DIY Bar Cart

27 September 2012

I thought it was high time I put all my pinning on Pinterest to good use and actually start doing a few of the DIY's that keep me up at night!  I am no longer allowed to pin before bedtime as I can't fall asleep because I think of all the things I think I am going to get time to make!  So...finally I did actually get round to doing something.  The bar cart trend is no secret and I love the concept of  cocktail hour - a bit of Don Draper everyday if you like.  Now, this doesn't mean I am drinking alcohol everyday (saying that so my mom doesn't worry).

My bar cart like all things in my life comes with a story.  Once I became obsessed with finding one I made Lauren hit the thrift shops and our favourite second-hand haunts in search of one.  Lucky for her I found one not too long into the trip for R200 as the shop was closing down.  I wiggled it a bit, rolled it around in the store and checked if it was solid and sturdy.  My dad and Daniel would have approved of how 'wood savvy' I pretended to be.

The key to getting a smooth coat of paint on is to sand it down first and of course an undercoat.  I was thinking of perhaps dip dying the legs, but haven't decided as yet.  

The tray is also a DIY job.  I found the geometric tray at a craft shop (Imagine That) and sanded it down and gave it a couple of coats of bronze spray-paint.  Easy!  I was lucky to have Daniel as my quality control inspector - telling me to spray like this, do that and sand the tray between each coat which allowed for a smooth and even finished product.

The print is actually some paper that my partner in ohhellofriend's shop exchange wrapped my gift in.  She is from Canada and owns Spark Box Studio.  The frame was a dark brown wood and also got a lick of paint to match the cart.

The books are another Pinterest inspired idea.  I downloaded some free chevron and stripe prints and just folded over the paper on some old books left over from our wedding.

The small white jar was a SPCA find just the other day for a cheap and cheerful R10.

I found the Indian Tonic from the local bottle store and the packaging was irresistible.

I hope you will be inspired to delve into your DIY board on Pinterest and get busy.

Smitten with Summer

24 September 2012

So...I decided to go shopping for some Summer items and I had a careful list of what I would like to buy and what I need to buy.  It all went awry when I spotted this very cheerful bag from Country Road in Woolworths - it was bright love at first sight.  The list was no longer and the bag was coming home with me!  It is the wardrobe update I needed and the colours make me ever so happy!  Having said that I still need a bunch of things - a story for another day!

What is on you Summer shopping list?

Happy Heritage Day

In South Africa we are celebrating Heritage Day and I thought what better way to share heritage than through handmade and craft.  The above creative and crafted items are not only South African, but made in Durban...heritage indeed!  We are making new history in South African daily and shaping our creativity - these items are a few of my favourites at the moment and make me proud to live in Durban.

1 >  Freshly Found Sari Headscarf:  My poolside accessory this Summer for sure.

2 >  Token Bowls:  The colours, the smooth textures and the fine handcrafting are only a few reasons to fall in love with Carla's work.  The perfect accompaniment to an alfresco lunch.

3 >  Becca Blair Designs:  I am a sucker for a good cosmetics bag and this one has a hint of vintage, but is super practical too.  

4 >  Geometric Simplicity:  Earrings by Nicky Savage - clean lines and a strong simplicity that is so aesthetically pleasing.

5 >  Time by Andy Cartwright:  I will hang this in my home - any day!

6 >  031 Love by Demode :  It think these key rings make a great gift or act a a reminder of our city.

7 >  Sk8Shades:  More Summer perfection!  I met Dave who creates these out of old skateboards at the last I heart Market and really loved hearing the creative process. 

8 >  Blooming:  Marike du Plessis is fairly new to Durban, but she is already showing off her great eye for design.  Find her stationery at I heart Market.

We Heart This Giveaway

20 September 2012

The other day I posted about We Heart This - a new online shop with some unique local products and now they are hosting a giveaway so you too can own some of their amazing items.  I really, really would like to win this beautiful giveaway from We Heart This on the Lanalou Style blog.  You should enter too - look at all these wonderful things you can win!  Wishing you luck!

Juice Magazine Interview

19 September 2012

I was asked to do an interview in Juice Magazine - which is the Mango (airline) magazine.  It great to chat about one of my favourite things...Durban!  You can read the interview here along with some cool facts and places in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

To Do List

17 September 2012

I type this to you straight from my to do you all know I am addicted to lists and take great joy in ticking off tasks. 

Here are a few examples of some personal things that I would like to do this week...

Home / Personal:
Take rug to dry cleaners (thrilling stuff)
Take car for wash
Drop off recycling:  It is piling up - must get to this
Work on healthy dinner ideas
Sew button on polka-dot shirt

Tammy:  Friend in London, she is having a baby so some spoils are needed
Misha:  Friend in Los Angeles - it is her birthday in November, plus I love sending her letters and gifts

Okay so there are heaps more to do and somehow these tasks are some of the easier ones and not related to work
What are some of your to do's this week?  I would really like to hear...

I found these quotes on the Real Simple blog - they have daily thoughts each day - wonderful way to get motivated for the week and to inspire you to start some lists of your own.

Venerable Vera

14 September 2012

I am so inspired by Vera Evans, the character of Olga Kurylenko in Magic City.  This glamorous former dancer now wife to hotel mogul Ike Evans steals the show - her wardrobe and style are sheer fashion perfection.  I admit Magic City is not for everyone and the plot takes some morally sordid twists and turns.  However, Vera's impeccable pin sharp taste shines while the world around her crumbles.  I am already looking forward to season two - if only to see what Vera will wear!  I wish for days where glamour was expected.  Do stifle your giggles, if you see me at the beach channeling this look!

Seven Things

12 September 2012

I haven't done a seven things post in a while.  Here is a glimpse of a few things snapped via Instagram (nadiavdmescht),

1 >  Ice Cream:  Delicious soft serve with a flake this past weekend.

2 >  TYPO!  Thanks to my very patient and kind husband for spending about an hour in Typo on his recent trip to Cape Town.  He did a really great job of picking the perfect stationery for me!

3 >  Weekend away with amazing friends:  This past weekend I went away with two very special friends.  We sat in the sun, read our books, napped, walked on the beach, drank wine and even managed to have a night out.  I can't wait for another weekend away!

4 >  Avo on toast:  The best meal ever?  I think it is a contender - I had this particular one at Woolworths after running their Summer competition.

5 >  The Waterberry Coffee Shoppe:  This beautiful place is in Ballitio and I can really recommend a little trip there for a delicious breakfast and time out!

6 >  Homes & Antiques:  This magazine is truly amazing!  Wish I was in the UK to experience some of the fairs and sales reviewed by the mag.

7 >  Prints:  I bought these lovelies on Etsy to frame at home.  They have a hand painted effect and look really pretty in a minty green frame I found at Makro of all places.

Words of Wisdom or Rambling?

10 September 2012

Today's post is bit of a pouring out my heart post.  Sometimes it is difficult to decide where I start as a person and end as business owner, but in essence I am both and so I feel that I can share personal thoughts here every now and again.  I think it also makes sense as a business owner to say that within every career and life there are cracks, bad days, down days, late nights and stress, but it is how we decide to fill the cracks, fix the problems and work through life that makes all the difference.

I always mention that things are busy and they really are, but I do try and manage it all with lists and determination.  Between my consulting, assisting clients to build their creative businesses and in turn to prosper within their talent, crafting for weddings...decor and boutonnieres, lecturing, blogging and one big consulting job which sees me working with a client four days a week I really can get a bit overwhelmed by it all.  So sometimes I don't post often enough or get round to replying to every mail in perfect time, but I do eventually work through the mega load with a bit of luck, some praying and even sometimes complaining. 

I decided I needed a break - desperately and so went away this past weekend in the hope that two days would magically feel like two weeks of time away.  It was wonderful to pack a bag and escape.  A lot of people say that it is my own fault that I am too busy, stressed and overworked, but I say that it is what I expect of myself and the life I want to live that keeps my every minute filled.  I love what I do and above that I love helping people - I feel it is my calling in life and by not seeking to do as much as I can I can't live up to what I feel is my course in life.  So...thanks for reading, for your supportive and kind tweets, for likes on Facebook and comments on my blog!  They all mean so very much to me and keep me going, working hard and thinking of new ideas and ways to change the world!

We are all busy, stressed, tired and sometimes overwhelmed by life, but the important thing to remember is we ALL are (and we are in this together) - so take time to understand when and why you need to take a break, take time out to spend quality moments with special people.  Switch off your phone, turn off your computer and take a walk outside, find the things and people that make you truly happy and above all live the best life you can!

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed - what do you do to feel better?

Image from Striking Truths.

The Goddess Guide Creation

05 September 2012

I bought my copy of The Goddess Guide in London in 2007.  A friend had given me a Selfridges voucher for my birthday and after what seemed like hours of marveling, ooohing, aaaahing and being stupified by the beautiful things that this shopping mecca held I decided on the book!  I have treasured it since.  I have carried it around the even came to New York with me and I used it as a guide to wonderful and beautiful things! It still holds relevance in my life five years later!  It holds post it notes from tour guides to hidden gems, a myriad of friends have used it too and now it is full to the brim with special memories of wonderful times!

I check Gisele Scanlon's blog every now and again and recently saw that she has shared how she created the book with her quirky illustrations, letters from designers and wonderful images.  Visit her blog to delve into her world and add her second book, The Goddess Experience to your reading list too.

Tried & Tested: We Heart This

03 September 2012

Have you taken a look at the new local online shop - We Heart This?  The brainchild of Megan Kenney and Debbie Reabow - they only stock things that they love and they have rather good taste!   I was really impressed by their selection of items both unusual, on trend and eco-friendly!  

What I bought:

The notebook is handmade and printed on 100% recycled paper.  Mocho Loco is a brand that is now on my radar and Vicky Alvarez Campos the creative behind this beautiful little notebook has a lot of other amazing things on her website.

Their cushion selection is also exceptional and the chevron print was a welcome find after I searched almost every decor shop in Durban for one.  It is printed on 100% unbleached bull denim cotton, using eco-ink. 

My order was sent by registered post and arrived safely - packaged in a lovely box with stripey pink ribbon.  I really love the things that I bought and can recommend this wonderful online shop!