I was shot in Joburg!

I first noticed the “I was shot in Joburg” initiative at Market on Main a couple of weeks ago. At the time it seemed interesting, but I paid some closer attention to this initiative after seeing an exhibition of their work at the Mosaiek Church in Fairlands last week. It turns out that this initiative is more than just interesting, and it’s something I’d like to share with you.

Bernard Viljoen is a Joburg based photographer that got involved with a group of boys from Twilight Children, a shelter for street kids in Hillbrow, in the form of a photography course. They took photos of their environment and it led to an exhibition at the end of 2009 at Arts on Main.

After that, Bernard took the project to a new level by helping them to generate an income and “I was shot in Joburg” was born. What makes this so inspiring is that this one person, using nothing but the skills and passion he already has, has made a real difference to this country. It’s a real example to all of us to look for ways to contribute, with a reminder that it would not require us to go and do something we’re not good at or don’t enjoy – what it would take is the willingness to not keep our talents to ourselves but share them!

You can book one of their photographers for an event or you can buy photos and other products at
Market on Main or online.

Visit their website or like their Facebook page.

Image credits: Photography by me

Sunday Edition #3

Life saving advice!!

Image credits: None available (via Pinterest)

It is a matter of proportions

On one of our trips to Arts on Main (see previous blog), Daniel saw an architectural scale model and he was mesmerised. So much so, that the moment we arrived home, he “duplicated” what he saw…. 

“An architect is the drawer of dreams”
Grace McGarvie

Image credits: Photography be me

Fashion in The Parks

I popped into The Parks Centre in Rosebank/Parkwood yesterday. In the process I managed to browse my way into a fashion store called Hermanna Rush. Nicole Dersley and Jaqui Corfield started this fashion label about 5 years ago and opened their flagship store in Parkwood. Since then they have been down the runways of SA Fashion Week, have been featured on Top Billing and their brand is in more than 20 stores around the country.

What I immediately liked was the easy-wear feel of all the clothes, especially the lovely summer dresses. They stock a variety of funky accessories, including imported leather accessories (loved the leather flower brooch) and bags from Argentina. They also have Melissa Shoes from Brazil and bags from Irish designer Orla Kiely

Definitely worth checking out when you are in the area! They also have an on-line shop here.

Image credits: All photography by me

Hermanna Rush, Shop 6, The Parks Centre, Cnr Wells & Jan Smuts, Parkwood
011 447 0617

Image credits: SA Fashion Week

A tally of two cities

Today I want to share with you one of the blogs that I love. It is all about "a friendly visual match between two cities told by a lover of Paris wandering through NewYork".

You can follow Vahram Muratyan's blog on this link : http://parisvsnyc.blogspot.com/.

Image credits: All images by Vahram Muratyan

Working from (somewhere in the) home

I miss working in an office. Seriously, even after 8 years out of the corporate world, I still miss working in an office. I miss my work friends and the stories around the water cooler. I even miss those meetings about meetings!!

At my house, my lovely home office made space for the playroom and the spare bedroom made space for the home office. Then the spare room had to be a spare room and the dining room table made space for the home office. If you could keep up with this, you are doing better than me. So, I dream about …..

But I definitely don't miss the commute!

Image credits: 1) Home decorating ideas 2 & 3) View Home Trends 
4) Martha Steward (via Decorology) 5) Design Sponge

Green thumbs

I mentioned in a previous post that I took my little boy to a nursery to buy plants.

The plants were delivered last week and even my gardener who helped me to plant the new additions, looked slightly amused that I brought home yet again another purple and white collection. Can’t help it – are yellow flowers really that pretty compared to a lavender in full bloom or a white iris with splashes of purple? But who knows - maybe in a couple of years I will pull everything out and go big on yellow and red?!!

What I actually wanted to write about today is the gem of a nursery that I use. David Webb Nursery is located about 12km’s from Fourways/Northgate on a plot on Copperhouse Road. David Webb has been in the landscaping industry for more than 40 years, supplying only to other landscapers and retail nurseries. Luckily for us, the nursery is also open to the public now. 

Driving through the gates, what struck me everytime is how tranquil it is, and that the plants are so well-looked after. That alone is almost refreshing in a way – this is a NURSERY, and it does not attempt to be a lifestyle emporium, coffee venue and kid’s entertainment area as well… The staff are always friendly, helpful and exceptionally knowledgeable. Add to that the wholesale prices, and it is definitely worth the drive.

David Web Nursery, Plot 93, Copperhouse Roud, Nooitgedacht. Cell: 083 225 9532 
Image credits: All photography by me

And before I say goodbye to you today, can I share these lovely kiddies’ garden accessories with you? How cute is the birdseed bungee jumper?

Image credits: All images from Hen and Hammock 1) sack of outdoor games 2) Mr McGregor gardening gift set 3) Birdseed bungee jumper 4) Mini Bugs

A Toast to the French

My brother is married to a French girl. Before that he had a French-Canadian girlfriend, and before that another French girlfriend. Can you see the pattern here?!

Anyway, this picture got me thinking about my husband’s favourite breakfast – French toast. But - try offering FRENCH TOAST to all these French people I now hang out with thanks to mon frère and see how they stare at you as if you just landed from space!

It seems French toast is a very American thing with the maple syrup added by the Canadians. In France they have something similar, called pain perdu, which means “lost bread”. Originally, people in France made what we would call French toast from stale baguettes in order to make use of bread that would otherwise have been thrown away. The bread is dipped into a mixture of eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. But the big difference in France is that they consider this as a country style dessert and will never eat it at breakfast.

And so, if you ever happen to hang out with a real French person, and you are so sans culture to ask for French toast, be prepared to be told that what makes it “French” is the fact that un Français popped it into the toaster for you!

Image credits: 1) French by Design

Lace ...

I am still blown away every time I see a picture of Kate Middleton’s lace wedding dress (or a picture of Kate, for that matter). And it seems that the whole world is in love with lace at the moment.

And how can you not be with dresses such as these ones below by Australian-based designer Collette Dinnigan? Do yourself a favour and look at her profile and history as designer on her website.

I also love the dress by Erdem (in my dreams!) and the lace skirt from Zara (actually wearable). By the way, Zara is opening their first-in-SA store (a whole 2100sqm!!) in Sandton City next month.

And then, the coup de grace by Christian Louboutin……..

“Many an Irish property was increased by the lace of a daughter's petticoat.”
Irish Proverb

Image credits: 1 & 2) Collette Dinnigan (via Kim Gray 3) Erden (via Tig-Fashion)

Maboneng – “a place with lights”

Last month the three of us went to the Maboneng precinct in the Johannesburg city centre (264 Fox Street) to visit ARTS ON MAIN. I’ve been back a couple of times and I just love it there!

In a converted warehouse, that is all bare brick and industrial iron, you will find a multi-purpose district with art galleries, a David Krut book and art supply store, studios (including the studio of world-renowned artist William Kentridge) and retails shops such as Love Jozi and Black Coffee.

But the highlight for us was the courtyard, scattered with fully grown olive trees, wrought-iron tables and chairs, and the hip crowd on blankets under the trees drinking freshly roasted coffee. CANTEEN, a fantastic little restaurant looks out onto the main courtyard.

Sundays are the best time to go when Market on Main is also at the venue. Check the Arts on Main website or their Facebook page to see when they have night markets or other special events.

It is truly worth a visit. Just keep in mind that the business hours are a bit unconventional.

And remember to invite me along!

All photography by me

These boots are made for walking

This weekend I took Daniel to the nursery, and while I was browsing for new plants (will tell you all about this later) he managed to find a muddy pool and lots of laughter followed!

It seems this was the swansong for the old green wellies (the recent big growth spurt had to show somewhere), so of to the local Mias Angling shop for a new pair!

Our little “mud corner” has a new addition.

And since we are talking about new additions, allow me to throw a hint since Christmas is not far away. I was lucky enough to buy a pair of Hunter Wellingtons on an overseas trip a while ago, but I am super excited to see it is now available in SA too. You can buy it online now at www.beautique.co.za or at some selected shops (phone 031 - 301 2464 to find a supplier). I like the Boa Snake animal print one…

The history of Hunters is quite interesting. In September 1856 Mr Henry Lee Norris, an American entrepreneur, registered the North British Rubber Company (which much later became known as Hunter Boot Ltd) in Edinburgh with a staff of only four people. By 1875 the company had grown to 600 people.

During World War 1 they were asked by the War Office to construct a sturdy boot suitable for the conditions in flooded trenches. The mills ran day and night to produce immense quantities of these trench boots. In total, 1,185,036 pairs were made to cope with the Army's demands (who counted?) Come
WWII, they were again called up to duty, but now their production not only included wellingtons and thigh boots, but a whole range of other war materials - ground sheets, life belts and gas masks making up the bulk of production.

Hunter's most famous welly, the original Green wellington, saw the light of day over 50 years ago in the winter of 1955. It was the first orthopaedic boot that they made.

Hunter remains the preferred welly brand for the British Royal Family, and if it is good enough for the Queen, it is good enough for me!!

In South Africa we tend to think of wellies as ‘gumboots’ and associate them with mining, fishing and William’s Wish Wellingtons. But the welly is useful, stylish (thanks to Hunters) and just plain awesome to share in priceless moments in muddy pools with four year-olds.

Image credits: 1,2 & 3) taken by me 4) Poshglam 5) What I Wore 6) no credit available (via Pinterest) 7) Olivia Bell Photography 8 & 9) no credit available (via prettystuff.tumblr.com)

You need more than paper and glue

Daniel came back from playschool with this ANT he made. And I just love it!!  

And on an equally impressive note… J
How mesmerising and beautiful are these artworks created by Sydney based artist Anna-Wili Highfield. The paper sculptures are created from archival cotton paper, that is painted, and then sewn together, to create the figure of an animal. The Pegasus and horse masks were commissioned by Hermes and the panda was done for the World Wildlife Fund.

Image credits: 1) taken by me 2,3,4 & 5) Anna-Wili Highfield