Friday, April 27, 2012

Introducing Sumaya

Many of you are world travelers,
many of us are not...but wish we could be.
Someday, I hope to board a plane
and visit faraway places and
see totally different sights, smells and languages,
not often experienced in my
little corner of the world.
Until then, visiting blogs from people 
all over the world gives me a fascinating 
glimpse into their lives and homes.

Today, I'm thrilled to share a glimpse
into the life of someone who has led
a very different life from me,
yet we share many things in common...
like our love of vintage goods.

Her name is Sumaya.
Sumaya has been a customer of mine
for quite some time and in the
course of our "business" dealings,
we've shared little tidbits about
ourselves and our lives.
She's become a friend...albeit,
a very faraway friend.

Sumaya lives near Cape Town, South Africa.
She recently started blogging,
so I'm thrilled that I can now
get some visual glimpses into her
life and world and I'm
glad to introduce her to you today.

Interspersed with Sumaya's story
are pictures from her lovely new blog,
Evocative Vintage, where she shares
her creations and projects.
Please visit her blog, and give
her a friendly welcome to the blog world!
Evocative Vintage
So, without further ado,
I introduce you to...Sumaya.
I am a 51 year old mom of 2 grown up girls age 22 and 29 
and a grandma to my 5 year old granddaughter. 
I live with my husband, my daughter (single mom) 
and my granddaughter in one of the suburbs of Cape Town. 
My eldest daughter lives in Johannesburg with her husband.
I have 7 other siblings; 4 sisters and 3 brothers.
Yes, my Mom and Dad were very busy back in the day!
I work as a business analyst for one of the 
biggest Investment Management companies in South Africa. 
On weekends, I love going to vintage markets, 
flea markets and junk stores and I love crafting. 
I stumbled across the Etsy site, 
with all its marvelous vintage treasures, 
decided to give upcycling a go, and the rest is history. 
I grew up in the 60's. 
We were forcefully removed from District Six 
when in 1966 under the 'apartheid' law, 
District Six was declared a white's only area 
under the Group Areas Act. 
You can read up about it here
We were relocated to a bleak, sandy township complex 
on the Cape Flats. We moved into a 4-room 
council house with no hot water or electricity. 
The semi-detached house, with its asbestos roof 
had 1 living area, a kitchen, 2 bedrooms  and an outside toilet. 
There were a lot of mouths to feed, 
so we had to get by with only the barest essentials, 
yet my mom managed to create a warm and cozy
 little nest for her brood with 
wonderful meals on the table every day. 
She was a great cook and homemaker. 
I remember that not a day went by when 
someone did not come by for a visit. 
Today at 84 she is too old to do the things she loved so much. 
My love of vintage imperfection stems 
from my childhood and I get 
very nostalgic when I think about it. 
My earliest and fondest memories 
are seeing my Mom bustling around 
the tiny kitchen preparing the evening meal, 
the aromas filling the air, 
and the warm glow from the wood burning stove 
as she stoked the fire. 
There was the ginormous metal kettle sitting atop 
one of the hot plates, supplying constant hot water,  
the big galvanized tub we bathed in, and
the galvanized pail that kept the clean water. 
We had a scoop we used to fill with 
clean water to rinse away the soap suds. 
Our metal kitchen table had a formica top 
in blue, where I loved to sit and 
have my peanut butter sandwich in the afternoon. 
The formica kitchen dresser with its 
colour blocks in blue and yellow 
had a built in clock that never said the right time. 
There was a cheerful 'skirt' hiding the pots and pans 
that my mom stored below the sink. 
It wasn't really a cupboard; 
it was just an open area  with a slatted wood shelf to pack things on.
I remember my eldest sister frying Vetkoek 
in a pan on the primus stove....sigh! 
We used to fill it with apricot, strawberry jelly 
or curried mince. Go to  to read about this delicacy. 
Dad sat in his favourite armchair, 
reading his newspaper and listening 
to the little battery operated, portable radio. 
Much later he got us one of those radiograms 
that could play LP's as well. 
My mom loved nature and we had a dog, 
chickens, a fig tree, and a mulberry tree 
and I think a few stray cats as well.
As the years passed, things got better. 
The big insurance and oil companies 
started looking for ways to help 
their staff become home owners. 
That's how we got to move into a bigger house 
with hot water and electricity...
but I missed the tiny little house on that dusty street, 
with its cheerful drapes, 
mismatched furniture, 
fig tree and its heavy cast iron wood burning stove.

I truly hope you enjoyed meeting Sumaya.
You may never get to visit South Africa,
but I do hope you'll take a moment
to visit her "home" in Blogland.
You won't even get jet lag and
I'm sure she'll be thrilled to "meet" you.

It IS a small world after all.

God Bless,


  1. Oh I am heading straight over to her blog after work today!!! What a beautiful story she has -- her pictures are beautiful as are her creations! Thank you for featuring and introducing her. I don't even own a passport! My one daughter just spent 5 months studying in India; My other daughter is in Spain studying right now; My husband just got back from a missions trip to Hungary . . . some day, it will be my turn but for now, I'm with you! I love reading blogs from other countries!

  2. What a lovely memories of growing up in the simplest of situations and they are always the best. Love your redo's too. Thank you for sharing your lovely memories. xx

  3. I meet Sumaya sometime back through my Etsy...she was repurposing back then! I have been to Cape Town and visited the District 66...with it's terrible history. Wish I had met Sumaya when I was there but we did hook up after I got home. Heading to her blog....thanks for the lovely introduction.

  4. Angie, I am touched in the way you are telling my story. Told in such a warm and heartfelt way. Thank you so much and God Bless you!!!!

  5. amazing story...thanks for the introduction. I'm on my way to her "house" now to visit some more.

  6. Love your story Aunty Sumaya. Sounds like stories my parents would tell us of years gone by. It's so lovely that you can put it in words the way you have. Congratulations and all the best with your future blogging. Anisah - The Party Shop.

  7. I have known Sumaya through Etsy for several years too and she is a BEAUTIFUL person who creates BEAUTIFUL things..great story, I can picture everyone and everything so vidily..happy to see her featured here..great job..and Sumaya..LOVE your work

    patti from


Your kind comments make my day!