” I don’t like having my photo taken under any circumstances – but my dog, Zara, is very photogenic!”
Although you wouldn’t think it for a moment if you met her, Yvon is one of our oldest contributors – yet she is the most prolific. She has taken on board the concept of an Online Market and taught herself all the techniques required to upload images and create her store. That she was able to do this so efficiently, is probably due to her ability to create works of art, beautifully embroidered gift cards – each unique and very special – which need a high degree of technical ability and attention to detail. She is highly motivated to create “If it wasn’t for my ability to keep my hands busy I would be soooooooooo bored !”
Born in the Netherlands, Yvon came to SA in 1948 where she lived in Pretoria until moving to Swellendam 11 years ago. Despite the fact that she has enjoyed “knitting, scrapbooking, embroidery, (mostly cards), pewter work, oil & fabric painting, cooking and just making ‘things‘” for most of her life, Yvon did not come from a particularly creative family. (Apart from her mother who was apparently the “world’s best and fastest knitter”!
Yvon’s first and greatest love growing up was sport – she started with gymnastics, moved on to competitive swimming where she swam for the Northern Transvaal, then archery, where she also competed not just for the Northern Transvaal, but also internationally. Her greatest sporting achievement was between 1969 and 1979 when she was totally involved with coaching Paraplegic sport, and became a Springbok coach / manager to the 1972 (Germany) and 1976 (Canada) Paralympics. And finally she coached roll ball to the blind, taking that team to Austria for the International Games. Now, she says “age has taken its toll on my bones and I roll around on a rocking chair!” Sport was just part of her full life, because somehow she managed to fit in owning a successful nursery in Pretoria East – and is a landscaper by trade.
It is clear to see how such an active person would not be satisfied with an inactive life, so it is less surprising that she creates beautiful pieces at such a rate.
She really enjoys doing commissions for people and is a perfectionist in every way, – the personal aspect of a commission is very motivating for her; this is reflected in two pieces she created for her son on his 40th and 50th birthdays: a handmade comforter and a piece which took her over a year to compile, involving all his friends and family – a history of his life in pictures – scrapbooked.(here are some extracts)
When I visited Yvon in her beautiful log home,with arguably the best view over the Swellendam mountains and town, I was also greeted by Zara, an enormous and loving dog, Yvon’s faithful companion – if Yvon could change the world she would eradicate cruelty to animals.