Saturday, 28 November 2015

Trending on RedBubble - Succulents

Our quest for wellness and beauty has taken us far and wide. The journey has taught us to value the extraordinary potency of plants humans have relied on through the ages. Aloe is nature’s ultimate healer and rejuvenator. The world over, users revere aloe for it’s numerous properties. Healing, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, Anti Bacterial, Anti-Viral and Anti-Parasitic – and those are only the ways in which aloe helps in maintaining personal wellness.

Maybe it’s their chubby shapes or simply the fact that you can go a whole week without watering them, but I'm a total sucker for a succulent!

The trendy little plants started invading households everywhere as DIY terrariums became more popular. Their simple geometric shapes, wax shined skin, and bright blooms make succulents an awesome visual inspiration.

Succulents make fantastic patterns perfect for duvets and leggings, scarves and T-shirt and just about any other product. But I think the absolute best part about these succulent designs is that the upkeep for a mug or a tee is about as low maintenance as the actual plants!

Commonly called Bulbinella, which is incorrect as Bulbinella is a completely different species, bulbine is effective in preventing skin infection, healing and soothing cuts, rashes, insect bites, burns, cold sores, pimples and other skin problems. Its clear and soothing gel forms an invisible ‘seal’ over the wound, protecting against bacteria and providing ongoing relief and healing throughout the day.

It is a very attractive succulent indigenous to South Africa which needs little attention, and thrives in most soil types and in most weather conditions. The juice from the leaves is used in creams, and can also be applied to eczema, burns, rashes, fever blisters and stings etc. I often use it on cuts and scrapes I might pick up while working in the garden.

A painting of an Aloe ferox in my garden. Each winter my aloes put up the most spectacular show of orange, brightening up the dull winter landscape. I can feel the season is turning already, gets lighter much later in the mornings and soon (well, roundabouts June/July) I’ll be blessed with their beauty again.

An Echinopsis hybrid. Columnar or Torch cactus. Native to the Andes Mountains, South America. It has withstood many a winter’s frost. The other cactus is wishful thinking on my part!

Euphorbia cooperi (or Lesser Candelabra Tree, Transvaal Candelabra Tree, Bushveld candelabra euphorbia), is indigenous to South Africa. Found in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Swaziland up to Messina in the Limpopo Province, prefers well-drained soils and is mostly found in rockier places, often on granite outcrops and in rock cracks or in wooded grassland and thorny scrubland, in planes and in steep hillsides on north-facing slopes. This spiny succulent grows 4-7 m tall and produces small yellowish-green flowers in spring and summer.

Cactus - Cereus jamacaru - Hardcover Journal 

The Peruvian Apple Cactus, Cereus repandus (syn. Cereus peruvianus), is a large, erect, thorny columnar cactus found in South America as well as the nearby ABC Islands of the Dutch Caribbean. It is also known as Giant Club Cactus, Hedge Cactus, cadushi and kayush. With an often tree-like appearance, the Peruvian Apple Cactus’ cylindrical grey-green to blue stems can reach 10 meters (33 ft) in height and 10-20 cm in diameter. The nocturnal flowers remain open for only one night. Unfortunately this plant has been declared an unwanted “invader” in South Africa due to it’s fast-spreading habit. (Incorrectly referred to as Cereus peruvianus in South Africa.)

Hardcover Journal - open

Die Kaktus Cereus peruvianus (of Een-nag blom) is ’n boomagtige kaktus, partymaal tot 10m hoog, wat vir net een nag van die jaar asemrowende wit blomme voort bring. Ongelukkig is hierdie kaktus as ’n ongewensde indringerplant verklaar in Suid Afrika as gevolg van hul gewoonte om uiters vinnig te versprei. Daar is groot verwarring oor die eintlike naam van hierdie kaktus, aangesien Cereus vir heelwat kaktussoorte gebruik word. Die spesienaam, peruvianus, dui aan dat dit endemies is aan Peru, maar dit is ’n botaniese fout. Hierdie plant is eintlik endemies aan Brasilië, Uruguay en Argentinië.

Hierdie een groei langs Solly se kaia op ons plot (Tarlton, Gauteng, Suid Afrika) en hy was verskriklik ontsteld toe ek voorstel ons moet dit verwyder. Nou is hy die dood voor die oë gesweer as ek sou sien dat dit enigsins versprei!

Aloe ferox (also known as the Cape Aloe, Bitter Aloe, Red Aloe and Tap Aloe), is a species of arborescent aloe indigenous to Southern Africa. It is one of several Aloe species used to make bitter aloes, a purgative medication and also yields a non-bitter gel that can be used in cosmetics.

Die Bitteraalwyn (Aloe ferox), inheems aan Suid-Afrika, is ’n struik wat deel is van die aalwynfamilie. Die plant blom vanaf Mei tot September. Die struik is ’n stadige groeier met ’n enkelstam en dik, doringrige, vlesige blare en buisvormige, oranje-rooi blomme. Dit is ’n uitstekende struik vir die rotstuin en verkies vol son en matige water. Die sap van die blare word vir medisyne en skoonheidsprodukte gebruik.

Indigenous to South Africa, Aloe ferox is unique in the concentration of its active ingredients and the versatility of its application. Indigenous to South Africa, Aloe ferox is unique in the concentration of its active ingredients and the versatility of its application. Plants have been part of the traditional healing practices for centuries. Historical evidence taken from ancient archives show that African aloes have been used since Egyptian, Roman and Greek times in treating the likes of burns, sunburn, injuries to the skin, stomach ailments and to protect skin against the elements.

There are more succulent designs to follow so if you're a succulent-lover, please make sure that you stop by again! 

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Product up-date - Greeting Cards

Season's Greetings!

News from product update-land (RedBubble), Holiday greeting cards featuring my designs will now come with brand new custom-sized kraft envelopes, which add a nice level of crafty class to any and all holiday communications. Here’s a look at a few. These should make those cards you send to loved ones, friends and customers just a tad more loving, don’t you think? People love fancy envelopes. It’s true.

My horn is not medicine

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Exploring the wet-on-wet technique

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

As part of our homework for a watercolour workshop I did a few years ago, this is a wet-on-wet practice in which I have also tried to explore all the other important points to consider when painting, like composition, tonal value, light source, etc.

Here I haven't done any sketching beforehand, but I did do quite a bit of planning in my mind about the trees and the foliage and as the colours started flowing on the wet paper, it slowly started taking shape. Just a couple of dark values and using the existing highlights and the water scene with overhanging foliage emerged. That is why watercolours and the wet-on-wet technique is so exciting - you're never quite sure of the outcome and some control is completely lost to the colours forming their own picture.

Using wet-on-wet for casting the shadows in the water


Sunday, 15 November 2015

Are Christmas cards a thing of the past?

Growing up, I remember my mother sitting down and writing a quick note to put inside each Christmas card she sent out. She painstakingly signed each card from her and my father, addressed each of the hundred or more envelopes, stuck stamps on them and put them in the mail. Memories like those will live with me forever, and I carried on the tradition for many years myself, but I feel that it is a dying tradition for a lot of people.

I’m still one of those traditional hold-outs, I guess. I actually enjoy sending out Christmas cards — and, believe it or not, receiving them. I hang them up in my living room and studio as Christmas decorations, gazing at the smiling faces that seem so happy to be there. I love it.

But in the event of you finding Christmas cards a bit of a waste, eventually destined for the dustbin, how about making a change?

In stead of giving a greeting card for Christmas this year, how about a Hardcover journal? Or a Spiral Notebook? A lasting remembrance of a wonderful festive season that’s not going to be tossed into the dustbin. How about a coffee mug to enjoy a wonderful Christmas morning hot steaming cup of coffee or eggnog?

Because your Christmas greeting  is an extension of yourself, you might want to purchase your greeting from someone that specialises in custom cards or other forms of Christmas greetings, making friends and loved ones feel special, showing that you really care.

Merry Christmas Hardcover Journal

  • 128 pages - 5.2" x 7.3"
  • 90gsm paper stock
  • Wrap around hardback cover
  • Fully printed design on the front and back
  • Available in a selection of ruled, graph or blank pages

Hardcover Journal

Hardcover Journal

Hardcover Journal

Hardcover Journal

Spiral Notebook
  • 120 pages - 6" x 8"
  • Cover 350gsm, paper stock 90gsm
  • Front cover print from an independent designer
  • Available in a selection of ruled or graph pages
  • Handy document pocket inside the back cover

Spiral Notebook

Spiral Notebook

Spiral Notebook

Standard Coffee mug


Add some flair to your CHRISTMAS morning coffee with mugs featuring unique designs

  • Features wraparound prints
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Made from Ceramic

Standard Coffee mug

Standard Coffee mug

Standard Coffee mug

Standard Coffee mug

Standard Coffee mug


There are many products in my portfolio to give as Christmas gifts and special greetings over the festive season, like scarves, studio pouches, tote bags, T-shirts, leggings, pencil skirts, stickers, throw pillows, duvet covers and much more, so why not head on over and have a look?

Tote bag

Stickers are a unique and affordable way of personalising your Christmas gifts


Sunday, 1 November 2015

Bring order to your life!

Plan your life, plan your future. How many times have we heard that? The idea of having concrete, achievable goals seem to be deeply ingrained in our culture. Consider this common belief: “You’ll never get anywhere unless you know where you’re going.” This seems so common sense, and yet it’s obviously not true if you stop to think about it.

Conduct a simple experiment: go outside and walk in a random direction, and feel free to change directions randomly. After 20 minutes, an hour … you’ll be somewhere! It’s just that you didn’t know you were going to end up there. How exciting is that?!

These days, however, I live without goals, for the most part. It’s absolutely liberating, and contrary to what you might have been taught, it absolutely doesn’t mean you stop achieving things. Living in the NOW means you are constantly achieving. Doing what you love takes you on unexpected and awesome paths you would never have discovered if you planned every minute of the future. In the end, I usually end up achieving more than if I had goals, because I’m always doing something I’m excited about. But whether I achieve or not isn’t the point at all: all that matters is that I’m doing what I love, always.

When you think you control something, you’re wrong. We constantly make plans that never actually turn out the way we envisioned. ‘If you want to make God laugh, make a plan,’ an old saying goes. When we are in the midst of chaos, let go of the need to control it. Be awash in it, experience it in that moment, try not to control the outcome but deal with the flow as it comes.

But that doesn't mean we don't need ORDER in our lives. We do. And my Calendars on RedBubble allows you to do just that, have ORDER in your life. Remember birthdays, anniversaries, keep track of important dates and when you planted that rose bush. And as a bonus, each month's page has a beautiful piece of art work on it, 13 images yours for the framing, at the great price of one calendar!

Printed to fit A3, with a size of 11.7" x 16.5", each calender has a tough wire binding and hanger and stunningly sharp digital printing on 200gsm satin art paper with a tougher cover. You can also start the year with the month of your choice.

To view the full range of my Calendars, please view ART : Calendars. I'm positive you fill find something that pleases you, if not, just enjoy!

"Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of."
- Charles Richards