Ampersand Social Stationery

By Marica

As we mentioned in our previous post one of our online buddies, Lelanie Slater, the blogger behind “Of Beauty and Love” recently launched her own online stationery shop! How very exciting! The shop, Ampersand Social Stationery, officially opened its online doors on Tuesday and we know a great deal of time and thought was put into the development of the shop as well as the curated products. Lelanie, a self-confessed stationery addict, has sourced a variety of quirky, cute and downright pretty items for her boutique collection – from gorgeous journals & cards to drool-worthy washi tape.

For those who do not know “ampersand” is the name given to the “&” (that is “and”) symbol and is a corruption of the phrase “and (&) per se and”, meaning “and (the symbol ‘&’) intrinsically (is the word) and“. Sounds rather complicated hey? Well, let’s not break our heads over semantics – here is what Lelanie had to say about her chosen name:

“I have a strong affinity towards clear, well designed type and functional, beautifully design. This, paired with the symbolic and emotional connotations I have with the ‘&’ logogram, is what drew me to it. To me, the Ampersand (&) symbolises a coming together, whether it be off people or ideas. It symbolizes the intertwining of creative minds in a valuable collaboration.”

…Now that is far less complicated!

Anyhoo, we wish Lelanie the greatest success with this new venture – she is such a genuine, open-hearted person and authentic blogger – it’s great to see her living her passion.

Be sure to pop over to the Ampersand website to check out some of Lelanie’s awesome products.

Skinny laMinx DIY Fabric Squares

By Marica

A couple of weeks ago Heather of Skinny laMinx introduced a brand new, quirky item to her gorgeous product range –  DIY Fabric Squares! Upon seeing this, Rose and I immediately starting making groot planne (that’s “big plans” for those who are Afrikaans-challenged). I absolutely adore the pink & red colour mix and Rose lost her heart on the green & blue number – in fact she has two easy chairs in her living room earmarked for a “patchy” re-upholstery.

The DIY squares consist of various Skinny fabric offcuts sorted into colour groups like Reds & Pinks, Yellows, Black & White, etc. Each pack contains fifty 15 x 15cm (6″ x 6″) squares and if stitched together, you’ll get a panel approximately 1m  (3’3”) square.

Just think of the beautiful patchwork quilt you can make of this!!

You can find the Skinny laMinx DIY Fabric Square pack in her shop on Bree street, or purchase it online through her website or Etsy.

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{Images via Skinny laMinx}

Mother’s Day: Floral Delight

By Marica

Last week Rose and I had a good ole chat about our individual families’ go-to ways of celebrating Mother’s Day. Other than a gift or brunch, flowers seem to be the favourite choice. Why not – it is easy and relatively inexpensive. One should just be cautious of being tiresome. Yes, it is easy – just don’t limit yourself to the same humdrum generic options.

I challenge you to take a fresh approach to your floral arrangement this year. Please don’t run into the nearest grocery store and pick the bunch closest to the door – give it some extra thought… give it some sentiment. Now, I know what you are all thinking but extra “thought” does not necessarily equate to extra money. Bigger is also not always better.  There is no need to be overly extravagant… except of course if you are the type of person who brags about the amount of money they spent – then by all means fork it out.

Nevertheless, whether you spent fifty bucks or five hundred, make it unique and make it personal.

Here is a few other ideas:

Consider the person: Do you know your mom’s favourite flowers? What about her favourite colour? Maybe a flower that will remind her of a special event in her life, something meaningful to her.

Consider the vase or container: Go for something like a pretty teapot, vintage tin, metal bucket or something unexpected. If you are buying a pre-made bunch then at least buy some lovely paper, string and ribbon (or washi tape) to make to make it unique.

Consider the arrangement: Mix it up, don’t stick to one type of flower, select a couple of complementary flowers and add some foliage and greenery (sometimes I think the foliage is prettier than the actual flowers)!

Consider ditching the bouquet: Want something completely different? Buy a variety of flowers and arrange them in individual containers (like glass bottles, jars, or tins). A friend of mine snuck into her mum’s home one Mother’s Day and arranged the most beautiful floral vignette on the fireplace mantle. Imagine mum waking up to find a gorgeous floral “shrine” in her living room!

Consider going permanent: get a potted plant in quirky pot – something that will bless your mum year in and out.

Try finding a florist or wholesaler that have a variety to offer. We have a lovely florist in our area – it’s more of a flower “warehouse” really. They have the most beautiful pre-made bouquets or you can go into their cold rooms and pick the individual flowers you would like to purchase or have a bouquet made of. If you are in the Northern Suburbs areas check them out: Bunches for Africa.

So what are you doing for Mother’s Day? Also planning to buy some flowers?

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Faux Plate Placemats!

Sera Holland of Handmade By Me added these quirky new products to the homeware family- reusable placemats sets. They are available in four unique designs – two which feature her own Fly Away Birds & Pretty Proteas designs and two with a very beautiful faux plate designs. Rose has already earmarked the Delft placemats as her favourite while I quite fancy the oriental ones – perfect for a pretty dinner party table setting!

I asked Sera how on earth she came up with this funky concept, to which she replied: The idea started when I wanted to have delft plates for the dinner at my wedding (I am obsessed!!). But I couldn’t afford to go out and just buy a whole bunch of plates, so I came up with the idea of printing the image of the plate onto paper, and then using that as a placemat so that the image would frame the plate and you would still get the effect.

These placemats are locally made from card which has been carefully laminated so that they can be reused over again. A set of four placemats (of the dame design) can be purchased from the Handmade By Me online shop, Etsy and various other stockists.

Depending on the range’s success, Sera is also hoping to add a few children’s designs to her placemat range in the future – such fun.

What do you guys & gals think – any favourites? Be sure to take a closer look on the Handmade By Me website!

Lucy-Made… Beautiful Things

Lucy-MadeI have to confess the Emerging Creatives exhibitors is my favourite part of the Design Indaba Expo each year. I would have no problem skipping the main exhibition space and head straight for the Emerging section. I guess one can easily get tired of seeing the same faces, designs, and product – the Emerging Creatives however always offer something fresh and new.

Part of this year’s Emerging Creative programme was Lucy-Made, a Cape Town-based jewellery and stationery design brand founded by artist and illustrator, Lucy Stuart-Clark.

The stand was a little unassuming and I almost walked straight past without giving it a second glance… then the brooches called to me. Okay-okay, that might be a little dramatic but seriously they were beautiful and like nothing I have ever seen before. The brooches are made using white earthenware clay and decorated with under-glaze ceramic paints with touches of gold luster. I loved the large cameo designs and the gorgeous colour selections – the inky blue looked especially beautiful paired with the gold. My absolute favourite was the brooch featuring a rather stately looking gentleman with a red pinstripe background. The Lucy-Made ceramic collection includes earrings, bracelets, buttons and, of course, the above mentioned brooches.

Lucy also designed a stationery collection which comprises of hand-bound note and sketchbooks made of recycled paper and covered with envelopes and old South African naval stamps.

Be sure to check out Lucy’s website: here.

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Quick Tip #30: Paint-Dipped Baskets

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Here is another brilliant “paint-dipping” Décor Quick Tip. This easy DIY idea is one of our favourites – especially if it involves metallic or neon paint!

#30  Use the paint-dipped effect to turn a budget basket into a one-of-a-kind designer item. A brilliant splash of colour, whether pastels, neons or metallics, can add instant interest and contemporise an otherwise dull and rustic woven basket.

[Image sources: 12, 3]
 
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