The Red Balloon Homecraft Gazette
Volume 19—August 2005
This month we bring you one last chance to win one of three candle-making hampers, an article on needlepoint, some really important info for business owners, as well as all the usual craft market and event info. Enjoy!
What's on in August and September
Arts & Crafts at the Bokkie Park
3 September, 9.30am-3pm, Bokkie Park, Southvale Rd, Parkdene, Boksburg
Bunny Park Craft Market
27 August, 9.30am-3pm, Bunny Park, Pretoria Rd, Rynfield, Benoni
Art in the Garden
28 August, 9am-4pm, Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort
Field & Study Centre Craft Market
4 September, 9am-3pm, Louise Ave, Parkmore, just off William Nicol
B&B Rooftop Market
Every Sunday & public holiday, 9am-5pm, Upper Level, Mall of Rosebank
Hillfox Market
Every Saturday, Sunday & public holiday, Hillfox Value Centre, Hendrik Potgieter Dr, Weltevreden Park
Countryside Craft Market
Every Saturday, Sunday & public holiday, 9am-5pm, Gardenworld, Beyers Naude Dr, Muldersdrift
Essenwood Craft Market
Every Saturday, 9am-4pm, Essenwood Park, Cnr Essenwood and St Thomas Rd, Berea, Durban
Country Craft Market
Closed for winter
Franschhoek Craft Market
10 September, 8.30am-2pm, Main Rd, between NG Kerk & Town Hall
Durbanville Craft Market
3 September, 8.30am-2pm, Rust en Vrede, Wellington Rd, Durbanville
Kenridge Craft Market
27 August, 9am-2pm, Door de Kraal Avenue, Kenridge
Cape Gate Craft Market
28 August & 4 September, 9am-2pm, Trade Centre parking area, Cape Gate, Brackenfell
Kirstenbosch Craft Market
Closed for winter
Rondebosch Craft Market
3 & 10 September, 9am-3pm, cnr Campground & Sandown Rd
Constantia Craft Market
27 August, 9am-3pm, Alphen Common
Camphill Village Market
4 September, 11am-4pm, Klein Dassenberg Rd, near Atlantis
Hout Bay Craft Market
Every Sunday, 10am-5pm, Hout Bay Village Green, Main Rd
Waterfront Craft Market
Daily, 9.30am-6pm, The Blue Shed, V&A Waterfront

Craft focus: Needlepoint
Last week I decided I'd like to take up needlepoint. But before I could begin I needed to find out exactly what it is and how to go about it! So I got hold of a few books and wandered around on the Web for a while, and here's what I've learnt so far:

What is needlepoint? According to Wikipedia, "Needlepoint is a form of canvas work created on a mesh canvas. The stitching threads used may be wool, silk, or rarely cotton. Stitches may be plain, covering just one mesh intersection with a single orientation, or fancy, such as bargello. Plain stitches may be worked as basketweave or half cross. Basketweave uses the most wool, but does not distort the rectangular mesh." So what we often refer to as "tapestry" is in fact needlepoint! What's tapestry then? Tapestry refers to a design woven into the fabric itself as it is created on the loom - very different to the "tapestry kits" your local haberdashery sells (which, as I've just pointed out, are actually needlepoint kits). Bargello is a form of early Italian needlepoint, made up of straight stitches of varying length; it's also known as Flame Stitch.

Materials: A variety of canvasses are available for needlepoint, from regular evenweave canvas, through to the newer forms of plastic canvas (very useful for small items such as coasters or serviette rings, as its rigidity means that it does not distort). As for threads, one can use any of the following: tapestry wool, embroidery cotton, silk, metallic threads and double-sided satin ribbon. I have a huge floss box full of DMC stranded cotton from my cross-stitching days, so I will make good use of that; I also picked up a few skeins of DMC tapestry wool (the thinner kind), for a little variation.

Stitches: There are a lot - and I mean a LOT - of different needlepoint stitches for your toolbox. A few of the most common ones include continental tent stitch, which can be worked horizontally, vertically or diagonally, but is reserved for small areas as it tends to distort the canvas; diagonal tent stitch (basketweave), which is the main stitch used; and gobelin stitch, which is a straight type of stitch and can be worked vertically, horizontally or diagonally. The American Needlepoint Guild web site provides an excellent resource library for a wide variety of stitches.

Designs: What drew me to needlepoint initially, was the boldness of the designs I saw and the richness of the colours used. Take a look at some of my favourites here.

Glitter Dragonfly - Glorafilia Needlepoint Kit
There are a whole lot of superb books available on the subject of needlepoint. If you're new to the craft, pick up a beginners' guide like Take up Needlepoint, or if you're looking for some new patterns and ideas, get hold of something like The Ehrman Needlepoint Book; for a reference book of stitches and materials, get The Complete Needlepoint Guide. If you'd like to get started right away, then buy a kit such as this exquisite Glorafilia Glitter Dragonfly kit (pictured above), which comes with full instructions, printed canvas and all the thread you will need. There are a few free needlepoint patterns here and here.

Over to you: Mail us and tell us whether needlepoint is something you would consider taking up as a hobby.

Handmade Hope update

Last month we invited all our readers to help us launch the first ever Handmade Hope week, which will take place from 18 to 24 September 2005. Please diarise these dates now!

What's the plan?
For one week, we'd like the entire South African crafting community to focus their creative talents, resources and time on uplifting those in need of hope. I know that there are many of you who already use your crafting skills to help others; now we're asking you to put in an extra effort to pull together for this one week and do something really special.

How can I get involved?
Here are some ideas:
  • Donate a portion of your profits for the week to a worthy charity
  • Set aside places in your craft classes for underprivileged children or unemployed adults
  • Hold a charity auction of some of your pieces
  • Spring-clean your craft supplies cupboard and give away whatever you don't need
  • Host a crafting party, charge an entrance fee, and donate this to a needy cause
  • Make handcrafted toys and donate them to a hospital or creche
  • Host a Big Knit in your home, and make up blankets for those who need them
  • Buy a set of craft supplies for a teacher at a needy school
  • Start an altered book circle to raise awareness for your favourite charity

  • I'm sure that you have already come up with some ideas of your own - please email us at and tell us what you plan to do, and what you'd like to challenge others to do. We will publicise every Handmade Hope event, and as many ideas as possible, in the Gazette and on our web site in the coming month. If you feel you'd like to help, but don't really know what you can do, send me an email and I'll give you some input. And don't think that your contribution as an individual crafter is insignificant - we want to hear about every effort! A big thank-you to those of you that have already put some thought and work into this and contacted us with your intentions. We will publicise all your info shortly.

    Let's all get on board and make this work!
    Win with Candlemaker's Deli
    You have just over a week left in which to enter our August/September competition. This month we are giving away not one, but three prizes, all sponsored by Candlemaker's Deli. Each of our three winners will receive a Candle-making Kit, containing 1kg wax, 100g stearic acid, dye, wick, mould, mould seal and full instructions - in fact, everything you need to get started!

    To stand a chance of winning one of these super prizes, send an email to with the word 'July' in the subject line, and tell us who is sponsoring this month's competition. The winner will be contacted by the 7th of September.

    Competition Picture
    Tips for crafters
    • Important notice for business owners and producing crafters: If you run your own business in any form (at this stage, that includes freelancers, crafters selling their goods at a craft market, and even Tupperware demonstrators) and you don't know what 'PAIA' refers to, then it is likely that you are about to miss an extremely important deadline. A deadline which could earn you a criminal judgement, if you don't take steps to comply within the next week. In terms of the Promotion of the Access to Information Act (2003), every private and public body in South Africa needs to submit a 'Section 51 manual' to the Human Rights Commission by 31 August 2005. There is some confusion regarding whether an extension will be granted, but I'm certainly not taking the chance and my PAIA manuals were sent off by registered post a few weeks ago. An extension was granted way back in 2003, mostly on the basis that nobody knew about PAIA (unfortunately not much has changed!). The good news is that it is extremely simple to do, once you know how! You can get more information by visiting the Business Warriors web site, or you can send me an email, and I will send you some more details.
    • Just an update: the date for the Arts and Crafts Market at the Pretoria Showgrounds has been changed to 5 & 6 November (no longer 3 & 4 December as mentioned in last month's Gazette).
      For application forms and further information, contact the organiser, Lydia Coombes, on 083 995 5049 or via email at
    • Book your table now for Bearnanza 2005, which takes place on 16 December at the St Thomas Church Hall in Rondebosch, from 9am to 2pm. All bears and bearaphenalia welcome! Phone Di Muller on (021) 558 3436 to book.
    • Jo-Ann Bannister is holding the following soapcrafting workshops in the next few weeks:
      1 September (High Street, Bellville):
      9am, 10.45am, 12.30pm - Beginner's Spring Basket
      3 September (16 Elm Street, Bellville):
      9am - Health Soaps / 2pm - Designer Opaque
      10 September(16 Elm Street, Bellville):
      9am - Bath Delights / 2pm - Joining of soaps
      Booking is essential. Contact Jo-Ann at
    • Tuesday 30 August, 9.30am-12.30pm:
      Learn the basics of decoupage at Itz van Allez, 34 Jones Street, Parow. Cost - R90. Get more info here; contact Surika to book on (021) 911 0962 or by emailing
    • For those of you looking to rent some shelf space for your handcrafted products, one of our readers told us about a new crafters' store that has opened at the renovated Fairbridge Mall in Brackenfell. The store, situated two doors away from Checkers Hyper, is called Exclusive Arts and Crafts and you can contact them on (021) 982 1354.
    • Elize Gerber's next PMC/Silver Clay class will be held on 10 September, and classgoers will make a filigree pendant with cubic zirconia. Get more info here, or contact Elize at

    That's all for this edition. Don't forget to tell all the crafters you know about Handmade Hope week, pass on the Gazette, and let me know what events and activities you're planning.

    Till next time, take care.


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    Reader requests

    Actually, it's not a reader request this time, it's a writer request. I would desperately like to get hold of a 36-pack of Colleen pencil crayons. It seems that while I wasn't looking, they all left the country, and whoever was importing them stopped! I have looked everywhere, and would be most grateful if someone could point (just a little pencil-pun) me in the right direction. Please email me at if you can help.

    On the bookshelf is offering 20% off all books until 31 August; don't miss this opportunity to get some great craft books at unbeatable prices. If you have never shopped online before and are nervous about security or service, let me reassure you that I regularly order from and other online stores, and have never had any problems whatsoever. Try it, it's really quite simple! Here are a few of the good deals you can get until 31 August:

    The Complete Guide to Scrapbooking: 100 Techniques and 25 Projects Plus a Swipefile of Motifs and Mottoes
    The Complete Guide to Scrapbooking
    by Sarah Beaman
    Was 149.95, now 119.96

    Beginner's Guide to Beadwork
    Beginner's Guide to Beadwork
    by Madeleine Rollason
    Was 99.95, now 79.96

    The Ehrman Needlepoint Book
    The Ehrman Needlepoint Book
    by Reader's Digest
    Was 178.95, now 143.16

    The Big Book of Paintcraft Techniques
    The Big Book of Paintcraft Techniques
    by NK Publishing
    Was 169.95, now 135.96

    All New Decoupage
    All New Decoupage
    by Deborah Morbin and Tracy Boomer
    Was 120.00, now 96.00

    Over to you

    Please send any information or requests to

    Tell us about:
    • What you are planning for Handmade Hope week
    • Great craft products, shops, books or web sites you’ve found
    • Craft markets or other events happening in your area
    • What you'd like to see more of in this newsletter
    • What crafts interest you
    • Requests for help or information from other crafters
    • Tips and tricks you’ve discovered

    To all suppliers, teachers and shop owners:

    We offer a number of affordable options for advertisers wanting to reach a highly-targeted market of dedicated crafters. Please contact me at