Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

What a year it has been!  I think we'll all agree that 2014 was one for the books.  When this year started, all I knew was that I needed to start an independent journey.  No job - only me.  It's been the greatest decision I've made this year.

Yes, I was scared and yes, I'd do it again.  To be free from the clutches of establishment is real freedom.  Money does not dictate my life.

When you shut the door to a job, losing a salary is not a big price to pay.  Doors will open that you never knew existed.  Your identity is yours to own.  You meet great people, your mind is fresh and awake to brilliant ideas and even when you have a bad day or two, you know it's still your choice as to what you want to do with that day.  

I wish for all of you the same sense of fulfillment and purpose in life from 2015 onwards.  You deserve the best and you should give it to yourself, whatever that might mean to you.

See you in the new year
Zakkiya xxx

Monday, 29 December 2014

Favourite Posts of 2014

It's been a great year on the Winking Plum Blog!  I'm so happy to have built this platform to share all the creative and inspiring things I've found, done and seen!

Occasionally, I'll meet someone that says, 'I was on your blog a couple of days ago' and 'Keep going to cool places so I can see it on your site' or 'That project of yours was well done' - No this isn't a brag fest but rather the reminder for me that people actually read what I write!

It keeps me going and makes me so happy that I'm not just talking to myself here.  Because that would be pretty nutters, right - 11 months of writing to myself.  I mean, I could have just thought these thoughts and not written them here and it would have amounted to the same thing, right? ...  Insert Inception Moment ...

I just want to say thanks for coming over and keep commenting on my posts!  With your feedback, I am motivated to produce so much more and it makes me happy to make you happy!

To celebrate the end of this 2014 for Winking Plum blog, I've chosen my favourite posts from this year for you to look back on and enjoy!

1) Beautiful Finds - Teresa Barbosa's Embroidered Landscapes and Plants

I'm still amazed by this surreal embroidery of landscapes which tumble beyond their embroidery hoops.  Unique work by a talented artist.  Read More...

2) Interiors - Get The Look #1 -  Living Room

In this post, I did a "Get The Look" excercise, where I took a popular Pinterest interior and made a board of South African products that are similar so you can get the look!  I still love this living room and think it's an awesome look for any home!  Read More...

3) Travel - Panorama Route SA

I'll never forget that road trip.  From staying in the bushveld, to the spectacular views, traveling with Suhale and reawakening my proudly-South African-ness, It was a brilliant experience.  This was also my most viewed post of the year, so I'm guessing you all loved it too!  Read More...

4) Do it Yourself - This Book Belongs To ... Free Printable

This is a handy printable book card that you can print and stick in your books so that they can be returned back to the rightful owner with a bit more ease.  ;-) Read More...

5) Comedy - You Tube Advert feat. ME!

This has to be the highlight of my comedy year.  Being cast in a high profile you Tube Advert for MNet Movies was amazing and completely unexpected.  I was so nervous and awkward which made the whole advert that much funnier.  Read More...

6) My Design - Boys Room Design - Cars & Brights

The Interior Design project I did for little Jethro has to be my favourite project of the year.  Brights and automobiles were the theme for J's room.  There's a little bit of everything in this project - I designed the built ins, the wall graphics and specified and put together all the furniture, wall colours and styling.  This was a design and project management project so I feel very proud of the result.  I really hope Jethro is still loving his room!  Read More...

What were your favourite posts and what would you like to see more of?

There are many oldies and goodies for you to enjoy so keep on browsing!  ;-)

Friday, 19 December 2014

Coffee Tasting

Through the course of this year, Suhale and I have really begun to enjoy locally roasted coffee and the experience and ritual of preparing coffee in many different ways.

When I spotted this book on coffee lifestyle, I knew I had to get it for us.  Besides being beautifully designed and awesome to look at, the book is incredibly informative.  We've learned things about coffee that you don't pick up in everyday conversation yet almost everyone has a cup of coffee each day.

Since this, we've decided to start educating ourselves on learning to classify and evaluate coffee by training our palates through hosting coffee tasting events.

I know what you're thinking - sounds like rich folk getting all pretentious over nothing much - but no.  As consumers, we have a responsibility to receive good quality produce at fair prices and coffee is no different.

The tasting process involves smelling the dry coffee, the wet coffee and tasting it, then using the tasting wheel to guide us in recording our findings.

At the event, we cupped 5 different types of coffees.  Some from local roasteries and one commercial brand.  Coffee tasting is quite complex and I was not able to confidently define the different flavours.

Our favourite coffee was roasted a week before the tasting event.  We acquired the roasted beans from Green Bean in Durban and ground them at the event.

If you're a coffee lover, you should definitely host an event like this.  It's fun, engaging and you learn to appreciate the differences between coffee and flavours.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Recent Work: Polygon Project Engineers Corporate Identity

As we move into the holidays, I look back at the wonderful year that's passed and am so grateful to recognize the amazing opportunities I've received as an independent designer.  One of my biggest projects and learning processes was the design of corporate identity of a new engineering firm called Polygon Project Engineers.

Polygon Project Engineers was started by Suhale Baksh, a mechanical engineer who recently decided to start his own business.  He wanted a brand that was professional but unique and that encompassed the multifaceted nature of engineering disciplines. 

We provided him with an initial presentation of conceptual ideas relating to the name "Polygon Project Engineers", where the brand identity comes from and how these could be applied graphically in his corporate image.

Once Suhale arrived at a logo choice, we created mockups of how this can be applied to his corporate stationery.

The client loved option 3 and we had the stationery made up for his business.  We designed Polygon Project Engineers' website too, giving them a cohesive and legible brand that makes a strong impact across the board.

You can learn more about Polygon Project Engineers on their website.  Contact them for engineering service, they're brilliant.

If you are interested in branding your business, I take on work from individual start ups to large companies. , Contact me at - I want to help!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Recent Work: Gestion Corporate Gifts

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to design and manufacture some corporate stationery for an engineering firm called Gestion in Pretoria.

The client requested a gift that he could circulate to clients that would be useful, look great and remind them of the Gestion name all year round.  Instead of the typical diaries and calendars which are distributed in abundance at this time of the year, we decided to go with some Eco-friendly notebooks and pens that look beautiful and are durable for site use.

Although I did not design the logo, I think it sits very well on the eco friendly backdrop of the kraft toned recycled board on the book covers and pens.  I delivered the order to Gestion last week and hope that all their clients and associates enjoy the product.

If you are interested in design and / or manufacture of stationery and promotional items for your business, contact me, I'll be happy to help!   You can learn more about Gestion Engineering on their website.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Holiday Things

The holidays are coming up!  It's Summer, the end of the year, Christmas time and the promise of the New Year!

With Holidays, there are loads of pretty wonderful holiday things to have and give as gifts. 
Here is my board of Have to Have Holiday Things.
It's all local and it's all pretty awesome!

one / two / three / four* / five

*four - Winking Plum Hi Deer Gift Paddles will be on sale at Brooklyn Design Fair's Christmas Fair on 5 December 2014!

I'm so excited to close the chapter of one positive year of being independent, doing things my own way and really making my life the best it can be.  Yay Holiday!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Paper Snap Exhibition at Wolves, JHB

I'm a great fan of the amazing screen print work and illustration by Telri and Steven of Paper Snap, previously known as Paper Jet Design.

These two are super talented and create the most beautiful illustrations made doubly beautiful by their reproduction technique of Screen Printing!

I've blogged about them many times (because, did I mention I'm a massive fan?) and am so looking forward to their exhibition at Wolves, Johannesburg!

If you want to learn the art of Screen Printing, you can read about their lessons here.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Places: Kaap se Hoop - Mpumalanga

Living in South Africa is amazing.  There are so many beautiful places and spaces to see and I'm so lucky to be surrounded by beauty near and far.

Kaap se Hoop in Mpumalanga is known for its population of wild horses.  No one knows how or where they came about.  They add a layer of mystery and legend to the stretch of highway between Nelspruit and Kaap se Hoop.

The natural forests in this region are beautiful, especially when the mist settles among the trees. 

It's a beautiful place and worth a weekend visit.