Tag Archives: market

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



Franschhoek is a small town in the winelands of the Western Cape and one of the oldest towns in South Africa (established 1688). 75 kilometres from Cape Town, it takes us just over an hour to drive there.

franschhoek 1 franschhoek 2

and yes, it truly does look just like this !!

We met Elizabeth and Vince in Oudtshoorn who told us about the Franschhoek Village Market, and now we drive out there every Saturday morning to join a very mixed and friendly bunch of traders under the trees, organised by Elzahn and Elsanu, mother and daughter team. There’s lots of fabulous food and wine and craft beer, and some beautiful local handcrafted work.

Some pics, to give you an idea of the prettiness of the setting, and the lovely weather (yes, it’s officially winter here, but we still get a bit of sunshine).


…me with Elizabeth (Rob in the background), Virginia with her leather bags, Kim with cotton jerseys and ponchos, Kelvin photobombing, and Judy (the curry lady) looking at my beanies.

Franschhoek gets tourists from all over South Africa, and quite a nice bunch from overseas – Americans, Swedes, Poms, Brazilians, French, Germans, and the Far East. With the South African Rand in the crapper, the foreigners are happy to support our economy, and how happy we are to encourage them :-)  I had a very rude Taiwanese woman on Saturday who seemed to think I should give her an 80% or 90% discount, but rudies like her are few and far between. (She didn’t get the discount, by the way, I would rather have stuck my crochet hook in my eye than sell anything I’ve made to her!)

The pillow cases are doing particularly well, and I’m waiting for Gareth to call to let me know I can collect my new screens (elephant and rhino). Pics soon. They’re going to be stunning :-)

In other news, I am busy packing up my flat and moving to a new house, next week – 3 June!  The date is looming and there is much to do. So much, in fact, that I am  unable to think about it. You may recall my expertise in procrastination. I have a PhD in it.

And a shout-out to some people in particular (if you are still reading this blog and haven’t given up on me) – Vardi and Fiona, sending you both multi-coloured hugs, and lovely Lisa who I met at the Somerset West Country Craft Market. xxx

the crease

I love people. You never know what they’re going to say next. One woman came along to my stand at the Kirstenbosch Market on Sunday and said, “Has that woman gone yet?” When I asked who she meant, she said “The stupid one from earlier who said there was a crease in one of the pillow cases on display – what does she think happens to them when she sleeps on them for eight hours?”

The stupid one bought two pillow cases for a gift for a friend, and the sarky one bought four pillow cases as a gift for herself.  Lots of other people bought some as well, and some ordered specific designs or specific colours. Two people have also ordered duvet covers, which is something I hadn’t anticipated – but I have no problem with it at all!


All set up at the Bonnievale Christmas Market

This is very encouraging, and I think for the first time since I started this creative/marketing/self-employment lark I’m on the right track. Don’t get me wrong, I love crocheting and sewing and selling beanies and bags, but I think handprinted bed linen is going to take me further down the road to sustainable income in the long run. And let’s face it, in just six years time I could justifiably be thinking about retirement, anyway… (Pun unintended).




sometimes you lose…

…and sometimes you lose BIG TIME.

Yesterday I traded at the Tulbagh Horse and Wildflower Show. It was the fourth day of the event, and I can only thank my lucky stars that I hadn’t signed up and paid for all four days. We were stationed in the back of a dark hall at the back of the market at the back of the show with no signage. We were between a bar (where the brandies and cokes were going down from 8.30am…) and a canteen where the meal of the day was curried sheep’s offal with a side order of boerewors. I’m not a big meat fan as it is, but the smell of this has now put me off for ever.

One poor chap, who had really beautiful wooden and beaded crafts for sale, had not had a single sale in the previous three days. In fact, he had been the only crafter in the entire hall up until the Saturday morning.

There seemed no point in dragging out this big fail til 5.00pm, and all the crafters wanted to pack up early (with the exception of the oyster lady, who had been stealthily removing two items at a time since noon and by 12.30 was already on her way home – it was a very hot day, too, so I can only imagine the oysters were good and smoked by then). I was told, by a very cross lady who wagged her finger in my face, that this was NOT ON, after which she moved her car so as to block the dusty exit road. After a short flurry of altercation (in which someone whose name will not be mentioned set off her car alarm and produced a knife which would slice through tyres like butter), we packed up and flew off. Vat jou goed en trek, Ferreira.

We were hot, grumpy, tired, dusty and headaches prevailed. It was not a good time to take in a drive through the town and across 8 kilometres of farmland to visit my friend Tina, so I’m just hoping she understood and that I haven’t lost a friend.

90 minutes later we were home; I ate toast with jam, switched my phone off, and slept for 12 hours.

Oh wait – I’ve forgotten the single highlight of the day — Tannie Marie’s lemon meringue pie!

lemon meringue

It was so intensely heavenly that even I could only manage one slice. It might the one single thing that ever lures me back there….

pillow cases

I’m loving my screenprinting. Concentrating on pillow cases to start with, I managed to get a proper display and packaging together and took them to the Kirstenbosch Market on Sunday (the first one of spring, yay).


purple butterflies

The feedback was excellent, a few sold and I got orders for more in different colours. I’m so encouraged that I even managed to find the time yesterday to update my website. Wonders will never cease.

Next up: the Wildflower Show in beautiful Tulbagh, this coming Saturday. Looking forward to catching up with Tina, Susan and the peacocks, apart from trading at the market itself.

Back soon x