Tuesday, 30 April 2013


We ran away from the big city to the beautiful green green hills of the Midlands this weekend. We stayed at the extremely lovely BEVERLEY COUNTRY COTTAGES in the Dargle valley. We were lucky to have their Dairy Cottage which had the best view and I spent most of my time sitting in the sun, reading and staring out over the trees. The resident herd of Nguni slept in the field directly in front of us, such amazing patterned hides, like they have been hand painted in ink. The original farmhouse was built in 1913 and has a splendid green lawn and fragrant gardens. So worth taking a weekend to chill and breathe fresh eucalyptus scented air. Have taken spands of photos so this is the first of a few posts. p.s self catering with B&B plus dinner option.


Friday, 26 April 2013


I have been working on so many projects lately but can't show them to you until clients have seen them or they go 'live'. Here is my drawing for a beautiful 'shades of white' mosaic which incorporates waterspouts and is a feature wall for a contemporary style pool. Below is how JANE DU RAND and her team make the MOSAIC magic happen, 2 dimension is translated into intricate clay forms and jewel like glass detail finery. It never ceases to amaze me! Will do another post on the finished piece.

Thursday, 25 April 2013


Our trusty flat toaster broke 2 days ago and as I normally have Woolies rye bread toast (from the freezer) I was in a bit of a quandary as to what to have for breakfast today. So as it was super early I made some bread. It came out awesome, not heavy at all and with a sinful crust. Here is the easy peasy recipe, it is a very sticky dough so don't freak out!


500g stone ground cake flour - says strong plain flour but I only had the stone ground
7g sachet fast-acting dried yeast - ours only come in 10g sachets so I used that no worries
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
300ml milk, warmed
50g butter melted

1. Mix the flour, yeast and salt. Reserve about 1 tablespoon beaten egg, then beat in the rest with the milk and butter. Mix to a soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes. (I cheated and used my Kitchen aid with dough hook for 5 minutes).
2. Butter 2 18cm sandwich tins. Ha ha just realised this bread is supposed to be round, wondered why the picture looked funny. Divide the dough in half and press into tins. leave to double in size, about 20 mins.
3. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Brush the loaves with egg and bake for 20 minutes.

* recipe from Perfect Pizza & Bread - Best Food Fast! No.11

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Yesterday my birthday present arrived after being held up in customs for a while, it was a surprise and the most amazing surprise indeed. My very own EAMES HOUSE BIRD, the official alder wood version not the cheapie plastic reproduction. I can't explain how much I have yearned for one of these masterpieces of design over the years. The 'blackbird' in THE PAINTED BLACKBIRD stems from my love of the shape of this piece of American folk art. Part of the VITRA DESIGN MUSEUM collection in Germany from the collection of CHARLES & RAY EAMES, my design heroes. See below the original bird in their magnificent house, CASE STUDY HOUSE NO.8 where it has stood on the living room floor for over 50 years. I am still swooning and am almost too scared to touch it.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


Love this photo shoot from AUXILIARY MAGAZINE, very Scarlett Johansson. As always love the limited colour palette and super luxe!

Monday, 22 April 2013


With it being so lovely and rainy and so unlovely that Scott and I both succumbed to colds this weekend, the small and I involved ourselves in quiet pursuits. A dear friend gave Swan a giant tin of vintage charms and we often spend ages scratching through the little jewels. This time we each made groups of our favourites in little colour palettes. These are mine.

The off white larger Coco Cola African animals collection are wonderful in their form and detail, I wish they were huge.

Thursday, 18 April 2013



No posts today or tomorrow, have a photo shoot at my house so am sprucing up the place, see y'all Monday.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


I needed to replace the tatty window fabric in the workroom, in the long term I would like a proper blind but have struggled to get retail blind suppliers to print on a plain drop down blind. I think I will need to go to one of the new large format canvas printers. In the meantime hung up this extra piece of fabric I had left over the the tablecloth we made for our TOFFIE installation a few moons ago.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


Look what arrived yesterday, two lovely red lockers for the kitchen. They are replacing a horrid built in unit that was shifted when we got our new stove, the unit was wonky because it was no longer fitted and gathered all kinds of abominable dirt and noonoos. The kitchen is our most favourite place in the house and unfortunately needs the most work. The floor tiles are not our style and because of the stretching and shifting of an old house have popped up. We are going to remove them all, and clean then seal the lovely cement floor underneath. Have to focus on the MESSY STUDIO for now, so red lockers are to soothe my itchy kitchen renovation fingers.

Monday, 15 April 2013


Have a peep at NIKI JONES, they stock beautiful stuff. I love these handmade papier mache baubles from Kashmir. I really like the way they style their shots for this site, I'll have me everything!

Friday, 12 April 2013


How beautiful are these vintage collapsable laundry baskets made in America. Most of the images below are from ETSY or EBAY. I love the geometry of their shape and the various stars that are created when you fold them down. One would look amazing in the MESSY STUDIO don't you think?


Thursday, 11 April 2013


Went to SHONGWENI FARMERS MARKET again on Saturday, love the potato rosti with eggs benedict, salmon, spinach, blasamic reduction and roasted roma tomatos - can't get enough. Came home with a sack of cheese and washi tape as usual. I know many of you are as addicted as me so don't mind me showing off my latest stash.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


How cool are these heart shaped pie weights that my dear friend Gitty gave me for my birthday. I normally bake blind with dried beans but I don't like the smell that creepidy creeps into pastry from the beans. So now I can make smexy pie crusts without the bean pong. Thank you Gitty! From Boardmans.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013


Isn't she beautiful, SKELITA CALAVERAS, my MONSTER HIGH Dia de los Muertos doll. My small thinks she is gross and was none to happy too introduce her to the rest of the gang. Luckily her special doll JINAFIRE LONG, daughter of the Chinese dragon, arrived at the same time.

Monday, 8 April 2013


Finally after such a loooong gap GAME OF THRONES S3 starts this Friday, 12th April, 9:30pm on M Net. I can't wait!!!!

Friday, 5 April 2013



I was Googling for mosaics behind water trough's as we are doing one behind the cement trough outside the Messy Studio - I first spotted this rare beauty, an old stone horse trough which then led me on a merry gallop through meadows of galvanised horse troughs. My dream has been to transplant all my trees and herbs from their motley crew of pots to beautiful black zinc containers but now I have a new pash and it is these galvanised horse troughs. They seem to be American/UK, do you think EBAY will ship to South Africa ha ha.




Thursday, 4 April 2013


Just a quickie today, love these vintage brass locker tags from ETSY, it's the way the numbers are debossed by hand on some of them that make them awesome. The dance hall one is too splendid!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013


We went trundling about on the weekend to look for fittings for the Messy Studio's wee bathroom. Ooh it is tough when most of the stuff out there is blinging! We are looking for a small Belfast style sink and copper taps/shower rose. Finally came upon the most beautiful basin in all the land at PLUMBLINK, it is way too huge for our bathroom but now I am in a flurry to put it in our kitchen. The RAK Tulip Sink made out of Fireclay so it is not super smooth and factory robot-made looking, a porcelain dream. Plus at R 1 582.59 it is practically for free. For free! I'm not being frivolous here, if you have been basin shopping lately you would know that most standard run of the mill numbers start at about R2 200. Where to store it if I get it? 

Tuesday, 2 April 2013


Our Easter Sunday table was inspired by this beautiful, speckled blue enamel coffee pot from MINT, they make the absolute best flower jugs. The sunflowers and irises made for a very mediterranean afternoon, thanks to MR P for the lovely Delft style crockery and linens, called Heritage Blues.