Tomorrow the mielie weavers (and I!) begin our first organic gardening class! Offered by the awesome Ben of Urban Harvest, I just know it's going to be awesome! If you live in Cape Town and you've always dreamed of having your own organic veggies - even if you live in an apartment - Ben's your man.

The veggies in this pic are from Masekhanye, an organic co-operative farm slap bang in the middle of Harare, Khayelitsha. It is our role model and the people of Masekhanye have been very helpful to us.

The good news is that we will be selling their beautiful vegetables at Montebello every Friday morning, from 9.00 am till 1.30 am and all the proceeds will go towards establishing Mielie's food garden, which has a way to go before we enjoy our first harvest. So if you want to taste sun-ripened produce that was picked that very morning, come and visit us on Friday! I'll remind you again, ok?

Remember this fluffball? If you live in New York, you can go and say hi to him at the Anthropologie Gallery at the Rockefeller centre. Apparently the exhibition, which was called Africa Recycled, was a huge hit.

Orders for our fluffballs, which are made by knotting thousands of pieces of chiffon & silky strips onto a fabric base, have been steadily increasing, which is good, except that we seem to be running out of scraps! I was sorting through our fabric scraps today when I chanced upon these silken treasures we got from Emma and Jardick who run a fab little factory in Athlone. I think I will rather use them to make fabric beads and scrap jewellery. Give me a week or two and I'll do a show and tell, ok?

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Deep breath 
Every now and then, when you feel so rushed off your feet and as if you're juggling eighteen balls - badly - nature tells you to just stop and marvel. Like this evening.

Sometimes in interviews I am asked where I find my design inspiration. Living in one of the most beautiful places in the world helps, don't you think?
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The future looks bright 

Thanks for all your words of encouragement regarding the muted, pastel colour palette yesterday. I tried very hard to restrain my mind and repeat the mantra: "muted colours are in good taste"... and then the awesome Sheila brought this beauty in. What can I say? It makes my heart sing.

It's a special order for a store in New York. By the way, if you live in the US or Canada and want to locate your nearest Mielie stockist, you can contact our fantastic distributor, Nadine of Be Sweet. Nadine came up with the brainwave of calling them "time capsules" in which you can store all those (soft) treasured keepsakes, soft toys - even clothing.
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And now for some good taste 

We recently started working on a new project that pushed our normal bright - or should that read gaudy - colours into these pastel shades. I'm not entirely convinced about this new look mielie, but Zanele and Phumeza, who worked into the wee hours of the morning to complete the crazy deadline, look pretty pleased with the peaceful palette.
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Khayelitsha shine-shine 

Today everything in Khayelitsha looked extra bright and shiny. I think I might make these into postcards. And perhaps I will let a percentage of the sale go towards the veggie garden. What do you think?

Sorry, people with bandwidth issues - hope they didn't take awfully long to download!
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Farewell, grand old lady 

My parents have reached the stage where they want to scale down and live a simpler life, so they recently sold their beautiful old house, Mon Desir, in Oranjezicht. On Saturday my mom* hosted the last concert for her vocal students and it was wonderful.

*You might know her as the ever supportive Mielie Peeps commenter M. Stemmet. Have a look here at some of the beautiful photo's of my mom in her operatic heyday.
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A girl can dream... 

This was a very momentous week in the history of our Khayelitsha food garden - Richard and his hard-working team have put up the fence!

The next couple of months are going to entail lots of hard work and little immediate reward - we will be preparing the sandy, nutrient poor soil for early spring planting.
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Making it my own 

I always think that weaving is like knitting or handwriting - everyone's is unique. And these four "Lucky Star" cushions really make that point, don't they?

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A patchy here, a button there 

You might remember that I posted a sneak preview of my quilt a month or two ago, but now it's finally finished - just in time for the cooler weather we're having! The fabric swatches were donated by St Leger & Viney in the form of sample books. Once I'd joined the pieces together, I backed it with the softest denim and put some batting in the middle. I think the covered buttons just add that final touch.

Don't you just love it when you spend hours working on something and you're delighted with the end result... Don't you just hate it when the opposite happens?!
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Slightly faded. Never jaded 

How often do you think you simply have too much work and can't possibly take time off right now and spend the weekend away with friends.

And then you get there, and the weather is sublime and the food perfect. The friends are re-treasured, their children re-loved. The house is authentic. The lagoon is blue in seventeen shades.

deep breath in. Deep breath out.

Ok, week!
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