Weekly Ginger Bites

I am back! Last week’s Ginger Bites went on hold because, well, I wasn’t anywhere near my desk. I was far away, enjoying the peace and quiet that is Magaliesburg! My boyfriend whisked me away for a long weekend into the mountains, where there are some lovely little cottages that are just too cosy and comfortable for words! I really could live there! We’ve been to Nullarbor Cottages before, and it was such a great experience we went again! 4 days away from the madness that was swallowing our home was definitely what I needed!

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While I had a mountain of work to return to, it was so nice to get away, go for walks, take photos and just relax. It’ll probably be the last time I get to do this for the rest of the year, so I tried to make the most of it as best as I could.

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In the meantime, I’m currently working on some great things, which I’ll be able to show you in a few weeks time! Next week I have a mega reveal for what’s been going on at Little Seahorses Swimming School, boy is it very very very exciting! This weekend I’m off to take photos for the Shepherd’s Fold calendar as they’re having their dressage show. It’ll be so nice to get out into the countryside and be with horses, and I can’t wait to print this calendar already!

Now, as I’ve been away, I haven’t seen much around the web, but here are a few links that I managed to stumble upon in my breaks.  I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and until next week, here’s this week in links! Keep up with Facebook and Instagram to see what I do in between each Ginger Bites post!

 

Interesting Reads

5 Myths About Being An Entrepreneur

Where Success And Failure Meet

Why Firefox Makers Are Grumpy About Windows 10

Awesome DIY 3D Holograms With Your Phone!

Good For A Laugh

Hugh Jackman Lip Syncing Is Hilarious!

Happy Womens Day From Bic – Think Like A…. What?

My Faves

Fave DIY: Tie Die Smores

Fave Song: Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On

Weekly Ginger Bites

It feels like time is seriously flying at the moment – I swear it was like the middle of summer just yesterday! Sigh! The snow is starting to fall in the mountains in the Drakensberg – for us in Joburg, that means cold is on the way! It’s pretty chilly now, especially in the mornings, when I really need my long pants, socks and boots to keep me warm! And if you don’t drink your coffee in 5 minutes, it will be cold! But, I know that I’ll blink and it’ll be spring again! 🙂

This time last week I was packing for a little break away to the Pilanesburg – and what fun it was! We made it there just after sunset – driving through random patches of rain and seeing the most beautiful views of sun bursting through the clouds!

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We settled into our little chalet with a game of snakes and ladders, and some mac n cheese! With a late start the next morning, we had a late breakfast, with another game of Snakes and Ladders outside – this particular one is seriously tricky, some games took almost an hour! Sitting on the patio, staring into the distance with a cup of coffee was just amazing.

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It was nice and overcast on Saturday, which was perfect for us to see the animals, as you’re more likely to see them wandering around than if it was super hot. I’m not much of a landscape photographer, but I really love being able to remember a particular view that took my breath away. Something like this.

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We drove around, and saw some insane sights – including a fresh kill from a small pack of lions. We initially came across 2 wildebeest, one was very on edge and unhappy – after finding the kill, we figured why. I’m not great with death (actually pretty phobic!) so I felt so sorry for the poor wildebeest who had just become lunch. :(We got stuck behind a car that wanted to take 15 minutes for photos on their smartphones – so we endured the heartwrenching sounds of lunch.

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We then saw a happy elephant playing in Mankwe Dam, having such fun, throwing water all over himself, and falling back into the water. It was adorable – from a distance at least! I suggested heading off to the Mankwe hide, where it’s wonderfully quiet and peaceful. To our surprise, we came across another 2 families of elephants on the other side of the dam! One family promptly ran in the other direction once they’d seen some cars, and then others were rather happy to snack on the trees right by the entrance of the hide parking. The last shot was taken through the back window of the car by my boyfriend – this guy was probably less than 10m away! I kept moving at a slow pace til we were safe – definitely didn’t want to piss these guys off!

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We spotted a rhino on the other side of the dam, so after consulting the map, we thought we might have a chance of finding him. After a rather long bumpy drive, we realised my calculations were off, and we’d completely missed him! We did manage to see some ostrich, warthogs and kudu!

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We made our way back to the chalet, had a lovely chilled braai (or a barbeque for you overseas folk) and watched the guinea fowl, eland and kudu wander past our patio! We even had a small invasion of guinea fowl – they’re pretty loud when they’re right in front of you! But they soon realised we weren’t going to feed them, and they wandered off. It’s much cooler at night now, so we sat inside and enjoyed several episodes of New Girl – something I’m trying to get my boyfriend to watch more of because I love it!

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Our drive home was a slow and relaxed one, where we stopped off at Pick A Pancake for some lunch, and then I took the scenic route home through the Rhino & Lion Park – where we spotted giraffe, lion and a white tiger! Quite the sight!

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It was a wonderful weekend break, and it was another occasion where we were reminded how important it is to take a break from routine and city life!

This weekend I’ll be off shooting a wedding at a little medieval-styled venue – it should be great fun! If you made it through all of that – well done! Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend, and until next week, here’s this week in links!

 

Interesting Reads

If Disney Princesses Were Played By Real Life Celebs
Some Of These Smartphone Photography Tricks Look Awesome!
Check Out These Well-Known Logos That Were Brush Painted!
The 30 Best Animated Gifts Of The Interwebs!
Design Rules To Remember!

Good For A Laugh

This Guy Does Insane Robin Williams Impressions!
41 Adorable Moments Showing Why Pugs Rule!
Taking Lazy To A New Level!
Confessions Of A Guilty Designer

My Faves

Fave Design: Dress Your Tech
Fave Recipe: Nigella’s Quick Calabrian Lasange (made it – loved it!)
Fave Song: Mumford & Sons – Believe

 

Make Your Own Gift Wrap

There’s nothing quite like seeing all kinds of bright, bold and colourful kinds of gift wrap! Every year we’d have a wide range of colours and patterns under the tree, and it was always exciting (although usually it was very tiring) to hide away and wrap the gifts on Christmas Eve. Sometimes you see some beautiful gift wrap in the shop, and it’s only once you’ve bought it, got it home and started to wrap something, that you realise what terrible paper it is. I’ve encountered so many kinds of gift wrap that are either too thin, too shiny, too slippery, or tear at the corners. And one thing I learnt last year – most of these gift wraps aren’t even recyclable! This prompted me to make my own gift wrap that was not only unique, but perfect for wrapping anything, and I could put it in the recycling when the gifts had been opened. Score!

So, this is my eco-friendly super easy creative way of making gift wrap! It’s great for all kinds of occasions – Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and every other day in between. If you’re feeling crafty this weekend, go grab some supplies and make your own gift wrap! And if you do, please send me some photos, I’d absolutely love to see your creations!

Tools:

A variety of stamps (you can buy them or make your own – check my tutorial here)
Stencils
Ink pads
Spraypaint
Pens
Brown paper (you can use any paper, brown paper is easier and better to recycle)

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These are my homemade stamps from last year – you can easily make your own with this tutorial, or you can buy them from any craft or stationery shop!

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DIY Giftwrap 1 – Stencils & Stamps

This is a little more complicated, but it gives fantastic results! Spend a day or two making lots of your own, and it’ll be totally worth it once you see all your wrapped gifts with your paper on them!

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I bought a giant book of stencils from Typo, they have a great selection and you get quite a few in the book, about 20 I think. You can also make your own if you’re feeling super crafty, but I love Typo’s wide selection, and they’re easy to clean and reuse if you haven’t cleaned them.

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I’m not a huge fan of spray paint, but this works pretty well! It’s also a more eco-friendly spray instead of the usual heavy duty oil based ones, so if you get any spray on your hands or clothes, it comes right off with some soap! I also used a whiteboard marker in black, and a white marker that was Xylene free. But you can use any pens you like!

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Time to get creative! I like to chose one or two stencils, and some stamps to go with them. It’s best to think of a simple pattern that you can repeat easily. Try keep your pattern close together as well, otherwise once you’ve wrapped your gift, you’ll miss out on most of your pretty pattern!

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I chose 2 different snowflakes, and did a super light coat of spray. I did get some overspray around the edges, but it gives it some character. You can always use newspaper to cover the edges so you don’t get any overspray.

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Time to add some stamps! I’m going to add some stars, and also some love! There’s no set pattern, just go for it and create something special and unique.

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You don’t even have to put a lot of ink onto your stamps, they can range in lightness so you get a wide range of bits and pieces in your pattern.

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Here are some I made last year, from homemade stamps, spraypaint and metallic pens. I kept it simple and repeated the pattern every 10cm or so, and it looked great when it was wrapped!

 

 

DIY Giftwrap 2 – Sketch Your Own

Now, if you don’t have time to create giftwrap in vast quantities and create pretty patterns, you can always do that after you’ve wrapped it! Create something simple like I did below (it saves you on ribbon and labels!) or you can go while and make your own patterns with stamps and spraypaint and pens!

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For something super simple, I went with a handdrawn bow and ribbon. Something that anyone can do, and it looks cute and crafty. It’s also a fun idea for the kids, because who doesn’t like drawing on things?!

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You can also add in some simple details around the bow, like some polka dots. Or you can go wild – it’s up to you!

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I hope you enjoyed these two mini tutorials – go out and make your own awesome giftwrap! If you follow these, please do take some photos and show me, I’d absolutely love to see what you come up with! Happy DIY’ing!

 

Spring Has Sprung!

I’ve been so ridonculously busy over the past few months, and I’m rather ashamed that my poor blog hasn’t had nearly enough attention as it should have! There’s been a huge but fantastic influx of projects from various clients that I’ve had so much fun working on. I guess a little bit of a catch up is in order.

The few projects I’ve been working on have been particularly huge for me, not in terms of project size but the fact that those clients have trusted me with their brands. While I’m completely confident I can work wonders with their new company’s brand, it’s a huge compliment for someone to trust me with it. The first big deal for me was one of my best friend’s new venture into a swimming school – and letting me create the logo, website and everything else. It’s going to be opening in October, and all the little things are slowly coming together, and I can’t wait to see it out there, living and breathing with the swimming school!

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Secondly, I handled a CI for a new music production studio. It was so much fun, from the very first sketches right through to the launch event of their studio! Logo design, business cards, email signatures, letterheads, a rather good-looking website and photos. It was like chocolate cake, with a gooey chocolate filling, covered in thick chocolate icing – I enjoyed every single bit of it!

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At the same time, I had a super short notice request for some business cards for a very talented baker and cake decorator friend of mine. From sketch to final printed business cards in just 4 days was a tad crazy, but they came out so cool looking, and when I saw them beside her incredible cupcakes decorated with printouts of the music studio’s logo that I’d designed, I almost cried! I can only imagine it to be something like seeing your kids go off for their first day of school. Yes, I totally just compared my projects to kids. But that’s how important they are to me!

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On the side, I’ve been working on a logo for a very unique and exciting local band, a branding service company, and a wedding media company, along with the usual monthly work I do for my previous company of employment. It hasn’t really stopped here, but I’m grateful for that!

And personally, well, August was a surprisingly getaway-filled month! The second weekend of August, my boyfriend and I went away to celebrate our 4 year anniversary, then 2 weeks later we held a surprise birthday party/camping holiday at our friend’s special campsite (the same place we went to for Easter) and then last weekend we went to Bela Bela. That last holiday was a blast, even though we were camping during a cold front and the water froze overnight! I got the most pathetic tan/burn on my legs from my 3/4 pants, and we spent most of each day walking around, sitting in the sun, relaxing by the pool, playing cards and cycling around. I haven’t ridden a bike since…. well, probably over 10 years, but it was so great to get back on a bike and just ride! Except that poor bike had zero shock absorbers, so I was a little sore the following day! We had some sheep and little sparrow weaver birds for company after most of the campers left on the Sunday, while we stayed until Tuesday. They were so curious and friendly, constantly hopping around our feet while we relaxed by the tent, I actually missed them all after we came home!

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And, well, since then I’ve been back at work, doing the usual au pairing and keeping very busy on more projects. I’ve also realised I have a lot of work ahead of me for my own businesses, as while my design has been doing so splendidly, my photography business totally needs some love. So I’m giving each business a little bit of pampering, some website updates and some blog updates, and lots of exciting things planned for the future. I’m not the best of bloggers, but I do enjoy it, so it’s time to put that to use and blog more! That’s right, you’ll be seeing a lot more from me, hopefully at least once a week, or once every two weeks! Until then folks!

Just A Few Days

Firstly, I hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend just gone by! It feels like just last week it was Ash Wednesday, and now suddenly Easter is over and we’re heading straight for Winter. Time flies!

And speaking of time, it’s amazing what just 2 days of holiday can do for you. My boyfriend and I had planned to head to the coast for the Easter weekend, purely because it was our best chance of getting a decent holiday in. But when the weekend crept up on us, the places we wanted to go to were all booked, and the cost of petrol alone was insane. Our favourite places were all booked up, and it soon looked like we wouldn’t be going anywhere – and possibly pitching the tent in the garden! I’m the kind of person who needs holidays, otherwise I become grumpy, miserable and useless. But on this past Wednesday, while at our weekly social evenings, our buddy mentioned they were going to their family camp site up north, and invited us. And boom! There was our holiday!

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We went through on Saturday morning, and arrived to beautiful hot sunny weather (and I’d only packed clothes for cooler weather!). It’s the kind of place you can get away with doing absolutely nothing – even staring into the distance feels good! On Sunday morning, we drove up the mountain to the highest point for several km’s, and watched the sun rise over the flat plains of Limpopo. Gosh, it was amazing. After snapping some photos, we headed back down the mountain and tackled the rough terrain. After a slightly hair raising and stomach churning ride home (I don’t have the strongest stomach in the mornings before breakfast!) we got back and made the most of our holiday.

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On our way home, we took the more scenic route to avoid the expensive toll roads and e-tolls, and had a ride up the cable car to the top of the Hartbeespoort mountains and ended up having lunch there! I’m not one for heights, but it was pretty magical, and worth the slightly scary ride to the top! We made our way home through the Cradle of Humankind, through some beautiful driving roads, and we made it home with time to spare for unpacking and freshening up before dinner.

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This break showed me just how drained I get, because my brain actually never stops once it gets going – I’m always thinking of ideas, trying to solve problems, and my mind is constantly absorbing information, to the point where I don’t want it anymore, but I can’t stop it. Just 2 days of getting away from that and switching off has done me a world of good, because now I feel like I can tackle any oncoming projects with gusto and fresh creative juices! So, if you’re thinking you should keep pushing on, give yourself a break, and you’ll be glad you did!