Skinny laMinx And Her “Flower Dreams”

“The days just zap past a person”… that’s how I feel right now. I thought it was yesterday that Marica and I attended the launch of Heather Moore’s new range of Skinny LaMinx fabrics.  Instead, it was on Wednesday last…

Heather Moore and her Skinny LaMinx brand is no stranger to most folk in the décor world. In fact, it was all of three years ago that we coincidentally came across Skinny LaMinx on the internet. For the past 12 – 18 months, I have followed her on the internet via her blog, Facebook, Twitter and the like. You guessed it, I am a huge fan of Skinny LaMinx and when the invite came to attend her first ‘range’ of fabrics, there was none more thrilled than me. I have such admiration for Heather not only as a design creative, but also as a business person. I have watched how she has grown her business, both locally and internationally. She has been featured by well known international bloggers such as Kate of Design*Sponge and Holly of Decor8. I am sure there are plenty others, but these I know of as I follow their blogs.

Heather’s blog posts are such relaxed reads giving you a glimpse into her life. I am often left with the impression that illustration just comes so naturally to her. Putting fabric /surface designs out there seems to be effortless – such a talented person she is.

To show you how active she is… in 2011 she undertook a trip to the USA, where she participated in collaborative events with a American creative; she has an Etsy shop, she has just recently opened her own retail outlet here in Cape Town, she comes up with new designs… Yes very active creative / business person. Plus, although I have only spent a few minutes with her physically, the internet interaction that I have had with her leaves me in no doubt that she is a lovely person.

Heather – thank you for making us Proudly South African.

But hey… Here more about the launch party and the new range of Skinny fabrics:

The floral-inspired range entitled ‘Flower Dreams‘ is Skinny’s first official fabric collection. The playful yet elegant designs, reminiscent of clean-cut Scandinavian design, also contains a smack of retro. The Space for Life showroom was therefore an excellent launch venue as they import gorgeous and well-made mid-century furniture and other retro treasures from Scandinavia. One or two vintage furniture pieces were upholstered in some of Skinny’s new range – a beautiful and complementary combination. Heather, with a little help from The Silk & Cotton Company, also illustrated how easy it is to develop and change certain moods by mixing and layering Skinny laMinx fabrics with some Silk & Cotton basics.

The new range features a gorgeous almost-edible spring palette of plum, lemon and humbug including a delicious feminine milkshake pink – a colour Heather said she never identified with before now. The Flower Dreams fabric collection is made up of three new designs and a reissue of her popular Orla print.

The striking ‘Flower Fields’ design started as a paper cutout of a flower inspired by a Dutch vintage fabric. This fun design is the first two-colour print to be produced by Skinny laMinx, and is available in three colourways. There is almost something anime-like about this beautiful funky fabric.

‘Wild Flowers’ is a design that is a little bit mad, very playful, and certainly a strong design around which to build a look. The design started out as a custom wallpaper for her studio bathroom but Heather soon realised that it had great fabric pattern potential. Although it is a two-colour print, it reads as three colours, as the base cloth is used as one of the ‘colours’.

The third design called ‘Pincushion’, features a very Proudly South African pincushion protea. The sweet print makes a great South African-flavoured print coordinate for this collection.

Lastly, Heather rehashed the Orla print – a design she affectionately describes as “a bit of a fancy stripe.” For the new range the Orla design was converted into an inverted print aptly named ‘Solid Orla‘ – available of course in the new spring colour range.

To see all the designs in the new range as well as the existing Skinny laMinx fabrics and product, check out the website: here. If you are in the Cape Town area, you can pop into the Skinny laMinx shop in Bree Street (nr 201) or otherwise purchase her GORGEOUS product and fabrics online via Etsy: here.

Images & info via Skinny laMinx

Leila Fanner’s issiMya – Whimsy African

Marica and I have a fascination with ‘discovering’ new South African talent. They may not be new on the design scene, but new to us. After all, the philosophy of our blog is to uphold and honour our local talented creatives.  The reason for that philosophy by the way, came out of the time that I spent working on the Irish hotel interior design projects. We had to export most of the interior furnishings and finishes from SA.

As a decorator, when I spend a great deal of time sourcing products and fabrics, I come to appreciate just how well our South African creatives compare with those abroad. We bring a unique flavour to the world of design. This is what Marica and I desire to showcase. The burning desire is to continue ‘exporting’ the talents and wares of South African designers to the world at large – the blog being one of the mediums we  use.

I cannot recall just exactly how it was that I recently ‘discovered’ the work of Lelia Fanner – somewhere and somehow on the internet. But I was so thrilled with my discovery, that I hurriedly contacted her to chat to her and today we are proud to introduce you to the ‘Talented Lelia Fanner.’ Her surface designs are striking, inspired by local fauna and flora, trendy, colourful and so much more. But I will leave Lelia to tell you more about herself in the interview below… ENJOY!

As always… yours in service of design… Rose.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself – where are you from, what makes you tick, how did you get started?

I illustrate, design, paint, print, photograph, create surface patterns, and write as much as is humanly possible.

I dance a lot in my lounge, eat mostly raw food and masses of chocolate and believe love is stronger than hate. I’ve was born an artist and crafter – driving my mother batty as a youngster cutting up my clothes to re-make them in my own way. I sold my first artworks at the age of 10 from my mum’s art studio/gallery. Nowadays, I create designs for business, make my own gorgeous products, paint photograph nature and write about finding your own creative currency.

Q: Do you have formal training or are you self-taught?

I could say self -taught – but that isn’t ever strictly true. My mother, my unknown father, my grandparents and many more wonderful human beings who have influenced my life and were all creative entrepreneurs, have directly and indirectly taught me what I know now.

Q: Tell me more about issiMya (interesting name by the way) and your range of services/products?

Thank you. I’m not sure what it means – it popped into my head while rumbling along a farm road. It’s the name of my Cape Fynbos inspired range of textile designs. As an illustrator and graphic artist – I also design logos and illustrative themes for businesses. Last year I signed up with UK agents Advocate Art, to make a selection of my designs and art available for licensing worldwide.

Q: I notice you use quite a wide variety of mediums in your art pieces – what’s your favourite?

Drawing. Everything starts with a pencil line.

Q: What inspires you and where do you draw your inspiration from?

 Nature and my belief in worlds we cannot see with our physical eyes.

Q: Do you have a particular style and if so could you describe it?

Ridiculous amounts of detail right up against simplicity and extremes in colour, line and form.

Q: I see you have a fabric range in the pipe line – tell us more about it…

Well, there is the protea and fynbos inspired issiMya range – I spent a year on our farm on the west coast creating the initial ink and aquarelle illustrations that I then digitized and turned into patterns. I am totally in love with this range.

Then there’s the newer Natural History photographic collection; west coast and Karoo veld treasures with a sprinkling of man-made finds, naturally weathered into fascinating sculptural objects. They started out as box framed collections available at Cecile & Boyd’s Trade Showroom and The Haas Collective in the Bo-Kaap. The photos I took of each treasure collection inspired a range of fabric designs as well.

I am presently looking for the right fabric house or savvy business person to collaborate with in producing the range. If I don’t find that person/business I am going to launch it myself.

Q: When is it launching?

This year. TBC

Q: Are you considering developing any specific product from the fabric? (Ex. scatter cushions)

I’ve already started with some samples: Gorgeous cushions, gift wrap, gift cards, wallpaper, vinyl wall art and fabric by the meter.

Q: You’ve got some product on Etsy – a relatively unfamiliar avenue for most South Africans. How’s Etsy working for you?

I started my Etsy shop as an experiment in getting myself used to the whole online selling world. I made some sales, then started my website and got thoroughly side-tracked into making that into a gallery /shop / blog. I think in order to make Etsy shops work as a business one has to be dedicated to spending enormous amounts of time online and marketing it everywhere. I’ve only just started with that, so we’ll see.

Q: Tell us five things on your Bucket List…

Buy a farm with mountains and a river running through it, skydive, be in a flashmob dance, find lasting inner peace, and travel into outer space.

Q: Future plans?

All of the above ; )

…and an up-coming photographic exhibition called ‘A Fragile Nature’ – photo’s taken on a road trip to the Karoo.

Check out Leila’s website: here, or drop by her Etsy shop if you want to purchase any of her beautiful stationary and prints!

Be sure to catch our next post as Leila designed something special just for our The Design Tabloid readers!

Top Ten Reasons To Attend Decorex 2012

Decorex Cape Town to rolling around again – can you believe this décor & design expo is fourteen years old this year. The main theme of Decorex 2012 – “Real” as in “getting real”.

Cairey Baxter-Bruce, General Manager of Decorex SA, explains that the positive energy sparked by original thinking contributes to unique – and very real – show experiences. “In the era of the mass-produced, the digital and the virtual, real experiences are treasured,” says Baxter-Bruce. “The real thing is what we covet right now, explaining the return of old-school styles, craftsmanship and artisanal creation.”

Some things to look forward too:

1.  Like every year a handful of local designers get the opportunity to interpret the new Plascon Colour Forecast in their own individual way. This year, the trend installation will be headed by designers Laurence Brick, Porky Hefer, James Mudge and Aidan Bennetts. Experience their interpretation of the colour palettes ‘Expression’, ‘Memory’, ‘Origins’ and ‘Mystery’.

2.  South Africa’s darling fabric designing duo, Design Team, will unveil their 2012 collection at Decorex. Can’t wait for that!

3.  Operation Man Cave for charity. Four local celebrities team up with four designers to see who can create the coolest man-hideout and raise the most money for charity. Keep an eye out for Bob Skinstad and his brother Dan, Aidan Bennetts and Ryan Botha.

4.  Inspire Theatre, kitted out by Whirpool and Sembel-It,  will host inspirational décor talks throughout the show, so pull up a chair for talks on  Sunday Lunch, Living with Colour, High Tea and Sunday Night Sundowners.

5.  Contemporary Country promises to be a jaw dropping trend installation of rural goes city with the powerhouse team of Laurence Brick, Timna Russell and Cathy O’ Clery.

6.  Decorex Designer Collection of homeware in a soothing palette of greys and blues, by SA’s top creative and boasts show specials at the pop-up store! So pull in to stock up the gift drawer for 2012.

7.  M-net Cares Café will be putting creative bookshelves on show and encouraging visitors to donate children’s’ book. M-net personalities will be doing lives reads, so get your celebrity on.

8.  District Delicious is a foodie paradise, with gourmet food and designer gadgets.

9.  Design inspiration in the Dream Rooms section where roomscapes by top talent will be on show.

10.  After a great walk around, with inspiration to take home and a new home gadget or two, enjoy a lovely glass of bubbly from the Graham Beck bar by Wetherlys. Oysters, a tapas menu and a delightful range of Graham Beck wine will be on the menu.

Be on the look-out for Vicki Sleet of I Want That and Kim Gray as they will be judging the stands this year! Super cool! These generous ladies are also giving away some Decorex tickets, so you might want to pop over to their respective blogs and enter to stand a chance to win free entrance to the show.

Exhibition details…

Decorex Cape Town:

26 – 29 April, CTICC

Hours: 10:00 – 19:00 (closes at 18:00 on 29th April)

Cost: R65 adults. R55 pensioners and students. R10 Children under 12.

 
Visit www.decorex.co.za for regular updates on exciting competitions and speaker line-ups.
Facebook: Decorex SA
Twitter: @decorexSA and stay in touch using #decorexcapetown
 
Images & Info via Decorex

Ask Décor Diva: Renovating Bedroom Cupboards?

Décor Diva dishes some advice…

Madeleine asks:

Hello Décor Diva, I have bedroom cupboards with a horrible coating of fake wood over them. How can I renovate them, to make them modern looking?”

Décor Diva says:

The ‘fake wood‘ as you put it, may well be what we would term a ‘wood veneer‘ finish. Or even some sort of Formica / Melamine finish – which has more of that appearance of being fake.

If it is a veneer finish (which is actually very thin layers of real wood laminated onto a chipboard) then it would be possible to actually spray paint over that veneer finish. You will however still be able to see the grain of the wood. Spray-painting is best done by someone who does that for a living and has the right equipment.

If it is the Formica finish, then you will not really be able to spray-paint (“duco” being the other term for it) over that finish. There are ways of going about it, but it is a very tedious and expensive process.

The other option open to you would be to simply replace the cupboard doors with new doors, more in keeping with your choice. If your cupboard’s basic framework / carcass is still good, then it might be a viable option to consider. You may want to get a quote for the spray painted finish, as well as replacing the doors. The chances are that they may be pretty close, in which case new doors make better sense. More often than not, the costs will help you make the decision.

Hope that helps you along the way with your décor dilemma.

Love, Rose  x x x

Ask Décor Diva: Ideal Cushion Arrangement?

Raylene recently contacted The Design Tabloid to ask our resident Décor Diva some advice…

Raylene asks:

I have two 2-seater neutral sofa’s and 2 wing-back chairs in my living room. I have bought new scatter cushions: a few striped, a few coordinating florals and a few plain.

My question is should the cushion arrangement be exactly the same on both the sofa’s or can I simply mix-and-match?

Décor Diva says:

I would say go the mix-and-match route.  You don’t want your décor to look like ‘paint-by-numbers‘.

Were I to be present there with you, I would probably play around a bit and have fun doing it. I would fiddle with the cushions as I mixed them up, until I hit a combination that I felt satisfied with. Then in all probability, in about a fortnight’s time I would fiddle again. That is the total beauty of scatter cushions. Just adopt a playful attitude and you will find a combination that will sit well with you. Even if in the end it does pan out that you landed up with the same arrangement on all the seats. At least you know that you went through the process of elimination.

Enjoy the process.

Love, Rose  x x x

Design Titbit:

If you have a neutral or plain sofa like Raylene it is a good idea to have a complementing and well-balanced selection of plain, striped and patterned cushions. It adds interest and dimension to an otherwise boring space. Just a fair warning to not over do it – cushion are supposed to aid comfort and a sofa swimming in scatters are more of an irritant then anything else. 

Image – Linen House SA: here