Category Archives: Craft

desperately seeking…followers

You know how I sometimes make really weird things, or attack a garment with random embellishments? Just because, you know, I can?

reworked jacket    green

Well, all those one-of-a-kind bits of kookiness are now going to be featured on instagram under Nice_piece_of_work. There are currently two garnished jackets on show, but more oddities will follow soon. Prices are in South African Rand (ZAR). Postage costs will have to be discussed privately. I imagine the postage to anywhere outside of my part of the world at the tip of Africa will be prohibitive, so it may only be the South African hippies who I’ll ever hear from. Which is fine – I love you guys, all twelve of you.

PS. I only have 17 followers so far. I realise this is Not Exactly Big Time, so I’m not too proud to ask you to follow me… xxx

 

in my face

The first time I was at the Made in the Cape artisan market in Cavendish, my stand was positioned in front of Wolf Jewellers. Not only could I not afford a single thing in the shop even if I sold my house, my body and my mother, I had this arrogant son-of-a-gun in my face for four days in a row admonishing me not to crack under pressure. Easy for you to say, dude.

crack

Last week’s one was worse. I had to stare at this woman for four days:

bikini

Surely they’d sell more stuff if the models looked like real-life humans, that the rest of us could actually identify with? Oh wait, stupid me – if I buy that bikini, I will look just like her.  I will be her, in fact – young, firm, tanned and sexy with a visible space between my taut thighs, on my way to join the arrogant pointy man from the jewellers for a dry martini at the exclusive bar that overlooks Sydney’s Bondi beach. And I won’t even have to pay for it myself. Which is just as well because the bikini alone wasn’t cheap, let alone the cost of the ticket to Australia….

twins but different

Last year at one of the Kirstenbosch markets, I met Corinne. She was planning a trip to New Zealand to see her family this year, and wanted to have bedspreads specially made for each of her 10-year old twin granddaughters.

A bit of sorting and printing and fabric painting later, here we have vibrant purples and pinks for Erin and gentler greens and greys for Sami (if you look, you can see the squares with their names on).

Corinne line 2100_3139

Corinne line 1

Unfortunately, the New Zealand trip is off because Corinne has been undergoing serious back surgery and has a while to recover, but the girls should get them within the next 12 months.

Corinne’s friend came to my house to collect them on Sunday afternoon and, since she and I have had many conversations by phone and email, I had expected to hear from her quite soon. Sunday, nothing. Monday, nothing. Tuesday – well, by Tuesday I had convinced myself that she loathed the bedspreads but couldn’t bring herself to tell me.  I had visions of removing and replacing certain squares, or even making entirely new ones. Tuesday evening – phone call! The friend had been too busy with his work and other commitments to get them to Corinne until then, and SHE LOVED THEM BOTH, especially that none of the fabrics were “kiddy-ish” or old-fashioned. Ah, the relief!

I never used to get stressed unnecessarily like this (the customer had approved all fabrics and colours via whats app pics before I even touched a pair of scissors), so I’m wondering if it’s an age thing, or an anxiety thing? Or both. Or neither. I’ll try not to spend too long thinking about it…..

Made in the Cape

Made in the Cape is an artisan craft market that happens over four days every month in the middle of Cavendish Square, a high-end and bustling shopping mall in Claremont. It is a much sought-after trading venue, so I was delighted when Dale, who initiated the concept five years ago and continues to organise the market, found a spot for me at the June market. And July. And August. That one is coming up on the 3rd…and yes, I’m sewing up a storm…..

This was my first set-up, around the escalator circle in the centre ground floor:

made in cape 2

And last month’s, in the same escalator circle but on a different side.

July 2017

I already knew quite a few of the existing traders, and have since got to know more. They’re a friendly and innovative and hard-working bunch! (Special shout-outs to Theresa, Marie, Dale, Aviv, Francesca, Tina, Geoff, Wanda and Zee). They all make absolutely exquisite items, from jewellery to ceramics to foodie stuffs to textile work and upcycled products, which are all delicious and inspiring. I can’t think of anywhere else in Cape Town where you would find that kind of handmade quality all together under one roof any more – not to mention close to the Seattle coffee bar and plentiful parking :)

I’ve been experimenting with a new product and, after three weeks, a lot of glue and mess, and pins and sewing and cursing and muttering, I finally have a workable prototype. Watch this space.

PS. The first half of 2017 has been rather challenging and debilitating in a number of different ways so far, but I do feel now that I’m slowly getting back to being more creative and focused and calm and, basically, more human. Let’s toast to that, and hope not too many people even noticed (heh)!

Yarning along with Rachel (2)

My second post, after a mild nudge, to tie in with Rachel’s Yarning Along series (see what I did there?) Rachel’s right, it is interesting to see what other people are reading!

yarning along 2

Well, all you UK readers will know this chap quite well. I wasn’t aware he’d written anything at all along these lines until a friend lent me this book and, I have to say, he makes reading history an absolutely captivating adventure. If there’s any irony to be found in a situation, Boris is your man, and his style is drily contemporary.  I’ve watched him in a couple of news reports and meetings on youtube and, while I have to say I wouldn’t like to work with the guy, he’d certainly be a whole lot of fun at a dinner party.

And the knitting? Yes, it is exactly what you thought it was – a meaningless rectangle of garter stitch with randomly chosen colours. But I’ve heard that the Mowbray Maternity Hospital is always glad to receive baby blankets – some of the mothers arrive and leave with practically nothing – so it might be turned into something like that (despite the odd mix). A baby won’t care what colours it’s wrapped in, anyway, and the nights are truly cold here now.

Yarning along with Rachel

So Rachel does this Yarning Along thing now, and I thought it was about time I supported her initiative and joined in. She’s making a superb star crochet blanket from leftovers, as you can see on her latest post, whereas I have laid my crochet hooks to rest for a few months. What I can manage is knitting – I linked up with the lovely crafty ladies at Martli’s house again this morning, and we’ve decided to knit up some blankets to give to people who need them more than we do.  Here’s my beginning:

yarning along

and here’s my current read: Mediated: How the Media Shape Your World, by de Zengotita. He’s an American anthropologist and teacher, but this book isn’t academic or pretentious in any way – it’s highly readable, enjoyable and funny, and is really making me think about how our “reality” is constructed for us, and how we (as audience, or consumers) are positioned within it.

That’s it from me for now. Still taking things slowly here…. xxx

elefanti!

No, you’re not seeing double. There are two throws here folded in half but each one actually measures 140 by 190 cm, which is what the lovely Italian couple ordered :)  They found me at the last Kirstenbosch Craft Market and this was a special order. White elephants (elefanti!) printed on grey denim, mixed in with blues and whites and some neutrals.

Andrea One

Andrea and Martina divide their time between Cape Town and Italy (poor things) and this morning I delivered the throws and so got to see their beautiful 200-year old house in one of the City Bowl’s older suburbs, which they have renovated with exquisite flair. I was actually quite flattered that they wanted to find a place for my patchwork in amongst their European styling and modern look.

Andrea Four

We’ve had a little bit of rain here, not enough to make a difference to the dam levels, but the garden is looking a bit less thirsty. To wake up yesterday to the sound of rain falling was like a gift from heaven.

I’ve been through a dormant period lately (inert? low? uninspired?…something like all of those…) but I’ve felt better in the last couple of days. Autumn helps, as does the support of good friends, who always see me through the lousy times. You know who you are – xxx