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SEPTEMBER 2016 • No. 435 • RSA R42,90 (VAT included) Foreign countries R45,40 Namibia N$45,40




Craft & décor

18 R eader’s house: exchanging colour for restful white 48 Dry your favourite spring flowers and use them in all sorts of creative ways 62 Spoil yourself with your own chic wigwam, a lacy blouse and gypsy sandals 72 Crochet a blanket with colourful patchwork squares 74 Transform your outdoor area with our easy plans for a deck, bench, hanging chair and and wall garden 82 Journaling series: record everything about your home and décor, from paint colours to window sizes

Your life



On the cover

26 W hat can you make with a ball of dough? Six mouthwatering recipes 34 Celebrate with delectable cocktails and a menu to match 48 Invite spring inside! 63 Feel like a child again with this wigwam – you can sew it in a weekend 74 Pretty plans for relaxing in the garden 74 Lay a quick DIY deck 76 Make a pallet bench for the patio 78 De-stress in an easy hanging chair

Food & entertaining

26 From one ball of (bought) dough to six stylish dishes 34 Celebrate with a party menu inspired by cocktails

Fashion & beauty

54 Mix textures and prints for a Boho spring wardrobe 58 Protect your skin against atmospheric ageing



and be inspired every month


88 Reboot your creativity with an inspirational time out 91 Let’s talk business: allow your product to bask in the limelight 92 Train your brain and improve your memory, concentration and focus 97 Reader of the month: a butcher-baker with real country style 100 We answer your questions 102 Your letters 106 Book your place for the Ideas sewing weekend


How to 32 43 46 80

Bake a cheese and bacon bread wheel Freeze flavoursome ice blocks for your cocktails Decorate a showstopper drizzle cake Use a tree branch as a coffee-table base


4 From the editor 6 Buyer’s guide 7 Quote of the month 8 Things to do and read this month 14 What’s new around town and in the shops 104 Subscribe and save 105 Buy our specially designed paper printables 107 In your next Ideas

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Terena le Roux Dala Watts Marweya Smal Natalie Herman 18th Floor Absa Centre, 4 Adderley Street, Cape Town 8001 Box 1802, Cape Town 8000 Reception and General Queries 021 408 3041 Johannesburg Office Media Park, 69 Kingsway Auckland Park, Johannesburg Syndication manager Lucille van der Berg 021 408 3038 ART DIRECTOR Enid de Beer CHIEF COPY EDITOR Diana Procter DEPARTMENT EDITORS STITCHCRAFT Dala Watts FASHION AND DÉCOR Carin Smith CONTRIBUTING EDITORS FOOD Louisa Holst STYLING Hannes Koegelenberg DIGITAL Lizette Stulting

Make your own wigwam (see page 62)

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Published by Media24, a division of Naspers. 40 Heerengracht, Foreshore, Cape Town 8001. Copyright Media24. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without the prior permission in writing from the publisher. While reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of advice and information given to readers, the editor, proprietors and publishers cannot accept responsibility for any damages or inconvenience that may arise therefrom. The editorial staff have the right to make alterations to any material submitted, and cannot be held responsible for the loss of or damage to any material submitted for publication. All prices quoted were correct at the time of going to press, and may vary from shop to shop.

6 IDEAS September 2016

Starke Ayres 0860 782 753 Tally Weij 011 682 1409 Trenery 0860 022 002 Witchery 0860 022 002 Woolworths 0860 022 002

- Franz Kafka

compiled by L ARA FOREMAN

16-18 September Darling Wildflower Show tickets, available from, include entry to a landscaped hall and a tractor ride to the wetland at Oude Post. For details, go to

24 September – 2 October Don’t miss the annual Spring Festival in Magoebaskloof, which takes place at the Magoebaskloof Hotel and Haenertsburg Village. Go to for details.

This event takes place every Saturday from 8am to noon midway between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna on the N2. You’ll find fresh bread, organic vegetables, local cheeses, pies, fresh meats and stalls offering everything from woodwork to books, plants and jewellery. For more information, go to

Enjoy the best of the Breede Valley at this family-friendly market that takes place on Saturdays at Q Square in Worcester between 9am and 2pm. Shop for handcrafted products, coffee, wine, olive products, woodfired bread and more. There’s lots to keep the children busy too. For more information, call Debbie on 023 342 2347 or 076 198 9171. 8 IDEAS September 2016

1-4 September The four-day Woodstock SA festival takes place at Hartbeespoort Dam. Enjoy camping, mountain scenery, seven dance floors and a talented musical line-up. There will also be a motocross show as well as carnival rides. • For more information, go to 2-4 September Sample craft beers, Bavarian foods, Octoberfest games and music at the Tops at Spar Bierfest at The Globe, Silverstar, in Johannesburg. • For details and to book, go to 3 September The annual Genealogy and Family Heritage Expo takes place at the Atrium in Lynnwood Ridge between 8.30am and 1.30pm. Entrance is free and refreshments will be available. • Email isabelg@mweb. for more information. 14-15 September The Habits Spring/ Summer Joburg Trunk Show at The Wanderers Club in Illovo features their summer collection, which includes bright linens, white shirts, floaty summer dresses and a travel range. • Email for an invitation.

16 September This Sunflower Day buy a Tube of Hope (Tope) from Pick n Pay, Round Table, Zando and selected pharmacies. For R20-R25 you can show your support for people fighting chronic blood conditions like leukaemia. • Call 0800 12 10 82 or go to for more information. 24 September Get fired up this Heritage Day. No matter who or where you are, or what you braai, National Braai Day unites all South Africans. Grab your friends, light a fire and wave your flag as you reflect on our heritage. 9-11 September Attend the FNB Joburg Art Fair at the Sandton Convention Centre to see outstanding contemporary African art. • For more information, go to 15-17 September The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival at the Sandton Convention Centre features a stellar line-up of musicians. Tickets are on sale at Computicket for between R750 and R1 250. • For more information, go to Until 17 September The Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesberg hosts an exhibition of works by French master artist Henri Matisse. The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, collages and prints. • For more information, go to



7-11 September The Open Book Festival in Cape Town is a feast of book launches, discussions, workshops, master classes and readings. • Go to To book, go to 19-24 September The Afrikaanse Taalmuseum and Monument in Paarl is running an introductory book repair course (19-21 September) and an advanced course (22-24 September). No prior knowledge is required for the introductory course. • Call 021 863 0543 or email 20-25 September Shop for handcrafted décor items at the CY Market at Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville. Entrance costs R40, children under 13 enter for free. • For details, go to

The annual Diemersfontein Pinotage-on-Tap (POT) Festival takes place at The Litchi Orchard in Salt Rock. Festival goers get a goodie bag, food, local music acts and Diemersfontein Pinotage on tap. • Tickets are available at Computicket. For more information , go to








1-4 September Hobby-X in Pretoria (

22 September – 8 October View theatre, dance, comedy, jazz and cabaret at the Cape Town Fringe Festival in Cape Town. • For details, go to 27-30 September Markgoed takes place from 6pm at Forest 44 on the R44 between Somerset West and Stellenbosch. Shop for fashion, décor, vintage finds, Christmas decorations and baby clothes. • Go to facebook. com/Markgoed or call 082 774 1077.

1-4 September The Gariep Arts Festival in the Harry Oppenheimer Gardens in Kimberley features an art market and performing arts. For more info, go to

15-18 September Cape Homemakers Expo (

October IDEAS on sale

24-25 September Franschhoek Uncorked Festival

Heritage Day & National Braai Day

Spring equinox

School term ends

September 2016 IDEAS 9

VEGETABLES: asparagus, artichokes, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, leeks, garlic, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, peas, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, rhubarb, Swiss chard, squash, spring onions, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, waterblommetjies. FRUIT: avocados, bananas, Cape gooseberries, grapefruit, guava, kiwi, lemons, limes, mulberries, naartjies, oranges, pawpaw, pineapple. HERBS: bay leaves, dandelion, calendula, fennel, garlic chives, lavender, lemon grass, mint, nasturtiums, nettle, parsley, perennial basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, rocket, winter savory, sorrel.

alstroemeria, anemone, anthuriums, Asiatic lilies, carnations, celosia, chincherinchees, confetti, cornflowers, chrysanthemums, delphiniums, everlastings, freesias, gerbera, germini, golden rod, heliconia, hypericum, iris, kangaroo paw, larkspur, lisianthus, orange balls, orchids, oriental lilies, roses, snapdragons, some fynbos, heather and ericas, some proteas and pincushions, statice, stocks, tuberose, tulips.

10 IDEAS September 2016





• DÉCOR IDEAS COSTS R49,90 (excluding postage).

Dia na.P roc ter@ med ia24 .com

The Collection by Erika Knight (Quadrille, R469)

These knitwear projects from a leading yarn-craft designer range from easy-wear classic casuals to seductive glamour knits for the modern woman. There are four sections – Classic, Classic at Home, Glamour and Glamour at Home. Classic features basics from a sweater in Aran cotton to a cashmere ballet cardigan. Add sumptuous texture to any room with the Classic at Home knits. Glamour is a portfolio of sensuous knits and Glamour at Home is décor heaven. Frames Galore by Fransie Snyman (Metz Press, R220)

Learn how to refinish, recycle and reuse old frames, and to embellish frame blanks to best display your photos, art and other items. You will find instructions for basic frame 12 IDEAS September 2016

construction as well. Make frames from polystyrene cornices, polymer clay, magazine pages, leather off-cuts, card stock and wadding, and decorating materials as diverse as teabags and gold leaf. FOOD Super Food Family Classics by Jamie Oliver (Penguin, R395)

This book follows on Jamie’s Everyday Super Food, bringing tasty, healthy eating to the heart of the home. Mix up your recipe repertoire and freshen up family favourites with new nutritious, delicious meals. Every recipe includes nutritional information, and there’s a section with advice on everything from cooking with kids and tackling fussy eaters to good gut health, the importance of fibre, budgeting and of course, getting more of the good stuff into your family’s diet.

Understanding LCHF by Martina Johansson (Struik Lifestyle, R220)

This Swedish biophysicist and low-carb nutrition expert explains complex biochemistry in an accessible and interesting way to help readers understand why the LCHF or ketogenic diet actually works and is healthy, if followed correctly and tailored to your individual needs. Her book is the key to losing weight, finding new energy and maintaining or improving your health. It gives readers the tools to achieve all of this without complicated meal plans.

works is known to remain – a winter scene that hangs over the Manhattan bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape. Now, half a century later, she’s curating an exhibition of Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. Shanghai Grand by Taras Grescoe (Pan MacMillan, R349)

On the eve of WWII, the port of Shanghai was full of adventurers. Emily ‘Mickey’ Hahn was a legendary New Yorker journalist whose vivid writing helped open Western eyes to life in China. Hahn arrived in Shanghai during the Depression and was soon absorbed into the social swirl. When she meets Zau Sinmay, a Chinese poet from an illustrious family, she discovers the real Shanghai: a city of rich colonials, triple FICTION agents, opium smokers, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos displaced peasants, and by Dominic Smith (A&U, R290) White Russian and Jewish In 1631, Sara de Vos is refugees. Danger lurks on admitted to the Guild of St the horizon, though, as the Luke in Holland as a master painter, the first woman to be Japanese occupation paves so honoured. Three hundred the way for Mao Tse-tung’s Communists to rise to power. years later, only one of her



compiled by DIANA PROC TER

Fiona Ryan writes about food, travel and what she enjoys (and doesn’t). Her job as a project manager funds her travels and gives her the chance to spend ‘stupid sums of money’ on meals and cooking equipment. Her husband is her travelling companion. On her travels, she always makes time to visit local markets and specialty shops, and to hunt out dishes and treats that have been recommended to her. ‘I don’t mind a massage or a cocktail on the beach either.’

Michelle Tam majored in Nutrition and Food Science and in spite of following a low-fat diet developed a ‘muffin top’. Her husband converted to the Paleo lifestyle first and after a while she decided to give it a try. ‘I cut out all grains, legumes, sugar, and processed food from my diet, and read everything I could about the science behind the Paleo diet. . . I feel great!’ This blog chronicles her food adventures, with recipes and photos of her meals, and how to stay Paleo when eating out.

‘The art of crafting seeps into my everyday life. . . scrapbooking, photography, sewing, decorating . . . I do it all.’ Maggie Holmes caught the bug of scrapbooking and recording her memories in a visual way as a youngster. She still gets excited about stickers, paper, pens and glue, and photography is a big part of the mix too. She has her own line of paper crafting products, teaches online photography workshops and creates design tools for other photographers.

Textile designer Karen Barbé is based in Santiago, Chile. Inspired by traditional crafts, folklore, textiles, crafting, cheap plastic wares, in short, anything simple and unpretentious, she creates handmade pieces for her brand, Karen Barbé Textileria, ‘that bring a joyful and cosy mood into the home’. Her work has been featured in local and international media. She works on commissioned projects and hosts embroidery workshops. Her blog features images of her work, the design process and inspiring crafts and textiles.

Coverage on this décor blog ranges from inspirational interiors to decorating advice, entertaining tips and shopping resources. Founder Nicole Gibbons writes that they provide helpful tips, useful resources and lots of inspiration for designing a beautiful life and home that you’ll love coming back to every day. She believes every space should include a touch of vintage and uses everything from family heirlooms and antiques to inexpensive flea market finds to add personality and soul to a room.

Writer, stylist and photographer Carrie Waller is the creative force behind this blog. She has a background in studio art and art history, and is always eager to soak up new home design trends. Pattern, colour, texture and sheen are her muses and mid-century modern is her era of choice. On any given Saturday in Waynesboro, Virginia, you’ll find her treasure hunting at local thrift shops. Old brass animals and 1970s lamps are her weaknesses. Categories include DIY projects, home décor, events and inspiration.


Shops and craf t: Dala Wat ts at dwat Food: Louisa Holst at Décor and fashion: Carin Smith at

Here is this month’s

line-up of what’s new on the block and on the shelf.

Mariska Botha makes these eclectic earrings – she laser cuts them from wood then hand paints and stains them. • For more information, email her at or find her at

ART MEETS Cocktail hour

This gorgeous rose-gold-plated stainless steel cocktail shaker will add a touch of glamour to any drinks party. The three-piece set is available from @home stores countrywide and sells for R699. Make a citrus twist for your cocktail by using a zesting tool or channel knife to cut a thin piece of zest from a lemon or orange. Twist it around a chopstick or kebab skewer. Leave for a few minutes then remove the stick.

Sue Bellwood is the creator of these little woolly friends. She makes a range of luxury crocheted toys, blankets and various gifts. All the toys are made from locally produced cotton and bamboo yarn and are available in children’s shops throughout Cape Town, or order yours on

Bathroom Bizarre has launched a range of frameless mirrors, some with a contemporary design and others with a vintage feel, priced from R245 to R595.

• To see the whole range, go to


The price is probably not for the faint-hearted, but one can dream. This beautiful Couture Rose Fuchsia carpet by Tricia Guild will be the focal point in your house. It’s available from Edge Interiors (


OF THE YEAR Every year, Plascon chooses a colour that sums up the mood in the global design landscape. For 2017, it is ‘In the Mood’. This is a neutral colour with earthy grey and very subtle pink tints. Warm and grounding but always clean and sophisticated, this colour is the perfect backdrop for any space. As Anne Roselt, Plascon’s global colour manager, explains, ‘It really captures the “back to basics” feeling that the world is going through at the moment but is still rich, warm and very easy to use.’ For more information, go to

September 2016 IDEAS 15


Spoil someone special

on Spring Day and celebrate the new season! This Spring Roses and Lindt hamper from NetFlorist is filled with mixed roses and Lindt chocolates in a variety of delicious flavours, beautifully arranged in a square wooden crate and finished off with a ribbon and diamanté pin. • Go to for details and to order.

Outdoor style

It’s time to spruce up your garden and outside entertainment area. Gary Neil Outdoor offers locally designed and produced fabrics to help you with this. The collection includes seven designs in various colours. The signature design for 2016 is Paradise – strelitzias on a background of vibrant green palms. Other designs include Mosaic, African Protea, Savannah, and Twill Stripe. They’re pretty enough to use indoors too. Go to, call 086 136 0000 or email


Jazz apples are a new variety with a sweet, tangy flavour and extra crunchy texture. They are juicy and will stay fresher for longer. They’re ideal to enjoy as a healthy snack or to add extra flavour and crunch to salads, or roast them along with a piece of pork. • Available in Woolworths stores nationwide.

16 IDEAS September 2016

Don’t forget to buy a few packs of Buffet olives for your next cocktail party. Besides being an essential ingredient in a martini, they are also good to snack on and provide many health benefits. Olives help with appetite control – eating 10 olives before a meal will reduce your appetite by 22%! Olives are high in fibre and provide vitamins A and E as well as antioxidants that help prevent heart disease. And they have anti-inflammatory properties too.

WALL CANDIES has created a no-stress, no-nail solution to adding art to your home: beautiful prints you can simply stick on your walls. Each high quality A5-sized print is attractively framed. There is a wide range of themes, including vintage travel, African animals and people, Cape Town, international and South African artists, flowers and plants, and cinema.

• For more information, go to


The Doorkeeper Shiraz 2013 is a younger, more modern and upfront example of the Shiraz wines for which Hartenberg Wine Estate is so renowned. The wine has perfumed aromas with spicy notes yet is gentle and medium-bodied with soft tannins. It complements all game, lamb and beef dishes and sells for R70 a bottle. The new Swatch POP collection includes nine watches in funky designs. Three black and white pieces – POPdancing, POPmoving and POPlooking – salute graphical purity. They are joined by a trio of coloured creations: POPalicious, POPiness and POPpingpop. And adding extra fizz are the POPover, POPtastic and POPthusiasm. Find them at your closest SWATCH shop.

Pop it up

After a blissful seaside holiday at their house in St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape, our crochet contributor Cornel Strydom decided to invite that peacefulness into the family home in Pretoria.


September 2016 IDEAS 19

These gorgeous black light fittings are from Amatuli in Kramerville and work perfectly with the blackboard wall and the floor tiles in the living area.


rom the time we first met Cornel,

light grey – Plascon’s Light Stone NEU 06.

nothing about this vibrant woman

Some of the wallpaper survived here and

was dull or drab. Her work was

there, with the texture of the fabrics, lovely

fresh and colourful, her bright dresses

ceiling lights and clever groupings being

reflected her personality and every room

the only other detail that she used. In the

in her house had its own colour and

dining and living area with its blackboard

distinctive character.

wall, the black lampshades and picture

‘After the restfulness of December in

‘Apart from the paint, I recycled every-

overwhelming need to bring that same

thing. The wooden frames were repainted

peacefulness into this house. Not only

and the light voile curtains used to hang

did all the brightness and patterns have

behind my previous curtains. The rolled

to go from the walls and furniture, I also

curtains in the dining room also had an

threw them out of my wardrobe. I have

earlier incarnation. My old basket is now

a real need for a quieter life and colour is

my spice rack and I hang my tea towel

such a big part of that,’ she says.

from this cute bird, which is actually a

Her departure point was to paint every wall, cornice and ceiling in the same

20 IDEAS September 2016

frames provide an echo of the floor tiles.

my neutral beach house, I simply had an

door-knocker. I’m a real homebody and enjoy playing around here.’

The lovely old cupboard, and dark wallpaper and chevron curtains that hang in front of the kitchen cabinets, both from Romo, make for a stylish walk through to the scullery.

The house has folding doors that open completely to allow the garden and house to flow into each other seamlessly.

And this she does enthusiastically.

Whether it’s a border for an apron or

While we are talking she quickly goes to

adorable little hearts or dolls – every

pick spinach and tomatoes in her garden

project is fresh and unique.

to make a healthy breakfast for us. She has been extremely busy since

The rough crocheted mat on the lounge floor is, surprisingly, not Cornel’s own

last year, working with Elsbeth Eksteen,

work. ‘A friend of mine runs a community

whose home we featured in June,

project in Nelspruit and they made it for

teaching people from Pretoria to crochet.

me,’ she says.

‘As Empty Nest, we offer three classes a week these days and sometimes also for special occasions, such as for a group of

take a look at, where she,

friends on a birthday.’

Elsbeth and Anisa du Plessis share their

Their Gentle Art of Crochet projects

22 IDEAS September 2016

To see more of Cornel’s handiwork,

projects and crochet news. You can also

are a beautiful expression of their

follow @cornel_strydom on Instagram and

exceptional feel for colour and texture.

become part of her yarn-rich life.

Cornel made the rolled curtains herself reusing fabric that had previously been curtain linings. Her other great love, her Boston terriers and greyhounds, are comfortably at home everywhere in the house.

Cornel’s love of detail should definitely not be confused with excess and clutter – each element has a shape or line that complements the rest of the room. Her husband, Neill, is the owner of Romo Textiles in South Africa and examples of their fabrics and wallpapers are to be seen throughout the house.

September 2016 IDEAS 25


Most supermarkets sell ready-made bread dough. Have a look in the fridge section where products like garlic bread and tortillas are kept or ask at the bakery counter. If there is none on the shelf, the bakery assistant will weigh out a kilogram of ready-made dough for you. Make sure you get it home as soon as possible and store it in the fridge until you are ready to use it because the dough will start to rise as soon as it warms up.

26 IDEAS September 2016

Makes: 2 Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus rising time Baking time: 30 minutes Oven temperature: 200oC ♥ 1kg ready-made bread dough ♥ about 500ml grated mozzarella ♥ 12 slices salami or spicy salami ♥ fresh basil leaves, to garnish PIZZA SAUCE ♥ olive oil ♥ 1 medium onion, chopped ♥ 4 cloves garlic, crushed ♥ 1 can plum tomatoes, blended ♥ 5ml dried basil ♥ 5ml dried origanum

1 Put the dough into a large bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Set aside to rise until doubled in size. 2 PIZZA SAUCE Heat 30ml olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion over a low heat for 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the tomatoes and dried herbs and increase the heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, uncovered. Season with a pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool. 3 Once the dough has risen, knead it down and divide it into two

balls. Roll out on a lightly floured surface into two circles and use them to line two greased 20cm round tins or ovenproof dishes. Press the dough up the sides of the tins or dishes. Scatter most of the cheese over the dough. (Reserve a handful for the top.) 4 Spoon the sauce over the cheese. Top with salami slices and sprinkle with the reserved cheese. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the base is golden and cooked through. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and drizzle with a little extra olive oil. Serve hot or at room temperature. September 2016 IDEAS 27

Garlic & rosemary campfire bread (stokbrood in Afrikaans) Makes: 10-12 Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus rising time Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

28 IDEAS September 2016

Vetkoek with chicken curry Serves: 8-10 Preparation time: 1 hour, ♥ 1kg ready-made bread dough ♥ 125ml olive oil ♥ 6 sprigs fresh rosemary ♥ 6 cloves garlic, crushed ♥ thick wooden kebab skewers, soaked in water for a few hours 1 Put the dough into a large bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Set aside to rise until doubled in size. 2 Knead the dough back down then roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 1cm thick. Use a ruler and sharp knife and cut the dough into 1 x 20cm strips. 3 Wrap the strips of dough around the kebab skewers. Place them on a greased baking tray and leave to rise until doubled in size. 4 Prepare the coals on the braai. Once they are at a medium heat, put half the rosemary sprigs on the coals and allow them to burn. 5 Chop the remaining rosemary coarsely and mix it with the olive oil and garlic. Put a grid over the coals, high enough that the dough will not brown too quickly. 6 Cook the stokbrood over the coals, brushing it with the oil mixture while it is cooking. Once browned on one side, turn the skewers to ensure the bread is cooked through and golden brown on all sides. Enjoy as a snack or serve as an accompaniment at your braai.

♥ 1kg ready-made bread dough ♥ sunflower oil, for deep-frying CHICKEN CURRY ♥ 1 onion, finely chopped ♥ 2 cloves garlic, crushed ♥ 25ml grated fresh ginger ♥ 45ml medium-strength curry masala powder ♥ 10ml ground coriander ♥ 1 can coconut milk ♥ 250ml mango juice ♥ 500g chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced ♥ 10ml tamarind paste or use 5ml lemon juice ♥ 30g chopped fresh coriander 1 Put the bread dough into a large bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Set aside to rise until doubled in size. 2 Prepare the curry while the dough is rising. Heat 25ml sunflower oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a further 2 minutes. 3 Add the curry powder and the ground coriander and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

15 minutes with rising time Cooking time: about 50 minutes

4 Add the coconut milk slowly, stirring well. Add the mango juice and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. 5 Bring to the boil again and add the chicken. Stir well and cook for 5-10 minutes until the chicken is just cooked through. Add the tamarind paste or lemon juice and coriander and season to taste. Remove from the heat. 6 VETKOEK Once the dough has risen, knead it down again. Break off a piece and roll it into small balls. Put the balls on a greased baking tray and leave to rise again until doubled in size. 7 Heat the oil for deep-frying. Once it is hot, add a few of the risen dough balls to the oil. Fry the balls in batches until golden and cooked through. Drain on absorbent paper. 8 TO SERVE Cut the vetkoek in half, but not all the way though. Fill with a spoonful of hot chicken curry. Serve warm.

♥ 1kg ready-made bread dough TOPPINGS ♥ 1 tub ready-made hummus ♥ 125g shaved smoked chicken ♥ 4 small cucumbers, very thinly sliced ♥ handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced ♥ 30ml rocket pesto ♥ baby salad leaves, to garnish ♥ 1 tub readymade snoek paté ♥ 200g smoked snoek, bones removed and flaked ♥ 1 red onion, thinly sliced ♥ 1 ripe avocado, sliced ♥ lemon wedges ♥ olive oil

Flatbreads with tasty toppings Makes: 8-10 Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus rising time Baking time: about 30 minutes Oven temperature: 220oC

30 IDEAS September 2016

1 Put the dough into a large bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Set aside to rise until doubled in size. 2 Put two baking trays into a preheated oven to heat up. Knead the dough down. Lightly flour a work surface, break off a small ball of dough and roll it out very thinly into an oblong shape. 3 Roll out four pieces of dough in this way and transfer them to the hot baking trays. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes until slightly puffed up and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough. 4 Just before serving, put the toppings on the flatbreads. Spread half the breads with hummus. Top with smoked chicken, cucumber and tomato slices. Garnish with pesto and baby salad leaves. Spread the others with snoek paté and top with smoked snoek, onion and avocado slices and garnish with baby salad leaves. Drizzle with a squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil just before serving. Serve immediately.

♥ 1kg ready-made bread dough ♥ 385g can unsweetened pie apple slices, drained ♥ 2 x peppermint crisp chocolate bars, broken up ♥ 250g Caramel Treat ♥ 250ml cream ♥ 125ml brown sugar ♥ icing sugar, to dust ♥ custard or vanilla ice cream, to serve 1 Place the dough into a large bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Set aside to rise until doubled in size. 2 Knead the dough down then divide it into two pieces. Roll out a piece on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a greased rectangular baking tin. 3 Scatter the apple slices and peppermint crisp chocolate over the dough. Add spoonfuls of caramel. 4 Roll the remaining dough into small balls and place them on top of the pudding to cover the other ingredients. Leave gaps between the balls so the dough has room to rise. Set aside for an hour or longer until the dough has risen to double its size. 5 Whisk the cream and brown sugar together. Pour over the top of the dough. Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the dough is cooked through and golden. 6 Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with custard or vanilla ice cream.

Serves: 8-10 Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus rising time Baking time: 45 minutes Oven temperature: 190oC ♥ 1kg ready-made bread dough ♥ 30ml olive oil ♥ 125g streaky bacon, chopped ♥ 2 leeks, sliced ♥ 6 cloves garlic, crushed ♥ 1 egg, lightly beaten with 10ml water ♥ 30ml chopped fresh parsley ♥ 250ml grated Cheddar


Put the dough into a large bowl. Cover it with a damp cloth and set aside to rise until doubled in size. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the bacon and fry for three minutes, then add the leeks and garlic and fry until soft. Divide the dough in half.


Use a sharp knife and a ruler to cut the dough into wedges from the edge inwards to the circle that marks the middle of the dough. You should have 10-12 wedges.

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Roll one half of the dough into a circle, about 22cm in diameter. Put it onto a baking tray that has been lined with greased baking paper. Brush the surface of the dough with egg wash.



Scatter the bacon mixture over the dough – leave a 1cm gap around the edge of the dough. Top the bacon mixture with the parsley and three-quarters of the grated cheese. Roll out the remaining dough to form a circle the same size the first one. Place it on top of the filling and press the edges down to seal closed. Place a small ramekin in the centre of the dough circle and use a knife to press around it to make a mark, but don’t cut through the dough. Remove the ramekin.

Carefully pick up a wedge and twist it over. Repeat with the other wedges. Brush the surface with egg wash. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven and bake for a further 20-30 minutes until golden and crisp. Enjoy warm as a snack at a braai or serve with vegetable soup.

by LOUISA HOLST st yling and illustrations HANNES KOEGELENBERG photos ED O’RILEY

Cosmopolitan with beetroot cured in vodka with goat’s cheese and cranberries (Recipes on page 36.)

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Drinks trolley (R1 699) from @home.

Mix together 45ml vodka, 15ml triple sec or Cointreau, 45ml cranberry juice and 15ml freshly squeezed lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and serve with a twist of orange zest.

Serves: 6 as a canapé Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus curing time Cooking time: about 20 minutes ♥ 6 medium-sized beetroot ♥ 60ml vodka ♥ juice and grated zest of one orange ♥ 125ml chopped dried cranberries ♥ 30ml olive oil ♥ about 100g goat’s milk feta ♥ fresh watercress, to serve 1 Boil the beetroot until tender. Drain and set aside to cool. 2 Peel the beetroot and cut them into small cubes. 3 Mix the vodka and orange juice together in a small jug. Warm the liquid in the microwave for a minute until hot. Add the cranberries and leave to soak for 30 minutes. 4 Pour the cranberry mixture over the beetroot cubes. Add the olive oil and orange zest. Stir to coat the beetroot cubes. Set aside for two hours or longer to cure. 5 TO SERVE Spoon the beetroot mixture into small bowls. Cut the feta into six rectangular pieces, thread onto small skewers and add one to each bowl. Garnish with watercress and serve.

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Put 90ml pineapple juice, 30ml white rum, 30ml Malibu coconut liqueur and 15ml coconut milk into a liquidiser. Add 125-200ml ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass. Serve garnished with a piece of pineapple and a white rose.

with pineapple and sweet potato purée Serves: 6 Preparation time: 1 hour Cooking time: about 30 minutes ♥ 1½ pineapples, peeled and cubed ♥ 500g orange sweet potato cubes ♥ 2 star anise ♥ 20ml olive oil ♥ 1 onion, chopped ♥ 1-2 red chillies, seeded and chopped (optional) ♥ 6 chicken breast fillets ♥ 425g can coconut milk ♥ 60ml white rum ♥ 1 chicken stock pot or stock cube ♥ 2 cloves garlic, sliced ♥ 1 punnet snow peas, blanched, to serve ♥ pea shoots, to serve ♥ desiccated coconut and toasted coconut flakes, to serve 1 Reserve a third of the pineapple cubes. Put the remaining pineapple and the sweet potato into a saucepan. Add the star anise. Add a little water. Cover and bring to the boil. Simmer until tender. Remove from the heat and set aside. 2 Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add half the chopped onion. Sauté over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the chilli (if using) and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes until soft. 3 Drain the sweet potato and pineapple mixture thoroughly. Remove the star anise and add the cooked onion mixture. Set aside while you prepare the chicken. 4 Heat the coconut milk, rum, stock cube, remaining onion and the garlic together in a saucepan. Once the mixture starts to simmer gently, add the chicken breasts.

5 Cover and simmer for 8 minutes or until cooked through. Don’t overcook the chicken as it will become tough. 6 Remove the chicken from the liquid, cover and set aside. 7 Add 100ml of the poaching liquid to the sweet potato mixture. Transfer to a liquidiser and blend until smooth. (You may need to add more of the poaching liquid to create a smooth, soft consistency.) Season to taste. 8 TO SERVE Place a spoonful of purée on a warm serving plate and use the back of the spoon to spread it across the plate. Cut the chicken fillets into slices and place them on the purée. Garnish with snow peas, reserved pineapple cubes, pea shoots and coconut. Serve immediately. (Strain the remaining poaching liquid and use it to make a tasty soup.) September 2016 IDEAS 37

Mix 60ml bourbon whiskey with 6 fresh mint leaves, 5ml castor sugar and 15ml water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then pour over crushed ice. Garnish with an extra mint sprig.

Serves: 6 Preparation time: 1 hour, plus marinating time Cooking time: 20 minutes

♥ 1kg hake fillets or other line fish of your choice ♥ 15ml butter ♥ micro herbs and mint leaves, to garnish MARINADE ♥ 30ml honey ♥ 60ml rice wine vinegar ♥ 60ml whiskey ♥ 15ml soy sauce ♥ 15ml lemon juice ♥ 15ml orange juice COUSCOUS SALAD ♥ olive oil ♥ 250ml couscous ♥ 250ml prepared vegetable stock, hot ♥ 2 cloves garlic ♥ 15ml lemon juice ♥ 50ml finely chopped fresh mint ♥ 200ml finely chopped cucumber ♥ 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped

1 Cut the fish into portions. Mix together the marinade ingredients. Place the fish in a flat container and pour the marinade over it. Set aside for an hour or two. 2 When ready to cook, heat a griddle pan or a heavy-based pan over a high heat. Once it is hot, brush with a little olive oil. Remove the fish from the marinade and reserve the remaining liquid. 3 Cook some of the fish, skin side down, for 3-4 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook the other side for a further 1-2 minutes or longer, depending on how thick the fish is.

4 Remove from the pan and set aside while you cook the remaining fish. 5 Pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer uncovered until it has reduced. Add the butter and serve the sauce spooned over the fish. 6 SALAD While the fish is marinating, prepare the salad. Heat 15ml olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the couscous and stir until it starts to turn golden. Add the

stock and bring it to the boil. Cover and switch off the heat. Leave the couscous to steam for 10 minutes. Stir with a fork to loosen then leave to cool. 7 Mix the garlic, lemon juice and 15ml olive oil together. Stir into the couscous. Add the mint, cucumber and tomato. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with the fish and garnish with micro herbs and mint leaves.

September 2016 IDEAS 39

Pour a little crème de cassis liqueur into a champagne flute. Top up with sparkling wine. Add a small cocktail stick with a raspberry to garnish.

Makes: 6 Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus setting time Cooking time: 6-8 minutes ♥ 60ml frozen red currants (defrosted), or use raspberries ♥ 25ml gelatine ♥ 70ml berry juice ♥ 100ml castor sugar ♥ 200ml sparkling wine ♥ 65ml crème de cassis ♥ 300ml milk ♥ 350ml cream ♥ fresh berries, to serve

leave to cool to room temperature. 5 Pour into the dessert moulds, over the jelly layer. Return to the fridge until firm. 6 TO SERVE Hold a warm cloth over the outside of the dessert mould or dip it into hot water for a couple of seconds. Loosen the dessert by running a sharp knife around the edge. Turn the puddings out onto individual serving plates. Garnish with fresh berries.


1 Divide the red currants among 6 individual dessert moulds or ramekins. 2 SPARKLING WINE LAYER Put 10ml gelatine and the berry juice into a small jug or bowl and allow to soak for a few minutes. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute or long enough for the gelatine to melt. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool. 3 Add 10ml castor sugar and half the sparkling wine and stir well. Allow the foam to settle then stir in 15ml cassis liqueur and the remaining sparkling wine. Pour into the dessert moulds. Refrigerate until firm. 4 PANNA COTTA LAYER Heat the milk, cream, remaining castor sugar and gelatine together in a saucepan over a low heat. Don’t allow the mixture to boil. Once the gelatine has melted and the mixture is smooth, add the remaining cassis liqueur. Remove from the heat and

September 2016 IDEAS 41

Copy the bottle labels below onto cardboard, cut them out, punch a hole in them and tie them to the bottles with gold cord.

42 IDEAS September 2016



This is a very easy and clever way to decorate cocktails. 1 Place the various garnishes – from slices of strawberry to thin strips of cucumber or citrus peel, rose petals and mint leaves – in an ice tray. 2 Fill the ice tray with fruit juice or water and freeze. Drop the ice cubes into the cocktails.

On annel

v ch t S D

7 4 1

A brighter guesthouse via our team’s team s smart ideas Mondays 17:00

via tv


Drizzle or drip cakes are a huge trend in the cake world. We show you how to make your own showstopper. by TANI KIRSTEN photos ED O’RILEY


September 2016 IDEAS 45

♥ recipes on facing page ♥ 20cm cake plate ♥ 30cm cake board ♥ small off-set spatula ♥ large spatula or bench scraper ♥ spoon ♥ sweets and other treats to decorate


Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Use a little icing to stick the first layer to the cake plate. Sandwich the cakes together with a layer of icing, making sure they are level as you go. Place the cake on the larger cake board to make icing it easier.




Spread a thin layer of icing over the whole cake. This is called the crumb coat as it catches any loose crumbs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes then cover with another liberal layer of icing, using a large spatula or bench scraper to ensure it has a smooth, even finish. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to firm.

5 Transfer the cake carefully onto a cake stand.

Repeat the process all around the cake. Spoon a little more ganache onto the centre of the cake, if necessary, and spread it to cover the top.

46 IDEAS September 2016

Decorate the top and one side with a variety of treats. We added doughnuts on kebab skewers, caramel popcorn, chocolate lollipops, pretzels and peanut brittle. The possibilities are endless, but make sure the flavours don’t clash.

Warm the ganache a little in the microwave so it is runny. Spoon some ganache onto the top of the cake just inside the edge. Use the back of a spoon to gently push some of the ganache over the edge of the cake. Allow it to run down the side so it sets against the chilled cake.

Serves: 16-20

Preparation time: 30 minutes Baking time: 45 minutes o

Oven temperature: 160 C

Celebrate a special occasion with Huletts and this dense, dark-chocolate mud cake. CHOCOLATE MUD CAKE WITH CARAMEL ICING ♥ 350g soft butter ♥ 375ml Huletts Treacle Sugar ♥ 750ml Huletts White Sugar ♥ 6 large eggs ♥ 15ml vanilla essence ♥ 100g cocoa powder ♥ 20ml bicarbonate of soda ♥ 1 125ml cake flour, sifted ♥ 500ml sour cream ♥ 550ml hot water ICING ♥ 350g soft butter ♥ 1 tin of caramel ♥ 1kg Huletts Icing Sugar, sifted GANACHE ♥ 300g dark chocolate, chopped ♥ 150ml fresh cream NOTE This cake is best baked a day or two before you are planning to ice and serve it. 1 Beat the butter, treacle sugar and white sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla essence, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt. Beat until well combined. 2 Add a third of the flour and mix well, followed by half the sour cream. Repeat with the remaining flour and sour cream, mixing until all the ingredients are well combined. 3 Add the hot water while stirring. The mixture will be thin. Divide the batter between two 10cm-deep, greased and lined 20cm round cake tins. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

4 ICING Beat the butter until very soft. Add half the caramel and mix well. Add half the icing sugar and beat slowly until combined. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat until combined. Add the remaining caramel and stir using a metal spoon. Do not over-mix as the icing may become too soft. 5 GANACHE Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it starts to steam but do not allow it to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and leave to stand for 5 minutes so the cream melts the chocolate. Stir for a minute and if there are still pieces of unmelted chocolate, heat the ganache in the microwave for 15 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool and set slightly. 6 Follow the steps on page 46 to assemble and decorate the cake.

(Instructions on page 52.)


Use dried flowers to decorate glass bottles in various ways. Insert a flower into a bottle or bottle neck, use spray glue to glue a dried flower to the front of a bottle, or glue a flower head to the lid.

September 2016 IDEAS 49

Make your own jewellery by casting dried flowers in resin. Mix together equal quantities of resin and hardener in a plastic container with a tongue depressor. Stir for two minutes, decant into another container and mix for another minute. Stand the ring blank on a level surface and secure it with masking tape or Prestik. (Find ring blanks at most craft stores or bead suppliers.) Use tweezers to put a dried flower into the base then pour the resin mixture carefully over the flower. Leave it for 24 hours to set.

Melt slivers of clear glycerine soap with a little bit of water in a double boiler, or in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. While the soap is melting, place dried flowers in the bottom of your mould. Pour the melted soap carefully over the flowers in the mould. The flowers will form part of the soap. Alternatively, pour your soap mixture into the mould to about three-quarters full, wait a few minutes and then add your flowers, gently pressing them into the soap. Top up the mould and leave to set.

Make your own wrapping paper by photocopying dried flowers, in colour or black and white, onto an A3 sheet of paper.

NOTE Place the flowers on a sheet of clear acetate and not directly onto the printer glass. 50 IDEAS September 2016


TIP Use a pin to remove any bubbles that might appear in the resin.

Arrange dried flowers in paper cones – we made our cones big enough for just one dried rose, but you could make them larger and add more flowers, if you prefer. The flowers are dried one at a time with this method. Place a flower in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover it with a few cups of cat litter and microwave for 2-3 minutes on high. Wait until the cat litter has cooled down before removing the flower. Dust off any grit on the flower.

Tie bunches of flowers together with an elastic band and hang them upside down in a wellventilated room or cupboard away from direct sunlight. Leave them to dry for three to four weeks.

Arrange the flowers carefully between two sheets of wax paper and place them between the pages of a heavy book. Leave the flowers to dry in the book for seven to 10 days.

Tie the stems of dried flowers to a wooden ring – we used an embroidery hoop. Tie the flowers at different lengths for interest.

Roll air-dry clay, which is available at most craft stores, into a thin, even sheet. Place dried flowers on the clay and cover them with wax paper. Use your roller to press the flowers into the clay.

Dry plants that have very small flowers and fill paper cones with them for confetti.

52 IDEAS September 2016

Place a plate on the clay and cut out the shape with a blunt knife. Line the plate with wax paper then place the clay shape on the plate over the paper and leave until dry. Cut the flower clay into tag shapes and use a straw to punch a hole at the top for the cord.


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54 IDEAS September 2016


Dress (R950) from Mr & Mrs. Shoes (R499) from Witchery. Ring (R295) from Lulu Belle.

September 2016 IDEAS 55

Top (R499) from Queenspark. Trousers (R599) from Mango. Shoes (R549) from Call It Spring. Earrings (R130) from Lulu Belle. Ring (R249) from Accessorize.

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Dress (R980) from I Love Leroy at Mr & Mrs. Necklace (R250) from Lulu Belle. Sandals (R699) from Trenery.



September 2016 IDEAS 57


Wrong. The attackers that cause premature ageing, fine lines, wrinkles, skin sagging, dryness, coarse texture and age spots are competing to see which one can do the most damage. The new words on everyone’s lips are atmospheric ageing. This means a walk down the street, an afternoon in the park or an outing to the mall can be just as damaging to your skin as unprotected sun exposure. New research shows smoke, soot, smog, air pollution and so-called ozone pollution break down the

58 IDEAS September 2016

skin’s natural barrier function and protective mechanisms, allowing free radicals to do their damage. The ‘environment’ includes everything that isn’t genetic – diet, air, water, ultraviolet radiation, stress, disease and so on. Studies have been focusing almost exclusively on UV radiation and sun damage. But according to Cape Town-based dermatologist Dr Ian Webster, the latest research says the sun is no longer the only skin destroyer. It does remain the main cause of skin cancer and ageing, but we’re surrounded by silent assassins on a daily basis. Scientists now believe that infrared-A radiation (IRA) and visible


light are severely damaging to skin. Few people realise that air pollution can accelerate premature ageing. Then there is ozone pollution. Most of us know about the stratospheric ozone layer – the ‘good’ ozone high in the Earth’s atmosphere that protects our planet from the sun’s radiation, makes us feel great when we walk along the seashore, and protects our skin from the poisonous UVC rays. It intercepts the shorter rays of this deadly type of UV, but lets through the UVA and UVB rays. Dr Webster says ground level or tropospheric ozone is less well known but is no less damaging. It is created when sunlight reacts with hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide from exhaust fumes, coal-burning power stations, factory emissions and veld fires. Have you ever been abroad, for example in London, and been astonished in the evening to find how dirty your skin is when you cleanse your face? Then you know what we’re talking about. By the way, London is one of the most polluted cities in Europe and one of nine British cities that fall well short of World Health Organisation guidelines for safe air quality. In South Africa the highest levels of air pollution are on the Highveld. Gauteng residents have drawn the short straw. In Cape Town the southeaster is known as the Cape Doctor for a reason – it is a very efficient ‘air freshener’! The same goes for the ‘bad’ ozone – groundlevel or tropospheric ozone. In Cape Town and Durban the levels of ozone pollution are lower because there are fewer cars on the roads and fewer harmful chemicals being spewed from industrial areas. Combine all of these and you see why our skin is exposed to virtually unavoidable environmental factors on an everyday basis.

Modern city dwellers pay a high price for their lifestyle, according to findings published in a recent edition of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Exposure to air pollution and particle pollution goes hand in hand with skin ageing, particularly age spots. The study compared women older than 24 in cities with women of the same age in rural areas. It showed that the urban dwellers, who are exposed to more pollution, have significantly more dark age spots and wrinkles. Microscopic particles of smoke, soot, smog, acid and other impurities in the air penetrate the deep layers of the skin and do damage at cellular level.

IMPURITIES AND POLLUTION: If you live in a city then exhaust fumes,

smoke and dust are part of daily life. These substances start adhering to your skin during the day and your skin will absorb some of them. Over time this can cause prolonged skin irritation and weaken the natural barrier of the skin, making it sensitive and unbalanced.

HARD WATER: The water in our cities contains high levels of minerals and calcium and is often strongly alkaline, which disturbs the pH balance of the skin. Look at the deposits that form in your kettle or around taps. Do you want that on your skin? It’s exactly what you’ll get if your skin is constantly exposed to this water. THE WEATHER: Some cities can experience weather extremes in a single day, going from icy cold or wet to boiling hot and back again in the space of 24 hours. The weather further taxes our skin’s natural protective barrier. INSOMNIA AND BROKEN SLEEP: Stress, caffeine, long and exhausting work hours, noise pollution and light pollution all affect the quality of your sleep. Your skin repairs itself through cell renewal when you sleep. Lack of sleep or broken, restless sleep can lead to dull, fatigued skin and dark rings under your eyes.

DEHYDRATION: High-paced living often means limited intake of water and overuse of coffee and drinks laced with sugar, which all dehydrate the skin. Most of us don’t drink enough water because we don’t want to run to the ladies’ room every half an hour! But the fewer of these trips you make the more you are paving the way to wrinkles and skin ageing.

Your skin has the natural ability to withstand things like air pollution, UVA and UVB radiation, as well as IRA, but only up to a point. High levels of air pollution damage the skin’s natural barrier function and make it vulnerable to oxidation by free radicals. Your skin is your first

line of defence against ageing and disease – if this protective barrier is weakened, your resistance and immunity become severely compromised. Bad ozone damages the skin by causing oxidative stress to the proteins and lipids (fats) in the stratum corneum (surface layer) of the skin. This depletes natural stores of antioxidants, and vitamins C and E. Antioxidants protect the skin

September 2016 IDEAS 59

against damage from free radicals that have the same effect as rust that wears down and discolours metal. Ozone pollution causes an inflammatory cascade: premature ageing in the form of fine lines and deep wrinkles, excessive oiliness, coarse texture, sagging skin, increased sensitivity and irritation. According to a study in Asia, where many people live in very polluted megacities, there has been a noticeable increase in facial freckles. Skin damage from pollution causes the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin, it strips the skin of lipids and compromises the barrier

function, making skin more easily irritated and prone to infection. It also exacerbates conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, redness, dryness, coarseness, acne and irritation. Add to this the poor quality of the air we are breathing and the fact that your organs (of which your skin is the largest) are not being fed sufficient oxygen, then you see the destructive impact all of this has on your skin and your appearance, never mind your lungs and other internal organs. Heat, low humidity, cigarette smoke, pollen and other airborne allergens all contribute to skin damage and skin ageing. If you’re a regular air traveller you’ll know all about dry, parchment-like skin after a long flight.

Not a terrorist organisation in Northern Ireland but something that nonetheless wreaks havoc, infrared-A radiation can damage your skin at cellular (DNA) level. Infrared radiation gets to your skin



2 4 5

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through your car windows, from the heat of your hair-dryer, radiation from your computer screen and the heat emitted by overhead lighting at work and at home. IRA rays penetrate deep into the skin to a level where they can damage cells. You should therefore not only be strengthening your defences against sun exposure but also against IRA rays. Unfortunately your broad-spectrum sunscreen isn’t enough. Your options for protection against IRA are antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, ferulic acid (found in oats and oat hulls), idebenone and phloretin (from apples).

Oxidation damage due to the environment must be neutralised because it impedes the skin’s ability to protect and heal itself, which leads to premature ageing. ‘We need to think differently about how we protect against the environmental aggressors that cause premature ageing’, says Dr Webster. ‘Sunscreen alone cannot protect the skin against harmful IRA radiation or tropospheric ozone pollution.’ Outside to inside: use topical antioxidants on your skin. Ingredients such as vitamins C and E, ferulic acid and phloretin can neutralise free radicals in the upper skin layers and reduce the markers of ageing caused by ozone exposure. Dermatologists like Dr Webster prescribe powerful products like SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic (R2 126) or SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF (R2 602), along with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. This will protect against ultraviolet and infrared radiation. You should also take supplements that are high in antioxidants.

Modern skincare products contain high concentrations of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and/or multitasking sunscreens. TRY: 1 Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate (R825); 2 Lancôme Hydra Zen Neurocalm Soothing Anti-Stress Moisturising Cream (R780); 3 NeoStrata Antioxidant Defense Serum (R846); 4 Dr. Dermal IntenCE Antioxidant Plasma (R875); 5 Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Energising Day Cream SPF15 (R169,99); OR Exuviance Vitamin C+ Antiaging Booster (R940); DermaFix C-Spritz Skin Energising Anti-Oxidant Boost (R220); Theravine Anti-Pollution Day Cream (R430); Placecol Vitamin E Silk Daily Protector (R370); RVB SkinLab Diego Dalla Palma Perfection 30 Days AntiOxidant Program (R1 150); or Bioderma Hydrabio Perfecteur SPF30+ (R319,95).

proper protection for your skin. Fortunately there are plenty of multipurpose products like BB and CC creams, tinted sunscreens and tinted moisturisers that are rich in antioxidants, plus they often come with a decent SPF too. TRY: 6 Eucerin CC Creme SPF50 (R199,99); 7 BioNike Defence Color Nude Serum SPF15 (R295); 8 Optiphi Classic Hydration Tint Broad Spectrum SPF20 (R750); OR Filorga BB-Perfect Anti-Ageing Beauty Balm (R695); Clarins BB Skin Detox Fluid (R455); or LPG Endermologie Fluide CC Complete Correction Fluid (R650).

We are seeing more suncreens being combined with antioxidants. TRY: 9 Environ RAD Antioxidant Sunscreen (R224); 10 Nimue Sun-C SPF50 Body Spray Sport (R499); 11 SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF50

You need to apply antioxidants daily, in concentrated form, before applying sunscreen. Only then can you be relatively certain of


(R463); 12 Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Day Screen Multi-Protection (R395); OR Nanoskin Technology Solar Face Protection (R390); GR8/SKIN Screen (R350); Skin PhD Skin-Protect SPF30 (R310); or Dermaceutic Sun Ceutic 50 Anti-Aging Sun Protection (R523).

You must cleanse your skin thoroughly every day to get rid of every last bit of pollution, dirt and grime from city living. Deep-cleansing with a product that has a gentle exfoliant will remove deep-seated impurities.

TRY: PRIORI Gentle Cleanser Advanced AHA (R584,82).

Use a product at night that contains an ingredient like resveratrol (grapeseed extract) to help your skin repair itself while you sleep. Always remember to protect your lips, which are particularly vulnerable, with a balm that contains sunscreen. TRY: Labello SPF30 Sun Protect Lip Balm (R24,99); or Labello Hydro Care Caring Lip Balm SPF15 (R21,99).


9 7 12 10


(Instructions on page 64.)


(Instructions on page 64.) September 2016 IDEAS 63

width of 11,5cm. Place your first triangle onto a flat surface. Fold your long strip in half lengthwise with the raw edges together and the right sides facing. Place another panel on top with the long strip sandwiched between the two triangles. Pin and stitch. Now repeat with the next edge of the triangle, placing the next triangle on top and a long strip in between. Repeat until all the panels and strips are stitched and the wigwam is formed. Fold over the top edge to the inside by a few millimetres, pin and stitch so the edge will not fray. 3 Mark 45cm from the end of one wooden slat. Drill a hole at the marking and repeat with the other slats.

YOU WILL NEED ♥ 4 pine slats of 4cm x 4cm x 2,4m ♥ 7,5m muslin ♥ 2m cotton or polycotton fabric ♥ matching machine thread ♥ twine ♥ drill ♥ drill bit, slightly bigger than thickness of twine ♥ approximately 2,7m lace with a decorative edge, the width of your choice ♥ 3m patterned woven ribbon (optional) ♥ 1m plain woven ribbon TO MAKE 1 Measure and cut 4 panels of 1,75m each from the muslin. Fold one panel lengthwise in half, measure widthwise 75cm from the fold along the bottom edge and mark the position. Draw a diagonal line from the 75cm marking to the top at the fold to form a triangle. Cut out the folded triangle along the line, measure 5cm from the top point of the triangle and cut off widthwise, thus cutting off the sharp point. Repeat with all the panels, fold open the triangles and iron. 2 Measure the length from the top edge diagonally to the corner of your triangle. This then is the length of the 4 strips of cotton fabric you will cut with a

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4 Now insert your slats one by one into the strips and pitch the wigwam. Make sure all the panels are taut, then thread the twine through. If the twine won’t go through the holes, insert a needle with thread through your twine and insert into the hole. Wind the twine around all the slats and tie securely, so that the slats stay in place. 5 One of the panels now will become the entrance. Mark the centre approximately three-quarters of the way to the top on one of your panels. Also mark the centre on the bottom edge. Cut the panel open from the bottom up to the top centre mark to create the entrance. Remove the slats from the wigwam to continue stitching. 6 Measure the opening and cut two strips of lace accordingly. Fold over the edge of the opening a few millimetres to the outside and pin down. Place the edge of the lace on the fold with the right sides facing (the decorative edge of the lace faces to the side edge of the panel) and pin down, so the folded edge is inside the seam. Repeat with the other side and stitch down. Fold open the lace to the front and topstitch through all the layers. Now pin the patterned ribbon all around the opening to finish it off and stitch down. 7 Stitch the hem along the bottom edge. If your fabric is uneven, first cut it straight. Fold over the edge a few millimetres to the inside, then again 1,5cm and pin down. Iron flat and stitch the hem in place.

8 Where the first slats are inserted on both sides of the opening, measure approximately 60cm from the bottom edge and mark with a pin. Cut the plain ribbon into 4 equal pieces. At your mark, pin the first ribbon on the outside of the wigwam and the second ribbon at the same place on the inside of the wigwam, at the seam joining the fabric and strip. Be careful not to stitch over the strip where the slats must go through, but stitch the ribbon to the fabric. Repeat with the other side of the opening. Your wigwam is now ready to be pitched. Stretch the fabric again so it is taut. Tie the ribbon on both sides in a bow to keep the entrance open.

SIZE To fit bust 80 – 83cm (size 8 – 10) YOU WILL NEED ♥ pattern on pages 68 and 70 ♥ 2m fabric (we used muslin) ♥ 2m lace with a decorative edge (we used embroidered mesh) ♥ 1,3m embroidered lace ♥ matching machine thread ♥ needle and pins TO MAKE NOTE Seam allowances are included and are 1cm, except for the shoulder seams, which are 1,5cm. 1 Enlarge the pattern pieces for the blouse on pages 68 and 70 to the actual size and cut from the fabric. Place the front and back panels together with the right sides facing and stitch the side and shoulder seams. Stitch the seam in the centre back. Overlock all the seams and iron open. 2 Place the raw edges of the lace frill and the bottom edge of the fabric section of the sleeve together with the right sides facing and stitch. Overlock the seam allowances together and iron flat. 3 Stitch the sleeve seams with right sides facing and overlock. Iron the seams open and turn sleeves through to the right side. Stitch the sleeves into the armholes.

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6 Measure the bottom edge of the blouse and cut the lace accordingly (our length was 126cm). Also decide how wide you want the lace strip to be. Stitch the ends of the lace together. Place the raw edges of the fabric and lace together with right sides facing (the lace faces upwards towards the neck edge) and pin down. Stitch all around the edge and overlock the seam allowances together. Fold the lace downwards and iron the seam flat (be careful not to iron with the warm iron over the lace if it is mesh, as ours is – cover it with a piece of cloth when you iron). 7 Complete the blouse by placing the embroidered lace just above the seam that joins the lace and fabric and pin down. Overlap the strip at the seam in the centre back. Stitch down and iron the blouse.


Overlock the seam allowances together and iron flat. 4 For the neck edge, fold over the raw edge a few millimetres to the inside, pin down and iron flat. Measure the neck edge for the bias binding. Our measurement was 85cm (1cm seam allowance is included). Cut a strip of 85 x 7cm. 5 Fold the strip lengthwise in half and iron flat. Open up, then fold both raw edges to the centre and iron flat. Place the right sides together at the ends and stitch closed to form a continuous strip. Fold in half again and iron flat. Insert the

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neck edge into the folded bias binding, beginning at the centre back, where the stitched seam of the bias binding is pinned down. Pin down all around and stitch. Bring the shoulder seams together to find the centre front of the neck edge and mark with a pin. With the right side on the inside, stitch a triangle in the middle of the neck edge from the lower fold of the bias binding up to approximately 1cm from the top fold. When you now open up the blouse, the neck edge forms a ‘V’. Iron the neck edge flat.

beg ch cl c/off dc dtr htr rep rnd sl st sp st(s) tr

begin(ning) chain stitch cluster cast off double crochet double treble half treble repeat round slip stitch space stitch(es) treble

STITCHES USED Double treble: Yarn over hook twice, insert hook into next st, yarn over hook and draw through first loop to have four loops on hook, yarn over hook and draw through two loops, yarn over hook and draw through next two loops, yarn over hook and draw through last two loops on hook. Picot: 3 ch, sl st into 1st ch. Popcorn stitch: Work number of tr as

(Instructions on page 68.) given in instructions into the same st, remove hook from the working loop, insert hook from front to back underneath both loops of first tr of group, pick up working loop and draw through st, yarn over hook and draw through loop to secure popcorn. Cluster: Yarn over hook and insert hook into next st, do not complete st to have two loops on hook, work next st in the same way to have three loops on hook, work third st in the same way to have four loops on hook, yarn over hook and draw through all loops on hook.

YOU WILL NEED ♥ 1 x 50g ball Elle Premier Natural Cotton in Grey ♥ 3mm crochet hook ♥ tapestry needle TO CROCHET Foundation rnd: Work 6 ch, sl st into 1st

ch to form a ring. 1st rnd: 1 ch, 1 dc into same st, [(3 ch, 1 tr, 3 ch, 1 dc) 5 times, 10 ch, 1 dc] into ring. C/off. 2nd rnd: join into 10 ch-loop, (1 dc, 2 ch, 1 dc, 5 ch, 1 dc, 2 ch, 1 dc) into same loop, [4 ch, 1 dc into next tr (thus into middle of flower petal)] 5 times, 4 ch, sl st into beg-dc. 3rd rnd: 1 ch, 1 dc into same st, 2 dc into next 2 ch-sp, 1 dc into next dc, (3 dc, 5 ch, 3 dc) into 5 ch-loop, 1 dc into next dc, 2 dc into next 2 ch-sp, 1 dc into next dc, (5 dc into next 4 ch-sp, 1 dc into next dc) 6 times, sl st into beg-dc [= 48 dc]. 4th rnd: 3 ch, 2 tr-cl into same st, 3 ch, miss 2 dc, (3 tr-cl into next tr, 3 ch, miss 2 dc) twice, (3 tr-cl, picot) into 5 ch-loop, 3 ch, (3 tr-cl into next dc, 3 ch, miss 2 dc) 14 times, sl st into top of 3 ch. 5th rnd: 1 ch, 1 dc into same st, (3 ch, 1 dc into next 3 ch-sp, 3 ch, 1 dc into next cl) twice, 3 ch, 1 dc into next 3 ch-sp, 3 ch, (1 dc, 3 ch, 1 dc) into picot, *3 ch, 1 dc

into next 3 ch-sp, 3 ch, 1 dc into next cl; rep from * to end, sl st into beg-dc. FINISHING Darn in all loose yarn ends. The length of your foot determines the length of the toe and ankle straps. Adjust the number of ch according to your measurements. For loop of toe, join into top 3 ch-sp, 15 ch, 1 dc into same sp. C/off. For ankle straps, leave two bottom clusters open and join with dc into dc of clusters on both sides of the two bottom clusters in the middle. Work 50 ch into each. C/off. Darn in all loose yarn ends. To wear your sandals, tie the ankle straps in a bow at the back.

YOU WILL NEED ♥ 1 x 50g ball Elle Premier Natural Cotton in Taupe ♥ 3mm crochet hook ♥ tapestry needle September 2016 IDEAS 67


1 BLOCK = 1 x 1cm

Bohemian blouse

Bohemian blouse

SLEEVE: Lace frill Cut 2

SLEEVE: Fabric section Cut 2

TO CROCHET Foundation rnd: Work 9 ch, sl st into 1st ch to form a ring. 1st row: 4 ch, 15 dtr into ring, turn. 2nd row: 5 ch, (1 dtr into next dtr, 1 ch) 14 times, 1 dtr into 4 ch, turn. 3rd row: 1 ch, [(1 dc, 2 ch, 1 dc) into 1 ch-sp] 14 times. Do not c/off, but work 50 ch for one ankle strap. C/off. Join into 1st dc of 3rd rnd and again work 50 ch for other ankle strap. C/off. Smaller circle: Work 4 ch, sl st into 1st ch to form a ring. 1st rnd: 4 ch, (3 dtr, 2 tr, 2 htr, 2 dc, 2 htr, 2 tr, 4 dtr) into ring, sl st into top of 4 ch. Do not c/off. Work 6 ch, join with dc into 14th dc of 3rd rnd (opposite 8th dtr) of fan, again work 6 ch, go back to smaller circle and join with sl st into same st. C/off. Loop for toe: Join with dc into sp between the two dc, work 15 ch, sl st into same dc. C/off. Darn in all loose yarn ends. To wear your sandals, tie ankle straps in a bow at the back.

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YOU WILL NEED ♥ 1 x 50g ball Elle Premier Natural Cotton in Taupe ♥ 3mm crochet hook ♥ tapestry needle TO CROCHET Foundation rnd: Work 4 ch, sl st in 1st ch to form a ring. 1st rnd: 1 ch, 12 dc into ring, sl st into 1st dc. 2nd rnd: 3 ch, 4 tr-popcorn st into same st, 3 ch, miss 1 dc, *5 tr-popcorn st into next dc, 3 ch, miss 1 dc, rep from * to end, sl st into top of 3 ch. 3rd rnd: 1 ch, 1 dc into same st, 5 ch, 1 dc into next popcorn st, 3 ch, *1 dc into next popcorn st, 5 ch, 1 dc into next popcorn st, 3 ch, rep from * to end, sl st into beg-dc. 4th rnd: sl st to 5 ch-loop, (3 ch, 2 tr-cl, 4 ch, 3 dtr-cl, 4 ch, 3 tr-cl) into same loop, 3 ch, 1 dc into next 3 ch-loop, 3 ch, (3 trcl, 4 ch, 3 dtr-cl, 4 ch, 3 tr-cl) into next 5 ch-loop, 3 ch, 1 dc into next 3 ch-loop, 3 ch, rep from * to end, sl st into top of 3 ch. 5th rnd: 3 ch, *5 tr into next 4 ch-loop, (2

tr-cl, 5 ch, 2 tr-cl) into next cl, 5 tr into next 4 ch-loop, 1 tr into next cl, 3 tr into next 3 ch-sp, 1 tr into next dc, 3 tr into next 3 chsp, 1 tr into next cl, rep from * to end, sl st into top of 3 ch (instead of 1 tr into cl). 6th rnd: 4 ch, [miss 1 tr, (1 tr, picot) into next tr), 1 ch] 3 times, *(3 tr-cl, picot, 3 ch, 3 dtr-cl, picot, 3 ch, 3 tr-cl, picot, 1 ch) into next 5 ch-sp, (1 tr, 1 picot) into next cl, 1 ch, miss 1 tr, [(1 tr, 1 picot), 1 ch, miss 1 tr] 9 times, (1 tr, picot) into next cl, 1 ch; rep from * once more, (3 tr-cl, picot, 3 ch, 3 dtr-cl, picot, 3 ch, 3 tr-cl, picot, 1 ch) into next 5 ch-sp, (1 tr, picot) into next cl, 1 ch, miss 1 tr, [(1 tr, picot), 1 ch, miss 1 tr] 6 times, sl st into 3rd of beg-4 ch, picot. C/off. FINISHING Darn in all loose yarn ends. The length of your foot determines the length of the toe and ankle straps. Adjust the number of ch according to your measurements. For loop for toe, join with dc into top corner picot, 15 ch, 1 dc into picot again. C/off. For ankle straps, join with dc into picot of corner, work 40 ch. C/off. Do the same on the other corner. Darn in all loose yarn ends. To wear your sandals, tie ankle straps in a bow at the back.



Lifestyle use our six new rustica colours to stay warm this winter. pattern no 16.024

If you need dressmaker’s graph paper, we are offering A1 sheets at R30 for three, including postage. To order, go to

Bohemian blouse


BACK Cut 2

Bohemian blouse FRONT Cut 1

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projec t by MAGDA DE L ANGE photo ED O’RILEY st yling DAL A WAT TS

Beige crochet throw from Plan B Vintage.

Crochet this beautiful blanket in the colours of your choice, playing around with gorgeous colour combinations.

For a larger or smaller blanket, work more or fewer squares, taking into account there are 19 squares to the length and 13 squares to the width. Thus you can add or subtract full rows of 13 squares for a longer or shorter blanket, or more or fewer squares all the way up for a wider or narrower blanket. YOU WILL NEED ♥ cotton DK or DK knitting yarn in the colours of your choice ♥ 4mm crochet hook ♥ tapestry needle NOTE Use a standing stitch instead of ch 3 for the first stitch to avoid the chain that forms a ‘seam’. To work the stitch, in this case a standing treble stitch, ch 1, yarn round hook, insert hook into same place as sl st, pull up a loop, draw through two loops on hook, yarn round hook, pull up a loop, draw through two loops on hook. Go to for more information on this method.



ch dc dtr rep rnd sl st st(s) tr tr tr

chain stitch double crochet double treble repeat round slip stitch stitch(es) treble triple treble


(make 247 squares) Foundation rnd: Ch 5, join with sl st in 1st ch to form a ring. 1st rnd: standing tr or ch 3 (counting as 1st st), 19 tr into ring (= 20 tr). Fasten off. Change colour. 2nd rnd: In each of the tr of previous rnd work as follows: *standing tr, tr, 2 dtr, (dtr, tr tr and dtr in same tr), 2 dtr*; rep from * to * 3 times more, but replace the first standing tr with 1 tr. 3rd rnd: ch 1, dc in each st of previous rnd, working (dc, ch 1, dc) into each corner tr tr. Fasten off. FINISHING Arrange your squares

in a colour pattern of your choice.

Move the squares around until you are happy with the overall look, taking care not to place two identical squares together. You will have 19 rows of 13 squares each. Sew the 13 squares of each row together first and then join the 19 rows together. Use one colour DK yarn to sew up the entire blanket, using the tapestry needle and overhand stitches as in the photo. Alternatively, you can crochet all the squares and rows together with dc and the same hook and DK yarn on the right or wrong side, depending on which side you want the ridge that will form. Work all yarn ends away at the back of the work and cut off excess yarn carefully.

Work yarn ends away at the back of the work and pin squares out to measurement as you go, so you do not have to block all the squares at the end. Hammer nails into a wooden block or squares drawn on a piece of paper to the measurement to produce a perfect square, making sure all your squares are exactly the same size, but use rust-free nails. Use the corner 1 ch-sps for the top and bottom nails.


SIZE 1 square = 8 x 8cm after blocking Finished blanket = 152 x 104cm

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(Instructions on page 78.)

Set up an attractive outdoor relaxation area with these easy plans. by ANNEKE DU TOIT and CARIN SMITH photos ED O’RILEY

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(Instructions on page 78.) Lights from @home. Cushions and glasses from Woolworths.

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(Instructions on page 78.) Hooks from Starke Ayres.

Stack a few pallets on top of each other for a quick-fix outdoor seating solution, and position another one for a backrest. For something less temporary and more stable, screw the pallets together to prevent them moving. Complete the picture with comfortable cushions and fun summery lights, and plant a few flowering annuals in the base of your bench.

Transform a colourful woven-plastic sack (the type used for bulk grains or builder’s rubble) into a vertical garden. All you need is the sack, thin cord, an embroidery needle, soil and colourful annuals. Measure the sack and divide it into equal squares. Mark the outlines of the squares and work running stitch along the lines, through both layers of the sack, with the cord and embroidery needle. Cut slits into the top of the pockets you’ve sewn and plant your flowers. Cut holes at the top corners of the sack and hang the garden from hooks on your wall.

YOU WILL NEED ♥ 1,3m upholstery fabric ♥ 10-15m twine, 10mm thick ♥ 2 x 16mm dowels, each 800mm long ♥ 3 x 26mm sticks, each 760mm long (we used meranti rake handles from a hardware store) ♥ 4 x 4mm wood screws ♥ sandpaper ♥ wood stain ♥ drill with 17mm, 11mm and 2,2mm drill bits ♥ other basic tools (saw, screwdriver, etc) TO MAKE 1 Cut two pieces of upholstery fabric 130 x 60cm each (if your fabric is very strong and heavy, one piece will do). 2 Place the two pieces of fabric together with wrong sides facing. Fold under 13mm along the long sides and press. Fold and press again and stitch down. Iron flat. Fold in the fabric along the top and bottom edges by a few millimetres and then 80mm to the back. Pin and stitch close to the folded raw edges

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side (your left-hand side with the chair in front of you) of the upper stick that has only two holes and tie a knot underneath the stick so there is a 220mm length below the knot that will eventually form one of the tassels. Now insert the other end of the twine from the top of the upper stick downwards through the hole on the right-hand side of this stick, so that the length of the twine above the upper stick is 1 180mm (the length of the twine to the stick is 590mm on each side when the chair is hanging up) and tie a knot underneath the stick. Now insert the end of the twine through the right-hand hole of the next stick (the stick for the headrest) and tie a knot. Cut the end off below the knot. 9 Take the remaining twine and tie a knot at one end. Insert the other end of the twine from the bottom upwards through the left-hand side of the stick for the headrest and take it over the upper stick. Tie a double knot underneath the upper stick and bring it down to the left-hand side of the bottom stick. Insert the twine through the hole and tie a knot. Again leave 220mm twine below the knot for a tassel and cut off the twine. 10 For the last length of twine, tie a knot 220mm from the end. Insert the other end through the right-hand side of the bottom stick and take it up to the upper stick, again tie a double knot and cut off the twine 220mm below the knot. 11 Tie twine around a beam on your veranda or use a strong hook hanging from the roof to hang your chair. Check that all the ropes are the same length and that the chair hangs straight. Now make tassels of the four twine ends that were left hanging, by unravelling the twine. Again measure 220mm and trim all the tassels neatly to an even length.


A clever and inexpensive way to make your own wooden deck in the garden is to lay a few pallets next to each other. Look for pallets with wooden slats that are fairly close together. Cut them to size if necessary, so they fit snugly into the space. Secure the pallets with brackets if you’re worried they might move around.

through all the layers to form casings for the 26mm sticks. Work a second row of stitching close to the first to strengthen the casings. Now leave the fabric piece until later. 3 If the 26mm sticks are longer than 760mm, cut them off on this measurement and sand the ends until smooth, using sandpaper. Mark a centre line with a pen so your work will always be straight. Mark 50mm and then 90mm from the ends of two of the sticks along the centre line. Drill 16mm holes at the 50mm markings and 11mm holes at the 90mm markings. 4 For the third stick, measure only 90mm from the ends and drill 11mm holes. 5 Using sandpaper, sand the wood until smooth at all the drilled holes, if necessary. 6 Treat all the sticks with wood stain. Apply approximately three coats, waiting a few minutes between each coat. Place on one side to dry completely. 7 Insert the two sticks with four holes into the casings at the top and bottom edges of the fabric. Also insert the thinner dowels into the 16mm holes. Sand the dowels slightly thinner using sandpaper so they can go through the holes, but not so much that they can fall out of the holes. You must now ensure that the frame is perfectly straight and a perfect rectangle. Using the 2,2mm drill bit, drill a hole at each point where the large sticks and thinner dowels meet. Screw in the wood screws tightly. 8 Insert the end of the twine from the top into the left-hand

YOU WILL NEED ♥ old branched tree stump ♥ sander with 180-grit sandpaper ♥ 5cm paintbrush ♥ three shades of light-grey paint ♥ small nail ♥ hammer ♥ pencil ♥ jigsaw ♥ piece of board ♥ blowtorch, if needed ♥ screwdriver DID YOU KNOW? Ombré comes from the French ‘ombrer’, meaning ‘to shade’.



FOR THE BASE 1 Sand the tree stump to smooth any unevenness, then wipe it clean with a soft cloth or brush; if it was not previously a table base, saw the ends of the legs so they are level with each other. 2 Paint the top section of the tree stump as far as the middle with the lightest shade of grey and leave to dry. Touch up the paint with a second coat and leave to dry. Paint from the bottom up towards the middle with the darkest of the three colours. Paint one coat, leave to dry, then repeat. The centre ombré effect needs an artistic touch – use the middle grey colour to blend together the light and dark sections so the intensity of the grey increases gradually from the top downwards. Be creative and allow the colours to ‘flow’ together seamlessly.




FOR THE TABLE TOP 3 To make a round table top, decide what size the diameter of the table top must be. Divide the diameter in

half and use a piece of string of this length with a nail tied to one end and a pencil to the other. Hammer the nail into the middle of the board, pull the string taut and draw a circle with the pencil. 4 Cut out the circle with a jigsaw. 5 Our board had some damage, but even that was used for visual appeal – a blowtorch was used to create a charred effect on the wood.


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An eccentric treestump coffee-table base needed a new lease of life. An ombrĂŠ paint effect and new table top gave it just that.

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Put together a journal dedicated to recording everything about your home and dĂŠcor, from paint colours to window sizes.

Download our pages from and use them to make your own book, or glue the loose pages into a notebook. Keep the journal safe and make an extra one for your handbag so you always have your home’s important information close at hand.

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NOTE If you are hanging your curtains from a rod with long, ornamental hooks, measure from the hooks, not the top of the rod. Remember to add an allowance of about 20cm for the top and bottom hems, and about 12cm for the side seams.

Use your home paint swatches as bookmarks and write on them which room corresponds with the colour on the swatch.

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Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in Nice, France, an inspirational gathering of the who’s who in their respective creative fields across the globe. I listened to talks by visionaries such as Anna Wintour, the artistic director for Condé Nast, and pioneer of punk music Iggy Pop – and that’s to name just two. In my opinion, the power of this conference lies in an artistic mix as colourful as hundreds and thousands. Just like our local Design Indaba, it pulls creative energy from all corners, and is a wonderful way to become inspired and recharge your creative batteries. It made me think, ‘What else is out there to reboot and boost your creativity?’ Inventive people often run out of steam. That’s why it’s important to go on regular creative sabbaticals, be it for a month or merely an hour a week. It gets the juices flowing again and gives the imaginative spirit the CPR it needs for revival. Jewellery designer Stacy Beukes does incredible work (go to and you’ll agree), but in order to do that, she needs a time out every now and again. One of her design breaks led her to Paternoster. She says, ‘I’m all about that small town charm. The adventure always begins on the road trip, where the “padstalletjies” are like gems scattered along the sprawling landscapes and treasure troves of aromas and items from yesteryear wait to greet you. Waking up to the smell of the sea breeze. Beach strolls. Beautiful seafood dinners. It was definitely necessary to give myself the space to focus on the concept and explore without the worries of managing the business. The “out-ofoffice” email notification was on and the pressure was off.’ The ‘concept’ she’s referring to is her ‘Sweets with the Change’ range, 88 IDEAS September 2016


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Mpumalanga, offers self-catering accommodation for anyone seeking a rejuvenation haven. Moe Kekana, an art director colleague of mine, spends his leave days wisely. Armed with his camera, he escapes to remote settings like the Kruger National Park or Port St Johns where he takes photographs as a way to recharge. It’s evident from his ability to capture the everyday beautifully that he’s as talented as he is passionate about this ‘escapism’ hobby. While I was visiting Spain after Cannes, I was reminded of how many sources of inspiration there are around us. All we need to do is open our eyes and be susceptible to them. Many of the highlights of my trip happened spontaneously. Happy accidents, if you will, things that contributed to restoring my creative energy. While roaming the streets of Barcelona, I stumbled upon the Palau Güell mansion designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and I stood in awe. In Madrid we walked past an exhibition by Spanish photographer José Suárez and decided to pop in. They were beautiful photos, the memory of which I will treasure for a long time. But here’s the rub: you don’t have to visit Spain to be mesmerised by art and architecture. It’s right in


which, she says, ‘taps into nostalgia, memory and insights into Cape Town communities’. When it comes to creative retreats within South Africa, there are myriad options from which to choose. NieuBethesda is one of them. The Ganora Guestfarm website describes it as ‘a charming village set in the fertile valley of the Sneeuberg Mountains near Graaff-Reinet and home to a growing number of artists, crafters and other creatives’ seeking a quieter way of life. A friendly footnote says there is no bank or petrol station, your credit card will be useless and the use of your phone will be frowned upon. By the sounds of it, it’s the perfect way to disconnect from the hustle and bustle that can so easily drain our creativity. Athol Fugard frequently escaped to Nieu-Bethesda to recharge his own batteries and this is where a sizable chunk of his remarkable body of work was written. You can certainly argue that if it worked for Fugard, it could work for you too. Another serene place to escape to is The Buddhist Retreat Centre in Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, which welcomes those seeking the peace and calm that is missing from their demanding everyday lives. The Waterfield Guesthouse at The Artists’ Press in White River,

your backyard. First Thursdays in Johannesburg and Cape Town come to mind, a sociable opportunity to wander the streets, soaking up all the art and inspiration on offer. I was curious to find out what other creatives do to re-energise on a smaller scale and in the short term. Marnhe du Plooy, creative director at Ropelius Brand and Design, says, ‘I prioritise three things to recharge. Number one: sleep and rest. Number two: play or self-expression through, for example, photography or dance. Number three: exercise and introspection.’ I can certainly relate to number two. I recently dusted off my ballet shoes for the first time in over a decade and the class I attended offered the mental clarity and quietness I so fondly remember. Lauren Stewart, a wardrobe assistant working in the film industry, uses the rainy months when the industry tends to go into hibernation as the perfect time to write her first book at home. For the wordsmiths out there, there are also many writing short courses and retreats to take up, locally and abroad. Yolandie Breytenbach, art director and graphic designer at YOBO, takes her horse Dingo for a ride each week. She says, ‘I’ve come to realise this little horse is my therapist. Every Saturday I bring him a tightly rolled-up bundle of human grown-up nonsense. Anxiety over bills and that last client presentation. I pack it on his back and he schlepps it onto Noordhoek beach. And we leave it there.’ It’s not surprising that Yolandie refers to her four-legged escapism partner as Dr Dingo. So to answer the question, ‘Where to go for creative CPR?’ Well, the options are endless. It’s right outside your front door and in a foreign country. It’s small stuff and big stuff. An hour here or a few weeks there. What really matters isn’t how you choose to recharge, but simply that you do it.


he creative genius who is behind a beautiful product is often both the strength and the weakness of that product. As artisans and crafters, we are wholeheartedly and personally invested in our product, which makes it hard to understand why things don’t always go according to plan: why a product is not selling as much as we think it should or why seats are not being filled. We feel that we know what’s best for our business and we can become quite defensive when suggestions for changes are made. We also tend to be involved in every aspect of our product including marketing, packaging design, pricing and sales. The fact is that while we may be brilliant at creating the product, we may not be quite so good at the other aspects. This can be a real problem as the product is only part of what the consumer buys. That’s why I call it the ‘evil genius syndrome’: we are both our product’s best friend and its worst enemy. If you want to move beyond creating beautiful pieces and become a profitable business, the first and most important lesson to learn is that it is not about you, it’s about your business. The two things are very different! We all know how much we have to put into our businesses: the long hours, the financial sacrifices and time away from family. Your vision and your values drive the business, but the reality is that once you put your products out into the world, they no longer belong to you. They become consumables and commodities along with many others – something a potential customer can choose to buy or not, depending on their feelings towards that product and not their feelings towards you. It is tricky to start letting go – it certainly took me a while. I used to take customer comments quite personally and often had to bite my tongue. Customers didn’t care that we had been up since 4am, they just wanted their bread. They did not want to hear about how hard we had worked to get their wedding cake to them. I had to learn that my strengths and skills were ‘back office’ even though I had often designed and made the product

myself. You live with it and learn a little about yourself in the process too. The thing is that as creative entrepreneurs, we are our businesses and our personality is what makes our products both distinctive and competitive. But we also have to understand that customer demand is objective. We need to understand the culture of our business, what our product represents to our customers and what it is we are really selling. Is it magic, glamour, convenience or lifestyle? This key shift away from us and on to the buyer is critical. We are often far too product focused. Once we know we can deliver a good product, we need to commit to driving the experience around that product. When we are too central in the business, we cannot see imperfections and weaknesses. However, for someone on the outside looking in, the fault lines become glaringly obvious. Packaging, for example, can look amateurish, the logistics may be shaky or customer service lacking. Owner-makers don’t see the issues as so often we are the cause of them. We are already working our hardest and trying our best – so what more is there that we need to do? Step away is the answer. Just step away. See the wood for the trees. When feedback comes in, and it will, change the colour if need be, make the item smaller, or cheaper, or in more sizes. It’s no reflection on you as the maker or designer. Find a packaging expert, employ a copy writer to write or a human resources manager to oversee staff training. Keep yourself and your soul in the business, but take your ego out so you are better able to make informed decisions. If we do not remove ourselves in this way our businesses will not grow or prosper. So although the business is yours and you are the creative genius behind it, centre stage belongs to the product, its culture and the experience it offers. It needs an audience in order to shine. It takes strength of mind and spirit to build something great, but it takes an even stronger spirit to step back and let it shine. September 2016 IDEAS 91


am seated comfortably with my eyes closed, a blanket over my legs and electrodes on my head. All I have to do is not think of much and if a thought does come into my mind, I must allow it to drift off like a cloud. No, I'm not meditating, I'm busy training my brain. Ironically it was mindfulness meditation that helped me realise that all of us can influence our own brains. We can learn not to let our thoughts run amok, and if they do then we can take charge of what we think. We all know how it feels to be anxious – there’s a knot in your stomach, you feel slightly nauseous and often you have a headache to boot – all while a movie is playing over and over in your head. But change the picture on that screen to a positive memory, or something you’re looking forward to (like a beach holiday) and your body will 92 IDEAS September 2016

instantly feel lighter. So why not opt to let your brain focus on what is really happening, as opposed to letting your thoughts leap to your worst fears? With this new awareness top of mind, a newsletter from Brain Renewal happened to drop into my inbox. This new addition to Skin Renewal had just opened in Johannesburg. The goal of its team of medical doctors, technicians and other experts is to use neurofeedback to make people aware of what’s going on in their brains and to empower them to optimise their brain function. Andrew Meyer, a neurotherapy expert and Brain Renewal programme director, explains that the brain produces measurable signals or brainwaves. These signals can be mapped in terms of different frequencies, each with its

own characteristics. Scientists have paired the most important of these functions with their frequencies and characteristics, and figured out how they influence our state of being. The programme uses electroencephalography technology to measure the frequencies of brainwaves and map their accompanying patterns. These patterns are then analysed to create a precise graphic representation of your function and produce a comprehensive report in a process known as brain mapping. Based on this information a programme of brain exercises is then personalised specifically for your brain. This neurofeedback process helps everyone from older clients struggling with poor memory, decreased energy and diminished clarity of thought to insomniacs, headache sufferers and children with concentration

problems. The programme also promises to help artists boost their creativity and athletes improve their brain-body relationship. Well, this was enough to make me sit up and start searching on Google. Once there, I felt slightly embarrassed that I didn't already know all this, as the internet is filled with websites and apps offering brain training exercises to download. The self-help phenomenon is definitely headed in a new direction and even though I dropped off my pile of books at the charity store a long time ago, I find brain training very appealing as it can help to give my forgetful mind a second chance! And self-help is not necessary if I can have assistance to improve my brain.

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Andrew says, ‘The brain is like a symphony. If an instrument is out of tune, it influences the sound of the entire orchestra. Modern life has a way of disturbing everything. We’re not built for this constant sensory onslaught – television, technology, shopping malls and more. We’re always looking for shortcuts to do things better or faster and we get used to living like this. The brain is the same. It becomes more active on either the left or right side and yes, this does strengthen it but it also wears it out over time. ‘With neurofeedback we can take an objective reading of your brain. You follow your brain-training programme for a minimum of 12 hours and then we do another brain map to see how your brain has changed. That’s how we enable you to take charge of tuning those instruments again.’ Neurofeedback technician Heather Stuart-de Lange uses the analogy of the brain as a computer’s operating system. ‘If it becomes infected by a computer virus then we can remove that virus and make your operating system run faster and smoother again,’ she says. It will, however, still be the same system.

And once you’ve completed your brain-training programme, for how long will you reap the benefits? ‘It all depends on what you do. If you’re mindful of taking care of your brain and you are continually setting it challenges, then you’re in a good space. If you’ve done the brain training once, for the 12-hour period, you’ll never lose those benefits.’ And how does neurofeedback compare with the brain-training exercises I can do on my smart device? ‘Each person’s brain is unique and so are your strengths and weaknesses,’ says Andrew. ‘Neurofeedback specifically pays attention to your weaknesses. If you’re a runner and you run more often you’ll get fitter. You benefit from brain training in exactly the same way. If you want to become an elite athlete, however, you’ll need a more specialised training programme. So you should look at neurofeedback as a personal trainer for your brain. But never dismiss the benefits of new challenges – even if it’s something as simple as opening a door with your non-dominant hand. ‘Your brain adapts to what you expect of it,’ says Andrew. ‘If you don’t do anything new it gets used to that and it becomes lazy. If you train your brain it adapts to working harder. We still seem to think we need to work longer and harder, instead of shorter and smarter. Aim to be so efficient and productive that you can do 16 hours’ work in four hours without needing to be “fired up” because it’s often the calmer approach that will benefit you the most. ‘It’s also important to make lifestyle changes part of the process. What you eat, how much you exercise and your general lifestyle all play a role.’

So I wave goodbye to my morning coffee, my glass of wine in the evening and my late-night reading, and I devote all my free time and every bit of attention to my brain. Devoting three hours to each session, and ideally squeezing in three sessions in the first week, takes commitment and dedication. If you dream a lot it could take a while in the mornings to write down your dreams. And to make notes in the evening of everything you’ve eaten, what you would’ve done differently and your emotional state during the day. The journal entries are specifically geared to help you keep track of what is going on in your life, and how certain events or experiences, thoughts and actions influence other aspects of your life. Most of us are blissfully unaware of this and as long as we remain ignorant of it we are unable to make a conscious move to improve our thoughts and our lives on a daily basis. The three hours in the chair can be tiring. The exercises range from sitting still and trying to calm your mind, to playing Pac-Man with your brain. Sometimes you’re watching videos of animals. At other times you’re viewing videos that you have to keep powering along with your brain. Apart from the occasional basic instruction, the technicians don’t say much – their role is to move the electrodes to different areas of your head, and therefore your brain, during the exercises in order to monitor your brain function throughout. And yet, they will eventually know what upsets you and when you’re concentrating on specific things. Your brain will show when you’re experiencing difficult circumstances and not sleeping soundly. Of course it doesn’t give details but it’s still communicating more information than you’d imagine would be possible without saying a word. How much these exercises really help is difficult to say. What I do know is that a mountain of new things has dropped into my proverbial in-tray since I did the programme and I seem to have sailed through them without too much stress or too many errors. Also, I am faithfully completing my Italian lessons every day. But no, I still can’t juggle, which I’m told is fantastic brain training!

Apart from the benefits of regular physical exercise, drinking lots of water and getting enough sleep for your brain, what you eat is just as important. HERE ARE A FEW RECOMMENDATIONS: You should regularly include red pepper, parsley, thyme and chamomile in your diet. They all contain apigenin, which improves neuron formation and strengthens the connections between brain cells. Apigenin belongs to the same family as flavonoids, which are known to benefit memory and learning ability. OTHER FOODS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR EATING PLAN FOR BRAIN HEALTH:


– from berries, citrus fruit, carrots, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, nuts and seeds, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish like salmon, as well as wheatgerm and wheatgerm oil.

VITAMIN B – from dark-green leafy vegetables, chickpeas and legumes, fish, poultry and meat. CHOLINE – from soya beans, eggs and brewer’s yeast.

VITAMIN D – from fish like wild salmon, mackerel and sardines, and in cod liver oil. You also get it from moderate sun exposure.

NOOTROPIC SUPPLEMENTS – these are becoming more and more popular for feeding your brain. Look out for these ingredients:

• Bacopa monnieri. • Lecithin. • A combination of folic acid and vitamin B. • Ginkgo biloba. • Coenzyme Q10. • Omega 3. • Resveratrol, anthocyanins and flavonoids – all found in blueberries.

AVOID sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

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STAY ACTIVE. Physical and mental activity stimulates your neural pathways and should be kept up during your entire lifetime. Basically, you should use your brain as often as possible. LISTEN TO ISOCHRONIC TONES OR BINAURAL BEATS. Get a CD of isochronic tones (rhythmic repetition of a single tone) or type ‘isochronic tones’ into your search engine to find some online. Listen to it with music playing in the background while you work. It will resonate with your beta waves and give you greater focus. In Japan a number of large companies use it to keep their employees focused. You can also download binaural beats but you’ll need headphones to listen to them. DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY. Surprise your brain, as it were, by changing your daily habits on purpose: brush your teeth with the other hand or swap your knife and fork when you’re eating. You can also try to pull up or release the handbrake with your right hand. It improves the flow of blood to your brainstem and that will boost your so-called sensorimotor rhythm, your mindbody connection. Especially athletes can benefit from this. DO CROSSWORDS, SUDOKU OR JIGSAW PUZZLES. These are all games and pastimes that make your brain work and let you focus without worrying about the outcome. If the game is not too competitive it becomes about intuition and strategy – qualities and characteristics that you want to strengthen. LEARN SOMETHING like a new language every year, or how to juggle at least three balls. KEEP A JOURNAL in which to write down your dreams every day and reflect your mood of the day. It will help you understand your sleep patterns, keep you in touch with your emotions, and show you that it’s normal to have good and bad days. So learn not to avoid unpleasant things by taking shortcuts – experience it and get it over with; tomorrow is a new day. EXAMINE YOUR EMOTIONS so you know what you’re really dealing with. We might feel angry when the emotion is actually a combination of fear and frustration. It helps to know because then your reaction will be more appropriate. MEDITATE REGULARLY. It teaches you to let your thoughts come and go without mulling them over in your mind until they become a terrible downward spiral that drags you down too. It also helps to establish new neural pathways in your brain, which frees you from old patterns and thoughts. 96 IDEAS September 2016

The Brain Renewal programme is recommended for a minimum of 12 hours, after which another brain map is done to see if the work you’ve done was sufficient or if there are still areas that need work. The initial brain mapping costs R1 750 and the follow-up to that on completion of the training programme costs R750. A 12-hour programme, of which the first nine hours have to happen within the first week, costs R6 000. For 16 hours you’ll pay R8 000 and 20 hours cost R10 000. Follow-up sessions are priced at R500 per hour and two-hour sessions are recommended. However, if you’re doing a session simply to build up your alpha state then only an hour-long session is required. For more information about the effect of neuro therapy, go to or call Brain Renewal on 086 175 4672.

Neuro plasticity refers to the brain’s ability to adapt and form new neurons. You don’t simply have to accept that your powers of concentration aren’t what they used to be just because menopause has set in or age is impeding your memory. You can train your brain and develop it just like any muscle in your body. In June the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced that the 2016 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience would go to Dr Michael Merzenich for his work in discovering adult brain plasticity and for applying those principles to improving the human condition. Dr Merzenich shared the million-dollar prize with two other neuroplasticity research pioneers – Dr Carla Shatz of Stanford University and Dr Eve Marder of Brandeis University. As a result of his ground-breaking brainmapping experiments 30 years ago, Dr Merzenich overturned the conventional wisdom that plasticity ends in adolescence and showed that the adult brain remains plastic (or malleable) no matter your age. Lifelong plasticity is now an accepted scientific and medical fact, but it took more than a decade and hundreds of publications to convince the neuroscience community.


HAVE FRIENDS. Boredom, loneliness, high stress levels and a lack of social interaction can lead to decreased brain function. The more active your social life, the lower your chances of cognitive decline.

A visit to this butcher-and-baker couple’s Swellendam shop is like a breath of fresh country air.

arly on a Saturday, The Country Butcher is already buzzing with people who’ve come in search of a cup of morning coffee. Many of them are reading the paper while they wait for their meat orders to be packed, they’re foraging around the deli for sweet somethings or they’ve come to do their daily shopping for farm-fresh eggs, milk and freshly baked bread. Gwynnedd Laubscher was never much of a meat eater – much less a butcher. When her husband, Jacobus, wanted to open a butchery, she agreed on condition that it would be beautiful. That’s what piqued our interest here at Ideas and made us want to meet this reader, because we also love pretty things. The appeal of The Country Butcher goes way beyond its looks. It is squeaky clean and super tidy with gleaming white floors and walls, as you’d expect in a butchery. But it’s also an inviting space that does not feel clinical or cold at all, thanks to its homely long tables, counters and


chairs made of attractive light wood. Aromas of freshly brewed coffee and warm ciabatta immediately make you feel at home – as if you’re visiting old friends.

The décor turned into a team effort between Gwynnedd, Jacobus and a local company that does graphic design – Atelier – who produced the beautiful illustrations on the walls, the appealing packaging and

more. Gwynnedd chose the blue theme because, she says, ‘It’s a calm colour associated with honesty and responsibility’. Accents of red, such as the lights hanging from the high ceilings, add warmth. When you walk in you’ll instantly see why so many people have fallen head over heels in love with this place. And that’s exactly what Gwynnedd and Jacobus were hoping for when they took the leap and started their own venture after months of research and September 2016 IDEAS 97

daydreaming. ‘We’re passionate people with strong entrepreneurial spirits. Our backgrounds are quite different and we come from contrasting worlds, but I believe that’s our magic ingredient. Jacobus loves to cook and he’s knowledgeable about meat. I come from a retail background having spent several years as a ladies’ underwear buyer at Woolworths,’ says Gwynnedd. Now add well-trained and experienced staff to the mix and you have the ingredients of a happy workplace and a thriving business. Gwynnedd and Jacobus work with local farmers and suppliers to buy meat from sustainable sources where ethical farming practices are the order of the day. This gives them peace of mind when they sell 98 IDEAS September 2016

their meat. Their relationships with their suppliers are just as important as their relationships with their customers. ‘We’re old school in that we believe in “nose to tail” methods. That means we use every bit of the animal and we don’t buy prepacked, mass-produced meat products.’

The butchery was not even a month old when Gwynnedd decided they should – over and above the meat – also be selling fresh bread. So she did a quick baking course to learn how to make ciabatta and off she went. Unsurprisingly for someone this enterprising, her bread was an overnight success and soon became a local staple.

‘It’s combined well. My husband works with the meat while the deli and the bakery are my babies. It’s what makes us such a good team – we’re polar opposites who bring different strengths and skills to our business, just as we do in our personal relationship. He’s the joker and the dreamer, the light-hearted optimist. I’m the serious realist but also the more creative thinker.’ They have two ‘dog children’ – sheepdogs Maya and Hansie – who are not only an important part of their lives but also an essential part of their business. They are the four-legged ‘test kitchens’ for new products in The Country Dog range, The Country Butcher’s range of healthy snacks for dogs, without harmful additives or preservatives.

‘The customer isn’t necessarily always right,’ Gwynnedd laughs, ‘but they’re a friend. If you create an atmosphere where people feel at ease and you give them personal attention, then the battle is won. Jacobus is especially good at it. He knows each customer by name, he knows what their favourite cuts of meat are, how they like to prepare it, and how it should be packed for ease of use. He knows when they do or don’t want to chat. And every time he receives some positive feedback or a compliment from a customer he positively beams with pride. ‘The best thing is the expression on a customer’s face when they walk

in here for the first time. They often say it’s unusual to find this type of place in a small town. But then I ask them why you should settle for second best just because you live in a small town. Even the city slickers – who are used to great variety and only the best products – are surprised to find this type of place out here. I love that!’

Gwynnedd and Jacobus love the simplicity of country life on the farm outside Swellendam that they call home. They both lost their hearts to the town after visiting it a few times after they met three years ago. They also have a cottage, located in the heritage area of the town, that they rent out to travellers and

holidaymakers. The cottage is an extension of their business and part of the overarching The Country House Company. It looks out over the scenic Langeberg mountains and is flanked by the museum garden on one side and farm life on the other. Gwynnedd oversaw the cottage restoration. ‘I enjoyed it tremendously. It was an exciting project that was creatively stimulating. I’m always on the lookout for new things to do and ways of challenging myself.’ Visitors to the cottage are treated to a ‘proper coffee’ and a freshly baked ciabatta on arrival. And if you order in advance, the fridge will be stocked for you with farm-fresh produce from the deli and butchery.

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From how to decorate ceramics to the best yarn for your next crochet project, we have the answers.

Q How do I choose the correct crochet yarn? A Crochet yarn is available a wide range of weights, which refers to the thickness of the yarn rather than the actual weight on the scale. The thinnest yarn is called lace weight and it can be used with a 2mm or thinner crochet hook. The next thickness is superfine, then sport weight, then DK or double knitting. After that comes medium weight and so it goes on until jumbo. The yarn thickness is usually given on the label – read it carefully. The one snag is that the knitting yarn companies describe their products differently on their labels. For example, one company’s superfine category can be another one’s sport category. The best way to ensure the correct result is to check the different yarns on the crochet hook by crocheting a test square. Some people think that doing a test is a waste of time, but it’s a good way to learn about the various yarns. As a general guideline, heavier yarns (for example worsted weight) work better for items where you want

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some structure, like winter scarves, throws and hats, while lighter yarns work better for clothing pieces where you want a more flowing effect. Thinner yarns also work better – and look better – when you use stitches that add weight to the yarn, like puff stitch or crocodile stitch. Another aspect to note is the type of yarn you’re using and the fibre content. Each type has its own characteristics. Cotton, for example, is slightly stiff but elastic, although some, like Egyptian cotton, are soft and easy to manipulate. Wool varies quite a bit and comes in everything from scratchy and stiff to higher quality ones like merino that are soft and easy to work with. Acrylic also comes in a wide range of qualities. It has a lovely sheen and drapes beautifully. Fibres like alpaca, cashmere and mohair add warmth to an item and the first two are also wonderfully soft against your skin. Many crochet yarns are a combination of different fibres and nylon is often added to make the yarn more durable.


compiled by GRE THA SWINNEN st yling CARIN SMITH photos ED O’RILEY


here are special porcelain pens you can use. They are available in a variety of colours from craft shops – they work well on porcelain and other glazed ceramics. You can also order them from and if you can’t find them in a store near you.


♥ First clean off any dirt or greasiness from the mug or plate. Wipe the surface with cotton wool that has been soaked in vinegar and leave the item to dry before you start drawing. ♥ Shake the pen well and start drawing – if you make a mistake you can simply wipe it off. You can also first draw your design with a soft pencil as the pencil marks will wash off. ♥ Leave the item to stand for a few hours to dry (read the instructions on the packaging) then place it in a cold oven. ♥ Set the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and bake the item for 90 minutes. ♥ Turn off the oven and leave the item inside it to cool. ♥ The baked item is now ready to use – you can even wash it in the dishwasher!

Q How can I store my jewellery so that it looks attractive?


The Japanese expert in decluttering, Marie Kondo, suggests that you use boxes and other containers in a range of sizes to store jewellery, preferably in a drawer. As long as it looks lovely, she says, it doesn’t matter what you use. Think of yourself as the curator of your own small art exhibition. The idea is that it should spark joy whenever you look at it. Kondo advises that you store the jewellery in ‘open’ containers, so you can see it when you open the drawer. Otherwise you can use closed boxes except for the items you use often – they can go into an open porcelain bowl. You can hang fine chains on earrings that have lost their partners, on a cork board, or press the chains into notches in the edge of a box. Another idea is to bend the teeth of an attractive metal comb and hook the chains over them. September 2016 IDEAS 101

We love hearing from you. Please send us your letters and emails.

The writer of this month’s winning letter will receive a Linen Drawer voucher worth R1 500. Linen Drawer is a producer of top quality, pure cotton percale and pure flax bed linen. In addition to their quality bed linen they supply cotton throws and blankets, towels and duvets – anything that you might need for your bedroom and bathroom. All Linen Drawer products have hypoallergenic properties. Go to for more information and to order online (delivery is free in South Africa), or call 021 872 0108.

Send your letter by email to with ‘Ideas/You said it’ in the subject line. Remember to include your address. NOTE If you letter contains questions, please provide your telephone number LETTERS MUST BE ORIGINAL AND MUST NOT HAVE BEEN OFFERED FOR PUBLICATION ELSEWHERE. • WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO MODIFY, SHORTEN AND EDIT LETTERS. • WE WELCOME YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS AND WILL CONSIDER PUBLISHING THEM IF THEY ARE OF A SUITABLE QUALITY.

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My year of creativity At the end of each year I have a magazine clear-out, pulling out all the pages of creative things and recipes I am going to make ‘one day’ and placing the rest of the magazines into the school project box for further cutting up or recycling. As a result I have three lever arch files full of recipes and two of creative things to do ‘one day’. Well, one March weekend in 2014, I decided that ‘one day’ should come to fruition. I challenged myself to 365 days of creativity and I committed myself to actually posting said day’s creation on my Facebook page. What fun I had, taking ideas from Ideas and Pinterest, and other sources of inspiration. As it turned out I received orders for some of the things I made too and have added them to my market stall, LuvLulu, at the Country Craft Market in Somerset West, where I sell picnic blankets, beach hoodies for kids and aprons. . . and now also ‘free range’ dominoes, flower pens, friendship tea tins and story stones.

Between homeschooling my eldest daughter and the prep that goes with that, some days were quite a challenge. I recall a few occasions when the hours in the day just ran out and at 11pm, while gluing, sticking, painting or cutting, I did wonder why I ever decided on such a ludicrous idea. But I was determined to get that daily picture up! Some projects extended over a few days, others were one-day affairs. There was one in particular that didn’t work too well. I was dipping balloons into warm wax to make wax bowls when they burst . . . stovetop, counter, floor, me – all covered in wax. I guess the wax was a little too hot. At the end of 2014 I took five weeks’ sabbatical while on holiday in Australia, and so although I started in March, my 365 days ended in May 2015. It really was so much fun and great to receive comments from friends who enjoyed my daily post and rewarding too that some were also inspired to make their own gifts. Lisa White

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For a monthly debit order of R39.73 you will receive your printed copy of Ideas monthly. HOW TO SUBSCRIBE

1 Register an account at www. OR log in to your account. 2 Go to the page of the item you would like to purchase and select your subscription option. 3 Click on ‘add to cart’ and then ‘checkout’. 4 On the checkout page, follow the prompts to complete your address details then click on ‘pay now’. 5 Select your method of payment and your order will be confirmed. 6 Download the MySubs+ app from the relevant app store and log in with your MySubs details to read your publication on your tablet or cellphone. 7 Your magazine will appear in your library. Simply download and enjoy!

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GO TO to click through to our online shop.

• Each monthly parcel costs R15. • If you missed January to August you can still order them. • If you subscribe for the year at R120, you will receive January to September and the rest will arrive monthly until December 2016.


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We’ve had a fabulous time sewing with you in Gauteng and now we are ready for our weekend sewing retreat in the Cape Winelands. o you feel like getting away for a weekend of sewing, socialising and learning the ropes on the latest Bernina machines? The Ideas team will be waiting for you at Simondium’s Country Lodge near Paarl, where we will all be booking in for a weekend of creativity from Friday afternoon 23 September to Sunday afternoon 25 September. And by the end of the weekend you will have two completed stitchcraft projects to take home with you: a gypsy curtain and a cute caravan pincushion. The Ideas team will do a creative demonstration and, true to the area, we will also have a wine tasting with local producers. We can only accommodate 30 people in our group, so don’t wait too long before you book. For just R2 300 (sharing), or R2 500 for a single room, you can have the sewing weekend of your life.


• Two nights’ accommodation and all meals at Simondium’s Country Lodge, with a threecourse meal each evening. • Sewing sessions with Bernina. • Creative demonstrations by the Ideas team. • Tea, coffee and snacks between sessions. • Gifts from Wellington Wines.

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Simondium’s Country Lodge

• BOOK YOUR PLACE WITH MARWEYA SMAL AT IDEAS AT or on 021 408 3040 by Friday 9 September. Use the latest Bernina machines and technology to make your own gypsy curtain and a cute caravan pincushion.

Bring your garden into your home with your next


Keep a gardening journal and feed your passion for greenery Add colour to a plain jersey with beautiful embroidery Creative plans with plants for your home Cook delicious and healthy noodle recipes Learn to make this icing flower step by step