Thursday, January 31, 2008

It just keeps getting better.........

I am referring to the comedy surrounding the latest Government crisis, as the deficiencies in our power Grid threaten to send the economy into a tailspin.

The Minister of Minerals and Energy Affairs was heckled in Parliament yesterday, as she produced her 10 point plan for alleviating the crisis, which included such high powered concepts as " the people must go to bed earlier so they can grow and be cleverer". I trust the honourable Minister will be taking her own advice and having some seroiusly early nights, if her thesis that it increases brainpower is to be accepted!

No no, REALLY, I am not making this up! I know it is hard to imagine that this is actually happening at parliamentary level, but here is the headline to prove it!
(Of course if this enlightened advice holds true, it also raises a dilemma for those who are already too large, but want to get 'cleverer', do you avoid sleep in order to prevent further growth, or do you sleep more to aid the intellect? ho hum, decisions decisions....)
Our State President, Thabo Mbeki, has also come in for some serious (and may I suggest well-deserved) flack over his legendary lack of leadership. It has been so glaringly apparent during many recent crises, when the silence from his office has become deafening while the country waited in vain for some statement of direction from the top. He has developed a bad reputation for absence of leadership here, and is mostly known for rushing around the world in his private jet, telling other leaders how to run their countries while things fall apart back home in his.
So naturally, my favourite cartoonist has been having great fun at his expense......
(That bottom one had Max and I howling with laughter this morning!)

In fact it is becoming more and more apparent that some of our comedians (like Pieter Dirk Uys for example) would make brilliant politicians, if they could just get around the problem of their inate honesty, while many of our politicians have turned out to be marvellous comedians!

Anyway, onto something completely different. Yesterday in the Port Elizabeth Daily Photo blog, I featured Zimbabwean wire workers, and thought I would show some of the items they have custom made for me to use in decor projects.

The Wall Light in one of the spare rooms was a beaded gecko, with wiring inside. Off....

and on.......

The kitchen cabinets also got the beaded treatment, with custom made chilli handles.

Also in the kitchen, we combined old and new, with wonderful antique balloon back chairs in the breakfast nook, and custom made woven grass bar stools, from the Zimbabweans, at the counter.

While I am on the subject, I might as well show more details. This was one of the best jobs I had over the years, from the point of view of freedom to create, and working with a delightful client who was as whacky as me, and encouraged lateral thinking. Much of what we did was custom made, so the result was really unique and interesting.

Still in the kitchen, I bought some old silver plated cutlery, and bent them, then tiled them into panels in front of and above the cooker, to form mosaic panels with a difference.

And in the sitting room, the end wall was remodelled to unify the fireplace, TV cabinet and bookshelves. Woven baskets were made for the shelves, to hold all the little loose bits and pieces that tend to accumulate in such places.
(As a matter of interest, here is a before pic showing the dated and unbalanced oak shelves, with huge ugly step below fireplace, and tv so far across to the right that it was impossible to view from a couch against the only long wall in the room.)

But when the furnishings were in it looked great.

I bought the carved crocodile from a street vendor, and then designed a table around it. I had a blank pine table made, and hand painted it with ethnic designs. Under the glass panel, I fitted a removable box, with the wooden crocodile in it. But if the owner gets bored and wants to change carvings, she can do so. This table ended up in the red lounge, where it looks great.

The dining room was much too pink and formal for the owner's fun personality, so we got a bit playful in there, with custom designed "jester" chairs and whacky light fitting. Apparently she has had some great dinner parties in there since the change!

The guest bath room was a boring white room , and even though it had a bay window, it has frosted glass and no view. So we built a courtyard around it, and put in clear glass, now you can lie in the bath and enjoy the view.

The theme of geckos continued into this room, with custom made ceramic hand basins painted with geckos, as well as gecko metalwork on the cabinet doors, towel rails, loo roll holder etc.

We made a delightful four poster bed for the main bedroom, with crystal ball detail on top of each post...

But by far my favourite room was the Main en suite bathroom. We again built a courtyard all around it, and put this wonderful metallic fininsh oval bath on the raised plith,

....with double shower heads next to it. The tile layout highlights the whole feature.

Both are overlooking the outdoor shower with copper pipes twisted around old railway sleepers.

The matching basins had cabinets made with sticks, for an ethnic look.

And in the loo section, a Philippe Starck basin finds itself combined in an unlikely way with a handmade wood and metal stand.

It was a lot of fun!


Ali Honey said...

What lovely original furnishings! Great use of the outdoor spaces too.

Can't believe the advice to save power. Actually the latest idea I read is more sleep aids folk trying to loose weight as it stops late night snacking and supresses the appetite.

Old Wom Tigley said...

I real enjoy your humour in the first part of your poat..
The second part as just struck me with awe... you have some very beautiful things on show here.
The one's that really did it for me was the Tiling around the cooker.. and the Starck Basin.

Great post really enjoyed my visit here today.

quintarantino said...

Great decoration work. I'm impressed.

As for the minister, I thought fools were only ruling in portugal but afterall...

Janet said... I disturbing your sleep! It's good that you can keep your sense of humor through all this political stuff.

As for the house, at first I thought it was your home but then I realized it was one of your clients. All I can say is when can you do my house?!! That is so beautiful and so creative. I love the mosaic in the kitchen, the jester chairs, the croc table, and that bath in the master suite is to die for!!

NatzG said...

Awesome house! You are very talented. Please make sure your client keeps the gecko light and the funky dining room light switched off!

Jenty said...

Oh wow! That house is definitely drool worthy! I love it all!
And as for our politics... Arrrghhhh!!!

Suzi-k said...

hehe, off to bed now...Janet...I wish! A trip to California would suit me just fine!

Suzy said...

All I can say is wow. I too love the mosaic around the stove and the basin. Really cool stuff. You are very talented!