Blooming marvelous

I hate winter! It’s cold and miserable and the days are way too short. But, there’s one good thing about winter in South Africa, the blooming of the aloes. Oh, such a beautiful site to behold. I have a garden full of these majestic plants and when they bloom, they make my heart happy. See how gorgeous they are! Like a little ray of sunshine on a gloomy day…

The aloe is a flowering succulent. There are about 500 species of aloe (can you believe it), the most common and well known of these is Aloe vera, or “true aloe”. The aloe is native to Africa, and is common in South Africa’s Cape Province, the mountains of tropical Africa, and neighboring areas such as Madagascar, the Arabian peninsula, and the islands of Africa. I only have three species of aloe in my garden and I plan to collect more, much much more. Hehe. Think I’m going to have an aloe overload! My love of aloes is a bit sentimental since they are my Dad’s favourite plant. 99.9% of my aloes were given to me by my wonderful father :), the most amazing man. Here are two photo’s of us together. One is from my wedding day and one is from my 21st birthday. Aaaah happy days.

Me thinks that these posts are getting a little bit soppy. Will update you on some home decor soon. Got a lot up this sleeve of mine.

If anyone has any tips on how I can improve on my writing, please feel free to comment. I’m a designer, not a writer, so in essence I have NO IDEA what I am doing…

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Make my day

Do you need inspiration? I need it, I crave it and I seek it out, search for it, and when I’ve found something truly inspirational, I share it. Pinterest has been an amazing platform for me to find and share inspiration. Today, I shared something that touched my heart and with that I managed to touch the hearts of others. It’s wonderful to hear a friend say “Thank you for sharing this, these are words that we should all live by”. This is what I shared with my friends today.

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There’s no place like home

Vince and I often watch the Home Channel, I’m telling you, we are hooked!!! We watch everything from Sarah’s House to Design Wars, so much inspiration, it blows my mind right out of the window. Sometimes I actually jump off the couch and start re-decorating parts of my home. Now that’s what I call inspired!

Lately we have had some inspiration from a more local source. House and Leisure magazine (www.houseandleisure.co.za) in association with the Home Channel are running a “House of the Year” competition right here in South Africa. How absolutely fantastic is that? The competition has been narrowed down to eleven sensational finalists (drool).

Snippets of these fabulous homes have been featured on the Home Channel and I have fallen head over heels in love with ALL of them. The stuff dreams are made of. Sigh… Click here to view the eleven finalists. You might fall in love with them too. xxx

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A slimy affair

I have a new love! Two in fact… Meet Timothy and Tiny Tim…

Where those names come from, I have no idea. They just seem right. I bought these two beautiful creatures at the local craft shop. I was looking for a gift for a close friend, then I spotted these babies. I just had to have them!!! No questions asked. I didn’t even look at the price. I scooped them up, one underneath each arm, and away we went. They were plain white, so I mosaiced one and painted the other one red. Don’t they look oh-so-handsome. Tiny Tim is half the size of Timothy, hence the name Tiny Tim. Aaaaaah, they make me so happy. It’s the small things in life…

Sadly Timothy has gone to live with my good friend Helen (she’s taking good care of him) but Tiny Tim is all mine :). He sits on the windowsill in my kitchen and keeps me company. Such a good snail.

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13 going on 40!

Why do teenagers think that they know EVERYTHING? My 13 year old niece knows everything and her opinion is the only one that counts. On a recent shopping trip, I held up a pair of jeans that I thought were quite cute, Jade turned to me with her little hand on her hip and politely said “Oh my word Aunty Cands, you can’t be serious, I would NEVER wear that!” I’ve gone from being the cool aunt, to the boring aunt who has no idea about anything. How sad is that? When she was 9 years old she told me that she wants to be just like me when she grows up…  Not anymore :(.

Years ago, Vince made Jade some beautiful plain white frames for her room, he made them in a way that the pictures in the frames could be replaced as she outgrew them. At the time I put in pictures of the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana, which she loved, but now, not so much. Those old pics were way overdue for a makeover, and since Jade is redecorating her room, my timing couldn’t be more perfect. But I had no idea where to start, I had to find inspiration somewhere (eeeeeck), the pressure was on. How do I impress this all-knowing teenager?

And then it dawned on me, LOVE… that would be my inspiration. I love Jade, love her like she is my own daughter, she even calls me her “other mother”. So sweet, my heart melts when she introduces me to her friends.

So, with my new found inspiration (and a little help from Pinterest), I got busy designing! This is the end result 🙂

This artwork will look amazing with Jade’s new purple colour scheme, and hopefully she won’t outgrow it anytime soon.

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A little kitchen update

So, I’ve told you about the red appliances that I feel in love with and couldn’t resist. And I’ve told you about the kitchen art that I inspired you with (I hope). Well now it’s time to show you how these two elements work together in my kitchen. Ta da!

Excuse the cup of tea on the counter but in my house there is always a cup of tea around. I love tea! Anywho, don’t you think the combination of my new red kettle and toaster AND kitchen art is amazing. I was like “wow! this is really my kitchen!”. I love the injection of colour. And those canvasses. I can’t believe I did them myself. Wow! I should really do some outdoor art along these lines but on wood. I can picture it, can you? Okay so now back to the topic at hand. I wanted to change my countertops to a very light grey but the wood looks so nice with the red I think I might stick with it. For now.

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Winter, be gone!

It was such a cold weekend here in East London, South Africa. We froze!!! I don’t know exactly what the temperature was but it was fra-eeeezing. Apparently it was snowing on the mountains in Hogsback (about a 2 hour drive from us) and when it snows on those mountains, boy does it send us way into the lower temperatures. Winter is not my favourite season, AND we still have two cold months ahead of us!!! How will I ever survive? I wish I could hibernate, just like a bear. Oh what a life that would be…

My dogs were out on the deck lying in winter sun, desperate to warm their cold bones. Here are a few shots of them lazying about enjoying the warmth. Excuse my sausage dog, Peanut, he’s not much of a poser. I think he might be camera shy, he’s a very sensitive little chap.

As you can see, Tyson loves the camera. When he noticed that I was taking photo’s, he quickly ran inside, fetched his teddy and jumped straight back into position, ready for the next shot. He even managed to keep his tounge inside his mouth this time :). Notice in this next shot how his little tounge sticks out. It’s like that 99.9% of the time. So precious!!!

I love these two so much, they make our lives very interesting 🙂 and there’s nothing better than arriving home from work to see these two happy little creatures waiting for me at the gate. xxx

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Kitchen art

So, my kitchen is a work in progress. I am taking things one step at a time. This first step was totally unplanned and it turned out beautifully. Vince always gets a nervous look on his face when I turn to him and say “I’ve got the most brilliant idea!”. This usually involves work for him. Luckily, this time he could just sit back, relax and watch the magic happen.

I had a few blank canvasses tucked away in the back of my craft cupboard so I decided to haul them out and give them a new lease on life. It’s amazing what you can do with a blank canvas and a tin of red paint. I had some black and white prints I did for my cousin a while back and decided to cut stencils from them. Then I stenciled the two images onto the canvases in red paint. Easy as pie.

I really need a new camera but I’m sure you get the idea.  I totally adore how these art pieces look alongside my new red kettle and toaster set. More on that soon.

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A Beautiful Morning

I woke up to the most beautiful morning. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and everyone was in a great mood. I took my time getting ready for work, I pottered around the house doing washing and spending time with my two furry babies, until Peanut decided that sunning himself on the deck while enjoying the scenery was a way better idea than getting loves and cuddles from his mom.

I love my Peanut with all my heart. My special boy. xxx

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Picture Picture on the Wall

A few years ago, I went to my cousin’s house for a visit. It was the first time Vince and I had been to visit her and her hubby in their new home. They have a beautiful old home with high ceilings and the most amazing wood details. Things I would love to have in my home. People with more modern boxy homes like myself have to add those details by scouring antique stores to find old wooden treasures (at a decent price)that add character to a home.

Anyway, to cut a (very) long story short, when we were served tea in their lounge with oh-so-gorgeous old hardwood floors, yummy, I couldn’t help but notice one glaringly UGLY painting on the wall. And when I say ugly, it was uuuuuggggllly. A lizard of some sort with bulging eyes. It was so ugly and I told my cousin so, I just couldn’t help myself, it just slipped out of my mouth. Vince just gave me a look as if to say “Did you really? Really?”. Well I did and she wasn’t offended. She thought it was ugly too. So being the great cousin that I am, I offered to take the ugly lizard home to make him more beautiful. So I made him more beautiful by making him disappear completely. I started to paint with no idea of what I was going to do, and then it suddenly came to me. Here is a tiny glimpse of what I have planned for this amazing work of art.

As you can see there is a lot of texture and detail involved. It should keep me busy for a while but I will post a pic of the complete artwork. 🙂

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