Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Life is too Short for Boring Stationery : Part 4

I welcome you to Part 4 and the last of my stationery series. Isn’t it amazing the amount of incredibly talented crafters there are in South Africa. Today I feature 3 online stores that are based in Johannesburg and a wonderful stationery boutique here in Durban.

Elephantshoe Stationery Studio

Elephantshoe was established in 2010 by the dynamic duo of Samantha and James Schwikkard.  It is a custom boutique papery, branding and styling design studio. Their wish is that your life be made more lovely and that you are inspired by their stationery goods. Whether by customising your home or business or commissioning something special for an event, they would love to help you. They have amazing products for you to buy and they also are very generous with free downloads of prettiness.

Favourites :

I Love You Box (this was the July box)

Tattly temporary tattoo "Cartolina Blooms"

Love Lives Here tote bag


Interviews and Mentions :

Owned and run by Mariaan, is a graphic design company specialising in company branding, wedding and event stationery, gifts and accessories, greeting cards and lots more.

Interviews and Mentions :

Favourites :
Doodles & Sketches Notepad
Bright & Beautiful Ideas Notepad
My Stach Jar

Created in 2010, Macaroon was born from the desire to merge the traditional values of letter writing and gift giving, with the latest in modern technology. They specialise in personalised stylish social stationery. Use your favourite photos to personalise their large range of calendars, yearly planners, greeting cards and birthday invitations. They also have stickers, tags, gifts and gifting accessories. Sadly orders for 2014 delivery are closed but don’t let that stop you from ordering for 2015.

Interviews and Mentions :


Bucket List Journal Blue

Menu and Shopping Planner Blue
Workspace Labels Blue


Ruby & Swallow

Hello! My name is Kim and I own Ruby + Swallow Stationery Boutique, a business based in Durban. Part of my course at Rhodes University was specialising in graphic design, so it is both a profession and a passion. Ruby + Swallow was conceived from a love of stationery, weddings and design, and originally began as a blog back in 2012, and grew into a bespoke "stationery boutique".

Currently we design and create custom made stationery for any happy milestone and event, primarily weddings, but also for baby showers, bridal showers, engagements and birthdays. We pride ourselves on keeping our designs on trend, and keep focussed on customer service and attention to detail. All stationery items are individually handcrafted. 

Ruby + Swallow has lots in the pipeline for 2015, so keep up to date with us on social media! Please contact us on for any stationery enquiries.

Favourites :

Gold foil print on champagne shimmer board
Accordion folded square invitation



Instagram: @rubyandswallow / @_kimwalsh_


Interviews and Mentions :

The Umhlanga magazine - Get to know your bloggers!

Indie Berries - Ruby +Swallow

City Girl Searching - Wedding Invitations

Friday, 12 December 2014

Cotton On in Gateway - The World's Largest Store

Today is an exciting day for KZN when Cotton On opens its largest store in the world at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping. My husband has already seen inside the store and he was very impressed with the layout and the finishes.

If, like my son, you are a Veranda Panda fan, you had better get to the official opening tomorrow so you can see them in action.

As Cotton On continues to grow its global footprint, the Australian-based retailer remains committed and invested in expanding its South African fleet, opening its largest ever store on the 12th of December in Kwa-Zulu Natal’s Gateway Shopping Centre.

Born to deliver the right product at the right price, Cotton On provides men and women affordable, effortlessly cool and on-trend fashion. At 2,368 square metres, the new Cotton On store at Gateway Shopping Centre is the largest in the world and offers collections from a number of brands within the Cotton On Group, including Cotton On, Cotton On Body, FREE by Cotton On, Cotton On Kids and Rubi Shoes. The new store will reflect the brand’s updated brand look and will represent Cotton On’s future direction in store design.

Cotton On General Manager, Felicity McGahan, said she’s thrilled to be opening the biggest Cotton On store in South Africa. “There is no other Cotton On store in the world quite like our new Gateway store and this demonstrates our commitment to our South African customers. The store offers customers an insight into our forward vision for Cotton On, setting the benchmark for our new fleet opening around the world. The new store will allow us to offer shoppers an in-store experience like no other in the biggest Cotton On store in the world,” said Ms McGahan.

Innovative design elements of the store include ‘living’ front windows which allow customers to engage with the latest offers and breaks down the barrier of traditional window displays. The design embraces authenticity and heritage through honest materials in brick, timber and concrete-lined architecture. The timber wrap in the front of the store creates a dramatic entry that leads customers into the store.

The new store is the evolution of our brand and represents Cotton On future direction in store design not only in size and scale but our new innovative retail thinking that pushes the boundaries of traditional retail,” said Senior Store Design Manager, Martin Kwaskowski.

The 2,368 square metre space was designed and built by our own in house teams, which is a very unique proposition for any retailer. This allows us to go on the entire journey from start to finish and this way we get the best results, without relying on outside design help”, adds Kwaskowski.

The stable of Cotton On Group brands delivers on-trend basics and fun, affordable fashion which South Africans have come to know and love. Since opening their first store in 1991 in Australia, the Cotton On Group has been rapidly growing with 1300 stores in 17 countries, of which over 119 stores are in South Africa. Furthermore, the Cotton On Group was recently recognised by SA’ s youth as one of the Top 10 ‘coolest clothing stores’, as selected by the country's Sunday Times Generation Next Awards 2014.

Cotton On is inviting customers to celebrate the new store opening and get weekend-ready on Saturday, the 13th of December with a special performance by electronic violin duo, Veranda Panda. There will also be a tee customisation station, an Instagram activation, a Rubi nail bar as well as face painting and balloon twisting for the kids. To top off the celebrations, the first 100 people through the door will each receive a complimentary gift.

The new Cotton On store in Gateway will be opening its doors on 12 December, 2014 operating Mon – Thurs from 9am – 7pm (Fri and Sat 9-9pm, Sun 9-6pm),  and is located at Shop E030 & E032, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, 1 Palm Boulevard, Umhlanga.

Veranda Panda

I can see that my two teenagers are going to be VERY keen to shop at this new mega Cotton On.

Two Weeks of Craziness

Oh my! The last two weeks have been CRAZY!!

I had to take my son back and forth for his last exams, then he stayed home for 4 days while other subject exams were written that he doesn't take. In between that I had to attend numerous assemblies at my daughters school. She has now finished up with Grade 7 and next year is high school and my son goes to Matric.

There was also frantic baking last Sunday so the daughter could give some biscuits to the Grade 7 teachers. I also had to package up the gift for my daughters teacher with a great moustache jar and tag from Peg & Pencil.

Three of the assemblies I attended were award assemblies and Laura was recognised for her sporting achievements in two of them. She received certificates for 1st team softball, 1st team hockey and for cross country. The final assembly was on Wednesday, the snot en trane assembly. This is the assembly where each teacher addresses their class and wishes them well for their new school. Each Grade 7 is given a candle which they light from the school candle and then they make their way out of the school hall. Finally the head leaders blow out the school candle before they exit. There were lots of crying teachers, parents and sobbing kids.

So that is the end of my daughters primary school chapter and the chapter for high school begins.

The chapter for high school started yesterday already as I took her to get her new uniform. We went early to the school uniform shop as I was determined to get it done. After trying on the uniform we left with 4 blouses, 4 skirts, 2 PE shirts, PE shorts and a swimming costume. I had a blazer and jersey for her already. That is not the end of the uniform buying SOB SOB SOB. She will still need shoes and socks and once she has decided on sports, she will need the clothes for that. SOB

Did I mention SOB??!!

I know there is going to be more craziness from now until Christmas. My list is not done and I have yet to decide on what salads / vegies and pudding I will be serving. The house is in chaos and I haven't even decorated. Oh well! My kids are old enough to help and they WILL.