Category Archives: Africa

Possible Back Pain Help – Kineflex Disc Prothesis

When we were in Mozambique in 2006, I helped my husband take some boxes and large items off the top of our vehicle and hurt my back. At that time I had no idea what I had done, but hoped it would go away. In time(2 yrs) I realized it wouldn’t be going away and had x-rays done and then had an MRI, which told me I had a ruptured disc in my L5 S1 and degenerative arthritis that was causing my constant pain. Being back in Africa the pain has become worse due to the very large pot holes and uneven ground we drive and walk on daily. The jarring motion of the cars makes my back very sore and the fact that I can’t bend over properly makes it hard to do many things.

I was given some info on a Doctor in South Africa and am excited to see what he says. He helped develop the Kineflex disc prosthesis. Im still doing my research but I am excited about the possibility of feeling pain free again.

Have you heard of the Kineflex disc prosthesis? If so I would love to hear from you, anything you might know.

Knotted Capalana Necklace Tutorial

Finally I have the tutorial for the knotted capalana necklace. Sorry it took so long, its been busy here with trying to get my house in order and helping my friend tear apart hers and get her packed to leave for the states. Capalana’s come in a wide range of designs and colors, but you dont have to use a capalana, you can use any material you would like.

What you need:

1 yd of Capalana(or fabric of choice)

Sewing machine

Marbles, seeds or beads



1. Cut the yard of fabric in a strip 2 inches wide.

2. Sew the right sides together into a tube.

3. Turn the fabric right side out.

4. Make a knot in the middle of the tube.

5. Take a marble and put inside the tube and push it tightly against the knot and knot on the other side of the marble. Continue knotting and adding marbles until you get the desired length of necklace.

6. Finish off the edges by folding them inside and sewing over the ends. If you want to add a little more flare, try hand sewing on a flower.


DIY Mod Podge with Lace

I saw this on another site where they used lace and decoupaged it to a number of different glass bowls and plates. I loved the way it looked so I tried it on a plain clear large mug. It was super easy. Check on Urban Comfort for all the details on how its done.

All you need is some Mod Podge, Lace and a glass bowl that you would like to spruce up.

And Mod Podge the lace to the bowl.

I used mine as a candle.

Above are examples from Urban Comforts.

DIY Mustache Photo Booth

We had a going away party for some friends that have now left Mozambique and I wanted to add some fun to lighten the sad mood of having to say goodbye to good friends, so I made these mustaches and put together a little photo booth station. Everyone loved it. It made for some great memories.

This could be adapted to a kids birthday party, an adult birthday party, a cinco de Mustache party(as told to me by someone I met recently), and really any party that you want to add some laughter to.

I found these cute templates online here and added a few of my own, took the painting out of an old frame and hung a map for the background and a little bench to sit on. I used skewers for the sticks to hold the paper mustaches. Super easy!

And than we let the fun begin…..


Africa Love

Colseon, one of our friends sons, graduated from High School last night here in Mozambique. We are so proud of him! Well his mother and I were talking and I was telling her about this bag I had seen that said “I love Africa” on it and she said it would be great if I could make him something like that for him to take to college. Coleson has grown up for most of his life (since before school started) in Africa and so the idea of taking something that said I love Africa to school as a reminder seemed like the perfect idea.

And of course the pillowcase is recycled from an old curtain.

Recycled Book Birthday Chandelier

Its best to recycle when you can but it makes even more sense to recycle when you live in Mozambique and a simple birthday banner costs you $10. I love to recycle and enjoy finding ways to use items, that would normally be destined for the trash, in a new way.

Here is my latest creation and one that we will use over and over.

I used clips tied to string for holding the numbers, that way you could change the numbers for the next birthday.

I even recycled this little egg carton into my flower shape holder!

Knotted Capalana Necklace

Remember the necklace I was wanting to make out of the capalana material? Well I made it. I didn’t have any beads to use so a friend passed on to me a broken necklace that had larger seeds as beads and told me I could take it apart to use the seeds. So that’s just what I did. I think it turned out so cute. I will be making many more. Still debating if I should sew on some fabric flowers onto one side or not.

Even my house help said she liked it, I will have to make one for her.

I will put a tutorial up next week! This is very simple to make, just a little time consuming.

The Challenge is Finished and Modified

I made a bunch of cute little flowers and sewed them together and than looked at them and thought, this just doesn’t look right so I went to my little drawer of goodies and found these little shell beads and connected a few and decided this looked more African and much cuter. I cut up a leather necklace and used pieces to attach the beads.

What do you think?

I Dream of Necklaces

I have been busy, like usual, with trying to get this house in order. I finally have hot water in the kitchen and was hoping that the washing machine would be working by now, but no such luck, but they say tomorrow. Famous last words here – amanha(tomorrow).

I have been actually dreaming of making these necklaces out of capalana material and am so excited to try it out. And when I say dreaming, I actually wake up wondering if what I dreamed would really work. I dream about how to sew them and where to buy stuff, it seems crazy, that’s why you can believe I have.

Similar idea as this, courtesy of craftjuice

My friend actually said I could use her machine while she is gone, she is going to the states to send her oldest off to college and will be gone for 7-9 months. I was all excited to get it last week when another lady said she was wanting to use it first… ok, I can share but I have to say its been a little hard when I have an idea stuck in my head.

Be keeping your eye out for some beautiful necklaces, hopefully in the next week or so, I may even sew them by hand if I get too anxious!

Have a lovely week!