Dragonfodder Jewellery

Dragonfodder Jewellery

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The role of the writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say - "Anais Nin"

I just don't seem to be able to write at the moment. Maybe I'm thinking and trying to do too much?

Anyway! My latest passion!

I've at last learnt to crochet. I've always wanted to and while we were away in April I asked my sister Glynis to give me a few lessons. Unfortunately, Glynis had not done much crocheting for quite some time and never Granny Squares, which I was desperate to be able to do. Well, Glyn's lessons did help, in that I managed to go round and around in a circle. Then when I got home, I decided that I was going to learn in earnest. I bought myself two books on how to crochet. I feel I'm quite an accomplished knitter and thought that I'd catch on to the crocheting in an hour or so. Humph! not so easy. The book I started on taught you the basics. Thank heavens Glyn taught me how to hold the crochet hook. I did samples of all the various stitches.

Now it was time for me to start that Granny Square blanket that I'd been dying to make. The whole process was really difficult but I refused to give up. I made Granny Squares every chance I got. And I had to have the book with me.

The blanket is now about 1.3m square and looking great. The Granny Squares are getting better and better. I haven't needed the book for ages. I'd like the blanket to be 2m by 2.2m, so that it can fit on our bed in the winter.

I can't wait to try other patterns but am still enjoying the Granny Squares, as I can now do them while watching TV.

Some more bracelets. I know, Time to do necklaces again. Two on the board.

Aside from the crocheting, I've at last started gardening again. It's so enjoyable but not so easy with Liam, now 2 years and a bit. He wants so badly to get involved and he's absolutely crazy about water.

A silent note to the plants.

One of the newest additions to the garden. A planter made by Bevan, they come in various shades, using special (I don't know the technicalities) cement. I adore mine. They retail for R400.

I'm recipe book crazy, as always and have the new Tessa Kiros, "Limoncello and Linen Water". Tessa's recipe books are to die for. They are so beautiful, so full of soul. I also have "Peri Peri Starfish", "Venezia" and "Falling Cloudberries". Another favourite of mine is Jane Griffiths, I'm enjoying the newest, "Jane's Delicious Herbs". I've also got most of the Jamie Oliver recipe books. Such easy meals to cook.

I've been pondering how to expand my customer base. So we're going to have a mini market at home, in early November for two days. The Figtree Mini Craft Market.  Pretty nervous, hope that I don't make a complete fool of all of us. My beaded jewellery, Bevan's various crafts, Maki's paintings and DJ's Christmas Cakes, wish us luck, I think we're going to need it.

Bevan, a self image sculpture early 2000's I think. This sculpture did not pass the Bevan test. He wasn't happy with how it released from the mold. Anything he makes and doesn't want, I snatch up. If they're paintings, I usually have them framed, the sculptures are either in the house or garden. I suppose I'm like every mother, I think my children, Jocelynn and Bevan, are the most marvelous, clever, wonderful people in the world.

Friday, October 12, 2012


My heads is always full of ideas. When I actually get down to blogging, all those wonderful things I was going to say disappear into the fog of my full brain. All I can do now is record what I've been making during September and October.


I know, a whole herd of bracelets. In the current economic climate, they are all that seem to sell. I comfort myself with the thought that having to create individual bracelets each time, is challenging my creativity. There are some amazing beads in this collection. I need to go bead trauling again, as my stock of special individual beads is running low. I bought a few glass fired beads recently which are locally made. They are beautiful but pricey and not everyone understands the quality or how special these hand made beads are.

This necklace was made to match the bracelet below (featured in an earlier blog). Matching sets are not always a given, as I have loads of beads and gemstones but seldom loads of the same. I was very pleased to be able to make a matching necklace and that it came out so well. The client was so pleased, which always makes my heart so happy.

Well time for bed now. I've been here for ages as it has been so slow. We're looking after Liam again tomorrow morning and I also want to get some reading in before I fall asleep. I'm busy with the last book in the series A Song Of Fire & Ice - A Game of Thrones by R R Martin. I'm loving my Kindle. It's the most useful item I've purchased in years. I've now discovered that I can lean the Kindle on the screen of the cardio apparatus at the gym. So now I can do my hours workout and read my book. WONDERFUL.



Nossob Camp - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

I was preparing to go away, went away, got back and its was hectic. Not being a very organised person of late, going away is quite an effort. As we have pets, a garden and with security always a concern, we get housesitters in when we're away. I was spoilt and had domestic assistance three times a week for years. But when I was forced to retire, Jane retired as well. I now do all the household chores, let me rephrase, I don't do them all when I should and droll ones not at all. Hence, when we go away, it's like having to spring clean. This time we went to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, so packing was also a job, as we were camping.

The Kgalagadi was worth the work. It took has two days to get to the Nossob Camp. We arrived at about 15h00 on the second day.

Our accommodation
Rich got stretches and mattresses from the family for his 60th. Before anyone thinks this is a strange gift, don't. It was a request. Rich has had an op on his knees and getting up from a mattress on the floor is not as easy as it used to be. The stretches were absolute luxury.

Camp cooking

When I go away, no matter how many lists I make, I always leave something behind. I have a pair of pants that require a much thinner belt than the one I usually wear. I tried to wear the pants without the belt. All's well when I sitting down, but walk anywhere and the pants fall down. I resorted to keeping my pants up with nylon cord, that Rich secures things with. I wasn't allowed to cut the rope. Rich couldn't resist taking a pic of me crossing the camp in my classy pants.

This was a very peaceful getaway. There was no 3G reception at all. Not getting regular reports from home really allowed us to just relax.

Rich and I were last at this national park 36 years ago. Incredible isn't it. We came to what was then known as the Kalahari Gemsbok Park in 1976. We managed to get to the first camp, Tweerivieren in our Fleetline Kombi. They'd had floods in the park, the main road through the park is in the river bed. So, with our not having a four wheel drive vehicle, we had to turn around and go home. It was great to eventually get there and obviously the roads to the park had much improved.

Me with my classy belt

Some of the smaller Sociable Weaver nests

Pale Chamting Goshawk

Part of a Pride of Lions

No rain at the park this time. We're told it was not as hot as it usually is and we had quite a bit of wind. Even a bit of a sand storm one day. We went to a nearby hide in the early morning and spent the rest of the day in camp trying to hide from the wind. We'd had sparkling wine to celebrate our getting to the Kalahari at last, hence the goofy smiles.

Only when one gets home, do you realize how incredible these wild places are. The lions roared every night, so close they could have been in the camp with us. There were Black Backed Jackals in the camp every night and we had regular visits in the day from a African Wild Cat, as well as the pestiest Ground Squirrel. The electricity generators get switched off at 20h30 every night and the stars in the sky are incredible.

Mommy Ground Squirrel, we named her Madam. Here she's in the front section of our tent.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Creativity feeds the soul. One can feel this while one is being creative. One's mind switches off from all the stresses and stains of everyday life. I find even making the simplest of pieces relaxing and comforting.

These bracelets below are made from clay beads, wood beads, hand made and painted African Trade beads, with rhodinite charms and spacers. They are simply strung on beading elastic and have an ethnic look and feel to them. They also weigh nothing. I can happily wear all of them, not at once, although I could. I've kept one or two for myself purely because they go with so much and are great for casual wear. They don't get in the way. I named the range Mali and they sell for R100 each. (Excluding packing and postage).




Ione, a very dear and old friend of mine seldom wears costume jewellery. I always feel so bad as I make so many pieces but know that they really aren't her scene. I'd taken quite a lot of my jewellery with me on holiday. Mainly because I love wearing my jewellery but also as I wanted to show my sister Glynis what I'd been making. She's been a great supporter. Ione and her Mom dad a look at what I'd made but didn't comment much.
Ione and Norbert slept over on their way back from Germany to Port Elizabeth. I decided she had to have something I'd made and as we'd spent some time with Ione's parents in Kenton one weekend, I decided that Ione's also had to have something. I'm under that Uthene is more adventurous than Ione, below are earrings for Ione and a necklace for Uthene.
Ione's Earring's - sterling silver hooks, crystal briolettes and stick pearls.

Uthene's necklace - a resin pendant, glass beads and African Zulu teething beads.


I seem to have bracelet mania at present. Although, I must admit they sell and I also love bracelets. I've always worn plenty. The button bracelet, named Giggles went immediately for R150. The buttons are larger than I've used before. I tried to use "beigy" buttons with writing on. Hence the giggle button and the one with a dragonfly. The blues bracelet came about because of the cone shaped blue bead. The other beads in the bracelet blend in and the discs are from a disadvantaged community upliftment project. "New trolls", is a twist on the usual use of troll or Pandora beads.

Giggles - SOLD


New trolls
I've keep so many pieces myself and sometimes, if I love something about a piece but am not wearing it much or ever, then it's time for re-cycling. This beautiful silver butterfly was bought from a store long since closed.

The original

Re-mix the updated version

When I'm scratching through my stash or tidying up, I pick out beads and other things. e.g. when we were away in November last year, Jocelynn picked up an old Saint Christopher charm. I added other pieces to the treasure jumble, a key, I'm partial to keys, (I bought a whole lot in Port Elizabeth one year) and a watch. I had to take in three necklaces with watches in recently to have new batteries put in. The storekeeper never said anything about the watch necklaces but I could just see she was dying to say something, either she was shy or just courteous.

Here are some earrings, just to prove that I make more than necklaces and bracelets. Earrings don't sell well, even though I have now started making them with sterling silver ear hooks. Most are fun and some are serious.

More soon and a bit on my latest craze.