through and kind of knot it and thread it through again several times and knot it several times to make sure the button is nice and tightly secured. Oh, and make sure that the thread or yarn that you use to do this is quite long so that you can then
use the same thread to tie around the purse several times and wind around the button to close. Like this:

I forgot to say that it does not have to be a milk carton, you can obviously use a juice carton, as I did. But you still have to wash it WELL.

Oh well, if you do not understand my effort at a tutorial, that is just too bad. (I did try though.)
Have a great weekend, dear friends. Recycle a tetra carton. Make a sweet little purse. Then fill it with money and go out and enjoy yourself. xxx Anairam

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Found Objects #1


But still beautiful.
(Found in front of our house.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

I will be what I will be.

A few months ago I attended a one-day workshop on bookmaking and altered books. The 'altered book' portion of the workshop was a bit of a disappointment, I have to say. There I was, ready with my book and my paints and my scissors and my glue and the identity document photocopy we were asked to bring along, and all that happened was a long and rather pointless lecture on self-identity.

Anyway, I have now started my book. It is more of a journal of thoughts on self-identity than an altered book. Here are three pages.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Be what you will be.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The car boot sale, the lady and the unicorn.

On my last visit to the car boot sale I found a lady ...

 and a unicorn ...

Only the banners had been done (I've since done the unicorn and other bits and pieces.)

I wonder how long it will take me? Perhaps a decade or two?