Sunday, January 31, 2010

Breakfast in bed

My wonderful fiance woke me up with breakfast in bed. What a great way to start a Sunday morning. Eggs, bacon, toast, tea and lots of love. Food always tastes better when make with that special ingredient :)

The rest of the weekend has vacillated between being laid back and working. Watched lots of Californication and The Big Bang Theory (love this show!); ate some good food (prepared by my love, he's a great cook) and drank some good wine; went for a walk on Milnerton beach (it was so lovely, I've never been there before) and finally got to print some photos to hang on my funky new photo holder.

Photo thingy

Dinner at Sevruga on Thursday night was wonderful. Their food is spectacular and Rudi and I had a really nice anniversary.

3-year-aniversary 3

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ah Letterpress

What I wouldn't give to be able to do all my ci and invite work in letterpress. Just look at the beautiful stuff on Beast Pieces.

And this from Satsuma Press

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Three Years!


Rudi and I have been together 3 years today. I can't believe it's been so long, but on the other hand it feels longer. And in exactly 2 months and 2 weeks I'm tying the knot with this wonderful man. I can't wait.

We're off to sevruga for a romantic dinner tonight. Mmm...yummy.

Our wedding coordinator came for a meeting today. I'm finally feeling like this wedding is going to happen. Before now it just felt like this dream, like something we'd talk about, but never like something that was real. I'm getting more and more excited. I can't imagine what I'm going to be like the week before the wedding, but I think that we will be running around so much that I'm not going to get a chance to think about it.

I've now got an appointment for my hair and make-up booked and we have an appointment to see the florist, have a cupcake and ice-cream tasting and we're going to go have a look at our fab wedding car. I think Rudi is the most excited about the car and the ice-cream.

My super duper maid of honour also sent me a pic of what her dress is going to look like. So stunning! It's a bit of a mission to organise her and my little gorgeous flower girl’s outfits because they're up in joburg and I'm here is cape town, but Louise's mom is making the dresses and I'm sure they will turn out beautifully.

Wow, it's all finally coming together :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sweet Dreams be able to get into such a beautiful bed at night. You could only have sweet dreams...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What a crazy, awesome week

Well, my week started out pretty slow and boring and by 12:00 Monday I was wondering where I was going to hunt down my next job. The only thing that stresses me out about being a freelancer is not always knowing where that next job is going to come from. Anyway, there I am, sitting doing some admin and a few little jobs and suddenly the phone rings. And so the insanity began. It was a guy calling to ask if I could come to the Mount Nelson asap to have a meeting and take a brief from a director who is out from New York filming an ad in Cape Town. Off I rushed, not knowing what an experience I was in for.

The team turned out to be from a American based company called Identity, who had done ads for the likes of McDonalds, Oreos, Nike, iPod and Budweiser, just to name a few. I would be working with Pierluca De Carlo, the director, and, luckily for me at the time, I didn't realize what a huge name he was in the industry. I think I would have completely lost my nerve. A little later, when I did some research, I learnt that Luca has won a MTV award for best art director, directed music videos for the likes of Geri Halliwell, Julio Iglesias and John Mellencamp, done work for clients such as The New York Times, Chrysler, Cadillac, Pantene and L'Oreal and had celebrities such as Penelope Cruz, Natalie Portman, Beyonce, Eva Longoria and Diane Keaton star in his work. With all the big names I was a bit intimidated, but what a nice guy. He made me feel welcome and constantly praised me for the work I was doing.

The project I was hired to do was to design the branding for the interior of a yogurt shop that is being used in the ad for Kohl's, an American department store chain. I had a quick chat with Natalie, the wonderful production manager, and Rene, her great assistant, and then got the brief from Luca. The design needed to be something simple, that would immediately give you the feel of a yogurt shop, but that was also understated enough not to attract too much attention in the shot. I was pitching for the job against another designer and had to get first drafts to Natalie by 10pm (I got the brief at about 3pm). The deadline was pretty tight as shooting would take place on Saturday and everything had to be finished and printed before Friday.

Off I shot home to do my best. I worked like a demon and managed to get everything emailed on time. I was hoping I'd landed the job, but I would have to wait till the next morning. Tuesday Rene smsed me to say that I had nailed it and to welcome me on board. I was asked to meet everyone back at the hotel in the afternoon for a debrief and once Luca had explained what changes their client wanted made I went off to one of the suites the team was booked into and started working to get the new versions out by that evening. Everything ran pretty smoothly. The new versions went off to the client at about 9 that night and I dragged my tired self back home.

I must say, what these people do looks glamorous and extremely fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. I don't know if I could deal with the stress of coordinating a shoot like that. There are just so many people that you have to get organised and things you have to get done in such a short time. I really take my hats off to them.

Wednesday morning there was a few last minute changes to do before everything went to the printers, but things ran smoothly and it all got printed on time and installed into the location. I was so pleased because it's usually the rush jobs that can go totally wrong. Luca and the rest of the team were very pleased with the end results and I was invited to go and take some photos of the designs at the location on Saturday.

These are two renderings that we added my designs to so that the clients could see what the finished product would look like.

And these are the finished products. You can see them in the background behind all the cast, crew and equipment.

It was so much fun being on set. And if this is all the equipment and people it takes to shoot an ad I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like when filming a movie. This project was such a great experience and half the time it didn't feel real. I really hope I get to do something like this again soon.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Listening to Foo Fighters' "The Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners"
Eating Lindt's mint dark chocolate
Creating a cool website for Ideaseed
Going on a yatch cruise next sunday
Feeling like this year just got very busy
Wearing beautiful summer dresses

Thursday, January 21, 2010

So, should I start freelancing

A girl I went to primary school emailed my yesterday wanting to know how I got into freelancing, as she has wanted to for a long time, but has never had the courage to take the plunge. I wrote back to her explaining how I started and giving her some advice. She emailed me back saying that my response had so inspired her that she was going to finally go for it. I feel really flattered that what I said helped her make up her mind. So, even though I'm by no stretch of the imagination a freelancing guru and half of what I said is just my ramblings, I thought I'd post what I wrote to her here in the hope that it might help someone else make up their mind about whether they should freelance or not. My thoughts are: Go for it!

Ah.. The ever difficult question of “Do I freelance, and worry about where my next pay cheque will come from, or do I carry on working for someone, slaving way to make them rich?”

I worked for an agency for just over 4 and a half years and, while I enjoyed the work and had great bosses, I always wanted to try freelancing, but I was always too scared to take the plunge and leave the safety of my job. Rudi, who has been working for himself for over 3 years (he’s a web programmer) kept bugging me to go out on my own, but I just couldn’t get over the idea of not having the stability of a salary every month.

The beginning of last year we decided that we wanted to move to the cape and that this would be the prefect opportunity for me to go out on my own. I was terrified, but we don’t have any major financial responsibility at this point in our lives (no bond or kids) so financially we could take the risk. I stopped working in June and, by some miracle and some good contacts, I was so busy in July I didn’t know what to do with myself. In August we moved to Cape Town and I was so quiet I started to freak out and wonder if I had made the right choice, but I decided that I would just hang in there for awhile and see what happens. That’s the one thing you have to remember; it is going to take time to get your name out there and get regular clients, but it’s actually easier than you think.

I think there are two ways to go about freelancing. The first is to start getting freelance jobs while you still work for a company and to build up your clients until you are happy that you will be able to make enough money each month and then go out on your own. Whether you do this depends on what kind of policy your current employer has about freelance work (and how seriously you take that policy) and how much time you have to work after hours. Most of the freelancers I know started like this and it worked well because while they were still trying to get their business stared they had the security of their other job. You just have to be willing to put in a lot of time and maybe forget about having a social life for a while. This approach can also take a bit longer as you don’t always get time to actively sell your services and might not be able to take on bigger projects. I didn’t go this route as there was a really strict clause in my contract that stated that I wasn’t allowed to do any other design work outside of my job. I also didn’t want to feel like I had to work 24/7. But this can be a very good way of starting out and someone I know if making a ton of money like this.

Then, obviously, there’s quitting your job and just jumping right in (like I did). The first couple of months I stressed so much that I made myself sick, but if I had known then what I know now I wouldn’t have worried quite as much. I still get pangs at the beginning of every month wondering where the work is going to come from, but it always comes. One day I’ll be quite and then suddenly, without actually doing too much marketing, I’m crazy busy. Even in my quietest months I was at least still making what I had at my previous job. And that’s actually easy to do because, even though you might be sitting around doing nothing more than you’re used to and feeling like you have no work, the times you do work you’re making so much more per hour than you would in most jobs. So, if you want to earn R15 000 and you’re charging R300 per hour you only need to work 50 hours a month and that’s 2.5 hours a day. Obviously it’s better to aim high and get as much work as possible, but then the bonus is you’re going to make more money.

When I started I only had one client, a web design company that I did a few template designs for. I wanted to start freelancing because, I was tired of answering to someone else and I wanted to be able to choose the clients I worked for and the type of work I did. I had some money saved up, so that also really helped in the beginning. Except for worrying about where the next job is going to come from, I have nothing bad to say about working for yourself.

The big thing is always to remember that it’s going to take time to get going (I said to myself at the beginning that if in 6 months I still wasn’t getting anywhere I would give up and find a job, but within 2 I was already doing well), to always put away some money in case next month is a little slow and that if you discover that you don’t enjoy freelancing you can always get another job, your decision to do this doesn’t lock you in for life.

I think the best 2 pieces of advice I can give you on how to start is:

1. Get a good website designed that showcases your work and try to do as much SEO (search engine optimisation) on it as possible. It’s taken about 6 months for my site to start ranking high in google, but I now get quite a lot of inquiries from it.

2. Try to get your name out there as much as possible, whether it’s on online directories (have a look at, going to meet potential clients, sending mails out to agencies to say that if they ever need help you are available, starting a facebook group, starting a blog, tweeting and just letting everyone know that you’re doing this.

You can also start pitching for work on some of the online marketing sites, like Just do some searches and you should find some more of these sites, there are lots out there.

I really am a useless marketer. I hate going to sell myself and I loath having to phone clients, but I do it when I have to and, as I said, the work always just seems to appear. I don’t know of anyone who’s stared freelancing and made a complete mess of things. If you’re passionate about what you do these things just seem to work out. I don’t regret going out on my own for one minute and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too. You just have to decide what’s going to work the best for you and then just go for it.

There are some great freelance design blogs out there that give very good advice so have look. Here are a few

I by no means have all the answers and I know that there are a zillion things I could still be doing to market myself, but it’s always just good to start!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekend Overview

Our little Plants

Friday night Rudi and I just stayed in, ordered take-aways (sushi, yum yum) and watched Knowing (strange movie). It was a busy week, so we just took it easy.

Saturday morning while Rudi was playing games (Dragon Age is his new fav) I watched Marley & Me (I cried my eyes out at the end. I'm such a sucker when it comes to animals). Rudi and I have a standing Saturday tradition that I rent a chick flick and he gets to play games. Everyone's happy.

We also watered and checked on our little planties (top images). Rudi planted them last week for me (they're Merry Golds) so that when they're finally fully grown he can pick flowers out of our own garden for me. He's very proud of them :)

Cape Quarters - door

Saturday afternoon we drove into Cape Town to go explore the Cape Quarters and take some photos.

Cape Quarters Colours
{Colourful Houses}

Cape Quarters - shop

Cape Quarters - Shops
{Interesting Shops}

Cape Quarters - Bath
{Beautiful Stuff}

I very much want a bathtub like this in our house one day.

While walking around we went into an art gallery and I and I discovered a great artist - Alex Hamilton. I would love to buy one of his works, but they're, like a lot of things, are a bit out of my budget at the moment. One day maybe.

{3 of Alex Hamilton's works}

{Love this - it's called AFROHEIDI}


I saw these in the gallery and instantly wanted them. They are based on the Buddhist and Hindu Mandala - a from of sandpainting used to "to access progressively deeper levels of the unconscious, ultimately assisting the meditator to experience a mystical sense of oneness with the ultimate unity from which the cosmos in all its manifold forms arises."

Rudi bought me this adorable little thing.

Solar Baby

It's called a Solar Baby and it bobs it's head from side to side when it's put in the sun (it's got a little solar panel on it's back that powers it).

After we'd walked around for a while we decided to take a drive around Camps Bay to ogle all the mansions and then we headed home.

Today we just lazed around the house. Rudi had to work a bit so I started reading 'Dead Until Dark", the book the 1st season of True Blood is based on. I really enjoy the series and, even though I did enjoy the Twilight books, I prefer Sookie and Bill. I've only read the first couple of chapters, but it's pretty much the same as the series so far. I'm going to see if I can hunt down the rest of the  books.

We then went for a relaxing walk on the beach (I love that we can do this whenever we feel like) and now I'm going to make some super and chill. It was a good weekend.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dresses, dresses, dresses

My wedding dress has finally arrived in the country *jumps up and down with joy* and I went to try it on yesterday. I'm so in love with it and I think I look gorgeous, if I do say so myself. I definitely feel like a princess in it. It took 7 months to find just the right dress, but the search was worth it. To any brides to be out there, do go check out the dresses at The Wedding Box and Lady Marmalaide. The dresses are a bit pricey, but they are so beautifully made and with such great fabrics. You only get married once, so I think you really need to find the perfect dress, even if it is a little above your budget. Rudi and I are lucky enough to be able to pay for our own wedding, but my wonderful mom bought me my dress so it is extra special.

Talking about dresses, I just love Chucks wardrobe in Pushing Daisies! I would dye to have the dresses she wares. Unfortunately I haven't really seen anywhere in SA were you can get similar styles, or if I have, they are way out of my price range. Anyone got any suggestions for me?

But, I've still decided that this year I'm going to only buy dresses. I love how I feel in them; fun, feminine and comfortable. I've added 4 new dresses to my closet this summer so far. My favourite are an adorable little brown strapless number and  a divine bright yellow dress with a wide black belt (yellow is my colour right now). I can't wait to find some more great buys :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dinner at Fiesta, Cape Quarter

Rudi and I had a wonderful dinner last night with one of my varsity friends at the Cape Quarter. What a great place, we'll definitely go back. There is such a nice vibe and the area is so beautiful and interesting. I desperately want to grab my camera, head over there and take some photos of the buildings. There's also a sushi bar that I'm dying to try.

We also spotted this beauty in the parking lot.


I adore vintage cars and would give anything to own one, even if I probably couldn't afford to fill it up with all the gas they guzzle. But one can dream...

We've actually been very busy so far this week. Sunday we went out with friends for cocktails to celebrate 3 months to the wedding. Tuesday we went out for super and a movie (Sherlock Holmes - good, but nothings going to impress me for a while after seeing Avatar). Super at Fiesta last night. And tonight we're having friends over for super. Busy, busy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

White & Red Christmas

This is so pretty. I think we'll have a red and white christmas this year.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

5 things that make me happy

1. My wonderful fiance  - yes I know...could I get anymore soppy :)


2. Our two cute doggies - without them we'd be very sad



3. Sushi - anytime, anywhere it's great!


4. Anything with cinnamon in it - yum yum yum


5. Living so close to the beach - still can't believe it

Sea in the evening

Archer Hairline: Emotional, Understated, Progressive & Disciplined

Archer Hairline

I just took this very cool test that I found on How About Orange's blog. It says that my personality is matched to the font Archer Hairline. I've never seen this typeface before, but I am absolutely in love with it now and I'm searching for it everywhere. It is exactly my kind of font: thin, simple, with something just a little different.

I'm sure it's only designers that can go so gaga over things like fonts and paper, but they make me so happy:)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Three months to go!

Engagement Shoot

I can't believe the time has flown by so fast. In 3 months time I will be walking down the aisle, in my beautiful wedding dress, towards the most amazing guy in the world, to become Mrs van der Walt *jumps around with excitement*. When Rudi and I got engaged last December (22 December 2008), it felt as if the time couldn't go by fast enough... and now the wedding is just around the corner.

There is still quite a bit to do, but I've got most of the important stuff done.

The Venue: The Royal Hotel in Riebeek Kasteel

The Royal Hotel

This is such a quirky and unusual venue and it suites Rudi and my personalities down to the ground. We want a relaxed, informal and fun wedding and the Royal is exactly the place to have it. We looked at a lot of wine farms in the Stellenbosch/Paarl/Franschoek area and we saw some stunning places (Rickety Bridge in Franschoek was amazing), but we loved the feel of Riebeek Kasteel, and because my mom and dad will shortly be moving there, it felt a little bit more personal to us.

Our Photographer: The wonderful Lizelle Lotter
She took the photo at the beginning of this post and she is just so good. You really need to check out her website

My Dress: A spectacular creation from The Wedding Box
I'd love to post a pic of it here, but that would be giving away the surprise. I can't wait to try it on again. I ordered it last October and it should be arriving this month. Then all that has to happen is the final fitting and I'm sorted.

The Shoes: Gorgeous fuchsia pink numbers
Anyone who knows me will know what a shoe fanatic I am, so the shoes where a very important part for me. I'm loving how wedding shoes don't need to be white anymore and a splash of colour can really bring something extra to your look. I actually found 2 pairs of shoes that I loved, but the first pair where stilettos and made me about half a head taller than Rudi and they weren't practical at all. So I hunted for a lower pair and found the most gorgeous wedges. And aren't these stunning...


The Honeymoon: Thailand


Our honeymoon is booked and paid for and Rudi and I are both so excited. I've been dying to go travel and this was the perfect opportunity. We'll be in Phuket for 2 days and then at for 8. We're planning to do as much as possible and go see all the islands that we can. I'm also looking really forward to snorkelling in that warm water.

I don't want to give too much else away, so I'll have to restrain myself from posting anything else now. The only other major things we need to sort out are the decor and flowers. I'm working with two wonderful coordinators from We Do Weddings and they will be handling the rest of the logistics. I can't wait to see what they come up with and I'm looking so forward to going for my hair and make-up trial run. Ooh, it's all so exciting.

But all the fun and excitement of planning the wedding isn't the most important aspect of our big day. What makes me grin from ear to ear and want to bust into tears of happiness is the fact that I will be standing up in front of all the people who mean so much in my life and declaring my eternal love and devotion to this wonderful man, who has made the last 3 years of my life so special and has filled them with such joy, love and laughter. I can't wait to say "I do" and start the rest of my life with him.

Rudi, you are the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. I adore you.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just something I wanted to post

Old Buidling in Riebeek Kasteel

I've been going through my photos in Lightroom and I came across this one. I took it last April while my parents, Rudi and I were in Riebeek Kasteel looking for our wedding venue. I have obviously lightroomed the hell out of this pic, but I really love how it came out. I might have it printed on canvas to hang up somewhere in our house.

Cute Crafty Stuff

I bought some of these great buttons today for a craft project that I'm busy with and I think they are just adorable (if a bit pricey). I got them at the Cape Arts & Crafts shop in Canal Walk and if you are looking for anything like these, or any scrap booking stuff, I think this is definitely the place to go. I could spend hours looking at all the heavenly products. The ones from American Crafts and Love, Elsie and KI Memories are my fav. Pity they are so expensive otherwise I would go crazy.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sooo cute!

Cute Gums

Just had to post a pic of these adorable sweets. Bought them at Pick 'n Pay yesterday, just for the packaging and the cute idea. Inside you get different tops and bottoms of little animals in different colours and you can put them together however you want. Just so sweet.

And another thing...

I'm listening to Staind's So Far Away... I love this song, it always makes me feel so uplifted

Avatar, Cape Town and super cool logos


Well, Rudi and I went to see Avatar last night in 3D. It was spectacular! We saw it about 2 weeks ago at the normal cinemas, but we could only get tickets to the 3D show last night as it was so fully booked. I must admit that it wasn't really a movie that I was looking forward to seeing and just thought, well, seeing as I'm a very big sci-fi and fantasy fan I might as well make the effort. And I'm glad I did because it absolutely blew me away. If you haven't seen it yet do yourself a favour and go.

I think my favourite thing is that most of the time you completely forget you're watching special effects, especially with the characters, they are so well done. And Sam Worthington is just yummy :)

Today I went to meet one of the girls, that I do a lot of graphic design, for who lives in Australia and just happens to be in SA for the holidays. It was so nice to put finally meet her as we've only chatted on skype. What a honey! We chatted for 2 hours and I think we had enough to speak about to carry on for another two. It's great to know that there are such nice people to work for out there.

While out and about I drove through Cape Town. I realized again what an amazing city it is with the most wonderful vibe. I feel very lucky to live here and I think Rudi and I will be saying "Can't believe we live here" for the next couple of years. Moving down from Pretoria was the best idea.

Then just some random pics of some cool logos. These were on the side of the Daddy Longlegs Airstream at the Old Biscuit Mill. Just love them. Check out the link here

The Grand Daddy Logo

Daddy Longlegs Logo

I really want to go stay over in one of these. I'll have to add it to my list of things to do in Cape Town.

Ejoy the weekend.