Saturday, 28 December 2013

Farewell 2013

I'm not sad to see the backend of this year.  In fact, I've got my foot firmly on it's rear end and I'm ready to boot it!

Usually I don't stay up to see the New Year in.  I mean, what a joke... it's just another day, right?


This New Year is the start of an amazing year for me.

That's because I am ready to do exactly what I want to do.  A little stitching, a little arty stuff, some riding on my Harley and spend the rest of the time doing a whole lot of loving.

So let me think... what did I get up to in 2013?

January was a bleak month.  Peter had a Harley accident, broke his back and spent 10 days in ICU.

February - I spent much time up and down to the hospital - even celebrating Peter's birthday in the ward with him.

March was a fabulous month riding with my friend Julie Purkis in a Breast Cancer ride from Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay.  Jules is a BC Survivor, I'm a CC Survivor (yes, CC meaning not only a 1450hp Harley accident, but also I'm a cervical cancer survivor).  We rode for all the angels in heaven.
Riding out of Cape Town

April through to September were months of slog and work and the cold winter didn't do much to lift our spirits.

What did lift it was when Dane announced that he and Michael were marrying on the 9th October! Great excitement and merriment ensued making their union one I will remember for many years.
The cake Diana made for their wedding -
in honour of Dane being a musician,
Di iced it in a music theme!

My beautiful boys - such a happy day!

Running up to the end of the year, Julie and I, along with Noelene from PinkDrive (go take a look at the awesome work they do -, put together a PinkRide where we asked Harley lady riders and their men to dress in pink and deliver gifts to underprivileged women in govenments hospitals who were undergoing treatment for breast cancer.  What an amazing turnout!  More than THIRTY Harleys (and a little lone BMW - thanks Jacqui!) rode through the streets of Soweto to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital to bring a little cheer to the women in the breast cancer ward there.

Myself, Julie Purkis, Noelene Kotschan and the
Honourable Deputy Minister,  Hendrietta
Bogopane-Zulu at the hospital.

December has been hot and muggy with typical summer showers.  I've enjoyed the holidays, spending hours on some of my arty hobbies, tidying up my work room (Peter calls it my cave!) having lunch with great friends, wrapping gifts for our newest little adopted grandson and so on and so on!

 And now I am inspired and ready to go forth and conquer 2014!


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Celebration!!!  Open up the champers!

Sew 'n Sew is back in cyberspace and trading fabulously again!

It's been a while since I blogged... that's because I've been working on a new web site, making it fresh and easy to use.  It will always be a work in progress as I add designs from the old site, and especially the NEW ONES which I've been digitizing and test stitching.

I'm thrilled to start offering Alma Lynne Hayden designs in Machine Embroidery!
Alma Lynne is the doyenne of sassy and gorgeous cross-stitch patterns.  She is an artist extraordinaire and I'm thrilled to be the machine embroidery agent of her designs... so that you, the Sew-n-Sew-er extraordinaire can stitch it out on your embroidery systems!

Here's one of Alma Lynne's designs which I fell in love with and stitched out to use as a pocket for a bag I was making for my BFF.

Come take a look at the offers at

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

What's Your Passion?

Passion is Energy!
As you know, machine embroidery has been a passion of mine for many years now and I've resisted the temptation of other crafts suchs as scrap-booking (my hubby would go nuts if I had more boxes of stuff than I already have!) and I've never quite got the hang of crochet or knitting.  In my opinion, they don't grow quick enough anyway.
So, a couple of months ago I was in our local art shop trying to find sticky dots ... not available at any of the 'normal' stationery stores here in SA ... when I saw the most beautiful diary with a pewter front sitting at the till counter.
Caryl Parks, pewter artist extraordinaire's diary which caught my eye
I am a slut for stationery.  I cannot pass up on gorgeous pens and pretty notebooks.  Naturally this diary caught my attention, and without even checking for a price, I grabbed it and plonked it right there on top of those sticky dots.
The cashier moved the diary back to its position next to her till, smoothing away some fluff from the counter top.
I picked it up and again slapped it down with great purpose.  I had no intentions of leaving this beautiful object of my desire behind.
"Uh, Ma'am," the cashier looked me square in the eye, "this is not for sale."
"Whadaya mean, not for sale, it's sitting on your counter space isn't it?"
"Actually, Ma'am, if you want to learn to make one just like this, then write your name and phone number inside and the teacher will get hold of you."
And so it came to be, that yesterday, I started an eight-week course with Caryl Parks, Pewter Artist Extraordinaire.
Despite numerous reminders to relax, chant 'ohhhhmmmmm'  and breathe, dammit, breathe, I rubbed and I shoved and the silver stuff went its own merry way.  Where I wanted a lump, I got a dent.  Where I needed to make a 'pipe', I ended up with ski-slopes.  I'm thinking next week I take a hip flask of Stroh rum with me.  If it doesn't relax me, I'm sure it will work as a great patina.

OMG... will I ever get there?!
My first attempt looks nothing like anything remotely resembling a pewter anything!  But, there is one thing I know about myself.  I will not give up.  I will master it.
And so, predictably, I have a box filled with pewter smashing stuff which I've hidden away from my darling husband.  No, not because I don't want him to know I've started another hobby, but because, given half a chance, he'll be trying his hand at it too!
Go across to Caryl's blog for some Pewter is Passion inspiration  -  and lose yourself in her amazing talents.  And then perhaps join us and try your hand at pewter work too.  Well, why not?!
Love from Sunny South Africa

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Whip me Back into Action!

Ok, so I haven't posted in a while.  That's not because I was lazy, or not interested, or anything like that... I just forgot my login details and couldn't for the life of me find where I'd saved them!  And then, just for mors, I went on holiday down to the Cape with my darling husband Peter, my gorgeous friend Julie and my eldest son Dane and his partner Michael.

Now I don't usually go away on holiday with such a mish-mash of people, but this time I had good reason.

One.  Julie is a breast cancer survivor.  Two.  I am a cervical cancer survivor.  Three.  We both ride Harley-Davidsons.  Doesn't make sense to you yet?  Patience!  You shall see the light in about forty more sentences or so!

So Jules and I decided we wanted to ride in the can.survive Ride4Recovery up the garden route of the Cape coast.  The thing is, we both live in Johannesburg, which is about 1400km's away from Cape Town.  And while neither of us are scared to ride our Harleys all the way down to Cape Town, we just didn't have enough time to do so.

Which is where Peter, Dane and Michael come in.

Dane and Michael - my gorgous boys!
 Michael has just recently arrived in South Africa (from the USA) and hasn't seen much of our beautiful country.  Dane needed a holiday and decided Cape Town (which is the Gay Capital of SA) would be a marvellous place for the boys to holiday.  Peter is just recovering from breaking his back and wasn't being left behind thank you very much!

So, three Harleys were put onto the trailer and Peter, accompanied by the boys, travelled down to Cape Town via Sedgefield (so that Michael could see the Cango Caves etc) while Jules and I flew down on  Three Harleys? I hear you say, but there are only two of you riding?  Well, Peter's Harley was still in the paint-shop getting its new coat of armour and he wanted to ride with us, so our dealer very kindly loaned us a gorgeous little 1200 Sportster... which, along with Julie's Sporty and my Switchback, made for three of us doing the Ride!

But before that, we spent three days cruising around the Cape Peninsula, riding to Somerset West one day to do a radio interview with Mark Taylor on 93.6fm Radio Heldeberg.  We enjoyed lunch (on my birthday!) at Mariner's Wharf in Hout Bay, visited an old friend, Wynter Worsthorne, in Noordhoek and rode up Chapman's Peak in the most wonderful weather!  Thank you Cape Town, it was fantastic!

Peter & Trisch on Chapman's Peak
 Early on the morning of our departure, Jules and I tagged the names of those who have succumbed to cancer and also those who have survived to our bikes.  We stood in silence looking at the names scattered on the ground... far too many... and these were only the people that two of us knew.  Imagine if we'd put all the names of all the people attending the conference - 350 women and men who knew others who'd passed on or were battling with the disease.

Jules sorts out the names of cancer survivors and those who've passed.
 We departed from the Breast Cancer Conference at the International Conference Centre in Cape Town through a guard of honour by the Amabella Bella Dragon Boat Cancer Survivors.  By the time we took off on our Harley's, I was in tears from the emotional moments, hugging women who I didn't know and promising them I would ride for their mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, and others.

Leaving Cape Town, the Ride4Recovery Girls with Peter in his Pink cap!

It was a gorgeous ride up Sir Lowry's pass and it must have truly been a sight to behold... 11 Harley ladies and gents roaring up in pack format.  We stopped off at Riversdal where we spent time talking to over 500 women and men at a fruit packing farm about the early detection of various cancers.  We truly felt that if we could help save just one life, we could conquer this beast.

Before long, Julie, Peter and I were back on the road, this time on Route 62 - stopping off at the infamous Ronnie's Sex Shop where Jules and I hung a pink bra in the pub in tribute to all the women who have/had/been affected by breast cancer.

Trisch helps Jules to hang up a pink bra at Ronnies
 Our last day was spent (deservedly) enjoying the wine farms around the Stellenbosch and Paarl regions.  We ended up at a wonderful wine farm, Muratie, where Dane tickled the ivories while Peter, Jules, Michael and I sat in a cozy wine cellar enjoying the crisp taste of their Melcks' Rosé.  Aaaah...
Dane can never resist a piano!
How blessed am I to have been able to experience this.  But as they say in the classics, all good things come to an end. And so, tomorrow, I go back to work.  Holiday over, ride done and dusted, now to go forward to more excitement in my life.

So, with love from Sunny South Africa,
I'll be blogging again soon!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Saving the Rhino

When I started typing this post's heading, Saving the Rhino, I typed in Whino by mistake!  Or was that a Freudian slip of note?  I must say, I am rather partial to a glass of wine or two, and I honestly try not to whine, so I had a good giggle to myself and thought, well there you are, Patricia, it's a note to remind you to have a glass of wine tonight and not whine about anything at all!

Which I will do (have the glass of wine), and of course I must whine about what's happening to our beautiful pre-historic big beautiful beasts called Rhino.

We're not even into the third month of the year and already over 200 rhino have been poached.  At this rate our children will only learn about them from the photographs you and I have taken on our safari's.  And even then, we've been extremely fortunate to have spotted one.

Save The Rhino purse made in the hoop

So, this month, I have digitized a sweet Save The Rhino purse which is made IN THE HOOP and would be perfect for any young one to carry pencils, cash, marbles (do they still play marbles I wonder?) or just about anything else in this little clutch.

And because you're going to purchase the pattern and make one from Sew 'n Sew (aren't ya?!), I will donate the proceeds to the Save The Rhino Foundation.  They need all the help they can get to keep our big beasts around for your children and grandchildren to view - in the wild.

So here's to helping us Save The Rhino.

Love from Sunny South Africa!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

I'm Going Sewing

So there I was, faffing around at home when my friend called and said, "wanna go sewing?"

Did I ever!  There's never a moment where I'm not keen to be stitching (except if I have to make net curtains... hmmm).
But one little problem presented itself.  In order to put all my goodies together to take with me, I used up all my spare cosmetic purses.  One for thread, one for needles, one for scissors.  Then I had to put them all into a big tote. You get the drift.
So I thought... what would I need to go sewing with?  Something which would house all the goodies I need without being too big and bulky, and definitely without needing a dozen other containers to separate everything.

So I set about stitching up this clutch.  It's got 3 see-through zippered pouches - the bottom one is really deep and I can put my Gingher scissors in there without panicing about damaging them!

With my new Happy (I'm so Happy to have my Happy) 12-needle machine, I appliqued, embroidered and lined and quilted all the panels - all done in the hoop!  There are four panels and the one with the sewing machine on has space to personalize it... that's so that Joan, or Jane, or Penny don't nick my bag!  I had such fun playing with the colours.  You can see I'm a pink gal can't you?!

Then I took to my sterling Bernina 730E and stitched up a storm, sewing the panels together, fixing the zippers and, of course, using my Simplicity bias tape maker while I was at it.  I LOVE my tape maker - it saves lots and lots of headaches with irons, spray starch, and bias-tape tips which heat up and burn your fingers!
All I now have to do when I'm going sewing, is to put all my stitchin' goodies in each compartment, roll it up, pop it into my sewing machine bag and woooo hoooo I don't have dozens of bags weighing me down anymore!
So, if you're interested in making this for yourself, come on over to and become a member of the Monthly Project Club and download it immediately!

Love from Sunny South Africa!