Posted on

Slow Life Living – Focus on the good stuff

He came home late last night and the moment he walked in, I could see he was dead on his feet. He was at work for more than 12 hours straight. While walking to the bedroom to undress, he started telling me about his day at work. We have interesting conversations about his world at work; his world was my world for a long, long time. I used to be in IT, he is still there. I am so blessed to be home, no longer part of the rat race in the corporate world. But he still is. He provides for me, so that I can nurture him and our household.

As he walked in to the bedroom, he lifted up his foot, and put it on the bed to untie his shoe laces. Yes, ON the bed. On the bed was my knitted aran afghan, and a Moroccan silk throw that cost quite a pretty penny. I didn’t want a dirty shoe on either of those. In a split second, I had to decide between moaning, and keeping quiet. I chose to keep quiet.

Let me give you a small piece of advice. If you choose to focus on negative issues, negative issues will be all that you see eventually. If you start complaining about one annoying habit your partner has, you will start to notice all the others. If you start to nag about those, your marriage will probably fall apart. When we are young, we think we are perfect. As we grow older, we realise how little we know, and how insignificant we are in the bigger scheme of things. My afghan wasn’t important. My silk throw wasn’t important. My husband, willing to share his day with me – that was important.

This morning, I sat and wondered how to solve my little problem. The yarn in my afghan was expensive, and the labour was many hours. There had to be a way for me to enjoy using the afghans I had made, without becoming the proverbial dripping tap about where he puts his foot when he takes his shoe off.

I went to the habby shop! Three meters of upholstery fabric @ R55 pm, solved my problem.



 Yes it is a bit too big; we are currently sleeping on the queen size bed from the spare room. We gave our bedroom suite to our son, and our new king size bed will only be here at the end of the month. I bought it for the big bed, not the temporary one. It has all my happy colours in, and then some more! I love it.

Problem solved. When it’s dirty, I can wash it. If worn out, I can replace it.

Take my advice; there is a reason King Solomon wrote about a nagging wife and compared her to a dripping tap. Don’t be like that. Don’t focus on the negative issues. Focus on the positive ones. Make a small plan with the negatives ones.

The GOOD stuff in your relationship, deserves all the attention! Focus on the good stuff. I have a wonderful, God-given husband. That, is GOOD.


Posted on

Slow Life Living – Making your own hand wash

What is slow life living? It is a new phrase that I decided to embrace and make my own. It is mindful living. Mindful of the environment, mindful of people, mindful of animals. When you start to measure every action in your life against being mindful, you will be surprised to see how much room for improvement there is.

My husband is blessed to have hands the size of banana bunches. I am serious. Small soaps get lost in there, and it frustrates him to no end. He will use a new bar of soap until it gets too small, then I continue to use it until it starts to frustrate me too. Unfortunately, he uses a lot more soap than I do. Uhm, well, he is quite a bit bigger than me! He has a lot more surface to wash! So there was quite a collection in the shower already.

We all have those old bars of soap lying around. My mom throws hers in between her folded clothing to repel insects. Some people put their old bars of soap in their yarn stashes, for the same reason. I don’t like the soapy smell in my yarn, or in my closet. So I came up with another idea.

I collected all the old, small soap bars, and tossed them in my liquidizer.

Some pure glycerin, bought from Dischem was added too.

I let it run five times, for a minute each time. In between I gave it a minute’s rest. You can stick your finger into the soap (when the blender is switched off obviously) to feel the consistency of the soap. If it is feels grainy, let it run some more.

A quick test to feel what it feels like if I wash my hands with it…. SUCCESS!

My hand wash pump bottle is filled to the brim! And those little soaps would have been thrown away otherwise. In the one bathroom, was a pump bottle with a little bit of Dettol hand wash in. I simply added mine, and gave it a shake up. Now instead of clear orange soap, in that jar is the most beautiful peachy colour hand wash.

Repurposing items, and recycling items, are part of slow life living.

I love my slow life.

Posted on

Copyright Made Simple

Many people constantly commit copyright infringement, simply because they do not understand the principles of copyright. Allow me to elaborate on this sensitive issue.

In order to understand copyright, you have to understand the differences between a trademark, a patent, and copyright.


A trademark is the name given to a product, or a range of products, by the manufacturer thereof. A trademark must be registered. Examples of trademarks are Levi, Guess and Billabong.

Counterfeit goods are goods that are sold with the trademark, but the trademark holder did not manufacture the goods.


A patent is registered with the government. If the patent license is given, the patent owner will have the sole production and selling rights, for a pre-determined time.  Examples of patents are the ambidextrous scissor, the retractable tape measure, the piercing crochet hook and the steel crochet hook with thumb rest.


What is copyright

Copyright is the exclusive legal right that the creator of the artwork has, pertaining to his/her work of art/intellectual property. This means that the copyright holder, has the exclusive right:

  • To publish
  • To copy
  • To sell
  • To perform
  • To display
  • To distribute
  • Etc….

Copyright applies to all works of art. Included in this list are the following:

  • Books
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Paintings
  • Photographs
  • Presentations
  • Manuals
  • Craft Patterns
  • And more…

There is no registration for copyright, only declaration, e.g. © Hilda Steyn 2016.

Copyright Infringement

Here are some examples of copyright infringement:

  • Pirate music / movies;
  • Posting photos online without written consent from the copyright holder;
  • Sharing patterns online without written consent of the copyright holder;
  • Using art characters in your crafts without written consent of the copyright holder;
  • Copying a pattern for a friend;
  • Selling a pattern you did not design; and
  • Changing an existing pattern slightly, to sell it as your own.

What are the consequences of copyright infringement? The copyright holder could take you to court. Should you be found guilty, you could face the following for a first offense:

  • Confiscation of infringing material;
  • Interdict to prevent further infringement ;
  • Damages determined by the court, to be paid to the copyright holder;
  • A fine of up to R5,000; and
  • Imprisonment of up to three years.

Should you continue, and be found guilty again, you could face the following:

  • Confiscation of infringing material;
  • Interdict to prevent further infringement ;
  • Damages determined by the court, to be paid to the copyright holder;
  • A fine of up to R10,000; and
  • Imprisonment of up to five years.

Copyright on Patterns

Regardless of whether you received a pattern for free, or paid for it, you are entitled to:

  • Print the pattern for your own use;
  • Sell the items you have made from the pattern;
  • Keep the pattern for future use; and
  • Share the LINK to the pattern online.

In both cases, you may not:

  • Print a pattern to give to somebody else;
  • Sell the pattern;
  • Share it in any form whatsoever;
  • Publish pattern photos online; and
  • Recreate the pattern and claim it as your own design.

You are probably wondering why designers then make patterns available for free. We do it for the following reasons:

  • To build social media following;
  • Exposure to the crafting community;
  • To increase website traffic; and
  • To promote yarn sales (if the designer has a yarn shop too).

Remember: All aspects of the Copyright law, apply to both free and paid patterns. There is no difference whatsoever!

Techniques and Stitch Patterns

There is no copyright on techniques or stitch patterns. If I create a new stitch pattern today and call it raised stitch, somebody else can use that same stitch pattern and call it something else.

Expiry of Copyright

Copyright expires several years after the death of the copyright holder. In most countries, it is 50 years.

Please consider the effort designers put into designing patterns. Designing patterns, and facilitating workshops are our sources of income. Copyright infringement, robs us of an income.