Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

I love books. I also pride myself on not keeping clutter in my house (and now I am experiencing shame as I look around at my cluttered desk… moving on). If it does not have a function, or if I have forgotten the function, or if the function no longer applies… I’m ruthless and it gets kicked to the curb. Of course, none of this applies to those lovely bits of paper bound with glue. I could be up to my neck in books and never purge a single one. There is one book in particular that always sits on my desk. It is so pretty to look at that I can’t bear the thought of putting it on the bookshelf above my desk, or in the bookshelf to the left of my desk, or on the bookshelf down the hall… you get the picture.

Great fabric is hard to find here in South Africa and since I love a good textile, this book sends my heart a racin.

Lena Corwin’s Printing By Hand makes boring old tricks new and fresh. She teaches you how to stamp, stencil and screen screen print on every surface you can think of. Thayler Allyson Gowdy’s photography is so yummy you almost want to eat the paint right off the pages… if you have a thing for eating paint. Of course, I don’t.

I used to associate the word “stenciling” with an 80’s baby blue mid-way point around a room pattern of ducks. Not anymore! These designs are beautiful and inspiring… and there are a bunch of templates at the back of the book! Goodbye 80’s ducks, hello chic designs. You can purchase this gem on Amazon.


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img_0725Lekker is an Africaans word thrown around a lot in South Africa meaning “good” or “nice” or maybe even “great”. There is a major push in SA to appreciate and buy South African made products, basically to be a “locavore”, or someone consuming only products made or produced within the region. The main purpose behind the movement in America is to promote the small grocer and organic movement and cut down on the fossil fuels used to transport all those Cali and South American veggies. In America, with food being shipped to all parts of the United States from California and South America and beyond, eating local would be very difficult. Unless, of course, you live in California!9780060852559

To be temped in January by the supermarket’s beautiful fruit and berries would be more than I could bear. I would give in, buy those berries that were probably not grown under the open air,  devour them and feel somehow as if I had just spent an hour under the baking sun. Here in South Africa, things are a little simpler, and this is for the better. It is not very difficult to be a locavore here, at least where food is concerned. Our local food market carries only seasonal produce, most of it grown nearby or within South Africa. Right now the summer mangoes, pomegranates, and plums are ebbing away, being replaced by all the citrus you could ever eat. I love summer fruits, so this change, while somewhat refreshing because it is one of our only seasonal indicators, is always a little sad. This weekend I photographed one of the last pomegranates of the season, before I scooped out its goodness and drizzled it on top of a sticky chocolate cake. A fine end, I thought.

For more info on the locavore movement, and for one of the best reads you will ever have, pick up Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

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