Take the N1 North…

During the December holidays, Billy and I decided to duck away from the crowded beaches of the Cape Peninsula and find some solitude in the heart of the Karoo. Prince Albert is a popular destination for city people like us: quaint and quiet but with plenty of spirit, vibe & a feast for the culinary enthusiasts. A bustling little town even in the heat of the summer.

With the plenty of historical houses & architecture, Prince Albert is also a wonderful place to get some interior inspiration and even the little cottage we rented proven to be a wonderful decor delight.

In particular the way they created a natural rock garden surrounded by Olive trees, I constantly felt like I was in the middle of a Greek Island summer holiday. Long drops of pure white linen surrounded the cool veranda and antique shutters in front of all the windows made sure our cottage stayed cool during the extreme heat of the Karoo.

Our days consisted of early morning mountain bike trips followed by gorgeous dips in the crisp blue splash pool enjoying fine coffee and looking forward to lazy days. We spend an entire day cooking at the prestige African relish cooking school, having lazy whiskeys at the bush pub & enjoyed the world class theater; The Showroom. Strolling through town we enjoyed the finest cheesecake ever, along with admiring the talented photographers & painters the town galleries have to offer.

Another day was spend tasting superb wines at local cellars and we said good bye snaking through the Swartberg pass En – route to Oudtshoorn.

We will never forget the hospitality, the freedom and peace we felt during our time in Prince Albert and will for sure return to this gem in the middle of no-where.

Jingle Bells

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We are approaching December, a time when the average South African gets ready for the holiday season, sun, sea & over indulgence. Shopping malls are starting the sparkle red & green, inviting hard working families to spend their money on must haves. Long ques are starting to form at check outs, and the media becomes very successful in making sure everyone compiles a secret wishlist.

This is the time when production spin out of control, when almost everything is excusable “because of this time of the year” and where productivity is slowing down. Such is the rush the last month before Christmas, just to halt on the afternoon of the 24th.

I have an unnatural dislike of public areas this time of the year and it is my natural reaction to be annoyed & irritated and wanting to slap anything with a white beard & red jacket.  Something bad happened to my family years ago on Christmas day, which I will not elaborate on,  but I decided that perhaps I will allow myself, finally,  this year, to marvel at the magic of the holiday season. To allow myself to be excited about a Christmas tree, reindeer & Father Christmas. To remember the real reason why we are celebrating this day, and to forget the hurts & anger of the past. This year, I will go out to find at much Christmas as I can get! I will spend as much time possible with my loved ones, eat as much as I can and I will drench myself in the sparkle and create my own magic where I go.

 

 

 

Creative Life

Creative life; the brainchild of three friends, living in the Boland, South Africa who wanted to create opportunities for not only their own, but other local businesses to network, grow and have fun at the same time.

With a love for décor, wine, food, arts & the beautiful Western Cape summers it is no wonder they teamed up with winemakers, boutique owners & foodies to collaborate the first event.

The first location was at the #BILLYPHILLIPS studios in Wellington, set in the gardens of a beautiful historic house. Marquee tents were pitched, comfortable seating, live music, delicious foods, coffee & wine along with the spectacular energy & passion of all the vendors, this turned out to be the first of many similar events to come.

The founders are the quality control – if they like it, it becomes part of the Creative life following.

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Cinderella and your True Self

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I’m privileged to travel much this year. During one of my flights from South Africa to Boston I watched the new Cinderella movie. Something I wouldn’t usually do if I were not stuck in a plane for 12 hours. There was a scene in the movie that resonated with me. Cinderella was on her way to the prince’s ball when she took a final glance of herself in the mirror. While she was looking in the mirror the narrator of the story said: ‘The biggest risk we take is to show the world our true self’.

I decided to take the risk and to show the world my true self. This blog is one of my first steps.

We often read about the term ‘True Self’ in the media but what does it mean?  According to D.W. Winnicott (1960) your ‘True self’ is your spontaneous, creative and real you. It…

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Gardening inside out

Today I am so excited to share some interesting indoor planting advice with my readers!

Tropical decor, botanical and indoor plants have been hitting the interior world big time, so lets look at how you can bring this trend into your home. Whilst tropical decor is available in most decor stores these days, I would like to focus on the real thing, i.e. bringing real plants indoors.

A pick of my favourite indoor plants would be firstly orchids. These classy beautiful plants requires little attention and flowers can stay beautiful for months! They do very well in a greenhouse environment, but if you would like to keep one in your home make sure you understand the needs of your specific plant specie requirements to give you maximum blooming time.

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Another one of my favourites, the Delicious Monster. They grow well inside and as the name say you can expect deliciously large green leaves to decorate your home. They are easy growers and will last for years if placed in the correct setting. They do well in bright filtered light and at room temperature. Water sparingly for maximum growth and place one or 2 leaves in a crisp white vase for a table centrepiece!

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My third most favourite indoor plant is the Jade plant, otherwise known as the friendship plant. This succulent requires very little water and is very well-known for its bonsai capabilities.

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My friend and Landscape designer Ryan Smith from Cedar Landscapes gave me these amazing tips to keep your indoor plants healthy and happy!

  1. Remember that indoor plants are mostly shade loving plants that have been brought indoors out of their natural habitat.
  2. With regards to where they are placed one needs to remember that the plants would require light and not direct sunlight, which is a common misunderstanding.
  3. Most indoor plants require air movement, so as not to stagnate and possibly become infected with fungi or bacteria. Always remember that air movement is not wind, so do not put the plants too close to a window or where they will get a strong flow of air.
  4. It is best to always water the plants via the soaking method.  If they are small enough the plant in its pot should be submerged in a sink of water for approximately 15 to 30 minutes ensuring that the plant is thoroughly soaked through.  It must then be allowed to drain completely before being put back in its place or pot holder.  Do not water the plant in its container or pot holder.  This can lead to the plant “drowning” and rotting.  It will also lead to a salt build-up around the roots and bottom end of the pot which is also harmful to the plant.
  5. Most indoor plants would also require feeding to keep them healthy and free from disease.  Remember that a healthy plant can always fight off unwanted pests, but if it is under stress will succumb to disease more easily.  A general liquid plant food should be added to the water in the sink, before submerging the plant.  (this is not the correct method, however, if you are watering orchids, especially Phalaenopsis).
  6. For larger plants that cannot be moved to be watered, I would recommend using an indoor “self-watering” pot, such as those found in most office plants.  This method allows the plant to be planted into a pot/liner which has a base slightly higher than the bottom of the pot, inside the base.  The plant is then watered through a tube which allows water to drop to the bottom of the pot beneath its base, which is slightly raised.  The roots of the plant can then take up water through osmosis, without the plant drowning.  There is an indicator pipe that slides down the water opening with a gauge that will show red when the pot is full.  As the plant takes up water this gauge will slowly decrease until it is no longer visible.  It is then time to water the plant again.  Using this method then also allows one to place this indoor pot liner as it is called into a more attractive outer pot, so that the plastic inner is not visible.

These great tips and ideas can help you create the perfect indoor space to  get trendy and in touch with nature!

Happy planting!

Walls with impact

I love it when a space or room surprises me. That’s why I seriously love high impact walls in and around the house, bringing me to today’s topic.

We kitted out our office space with the Van Dyk’s range of Wall expressions, a beautiful, textured product that not only look amazing, but helps a lot with acoustics around the office. Perfect for when a large office space buzzes with telephone calls & running computers. Check out some more Wall expression ideas http://www.specifile.co.za/news/2012-11-14-expressive-walls/

You can also use wall – paper. Often we have recessed walls or awkward spaces around the house and these are my favorite to wallpaper and accentuate with a simple circular mirror or artwork. Another one of my favorite and most affordable ways to create a high impact wall is by simply painting. By using an opposite or split-complementary color scheme you can make any wall or nook pop. I took this to the extreme and painted one of my kitchen walls black. Mixing this with interesting furniture pieces creates some drama and immediate focus point. A great spot to find affordable wall paper (and they deliver) http://www.wallpaperinn.co.za/

Other ways to create focus points can also include vertical gardens, wall art or the good old-fashioned picture frames or mirrors as focus points. The trick is to get creative and to do in your house what will make you feel good and happy when you spend time in this space.

Till next time, please like and share if you enjoy my blog!

xx

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