Fun With The Button Tin

Buttons 2

When we visited Clarens in December I saw something in one of the craft shops which I just had to try!

The Inspiration Button Rings
The inspiration, button rings

So here goes with a DIY project to start the year. As I prefer wearing a brooch on a jacket, I decided to attempt making brooches with buttons.

You will need :

4-5  Buttons ranging in size from big to small in colours of your choice.

Needle and thread in a matching colour.

Brooch back ( available at sewing and craft stores ).

Glue to attach the brooch back to the buttons.

Sew the buttons onto one another, starting with the biggest and ending with the smallest.

Glue the brooch back onto the finished product, wait to dry and wear on a jacket.

Confessions of an Armchair Walker

Few people may have noticed that I neglected to update my walking progress the past few weeks. When I started blogging and added the walking update posts I promised myself that I will be honest and not cheat on this aspect. So here is my confession!

There has been no walking for at least three to four weeks, actually I lost track of the time.

Now, I can offer many excuses such as:

My aching knee and hip joints prevent me from walking for exercise.

I am too busy with end of year activities.

I am simply too tired.

My mother’s illness and the amount of time I spend with her. prevent me from walking.

All of them valid, but not all convincing. The actual truth is, I am lazy and once I broke the routine I find it so difficult to start again. In the meantime I was armchair walking and still researched the wonderful area of the Eastern Cape where I was at the time of my previous update.

Today I wish I was here instead of in a rainy Pretoria surrounded by stacks of work which have to be finished before the long awaited summer holidays starts.


In the Coffee Bay area this natural wonder called The Hole in the Wall can be found. When reading about it, I learned that the indigenous Xhosa people have another name for this place . They call it ” izi Khaleni ” ( place of thunder)  because at certain times of the year waves crash through the hole so violently that the sound it makes, is like thunder. Apart from the scientific explanation that the waves have been eating away at the soft rock layers in the cliff face to form this almost perfect hole, there are many legends surrounding this amazing place.

Hole-in-The-Wall (1)

Photo credit:…/hole-in-the-wall/photos

My favourite is this one:

The Xhosa people have a far more intriguing story to tell. Their local legend tells the tale of a young girl who lived in a small village near the sea. Near her village was a landlocked lagoon that was blocked from the ocean by a sheer cliff face. Her people often told stories of people who lived in the sea, completely human except for supple wrists and flipper-like hands and feet.

One day, while walking near her village, the young girl spotted one of these semi-deities. The sea-person was struck by the human girl’s beauty and was determined to win her heart. But the people of the village were aghast at the idea of the match and the girl’s father forbade her to ever see him again.

Deeply offended by the villagers’ reactions, the sea people vowed to help the young lovers be together. One night, as the tide rose, they gathered on the ocean-side of the cliff-face. With the help of a huge fish, they repeatedly rammed the rock until they broke through. All of the sea people swam through into the lagoon, singing and shouting with joy.

The villagers hid in fear and the young girl and her lover took the  opportunity to disappear into the night – never to be seen again. Some people say that you can still hear the singing and joyous cries of the sea people if the wind blows exactly right…

Information found here: Legend of Hole in the Wall

After reading this romantic legend I now have to return to reality and work!

A Blog’s Life. Is It Alive?

On the 18th July 2012 a blog named purpleviolas was born and I became the nervous mom of a new kind of life.

As any new mom I was clueless and didn’t understand how to cope with  this new baby, nor did I know what the future held for me and this new “bloglife” which I created. So in my ignorance, I jumped into the world of blogging and started writing.

The first time I hit the “publish” button my heart was beating uncontrollably and my hands were sweaty with fear. On the one hand there was fear of the readers out there and on the other fear that no one will want to read what I have to say.  They might even laugh at me, a fifty plusser, trying to join the age of electronic media.

I had to learn about links, pings, tags, referrers, comments, followers, social media publishing, adding media to the blogposts, drafts, stats and many more.
Computer lady

Time went by and my new baby, purpleviolas developed her own identity and even a will of her own!

She made me more aware of the world around me and nudged me to write about my observations on daily life. She became a  different kind of blog than the one I initially envisaged, as I wrote more about my personal experiences and feelings than was the plan.  She was there to support me and help me come to terms with the death of my father and the terminal illness of my mother. She shared in the joys of travelling and visiting my children in a faraway land.

She even, to my amazement, has a few followers and earned a few clicks on the “like” button.

Sometimes she exasperated me when I wanted to write on a subject and she hid the words that I was looking for to express my feelings and thoughts, while at other times she provided me with easily flowing ideas to convey my message.

Now a few months later, I am looking forward to my journey with her into the future. I know we will have many good and bad times together as I grow older and she matures and  maybe even becomes ” master of her own domain.” ( I still have to figure out what that means! )

Does your blog also seem to have a life and identity of her own ?

Walking Update 10

This is where I am

Week 10 and with the exception of week 8  I have been diligently walking every week and as the weeks progressed it became increasingly easier.This week I reached the area of the  Dwesa and Cweba Nature reserves.

These two small reserves are separated by the Mbashe river and bordered on the one side by the Indian Ocean and on the other by indigenous forest of the former Transkei. Combined they preserve one of the biggest tracts of indigenous coastal forest in the Eastern Cape.There are beautiful footpaths  to explore Dwesa and Cweba on foot.

One thing I know is that this part of our country is definitely  next on my to visit list .

Photo credit and more information here Dwesa and Cweba

Walking Update 9

This week I am well on track with the walking again. I managed my goal of three walking sessions during the week.

As I found myself on a  deserted and undeveloped stretch of coastline, I cheated a little bit and skipped this part  to start my walk at the beautiful Kob Inn near Mazeppa bay.

The Beautiful Kob Inn in Transkei

My research revealed a very attractive hiking trail to someone like me  who doesn’t like camping, called the Hotel Hopping Trail. The Hotel Hopping Trail is described as a luxury slackpacking trail. This hike apparently does not require a great measure of fitness and allows time to wander and enjoy the environment.Hikers walk during the day from one hotel to another and spend the night sleeping at a hotel.   The hiking distances between the hotels are not very far, allowing time for a leisurely lunch and a swim along way. Best of all the hikers do not carry their own luggage as it is transferred between hotels. Sounds like just the kind of hike that I will enjoy! Read more here: Hotel- Hopping Trail  

Walking Update 6

This week I managed 8 km again!

I think, no I know there are many out there who would snicker behind their hands at my achievement. Those who run or walk 10km or more per day would not be able to comprehend the mountainous achievement that 8 km is for me.

Anyway I don’t mind what others think of my efforts, I know what it means to me and therefore I will continue on my slow but sure way and have fun too.

Kei River Pont

This week I started out at the Kei River where I travelled with the pont one of only two car ferries  in South Africa  across the mighty Kei River to  the village of Kei Mouth. I the visited the Hazel Jefferies Shell museum as I have always been fascinated by shells of any kind.

Shell at the Museum

Then I walked along the coast line to the Qolora River Mouth. My goal was the wreck of the Jacaranda. On the night of 18 September 1971 the ship Jacaranda stranded here in windy stormy seas when her engines failed. As she was a cargo ship, only the captain, his wife and 14 crew members were on board.   They abandoned ship using a rope ladder which they strung from the ship’s prow to the nearby rocks. I had to pass a few cows relaxing on the beach ( a rare sight indeed) to reach the wreck of which only the bow remains today.

Jacaranda Shipwreck at Qolora
Cows on the Beach

Photos from this link:  Qolora Eastern Cape 

Then it was on to the Trennerys Hotel which I should reach by next week