Tag Archives: Grahamstown

Day 11

Last day of Festival today.

This was my view of dawn breaking over Grahamstown this morning from the veranda with my first cup of coffee.

dawn 1

I was approached by a sweet young man called Brent earlier in the week; he’d seen my fish hats and wondered if I could make a seal beanie for a good friend of his in Cape Town. I said I’d have a bash, and we were both quite pleased with the result:

The Village Green closed at 3pm and we were packed up and home by 4.30pm, rather tired and achy but overall very chuffed with sales up by almost 50% from last year :-)

A short holiday may be on the cards….

Grahamstown 2016

Our second year at the National Arts Festival – going super well :-)

2016 4

Sales are up from last year, the sun has been shining (despite the intense cold), and Sean and Melinda are again treating us like favourite family members. We remembered to pack warm jackets, vests and long johns, and there’s underfloor heating in our bedroom. What more could we ask for?

2016 22016 1

Three days down, eight to go xx

home is where the [Jam] Tart is

We got home from 2 weeks in Grahamstown on Tuesday afternoon, in our cleanest dirty clothes. It felt like a long time to be away and, despite the hospitality we got from Sean and Melinda, I nearly cried at the sight of my own bed. Wonderful neighbour Isabella had taken care of the cats, so they pretended not to notice I’d been gone a while.

I thought I would spend a day or two just kind of resting and unpacking and preparing for a 5-day market next week in Napier, but it hasn’t worked out that way. I’ve had to cancel the market (sorry, Suzette) and have to go back to Johannesburg on the weekend, and don’t know for how long. I really dislike the place, plus the business that necessitates my presence is deeply unpleasant. There are other family matters here at home that I need to deal with, so how I’m going to be in two places at once is a mystery that maybe only Superwoman or the Virgin Mary can advise on. Dealing with my sciatica will also have to go on the backburner until I can fit in a visit to Michelle, the most fantastic physiotherapist in the universe.

I did manage a couple of hours yesterday experimenting with fabric and fedoras.

fedoras fedora 2

Other than this, all crafting activity is on hold until further notice!

Grahamstown – 5 days in

The last few days have just whizzed crazily by. It’s Monday evening now and the Festival opened on Thursday last week. Still six days of trading to go – and I’ve sold out of slouchy beanies for men! The kiddies’ beanies are also doing really well, and every night (before I collapse into bed with a hot water bottle), I crochet a batch of eyes to owl up some of the plain beanies!

rob and jill

Rob has been a star, as ever.

sean and jill

This is Sean, Rob’s cousin. We are staying with him and his partner Melinda in their cosy, underfloor-heated home just 5 minutes from the Village Green. Most other traders have to stay in B&Bs or rented houses, and some poor buggers even camp….if I had to try that, through one of these freezing cold nights in the Eastern Cape, I wouldn’t make morning.

Being at an 11-day festival is a lot of things – exhilarating, exhausting, entertaining, frustrating, enriching and – hopefully – very profitable. More on all of that later because right now I’m off to claim the glass of wine that Melinda has poured to go with the baked cob in garlic and pesto that Sean has cooked. Yes, I do know we’re being spoiled.

Back soon x

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.