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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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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

10 must have's for summer 2012/2013

When the uber trendy Wild Orchid Boutique contacted me to update their logo and overall look, I almost couldn't believe my luck.  Fashion has always been a passion of mine.  Some of my followers recently complained that I should do fashion advice more often, and this gave me the idea for the Wild Orchid packaging:  The top 10 must have looks for summer 2012/2013.  I printed this collage on paper bags of varying sizes.  Hope you like it as much as I do!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ribbon special till end October

Visit our Facebook page to see a selection of ribbons that are currently on special.  All at R100 per roll of 20m.  Not only for gift wrap but also to dress up a table for any festive event.  I just love the newspaper print ribbon - still my favourite!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Windpomp ribbon on special

It seems that windpompe (somehow windmills just dont have the same ring to it) are still all the rage!  Till end October, you are welcome to buy this ribbon from me - divine for any "plaas" event!  At R100 per 20m roll, available in either satin or cotton twill.  Only the colours as displayed.  Please contact for more information.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Font Love

Let's do a font roundup!  I'll post a few of my latest font fetishes on Facebook and YOU tell me which ones you like most.  We can even consider a font freebie giveaway...

The winner so far seems to be this beautiful Calligraphy font.  A perfect font for any special occassion, writing a love letter or doing your own invitations or menu for a special dinner. 

It reminds me of the joy of handwriting with ink and nib on fine paper.

I will be posting more on the Elsje Designs Facebook page in the next days to come.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The new Sarie Bruid Magazine

Our wedding is being featured in the new Sarie Bruid.  To see part of the article, visit our Facebook page.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sad news...

I am currently out of the studio due to ill health of my father.

My blackberry will be with me and I can respond if urgent on 083 253 5556. I would be checking my emails from time to time, but it seems every day is quite unpredictable.  I am hoping to be back in full swing by mid October but will keep you posted.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Etiquette of Monogramming


It is a funny thing how the monogram seems to come in and out of style.  Currently it is in, I believe...  correct me if I am wrong.  But do you know the order or the appropriate monogram etiquette?  I looked it up online - what did we do before google?

So here you go - straight from my google search to your computer.

A monogram is a motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters or other graphemes to form one symbol. Monograms are often made by combining the initials of an individual or a company, used as recognizable symbols or logos.  Obvious right?  Well here is the thing I did not know that there is an order to things depending on what you are monogramming. 

A traditional 3-letter monogram has the initial of the individual's last name (surname) set larger, or with some special treatment in the center, while the first name initial appears to the left of it and the middle name initial appears to the right of it. For example, if the individual's name is Mary Ann Jones, and Jones is the surname, then the arrangement of letters would be thus: MJA, with the surname initial set larger in the center, the M for Mary to the left and the A for Ann to the right.

Married or engaged couples may use two-letter monograms of their entwined initials, for example on wedding invitations. Married couples may also create three-letter monograms incorporating the initial of their shared surname. For example, the monogram MJA might be used for Michael and Alice Jones.However, monogramming etiquette for the married couple varies according to the item being monogrammed. Linens, for example, typically list the woman's given initial first, followed by the couple's shared surname initial and then the man's given initial (AJM). (Text Wiki)

So do you monogram?  I love it but don't do it as often as I should.  I think that they are great on gifts, maybe a note to add to my gift giving list this year.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tweet Tweet! Two on Toast's summer collection

My favourite fashion brand, Two on Toast is proud to introduce their Spring/Summer 2012 Collection.
Please e-mail them on if you are interested to know more!

Can't wait for summer...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yellow is the new pink

Yellow is my favourite colour.

Is it me or is it happening?

Of course, I was just following a hunch when saying that yellow would be the new pink, yet I do seem to see more and more yellow in detail as well as in bigger pieces of fashion and design – even as a colour for scooters and cars. Yellow seems to resonate with today’s current mentality, searching for a break from pessimism, radiating co...nfidence and glowing health and wealth.

As discussed last week, the arrival of mustard is changing our taste palette and style palette all at the same time; distributing tanginess in our salads, soups and sauces and a range of strange warm colours from light brown to bright yellow to yellow-green. This week I would like to discuss honey, which also seems to be an important ingredient on its way to becoming a mega trend. With the current bee scare (where we see bees endangered and disappearing at an alarming scale), it is only natural that honey becomes a luxury too.

With our countryside monopolised by industrial farming, biodiversity is in danger, causing beehives to die and bee colonies to dwindle. The cynical truth engrained in the condemning of an instrument of our own survival is telling of the power of greed over the basic intelligent management of our planet. Without bees no food, without food no survival; thus we are toying with the livelihood of our species just by dedicating land to the feeding of poor animals, destined to be industrialised for the mass consumption of tasteless hamburgers.

Therefore it is sort of a relief to know that bees are swarming to join us in the world’s big cities since bee biodiversity is now greater within the urban context – a strange reversal of fortune where our bees feed in our parks, rooftops, balconies and urban gardens, accessing plants, flowers and herbs from the four corners of the world as accumulated by us modern nomads. These urban bees are very happy to transform their exotic finds into fusions for new kinds of honey.

Thus the beehives atop the luxury brand buildings and major world bank edifices are doing well enough to presume that we will soon see Vuitton Honey and Hermès Royal Jelly from their own farms. Bringing us different honey colours to be used also as the nicest colourcards for their leather goods and scarves.

Biodiversity beauty!

To be continued…

Lidewij Edelkoort

Monday, July 2, 2012

fabulous (calligraphy) fonts

Pinned Image


I am seriously in awe by callgraphy and therefor also calligraphy style fonts. These fabulous fonts by the one-woman foundry called Emily Lime. Based in Greenville, SC, this brand new font company managed to score one best-seller after another these past six months. The energetic Southern Belle in charge of the operation has made fonts in a range of styles, but capricious scripts are what she does best. Her peacefully named Bombshell Pro is at the top of our Hot New Fonts list as we speak. And while her alphabets are nonchalant and untamed, the underlying font technology is smart and nifty. Emily Conners is a newcomer with a punch.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Our wedding, the decor inspiration for Sarie magazine

I was totally taken aback with surprise when the Sarie's (decor) team contacted me to feature our karoo wedding as their decor inspiration.  As always, Lounette and Anita are an inspiration to me and not the other way around! 

Ryno from Sarie did the decor shots.  Some of these items are for sale on the Sarie online shop or contact me directly if you are interested in any of these items to warm up your winter home.


Friday, May 25, 2012

The perfect office for a rainy day


When is it time to reinvent yourself or your business?

You do not want your product or service to become boring. My goddess of reinventing herself is Madonna. Whether you like her or not, she has managed to keep reinventing herself and her brand at least three or four times a decade for over 25 years. Fashion designers are also expected to come up with a brand new collection of designs every season.

The only way to keep ahead in this or any business is to consciously make a choice to work diligently in reinventing your business. Keep the essence of who you are, yet express it differently.

I think it is time to change or re-think your product or services when…

◦ Other folks start copying your ideas or design. I know some can have a hard time being copied, however, think about it this way (aside from being a great compliment to you) you know you are doing something right when you are being copied.

◦ You are not making any money. I have had tons of ideas or designs I thought were fantastic on paper, except no one else thought so and they never sold.

◦ You have a design everyone loves and you do it more than three times. If this is the case, it is time to get rid of it or do it differently. Yes, I have been guilty of repeating the same design over and over until my clients say not again.

◦ Last but not least, if you are designing or giving a service that you find boring, even if it’s selling, it’s time to change it. We should not be in the business of boring ourselves.

What has kept me going for so many years is the excitement I get when I am trying out a new design or new service.

Thank you very much for reading my thoughts.

Still a bit of chaos in my life...  I never knew renovations (and decorations) would take this much time.  Maybe I'm just super pedantic.  My dear husband was extremely patienct is is LOVING our new home.  We painted horisontal stripes in the dining room and it's really amazing.  Having so much fun, inbetween unpacking a zillion boxes.  Tomorrow it's high heels and sexy clothing after a few weeks of Ugg (or Ugly) boots, tights and messy sweaters. 

This little office would be filled with too many distractions but it is pretty amazing!  I love the mix and match and all of the great vintage pieces.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Decor: Grey palette

After renovating our new nest, I'm so much more attentive to fabrics, colour and soft furnishings.  My latest love being plush velvets and deep buttoning.  I love this room - the modern style with beautiful pieces to inspire.

Winter Fashion 2012

1. Knit yourself a snood (scarf + hood = snood).
This ingenious, yet simple infinity scarf can be styled at various lengths and even worn, as the name suggests, as a hood!

Ten trends to wear now: Ten trends to wear now

2. Wise up: wear an owl

The owl is the motif of the winter catwalk collection, and has exploded on the high street. So easy to make your own. The owl has to be the easiest bird to draw. Use an old T-shirt or a plain American Apparel one as your base, draw on your owl with fabric pens. Leave it there, or embellish with wooden beads and buttons for the full homespun look. Easy!

Ten trends to wear now: Ten trends to wear now

3. Belt up
One trend that stood out at internasional fashion weeks were a belt-cinched waist. Almost any outfit can be styled with a skinny belt (you will definitely need one if you are thinking of going down the bulky muppet fur coat route). Unlike other trends, this involves little effort outside buying a belt/digging one out of your wardrobe and is easy to put in to practice asap.  The waisted belt is still on the must-have list. Wear it over your fitted winter coats and jackets to give them an instant winter update.

4. Femine/Masculine
This season, there is a fascination with both ultra feminine, as well as masculine-styled fashion. Combine both influences in an easy way by wearing a girly winter dress with rugged worker boots.

5. Don't worry about matching your accessories anymore.
With the diverse choice in easy-to-coordinate neutrals and naturals for the season, like winter greys and leather browns, your bag, belt, and shoes can work together in a complimentary rather than 'matchy-matchy' way.

6. Winter fashion is all about layering.
Layer socks over stockings with skirts and slouchy knitwear cardigans over dresses and blouses.

7. Red and nude
There is a lot of talk regarding the return of brights for winter. One of the most eye-catching seasonal colours is scarlet red. Note that the newest way to wear colour is to combine it with a neutral, for example, a nude tone.

8. Please report for duty this season!
Military influences are key. You can be overt with this trend, by wearing the newest in military-styled jackets, or wear it subtly with casual items in a shade of army green.

9. Fashionable flats
Give your feet a well-deserved break by stepping into some fashionable flats like masculine-style brogues, pretty pumps or tailored loafers.

10. '70s style is back!
Represent this beloved boho look by wearing flare pants with pussy-bow blouses and maxi skirts with slouchy knitwear. Oh, and don't forget our oh-so-'70s floppy felt wide-brimmed hat.

11. Leggings - still a staple item
Leggings, which over the past couple of seasons were considered to be a fashion item, have very much become a staple piece for every woman. We simply love them, as they are relatively inexpensive and will stretch to fit, even if you miss out on a couple of sessions at the gym.

Ten trends to wear now: Ten trends to wear now

12. Glitter goddess

One of my favourite makeup trends from London was the explosion of glitter. OK, so a sparkle lip doesn't have a whole lot of catwalk-to-high-street crossover –  but glitter will be huge for winter. Start now with nail varnish. And if you're feeling brave, get the full glitter-lip look.

12. Accross the body bag
With women being known for their advanced multi-tasking abilities, the across-body bag is every working woman's ideal bag. Wear it across your body, or shorten the strap to a hand-held length. Two different looks, one bag.

13. Bright colors

The bright colors we saw last summer, keep the coming winter season in fashion. Yellow, orange, cobalt blue, teal, purple … Combine these colors with gray or black or go for an outfit in a single, bright color.