Happy Long Weekend

29 March 2013

The Perfect Time for Family, Friends & Chocolate

I hope that you have a very relaxing weekend, full of all the things that really matter - regardless of whether you celebrate Easter or not.  These photos are just a few snaps from our Easter morning breakfast.  Luckily I seem to have some very theme specific items in the kitchen, specifically the vintage bunny which is very dear.  Don't forget to check our my weekend inspiration post for some lovely couch time reads.

A Good Exchange

28 March 2013

Swapping is the New Shopping
Not too long ago I featured A Good Exchange on the House and Leisure blog.  Their concept is unique, fun and of course creative! Creatives, crafters and makers sign up, pay a small management fee and submit products of their own. They are then able to exchange items. The experience is thrilling, as it has the satisfaction of online shopping, sans the hefty credit card bill. 

The wonderful news is they are hosting a live exchange in Durban on the 18th of April - so traders can experience the beautifully curated ideas and pieces on a new and tangible level.  
I have taken part in two exchanges and just love the items I exchange for, which included a necklace from Genevieve Motley and a lovely black dress from Josephine, amongst other lovely bits and bobs.  Take a look at their site for all the sign up details as well as the piece I wrote about them.  These photos show only a small part of the awesome goodies on offer!

Long Weekend Gazing & Reading

27 March 2013

A Few Things To Keep You Busy (& Inspired)

With Easter almost upon us and the idea of blissful public holidays and free time a reality, I am feeling really inspired to use the time off to create and craft.  I also plan on buying a stack of of magazines to read while sipping Vanilla Chai Latte on the couch.  Top of my reading list is MollieMakes and Homes and Antiques (both are worth their price tag).  I also have an urge to send packages and take time and joy in wrapping them.

While counting down the working hours before the weekend, I started looking for beautiful inspiration and came across a few amazing reads and blogs.  

Feel inspired by these truly delightful sites and visuals and let me know what you will be doing or making this weekend:

Ishtar Olivera:  A blog full of amazing photos, lovely diy features and inspiration to drool over.
Gathered:  This is a digital weekly from the MollieMakes team.  I am so impressed by how beautifully it is designed and the interactive aspects - a sure download on my list!  They also offer a free sample and five free issues when you subscribe.  You will be hooked - promise!

Inspire Lovely:  Both the blog and shop of Debbie Ruiz are exceptional.  I have ordered from her before and can really recommend her stationery (plus it is really nicely packaged).

All Washi Tape Shop:  Found via Ishtar Olivera's blog I was just in love with all the MT washi tape including the coveted Casa range, (credit card crumbles in sheer fright of being abused on this site).  

Happy making and relaxing - only a day and a half to go!

Woodnewz Work

25 March 2013

 Pastel Tea Party Fun

I recently worked with Woodnewz on this lovely shoot featuring some of their creations, including the new additions to our wood family.  I decided to style a tea party scene to show how versatile the boards are...that and the fact that I love a bit of pretty!  To see more of the shots - take a look at their blog.  The heart board pictured stays a favourite with shoppers and makes the perfect gift and adds a sweet touch to a homely kitchen.

For more pastel prettyness take a look at Selina Lake's new book which is featured as one of my current 'i love' products in the sidebar. I followed the launch via her Instagram and my oh my was it lovely!

Snaps & Memories

22 March 2013

London Moments

I still have one or two more London posts to share over the next week or so.  This one features a few moments which were just wonderful.  Friends keep asking me if it feels like I was ever away and to be honest my holiday does seem a distant memory, as I have plunged back into work.  It is lovely to look at the photos and remember all the amazing things I saw, ate and did!  And...as I have said before I just loving being able to share them with you.

Tea in the Country:  It might look sunny, but it was surely one of the coldest days while I was away!  My sweet and very pregnant friend planned this day out and we headed into the country for a blissful escape which included tea, champagne (for me only of course), cake and scones!  Finally I knew what Katie Fforde was talking about in her books!

The Hearst Offices:  How can such fashion mastery be contained all in one space...Elle, Harpers Bazaar, the list goes on!  I was very excited to have visited the home of a few of my favourites and it happened to be on the day of the Elle Style Awards.  The air had a certain energy to it and I kept hearing office girls and fabulous fashionistas asking each other... 'Are you going to the awards?'.  I couldn't take very many pictures of this space as there is some top secret planning going on, but still great to have been there!

Dover Street Market:  Another spot where snapping away is frowned upon, but managed this sneaky one of the cool counter of Labour & Wait who have a concession of their rather lovely products in this huge fashion space.

Selfridges:  Spent a few hours there and really took my time to browse!  I particularly loved the work of Mark Giglio and dream of owning one of these wooden ornaments!

Recipease:  Jamie Oliver's Notting Hill shop is a treat to behold.  I popped in there to find a gift for my sister who is an avid cook.  Awesome space, wonderful ideas, left feeling inspired (and hungry).

Joe the Juice:  After a long flight and an icy arrival I headed to this cool place for a much needed pick me up!  The spinach, ginger and pineapple juice (tasted better than it sounds) made me feel instantly better!  Fun space with energetic staff (must be the juice, right) and really close to  Carnaby Street!

Burger & Lobster:  Two of my very fashionable friends who happen to know the inner who, what and wheres of London took me to this New York style restaurant.  There is no menu you can either have as the name states burger or lobster.  I had a HUGE burger which I could not finish (damn, I tried) and the best glass of red wine (regretfully didn't catch the name).  This was one of the best meals I had on my trip and of course it was just wonderful to catch up with dear friends!

Thanks for sharing in these moments - as I have said before I hope you feel as if you came with me!

Today is another busy day - off to Decorex.  Take a look at this post ilovebokkie did about her day yesterday - it was lovely to have her friendly face in the audience.  

The winner of the Typo giveway is also up - click here to see.  Thanks again to all who entered - don't be shy to leave comments, I love hearing what you like!

Happy Weekend

What to bring to Decorex

20 March 2013

A Few Creative Essentials
Hooray - Decorex starts tomorrow and I am ready to share and chat to you!  Remember my slot is from 11:00 - 11:45.  I will be sharing resources, a few tips, along with an introduction on how I work with independent creative businesses on growing not only their brand, but also their business (yip those two can be different).  

I thought I would do a fun post on some things you can bring along if you are going to join me.  Tomorrow is a public holiday which means even those with full-time jobs can share in the chat!

1.  Notebook and Pen:  To scribble notes and thoughts.  I find I always come up with ideas when listening to others doing talks or interviews.  

2.  Social Media:  Whether it be your iPad, iPhone or Blackberry bring it along and share what you hear, see and learn.  The hash tag for for my talk is #nvdmlearn and I would really love to hear what you have to say on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.  

3.  Luck:  Pack it in!  I have two really awesome giveaways for Decorex attendees...really great prizes so bring your luck and stand a chance of winning.

4.  Your Business Card:  I want to know who you are and what you are about, so please do come and chat to me.  I am always interested in the stories of other creatives as well as their brands and I would love to read your blog!

5.  Questions:  I will have a question session after I have shared some info.  Ask away - don't be shy.  I am there to share my knowledge, insight and thoughts with you!

Decorex Durban is on from tomorrow - Thursday 21 March until Sunday 24 March.  I will be there every day during the same slot at the Samsung Inspire Theatre.

New Creative Workshop Dates

18 March 2013

An Awesome Time to Learn, Create, Dream & Prosper
 I am very happy to announce that there are two new Creative Workshop dates in May.  These two workshops are different...here are some more details:

Beginners Workshop:  4th May 
The Benjamin Hotel - Florida Road (9:30 am - 5:00pm)

How do I know I am a beginner?  
If you know social media is out there, but you don't understand its relevance or how it ties into your creative business.  If you find Twitter a mystery and think Facebook is annoying, then this is the course for you.  Sign up to get a user-friendly understanding of social media and creative business.

The Facts:
The focus will on getting you acquainted with social media and how each platform is different.  We will cover Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (plus a few more), as well as the difference between a blog and a website.  I will also touch on creative and useful tips to progress and grow your business.

What does your hard earned R850 get you?

Social Media:  The difference between the various platforms and how to use them for your business including content and tone along with why they are important.

Blogging:  How to begin blogging, what to blog about and how to map out a schedule to develop content.

Creative Goal Setting:  How to achieve your business goals and dreams by setting them out in a manageable and measurable way.  

The Importance of Branding:  Why is it essential for your creative business and why should you invest in it. 

Craft Time:  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 to fellow attendees and show your own personal flair.

Question and Answer Session:  A time for you to chat to me about your problems, new ideas or even plans for your business.

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, plus a goodie bag (see here for what you can expect) and course material.

How to sign up: 
Email me your full name and request to book your spot.  There are only ten spaces available so don't delay.  I will send you an invoice and all the relevant booking details.

You can look forward to a day full of learning with practical examples and inspiration to grow your understanding and business knowledge.

Intermediate Workshop:  18th May  SOLD OUT
Please email me to be added to the waiting list.  
The Benjamin Hotel - Florida Road (9:30 am - 5:00pm)

How do I know I am intermediate? 
You already have a blog or understanding of social media.  You love being online and want to grow your business even further.  

The Facts:
This workshop is aimed at creatives who are ready to expand, grow their business and blog readership.  You would like to get an even better understanding of the various tools available to you.

What does your hard earned R850 get you?

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

Social Media Tips:  We will focus on Twitter, Facebook Pinterest, Instagram 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 or blog.

How to Approach the Press:  Want to have your products or blog 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 your goals!  Time to make those dreams come true!

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

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

Craft Time:  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 to fellow attendees and show your own personal flair.

Question and Answer Session:  A time for you to chat to me about your problems, new ideas or even plans for your business.

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, plus a goodie bag (see here for what you can expect) and course material.

How to sign up:
Email me your name and request to book your spot.  There are only ten spaces available so don't delay.  I will send you an invoice and all the relevant booking details.

You can look forward to a day full of learning with practical examples and inspiration to allow you to prosper!

If you are feeling uncertain of which workshop will suit you - just pop me an email and I will ask you a few questions to clear it up.  To see what the previous workshop was like - click on the above pictures.

I have received loads of requests for workshops in Cape Town and Joburg - I promise I am working on it and will update you as soon as all is scheduled.

Orla Kiely A/W13

15 March 2013

Meeting Orla & her Typettes
Going to the Orla Kiely A/W 13 presentation was an amazing, AMAZING experience for which I am truly grateful!  I could not have picked a better event to have cracked the nod to! It was the perfect mash-up of fashion, a hint of crafty goodness and of course pure inspiration. I really didn't know what to expect (or wear), but upon arrival the clinking of typewriters and a room full of stylish fashion folk left me in awe.  The models emerged from a tiny door in the venue, trotted to their 'office' and proceeded to work all whilst looking like they had stepped straight out of a vintage magazine! The array of famous bloggers had me plutzing and after plucking up (much) courage (and a glass of champagne) I just had to meet Orla herself (not a very good snap, but still)!  I also spotted Susie Lau of Susie Bubble and was even more excited! Her blog was the first I read and she inspired me to begin blogging in 2007.  I couldn't do the event justice and upon seeing the full range of fancy cameras, I felt safer with Instagram instead of trying to compete (as if I could) with the pros!  I did, however spot an array of posts from other bloggers in attendance (clearly, with said fancy cameras) who took the most wonderful photos!  

Just look at these from Kris Atomic...

Insanely amazing details!  Love how someone's iPad slipped into this shot... the only reminder that we are not in fact in 1965.
Want to see even more?  This wonderful video will transport you there!

Even more...


13 March 2013

Win a Voucher (for Stationery Heaven)

I love, looove, looooove Typo!  It's brought a slice of stationery heaven to South Africa that was long needed, meaning stationery addicts with a pencil penchant and notebook nerds can rejoice!  The lovely bunch at Typo are giving away a R500 voucher so you can shop to your heart's delight!  You need only glance at the Australian online shop to understand how marvellous it is.

The winner is Huibri Schalkwyk!  Congrats!  It was far too difficult to pick so I used Random.org to select the winner, I thought this was fair and then luck could decide!  Thanks to all of you - I loved your comments!

Comment on this post:  Telling me which post on my blog has been your favourite of late (besides this one).

For an extra entry:
Like my Facebook Page or follow me on Twitter / Instagram.

Please leave a separate comment for each as this will help when I draw the winner's name.

If you are in Durban or any other South African city still waiting for your Typo fix - fret not, you can use the voucher at Cotton On which stocks some Typo items, or you can take a road trip...it is worth it (promise).

This is a local (South African) giveaway, it closes on the 20th of March.

Wishing you all heaps of luck!

Decorex Durban

12 March 2013

Sharing at the Inspire Theatre
I am honoured to be invited to the Inspire Theatre at Decorex in Durban, (21 - 24 March) to share some tips along with one or two creative projects.  My slot is listed above (11:00 - 11:45) and I will be there every day in the same spot.  I would love to meet you - so if you are a blog reader... please do introduce yourself!  It will be a great day to share in a few of my favourite creative tips!

Anna Wiscombe

11 March 2013

Lovingly Handcrafted Ornaments
I met the talented Anna Wiscombe at Spitalfields Market, her work stood out above all the other stalls and I just loved it!  The colours, shapes, characters and general creative direction is wonderful!  It was great to chat to her about creativity in London and about cool shops to visit.  She also told me about the Designers Makers Market which showcases a range of talented crafters and makers in the UK.  I hope you love her work as much as I do!  You can view more about her on her site or even shop for one of her colourful creations here.

Tobyboo by Tina Crawford

08 March 2013

Fun Quirky Designs
I hope that you are enjoying my London posts - by the end of them you are going to be sick of me or you are going to feel like you came with me...either or.  

My tape addiction lead to me to buying some lovely London skyline tape from Tobyboo.  I thought it was very 'souvenir' sans the kitsch!  Besides the tape, Tobyboo designed by Tina Crawford has a host of other delightful items in the range.  I particularly love the cushion cover, very sweetly called Oranges & Lemons.  Visit Tina's online shop, blog or website to share in more of her quirky world.

Anthropologie London

07 March 2013

An Exquisitely Curated Space

Anthropologie was one London shop I could not miss out on!  I have heard so much about the brand both from the UK and from the States - I felt I needed to see what all the fuss was about!  The curated space didn't fail to impress and it was a beautiful experience...gazing at displays and exquisitely crafted items.  It made me feel inspired for my own home and was the perfect example of eclectic tastes brought together to create a unique, yet stylish environment.

A Few Favourites:
The Colours:  An abundance of bright hues!

The Mixed & Matched Items:  Old drawers with mixed handles, benches, antique inspired pieces and detailed displays really gave the space a lived in feel.

On My Wishlist:
And a million, trillion other things!

All snaps taken with Instagram.

The Cambridge Satchel Co

04 March 2013

A London Highlight
On Valentine's Day I treated myself to a spectacular leather bag from The Cambridge Satchel Company!  I headed to Covent Garden for some shopping and it was truly a beautiful evening - some of the 'icyness' had left the air which made it mild and bearable outside (dare I say warm).  The entire experience was so exciting and I found it quite easy to pick which bag was destined to come home with me. I like buying an investment piece on any trip I go on and I find leather goods are often best. I was even happier when I was invited back the next day to have my bag personalised and embossed with my initials. At the same time I was invited to their Blogger Lounge for a manicure using Illamasqua polish and some Hotel Choclat treats along with fellow bloggers who had also been invited as it was the first day of London Fashion Week. It was such an awesome and fun morning!  I really love my bag and will treasure it always!

To read more about the The Cambridge Satchel Co - take a look at their website, there is also an  article about them in the latest MollieMakes mag.

Creative Workshop

01 March 2013

A Brilliant Day of Learning & Creativity
I left so quickly after the Creative Workshop, that I ran in early February, that I didn't get a gap to share it with you!  It was a brilliant day and when I got home I was exhausted, but ever so happy!  I had thirteen lovely ladies attend and I am grateful to each one for their support! Friendships were made, tips were shared and lessons were learnt.  

I would like to thank the wonderful sponsors who worked with me on the day!  It was so amazing to see it all come together and your support is truly appreciated (with all my heart). In return I did of course promise to introduce them to you and share their special work!  Each company and business that contributed was hand selected!

Ideas Magazine -  Colourful inspiration in every issue!  Thanks to the Ideas team for the magazines!

Derryn Semple PhotographyDerryn attended the workshop and snapped these pictures.  Thank you for capturing the day!

Consol GlassThe jars used as vases and the bottles for juice all came from Consol, the glass company that makes us smile!  Thank you so much Consol!

Floey - Bespoke Artisan Floristry:  Formerly from Boston Ivy, Floey did a wondrous job of the flowers for the event!  Floey...your work is always an inspiration to me!

Washi Tape:  Who can say no to pretty tape!  T'Neal kindly sponsored a roll for each lady! I am totally addicted to tape - check out her online shop to order.

Dew Water - This Durban based business provided the drink du jour on the day.  

Daniela's - Best brownies ever...yip we had them, with a sprinkling of gold dust for luck! Daniela - you gem!

Alice May - Notebooks to capture inspiration, were courtesy of the charming Ali, along with the finest quality notecards, all beautifully packaged for each attendee.

Woodnewz - My favourite chaps gave away one of their heart boards.  Daniel also made a very special iPad stand to giveaway!

Kim Longhurst - One very special lady won one of Kim's masterpieces!  Kim your work never ceases to amaze me!
And a few more who added to the day:

The Benjamin Hotel:  Thank you for your hard work and exceptional hospitality!

Love Letter Stationery:  The pen(cil) is mightier than the sword!  Ideas could be put to paper thank you for the pencils!

Typo:  Added a touch of colour to the giveaways!  I have something up my sleeve from them - wink, wink (watch this space)!

The day also included some lucky draw giveaways including these pretty books!

 At the end of the day we all did a craft activity together.  I loved seeing how everyone interacted.  When they arrived, they didn't know each other, but by the end of the day they were happily chatting and swapping numbers!

Social media had to be part of the day!  Thanks to Micaela and Christi for these Instagram snaps!

So when is the next one you might ask...coming soon!