Ladybird Likes

30 August 2013

Nice Things for Nice People

Ladybird Likes is the business of Zoe, a self-proclaimed dork with a crafty touch! Her accessories are swoon-worthy and I would like one of each please! How amazing is the camera necklace? I couldn't resist sharing her beautiful creations with you. Which would you pick? Happy browsing and happy Friday!

Anna-Louise Sleepwear

28 August 2013

An Interview & Giveaway


I dream of days...lazy days, sleeping till noon, watching movies and escaping from the world! That pretty much sums up my current dream list! If that is your ideal and PJ time is your favourite o'clock then, you will love reading more about Anna-Louise Sleepwear from Anna Atkinson, the woman who is bring some style back to Club Duvet.

Anna shares her insights and business tips with us...

What made you decide to start a sleepwear company?
After finishing at Elizabeth Galloway Fashion Academy in Stellenbosch my dream was to become a designer, so I gained experience in retail, media and styling before focusing on my designer dream. While gaining experience with big retail companies and media houses, I saw how people's lives were changing, becoming faster, more demanding and leaving less time for luxury and relaxing.  Anna-Louise Sleepwear creates calm in the evenings, a balance in the chaos of life that helps leave the stresses of your day behind. 

Anna Louise Sleepwear has a minimalist style and colour palette. What is the inspiration behind the look and feel of your collections?  
Anna-Louise is a farewell to the big baggy old t-shirt and a welcome to stylish and beautiful sleepwear. Anna-Louise creates sleepwear that is simple, elegant, feminine and stylish without the frills, prints and patterns. 

What, in your opinion, makes Anna Louise Sleepwear luxurious and special?
Our fabrics are soft and comfortable, our style is simple yet elegant which is the perfect item to slip into after a long day in the office or after a relaxing bath.  It’s ideal if you have an unexpected visitor or need to pop out to grab some groceries for dinner, without feeling like you dressed for bed in the early afternoon.

Do you design all the sleepwear and do you manufacture in-house? Where do you draw ideas from?
I personally source quality fabric's to compliment Anna-Louise's feminine designs, and produce comfortable and luxurious sleepwear that feels so good you will want to spend your whole Sunday lounging around in them. I also take time to consider the smaller details, trying to create a range that is suitable for all women. Including women with older sons, pregnant women, working women, sporty women and newly wed ladies, whilst at the same time ensuring that each range is complimentary to all body shapes and sizes.

What personifies a ‘perfect night in’ for you?
A relaxing evening at home, I still like to be comfortable, look stylish and feel beautiful which is what I love about my range. It helps put all those together. Snuggled up in Anna-Louise slouch pants, top and jersey wrap gown while eating popcorn and watching movies with my boyfriend and two miniature Yorkies is the perfect night in for me.  

What advice do you have for fellow creatives who are interested in starting a business?
If I could give any advice it would be, what you put in you will get out.  ‘There is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs.  Be patient, your hard work will always pay off. 

Anna is kindly giving away one of these beautiful sets of sleepwear! Lucky us!
To Enter:
Please leave a comment, telling us what personifies a perfect night in for you.
For an extra entry: Like the Anna-Louse Sleepwear page, click here. Or follow the brand on Twitter. 
You can also share the giveaway - be sure to '@' me, so I know you have shared it.
This a local giveaway (South Africa). Giveaway closes - Wednesday 4 September.

Happy entering and good luck!



Congrats to Tracy Jacobs! You are the winner of the amazing Anna-Louise Sleepwear giveaway! 
*winner picked using Random.org.
Thank you to all of you who entered, really enjoyed your comments!

Hello Joburg

27 August 2013

I Need Your Insight...
I am in the process of planning the Joburg workshops, but I am unsure of which venue to use. I have had a few people telling me where not to hold the workshops, but no suggestions on the right place. This is where I need your assistance on great recommendations for a venue.

Here is the general criteria:
  • It needs to be a pretty space, with room for tables and chairs to be laid out.
  • It needs to be great on the hospitality side and look after the attendees in the best possible way, water jugs, amazing meal, organised etc.
  • It needs to have the layout or potential availability for a projector or TV, so I can show you slides and examples.
With these ideas in mind, a hotel seems to work well, but which hotel and preferably a boutique hotel.  I am also open to using a coffee shop or an alternate venue.

Please leave a comment with your ideas, I will really appreciate it! If I use your idea - I will be sure to pop something lovely in the post to say thank you!

Seven Things via Instagram

26 August 2013

Packages & Pretty Things

A few snaps taken with Instagram, to share a little of what I have been up to lately. I didn't share all of these on my feed, but they are still worth a look.

1. > A Postcard: I recently signed up for a PO Box, very grown-up, or at least that's how I felt when I got the key. My first bit of post was from my pen pal in Malaysia, it was a lovely postcard!

2. > Birthday Surprises: I got some amazing gifts from family and friends and I snapped these three things, which included a new treasured Chanel lipstick!

3. > Cafe Racer Meeting: Now, I am not one for motorbikes or equally boy related things, but I recently went to a Cafe Racer morning, held at Spiga. Daniel is restoring a motorbike and his inspiration has been quite interesting and nice (who thought) to look at. I spotted this artwork on one of the bikes parked at Spiga. Pretty!

4. > An Order: You might have noticed that I haven't been making corsages of late, but the consulting side of my business takes up the majority of my time. It was great to get an unexpected order for two corsages. It was quite fun to bring out my ribbons and buttons, plus package up the order.

5. > Bianca Warren's Shop: I recently visited this Durban creative's shop and spotted this bright and beautiful bag. Do you think one shocking pink bag is enough or can a girl have two?

6. > Isla Designs Cross Stitch: Sam of Isla Designs has added a new element to her work through cross stitch on her art blocks. I loved the colours of this particular one.

7. > A Letter: This pen pal thing takes some getting used to, I finally got a gap last week to pen my first letter and package it up with some Knot & Bow confetti in a clear little bag.

Hope your Monday is going wonderfully!

Hand-Carved Stamps

23 August 2013

A DIY Craft Trend


I love stamps, they are the perfect crafty way to add details to letters and packages. On my internet travels I have seen a rise in the creation of hand-carved stamps. Clever creatives making their own shapes and images with beautiful detail. I must be honest, I am not sure how good I will be at attempting this, I have an unfortunate knack for slicing a finger or some other craft driven emergencies. I think poor Daniel's heart skips a beat when he sees me wielding my glue gun or some sharp craft object, all in the name of creativity.  None the less, I think after finding some great tutorials and inspiration I can safely say I would like to attempt it.

Here are a few wonderful links for tutorials and inspiration, just in case like me, you want to try out this lovely creative process:

Tutorials for Carving your own Stamps:



Stamp It: DIY Printing with Handmade Stamps by Jenny Doh: I took a look at this book and it is really useful and pretty to look at too!

Yellow Owl Workshop has a stamp carving kit - which you can view in this great video which shows how it works. Be sure to also search 'hand-carved stamps' on Youtube as there are loads of tutorials.

Inspiration:

*Pictures - via above mentioned sites and Two Cheese Please.

Sani Pass Trip: 1st Zulu Safaris

22 August 2013

A Mini-Holiday


I was recently fortunate enough to win a day trip to Sani Pass, through 1st Zulu Safaris, a local tour company! The trip was a full day of adventure, a car full of girls, a charming tour guide and many, many layers to stay warm! We started off at the crack of dawn (well, almost) and headed to the pass, lots of excited chatter and a few stops later we began the epic ascend up the pass. I am not scared of heights, but I must say I had to close my eyes a few times, the amazing skill of our wonderful guide and owner of 1st Zulu Safaris, Sotiris was really something to behold. My favourite stops, included an icy waterfall (can you say cold) and of course our lunchtime stop at Sani Top for a much needed glass of wine at the highest pub in Africa! It was a truly breathtaking trip and a wonderful escape from the city, absent of cellphone signal and the hum of our daily lives. Staying local and exploring is the way to go and I can't recommend 1st Zulu Safaris enough! Thanks for picking me!


It was so fun to spend the day with Nicola of Ask Ashe, Lauren of Malva, Lee-Anne of Hello Pretty and a new friend, Pippa of Coffey and Cake. You can take a look at a few more photos on Facebook.

The Making Spot

21 August 2013

An Online Project Site
I am sure some of your are familiar with a site called The Meeting Spot, but on a recent visit to view all their wonderful projects, I thought I just had to share a few of my favourites!

The Making Spot is an online catalogue of patterns and 'how to' projects with tutorials to guide you in your creation process. They have a range of freebies (279 of them in fact) and other paid for concepts too, but the rates are really reasonable. I particularly like all the printable papers, ideal for making cards or covering boring notebooks.

Happy discovering and making!

August Intermediate Workshop

19 August 2013

Creativity & Business
I only managed to get a few snaps of Saturday's workshop - it was an Intermediate workshop and the ladies who attended were a wonderful and inspiring bunch, with great businesses! A big thank you goes out to all the attendees and the amazing sponsors.

Thanks to...
Dirty Indigo
Christi Coetzee 
Caryn Tilbury - The Sewing Lady
Fresh Flowers International

The kind and lovely sponsors allow me to really spoil everyone who attends the workshops! I also want to send another special thanks to my interns - Fathima and Claire who are such stars!

I hope you are having a lovely Monday so far!

I Want That: Listing & To Doing

16 August 2013

A To Do Post
I recently contributed to a post on Vicki's blog - I Want That. She asked a few creatives to share their To Lists with her. It was  interesting to read and see how others get through their daily chores and work. Take a look at the post to see our list making. Do you love lists?


For the Birds

15 August 2013

A Bright & Beautiful KZN Shop
Durban readers, I hope you have visited For the Birds in Salt Rock's Burndale. I visited a couple of weeks ago to take a look at the Woodnewz stock, I was so excited to see so many pretty things, in such a bright and beautiful space. I had to mind my pennies, or else I would have walked out with armfuls of creative and crafty wares. There is a perfect balance of locally handcrafted products as well as some interesting novelty items. The shop's white walls and perfectly curated shelves are such a visual treat!



Burndale also has a lovely restaurant, a range of other shops and a child-friendly play area. It makes for a relaxed outing with some retail therapy thrown in.
Find them at - 1 Old Main Road, Umhlali.

Weekend Almanac

13 August 2013

Life Happens on the Weekend

Weekend Almanac is a happy and creative concept from afar that I just had to share with you. I love it when a great team comes together and creates something inspired and beautiful!

"Weekend Almanac is a two-woman, independently published book curated by editor Lauren Ladoceour and creative director Ali Zeigler in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the past year, we've spent our Saturdays and Sundays (and a few Fridays and Mondays) reaching out to artists, writers, designers, and photographers who graciously offered their weekend pursuits to this project. The 64-page 8.5 x 10-inch almanac is a celebration of all the creative, fun things we do outside of 9-to-5s. We hope Weekend Almanac inspires you to make the most out of your weekend."



This awesome video allows you to delve in and see a bit more of the feel good and relaxed inspiration of this wonderful book! You can also visit their site to find out and read more...

Elephantshoe

12 August 2013

A Beautiful Surprise
Last week I received the most beautiful package from Elephantshoe for the relaunch of their amazing brand. It was a particularly lovely box of delightful stationery! Their new site and wonderful online shop is full of inspired and exceptionally creative papery treasures. Do yourself a favour and take a look! I particularly love the stamps!





For even more 'prettyness' be sure to take a look at the freebies section on their site. Happy Monday!

ZigZag City Guides

07 August 2013

A Fun Way to See the World
Since I got back from my London trip, I have been itching to travel again, but alas, I will have to wait a while until I jet off again. In the meantime, I can swoon over these city guides by ZigZag. They are aimed at children, but they are so pretty, fun and cool that I fancy them! They could look great framed too! *Commence holiday daydreaming...







Birthday Giveaway: GIVEAWAY CLOSED

05 August 2013

A Little Gift for You...
Hello! Today isn't a blue Monday, but a pink one instead...as it's my birthday! Hooray! In celebration I am hosting a giveaway, so I can spoil you!

The giveaway includes:
  • 3 Rolls of Washi Tape 
  • Paper Doll Sticky Notes
  • A birdy clip and Frame Brooch
  • A super fun and bright pencil
  • Camera Stamp - it stamps a little camera (just in case you wondered)
  • Typo Button Magnets (love these)
  • Notebook
  • Geometric Necklace
The giveaway is open to everyone - near or far! International readers - that means you can enter! Yey! The package will be wrapped with great care!

To Enter:
GIVEAWAY CLOSED
Share the giveaway online - either Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or on your blog. Remember to link back.
Leave me a comment telling me about your favourite birthday memory.
Giveaway closes - Monday 12th August.

Good luck! I am off to eat some cake!

The winner is Jane Tennet. Please get in touch to claim your prize. Thank you to everyone who entered and for the kind wishes!
*Winner picked via Random.org.

July Post Round-Up

03 August 2013

A Few Posts from the Past Month


I am a bit flabbergasted that the year has already hit the half-way mark and beyond. July was a colourful blogging month, with a variety of topics. The monthly round-up is aimed at giving a few of the posts five more minutes of limelight and to ensure you didn’t miss any... of course!

The Penpal post was one of my favourites, due to the very nature of package sending. The Filofax post was another firm favourite!

Reloved Magazine is the new kid on the block, full of DIY repurposed and recycled ideas. 

Typo launched their newest range, colourful and just perfect in their usual style!


I visited the Whacky Market in Salt Rock and spotted some pretty things. This post also included some great advice from Wilna who started the market.

I wrapped loads of gifts and sent packages. I was also lucky enough to receive some post and packages myself. I shared a new Seven Things post with a few of the things I got up to.

The awesome Vantastic by Kate Ulman was something I just had to share with you. Can’t wait to get a copy and at some point I would love a caravan too!

I introduced a new element to the blog via my Newsletter and shared various snippets of info.




Shoppe in Durban was a treat to visit and I snapped their beautiful things with Instagram.

I also shared a few great tips from other creative business owners.

I have thrown in a bonus read via my House & Leisure posts - read them here.

Enjoy your weekend and be sure to come back on Monday for a birthay giveaway!

Social Media: What to Share

01 August 2013

5 Topics to use for your business
One of the problems I hear most often, is that creative business owners want to use social media as a tool to market and share their business, but they don't know what to share. It's almost like stage fright! 

I am going to give you a quick tip for using social media for your business. Before you post to Facebook or Twitter, ask yourself - what is the purpose of this post or message and do my words or visuals adequately share that purpose. Not every single piece of information you share will have a direct purpose, but make sure that a fair amount of your content is aimed at sharing something of value. Don't be shy to share and communicate about your business. You need not be pushy, but be informative. 

Today, I want to share a few topics that you can share online on Facebook and Twitter that are directly related to your business or providing your followers with useful content. These topics are really simple and in some cases you are already sharing some of them.  The aim is to really think about them from a content point of view and see how you can branch out and development them even further.

Five Topics to Share:

1. Projects & Behind the Scenes:
Quite a simple thought, but you need to adjust your mindset to taking photos as you go. What might seem mundane to you is new and interesting to outsiders looking in. By showing you are working on projects, updating products or working with a client, shows that someone is hiring you or buying from you, which is always positive for small businesses.

2. Good News:
Don't be shy, you earn your good news through your hard work. You need not boast, but sharing it is once again a positive affirmation about your brand. Have you signed a new client, been featured in a magazine or found a great new supplier - share it. Followers obviously like your business and want to know when you are doing well. The key is of course to always say thank you when necessary and to stay humble.

3. Important Facts about what you can offer:
It has been proved that humans need to be reminded about certain aspects, so it's good to reiterate your services or product offering. You can combine this with the project aspect mentioned in the first point. You are using social media to communicate - so do just that and tell the world what you can do for them via your work.

4. Positive, insightful details or resources:
Share the work of others or interesting facts you might have enjoyed. It shows you are in the know with regards to certain subjects and it also shows support for your fellow creatives. Find items or information that will be of value to your readers and followers.

5. Online Content:
Use Facebook and Twitter to send traffic to your main online platform. Tweet when you have done a new blog post, but not only the link, add a small description. Share it on Facebook too. On Twitter don't be afraid to mention it more than once, but reword it. Twitter timelines move very fast so stagger your updates for maximum effect.



I hope these help you to keep working at building a great online community. Social media can either be a complete waste of time or one of the most useful communication tools within your business. The level of success begins with you, how and what you communicate.

*Want even more tips - read Will from Bright Bazaar's Five Tips to Rock at Social Media. I regularly think about the points he shared as they are really handy!

Image Source: The Everygirl