Category Archives: frame

And wire not?

I’ve mentioned Godfrey before. He’s the chap who makes beautiful things out of wire and beads, and sells them in Rondebosch on the pavement outside Woolworths. He works with Zenzo, and by now they have both got used to me popping up every now and then with a bit of wood or a sketch for a new idea, and asking them to see what they can come up.

This is what they did with my idea to attach wire around a little mosaic mirror, and then add curly bits.

Although it won’t work from the point of view of grouting (which gets done after the wire gets attached), I’m still fiddling with the edges because I love how it looks and it has a place waiting for it on Alex’s bedroom wall.

So, on to Creative Experiment #2.  The brief is to attach wire around the outer edges of the wood and then get a zig-zaggy thing going.  Hard to explain, but it’s  in my head and there’ll be no rest for me until I get what I want.

To be continued…






Goldberg and Goldberg

Alex did this picture when she was in Grade 5, so she must have been 9 or 10.  A few years later, I found a grotty old frame in a junk shop in Salt River (I think it’s called Charms), so I cleaned it up and added some tiles.  I’m not a very good framer and I think the picture is held in at the back with prestik, a bit of sticky tape and the top of a shoebox, but I am extremely fond of it. It’s on my bedroom wall.

And if that girl carries on the way she is going now, it might be worth a lot of money one day :-)

To be continued…


Bowled over

The fog is lifting. Actually, it must have lifted during the night because I woke up today feeling like my old self. I’m grateful and happy and up-and-running again, and to celebrate have decided to go into work a bit later than usual (I get paid by the hour now, so I’m not stealing anyone’s time) and spend extra time on my own stuff.

I started this bowl yonks ago, and it got buried beneath a pile of newer projects. One of Alex’s friends said how much he liked it so, when I unearthed it the other day, I decided to take up where I left off. It just needs a final grout for over-all smoothness, then a final hard rub, but I stuck a little heart underneath so that’s drying right now.

I am also working on a mirror for a colleague; she’d seen a photograph of a turquoise and yellow one I’d done that was sitting in a gift shop in Harfield. Now it’s sitting in someone else’s lounge because, when I went to collect it last weekend, it had just been sold. Which is great, of course (wonderful, in fact!) but I had to put a new one together more quickly than usual. I couldn’t get exactly the same glowy yellow tiles that I had originally used, but I think these work even better – the difference in size adds interest. At least, that’s what I’ve told myself. Hopefully she’ll agree.

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…




With friends like ours…

…Jam Tarts will be a great success! Hoo ha.

It was hard work, a bit of stress, a lot of tidying up (thank you Karen and family), some biscuit making (thank you Lyndall), some moving and lifting and arranging (thank you Rob and Ant), and a lot of encouragement from a lot of friends. Thank you so much – for liking what we make, for pitching up to show your support, and for buying stuff. Please don’t stop :)

I took a few photos.

Here are some frames, and that’s Anne behind the glass with her arms full of blankets:

more frames and mirrors (South African readers will recognise the old burglar bars now cunningly put to new use – what South African doesn’t have a whole stack of old rusty ones in their garage…!!):

blankets and bags and scarves:

more blankets and bags and scarves:

table mats, button jewellery, paper hearts, blankets and beanies:

more frames (and Anne’s mug of half-drunk tea), and more blankets:

tea cosies, shrugs, blankets (no, really?) and crucifixes:

Dawn models her new flower scarf – hot off Anne’s hook:

Every single visitor commented on Karen and Ant’s beautiful Victorian
house. It was the perfect venue. It was the perfect day.  We think we might be onto a good thing. Like I said earlier, hoo ha.

To be continued…

fishing for…time?

No time to concentrate on coming up with a decent blog this week – am really pushed for time getting ready for the Jam Tarts open day a week on Saturday –  we’ve invited everyone we know, and the last thing I want to hear people think is, Really? Is this it? So, I glue, I mould, I stitch, I stick, I paint, I shape, I hustle…My kitchen looks like Santa’s elves’ workshop, and my lounge looks like I don’t even know what, just a huge shambles.  Even my bedroom is bad – I woke up with 2 buttons under me this morning, and then stubbed my toe on a stack of semi-ready mirror frames on my way to the bathroom.

So, here is a picture of some fish. I did them in cross stitch a long long time ago, and found the old oak frame in a junk shop under layers of black enamel. Scraped it down, stretched the fish, and voilà. Please note that one of the little guys is swimming against the current. That one is me right now.

To be continued…