Togetherness, inspiration and creativity

Maz Makes… New Year’s Resolutions

Maz Makes… New Year’s Resolutions

Hello to all fellow craft lovers everywhere! It seems an age since I wrote a blog for our Create & Craft – in fact, it’s an awfully long time since I’ve written ANY blogs!! The reason, you may well ask? As you may know, I’ve been on an extended tour of South Africa since the end of October. (I hope you have enjoyed the various blogs on and my Maz Makes Facebook page about some amazing crafters I met along the way.)

As an example, here’s Sydney with his metal artwork made by him and his group of metal workers in the Kalahari.

What Does Crafting Mean to South Africa?

South Africa is a country where crafting is a way of life. Crafts and crafting across a mindblowingly diverse spectrum seems to be a default activity that people turn to at every point along life’s journey. For many, it constitutes the main source of income with skills and creativity developing at a dizzying rate. Tourist and street markets burst with items which now are not restricted to the traditional regional items but reflect the impact of technology on our lives, with tablet and mobile phone accessories featuring strongly at the markets. A marked improvement in the quality of workmanship and material reflects the impact of developing lifestyles within the rainbow nation.

This stunning beadwork necklace shows specialist beadwork skills. This item won a prize at a craft competition!

The ethos of self-reliance is stronger than ever and people from all walks of life naturally explore ways of making or doing things themselves when availability, quality, or financial restraints cause frustration. From this, crafting as a means of self-expression follows easily and much of the craftwork I have seen is nothing short of art.

My bulging bags are a testament to this; Husband despairs at how we are going to avoid the excess luggage counter when the time to fly home arrives! He has also learned that I cannot resist spending time talking to the crafters who often work on projects whilst manning their stalls and are brimming with fascinating information. He has become an expert at finding craft markets near sports pubs where he can while away an hour or two – win/win!!

Christmastime in the Bush

Soon, it was time for our family to join us at a Bush lodge in the Lowveld for Christmas. Wonderful as it is, it had little festive spirit about it and little ones wondered if Santa would be able to find them at the river’s edge in the Bush.

In the absence of any traditional Christmas trees and decorations, and inspired by the local ‘make your own’ ethos, the family set about making a Bush-inspired tree – as you’ll see from the photos below. And guess what? Santa found us!!

Although all that happened less than a week ago, our thoughts are now turning to the start of 2018. Conversations turn to hopes and aspirations for 2018 and the inevitable talk about New Year’s Resolutions.

Maz Makes’ New Year’s Resolutions

Again inspired by local ethos, I am determined to find ways to incorporate crafting more fully into my daily life. I want to find ways of making more myself, ‘repurpose’ materials as often as possible, find ways of putting a little of my own personality into what I make and, of course, share the fun (and the frustrations!) of crafting with all of you.

Our tour comes to an end in the middle of January when we make our way back to Old Blighty. I have to admit that I’m beginning to look forward to settling down in my little crafting shed and exploring ways to incorporate some of the amazing techniques and tips that local crafters have shared with me into some of my own projects. Happy 2018!

Like Maz on Facebook to keep up to date with her adventures:

Check out Maz’s blog to see what else she’s been posting:

Click here to read previous Maz Makes blog posts on the Create & Craft Blog!

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