Category Archives: Jam Tarts

fabric pixies

There’s a very boho little shop in Langebaan called Sparrows & Baytraders, and the owner is keen to stock my pixie hats. The problem is that a crocheted pixie hat can take me up to four hours to make, and even the price I sell them at is low – to charge a retailer any less would not make it worth my while, and for a retailer to double the price I sell them at would be like shooting herself in the foot.  BUT I do not like to turn away potential work, so I’ve spent a few days thinking and playing and sewing and fiddling, and eventually come up with a workable alternative: fabric pixies…

pixie dorette 2 pixie dorette 3 pixie dorette 1

I used strips of stretch fabric, lace and ribbon, buttons, shiny thread, and beads. Being lined, they have a nice weight and hang. They look a lot better on a human head than on an empty coffee jar! :-)
Okay, I’m mailing her now, will let you know what she thinks of them….

production scheduling….

I see I have 9 market days between now and leaving for the Village Green craft market in Grahamstown at the beginning of July. In an attempt to be more organised than ever before in my entire life, I have set up a “bag system”.  I now have a different bag for each “bigger” market, like Philadelphia and the Olive Festival, otherwise I’m not going to be as well-stocked as I would like. This should avoid frantic late-night sewing at the last minute. In theory at least.

The idea is that, once a hat has been bagged, it is not allowed to be taken out for sale at another market in between.  Rob got out his calculator the other day and came up with a ridiculous number of hats that should be my ideal quota for the day. I was quite put out by this, and had to take a nap immediately.

market bag

Here is the Philadelphia bag. The market is on Saturday 18 April and the bag currently contains nine ten hats.  The Grahamstown bag, which is the biggest bag I could find, is up to twelve. There are a few hundred some half-finished hats lying around, but I’m not allowed to count these yet.

bag counter

 

 

the things people say

One of the best overheards in a long time came from Saturday’s Harfield Carnival:

Girl to boy:  Try the hat on.

Boy: No, man, I don’t want to look like a twat.

Girl: The hat won’t make a difference with that, Dylan.

smiley

And then a classic put-down from a lady who was deciding between one of two summery sunhats:

To me: Which do you think is better, the grey one or the pink one?

Me: I like the pink one on you, plus it goes with your dress.

She turns to Rob, who is sitting next to me: And which one do you – oh wait, no point asking you, you’re wearing tie-dye.

(He’s still recovering from that one ! hahaha)

National Arts Festival – coming up

Every winter, Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape hosts the National Arts Festival for ten days.

south africa

And this year, Jam Tarts will be trading on the Village Green. I’m very very excited about getting accepted for this: everyone I know has told me what a brilliant market it is, and how many people attend from all over the country, and how cold it gets in July. (The colder it gets, the more people will want hats, right!?)

It will take us at least 9 hours to drive there, and we’ll be renting a trailer to carry all my stock.  I have worked out how much money I need to make to cover the costs of the trip, the market fee (not insubstantial!), and miscellaneous expenses, before any income even goes directly into the bank account. To generate this amount, I need to sell 800 hats. Eight hundred. That’s a lot of hats.

pixies 3

But I’m top of this. Last night I finished off 3 pixies, all they need are some beads and pompoms. Three down, 797 to go.

Saturday’s Plaasfees

Saturday was the Durbanville Plaasfees*, held at Diemersdal Wine Estate. A much hotter day than the weatherman had predicted (he’s a moron sometimes) but, hey, that meant more people needed sunhats. Here are some pics:

sunhat baby

 

plaasfees 3

 

 

 

First sale of the day – this cute little guy’s dad (who’s also pretty cute) got him a new sunhat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These crappy little puppies from China were at the stall next to us. Charged up with fresh batteries, they yipped and yapped from 09h00 to 17h00. I was tempted to buy the whole lot and throw them under the wheels of the nearest tractor.

plaasfees 6

 

 

Making use of a couple of random bales of hay for bird display.

 

 

plaasfees 5

 

Crafty Beach – wonderful handmade wooden items made by a lovely couple from Gordon’s Bay. I have three of their frames in my lounge.

 

 

plaasfees 4

 

 

Friends Suzette and Antoinette tucked away at the back, cushions and soya candles respectively :-) Suzette shouted at me that she hates having her picture taken.

 

plaasfees 8

 

 

Funky Ouma

 

 

plaasfees 7

 

 

Some crochet inspiration

 

 

plaasfees 2

 

 

Hats you might recognise.

 

 

 

It was a very good day, and I got to practise my Afrikaans a lot.  We slept like logs that night.

*Farm Festival

pixie hats

A while back I made a pixie hat:
blue pixie 1

It came with me to a lot of markets but no-one liked it enough to buy it. Until last Saturday, when a woman came along, grabbed it, stuck on her sister’s head and said Right, this is yours. And could I please order one for my son?  I’ve just finished his:

new pixie 2         new pixie 3 new pixie 5

Despite all the things I crochet from patterns, this is my favourite thing of all – to just make something up as I go along, changing colours and thicknesses, adding in a row of popcorns here and there, and doing some wiggly beady bits on the top to finish it off.  This way, nothing can ever turn out wrong !!!