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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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Sunday, December 1, 2013

African Christmas inspiration by Elsje Designs

I have created this special Christmas range from recycled South African papers.  I always get slightly annoyed by Father Christmas in his red woollen suit, snowflakes and pine trees - while we are in the smouldering South African heat!  So this is why this idea was born!  I loved to design it and hope it will bring joy around your Christmas table.

If you want to order bigger quantities, we have a discounted prices: 
  • Christmas nativity @ R210 for 7 images (2 trees, an angel, Jesus in the crib, the wise men and shepherds) - not all the images are featured in the photograph. 
  • 3D African Christmas Card to fit a DL envelope
  • Pop up placemats at R60 per pack of 6 different African Christmas and festive designs. 
Smaller orders will be slightly more expensive and postage isn't included.  We are here in the mornings to take your order: or you are welcome to phone me anytime on 083 253 5556.

Limited quantities available, so hurry to place your order if you don't want to be disappointed.

Monday, October 28, 2013

What's trending? Nearly Movember!

Paying lip service to a good cause. Movember is about bringing back the moustache for a serious reason and sees Mo Bros, supported by the Mo Sistas (us ladies) in their lives, effectively becoming walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their moustaches raising awareness by prompting private and public conversation with regards to prostrate and testicular cancers. The goal of Movember is to "change the face of men's health."

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How to wear white this summer

How to wear white this summer

It's officially the season to wear white, so as we all reach in our closets and pull out those white jeans and tops, it's time to reassess the rules of how to wear it successfully.
1. DO replace your blue ones with white jeans this summer
White jeans are a great alternative to your blue jeans, they're versatile enough to wear with just about anything!

2. DO wear white on white
Yes, you read that correctly. White on white is a DO. Pair white pants with a crisp white tank. Try white shorts with a sleek white blouse. Accessorize with white jewelry!

3. DO nude pumps
In my humble opinion only Mini Mouse is allowed to wear white shoes.  Nude pumps and heels look great year-round with any white outfit.  Two on Toast stock a great variety in their brand new shoe range

Kate Middleton is often seen in a white outfit with nude shoes.

4. DO mix textures
Various textures work brilliantly when wearing white on white. Mixing textures adds a sophisticated twist to your basic white on white.

5. DON'T wear white to a wedding
Unless you're the bride of course! You know the rules - you may have an adorable little white dress, but save that for date night, not for your friend's wedding.

 6. DO wear a LWD (Little White Dress) instead of a LBD.
Now is the time of year to trade out your LBD - put it away for a few months and swap in a LWD instead - after all, you have the rest of the year to wear that LBD, but only a few months to get away with a white one!

7.  DO wear lace 
Needless to point out that lace complements the all white attitude for spring and summer like no other fabric.

8.  DO the masculine look 
Playing upon delicate whites and a masculine inspired  tailored suit is another inspired way of approaching the trend. Seek for minimal-chic silhouettes, topped with daring cut-outs or bold appliques. To match a powerful and confident attitude come spring, build your outfits upon slightly oversized pants, boxy silhouettes and high heels.

9. DON'T shy away from sheer
Embrace the transparent side of fashion by rocking all-white see-through ensembles this season. Showcase just the amount of skin you are comfortable with and balance or complement your look accordingly. From the beach, all the way to an evening outfit, you can’t go wrong by emphasizing sheer fabrics this summer.

10.  DO accessorize
Perfect your white looks with the smart use of clear plastic accessories, metallic elements, neutral nudes or choose exquisite embellishments to draw more attention to your monochrome outfits.


Trend series:  White space
I'm currently doing a weekly trend series on Facebook  if you missed out on the previous posts.  I've also started a weekly online pop up shop on Facebook - so pop in regularly to view the bargain buy of the week!  (


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Feathers, Flappers and Fitzgerald

The Swinging Twenties are indeed making a comeback in everything from fashion to design to event planning. It is easy to see why this era of glitz and glamour is currently a huge trend.  The fashion (loose but sexy flapper dresses, cloche hats, feather fans and glittering headbands), architecture and decor of the 1920's are filled with punchy graphic geometric detail that immediately catches your eye.

 Inspired by the recent film adaptation of  F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby, this romantic and ornamental era celebrates the decadently lavish parties of  1920s. I can see in my imagination shiny Roadsters zipping past, glamorous women with flapper headbands dancing the Charleston with men in their most dapper tuxedoes.  

Herewith some stationery guidelines to make this trend your own:

1. Go classic1920

An easy way to show off vintage and glamour is to add an Art Deco style border with font to match. Try to keep it simple as the border will be intricate enough.  Adorn with a feather.  Dress code would be flapper attire with bejewelled dresses and top hats.

2. Play with colourful Deco patterns & colours

Bringing in unexpected colour combinations to a Gatsby-inspired invitation, gives it a slightly more contemporary feel.  I have uploaded a few Deco patterns on my Pinterest board,  Trend: Great Gatsby

3. Metallic razzle-dazzle

For a truly Gatsby-glam look, add gold detail - either gold foiling or dip the tip of a feather in gold glitter.  Rose gold is a stunning on trend alternative to gold and leans itself to numerous fresh colour combinations.  If you want to create something truly luxurious, have gold paper lasercut in an Art deco pattern and line your envelopes with gold tissue paper.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Glam Table Seating Idea

I'm always a sucker for something new and trying out something different.  This would work well for any glamorous event especially something with a 1920's bling theme.  It is really easy to make too.
You'll need:
Big gold sequence, A wooden press hanger and Double sided tape.
So easy...  just follow the steps below.
credit and for more information:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Invite Tips

Planning a wedding or any big social event, is tricky.  So thanks Val Marie Paper, for making it easier for us and our lovely subscribers! Let us know what you think about this infographic – is it helpful? What parts of sending wedding invitations are you most confused about?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Colour crush: Life's a peach!

Peach, coral, apricot, blush….You’ve seen it all over this last Spring and Summer, but its still a favoured colour trend in 2013. 

Sweet, fresh and light. Is it coincidence that the words to describe one of the most luscious summer fruits.

Peach has established itself as one of the season’s signature colors, in everything from clothes, to make-up, decor, and even food
. I love the demure look that comes from simple, flowing peach dresses and tops, and I especially love to pair the hue with stark white and a golden tan. Surely, we can’t deny it’s uncanny ability to make a stunning aquamarine ocean view even more astounding– yet another reason to add some peach to your life this summer. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Outdated trends? what do you think?

Trends come and go.  But I think I'm now officially over these.  What do you think? 

There are a ton I can think of but these are the big ones. I don't see anything wrong with any of them, though, because that is what makes your celebration or wedding and special to you.  Also if we try to keep our parties timeless, they would all look the same (and very boring).  But let's move on to something new.  Let's be bold and start a new trend.  This weekend it's the Design Indaba in Cape Town and I can't wait to hear and see the latest visual inspiration.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The end of a journey

My dad passed away on Valentine's Day. He suffered a long and hard battle against cancer and we are relieved that he is free from pain now.  I am leaving for the funeral today but will be back on the 25th of February 2013.  My cell phone will be with me, 083 253 5556. 

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross het geskryf: I've told my children that when I die, to release balloons in the sky to celebrate that I graduated. For me, death is a graduation.

Dit was 'n voorreg om die laaste 72 uur by hom te kon wees en sy hand vas te hou tot op die einde. Ek WOU daar wees, elke oomblik, my hande deur sy kuif stoot en hom herinner dat hy nie alleen is nie. Om te sterf is sekerlik een van die mees eensaamste paaie waarop ons almal moet loop.

Ek wil my pa se lewe vier. Hierdie sterk en wyse man wat altyd die anker was in my lewe - altyd die regte raad in 'n krisis, gelykmatig en beredeneerd. Nooit bang vir niks. 'n Innerlike en fisieke krag wat min mense hom kan nadoen.

Sy dood het my geleer wat liefde is: om hom te versorg al was hy meesal 'n baie moeilike en befoeterde pasient. Al waaroor ek beheer gehad het was my eie houding en met verloop van tyd die besef dat al wat nou belangrik is, is liefde en om net te "wees", being there next to him. Die dood was nooit vir my vreesaanjaend nie, maar dié van 'n diepe liefdesband tussen pa en dogter.

Dankie vir die stroom van boodskappe, sms'se, oproepe. My pa is nou tussen die Karoo-bosse, windpompe, kleinvee en die oop rante van die Nuweveldberge, hy is vry!

Sy sterfte is hartseer maar my fokus is om sy lewe te vier.

Sy gedenkdiens is volgende Saterdagoggend 9h30, 23 Februarie vanuit die NG Moederkerk in Beaufort-Wes.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Colour of 2013: Emerald

PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald
a lively, radiant, lush green, is the Color of the Year for 2013.
The 2012 color of the year, PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, provided the energy boost we needed to recharge and move forward. Emerald, a vivid verdant green, enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight as well as promoting balance and harmony.
Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. Also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity, no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity.
"The most abundant hue in nature, the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today's complex world. This powerful and universally-appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors."
Find out more about this radiant jewel tone and its many applications in fashion, beauty, home décor and design on Dig deeper into the thinking and decision-making process that answers why, of the nearly infinite range of colors perceivable by the human eye, 17-5641 Emerald captured our attention, our imagination and our collective eye to become this year's selection as the Pantone 2013 Color of the Year.