Where did the Cupcakes go?

30 January 2013

If you haven't noticed that things have changed around here - well, then I am worried about you....time for glasses perhaps?  I started Cupcake Couture in 2009 on a whim.  I decided to do I heart Market - also on a whim and needed a name in order to sign up.  At the time I really loved cupcakes (I still do) and as you know I had made a point of sampling cake the world over!  I thought it would be a fun name and added the couture part to hint towards the handmade element.  What ended up sprouting from said whim was a career change and a bunch of dreams coming true, but I didn't know what was still to come...  

As things change they need to evolve too and so for quite a while I mulled over the idea of a name change.  I felt that the name, although well-known no longer covered what my business was about, but what a bold leap it would be to change!  Three years of Cupcake Couture, magazine features, people calling me by the name instead of Nadia...the list goes on.  So... I thought and thought and thought and wondered and chatted to family and friends and then I wondered some more.  Through the course of last year I had received an email that basically demanded I give up the name due to another business wanting to use it.  The email was not well received and threw me into even more turmoil.  I thought - who would pick a name that was already spoken for?  All seemed to point towards the need for a change. I couldn't help but ponder even more even after I resolved the name issue.  I kept on thinking of a new name until one day I thought - I have a name...my name!  Ha...simple really and so I put the wheels in motion for a very big change.

I enlisted the help of the talented Fathima from Happiness Is and through exceptional patience and care she assisted me in designing a new logo and tah dah...here we are!  Fathima is part of my team when working with clients on branding and I found it useful taking on the role of the client, for a change. Thank you Fathima and thank you, darling readers for always being here to listen and support me!

I am really happy with the new direction and look of my blog and brand.  I feel that now my business can represent all the varied things I offer creatively!  

New Branding & Packaging Items:
Knot & Bow Tags / Stickers:  I love these!
m.studio Tape and Thank You Stamp:  Both fit in perfectly with the branding.

Thanks for sharing in this rather long story and I hope you like the new look!

House & Leisure Posts

29 January 2013

I have really been enjoying writing my monthly pieces for the House and Leisure blog.  I get great joy out of chatting to creative people and sharing their businesses and stories.  In the last month I have written about Urban Grace (pictured), Julie Kins and her cool nursery friendly art and Woodnewz.  Click here to read their stories and see what they have on offer.  If you are a Durban based restaurant, shop or creative brand feel free to get in touch about a potential feature.

London: The Essentials

28 January 2013

In less than two weeks I jet off to London and as you can imagine I am beyond excited!  It is as if my mind can't quite fathom it!

I only started planning my trip in November last year when I received a lovely package from one of my best friends.  She is pregnant and had sent me the most beautiful gifts and card. The card had me in tears as she talked about special moments and good times.  Just there and then I thought - I need to go and see her and so began the quickest decision making ever!  The trip is now a mere ten sleeps away!

I have started packing - just a little and thought I would share a few of my packing and decision making essentials with you:

1.  The Ideal Travel Wallet:  I just love having one central place for my tickets, passport, some money and a few other trip essentials.  I bought this one in London at Boots and it has an awesome, shocking pink lining and dividers to keep all in check.

2.  Some Inspiration:  This is one of the gifts I was sent and it reminded me how desperately I wanted to visit a few of my favourite places.

3.  A Luggage Tag:  There are lots of pretty versions out there, but I find that it is super necessary to have a practical tag to make sure it stays put.  I found this one in New York and it has been a very reliable case companion.

4.  A Good Reason:  This Fifi Lapin card with a long message inside along with the Jubilee postcard was full of reasons for me to book my trip.

5.  A Stack of Travel Journals:  Between Typo and Paperchase - I am overstocked!  Um...so I possibly need to go on more than one trip to fill all of these, but one was a gift, one I admit I bought and the other Daniel treated me to recently.  They are all quite different so room for all?  Can you hear my suitcase groaning already!

Posts will continue while I am away and I am really looking forward to sharing a host of new discoveries with you.  I am also going to London Fashion Week and Fashion Weekend and have a few other exciting things lined up!  Bon Voyage...almost!

Valentine's Day: Love & Lemonade

24 January 2013

At the end of last week I was grocery shopping (nothing exciting) when...I spotted Fentimans Rose Lemonade at Pick & Pay of all places!  I was so excited that I snapped it up and drank it very sparingly.  Fentimans is a company that creates botanically brewed beverages and delicious ones at that.  This pretty drink has also inspired me just in time for Valentine's Day!  Although this day is often thought of as only for couples - I think it's perfect to celebrate the ones we love whether family, friends or partners!  If you are single why not plan something lovely and celebrate anyway!  I think these wonderful products would make the ideal accompaniments for a Valentine's soiree along with Fentimens...

I served my Rose Lemonade in little Moroccan tea glasses, which I just happened to have and look at those colours - fate I tell you!  This is the perfect Valentines Day treat served with dinner or mixed into a light cocktail.  Hope this posts inspires you to do something special!

Pop Pop Poppin

22 January 2013

Love at first sight?  Oh yes!  Look at this amazing stationery!  These desk delights are from New York based Poppin Stationery.  The neon pink tape and thick highlighters are my favourites!  Visit their site for more drool worthy pens, staplers, notebooks and the piece-de-resistance, the Design-a-Desk feature...go nuts!  They definitely seem like a nice bunch because they have a freebie (including some to do lists) section too.  The sad news - they don't ship internationally.  The good news is they are working on it as I was told in a very nice email!  So for now we can just lust after rulers and monogrammed notebooks and dream...

Consol Giveaway

21 January 2013

It's no secret that glass bottles, jars and containers are at their most popular - you need only glance at Pinterest or browse a blog.  It also goes without saying that they are exceptionally useful and so deserve all the attention they are getting!

Some fellow bloggers and I, including Roxy from City Girl Searching and Emma from Emma-Jane Nation have teamed with Consol for really cool giveaways, but before we get to that - here are a few of my favourite ways of using glass...

The lovely Fathima of Happiness Is created these pretty tags or labels just for you! You can download them here and decorate your own jars!

Besides a freebie for you in the form of the download you can also enter the giveaway to win a particularly awesome Consol glass hamper.  It is full of cute bottles and handy jars in a variety of useful shapes and sizes.

To Enter:   Giveaway now closed
Post a comment sharing your ideas for glass jar storage or uses.  If you entered one of the other Consol giveaways and didn't win you are welcome to enter again.

Tweet about the giveway or share it on Facebook and in each case include a link to the giveway.
For tweets they need to include @NadiavdMescht and @Consol_Glass.
Entries close - 27 January and this is a local South African giveaway.

Part of the prize is this beautifully designed calendar and recipes that Consol have lovingly compiled.  Happy creating and good luck!

I really loved all your entries and would give everyone a prize if I could, but there can only be one winner in this case and she is Tammy!

A Little Snippet

17 January 2013

It has been ages since I did a Seven Things post and this post as you can see has more than the said Seven Things!  Oops...oh well!  I wanted to share a couple of snippets of life over the holidays and of late - all snapped with Instagram, so you might have seen them already, but I quite like sharing the stories behind each which the caption space doesn't allow for.  I hope you enjoy these...

1 >  Rebranding:  As you know things have changed around here.  Cupcake Couture is now just me...Nadia.  I have a little post planned to explain the transition and inspiration.

2 >  DIY Geometric Brooch Kits:  I have really enjoyed getting back to making and creating things.  I designed these kits to sell at I heart Market and the response has been lovely!  Each kit comes with full instructions and is super easy.

3 >  New Necklaces:  With the current statement necklace trend running amok I wanted to do something different with my corsages.  I created the necklaces for the last market and so far so good!  You can wear them at different lengths and I have had such fun working with unusual colour combinations.

4 >  Secret Santa:  The sweet Kelly of Sunflowers and Spears organised a Blogger Secret Santa and I was so spoilt by Jo of Pretty Pretty.  How lucky I felt to receive such a magical package!  Thank you Jo - you are a gem!

5 >  The Pretty Gals:  In early December I was fortunate enough to go to Kamersvol in Pretoria where I visited The Pretty Blog gals at their Instagram booth!  I love and admire their work so this was a personal highlight for me!

6 >  New Year New Diary:  You might recall my special diary given to me from New York...I was so excited to start making plans.  New diaries are always so exciting!  Plus my new paperclips from Jo are really coming in handy!

7 >  Husband Love:  Daniel was away for quite a while in December and at the beginning of January, but he made up for it by shopping Typo into oblivion!  He is very well trained now in my Typo ways and picked a range of things with no guidance!  Personal shopper anyone?

8 >  Camera Stamps:  I am now stocking these lovelies, once again at my market stall.  They were exceptionally popular so needing to stock up again asap!

Ah - so there are eight things rather than seven...not too bad I suppose!

The work of Catherine Gratwicke

16 January 2013

I discovered the work of Catherine Gratwicke via Selina Lake as they worked on the beautiful book -  Pretty Pastel Style together.  Her work has an elegant, crisp nature to it and she captures her still life 'subjects' in the most vibrant way.

Selina Lake's book is another must read on my list - it is currently available for pre-order here and it offers a delicious fix of pastel perfection!  This refreshing imagery makes me want to rearrange my home and dot fresh flowers all around!

Creative Workshop - SOLD OUT

14 January 2013

I have some wonderful news!  Above is the invite for the first creative workshop of 2013! 

The Facts:
The workshop is specifically designed for creative business owners who want to learn and grow their business in 2013.  It is suited to shop owners, crafters, designers and anyone who is creative and making a career of it.  

What will you learn?
The workshop is a full day course packed with really useful ideas, systems and concepts that you can apply to your own business.

What will you be getting for your hard earned R850:

Blogging Tips:  Planning, scheduling and basic creative tips for putting posts together.

Social Media Tips:  We will focus on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest and how these can work towards generating blog readers and in turn more sales and opportunities.

Selecting Stockists:  How to decide where to stock your products, what questions to ask and how to work on wholesale pricing.

Creative Marketing Ideas:  Fun, cost effective ways to generate interest in your business.

How to approach the press:  Want to have your products featured in magazines?  I will give you the tools you need from what to say to how to say it.

Creative Goal Setting:  How to achieve even more in 2013!  Time to make those dreams come true!

Creative Branding:  Tying your brand and business together as one.

Systems:  How to set-up systems that work for you and your business.

Creative Trends:  What can we look forward to in the creative industry and how to plan accordingly.

A questions and answers session:  Time for you to chat to me about your problems, new ideas or even plans for your business.

A resource list:  My preferred suppliers and how they can assist you.

A three course lunch, snacks through the day, the chance to mingle and make new friends, a goodie bag (and yes, it will have stationery inside) and course material. 

Time to craft and get creative.  There will be time set aside for a crafty project and all the supplies will be provided.  This will be the perfect time to chat and show your own personal flair.

How to sign up: SOLD OUT
Email me with your name and request to book your spot.
If you have already emailed - your space is reserved.  I am now running a waiting list so you can email me to be added to it.  I still have a few reduced rate consulting session left - see below.

You can look forward to a day full of learning with practical examples and inspiration to start of your new year!

Not based in Durban or is cash tight?  I am running a consulting special so you too can get creative and learn!  The consulting sessions that I run are usually R350 per hour, but I am offering five slots (one on one) at a reduced rate of R250 an hour and five Skype slots at a mere R150 an hour!  Book now and lets brainstorm for your business.  These sessions are ideal for small discussions related to creative blocks, questions you need insight on or ideas you want to develop.

Book Club: Just Sew Stories

09 January 2013

Welcome to a new series called Book Club!  I love books and I know so do you, more specifically I enjoy books that teach you something, but in a visually interesting way!  Just Sew Stories is clever, pretty and full of crafty goodness!

Written and created by Katie Allen - Just Sew Stories delves in a bunch of projects along with some smart tips to help get you started.  If you find yourself collecting fabric and never making anything,  why not change that in 2013!  Getting creative, making things whether for yourself or as gifts is so rewarding and it could be just what you need!  Button therapy is best!

Regardless of your sewing skill level there is something to make for all!  You can view more of the visually interesting book on Amazon or if you want to buy it locally - try ordering it through Exclusive Books.

Have you got any crafty projects on your list for 2013?

BalmBalm Giveaway

07 January 2013

So I think I can say that 2013 actually starts today or at least that the real work needs to start today!  Let's ease in with another giveaway to hopefully soften the blow!

BalmBalm the wonderful organic skincare brand is giving away three of their miracle products.  You might remember the review I did on a few of their award winning items and I can highly recommend 100% organic products.

The Delightful Prize:
1.  Fragrance Free Lip Balm 
2.  Fragrance Free Baby Balm (which is multi-purpose)
3.  Tea Tree Face Balm

How to Enter:
Head on over to the BalmBalm South Africa Facebook or Twitter pages and like them / follow them or both.

Tweet about the giveaway mentioning both me and BalmBalm as well as the hash tag #nvdmblog.

Leave me a comment telling me what you have done!


Good luck!  Entries close on the 16 of January and this is a local giveaway.

The winner of this giveaway is Rehana Seedat - congrats!

Au Revoir 2012

02 January 2013

Welcome to 2013 and au revoir 2012!  It was a wonderful year full of challenges, opportunities and lots of fun!  Of course there was hard work involved too!  I am happy to look back at what was an awesome twelve months.

Twenty Twelve in Retrospect:  Highlights and Posts
Lovely giveaways - thank you to my sponsors and friends.
Living in Durban - my home and quite a beautiful one at that.
Bidding farewell to Cupcake Couture and embracing new things.

Let's clink our glasses to an exciting 2013!