Tag Archives: wire

and this little piggie went to market – again…

This December festive season has really wiped me out – and we still have four more markets to go!

Despite mixed reaction to my memory shade, I still love it and think the idea has potential. I concocted this today and will be taking it to the Rondebosch Market tomorrow to judge the response from objective strangers. Must remember to put my hard hat on.

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And it’s official – the Western Cape is in the middle of a heatwave, so I need no excuse to rub myself with ice cubes and then lie immobile in a cool room. It’s brain-fogging heat.

To be continued…

memory shade

(a two-blog day, sorry to clog up your inboxes like this but I won’t be blogging again until Monday so perhaps you’ll forgive me).

One of the things that I get the utmost pleasure and satisfaction from these days is saying or doing or making or wearing something that is so unbelievably horrific to the mind of an 18-year old that she loses the capacity to speak. I know it’s childish of me, but I can’t help it – all parents of teenagers will be nodding knowingly now, in true empathy.

Here’s how I did it this morning:

I finished my new bedroom light fitting!!!
I’ve been fiddling with it for a few days already, and I decided it was finally ready to put up and photograph. ALEX WAS SPEECHLESS. hahahahahahaha … we have very different tastes when it comes to decor and interiors and colours! She is the cool, neutral pretty flamingo and I am the wild baroque over-the-top gypsy peacock/magpie.

I used a two-ring flat wire frame, stitched a double layer of organza around the inner ring, then hit my stash of stuff [beads, buttons, chains, ribbons, lace, wool, old necklaces, broken brooches, single earrings, tassels, even the bonbonniere from Katie’s wedding, strips of fabric, disco balls, wire angels…) and looped or hooked or hung it all round the outer ring. I call it the memory shade, because I don’t want to throw any item away that reminds me of something that I want to remember but don’t necessarily want lying around the place cluttering up even more than I am already cluttered.

It looks a bit like one of those nasty Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish, I suppose. But it has a certain….je ne sais quoi, n’est pas?! I guess it’s what the Etsyians would call OOAK.

To be continued…

Drink up – I need the empty bottles!

I really like GoCrochet‘s idea of letting things evolve. Last night I realised that it’s working for me too.

As you know, I’m fixated on lampshades. I have been crocheting onto the wire frames that Zenzo made for me a few weeks ago, and when they are displayed at our markets everyone says, Wow, how pretty, what a stunning idea blah blah blah. But that’s where it ends — no-one has ever bought one of these girls.

The last time we were at Kirstenbosch, I had grabbed two empty bottles (vodka and wine, I think) to take with to use as props to display the shades. Lolling around nibbling on her fudge, Anne comments, They look quite nice on the bottles actually. Rob says, Yes they do, and I think people would prefer to buy the whole thing rather than just a shade that they may not have a base for. Anne replies, Rob’s right. Now pass me the rest of the fudge.

From there, we got to here:

Rob has turned into a Very Clever Electrical person and also invested in a diamond drill bit, so now he can turn these amazing liqueur bottles into functional items. I add the shade and some beads for an arty-farty gypsy look (?), and voila – upcycling and repurposing and crochet and handmade and beads and glitz and baroque ALL ROLLED INTO ONE. I feel like all my birthdays have come at once. (And I always knew Rob wasn’t just a pretty face…)

Apologies for the lousy photos, I took these quite late last night in a state of enthusiasm and happiness that outweighed the need to take a bit of care with styling.  Yes, that is an old avocado box in the background.

Tomorrow Jam Tarts is at the River Club Boutique Market in Observatory, where I hope to have a few more of these to show off.

To be continued…

Cheap Luxury – Xmas craft #1

Cheap Luxury is a South African blog run by Natalie and Elaine up in the Big Guava Johannesburg.  (We Capetonians have a reputation for thinking our city is superior to all others – sorry guys!).  The favourite joke a while ago, before the Transvaal became Gauteng, was:  What’s the definition of a Transvaler? Answer: Someone who can’t get a job in Cape Town.  (‘Gautenger’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it?). Okay, sorry sorry guys, kidding.

So, I’ve been following Cheap Luxury for a while now and love the local tips and info about our own strange little world down here at the tip of Africa. They once featured me as a “Fabulous Follower” (here), and for weeks afterwards I was recognised by strangers in supermarkets and stalked by the paparazzi.

The girls asked if anyone wanted to submit ideas for affordable and quick xmas crafts, so I came up with this yesterday:

1. Clean an empty jar and paint the inside with red acrylic paint – just sort of swish around inside with a brush, doesn’t have to be perfect.  (I see that I left a bit of gluey stuff on one of my peanut butters jars – so don’t do that).

2.  Wind some thin wire tightly around the neck of the jar and make two loops, into which you hook another piece of wire for hanging.

3. Cut a piece of tinsel long enough to go round the top of the jar, and stick it in place with a glue gun.

4. Hang on something.

I thought these would look nice with a candle in (obviously being careful that the flame doesn’t catch the tinsel), or bits of hanging greenery. I don’t think I could think of anything much cheaper and easier to make, so they’re probably great for children (except the glue gun bit – ALWAYS be careful when using those things!). They could also stick on bits of glitter or sequins or stickers or whatever else their festive little hearts desire.

To be continued…

Tree time

There is a forest of trees in my lounge right now:  25 wire and bead creations about to be boxed up and delivered to the marketing department of the company I used to work for, as a special order.

The trees were made with the help of Hilton and Shelton Marimo, and then fixed to silver bases with cascades of tiny stones by moi.  It was a lot of work but a great challenge.  No two trees are the same.  A rather lovely way of representing, I think, the individuality of each of the clients who will be receiving one.  Not to mention also a lovely way of supporting local business.

Local is lekker.  Local handmade is even more lekker!

To be continued…

a wonderful saturday after all

Our Constantia Open Day was — exhausting, wonderful, and best of all worthwhile! Even the sun came out for us. Megan’s original illustrations were the biggest hit of the day, and she sold thousands of cards and notebooks. Jane and Mary provided home-baked choc chip cookies and red velvet cupcakes, which were so good they have been commissioned to provide the treats for a Womens’ Day lunch late this week. An interesting offshoot!

Some pics in slideshot format for speed:

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I would highly recommend holding regular Open Days for small, growing businesses like ours because they are an excellent medium for showcasing concepts and getting feedback (with minimal cash outlay). What might seem like a genius item when you first produce it at home late one night might not actually appeal to Real People at all – and things that you don’t think will sell can surprise you. It’s damn hard to know what people want!

Jam Tarts is grateful to Jane and Craig Butters for the use of their house and garden. Thanks, guys. (Same time next month?) (and Craig, thanks for ordering a knitted warmer for a certain part of your body, I’ll get onto it right away and will be sure to make it XXL).

To be continued…

and yet more lampshades

I took delivery of 10 stunning handmade wire lampshades from Zenzo yesterday.  I hope you can see from my pic how beautifully he has made them:

They are strong and sturdy and so much nicer than the factory-manufactured stuff.  I am determined to have all ten ready for our Open Day on 4 August, determined I tell you.

To be continued…