Tag Archives: Stellenbosch

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 :)

here a plant, there a plant

Skimming through the photos I keep in the folder called “Pics for BLOG”, these jumped out at me this morning, creating a fortuitous plant theme.

The one on the wall is a house in Sea Point, near where Alex’s sister lives. From what I could tell, they are two wooden frames with plastic bottles struck horizontally inside, with each plant coming out of the neck. Alex said she thinks she’s seen something similar at Kirstenbosch (National Gardens, here in Cape Town), so I’ll go and check it out one day.

The bright green succulent in a cement pot was on a table at a restaurant in Stellenbosch. The oddly-formed one (there’s almost something obscene about it but I can’t quite put my finger on it)  in a cream crochet ensemble was bought from Succulent Simon at the River Club Market on Sunday, and now lives on my window sill. I gave the angel-wing begonia in wire cup and saucer to Rob a few weeks ago. His plants don’t usually live long, and I have to send over a new one every couple of months.

Finally, the collection of plants in test tubes was the display in an empty shop window next to Art Source in Observatory. I’d gone to pick up glue supplies and this was so arresting. I have no idea what http://www.farmacy.co.za is, nor have I ever looked it up. I’m still not going to, but you can if you want.

To be continued…

a Stellenbosch day

Alex and I took some time out yesterday and spent it in Stellenbosch, a university town in the winelands about 25 mins from Cape Town (university…get it?! nudge nudge….)

We stopped for coffee, strolled up and down the streets, window shopped, visited Verbatim, the bookshop that a friend of mine started with her partner a few years ago, bought Howard Jacobson’s latest novel, had a picnic down by the river (grilled haddock and baby tomatoes and salticrax and grapes), got a bit lost, got caught up in school traffic by mistake in the afternoon, enjoyed the views, the art galleries, the library, the people. A very relaxed pace of life out there, for the consumer at least!

We had recently heard that Stellenbosch was going to be South Africa’s first entirely ‘free wifi’ town, so Alex had her ipad permanently clutched in her paws to test this out.  I stopped to look at some crochet crafts in a window, and just then two reporters from the Sunday Times popped up with cameras and notebooks to interview Alex for the story they were doing on the subject.  (Note to self: buy 10 copies on Sunday….daughter = famous!!!)

It was a hot sunny day (29 deg), and by the time we got home mid-afternoon, along the businest N1 I’ve ever known, I was ready for a little nap.

To be continued…