Sunday, April 28, 2013

Studio 47 House of Fashion Fabric

I got a chance to explore Studio 47 House of Fashion Fabrics in Woodstock this weekend and its large stock of fabric. I found spandex for R20 cheaper than the rest of Cape Town and a couple of other awesome stretch fabrics. They also have some wonderful lace and a large selection of stretch satin. You must however be prepared to browse and hunt down what you want!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hair Pins

Beautiful hair accessories are hard to find in pearls and crystals. The hair pin featured is centred around a clay flower and wire is twisted to create fronds.

This particular pin is made with Czech crystals and glass pearls but can be made with freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals.

These flowers can also be made into brooches to wear on a blazer lapel.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Earring Commission

The other day I was asked to do a pair of earrings to match a necklace the person had been given and had been unable to find anything suitable.

The result was two pairs of earrings, one medallions and the other rhombics?

As I side note, I love photographing jewellery on Hessian (burlap), it provides an interesting background.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Touristy Weekend in Cape Town: Part 2


Butterfly World is a wonderful outing for adults and children. For a measly R 48, one can explore the tropical enclosures filled with exotic butterflies in beautiful blues, greens, oranges, reds and blacks. There are roughly 20 species in the garden at any one time, depending on the season and availability of pupae that they can import.

yum banana
The place is kept at 70% humidity for the butterflies, which takes a while to get used to, especially when the air outside is rather dry.

Surrounding the garden is a series of other enclosures filled with lizards, snakes, bird and spiders. I loved exploring and had a chance to say hi to the Iguana that was lazing about on the path :)

Outside there is a Meerkat that watches the traffic go by and greets people parking for Butterfly World

Fairview is an old favourite, though we just popped in a bit to restock the cheese supplies, no lunch this time :(

I love this Steampunk(ish) sculpture that sits outside the tasting room, makes you want to sit on it and go vroom, vroom.

Chapmans Peak is a beautiful scenic drive from Hout Bay. If you are only planning on picnicking or taking photos, you can ask for a Picnic Pass and it is FREE! (Please excuse the terrible photo taken with my phone, it was slightly hazy)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Touristy Weekend in Cape Town: Part 1

This weekend has been a whirlwind tour of Cape Town to introduce a family friend to the delights of the Mother City. Our itinerary was rather packed (and I wasn't feeling great), to include scenic routes, interesting new things and vistas of the city.

  • Cape Town CBD
  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
  • World of Birds

The World of Birds is the only place I haven't visited in the last year. I originally thought the R 75 entrance fee was rather steep, but realised by the end that with running costs of approximately R 500 000 a month, for vets, food, staff, maintenance etc., it is actually rather cheap.

The place feels slightly neglected, in need of some serious renovation and cleaning, however the variety of birds to see is phenomenal. There are circular walks for General Aviaries, Birds of Prey, Owls etc.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

PhD: Chapter 6, 7 & Conclusion

Chapter 6: Decision Frameworks for Added Information Use

Chapter 7 & Conclusion: Seasonal Forecasting Decision Frameworks

Monday, April 15, 2013

PhD: Chapter 4 & 5

Chapter 4: Constraints for Seasonal Forecast Use

Chapter 5: Mobile Dissemination of Climate Information (mClimate)

I've been playing around with the direction of the text, the font, colours and excluding various words. It seems that the program cannot distinguish between common nouns or phrases such as et al.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


The menu changes daily

Terrior is situated in the Klein Zalze estate outside Stellenbosch and is featured in the Eat Out book, voted Top Ten in South Africa for the 7 years (only been open since 2004).

The menu is highly seasonal and is written up daily on a number of chalkboards that the waiters lug around to each table.

Pork snack

The food was rather strange, we needed Google Search to decipher some of the menu items, but we eventually got there. The portions look quite small, but are rather rich, which means one cannot eat very much of it.

The starters were split among the table and the chicken liver pate won. The avo sorbet was interesting but not really worth eating, the beetroot bland and the labne average. 
Chicken liver and faie gras parfait with apple compote

Terrine of beet, avo sorbet, rye crumbs and Labne
Roasted Belly of pork with rhubarb and truffle mac

Angus Beef with black truffle sauce, leeks and cepes (and bacon foam)

Loin of lamb with chemula sauce fondue, Pommo Anna

Klein Zalze

Klein Zalze is a wine estate and golf course just outside of Stellenbosch. We took a drive to the wine estate to have lunch at Terrior and I took a few snaps of the scenery before we stuffed ourselves with French Cuisine.

Entrance to Terrior

The pond at the edge of the golf course
There is a garden at the back of the restaurant with herbs (I assume they are used in the kitchen) and some beautiful flowers, especially the wheelbarrows lining the egdes (notice the corks as fillers?)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

PhD: Chapter 2 & 3

Chapter 2: Seasonal Forecasting techniques and uncertainty

Chapter 3: Current producers and dissemination of information

Friday, April 12, 2013

Eyepin Necklaces

Be the envy of your friends with this long necklace. Wear it as a complement to a monochrome outfit or to add a bit of casual fun. And if you need a piece of arm candy, just wrap around your wrist for some instant glam.

Fashioned from a collection of glass accent beads and brass spacers linked together with brass loops.

Length: 60cm

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Evening Bling

Bracelets provide a fabulous addition to an evening outfit. This bit of sparkle is a comfortable bangle style.

The bracelet is threaded on thick elastic. Crystals are evenly spaced with silver spacers. The crystals can come in a variety of colours ranging on elegant black to fun red to sparkling blue or for a bit of fun the colours can be alternated.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

PhD: Chapter 1

I've been slowly feeding my thesis chapters in It certainly makes it look more impressive in key word form

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Baking Stuff Envy

Everyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE baking and gadgets. I blame my grandmother and her kitchen full of fun gadgets to bake with.

Taking a stroll through @home, as one does, I found these really cool pie weights, the modern version of baking beans or ceramic beans for blind baking pastry cases.

I want...

Umonya: April 2013

Project Umonya held another course over the April school holidays. This three day course takes students through the progress from what is a programming to logic, functions and scope.

The photos below are the lecturers and tutors from the various days, a mixture of CS students, industry professionals and past students. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

St Petersburg Options

A St Petersburg necklace can be done in a variety of colours and sizes and types of beads. My first attempt at one used glass pearls. 

Attempt 2 was a lot more adventurous, a double-sided St Petersburg lariat in seed beads with fringe ending

The most classical version I have completed included tiny pearls (left) and the most delicate of size 11 seed beads and a Swarovski drop (right) made for a group of bridesmaids to match their watermelon colour dresses.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sun Sets on Summer

Hout Bay provides opportunities to see some beautiful sunsets in Summer. This is probably on of the last few before the cold grey weather sets in for good. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bead Drying Stand

Ever need to hang your beads up while they dry? I was making a 6 strand necklace the other day and needed to hang each strand so they did not stick to any surface.

Enter the wooden dowel rods positioned over two speakers from the hi-fi. Works brilliantly!

If you ever need to photograph jewellery, this is an easy way to do so too. I normally use the disposable chopsticks that come with takeaways.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hair froth

Flower with frondsGold Hair Flower with Fronds

This gold flower is the perfect addition to an off centre updo. The flower is made from lightweight wire threaded with seed beads on a base. The black fronds are dotted with gold beads and stem from underneath the flower. The flower is attached is placed on a hair comb, either in plastic or wire.

Flower with leaves

The second is a flower designPInk Hair Flower is created from gut threaded with seed beads. The leaves are fashioned from wire and attached together with the flower to the hairclip. This flower is much heavier than the gold clip, but is smaller and easier to wear with any evening hair design.

An example of how the flower looks in the hair
Pink Hair Flower

Monday, April 1, 2013

Twin Bracelet

I've been busy this weekend making a Twin Bracelet with Super Duo beads. Not quite finished yet but they are certainly interesting to work with.

The Classic: Pearl Necklace

Pearls add elegance to any occasion, it is just a question of length.

Necklaces are normally made to a standard set of lengths, namely:

  • Choker: 35 - 40 cm
  • Princess: 45 - 50 cm (standard length)
  • Matinee: 50 - 60 cm
  • Opera: 70 - 80 cm
  • Rope: 80 cm - 1.5 m
Most of the pearl necklaces are made to Princess length, and contains about 50-55 pearls. 

You can view pearl necklaces for sale at: Purple Gecko Designs on Hello Pretty