For anyone looking to redo their garden and entertainment area, I can’t recommend Grounded Landscaping enough. They are an award-winning Johannesburg based landscaping company, headed up by Glenice Ebedes. They specialise in indigenous gardens, and focus on quality and attention to detail.
Glenice and her partner Ryan make the most amazing team. They are so kind and gentle but fiercely professional too. They are uber efficient and super talented. Last year we briefed Glenice to design a beautiful but low maintenance garden for us, and right off the bat, we were impressed.
I have never had a garden before and my green thumb is more a consequence of painting than gardening, so I really didn’t know where to start. Our designs were presented as professional layout renderings with full descriptions and explanations for the flowers chosen and trees selected. So much thought went into what plants would go where and why.
Fast forward 6 months and our little Eden has really begun to take hold and flourish. I am so very proud of our beautiful garden and spend as much time in it as humanly possible. It has been perfectly designed as low maintenance as requested and as Glenice put it so perfectly, “this garden has been created for the birds, bees and butterflies” and I couldn’t be happier.
This is an example of the kind of rendering you can expect to get when you brief the team.
Here are a few pieces that showcase their wonderful work.
They are based in the West Rand, and service all areas of Gauteng. To set up a consultation, contact them on:
All around us are beautiful people who bring light into this world. They don’t make the loudest noise though so I thought I would find them and bring them to you. Naturally inspiring, kind people – who the world needs a lot more of.
Today I bring you Sofia.
It all started when she made me Kombucha. I went to her home to fetch it and she invited me in. I had to stop myself from gasping in awe at her sanctuary she calls home. In all my years of visiting my friends, family, and acquaintances, I have very seldom been greeted with such pure visual peace, harmony and beauty. Her neutral tones provide the perfect background to her family and memories.
I practically begged her for an interview and we met shortly after this brief interaction for lunch at my new favourite restaurant: Be Cafe. I came to learn many precious things about this remarkable lady over lunch and I’m truly thankful that she agreed to have me back in her home to photograph and showcase her incredibly well put together home and furniture pieces. This woman has remarkable style and elegance.
Sofia has always had her heart in art and creating, and has a strong fashion background. She moved to Kuwait about 10 years ago where she worked at Villa Moda as a fashion stylist, working only with leading high-end brands. She works and lives by the principle that beauty is all around us, and why would we wear or buy anything that is not beautiful?!
(I briefly cast my thoughts to my own wardrobe… cough, clear throat awkwardly…)
She surrounds herself with beauty all the time. Famous for cooking in her gown on a Monday evening. Living the belief that beautiful things should be used and not simply stored away just for special occasions.
(Yes, I like where this is going!)
I stalked her on Instagram before our lunch so I could be better informed and more familiar with her work. And oh my goodness, one of the most beautiful Instagram accounts (Stories By Sofia) I have ever seen. While she finds Instagram intimidating, it certainly doesn’t show in her squares. “If you’re commercial you can grow your account very quickly but when you are true to yourself it is slower to take off”. Creative evolution is apart of the journey with her, her fans are more than happy to come along for the inspirational ride of all things wholesome and beautiful, as she searches for her artistic landing space.
I marvel at the furniture that she makes locally, with imported materials. She embraces her Swedish culture and she loves to name her pieces. Her round marble tables for example are called “Full Moon” tables, in bright white and shades of spot colours, and lovely long veins for contrast and pattern. Her vintage fabrics are all imported and are of the highest quality.
Small and large full moon tables. Solid Teakwood with natural teak oil finish, marble top with thin edge brass detail
Solid Oak with natural oil finish, marble mosaic inlays with brass tips on the legs
Natural Pouf in teakwood with natural teakwood oil finish, polished brass legs, can also be used as a table without fusion
Her latest piece is a lamp where the base is from Sweden and the shells that make up the lamp shade are literally from beaches all over the world.
Nothing is without consideration. Even the lighting in her home has been carefully designed. The atmospheric lighting is able to change according to the time of day, or even mood and event. And when it came to the large hanging lights that unwittingly came with the apartment, she found a way to hide that too in a natural, cool, unapologetic way.
What I can’t get over is that kids live here too. Two beautiful little girls. I asked her what they think of it and how they are able to keep it clean, and she simply replied that they are taught to look after things. Seems simple enough!
(I’m still working on this one in my household).
She lives a private life and is protective of her ideas, her beauty and her refined world and for these reasons I am so thankful that she opened up to me and let me showcase what makes her so remarkable. Her works are amazing and deserve to be seen and appreciated. A beautiful shining light in our every day walk.
Sofia, thank you for sharing your private space with me and with our readers.
(One day when I’m a famous artist I’m going to own this table)
“Sad things can shape you in life too. I am a calm person. Be kind, do the right thing, be thankful don’t just say thank you. And this is something we need to teach our kids too. It all blends in with creativity. Its about being in balance. But its difficult to find.” – S
And if you open your organic cafe combining healthy food with art and fashion. I will be the first in line. It has been a privilege to capture this season of life for you and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
A sweet friend of mine posted a clip of this Ingrid Fetell Lee’s Joy TED Talk on my FB page and I just had to share it. I mean, a talk on joy and color, what could be better?!
Ingrid is a designer, writer, and the founder of The Aesthetics of Joy website and community. As an expert in design and joy she took the stage to talk about our fundamental need and desire for, you guessed it, joy.
“On the most basic level the drive toward joy is the drive toward life.”
In her research on joy she found that even though “the feeling of joy is mysterious and elusive, we can access it through tangible physical attributes, or what designers call aesthetics.” She began referring to these moments of joy in the world as the “aesthetics of joy.” Boy does that speak to my creative heart!
The aesthetics of color, patterns, multiplicity, and the shapes of objects in our world are definitely a few things that get me excited, I may even jump up and down. It’s true joy is mysterious, but wherever we find it we need to surround ourselves with it. As Ingrid notes, “each moment of joy is small, but over time they add up to more than the sum of their parts.”
I believe she is right, to live a joy-filled life we need focus our hearts and minds on the things that bring us that jump-up-and-down feeling. To pursue joy rather than happiness helps us find the richness and abundance in life we inherently crave.
Hopefully this talk and her website can inspire and encourage you to take the time to notice the aesthetics of joy around you and focus the things and moments in your life that lift you up. Maybe your joy will be contagious and inspire others to pursue more joy. You may even find a way to infuse joy into your sphere of influence through your skills, talents, and giftings. I’m excited just thinking about it!
One major problem I seem to have these days is that the creativity keeps flowing, photos get taken, paintings come together, products get created, yet I seem to hoard everything for myself. Society6 seems to be the solution to this problem. I thought I’d give them a try. Katie and both have come to love our online stores.
We decided to create our very own online Society6 stores. What I like most about this site is that they produce really very good quality products, they are constantly having sales (which don’t affect the artist) they handle all the shipping (to anywhere in the world) and they leave me to do what I love best, CREATE!
I have put a small video clip together to help you navigate Ellay Art store online.
I absolutely love supporting emerging artists. I feel like magic still lives there.
Not only was he one of my favourite actors when I was a child. He has now captured my love and respect as an adult in the form of an artist, more specifically, as a painter.
When I came across this article, I simply had to read more. And when I came across the title of his collection of paintings, I knew I had to share it with you all. The title:
“I needed color”
Much like Jim carry, I find myself painting – for myself, for no other reason except there is something in me that needs to come out. It’s incredibly therapeutic and yes sometimes even foreshadowing too. I find myself tucking artwork away, under beds, behind doors, in boxes in storage. Thank goodness we moved into a house with more storage! My poor husband. Hopefully my paintings will one day narrate a story for my children, one that words can simply not accurately enough portray.
For the full online article click here. It’s worth a read!
My husband and I are simply loving our new place and it’s more central location. About a week ago we got a babysitter and went out for dinner to a wonderful little Turkish place that we stumbled upon. Bazaar Gurme – Kuwait.
I just fell in love with this little restaurant. The design and decor has been so wonderfully thought through and deeply considered. They take attention to detail to a new level, and the best way for me to sum up my experience there would be to say that they absolutely took me into the heart of Turkey, into someone’s house, and their sweet grandmother cooked me an authentic Turkish meal.
They are located in The Arabella Complex just off the Gulf road facing street side. They offer a gorgeous outdoor area as well which we didn’t get to enjoy due to dusty weather, but clearly just as magical as inside.
One stand out feature for me was the roof. It’s not often that people look up and consider the roof of a place, but I did, and so did they. They carefully placed the vents to fit in with the designs as well. Then of course there is the beautiful coloured lanterns that hang proudly. You see, extra attention to details. It is a beautifully put together Turkish experience and I highly recommend it.
Yes, I’m slightly obsessed with this roof and it’s glorious lanterns.
To anyone living in Kuwait or visiting this Arab country soon, I really hope you get to try out Bazaar Gurme. Seriously though, even their Instagram account is pretty to look at!
“I think in painting you can do things you can’t do in photography.
Edvard Munch said photography can’t compete with painting because it can’t deal with heaven or hell.” – DAVID HOCKNEY
David Hockney, born 9 July 1937, is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. An important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.When I came across a CNN piece on David Hockney, I recognised his work before I recognised him. Through the CNN interview it was nice to get to know the man behind the paintings. And when I heard him pour out the quote above I felt, Yes! I get that. I have always maintained that I love the form and reality that photography captures but I also really love the depth that painting can add to a story. And that’s it! He nailed it! That is what his work is all about. He captures the seemingly natural world and takes it to another level through either colour or composition. And oh how I do love the way he uses colour.
I hope you find his work as refreshing as I do (my personal favourites are his works from the 60s) and please take the time to view his interview, it will add depth to your everyday perspective.
As this is last Tuesday of January I wanted to share a #tutorialtuesday post! Using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator softwares, Lindy-Ann and I both love creating graphics incorporating the use of typography. Typographyis a pretty fun and powerful design technique used to layout and arrange text. The font, spacing, sizing, and layout of text can tell you a lot more than just what the words spell out.
With the addition of a photograph you take your 2 words to 1,002, because a picture is worth a thousand words, right? ha!
Today I’m going to show you how to overlay a photograph or background design using a clipping mask and layer mask in Photoshop. Use this as a jumping off point to play with the different blending modes, colors, and more…go crazy, love!
Another fun link I wanted to share with you is my favorite source for commercial free fonts, Font Squirrel. These designers are fantastic and super generous to share their work with the rest of the world for free!
If you have a favorite font or a fun graphic you created we would love to see it! Share in the comments below!
Have a type-tastic day!!
PS – Did you notice my love theme?? Let it inspire you for our LOVE Photo Challenge starting this THURSDAY the FEBRUARY 1st!! Can’t wait to see how you capture love through your lens!
Having an art brain child, I always wondered how best to nurture her interest and whether I was enough to guide her and help her grow in this field. I was so happy and relieved when I came across Manifesto 13. This is a beautiful art studio, here in Kuwait, that offers long term courses with in depth hands on tutoring of styles and subjects through fine art. It’s more than just an environment where someone gets to practise their hobby. It’s truly an art education for kids (and adults), a safe place where a self expression and critical thinking coming together.
To hear my 7yr old come home and talk about Piet Modrian with the same level of interest that I had when I was 17, is so exciting. I feel so thankful that I found this school for her. Each course runs over a few weeks, usually similar in length to a school term, and at the end, we as parents get invited to an art exhibition where we get to ‘oooooo’ and ‘aaaahhh’ over art created by our precious little pumpkins. And I love it.
If you too have an art brain child and are within the desert walls of Kuwait, then I highly recommend Manifesto 13.
For more information – Tel: (+965) 226-50335 – Mob: (+965) 656-52524 email@example.com
Ahhhh, my creative soul has been filled again. I have recently felt myself running low on creative juices, but yesterday morning I had the opportunity to visit The Arab organisations Headquarters Building, also known as the Arab Fund Building, in Shuwaik.
Ok, so I agree the name needs a little work, but the building is truly quite remarkable. A piece of art. An administration building created by craftsman, designers, and materials from the likes of Italy, Morocco, Syria, and yes, even South African Yellow Wood can be found within it’s walls.
According to their website,
“The Arab Organizations Headquarters Building, situated outside Kuwait City in Shuwaik, blends modern architectural techniques with traditional artisan crafts. Completed in 1994, it is home to four major Arab organizations: the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development, OAPEC (Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries), the Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation and the Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company.”
And I suppose big fancy meetings do take place there with really important people but…
…according to me,
“It’s an exquisite collection of art, antiques, and ideas – collected and bartered for – for the viewing pleasure of anyone willing to appreciate it.”
And appreciate it we did.
Our tour started with a sense of contrast. We were 3 housewives, with quite an artistic flare (think ‘almost cool’ Gypsies) combined with 3 middle aged men in black suits who probably held important titles and regularly used terms like; “not withstanding” and “including, but not limited to”.
Anyway, it was a treat for us all.
This building took 2 years to design and only 3.5 years to build. The attention to detail is unrivalled. It’s so very beautiful.
An absolute treasure of a find for a photographer like me, who has a passion for history and culture.
May these images from today inspire you as much capturing them did me. In this world filled with contrasts, details, and distractions, sometimes to find the most beautiful side of something, all we need to do is look up.
Side Note: Please make the effort to visit the website, it is filled with many interesting behind the scenes imagery and extra details of each piece of art within the building itself. To book your tour, email firstname.lastname@example.org.