Tag Archives: jam tarts

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 :)

Made in the Cape

Made in the Cape is an artisan craft market that happens over four days every month in the middle of Cavendish Square, a high-end and bustling shopping mall in Claremont. It is a much sought-after trading venue, so I was delighted when Dale, who initiated the concept five years ago and continues to organise the market, found a spot for me at the June market. And July. And August. That one is coming up on the 3rd…and yes, I’m sewing up a storm…..

This was my first set-up, around the escalator circle in the centre ground floor:

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And last month’s, in the same escalator circle but on a different side.

July 2017

I already knew quite a few of the existing traders, and have since got to know more. They’re a friendly and innovative and hard-working bunch! (Special shout-outs to Theresa, Marie, Dale, Aviv, Francesca, Tina, Geoff, Wanda and Zee). They all make absolutely exquisite items, from jewellery to ceramics to foodie stuffs to textile work and upcycled products, which are all delicious and inspiring. I can’t think of anywhere else in Cape Town where you would find that kind of handmade quality all together under one roof any more – not to mention close to the Seattle coffee bar and plentiful parking :)

I’ve been experimenting with a new product and, after three weeks, a lot of glue and mess, and pins and sewing and cursing and muttering, I finally have a workable prototype. Watch this space.

PS. The first half of 2017 has been rather challenging and debilitating in a number of different ways so far, but I do feel now that I’m slowly getting back to being more creative and focused and calm and, basically, more human. Let’s toast to that, and hope not too many people even noticed (heh)!

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.

Saturday’s Plaasfees

Saturday was the Durbanville Plaasfees*, held at Diemersdal Wine Estate. A much hotter day than the weatherman had predicted (he’s a moron sometimes) but, hey, that meant more people needed sunhats. Here are some pics:

sunhat baby

 

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First sale of the day – this cute little guy’s dad (who’s also pretty cute) got him a new sunhat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These crappy little puppies from China were at the stall next to us. Charged up with fresh batteries, they yipped and yapped from 09h00 to 17h00. I was tempted to buy the whole lot and throw them under the wheels of the nearest tractor.

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Making use of a couple of random bales of hay for bird display.

 

 

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Crafty Beach – wonderful handmade wooden items made by a lovely couple from Gordon’s Bay. I have three of their frames in my lounge.

 

 

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Friends Suzette and Antoinette tucked away at the back, cushions and soya candles respectively :-) Suzette shouted at me that she hates having her picture taken.

 

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Funky Ouma

 

 

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Some crochet inspiration

 

 

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Hats you might recognise.

 

 

 

It was a very good day, and I got to practise my Afrikaans a lot.  We slept like logs that night.

*Farm Festival