23 December 2012

Christmas came early

Fate favoured me in Denise's prize draw for the translucent tangerine vinyl vase from Freshly Found.

So I went to collect my prize (no point in posting between two Durbanites) and Denise gave me a bag which I thought contained only this gorgeous vase.
Photo: Freshly Found
When I opened the parcel at home I found it was FULL! of lovely lovely LOVELY! goodies from Freshly Found.

I was so surprised. Opening all the beautifully wrapped gifts was like an early Christmas.

If you'd like to find out more about all the marvellous things Denise makes, follow her blog here

19 December 2012

Alphabet Bags - Yay Hooray!

Okay, I confess, I'm still window shopping online (pssst, check out these actual Christmas window displays in London) and today I found these lovely Alphabet Bags by Rob Ryan (of the laser-cut paper art fame).

Guess which letter I'm wanting most...

07 December 2012

Hello Kitty pasta - SO COOL!

I love this. I don't even know why. I think it's the logo fiend inside me.
Woolworths (bless them) has got Hello Kitty pasta on their shelves.

Spotted today at my local Woolies.

06 December 2012

Hand-made Christmas gift

I bought this last year for my aunt and have finally made it up in time to give it to her for Christmas.

19 November 2012

Christmas shopping

Oh yes! It's that time of year already and as I'm travelling soon I'm trying (as usual) to get all the Christmas shopping done early.

Today I saw this piece of wonderful kit. Perfect for the geek in your life.
Einstein USB drive 16GB
From here

30 October 2012


I am just in love with this little spoon-rest! 
From here

He reminds me of this guy! 
From Amazon, and not for sale to persons under 18.

26 October 2012

Assagay coffee

Recently we got the chance to tour the coffee farm of Assagay Coffee (available locally).

Coffee trees
It's a complete tour from seedlings to tree and fruit to dried bean, followed by the sorting and roasting. The process is very labour-intensive and a lot of love and skill goes into a cup of coffee. The roasting part is the most complicated because that affects the flavour so significantly.

After the tour we were treated to a cup of coffee and some yummy banana loaf and pecan pie in the farm coffee shop.
Banana loaf (baked in a mini loaf tin) and pecan pie.

You can go on a tour too, they're not very far from central Durban. Contact them on 0317821268 or 083640223.

25 October 2012

Utterly cute!

I've actually been looking for decent bookends for some time (while jars of marbles act as stand-ins). Today by chance I saw this from Fred & Pickles and it is just too cute.

24 October 2012

Heart Market next weekend

I've always loved the designs of these posters but I think this one is the best so far. Design and concept by Dominic Strauss.
Take note: The market is on the North side of the stadium this month.

19 October 2012

Upcycled and cute

I just love this little lamp (again, I'm thinking of the Luxor lamp from Pixar). It's from Fab UK. My favourite part is that the little tap turns the light on and off. Perfect!

11 October 2012

Open Dyslexic

This covers two of my interests...

A friend directed me to this site which has an open source font for people with dyslexia to use to make it easier for them to read web pages.

Designed by Abelardo Gonzalez, it was created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. "Letters have heavy weighted bottoms to add a kind of "gravity" to each letter, helping to keep your brain from rotating them around in ways that can make them look like other letters. Consistently weighted bottoms can also help reinforce the line of text. The unique shapes of each letter can help prevent flipping and swapping."

People with dyslexia (including my friend) say it means that they don't need to keep rereading a page.

You can download the font package here and there's also an app!

08 October 2012


Yesterday I came across this post that I had squirrelled away and had some fun working out how to make a friendship bracelet. Once you get started it's actually a lot easier than I expected.
Here's the start of my second colour scheme (sorry about the clashing background - it's an old chair).

01 October 2012

Holiday plans

I'll be going to England later this year and of course have started making a (very long) list of places I might like to see. Today I came across this photo...
Wild at Heart flower kiosk in Westbourne Grove

(the roof reminds me of Paris Metro entrances)
Metro Station Porte Dauphine, Paris, design, Hector Guimard. Photo © Prestel
and now I'm just desperate to see it.

28 September 2012

Don't say "Stupid"

I came across this sign as I drove home last night...
Apologies for the quality of the image - I was stopped at the robot (traffic light to non-South Africans) and it was raining.

27 September 2012

Skipping through the daisies!

Well, we were able to get a lot of clearing up done over the long weekend. Our house had accumulated the detritus of 30 years of "it might come in useful" and we decided at long last to just be done with it. The amount of space that has been revealed is phenomenal - all that remains is a large amount of dust to be swept up.

Thank you to my husband for the heavy lifting (and the daisy pics).

26 September 2012

Favourite things

I only found out last month that the Galleria Mall has an ice rink! Now ice rinks have always been a fun place for me but right now I need to get in a little practice because my plans for the new year include...
Ice Skating at Somerset House in London; image courtesy www.visitengland.com

11 September 2012

A truck on a truck

This isn't such a great photo but it's one of those things that I just love.

When I was a kid a concept that fascinated me was a picture of a TV on a TV screen (imagine, the telescoping concept of TV's inside TV's inside TV's, like a mirror reflecting an image over and over again).

So here, today, for my delight, is a truck on a truck. Well, it's not something I often see...

10 September 2012

London Underground Radio

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record (pun intended... apologies), here's another brilliant design featured on the adafruit.com website.
This is a project by Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki as part of the designers in residence programme at the Design Museum, London. A printed circuit board (PCB) based on Harry Beck's iconic London Underground map with strategically positioned speaker, resistor and battery components enables users to visually understand the complex networks associated with electricity and how power is generated within a radio.

Moss magnified

Well, in this post I promised some amazing photos and here they are:

What makes them so amazing is that these images are of moss (that furry stuff that grows inbetween paving stones) and the large grains are actually soil. I think they look like succulents and beach sand.

They are photos taken using a microscope that connects to a computer that my husband bought from adafruit.com to use with his electronics projects. For example...

31 August 2012

Special delivery

To be truthful the actual delivery wasn't so special (the less said about UPS and the grumpy guy that came to our house, the better) but what was in the box was a real treasure trove.

Some of the excitement contained within was...

  • a microscope that magnifies 200x and connects to your computer (with some shenanigans relating to trying to insert one of those mini CD's into a disk drive of the sort that doesn't have a tray) - some AMAZING photos will follow
  • a protective box for the geiger counter that my husband put together some time ago (a long-overdue post)
  • a super-bright LED
  • a teeny-tiny Wi-Fi device
  • some screens and digital displays
  • and some skill badges like this one  ------>

All of this excitement came from Adafuit - the most exciting online store, just full to bursting with inspiration and possibilities.

PS. Don't you think the packaging paper that they used instead of polystyrene peanuts is just great?

Telkom - hard at work

Would you believe it. Telkom was working on our lines yesterday (intermittent internet, interchanged with intermittent phone) and we had not one, not two...


three(!) Telkom trucks in our street (there are two on the right).

29 August 2012

September Spring Shopping Saturday

The I Heart Market is this Saturday. And if you're busy on Saturday morning, you could always go to the Jomba! City festival at North beach skatepark on Friday 31 August where there will also be a nighttime I Heart Market!
And for people like me who like to know exactly where they're going there's even a map!

24 August 2012

Tate tanks

The Tate Modern gallery in London has opened a new area of the building to the public. Part of the old Bankside power station that was originally oil storage tanks has been opened as a new performance art gallery. From the photos in the Telegraph online, it looks awesome. One of my favourite parts of the Tate is the uncannily vast Turbine Hall and from the pics, these new galleries seem to be similarly cavernous. I honestly cannot wait to see them.
Architects Jacques Hertzog (L) and Pierre de Meuron (R)

Picture credits: 1. REUTERS/Luke McGregor, 2. Ray Tang/Rex Features, 3. Sang Tan/AP (all via telegraph.co.uk)

Top greens

In this post a while ago I mentioned my top three "green" bloggers. They are (in no particular order):

Karen Cannard at The Rubbish Diet

Beth Terry at My Plastic-free Life

and Mrs Green (Rachelle Strauss) and her family at My Zero Waste

Each of these women started out in a small way to change their impact on the environment and have gradually become experts through diligence and hard work. They all know that it can be a battle to do things right but they keep on trying and that's what makes them outstanding in my book. All of their websites contain a wealth of information and advice for anyone interested in recycling and caring for the environment.

22 August 2012

Book List

Here are some of the best books I've read recently (I'm not getting any money from anyone for this)

Don't let the cat out the bag!

I love this pic because he's my cat, the photo reminds me of laughter (though of course cats hate being laughed at) and it's a photo of a cat in a bag.

17 August 2012

Bamboo toothpicks and take-aways

A strange ironic delight fills me each time I read the caution on what was actually a set of chopsticks. I think what has happened is the packaging was originally intended for toothpicks but has been used accidentally to wrap chopsticks.  It's rather like the "open packet and eat nuts" instruction on a packet of nuts but what bothers me most is that the toothpick may be more likely to hurt your mouth than your finger!

"Toothpick may hurt your finger"

And to Mooki Noodles, I'd like to say:

16 August 2012

Getting crafty

A little while ago I was lucky enough to visit Fat Tuesday in Kloof where I treated myself to (amongst other things) a cool set of postmark stamps. I hurriedly used them on some gift wrap to justify their purchase. Future plans for the stamps include more gift wrap and some birthday cards.

A postscript (if you will): the UNISA logo is not one of the stamps. It's just me recycling a very old envelope.