New Brooches

31 October 2011

These are a new batch of brooches that I have added to my market table.  They come in different colours and are sold on a vintage playing card.  The cards are just darling and perfect to add to a pin board.  They will soon be available in the Cupcake Couture Etsy shop as well as at I heart Market this Saturday.

Market Market...

27 October 2011

This weekend 29 - 20 October I am super excited to be taking part in the Malva Market at I heart Durban Theatre Festival.  Looking forward to spreading some Cupcake Couture cheer!  Lauren Wallett of Malva fame has organised the event which looks set to bring some dazzle to local theatre.

Pop by on Saturday from 10am onwards for a lovely lunch and a spot of shopping or visit the market and then see a play.  See all the details hereFor blog reading market goers there will be a special surprise...something small to say thank you for stopping by so pop in say hello.

The Package Project: Update

25 October 2011

WOW!  I am so excited to be pairing up all of you who signed up for The Package Project 2011!  The response has been overwhelming and amazing!  A special thanks must go to Frankie magazine who tweeted as well as 'Facebooked' about the project.  

To update you on what is happening now that the sign up process is closed - my hard work begins!  I am working through all the entries and need a little time to pair you all up so please be will worth it.  You can expect to hear who your partner is between the 6th - 10th November.

Thanks again for signing up!

To keep you inspired...I compiled the small collage above:
1.  Twine from Inspire Lovely
2.  Invite from B Designs
3.  Stationery from Be Happy Daily
4. Manila Tags from Hooray Design Shop
5. Ribbon from Buttons & Such

Bye Bye Birdie

24 October 2011

I have just finished this special order and thought I would share it with you.  A customer saw me wearing my version of this brooch at a market and ordered her very own.  I used ribbon from Jezze Prints coupled with grosgrain.  The little coral birds have been popular - I think they are so cute.  The Hey Cherry girls bought the clips with them on - take a look at their post.  

This week is set to be a busy one - we are preparing for a market this weekend (will post details soon), working on a new blog for a client as well as doing a blog makeover for a local blogger.  Looking forward to ticking off tasks on my to do list and making and creating!

Have a Splendid Weekend!

21 October 2011

Cute tin from Mooi.
Have yourself a merry weekend!

Happy Making

19 October 2011

I worked on a fun and fairly easy button belt DIY with Lauren.  Sewing, snapping and snacking took place to get this one done.  Enjoy making your own belt - I wold love to see your creations!  See all the steps over on Glossary.

Creative Chatting

17 October 2011

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my working adventure with Heather.  While in Cape Town I also had the wonderful (& interesting) opportunity of setting up a conversational panel covering the challenges that face creatives in the business of handmade.  The quaint Queen of Tarts in Observatory as suggested by Vicki from I Want That was the venue and the coffee, hot chocolate and meringue icing cupcakes they provided were perfect! 

The lovely ladies in attendance were:
Lana Kenney from Lanalou Style:  Blogger and supporter of local and handmade
Lauren Fowler:  Illustrator, blogger and all round creative 
Jesse Breytenbach from Jezze Prints:  Illustrator and printmaker
Heather Moore from Skinny Laminx:  Illustrator and designer
Thessa Bos from The Fringe Arts:  Co-owner of The Fringe Arts and curator of all that is creative
June Gilbank from Planet June:  Crochet Pattern Designer, writter and blogger

We chatted about all aspects of craft and handmade...the challenges, rewards, originality and the lack thereof, underpricing, general standards, useful resources...the list goes on and reached as far as blogging, giving credit and linking.

I am now working on all the information that I gathered and am researching even more for a new project with an aim to serve the craft community of South Africa.  I am hosting similar conversational panels in Durban and Johannesburg this year and if you would like to be included then just send me a mail and I will keep you updated on when and where.

Novelty Vintage Sewing Vanity SOLD

13 October 2011

I created this vintage inspired sewing kit inside a vanity and I am quite proud of it (not boasting - just loving).  I made a similar one for the market inside a vintage tin and really enjoyed the work of making each small item really special and so I decided to make another.  It is for sale and if you look at the photos below you will see every inch of it.  I really poured love and care into it and I think that someone who loves vintage, sewing and old haberdashery items will be the perfect match for this navy little vanity.  I hope you love it...

I decorated the top of the vanity with a 1950's Vogue Couture Pattern...such an elegant dame.

This is on the inside of the lid of the vanity.  An embroidery frame filled with fabric, vintage pattern elements & a 'make do & mend' badge.

Glad you asked...

An old cigarette box which has been converted into a perfect button storage box.  On top of the lid is a sweet tin with a tape measure inside.
Lots of lovely buttons inside the box.

An old pin box now holds threads with an old pattern picture on it as well as embroidery and a vintage glass button.

  This old needle card is a real gem.  Made is Czechoslovakia. It still has all of it's needles inside.  Quite rare.  It was slightly damaged so I added an original vintage pattern picture & vintage heart button.

Vintage Linen thread - I love the card it is around.

A giant button & two vintage cotton reels.  No sewing kit is complete without a giant button!

Pins & a pencil.  The pinwheel has a pattern picture on it & a very cute button.

 A pink pincushion with pins, hanger & scissor charms...just for fun.  The flower pins are from Japan & are some of the most pretty I have found.

A really old wool cutter still in it's original packaging.  It is made in Germany and still has the manual and two spare blades inside the box...quite special.

Perhaps this is the piece de resistance...  The vanity still locks so I added a little keyring to the key.  An old fashioned scissor charm on vintage binding.  I love the little dogs & cats on it.

The vanity is still in a near perfect condition as is it's lining.
It measures...
Depth:  22.5cm
Height:  16.5cm
Width:  33cm

 If you just love this special vanity then send me an email & I will quote you on postage.  It is fairly light so I will get it weighed & send you the exact details.  If you live in Durban - we can arrange delivery / collection.

This is where I work...

12 October 2011

I had a very fun weekend with Lauren.  We thrifted, we ate, we relaxed, we laughed...all those things that make a weekend just great.  To add to the list she snapped my work me it is where I am everyday so I suppose I don't always notice the details, but I love seeing what stands out when Lauren peers through her lens.  Thanks for these lovely pics friend.  You can see the full post on Glossary.


Pop over to the Lollyloves blog for my latest guest post on DIY Fashion.  There are some AMAZING things to make and with step by step help you can't go wrong.  Click here for the post.

Have you?

11 October 2011

Only four days left to sign up!  Hurry Hurry.

Interview & Giveaway Time

10 October 2011

On the right-hand side of my blog I have a 'featured' section...not sure if you have noticed.  I have cut down my sponsors as I would like to focus on one at a time and rather showcase and feature the sponsor and share with you why I love what they do.

Do you have a beautiful shop or an inspiring business that you think I should feature?  Email me with your details.  Each featured sponsor's banner is displayed for a month and the rates are really affordable.

I hope you enjoy this interview and giveaway.  Lady Jane Vintage is truly a lovely shop.
Visit the shop:
Shop 217B
La Lucia Mall - 90 William Campbell Drive - Durban
*Add it to your 'Durban To Do List' if you are visiting.

Tell us about Lady Jane Vintage...who do you stock and what is the shop all about?  

Lady Jane Vintage is a store where shoppers can find real vintage clothing and quality, exclusive vintage inspired clothing and pieces.  Lady Jane is about a feeling, about a trip down memory lane, about keeping all that is stylish and glamorous alive. We are not what you’d expect of a vintage store. I think most people think of vintage shops as drab and cluttered – Lady Jane is nothing like that. The space we’ve created is feminine, inviting and full of nostalgic charm. I’ve handpicked vintage and vintage inspired pieces from South Africa and across the globe.  We have one off items, Victorian inspired lace parasols, gloves, hand fans, gorgeous vintage inspired dresses, our own range of shoes and so much more. At this stage we produce clothing exclusively for ourselves and bring in pieces from other designers, such as jewellery from Genevieve Motley; reworked vintage from Moth Clothing in Cape Town; handmade jewellery from Brehan Todd; vintage clothing from the states to name a few. We currently have two stores stocking our shoes: Mary Mandy in Ballito and Rock Paper Scissors in Cape Town.

When sourcing vintage for the shop do you travel to find the best treasures?  

I am always on the lookout wherever I go, for pieces that I think would work in the store. When travelling overseas I'll be on the lookout for interesting finds, but locally too you can pick up beautiful things, if you know what to look for.

What is your favourite era? 

My favourite eras would be the 20's to 50's. I can't get enough of the 20's drop waist and flapper looks and I love the elegance of a 50's knee length dress with a circle cut skirt, so ladylike. These days most of us just throw anything together but a feminine and polished outfit can make anyone feel powerful and sexy.

 What are you top vintage care tips? 

Wear vintage items with care and ALWAYS check the wash care labels. Vintage items are delicate and should never be put in a washing machine. Washing by hand in a mild detergent is safest and I usually hang my vintage garments over the bath to dry, away from direct sunlight.

How did you decide to open a vintage shop?  What was your inspiration?

In creating Lady Jane I have drawn inspiration from everything I have seen and experienced in my life. I just let my imagination run wild and I slowly began picking ideas from there.  I came up with the idea for Lady Jane because I love vintage and wanted to create the kind of store that I would love to shop at. In the UK and America everyone shops at vintage stores, there is so much to choose from overseas. I wanted to try and recreate a shopping experience like that here in Durban. When I was growing up I used to love going through my gran’s wardrobe. I always loved that she would wear a matching bag and shoes with any outfit and her signature red lipstick is a favourite with me today. I think in some way when I came up with the idea for Lady Jane I wanted to bring back that sense of glamour that I remember seeing in my gran. But there is so much more to the store too. I wanted the glamour of the 40's but I also wanted the store to be fresh and appealing to today's women too so it had to have a funky and modern twist.

If you could dress any old Hollywood screen siren who would it be?

If I could dress any old Hollywood screen siren it would have to be Ava Gardner, she had such presence. And there is one other person...she's not an old screen siren but the beautiful and feminine Dita Von Teese always manages to look like she's stepped out of a 1940s film set. I just love her look.

Lady Jane Vintage is sponsoring a lovely giveaway.  You can win a MOR lip gloss and a pair of Genevieve Motley earrings.

To Enter:
Like the Lady Jane Vintage Facebook Group (please confirm that you have in comment).
Leave a comment telling me who your favourite old Hollywood screen siren is.
For an extra entry just Tweet about the giveaway or blog about it - please mention this when you comment.
Giveaway closes:  17 October.

This is a local giveaway.

Good luck!

A Skinny Day

06 October 2011

While I was in Cape Town in August - I got to be an intern for a day with Heather Moore of Skinny Laminx.  Yes...while on holiday I went to work and loved it!  I have been following Heather's career for years and I truly respect her.  The fact that she has a very successful business fuelled by her creativity is a real inspiration to me.  I wanted to learn from her, see how she works and delve into her Orla filled realm.  After a swift walk in the morning sun we stopped at &Union for a coffee.  Once back in the studio I got elbow deep into a box of products...stock taking and learning each print by name and colour.  Heather was such a great boss for the day and chatted to me about challenges within a creative business and shared her tips and knowledge.  

All creative businesses experience challenges.  What sets you apart is how you deal with the challenges.  Deal with problems head on, be realistic and don't give up too easily.

Once you are successful and your business is established - it doesn't mean that the hard work is over.  With each goal that is conquered...a new set presents itself.  Where there is passion...the hard work will follow
Successful businesses experience copying of their work too.  Heather has encountered this and although you can't always prevent it you are allowed to speak your mind in a respectful way to alert the brand or person in question.

Make time for other people.  Heather gives of her time freely, she shares her knowledge and always makes time for others who respect her work.  Your business might be small and the fans few, but take a couple of minutes to reply to emails, tweets or compliments.

Create a system that works for you.  Often daunting tasks get pushed to the bottom of the list and you loathe even the thought of having to tackle them.  Take a difficult or tedious task and create a system for it.  Heather had a board with labelled bullodog clips for filing receipts...come the end of the month they are already sorted into postage, office expenses etc...

Don't let admin kill your creativity.  To do lists, piles of paperwork, slips and expenses could mean you spend hours chained to your chair and computer.  Heather takes time out on a Friday for her Making Day... time to create something new.

P.S.  I had fun editing the above photos - Lauren gave me a quick lesson and although she has it down to a fine art...I am just getting started.  Hope that photoraphers aren't looking at them and cringing...bear with me I will get better.

Tried & Tested: Vintage Lover

03 October 2011

Last week got away from me - between prep for I heart Market on Saturday and working on various blog projects for clients I just couldn't get around to all.   I hope you enjoyed the first two reviews.  The third and final vintage and thrift online review features Vintage Lover.

I met Janece via email and we started chatting about some items I was on the hunt for.

Who is behind the concept?
Janece is based in Cape Town and is a regular on the market scene.  Her well designed newsletters and reminders keep you up to date on what to expect and look out for.  She seems to pull some magic items from her vintage sleeve.

What did I buy?
I asked Janece to source two skirts for me.  She found both...a coral dream of a skirt and a sea green pleated number that made my heart stop when I opened the package.  The search was inspired by an outfit from Late Afternoon.

It was exceptional with friendly and timely replies.  I was so excited that both items that I was hunting for had been sourced.

Packaging & Postage:
Beautifully wrapped with care.  The small touches like ribbon, tags and a postcard with a personal note was really sweet and added a lovely touch.  It took about a week and a half to arrive in Durban.

Where can I find Vintage Lover?

Vintage & thrift sellers are always searching for new items.  If you have a dream piece that you are after...why not have a seller source it for you.  It might not always be available, but something similar might be out there.