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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.

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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

Megan 16

“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

Tips for setting goals: Making a THIS List

Being a human is hard. Why is it hard? Because we want to be better all the time… we want to achieve more, do more, learn more, get more, be more. And what makes that so hard you ask? Well, because we’re human.

Human beings are designed to achieve under stress. I’m no expert but it probably has something to do with our ancestry and having to catch our own food. You’re not going to bring down a buffalo dinner by taking it easy, right? Or keep yourself alive in a predator infested wilderness chillaxing under a tree, no sir.

Fast forward a few years and now we can buy our dinner and pepper spray, so what’s so hard about achieving anything these days? Well, our brains didn’t get the memo on it being 2018, and are still kicking into stress mode when we’re trying to get stuff done. And let’s be honest, we’re trying to get a lot more stuff done these days than we ever did back in the good old days. No club wielding cave woman had to worry about getting a good nights sleep so she’d have enough energy to wake up, make up, get the cubs up, dressed up, fed up and ready for cave school… all before arriving on time and raring for a busy day of berry picking.

We are constantly trying to do much at once, and this is sending our brains into “Where’s the lion?!” hyper drive on a minute to minute basis… although it’s more likely a scenario of “Where did I save that document I need for my deadline”, or “Where is the printer toner?”…same thing to your brain. Now again, I’m no expert, but I’m thinking that your brain being in constant fight or flight mode is going to lead to your body eventually finding itself in give up and go down mode. Being constantly stressed is obviously no good, and you don’t need to search for my PhD’s on the wall, they’re not there… you know it, the world tells us this, your mind and body are screaming it at you… And all of this stress and multi-juggling is helping you achieve what exactly? You got it, zip. So not only are we busier, stressier, and unhappier than ever before, we’re actually achieving less.

So what to do? How will you take back the steering wheel of your life from the over-caffeinated squirrel that’s driving your brain with the brake line cut and with the GPS set for Burn Out town? Personally, I’ve found that writing stuff down helps manage the brainado (brain tornado).

If you’re like me and have a million and ten things whizzing around in there, including the squirrel imagery now, you’re Helen Hunt in Twister hanging on for dear life to a pipe and staring into the eye of the beast. Minus the hero dude who helped strap you in, and minus the happy ending where the beast blows away eventually.

It’s not just about writing things down though, although brain dumping (as beautifully visual a term as that is), does helps tremendously. It’s more about committing yourself to achieving something through the systematic and less frenzied act of committing pen to paper and planning. It’s about setting goals.

So after scouring through some great articles on Entrepreneur, an idea began to form. Goal setting is essentially turning “that” into “this”. It’s bringing some seemingly far off thing you would like to have into your immediate reality, and making it real for you, everyday. Turning that thing you want into this thing I have. Goal setting becomes about establishing your “this”, how you’ll go about getting it, doing that, and tracking your success.

So let’s look at setting a THIS list:

 

This is yours

When setting your goals, it’s important to know that your “this” is really in line with what you want, deep down… all the way down, be honest now. Setting goals that are truly important to you will ensure you stick to them, kinda obvious. Also, your goals may include other people and this doesn’t fly. If it’s not for you alone, and doesn’t involve only you, you can’t fully control the outcome. Don’t include other people in your “this list”, they don’t care as much about your this as you do, they have their own bag of this’s to carry around. Once you’ve figured out what you want on your list, take some time to think about what your reality looks like with this goal achieved. How is life different, how would you feel? Spend some time really, really, getting into that story and exploring all aspects of how this would change your life, and hold on to that. Consider it done, and keep considering, and then consider it some more. Do whatever you can to enforce that story… if it means cutting a picture of yourself out and sticking it onto a picture of a Ferrari’s driver seat (or a tropical island), you do that, and look at it everyday. Sounds weird, but you will enjoy that picture regardless. Positive thinking and owning the reality when our brains have visual cues, is that much easier…so find someone with mad Photoshop skills or attack your magazines, and have a good time with it.

How you’ll get this

So your goal is the big shiny light at the end of the tunnel and all you need to do is walk through the dark towards it, simple right? Not quite. As any parent with children who own Lego will tell you, the night is dark and the floor is full of foot terrors. Also, well known fact that your pinky toe is biologically designed to find furniture in the dark. I digress, squirrel. My point is, you need to have a plan when it comes to getting to that goal. You can’t just head out into the darkness without considering all aspects of the terrain you may encounter, Lego-less or otherwise.

Map out your game plan, consider all the risks and/or problems you may encounter, and above all… find ways to get there and tell yourself you can no matter what. Also, give yourself time, Rome really wasn’t built in a day, which is probably the most factual thing in this article and completely researchable. Put your self critic in that way back there dusty cupboard in your brain when doing your planning, the one where your high school and clown thoughts live. Bring out Oprah instead, and check under your chair because when you’re planning to achieve something, you need a positive thought, and they need a positive thought, and everyone needs a positive thought!

Is this being rewarded?

Setting goals and sticking to them is hard. Let’s not even pretend that it isn’t…the world would be a much different place with less credit cards and McDonald’s outlets if that were the case. So reward yourself. When you hit a milestone on your map, be sure to include a reward for yourself for achieving that milestone. Don’t reward yourself for hitting potholes, we tend to reach out for all things sugary, chocolatey and bad for us when we do, it won’t help. You need to be good to yourself in the whole getting to “this” process. It’s hard what you’re doing, out of your comfort zone most likely, and you need to be your own BFF through this.

So, who’s got you in this?

Speaking of BFFs… Your support structure is everything. Yes, it’s your goal, and yes you’re doing it for you… but we all need a someone who will help keep us at the wheel when the squirrel has had an extra hazelnut double espresso. There are people in your life who can act as a mentor, to whom you will turn to for much needed advice and who knows something about your “this” and getting it. This could even be someone well known, like a motivational speaker you can follow and watch on You Tube. There could be people you might need to influence to achieve your goals, if you’re in sales for example. Getting to the heart of being a good influencer and doing your research would be key to getting their support. Other people will help introduce you to just the right people you need to interact with to get your “this”. Always be open to new people, they might just know or have exactly what you need to achieving your goals. Most importantly is your Jarvis. Where would Iron Man be without Jarvis? We all need someone who is going to be there with the facts, and possibly some thinly veiled sarcasm, to keep us on the straight and narrow. If you can’t get your hands on a super advanced artificial intelligence that can tap into most of the world agencies archives to provide you with answers, then turn to the next best someone in your life. Jarvis can’t hug Iron Man, and you may need one or two of those to cheer you up, so I’m sure your sidekick is probably better anyway, maybe.

So there you have it, my two cents worth on goal setting. I wish us the very best of luck in beating the squirrel and getting on track to getting our this, whatever that may be.

Happy listing,
Nicole@The Voetsy Blog Team

 

How to make everyday a Mandela Day

Hey Guys,

 

Today is the internationally recognised day in honour of Nelson Mandela. Organisations and people from all over the world are creating awareness around this special day and the significant actions they are taking to contribute towards it. We thought we’d take a look at how each and every one of us can make every day a Mandela Day.

 

#1

 

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela

 

The take away from this profound message is bringing about change and knowing that the change begins with us. This takes shape in our daily actions, whether we are aware of them of not.  Similarly, the difference we make to others is present whether we know it or not. The key is mindfulness, to bring that awareness to the forefront of everything we do for sustainable change. Have a look at the short list below and see whether you can tick one or all three off, just from your daily activities today?

– Showed kindness to someone

– Thought about a few things I am really grateful for

– Offered a helping hand to someone in need (emotionally, materially, physically etc.)

“We must use time wisely and forever realise that time is always ripe to do right” – Nelson Mandela

#2

“We must use time wisely and forever realise that time is always ripe to do right” – Nelson Mandela

Learn, grow and develop every day! We are so consumed by time and never seeming to have enough of it that we learn to forget to make time. I know a person who absolutely hated their commute to work, “wasted time”, they would nag on. Until one day to utter amazement, it became almost the best two hours in the day. You see, this person found a way to make that time their time and used those two hours every day listening to educational pieces of work, be it either study notes or best-sellers narrated to them via their car speakers, thanks to an awesome little app by Amazon, called audible. The point is, this person “made time” which made all the difference. Instead of getting into work or home, frustrated from the commute and inevitably frustrating those around them, they arrived relaxed, more positive and excited to share what they had learnt.  How are you making time?

 

“It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it” – Nelson Mandela

#3

“It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it” – Nelson Mandela

These are daily words to live by, to bring to the forefront and make time for, every single day. It really comes down to being mindful and a few small actions that make big differences, every day.  We heart the ongoing Mandela Day campaign that drives sustainable change and encourages people to spread the word of positive change created by people, groups and organisations. If you want to know more or get involved and make a change, why not pay them a visit on www.mandeladay.com

 

Happy Mandela Day – Everyday J
The Voetsy Blog Team
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