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How to get creative during load shedding

So it seems load shedding is back, and with a stage 4 vengeance… served cold… like your dinner.

While we’re sure that you are by now no stranger to the dark, and probably have a myriad of contingency plans in place to lighten the load shedding… we thought we’d share some creative things we found about what you can do to beat the blackout blues.

Creative Ideas for Charging Cell Phones

Potatoes. Yup, we looked into this a bit and apparently it’s possible. If you have 110 pounds of potatoes and live under a rock where power banks and car chargers don’t exist, then this is the solution for you. If you’re interested in taking up potato farming, own a potato farm, or have credible evidence that the world is ending… you can check out Popular Mechanics for how to generate your very own potato power here. Creative yes, but if you’re more into the idea that potatoes are better next to your burger than charging your phone, you can read some more good and proper tips from Santam here.

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Creative Ideas for Food

Potatoes. Just kidding, we need to save those to charge our phones. It can be the bane of our existance to try and come up with some kind of edible solution during load shedding. What’s more fun is when Eskom and City Power play “Whose schedule is it anyway?” and surprise you at dinner time with load shedding you weren’t scheduled for and off to the golden arches you go, along with everyone in your neighbourhood. As much fun as standing in a long line with hungry kids and grumpy grownups is, maybe try reading this article from The Consumer Report and give your wallet and your waistline a break. The article is written for Americans bracing severe snow storms, but Winter is coming South Africa… and the night will be dark and your fridge full of rotting terrors.

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Creative Ideas for Boredom

If you have any potatoes left after charging your phone, you could try using them to make stamps and decorate things. If this doesn’t grab you, then you can check out this article from Wikihow on beating blackout boredom… Most fun activities in the absence of electricity will make you relive your own childhood but you’ll probably have to work hard to convince your kids that these are actually fun things to do in the absence of screens. Don’t be alarmed if they’re not sure how to work a book. They’ll warm up to it eventually when their tablets die, just have patience and most of all… make it fun. It’s your chance to play hide and seek and be a kid again. For stages four, five and six… when things are really desperate, here’s a list of 101 things you can do from HubPages.

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Creative Ideas for Getting off the Grid

Potatoes aside, if you’re the crafty DIY type, then perhaps you should consider making your own power generators or solar panels. Survivopedia and Instructables will be your go to sites for all the advice you need on living a load shedding free existance. No more will you have to join the mad McDonald’s scramble with your neighbours, your fridge will never be frightening and your families entertainment will still be securely in the safe hands of Netflix. If you’re not that handy with a drill, you could always just make your own candles… you never know, it could turn into a thriving side business for you. Candles, like toilet paper, can run out at very inconvenient times.

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So there you have it, some ideas on what to do in a dark situation… and for those magical times when the lights are on and the world is bright and beautiful again, check out the Lextan Crafts and Designs shop for stunning hand crafted light fixtures and LED lamps.

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Talking to Talent: Shay from Serendipity Home Crafts

One of the reasons Voetsy was created, was out of a love for everything across the arts and crafty universe. So that said, we were really excited when Shay joined the Voetsy family, bringing with her a whole variety of beautiful home crafted products. Adding to that, Shay was one of our first vendors on Voetsy, so we were especially excited to see all the products she had to offer in her shop.

Read on to find out a bit more about Shay and what goes on behind the scenes of being a “multi-crafter” and making home crafted magic…

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Shay, Owner of Serendipity Home Crafts

How would you describe the products that you make and sell?

Different and innovative.

 

How long have you been making your products?

On and off for a few years but now trying to sell them properly.

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Dream Catcher Kits

How did you learn your craft?

Some of them are self-taught, watching videos or trial and error.

 

What do you love about the creative process behind your products?

I love being creative, I get restless and need to do something different. I love how much fun I have, and when it works out how accomplished it feels.

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Dream Catcher Kits

Describe your craft space for us.

My house. Literally, I sew and crochet in the lounge or dining room. I craft in the office, and I paint and use my resin substances outside on the patio. Needless to say it is chaos but it works.

 

What is an absolute essential for you to have in your craft space while you’re creating?

Hard to say as all my crafts are so different. I think mostly just space to myself, its very difficult to craft when there are others around or my toddler always grabbing my things.

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Denim Nappy Bag

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Pinterest, Google, YouTube, nature.

 

When are you at your most creative?

When I am alone, and pretty much the whole day. When I start crafting usually I only stop when it starts getting to dark for me to see.

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Baby Change Mat

How do you overcome creative blocks?

I try something new. I find something else that I can teach myself or make and I try that because hey why not.

What is your opinion on buying handmade products versus mass produced retail products?

Better. It is always personal, no two are ever exactly the same. And its someone’s own way of making a living for themselves and families.

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Spray Painted Artwork

What advice would you give to crafters thinking of selling online?

Have great pictures, be realistic with your prices, don’t charge too little but don’t be crazy and ask so much more. Research your options and then give it a go. There is no harm in trying.

 

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Spray Painted Artwork

What’s in store for the future?

Resin sea shell and coffee bean coasters. I am just getting my resin and shells prepped and sending my child to school so I can work safely without him around. I already have two prototypes that worked so well, now I just need the time to make some more and see if they sell.

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Handmade Macrame Pot Plant Holders

See what other home crafted gems Shay has to offer in her shop by clicking the button below.

Talking to Talent: Michelle from Shabach Jewellery

Here at Voetsy, we believe all our vendors are creative geniuses… and Michelle is no exception! Her stunning range of jewellery wows us every time she uploads a new product to our site, if you know anything about our team here, you’ll know that we get very excited to see the new products our vendors upload, and Michelle never disappoints!

We asked Michelle to give us some insights into the work that goes on behind the scenes and what it takes to make her beautiful products. Read on to find out more about the person behind the products…

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Michelle, Owner of Shabach Jewellery

How would you describe the products that you make and sell?

I try to always think out of the box when making my products. I would say it’s typically not the same things you will see in each and every shop you can find, it is different.  My personal style has always been different than the average person and I think a lot of my personal style flows into the products. I try to cater for everyone but my thinking sometimes gets limited to what kind of product I like and that is then what I make. I’m obsessed with black and that is sometimes seen in my products. Color scares me now and again but I’m getting pretty good at mixing some color in with the black.

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How long have you been making your products?

I started my company in January 2018 so it really has not been a very long time. December 2017 I started thinking about wanting to do my own thing and earn my own income and it was just a part time job. It ended up in August of this year that I had no other choice as to do it full time.

How did you learn your craft?

In 2006 my mother worked in a small local bead shop and I helped out a lot. My mom had to give classes on different arts from beading to decoupage, etc and we (me and my mom) started collecting some beads and played around and my dad was always mad as the whole house would be full of beads so we kinda stopped. We had this one box still full of beading supplies that followed us from house to house until this year when it was a great launching pad for me to start making jewellery.

What do you love about the creative process behind your products?

It always makes me think outside of the box. In our daily lives we can quickly get stuck in routine and routine thinking. But when you’re at your craft station there can be no routine thinking. I’m not a routine person at all, I actually hate it. Even my daily routine I would do for a week or so and then switch it up a bit. So when I sit in front of all my supplies it forces me to think outside of the routine, outside of what other people already is selling, outside of what is popular. It really is a lot of brain exercise thinking that much.

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Describe your craft space for us.

Unfortunately it is really small. I have to work with what I have and I kind of just wing it from there. It’s a lot of clutter and everything not in its place. I always end up searching for something, not finding it and then skip to something else. When I make the something else I find what I was looking for. From time to time I will clean up and sort out but that doesn’t last very long. Certain things I can tell where it is “Oh you want a pair of scissors? On the table there! Oh you want findings it’s in that small little bin there” but overall my table looks like chaos for the small little thing it is.

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What is an absolute essential for you to have in your craft space while you’re creating?

Something to drink and my Vaseline (laughing face). I use Vaseline as lip ice and it’s a necessity. Crafting wise I would say my pliers, without it I would be stuck!

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Mostly I would sit at the table and pray and ask God for guidance and creativity, asking to assist and give me patience – especially when I think of something cool and I cannot seem to make it work.

I would also scroll through Pinterest, see what the people make, try and do it myself and fail. Do it my way, my design and I end up doing okay. I would get an idea from Pinterest and play around with it and make it my own – or while I would play around with it another idea hits me and I try that.

When are you at your most creative?

Oh it differs… Sometimes in the morning, sometimes late afternoon. I don’t have a specific time really, I kind of force myself to be creative even when I really do not feel like it or have no idea what I’m going to do or how to make something work.

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How do you overcome creative blocks?

I take a walk or go and do something else. I would maybe chill a bit, listen to some music, read a book or I would leave the jewellery making for a week and hope I feel better next week (laughing face)

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What is your opinion on buying handmade products versus mass produced retail products?

You get exactly what you want! For me all my products can be arranged the way the client wants it especially the colour and I do a lot of custom things as well. Mass produced retail products is copy cat’s of everything on the shelve. They buy 200 of the same product which is mostly probably not a bad thing, but if you wanna stand out go hand made. A lot of my products is once off’s which means you will be the only one in the world wearing that piece (well unless someone copies my design of course).

What advice would you give to crafters thinking of selling online?

It really takes a lot of work. I have the experience of having my products inside a physical shop in a mall and having my products online and online is really a lot of work. It’s a lot of advertising, trying to get new clients, uploading all the products, thinking of creative descriptions for each product.

Don’t get me wrong Voetsy takes sooo much work out of our job and I love that, but just like any other job you have your things you love to do and things you hate to do.

Not that I hate the hard work I do enjoy it a lot, but do not think for one second you can just pop everything online and its gonna market itself or sell itself.

What’s in store for the future?

I would like to get more shops to sell my products and I want to push myself in doing more, thinking more outside of the box. I would like to get new product ranges and I would definitely like to make more jewellery for men (which is probably my hardest thing to do like ever).

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View Michelle’s shop to see more of her gorgeous products, made by hand and with lots of love!

13 Things You Should Give Up To Be A Successful Crafter

So I came across an article written by Zdravko Cvijetic on www.observer.com recently, that remarkably managed to narrow down to just 13, the number of things you should give up to be successful. My initial thoughts were somewhat skeptical, as I can list more than 13 chocolates alone that I would have to give up, never mind all the other deep and meaningful things. That said, I am a crafter, a creative… so generally the rules of normal human thinking don’t apply to me in Purple Fairycorn land. So would I be successful giving up these 13 things too?

Give up your unhealthy lifestyle…

Eating healthy and exercising is what’s called for here… So as a crafter I take this to basically mean a diet free of sawdust, spraypaint and wood splinters from chewing on the end of my paintbrushes. My biggest challenge would be to avoid getting sucked into my deeper than deep space “creative zone”, where the only thing being eaten is my time, and a whole day goes by where I forget to eat real food that doesn’t sparkle or need drying time.

Exercise is easy, I get so much exercise from raising my expectations that my resin will dry bubble free, that my paints will dry the same shiny juicy hue they were in the bottle, and that my masterpiece will turn out exactly like it looks on Pinterest, that I am practically as ripped as Superman… mentally though, not physically, which is good thing, I guess.

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“Give up the short-term mindset”

So this one’s about long term goaling with short term habiting for normal people… Now I don’t know if you’ve ever had to wait for paint to dry or for Herbert Evans to have an art sale, but only true creatives and visionaries are able to wait for that end goal, no matter the days, hours or months that must go by. Crafters are among those rarest of humans in this world that have mastered the patience skill to levels that are almost supernatural when it comes to their creations. Because they have to. Because fingerprints and smudges when wet.

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“Give up playing small”

Okay, so this one is a bit tricky… don’t shrink down to accommodate others feelings and don’t be afraid to fail. I don’t know many crafters that accept compliments on their work with, “Yes, thank you, I know how super awesomely talented I am, and how mind meltingly amazing my work is”… modesty is a hard thing to give up for creative geniuses such as myself. I do know that I’m not afraid to fail though. If I can try to make something new, or test out some new craft, I will… no fear of the unknown there, no sir, and my overcrowded cupboards of every craft material known to man will prove that. I think what I should really give up here as a crafter is my small house that can’t contain my wool, paints, spray paints, brushes, decoupage, scrapbooking, markers, colouring books… there’s more but you get the gist.

“Give up your excuses”

Yes yes, an artist never blames his tools, fish paste etc.… but seriously… crafters have some leeway with this one, surely. I mean, I just cannot pour resin on a project if the resin has dust in it, or if the cup has resin in it, actually, I just can’t pour resin. If you think that’s an excuse, go try it… I dare you, kiss your floors goodbye. Resin aside, bakers can’t bake without sugar… oh, they can? Never mind. Then think of a knitter who doesn’t have needles or an artist who must use his hands to paint and doesn’t have any,  no, wait… You know what? Crafters are awesome and they don’t make any excuses to create, resin is just dumb, and that’s what I’ll give up to be successfully sane.

“Give up the fixed mindset”

Change your mindset that talent alone is what it takes to succeed, and that you don’t have to put in effort as well. Um… look, I don’t know how other people’s fixed mindsets work, but as a crafter, I know that as talented as I may think I am, ain’t no painting going to be painting itself just by having my super talented self stand next to a canvas. The only fixed mindset I would have to give up as a crafter is I don’t have enough spray paint colours, because no one can achieve greatness with a mere twenty colours.

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“Give up believing in the “magic bullet”.”

So normal people cannot believe in the magic of overnight success and must give it up. No, sorry, not going to happen… I am creative, and this idea of a magic bullet appeals to me, and you used the word magic, which is my kryptonite. Now I’m fixated on a magic bullet and what it can do, and does it come from a magic gun too? Maybe wielded by a magic person… Also, as a crafter, overnight success is actually a thing… you paint it, it dries, overnight… success.

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“Give up your perfectionism”

Ugh… really do I have to? No, I’m a crafter and making things perfectly is kind of a thing… I can’t make something knowing it not perfect. Hours must be spent examining said creation for any small blemish until it’s pronounced as complete… or is that just me? I get that most things can’t be perfect, like the family dinner you cook, that has some glitter in it, or your child’s hair you brush for school… that has some glitter in it. But my crafts must be perfect, and generally glitter tends to makes them that.

“Give up multi-tasking”

Look, I have to say I agree with this one. My life as a crafter would be a lot better if I focused on one thing, and didn’t have to spend five minutes, every five minutes, looking for the thing I just put down five seconds ago. This one’s universal, crafter or no.

“Give up your need to control everything”

Oh no problems here… given up, gone, forgotten. As a crafter, you learn this lesson a lot. Nothing will teach you that you are not in control more than a dirty acrylic pour or a dropped stitch if you a beginner at knitting. Been there, done that… got the dirty floors and tangled wool balls that were meant to be jerseys to show for it.

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“Give up saying YES to things that don’t support your goals”

This one is a brain teaser… you’ll find that if you’re creative, invariably you’ll be asked to help with a lot of things where ideas and glitter are required. However, most crafters have a goal in life… to always be crafting, so really… if you’re helping Aunty Liz hand make wedding decorations, or baking themed cupcakes for Cousin Johnny’s birthday… you’re saying yes a lot, but also to crafting. So it’s a win-win in my eyes.

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“Give up the toxic people”

Another one I think also applies to all crafters… including me… maybe only me, I don’t know. I must stop talking like I’m the United Nations of Craft here. Personally speaking, if I encounter people who cannot see the dancing rainbow unicorn in my abstract art, or the genius of tying sticks together to make super interesting home décor, I know I should either ditch them, or give them the sticks for Christmas. No one needs the kind of negativity you get when someone is bad smell squinting at your masterpieces. Also, on the subject… I should wear masks when spray painting, it’s not only people that are toxic.

“Give up your need to be liked”

Goes hand in hand with step 12 of what to junk in your life. Except… as a crafter it’s more about caring that people like what you make more than liking you. So give that up by order of the United Nations of Craft. Not everyone is going to see your dancing unicorn vision. In a perfect world, everyone, including you, is Bob Ross-ish, genuinely awesome, amazingly talented too, and all the trees are happy. If that’s not your world, guess what? You’re an artist! You can just make whatever world you want, out of tinfoil and papermache, you’re like a crafty MacGyver with Heritage Modge Podge and Glue Gun and no one can stop you escaping reality.

“Give up your dependency on Social Media and Television”

So I’m just going to go and YouTube a How to Make Handmade Christmas Cards, while I ask my Craft Group for suggestions on Wedding Decorations, and check Pinterest for pictures of Unicorns, while I update my Instagram Feed with pictures of my current project progress. I find this to be a toxic request that I have to give up, because I need to say yes to things that support my goals. The internet supports my creative goals with ideas. #lol #aintgonnahappen

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There are valid points made in the original article, and you should probably go read that, a lot more profesh than my ramblings. As for me… I’m just going to stick to what makes me happy, and give up what doesn’t… it’s what Bob would do.

Happy Bobbing
Nicole@Voetsy
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Howzit Halloween!

So yes, Halloween in South Africa may not be the all out boo-nanza it is in America… but it does seem as though every year the Halloween spirit is rising. Two puns, one sentence… not bad.

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So what’s the big deal about Halloween? We could enthrall you with the history of the day, the obviously fascinating origins and the tantalizing taboos… but we’re pretty sure you know how to work the Google machine just as well as we do, so we’ll skip on that and get to the good stuff…

The Sweeties…oviaas!

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For anyone who has children, you will understand (every other day of the week) that the idea of pretending to be your favorite someone or something is appealing (it’s why we hate Barney, be honest), but added to that, the concept of free candy from strangers WITH your parents’ permission? Little minds blown! And for those of us bigger children, remaining anonymous behind a Crazy Store mask whilst facilitating the intake of free sweets to sneak from your kids later may also have its appeal, I don’t know, maybe… speaking for a friend, ahem.

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It’s a fun thing to get into for kids and bigger kids, so check out this great article from Joburg.co.za for an all you need to know run down on the freaky fun next week.

Happy Halloweening!
The Voetsy Blog Team

Get into the Halloween spirit with some creepy cool products available right here on voetsy from our fab vendors:

Click on the image to view product details!

Trick or Treat Bags!
Matches your costume!
Creepy Tee!
Spooky stickers for cards or planners!

The Art of Embellishing

Making Magic

There is no end to the upcycle magic you can create with embellishments. Also known as appliqués or furniture mouldings, these little pieces can have a big impact when you’re wanting to give something a fresh new look.

They’re made from wood or resin, and there are benefits to both. Resin embellishments will allow you to apply on curved or uneven surfaces, because of their pliability. Wooden embellishments are more expensive and are used on wooden pieces when wanting to get the same traditional look and feel on a wood project.

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Create & Save

Not only can you save yourself a ton of money by upcycling existing pieces of furniture you have rather than buying them new, you’ll also have the endless satisfaction of looking at a beautiful piece in your home that you created. You could take an old side table or wardrobe and turn it into a masterpiece, or give your kitchen a makeover fit for a magazine spread. You could also give your plants a gorgeously elegant home with just a coat of paint and an embellishment or two.

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It’s Easy!

Normally you’d think it would take a heap of effort to get such a fantastic result, but the best part of this is how easy it is to do. You really just need to select your paint colour, choose a beautiful embellishment, sand, stick, paint and admire.

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Get Inspired

If you have a look around your home, we’re willing to bet there are a number of things you can see that would be beautiful with embellishments, hopefully we’ve inspired you to make something magical!

 

Happy Upcycling!
The Voetsy DIY Blog Team

Along with giving you inspiration, we also have all the products you’ll need right here on Voetsy! Our vendors are super passionate about their products so you’ll get fantastic support and advice too! Click on below images to view a wide variety of handmade resin embellishments from Surita’s creations, and SA’s number one selling chalk paint from Granny B’s.

7 Awesome Heritage Day Events

Heritage Day is just around the corner! So we did a bit of googling and found some great things you and the family (or your furbabies) can do that’s different from the traditional “Tjop and Dop” at home.

Jo”Burg Events
Magaliesburg Express

How is this for something different? The kids will love spending a day riding a “real-life” choo choo and the grown ups can sit back, relax and enjoy a slower pace for a change and watch some gorgeous scenery go by. It’s a full day trip to and from Magaliesburg that includes yummy food on board, picnics, swimming, market browsing and even helicopter flips! Find more information on https://www.reefsteamers.com/Timetable/Magaliesburg-Express/ or visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/515706765549619/

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Muddy Puppy

Are you an active Furmom or Furdad? This is the event for you. You can treat yourself and your four-legged bff to a day out and enjoy a 2km or 4km obstacle course. Only, we wouldn’t recommend wearing your designer anythings, the name of the event says it all, it’s going to get messy! It’s for a good cause though, portions of sales go to the Wollies Animal Project. For more information check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/octmuddypuppy/

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Market on Main

Top local food and design entrepreneurs showcase their talents every Sunday in the heart of Jo-burg. You can get your shop on and experience all the local delicious-ness in the beautiful setting that Maboneng has to offer. There is nothing more Heritage Day than supporting local business! You can find more info at http://marketonmain.co.za/ or on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MarketOnMain. Don’t forget to like their page while you’re there!

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Heritage Exhibition

The CANSA Pretoria Art Gallery @ Brooklyn will be hosting a late afternoon group art exhibition. The Pretoria Weavers guild will form part of the exhibition, and you will get to see amazing works, all made by hand, and experience a traditional practice that is wonderfully African. Find more information her http://gaufestival.com/event/heritage-exhibition/ or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/718309631673551/

Antique and Collectibles Fair

You can take a step back in time and shop for items that are little pieces of history. Fittingly hosted at the Voortrekker Monument, on the roof of the large amphitheater, this is one market you don’t want to miss if you have a love of antiques and all things old fashioned and vintage. Get more information at http://gaufestival.com/event/antiquefair/ and view past event pics at https://www.facebook.com/VTM1AntiqueFair.Antiekmark/

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Family Braai Day

So if your Heritage Day is all about the braai, why not take it up a notch and switch your braai venue to somewhere gorgeously scenic, like the Pretoria Botanical Gardens? This year, they are unveiling a brand new braai area, and there will be lots of fun activities for the kids. There will be live music and comedy performances as well, so pack your picnic bag for a super family day. Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/events/1555172214791874/

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Cape Town Events

There’s a myriad of events taking place in Cape Town, from AfroFest to numerous lunch events at Wine Estates. The one that stood out for us is the launch of Wild Waters at Wiesenhoff Adventure Park in Stellenbosch. This event is a great way to spend a day, and because it’s a launch, they’re offering an all access day pass to the park. You can pack a picnic bag or your braai, and have a day filled with fun and sun. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Find out more at https://www.vibescout.com/za/post/heritage-braai-day or check out the Facebook event on https://www.facebook.com/WiesenhofAdventures/

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Happy Heritage Day Planning!

The Voetsy Blog Team

10 great plants to grow for Spring

There is something magical about Spring, isn’t there? The chill in the air starts easing off just enough to start enjoying sitting outside again in the evenings; with the sun rising earlier and setting later, it feels as though you have more hours in the day, and of course the green leaf shoots and blossoms that start to liven up trees that have looked sad and bare all winter.

It’s also a great time to get out into your garden and start planting. We’ve put together a list of plants that can be easily grown, or even regrown, and that will help cut down on your food costs!

Carrots

These awesome veggies are packed full of vitamins and can be planted to create an attractive border in your garden. You can even regrow carrot plants, not the actual root veggie, from kitchen scraps to make attractive houseplants! All you need to do is chop off the top and place some toothpicks into it, balance it over a glass of water and make sure the water is just touching the bottom. If you place the glass in a high light area, not direct sun, and top up the water regularly, you’ll soon start to see roots forming. You can them plant them into containers and watch your pretty fern like carrot plants grow and flower.

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Tomatoes

Tomatoes are great plants to grow from kitchen scraps! They’re a bit sensitive when they’re babies, but with enough light and lots of water, they will be a gift that keeps on giving. You can plant slices of tomato directly into good potting soil and within a few weeks, you’ll start to see little shoots forming, it’s that easy. Consider training your tomato plants up a trellis and keep pruning the bottom leaves to make your tomato plants happy. If you want to pretty up your beds, you can plant companion plants like marigolds or nasturtium with your tomatoes. Once you’ve harvested your tomatoes, you can replant the seeds to make more plants for your garden, or as a gift for someone who wants to start their own veggie garden!

Beans

If you’re growing pole beans, it’s best to start training them to climb early on. They like lots of sun and water, so you should choose a spot that will give them plenty of both. Straw, grass clippings and composted leaves will help you retain moisture. They are prone to insects so be on the lookout and get rid of pests with soapy water. Don’t wait too long to harvest, as the bean pod will dry out and become tough, and the bean will taste bitter. You can also freeze them for later! Good companion plants for beans are peas and carrots.

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Peas

Peas are fantastic to pick and eat raw from the garden, added to salads, or steamed slightly. The plants should be planted straight into your garden, and in slightly cooler temperatures, with good quality fertilizer. They’ll need some support early on until they start to form tendrils that will help them climb, a trellis would be a good idea to plant peas against. You’ll need to keep the soil moist. When you pea pods are swollen, the peas inside are nice and ripe and ready for harvesting. You should pick pods frequently to increase production, and keep fertilizing after harvesting.

Chillies

Chillies are a great addition to any garden, and make great indoor plants too, provided they get lots of light and water. There are so many varieties of chilli plants to choose from and your nearest nursery should be able to give you information on which one is best for you. Best of all, you can grow more chilli plants just by replanting the seeds from the chillies! These plants grow relatively fast so you’ll have chillies in next to no time to add amazing flavour to your favourite dishes! They are easy to care for and grow well with tomatoes and carrots.

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Basil

Basil is great herb to grow, and regrow! It adds amazing flavour to chicken dishes and is easy to care for. To regrow new basil plants, all you need to do is pick a stem about 6cm in length, trim off the leaves until you’re just left with a few at the top, and place the stem in a glass of water. Place the container in a well lit area, but not direct sunlight. Very soon you’ll start to see roots growing from the stem and you can replant your new basil when the roots are a few centimeters longer! If you’re planting your basil into the garden, they will grow well with your tomato plants.

Lemons

You can grow your very own lemon tree by replanting seeds from a store bought lemon! It will take a lot of time before your efforts are rewarded, but you’ll be able to enjoy this beautiful plant indoors or outdoors while you wait! When the trees start to blossom they have a beautiful citrus scent as well. To get started you’ll need to plant a lemon seed straight from the lemon into good potting soil that is not completely soaked but moist. Keep your growing lemon plant in a sunny area and keep watering, not too much though. The soil just needs to stay moist.

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Cilantro

Cilantro and flat leaf parsley can sometimes be confused as the same plant, however their flavour and smell are very different (cilantro is on the left, parley on the right). Cilantro and coriander are technically the same plant, so if a recipe calls for coriander leaves, you can just as well use cilantro in its place. Cilantro, just like basil, can be regrown by cutting a stem and placing in water until root growth is achieved. Then you simply replant and you have more cilantro to enjoy in your cooking! You can plant cilantro with basil and mint in your herb garden.

Lettuce

You can regrow lettuce, as well as cabbage and bok choy, easily from your kitchen scraps. After you’re done with your lettuce, cut above the stem until you have about 4cm of the leaves. You can place this stem in a dish of water in a sunny area and keep misting a few times a week. You’ll see the leaves and roots start to regrow fairly quickly and you can replant and carry on enjoying your own home grown lettuce!  In the garden, lettuce grows nicely with carrots.

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Mint

Mint is a great addition to drinks and desserts for hot summer days!  Not to mention the mint jelly for the lamb spit braai! Best of all, it’s easy to grow and regrow from cuttings. Take a sprig of mint and trim the leaves, leave in a container of water on a sunny windowsill and you’ll have a new mint plant ready to grow in a few weeks. They do well on patios in containers, and can be planted straight into your garden. Take care with mint though, their root system can be very invasive and they can soon take over a whole bed! If you’re planting mint into your garden, prevent mint from taking over by first planting it into a container and then into the garden. This will help contain the roots.

Happy gardening this Spring!

The Voetsy DIY Blog Team

Happy Women’s Day!

It’s National Women’s Day in South Africa tomorrow, 09 August, which means it’s a public holiday.

Now, I also know what this day means for me…

It will mean a “day off” (I’m a mom… so LOL to that), it will mean a guilt free chocky (because you can’t get fat on Women’s Day, obviously), and it will mean I might not have to cook dinner (dinner DISHES yes, but dinner no). My son has just prophetically announced that tomorrow is my day. He’s nine and has no idea what day of the week it is most of the time, let alone what planet he’s on if Minecraft is anywhere near him…so I’ll take whatever that means.

So that’s my meaning, and I know this day will mean many different things to many different women, but I thought I would share the actual meaning of this day because we have more to celebrate than just a day away from our desks…

 

History of National Women’s Day

The holiday commemorates the national march of women on this day in 1956 to petition against legislation that required African persons to carry the ‘pass’.

The ‘pass’ was an identification document which restricted a black South African’s freedom of movement under apartheid. the pass allowed them to enter ‘white’ areas. The ‘pass’ had come into force under the Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950.

On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women staged a march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against proposed amendments to the act. They left petitions containing more than 100,000 signatures at prime minister J.G. Strijdom’s office door. They stood silently outside his door for 30 minutes.

The women then sang a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.). – https://www.officeholidays.com/countries/south_africa/womens_day.php

The march was led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams

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So for me personally, I see Women’s Day as a celebration of what women, regardless of outward differences, can achieve when their inward intentions are to stand together and inspire each other.

So, in the spirit of sharing inspiration, here are some amazing quotes by some fantastic women

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

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“You are more powerful than you know; you are beautiful just as you are.” ~ Melissa Etheridge

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“Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself. Keep fighting for your dreams!” ~ Gabby Douglas

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“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” ~ Amelia Earhart

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“Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion” ~ Oprah Winfrey

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Happy Women’s Day!

Everyone at Voetsy

Tips for choosing your side hustle (infographic)

Times are tough. Petrol prices are higher than politicians’ opinions of themselves, the Rand value is resembling a homesick mole and here we are, stuck like a skinny piggy in the middle, with not too much in the way of bacon to bring home.

Now you could lament over the fact that your payday and middle-of-the- month Salticrax is starting to look just as sad as that plain ol’ end-of-the- month Salticrax, or you could get hustling, side hustling that is. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade…and then go sell the lemonade.

There are plenty of people out there supplementing their income by doing something extra outside of their nine to five (or six to six with our traffic), and managing pretty well. I’m not saying it’s all peaches and cream, but finding something to do that makes money, and how to make the time for it are probably the biggest challenges to overcome. If you make it something you’re passionate about and enjoy doing, the extra work won’t be so bad. Who knows? You may just be able to turn your side hustle into your everyday hustle. Or you may just land up making amazing things to sell and opening your own online store right here with us at Voetsy!

To help you figure out where to start, you can have a look at this awesome infographic from Quid Corner:

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Happy Hustling!

The Voetsy Blog Team