The Red Balloon Homecraft Gazette
Volume 22—December 2005
In this special edition we bring you a bunch of last-minute gift and decoration ideas. I know you're busy, so waste no time - read on, you may just find exactly what you're looking for!
Gifts Galore!
I've been collecting a few gift and holiday ideas for you over the past few weeks; and in no particular order, here they are:

New Crafting Books
There are a few really great new craft books on the market; we're featuring three of these this month.

Fabulous Fabric Paint by Monique Day-Wilde and Angie Franke is a comprehensive and well laid-out book, written in a readable style. The book features simple to advanced techniques, as well as all the latest trends, so it is suitable for fabric painters of all skill levels. Projects include tie-dyed clothing, sunpainted sarongs, bleached landscapes, cushions, bags, quilts, picnic accessories, and much more. The book features a colour wheel, which will be really helpful for novice fabric painters; it also contains a range of design templates. Good photographic illustrations make it easy for the crafter to follow the textual explanations.

Turn Your Hobby Into a Business by Jeni Halliday includes sections on topics like goal-setting, developing a business plan, setting up classes, running a workshop, opening a craft market shop, perfecting your product, researching the market, choosing an outlet, marketing and exposure, costing and basic bookkeeping, and business structures. Each chapter features a case study. The text is written in layman's language and broken up into easy-to-digest sections, and so it's not at all overwhelming or intimidating for someone starting a business for the first time. The book features a useful list of contacts, events, and media opportunities.

Dreamscapes by Di van Niekerk is one of the most beautiful ribbon embroidery books I've seen in a long time. This isn't really a book for beginners, but rather for those already familiar with ribbon embroidery and stumpwork. In this one, Di concentrates more on designs and less on the actual how-to of ribbon embroidery. Techniques such as layering are utilised. The focus is on a traditional look, with a number of classic olde-worlde designs and paintings turned into ribbon artworks. The book features beautiful clear photographs.

Of course, if you're not sure which of these to buy, then why not simply order a e-voucher, enclose a copy of this newsletter, and let the recipient choose one of these beautiful books for themselves?

Teddy-bears and Patterns
If there's an arctophile in your life, they'll love you for giving them another new teddy (in case your dictionary's not near at hand, an arctophile is one who adores all things teddy-bear). Toddle over to Di Muller's web site, click on "Adoptions", and pick out a bear for someone special - I'm thinking perhaps Santa Paws or Bloobeary. If the person you have in mind can thread a needle, then how about giving them a kit or pattern instead, and let them create their own little bundle of joy?

For those difficult-to-buy-for husbands and brothers
Not a crafty-gift, but men are usually so-o-o-o difficult to buy for that I thought it best to include something for them too. So here's a thought. Visit Market-Web and sign them up to receive the following super package: a complete step-by-step guide to investing on the stock market (it includes absolutely everything they will need to know to get started, as well as a whole lot more), stock market analysis software, and 6 months' access to valuable stock market data. Usually this kind of package would cost around R5000, but Market-Web is currently running a special, which means that the whole bundle will cost just R592! And this really is a gift that keeps on giving... Not limited to men, of course - many women would love this to bits too.

A trip to the health spa
For a last-minute gift that will really hit the spot, no matter who you're giving it to, how about a Health Spas Guide gift certificate? The certificates can be redeemed at over 100 health spas throughout South Africa. Now who wouldn't be pleased at finding a licence to relax underneath the Christmas tree?

Gift tags
To finish off your gift packages, download free colour Christmas gift tags or print out these quilters' gift tags. Alternatively, print out black and white tags and have your kids colour them in (unless, like me, you'd prefer to do that yourself!). For a whimsical touch, get these Dr Seuss tags.

Last-minute decorations
I found this page, which features some really nice patterns for handmade Christmas decorations. I particularly liked the washcloth snowmen and the decorations made from burned-out lightbulbs. Mmmm... got a few of those lying around myself... excuse me, I'm off to make some Christmas decorations for the tree I haven't yet had a chance to put up!

Win another super book
Colourful finger puppets, a funky zebra, a cuddly rabbit in dungarees, a bright and cheery clown - you'll find patterns for all these and more in Knitted Toys by Fiona McTague. If you're a granny-to-be, give the matinee jackets and bootees a miss, and rather knit up a few of the gorgeous creatures in this month's prize!

To enter, send an email to with the word 'December' in the subject line, and name one of the patterns in Knitted Toys. The winner will be contacted by the 3rd of February 2006.

Congratulations to Janine Barnard, the winner of our November competition - she'll soon be quilting like a pro!
Competition Picture
Tips for crafters
  • Sally Ferguson of Betty's Bay has contacted me and asked me to make the following information available. She is involved with a number of accommodation establishments in the area and they are going to be arranging craft and art weekends in Betty's Bay during the off-season, from next year. At this stage Sally is looking for any teachers who would be interested in offering classes during a weekend like this - please contact her on 072 184 1564 or to express your interest and find out more. For those of you who agree with me that this sounds like a wonderfully therapeutic weekend getaway, we will be bringing you more information as arrangements are finalised, so watch this space!
  • Herzlia High School will be holding a craft market/fun day on Sunday 12 March 2006 to raise money for charity. The market will take place at the school from 10am. Stalls are now available for rental at R150 each.
    Contact Marion Stein on (021) 712 2677 or 083 708 9333 for more info or to book.

That's all for this edition. Have a fantastic festive season, and may 2006 bring you all that you need.

Till next year, take care.


I am a Business Warrior. Are you?
What's on in December and January
Princess Crossing Craft Mall
Daily, 9am-5pm(till 4pm on Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays), open till 7pm from 19-24 December, Princess Crossing Shopping Centre, 55 Ontdekkers Road, Roodepoort
B&B Rooftop Market
Every Sunday & public holiday, 9am-5pm, Upper Level, Mall of Rosebank
Hillfox Market
Every Saturday, Sunday & public holiday, 9am-5pm, Hillfox Value Centre, Hendrik Potgieter Dr, Weltevreden Park
Hillfox Night Market
22, 23 December, 2pm-9.30pm, Hillfox Value Centre, Hendrik Potgieter Dr, Weltevreden Park
Garden World Arts & Crafts Market
Every Saturday, Sunday & public holiday(excl. the 25th & 26th), 9am-5pm, Gardenworld, Beyers Naude Dr, Muldersdrift

Essenwood Craft Market
Every Saturday, 9am-2pm, Essenwood Park, Cnr Essenwood and St Thomas Rd, Berea, Durban
Essenwood Night Market
22 December, 3pm-8.30pm, Essenwood Park, Cnr Essenwood and St Thomas Rd, Berea, Durban
Heritage Market
Daily, 9am-4.30pm, 9 Old Main Road, Hillcrest
Ballito Coast Market
Every Saturday, 8am-12.30pm, Ballito

Wilderness Craft Market
26 December, 8 January, 9.30am-2.30pm, opposite the Protea Hotel
Crafters Under the Stars Night Market
23 December, 5pm-10pm, Rust en Vrede, Wellington Rd, Durbanville
Cape Gate Craft Market
19-24 December, 9am-8pm, Clever Cats Playschool, Langeberg Road, Durbanville
Kuils River Craft Market
31 December, 9am-1.30pm, Municipal Gardens, Van Riebeeck Road
Rondebosch Craft in the Park
24 December, 7, 14 January, 9am-4pm (till 1pm on the 24th), cnr Campground & Sandown Rd
Rondebosch Evening Market
21 December, 3.30pm-9pm, cnr Campground & Sandown Rd
Adderley Street Night Market
17-30 December(excl. the 25th), 7pm-12am, Adderley & Darling Streets, Cape Town
Mayor's Evening Market
14-24 December, 12am-9pm, Government Avenue, from Adderley Street, Cape Town
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
St Peter's Church Christmas Market
5 December till 7 January(excl. Sundays), 10am-5pm, St Peter's Church Hall, Main Road Road, Hermanus
Fisherman's Village Craft Market
15-24 December, 9.30am-2.30pm, Lemm's Corner, Old Harbour Road, Hermanus
Gansbaai NG Kersmark
12-23 December, 8am-5pm, NG Kerk, Pretoriussaal
Prince Albert Market
Saturdays (excl. the 24th), 8am-5pm, Church Street (next to Museum)
Mayor's iKrafti (Suidoosterfees),
13, 14, 15 January, 10am-10pm, Artscape Theatre, Cape Town

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Editor's Request

  • Would the reader that I chatted with at Keen on Crafts (Nicolette, I think it was) about the church craft markets please contact me? I'd really like to get hold of the information you mentioned. Thanks!

  • Reader Request

  • Surene is looking for the names of some good easy-to-follow Afrikaans mosaic books - if anyone can recommend any titles, please email me, and I will pass the info on to her.

  • Over to you

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