On Sitting on the Stoep

Stoepsit is an old South African tradition, which literally means to sit on one’s verandah and, figuratively, to sit there and think about things. I did not expect to find the word in the good old Oxford English Dictionary and so googled it instead to double check that I had the meaning correct. Google only gave names of many restaurants and guesthouses, so I checked the OED anyway and found that a stoepsitter is described as “a person who habitually sits idly on the stoep of a house”.

This week I am writing from a corner of the generous verandah of our home. Why? Not because I am being idle or because it is a balmy winter’s day and pleasant to be outside, but because we are trading from our Stoep Stall during the National Arts Festival. The craft market at the Village Green is right across the road and so we decided to display the Nonsuch Woodware and FABRICATIONS creations on our stoep. Nonsuch Woodware includes a range of turned wooden objects, made by Andrew Stevens.

Here is a photographic tour of our pop-up, home-based shop on the stoep.

Our home, photographed from the street, with quilts galore on display
The scene that greets you as you enter the front gate

On the left hand side of the stoep is a display of Nonsuch Woodware, surrounded by quilts (!) and on the right hand side are more quilts and a display of other fabrications, such as cushion covers, pincushions, bags, and covered notebooks.

Andrew Stevens’ beautifully turned bowls
Close ups of the Nonsuch Woodware range

And, finally, some more photographs of the quilts.

If you happen to by at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, please pop in. You will find us at 11 Huntley Street, opposite Gate 3 to the Village Green. Or, just look for the double storey house festooned in quilts.

15 thoughts on “On Sitting on the Stoep

  1. Oh, I want one of those, and one of those and then there’s that bowl over there underneath the quilted banner and, and…
    Wish I could browse and buy!
    Hope it’s a fruitful fest for you and the other (he)artists.
    🙂
    BTW: while I was growing up in Chicago, we called the front part of our house with steps and/or the landing before entering the house, “the Stoop”. Seems like there’s a history there of that word’s origin…interesting, eh?

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    1. Oh, thank you for wanting to come and browse and for your good wishes.
      It would be interesting to research the etymology of the word stoep / stoop. In Afrikaans a stoep refers to a roofed usually generous verandah, with the practical function of keeping houses cool in the summer

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      1. Another part that seems to be related is the facet of ‘sitting on the stoop’ with friends and talking. Although it seems the South African ‘stoep’ is larger and serves a function to the whole house structure, it also serves a social function as well – like sitting on the ‘stoop’ talking with friends/neighbors.
        Neat.

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  2. Once again, I find myself in the wrong hemisphere! Your stoep shop looks just beautiful – both of your work is glorious, and the woodware and quilts complement each other really well. I hope you had a great day!
    (Also, I just realised that I wasn’t actually following your blog. I’ve fixed that now 😉 )

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    1. Isn’t it great that we can have a peak into the opposite hemispheres through this technology. I do appreciate your encouraging comments. The festival went on for 11 days, and each one was good.
      Thanks too for following my blog

      Like

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