Thanks to Jan over at the Snail of Happiness for her brilliant tip on how to clean a thousand years’ worth of dirt and tarnish off brass. [Half a cup of vinegar with a teaspoon of salt dissolved in it, then enough flour chucked in to make a nice mushy paste; smear on, leave for 10 minutes, clean off.] It’s a messy job and I found I still needed to use a bit of Brasso afterwards for extra polish, but here’s the almost-finished result:
The nasty crusty outer layer of gunge just wiped clean — THANK YOU JAN :-)
What has now been revealed are that some parts of the fitting are solid brass and some are a different metal (some copper, some steel) that have been brass-plated. I don’t care at all, now that it’s all clean and shiny. What I do care about is that I took it all apart with great enthusiasm and am now finding it tricky to put back together!!!
Also, I’ve been working on a new logo, with the help of a designer from Fiverr, and am pretty happy with the end result. I love it when money is well spent. Especially my own!
My bedroom in the new/old house comes with a particularly ugly black metal light fitting, so it was on The List to replace it at some stage. Most minor things like this will have to wait in the wings because we’ve prioritised repainting the roof and the exterior, updating the alarm system, and having the driveway paved. I also had a fitted wardrobe and cupboards installed in my bedroom. All far more costly endeavours than I’d anticipated…!
The house painters are Andre and Coralie-Ann, a husband and wife team with endless patience, know-how, common sense, and initiative. While we were wandering round outside yesterday looking at what has to be attended to, I waved my hand disparagingly at two ancient light fittings that were hanging off cup hooks on a beam of the patio roof, purely as decoration. And those can go, I said, there’s enough rubbish lying around here as it is.
Andre leapt up and took them down (he’s both tall and agile!). One of them turned out to be pretty heavy, so I had a closer look. Hoo ha!! Turns out it’s solid brass, and who doesn’t like a bit of that here and there? I apologised silently to the previous owner, because clearly she’s a woman of excellent taste and antique hunting skills.
My project, then, for this National Women’s Day, 9 August 2016, is to get this baby clean and shiny. The rewiring part will be for Andre :-)
I dug out my glue gun yesterday afternoon and made an impromptu ‘moomflower’ to take to a friends’ party.
The flowers are mostly red but I did six in different colours to represent my two friends and the four children they have between them.
Then I got carried away and painted my nails red. Rob calls them “harlot tips”.
Today, Sunday, was a day of extreme sloth. Mostly I read: The Shining Girls by South African writer Lauren Beukes. If you like good horror fiction, you’ll love this. I think I’ll stop reading when it gets dark.
Also, fantastically and wonderfully, the weather seems to have changed since Friday and temperatures have returned to levels at which human beings can function properly.
And for those of you who don’t know Cape Town, here’s a link to 52 Places to Go in 2014 from The New York Times – we’re numero uno! Thinking of visiting? I’ll happily volunteer to take you on a shop crawl of all the good craft and wool places :-)
I can post this pic now because the moomflower has just been collected and is about to be handed over as an early Christmas gift. It is for my friend’s niece, who is 14, and apparently she has always admired the one I first made for Alison (here).
Please note: this is my first attempt at using Ribbet (www.ribbet.com), and clearly the possibilities are going to be endless. It’s a free download and has loads of special effects and fonts and stickers… I thought I should start putting the Jam Tarts name on my pics in case any of the big international interior designers stumble across my stuff and think how incredibly original it all is hahahahahahahaha
Rondebosch Night Market = big success, by the way. Yay. Exhausted.
Normal Rondebosch market on Saturday morning again, and then I’ll do the Kalk Bay market on Sunday. After which, I really really will break for Christmas.
This December festive season has really wiped me out – and we still have four more markets to go!
Despite mixed reaction to my memory shade, I still love it and think the idea has potential. I concocted this today and will be taking it to the Rondebosch Market tomorrow to judge the response from objective strangers. Must remember to put my hard hat on.
And it’s official – the Western Cape is in the middle of a heatwave, so I need no excuse to rub myself with ice cubes and then lie immobile in a cool room. It’s brain-fogging heat.
In lieu of being at a market this Sunday 2 December (which is also my daughter’s 19th birthday but she’s planned a picnic in Bainskloof with friends and sans parents so I’m not required), I’ve decided to have an Open Day at my home. I did this once before, two years ago, and it was a great success – I invited everyone I knew, including all my neighbours from the complex in which I live, and made one of those huge beer-box chocolate cakes and provided coffee and tea. ‘Cake and Mosaic’ had a great vibe because most of my neighbours are really really nice, plus I sold loads of mosaic mirrors and frames that, frankly, don’t always sell well at markets. Win win.
Now that pretty much all I do is craft, there’ll be other things for sale as well – lamps and lampshades, owls, rag-tag fairy lights, bags, crocheted jewellery, button bangles, bunting, etc. Shew – I’m like a little shop all by myself. (The little shop of horrors…!?)
What this really means, however, is that I AM NOW FORCED TO TIDY THE LOUNGE. I am ambivalent about this – it would indeed be bloody marvellous to have a space clear of crafting stuff and empty bottles and half-baked experiments, but it’s where to begin that’s the daunting prospect.
I’ll leave you with this rabbit which pitched up on my screen earlier. I like.
This is Susan’s shop in its new improved premises in Tulbagh, my favourite town away from home. The photos really don’t capture the atmosphere of the place and, although it’s slightly off the beaten track of Church Street, there was a steady flow of customers during the time I was there. And they all had cash on them. (Yip, cash, I tell you – love that stuff!
And if you go to the Marmalade Angel now, you’ll be able to find the unique Jam Tarts lamps for sale. Hoo ha.
And … some of my crocheted bracelets and button bangles:
Obvious enough to say, but it is enormously reassuring when someone else actually likes your stuff enough to give it shop room. Self-doubt can be a real creativity killer!
Right, enough of that — I have two markets this weekend (tomorrow is the Harfield Carnival and Sunday is Kirstenbosch), so I need to have me a power breakfast with extra caffeine, and get cracking.