Category Archives: buttons

up and running again

((…possibly with thanks to Maryanne at woolhogs for reminding me that a new Made-It Challenge is underway.))

Take a little circle of twigs that you may have lying around; spray it white; crochet seven little flowers and sew a button into the centre of each one; stick the flowers on the twigs with a glue gun. Once again, be careful not to burn your fingers. Unlike me.

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You now have a wreath. You need to find a use for it. Suggestions: You can hang it on the wall. You can wear it on your head. You can decorate a gift with it. You can use it as a table centrepiece. You can attach the bodies of dead mice and hang it on the patio as a warning to other mice that cats live here. Or you can just look at the thing and think, Oh halleluja, that making urge is back…!!!!!!!

To be continued…

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who knew?

When we started Jam Tarts, who knew how busy we’d be with the “unseen” side of things? – editing photos, website stuff, admin, facebook stuff, marketing, sourcing materials, scouring the internet, packing and unpacking boxes, liaising with each other and market organisers and suppliers, coming up with hot new ideas all the time…!!! Not complaining, just saying. I’m still getting the balance right so that I don’t spend more time doing “other” stuff than actually crocheting and sewing. Some days I am reminded of when I was on maternity leave – I’d get so caught up with domestic/baby things, it would be 3.00pm before I’d manage to shower and change out of my pyjamas.

So – all I have time to show you today is this:

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It means I love my life, and everyone who is in it.

And now I’m going to update our website.  Maybe you’ll have a look at it later?

To be continued…

super quick – like life!

A super quick post today, to satisfy my list of Things To Do – am madly trying to get my flat ready for Sunday’s Open Day (which a helpful neighbour picked up on and advertised on my behalf in our local e-paper – ack!) – but things are looking better already. I was even able to get into bed last night without first having to shift piles of fabric, buttons and crochet cotton.

A possible solution for an oversupply of buttons (Trish, this is mainly for you):

This is going to be my new hookboard for keys next to the front door. I seem to be wasting at least 15 minutes searching for my car keys before I rush out these days.  Now I just need to find hooks…

Bikini update: slowly slowly catchee monkey.

I’ve been playing around with sizes and patterns and different cottons, and it’s eventually coming right.  My “bikini contact” tells me that she knows of another shop in Cape Town keen to stock these, so I really really need to focus now.

And something completely irrelevant: these photos are on my bookshelves, and something made me look at them a bit more closely when I was photographing the button hearts.  My daughter at 9 months, and me at 25 years (with my lovely Nanna):   

Where where where does the time go…

Marmalade Angel

This is Susan’s shop in its new improved premises in Tulbagh, my favourite town away from home. The photos really don’t capture the atmosphere of the place and, although it’s slightly off the beaten track of Church Street, there was a steady flow of customers during the time I was there. And they all had cash on them. (Yip, cash, I tell you – love that stuff!

    

And if you go to the Marmalade Angel now, you’ll be able to find the unique Jam Tarts lamps for sale. Hoo ha.

And … some of my crocheted bracelets and button bangles:

Obvious enough to say, but it is enormously reassuring when someone else actually likes your stuff enough to give it shop room. Self-doubt can be a real creativity killer!

Right, enough of that — I have two markets this weekend (tomorrow is the Harfield Carnival and Sunday is Kirstenbosch), so I need to have me a power breakfast with extra caffeine, and get cracking.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

To be continued…

This and that, including Rachel’s CAL

I’ve managed to complete four more squares for Rachel’s CAL.

I’m pleased with the effect of adding the bright pink to the mix, and feel much happier with my colour choice now. The last one, Square #10, didn’t shape up very well at all, but I’ll rip it out and redo it later. (Later later later. Everything’s always later with me…)

On Sunday at the Kirstenbosch Market (and what a perfect early spring day it was, thank you craft gods!!), we introduced our salt and peppers sets to this year’s new batch of patrons. And guess which ones got snapped up first?

Buttons ahoy!

And last, for today, I recently commented on the renovations of the building opposite Salisbury’s in Woodstock. It seems the new owner is a ceramicist who will be giving lessons above the shop – she’s asked me to not supply contact details until a month or so, when she’s completely organised. In the meantime, this is how she decided to paint the outside:

Baie mooi!

To be continued…

A day in the sun

Our first Jam Tarts stand at the famous Kirstenbosch market!

Please take note of our beautiful new business cards, we are very proud of them! (Thanks, Anne, for organising). That’s Anne in the white top with the money bag optimistically round her waist, me in the middle, Karen on the right, and Megan rearranging everything a hundred times more appealingly after we’d set it all out.

When we arrived, as ‘guest stallholders’ we had to check in at the office and find our location. Meeting the organiser in person after a protracted email correspondence was a strong reminder that Cape Town really is a village – Tessa and I used to work together at the Argus newspaper 26 years ago when I first moved down from Joburg! We had a quick chat, mainly about the shortage of decent men in Cape Town, before getting down to business. She told me not to expect to do well on our first day because it takes a while to ‘get noticed’ and build up a customer base. A bit spirit-dampening but maybe she was right.

Ant and Rob set up our gazebo (borrowed from Faiza – thanks, friend), which didn’t seem nearly as enormous as the unpacked weight of it suggested it would be. I couldn’t even lift it, it was so heavy, and on Friday Sizwe had kindly trundled it on a trolley to my car for me. I hope I can find him when I go into work in two hours time.

The Kirstenbosch market is a very old and well-known one in Cape Town, it’s probably been going for over 30 years. The setting can’t really be beaten, situated in the meadow around the 18th century Stone Cottages built by the busy Dutch, across the road from the botanical gardens. On one side, you can buy fresh farm veggies and fruit, honey and jam and biltong, and have a ride on a horse. In the middle (sort of) you can get teas, coffees (choice of filter or nescafe), and ready-made grub. Sit at a table or plonk yourself on the grass in the shade of an oak tree. The side closest to Newlands Avenue is a sea of colourful gazebos and umbrellas and bunting, with all the crafters and their wares.

The general consensus was that yesterday was a quieter day than usual, but there were still stacks of people (some with dogs – yuck) (sorry dog lovers, but if you all carried poop scoops with you I’d be a lot less anti) and we made enough sales to cover our costs and still be keen to go back next month. I was the unofficial networker of the group so did quite a few laps handing out our cards and making new stallholder friends and yakking away like the sociable chatty friendly person I have to try to be in situations like this.

Of course, with so much gorgeous stuff around it was hard not to want to spend one’s money at other people’s stalls. Karen was very strict with me and I wasn’t allowed to buy anything until I had sold at least one thing of my own. She changed her tune a bit after she’d had a trot round and found some garnet earrings that she felt were entirely essential. Anne was very disciplined and mostly sat in the shade with a cup of tea and a cheese sandwich, crocheting the pink and lilac flowers for a new baby blanket.

The items which drew most people to us were Karen’s and Anne’s blankets, which really are works of art. They aren’t ‘cheap’ because they’re made with best-quality wool and cotton and a lot of practiced work and new design ideas, but they are realistically priced and we believe they’ll find good homes soon :) As did we, after 3 o’clock when we’d packed up and done the reckonings.

Next Kirstenbosch market = 22 April.

To be continued…

Bearing up

Just two pics today – one of something that isn’t ready for tomorrow’s market…my sweetheart candy table:

and one of something that is…a big-button mini-mirror:

 Also, please meet Earle and Cuddles. They wanted to be featured for a change.  Cuddles is the one in the scarf, which is odd because it’s already 29 degrees hot today. Earle was rescued from a charity shop on Main Road in Mowbray when I was looking for buttons. I found him about a year ago, and the two of them have been inseparable ever since. There is also a bear called Pedro who lives with us but he didn’t want to be in this picture.

To be continued…