I am taking a little break until the 6th of October - I promise to document my holiday adventures and share them with you. We are headed towards the east coast in search of some sun and plan to also visit Peddie, the hometown of many of Mielie's weavers. I don't want to divulge too much, but I think there might be some festivities planned for us... come back on the 6th and I'll tell all, ok?

xxx adri

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Song for my mom 

This evening my mom made leberknödelsuppe and goulasch with sauerkraut for our German son, Gregor. As always, she used her Viennese Cookery book, written by the curiously named Rosl Philpot, an Austrian girl who married the British Mr Philpot. It was delicious.

My mother discovered Austrian cuisine in the late '50s when she went to study opera in Vienna. These photos are all of my mom performing in various operas, mostly in Graz, Austria. Mamma, will you add a comment and let us know which opera or operetta each photo is from?

There are so many things I love about her, but my two favourites are:

1 - her ability to turn any situation into a fun adventure
2 - the fact that I know that whatever I do, she's right behind me

Thanks mom
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Cubes in Orbit 
Remember the little paper mock-up orbit cubes?

Well, now they're real! And they're beautiful, don't you think?

Today was a beautiful spring day and with the help of my two hardworking assistants, Mzo and Malibongwe, we took loads of photos. I'm saving some for later, ok?

I also snapped Marina's beautiful skirt that she mentioned in yesterday's comments. It's from Pure Solid in Cavendish, Cape Town. Oh my, they make sublime clothes.

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Spring Catch 
On any given Friday morning, our loft is stacked with piles of woven bags waiting to be sewn up and have their handles stitched on.

I recently diverted these beauties on their way out the door.

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Past times 

I have always loved pottering around junk shops - so much so that I have created whole holidays with a junk shop itinerary. But that was looong ago in my before-kids life. I just can't bear the "Mom, I'm bored" and "Can we go nows?". In fact, I have often thought that my eldest sees a junk shop as an alternative place to serve a short-term prison sentence.

So imagine my surprise when on our recent visit to Kalk Bay he suggested that we go and browse at the Kalk Bay Trading Post. I discovered the real reason for this new-found enthusiasm was the fact that a classmate's dad had purchased an old map at the store for a song, and it had turned out to be very rare and ergo, very valuable.

Well, whatever our personal motivations were, we all spent a blissful hour or so browsing in the trading post, all the while listening to timeless classics on a scratchy old gramophone. Bliss.
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Playing tag 
I've been tagged my my blogging guru, Heather of skinny laminx who has been incredibly generous with advice and constructive criticism (am I gushing?). Don't worry, I didn't know what tagging meant either - Heather challenged me to reveal the contents of my Mielie bag... so here goes:

1. Boring but functional wallet
2. Zip lock for business cash expenses
3. Pencil case made of upholstery fabric offcuts
4. Pens & pencils (I love plain old wooden HB pencils)
5. A broken silver chain mail bracelet I made ages ago and plan to fix one day
6. A flower I crocheted a while ago and fits into the "half-baked" product development category
7. My over-the-counter readers - this is a very new thing for me - I can see! I can thread needles!
8. iPod shuffle, for transferring files in a little felted pouch I made
9. My mini notebook with product ideas
10. The tiniest buttons in the world... I just know that one day they will be really really useful
11. One of Lungi's fabric scrap flower brooches

OK, now I guess I need to tag someone else to show and tell the contents of their bag... well, while we're keeping such good company, I think I'll choose another one of my design heroes, Helen Dardik, who has recently left some very encouraging comments on my blog. How about it, Helen?
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Mielie friends far and wide 

Meet my great friend Birgit and her two beautiful daughters, Emelia and Lucie, all loyal Mielie fans in Berlin. For some reason I really miss them today, so I thought I'd pop their beautiful faces onto the blog. Birgit is a a production designer. Take a look at some of her awesome work on her website and be inspired!

Fra and Brooke own a beautiful gift shop, Zohar, in New Zealand that stocks an excellent range of Mielie bags.

Thanks for your support guys - Mielie wouldn't exist without loyal fans and supporters.

*Hello Kiwis.
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Let's play the Mielie game! 

Marina and I have been working really hard at refining the design brief for our new website, which we hope to have up and running sometime in October. What a lot of work! But I think it will be worth the effort.

One of my jobbies was to create a diagram of how we work at Mielie, and here it is. You like? I'd love to say that I whipped it up in half an hour... more like three days!

Remember beautiful, peaceful, picturesque Kalk Bay of Saturday? This is what it looked like on Monday:

I think my new favourite word to describe Cape Town's weather is unpredictable. I tried to find the source of these photos, but to no avail.

Speaking of things menacing, I snapped these guys cussing and smoking in the corner of the loft. They will soon be heading out on a pirate ship for Finland. Funny thing is, I might miss them...

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No prizes for guessing where these AJ beauties are headed... yup, to one of our favourite UK outlets, Fibre and Clay in Manchester.

The legs, wellies and the um, deconstructed tunic belong to the lovely Marina. Marina, even though we love your wellies, I hope they will be taking a little cupboard break, because this morning I saw this beautiful orb surrounded by some blue in the sky!

Also destined for Fibre and Clay is this beautiful flower power soccer ball, woven by Phumeza. The great thing is that it has a gym ball inner, so we can ship it flat which means it's cheaper to send. When it arrives at Fibre and Clay, owner Riana Martin can simply inflate it using an electric pump obtainable from any camping shop worth its salt.

Isn't it awesome? Well done, Phumeza!

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We live, we learn, we get better all the time 

The bags on the left are destined for Germany... altogether eleven boxes worth of bags! A big bouquet goes to Sheila and Mzo for getting this order right. Of all the products ordered, there was only one small mistake - the right design on the wrong shape bag, which Sheila took home to weave overnight. Talk about commitment!

This magnificent thing that Zanele is weaving is going to be a round ottoman, 90 cm in diameter and 40cm high. There was a little misunderstanding regarding the colour, so Zanele had to remove the non-hot/hot colours and replace them. Thanks so much, Zanele!

It took a lot of head-scratching to get the pattern just right, and in the end the sides were a bit small, so Zanele added an invisible patch. Now we have the pattern perfect, so next time there won't be any mistakes. I'll take a picture when it's finished.

And all the while it rained and rained and poured. "Perhaps," Mzo mused, "the rain is finalising for the winter."
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