Welcome to my site!

Friday, 14 December 2012

December, the month of Joy!

Today is the 14th December;  half of this month has gone by in a flash!  I can still not believe that we are on the verge of the end of another year.  This year time has really gone by so quickly.

I had an extremely busy month, trying to keep up with some orders, looking after my grandbaby and the 3rd market day this month is coming up on Sunday.  I wish I could say that money is flowing in, but no, money is spent  buying  materials to make things, but the markets have been soooo slow.  Hope coming Sunday will be better.

My niece got married on the first and I have made a lovely shopping bag filled with canned and dry goods for the kitchen tea. She really looked lovely on the day and the venue was out of this world.

My son spear fishes and I know there might be people against this action, but we love fresh fish and he also does not just spear for the killing, but for the pot.  He also shares with neighbours who would otherwise not be able to enjoy freshly caught succulent fish fillets!  He went out last weekend for the first time in months (due to bad weather and visibility) and speared some beauties.  He often smoke (like you do with meat and  chicken) some of the fillets and I must say, it really taste fantastic!

I had to knit so many more beanies and even a scarf and baby jersey that I really missed my usual 'take up the needles and create' episodes. So, I urgently needed to get rid of creative energy and made these lovely little Xmas trees.  I have stuck a little bow on top and sewed a bell underneath.  The bells are real quiet and have a faery ring quality to them:  very soft and melodious!  They can be hung in the real trees or just stuck between the flowers on the Xmas table, there are so beautiful!

Well, hopefully I'll be able to blog one more time before Xmas.  My lovely daughter has a birthday coming up on the 21st and may I wish her the very best for many more years to come and may she remain the lovely, spontaneous person that she is.  Wherever you are in this world (maybe at the Isle of Skye?) at the moment, enjoy and we will speak soon.   


 Bull denim shopping bag with potato print and denim appliqued flowers for the kitchen tea.
The lovely bride in her beautiful dress.

 Mussel cracker and other lovely fishes.  The big one weighed in excess of 11kg.
Bottom of Xmas tree with faerie bell sewn on.
Xmas trees with small bow glued on top and a ribbon to hang on!  

Friday, 23 November 2012

Too much to do, so little time!

It's Friday again!  Time seems to fly by so quickly and although one has been busy, one cannot see what one has done!

I have been participating in two swaps with crafty ladies in September and October and was quite surprise at all the nice and useful goodies that came my way.  I do not pretend to know everything about everything and were reminded of that again when I looked at the gifts.  I sometimes do scrapbooking (very lightly, I might add), little bit of this and that, but to now have supplies to actually do the scrapping and cardmaking, well, that's now another matter altogether!  Now, I must find the time to use it all.  Here are some photo's of some of the contents of the two pizza boxes.   Yes, we had to use a small pizza box to send the items in.  Cute, hey?

 A lovely bounded booklet from the one swap partner.  Her passions are bookbinding and journalling as well as zentagling (if I now have that correct!).
 The other swap partner is into cardmaking and scrapping and look at the lovely cards and handmade flowers that she has sent me!
I have had some orders after my last Art in the Park market day and I was over the moon having received them, except that as fate would have it, with every order something went wrong.  I cannot believe it!  Normally I would start and carry on and finish something, but somehow doing orders and not because I like to make something, has jeopardise the whole operation.  Even something that I have made over and over again and using the same yarn, has given me problems.  Unbelievable!  What can I say!  And I could not even finish everything.  That sounds so unprofessional.  To top it all I contracted a stomach virus and was out for a whole working day and two evenings.  I give up!  Obviously, I should just go with creative flowing of the juices and forget about taking orders (which I really, really need to do!).

Anyway, now even the ball of wool is signaling the end long before the beanie is finished.  Normally, there would be wool left over.  You see, obviously, not for me!

Have a good weekend!

Until we meet again,


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Bookmarks and Buttons and Oh So Light Scarves....

As I have mentioned in a previous blog, I am trying to make little things that will sell quickly at the markets where I try and flog my goods!  I started making headbands for little girls when I decided to make it shorter and turn it into a bookmark.  That actually did not look tooooo bad, so I started another.  So easy to do, don't know why I did not think about it earlier!  Will still make a few headbands, though!

 Those are the 5 bookmarks I have ended up making.  Will see how it goes before attempting more.

The pink one is quite interesting in that the piece is crochet and then lines of chain crocheting on top making it, if I have knitted stripes, almost tartan-like.  There's a lot of options there, think rugs.

 This blue one I have tried making bobbles (hardly be seen) and then added handmade clay buttons.  Actually looks nicer in real life than on the pictures.

  Here I have snatched one of Dana's (MADE blog) ideas and made 3 little clutch type bags from oilcloth that I had in my stash.  It looked so easy to make, but believe me, to keep those edges neat is a feat in itself!  I have given one to my granddaughter to keep in her satchel that she takes to kindergarden.  In it, a clean pair of panties.  It is girlie and looks good (not as pretty as Dana's, but it will do just fine!).

This is also an idea from Dana's (you see, she is a very talented lady and her goodies are quick and easy to make) - the ruffled scarf.  I have made mine a little bit different, although the result is the same.  Very nice and light and made from tie-dyed material.

 These are just plain scarves that I have made using french chiffon.  They are beautiful, so light and airy and just perfect for summer breezes. (If summer is ever going to arrive in this part of the world!) It has been raining cats and dogs since Monday and the forecast is heavy rain until tomorrow.  Love the rain, but in small portions, please!
Gingham covered hanger.
 As I have done quite a few knitted covered hangers, I thought that I might try my hand at material ones.  This is the first one, does not look tooooo bad, but the other two are not nice.  Will keep those in my cupboard.  Have cut quite a few more and will stitch them together tomorrow, I hope!

The rain is doing the veg patch so good, have been harvesting quite a handful since yesterday.  Taste so much better than bought!  My son buys chicken meat from an organic (free range) farmer and last night after it was roasted, I noticed how little fat was actually left behind in the pan.  The meat is really plumb and tender and I made a good soup from the left-overs today.  Added bits of greenery from the garden and a bit of herbs and with crusty bread made a delicious lunch!

Lastly, thank you to the ladies who so graciously commented on my last post!  It was such a surprise to actually know for sure that people are reading my tedious ramblings! 

Have a lovely day wherever you are!

Marl xox

Thursday, 11 October 2012

A Beautiful Spring Day

I have been away from this blog for too long and should really try and make it a weekly thingie. But, as you know, it is not always possible. Weather not good for photo's, too much other stuff going on, etc, etc. Anyway, I have been busy making stock for the next two craft tables coming up soon. I must admit, though, that I am slightly disappointed at the fairs so far as I am not selling as I hoped I would. Now I am sitting back trying to think of goods people might rather buy. I really did not want to go the boring way, but would rather offer people something out of the ordinary or something they will not encounter in their every day shopping. This is really a trial and error thing! An expensive one at that! It being a lovely sunny day after all the rain we had (miserable weather for nearly 5 days) and seeing that the birds are singing sweet songs, I photographed a few flowering beauties in the garden. I am also trying to crochet a shawl (second one mind you as the first did not turn out as I expected and will have to be unravelled) and have made a few table runners for Xmas usage. Beautiful material and good and heavy for tables. Also bought lovely prints of birds and will try and quilt those. I am a little stuck at the quilting, though. Anyway, the photo's of sunshine and accidental shadowy heads in between:
The photo's are from the top: 1) Spring onions gone to seed; 2) Calendulae - I have a plan with those beauties; 3) Lovely sunny weed (forgotten the name); 4) Close-up of a Pelargonium head; 5) Mauve pelargoniums; 6) The whole bush, bees love those flowers; 7) Lovely wild pink geranium with a lemony smell; 8) The common old red one, still beautiful; 9) Nasturtiums; 10) The crochet shawls; 11) Hoping to be quilted placemats of birdies; 12) 2 Christmassy table cloths plus a finished runner. I hope that your day will be a lovely one! Marl xox

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Tea cosies and bags

In two weeks' time it's market day again! I am trying my utmost to have new stock on the table, but with lovely spring days in between, I find it difficult to concentrate on work and not garden work. The veggie garden calls loudly every time I walk past and with all the spring bulbs flowering, the garden really looks colourful. Sweet peas are climbing up the wire structure and I cannot wait for it to start flowering. That is if the wind does not blow them to pieces before hand. I had a request for a tea cosy and am busy knitting up a few for choice. I might even do another or so extra market days to try and sell before Christmas. I gathered 3 very retro patterns and just finished them. These patterns are truly retro and came from pattern books that I bought way back in 1970. Imagine! Looking back at them just showed me that with all the changes over the years, nothing has really changed at all. People do not believe you when you tell them to knit you only need to know how to do a plain stitch and a purl stitch and with that knowledge you can knit up anything you want. Same with crochet, a few basic stitches and you are on your way and that never changes. I have a full set of Golden Hands hardcover books listing almost every craft that you can imagine and yes, those crafts are still relevant today. I was looking at bag patterns and although I will not go to the extent of using canvas work to make a bag, the pattern can be used for any of our materials today. Anyway, a few pictures of the cosies and a denim bag (my first, so not too perfect!).
Cream merino cosie with embroidered flowers (72 in fact!)
Purple and snowmoon colours for this one!
White and blue classic.
Small denim bag with flower! Now for another two cosies: both with flowers (abundantly spring)! Better start working now! Marlene xoxo

Monday, 10 September 2012

Photo props and fairy tales

After the market day, the search for new and interesting things to sell stays with me. I have been looking at all sorts of little things like pin cushions, retro tea cozies (of which I found a few patterns in old 1970 pattern books that, believe it or not, I still possess), maybe a few teddies to crochet?, but what is clear is that one must have a HUGE selection of stuff. People are savvy and just don't buy for the sake of buying. People have appreciated my knitted goods and thought that the items are colourful and well knitted, but still only a few things got sold. Now why would that be? I can tell you that I used some of the best materials and my knitting is not too bad at all and then the pricing is very well. I almost does not turn a profit on the items. It's fine to look at my stuff and how it was made, but I can assure you that you cannot make it that cheaply! I was very lucky to have had a commission from a photographer for some props. She needed a very 'fluffy' tulle tutu and a few baby beanies in the elven way. I have googled and searched and eventually came up with patterns that were mostly my own creations in the end. Some photo's to show:
The colours are lilac and purple, but somehow overall it looks quite pink!
Back view with ribbon to camo the fastening stuff!
All the elf beanies! Have a good Monday! Marl xoxo

Friday, 24 August 2012

This piggy will now show photo's of market goodies

There is nothing like try and try again in this blogging game that at times seem to bypass me completely. This is now the second attempt at making a good blog and for it to stay that way without the interference of some gremlin..... Batteries charges, photo's taken, now for showing:
Well, yes, this just does not look like the way I normally blog, but what the heck, lets give it a go! The above pictures (hope that they will still be there once this is published) are all of the bags I have sewn and one of the knitted ones. I'll try and upload the other cabled satchel type bag, so here goes:
Have a good week-end and I'll see you through the window! xoxo

One Little Piggy goes to Market.............

For the past two weeks I have been preparing to attend a craft market called 'Art in the Park' here in the city.  I have filled in applications forms, paid the subs and will now officially strut my stuff (so to speak) once a month in a very well known local park.  Luckily I have a bit of stock to show because although I had the best intentions of doing sooooooo much more, there simply was not enough minutes in the day.  

My main aim will be to show bags (knitted, crochet and sewn), a few picnic blankets (which I hope will be a good item to sell), simple summer dresses for little girls, maybe a few hats and then I will always have the standby's, the money spinners like crochet flowers, knitted hearts, sewn pot pouri sachets, etc. And always my beanies, etc just to have a bit more on the table.  Obviously knitwear will be mostly from autumn to spring with lighter goods for summer.  I wish that I had already mastered the art of soap making or lip balms.  That would be good sellers for summer markets as our summer are generally very hot.

I am waiting for the batteries to charge so that I could take a few photo's of the goods I have finished so far so that I add those to this blog.  Still have to finish one bag and also sew a little dress.  Then to price everything, must still print more labels to do that, make a list of my stock.  The list is endless.  Must also still organise some sort of table to display the goods on and off course, I am praying for good weather as I do not own a gazebo of any size or sort.  Little steps........


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

It's Cold Outside (and Inside!), Baby!!

Wow!  It is so cold down here in the Eastern Cape!  Even when the sun comes through for small visits, the temp seems to drop more and more.  We are definitely not geared towards icy cold winter weather, rather more temperate temperatures as we normally have a more Mediterranean climate.

With all the coldness in the air, my fingers stay frozen and it is very difficult to concentrate and work constantly on a project.  I have even been knitting with gloves on.  Imagine that!  Anyway, I did finish a knitted bag, must still put in the lining and will then start on a crochet bag of some kind.  Also busy cutting tulle to make a tutu.  This will be a first for me, so I do not count on it being the perfect piece of knotting and sewing done.  Will take a photo of it when it's finished.  Keep your eyes peeled for that one!

I have not taken any pictures lately.  Must be the cold or lack of opportunity, don't know about that one, must still make my mind up.  I have decided to just post a few pictures taken over the months.  

This was taken in the beautiful Prince Alberts Pass in the mountain range between the coast and Langkloof area.

The beginnings of the much loved Keurbooms river where my children used to play and swim in when they were small.

Agapanthus in the garden last year.
  Hope that you are having a sunny day wherever you are!


Friday, 3 August 2012

Little bit of this, little bit of that!

Another cold, but sunny day!  Thermometer says 20degrees, but wow! does it feel cold in this house!  I need to get out into the sun today, for sure!

I have been busy sewing since rediscovering my precious sewing machine.  She is as old as the mountains (relatively, taking the latest models into consideration), but she still sews beautifully!  My granddaughter is the lucky girl receiving these new creations and although it is taking time to put these beauties together (ouma must go back far into the long ago of sewing girlie dresses), the dresses are looking better and better as I progress. A few photies to show off!  Also knitted her a lovely wool/mohair/poly mix bolero type cardi.  Fits well and has been worn quite often.  Shortish sleeves works well for busy little hands as the chest and back is cuddly and warm, while the arms are freed up for those busy hands.

 Shadow spoils this shot!  Photo taken against the bareness of the virginia creeper, but already starting to show spring shoots.  Tender leaves appearing.  Will try and capture those.

 A simple summer dress with material chosen by little Miss G herself!  Ouma added the lace and will add bright pink buttons on the bodice as soon as they are bought!

 The little blue green dress is a version of the pillowcase dresses the American ladies produce to dress the little North African girls.  Very easy to do, I might make quite a few, the design options here are endless.

Close-up of the summer frock, showing the lovely green lace.

This is the mohair/wool bunny jacket.

Lovely shirred dress! So easy to make!

Also, been working the garden a bit.  Between bouts of rainy days and few sunny ones, I try and get into the veg garden as often as I can.  Still a lot to do there, but we have been harvesting carrots.  Not big ones, but tasteful just the same! 

Lovely, yummy homegrown carrots!  What can be more appetizing, I ask you!
So, another weekend looming.  Hope our swimmers and athletes will do well during the Olympics.  We are already proud to be represented by them!

I wish you lots of sun and bounty this weekend and do what you need to do, for yourself!