Category Archives: mirror

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…




feeling blue

After lots of ideas all day Friday about the things I wanted to make and experiment with over the weekend, the stream of inspiration began to wane on Saturday morning with the onset of a headache. So, instead of starting anything new, I kept myself busy finishing off things I’d started a while ago…like this blue and white crockery mirror, which I’d forgotten about temporarily and left languishing on the patio table. I sanded and painted the edges and the back, and one more thin layer of grout is all it needs.

And then last night, as my headache finally wore off, inspiration struck – what I needed to cheer myself up was … blue sparkly nails :)

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…

Up before the birds

It’s not often that I get up this early, but today I was wide awake a good hour before my alarm was due to go off.  The cats were very pleased, anyway, because it meant they got an early breakfast without having to go to all the effort of yowling in my ear (Choccie) and kneading my inert body (Jessie).

I’ve been working on this round mirror for a while now, starting with modelling the hearts out of clay (weeks and weeks ago already) and treating them with podge and paint. Finally got to the first grouting stage last night, and now it’s time to rub and rub and see if the design comes together even vaguely how I had imagined it.  I wanted big fat gleaming hearts and sparkly silver bits and broken mirror to catch the light.  Getting there rub rub rub

To be continued…