I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all the support for my Coronacommissions Postcard Series that I am busy working on to help raise funds for South Africans in need during the Covid 19 Pandemic.
I have finished my first 10 paintings (shared below) and I have another 5 to go before the first round is complete. Just a reminder that all proceeds have been donated straight to charity, and so far we have raised much needed funds for Ladles of Love, Coronacare and Care for Wild (because Rhinos need our help during this time too).
The paintings have been such fun to do, and I am really enjoying the challenge. And I am totally overwhelmed by the amazing response to them. I am busy confirming another round so please get in touch if you are interested.
You can follow my series on Instagram using the hashtag #coronacommissionspostcardseries or use #coronacommissions see which other artists are doing something similar in their own styles.
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.
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…
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.
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 are just so super duper over-the-moon excited that our studio/showroom/shop, which we are sharing with our friends Windowsill – plants and flowers, is now finally ready and open for business! We finished off the final touches this week and we couldn’t be happier!
Here are a few pics we shared on our instagram feed over the past week below. Please come and pop in for browse or a cup of tea, you are all very welcome.
The address is 21 De Lorentz St, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town. Our opening hours are Tues-Fri 11-6pm and Sat 9-1pm. We hope to see you very soon!
So this is the VERY exciting news that we wanted to share with you a week ago. Yes, it is true, we have signed the lease and are going to be opening up our first ever studio & showroom just off Kloof Street in Cape Town with our friends Windowsill Plants and Flowers in March!!!
Alex from Windowsill is one of my nearest and dearest and oldest friends, and ironically she reminded me that we had in some way already put our plans in to motion when we were just 12 years old. Here, she explains our story – “In 1992, two 11 year olds made friends with each other and made a promise that one day they would work at St Elmo’s Pizza at night, and during the day they would work at The Bubble Shop. 23 years later – the Bubble Shop no longer exists, and St Elmo’s is a bit of dive – SO TODAY, Sera Holland and I are officially shopkeepers. Yes folks – Handmade By Me and Windowsill THE shop IS happening!!!!”
We cannot wait!!!!
We have also had some other very exciting news in the past few weeks. Handmade By Me is now being stocked by two of our very favourite shops. They are both completely different but relate to one of our two favourite and most droolworthy subjects, fashion and food.
On the fashion side, we couldn’t be more honoured and excited to have a selected range of our products now available from top local fashion label, Klûk CGDT. Their boutique on Bree St is one of the most beautiful we’ve seen, and they have now started stocking a small range of premium decor related products which work alongside and compliment their own sensational creations. So now you have no excuse not to pop in and see it all for yourself.
“The KLûK CGDT brand is well known for the sophistication in design and fabrication and their uncompromising standards in service and quality. They produce 6 collections a year, which they sell through their boutiques in JHB, Cape Town and now Pretoria as well as trunkshows across Africa. They are equally well known for their bridal and couture gowns both locally and internationally and have won awards for their “Red Carpet Style”. Special consideration is taken for each bride individually. “ Bridalwear is not like fashion, it represents a dream with a lifetime of expectations, and this is what we strive to fulfil”.”
The other is our favourite foodie-related award-winning online shop, Yuppiechef. They have the most insane selection of desirable cooking equipment, novelty-inspired cooking gadgets (my personal favourite) and hard-to-find cooking ingredients – and now they are stocking a selection of our patterned napkins and tea towels as well. This shop is also my personal favourite place to off-load eBucks : )
“Yuppiechef is on a mission to bring people together through the cooking and sharing of good food. We believe that preparing, cooking and sharing a meal with good company is the very essence of what makes life good. And it is our dream to give you every excuse under the sun to organise that long overdue get-together with those you love, and those you’d like to love more. Yuppiechef is a food community offering you the tools, ingredients and the inspiration to cook real food at home.”
And while we’re sharing the good news, Plascon Spaces recently showed us some playful workspaces on their blog – each showcasing Plascon hues. Our Origami Birds cushion, available from PRESENTspace, was featured in their ” A grey solution – monochromatic shades and typography make a clean canvas on which to unleash your creativity.” We love it!
Yay our new Feisty Floral Watercolour lampshades have arrived and they are looking so gorgeous!!! Available in small, medium and large, or we can make to order in any size, now you can now pretend its summer inside your home all year round! Add a splash of colour to either your bedroom, office and/or lounge, or go crazy and get matching cushion covers to go. And because we cut the fabric as we go, each piece has a different crop of the full pattern, which means every lampshade is unique.
Feisty Floral Watercolour on blue small (200cm diameter) – bedside, desk
Feisty Floral Watercolour on blue medium lampshade (300cm diameter) – bedside,desk,standing
Feisty Floral Watercolour on blue large lampshade (500cm diameter) – standing, ceiling
We have also just received some new stock in some of our other popular designs.
Striking Strelitzias small lampshade (200cm diameter) – bedside, desk
Birdy Num Num small lampshade (200cm diameter) – bedside, desk
Pink Vintage Squares small lampshade (200cm diameter) – bedside, desk
You can order our lampshades in any of our fabrics. Check out our online shop to see lampshades in some of our other popular designs, or chat to us directly if you don’t see what you are looking for.
Then just a reminder that the Inspire Trade Expo starts in Johannesburg today and runs until the 12th June.
“Inspire Trade Expo is SA’s exclusive Furniture + Décor + Design + Retail Trade only exhibition, which has already carved a groove on the African business and trade calendar. Hosted at the prestigious Gallagher Convention Centre (GCC) in Midrand. Save the date for 2015 – 10-12 June (wednesday – friday) – 9am-5pm daily.
Buyers visiting the Exhibition are not only Retailers, but Architects, Interior Decorators and Designers, Hotels, Game Lodges, B&Bs and Corporate Procurement within the industry, with the emphasis being strictly Trade only.”
We are also still looking for a Junior Assistant or Intern to come and join us. The job is flexible and Handmade By Me is a great place to learn the ins and outs of manufacturing handmade products and/or how to run a small business. We are looking for someone energetic, passionate, honest, creative and optimistic. Someone who is interested in being a part of Handmade By Me and helping it grow. We have put together a job spec here, please have a look and share with anyone who you think might be interested http://www.bizcommunity.com/JobView/196/597/241290.html
We’re finally back from the BEST honeymoon travel adventure in the world ever!!! Sorry it has taken me so long to put this blogpost together, but we were thrown straight into the madness of Kamers my first week back and only now are we slowly getting back to our normal and usually chaotic working selves.
Firstly, thank you so much to everyone who came and visited and supported us at Kamers this past weekend. We were lucky enough to be sharing our space with the most stylish plants and flowers in the business, thanks to the lovely Windowsill. The City Hall was the most beautiful venue and we really had the best time meeting lots of lovely people and seeing all the wonderful things that were on offer. In case you missed it, here are some pics of the Handmade By Me + Windowsill stand. And below are some links to a few blogposts about what you could find at this year’s Kamers market in Cape Town.
Then back to our wonderful amazing honeymoon travel adventure holiday! I have tried to write this post several times since our arrival back home and it just does not seem possible to capture the unbelievable time that we had into a few words and photos. We travelled to 5 different countries, we learned new languages, ate new foods, drank new drinks, saw new things, met new people, and basically just had the BEST time together.
We eagerly explored the streets, restaurants, shops and galleries, and fell in love with New York. We were blown away by the street art and rooftop views in Valparaiso, Chile. We were bewildered by the ever changing landscape as we drove over the top of the Andes from Chile to Argentina in the front of a double decker bus (this was one of the highlights of our trip). We sipped the best wines paired with the best foods with a view of the highest snow capped mountain in South America in Mendoza, Argentina. We spent a week exploring the incredibly colourful and crazy city of Buenos Aires while sipping on giant beers, quaffing bottles of perfect Malbec and devouring all the best local cuisine we could find. We popped over on the ferry to Uruguay to explore the picturesque and very colonial smuggler’s haven of Colonia Del Sacramento. We experienced the most mesmerising and all-conquering Igwazu Falls from both the top and underneath. We experienced the overwhelming and truly crazy excitement of Brazilian futebol in Rio De Janeiro, where we fell in love with the views, the culture, the beaches and the people. And for the perfect end to the perfect holiday, we got to sail and swim and laze around on the wild picture perfect Brazilian coastline in Paraty. It was the adventure of a lifetime which truly superseded our highest expectations.
Here are a few photos which I have selected to try and capture a little piece of each place we went to. I have hundreds of pics so if you would like to see more of our wonderful journey (with commentary), you are most welcome to stalk my instagram account @seraholland.
As most of you know, I got married last year, and instead of spending all our money on our wedding, we decided to spend some of it on travelling the world. And so we decided to keep our wedding smaller and our honeymoon bigger. And now finally the time has arrived, shortly after a year after our wedding, for us to go on holiday. I can’t even tell you what a wonderful feeling it is, 5 whole weeks of holiday ahead…New York, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. I am planning on sharing some photos of our trip along the way here, so if you want updates (or to live vicariously through me) you can subscribe to our blog here and/or follow us on instagram, facebook and twitter.
We will still be processing orders and making lots of pretty things while we are away, but please just bare in mind that we may take a little longer than usual to get back to you, and all custom orders or queries will have to wait until we return. For those who are looking to buy, you can still order through our online shop, or have a look through our list of lovely stockists.
We will be back in the beginning of May and I am delighted to let you know that pretty much soon after, we will be teaming up with our favourite friend Windowsill again to bring you lots of beautiful textile and plant related goodies at Kamers which is on this year at the City Hall from 7-10 May.
SAM is also having their annual summer sale for the whole month of April. We have put some our products on sale along with a fantastic bunch of other designers – we are just so sad to miss out on all those bargains!
I am going to leave you here with some fantastic media love that we have been so very fortunate to have had over the last month.
And a selection of our super cool new phone covers were featured in Drum magazine’s Better Life section.
And by the time we get back, I am delighted to let you know that these guys will be on the shelf and available from our online shop and various other stockists : ) Thanks so everyone who helped us decide which patterns to go with on facebook. We love all your input!
See you back here very soon with some photos of all the awesome and amazing places we’re hoping to find along the way! Its all too exciting!!
We are so proud to have our Pretty Proteas placemats featured in Glamour‘s Shop ZA section this past month! And no better time to remind you all to consider shopping local this Christmas : )
Order now from the Handmade By Me online shop to have your lovely locally made items delivered straight to your door…or have a look at our various stockists to see where you can find lots of lovely local gifts this festive season.
Firstly thanks so much to everyone who visited and supported us at both Kamers and Handmade Contemporary this last week(end). We had such a great time and we hope you all did too! Here are a few of the pics we snapped from our space which we shared with Windowsill at Kamers.
Now that we’re back to normal and getting ready for Christmas – eek we know we can’t believe it either – we have some exciting news about a few new stockists we are so happy to be supplying. We don’t want to inundate you all at once, so we will be introducing them individually (and not in any order) to you over the next few weeks : ) For a full list of our stockists please see our stockist page on our website. And if you want to be a stockist please email us.
First up is the lovely Miran & Co. a UK based online lifestyle shop which only launched a few days ago.
“The vision behind Miran & Co. was to create a special place that people could go to find unique & wonderful handmade things by designers from all over the world. From home accessories to fashion, to bath and beauty, Miran & Co. strives to have it all. We’ve hand picked it, just for you. Sure, we’re a little different, but that’s the fun part. After all, who wants to be ordinary?”
So you may have noticed we have been a little quiet lately and it’s mostly because we have just been soooooo busy getting lots of stock ready for our upcoming events. Thanks to everyone who popped in to the Spier Secret Festival Market last Saturday, it was a really beautiful day and we had lots of fun. Here’s a snap of our table all set up and ready for action.
Next week we are teaming up with Windowsill plants and flowers at KAMERS at Webersburg near Stellenbosch from 4- 9 November. You can find us and all sorts of lovely things at stand B25. Do pop in and come say hi!
And then lucky us, the CCDI are bringing Handmade By Me to Handmade Contemporary, previously known as Food Wine Design, in Johannesburg from 7-9 November. I have put together a special little range for our Joburg friends, so best you get there early : )