Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Elephants, Lions, Buffaloes and Things....

These beautiful branches and lichens were captured by my daughter the last time we were at the Tembe National Elephant Park
We are going back to this amazing place again for the next few days. If you want to see what we are seeing have a look at their Live Webcam hereI'll be back next week!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Empty Nests!

With the first of my 3 children having just left home, I have the whole 'empty-nest' concept to start dealing with!
Some designers have had nest's on their mind too:

Kateha's sumptuous Bird's Nest hand tufted rug: Emily Pilloton of Inhabitat's Human Nest chair: The bamboo frame is "upholstered" with scraps of fabric.
Tjep's large 'Tak' sofa - made of 50 rubber branches:More branches can be added as the family grows - and I guess, taken away as the family leaves!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'll Be Back...

I'll be back again a few days after the wedding! Family have arrived and friends are arriving. It is a hive of activity here as we enjoy the last couple of days before the big day. I'll leave you with a few pics from a delightful and very appropriate vintage Hallmark book my friend Kerrin sent me this week, called "The French on Love and Life" When I get back - I will be a Mother-in-Law!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Digital Cactus!

The gloves that were obliging models in Monday's post have become a sort of a 'digital [finger]cactus' now and are adding life and humour to my living room! Have a look at The Glove websight for some interesting facts on the art of making gloves. I was intrigued to see the shape of the pattern for the thumb: See some more of my "glovery" on flickr here!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wedding Countdown

What do you do when you only have a few days to go to the wedding and should be doing really important stuff on the To-Do list?
Start the day by going to gym. [Have to fit into that wedding outfit.]
Think about all the leaves in your garden. Think of a Weddingish thing you could do with them!
Take out the rake and get busy! Enjoy husband's surprised look [I NEVER rake the garden.]
Experience delight when your daughter gets home - laughing - and you realise she did notice the leaf heart! Yay! Hope it lights up the neighbours' lives too and tells them that there is a wedding in this house! Very soon!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Glove Love!

I have had fun playing with leaves and making patterns with flowers. This weekend my vintage glove collection came out! They posed for all sorts of photo shoots!They were so easy to work with - very obliging and managed to hold some challenging poses for me!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Wings and Things

With my upcoming trip to Belgium, I am continuing on the Belgium Designer theme. Nora de Rudder is a lighting and furniture and designer. She often uses Wings in her art work. Not too sure how I feel about this, but it certainly evokes a reaction! It takes the concept of recycling to a different level! I do love her "Wilde Paarden" [Wild Horses] in Gent!
Have a look at her other incredible work.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kitchen Revamp

I recently revamped my kitchen! I wanted a modern touch - but a style that would still be in keeping with my house and my love of all things vintage! [Before I tell you more, don't you just love these walls decorated with Bundt Pans by hownowdesign in this beautifully revamped kitchen!]
I decided to keep the original solid oak cupboards. The yellowed varnish was scraped off - yes it took a long time - and the cupboards were re-varnished with a water based varnish - which apparently won't yellow with time. The horrible amber "bottle-bottom" glass panes in the cupboard doors were replaced with frosted clear glass - a great improvement! The old Formica kitchen tops were replaced with granite tops.
I told you here - how I painted the tiles!
The windows were treated with slatted venetian blinds.
We installed down lighters and a modern chandelier.
I ordered an industrial shelving unit from Euroshelf in Cape Town. It was custom made to fit the space I had. The whole process was completed over the internet and the finished shelf was couriered to my home. It fit perfectly!
Soon I will tell you about some of the accessories that have finished off the new-look kitchen.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How to Have Some Fun!

1. Buy a brass Bugle from a Vintage Store
2. Spray it white.

3. Think about what else you can spray white, seeing as you have a spray paint can in your hand!

4. Find 2 old glass vases.
5. Spray them white! 6. Aaaah!
PS I haven't actually tried to blow the bugle yet. It is one thing buying other people's junk. It is quite something else to actually put your lips to it, even if it has been painted!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Seen at the Corner Cafe, lately

I popped in to the Corner Cafe yesterday and was delighted to see this exhibition of dresses produced by the students at the DUT
What a delightful atmosphere these works of art created!
I've told you before about the lovely Corner Cafe here and about Skye Pengelly's contribution to this exhibition here.
It always makes me happy to see the design of clothing enhancing interior space too!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Seen in My Garden, Lately...

This spunky Caterpillar - along with a thousand or so relatives:
Chad and Liz, miraculously posing quietly:My daughter - on her way to her School Leaver's [Matric] dance:
In less that 2 weeks, we will also see a bride in our garden! My eldest daughter's wedding is almost here. Lots of things to do!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Freshly Found Out There

It is so heart warming to receive a mention by fellow bloggers. Thanks to Bronwyn of Smoke and Ochre, Heather of Elle Decoration and Brigit McNulty of Thoughtleader who have written about Freshly Found lately!

Here is a recent gem from each of these blogs...
Bronwyn took some beautiful pics in her home, starring some anniversary flowers from her hubby. Pop over to Smoke and Ochre for colourful inspiration.Heather Moore of Skinnylaminx is also the author of the Elle Decoration Blog. She has just featured these delightful chairs from Casamento. I love the patchwork covers!It was through Brigit McNulty of Thought Leader that I found out about Along the Way - the Real Durban. The book features the lives of 10 real people from my home city. In particular, I was struck by Milton Gcwensa - director of the Sukuma Arts and Culture Centre. "From his office in the Cato Crest Community Centre... Milton organizes a disparate group of artists, dancers and performers, runs regular competitions and events, and supports small craft businesses and arts cooperatives." He speaks about the positive impact of involving people in arts and crafts and so giving them an alternative to a life of crime.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Flowers for Fun

I like Anne-Clare Petit's flowers! They don't need water, they are cheerful and have an unexpected sense of humour about them! They are available here. See her websight for some other lovely stuff!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Every Picture Tells a Story!!

As I was rushing out of my house on Monday, I stopped to capture this scene. A corner of our home can tell so much about our lives!This pic says:
I have a quirky collection of vintage pots.
I live in tree-lined avenue. It is autumn here and I am being inundated with beautiful brown leaves.
The "Nuptial" Candle is ready for my daughter's wedding in just over 2 weeks time!
The battery powered fluorescent light has become a part of the scenery as we experience daily 2-hour power cuts due to the current energy crisis in our country.

I love how Chris de Beer [a fellow Durbanite] of Empire Collective - creatively coped with no electricity at work recently.
He used the time to design this "Post-It" birdy. Read about the plans he has for it here.

The power cuts - or "Load Shedding" have been frustrating, yet we all have stories of inspiring conversations, fun times and even creative designs which happen when we are forced to slow down for a while.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Soleiada - Beautiful Bright French Country Fabric

I have enjoyed researching Belgian Design and find delight in the work of Belgian Designer Luc Vincent . Finding these Olive Oil Cans he designed for Souleiada led me on an interesting journey. Frommer's review speaks about Souleiada in Paris like this... "This is the only Paris branch of one of Provence's most successful purveyors of the bright fabrics and thick pottery of France's southern tier. Fabrics are measured out by scissors-wielding saleswomen and then sold by the meter for seamstresses to whip into curtains, tablecloths, or whatever."
Take a look at the Souleiada Web Sight and find out about their museum. I just love these printing images from the past:
If you can understand French - or want to try Google Translate - read more about the Souleiada Museum here!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Painted Tiles!!??

I have a very well-built 30 year old home and most of the finishes in the house are about the same age. I love to improve the home but like to maintain it's integrity as much as possible.My kitchen and bathrooms have been fairly recent projects.
I decided to paint the tiles - a far easier and more economical option than replacing them.
I prepared the tiles well - washed and cleaned them thoroughly. The secret of a successful result - as always - is in the preparation!
You can see just how ugly they were! I then applied a water-based tile primer. After this had dried thoroughly, I applied 2 coats of a non-drip enamel paint. I chose an off-white linen colour and used foam rollers to give a nice smooth finish! The whole experience was quite therapeutic and I so enjoyed the end result! - The walls do not look obviously painted - and the paint has worn well!

The mouldings which were overwhelmed by the previously "loud" tiles - now show off beautifully.
More on my revamped kitchen soon!