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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bubblewrap - time killer

We go through a ton of bubble wrap to package our chalkboard products so I went and researched who the genius was that invented the material.

It turns out that bubble wrap was first marketed as wallpaper but it proved unsuccessful. The company then turned it's focus on packaging and voila - the rest as they say is history.

Since it's invention in 1960 alot of people have found alternative uses for the product. The first being stress relief.

A friend told me that she bought her son a very expensive dvd and instead of watching it with her he played with the bubble wrap for the rest of the evening.

Have a look at some of the clever uses people have found for bubble wrap.

Outdoor advertising campaign: no more cellulite

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Bubble wrap calendar
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The ultimate time killer
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Eco beauty for Vogue magazine
Picture credit: Eco beauty by Thomaas via

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Enjoy your own company

It has been such an amazing journey to get to the point of having tested our product and how having registered as a Pty Ltd.

Although it seems that with the official title a heap of paper work appeared from nowhere. I have signed my signature more times in the past two weeks than ever before. Luckily I needed the practice and think I've now perfected it.

We have started doing viral campaigns and have had great response so far but hats off to OLX that's still our biggest portal for gaining new customers. From wine farms to butchers have been contacting us from this awesome site (or maybe it's our great pictures?).

Currently we are working on developing five new products to our range. Exciting new designs not currently avaliable in the market place.

The big reveal will happen at the 'Wellington Huismark' at Napier Winery, Bainskloof from 25 to 28 July this year.

Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Market day!

We will be having a stall at the Just Horses Market Day on Saturday 27 April 2013 in our little farming town of Joostenbergvlakte.

This will be the first time we join our comunity that consists of a few farmers, alot of small business owners on the small holdings, and the rest 'the horsy-types' as we lovingly call them, in a venture to show off the wonderful gems we have to offer.

We will be featuring new designs in all colours and have fun activities for the kids.

Market day @ Just Horses Equestrian Centre
Date: 27 April 2013
Time: 9am - 14:00pm
Place: Just Horses Equestrain Centre on Warburg Road, Joostenberg Vlakte

Hope to see you there!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Emily A. Clark: A Little Boy's Bedroom with Big Style

Emily A. Clark: A Little Boy's Bedroom with Big Style:

A Little Boy's Bedroom with Big Style

When we moved into our house a a year and a half ago, I quickly put together my little boy's room using most of the things from our previous home, in an effort to get it "finished" for him:

In the back of my mind, I've always planned on eventually changing the whole scheme of things--bedding, paint, bed, etc.. However, after seeing Janell's son Max's room, I'm having the urge to work on it a little sooner.

Janell, who writes the always-inspiring blog Isabella & Max Rooms, started the design process for her little boy's room re-do by interviewing the client himself, as any good designer would do. Turns out 5-year-old Max had some great ideas, including a chalkboard (she incorporated a large chalkboard "stripe" around the walls) and maps of the world (which Janell drew herself!).

I also like that she challenged herself to complete the room using mostly accessories from IKEA--some of which she transformed once she got them home.

And, if you like Max's room, her daughter's room is just as wonderful! recently took notice of her talents and published her first design article entitled "10 Creative Yet Simple Projects for Kids' Rooms" on their site. Congrats, Janell, on the article and a great job on Max's big boy room.

Monday, December 3, 2012

All that glitters, sparkles and shines

Glitter is such a big trend at the moment and just in time for the festive season where we tend to bling things up a bit.

We took a look at the origin of glitter and its two festive friends, sequence and confetti and found some very interesting facts.


Glitter describes an assortment of very small, flat, and reflective particles. When these particles are applied to surfaces, they each reflect light in different angles causing the surface to sparkle or glitter. Glitter is similar to, but smaller than confetti or sequins. Glitter has been produced and used decoratively since prehistoric times from many different materials including mica, insects, glass, and now plastic.
The first production of modern glitter has been sometimes been credited to American cattle farmer and machinist, Henry Ruschmann, shortly after the start of WWII. With German glass glitter unavailable due to the war, Ruschmann found a market for scrap material ground into glitter made of plastic. He founded Meadowbrook Inventions, Inc. in Bernardsville New Jersey, and the company is still a major producer of industrial glitter today.

As early as 30,000 year ago, flake mica was used to give caves paintings a glittering appearance. Primitive humans are believed to have used cosmetics, which may have included powdered hematite, a sparkling mineral. Over 60,000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians produced glittering cosmetics from the iridescent shells of beetles as well as finely ground green malachite crystal. Prior to modern plastics, particles of glass were used to create glittering surfaces, and glass glitter is still produced commercially.

Glittering surfaces have been found to be used since prehistoric times in the arts and in cosmetics. Sparkling fabrics have come into fashion through the ages. Prior to fabrics made with modern glitter, sequins were sewn or woven onto fabric to give it a glittering appearance. Today, edible glitter made from gum arabic and other ingredients is even used by culinary artists.

Due to its unique characteristics, glitter has also proven to be useful forensic evidence. Because of the tens of thousands of different commercial glitters, identical glitter particles can be compelling evidence that a suspect has been at a crime scene. Glitter particles are easily transferred through the air or by touch, yet cling to bodies and clothing, often unnoticed by suspects.


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No one really knows for sure when sequins were first invented. However, gold sequins were found in King Tut's tomb. Excavators also found a shimmering, sequined shirt designed for King Tut to wear in the afterlife. Since this Egyptian King lived from approximately 1341-1323 B.C., sequins are thousands of years old.
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Confetti was actually first used in Paris in 1891. Someone was taking down the decorations after a party at a really big theatrical revue called "le Casino de Paris" They decided to cut up the decorations and drop them on the guests the next evening. No one had seen Confetti before and was enthralled to the point of giddiness. Within 4 Years Confetti was being made by machine and being sold all over the world.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pretty handy pallets

We just love the very quirky and practical things crafters all over the world are doing to up cycle palette wood.

From furniture to storage and even in the garden it’s very inspirational to see people taking something that is often discarded and turning it into a focus point.

Have a look at the clever and inspirational items we have found and please read the section at the end of this post that will inform you if your pallet is safe to use.

Lots of love, D&M made with love xxx
Bed om pallets to create a minimal almost Eastern look to a bedroom.

Cupboard doors and drawers from salvaged pallets creates a warm textured element to this kitchen.


Boxed floor cushions on a double layer pallets as lounge furniture adds to the industrial look of this apartment.

 Outdoor daybed on pallets with castors to wheel in and out easily

Sleek coffetable where the wood is painted and finished off with a glass top looks very elegant

 Kitchen island painted in dark grey screams sophistication and creates beautiful lines
Raw pallets used as office furniture
Lovelly shabby chic love seat
Headboard of pallet wood with graphic element is the perfect focal point in this room
House of pallets! Adorable!
Quirky plate rack from a complete pallet
Handy shelving units with vintage feel
Wall cladding
Vertical garden in pallet
Neat vegetable rows planted in a pallet
Colorful palettes against wall used as vertical gardens

D&M made with love - our placemats made from pallet wood in dove grey
Are your wood pallets are safe for crafting?

Setting aside the contamination question, there's another safety issue to consider, if you're thinking about crafting with reclaimed wood pallets: fumigated or pressure treated wood.

It sounds innocuous enough, right? But the "pressure" part only gets at part of the treatment process. Manufacturers use pressure to force chemicals like formaldehyde into the wood. The idea is to prevent decay and pest infestation, but you definitely don't want those treated pallets inside your house or touching food. Fumigated wood is treated with pesticides, which also isn't great from a health standpoint.
Pallet crafters, don't despair! There are some ways to tell if your wood is treated or fumigated.

How to Tell If Your Pallets are Treated Wood

Most wood pallets will have an IPPC logo, since they oversee internationally-shipped pallets. Pallets that ship overseas are the ones usually treated or fumigated to prevent the spread of invasive pests. Here are the marks to look out for (they should be near the IPPC logo):
  • HT - This means the pallet was heat treated, possibly with harmful chemicals.
  • MB - This indicates that the pallet was fumigated with methyl bromide, a toxic pesticide. Pallet makers are phasing out methyl bromide, but you may still see this mark on some older pallets.
You can also educate yourself to spot pressure treated wood. Head to your local home improvement store and poke around the lumber section. Pressure treated wood looks different from untreated wood, and once you see the difference in color, it should be pretty easy to spot.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Old world charm in the Karoo

We went on a road trip to the Karoo for our honeymoon in September and came across the most creative people with a fresh approach to design that inspired us to no end.
The people in the Karoo lives quiet and meaningful lives at a very admirable slow pace. Don't plan on finding anything open between one and two in the afternoon on a week day as this time is spent with family having lunch and sneaking in an afternoon nap.
Ever heard of a place called Herelogement? We found this little speck on the map that indicated caves so we had to go and find it. The road was very bad and sandy so be warned. This is not a town but a settlement of a few houses and farms. Simon Van Der Stel camped out here with his party back in the day and it's rumoured that Olof Bergh (the brandy guy) wrote his name down in the cave.

Herenlogenment cave - West Coast South Africa
What we did find very interesting is the way hand writing (or cave engraving so to speak) have changed over the years. The inscriptions that dated back to 1921 was so neat an almost Roman type face like while the modern ones was quite messy and not as well rounded (could this be due to our computerized age where we don’t put pen to paper anymore?).
Herenlogenment cave - West Coast South Africa

Herenlogenment old rock wall - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
Our first night we spent in Doringbaai and were truly moved by the ruff and wild force of the sea and the textures it leaves on buildings and the original jetty. You truly get the sense that nature's in charge here and it gives you new appreciation for our beautiful shoreline.
Doringbaai - West Coast South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait

At Die Anker we met up with a local painter and bought our first painting together as Mr & Mrs Tait. Very exciting and grown-up stuff. The water colour we chose is a beautiful monotone scene of the harbour that just grabbed us. Visit Reynel’s website to view her work

Doringbaai - West Coast South Africa
Credit: Reynel Kruger
 The next destination was crossing the border to enter the Northern Cape and what a spectacular wonder of nature this is. Van Rhyns pass climbs very steeply and when you look down you look upon 'kners vlakte'. Once you get to the top the ground stays level and you realise this is what they mean when they say 'above sea level!'.
We passed the Nieuwoudtsville waterfall that is a short walk from the main road and saw water gushing from the mountains and creating the most spectacular rock formations and shapes.

Niewoudtsville - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait
The quiver tree forest was one of my favourite stop overs on this leg as it looked like old heads of state dotting the side of the mountain.

Niewoudtsville - Quiver tree forest - Karoo South Africa
Niewoudtsville - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait
We have been waxing lyrical about this little town called Loeriesfontein and would pack up and move there in a heartbeat. No other place we have ever been have we found such warm hearted people leading lives that make sense and is based around old school values. 
We met just about everyone in town on the first night and was shown around the area by our new bff Adre Husselmann while staying over and partying the night away at the Boesmanland pub & grill
Adre took us to his farm 10km outside of Loeriesfontein as he is looking for ideas to develop the area where his childhood home is into a profitable venture.

Loeriesfontein - Adre Husselmann's farm Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait
 Loeriesfontein - Adre Husselmann's farm Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait
While walking in the veld we picked up quartz crystals that shines just like diamonds and christened them ‘Karoo diamante’. It would be great to link up with a local jewellery designer to really develop a unique product to the market.

Loeriesfontein - Karoo diamonds South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait
We were introduced to a couple that mines ‘lei klip’ on their farm and cuts it into shapes. The wonderful thing about this natural product as it can be used as a hot plate by heating it in the oven before serving the food directly on it. We will be adding this awesome line to our range soon.

Loeriesfontein - Slate tiles Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait

Calvinia is the heart of red meat country so Derick was super excited to stay over for two nights. We stayed at the Hatam Hotel which is a retro old school hotel with a very friendly atmosphere. The big tourist attraction? A giant red post box in the middle of town.

In the museum we came across a room with four of everything – baby cribs, school cases, christening dresses – belonging to the famous Lombaard identical ‘vierling’. The state sponsored their milk and the youngest was named after the doctor because they ran out of family names. The Karoo folk say if you’ve seen one of them – you’ve seen them all!

Calvinia museum - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait

We were so lucky to be invited back to Loeries to attend ‘nagmaak naweek’. This is when the NG kerk does their ‘kerk bazaar’ and 46 ‘lammers’ gets hauled over the coals and the award winning ‘Riel dansers’ showed us their stuff. It is quite a spectacular event. It looked more like a music festival than the bazaars I’ve been too – one thing always stays the same – the colourful instant bazaar pudding.
At the bazaar we met die eldest of the ‘vierling’, Oom Klaas. A lovely eccentric man with a loud voice and great sense of humour. He said that he was dragged out by his feet and born first and his other brothers came crawling out behind him like mice – that’s why he’s got such big feet.

Oom Klaas Lombard - Loeriesfontein Karoo South Africa
Credit: Adre Husselmann
We later found a JIK add in the Loeriesfontein museum … Die Lombard vierling gebruik JIK!

Loeriesfontein museum - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
This time round we stayed with the Husselmann family in their beautiful home with solid wooden floors and double volume ceilings. Kuiered around the open fire in the kitchen and really experienced life in Loeries.
We met up with a couple that got married three months prior that invited us to stay on their guest farm out in Nieuwoudtsville. Tiekels & Willouw Nel from Driefontein. Adre insisted that their wooden cottage on the dam is the perfect way to end off our honeymoon … and it was!

 Driefontein farm - Niewoudtsville Karoo South Africa

Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
The wooden guest cottage overlooking the picture perfect dam
Driefontein farm - Niewoudtsville Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
We did not expect to see such a vast expanse of water in the Karoo with a magical Poplar forest that looks like a scene from Robin Hood. They also took us to go see the canyon and the sight and size took our breath away.
I would highly recommend you pack your family and give these guys a visit! The rates are more than affordable and the experience – priceless!

The poplar and pear tree forest looks like a scene from Robin Hood
Driefontein farm - Niewoudtsville Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.

Other gems found in town was Die Blik Bazaar where we got a complementary glass of wine on their stoep to toast to a long and happy marriage. This little coffee and gift shop is filled with all things made of tin. Tin plates transformed into small mirrors and dishes used as light shades just blew my mind.

'Blik skottel' lamp shades on wire
Blik Bazaar - Niewoudtsville Karoo South Africa

Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.

'Blik borde' mirrors
Blik Bazaar - Niewoudtsville Karoo South Africa

Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.

LOVE these bucket chairs
Blik Bazaar - Niewoudtsville Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
 Calvinia pharmacy - The pharmasist's private camera collection -  Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
Calvinia pharmacy - The pharmasist's private camera collection - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.

Calvinia pharmacy - The pharmasist's private camera collection - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
Calvinia museum- Ceiling detail - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
Calvinia museum- Stunning brookie lace detail- Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
Calvinia museum- based in an old Jewish sinagog - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
Calvinia NG kerk architecture- Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
Niewoudtsville farm - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
Niewoudtsville farm - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
Niewoudtsville farm - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
Niewoudtsville farm - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.
Loeriesfontein windpomp museum - Karoo South Africa
Credit: Margaux Tait http://dmmadewithlove.wix.