the crease

I love people. You never know what they’re going to say next. One woman came along to my stand at the Kirstenbosch Market on Sunday and said, “Has that woman gone yet?” When I asked who she meant, she said “The stupid one from earlier who said there was a crease in one of the pillow cases on display – what does she think happens to them when she sleeps on them for eight hours?”

The stupid one bought two pillow cases for a gift for a friend, and the sarky one bought four pillow cases as a gift for herself.  Lots of other people bought some as well, and some ordered specific designs or specific colours. Two people have also ordered duvet covers, which is something I hadn’t anticipated – but I have no problem with it at all!


All set up at the Bonnievale Christmas Market

This is very encouraging, and I think for the first time since I started this creative/marketing/self-employment lark I’m on the right track. Don’t get me wrong, I love crocheting and sewing and selling beanies and bags, but I think handprinted bed linen is going to take me further down the road to sustainable income in the long run. And let’s face it, in just six years time I could justifiably be thinking about retirement, anyway… (Pun unintended).




taking a deep breath

What the next few weeks looks like for me:

beach man

28 November:  Paternoster Seafood Festival

29 November: Kirstenbosch Craft Market

30 November: Protea Hoogte NG Kerk Christmas Market

1 December:  Pack down at Bonnievale Christmas Market

5 December: Pack down at Protea Hoogte

6 December:  The Palms Lifestyle Market in Woodstock

6 December:  Set up at Pinelands Xmas Fair

6 December: Set up at Simply South Xmas Market in Constantia

7 and 11 December: work shifts at Pinelands

12 December: Rondebosch Craft in the Park

13 December: Kirstenbosch Craft Market

19 December: I love Yzer market in Yzerfontein

20 December: Kirstenbosch Craft Market

22 December Pack: down Pinelands

22 December: Pack down Simply South

23 December: Langebaan family market

I’ll see you on the other side….

oops. been a while.

It’s challenging fitting everything in sometimes. A lot of times, actually. But then you all know all about that, too!  On days when I’ve really overextended myself, supper is yogurt and a banana and then I’m in bed quite early. It’s all I’m good for. Plus I think I deserve it. And on days when I’ve haven’t extended myself much at all, I tell myself I was busier in my head than usual so I still think I deserve my bed and book when I please.

Tomorrow the Festive Ideas market opens at the Simondium Country Lodge, for five days. Everyone set up today – usually a bit stressful at the best of times, but the weather wasn’t playing fair and the temperature shot up to over 40 degrees.  Simondium is an hour’s drive for me, and by the time I got home at about 5.30, I was crazed with heat-brain and heat-body. I don’t know how else to put it. I was the most finished I’ve ever been. It took an very stationary hour under a wet towel to recover.

Here is part of my stand (the focus is on pillow cases, you’ll gather, rather than hats, beanies and bags)

sim 2

and here, if you look carefully, you can see one of the many peacocks that has given its name to the Peacock Palace – the ‘hall’ where I am set up, along with 8 other traders.  If the windows aren’t closed at night, apparently they come in and crap mess all over everything.

sim 1

There are 130 traders in total, and the venue is just perfect for such a huge variety of products and styles. It was still pretty overwhelming today, though, and I was mighty glad to get home to my wet towel and some peace and quiet.

Ah well, tomorrow is another day, and the weatherman says it’ll be about 10 degrees cooler than it was today. Fingers crossed.

sometimes you lose…

…and sometimes you lose BIG TIME.

Yesterday I traded at the Tulbagh Horse and Wildflower Show. It was the fourth day of the event, and I can only thank my lucky stars that I hadn’t signed up and paid for all four days. We were stationed in the back of a dark hall at the back of the market at the back of the show with no signage. We were between a bar (where the brandies and cokes were going down from 8.30am…) and a canteen where the meal of the day was curried sheep’s offal with a side order of boerewors. I’m not a big meat fan as it is, but the smell of this has now put me off for ever.

One poor chap, who had really beautiful wooden and beaded crafts for sale, had not had a single sale in the previous three days. In fact, he had been the only crafter in the entire hall up until the Saturday morning.

There seemed no point in dragging out this big fail til 5.00pm, and all the crafters wanted to pack up early (with the exception of the oyster lady, who had been stealthily removing two items at a time since noon and by 12.30 was already on her way home – it was a very hot day, too, so I can only imagine the oysters were good and smoked by then). I was told, by a very cross lady who wagged her finger in my face, that this was NOT ON, after which she moved her car so as to block the dusty exit road. After a short flurry of altercation (in which someone whose name will not be mentioned set off her car alarm and produced a knife which would slice through tyres like butter), we packed up and flew off. Vat jou goed en trek, Ferreira.

We were hot, grumpy, tired, dusty and headaches prevailed. It was not a good time to take in a drive through the town and across 8 kilometres of farmland to visit my friend Tina, so I’m just hoping she understood and that I haven’t lost a friend.

90 minutes later we were home; I ate toast with jam, switched my phone off, and slept for 12 hours.

Oh wait – I’ve forgotten the single highlight of the day — Tannie Marie’s lemon meringue pie!

lemon meringue

It was so intensely heavenly that even I could only manage one slice. It might the one single thing that ever lures me back there….

pillow cases

I’m loving my screenprinting. Concentrating on pillow cases to start with, I managed to get a proper display and packaging together and took them to the Kirstenbosch Market on Sunday (the first one of spring, yay).


purple butterflies

The feedback was excellent, a few sold and I got orders for more in different colours. I’m so encouraged that I even managed to find the time yesterday to update my website. Wonders will never cease.

Next up: the Wildflower Show in beautiful Tulbagh, this coming Saturday. Looking forward to catching up with Tina, Susan and the peacocks, apart from trading at the market itself.

Back soon x

have i no shame?

My mother offered to clean and sort out my garage. I will admit that it has got the better of me lately, and the thought of tackling it was so overwhelming as to be impossible to face. We also enlisted the help of Pumla, Eliot’s wife.

Here is the before pic. My mother asked why I was taking it. When I said it was for my blog, she was aghast: “HAVE YOU NO SHAME?”  Apparently I don’t!

garage 1

Everything inside taken out….

garage 3

The team at work: my mother and Pumla

garage 4

The end result.

garage 6
garage 7   everything dusted, packed, boxed or hung up!

My mother has now crawled home, an exhausted shell of her former self. Pumla has her feet up in the garden with chicken sandwiches and tea. Me? – well, just thinking about all that work going on has made me tired….


Just got home from my first Swartland Skou in Moorreesburg (about 1.5 hrs from Cape Town, in wheat country). Four days of speaking Afrikaans, enduring the wind from the west coast, and sleeping in a bed that isn’t mine – new customers and the sales and orders make up for it, but boy it’s good to be home.

My mom and I drove through on Wednesday afternoon so we could take our time setting up. This is the little Victorian house we stayed in, along with Suzette and Antoinette, and later joined by Rob and Pierre, Suzette’s husband. (Superior strength and cooking skills —- men are so wonderful to have around at these events…!)


There was more farm equipment and vehicles on show than I knew existed. You wouldn’t want to mess with anyone driving one of these babies.


The first two days of the show, compared to recent years according to those traders who’ve gone there since it began, were comparatively quiet. Most of us only just managed to cover our costs by the end of the second day, which was a very bleak feeling. On the third day, however, everything suddenly came to life and it ended up being one of my most successful trading days ever. There are many many little kiddies in and around Moorreesburg with a Jam Tarts beanie on their heads right now!

Me with Suzette and Antoinette.

j s a

I have four days before leaving for another market in Darling, this time the Wild Flower Show.

wild flowers

It’s going to be a busy busy week :-)