Tag Archives: Table mountain

fire and destruction

Table Mountain and surrounding areas in flames, large parts of the University of Cape Town and Rhodes Memorial and Mostert’s Mill burned to the ground. All students were evacuated and there are no fatalities, although four firefighters had to be hospitalised.
The air was already thick with smoke by 11h00 yesterday morning over the entire southern suburbs.
I never expected to experience grief at the loss of buildings, but as a student at UCT for over six years and a member of staff for five, I find myself in tears.

Cape Town’s firefighters are incredible, by the way, and, while many people have exhorted those to pray to whomever they choose to believe is in control of things for the fire to stop, I didn’t see anyone resembling god or Jesus or Mohammed or whoever on the back of a fire engine rushing to the scene to help.


happy granny

I’ve been hoarding the pattern for Simone’s happy granny (here) for a long time and the other day, when I was looking for something else in an insanely disorganised bookmarks folder, I came across it again.  After a lot of Ellas and penguins, this looked like a perfect no-fuss quick make.

simone pattern

Simone’s hat is for a baby, but I wanted to go big.   I used a chunky Elle Timber and a 5.00mm hook, so ended up with a hat that fits Carol loosely.  I was going to follow the pattern exactly and have the same sort of beanie look but by the time I’d done the two brown rows, I realised that the wearer would have to have an unusually large noggin.  (Rob has quite a big head, actually, but I know he doesn’t like raspberry pink).

eben 1

So I just winged it after that – did 2 rows of grannies with some decreasing, then one row of dcs.  That’s given it a kind of puffy beret look instead.

We’ve had a really sharp and sudden icy spell in Cape Town- it’s much much colder than it usually gets in winter, and it’s started a lot sooner.  There’s even been SNOW on the mountains – we say that here with such genuine amazement as to suggest that the snow, surely, has picked the wrong country?

Back soon x

this little piggie went to market(s)

Thank heavens it’s Monday. Jam Tarts did two markets this weekend and all I can say is that I’m ready for some R and R.

The Harfield Carnival was a mixed bag for us – the intermittent downpours and high-force winds didn’t bring anyone any joy, but in the in-between bits it was wonderful: Karen completely sold out her rice-bag pillowcases and shorts, plus one customer sent a mail ordering a further ten. We felt Karen deserved the day off yesterday – so she could stay home and make more. hahaha

Yesterday was the Kirstenbosch Market, always a pleasure to be there! The weather had sorted itself out, and the steady flow of holiday shoppers and tourists was very welcome.

You’ve seen a zillion pics of Jam Tarts’ stuff, so I’m not going to bore you with more.
Here is other stuff: we all fell in love with these meerkats, made from jacaranda wood. Gran bought a whole family of them, I think.

We had a new neighbour, Carolyn from Car-o-Shop, who makes car seat covers at incredibly reasonable prices. Since crocheting a car seat cover is going to take too large a chunk of time, I think I’ll ask her to run something up for Mini-me. I’m thinking lime and shocking pink zebra stripes…

Dear friend Lara came to visit, with three lovely boys in tow. She’s good like that. The boys loved our owl monsters, and Max and Noah took it upon themselves to name any owls who had made it to the market without name tags. On the left in the middle, you can see a little turquoise chap who became “Snowflack”, and I had meant to put him in my basket to take home with me. But alas, I got distracted – and Snowflack got purchased by a complete stranger.

Lara tried on a button bangle and it looked so nice that I gave it to her as an early xmas present.

The only reason she is covering her pretty nose is because she’d just smeared thick white sun protector on her face – the South African sun is a real killer, so take note and take care. Seriously.

Last but not least, here is our amazing mountain in the background. The Kirstenbosch market is held right across the road from the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, and the entire area is – what can I say? – like paradise. Life would be very flat indeed without our Table (no pun intended).

To be continued…

PS. I finally returned the fixed-up stool to my across-the-road neighbour. Seems I had timed it just right because her mom was visiting her at the time, and was overjoyed to see it – she says she remembers her gran sitting on it in the kitchen back in the day. So it belonged to my neighbour’s great grandmother.

Nazareth House Day Two

Saturday in Vredehoek = PERFECT WEATHER !!! Thank you thank you thank you! A couple of nuns swung by and seemed happy to pass on the credit for a windless bright day to a higher power, which is totally fine with me, ladies.

This is how things were rolling on Friday (&*^%ing south easter, remember?):

and this was yesterday:


Pretty much the most important aspect of being a vendor at a market is how many sales you make. That’s why you go, right? To make money. Well, yes, one isn’t a charity (some people may be but Jam Tarts isn’t!) and it costs money to rent a space and put up a good display, not to mention time and effort.

The second most important thing, which for me ties directly in to what I’ve just said, is that increased sales depend on cumulative effort over time, which includes networking, making contacts, sharing ideas, advertising, blogging, working with other people (even when they make similar products). My mother once said to me, when I was starting a new business many moons ago, that I had to learn to be ‘harder’ because “it’s dog eat dog out there.”

Well, maybe there are dogs in the cut-throat world of event decorations and manufacturing, or property development (okay, not maybe but obviously) that my mother is familiar with, but I don’t like dogs and I sure as hell ain’t ever going to get involved in any kind of horrible territorial dog dynamic.

The reason I’m going on about this is because I met people at the Nazareth House fair/market who were totally wonderful, supportive, helpful and generous.

Meet Alexia and Angie, the two sisters who together are AngelPai.

I think I can be honest and say that, for all of us, our first thoughts on discovering that we both make crocheted, knitted, and sewn products, was “Oh sh*t.” But it didn’t turn out like that after all. AngelPai’s look and range is different to ours, a bit edgier and geared very cleverly towards children and preteens, and they have a far better sense of how to display things to advantage than I do!

They both fell in love with Megan’s cards and framed illustrations, and suggested that, since her designs fit much better with their range than with ours, they would ‘take them over’, for no reason other than generosity. And made some sales!

Then they volunteered to take Megan’s cards and illustrations with them to their next market, which is in Cavendish Square, Claremont, again out of nothing but generosity of spirit!
And THEN, as if they hadn’t already proved themselves, they offered to take some of my baggage home with them in their 4×4 since I had acquired more stuff during the day (long story) and couldn’t fit it all in Mini-me. Amazing. So much for dog eat dog. I hope I can help them in return one day. (Maybe via this blog?…)

I have more to relay about Nazareth House, but truth be told I am rather tired right now since I got home late last night, so I’m going to end off and get in a quick lie-in. I don’t think Alexia and Angie have a website yet, although they may have a facebook page, so I’ll include a link or contact number for them later.

And finally, last night I almost wished I was still married – I would have been able to deliver in a horrible croak-squeak the news that all husbands dream of hearing from their wives…”Sorry, darling, I can’t talk – I’ve completely lost my voice.”

To be continued…