Tag Archives: Kirstenbosch Market

mixed berries scarf complete

Right, it’s done. The scarf that I started knitting up here with Lisa’s gorgeous yarn has just had its ends woven in.

It’s all garter stitch, and I simply cast on two stitches then increased one stitch at the beginning of every row. So wonderful just to be able to pick it up and put it down whenever I needed a little break from more strenuous activity. The longest side of the triangle measures 90cm, and I just stopped when I ran out of yarn. It’s not long enough to go round my neck on its own (unless I tuck it into the jacket or coat collar, if I’m wearing one) without being pinned at the front, but I love brooches so this suits me perfectly. You may notice the very beautiful silver, jet and mother-of-pearl gecko above, which came to me from a dear friend in Colorado (originally met through blogging). It is one of my most precious possessions, plus I have always had a soft spot for geckos. She didn’t know that when she sent it to me!

Now, somewhere in this house there is a bag with a chunky garter stitch tank top that needs to have the shoulders stitched up. I must find it soon because I can feel a necessary break coming on…  Moving day is only 5 days away – you won’t hear from me again before then, so see you on The Other Side :)

PS. The weather for tomorrow looks to be like the last perfect autumn day for Cape Town, so I’m looking very forward to the Kirstenbosch Market – the neck cushions to be given away have been allocated (via this blog) to people who became customers over six years ago. They remain customers and have always been wonderfully supportive of my various nutty ideas, but they’ve also become friends. Life is good.

 

 

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neck cushions!

Oh glory you know how it goes – there’s urgent stuff that needs doing (like cleaning and packing up your house!) with a deadline built-in (gak vomit shudder) but you’re too excited by a new idea to focus on the horrible task – or is that just a euphemism for work avoidance? Well, when it comes to procrastination, I am a world expert.

second sample

This idea has been fermenting in the back of my mind for a while and, now that the approval days for the Christmas markets are imminent, I had to pull finger act fast.

The neck cushions have involved much experimenting re size, sewing, fabric, colour, design, filling, dried herbs, seeds, lavender, dried fynbos, barley, labels, velcro vs zips, etc., but I am delighted with the result. Megan, Anne’s daughter, managed to translate my terrible scribbles and rough layout into the beautiful leaf fabric and logo design, and it’s all been very exciting. Megan’s other work can be seen here.

So, I print the fabric for the cushion cover myself, and all sewing is done by moi as well. What makes my neck cushions different (and special) is the two separate inners – one with grains and herbs/flower extracts, and the other with unicurl filling. It makes the cushions really versatile and extra comfortable. Here’s my lovely screen and some fuchsia printed on dark cream,

and all the info on the back of the wrap-around label:

beleaf copy

The cushions are on facebook (I’d love you to like my page!) and there’s a website under construction.

For Cape Town readers, I’ll be at the Kirstenbosch Craft Market on Sunday. Before I start selling the neck cushions, I’m going to give away three to nice people who will be asked to send me an honest review afterwards. One has already been booked by one of my lovely customers, Simone, so there are two up for grabs. Find me at the market and, if still available, you will get your pressie!

twins but different

Last year at one of the Kirstenbosch markets, I met Corinne. She was planning a trip to New Zealand to see her family this year, and wanted to have bedspreads specially made for each of her 10-year old twin granddaughters.

A bit of sorting and printing and fabric painting later, here we have vibrant purples and pinks for Erin and gentler greens and greys for Sami (if you look, you can see the squares with their names on).

Corinne line 2100_3139

Corinne line 1

Unfortunately, the New Zealand trip is off because Corinne has been undergoing serious back surgery and has a while to recover, but the girls should get them within the next 12 months.

Corinne’s friend came to my house to collect them on Sunday afternoon and, since she and I have had many conversations by phone and email, I had expected to hear from her quite soon. Sunday, nothing. Monday, nothing. Tuesday – well, by Tuesday I had convinced myself that she loathed the bedspreads but couldn’t bring herself to tell me.  I had visions of removing and replacing certain squares, or even making entirely new ones. Tuesday evening – phone call! The friend had been too busy with his work and other commitments to get them to Corinne until then, and SHE LOVED THEM BOTH, especially that none of the fabrics were “kiddy-ish” or old-fashioned. Ah, the relief!

I never used to get stressed unnecessarily like this (the customer had approved all fabrics and colours via whats app pics before I even touched a pair of scissors), so I’m wondering if it’s an age thing, or an anxiety thing? Or both. Or neither. I’ll try not to spend too long thinking about it…..

elefanti!

No, you’re not seeing double. There are two throws here folded in half but each one actually measures 140 by 190 cm, which is what the lovely Italian couple ordered :)  They found me at the last Kirstenbosch Craft Market and this was a special order. White elephants (elefanti!) printed on grey denim, mixed in with blues and whites and some neutrals.

Andrea One

Andrea and Martina divide their time between Cape Town and Italy (poor things) and this morning I delivered the throws and so got to see their beautiful 200-year old house in one of the City Bowl’s older suburbs, which they have renovated with exquisite flair. I was actually quite flattered that they wanted to find a place for my patchwork in amongst their European styling and modern look.

Andrea Four

We’ve had a little bit of rain here, not enough to make a difference to the dam levels, but the garden is looking a bit less thirsty. To wake up yesterday to the sound of rain falling was like a gift from heaven.

I’ve been through a dormant period lately (inert? low? uninspired?…something like all of those…) but I’ve felt better in the last couple of days. Autumn helps, as does the support of good friends, who always see me through the lousy times. You know who you are – xxx

taking a deep breath

What the next few weeks looks like for me:

beach man

28 November:  Paternoster Seafood Festival

29 November: Kirstenbosch Craft Market

30 November: Protea Hoogte NG Kerk Christmas Market

1 December:  Pack down at Bonnievale Christmas Market

5 December: Pack down at Protea Hoogte

6 December:  The Palms Lifestyle Market in Woodstock

6 December:  Set up at Pinelands Xmas Fair

6 December: Set up at Simply South Xmas Market in Constantia

7 and 11 December: work shifts at Pinelands

12 December: Rondebosch Craft in the Park

13 December: Kirstenbosch Craft Market

19 December: I love Yzer market in Yzerfontein

20 December: Kirstenbosch Craft Market

22 December Pack: down Pinelands

22 December: Pack down Simply South

23 December: Langebaan family market

Yikes.
I’ll see you on the other side….

Freedom Day weekend

Busy weekend over here. On Saturday Rob and I traded at the Trenchtown market in Obs, which is a fantastic venue with a super cool vibe, but I have to say the Jam Tarts stuff didn’t make a great impression on the majority of the patrons. To be expected, I think. Crocheted newsboys and floral infinity scarves probably aren’t the items of choice for a younger, more – shall we say? – tattooed crowd. We were the only two people there who hadn’t gone for the inked and/or studded look, and we felt rather naked in comparison. And, not to say, quite old and fuddy duddy, too!

[[Market Trading 101 – make sure your products appeal to the sector that patronises the market.  By all means give a new market a try but, if you’re a huge flop,  don’t try and flog a dead horse.]]

Sunday was Kirstenbosch, being the last Sunday of the month. It was, as ever, GREAT. Here are some pics of people who make it feel like family:

Kirst x

Janet, my nextdoor neighbour, with stunning vintage clothes bargains to be had

kirst x 1

The lovely jewellery lady, Sarah, on the other side of us, with a darling puppy from the Animal Rescue guys.

kirst x 2

Steven Belknap of Whimsical Woodworks, who made my hat stands for me.

kirst x 3

Renee Dorrington, the lady with the magic hands, offering reflexology and massage

kirst x 4

Debbie and Rob, probably our two oldest market friends, from way back at the Porter Estate market in Tokai. They always have broad smiles and lekker food.

kirst x 5

Yesterday, Monday 27th,  was a day off for us ! Yay! (No sewing, no admin, no markets). We visited the Decorex exhibition  (Decorex Cape Town) at the Cape Town International Conference Centre, courtesy of free tickets from Inspired Living SA (thanks so much, Fiona, we loved it!)  — I think this was the best ever exhibition since it started.

I was particularly pleased to see that the Cape Craft and Design Institute had selected products by Baillie and Kovar Design.  Malcolm and Michelle are  a crafty couple who manage to incorporate a very ‘now’ look with functional value, from recycled materials. This is their kind of style, which speaks volumes about South African design and talent.

malcolm 3  malcolm 1

malcolm 5  malcolm2  malcolm 6

And then it was lunchtime…. my friend Shona, whom I’ve known for nearly 30 years, hosted a lunch at the Forresters Arms in Newlands.  Gotta love a pub lunch, and I’m happy to say the Irish coffees are just as good as they ever were….

jill and shona  forries

Back soon x

a damn fine day

Apart from finding my bathmat soggy with cat wee at 5.30am, my day has been close to ideal so far.

We traded at the Kirstenbosch Market, and had good sales and (even better) great orders.

Rob helped us set up and we allowed him a short rest afterwards. A cheese croissant and a shot of Thai iced coffee also helped revive him.

kirst 1

The weather was perfect (unusual for windy Cape Town!), and I made new friends. I’d wanted to take a pic of a sign that some new vendors had and, when I asked if they minded (I find it’s always best to ask first!), the guy said, “No, don’t take a picture – take the sign.” So I said, “Well, how much is it?” He said, “It’s nothing, if you like it I’d like you to have it.” So I said, “Just like that? But then I’d like to give you something in return.” And then he said, “No, just give something to someone else then…” I liked that. I like people who aren’t greedy and who do nice things on impulse and who think about spreading good vibes.

Here’s Victor’s sign. I love it.

be here now

Another reason for gratitude today is that my daughter has been unwell for the past while but really seems to have perked up today and is much more like her usual happy, balanced self.

But the best part of the whole day, from a purely selfish point of view, is that my body wasn’t growling in pain at the end of the ‘shift’. This included getting up very early, lots of carrying of lots of things, driving, setting up the stall, being at the stall for six hours, chatting to people, networking (don’t laugh, it makes a difference, trust me!), walking around, eating, drinking, crocheting, packing down the stall and packing the car, unpacking the car at home, etc … I’m usually crawling to my bed in aching exhaustion by 4.00pm on a market day, but today – I’M NOT. I made coffee, made some phone calls, tidied the lounge, cleaned the car (albeit very cursorily), and here I am writing a post and thinking I’ll nip out to Woollies for a few groceries. Wow. Acupuncture’s latest convert = me.

Tomorrow is a public holiday in South Africa, and Rob and I will be trading at the Somerset West Country Craft Market from 9.00am to 2.00pm. Just so you don’t think I’m planning to slack off.

Back soon x