The Red Balloon Homecraft Gazette
Volume 20—September 2005
If you're reading a printed copy of this newsletter, then you are probably a Keen on Crafts participant. Welcome! If you enjoy reading this edition, and would like to receive a copy each month via email, then please subscribe by following the instructions in the Important Information box on the right-hand side. To all our regular subscribers, we've put together a real bumper edition for you this month, so enjoy!
What's on in September
Arts & Crafts at the Bokkie Park
1 October, 9.30am-3pm, Bokkie Park, Southvale Rd, Parkdene, Boksburg
Bunny Park Craft Market
24 September, 9.30am-3pm, Bunny Park, Pretoria Rd, Rynfield, Benoni
Art in the Garden
25 September, 9am-4pm, Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort
Field & Study Centre Craft Market
2 October, 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
24 September, 8am-1pm, Southey's Vines, 186 Main Rd, Somerset West
Durbanville Craft Market
1 October, 8.30am-2pm, Rust en Vrede, Wellington Rd, Durbanville
Kenridge Craft Market
24 September, 9am-2pm, Door de Kraal Avenue, Kenridge
Cape Gate Craft Market
25 September, 9am-2pm, Trade Centre parking area, Cape Gate, Brackenfell
Kirstenbosch Craft Market
25 September,9am-3pm, opposite main Kirstenbosch entrance
Rondebosch Craft Market
1 October, 9am-3pm, cnr Campground & Sandown Rd
Constantia Craft Market
24 September, 9am-3pm, Alphen Common
Camphill Village Market
2 October, 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: PMC/Silver Clay
I haven't tried it myself (yet), but I've been reading up on PMC modelling a bit, and it seems it's becoming quite a popular art-form. If you're wondering what on earth I'm talking about, then read on; it's rather a fascinating story.

The first time Elize Gerber (of Elize Crafts) showed me a piece of silver clay before it had been worked, and then showed me some of the jewellery pieces she had created using silver clay, I was absolutely blown away. That the lump of greyish-brown clay she held in her one hand could become, with the intervention of creative hands and a bit of heat, the beautiful delicate filigreed silver pendant she held in her other, was just incredible.

What is PMC/Silver Clay? Basically, silver clay is made up of microscopic particles of silver suspended in a binder substance; When heated to a high temperature, the binder burns away, and the metal particles fuse to form a solid pure (99.9%) silver object, that can be sanded, soldered, coloured and polished like conventional metal!

Materials: PMC is available in a number of forms, including paste, clay, syringe and sheet. Each form has its own distinct advantages for different types of work. PMC is rolled, pressed, squeezed, layered and moulded, punched and cut, using one's fingers and simple tools. Parts can be added, removed and refined as you go, so it's a pretty creative and stress-free activity. Once it's dried, the PMC object is heated, which drives off whatever moisture remains, and burns away the binder (released as a harmless smoke). Eventually the particles melt into one another to form a solid dense metal.

PMC work PMC work PMC work PMC work
See more pictures here.

Classes: So, ready to learn? Sign up for one of Elize's classes: the next one is taking place on 15 October in Bellville. If you're in another part of the country, send Elize an email and I'm sure she'll be able to point you in the direction of a teacher who's a little closer to you.

Handmade Hope update

Well, it's finally here! Handmade Hope week begins on Sunday the 18th and runs until Heritage Day, the 24th of September. Have you made plans yet? If not, then head over to our web site and click on the Handmade Hope button to see a list of creative ideas and events that are being planned by others.

Angie Wiggett of Shamwari Crafts has taken the concept to heart and has put together a series of workshops (in wire-work, beaded cutlery, fashion jewellery, as well as a few kids' workshops) at Featherbrooke Village Shopping Centre, and a percentage of funds generated will go to the Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children. If you cannot get involved in Handmade Hope week physically for whatever reason, then please contact Angie now and arrange to sponsor someone to attend one of her classes. In addition, she's donating 20% of the sales made from the store and on her web site during the week to the Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children. She's been a superstar in sending out Handmade Hope information to all her contacts, and encouraging people to be a part of it. Come on everyone, let's take a lesson from Angie, and get involved!

A special thank-you to Craftwise magazine for helping out by publishing the dates and details of Angie's classes in the September/October edition of the magazine.

Here's a simple enough idea that you could copy without needing a lot of resources: I've arranged to hold a card-making party for friends and family at my home on the 24th, and have asked each participant to bring a cash donation. I'm providing tea and some card-making materials, and the donations will be going towards fulfilling a Teacher's Dream. You can adapt this idea to scrapbooking, knitting, beading, cross-stitching, decoupage, teddy-bear making, or any other craft that doesn't require a huge amount of space.

Another easy one: My mother has agreed to donate a portion of the money she will make from selling her knitted Plume scarves, to the Sarah Fox Children's Home in Athlone. If you're not a knitter yourself, but know someone who is and who doesn't have transport, buy some wool and ask them to make up a baby or child's jersey during the week, and offer to deliver it to a nearby needy organisation on their behalf. And don't think that's insignificant: one item of clothing can make a huge difference to one child's life.

An idea for craft teachers: Elize Gerber of Elize Crafts is asking each person attending her Pergamano classes this week to bring along an item for donation to the Durbanville Children's Home.

Just 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.
Church groups, quilting circles, scrapbooking clubs, school teachers, shop owners, craft market organisers, soap-makers, candle-makers, cross-stitchers, decoupeurs, beaders, knitters: please put your heads together, and find a way to get involved.

Once Handmade Hope week has passed, please send us news of what you have done and the lives you have made a little brighter, so that we can encourage others to get involved as 2006 draws closer.

Let's make this work, let's make it huge, and let's make it annual!
Win with Candle Maker's Deli
Last month's prize of three candle-making kits was so popular that we've decided to stick with the theme, and so this month we're giving away three Candle Pens, sponsored by Candle Maker's Deli. Candle pens, available in 11 colours, are a no-mess, no-fuss way to decorate candles, and because they are non-toxic and no heating is involved they are suitable for children as well!

To stand a chance of winning one of these super prizes, send an email to with the word 'September' in the subject line, and tell us how many colours there are in the Candle Pen range. The winners will be contacted by the 7th of October.

Congratulations to Maryke van Wyngaard, Amanda Homan, and Nicole Castelletto, who each won a Candle-making Kit in our July/August competition.
Competition Picture
Tips for crafters
  • Classes coming up at Itz van Allez, 34 Jones Street, Parow:
    Sat 17/09 9am-2pm: Decoupage and Sponge Effects onto a Biscuit Tin (R100)
    Tue 20/09 9.30am-12.30pm: Quick Crack and Antique Crack on Mini Tray and Light Switch Cover (R100)
    Tue 27/09 9.30am-12.30pm: Decoupage on Enamel (R120)
    Wed 28/09 1pm–4.30pm: Paint Techniques – Sponging, Faux Wood Grain, T/Shell Lace & Bagging (R120)
    Thur 29/09 9.30am–2.30pm: Learn the Basics of Decoupage on a Large Placemat (R90)
    Get more info here; contact Surika to book on (021) 911 0962 or by emailing
  • The Good Hope Quilters' Guild is holding a Fynbos Quilt-In from 24 to 27 September, in the Riebeeck Valley. Some fabulous classes will be presented by people such as Petra Pullen and Annette McMaster, and there will be a Quilt Show at the Riebeeck Kasteel Church Hall. Very reasonable accommodation is available, and it sounds like it's going to be a really relaxing retreat! Email Marie du Toit for a full information brochure.
  • It's that time of year again: from 7 to 9 October, the River Club in Observatory will be host to a frenzy of crafting activity, as the annual Keen on Crafts event unfolds. I've made my booking - have you made yours? Places are filling up fast, so read more by clicking on the links below, and then be sure to email your application through to Wilson & Maclagan, or fax it to them on (021) 930 2844. View a list of the 33 classes on offer; read the information brochure; and see pictures of some of the projects that will be completed.
    I'll be there on Sunday 9 October, so if you spot me, do come up and say hello!
  • Jo-Ann Bannister is holding the following soapcrafting workshops in the next few weeks:
    17/09 (Red Cross Hospital):
    9.30am - Charity Workshop for patients / 11am - Beginners' Workshop
    24/09 (16 Elm Street, Bellville):
    10am - Ocean Basket / 2pm - Scrolls
    1/10 (16 Elm Street, Bellville):
    9am - Beginners' Workshop
    Booking is essential. Contact Jo-Ann at

That's all for this edition. Make a special effort to be a part of Handmade Hope week; then in a couple of years' time, when it's become a South African institution, you'll be able to say proudly, "I was there when it all started." Please forward the Gazette to a very special person this month - your mother.

Till next time, take care.


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Exhibition space

  • Last month we mentioned the Arts and Crafts Market taking place on 5 & 6 November at the Pretoria Showgrounds. You can find more information here or contact the organiser, Lydia Coombes, for application forms. She can be reached on 083 995 5049 or via email at
  • The African Toy & Crafters' Exhibition is being held from 19 to 23 September, in conjunction with the 10th International Toy Library Conference. The venue is the CSIR Convention Centre, Tshwane/Pretoria, and exhibition space is still available. You can email me for more info, or contact the Organiser, Avrille Gork, on (011) 887 1560 or by email. It sounds like a rather interesting opportunity to reach an international market.

  • On the bookshelf - just can't get enough of these guys! They are now offering 20% discount on their 24-hour delivery books - which means if you order today, you can start reading your books tomorrow! That's pretty nifty, I think. Here are a few of the 24-hour crafting books on special:

    by Martie Lochner
    Was 120.00, now 96.00

    Calligraphy for Beginners
    Calligraphy for Beginners
    by Tom Gourdie
    Was 136.63, now 109.30

    Modelling in Clay
    Modelling in Clay
    by Dorothy Arthur
    Was 256.33, now 205.06

    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