A morning of making flower crowns

“Gardeners and florists are the happiest of all the professions … nearly twice as happy as people in more prestigious and better paid jobs.” – Professor Paul Dolan, UK Economist and Behavioral Scientist.

It was this random little nugget of information I happened to stumble upon during one of my daily wanderings around the internet that sparked a latent creative passion – the deep-seated and unfulfilled love of making pretty things with flowers.

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Ice Cream sandwiches in Sea Point

I’d heard about ice cream sandwiches before, but never really paid them much attention.

The picture I had in my mind was that ice lolly you buy when you can’t afford the big guns – Magnum and Mega and even Fruttare: a rectangular slab of vanilla ice cream encased in two crispy wafers. Relatively uninspiring, but icy and creamy enough to suffice as a substitute for deliciousness on really hot days.

So, when my cousin, Nikola called me up one afternoon to ask whether I wanted to go for an ice cream sandwich at Crumbs & Cream, this new place in Sea Point, I was slightly skeptical.

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The sad reality of being a sucker for succulents

Get succulents, they said. They’re soooooo easy to look after, they said. And practically impossible to kill. You will see, succulent gardening is a breeze – even in a tiny flat. Especially in a tiny flat!

Well, guess what? Here I am with a whole lot of dead succulents on my hands and I swear it’s not my fault!

I mean, it’s not like I didn’t try. I planted them in the choicest terracotta pots. Placed them where they would be able to soak up the golden sunshine that streams in every afternoon. Dripped tiny drops of water onto their plump leaves every few days. Talked to them. Loved them. Played them Bach suites and North Indian classical music.*

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DIY Flower garland

Flower garland. Nadia Krige/Gypsified

My cousin, Larel, turned 21 the other day and decided to celebrate the momentous occasion by throwing a ‘Magical Forest’ themed party. In the first place, I can’t think of a theme more suited to the fairy-dust-sprinkling person she is (her middle name is quite suitably Fawn) and in the second place, I thought it would be the PERFECT opportunity to wear a lush flower crown.

My original idea was to just buy a plastic one from a dress-up shop or something, but I wasn’t sure where to go. So, I asked Twitter and that is when Rebecca from Love Made Visible suggested I try making one myself.

Now, I’m no DIY goddess, but thought I may as well TRY… and, you know, if it does end up being the epitome of a Pinfail, well, so be it.

I scouted around the internet and found a pretty simple tutorial for exactly the type of garland I wanted on Honestly WTF and set out on a mission to gather all the items I would need:

  • Flowers and greens with stems trimmed to about 5cm (I just bought two bunches from the flower sellers in Adderley Street, but picking your own certainly makes it even more authentic.)
  • Florist wire
  • Florist tape or string
  • Scissors

Flower garland. Nadia Krige/Gypsified

I got the florist wire and tape from Little Denmark in the Adelphi Centre, Sea Point (but you can probably find it at any florist shop) and the guys there were super helpful with tips and ideas of their own. They were also a bit disappointed that the garland wasn’t for some big occasion in MY life: first they thought I was getting married, then when I told them it was for a 21st they assumed it was mine (bless!)

Now for the actual making-of:

Flower garland. Nadia Krige/Gypsified

Bend two pieces of wire into a semi-circle and put them together to form a circle that would sit snuggly round your head. Where the two semi-circles overlap, wind the two wires around each other and then cover with florist tape or rope.

Flower garland. Nadia Krige/Gypsified

Now, arrange your flowers and greens into between 10 and 15 little bunches of about 4 or 5 flowers each. If you want a uniform crown, make sure that each bunch contains the same flowers, arranged in the same way. However, if you want a more wild/natural-looking garland, try having a variety of different flowers and arrangements. Tie each bunch together (tightly) with florist tape or string. Flower garland. Nadia Krige/Gypsified

Finally, start arranging the flower bunches around the wire circle, securing each (tightly) with florist tape. Lay each bunch of flowers over the stem of the previous bunch, so they all face the same direction. Make sure the bunches are secured tightly, so they don’t fall off the moment you pick the garland up off the surface you’re working on.

Once you’ve completed the circlet, ever so carefully lift it up and place on top of your head, like so…

Flower garland. Nadia Krige/Gypsified

No, I didn’t go as a naked nymph. I went as Autumn , can’t you see? And was actually wearing a red velvet strapless dress.

To keep it fresh, sprinkle some water over the completed garland and place in the fridge (placing an icy cold flower crown on your head is the perfect pre-party refreshment!). The best way to transport it is to place it in a flat tray until you get to your destination.

My new flat – a glimpse so long

There has been a great build-up to this moment. In fact, I don’t think a single one of my blog posts this year has not made reference to the fact that I will be moving into my own flat – alone – for the first time ever.

Well, the big day finally arrived on Saturday and with loads of lugging, unpacking, cleaning and organising help from my family, I was quite happily settled by yesterday evening.

So, it is with great pleasure that I present to you a few little glimpses of my new little nest.

There is still quite a lot to be done, like getting a couch and plush Persian carpet (a girl’s gotta dream, right?) for the sitting room area, installing a towel railing and mirror in the bathroom and getting the last few kitchen necessities… but so far I’m quite cosy, comfy and loving it.

Sitting room sans Persian carpet and couch... watch this space! Nadia Krige

Sitting room sans Persian carpet and couch... watch this space!

My bedroom section. Just small enough not to get messy.

My bedroom section. Just small enough not to get messy.

How cool is this kitchen? 1950s diner vibe! Nadia Krige

How cool is this kitchen? 1950s diner vibe!

Look at this pretty screen Jana's lending me for a while. She made it herself.

Look at this pretty screen Jana's lending me for a while. She made it herself.

The Ellie family and the garden.

The Ellie family and the garden.

Good old typewriter and pretty sunflowers from my mommy.

Good old typewriter and pretty sunflowers from my mommy.

Finally somewhere I can ride my bike. Now just to squeeze it into the minuscule lift or get it down 3 flights of stairs.

Finally somewhere I can ride my bike. Now just to squeeze it into the minuscule lift or get it down 3 flights of stairs.

I bought this owl the other day. Do you think it's mean to put him in this pretty plant cage?

I bought this owl the other day. Do you think it's mean to put him in this pretty plant cage?

Finally - the view. I can see Robben Island from my bed. Also a lot of buildings, but hey!

Finally - the view. I can see Robben Island from my bed. Also a lot of buildings, but hey! The dark think here in the foreground is a palm tree. It's actually quite pretty and green 🙂

DIY: Drawing an owl

For incessant doodlers such as myself, being able to draw an owl is of the utmost importance. Mostly because flowers, stars and hearts sort of get a bit old after a while, and also, because sometimes you just need something cute to stare back at you from a blank page when you’re in need of inspiration or a boredom breaker.

So, my very talented graphic designer brother, Imar came up with the perfect owl drawing DIY tutorial. Here it is, for your convenience:

And although I normally like doodelling with a pen on paper, I decided to try my hand at it on the computer instead… and well, it worked out better than I expected, but it’s just not as cute as Imar’s 🙁 (Sense the age old sibling rivalry right now?!)

Check out my scrawny, blotchy little hooting honey:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!