28 Jun 2011

Handmade courage

Today I would like to tell you about all the ideas I have floating around in my head.

The area I live in at the moment is not all that keen on handmade, as I said before.  But I must admit that I have noticed a turn in this.  A very slow, slow turn.  But there none the less.  There seems to be more handmade items available in the gift shops. Albeit imported handmade items.  Well, perhaps they only look handmade.  Nevermind.  I also notice that more vintage-looking items are finding their way into the shops.
So, that being said, I really think that the handmade and vintage movement(s) just maybe maybe might be catching on around here.
Look, Pretoria is nothing like, say, Cape Town, where there is a culture of art and craft.  I'm not talking African mask head craft.  I'm talking sewing, knitting type crafts.  When I was a teenager there was a fabric store on every second corner, a wool-shop on every other and many general craft stores in between.  These have dwindled over the years to basically nothing.  I'm happy to say that the big shop in Pretoria who has been holding a monopoly on craft materials is losing its strangle hold.  This shop - and I will name no names, is the bane of my existence.  Rude, unhelpful and absolutely totally, 100% overpriced.  It's a huge store and I've been going there since I was a girl.  Now I do not set my foot in there.  And I will only go there ever, ever again if it's really a question of HAVE, HAVE, HAVE to.  Anyway, I'm going off at a tangent.
My point is this:  I have to grab a corner of the market.  As in RIGHT NOW.  I need money, but mostly I need time.  I need money.  If I had money I could resign and then I would have time.  But mostly I need money. No. Time. No. Money.
Despite what I was told as a child, I do have talent and now I only need the courage to take a huge leap of faith.  Well, it's taken me forty years to acknowledge the fact that I have talent.  If it takes me another forty to build up the courage...well, erm...I think that just might be slightly too late....
Ugh.  Sometimes I irritate myself.


20 Jun 2011

This little piggy went to market

The girls and I went to the market yesterday.
I was pleasantly impressed with the entire set-up. 

The paths between the stands meander between bushveld thorn trees and the stall-holders (except for one) were friendly and helpful.

Right at the gate we found this lady with her felt goodies.  If I recall correctly she called herself “The Felt Bakery” – or something in that line.  Her little felt monsters, hairclips and brooches are very cute and well-priced.  

I also loved her doughnuts and cupcakes.

This guy makes wind chimes from recycled materials.

I've seen similar before, these are quite original and nice.

As you walk up to the back part of the market you find all sorts of items, including some beautiful antique crockery.

Right at the back of the market are the food stalls where you can buy a meal and sit down in their seating area to enjoy it in the sunshine.

These guys make goat’s cheeses which is quite something to find in these parts.  It’s very fresh and delicious.

There was a lady with some beautiful mosaic mirrors.  There were several artist and “artists” ;-). 
I was quite surprised at the number of antique stalls there.  Antiques are very hard to find in my area.  I bought my eldest daughter an ancient 18mm movie camera, which she adores!
We bought some jaffels from an older lady to have for lunch.  Unfortunately these were not… erm … the best quality.   But the cupcakes we bought for afters were very yummy, not to say pretty!

All in all, we had a very nice morning walking around the stalls in a very tranquil environment.  I really hope that I can build up some stock and perhaps get a stand at this market.  Perhaps even at their next market?


19 Jun 2011

Handbags and markets

So these photos are in the wrong order, because I have no idea how to move them on my Blackberry.  Sorry about that, just bear with me.

This picture is a close-up of the detail on the fabric of my bright pink bag.  No, I didn't do it, I bought the fabric that way. It's a pretty heavy cotton and I liked the way it looked.  Don't you think it's pretty?

This one is the inside of the bag.  The lining is bridal satin and there's two rather large side-pockets.  It closes with a snap fastener.

And this is the bag itself.  I put rather thick batting in so it's all squishy.  I do like how it looks, but I'm not going to do it again any time soon.  It was really fiddly to do - really tried my patience.

OK, so this picture should have been first.  These are some of the bags I've made.  As soon as I find a market where I can get a stand, these and my notebooks as well as a couple of knitted and crocheted articles will be put up for sale.

So, whaddaya think?

I forgot to mention that the lady who I went to see about my
notebooks did take them and she only added a small amount to the price to cover her own costs.  Very nice, I say!
I'm going to look at another market on Sunday.  I really hope this will be a better one.  Wish me luck!


6 Jun 2011

Crafts and collectables? Not so much

These are pictures I took at the Hatfield Flea Market (Hatfield, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa).
I received an e-mail from the very nice gentleman who sells stamps and inkpads etc.  to remind me that he’ll be there.  He also mentioned in his e-mail that it’s the monthly “Crafts and collectables” market.  Oo, I thought, maybe I should get a stall there, let me go check it out.  I anyway needed some tiny stamps to put on the sides of my notebooks and my inkpads are getting dry.
So off we went.  This is not a very savoury neighbourhood, so my lovely husband insisted that we take the whole family – safety in numbers.  When we got there I was surprised to find the market had shrunk to half its size in the last few years.  But nevermind – crafts and collectables, here we come!  And what did I find?  Very collectable obscure brand toiletries and really crafty rip-offs of well known brands (where was the police, I wondered – oh, yes, I forgot: getting a cut of the profits!)  The closest thing to anything crafts was the guy with the stamps and a table next to him with collectable broken bone-handle knives with ridiculous prices.  I bought my stamps and inkpads and left.  I think we were there a full half hour, including a trip to the supermarket for fresh milk and a visit to the loo with the little one.  To say I was disappointed is an understatement.
If you’re reading this and live in Pretoria and want to contact the guy with the stamps, he is Mr Ockert Pretorius and his e-mail address is stamp-a-way<at>live.co.za

I seriously don’t know what’s wrong with the people who live in Pretoria.  There are about two craft shops and two fabric shops in the entire area.  Antique stores are closing down at a rapid speed.  In fact, there’s only one left in the Eastern parts of Pretoria.  Either I’m the only one left in the East of Pretoria who loves craft, and old things or the rest are just hiding it very, very well.  Maybe it’s something to do with the fact that crafty things and old things aren’t shiny enough?  Plastic does have a shine, you know!  Well, maybe it’s just me that has lost the plot somewhere....


3 Jun 2011

My secret love

Can I say it out loud now?
I do.
I have this book:

And this one:

Cath Kidston products are not available in South Africa (at the moment) so for now I have to be happy with the two books and the catalogue they so kindly send to me.
But who doesn’t love this fabric:

And I would love love love LOVE to own this bag:

Or just this stationeery box:

How about playing in this teepee with your kids, it's huge:

And I can just imagine how cute my little one would look in this dress (in summer):


So if you want to bribe me to do...well, almost anything (legal), anything from the Cath Kidston line will do.....