Monday, 30 April 2012

Mellow Yellow

I know Winter is threatening to set in in South Africa but I can't stop looking at pretty spring and summery colours. Like coral and turquoise and of course yellow.
Maybe its because I'm headed to Europe this week where Spring has sprung (although, it's still warmer here in Cape Town with winter sweeping in, than it is in Holland right now where it's Spring.)
Anyway, inspired by the pretty yellow in my previous post about Michelle Williams I went looking for yellow dresses that I love.
This beautiful column of sunshine is from Asos.
This sweet little dress is from Zara. It's got a cute collar.
I love the hemline on this cheery Topshop dress.
And finally, bringing out the big guns (and unfortunately price-tags) is this gorgeous Giambattista Valli dress and jacket from their 2012 resort collection.
These shades of yellow may not be for everyone, but I am equally in love with the soft lemons and buttery yellows that seem to be everywhere right now too.
I think, I'll definitely be popping something yellow in my suitcase when I leave Holland.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Local lovely wears Lovely Local

For local fashion Friday, I get to combine two South Africans in one post.
This week the lovely South African actress Terry Pheto walked away with an African movie Academy Award for her role in the film How to Steal 2 Million.
She wore a beautiful dress by talented South African designer Thula Sindi.
This is the dress on the runway, during Thula Sindi's Autumn/ Winter show.
It's a beautifully simple dress. Classic and elegant. Which is why it was the perfect fit for the lovely Terry, who is just gorgeous.
And here she is wearing the dress and waving her statue about. (the pic is from her Twitter stream @TerryPheto)

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Game of Thrones Inspired Fashion

So I was watching Game of Thrones the other day and I spied a few things that made me go "ooh, I want one of those," so I set about trying to find things that replicate some of the looks.
I don't wear real fur and I don't know what the Game of Thrones costume department's view on real fur is, but there certainly is a lot of fur (real or otherwise) on the show.
Everything is fur trimmed. Probably because "Winter is coming."

On top is Jon Snow, wearing a really plush fur collared cape. And above, is this faux fur DIY from Faiiint so you too can get your Starke on.

Pinterest is filled with tutorials for braids ranging from simple to really, really intricate. So you too can look like a Khaleesi. Or like Blake Lively. whichever blows your hair back.

Designer Helmut Lang said he was inspired by Game of Thrones for his new Fall line. And it shows, there's lots of leather and big collars. And lots of different textures.
Looks a lot like this doesn't it?

Jewellery to make your heart sigh- Eric Loubser

South Africa has a wealth of really talented jewellery designers. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's because of the gold rush or all the precious metals we're sitting on, but our jewellery designers are amazing.
I hadn't really heard about Eric Loubser until earlier this year his Bird Necklace was nominated as one of the most beautiful objects in South Africa at the Design Indaba.
I was writing a story about the ten objects for the paper I work at, and when the public relations lady sent me the pictures of this necklace, my jaw hit the floor.
I'm going to assume that anyone who didn't say "Holy Moly" or something similar when they saw that picture is blind. You would have to be, because this is a thing of absolute beauty.
It kind of reminds me of that nursery rhyme "four and twenty black birds baked in a pie". Only these blackbirds are too pretty to hide in a pie.
Eric Loubser says on his website that he makes one of a kind pieces, using materials like silver, gold platinum, semi-precious stones, diamonds and even found objects.
I love the detail in this piece. I think it's a pendent, but I can't be sure. I love the little couple in the middle. It's like they're sitting there in this beautiful piece of jewellery waiting to grow old together, don't you think?
There is something so Donny Darko about this ring. It walks that delightful line between sweet and scary that I love so much.

You can view more of Eric Loubser's work here.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Blue and white

The bedroom of my dreams has a navy wall and white trim. I absolutely love the look of rich, deep blue and fresh white. But the one thing I don't want is a nautical looking room. I think beach house chic belongs in beach houses.
This isn't a bedroom but I love, the white trim, white accessories and all that beautiful wood in this picture from Decor8. My bedroom is carpeted but I have a feeling that under the ugly beige carpet there is a parquet wood floor. One day the curiosity is going to get the better of me, and I'm just going to tear that carpet up.
I found these cut out buck head plates on Elle Decoration. I never really got into the whole buck head thing, mostly because we used to visit someone who had real ones when I was a child and they pretty much terrified me. But these delft blue style ones look really fun and I like that they kept the cut-out. Wouldn't they look lovely on a navy wall?
These plates would look beautiful on a navy wall too. Although not in a bedroom. That would just be weird. I'm definitely going to be hunting down some interesting Delft pieces while I'm in Holland though. This picture is from Martha Stewart.

And speaking of Holland, I leave on my two week holiday tomorrow with an overnight stop in Johannesburg to say hi to my parents. I have scheduled a few posts, but I won't be posting every day. 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Style Crush: Michelle Williams

I never loved Michelle Williams in Dawson's Creek. Perhaps it was her character, but I just couldn't get into her.
And then somewhere between that show ending and the Tribeca film festival this week, she became this beautifully stylish young woman.
I love that her style is fresh and quirky but she is still classy.

In my head, I associate her with yellow and peter pan collars-two of my favourite things.
This is from the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this week. The dress is Giambattista Valli and it is all kinds of beautiful. It has so much going on but it still looks remarkably simple. And I love the red lips.
Look at that dress! I make a little sigh noise every time I look at it. Sigh.
I love this because it's so unexpected. You expect to see Michelle Williams in a cute quirky dress. Instead, she just looks all kinds of gorgeous and laid back in normal people clothes.

Note: None of these images have credits because I pulled them off Pinterest and couldn't track them back to the original source. If you know the sources, please let me know.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Tulips from Amsterdam

Friday's post was all about a quintessentially South African flower and today's post is about flowers again. This time the quintessentially Dutch tulip. Why? Well, because I head off for a two week holiday to Holland on Friday.
On the top of my list of things I wanted to see was Keukenhof- the Dutch tulip gardens.
Those colourful stripes you see are tulips. As far as the eye can see, in every single colour you can think of. Even black.
Keukenhof is in Lisse, Holland which is near Amsterdam. They are only open for a short period every year when the bulbs are in bloom. According to their website, there are 7 million bulbs in bloom. 
I am mad about flowers. I have a collection of photos from throughout my childhood, where I have handfulls of flowers.
These are a little blurry and old but you get the picture.

 I also have a photo from my university graduation where I have a flower between my teeth, but that's a whole other story.
I cannot wait to see what seven million flowers look like.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Local Fashion Friday: Pincushion proteas

There are few things more South African than the protea. It is our national flower after all. My favourite is the rather strange looking pincushion, and judging by all the beautiful pincushion designs I found, it's a lot of other people's favourite too.
This post was really inspired by the new fabric range released by South African fabric designer Skinny laMinx this week. The range is called Flower Dreams and features some beautiful, bold prints. My favourite however is this closely printed pincushion fabric.

It's not the first time Heather Moore of Skinny laMinx has used pincushions in her designs, because a few years ago she made these cool place mats and table runners.
And then, while i was going through my Pinterest boards, I remembered that these amazing ceramic oil lamps, made by the South African team at The Botany Project. They're called Upcycle lamps and you place the ceramic top-made in a number of styles of South African fynbos flowers-on top of any glass bottle you may have, filled with olive oil, and then light the wick. In my opinion, they were one of the top 10 things at this year's Design Indaba. See the pincushion one in the top left of the picture?
And finally, I found this pincushion wall tattoo, over Here. I think it looks very cool on that grey wall. Although I wouldn't make it compete with the arum lilies like in this shot.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Lovely new Heath

I like to think that the accent colour in my lounge is orange, but the truth is, if it wasn't for the giant orange wall in the lounge, you wouldn't know what the accent colour is really.
But, if I had a whole collection of Heath Ceramics new orange things, then everyone would know.
At least that it what I'm telling myself while looking at their gorgeous new Summer collection.
Also, I don't think I really have enough money for all the things I want. In fact, I don't think I have enough money for any of the things I want, but a girl can dream.
And in my dreams I have these cute little stem vases:

And these cute little bowls:
And this little desk set, even though I don't have my own desk at home. Although I do think it would look rather fetching on my boyfriend's dark wood desk.

And then of course I would need the tray and the cups. Because they would be lonely without all their friends.

It would all look rather fetching with a bit of turquoise don't you think?
All images are from Heath Ceramics.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

What I'm Wearing Wednesday

I got lots of compliments on what I was wearing today. Almost everyone I spoke to commented on my necklace, so I thought I would share it today.
I bought this necklace recently at Sass Diva. They had just been unpacked and didn't even have price tags on them yet, but I grabbed it and ran for the tills.
I was in the store the other day again and noticed they only had one left, so clearly I wasn't the only one who thought it was pretty.

I wore it today with a high buttoned, white shirt from Mr Price. I love little details like the fact that the buttons are black but are hidden, except for the top one which is visible. I think it's a cute little detail.
I wore it with jeans and ballet flats today, but I have a grey maxi skirt I think would look good with this top combo too.
Also, I think this shirt, tucked into this JCrew skirt would look cute for Spring.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Grey days

At the end of last year, my boyfriend and I decided we were going to paint our new flat. We used some of our Christmas bonuses and bought paint for the entrance way and the living room. But on the day we bought the paint and came home to prep, I started picking at a patch of peeling paint, which then got bigger and bigger. 

And then, because we're not exactly handy around the house, it seemed that we had picked off some of the plastering too.

Anyway, we pushed a chair in front of the giant patch (it got really big when the boyfriend got the paint scraper involved) and left it, vowing to get someone in ASAP to look at it.

We painted the passageway a fiery orange and then went on our Christmas break, leaving the pretty grey paint we bought unopened.
Anyway, the chair is still in front of the big patch and it bothers me. You can't see it. But I know it's there. It whispers quietly to me while I'm watching tv.

Today, I got some painters and plasterers around to take a look at it and quote me on the painting so I popped into the spare room where the cans of paint have been standing since December and remembered just how pretty our colours are.

We currently have yellow-y beige-y peach-y walls which are bland and generally just all round gross. And we picked two really pretty greys- one darker and one lighter for our lounge.
So while I wait for the quotes, I thought I would look at inspiration pictures and pretend I too live in a cool, calm, grey space.

All pics are from Apartment Therapy

Monday, 16 April 2012

Bonus Post: Reality TV fashion

Last week I was watching Season Two of The Voice. It's my guilty pleasure. Please don't judge me.
Anyway, I fell in love with the dress Alyx wore in the battle rounds (I think SA is a little behind the US broadcast so forgive me if this seems a bit stale.)
The dress was a sheer, cream coloured chiffon number that was almost poncho-shaped, if I had to describe it. It had a high, beaded neck and big polka dots on it too.
All of the pictures I have found only show the top of the dress. But it was a really cute, short dress that she wore with black tights and black boots. I would have paired it with a little ankle boot, but her long ones look nice too.
And unlike Erin who clearly forgot her pants at home that night, the dress was just the right amount of fun, young and flirty.
And because this is a blog about pretty things, please lets take a moment to admire Alyx's battle round partner Jermaine Paul, who has an incredible voice, and incredible bone structure to match.
I think they're both pretty.
Don't you?

Look What I Made Monday

In my day job, I work from Tuesday to Saturday which means that I don't work on Mondays. It's usually my "do home stuff day" and if I am going to start a project, it'll usually be on a Monday.
So today, I trawled the internet looking for something to make.
And came across a recipe for a Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake over at Alexandra's Kitchen. This link will take you directly to the recipe so I am not going to retype it here.
I will however use one of her pictures, because it was this picture that sold me on making this cake.
Well, that and the fact that it's a breakfast cake. I come from a long line of women who firmly believe that cake breakfasts are the best kind of breakfast because you have the whole day to burn off the calories.
Does this not look delicious? Pic by Alexandra's Kitchen.
Okay, so now we're going to return to my silly Instagram and phone pics.
Here is what you need:

Just a note: I used dried blueberries because I couldn't find fresh. They were quite small so I used about a cup. Having just eaten a piece of the cake, I would recommend fresh, or I see from the comments on the original recipe, frozen work well too.

And here is how mine came out:
It is absolutely delicious. The outside is crunchy and sweet and the inside is moist and fluffy. I think fresh blueberries would be better because they are more juicy. 

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Local Fashion Friday: Suzaan Heyns

I'd like to use Friday's on this blog to focus on South African fashion and design, because we have so much talent here. And today I'm looking at veteran of the SA fashion scene.
Suzaan Heyns was one of the stand out hows at the recent South African Fashion Week because she pushed the boundaries so far out, that nobody could really catch up.
Known for her very architectural fashion-like the gorgeous fish scale dress below which was nominated as one of South Africa's most beautiful objects at this year's Design Indaba- this year she took that to the next level, and used cement in her collection.
The Suzaan Heyns Fish Scale Dress. Photo by Chris Saunders
Yes, cement. She partnered with cement brand, PPC and used it as a material in her show. She has literally sculpted wearable pieces.
She says: "I have always wanted to become a sculptor and approach Fashion like an art, using fabric as my medium. This collaboration has inspired me to work with cement as a new fabric. It has been an incredibly creative process, the result is a unique sculptural  collection ."
Many of the cement pieces are accents-worn with actual fabric pieces, all made in a muted, putty and cement coloured palette.
Suzaan Heyns with her models. You can't really see it clearly, but the neck piece she is wearing is also made of cement, and is made of tiny "dolosse" the South African invention used to protect harbour walls from ocean degradation. All pictures are by Simon Deiner of SDR Photography.