Tag Archives: creativity

Spier Craft Art market

Late last year I joined the Craft Art Market at Spier. It’s a permanent set-up on the very exquisite Spier wine farm in Stellenbosch (the “wine route”) and run by Sue Heathcock Projects. There are 32 makers/traders in total, designing and producing an incredible range of handmade items.

Some of my new colleagues are Zimbabwean, so I have learnt how to say Hi, how are you? mhoro, wakadii?“, Thank you “ndatenda“, and Please cover for me, I’m going for a smoke breakndokumbira undivhare, ndiri kuenda kunozorora” in Shona. Okay, the last phrase needs a lot of practice and I have a long way to go. I’m pretty sure that what I come out with is more likely to be along the lines of I’ve just seen a spaceship landing near the railway line or Please help me, there’s a dead frog in my underpants. Whatever it is, everyone just smiles and nods their heads.

These photos really don’t do the place any justice. Part of the estate is wetland, so there are ponds and ducks and reeds; there are also restaurants, wine tastings, gift shops, coffee shops, play areas for children, and masses of huge trees with beautifully maintained lawns and garden-scaping. Naturally, being part of the “hospitality industry”, everyone has taken a huge knock when it comes to the consequences of lockdowns and bans on international travel. But we persevere, and there seems no end to peoples’ creativity and adaptability.

And, in the end, that’s what keeps us all going, isn’t it? It’s a little late but Happy New Year to all of you :)

a quick hello

So, it’s not that I don’t love you all and have things I’m dying to share, it’s just that blogging time has become a bit of a luxury for me at this time of year – I’m either making stuff for a market, or am at a market, or am doing the admin for future markets. I have 12 market days between now and Ch&%#*@mas, plus an order for sunhats for 150 preschoolers (deadline is 3 days away).

I also now have an industrial sewing machine in my life, which I bought second-hand: you can just see it on the left in the pic below of my sewing room.

sewing room

I know, right? You’re thinking, How on earth does she manage to keep her work space so tidy and clean? What can I say – I’m naturally well-organised, it’s a gift.

I hope to be able to show you the finished sunhats next week – I’m really proud of them. Each one is fully lined and has a different combination of fabrics in various patchwork styles, plus an adjustable band round the top and a toggle so it stays on.

sunhat purple turq

xxx

pixie hats

When I was little, fairies and pixies lived at the bottom of our garden. I like to think they would have worn something like this to keep their little heads warm in the winter.

pixie new 1 pixie bought
blue pixie 3  blue pixie 1

The first one is actually a Flying Fish gone wrong. It was the first item to be purchased at the next market I attended, so the second one was planned. With extra beads, a curly-wurly and a pompom for luck. There’ll be more…

 

inspired by stinky fish

So, you remember the Stinky Fish hat?  I had hoped someone would fall in love with it at the Somerset West market on Saturday and it certainly got a lot of attention (a lot of smirks and pointing, actually, not sure about the falling in love!!) but it did inspire two requests – one for a rainbow-coloured Stinky Fish hat for a cute little one-year old girl, and one for a sperm whale hat for a cute little 16-year old girl! Jaide lives in London and was on holiday with her mom and brother in Cape Town for a short while. She’s already gone back but her mom is here for another 10 days so, if Jaide likes the pics I’ve mailed her, her sperm whale will be flying over to the UK in the near future.

I looked at these pics:

whale 3 whale 1 whale 2

and this is what came off my hook:

spermy 3 spermy 4 spermy 1 spermy 2

If you stare very hard at it, then quickly close your eyes, I swear you’d think you were under the sea for a few seconds – that’s how realistic it is! hahaha

Incidentally, I worked this one from the brim to the tail, and not the other way round (as with the original Stinky Fish pattern by Catrina Usher).  No particular reason, although I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the tail so decided to leave it til last :-)

It’s a long weekend for South Africa (Sunday 27th is Freedom Day), so I hope you all have a whale of a time.

how to make a fabric infinity scarf (in less than 15 mins)

Here’s a dead easy something to make. All you need is some fabric, needle and thread. I used my sewing machine as well, but if you’re Amish you can stitch it by hand.

I used:
3 pieces of fabric – two were 13cm wide and one was 16cm wide, but they all need to be the same length: 180cm.

cowl 2

1. With right sides facing, and with a 1cm seam allowance, sew the long sides of the pieces together. All of them.

cowl 4

2. You’ll end up with a tube.

cowl 6

3.  Push your arm through the tube…

cowl 7

4. … and pull the end of it through to the top.

cowl 8

5. With right sides together, you’re going to sew the raw edges together, leaving a 10 to 12 cm gap.  (You haven’t turned the tube inside out yet).  It’ll look like this (the arrows are to show you where I left the gap):

cowl 9

6. Pull the cowl through the gap in the seam til it’s all right side out.  Slip stitch the seam closed.  Give it a light press, and it’s done!

cowl 12

At this length, and especially if you’ve used stretchy t-shirty fabric, you should easily be able to get it round your neck three times, if you want to. I generally wrap mine round twice, but you can also fold it in half and pull one side through the loop for a different look.

cowl 20 cowl 17

cowl 13  cowl 12

and if for some reason you don’t want anyone to know it’s you, you can flip one loop over your hair and smack on some sun gogs…. 

cowl 21

Back soon x
PS. I’m not sure about this new blog theme. Any comments?