Créateurs de Perles en Fils

All yarns used are either from natural or reclaimed materials. Most of them are hand-dyed and as much as possible organic, hand-spun and locally sourced.

For more info and custom orders contact me on or by phone.

PLEASE NOTE my number is : +27 (0)83 365 6782

04 August 2010

Plumbago Auriculata : Blue Plumbago

I didn't write about the plumbago until now, whereas actually, it was the first indigenous plant i planted in our new home.
 When i went to Jenny's indigenous nursery (link below) for the first time, i saw these lovely flowers in bloom. They are all over our neighbourhood, but more often than not people very conservatively trim them into a strict hedge, so they just look like another hedge. Shame really, considering how beautiful the flowers are. Makes me think of an exotic "hortensia".
 Anyway, the next day i told Greg to come with me pick up the plants, and check if he's happy with them. After all, he's got his say about the garden too (Well...). The first thing he said about the blue plumbago was : "What? You like that weed???" And so my love for them was born. I discovered that you can eat the flowers : just remove the sticky bit at the bottom of the flowers, sprinkle a few on a salad and voilà a beautiful dish. The sticky bits help with propagation (and they're not as prickly as the black jacks!). Fifi and Gabbi play at sticking them on their arms, their clothes etc... In no time the Blue Plumbago necklace was born!

So here is the work in progress. Believe it or not i made the neck mannequin out of plastic bottles and a bit of papier mâché... Upcycle!

Sticky plumbago flowers on my neck!

The finished necklace


Jenny Dean Wildflower Nursery :

Plumbago Auriculata info :

Website where the flower image comes from :

03 August 2010

Embo-craft in South Africa

Last thursday at Embo-craft i taught the ladies how to crochet the Nimbostratus earrings. It was a great success! They loved it to bits, at last i presented them with a project they can complete in one three hour course!

Embo-craft is a charity on Botha's Hill (basically the hill just across us) and teaches all sorts of crafts (you didn't guess!) to the people of the surroundings thanks to volunteering and donations of crafts materials. They make beautiful screen-printed tee-shirts, felted jewelry, lots of sewn items too, dolls. The most striking pieces of all are the patchworks. The crafters depict their life like in a comic with different fabric skills like drawing, embroidering, dyeing…etc. (Link on the right hand-side and below)

Here is a photo of the Indabuko project (link below), i love those tees, hand dyed and screen printed with all local materials (More info on the Embo craft website). My favourite is the tree with its root outlining Africa. It also makes me think of a human heart. Yeah that's somebody's Xmas present!

I came across the centre one day by chance, i bought a few things, and i volunteered. I really liked the idea that we would give them a skill. It is the old “give a man a fish and he eats for a day but teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime”. Also any yarn nuts like me would love the storage room where they keep all the donations of yarn in all forms, wool, beads…  A dream for a creative mind. (We need crochet cotton though! Mail me if you have some to spare!)
I have been teaching the women five times so far, every Thursday, and the number of “students” in the class is growing! I teach crochet for now, but they are all very keen to learn knitting. I will wait a little for that because, i explained, crochet can be done anywhere easily. Just take your crochet out of your handbag and go. Knitting in a taxi, well… that wouldn’t be that easy!

So far i had put the emphasis on how to make simple squares and learning stitches. A bit repetitive, for sure, but i had to find out who could and who couldn’t crochet with a regular tension. Then i taught them how to read a pattern and a chart, and i presented them the “puff stitch beret” by creativeyarn (link to her pattern below). They loved it! It taught them how to crochet in concentric circles (rather than shongololo/spiral style) and how to increase and decrease. It was a fairly long project though, so i had to find something quicker, but as challenging. Another thing was that eventually some of their projects must go in the shop to raise funds. So i went into the storage room, well, rather Ali Baba’s cavern, and i found earring hooks. Nimbostratus earrings was my next lesson!

All the ladies are very skilled, and some of them, like Xesibile (pictured above) and Thuli, easily customize the patterns into their own creations. I really have to teach them how to write their own charts so they can make up patterns. Last time was a good one. I’ m starting to grab more Zulu too, so i’m not completely lost when they talk. Not that i could speak, but i’m getting there!

I have plenty great pics in store, watch this space!

Puff stitch beret

Embo craft