Dunrobin Market – April

Don’t you love the newly branded market poster?

On Friday afternoon my sister and I headed down to the Dunrobin Market at the House of Heart Emporium. Their newly branded markets are on the last Friday night (from 5pm to 9pm) and Saturday morning (9am to 1pm) of every month. The market has a strongly handmade feel so I took along lots of my up-cylced china pendants and other vintage-style jewellery. We also stocked up the shop with lots of vintage delights!

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Our stall at the market. Lost of pretty lights and bunting added to the atmosphere.

Photo: Blacksmith Company at Dunrobin Market. We loved it. Thanks to everyone who came and said HI! :)

Some of Blacksmith Co’s lovely range

It was lovely to meet up with old friends and make some new ones. Jessica and Justin from Blacksmith Co were there with lots of very cool metal creations (have a look at their website).

I also met Francis Ridl who makes beautiful jewellery with pottery accents and charms.  After talking to her for at least ten minutes it finally dawned on me that she is married to my dad’s cousin and we have met at a few family functions! I thought I recognised Frances from somewhere!

Erika Whitby was there displaying some of her beautiful photography; Silver Penny was selling some stunning silver pieces; there was stunning up-cycled furniture and loads of other tempting goodies.

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All the pendants, earrings and rings … ready to sell!

Apart from all the pretty, crafty items there was lots of yummy food on offer. Maybe a little too much…  There were wood-fired pizzas (made in a brick oven on site); hamburgers, pancakes, curry and lots of sweet treats.

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A close-up of some of the pendants.

People gathered around the bonfires, caught up with old friends and enjoyed the music by the group “Minor Adjustments”. Later in the evening some of the visitors took a chance to show off their dance moves. Particularly impressive was an elderly gentleman who seemed to manage to find a different lady with which to dance  for every song!

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A close-up of the ever-popular glass earrings :)

As always, it was wonderful to meet the friendly people of Pietermaritzburg (best city in the world!) and it was great to see the beautiful House of Heart Emporium packed with shoppers. My sister is the best market buddy ever … she has been so busy studying for her teaching degree I can’t bother her to help me out as often as I used to.

I am sure the Saturday market was equally entertaining. I had a another market to attend this time but I will try to make it next month. Hope to see you there!

Wonderful Willow Pattern

The Willow Pattern (or Blue Willow) is a well-loved classic blue and white china pattern. It was originally designed by a Thomas Minton, in England in 1790. The pattern was inspired by similar pieces which the English imported from China in the 1700’s.

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One of the broken willow pattern pieces I had. All the elements of the story can be clearly seen here.

In order to promote Minton’s original design, stories were invented using the various elements of the pattern. These stories were English in origin and were not true Chinese fables. The most popular story was as follows (this is an extract from a Wikipedia article on the subject:

Once there was a wealthy Madarin, who had a beautiful daughter (Koong-se). She had fallen in love with her father’s humble accounting assistant (Chang), angering her father (it was inappropriate for them to marry due to their difference in social class). He dismissed the young man and built a high fence around his house to keep the lovers apart. The Mandarin was planning for his daughter to marry a powerful Duke. The Duke arrived by boat to claim his bride, bearing a box of jewels as a gift. The wedding was to take place on the day the blossom fell from the willow tree. 

On the eve of the daughter’s wedding to the Duke, the young accountant, disguised as a servant, slipped into the palace unnoticed. As the lovers escaped with the jewels, the alarm was raised. They ran over a bridge, chased by the Mandarin, whip in hand. They eventually escaped on the Duke’s ship to the safety of a secluded island, where they lived happily for years. But one day, the Duke learned of their refuge. Hungry for revenge, he sent soldiers, who captured the lovers and put them to death. The gods, moved by their plight, transformed the lovers into a pair of doves (possibly a later addition to the tale, since the birds do not appear on the earliest willow pattern plates).

A charming collection

This design has remained popular for more than 200 years and has been re-produced by almost all of the major porcelain and china manufacturers in England. The pattern has been made in all sorts of different colours but the classic royal blue and white remains a favourite.

I have been fortunate to obtain some beautiful Willow Pattern plates (and some other classic blue and white china) in the past week. These will be for sale at the House of Heart from next week. Any damaged pieces I find I make into pendants and the Willow Pattern pendants are always popular with our customers.

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Here is a pendant I made a while ago with the two birds.

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This is a pendant made with the boat scene

Introducing Our Up-Cycled Pendants

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As you may have guessed, we are always buying in job lots of vintage goodies. For time to time these “lots” include broken, cracked, chipped and damaged porcelain pieces. Call me sentimental, but it just seems wrong to throw these pretty pieces from the past into the rubbish bin.

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This dilemma, therefore, led to me thinking of what could be done with these lovely pieces. The result? Lots of planning and hard-work which has ultimately culminated in Lollapalooza’s very own range of up-cycled vintage porcelain pendants.

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I have called the range “The Weeping Willow” — partly because it describes how someone must have felt when these lovely pieces were damaged and partly because I seemed to be making lots of pendants out of damaged “Willow Pattern” china — which is a classic blue and white design.

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The pictures in this post are of the pieces we took to the recent “I Heart Market”. Most of these have been sold but, have no fear, more are being made and these will be listed very soon on the “Hello Pretty” website and our facebook page.

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Pendants cost R60 each or R100 for two! Postage is just R25 for as many as you would like to order.

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They come complete with matching chains and are packed in pretty boxes. All items are marked with a label stating the origin of the porcelain inlay.

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Every piece is unique and hand-crafted, making them the perfect gift. It was lovely to hear people at the market saying that they recognised a certain piece as being like something their mother or granny had :)