The Red Balloon Homecraft Gazette
Volume 24—February 2006
Power cuts, power cuts, power cuts... ah, what can we say? No use complaining any more than we already have, so we're just getting on with it as best we can! This month we bring you window treatment ideas to keep the heat at bay, a chance to win a ribbon embroidery book, and of course all the usual market and event info.
Craft focus: Window Treatments
February is pretty warm down here in the Cape. Actually warm isn't quite the right word. It's more like excruciatingly unbelievably fiery hot. And windy of course. Hot wind. And in this kind of weather, my mind naturally turns to ways of keeping the sun and heat out of the house. So I thought it may be a good idea to give you a few ideas around window treatments this month.

Make your own
Visit Alternative Windows for clear, easy-to-follow instructions for making a range of blinds, including roman blinds, austrian blinds, roller blinds and more. This is one of the most user-friendly craft sites I've come across in a long time. The text instructions are accompanied by very clear colour diagrams, and will leave you in no doubt as to what you're supposed to be doing.

Add interest
There are a few ways to add interest to plain, tired curtains and blinds. Here are a couple of ideas:
  • Add a border of ribbon or braid along the bottom or inside edge of each curtain.
  • Add a valance above the curtain or blind. Use a contrasting fabric for a stronger effect.
  • Make a set of beaded tiebacks, to complement the curtains.
  • Stitch a row of large funky buttons along the top of the curtain - this works particularly well with tab-top curtains.
  • Stitch pretty silk flowers or other embellishments all over the curtains at random intervals.
  • Use a stencil and fabric paint to decorate plain curtains or blinds with a suitable design.

  • Alternative ideas
  • If you have a small window, perhaps in a bathroom, why not try the following: Secure a selection of die-cut shapes to the window with Prestik or double-sided tape and then spray the window pane with frosting paint. Remove the die-cuts and you have a beautifully patterned window, which will still allow in light, but will give you privacy at the same time.
  • And here's another idea for a small window: cut varying lengths of sheer ribbon in different colours, and tie them to the curtain rod. Then tie shells, beads or artificial flowers to the bottom end of each ribbon.
  • For information on some more brilliant window dressing ideas, such as American Shutters, Curtain Headings and Rustic Blinds, visit Interior Collections. This South African site has a wealth of information on all manner of interior decor topics, including lighting, accessories, art and more. They also send out a monthly newsletter, filled with really useful and easy-to-follow interior decor tips. Take a look at back issues here.

    An instructional book to get you started

    Complete Curtain-Making Course
    Heather Luke's Complete Curtain-Making Course provides a guide to creating a wide range of curtain styles and window dressings.

    It features 250 colour photos, many of which are close-up step-by-step pictures.

    The book includes instructions for making basic blinds, curtains, pelmets and tiebacks, from luxurious to plain, functional to purely decorative. Inspiration is provided for every room of the house.

  • Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork
    Enter this month's competition and stand a chance of winning a copy of Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork, by well-known embroidery specialist Di van Niekerk. This beautifully illustrated book contains instructions for 12 different embroidered panels, as well as a stitch glossary and general information on ribbon embroidery techniques.

    To enter, send an email to with 'Ribbon Embroidery' in the subject line, and answer the following question: Does Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork feature a stitch glossary? The winner will be contacted by the 15th of April 2006.

    Congratulations to Bronwen Weston-Green, the winner of our January competition.
    Competition Picture
    Tips for crafters
    • Candlemaker's Deli will be holding candlemaking workshops during April at the Woman's Value venue in Roodepoort, Gauteng. Bookings should be made through Woman's Value.
    • 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.
    • Di Muller is inviting all bear-lovers to come and celebrate Bears By Di`s 25th Anniversary with her on Saturday 25 March at 2pm, at Bear Cottage, 26 Van Wagering Street, Bothasig. Anyone who has ever bought a Bears By Di bear, elephant, cat, duck, rat, etc. is invited to bring him/her along for a visit; there may even be a prize for the oldest one brought along. Entrance is free and you're welcome to bring a friend.
      Phone Di on (021) 558-3436 to RSVP.
    • Liz Mason is able to provide porcupine quills to crafters on a regular basis, at a cost of R1.20 per gram plus shipping and handling. All quills have been disinfected in such a way as to not damage the quills or promote mould. If you are interested, you can contact Liz on (046) 636 2505 or visit
    • King’s School, next to the His People Centre, N1 City, Western Cape will be hosting their annual indoor Craft Market and Fair at the school on Saturday 6 May from 9am to 2pm. As the craft market is housed inside a hall, it will not be cancelled due to bad weather. The cost to book a stall is R80 (payable in advance), and includes a standard trestle table and two chairs. Please note that only crafted items may be sold, (in other words, no second-hand goods or other "flea market" items, and no food stalls.) Please note too that King’s School is a Christian organisation and they will not allow goods or items to be displayed or sold which are in conflict with their values and principles. For further details or to book a table, please contact Moira on (021) 595 3300, 083 393 1666 or email her at
    • It's Hobby-X time again in Johannesburg! Make your way to the Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate from 3 to 5 March (2 March is an exclusive Trade day), between 10am and 6pm on Thursday and Friday, and between 9am and 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are R35 for adults and R10 for children under 12. Get more information on their web site.

    That's all for this edition. Enjoy all the craft markets, enjoy Hobby-X if you're in the Jo'burg area, and please forward the Gazette to all the crafters you know! Watch out next month for some VERY exciting news about the Red Balloon web site...

    Till next time, take care.


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    What's on in March
    Arts & Crafts at the Bokkie Park
    4 March, 9am-3pm, Bokkie Park, Southvale Rd, Parkdene, Boksburg
    Irene Arts & Village Market
    11 March, 9am-2pm, Smuts House Museum, Jan Smuts Avenue, Irene
    Field & Study Centre Craft Market
    5 March, 9am-3pm, Louise Ave, Parkmore, just off William Nicol
    Princess Crossing Craft Mall
    Daily, 9am-5pm (till 4pm on Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays), 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
    Countryside Craft Market
    Every Saturday, Sunday & public holiday, 9am-5pm, Gardenworld, Beyers Naude Dr, Muldersdrift
    Hatfield Arts and Craft Market
    Every Saturday, Sunday & public holiday, 9am-4.30pm, Hatfield Shopping Centre, Burnett St, Pretoria
    Magnolia Market
    4 March, 9am-3pm, Magnolia Dell, cnr Queen Wilhelmina Dr and University Rd, Muckleneuk

    Essenwood Craft Market
    Every Saturday, 9am-2pm, 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
    12 March, 9.30am-2.30pm, opposite the Protea Hotel
    Scarab Market
    Every Saturday, 8am-12.30pm, On the N2, next to Engen, Sedgefield
    Durbanville Craft Market
    4 March, 8.30am-2pm, Rust en Vrede, Wellington Rd, Durbanville
    Cape Gate Craft Market
    5 March, 9am-2pm, Trade Centre parking area, Cape Gate, Brackenfell
    Rondebosch Craft in the Park
    4, 11 March, 9am-4pm, cnr Campground & Sandown Rd
    Hout Bay Craft Market
    Every Sunday, 8am-4pm, Hout Bay Village Green, Main Rd
    Prince Albert Market
    Every Saturday, 8am-5pm, Church Road, next to museum,
    Fisherman's Village Craft Market
    Every Saturday, 9.30am-2.30pm, Lemm's Corner, Old Harbour Road, Hermanus
    Waterfront Craft Market
    Daily, 9.30am-6pm, The Blue Shed, V&A Waterfront

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