we heart cloth and print

Many, many, many moons ago, we attended a creative coffee morning and this is where we met Megan Smith for the first time. It’s so great to see how Megan has channelled her creative energy and talent and poured it into her new business, Cloth and Print, which she launched six months ago. We just love the design aesthetic of this brand. Read on to find out more about it…

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Tell us how Cloth and Print came about
I adore beautiful fabric and have a passion for print. My background is in Textile Design and over the years I have been eager to create my own handprinted collection but have parked it on the back burner until the time was right. I think the real catalyst to begin Cloth and Print came after a creative trip to Jaipur, India in 2014. Being so close to the historic craft of block-printing and being immersed in a culture rich in textiles gave me the impetus to lay the cornerstone of my dream to create my own textile collection. The name Cloth and Print simply expresses my love for fabric and my joy for print… where these two concepts meet, one repeat at a time. 

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I feel inspired by so many little things we find around us. Recently, I found myself mesmerised by the rather arbitrary shadows thrown by roadside retainer blocks, thinking what a great print it would make! But more often that not, I’m drawn to the natural beauty of our surroundings, flowers in particular are a source of inspiration to my work. I find that travel is a wonderful eye-opener especially when we allow ourselves to learn from people around the globe and the creative process they follow. It shakes us out of our comfort zone and broadens our perspective.

Where can we find your products?
Cloth and Print has an online shop where all the products are available, both ready-made and custom orders. I also supply Fabricate in Gardens Centre with most of the purses and bags from the range.

What are your favourite items to date?
I absolutely adore the Clutch & Cover bag which is both fabulous and functional! With a handmade leather wrist strap and available in two sizes, it can be used as a beautiful clutch for a night on the town or an iPad cover during the day.

In just a sentence, tell us what Cloth and Print means to you
Our lives are made up of memories, and Cloth and Print is the curated cultural recollections of my life told in the manner of pattern and print.

And to celebrate the beauty of Cloth and Print, Megan is giving away a tote bag worth R350 to one lucky reader. Simply like Cloth and Print on Facebook here and tell us you’ve done so in the comments below 🙂

Support local, get shopping at Cloth and Print!

— Liza

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outdoor art for the win

We love the new initiative by the V&A Waterfront to bring art to the public. They’ve given a number of sizeable outdoor artworks and sculptures permanent homes around their open spaces and public plazas. These artworks form part of their Art in Public Places Programme which has included artists such as Noria Mabasa, Cameron Platter, Claudette Schreuders and more.

Cameron Platter, V&A Waterfront Art in Public Places Programme

Cameron Platter

Already one of the most iconic cultural hubs in the country, and soon to be the home of the incredible Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) opening in September 2017, the V&A Waterfront has made a substantial commitment to raising the public profile of art in South Africa. Included in this is the idea that the artistry of those exhibiting in Zeitz MOCAA should not be confined within the museum’s walls; instead, it should spill out onto the rest of the property, with the outdoor areas becoming something of an open air art gallery the public could appreciate.

Kyle Morland, V&A Waterfront Art in Public Places

Kyle Morland

What a great idea, and a nice way for little people to enjoy art as well (without annoying anyone in a quiet museum or gallery).

— Liza

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win a R1000 hill’s voucher

We’re all big animal lovers over here, and we’re guessing a lot of you are too. Last month we attended the most amazing presentation by Hill’s Pet Nutrition – it was so inspiring and we learnt a whole lot more about the care, research and dedication that goes into every single bag of Hill’s pet food. It’s good stuff!

We also love a beautiful heartwarming story, especially when it involves animals. Watch this video of Skyler (grab some tissues first), who was found by TEARS Animal Rescue in a terrible state. She was given two weeks of love, care and nutritious Hill’s food and her transformation was just incredible. Add new loving, adoptive parents and Skyler is a different dog today. There are so many of these heartwarming stories of how good nutrition can change a dog’s life. If you’d like the chance to win one of 50 R1 000 Hill’s vouchers, visit Hill’s Transforming Lives and share your story! You might even be the lucky family to win a R50 000 holiday.

— Liza

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did you survive the holidays?

And just like that the winter school holidays are done and dusted. What did you get up to? Although it was a bit of a whirlwind – I’m such a stickler for routine and holidays are not about routine – it was all great fun. Bailey had to have grommets put in, and she was so brave. She said afterwards that her ears felt very ‘sensible’. I took the littles to spend a week with my sister and her great, big crazy family in Durban. We had no agenda and just decided each day what we felt like doing. Highlights included hiking in Krantzkloof, spending the morning on the beach skipping through rock pools when it was pouring with rain back home, visiting Mini Town (especially for Robert), riding the cableway over the promenade (terrifying!), playing racket ball and running with my nephews and brother-in-law (thanks sis for babysitting!), visiting my niece at her waitressing job and having her serve us (how to make me feel old) and just hanging out with my special family.

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Here’s a video that my clever niece made of our one morning in Durban. It captures the fun perfectly!

And last week, back home, we spent a lovely rainy Friday afternoon at Cafe Paradiso. The mamas drank wine and managed to actually have a conversation, while all the kids were whisked off to the kitchen to make their own pizzas. Such a great idea and the kids loved it. And if they’re not in the mood for pizza they can also do biscuits or gingerbread men.

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— Liza

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Calling all corporates and individuals – Dedicate 67 minutes to stop hunger now

For 450 000 vulnerable children, giving 67 minutes of your time for Nelson Mandela on Wednesday, 13 July can stave off their hunger for as long as a year.

Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa and Sun International’s GrandWest Casino are gearing up to pack 450 000 meals that will benefit children at the Early Childhood Development Centres supported by Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa.

The initiative forms part of Stop Hunger Now’s global campaign to mark International Mandela Day by packing and distributing meal boxes to those in need. Each meal box contains 36 meal bags, which in turn contain six meals each. Meal bags are planned to deliver optimal nutrition to children. The bags are packed with rice, soya, soup mix and a vitamin sachet containing 23 essential vitamins and minerals.

Between 8.30am and 5pm, GrandWest’s Market Hall will be transformed into a streamlined packing facility with 30 production lines consisting of 20 volunteers each. In total, 600 volunteers, organised into 150 three-member teams working four shifts, will pack a total of 12 500 meal boxes containing 36 meal bags in each.

2015 Stop Hunger Now campaign with Mervyn Naidoo, GM at Sun International's GrandWest Casino

Heidi Edson, Sun International Group Socio-Economic Development Manager said, “We appeal to Capetonians, and especially to other corporate companies based in Cape Town, to join us in making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children. From our privileged position it is often difficult to imagine what it must be like to go to bed hungry every night, but for 3-million South Africans this is a reality. Please help us to make this challenge a reality, and to ensure that 450 000 children can stop worrying about where their next meal will come from”.

Explaining the registration process, Saira Khan CEO of Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa said, “An entry fee of R10 000 will be levied for each corporate team of 20 people. This money will be used to buy the dry ingredients and to cover the basic cost of the packaging. Individuals wishing to participate can do so for a donation of R500. Pre-registration can be done either online via http://www.stophungernow.org/south-africas-million-meal-challenge-for-mandela-day/, or by emailing events@stophungernowsa.org to request a registration form.”

Four two-hour packing sessions have been planned for the day but will be extended to a fifth session. Once packed, the meals will be stored at the Stop Hunger Now warehouse, to be distributed over the next 12 months.

— Emily

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plants I haven’t killed yet

Nothing turns a house into something warm, welcoming and full of great energy like plants. When we moved into our new home in February it was a pristine, clean, empty space just waiting for us to stamp our personalities on it. My husband and I have very different ideas about what this means. He likes clean, open spaces and I like to fill every up every gap with something. We’re working on a happy medium here, but 6 months later I still feel like our home needs a bit more “stuff” (he’d be horrified).

A happy medium in this ongoing debate is plants. They are an affordable, tangible way of filling up a gap without adding clutter. It’s working for us so far… although our new puppy has been methodically stripping the rubber plant of its leaves (sob) and I don’t know how much longer it will be able to survive the abuse.

To combat this I have been getting creative with displaying plants above ‘puppy-seek-and-destroy’ level. We mounted a trellis on an outside wall and attached pots of herbs (Cole destroyed our other herb garden in mere minutes), I’ve also bought some hanging plants and macramé plant holders to hang from the ceilings. Ha! Now, he has to content himself with slippers (and anything else he finds on the floor, which is a lot… and the rubber plant…)

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Budget friendly herb garden

A trellis on the wall, some pots, wire and herbs. And a husband with a drill. I’m loving my new herb garden. Will be adding to it over the next few weeks.

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Sansevieria (also known as Mother-in-Law’s tongue)

My dear entrance hall plant is a delight. It doesn’t need or want much water and just gets on with being cool. It hasn’t grown much since I bought it, but I’m adding plant food and hoping for the best – I want a tall, architectural wonder there in a few months. Fingers crossed. Oh, and it’s in a pot holder well out of puppy reach.

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Spekboom

My dear little Spekboom happily gets on with things too. It was on the TV cabinet for a while, but that is within reach of little hands and the branches are so incredibly fragile that they kept snapping every time one of my kids looked at it. It’s much happier up on the shelf. Plenty of natural light and not much watering required.

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Hanging plants

These two hardy plants have had nothing but tough love. I completely neglect them for weeks, until the ball is shrivelled and I’m sure the plants are dead, then I soak them for days in plant food. They are fantastic and hanging on to life. I love them and am determined to start treating them with more respect.

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My (utterly non-expert) tips on keeping plants alive

1. Don’t get a puppy (kidding)
But really….
2. Mist your plants
I am either forgetting to water my plants, or I’m drowning them. If I keep a mist bottle on hand then I can putter around with water when I feel like it, without completely submerging them.
3. Dust your plants
Dust them with a slightly damp cloth to keep leaves happy and looking their best, it also helps your home feel cleaner.
4. Build collection slow and wisely
Chat to the peeps at the nursery about your space and what will work best. Read what it says on the pot and purchase some pot plant food. Start off slow and gain confidence as you learn how to care for them. It’s enormously satisfying watching your plants flourish!

— Emily

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Dear Husband

I read this blog post on Parent Co and I wanted to share it here. It’s raw and real and so many aspects of it rang true for where I am right now and I know, where many of you are too. Being a mother is so full on that something has to give, and that is most often your relationship with your partner.

Today is our 9th wedding anniversary and I’m exhausted, we’re both exhausted. But tonight we’re going out just the two of us, and it’s going to be awesome…

Exhausted

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Dear Husband,

I am sorry.

I’m sorry that you’ve been neglected for the last four-and-a-half years. I’m sorry that your needs are secondary. I assure you, you are still one of my top priorities – you just aren’t on the top of the list anymore.

I know that you have needs, wants, dreams, and desires. When I tell you that I want to be the one you lean on, I mean it. I know yo2u are tired of my excuses of being tired, having a headache, or am already snoring when you snuggle up next to me. Trust me, I wish I had the energy I had five years ago. Hell I wish I had the energy I had two weeks ago when I washed, folded, and actually put away all 10 loads of laundry.

I know that some days it feels like we have a business partnership. And you’re right. Some days – even weeks – feel that way. Know that I want better for our marriage, for us. Because together, we are damn good.

The problem is, my life, my brain, and my body are so wrapped up in being a mother to those little boys who look exactly like you. Even after they’re sound asleep and we’re sitting on the couch watching a movie, my brain is still in mother mode.

I’m thinking about tomorrow; I’m thinking about 10 years from now. I’m wondering if you have work clothes for tomorrow. I’m worried about money, milestones, and milk. Do we have enough milk? I can’t turn off being a mom. It is who I am now. And it is physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting.

I don’t want you to think you aren’t as important as you once were. I couldn’t live this life without you and I wouldn’t want to, either. But the simple fact is, you’re an adult and you can do things for yourself. You can vote, so you can make your own lunch. You are legally able to drive a car, so you can figure out how to make a doctor’s appointment.

When you come home from work you, unfortunately, are getting the worst version of me. I gave our children the best. A little secret: sometimes, some days, there just isn’t a best version of me. There just isn’t.

I can’t worry about your health, the boys’ health, the pet’s health, and my health. Who do you think gets ignored? It’s not you. It’s not our children or our pets. When I say I don’t feel well, when I say I haven’t been sleeping, it’s because I haven’t been taking care of me.

Yes, you tell me to go to the doctor, to eat better, to drink more water, but I am my very last priority. I know I need to change that and I’m not complaining. I’m explaining that when something has to give, because no one person can do it all, I am the thing that gives.

I’m worried about your sleep apnea, your allergies, your knee spasms. I am worried about the rash Alex has, and the snotty nose that Ben suddenly started with. I am concerned about our dog’s ears and what it’s going to cost to take her to the vet.

While I’m thinking about it, I’m worried that the fish have too much algae in their tank and the water needs to be changed. I’ll just add that to the never-ending list of things I will feel guilty about when I am trying to sleep tonight. None of this your fault. I am not blaming you, or wishing you were any different.

You do extraordinary things for our family. You work harder than any person I know. You care more about everyone, including me, than any other human I have ever met. I love you a little more each time I see you help someone knowing you will never get anything in return. You are the kindest, most loving father to our children. There is a reason they cry when you leave for work. Yes, it stings a little but knowing that you are their role model in life fills me with love and pride.

I am not the person you married 11 years ago. I have changed and evolved into a wife, mother, friend, and keeper of all schedules. I am a party planner and a personal shopper. I am a chef specializing in chicken nuggets and pasta. I am a housekeeper that can’t keep a house. I am the cheerleader and the librarian. I am the night and the day nurse.

I wouldn’t change any of it. I don’t want any other life. I love you and I love the life that we created. But I am not the spontaneous, beer drinking, sexy bad girl you met way back when. I am a mother. And it is all of me.

Love Always,

Your Wife

Pic | crystalstarrblog
Original post | www.parent.co/dear-husband-im-not-the-person-you-married

— Emily

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