Category Archives: Kirstenbosch

a damn fine day

Apart from finding my bathmat soggy with cat wee at 5.30am, my day has been close to ideal so far.

We traded at the Kirstenbosch Market, and had good sales and (even better) great orders.

Rob helped us set up and we allowed him a short rest afterwards. A cheese croissant and a shot of Thai iced coffee also helped revive him.

kirst 1

The weather was perfect (unusual for windy Cape Town!), and I made new friends. I’d wanted to take a pic of a sign that some new vendors had and, when I asked if they minded (I find it’s always best to ask first!), the guy said, “No, don’t take a picture – take the sign.” So I said, “Well, how much is it?” He said, “It’s nothing, if you like it I’d like you to have it.” So I said, “Just like that? But then I’d like to give you something in return.” And then he said, “No, just give something to someone else then…” I liked that. I like people who aren’t greedy and who do nice things on impulse and who think about spreading good vibes.

Here’s Victor’s sign. I love it.

be here now

Another reason for gratitude today is that my daughter has been unwell for the past while but really seems to have perked up today and is much more like her usual happy, balanced self.

But the best part of the whole day, from a purely selfish point of view, is that my body wasn’t growling in pain at the end of the ‘shift’. This included getting up very early, lots of carrying of lots of things, driving, setting up the stall, being at the stall for six hours, chatting to people, networking (don’t laugh, it makes a difference, trust me!), walking around, eating, drinking, crocheting, packing down the stall and packing the car, unpacking the car at home, etc … I’m usually crawling to my bed in aching exhaustion by 4.00pm on a market day, but today – I’M NOT. I made coffee, made some phone calls, tidied the lounge, cleaned the car (albeit very cursorily), and here I am writing a post and thinking I’ll nip out to Woollies for a few groceries. Wow. Acupuncture’s latest convert = me.

Tomorrow is a public holiday in South Africa, and Rob and I will be trading at the Somerset West Country Craft Market from 9.00am to 2.00pm. Just so you don’t think I’m planning to slack off.

Back soon x

It’s Friday again? already?

How did that happen, that the last week flew by faster than a hungry leopard? (This is Africa, okay? I’m allowed to use metaphors with wild animals in them – even if they aren’t brilliantly clever).

What happened back there? First off, Jam Tarts had a very happy day at the Kirstenbosch Market on Sunday. After weeks of fruitless foraging for a clothes rail through the junk shops of Cape Town, Rob made us one out of pvc piping. Genius! You can see it here, to the left of our tables. We weighted it down with sandbags because this is, after all, the windiest place on the entire continent sometimes.  Looking at the photo now, I can see they need a bit of dolling up (pom poms, maybe?) And if you look very carefully, I think you can just see Rob sitting under the tree.

100_7185

Some customers got beautiful new cotton beanies, made by the Beanie Queen, Anne!

100_7192

100_7189

100_7190

Myself, I’m still on the search for the perfect hat pattern. I’ve just finished this one, and guess what? – it’s not it. A luta continua.

100_7241

A happier outcome: Vinni’s amazing burnt orange Nikkim inspired me to make this simple cotton scarf shaped like a wide V.  Loopy sort of edging in Blue Canard. Took 2 hours!  Love that, love anything quick. I seem to be wearing a lot of grey and sludge green this autumn so the orange pop should be good for brightening me up.

100_7155

Sheep needed something to keep warm, it’s getting pretty chilly at night here now. This was the beginning of a shawl that Anne was making and halfway though she decided she didn’t like it. I’ve been getting much better at not just losing patience and ripping things out if I don’t like them, and I’m sure when Anne sees this picture, she will see the value in Finding Another Purpose for Something that was originally meant to be Something Else.

100_7182

That’s probably about it for now.

Later this morning I’m meeting someone who is redecorating her 10-yr old daughter’s bedroom and would like some crochet cushions and various trimmings to “funk” things up a bit.  Her word. I don’t feel very people-persony today, but I’ll start by getting dressed and putting on some lipstick, and maybe it’ll come…

Happy weekend to you all.
Back soon. x

this, that and the other

The stepping stones have had their first layer of grout, and now that it’s dry they get one more layer and then a slick of sealer. (I know I was aiming for Finished Object Friday – but I didn’t say which Friday, did I?)

100_7030

Alex’s knitting continues. She’s finished the rib and is on the stocking stitch rows, and this evening we’ll change colour. Excitement!

100_7031

I’ve been making some beanies for Cupcake Mummy’s Pay it Forward idea. I pledged 5 but I’ve already nearly finished the fifth one and I’m enjoying them so much I should probably be able to get a couple more finished in time.

100_7032

Just as well they can be all different sizes – all of these were done with the same size hook but I used different thicknesses of wool. The turquoise one would fit Conan the Barbarian!

I’ve also been busy with my cotton house slippers. I’ve come up with the incredibly brilliant idea (at least I think so) of sewing on a non-slip undersole.  It’s easy to slip on tiles or wood, which so many people have in their homes, and I would be horrified if my slippers were the cause of anyone’s accident.

100_7018

At our last Kirstenbosch Market on 31 March, the slippers were a really hot item so I’m going to be making loads more and am also thinking it might be a good idea to list them on etsy as well.

Even better, Jam Tarts has just been made a permanent vendor at this particular craft market, which is completely wonderful and fabulous for us.  It has been running for over 20 years, and really offers an incredible and comprehensive range of art and craft, all handmade South African stuff – no imports, nothing mass-produced! The market is on the last Sunday of every month, excluding June, July and August, so the next one is on 28 April. Try not to miss it.  Unless you live in Wichita or Perth, obviously…

Back soon x

this little piggie went to market(s)

Thank heavens it’s Monday. Jam Tarts did two markets this weekend and all I can say is that I’m ready for some R and R.

The Harfield Carnival was a mixed bag for us – the intermittent downpours and high-force winds didn’t bring anyone any joy, but in the in-between bits it was wonderful: Karen completely sold out her rice-bag pillowcases and shorts, plus one customer sent a mail ordering a further ten. We felt Karen deserved the day off yesterday – so she could stay home and make more. hahaha

Yesterday was the Kirstenbosch Market, always a pleasure to be there! The weather had sorted itself out, and the steady flow of holiday shoppers and tourists was very welcome.

You’ve seen a zillion pics of Jam Tarts’ stuff, so I’m not going to bore you with more.
Here is other stuff: we all fell in love with these meerkats, made from jacaranda wood. Gran bought a whole family of them, I think.

We had a new neighbour, Carolyn from Car-o-Shop, who makes car seat covers at incredibly reasonable prices. Since crocheting a car seat cover is going to take too large a chunk of time, I think I’ll ask her to run something up for Mini-me. I’m thinking lime and shocking pink zebra stripes…

Dear friend Lara came to visit, with three lovely boys in tow. She’s good like that. The boys loved our owl monsters, and Max and Noah took it upon themselves to name any owls who had made it to the market without name tags. On the left in the middle, you can see a little turquoise chap who became “Snowflack”, and I had meant to put him in my basket to take home with me. But alas, I got distracted – and Snowflack got purchased by a complete stranger.

Lara tried on a button bangle and it looked so nice that I gave it to her as an early xmas present.

The only reason she is covering her pretty nose is because she’d just smeared thick white sun protector on her face – the South African sun is a real killer, so take note and take care. Seriously.

Last but not least, here is our amazing mountain in the background. The Kirstenbosch market is held right across the road from the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, and the entire area is – what can I say? – like paradise. Life would be very flat indeed without our Table (no pun intended).

To be continued…

PS. I finally returned the fixed-up stool to my across-the-road neighbour. Seems I had timed it just right because her mom was visiting her at the time, and was overjoyed to see it – she says she remembers her gran sitting on it in the kitchen back in the day. So it belonged to my neighbour’s great grandmother.

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…