Monday, August 31, 2009

Half the Sky

If you have seen the latest Glamour magazine, or last week's New York Times Sunday magazine, you would probably have read or seen the articles on the work of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. If you haven't, and are interested in women, their place in this world, alleviating poverty, and the future of our world, I urge you to read this, or, if you don't have a lot of time, watch this.

Photos by the very talented Katy Grannan. There is also a book out next week. It's on my list.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bringing it All Together

I end this week with a combination of everything you've seen thus far: the Cape Town home of Carrol Boyes and Barbara Jackson. The images speak for themselves; a combination of African earthiness, seen in the traditional head rests, stools and more, and contemporary design, like the Ron Arad pieces and Eames chairs with South African overlays found in the dining lights by Maira Koutsoudakis. And, of course, touches of both artists abound. I love the cool corners.

All images from Elle Decor SA, Summer 2008.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ms Jackson

You may have noticed the gorgeous animal figurines scattered around Carrol Boyes' shop, in my last post. Those gorgeous creatures are the handiwork of the women of Monkeybiz, a non-profit organization that allows women to produce beaded figurines from home (where they can take care of their families and avoid the transport costs associated with commuting) using beading techniques that South Africans of different ilks have used for generations.

I personally am in love with the animals, but you can get beautiful dollies too, and some cute little creatures made from recycled rubber.

Monkeybiz does ship overseas so don't hold back! And remember each figurine is individually made, so any piece you order will be completely unique.

One of the people behind Monkeybiz is the talented Barbara Jackson. It seems a natural fit as she is a sculpture, and produces bold, graphic ceramics that are also a hot favourite of mine. According to Barbara, the black and white stand for balance and equality, while the red stands for life-blood.

You can read more on Barbara Jackson's interesting story on her website, and admire more of her work. Keep watching: I can only imagine such a talented and motivated person will continue to create and encourage others to create more beautiful and inspiring work.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Coming to a City Near You

Good news for my American readers: Carrol Boyes has opened a shop in New York (with thanks to the new friends I made in Central Park last weekend).

I know us Bostonians can get our fix at the little French place on Newbury Street (can't for the life of me remember its name! Sorry!). Known for her sculptural tableware, desk accessories and now leather products, too, if you haven't seen and enjoyed her work, I'm sure you will.

For more info, see my guest blog post on 2Modern Design Talk, or go to her shop at:
118 Prince St., New York, NY 10012
nr. Greene St.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Calm Balance Soul

Cabinetworks was started by mountaineer, skydiver and master cabinetmaker, Andy de Klerk.

Informed by Eastern principles, his work is beautiful, simple, timeless. I love that his furniture, whether standard or custom, show the beauty of the natural wood but are so obviously lovingly made.

Cabinetworks also makes shoji screens, continuing the Eastern influence.

Of course, Cabinetworks adheres to a sustainable practice, making their work all the more attractive. For more info, you can find their website here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Caught in a Trap

Kurt Jay Bertel is a game ranger at the Sabi Sands Game Reserve where some friends of mine were recently lucky enough to meet him. And I was lucky enough to get info about his blog, and now I pass the information on to you.

And I say we are lucky because Kurt is also a photographer. He set up a camera trap near a known drinking spot and every day is surprised by the results he gets...

There are tons more interesting shots on his blog, and he also does wedding and sports photography, so be sure to check it out.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Feel the Heat

We're having a heat wave... in Boston it's 93 degrees Fahrenheit (that's 34 degrees for my metric friends), with what feels like 300% humidity. It makes me think of Durban, the beautiful subtropical city my grandmother has called home for many, many years. Sea, sand and surf... now you can enjoy some of that, along with the current ikat craze, in interior designer David Easton's rug, Durban Diamond in Ikat Sunset. Go check it out at the Safavieh website.

As first seen in house beautiful magazine, August 2009.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I am currently smitten with the work of Ed Franc Loverock Babb. I spend a good portion of my time being more of an illustrator than simply a designer, so this stuff is really inspirational (Click on the images! Click on the images!).

Talk about skills. You can check out his blog, see more of his work and make connections on all sorts of social media. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Good Looking Volunteers

In honour of Shark Week, I bring the antidote: the South African National Sea Rescue Institute. Volunteers, who, no matter what they are doing, will come and save you.

Ads by Ogilvy. More info here and here.

It's safe to go back in the water.

Monday, August 10, 2009

So Unfamiliar but ... Not

Love Xander Ferreira's photography... and struck by the American flag and snow in this Cape Town-based photographer's portfolio over here. Love it.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Twine Fabric are a duo based in Cape Town who sell gorgeous fabric made from 45% hemp and 55% organic cotton. Besides this obviously great attribute, the fabric and products Twine sells are to die for.

Napkins in delightful stripes.

Beautiful picnic blankets with leather straps and backed with waterproof hemp.

The fabric used the make the product are also on their site. Head over there to feast your eyes.

Spotted on this lovely post by Jezze.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Poetry in Motion

Okay, okay, the title is complete nonsense, but if you had to come up with three new titles every week you'd also get stumped.

Poetry in motion is just a lame way to introduce this gorgeous dress at Poetry.

Wish they had a shop online.

As seen on Kim Gray's Style blog.

8/6/09 Update: According to Kim, the dress has sold out. BAH! But there are plenty of other lovely things over there...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Firewalker in the City

Its been a long time since I was in Joburg (Johannesburg) city centre. It is a fascinating place... some parts deserted at certain times, others teeming with life. I have a reason to make a special visit back, now, as a beautiful sculpture has been erected.

The Firewalker was erected last week near the Queen Elizabeth bridge. Created by Gerhard Marx, and based on legendary South African artist William Kentridge's watercolour of a woman carrying a brazier on her head, the sculpture is a made up of many pieces of metal that merge into a figure, similar to those who have often walked that very street selling mielies (corn) or smileys (roasted sheeps' heads) to people passing by.

Born in Johannesbug, Kentridge's work has been see all over the world, but what I am most familiar with are his films, made of charcoal drawings morphing into another drawing. As someone who works with art and design I love how you can see the artwork growing, the passed movements evident as the story moves forward. This one on youtube plays into my love of typography, but there are plenty of others for you to feast on there.

You can read more about the sculpture and the artists on my current local news source,, and also on official City of Johannesburg's website (where I got these fabulous photos)