The Gathered By Claire Podcast - Introductory Episode

27 March 2019

And here it is!  My introductory episode to my brand new podcast - Gathered By Claire.
Conversations about creativity, wellbeing, small business and living a life with purpose and intention.  My passion is to share the stories of others in the hope to inspire you and help you live your best life.

Sorry it is a few days late, I only submitted my podcast for approval on the weekend and it got approved yesterday.

Let me know what you think and remember to use the hashtag #gatheredbyclairepodcast and tag me on any posts on social media.

You can find me on Instagram on @claire_choudhry

You can find my podcast feed on itunes and will shortly be available on spotify and acaste.

DIY: Easy colourful playdough

7 March 2019

By far, our most popular go-to activity in our house is playdough.  I started off a few years ago, purchasing the play-doh brand tubs but that can get a bit pricey!
Since being given a homemade recipe from a wonderful friend - we haven't looked back!

It lasts for months in an airtight container and you can add some essential oils to it to make it smell nice too!  I don't often make multiple colours as it just gets all mushed together and goes a greeny brown colour so I tend to make one colour at a time.  I don't pressure my kids into not mixing the colours - I am a firm believer in just letting them do what they want with the playdough (when it comes to playing!  Not eating or other hehe)

All you need is:

1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon cream of tartar

Place a pot on the stove and turn the hob onto a low heat.  Add all the ingredients and mix gently until it starts forming a dough.  Remove off the heat once stiff, add the food colouring until is is mixed in properly.

And that's it!  Sometimes I add in some extra essential oils at the end to make it smell nice too!

I have these AWESOME rollers from Panda Post which are amazing for creating different patterns and ridges in the playdough.  Harry loves to feel the different textures they make.  We also have a few play-doh branded accessories and some Melissa & Doug scissors which they enjoy cutting the playdough with.

Harry especially, can spend up to an hour just faffing at the table while I cook supper.  It is such a lovely thing to have an activity that you know is a sure-fire way of keeping the kiddo's busy!

Enjoy ♥

Conversations with Creatives: Danielle Smith

4 March 2019

I decided to start this series to inspire others by sharing the stories of some of the woman who I admire in the creative industry.  Creativity comes in many different forms and we can learn so much from each other.  I hope you learn something from each of these amazing women and find yourself nodding along when you read through these posts.May these words help you along your creative journey and that you find others who can cheer you on.


This week I have Danielle Smith who is sharing her story with us.  I know Dee through our boys who both attend the same playschool.  We always use to just say hello and then one day we found each other on instagram and realised we had a LOT in common.  Dee creates the most beautiful woven hangings, works full time and has two small kiddos, basically a superwoman in my eyes.  Anyway...lets see what she has to say!

Can you tell me a bit about yourself and what you are doing at the moment?
Well, during working hours I try my best to be a decent molecular geneticist, and the rest of the time I try my best to be a decent wife and mom.  I’m married to Graeme, and we have two kids – Evan is nearly 3 and Cara is 9 months old.  We live in the beautiful city of Cape Town.
When I’m not sciencing/wifing/momming, I enjoy making pretty things.

How did Woven Whimsy start?
When I was on maternity leave after having Cara, I spent a lot of time on Pinterest (as one does when one is constantly breastfeeding and/or trapped under a sleeping baby).  The tapestry weaving trend caught my eye, and I thought to myself “Hey, I’d like to try that”.  So I hammered some nails into an old picture frame, founds some bits of wool, and made my first wall hanging (which was terrible, by the way!).  I soon realised that my poor husband was terrified of having every available surface in our home covered with wall hangings, so I thought that I’d try to sell a few.  And that was the birth of Woven Whimsy.

What does a typical day look like for you?
Our kids will usually wake up around 6, which is followed by the usual chaos routine of everyone getting dressed and eating breakfast.  At 7:30 I drop Evan off at school and head into work.  I try to be home by 16:30 so that I can spend a bit of quality time with the kids before supper and bed time.  The kids are usually asleep by 19:30, which gives us a bit of quiet time to watch series or read (or weave, in my case).  My mental health is very dependent on a good night’s sleep, so I try to be in bed by 22:00.

What are some of your favourite things to do on the weekend with the kids?
We fortunate enough to have a lovely big garden, so we spend a lot of time playing outside and pottering around at home.  When cabin fever hits we’ll usually take a walk to one of the parks in our suburb, or head to Green Point Park or the Sea Point promenade.

 You juggle a full-time job, two small kiddo’s and a side-hustle (along with the other list of things like grocery shopping and life admin!) – how do make the time?
To be honest, a lot of the time I don’t make the time!  I am, however, blessed with the most incredible support system – we have a wonderful nanny who keeps our home in order, Graeme does a lot of the cooking and grocery shopping, and my mom helps a lot with the kids.  Apart from that, I try to be organised, and I’m also working on setting realistic expectations for myself.  The reality at the moment is that there are only so many hours in the day, so I’m trying to make peace with my current capacity, rather than getting frustrated because I’m not getting everything done 😊

Favourite Instagram accounts at the moment?
In terms of local creative “celebs”, I enjoy Michael Chandler (@mrchandlerhouse) and Heather Moore (@skinnylaminx), mostly because they make me see the world differently.
On the weaving side I love @hellohydrangea because she is so generous with her knowledge, and I’m also swooning over the botanical tapestries by @solipdiy.

Website link or (if you want to read my dormant blog 😊)
Instagram - @wovenwhimsy and @thingsdeeloves

You can also find me on Twitter (@thingsdeeloves) and Pinterest (@dee_smith).


Thank you Danielle for sharing with us and for inspiring me and always supporting my creativity. ♥

Missed the other conversations - click here to read them all!

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