Tag Archives: Spier

ScrapHappy May 2022

We’re solidly in the middle of autumn in Cape Town, but we still get to enjoy some beautiful sunny days with just a hint of cold when you’re in shadow. Nights and early mornings are much cooler of course, but the winter rains haven’t set in yet. The poppies and nasturtiums in my garden are sending out their first little leaves but they’re going to have to put up with a lot of wet before they see spring!

At the Spier Craft Art market, the ground is fairly thick with autumn leaves. Below the top level of the leaves, the soil is damp. Boots are needed, despite the sun. Boots, tights, scarves, and a new furry leopard print hoodie to keep out any surprise nasty cold winds.

Love my new jacket. Nothing like fake fur!

Anyway, enough of the weather, back to ScrapHappy. Many of the crafters work with beads. It’s easy to lose a few when you’re making things – and there was once a memorable occasion when Bongani accidentally tipped over a 2-litre box of black beads that he was using for a wire elephant.

The scavenger in me can’t help but give in to the temptation to scratch around on the ground for beads. Yesterday the pickings were particularly good, and at one point I was on my knees with a stick getting at lower-level beads that must have been tramped into the soil over many years of markets. I felt like a forensic anthropologist or archaeologist or whatever you call those clever people in crime fiction.

Once washed, the beads are good to go. I turned them into three memory bangles last night, and the only rule is that there are no rules – whatever gets picked up gets used, in no particular order. I noticed that there were more white beads than any other colour then I realised that this is most likely because they are easier to spot than darker colours.

There are a few plastic letter beads in there. I didn’t find a J for Jill so I get to decide what a letter may stand for. See the G? Today that stands for Grumpy. Grumpy because some twerp was in such a hurry to get in and out of the supermarket last week that she grabbed decaffeinated coffee instead of the real thing. How is decaf even coffee? It isn’t, is the answer. It’s ground-up brown stuff and doesn’t count in my book. Never again!

ScrapHappy February 2022

I’ve meandered into making wire jewellery, mainly rings. Not quite sure how my interest swivelled from working with needles and/or hooks to pliers and mandrels, but I’m just going with the flow for now.

I needed some sort of ring display for the Spier Craft Art market and didn’t want to spend any substantial amount of cash. Solution: go to Pinterest and see what ideas clever people have already come up with. I found this.

So I made this, using old corks from – well, not hard to guess, since the market is situated on a wine farm! – and the thin wooden drawer that came from a jewellery box made by my grandfather. I use the box for other things now so the two separate levels weren’t needed anyway.

I’m busy getting stock ready for a local market in Rondebosch on Saturday, so have been up later than usual at night making more rings. They will be displayed in an old wooden box with a glass lid that I fitted out with dense foam and sprayed copper. Not as artisanal-looking as the corks but fine for a day.
I try to post regularly on instagram and facebook, you can find me there if you’re interested in seeing more of what I get up to.

Gratuitous information: Cape Town has been jolly hot lately, which is normal for this time of year but still something I’ve always battled to get used to. The temperature in Stellenbosch the other day hit 40 deg. It’s a three-quick-showers-a-day time of year. I dream of autumn days…

I’ve been inspired to write this ScrapHappy post by Kate at Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of people often publish a ScrapHappy post: KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Claire, Jan Moira, SandraChrisAlysKerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawnGwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2 , BearNoreenPreetiEdith and Jule

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. Any use of any type of scrap material is welcome.

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 :)