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An explosion of colour, shapes and aromas is the only way one could describe the Five Pickled Petticoats' “Choux Pastry” launch on 2 April. Choux Pastry showcases the talents of the five “designing divas”: Michelle Panos, her sister-in-law Yvette Panos, sister Tracy Monzeglio, mother Estelle Carstens and friend, Linda Dean. They are all involved in the Pan Design Company which combines catering, art, design, pottery and hospitality.

Five Pickled Petticoats: Yvette, Tracy, Estelle, Michelle and Lynda

The setting was Michelle and Steve Panos' place in the Oori Game Reserve, Riverside Estates. Choux morphed into Shoe for the launch and footwear of all shapes, sizes, colours, models and materials appeared in the exuberant decorations - on the tables, hanging from the deck and lining the garden walks. Guests were taken on a bush walk to meet some of the Oori's game and treated to a delectable lunch.

“We scored an A+ from most of the food fundis amidst our guests,” said Michelle. “And we're delighted with the sales of our Choux Platters plus enquiries for a 21st party, a kiddies’ birthday and a small wedding. The launch was a resounding success!“ (See www.pandesign.co.za.)

Recently Michelle got the Oori community involved in creating soccer and netball fields for local kids on the nearby SOS Training Village property. “Our Choux/Shoe launch collected R525 from tips to help purchase much-needed takkies for the Oori sports teams. A friend promised to try and find a sponsor for proper soccer boots!”

The 5PPs' creativity comes in many forms, and using “junk” is another aspect. Michelle and Yvette collect barbed-wire game fencing and snares as well as discarded metal from general clean-ups of wilderness areas. Craftsmen then turn this junk into barbed-wire wall hangings, picture frames, plaques, cake stands and lights. Alien woods are also used for mirror and picture frames and screens. It's art and it's employment. “We're a throw-away society, killing our planet by discarding things that can be re-used,” says Michelle.