New year, new work.

Happy new year and a warm welcome back to you all! Here’s hoping your 2020 is already off to a great start.

As most of you know, last year was a big change for me, trying to make my business more about design rather than production, and even though the lines are still often blurred, I feel like we are heading in the right direction.

This year I would like to try and take on some more exciting design jobs, so if you know of anyone looking, please send them my way, or send on their details. Here is a link to my online design portfolio. First prize would really be to partner up with a client or small business who needs regular ongoing work 2-3 days a week, basically something to pay the bills so I can continue with my other creative work in the meantime. But this might be hard to find, so I am just putting it out there to see.

Here are some of my favourite design projects and highlights from 2019. Please click on the main images and links to find out more about any of them if you are interested.

Of all the projects I did last year, this has to be my favourite! It is also something I have always wanted to do. I created a Delft plate inspired illustration for a carpet for The Tasting Room at Vergenoegd Low Wine Farm outside Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa.

The brief was to create a unique Cape Dutch style plate illustration inspired by the landscape and traditions of Vergenoegd Wine Farm. The illustration incorporates the original Vergenoegd Cape Dutch homestead and it’s infamous Indian Runner Ducks who help keep the farm pesticide and pest free, which is also represented by the snail who indicates a healthy farm, the grape vines of course which are used to make their famous wines, the local Robin Chat who represents a fertile farm, and all the beautiful indigenous and local blooms found in and around the farm such as the Protea, Bladder Hibiscus, Arum Lily, Aandblom, Moraea, Angustifolia, Marguerite, Oxalis, Peacock flower, Sour Fig, Romulea Hirsuta amongst others…

I designed a logo, identity and branding for a nail, brow and lash bar called Briyé.

I designed a range of bespoke products for well known ceramicist Anthony Shapiro for his Ant + Linda COLLECT ceramic range.

For the designs, we shot the ceramic patterns which had been carved into the clay so you can see the handmade marks and natural texture of the carving on the fired clay, and turned them into repeat patterns to be printed and used on the various products.

I created some placemats for Spier Wine Farm in Cape Town, South Africa, for their farm-to-table restaurant called EIGHT. They are well known for their ethical farm-sourced produce, and for their chickens!

I made some placemats to go with an overseas customer’s collection of Minton’s Cockatrice plates.

I designed a foliage inspired pattern for some fabric for a customer who wanted to make her own dress for a special event.

I created two different designs for fabric for a client looking to start her own fashion range. 

The first brief was to create an “indian block print” looking design which had to incorporate something floral (ideally local) and a bee. I used a South African flower called a Wurmbea Elatior, also known as a salt & pepper flower, and created this repeat pattern below.

I was then asked to create another pattern to compliment, but also offset the first design. This time the brief was to include beehives and/or beehomes as well as the same bee. 

We created a peaock inspired print for a client starting their own range of home decor products.

We also added some new products to the range we currently make for The Trading Co at Spice Route and The Yard

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and creative year ahead.

Sera

Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
instagram: @seraholland
design portfolio: sera holland (behance)

Spring into September…

Spring has sprung and all kinds of floral motifs are in the air : ) We specially liked this one from Livingspace magazine featuring their Ed’s Choice. This is our favourite time of the year and we can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive. And along with it, all the beautiful plants and flowers that we are so inspired by!

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You can also check out Visi magazine’s top 11 Spring Essentials.

Spring is a time for rebirth, and if you’re ready for a breath of fresh air, you can have a look at some of the newest products we have added to our Biotica range lately.

Our soft 100% cotton muslin baby blanket swaddles and burp cloth/bandana bibs are now available in our two Foliage colour ways.

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And our table runners are now available in both Foliage colour ways as well as our Blue Willow Pattern.

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If you are looking for inspiration you can also have a look at how some of our happy customers have styled their own photos of our products. We’d love to see what you do with our things, so please feel free to share your home or DIY inspiration with us, or tag us on Instagram.

And while have been having a rather quiet time over the winter months, it is so great to see some others have been very busy at it.

The CDI (Craft & Design Institute), along with their new name because they are now a national enterprise, have just launched their new Design Directory 2017-2018. We were so happy to see ourselves included, and in such a big spread, alongside such a wealth of national talent. We are delighted to let you know that we have a few copies of the Design Directory on sale at the Handmade By Me + Windowsill shop if you are interested. They are R290 each. You can also order a copy online here.

Double love for us from Sunday Times‘ Home’s Ed’s Picks this month with different products being selected for two issues in a row : ) Firstly our Foliage on Green cushion cover and then our Prickly Pears hotel slippers.

Sarie magazine featured our Foliage on Pink wallpaper.

And Home Magazine showed us how to breathe life into our décor using scatter cushions.

Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
online shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za
retail shop: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeandwindowsillshop

 

Late-night shopping with Handmade By Me

We are VERY excited to invite you to our very own late night shopping evening at the Handmade By me + Windowsill studio/showroom/shop next week Thursday 8 December.

There will be gin, there will be gift wrapping, and there will be 20% off everything in store so don’t miss out on this exciting one-off event!

This event is open to the public so please feel free to share it with your family and friends.

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We are also offering free gift wrapping on any orders from our online shop. Feel free to browse our product range from the comfort of your own home, order and pay online, email me what you would like to have gift wrapped, and then collect your order from our retail store (we have parking) at your convenience.

 

We have been so fortunate to have had such wonderful media love this November that we have decided to turn it into a kind of gift guide of sorts. See what some of SA’s finest media thinks of some of our products.

Food & Home magazine chose our online shop as the Editor’s Pick in their round up of favourite online shops.

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Fair Lady magazine looked to nature this month with some lovely gift ideas inspired by floral and foliage. So happy to see our Prickly Pears tea towel made the cut.

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Plascon Spaces magazine used our Geometric Navy and our Prickly Pears cushions in their latest Spring issue. See if you can spot our Geo Navy cushion on the cover : )

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We also discovered our Delft Plate Placemats featured in this beautiful table setting in Plascon’s Colour Forecast for 2017.

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And the lovely Lanalou Style blog picked our Delft and Imari placemats to help you “get the look” using Plascon’s Terrain inspired colour palette which is also featured in their Colour Forecast for 2017. You can read the full article here.

Livingspace magazine was inspired by the bright colours of summer, and featured our Yellow Squares and Pink Flamingo fabric as part of their Summer Lovin’ series. Incidentally, you can now buy Livingspace magazine from @home stores nationwide.

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It appears that flamingoes never seem to go out of fashion, specially this time of the year when Summer is on the way. Woman & Home magazine thought our Pink Flamingo phone cover available from Hello Pretty was spot on fashionwise this season.

We are also delighted to let you all know that our phone covers are now available to order for Samsung Galaxy S7, as well as the iPhone SE and the new iPhone 7.

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HAPPY SHOPPING!

Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
online shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za
retail shop: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeandwindowsillshop

Spring is in the air…

Spring has sprung and the August sale (and hopefully winter) has blown away, and we’re already getting excited for summer! Not as much as little Grace here showing off her cute little face and her Pretty Proteas nappy cover.

Thanks so everyone who supported us, and took advantage of our August Blows sale, it has been a (whirl)wind of a month for us. We are now off on a 2 week break so we have decided to extend the sale in-store for the next two weeks, so you can still take advantage just in case you missed it!

But before we head off, we would like to share some of the wonderful media love we have received over the past month.

Visi magazine celebrated the Brazilian Olympics with a Carnival of Colour including our Pink Flamingo Cushion Cover.

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Your Family magazine shared our Delft placemats as part of their 5 Best Delft Blue Buys.

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And in shop news this month, we had a very exciting feature recently in the Sunday Times Property News.

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In the shop, not only have we introduced lots of new Handmade By Me products lately, but we have also introduced our latest collaborative product with Windowsill, pressed plants. Even though we only have a few in stock at the moment we are very excited about all the different green and leafy possibilities that can be placed between 2 pieces of soldered glass.

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And do come and see our brand new Alex Snell prints which were created specially for our little shop – titled Gothic Africa, and inspired by our little part of the world. These prints are part of a signed limited edition and are available exclusively from us either framed in soldered glass or unframed.

And last but not least, watch out Joburg, we are coming for you! We are VERY excited to be exhibiting at the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair at Hyde Park shopping centre in October. Watch this space for more details or take a look at their website.

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
online shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za
retail shop: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeandwindowsillshop

You’ve been served…

Sorry if we have been a little quiet lately, but we have been so busy with all kinds of new product development. It is all worthwhile when we literally feel like 5 year olds when the new products turn out as good as our new melamine trays have! Finally they are here, and ready to buy directly from our retail store and/or online shop. We are so in love with the way they have all turned out, we kinda want to keep all the new stock to ourselves : )

All the trays and pot stands/decorative trivets are locally made here in South Africa. The trays are made using solid melamine, they are durable, stain and scratch resistant, food safe, heat resistant up to 120degrees Celsius, and dishwasher safe. The pot stands/decorative trivets are made using a melamine surface which is cork backed. They are durable, stain and scratch resistant, food safe, and heat resistant up to 160degrees Celsius.

Whether you favour a pot of tea for two, a TV dinner on the couch, or even brekkie in bed, we have a beautiful range of trays on offer that will suit any occasion.

The round trays are available in both our Delft and Imari designs. They are 370mm in diameter.

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Our rectangular trays are available in these 4 designs and in 3 different sizes, small (300x215mm), medium (400x250mm) and large (445x350mm).

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Pot stands are available in 5 designs and in 2 different sizes, small (225mm diam) and medium (275mm diam).

 

You can order all the above directly from our retail store in Cape Town or from our online shop.

And look what we spotted in the latest issue of Visi magazine : ) Our lovely fabric collaboration with Thandiwe Muriu at Picture Africa at 100% Design Cape Town earlier this year. Our Joburg friends can see the full exhibition at 100% Design South Africa which will be on shortly at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg from 6 – 10 August 2016.

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
online shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za
retail shop: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeandwindowsillshop

all shiny and new…

I must say it feels a lot like Christmas at Handmade By me at the moment with all the new exciting products and samples that we have been trialling and testing of late. Now that we have our own retail space, we get to explore all sorts of different products which we can stock and display at the same time. We also love to make sure that we have lots of lovely new things in our shop to keep our loyal customers coming back for more.

One of the most exciting things we have started making (maybe it’s just the cute baby photos) are our muslin baby blankets. Made with a beautiful soft 100% cotton muslin, these blankets are 1m x 1m in size, and are available in 3 designs – Prickly Pears, Pretty Proteas and Pink Flamingo. Whether you use it as a swaddle, sunshade, nursing cover, play mat, or burp cloth, these blankets, quite literally, have you covered. You can order directly from the Handmade By Me online shop or pop into our store on De Lorentz St in Tamboerskloof.

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We are also busy making some small muslin bags and squares that can be used for cooking. Muslin is a handy piece of material to have in the kitchen, especially as it can be washed, dried and continually reused. The cook’s muslin is a natural, finely-woven fabric often used when filtering or straining.

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Thanks to The Essential Ingredient, here are some of the many ways muslin can be used in the kitchen:

  • Straining liquids to filter out any impurities (such as stocks or consommé)
  • Hanging cooked fruit to separate out liquid, essential for creating quince or apple jellies or marmalades
  • Making cheese; squeezing liquid whey from the cheese curd
  • Filtering aged wines or port for decanting, removing any sediment
  • Soak muslin in butter and cover turkey or chicken breasts while roasting to keep them moist
  • Strain yoghurt for a few hours to thicken it into labna (eaten in Lebanese homes for every breakfast)
  • Wrap grated zucchini, potato, beetroot or carrot in muslin to easily squeeze out all excess moisture
  • Straining peppercorns, herbs and shallots from vinegar in a classic béarnaise sauce
  • Muslin cloth is essential when creating your own tofu from soy beans
  • Combine cream cheese and ricotta and strain into a classic Coeur à la crème
  • Wrap lemon or lime halves in muslin and place in the centre of the table for easy squeezing without pips or pulp
  • Make your own tea bags for an interesting morning tea spread
  • Line your bowl with muslin when proving bread dough to eliminate the need for excess flour or oil
  • Create a muslin bag filled with herbs and aromatics, for easy retrieval after making stock, soup or a classic sauce

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We have also introduced a new product to our range – greeting cards. We chose 10 of our favourite designs, printed them onto A6 card, and then packaged them into individual sets together with a plain white envelope. Have a look at the full range here.

We also found out recently that our phone covers are now available in a clear plastic option which takes any white or light colour used in the design and prints it clear. Here, you can see below, we tested out our Geometric Monochrome design for the iPhone 6. What do you think?

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This week we tested our first samples of melamine trays and pot stands in our designs, and we are SO impressed with how well they turned out! Not only are they so pretty and useful, they are also practical, and can handle up to 120C (248 F), are dishwasher-safe and scratch and stain resistant! These will be available to order very soon.

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We finally managed to shoot our Prickly Pears and African Aloes tote bags and purses and upload them to our online shop.

And while we are talking about all things new, our first Handmade By Me + Windowsill collaboration products, in conjunction with the talented Alexis Snell, are ready and available to buy exclusively from our shop in Cape Town. These beautiful limited edition linocut prints come all the way from the UK and we are selling them framed (in soldered glass) or unframed. We just LOVE them.

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And speaking of our shop, for this week only we have a new special on offer:  the perfect gift – an aloe potted in to graphite glazed terracotta and an orange squares tea towel for only R350. Only while stocks last! For more special offers, sales and events, follow us on facebook.

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
online shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za
retail shop: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeandwindowsillshop

 

 

Introducing our new range of designs and products

So it’s taken us a little bit longer than we anticipated, but finally we are able to show you some of the product shots of Handmade By Me’s newest range of designs and products.

For the Prickly Pears and African Aloes range, we have introduced these designs across our full range of products including our beautiful LUX Panama Cushion Covers which we sold out of at Kamers recently.

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We also teamed up these two designs with our Pretty Proteas and Striking Strelitzias designs to bring you our full Cape Floral Kingdom range.

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The LUX panama cushion covers are our premium range of cushion covers made using our luxurious quality 100% cotton panama fabric. This fabric is thick and soft, and we have cushion covers available in 60x60cm, and 60x40cm on request. We can also supply you with feather/down inners on request.

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We have also introduced a little something for our favourite teeny tiny little customers, Nappy Covers.  These have been made using our beautiful soft 100% cotton. They are available in 5 designs and in 4 sizes: 3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months and 18-24 months.

We are also very excited about our new reusable placemat designs, Birds of Paradise and Victoriana, which will be available alongside our Delft and Imari placemat designs in December. Please note that these are available to pre-order in the mean time.

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You may have seen some pics of our Big 5 range for kids on our social media feeds lately. In Africa, the big five game animals are the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and White/Black rhinoceros. The members of the Big Five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and the degree of danger involved, rather than their size.

The Big 5 range is available in 50x50cm cushion covers and reusable placemats at the moment, and we will hopefully be introducing these designs in the nappy covers shortly.

For the reusable placemats, each placemat has been laminated so you can use them over and over again, and then when you finally get sick of them you can turn them into face masks in just 3 easy steps. Each set of 5 contains one of each of the Big 5 animals. How fun would a kids party be with these guys!

To make sure that the placemats can easily be turned into face masks, I had to test them out and make a face mask out of each placemat design. Here’s how its done:

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And here is me as the Rhino : )

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All the above and more are available to purchase at the Handmade By Me online shop. Please note that we ship locally and internationally : )

Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

some August media lovin…

We have been very lucky this last month with products being featured in all sorts of different magazines and blogs. We thought we might share our August media love with you here on our blog.

Not only was our newly launched Geometric Orange LUX Panama Cushion chosen as one of 100 Beautiful Things in association with Visi at 100% Design, it was also selected as part of The 100% Design Edit in the Sunday Times Home Weekly section.

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Pastel geometrics are in this season according to Fair Lady. Below you can see our Geometric Monochrome placemats as well as our Minty Green Mosaic table runner.

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House & leisure magazine think our quirky Shweshwe Shields in Pink tea towel is a great way to introduce pattern into your kitchen. We couldn’t agree more!

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Living and Loving magazine looked at choosing which colours will work best for your nursey and decided our Orange Squares cushion cover would be a perfect match.  “While red is a fiery, volatile and energetic colour that should only be used as an accent colour in small amounts in a nursery, orange offers a similar look that’s friendly, welcoming and vibrant.”

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The Sunday Times Home Weekly thought our small Feisty Floral Watercolour on Blue lampshade brightened up their Nature-Inspired Edit. SundayTimes_230815SundayTimes_230815_2 FeistyFloralBlue_L_200d_4

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Then online I am delighted to share with you this lovely blogpost which featured us and some of our favourite products on one of our favourite blogs, I Want That.

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And Visi magazine picked our Yellow Squares Pattern Purse as no 1 out of their 10 stylish purse buys.

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Thanks so much to everyone who featured us and our products this last month, we are smiling from ear to ear with the media love from you all : )

Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

NEW products in the HOUSE…

We have just launched some exciting new products here at Handmade By Me which I am so excited to let you all know about, and show you the photos from our recent product shoot!

First off we have just introduced our beautiful new LUXURY panama cushion covers. They are 60 x 60cm and made using our luxurious thick upholstery-weight 100% cotton panama. We are particularly excited about the velvet options – we just LOVE the feel of it, and the colours! For those not a fan, we do have an option with the print both sides, and a more economical option with the print just 1 side and either backed in plain white or black depending on the design.

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Our other new exciting new product we have just launched are our beautiful new pillowcases! They are made using a beautiful soft 100% cotton poplin (1 up from the usual percale) to fit a standard size pillow 70cm x 45cm. This is such an easy way to transform your bedroom, and what with so many designs to sleep around with, you’ll be spoilt for choice to find the perfect combination!

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We have these 4 designs below readily available to buy, but we are planning to slowly introduce more designs as we go along so feel free to place an order with us for the design of your choice, or just let us know which your favourite would be!
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If you’re not convinced, see how beautifully our Feisty floral watercolour on green cushion works in this gorgeous bedroom shoot from the latest Plascon Spaces magazine.

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And if you move fast you can still get 10% off any orders through our online shop until Sunday midnight! Don’t forget to use the discount code “WinterWarmer”. Happy shopping!!!

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

Come see us at 100% Design SA in Joburg

It’s almost time for one of South Africa’s most beautiful design events, 100% Design South Africa, and we couldn’t be more excited! Our goods are on their way there, and we fly up today. And we can’t wait to see everything we have been working so hard on these last few weeks finally come together : ) If you are planning to come and visit, please pop past our stand B12 and say hi, we are part of 100% talent. Details on the show below, but here some of this week’s instagram tasters of a few things we will have in store for you over the weekend…we have lots of new things you haven’t seen yet!!

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100% Design South Africa is an international showcase for contemporary design with a unique African perspective which runs alongside the well-established and largest decor, design and lifestyle exhibition in Africa, Decorex Joburg. It is a high-end curated showcase of the most inspirational designs and designers and is the perfect platform for South African and international furniture, lighting, interiors, fabrics and product design, covering the residential, hospitality and office industries.

This year 100% Design takes place from 6 – 10 August 2015 at Gallagher Convention Centre, Joburg.

Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za