Introducing Now Novel

This is a guest post from Bridget McNulty, author of Strange Nervous Laughter to introduce her latest creative writing venture. Thanks Bridget!

Now Novel Creative WritingOne of the most exciting new projects to come out in the creative writing world of late is Now Novel, an online novel writing course that helps you start – and finish – your novel. What’s so interesting about Now Novel, apart from the fact that it looks great and is easy to use, is that it leads you through the novel writing process from start to finish.

So many novel writing books and online courses tell you what to do and then leave you to it, but with Now Novel you’re guided step-by-step through each phase of the process, from coming up with your central idea to finding a theme that resonates with you, creating plot and setting details and filling in in-depth character studies. Continue reading

Louis Vuitton Shoot by Annie Leibovitz Features Bono in Africa

Louis Vuitton ad with Bono and Annie Leibovitz in AfricaBono isn’t known for lending himself to advertising campaigns and he doesn’t usually take part in shoots without the band members of U2, but made an exception for this shoot which promotes something close to his heart. In 2005 he and his wife, Ali Hewson, started an ethical fashion label Edun, which Vuitton parent company LVMH have supported since 2009 with a 49% share in it, in their bid to promote a more sustainable fashion ethic. Continue reading

Cashmere Scarves From Alabaste

alabaste cashmere scarvesSummer is taking a while to reach Cape Town, so luxuriously snuggly cashmere still feels very appealing, and there is a great new local brand just arrived on the luxury fashion scene.

Alabaste designs a fine range of 100% cashmere scarves – made in Mauritius and currently available from ShopLabel online or from selected retailers in Cape Town.

alabaste cashmere scarvesCape Town based stylist and fashion veteran Ava Edwards is the creative mind behind the label . The feather light but chunky winter range, aptly named Stroke Me, will be joined by a lighter summer range shortly.

The branding and packaging reflects the high-end cashmere product and is designed by Deep.

Sustainable Design

Shift Sustainable DesignSustainable design is at the heart of true stylish living. More and more South African designers are embracing an environmentally friendly ethic, whether it is choosing natural, renewable resources for their products, recycling post-consumer waste, or ensuring fair-trade principles in their production.

So it’s great to see that the Shift is encouraging sustainable design at all levels with their annual competition. Young designers and creative spirits between the ages of 18-35 can submit their  sustainable design concepts that will address some of the challenges faced by communities across the world. Continue reading

Mail and Guardian Book of South African Women 2012

Mail and Guardian Book of South African Women 2012

E J von Lyrik - Musician

The Mail and Guardian Book of South African Women has evolved beyond being a little black book of South Africa’s leaders, movers and shakers. For 2012 it has shifted to grass roots level, celebrating women who are really making a difference in their own communities and spheres.

Browsing through the list of 50 women, you’ll find inspirational stories of women from all over South Africa who are working for a better future: Thelma Nkosi, a community co-ordinator working to empower communities in protecting their water systems and local environment; Isabella Holden a project co-ordinator for the Lifeline victim empowerment programme who is partially blind but full of energy and drive; Mitta Lebaka, herself burned severely as a child who works to help children all over Africa who suffer severe burns. There are musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, women from all walks of life,all cultures and races, all provinces, rural and urban backgrounds. Each profile is accompanied by a stunning portrait by celebrated portrait photographer Sally Shorkend bringing all these vibrant women to life on the page.

There are also essays: a moving account of a mother, a spirited letter from her 80 year old self to the author, an account of being the first woman constitutional court judge and more.

The book was launched in time for Women’s Day and the gorgeous website developed by Deep can now be browsed any time you need a dash of inspiration from the energy and innate style of these 50 extraordinary women, who are bringing a positive energy to South Africa.

Must Have Designer Leather Jackets This Winter

Muubaa-Cion-Leather-jacketLuscious butter-soft leather is irresistible, even more so when it comes in these sexy and elegant designer jackets from British designer Muubaa. If you haven’t yet discovered their Must Have range of stunning leather jackets then you need to get hold of one quick and see what you’re missing.

They’ve just arrived in South Africa at ShopLabel, and aren’t going to be left hanging neglected on a rail for more than about a minute!

This is what Muubaa say about their designer leather range.

“Our design philosophy is about creating current yet timeless pieces that every woman can make her own, everyday. We take what we know to be possible with leather, and push it, often surprising with new ways to use and wear it.”

So which is your hot favourite? The sexy Cion, the sleek Kendyll or dead gorgeous Meggie?

Muubaa-Kendyll-leather-jacketMuubaa-Meggie_leather-jacket

Up and Coming South African Style Icons

Website for Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans projectUp and coming style icons are to be found a plenty in the 2012 Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans project. Every year they pick 200 people under 35, doing extraordinary work in their field, from music to business, to health to environment, politics and fashion.

So if you want to know who to be looking out for as the future movers and shakers in the world of style check out the website.

With stylish web design and web development by Deep Design, it pulls together 200 stories of these inspirational young people in a way that is easy to browse and easy on the eye.

So check out the latest South African fashion designers, dance divas, entrepreneurs, environmental warriors and groundbreaking medics and feel more hopeful for the future of our country with so much talent out there.

Film Locations – Around the World in South Africa Part 2

Tennents-lager-commercialAnyone who lives in Cape Town already knows how varied the landscapes are with our famous beaches, mountains and world class vineyards. But did you know that you can take a trip around the world without even leaving the Western Cape?

This is what the new Tennent’s Lager campaign demanded for their latest production. A three day shoot was all the time scheduled to put together a Victorian explorer style round the world adventure using pristine, uninhabited locations. All the locations are within 200km of Cape Town and some even within the city, as minimising travel time was key to fitting in the grand tour.

So next time you feel inspired to do a bit of globetrotting, perhaps you can save yourself the airfare and explore the varied scenery right in our own backyard?!

Tennent’s Lager used Stanford River, Atlantis Dunes, Kraalbaai beach, Silvermine Nature Reserve and Constantia Greenbelt for their locations in this commercial.

Get more inspiration for your travels from these beautiful  locations in South Africa.

See Part 1 of our Around the World in South Africa film locations posts for other film productions that make the most of the incredibly varied landscapes of South Africa.

Stairs with Style

Staircase book decorBook wallpaper stripsHere are two gorgeous ideas we’ve seen recently for making stairs more beautiful and the second case more functional.

A retro and quirky decorating idea comes from Quagga books – the rare books store in Stellenbosch and Kalk Bay.

They used these photographic images of old books to paper the risers of their staircase in their Stellenbosch store. It was a rave success with their customers, so much so that they are now selling the wallpaper strips in several different versions. Perfect if you want a bit of old world gravitas added to your space.

This second idea needs a skilled cabinet maker to create but would be the perfect way of maximising space in a small home and looks stunning and stylish too.

Staircase cupboardsWorth building a new staircase just to have all this extra storage space!

Wrap Up Warm In Iconic Designs

Lily and Lionel - Asher scarfLily and Lionel is the latest designer label to take South Africa by storm. Their luxury scarves come in a glorious variety of iconic designs, from animal print to sleek cityscapes and bright watercolour florals.

All the scarves are soft  and light in silk/wool blends or 100% fine wool, perfect for urban style hunters to dress up a chic winter look.

The signature Asher scarf in its striking leopard print has to be one of the hottest accessories of the season, but the London and New York cityscapes are also tempting. Lily & Lionel New York scarf

Which would you go for this winter?

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