Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Urban Farm House

I love this house in the middle of Johannesburg (South Africa's largest city)... I still can't get over that it's a farmhouse.

As seen on Apartmenttherapy

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I know animal print can be too much sometimes but you have to love it when it looks this good!

These are the Stampede (Holstein) print and Mod Zebra print rugs from Flor. I have their tiles in my living room, and can't say enough good things about them. So, if you need a little Africa in your home... maybe its easier than you think!

For the Foodies

I love food. Love eatin' it. Not a big cooking fan. Nope, not me. I do like to bake, I must admit but cooking? Not so much. I am very lucky my husband likes to cook or we'd have my signature veggie pasta dish every night. But I can live vicariously, can't I?

I do so over at Jane on Food. I read her recipes and look at her photos and my mouth waters. What talent. Jane is a South African who headed abroad to cook, learn and see the world. Now she's sharing her favourite recipes with us. Yippee!

Her latest recipe is a lovely dressing made with lemons. Now, I never met a lemon I didn't like... in the kitchen, laundry or drinks cabinet. Go over there and check it out.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

No. 1

I don't have HBO*... I really don't want to spend the money that will simply result in me never leaving the house. I love good movies, good stories, beautiful film. I would LOVE it. But I would never leave.

So that's why I haven't see the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency yet. I have the book that its based on, but I haven't read that yet, either (I'm using the been-studying-endlessly excuse for that one). But I am so, so keen to see it. Especially after seeing a fantastic interview with the set designer, Melinda Launspach, over on design*sponge. I was somewhat apprehensive that American expectations had been placed onto the book in its making into a TV show, but it seems that the transformation has been done well. Grace even noted in her intro that, "what i most love hearing about is the way the show worked with hand-painted signage and supported local industry by using artwork from local artists working at a nonprofit cultural village."

Here are a few more pics and quotes from the interview, about working on location and staying true to the Botswana culture, but for more of the details, head over here.

ML:"There is definitely an essence own to each African culture and its people. We all got to live and share a little in the life here; this was a huge advantage in capturing the essence and beauty of Botswana. Of course research is done, from books etc. but mostly at the beginning of a project to lay a basis for what we are planning. Living amongst and working with local people gave that extra bit of closeness and reality to what we were doing, learning about what is important to the people here. All of the sourcing and buying was done in Botswana, which means that everything used in the sets are authentic."

ML: "The color of the walls in the detective agency was a choice as per many discussions amongst all of us, and was not my decision-making alone. Blue does represent calmness and security, a feeling of home, which is what Mma Ramotswe offers her clients, but the fact that it’s almost luminous brings to the picture the vibrance always evident in Botswana and the zest in her personality. Blue is also one of the colors in the Botswana flag and can be seen somewhere on every street block anywhere, as all the Batswana are extremely patriotic and respectful towards their country, and decorate a lot of things in the colors of the country’s flag."

So, if you've read the book, or watched the TV show... even if you've done neither, I hope you'll enjoy the interview as much as I did.

*Cable channel with great shows like Entourage, Flight of the Conchords, and some good movies.

Friday, June 19, 2009

How it All Came Together

Yesterday I told you about the BoNE Show and today I'll show you how my friend and I made our H.

The H begins... and scares Lou away...

First we stuffed it with styrofoam (that's the H on the floor), then covered it in an old architecture book that my friend found in the trash. Then, once it was completely done we covered it in flowers!

Here's some detail from the flowers:

And finally, this is how it looked at the end!

I'm so glad I got to participate! For more detailed pics of the other letters, and how beautifully the whole event was put together, go here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Last week I was a part of a fantastic local graphic design event called the BoNE Show (the Best of New England design awards). It is run by the Boston chapter of the AIGA (American graphic design association) and last week's exhibition launch just rocked!

Not only were the winners of this year's entrants announced (check out the fabulous work here)but there was a great crowd, good music and of course, the work to peruse. I think everyone had a great time.

Part of what made this launch so great is because the organisers had some fun things on offer: a wall where you could voice your opinion based on the name of the event, B(one)... B(creative!), B(honest), B(happy)... raffles of awesome furniture and other designery treats, and finally, a wall of letters spelling out AIGA BoNE SHOW.

(Below: the crowd waiting with anticipation for the names of the winners, the wall of expression being set up...)

(... and the City of Boston Food and Fuel campaign logo by the Boston Redevelopment Authority graphics - hope I got that mouthful right!- , and MIT Press's Camps Book Project, which won the Judge's Pick).

What made this extra special for me is that a friend of mine and I made the H in sHow!

The theme for this year was sustainability so all the letters were made from found materials. My friend and I used trash we found: an old architecture book, plastic cups, cardboard... and a certain someone's parking ticket (!!). It was great fun, and it made me happy that our H sold at silent auction for $60 that goes to continuing other great events like that one.

Tomorrow I'll post more on how we made our H. It was good fun, I hope you'll enjoy seeing how it all came together. To see more of the winners from the BoNE Show, go to this flickr page.

TaTu For You

There are a few blogs I read religiously everyday (ssh, don't tell my boss!). Some are listed on my blogroll on the right. You'll notice Remodelista there, and with good reason. These bloggers serve up some of the best design/interiors blogging out there, in my humble opinion.

But I'm sure you'll agree with me if you saw today's post about Artecnica TaTu stool. Now, I know I've blogged about it before (and also spoken about the beautiful table that goes with Tatu) but I can never help shining a light when a South African design gets attention from a fabulous outfit like Remodelista. Now, go over there and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Work Today, Change Tomorrow

I am in love with Imiso Ceramics... and I'm not really a ceramics kinda gal. But the sweet shapes... *sigh*... gorgeous colours, and luscious glazes just won me over! Aren't you heading the same way?

Congrats to the Imiso bunch who, I think, do a fabulous job. If you're not in Cape Town and in the US, you can purchase their work at anthropologie

Monday, June 8, 2009

Springtime is Back

Hello my dears. I know, its been a much longer break than I anticipated... but you know, when you get blogging fatigue and its just another thing on the to-do list, I think its best to take a break. As you may know from previous posts, I am studying graphic design part time, and as I have just finished up my second to last class, I wasn't surprised when I wanted to simply hang out for a while.

I've been enjoying the New England spring, enjoying having friends over and doing a little gardening. My pride and joy right now is the huge peony in my front yard. From a distance the flowers look like fried eggs! There is a younger pink peony next to it, and I can't wait for next year to see how it blooms.

I've recently been getting back to my favourite blogs and thought I'd share some updates of my favourite (and new!) South African blogs with you. Afterall, that's why I love this blog!

Firstly, I see Xander of Primitive Culture fame is back in SA. I was reading a Skinny LaMinx post a while back when I spotted him at Neighbourgoods Market! Last I was over at his blog, he was still in Asia.

Its so great to see he's cooking up a storm, introducing more of the culinary delights of Asia in SA. The one thing I so enjoy about Boston is that with so many different cultures in the mix I am a frequent customer at the local Asian restaurants. Anyway, Xander is back with his beautiful photography. Best of luck with Piesang! (Here's one of his wonderful photos, this one taken in Maputo)

Speaking of Skinny, I am so impressed to see her lovely tea towels in one of my favourite reads, the NYTimes. Congrats!

I love how Jezze is always in touch with what matters to artists. Today she linked over to a great post on having a plan if you want to make it as an artist. Having changed careers to head back into (what I think is the most practical way of) enjoying art and design, I definitely appreciate her keeping me up to date on an artist's life.

I also am eagerly anticipating some bags she is working on... they look lovely!

I've also been enjoying the combination of two of my favourite blogs... Kim Gray AND Elle Decor SA. Kim has been interviewing some interesting people, so head over there to check it out. I really enjoyed her chat with the owner of Coco Karoo.

Another blog I have not read in a while, and so appreciated hearing from while I was on my break, was Kat at anything goes. I loved her rather cheeky identity design for a restaurant that specialises in bunny chow.

For those who don't know, the bunnies are fine! Bunny chow is a South African meal, where a loaf of bread is cut in half, emptied out and filled with curry.... I've just eaten dinner but I could have one for myself right now!

Okay, I'm not going to show you every SA blog under the sun, but I have some great websites to share with you later this week and next, with lots of wonderful art and design. Before I go I want to share a project with you that I have been working on.

I belong to the Boston chapter of the AIGA (American graphic design association) and our 2009 BoNE Show (Best of New England) is on Thursday. This year we are focusing on sustainability and recycling, so my friend Andrea and I volunteered to build a letter to spell the words BoNE SHOW on the wall at the exhibit of all the winning work. We got the letter H... and I'll show you one small tidbit but you'll have to wait until Thursday like everyone else to see the rest. Oh, it was fun to make!