Vantastic by Kate Ulman

30 July 2013

Retro Caravan Holidays in the Modern World
I recently discovered the lovely blog of Kate Ulman and with that her new book, which is being released this week...Vantastic! The caravan trend and our revived love of the pretty mobile holiday-home is no secret, but Kate has a new spin on our wheeled fantasies and it involves getting creative.

Here is a short intro taken from the book's description and details...

From caravan craft projects to tips on how to select the best caravan park, Kate Ulman takes a whimsical and nostalgic look at caravanning holidays in the modern world."

Kate and her family are seasoned caravanners, having spent six months travelling around Australia in their vintage caravan, stopping at many caravan parks and campsites along the way.

While travelling, Kate connected with thousands of like-minded travellers through her blog, Foxs Lane. And now Kate is sharing her travel advice, caravanning recipes, craft projects and photographs in this gorgeous book that may just inspire the retro caravanner in you.

It looks and sounds quite lovely, if you ask me and I hope to be lucky enough to add it to my bookshelf. Visit Kate's blog here or read more about the book here.

A Note from Nadia

29 July 2013

It's Monday again! Yip - you heard it here first! I wanted to kick off the new week with a new blog addition called The Newsletter. Don't panic, I am not going to add another bit of inbox clutter! The Newsletter is a blog note from me to you, aimed to share useful updates, regarding my business, nice things to know and even a free resource here and there. Let's go...

Consol is now an official sponsor of the Creative Business Workshops (spot their banner on the right) and I am very happy to welcome them!

July has been a busy month, like every month! It's really awesome to have two interns helping me out, they started this past week. Thank you to all of you who helped with the search, by blogging and tweeting!

There are still a few space left for the August Workshops, but book now and don't miss out on making a positive change to not only your business, but your life too! Click here, to email me and book your place or click here to read more.

In the August issue of Essentials, you can read more about my online world and a few insights into blogging. 

As you know I offer a range of services, but I am really excited to be working on an additional concept, which will hopefully assist creative business owners even more. Keep watching this space.

Birthday Giveaway:
August is my birthday month and I will be spoiling you with a few giveaways.

Must Read:
I wanted to share this great post with you from Heart Handmade about Packaging Ideas for Store Owners. Inspired and lovely!

Don't Forget:
Last week I shared a post with a few tips from fellow creatives, including tips on blogging and working from home.

Follow Me Here, Here & Here...
Don't miss a post - sign up on the right, in the sidebar for updates via email.
Why not follow via Bloglovin - click here.
I really loving 'pinning', visit my Pinterest for pretty inspiration, my favourite board is this one.

Do you need some creative business guidance or a request for a certain post - pop me an email, I really would love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading and wishing you a very happy Monday!

Shoppe Durban by Sonia Vosloo

26 July 2013

Snaps of a Beautiful Space
I finally got a quick gap to pop into Shoppe in Marriot Road, Durban - I haven't been there in ages! The collection is ever changing and growing, feast your eyes on this colourful collection of truly beautiful products, curated by Sonia Vosloo. It really is the perfect place to shop for gifts and treats for yourself of course. The colours, local product selection and layout are awe-inspiring! It's a must visit for Durban locals and visitors to our fair city!

Happy weekend!

Creative Business Tip List

25 July 2013

A Few Handy Tips from Fellow Creatives

If you enjoyed the six tips posted earlier this year in the Creative Business Tip Series, then today's post will be ideal for you. It features creative tips from other consultants, designers, bloggers and makers. 

Enjoy and feel inspired. Happy reading...
Secret Habits of Entrepreneurs
5 Simple Productivity Tips for Home-Based Business Owners
5 Tips for Running a Small Business
Pro Tips: Get Featured on a Blog
10 Tips for New Bloggers

There are still a few workshop spaces left - click here to view all the details.

Gifts & Wrapping

22 July 2013

It's in the Details
As I mentioned in last weeks Seven Things post, I have been wrapping some thank you gifts for the committee members, who helped with the Etsy party! Without their help, the party could not have happened. I had lots of fun adding small details and little paper collages in a bid to say a big THANK YOU! I wanted to share a few of the crafty details with you...

I really had fun with this paper collage built on top of a Knot & Bow neon tag. It's a collection of crafty supplies collected over time. I added a few sprinkles confetti, also from Knot & Bow, which showed through the waxy paper and added some brightness.

Of course... my favourite ohhellofriend tape came in handy!
This little paper collage includes a fun, light bulb paperclip and a magnetic bookmark.
This shows the front of the card with a Typo magnet above it, to add some detail.
Finally, I decorated a bag for one of the gifts to fit into, quite simple.

Happy Monday friends! Hope your weekend was great and that your new week is off to a wonderful start!

Whacky Market: Salt Rock

19 July 2013

A Lovely Day Out
I recently popped to Salt Rock to visit my friend, Wilna Cremer at her market. Whacky Market is her current project which was created through a clever marketing concept, in turn it has allowed fellow creatives to showcase and sell their products. Wilna provides a platform for creatives, with a variety of different skills and creative styles. Her main focus is on giving them a place within the market community. 

I chatted to Wilna to hear more about the concept, her ideas and her latest accolade...

Why did you decide to organise a market?
I originally started the market as a gimmick to market a craft shop I was working with and to highlight the stores in the centre. The market was so successful that the stallholders asked me to host another one and it grew from there. 

What were some of the steps you took to begin the process?
I started asking around  for vendors and stallholders, organised some press releases and invited everybody I could possibly think of.

Tell us more about the entrepreneur competition you are currently taking part in.
The entrepreneur competition is run by the Ilembe Chamber of Commerce and it’s a mentoring programme for new / small businesses.  Originally I didn’t think the Whacky Market was worthy of entering, but in the process of writing the application letter, I realised it was the perfect platform for the dream project I had in mind.

What advice would you give to creatives who would like to start a business?
Be as original as possible, do lots of research, know current trends, get plenty of business advice and assistance. As creatives we are not generally good on the “business side”, but don’t be afraid to take the first step.  

Whacky Market provides a platform for crafters, artists and creative people to sell their products, but it also gives them a way with which to grow their confidence. How does it make you feel to know that you are assisting fellow creatives in this way?
Helping fellow creatives is really the most rewarding experience, I pass on as much knowledge as I can. I’m passionate about empowering people, especially women and I love the sense of community that is developing within the market, my stallholders know that I do the best I can for them.

I had a lovely morning browsing around and chatting to the stallholders. I particularly loved the cupcakes (obviously) and this beautiful jug and bowl set, it is very Cath Kidston inspired and the colours are beautiful. The market is small, but growing each month. There are a variety of different products available, including snacks, biscuits, beautiful printed cushions created by a photographer, art, beaded accessories, hand-crafted toys and bags as well as small decor items.

Contact Wilna for more details or to become a stallholder - 076 459 6694
Whacky Market is held on the last Saturday of the month: The next one is on the 27th July
53 Basil Hullet Drive
Salt Rock

Seven Things via Instagram

18 July 2013

Snaps, Stationery and Snail Mail

1 > Thank You Cards: I think saying thank you is one of the most important things and the sentiment of giving a thank you card is so special and appreciative. This particular 'Merci' card is from Paperchase and I love sending them out! Remember, to say thank you for the wonderful things you receive. 

2 > Gifts: To thank all the committee members who helped with the Etsy party, I bought and made some lovely gifts. Mollie Makes mag, notebooks and an origami paper set, the list goes on... I really had fun wrapping them (I have a post planned for next week to share some of the wrapping details).

3 > Fashion Nanny: About two weeks ago I took part in Style Camp which is a finishing course for teenage girls run by Sabrina Maingard (a.k.a Fashion Nanny). I spoke to them about a few online essentials and did a tape measure DIY.

4 > Rifle Paper Co: I love this brand and was delighted to find some of their notebooks recently. I have given two away as gifts, but kept one for me...that's fair I think!

5 > Post: My beloved friend in London sent me a beautiful thank you card for a gift I sent her. It was lovely to receive her message, but it made me miss her terribly.

6 > The Kitchen: A few details in our kitchen, it's quite a big space which I find difficult to decorate, but trying to create nice little areas. The birdie plate is a beauty from Anthropologie and adds some lovely colour.

7 > Lists: They never leave me. A darling friend from Cape Town was kind enough to send me a new notebook from Typo, which has made my daily list making very pretty indeed.

As per usual there is a strong focus on stationery, what can I say...I can't help it! I also hope you aren't sick of me posting letters, notes and packages, but it's how I have fun and take some time off from work. Follow me on Instagram (nadiavdmescht) for more snaps.

Package Exchange

15 July 2013

A Retro Inspired Package from Afar
For those of you that follow me on Instagram, it might come as no surprise that I really love packages, sending them, wrapping them and of course receiving one every now and again! I have had the urge to do a few personal swaps and tweeted about it a while ago. A few new friends got in touch and so the fun began. One new faraway friend is Tarryn from the blog, Butter and Buntings! She was in the process of organising a vintage button swap, which I gladly joined. I was lucky enough to get Tarryn as my exchange partner and we decided to add some additional packages to our swap. I was really excited to receive a particularly large, padded envelope from Australia and waited very patiently until I got home to unwrap it.

Tarryn is an op-shop queen! In Aus they call their charity and thrift shops - Op Shops (short for opportunity shop). The things she sent me are the type of gems that I dream about and scour the SPCA for, but never find! From quirky vintage hair clips (which I collect) to teatime treats and retro fabric! The buttons were all sewn within a cheerful children's book from the 1960's! Package heaven! The tray above is one of my favourite items - ideal for displaying a few pretty items.

The delightfully pretty clips and a brooch were all on vintage bridge cards and each item had a typed tag made from retro wallpaper! Um...WOW! I also got a piece of said retro wallpaper, which will look mighty cute in a frame!

The above buttons are my favourite and the ones on the right were made by Tarryn with her Cath Kidston Button Factory!

Not everything is pictured, but I also got a very cute little plastic doily (love it), a tray cloth, Dove chocolate and Starburst (fav sweets that you don't get in SA), fabric tape made from vintage fabric (already, started crafting with this) and the cutest cards. Plus, each item was wrapped in a beautiful piece of retro fabric - bold, bright, floral prints!

Thank you Tarryn! I am so lucky to have received this incredible package from you!

Reloved Magazine

The Creative Guide to Upcycling

I really enjoy finding a new magazine to read and draw inspiration from. I recently discovered Reloved and was very happy to find a copy at CNA! The magazine is from the UK, but the range of ideas and concepts will suit a variety of creatives, regardless of where you call home.

"Reloved is the exciting new magazine at the heart of thrifting, shabby chic and upcycling. With an emphasis on breathing new life into old, forgotten objects, it brings a hands-on approach to this thriving pastime."

The first issue has a really lovely crate-shelf DIY, for your kitchen, but it could work for a range of rooms or craft spaces. What I enjoyed most was the step by step breakdown of the projects,  it makes them manageable and not just another idea that I might never get round to. They have cute themes too, like 'Midweek Make' and 'Home Refurb'. You can view a sample online - just click here or visit their website. It's a fun magazine with a great message behind it!

New from Typo

10 July 2013

Wonderful, Pretty and Exciting New Range from Typo
Typo is ready to party in July with their new carnival inspired range! Whether you’re looking for extra colour on your desk, inspiration for your home or novelty party ideas – they have you covered!  The below notebooks start from R39, cheap and cheerful indeed! 

 I love all these clocks - they are priced from R49
The hands and mannequins are R119 and Typo wants you to get creative and decorate them. Show off your style by uplodaing your pics to the Typo Facebook or using the hash tag #typoshop 

New Creative Business Workshop Dates

09 July 2013

Brand New Dates for August
I am happy to announce the August workshop dates. There is an Intermediate, as well as Beginners workshop, available in Durban for August.  Remember... I am coming to Cape Town and Jhb later in the year, so email me to be added to the waiting list. To see some of the past workshops - click here.

17th August:  Intermediate Workshop

How do I know I am an intermediate? 
You already have a blog or understanding of social media. You enjoy 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?

Creative Goal Setting:  How to breakdown and achieve your personal and business goals.

Creative Branding:  Tying your brand and business together as one. We cover the essentials of what creates a good brand.

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.

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.

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.

In addition you receive a three course lunch, snacks throughout the day, the chance to mingle and make new friends as well as network, plus a goodie bag.

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.

31st August:  Beginners Workshop

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?

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 it's essential for your creative business and why you should invest in it.

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. We will break them down from logging in to actually using them in a practical way.

Blogging:  An explanation of what blogging is and what its relevance is to your business.

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.

In addition you receive a three course lunch, snacks throughout the day, the chance to mingle and make new friends as well as network, plus a goodie bag.

How to sign up: 
Email me your full name, contact number and request to book your spot.  There are only five spaces available for the beginner's workshop, 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!

Filofax Love

08 July 2013

Another Trend Discovered via Instagram
To view more pretty & creative posts - just click here.
Last week I shared my penpal finds and this week I want to kick off by sharing another one of these random, but cool discoveries. I love organising and I love stationery and the huge Filofax trend encompasses both those things.  This is serious business, there are YouTube channels dedicated to Filofax love, Pinterest boards and many, many blogs too. I discovered this trend via Instagram, but once I started exploring and looking into it further, I found that it really is a huge industry! Creatives share their special pages, weekly plans and detailed layouts online. I love it! What amazes me is the amount of stationery that these lucky girls have, as well as a range of different Filofaxes! To view more pretty & creative posts - just click here.

On Instagram you can look at these hash tags to see more:

Here's to an organised week!

The pictured Filofaxes belong to these bloggers:

Penpals & Packages

04 July 2013

The Penpal Craze is Still Alive
When I was little there was a bit of a penpal craze at school and that included those (annoying) chain letters. I wasn't very interested and let a range of penpals in far-flung locations down (sorry guys)! I lacked the letter writing motivation that was needed and felt that playing outside, riding my bike and watching K.T.V was way, way more important. 

Fast-forward to the current day and I couldn't be more interested in being a penpal and a really good one at that! It turns out that the stationery obsession that I have is shared by people around the world and the idea of wrapping a package makes me really happy. Since starting The Package Project in 2009, I have connected with a range of people who share this love. I recently discovered an entire penpal community through Instagram - take a look at the hash tags #showandmail for a lovely array of packages from around the globe. Upon further investigation, I discovered the Pinterest boards and blogs of these wonderful creatives, who are writing, sharing and connecting regardless of their location. Take a look at these lovely selections and feel inspired to send a note!

I will host another Package Project later this year - watch this space for all the details!

Pictures via:
The Funky Fox
Paper Pastries
Merissa Cherie
Eat Drink Chic
Papered Thoughts
Omiyage Blogs
Be sure to also check out The Happy Mail Project! I am in love!

Intern Wanted

02 July 2013

Come and Help Me Out Position Filled

The Basics:
I am after a Durban based, detail orientated, creative person who loves learning, blogging, social media and design. This is an unpaid position so it will suit a student in a creative field like photography or graphic design, who would like to gain knowledge and insight into independent business and running a successful blog. Having said this, age is not a factor and I will provide training on certain aspects. The role will start off as two afternoons a week or eight hours a week. We will begin with a month long internship and then work from there.
You will also need your own laptop and transport. Travel costs for errands will be covered. 

A Few Traits that will Help:
Loves Stationery (Essential, so we can gush and chat about how lovely Typo's new notebooks are)
Enjoys drinking hot chocolate with mini marshmallows in (biscuit dunking optional)

The Perks:
> Gain first-hand experience on building and growing a creative business
> Attend my Creative Business Workshops free of charge
> Contribute to my blog and gain exposure
> Guidance and training on a range of subjects related to running a business

Want to apply - pop me an email with the subject 'intern' and let's chat. It all might sound quite serious, but there will be plenty of fun too and stationery gushing plus freebies!

June Blog Post Round-Up

01 July 2013

A Month of Posts
June was a very busy work month, but looking back, I am happy to say there were still some inspiring and pretty posts!

I shared Country Living's May issue, which isn't the latest one, but the inspiration was too good to pass by. The focus was on thrifting.

The Instagram's of Kit and Nancy are colourful and perfect inspiration fodder! 

Visiting the I Love pop-up shop was great and seeing some of Durban's best creatives on display was a positive reminder of our city's wonderful work.

This month's Intermediate Creative Workshop was full of creative minds ready to learn and share. Christy from Pickle Photography did an awesome job of capturing the details. I will release the new workshop dates later this week.

Etsy Craft Party inspiration was at the forefront of my mind as I prepared for a night of crafting.

I visited Alles a new vintage, antique and thrifty shop at 64 Davenport Road. Wrapped some packages and made sure to list a few fun things to do as opposed to just focusing on work.

The Etsy Craft Party came and went, but not without a crafty flurry of fun! I loved sharing the official photos of the night as well as some of the Instagrams.

The Homegrown Fair was Friday's highlight and made for a good Saturday blog post, which is rare.

I gave you an office tour and shared my creative space.

June was also a great press month with a features in the Mercury, Your Family, Grazia and Fair Lady.

That about covers it! I hope you enjoyed these posts! Was there a post you particularly loved, please do share?

Note: Now that Google Reader has said farewell, be sure to follow my blog on Bloglovin or sign up for updates via email on the left.