Tag Archives: Made in the Cape

still afloat

Hardly a decent post from me today, but here is my stall at the Made in the Cape artisan market: I’m only there in spirit, Genevieve has managed to keep the ship (raft?) afloat for me with help from Theresa, Mary, Jasmine and Dale. Thank you so much, lovely ladies.

made in cape

Today is the Market’s last day, so I won’t have to worry about having to be away from home for the next few weeks. At home and on hand is the new normal. Now I have no excuse not to learn to make more interesting food than peanut butter on toast…. I try and keep up with my dear bloggy friends, but even if I don’t leave a comment please know I’m still here. xxx

Advertisements

display – before and after

At the beginning of May at the Made in the Cape market at Cavendish, I was fortunate enough to find myself with a neighbour I hadn’t met properly before. Her name is Hanici (pronounced like Sean Hannity but with a hard k instead of a t). She and her husband run a shop in Fishhoek and also like to travel to trade fairs and markets to promote their own products. Hanici originally trained in fine art and her husband, Barend, is a chemical engineer.

Display 1

Display 2

Cavendish Square was relatively quiet during the first two days of the market, which is never encouraging for a trader. I muttered something about feeling invisible, and Hanici jumped right into the challenge of how to fix my display. She told me about lines and frames and order, what attracts peoples’ eyes, what is distracting, and how to arrange bedspreads and cushions in such a way that a person would immediately want to riffle through them. We also had to “clean” the air by sweeping and brushing with imaginary brooms and dusters. I felt a bit silly doing this but I figured it couldn’t hurt. Hanici also offered to help Wanda on the other side of her (I forgot to take pics of Wanda’s stand but I wish I had, it was beautiful after H’s magic touch). We redid everything and cleaned the air like professionals. Within 10 minutes (not lying), Wanda had made three sales, and within an hour a customer bought the bedspread that you can see in the top pic draped over the middle of my table, and in the bottom pic folded up barely visible in the neat centred pile. Crazy, huh?!

So, for any market people out there who, like me, have no clue about the theory behind display, think on these things and have a google. And a clean sweep :)

taking (a bit of) stock

Making: elephant cushions that, hopefully, will be given the thumb’s up by the Kalk Bay shop:

for elephants

Gearing up for: sorting out and packing all my crafty things. Since the Big Tidy in January, which was sufficient to get the house looking decent enough to put on show, my natural love of chaos has taken over again.

Enjoying: compliments from customers – this from Enid, who stopped and bought a kitty cushion on Sunday while her family was on its way to breakfast at Woolies. She’s put the cushion on top of the throw I made for her last month.

Enid Son

Not enjoying: planning my finances for the next couple of months. Moving house is bloody expensive…legal fees, transfer duty, movers, aarrgghhh

Getting very cross with: Edward. His youthful naughtiness is rubbing off on my two old girls and they have started up with new bad habits, like sleeping where they shouldn’t and knocking phones and glasses off bedside tables. Here is helpful Edward:

help from Edward

Choco’s thoughts are clear: If he can do it, why can’t I? Now leave me alone while I’m trying to nap.

IMG_20180403_101010

Looking forward to: having a girls’ night at my house tomorrow – Gwen, Kim, Michelle, wine, pizza, ice-cream. All the good stuff.

Grateful for: meeting lovely people through blogging. On Friday at Made in the Cape, I was visited by Lynn, who introduced herself as someone who reads my blog. I thought you’d be older, she said, at which point I knew she would be my friend for life. I haven’t had time to arrange a follow-up, but we had a long chat about all kinds of things from crochet to self-confidence, and I feel like I’ve known her for years. Lynn, if you’re reading this, please give me til next week to sort myself out, I’m a bit behind with work stuff right now :)

Sad about: my wonderful Doreen, who had a stroke last month and is recovering at Booth Memorial in Gardens. She has made a very good physical recovery but isn’t quite ready to go home just yet. She has a loving and attentive family but, with the exception of her grandson, they all live overseas. She is so frustrated that her hands aren’t up to crocheting, I can share her impatience! Last night I took her biscuits and flowers, kindly donated by Karen, and with 15 minutes to go before the end of visiting time, her daughter Linda arrived straight from the airport from the US via London. Hugs and tears.

my doreen

I have so much love and admiration for this incredibly generous and hard-working and positive woman. xxx Doreen.

and cats

I’m still stuck on animal cushions. Here’s Cat Cushion #1, finished late on Friday night in time for Saturday’s market. It sold within the first hour.

kitten

I can be clever on occasion, so I knew what to do — make more! Here’s another one:

kitten 2

Another four cats are waiting in the wings, they’ll be finished and stuffed by this evening in time for the Made in the Cape market at Cavendish tomorrow. I’ve made 28 new cushions altogether in the last few days so, as it happens, it’ll also be me who’ll be finished and stuffed by this evening. Cushion collage

PS. The woman who bought the cat on Saturday phoned me yesterday to ask if I could make her another one (in a different colourway) so that she’s not without a cat cushion when the first one is in the wash. Purrrrrrr…..  

loving Edward, home and work …

I thought it was only dogs who liked to dig holes in gardens and uproot plants. Apparently, Edward is dog-like in that way. I have a beautiful peperomia in a pot on the dining room table. It has just been mauled to near death and there is soil everywhere. I shouted at the little villain and took him outside to the Naughty Corner, where he proceeded to continue with important excavation work….

Teddy 2

Maybe he’s digging for gold or diamonds? It’s hard to be cross for long with a pet (or a person) you love, isn’t it?

Teddy 1

In other news, some felicitous arrangements have been made and I am delighted to say that I will be keeping my home. Not only have I grown fond of it, funny old house that it is, it is also my work space. I am so very lucky to have this much room for work and equipment, a sweet garden, lovely neighbours, proximity to everywhere important, and all the other good things that have come my way.

home

I will be trading at the Made in the Cape artisan market in Cavendish Square from this Thursday for four days (yay!), and have lots of half-completed cushions and bedspreads to attend to today. No more procrastination!! The sewing machine will be put through its paces shortly and work may have to continue well into the evening…

And in other other news, I had a lovely order last week for my screenprinted pillow cases from a gorgeous shop in Kalk Bay called Casa Boho. It’s one of those shops where it’s advisable to shred your credit card before entering, unless of course you are simply very rich and can have everything you want. Not only was I thrilled to get the order at all, what was also heartening was that my invoice was settled in full within 24 hours. I know from experience that small producers like me often have to battle to get paid, it’s a risky business sometimes. This efficiency was such a morale booster! Big thanks to the wonderful manager there, Mymoena, and her son Tauriq. xxx

 

All malled out

The ten-day Made in the Cape artisan market ended on Sunday. It was a big success on all levels, but exhausting — obviously to be expected, and this is not a complaint, but I hadn’t anticipated the draining effect that ten days (eleven hours each) in a busy shopping mall would have on me. You may or may not know this about me, but I am not a shopping-mall kind of gal. I will go to one of the smaller ones if necessary but far prefer to stick to my local shops down in Rondebosch village. The post office is also there, and the library, and a superb barista, and the bank. And there’s always parking.

Anyway, hard work never killed anyone and I’ve had three follow-up orders already, so there is also a good long-term effect of being on show, as it were. The patchwork cushions were especially popular.

thurs1thurs2

We also had some drama! A woman had had her cell phone taken out of her handbag as she was coming down the escalator closest to me. The thief ran past my table and slid the phone in between a pile of my cushions. This was captured on cctv so within seconds I had a swarm of security guards “helping” me go through all my stock. We searched in vain, which made no sense, so I suggested that she had probably had an accomplice who had retrieved the phone very quickly and made off with it in a different direction. Further cctv footage proved me right, and a ring of four women was eventually caught and arrested.

I was reminded of something in one of Ben Trovato‘s priceless blog posts about shopping malls and holiday crowds:

And remember that even though pickpocketing and purse-snatching is considered quaint and old school in this glamorous age of state capture, the pilferers and purloiners are still out there practising their ancient craft. Fleet of foot and nimble of finger, not for them the tedious complexities of tender rigging and money laundering. Handbags are their thing. This is why women should keep a small explosive device in their bag at all times. If the bag is stolen, they can detonate it with a remote control. This will not only teach the thief a valuable lesson but will also help thin out the crowds in the mall. 

So, be alert and keep your handbags zipped up tight !

getting stuffed

I seem to be making a lot of cushions lately so I needed to get my hands on a lot of stuffing. My friend Suzette orders her unicurl stuffing from the wholesalers and they deliver directly to her house. I asked her to order some for me; she said “Sure, how much do you want? It comes in 20 kilogram bags”; I said that sounded just fine. Yesterday I drove to her house in Durbanville to pick it up.

Luckily I drive a Hyundai Tucson. It can fit in a LOT of stuff, but even my poor Teddy (the car’s name) got quite a shock at the size of the bag.

Teddy

The pic below doesn’t really do it justice. It took three of us to squeeze and force and wodge it into the car, whereupon it immediately reshaped itself and bits of unicurl started coming out of a small hole on one side. That stuff is nasty, man, and it has a life of its own. The pressure on the stuffing inside the bag forced more and more out through the hole; it was like being in a confined space with an alien form of very fast-growing fungus that attached itself in clumps to the nearest object. Which, at the time, was me.

It was unpleasant: I couldn’t see out of the rear window at all, and couldn’t listen to music because I didn’t want to be distracted. It’s dodgy enough, these days, on Cape Town’s highways with the way people drive … I couldn’t get it out of the car on my own, either, so had to wait for Peter to come today. It is over 2 metres in height, and the circumference is 3 metres.

stuffing

unicurl

a close-up of the foul stuff

Anyway, now I have now taped closed the holes (we managed to make a few more as we dragged it through the house to the back patio) and have been decanting it into smaller bags for easier storage. I also stuffed these:

red 1

three knitted/crochet cushions in various shades of red and purple. I made them years and years ago, and they fell out of a box the other day when I was looking for something else. I figured I could take them to the market (Made in the Cape, starts tomorrow for four days at Cavendish Square fyi), and use them to add some colour to my display, if nothing else.