The beauty of sustainable design Silindokuhle crèche



The blog is officially on hiatus until I finish my next film, but I just had to pop back in to support my nomination for the Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa.

The Silindokuhle crèche is a Joe Slovo West Community Project spearheaded by the Port Elizabeth based NGO Love Story. When the crèche Patricia Piyani was running from her shack started overflowing with kids and the structure became unsafe, the architect studio Collectif Saga, in partnership with Indalo and Love Story decided to step in and design and build a brand new structure.

The project, which was led by Kenyan born architecht Kevin Kimwelle, placed emphasis on the involvement of locals to assist in the design and building of the crèche. Part of Indalo’s aim was to transfer skills and ultimately register a woodwork SMME that will sustain the community.

The building was created using recycled materials which included 1500 wine bottles, 260 wooden pallets, multiple skate boards and 15 plastic corrugated sheets and was built for the price of an RDP house.

I just love the innovation, the community involvement and the sheer beauty of the place.

Here’s a video to tell you a bit more about the project. (Please excuse my shiny face!)

You can vote and also read more about the project HERE – please note that you can vote up to 10 times!

Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa.

Photos by Joubert Loots


Alex & Marla


A few years ago I featured Leanda Trautman’s beautiful Happiness bags and after taking some time off and having two bambinos, Alex and Marla, she’s back with an incredible line of handcrafted leather bags.

Her bags are made using only the finest soft, thick, nut toffee coloured leather. The leather  also features an anti- scratch oil protection layer, which makes caring for your bag simple.

“I have two beautiful daughters: Alex and Marla. They are the love of my life.

It is the unconditional love between us that occupies my thoughts and makes me happy.

Years ago I decided to see what working with leather was like. Immediately, I realized that this was something I’ll always want to do. I love it, it is my passion, the kind of passion that makes my working hours fly.

When I am working I feel I am creating something special, something unique… something from me.

I live to be inspired. And I transform that inspiration into designing and making leather bags. Being able to share them, makes me happy.”

Embroidery by Danielle Clough


I’ve been too busy to blog over the past few months, but after seeing these gorgeous embroidered pieces by Cape Town based artist Danielle Clough I just had to jump right back in.

Danielle is a multi-talented artist who studied art direction and graphic design at The Red and Yellow School in Cape Town.

“When she is not VJing (which is not what you think), Dee is doing digital design work for local companies; wrapped in a mess of threads embroidering anything from vintage rackets to shoes; lending her voice to local radio shows (Assembly Radio, Bush Radio ); creating custom book covers (Modjaji Books); and working as a contributing photographer for various local and international media.

Dee has been profiled by Instagram, Colossal, CNN, Creative Boom and the Creators Project amongst others, while her work has been published in the New York Times T Magazine, Casa de Jardim, Cape Times, Homespun and featured in various exhibitions across the country.

Some clients from 2016 include Gucci, The African Innovation foundation and the United Nations.

She currently works, plays and bikes in Cape Town.”


Mungo Micro-Mill, Cape Town


I absolutely love the new Mungo store and inner city Micro-Mill in the heart of Cape Town. The idea behind this store was to create an experiential retail space where customers can interact and learn about the wonderful art of weaving. Although the majority of their production still takes place at the mill in Plettenberg Bay, they have brought down one of their oldest looms; a Hattersley Domestic loom that was made in the 1890’s. Their aim is to bridge the gap between the maker and the market, and to introduce customers to a part of their process.

The store and Micro-Mill is situated in their new beautiful four-story 1900s heritage building on Hout Street. They have carefully refurbished it, keeping all the original architectural features including Oregon Pine floors, wooden staircase, and sash windows.

The shop spans across the ground floor and into a glass atrium. The Micro-Mill is below the shop, and can be seen from the street. Here you’ll find their antique loom, managed by their Resident Weaver. The clacking sound of the loom captures the attention of passers-by as it reverberates up the street. The second floor features an office and photographic studio, which has become the marketing hub for Mungo. The top floor has been turned into an open plan loft apartment for guests, obviously kitted out in Mungo.

How gorgeous!

78 Hout St
Cape Town

Bun and Bunee


Bun and Bunee is a new local skate brand that has launched a cool line of skate decks, T-shirts, caps and components. And as the proud official sponsor of One Love Central, they’re also doing a whole lot of good.

One Love Collective is a Collaborative Effort that aims to uplift the community through facilitating alternative recreational activities for the inner-city youth to have diversity in their choices, beyond the usual soccer / netball or basketball.

One Love Central has a new Skate Academy at the Drill Hall which is situated in Johannesburg’s inner-city. Bun and Bunee donated 10 full skateboard completes and accessories to their cause. Shortly after the donation a workshop took place, and kids from different backgrounds got together to be taught the basics of skateboarding, as well as the skateboard assembly process.

The skateboards are now available for the kids to use during the day, but they stay at the academy for the programme. Therefore, they can be used by many kids on an ongoing basis.

If you’re in Jo’burg you’re in luck cause Bun and Bunee will be at the next Linden Market on the 7th of May where they’ll be selling their goods and giving skate lessons to kids, so bring your skateboard along.

Follow them on Facebook or Instagram

Kamers Vol Geskenke 2016


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Make sure you don’t miss this year’s Kamers Vol Geskenke Market at St. John’s College SA’s pop-up treasure trove of handcrafted creativity. It’s on until this Sunday.

“We’re not into the perfectly made or the mass produced – it’s about high end true craft, slightly imperfect, timeless and originally designed… that special something that is only found at the show.”

Hertex winter blankets


Hertex Baby

I just love this new range of Hertex blankets. Their baby blanket range feature whimsical illustrations of penguins, flamingos, owls and drifting balloons are paired with a muted colour palette of silvery greys and dusty pastels. Made from gentle microfibre, the blankets are long lasting and easy to wash, guaranteeing warmth, comfort and more time to spend with your little one.

They also have a trendy new collection of microfibre blankets in bold geometrics prints, stripes and block patterns in elegant monochromatic colour palettes of lemon, grey sky, duck egg and eclair.

Bring on winter!

Koba Nieuwoudt Illustration





















I’m absolutely smitten with Koba Nieuwoudt‘s illustrations. Koba studied graphic design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and she’s doing her Honours in Illustration at Stellenbosch University.

Can’t wait to see what she does next.

You can find her on Facebook, Behance or Instagram.

Her products, which as far as I know include pillows and mugs, are available for purchase and you can either check out her website or contact her at for more info.

The Linden Market

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This past weekend we took part in the second Linden Market and it’s safe to say that it was an overwhelming success. Perhaps too successful. The organiser, my talented sister Gerbri (Bibi) Schwartz, had no idea that people would be driving from all over Gauteng to attend the little market!

But, she has big plans for this small neighbourhood market and the next one will be at a much bigger venue.

“This market is all about showcasing local talent. Quite a few of our exhibitors are from the Linden community, it’s all about giving entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their goods. It’s also about uplifting our community. The market creates many jobs for locals and the spill over effect was tremendous. All the local restaurants were buzzing on Saturday. We also donated all the proceeds from the parking fees to Ry Ma In the Independent Living Centre for quadriplegics and paraplegics, based in Linden.

We had many success stories as quite a few of our vendors sold out completely before the end of the day. No one could’ve anticipated the incredible turnout! We’re already planning the next one in May and we’re taking all the feedback from visitors onboard. The venue will be much bigger and we will make sure there’s an exciting range of food and beverages.”

Follow the Linden Market on Facebook to stay updated on future markets.

Online vendor applications at


Illustration and ceramics by Dayfeels

Dayfeels illustration

Shygirl series by Dayfeels illustration

Dayfeels illustration

Shygirl series by Dayfeels illustration

Dayfeels Illustration

Shygirl series by Dayfeels Illustration

Dayfeels Illustration

Shygirl series by Dayfeels Illustration

Dayfeels Illustration

Bodies series by Dayfeels Illustration

Dayfeels Illustration

Bodies series by Dayfeels Illustration

Dayfeels ceramics

Dayfeels ceramics photo by Cass Collett

Dayfeels ceramics

Dayfeels ceramics photo by Cass Collett

Dayfeels ceramics

Dayfeels ceramics photo by  Cass Collett


This morning I stumbled on the beautiful Instagram feed of Amor Coetzee and I rushed over to her website.

Dayfeels is the creative sobriquet of South African artist and photographer, Amor Coetzee. Amor grew up in a small Eastern Cape seaside town, Gonubie and later moved to the beautiful city of Cape Town where she has been living and working for the past 6 years.

The inspiration for her work stems from a deep appreciation for the landscape, the ocean and the properties of water. These elements have had the most significant influence on her current artworks.

The hues, ripples and reflections, the immense power and the calm. It is her muse. Amor is very drawn to a clean and muted aesthetic and work through a process of elimination, starting out with a lot of detail and removing bit by bit until only the very essence remains. Her work tries to communicate a sense of calm, as subtle as susurrus.

Dayfeels Illustrations are based on aphorisms- a metaphorical phrase which embodies a feeling, these phrases are used to create simple line drawings.

Bodies, explores the simple gestures exchanged between lovers

Shygirl, is an ongoing narrative of a charming recluse trying to come to terms with big city life.

An extension of her artworks, the ceramic side of Dayfeels, lets her experiment more with texture, contrast, abstract shapes and patterns to create hand-made, one of a kind earthernware pieces.

Art and Illustration by Linsey Levendall


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Linsey Levendall is a incredibly talented multidisciplinary creative originally from the Cape Flats of Cape Town, but now living with his wife and two dogs in a small town in rural Saskatchewan, Canada.

“Linsey works closely with The Black Heart Gang and Shy The Sun as a conceptual designer on groundbreaking animation for both the local and international market. He also makes up one half of the duo Bison.

In his spare time, Linsey compulsively illustrates in various mediums for both business (on freelance projects) and pleasure. He says his intricately executed and seemingly disturbing work is driven by a need to be in sync with his subconscious thoughts and dreams.

He defines his work as being engaging decadence, mildly trippy and takes great joy in entertaining the viewer with obscure controlled chaotic worlds and strangely interesting and complex characters. While his skill lies in his versatility and ability to adapt to various styles, he finds himself mostly drawn to Cubism, Surrealism and Pop Surrealism. In his work he aims to stay open to evolving and preserving unconventional thinking.”

Follow Linsey on Instagram.


Benji + Moon | Handcrafted dog and cat products

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted merino wool ombré doggy day beds

Handcrafted merino wool ombré doggy day bed

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted merino wool cat dens

Handcrafted merino wool cat dens

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted merino wool doggy day beds

Handcrafted merino wool doggy day bed

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted merino wool cat dens

Handcrafted merino wool cat den

Benji + Moon | Ceramic Cat Food Bowls

Ceramic cat food bowls

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted leather dog collars

Handmade leather dog collars

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted leather dog collars

Handmade leather dog collars

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted dog leads

Handmade dog leashes

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted wooden dog bowls

Hand carved wooden dog bowls

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted wooden dog bowls

Hand carved wooden dog bowls

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted leather dog collars

Handmade leather dog collars

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted leather dog collars

Handmade leather dog collars

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted crochet cat den

Crocheted cat dens

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted leather dog walking bag

Leather dog walking belt bag for your phone and poo bags

I’m very excited to announce that my friend Karen Carr and I will be launching our very first business venture called Benji + Moon at the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair in Hyde Park.

Our pets are part of our families and we’ve noticed that most pet products out there are badly designed and covered in cheesy paw prints.  Whenever we have guests over we always hide the ugly dog beds and cat dens.

So we decided to collaborate with talented local artisans to create beautiful handcrafted products for your beloved cats and dogs. Our products  will complement your design aesthetic and become a talking point, rather than an eyesore.

Crafting each product takes time, skill and attention to detail. A basket weaver, a woodcarver, a jeweller, a leatherworker, a potter, a crocheter and a small group of merry needleworkers make each product by hand.

Our artisans consist of a wonderful mix of top local talents like Ronel Jordaan and a few unknown, but equally talented, local craftsmen and women.

It’s a small artisanal collection for people who, like us, love their pets to the moon and back.

We’re currently running a competition where you could win 2 VIP tickets to the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary fair next week. Check our Facebook page for more details.

A few weeks after the fair we will be launching the shop as an online store so please sign up to our newsletter to receive news and updates.

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted things for much-loved tails.

Kirsten Beets | Everyday Eden









I love how Kirsten Beets’ paintings evoke a mood and tell a story. Her beautiful exhibition Everyday Eden is now on at Salon 91 in Cape Town.

“The starting point for Everyday Eden was the word ‘Jungle’ which led to an exploration of the ‘Urban Jungle’. I wanted to investigate the space that I inhabited, namely Cape Town. It is a city in which I live and work and it became a challenge to draw inspiration from the overly familiar sights and sounds. This forced me to look deeper at my surroundings and since Nature and the natural world has always been an inspiration, I started to wonder if there was any wilderness hiding among the everyday.

Slowly I began to take note of the in-between spaces. For the first time I observed the exotic palm tree with a cityscape peeking out behind it. Everyday scenes of nature previously overlooked, uncelebrated yet beautiful in their own way. In my paintings I have tried to convey the feeling of these places, a kind of strangeness within a familiar environment. For me these spaces represent Edens or little islands of lost paradise complete with their own fauna and flora. Not all the works are from Cape Town, some were inspired by travels. In each I tried to celebrate the Everyday Edens I found along the way.”

Exhibition closes 10 October.

Nap Loungewear

nap loungewear

nap loungewear

Nap Loungewear

As a freelancer I love the idea of lounging around in my jim-jams all day. The brand new local loungewear brand Nap allows you to do just that.

“I wanted comfy,  slouchy tops and bottoms that I could mix and match as I please. I wanted a nighty so light and pretty that it could be mistaken for a sun dress. After I started selling the first few designs to my friends I noticed that people often wore their purchases during the day – even to work saying: “But it’s too pretty for pyjamas.”  So I decided to call my company Nap Loungewear instead of Nap Pyjamas.  It is my mission to educate South Africans that it’s okay to wear pretty pyjamas, even if no-one sees you wearing them. ”

That’s it, I’m officially embracing this trend and wearing my slippers to the grocery store tomorrow.

This is just a sneak peek at their lovely designs – go see the rest at

Join their Facebook page here.