Paint dipping and making things extra pretty

So paint dipping seems to be quite the trend at the moment, if Pinterest  and my clever friend, Vee, are anything to go on :) Thought I’d share some of the projects that I’ve seen – we’re moving house soon, so no new projects on my horizon unless you call it packing. I can’t wait though to get stuck into a few of these though for my new home! (Follow the links from each image for the tutorials…)

 

(Image from Copy Cat Chic)

So much of pretty from Dash recipes

With Autumn fast on it’s way… this made me smile and remind myself that we shall get spring again… :) Tutorial and free printables from I heart naptime

Love the colours here from Designtejen

Great use of baby food jars from Oh Happy Day

 

My kind of tea set :)

(Image and tutorial over at Shop Sweet Things)

And why stop at the tea set, when you can do your wooden spoons as well...

Or your furniture

Sorry, image overload, but can’t help but sharing so much of prettyness

(Image from Joys Hope and the post is appropriately named ‘Ode to Spray Paint’

Yellow makes the world go around

Yellow really is my most favourite colour… growing up we had a yellow front door, we even had a yellow car so I could blame my love for yellow totally on my dad.. The yellow front door was cool, the yellow car… not so… (especially when they picked me up at my private school!) Still, I’m happy now that I can totally love yellow, moving on here are some totally lovely yellow things to make or use when making…..

Ok, I only have this image, and no ‘how to’, but it was too pretty not to share… I think it’s yellow chocolate, hmmm, a pretzel dipped in white chocolate with yellow food colouring perhaps…

Yummy sorbet in lemon baskets with yellow washi flags!

 

Make your own necklace as pretty as this..

 

Yellow yellow yellow washi tape, available locally from Eye Candi

Pretty card from Lime Doodle, perfect for any occasion

Yippee for Yellow huh :) (Image from the beautiful Dassie)

 

Washi Tape your Easter

You know how I feel about Washi Tape, and so you can imagine my excitement when one of our most recent Jamtin Listers sells rolls and rolls of the stuff, both online and locally at the Wonder Market (Durban). Washi Tape Heaven.

Eye Candi is a home based business that started with a love for pretty things.  Amanda ordered herself some Washi Tape online and soon people asked where I got it from and I saw the need for a supplier in Durban.

Amanda has  tried to make things as simple as possible with an online ordering system at www.eyecandipop.co.za (where you can also see her delicious range of washi tape…)

Orders can be collected from me in Durban North or can be couriered or posted at an extra cost.

Easter ideas

Gift Wrapping – two simple ideas

Who doesn’t love beautifully wrapped gifts… here are a few ideas that I found and that actually look easy enough to do with things you already have lying around the house… yes, by that I mean, fabric scraps, a sewing machine, paint swatches… I know you’ve got them in your craft drawers, don’t try and deny it.

I saw this over at Giverslog

Love this idea – could use any colour swatch, and any punch… nice and easy

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Sales Success: Taking good product photographs

I’m a firm believer that the quality of your product photos will have a really big, yes, let’s call it… massive impact on your online sales, and let’s face it, that is what we are striving for. It’s really a no-brainer. Anyone buying online cannot touch, pick up and turn around, or feel the product (you get where I’m going with this) and so the photographs IS largely what sells your products.

A good photo SELLS and makes you stand out… end of story, and we can all live happily ever after.

The guys from ETSY, although not Jamtin ;) probably know what they are talking about… here’s a great video giving some fantastic, practical tips for beginners – no fancy pants camera needed, just your average digital camera, and most of us have these on our phones, so no excuses!

I’d love to hear any further photography hints and tips – please share in the comments below.

Yours in handmade xxx

a.scribe – colourful chalk boards and chalk board paint

A bit about a.scribe

We make colourful chalk boards & chalk board paints; think blackboards, but not black! A growing Cape Town based company, working to make our products available across South Africa.

Our boards come in many shapes & sizes; appealing to young & not-so-young ones who are creative at heart.

The paints create a chalkboard almost anywhere! A fun & functional decor addition to any kitchen, kids room, office, entrance hall or cafe. They are also fabulous for DIY bits & pieces, and being water based they are safe to use in projects with & for kids.

How and when a.scribe started

Tessa came to the Mother City from Zimbabwe, wide eyed and ready to take on the world of UCT in 2003. After university she started working in the office hub at her church, doing all manner of organizing, event planning & people loving. Ashley, previously a mortgage broker and YWAM missionary, arrived in Cape Town from Australia in 2009. He moved to pursue his dream of fighting poverty through business development and empowerment.

They met through mutual friends and had enough in common to keep them in conversation over many car rides during the summer of 2009. A lot of it revolved around changing the world – or at least a corner of the world – both knew they weren’t really cut out for anything too predictable. Aware that they could make a good team, each wondered if they’d someday work together…2 years, countless coffee dates, and some fancy rings later, they became Mr & Mrs!

then came a.scribe

Tessa loves pretty things and knows what people like. Ashley has an eye for opportunity and a drive to make things happen. Throw that together with some avid internet research, add a little bit of magic, and complement it with a dream to help create employment and up-skill local people, and you get a.scribe.

It all started with 2 simple colours and rectangle boards in December 2011 and 1 year later (recently having celebrated their 1st a.scribe anniversary) now produce 15 shapes and 15 colours They also boast an online store and a growing list of stockists around the country. These chalkboards are spreading their wings….

 

3) Where you draw your inspiration from

It’s tough to pin down inspiration! We love taking something known or used & giving it a fresh twist. Chalk boards themselves are nothing new; but a bright blue one in the shape of Africa – now that’s different :) There’s also something appealing about a “kids” product re-worked in a way adults love. Something that reminds us of childhood, but still works if you’re all grown up.

I am an odd combination of quirky creative & avid list-maker ~ anyone who, like me, appreciates aesthetics but also needs to get things done has a place for our chalkboards in their life!

4) Any business advice you have for fellow handmade businesses.

Don’t be afraid to try new things; each of us has our own style & ideas, and it’s great to see people branching out of traditional crafts – or at least interpreting their use in a new way.

Sometimes there can be pressure to sell everything you can make. I have found it helpful to keep some of my hobbies & craft things as my own & not add them to the business. Not every beautiful thing you make needs to be monetized – keep some things for joy!

Running your own handmade business is not for everyone. I often say to friends that in a creative business there is as much business as there is creative (if not more business!) Being able to work with creative crafty things most days is such a privilege, but ask for help or team up with others where you need to – we can’t all be good at every aspect!

5) Where you sell your products, and how people get hold of you

Cape Townians can find us at Quirky Me in the Old Biscuit Mill & at the Kalk Bay Co-op II next to the train station in Kalk Bay.

In Good Company stocks our products in Joburg. We’d love a Durban & P.E. spot too if anyone’s interested?

We also have our own online store ascribe.co.za and are listed with ontheway.co.za & hellopretty.co.za

Contact us on ascribecreative@gmail.com or on Facebook

Washi Tape – The good, the bad and the ugly

Well… let’s just clear that up, there is NOTHING bad and nothing ugly about Washi Tape, well – apart from it having the potential to take over every drawer and free space in my house… Ok, I exaggerate…If the truth be told,  I am yet to get even my first roll of Washi Tape, but that will change very very shortly – especially seeing this post from one of my favourite Mommy Bloggers, via some Twitter banter this afternoon.

For those of you who don’t know what Washi Tape is, well, pop over here to feast your eyes out, and at the same time, you’ll be able to order your own rolls from these local (South African) online stores with rolls and rolls of beautiful Washi Tape for sale - http://www.doolallydaisy.co.za and http://washitape.co.za/

Guaranteed I know your next question will be… ‘what does one do with this pretty Washi Tape’… well, you can either pop over to Pinterest where they have heaps of links, or visit this post I saw this afternoon with 56 things to do with Washi Tape – I’ve selected 3 of my favourite to include below…

1) Transform your keyboard

 2. Decorate some wooden spoons

3. Decorate a boring table

All images taken from this post, which links to the original posts.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for making you need about 100 rolls of washi tape after reading this :)

DIY Christmas Trees

We’re putting up our Christmas tree today and I’m super excited! I do wish that I had thought a little more in advance though and actually done some of the ideas below….

 

Luckily – it’s not too late to do this one, all I need is some glue and wrapping paper… and a few other things, but sure I’ll have them in my trusty craft cupboard…

 

If I was going to my imaginary seaside holiday house this Christmas… I would so be putting a tree like this up… the wood of course would have been gathered from the many walks along the beach..aaagh, I can only dream!

I have a few friends (not me of course) who would have more than enough supplies to make a couple of these trees

And how about something like this

Anyone got enough books to do this?

And lastly – I love

Belly Bops – Monthly Milestone Stickers for Babies

Where does the time go? The cliche is just so true and the first year of your child’s life does fly by in a heartbeat.

Belly Bops are a fun and fresh new way to capture the beautiful milestones along the way. A cute way to keep track of how your little one grows and changes from month to month.

Each month you pop the relevant, reusable sticker onto what your baby is wearing to capture the moment in time. Before you know it, you will have 12 photos to  forever hold on to those special memories.

Visit Belly Bop’s profile to view their sticker ranges for Boys, Girls and their Unisex range – the perfect baby shower gifts!

A mother’s love is difficult to explain, and it really can start from the very moment you first find out that you are pregnant.  Each month you start feeling new things – the first kick, the first hiccup; those tiny precious movements inside of you. Your body changes so dramatically over the 9 months and so often we don’t remember to ‘document’ the work that is being done!

Capture that growing little miracle by using our Belly Bops range of maternity stickers. Simply pop one on your belly each month to photograph as a reminder to yourself of this special journey.

 

 

For more information, or to place your order please contact Belly Bops on

Email: jude@colourgiggles.co.za

Cell: 072 859 0412

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bellybops

 

Moskito Kids – Unique Handmade South African Kids’ Tableware Sets

The moment I saw Moskito Kids’s Facebook page, I knew I had to share both the product and the story behind the business with the Jamtin community, as I’m sure you’ll agree that they are too gorgeous not to share.  I just love being able to bring such lovely, homegrown and local products to your inboxes and computer screens and hope you’ll bring some of these tableware sets into your homes. Enjoy hearing what Lynette and Diana have to share about their business below, and feast your eyes out on their gorgeous kids tableware.

A bit about Lynette:

I grew up as a child with creativity in the family (from designers to authors). I decided to make art my career and have been involved with some form of art ever since. I am a Graphic Designer by trade, sporadically doing paintings/sketches on commission. My other significant attributes would include Mom to a beautiful blue-eyed boy, Wife to an amazing man and avid Tree Hugger.

Recently inspired by a renewed sense to develop my true passion, I cut down on the hours spent in the corporate world and started pursuing the more hands-on nature of the Fine Arts. My love for nature, children and all things artsy inspire my topics and I am fascinated with detail. Being a perfectionist, I believe the greatest masterpieces can be produced by simply attempting to copy the perfection of what God has already created. I hope my work communicates the infinite beauty our creator has given us to enjoy and thereby inspire people to look after our most precious resources, our children and our earth.

A bit about Diana:

I’m a Mother of 3, soon to be 4! I grew up in a large close-knit family and I’m one of five siblings. I loved being amongst the chaos and all the love that we shared. Life was never boring and I think the best gift I can give my children is their siblings. My family takes the centre stage in my life and I believe in making each day count. Children are a precious gift and as parents, we should not take anything for granted. It’s always been a dream of mine to run my own business and when the opportunity came along, I grabbed it with both hands. I studied DTP and Multimedia. My career includes Web Designer, Executive Assistant, Office Manager and Account Manager. I’ve always wanted to marry my creativity with my organisational skills and Moskito Kids allows me to do this.

Moskito Kids:

Moskito Kids’: The name was inspired by the quote “Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.” (Christie Todd Whitman). It is based on the concept of small things making a big impact and aims to encourage children, to believe in themselves and make a difference. It also symbolizes the brand’s outlook, that every small effort towards sustainable living has an impact.

The inspiration behind Moskito Kids’ products started when as a new mom, Lynette was suddenly invited to dozens of children’s parties. Being an artist, a tree-hugger and having to buy gifts for a whole new genre, she would not settle for the normal sock-or-tie-type gifts. Lynette started exploring the childen’s market for unique products that would delight little ones and get the approving nod from parents.

If you ask any mom to open their child’s cupboard, you would most likely encounter an avalanche of plastic or mass-produced items from China. Due to local supplier efforts being depressed by cheaper, faster and mass-produced goods from the Chinese market, one is hard strung to find proudly South African children’s products. We soon realised that this was something we were quite passionate about.

We started developing our first range, a children’s tableware set. When researching our competition (from China) we found that most sets are made of toxin-rich materials like plastic or melamine and typically, they feature the latest animated fad. It has no regard for nature and lacks a unique artistic touch. Some products found in stores are cost effective and aesthetically pleasing but in most cases, the tableware sets are not functional or durable for use by the intended market, children.

We have used our research and experience in the market as Moms to create a bespoke children’s product. By addressing the concerns of both the parents and children, it is visually pleasing and empowering for the child and safe and easy for Mothers. It is a unique product that is made locally from quality, non-toxic material and it’s also functional, durable and eco-friendly.

With sustainability in mind, the product adds to the much-needed initiatives of supporting local suppliers. We have a passion for our country and its people. We believe that creating local and sustainable products will assist in developing our country and uncover the beauty our people have to offer.

Contact Information:

Website: www.moskitokids.co.za
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/moskitokids
Email: lynette@moskitokids.co.za or diana@moskitokids.co.za
Phone: Diana – 082 451 0919

Business advice for fellow handmade businesses:

If you’re passionate about something, follow through with it. It’s not easy but if you believe in it and you work hard, you will start to reap the rewards. Don’t give up! Stay true to yourself and don’t budge on what you feel passionate about. Handmade art is part of our culture and the legacy we leave for our children. We have to cultivate individuality. Leaving the next generation with bland, mass-produced junk will produce mindless followers and not future leaders.