Yin-Yang of emotions = technology and sun dried washing

My Yin – Yang of emotions were so heightened yesterday.

I do love technology but so often I just get totally irritated and seem to waste a whole lot of time trying to get it all ” in sync”, before I can accomplish the little task I set out to achieve. In this case editing a couple of photographs.  I became totally frustrated and felt……

I decided to catch up with some photography yesterday, that was fun. Plugged my camera into my computer, and before I could do the download, I had to chose to carry on with an iPhoto upgrade. No problem until I had insufficient gigs on my hard drive .

“Oh no, now what?”, ( feelings of irritation). Into my hard drive looking for space. Videos and podcasts into the trash, so now I am muttering, ” all my nice stuff”, delete, delete, delete…….

My go-to is so often tea, but in this case, I glanced across the room and looked at this little painting above my desk and the clothes line caught my eye, I knew this time it was going to be the hanging of my washed clothes, out in the sun to dry, that would calm me down.

The feeling  of the rays of the warm sun washed over me as I stepped outside. I heard myself let out a huge sigh, the slight breeze in the air and the color of the sky, oh my gosh, beautiful…..and peaceful. The boring pegging suited me just fine. I made my way through the basket and left the clothes happily waving me goodbye.

What a change in my being in those few minutes, …..I  came back to my desk to tackle the technology task again….

Anybody else out there enjoy hanging clothes to sun dry as much as I do?

Today’s jewel

My jewel for today is this beautiful orchid or phalanenopsis,( fallen-op-sis).

This beautiful orchid was given to me by a very good girlfriend last year. At the time she gifted me this plant it was in full bloom, as in the above photograph.

I remember deciding to place it in my open plan kitchen because I felt I would get maximum pleasure from this gift, while cooking and then whilst eating around the dining table. The blooms lasted for ages and my eyes kept being drawn to it’s perfect blooms and my thoughts rambled to my friend, my eyes often glazing over as I looked through the flickering candles that kept changing these stunning colors all the time.  Nature has an uncanny way of getting things just right.

After a couple of months, the flowers shriveled and dropped off and I was left with a stalk. Usually, in my house, when the flowers are gone, plants get relegated to outside. I did some reading up and found out that I needed to cut the flower stem  to just 2 nodes from the bottom..

I placed the green plant in my bathroom, in the window, out of a draft. I watered it from time to time and watched as a little node started to grow from the side. After a couple of months, I was thrilled when a tiny bud appeared and then developed.

Today, nearly a year to the day, I have new blooms.

Whilst writing this, I have decided I will call her after I have published this post and let her know how much pleasure her gift has given me over this past year.

I have always loved giving gifts and am learning to love receiving them too. Do you also feel the same?

Quick plan Popup Shop Market

I had the opportunity this last week to take my jewellery and fashion accessories to a popup shop market. I had to do a lot of quick scrambling around to get my pieces organized for this specialized event.

While I was there, and it was a bit quiet, I had time to think, and as location is a central feature of a successful pop-up shop, I kept thinking of places, in my area with a lot more foot traffic. ( If you intend to start a private pop-up shop for exclusive customers, you should opt for a more discreet location.)

I approached a new venue today, it’s a restaurant with a paved area outside, between the road/kerb and their front door. The manager was surprised and intrigued with the idea and I came back to write my proposal and found some very useful information.

 Pop up shop markets are events, so I know, I need to make people excited for a special shopping experience. We, I am hoping there will be 10 of us, will only have a limited time to get customers, so we will need to keep focused when planning what to take. People love stories, we will need to tell our stories in our wares, very well.

We will all be local independent suppliers making handmade goods,( obviously no food or drink in competition with our host ). The idea is to rotate the tables so that the localised community get to enjoy some ever changing and interesting retail therapy, whilst meeting  for drinks, snacks and their meals.

Hopefully the answer will be yes and then spreading the word, before we open next week, creating the excitement, informing the bloggers, like you and me, will be fun and heighten awareness. I will definitely use social media once everything is confirmed, Facebook, twitter and flyers, ( I did one this afternoon).

I will keep you all updated on my progress.

Have you any “pop up”  advice for me, please ?

Sometimes popup stores renovate deserted spaces, like this one on 150 Spring Street in New York City.

Illy created a store out of a crate; it unfolded on all four sides to reveal a fully furnished living room.

Hermes opened up a temporary silk bar in Causeway Bay.

Hermes opened up a temporary silk bar in Causeway Bay.

Fernando Gros via Flickr

NesCafe opened up a free coffee shop tent.

Kate Spade opened up an inviting igloo for three weeks in New York City’s Bryant Park. It handed out free hot chocolate to keep shoppers warm.

Simultaneous contrast and complementary colours

I love colour in my life, it makes me happy.  I am increasingly becoming aware of the effect of simultaneous contrast. It’s the way in which two different colours affect each other, how one color can change, how we perceive the tone and hue of another when they are placed side by side. The colours themselves don’t change, but we see them as altered.

They make a strange pair. They are opposite, they require each other. They incite each other to maximum vividness when adjacent; and when mixed, annihilate each other to gray-black- like fire and water.

There is always one colour complementary to a given colour. Examples are yellow- violet, blue-orange, red- green.

Colours are most intense when two complementary colours are juxtaposed directly next to each other.

I absolutely love blue in all it’s tones and shades and because orange is it’s complementary color, I have been drawn to it too. Above are a couple of my silk necklaces that I usually wear in combination.

What are your current favourite colors and are their complementary colours  featuring in your life too?

Ode to my morning tea ritual

Tea, why do I have to have thee,

So early in the morning

To banish my feelings of the boring

Boil the water, warm the pot,

Tea leaves ready, not a lot,

Four minutes for an ideal brew

To reach the nearly perfect hue

Lift the mug to touch my lips

No such thing as taking sips,

Now the pot is drained of every drop

And my day begins to “bop”.

“Kamers vol Geskenke” 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to “Kamers vol Geskenke”( rooms full of presents), an annual Cape fair, on the Lourensford Wine Estate, yesterday. I had a small idea of what to expect, but I was really impressed with the creative talent . The setting was outstanding, so I did pause halfway through, to sit in the shade, have some tea and contemplate the view…..

“This year KAMERS celebrates a decade of women, their stories, dreams and growth through creativity, by providing a visual and creative feast of exceptional handmade & crafted products” , so say the organizers. This really is a show for women although there were quite a few men enjoying themselves.

My purchases above and below. I must be in a grey “mood”. I absolutely loved both these items. The light comes complete with the fitting and attaches to the wall.   I love proteas of all kinds.

I especially enjoyed meeting  and chatting to Andrea Semple, in between her organising and tidying her stock, “I employ a lot of the previously disadvantaged women from the local community and speak Xhosa fluently.

Due to the exorbitant cost of fresh flowers, we find our products are in ever increasing demand. We have had a wonderful response from the hospitality industry.

My Topiaries are handmade from Cape indigenous foliage, are evergreen and are treated specifically to maintain their natural colour. If kept away from direct sunlight, they will last indefinitely.

The benefits of topiaries are that they look wonderful all year around with minimal maintenance and are extremely cost effective.”

Being a hand crafter myself, I was most interested to know the how, and was fascinated to hear how each individual leaf is carefully placed. There was no way I was going home without one of her special pieces.

Below are a few of her wreaths for Christmas

W5 | P/G
Green
W5 | Big leaf P/G Plain W5 | Big leaf P/G White W5 | Big leaf P/G
W5 | Big leaf P/G White W5 | Small leaf P/G W5| Small leaf P/G Brown W5 |Slangbos
W5 | Small leaf P/G W3 | Big leaf P/G W2 | Small leaf P/G W4 | Small leaf P/G
W2 | Big leaf P/G Charcoal & white W2 | Big leaf P/G
Natural
W2 | Small leaf P/G Glitter W1 | Big leaf P/G Silve

I had a wonderful time and no doubt I will visit Kamers again next year…

 

My current favourite Jewellery Storage Cupboard

I am always looking for lovely ways to store, that also means protecting, and showing my jewellery pieces. I recently bought this slim cupboard that is turning out to be one of my real favourite. I hope to be able to take it with me to fairs and shows as my ‘little pop up shop”.

It has the mirror on the outside door which makes it so easy to check once I have put my jewellery on. Not the backwards and forwards to the different mirrors in the house or taking one with me for clients to look into. I also like the long mirror. I get the whole picture in one.

On the inside of the door are storage places for earrings, lighter necklaces and bracelets. I have tried the heavier ones here but it was not a good fit at all because the door did not shut and lock properly. The actual cupboard has places for rings, hooks for the heavier lariats and necklaces, the longer and heavier ones are even supported by a shelf. Little compartments make  excellent bracelet storage and at the bottom of the cupboard there are two little drawers.

I really like the fact that the cupboard has a lock and is very contained.

I think the most useful, non tangible for me, is that when I open it I can see all my options so orderly. The cupboard actually encourages me to keep my jewellery neat and tidy and that definitely helps preserve it.

What are your good jewellery storage ideas?


Adorning Bridal Hair with ‘princess’ tiaras

I am often asked to make beautiful head pieces for brides. Here are a few of my creations. My favorite, I think, is the one I have called the African Bridal Tiara, this first one below, with the very colorful small beads covering the headband, the pearls, crystals and semi-precious stones, amber, citrine, rock crystal and amethyst.

When I had made the first one, I pranced around with it on my head and felt like a real princess. Some of my friends have ordered it for different  parties  they have been invited to. One of my closest friends wears it on days that she feels low and wants to feel special. She puts it on and almost by magic it immediately lifts her spirits, sending me a photograph wearing her ‘ princess tiara’.

Let me know which ones you love………