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Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas

Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas
Elsje Designs creates fun & functional gifts, stationery and table decor with a true South African touch


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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Origami paper art for Bride-of-the-Year

We are creating these beautiful paper art for the glamorous event tomorrow evening organized by The Aleit Group, in association with Wedding Diary.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pop-up Card

Saw this beautiful popup card on - beautiful inspiration.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Inspired Intern - Niki

Ek dink my kar moes iets aardig aanvoel, want soos ’n steeks perd, gaan staan dié vier voet vas en wil nie meer beweeg nie. Gelukkig kom ek tot stilstand voor die huis waar ek nes skrop vir die volgende drie weke.

Die volgende oggend stap ek in en alles is stil, behalwe die stralende glimlag van Corli, een van die ontwerpers by Elsje. Verligting spoel oor my. “Hulle is vriendelik!”, is my eerste gedagte. Soos wat ek almal ontmoet sit ek ’n gesig en persoonlikheid by al die name.

Ek het Elsje Designs van hoek tot kant ge-‘cyber stalk’ voor ek my voete naby aan Durbanville gesit het, en glo my hierdie plek is soveel meer as wat die internet ooit kan vertel.

Maar sommer dadelik word ek aan die werk gesteek. ’n Photo shoot! Aleit se limited edition year end newsletter word geskiet op die dak van die Grand Daddy Hotel in Kaapstad, en Elsje Designs is gevra om van die stationary te doen.

Dadelik wil ek help toe ek hoor wat die tema van die troue is. In drie eenvoudige woorde “Trailer Park Trash”. Inspirasie het gekom van die 70’s met ’n bietjie van ’n moderne twist. Dit is nogal moeilik om kômmen te dink en ontwerp as jy nie self “common” is nie. So ’n besluit was geneem op leopard print, bright neon kleure, papsak, Styrofoam koppies, krullers en baie lang pienk naels. Die shoot was fantasties.

’n Hele span van Aleit was daar om hierdie shoot ’n sukses te maak. Die einste Elsje, haar assistent Lana en ek, die intern, was op die stel gewees om al ons ontwerpe uit te sit en seker te maak alles is in orde. Ek het rondgehardloop, rondgestaan, ’n hoender vasgehou, skroewe ingedraai, gelag, gesweet, geëet, gedrink, gespring, gestrek, maar bo dit alles, die ondervinding van my lewe.

Iemand het een keer vir my gese, “Jy moet soms so bietjie kômmin wees, anders sal jy nooit nederig wees nie,” en op daardie dag was dié woorde vir my baie waar.

Monday, November 8, 2010

French Affair at Le Franschhoek Hotel

We love giving our brides the opportunity to share a few of their wedding day pics, together with some advice to new brides. Minette, you looked ravishing beautiful. Karla, you have excelled with the planning of this wedding. Zara-Zoo, these pictures are gorgeous! Please visit for more inforation.

Minette (and Hendri) had the following to say about her wedding day:

A truly South African winelands wedding in the prettiest month, October with a little bit of winelands from Franschhoek, combined with a little bit of a French affair at the 5 star Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa. The ceremony was held on the premises in an old wine house with the reception in a glass conservatory in the middle of a working fruit orchid. We combined white with hues of grey, added a splash of purple and used lots of glass and mirror in the decorations. Flowers were mainly white and green.

Our wedding was a true celebration of us, on the exact day we celebrated our 8 year anniversary, 30 October 2010 – no tears, pure joy and happiness. We had a superb team of the very best wedding service providers (refer to list of service providers on the photographers blog). For any bride getting married in the Western Cape, I can recommend these service providers again and again.

What was different? Everything. Each aspect of the wedding was coordinated to represent the bride and groom. We had no bridesmaids or ushers, we didn’t do the bouquet and garter thing, we had a morning wedding, with a reception and thereafter an ‘after-party’ until 3h00 am the next morning. Very none traditional, but oh so very much us! For once the bride and groom cannot complaint that the day flew by (everyone warned us about that upfront). We didn’t do the typical wedding-favour-for-each-guest’s thing, but rather provided guests with many souvenirs throughout the day. From customised pens and a wish-ring (write a wish and hang it on our wish ring then keep the pen), to custom printed napkins with the menu in French. Dessert was a cake-and-chocolate bar where guests could pick their own selection of cake and chocolate truffles and eat there or take a box to go.

An enormous amount of detail was brought into the wedding with the décor and stationary on the day. As a final souvenir to guests, each couple received a young lime tree with planting instructions. The purpose of this was for our guests not just to enjoy the day, but to plant a tree for the newlyweds. A tree that will grow, change with each season, will carry fruit and each year, with our wedding anniversary in spring, the tree will be in full bloom which should forever remind our guests about our wedding day.

The dessert table was brimming with sweet treats. We printed a "sweet" poem on an oversize banner and had beautiful silver lettering made to mark this station. The favours that the guests could take home, was lime trees adorned with white paper butterflies with the guest name and planting instructions.

The guest book was something different! We created a post card station with a wish ring floating above the table, where guests could pin their wishes to the newly wed couple.

The happy couple: Hendri and Minnette.

Just for fun, we made slate coloured wooden signage for these fun pics. Also with calligraphy silver lettering.

Slate grey signage indicating the reception.

Beautiful photographs, taken by, and the wedding was planned to perfection by Karla Oetler from,

Dear Elsje Designs team

Thank you for not just designing my wedding stationary from the Save-the-date's all the way to the thank you cards, but for creating mini souvenirs out of stationary that my guests can nurture for years to come. Thank you for being more than just graphic designers but even being translators from English to French at times! Thank you for always welcoming me to the studio with a smile, thank you for allowing brides like me to do some of it myself (DIY). Thank you for gentle guidance and advice, thank you for saying it like it is, every now and then, when my ideas really weren’t going to work! Thank you for creating stationary that represents the bride and groom, stationery that have my guests still talking!

Always keep doing what you do, with the dedication and perfection that you do it. You inspired me, and I am sure you inspire many other brides-to-be!

What amazed me and always will from the Elsje Designs team

- Your commitment to continually improve

- Your prompt response to e-mails

- Always meeting the deadlines

- Friendliness from the team

- Your creativity

- Your passion for your work

- I have come to believe that all weddings are almost similar and after planning a wedding and designing stationery, some things will start repeating themselves. I have noticed that even for brides who pick something from the existing stationery collection, you still strive to personalize the stationery for each person. And you succeed each and every time. Keep it up!

A bride's advise to brides-to-be:

- Visit the Elsje Designs studio in Durbanville. Whether you are planning a wedding or not, planning on having someone design your wedding stationery or doing it yourself. Their studio is a must see, a hive of creativity, a place where anyone can spend hours and hours just looking at all the pretty things, a place where you are sure to be left in awe.

- Elsje Designs does not just do wedding stationery. They do stationery and a million other things, even Absa Currie Cup Final (replicated) tickets that will have guests wondering. Visit them for general inspiration on any celebration and not just stationery.

- Print enough, and keep aside some of the stationery before the wedding. Guests like to take home souvenirs such as menu’s and order of service cards or confetti boxes. In the end, you will be left with no stationery of your own wedding day. Either have extras printed, or keep some aside upfront. I now need to get more printed to keep as a souvenir for myself!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh, so beautiful!

I'm an absolute quote addict! When I read this beautiful one, I thought, that this ought to be shared...

Oh So Beautiful Paper []

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trendspotting: The allure of stripes

We have spotted a trend that is on the rise for the upcoming summer season. Yes, chic Parisienne stripes are making a comeback! But did they ever really go out of style? Prints are really in right now, so you really can’t go wrong with any printed article of clothing (or stationery for that matter!).

There's nothing that screams summer more than French sailor stripes worn by the water. Classic black and white stripes have been around for ages, as one of the most beloved patterns in fashion history. Ever since Coco Chanel sported the timeless pattern on a boatneck shirt, it has become a popular summer choice for fashion-forward women all around the world, not just for young men catching fish on a boat. Nautical stripes are one of the most minimalist of patterns, and look great combined with classic pieces like blazers and high-waisted trousers. But try to think outside of the box this season and take the pattern to a whole new level of form and function.

Black and white or cream stripes seem to be dominating the stores, but don’t let that hold back your creativity. Go for red, burgundy, navy, or olive. It’s really more about the stripes and not the color.

Wait, how are stripes worn?
Stripes can be worn on top or bottom, or full body, as in a dress. For the bottom, steer clear of stripe pants, we’ll leave these for the 80s, but a skirt can fit in this century. Of course, tops are the number one way to feature this trend.

There are no restrictions on size of stripes. Go thin or thick! Just keep in mind that a thinner stripe will actually make you look wider. So, keep your body type in mind when choosing your striped garment.

Also, a good rule of thumb is to limit your stripes to only one piece per outfit. So, keep the pants solid, like jeans or black leggings, and add a stripe top. Or, as mentioned earlier, do a stripe skirt with a solid top. We’ll leave the mixing stripes and patterns for the runway.

Don’t be afraid of stripes! Keep them wider for a more slimming look. And, if it makes you feel more comfortable, add a military or boyfriend jacket over top.
Happy Shopping!

for more info:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Celebrating almost 10 years in the industry!

Elsje Designs celebrates almost 10 years of success, celebrating the love of all things paper and endless possibilities with design esthetic.

With an eye for detail and flair for creativity, Elsje Designs are artisans of wedding stationery, corporate identity and social stationery. Whatever the occasion may be , it will always allow for a unique item of stationery, be it wedding favour, a corporate business card or a 21st invite.
Elsje Designs offer countless choices for your celebration or wedding, including a save-the-dates, invitations, e-vites (electronic invitations), ceremony programmes or orders of service, menus, table seating plans, seating cards, table numbers, table gifts or favours for your guests, banner printing onto canvass or paper and thank you cards. Each will be specially created to complement your unique style. For the corporate client designs are handcrafted through the use business cards, logo's, letterheads, brochures, e-vites, posters, banner printing and packaging.
Every celebration or wedding collection is hand crafted with love by a dedicated team of women, in our inviting Cape Town studio.

Elsje Designs a couture graphic design studio, creating stationery to celebrate life's extraordinary events!