Thursday, December 20, 2012


While staying in Plettenberg Bay we took a day trip to Knysna and wondered around the streets and harbour playing tourists. In a previous trip we found a weather gauge, a rock tied to a piece of string which showed the current weather conditions. 

There was a Christmas Market in the Churchyard, which meant we got to take a look around and ogle the beautiful buildings.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Plettenberg Bay

Sunset at Roggeberg Beach is a beautiful sight, particularly when it is rather deserted and quiet. We took a slow stroll along the waters' edge and breathed in the fresh sea air after the long car ride. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Memory Wire Madness

Memory-wire bracelets are just like slinkies, the keep their shape, wind onto your arm and go down stairs (with only a few bead injuries).

This fun bracelet is 20 spirals with a variety of rhomics, bugles and seed beads in red. Want bangles but not multiple individual bangles, this bracelet is for you!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Displaying your necklaces

Ever realised that you so many necklaces and no way to store them without them becoming a tangled mess? I saw this awesome idea at Big Tree Designs in Kenilworth today which is makes beautiful wall displays of your accessories. 

 There is pinboard mounted on a wood frame, then coloured felt (or material) is added to give some colour, another layer of wood frame is added, then chicken wire and finally it is topped with another wood frame.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


This weekend I was invited to address the first group of SA-YSSP participants at the University of the Free State (UFS)  at the opening ceremony. As a past participant of the YSSP program at IIASA, I was asked to talk to the students on what they should hope to take away from  the experience.

I won't repeat it, but I hope the students embrace the opportunity they have been given and share their cultures, research and life journeys. I hope they soak up everything they are shown and taught, it really is a unique experience.

Following the opening ceremony, I was privileged to talk to the individual participants and hear their plans for the Summer.

The following  two days I got to join the Bloemfontein tour,  lunch and Campus tour.

The UFS Campus is rather spread out, with a wonderful postgraduate library designed to serve their interests! Reminded me of IIASA's library and librarians.

The Bloemfontein tour took us part buildings of interest, the Wildlife Reserve and my mom's old school :)

Zanchieta, the Wild Cat Farm outside of Bloemfontein served as our lunch stop. The cats are rescued, boarded or owned the the family that own the farm. They are beautiful to behold. 

Gorgeous Mugs

Look what I spotted in Clicks today. Aren't they gorgeous :) I love the colours and the different animals, especially the owl and gecko.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Strut like a Peacock

Be prepared to strut like a peacock with this bracelet. The colours of the bugle beads are a blue metallic iris and silver beads. The herringbone stitch creates a beautiful pattern. The bracelet has a magnetic clasp for a snug fit around the wrist.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Russian Spirals

The production line has been producing Russian spirals at a rather speedy rate. The multitude of options available for combinations of shapes, colours and sizes has provided a chance for a lot of experimentation :)

From left to right:
  • Purple size 11 with turquoise triangles
  • Teal size 8 with size 11 bronze
  • Silver size 8 with size 11 pink
  • Combination of size 11 lilac and silver and size 8 purple
  • Blue size 11 with iridescent squares
  • Red size 11 with grey squares
  • Turquoise squares with size 11 silver
  • Black size 8 and size 11 silver 
As you can see, the options are endless. So many more options to try...Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pythons, pandas and ferrets: The zoo of tools for atmospheric scientists

Sitting in a postgraduate group meeting a few weeks ago, the modelling students were discussing the various tools available used. One social scientist commented that to an outsider the conversation sounded highly amusing, and to those not familiar with the tools, I suppose discussing ferrets, pythons, Fortran, C and R sounds like a cross between a zoo and alphabet soup.

Why all these different tools? Legacy....

Fortran is the backbone of all climate models, used mainly for its numerical core that some argue is still faster then C etc. (they just don't want to port the system to a newer language). One programmer described reading Fortran is like scratching your own eyes out...pretty graphic!

Then comes C, the quintessential language of the engineer.

Ferret is a scripting language for environmental applications.

Python is an interpreted language that is has evolved over time, it used to be incredibly slow to manipulate data, but the modifications have sped up calculations and new modules have made python a welcome addition to the scientific zoo. SciPy, NumPy, pandas make it possible to do R comparable (actually fixed issues in R) calculations. Matrix manipulations have never been better.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Yellow Dog Project

The Yellow Dog Project is a growing movement around the world puts yellow ribbons on dogs as a way to tell approaching people that the animal wants to be left alone.

The concept is simple: If your dog doesn’t want to be approached, put a yellow ribbon on his collar. The ribbon works as a signal to others to ask before coming near.

In Pinelands the dog owners are trying this out to (and some dog parks too) as a warning that some dog just need their space.

Bismark and Daisy are rescue dogs and they need their space while they learn to socialise with other dogs. Lets hope other people with reactive dogs start to adopt this too.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Santa Shoebox Project

The Santa Shoebox Project has been around for a few years now...I have taken part for the last 2 years, with 2 boxes last year and 8 boxes this year. My mom's company also pledged boxes and this was the final result, over 40 boxes!

The car was quite full on its journey to the drop off centre. If you haven't taken part before and wish to, do, its a great cause where you know that every cent you spend is going to a child in the form of items of clothing and necessities.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sea-green Waves

My aunt teaches beading and when I went to visit she taught me this "twist and curl" pattern. She used bicones and cut but I wanted a softer wave and this is the result.

The necklace is a just longer than a choker style that sits on the collarbone and closed but a magnetic clasp.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New use for crocheting

Crocheting is one of latest crazes sweeping the nation, along with knitting. I remember sitting with my grandmother as a child learning to knit and then crochet. There were a lot of doily patterns back then. Times seem to have moved on and we now have flowers, dresses and as seen in this bracelet experiment, jewellery.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2 Dogs, 1 Basket

The dogs are snuggling this winter. I didn't think it was possible to fit 2 medium sized dogs in one basket but they have proved me wrong.

Monday, August 13, 2012


I've been in Hermanus this long weekend relaxing and enjoying trying to spot the whales that are somewhere in the bay. Somewhere just past the kelp is a whale, there was water being blown in the air, but did the whale want to come say!

Hermanus is a rather tranquil place to stay, many paths to walk and a well paved promenade. There are tea shops in abundance and a Fish and Chips restaurant in the Harbour that looks small and cramped by serves some awesome food.

As with most of my trips to new towns, I did a walking tour (with my mother strolling along reminding to slow down!!!!) around the houses. Coming around a corner I stumbled across this Mosaic studio (closed) and snapped a few pics through the doors.

The sign pointing to the studio (SAICS) has beautiful mosaicked letters, with glass pebbles and patterned tiles in them.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Draped Silk

Draping silk is not as easy as it looks on those sewing tutorials. I have pieces of left over silk from a previous ballgown that I decided to finagle into a ruched bodice to add to a ballgown skirt.

I started this project fairly optimistically. I mean how hard can it be, the chiffon worked out well. The silk however has a mind of its own. Note the number of pins just to make it behave.

Adding the top and bottom pieces together took a bit of re-draping to accommodate the full circle skirt and align the zipper seams.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mosaic Magic

Mosaic work is a craft I have wanted to try for a few years now. I've been meaning to read a book, watch a tutorial or go to a class and finally I have :)

Yesterday I went to a Mosaic class in Observatory run by Bit by Bit Mosaics. I got to make a potholder.

The things I have learnt from this; I will be leaving it to someone else unless I really cannot find what I want. Breaking up the glass into slivers in hard on the hands and I am terrible and laying out a design that I have not had a great of time to ponder over the final effect.

The final product was a bit too coarse than I wished, but I was rushed for time. The next step is grouting the tiles.

The picture below is my moms potholder, a sort of Asian style tree with copper and black background.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Purple Pillow

I did some basic embroidery on a pillow a while back, based on a design I saw in a book 'beautiful beaded bags' by Dorothy Wood.

I now have new cushions for my couch :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Girly Tea

Girls Tea is always a fun afternoon of tea, snacks and gossip. The last tea I had included a few new recipes and a lot of old favourites. These include Big batch cherry biscuits
Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes to match my tea set of pink and gold :)

Cheese and Baby Marrow muffins

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eggplant Sequins

Don't you just love a bargain. I've been looking for sequin material to make a Latin dress and its about R150/m. Now I need about 2 metres in total and guess what I find on a random pop into the Hip Hop Factory Store... The material I want on a dress about 4 times my size for R150. Its 2 metres of fabric and half the price of what the raw fabric would have cost :)