Thursday, December 10


Well if any one had any doubts about the power of the Internet, doubt no more ...

My last post was about how disappointed I was in a book that I had purchased and could unfortunately not return. Well a few days after posting I received a message from Jessica who works at Sublime stitching via Facebook!!

This is what they had to say :
Hi Cleo,

I saw your blog post about "Sublime Stitching: Hundreds of Hip Embroidery Patterns and How-To".I'm really, really sorry you were disappointed with the book. I'm not sure why it was shrink wrapped - Chronicle Books is the publisher and distributor, and we've never seen it sold that way.
I can understand your frustration when you unsealed the book, and it wasn't what you were expecting. I'm also sorry you were disappointed with the simplicity of the patterns. The book was designed for beginner stitchers who want to be able to iron on the patterns in various sizes rather than copying the images with transfer tools. Since it wasn't bought through our site, I can't offer a refund, but I'd really like to send you something of equal value that you would like.

We work hard to find what we believe are the best quality textiles and embroidery tools and I want to make sure you're able to experience what Sublime Stitching prides itself on!If that's okay with you, just let me know where you'd like it mailed, and let me know if there's something in particular you'd like.


Even when I reiterated to her that the book did not state that it was for beginners like her mail said .. and that it contained a lot of unoriginal designs, she remained polite, professional and friendly. Then a few days later a note from Jenny to say that she was glad that I would be getting a product of hers that I would be enjoying.
WOW!!! So a surprise Christmas gift!!

Thank you Jessica for your superb customer relations and I really look forward to getting the CRAFT PAD - which I hope is more of what I am looking for - as well as the SPACED OUT pattern.

Friday, November 27


There is nothing worse that reality not living up to anticipation ...

I have for along time coveted Sublime Stitching's designs, look at the site and tell me any young / young at heart embroiderer would not wnat them .... i mean look at these.

Whilst I do understand that there are some that are by guest artists (those designs are denoted by the ARTIST SERIES) the majority are her own designs, unfortunately have not been able to indulge in this clandestine crush.

Then my local book shop brought in -

well I almost PLATZED!! I was so excited .... I rushed over and picked up the shrink wrapped book with gentle shaking hands & turned it over .... my heart sank.. It was out of my budget. I went home and said to myself it it was meant to be it will. So I did some extra sewing on consignment etc to save the money for this. I thought to my self buying this book of "100's of origional and hip designs" is sooooooo much better than just being able to buy a only couple of her designs on line.

So I saved my pennies for 3 months and went off to the shop .. and there she still was, waiting ever so patiently for me. I paid for her, took her home and tore of the shrink wrap cling film opened the cover and was thrilled at how beautiful the book was made and how lovely the introduction pages were, then I got to the transfer section which is 90% of the book ... and after a few pages my heart just dropped.

Instead of the amazing "innovative, original and HIP designs" that were promised on the cover of the book I got this :

They are the most simplistic drawings, that 5 year old Miguel could manage a pentagon star or a circle with a line drawn through it to represent a planet. Can any one honestly tell me that the above are original and hip?? We have seen them done before and to be honest far less crudely done as well.

Not only are the transfers basic, I don't think they are too stylish, most are quite crude and you could find better in children's colouring in books. I could draw a little cherry and stem or a 5 pointed star that has way more flair. There are about 10 designs that are really good but the rest is just more along the lines of the above ....

There are not 100's of designs there are only 86 ... that are repeated again and again in various sizes. In this day and age of home scanners and printers is that really necessary? If you were a complete novice and had never stitched before then perhaps this is the book for you .. but it does not say that it is for beginners on the cover or even for people that are artistically challenged who cannot draw a star.

I feel so mislead and angry!! And the worse thing is i cant even return the book for a refund as I have taken it out of the cling wrap that it comes in... now I know why it was wrapped so you cant look inside !!

Well now I know for next time - If i cant peruse I wont use!!

Tuesday, November 10

What a give away!!

I know that i have not been around lately, but between work and life ...there is just no time!!

Though i think i will have to make the time if i am lucky enough to get drawn for this wonderful prize on!!

The prize is a A huge collection of fabric scraps, DMC embroidery floss (which we all know how badly i covet floss living in deepest darkest Africa!!), Two stitchable tea towels and then lastly - excuse me while i catch my breath - And a wonderful book Embroidered Effects by Jenny Hart.

OOOOHHH be still my beating heart!!! Go and join in and perhaps you will get lucky!! but remember my cut if you do!!!! LOL!!

Thursday, July 2


Well the last couple of weeks have been hectic!! I think things may slow down next month .. i hope so. Though starting next week we have the renovations starting upstairs!! New bathroom and new bedrooms!! NOT looking forward to the huge mess, but so excited to see the finished project in 5 weeks!! Sorry guys the wedding next year is off, I blew the budget on tiles and flooring!!

We had a blanket drive at Miguel school. They are collecting blankets to distribute to various charities during the winter. Last year they raised almost 1000 blankets! Here he is with the 5 that he chose, he took the whole thing very seriously. He really seemed to understand how important it was, even to the point that he said that we could not get pink or white ones, because poor people don't have washing machines and those colours would get to dirty too quickly!! Clever boy!
In just 2 weeks they have distributed 61 blankets to Sinakalele (an orphanage), 100 to the Robin Hood Foundation, 25 to Hillcrest Aids Centre, 50 to Chilenyama, 60 to Highway Aged, 78 to the schools maintenance staff, 20 baby blankets to the 1000 Hills Feeding Scheme, 78 to the Salvation Army and 30 to Vryheid Home for the Aged! Way to go!!

They are on school holidays now... my poor mom! She has him during the day as I'm working and with rotten coincidence I have to work late every day for the last 2 and next 2 weeks!! So I'm only getting home at about 3.40 instead of 1!

Here are 3 of the projects that I have been working on :

My sister and Dad leave for the UK and Ireland next week, and I wanted to get them a Bon Voyage pressie. I had NO idea what ... until I remembered in your bag always is that awful plastic packet for your laundry ... so I took two pillow cases and recycled them into Laundry bags!! I am quite pleased as to how they came out!!

I used annieoakleaves little hedgehogs and then added my own extras!

Then my dads one I did not know what to do, he is a very manly kinda guy ... so I just did the missing sock thing!! I hope that he likes it!!

This is Bertrand, it is a pattern that I have been working on for a week now, The school is having its annual Country Fair. Every class needs to participate. Miguel class are doing a bean bag toss!! the thing is they have no bean bags .... so I then proceed to offer my services. ... and then complicate my life by saying ... 'WHATS THE THEME??' "theme?" was the answer, well you have to have a theme!! So now instead of little square bean bags ... I need to make 14 FROGS!!! What on earth was I thinking?!?

I did search for frog patterns on line, but none of them actually looked very much like a frog!!This is Bertrand, with one of his poor predecessors ... now you can see why i needed to refine the pattern a little!! I feel quite chuffed with my recycling efforts as the filling is old pool filter sand that I have washed and dried!! It is quite a coarse sand so it is perfect for filling!!

If any one wants a pattern, I should have one finalised by next week ... just drop me a line and I can send it of to you!!

Need to go now as I am off to Johannesburg at 5.30 tomorrow morning for a meeting and I still need to draw up the diagrams for the new bathroom vanity and cupboard that we are having made.



Saturday, June 13

Mothers Day Book -- back

Mothers Day Book -- back, originally uploaded by the_cleof.

This is the back of the book.... This sun is the most gorgeous one i have ever seen. THe green triange is an 'Indian Tent' ... I think that that was a hint that someone would like to go camping! To the left of the teepee is a "love you heart" and then a flower.

Mothers Day Book -- front

Mothers Day Book -- front, originally uploaded by the_cleof.

This was a drawing that Miguel did of me for Mothersday. See the red hair .. that was when I had just done my hair. He said that he made it red ... the same as the hair 'polish' that the hairdresser used!! I LOVE IT!!!!! I think that it is fantastic drawing by a 4 and a 3/4 year old. (the 3/4 is very important you know!!)

The teacher then covered a little note book with the paintings and then covered the whole book in PVC ... I think that I can most certainly say that this is the best gift I have ever received

Saturday, June 6


Sometimes it moves pretty quick. When you don't have time to think. React. Remember days when all you had was time. Time to reflect. Now. Now is for living.

Just live.

Wake up, tie your boots on and get out in it. Smell it, feel it. Roll down the windows so you can hear it. Listen. Make some noise so you can be part of it. Put your hands in it. Deep.

Pick it up and toss it around. Break it open against the ground. Flip it over. Drink it up. Let it spill. Touch.

Take the time to do that.

Take the effort to throw it a mile high and kick it when it comes down. Hug it and don't let it go. Stare at it. Clench your fists and yell it. Raise your arms to celebrate it. Hold it's hands and dance. Close your eyes and take a chance. Make it happen.

Crawl through it on your hands and knees. Surrender. Defy. Rebel. Let it break you down. Get up with it. Run with it until your legs give out and you can't breathe or move or shout.

Encircle it. Let it in. Float in it. Spin... Smile. Ride. Stack it up into the sky. Burn it down to feel the heat. Chase it down a city street.

Tell it jokes until you cry. Cry with it. Cry with it until you smile. Laugh with it for a while.
Make it pretty. Give it away. Cover it with mud. Let it stay.
Race it to the edges of the Earth. Jump with it. Fly above.

Dream about it.

Shower it with love. Protect it.

Never. Ever. Forget it.

Don't forget.

(Note to Self)

This is it.

This incredible piece of poetry is from the amazing AMANDA SOULE from SOULEMAMA also the (very coveted by me) books --- The Creative Family
How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections
as well as Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Re purpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures . She is an amazing inspirational I have no idea how she does what she does, but I am so glad that she does and that she is willing to share with us. She lives her life in beauty.

Sunday, May 24

Aunty Roberta - Rest in Peace

Aunty Roberta - Rest in Peace, originally uploaded by the_cleof.

She had been in remission from breast cancer for 7 years.. 2 months ago she found out she had cancer of the lower bowel... in the following weeks she developed deep vein thrombosis - while she was admitted to hospital for treatment they discovered that she had ovarian & lung cancer too, it was terminal (she told no one that it was) - so she booked herself out and did what she loved most - she went drumming . She had one last amazing party at the begining of the month and this morning at 2.30 am she died in her sleep.

THis was one of the last photos ever taken of her .. it was at her benifit concert held on the 9th May ..

I am sorry that i was not back in SA to be with her and her daughters, I am sorry that I was too much of a coward to see her before I left .. I am ashamed that I put my fears of my cancer returning ahead of seeing her ... I loved her loved her very much

this was an article in the paper about the concert

she was a very loved and popular lady. Every one from all walks of life gravitated towards her ...

Wednesday, May 13

paradise found ....

Miguel found this coconut in the garden ... we are going to open it when we get back from Club Med

Yesterday, we went to then most stunning beach at Flic N Flac... the water was crystal clear and Miguel could easily snorkel as it was only chest high on him. We will most certainly go back there. Miguel could not wait to get in ..

It was as if we were the only people in paradise ...

He just cant leave that bloody blackberry alone ... its going to end up swimming with the fishes ... I know people that can make that happen ..

Sunset from the kitchen window ... dont have any of the beach yet, as every afternoon at sunset the clouds come!!

Sunday, May 10

Well we are in Mauritius at last!! 3 weeks worth of tropical weather and the beach at our feet every day!! Miguel is having a ball here going to Grandmere’s beach every day!! We went to Blue Bay yesterday ... Miguel LOVED it and wants to go back every day! Blue Bay in Mauritius is located along the South eastern coast of Mauritius.! It has been designated a Marine Park, and is in fact Mauritius’ only Marine Park.

The two things that he loved the most were feeding the fish while swimming with them and jumping off the boat into the water ... we are going to try and go back at least one more time. The waters are incredibly clear and just by looking over the side of the boat you can see an abundance of fish and more coral than I have ever seen in my life!! It was an amazing day, with Miguel just loving every second of it all!

My Boys

Blue Bay ... could you find anything better??

getting ready for his fave. part ......

Jumping of the boat ... or as he says ... jumping like a pirate into the sea full of sharks!!

Even though it was a little cloudy, so the light was not the best for photos ... you can see all the fish in the water and the coral reef under (about 2 meters below)

Have to go as I dont have much more time .. love to you all


Monday, April 27

My new favorite song. I found it through Blubirdbaby thanks for this great song ...

Don't you worry, there my honey

we might not have any money

but we've got our love to pay the bills

Maybe I think you're cute and funny,

maybe I wanna do what bunnies do with you,

if you know what I mean

Oh, let's get rich and buy our parents homes in the South of France

let's get rich and give everybody nice sweaters

and teach them how to dance

let's get rich and build our house on a mountain

making everybody look like ants

from way up there, you and I,

you and IWell you might be a bit confused

and you might be a little bit bruised

but baby how we spoon like no one else

So I will help you read those books

if you will soothe my worried looks

and we will put the lonesome on the shelf

Oh let’s get rich and buy our parents homes in the South of France

let's get rich and give everybody nice sweaters

and teach them how to dancelet's get rich and build our house on a mountain

making everybody look like ants

from way up there you and I, you and I

-Ingrid Michaelson

Sunday, April 26

Dont you feel sorry for my family?

Well summer officially ended this weekend .. rain, rain, rain!!

Miguel has been quite ill for a couple of days now, - the poor thing had a sinus, ear, throat and chest infection!! So the night have been pretty long!!

Today he was much better so dad did most of the entertaining,so I spent a VERY productive day finishing long started projects as well as some newbies.A total of 9 completed projects!! Well done ... off to have a glass of FAT BASTARD Shiraz and then tidy up time ....

Saturday, April 25

I love how innovative some people can be ....

You have to wonder at how much the internet has allowed creative people to develop and showcase their ideas .. we wouldnt see 10% of the things we see now ... I shudder at the thought, how drab!!

I have joined twitter ... still dont get the point of it to be honest, but my geek love stated that i am no one if i do not so here i am - look me up : the_cleof

Sunday, April 19

YES!! I too sucumbed to the mushroom pincushion ... how could i resist ... I used thelittlehousebythesea tutorial with a couple of modifications. I was greatly inspired by poshplushies and her beautiful work. It was quite simple to do ... It was for a easter swap that I did.

Then this gorgeous bag (if I may say so myself) was made bag using Erins simple and easy tutorial. It is a awsome bag to make so quick and simple .. I have another 3 in various stages of completion. You HAVE to make one. (this was for the same swap)

The awsome embroidery pattern is from the great designs of Andrea of BADBIRD.

The fabrics i used were :
Pale brown linen for the centre panel
Denim for the strap and sides
And the red is a fabulous local fabric called Shwe Shwe -
any one who knows me, knows i am madly in love with it.
the embroidery was 6 strand DMC threads.

Im off now to start my new embroideries for the 3 bags that I have started, but I have to put Miguel to bed first as he is finished. My little social butterfly had such a full diary this weekend - yesterday he had 3 birthdya parties - one at 10am, another at lunch time and the last at 2!! Then today we had a 1 hour 45min mass for a baptisim and then the whole day at the beach body surfing and swiming ... to be honest I think that he is so tired he is looking forward to school tomorrow so that he can rest!!!!
MWAH to you all ...

Friday, April 17

A son asked his father, 'Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?'The father who, despite having a heart condition, says 'Yes'.They went on to complete the marathon together.Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father always saying 'Yes' to his son's request of going through the race together.One day, the son asked his father, 'Dad, let's join the Ironman together.'To which, his father said 'Yes' too.
For those who don't know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever.The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bikeride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island, Hawaii. Father and son went on to complete the race together.


Sunday, April 5

Life has been good ....

The past couple of weeks have been really good. You know those kind of times in your life that you think to yourself - this is the the best that it could get - nothing can top this!! We have spent entire weekends at the beach, Just relaxing with great friends, eating good food, having the odd Mermaids Orgasm slushies!!
I have been teaching Miguel to bodyboard for a while now, but last weekend my friend Michelle Z (we have 4 Michelle's so we ID them my the first letter of their surname!) decided that it was time for Miguel to learn to surf as her 5 year old Marc is learning ... I present to your my my awesome 4 year old surfing. He had only been at it for 20 minutes before catching 2 foot waves and riding it SOLO for about 15 meters!!! Miguel and Marc were catching about 50% of their waves ... WOOOHOOO these boys rock!!

Sorry the shot is such a action shot but Michelle who was taking it was trying to keep afloat and not to drown, was not sure if the waterproof cam was working so it was just a hit and miss shot!! !!

I have also been busy making loads of things, some for a swap, and a couple as gifts .. I will just give the sneak peaks for the swap- don't want to give too much away just in case my swap partner drops by ..

I am sooo excited this is my first swap ever!!! This is the parcel waiting patiently at the front door to be taken to the post office (it went on the 31st).

Thursday, February 12

Valentines day

Well its another year ... and its Valentines day once again .. can you believe it?!?!

Miguel wanted to make a gift for his new teacher Mrs Duff and the teachers assistant Mrs Zungu.

So we decided on little felt hearts that we would attach to little owls that he would help me make ... well once he started into the hearts the owls were forgotten. (you can see forgotten Burt in the foreground) he insisted on attaching the owls wings onto the hearts and Viola!!!

Look at the concentration ...
SO I bought some broach backs and stitched them on and there we go ... what do you think of his sewing . I think that he did a awesome job!!!

I quickly drew up some little valentines cards with Miguel on them (yes I know the likeness is astonishing!!) to attach the hearts. I was hoping to have 2 more don't for my sister and mom but i have been man down for two days with the flu ... I feel battered and bruised!!

Today they also had to wear Valentines civvies to school .. the requirement in order to participate was to bring a tin of food for a charity ... which is one of the things that I love about his new school, they are extremely community orientated and are always getting the children involved in charitable projects - even the little ones. They had to wear something red and white, preferably with a heart on it. Now if any of you have little boys, you know that that is asking the impossible ... Whilst trolling through Flickr my most favourite site in the entire world .. I can across this very talented embroider ?!?!? (is there such a word? What is a person who embroiders called?) She goes by the name of torrance and i thought to myself .. now that is a awesome idea!!!! SO here it is ..

Hope you all have a awesome weekend!! And happy Valentines day to you all!!!!!!