One Year On: What I’ve Learnt

Hello

Woah. The last month or so has been an absolute whirlwind. I’ve been recovering from an illness, so that’s partly the reason for my absence around here lately. I do have lots planned though, so stick around!

Today actually happens to be my blog’s first birthday or blogversary or whatever you want to call it. The year has flown past but I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved and I am amazed to see the difference from my first post to my most recent ones. I’ve met some really wonderful people and learnt about small local businesses that are doing some amazing stuff and have wonderful products. I’ve also learnt a lot about myself and what I’m capable of. I’ve decided to put together a post about what I’ve learnt in my one year of blogging. So here it goes.

  • Just ask. As a young, first-time blogger, at first (and even now sometimes), I was shy to ask studios or cafes if I could visit or write about them. But then I thought, Hey, wait a minute. I’m doing THEM a favour. The worst they can say is no. So just ask. If i hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t have been able to write about so many places and products that I did. And I had a blast doing it too.
  • Be true to you and be original. At first, I wanted to write a post about just about anything I could. I would make things just so I could blog about it instead of the other way round. I’ve learnt that you have to write a blog that a.) you would want to read b.) stands out from the millions of other blogs that are out there c.) reflects who you truly are and what you are passionate about
  • Don’t take your blog too seriously. As odd as it sounds, its so true. Firstly, if your blog isn’t getting many readers or followers, just relax. It gets better with time. You can’t compare your blog to a big, 20-year old blog that has a whole team of professional crafters and photographers behind it. You just can’t. Period. Also, you shouldn’t be so blog-focused that you never have fun because you are too busy taking pictures or notes.
  • Play around. My logo has changed about three times in the last year. I’ve finally found one I love and I think it’s a keeper. Yes, you’re supposed to be consistent and build your brand, but coming back to my previous points, remember that you should be doing this for you and because you find it fun.  I know that I love writing and photographing for a post. It gives me a little thrill.
  • Photographs make a post. I think that good photographs are so important to any blog. I find it a major turn-off when a blog or site has bad photos. So work with what you’ve got,(you don’t need a fancy camera) and try and make your photos the best that you can.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA. Woah. Social media has gotten me SO much publicity for my blog. We don’t realise how powerful social media is. It’s kind of amazing. So use it. Even if you have one follower, its one more person who knows about your blog.
  • HAVE FUN. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but you should do it for you. Have fun. Just relax. And write stuff that comes from the heart.

Blogging has taught me a lot and I have achieved a lot in the one year I’ve been writing over here. I have BIG plans for this little blog, so stay tuned. I have some pretty cool content coming up and I can’t wait to share it. Lastly, happy birthday to my little blog. I can’t wait to see where this year takes us.

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

 

Robertson Photo Diary

Hello

A few weekends ago, my family and I took a lovely drive up to the Robertson and Mcgregor area. It was delightful and I had a blast snapping away. I’ve been meaning to share these pictures for ages, but I’ve been so busy and then I fell ill, so this post is long overdue.

We had a picnic breakfast on the Du Toits Kloof Pass and then drove into Robertson and Mcgregor.

Along the way, we also stopped at a padstal (Afrikaans for farm stall) that sold every kind of pumpkin imaginable. From green and yellow ones, giant ones and teeny tiny ones. We also visited an art gallery and a quaint coffee shop, where I tasted a very interesting iced-coffee with whipped cream in it . Mcgregor is a tiny town – you could probably walk the whole town flat.

Anyway, here is my photo diary. I hope you enjoy flipping through my snaps. This is part of a new series called Click.

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Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

 

Design Indaba Emerging Creatives

Hello

Recently, I visited the Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives Exhibition. It was held at the Watershed at the V&A Waterfront. I absolutely loved the exhibition. It was so great to see what some of the creatives of our country are doing.

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I really loved Carla Latsky’s watercolour paintings. Being a lover of watercolours myself, Carla’s paintings really inspired me to try something other than just brush-lettering.

Josie Hardy, who is behind Banc, makes the most beautiful lamps out of copper plumbing pipes from the hardware store. They are so modern and simple and I loved the look of them.

Madri van Zyl makes jewellery from recycled materials. Her brand is called Iloni. Her creations are contemporary and look fantastic. I was fascinated by her amazing pieces.

Danielle Clough’s work was by far my absolute favourite. When I started following her on Instagram, I knew that I really wanted to see her work in real life, so I jumped at the opportunity when I found out her work would be on display at the exhibition.

I was thoroughly impressed by the collection of work that was on display. I left feeling inspired to create something new and unconventional. Here’s to emerging creativity.

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

Choc-Coffee Loaf Cake with Pistachios

Hello

Over this weekend, I was really feeling for chocolate cake. So out came the Kenwood mixer and on went the oven, but I decided that I wanted to try something different. And so, I decided to make this cake!

You will need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • 2/3 cup of self raising flour
  • 2/3 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1/4 cup boiling water (with a teaspoon of coffee)
  • A handful of pistachios for the top

Method

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180º/C
  • Beat the eggs and sugar
  • In a different bowl, sift the dry ingredients
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the eggs and sugar
  • Add the oil and mix well
  • Add the coffee
  • Pour into a greased loaf tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until baked through
  • Top with icing and pistachios

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This cake is so yummy and it’s perfect for a weekend treat as its just enough to eat before the week starts again. Lately, I’ve been so inspired, but not in a way that I just want to make stuff. I want to explore! There’s SO much creativity here in Cape Town and its so exciting to discover! The Design Indaba is coming up soon and I’m really hoping to pop in there.

Have a fab week

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

Friendship Phrase Cards

Hello

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I’ve been wracking my brains, trying to think of what I can make for my group of gal pals in my class. I tried to make many things and they all just felt forced. I wasn’t really happy with the outcome of any of them.

SO, I decided to stick to what I know. Cards. I used record cards and scripted/stamped a phrase that I thought best fitted each friend. I tried out a few, and loved the way they turned out so I whipped up a bunch of them to hand out to my friends on V-Day. Here are some pictures of how they turned out:

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Also, lately I’ve been keeping a close eye on local bloggers to see what I can learn from them. I’ve been loving the daringly different recipes on Ben Orkin’s blog.

I’ve been really enjoying my 366 project. If you aren’t already, you can follow along on my Instagram.

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

 

Made in SA / Zana Products

Hello

The other day, I popped  in to visit the Zana studio in Woodstock. It was started in 2012 by Robyn and Sue Britz. It started out small, but has grown so much from there!  I had no idea Zana was local and so close to home until I read their Instagram bio.

Let me just say, woah. Their studio isn’t that big (but they are moving soon) and I was amazed to see how much they do from their cozy space! Talk about movers and shakers!

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All their products are handmade in Cape Town (local is lekker, right?) and are made from organic materials, such as cotton and leather.  Their various designs are screen-printed onto fabric panels and then made into various items. Their design process is fresh and fun and I was inspired by how the Zana girls all work on each other’s strengths to create a final product. All the typography and illustrations on their products are hand-drawn and handwritten and then digitized.

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This is my absolute favourite design! How cute?

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Recently, they also launched a range of fun midnight- snack themed bed linen with Superbalist. The illustrations are so cute! I have to say that the pretzel is my favourite!

Their products are fun, fresh, modern and simple, yet have a wow factor that makes them stand out from the rest. I was inspired to see how they use what they have creatively and how they are resourceful as a growing business.

Lately, I’ve been paying a lot of attention on social media and at markets to local, handmade products and I’m learning about so many businesses and shops that I didn’t even know existed! I’ve been so inspired by how much creativity there is brewing here in Cape Town and it makes me beam with pride. Every time I see a local brand at a shop or market, I get so excited, and it seems that every time I look, almost without fail, I find something new.

Here’s to many more Made in SA posts!

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

{Thanks to Melissa and her team from Zana for having me in their studio – I had a blast and absorbed so much inspiration!}

 

 

 

 

 

Made in SA / Party Bunch and Co.

Hello

Yay! So, this is the first post in my new series, Made In SA! I’ve discovered so many creative brands that started here in Cape Town, my home town and I’ve decided that there are a few I really want to write about!

Today I will be writing about a few of the products from Party Bunch and Co. 

Party Bunch and Co was founded by a lady named Jozelle right here in sunny Cape Town and she describes their brand as ‘on trend paper stuff for homes and parties’. I started following her on Instagram and fell in love with the modern feel of her products. Anyways, here it goes.

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A little flay-lay love

Tall Memo Notebooks

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When I first saw these, it immediately reminded me of a midori notebook. They have just the right number of pages to record one or two trips and they make great project planners and to-do list books too. When it comes to watercolour paints and pens, the bleed-through of the paper is pretty minimal. They’re a great size too.

Notecards

These are really cute and come in  variety of different patterns and designs. They can be used as mini art prints, journalling cards and gift tags too. The paper they are printed on is quite thick too.

 

Place cards

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At the moment, I love anything with the banana leaf print. These would look great on the table for any party or occasion, but I think they look great used as mini greeting cards too, and again the paper is quite thick.

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Gift Tags

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These come pre-stringed and three in a pack. They’re nice just to quickly tie onto a gift. Again, I think they make cool journalling cards. (Oh, and covering up the whole? Washi tape to the rescue)

Fine Art Print

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These are so lovely. The paper is thick and has such a nice texture. They’re modern and minimalist. Here’s how I used mine (with a greeting card as an art print too below it).

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Greeting Cards

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I love this card. Its square-shaped and it’s a little art print too. They finish off any gift so well and the receiver can frame it too! It’s a win-win!

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The inked cards are beautiful too. I love the brightly coloured envelope that comes with these cards. I used mine as an art print.

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The texture is lovely!

I’ve had such fun writing this and opening up each product and trying it out! I’ve just started a creative midori journalling challenge of my own in the tall memo notebook and I’m hoping to share some pictures of that in a project update soon soon!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

{As usual, all thoughts and opinions are my own. A big thank you to Jozelle from Party Bunch and Co for sending me these products!}

Lately 02 / Free Printable

Hello

I read yesterday’s post through and realised there were no paragraphs and that it was a big mush of words. I was just so frantic to get it all down, but I’ve edited it now. I finally finished reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and I’ve treasured each and every page. It’s such an inspiring book and it has made me see my creative process through new eyes. My #366 project has been really fun and I’ve hit 200 followers on Instagram! Thank you for your support!

I’ve always wanted to try digitizing my work, but I’ve never got around to it. I finally did it the other day and I’m so excited to share it with you!

I really hope you like it and that it finds a place in your home or anywhere really. If you do use it, I’d love to see! Post a picture on Instagram and tag me!

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It’s an A4 print. I didn’t convert it into a PDF, so you can simply save it to your computer, phone or tablet. This is my own work and for personal use only. Be nice, don’t steal.

Have a fab week and weekend!

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

Innovation Explanation

Hello

Over yesterday and today I’ve been working on possibly on my biggest kitchen fail in my 14 years here on Earth. I made pasta. Now, don’t laugh. I didn’t just boil any old supermarket pasta. I made pasta from scratch. Not that hard? Well, think again.

After using the wrong flour, leaving in to sit for too long and then not rolling it out thick enough, I ended up having to throw half of it away, much to my dismay. Feeling seriously dejected, I used the other half of the dough to make these beautiful little pasta parcels. I boiled them in water for three or four minutes, just like my recipe said and then lay them out on a piece of roller towel. I gently touched one with my spoon and water spurted out and it made a funny sound, sort of like a rubber duck that gets squeezed in the bath. Oh great.

This is really not my day, right? My mother then reminded me of something. She said “Innovaters try new things because they’re not afraid of failing.” I’m an innovater. Well, at least I like to think of myself as one…

It made me think about what I’d read earlier this morning in a book, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. She wrote about how she approached every situation with something  she calls stubborn gladness. It’s basically about being stubbornly happy in every situation no matter what the outcome. I definitely didn’t want to scare away my creativity and innovative spirit by being grumpy and gloomy about what happened. So I decided to laugh it off and see it as a learning experience. I can tell you one thing, though. This is not the last of my pasta-making days. And certainly not the last of my innovation and creativity. It’s only the beginning!

When I finally nail pasta, I’ll post my recipe for sure!

Keep on creating and exploring…

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

 

Hello 2016!

Hello

Is it just me or has this new year kinda snuck up on us?

I am very excited to share that I will be doing a #366project this year! I will be scripting one quote everyday with watercolours. You can follow along on my Instagram. I decided to do this because I thought it would be good for me to commit to something that I enjoy doing and if I’m sharing it publicly, I kind of have to do it. I’m hoping to improve my scripting even further this year.

I have so many fun posts planned for this year and I can’t wait to share them with you!

One of the amazing things about exploring is you find things in the most unexpected places! I have found a treasure trove of creativity in Cape Town and I can’t wait to dig deeper into it in 2016!

Thank you for following along with me on my blogging journey thus far! I appreciate every view, like and comment so very much.

Have a wonderful year and be creative!

What are your projects for the year looking like?

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx