Tag Archives: beads

Testing times

Not crochet this time, but a lot of fun if you like beads and threads and fiddling around with bits of scrap fabric. I’ve written up instructions on how to make a necklace with fabric and handmade beads – and a couple of testers would be very helpful at this stage.

Once you’ve assembled all the necessary materials, it’s a relatively quick make. I think two testers would be sufficient – if anyone wants to put their hand up, please email me at jamtartssa@gmail.com and I’ll send you the pdf. Thanks in advance!

ScrapHappy October 2021

I have more than one project on the go at the same time, as most of us do – it’s a blessing and a curse, isn’t it?! Sometimes it’s good to switch from machine-sewing to crocheting, for instance, or from beading to hand-stitching, but sometimes my brain wants to work on all the things at once. Result = chaotic mind (not to mention work space). I’m trying to focus on one thing at a time, make lists, plan my days, be more productive.

In the meantime, here’s my contribution to this month’s ScrapHappy initiative. I needed to shorten a jumpsuit (why are they called that? no jumping is going to happen around here, that’s for certain!) so I kept the pieces I chopped off from the bottom of each leg and turned them into little balls of fabric-stuffed beads and made them up into a necklace.

It was a bit overcast when I took these pics, my apologies. Over the last 30 years I’ve built up a goodly collection of embroidery and crochet threads, so they’re perfect for the wrapping part.

ScrapHappy is hosted by Kate in Australia and Gun in Sweden; it’s a day for showing something made from scraps every month. Here are the links for everyone who joins from time to time:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Esther

ScrapHappy September 2021

I recently bought a motley collection of old beads and findings from someone on Facebook who was selling off her late gran’s bits and bobs (for the ridiculously give-away price of R150). I like that kind of thing – you often get a few fabulous surprises. To my amazement there was, in fact, a broken string of beads that looked suspiciously like garnets. I took them to a friend who used to work in a jeweller’s shop and she confirmed that they were indeed the real thing. I phoned the young woman I’d bought the beads from to let her know about the “valuables” but she said she didn’t want them and I was welcome to make them into something and wear it. I still haven’t decided what to do with them, but how lucky was I with that score!?

I thought I’d use some of the other stuff from granny to make something for this month’s ScrapHappy. There were a lot of little glass beads on wire and some pretty varnished shells with holes in them. I decided to turn it all into a scrappy boot wrap.

I’ll probably give this one to Karen. I started making the wraps with just two strands of beads to go round the ankle but I prefer the look of three (or more). She already has one of the first ones I made so she can add this to her collection. I’ve managed to list a few on etsy, will see if anyone finds them appealing!

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every month but their blogs are still worth looking at): KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn,  Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean, Jon, Hayley and Jule.

back on etsy

The Kalk Bay market at the Brass Bell on Wednesday was cancelled – management decided it was too quiet to be viable (mainly due to lockdown regulations which still include curfew restrictions) until at least the summer comes and more locals start going out again and more tourists are able to visit Cape Town. As more people get vaccinated and case numbers fall, perhaps the curfew will be done away with completely. We can only hope.

I used the time I’d saved on Tuesday and Wednesday to restart my etsy shop. It’s something I’ve been meaning to get around to for ages, ever since I started working mainly with beads and playing around with fabric jewellery.

I’ve only got five items listed right now, but I aim to add three to five a day including some boot accessories. Perhaps you’d like to visit? Perhaps you’d like to favourite my shop? All fans welcome! The more the merrier!

Getting the boot

My boots may not be the sexy, pointy-heeled kind that Nancy Sinatra wore in 1966, but they are very practical and also slightly too big for me so I can comfortably wear two pairs of tights and three pairs of socks underneath. Yes, it’s that cold in Cape Town this winter, I’ve never had to wear as many layers as I am now since I moved here 35 years ago. Last night I decided they were boring and, since I have surrounded myself with beads in the last few weeks, I felt sure I could come up with some kind of boot jewellery.

A lobster clasp, some colourful beads and 15 minutes later…

These are cheap boots. I also have a pair in black, as well as some handmade sheepskin-lined boots in turquoise and red leather (for my inner hippy), but one day – when my ship comes in (or even a raft, I’d settle for a plain wooden raft right now) – I’ll buy something smart in leather. I did splurge a couple of weeks ago on a pair of short boots from the UK that caught my magpie eye on Facebook marketplace – someone in Cape Town had asked her friend to get them for her on her travels (pre-covid) but then found they were too big so they are literally unworn. I’ve only worn them once so far, but I don’t keep them in the wardrobe: they occupy an empty spot under my desk where I can catch sight of them every now and then. I’ve updated my will so that whoever gets to deal with the arrangements will see that it is my wish to be buried in them.

I have “a thing” about wearing shoes/boots that are a single colour, but these babies caught me unawares and I stood no chance against temptation. Maybe my personal style is changing, as I get older? I’ll be 60 in three months’ time, perhaps I’m about to turn into a butterfly?

To end with, some gratuitous pictures of three things in the garden right now – a strelitzia about to open itself up, pockets of snowdrops, and some mutant lemons. It’s hard to tell from the photo but some of these weirdos are over 14cm long.