Friday, July 31, 2009

Call of the Wild

I am completely taken with Patrick Mavros' sculptures... besides his obvious talent as a sculptor, he seems to capture some interesting quirks of African animals.

I love how you see the smallest detail, down to the spots on the Guinea Fowl wings.

Accompanying the hippo is this great story that is worth sharing for anyone who isn't lucky enough to have heard it already: An amusing legend tells how the hippo begged the Creator to be allowed to live in the river - but the Creator was concerned that such a large animal might eat all the fish. So He made the hippo promise to eat only grass and to scatter its dung in full view on the river bank - so that He could check that there were no fish bones.

You can see more of his work on his website (and purchase it, if you happen to fall in love with one of the animals), and read more about the artist himself.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Loving these posters by Tokyo Studio, for a market in Durban at St Mary's on Windemere Road on Saturdays. Yummy.

As seen on Elle Decor South Africa, with more info on the market in their write-up.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

SA Winners at Cannes

South African advertising agencies won two out of three Grand Prix prizes at this year's Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival (in June.Apparently I am not up to date on the news, but it's worth mentioning anyway).

TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris won for the Outdoor category for its billboard adverts using real Zimbabwean money as wallpaper to advertise the Zimbabwean Newspaper. The newspaper reports on the realities on the ground in Zimbabwe, and has since been deemed a "luxury" import and the average Zimbabwean can no longer to afford to buy it. It relies on sales in South Africa and England to keep afloat. Read more here.

Net#Work BBDO won for Radio. You can hear these interesting ads over here. Enjoy.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sailing and Food

That's right, a perfect combination for me: sailing and food. I've been missing Jane on Food so much lately, and I so glad she's back and letting us know what she's been up to!

Jane is sailing around SE Asia, getting to sample food in that region... and share it with us! Yippee! For some useful ideas on storing fish, if you're like me and trying to eat more fish, try some of Jane's sound advice here. I look forward to lots of yummy recipes from that side of the world.

(I love her photography, don't you?)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Country Livin'

Now that some regte egte* summer days have arrived in Boston, I find myself dreaming of long lazy days outside of the city, in the country, eating strawberries and watching fireflies at dusk...

I think we all dream of country homes. I recently noticed in a recent LivingEtc I picked up, that another of Trevyn McGowan's homes was featured (see the previous one here), a gorgeously white place in rural South Africa. Called Pear Tree Farm.

I love little vignettes like this one in homes

It looks like you can really breathe out there

Trevyn's husband, Julian, made the light in their bedroom from ostrich eggs in homage to the similar one from Droog

You can see more of the house in the July 2009 issue of LivingEtc, or here on their website (be sure to click on the room by room tour). I think you'll find lots of inspiration for your country home, real or imagined.

* roughly translated as the real thing

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Love Easy Ways to Make a Difference

As we all know design can be more than just beautiful: a well designed object can make people's lives easier. We've all had those moments when we've interacted with something, and thought, wow, that's so simple and effective why didn't I think of that?

Sometimes design can not only make people's lives easier, but it can save lives. The Arivi paraffin stove is such a design. But it doesn't stop at simply saving: it improves quality of life, providing an alternative that is cheaper and also that reduces other health risks. Tell me more! I hear you say. Well, let's start at the beginning (I may go on a bit more than is necessary but for my readers who not familiar with South Africa, I would rather over explain).

For a lot of reasons many South Africans find themselves living in informal settlements (townships, or shanty towns) near or in urban environments. They are faced daily with harsh living conditions, often making homes that are built from corrugated iron, cardboard and other left-over materials (even insulating the walls with paper). There are usually little or no sanitation facilities, and no electricity. Cooking is often done over a paraffin stove. And many thousands each year face being hurt or killed by fires very often started by those paraffin stoves.

The Arivi stove was designed to alleviate this situation. A paraffin stove that firstly addresses safety: the stove turns off if moved, dropped, or if it falls over. Secondly, it burns more efficiently than other paraffin stoves and thus cooks more quickly and costs less to run (up to 32% less). It also reduces indoor air pollution, dropping carbon monoxide to less than half than what is stipulated by law.

Deservedly the Arivi stove has been nominated for an INDEX Award, and is a finalist, in the Home Category.

BUT to manufacture the stove, the guys at Arivi need 10,000 pre-orders. The great thing for us lucky enough to not need an Arivi stove is that we can buy one and it is sent via a charity to someone who does. I have asked the guys at Arivi how many pre-orders they have, and will let you know as soon as I've heard back from them (the website doesn't seem clear on this). But why wait when you can add to the list now? An Arivi stove costs R500, which is about $64 (plus about $8 for shipping it to a family who needs it).

Go here now to add your name to the pre-orders and help thousands of people live safer, and healthier lives.

(thanks to Babazeka for posting on this great project)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Icing on the Tart

I absolutely love everything I have seen of Tina Bester's little restaurant in Cape Town, Queen of Tarts.

Using her background in styling, Tina has created a fabulous patisserie reminiscent of the places she saw on a trip to Paris. I am dying to go! See some of her menu here. Favourites include fairy cakes and custard tarts, although to warm you in winter you can also choose from delicious soups and hearty stews.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New York (Again)

I know, I know, this is the third post in a row about/based around New York. But it's good, I promise!

I love this apartment, belonging to South African in New York, Bradley. I love the gentle nods to his homeland, and the common sense touches like the tea tray. Indispensible!

Enjoy more, and read more about how Bradley did it, here.

Via ApartmentTherapy

Monday, July 13, 2009

Glorious Summer (in New York)

If you live anywhere in New England, I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say THANK GOODNESS summer is here. We have just been through the longest spring I've seen since I've moved here, and it. is. not. cool.

But let's focus on the good stuff. Summer is here. The sun is setting on the most glorious evening. And I have a lot to be thankful for because I spent a few days last week in New York with the hubby (and hence, so few posts last week), and the weather was perfect. Not too hot. Not too cold. And I had a wonderful time. And I know this digresses from my usual content but that city is just too fantastic not to share. So here, goes...

We drove to the New Haven train station, and left our car there. So lovely to take the train into the city.

Apparently they knew we were coming cos they got the flag ready.

We walked a lot, saw a lot, and along the way saw the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition at the Guggenheim.

The High Line park was a highlight for us.

I'd heard about the Bethesda Terrace renovation, so I had to check it out.

Besides all this loveliness, there was a trip for soul food in Harlem at Sylvia's (really, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!), walks in Central Park, exploring in the various neighbourhoods... I could go on. It was great!

Back to design in my next post, promise!

PS: For more info on the High Line, check out this post on Habitually Chic (a great blog!) Heather has more great photos but lots of historical info)

Monday, July 6, 2009

A (Visual) Feast

If you love gardening like I do, or love food like I do, or if you love to be an observer in someone's life (even when they are miles away) like I do, you'll like 66 Square Feet.

Marie, a fellow South African, is a garden designer in New York, and she posts wonderful, glorious photos of her garden...

of life in New York (like those endless days of rain that we shared from Boston to New York)...

and of delicious looking dishes (get the recipe for this here. I know, I tried it out immediately!).

I can't believe its taken me this long to find her blog... I look forward to seeing what's she's up to everyday, and being jealous that she's out there every day, getting her hands in the soil while I'm stuck behind the computer.

And if you're a cat person, you may enjoy her cat's blog, too!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Africa Arises

I have something really exciting to share with you today! Well, two things really. Firstly, there is a just superb magazine that has recently come to my attention: Arise. This is a large magazine that covers everything from fashion to politics. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

I love not only the content (which you can read online, or subscribe to, or just buy if you live in London, Nigeria or South Africa (I think I saw those places on their website) but I also love the layout and plain gorgeousness of the publication.

And what really, really pleases me is that I was lucky enough to be written about on their blogwatch! It is just so exciting! If you click on the image below you can read what they had to say. So, thank you to Arise for including me, and to all of you for reading (and remember, if you or anyone else you know needs to be written about, let me know!)