Artist Maja Maljević

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Maja Maljević is a Jo’burg based artist who was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1973. She graduated from the School for Design in the department of Graphic Design, Belgrade in 1992 and immigrated to South Africa in 2000. She completed a residency at NIROX (Cradle of Humankind) in 2011 and has had many solo exhibitions in Jo’burg, Cape Town and Belgrade.

“To capture and describe my creative process is like putting music into words – something essential gets lost in translation. How can you record the emotional volume present in the art of listening?

Painting requires experience, dedication, boredom, excitement, dissatisfaction and an eye for possibilities. You have to acknowledge the past and at the same time retune the present without the fear of originality or influence. You have to enjoy the process of painting, playing with variety and assembling style.

I enjoy a visual ensemble that includes the figurative and the abstract, the organic and geometric, the obvious and the elusive. Put them all together and you get an eclectic remix where any one thing can be something else. A portrait can rise out of a still life, a still life can descend into a landscape, a finger is a toe and two legs, slightly parted, might be a whisper.

To make something is to sound its own purpose, its own existence.”

Illustrator Kirsten Sims

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I absolutely love the work of Cape Town illustrator Kirsten Sims. Kirsten graduated with a BA in Applied Design (Specialising in Illustration) from the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography in 2011.

“I spend most days making pictures, looking at pictures, reading and drinking tea . On other days I teach illustration to high school students. From February 2014 I will go back to being a student as I embark on an Honours degree in Illustration at the Stellenbosch University.”

She’ll be part of a new exhibition entitled Paper is You II at Salon 91 opening 25 June.

The exhibition is on until the 19th of July and will be  featuring:
Kirsten Sims, Andrzej Urbanski, Paul Senyol, Berry Meyer, Gabrielle Raaff & Katrin Coetzer – Paper is You II.

Join Kirsten’s facebook page here:

Barbara Wildenboer

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I’ve been meaning to feature the beautiful and intricate work of Cape Town artist Barbara Wildenboer for a few years now, but somehow I never got round to it. I just saw that she has an upcoming exhibition, so I thought that this would be the perfect time.

Barbara obtained a Masters in Fine Art (with distinction) from the Michaelis School of Art at the University of Cape Town in 2007. She has participated in several group exhibitions both nationally and internationally, most recently the Art of the Book at the Seager Gray Gallery and artMRKT Contemporary and Modern Art Fair in San Francisco 2014.

She is currently working on a body of work entitled The Lotus Eaters, which will open at The Reservoir at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein in July 2014.

Says Who 2014 Mailer

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I recently received the new Says Who 2014 Mailer. And as always it’s packed with awesome illustration.

Our new mailer was made from a  variety of left over paper stocks, such as brown cardboard, an old analysis accounting books, newsprint pad, red and yellow poster board, and some old brown envelopes.  Each element was drawn and run through our photocopier, then finished by hand. Included in each Says Who Junk Mail pack is a Take-out Menu, Junk Flyers, 14 page illustrated booklet, a poster and a pack of 20 chicken stickers. The illustrations and designs are made up from various sketches and and photocopy experiments.”

Thanks Lauren and Shaun!

Wallpaper and Textiles by Room 13 Collection

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I discovered the lovely Room 13 Collection of wallpaper, textiles and cushions via Lanalou Style blog.

Based in Cape Town this collection is a unique range of interior products designed and produced by Room 13  Graphic Design Studio.

“For a long time, it has been our dream to branch out into a new business where we could be our own client, and design a range that was true to our unique style; a collection that we would want in our very own homes.

Developed over a period of two years, the Room 13 Collection is inspired by a vast compilation of concepts and ideas collected over time. These were then lovingly tailored by our talented designers and art directors into the drawings, collages and graphics now featured in this one-of-a-kind collection.”

Get rich (quick) by Seth Godin

Enrich your world by creating value for others.

Enrich your health by walking twenty minutes a day.

Enrich your community by contributing to someone, without keeping score.

Enrich your relationships by saying what needs to be said.

Enrich your standing by trusting someone else.

Enrich your organization by doing more than you’re asked.

Enrich your skills by learning something new, something scary.

Enrich your productivity by rejecting false shortcuts.

Enrich your peace of mind by being trusted.

The connection economy pays dividends in ways that the industrial one rarely did.

via Seth’s Blog

Washibug Washi tape giveaway



Washibug recently launched a competition asking local designers to create their very own Washi Tape design. There were some lovely entries  and the winner was Surita Brink with her Candy Stripe Protea design. I was one of the judges of the competition and Washibug was kind enough to donate one of these lovely little washi tape hampers as a giveaway on Handsome Things.

So how do you win it? Answer the following question on the Handsome Things Facebook page and I’ll let you know whether you’re the winner by next Wednesday.

The Question:

Who was the winner of the Washibug competition?

For more great washi tape designs visit:



Con/Struct by Justin Plunkett

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Justin Plunkett celebrates the creative spirit with his whimsical and imaginative exhibition Con/Struct.

Con/Struct is an exploration into the themes of empowerment and imagination. Plunkett, using his own photography, has created new juxtaposed environments that encourage questioning and exploration: inviting the debate around how marketing- induced aspiration and perceived value can empower but can also corrupt, how it can be both perverse and create beauty. At the same time, at the core of his work, he honours and applauds ingenuity and the creative spirit.

The limited edition series is printed on Hahnemuhle Museum Etching 350gsm paper.

Opening: Thursday 8 May 5pm – 30 May 2014
Venue: The Cabinet
Address: 64A Wale Street, Cape Town


Gravity, all Female Art/Illustration Exhibition


Dani Loureiro

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Mariette Bergh


Nina Torr
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Maaike Bakker

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Cassandra Leigh Johnson

Dani Loureiro, Cassandra Leigh Johnson, Tess Metcalf, Nina Torr, Mariëtte Bergh, and Maaike Bakker, together with Salon91, present an all-female illustration & multidisciplinary exhibition themed around the idea of ‘Gravity’, a natural phenomenon few have managed to escape. Playing on the idea of opposing gravity, defying it, and also being fascinated by it, the group intends to explore the polarities of destruction, inversion, and attraction. Utilizing a broad range of materials, ‘Gravity’ will be interpreted and expressed in ways unimagined up until now.

Wednesday 30 April – Saturday 24 May 2014

Salon91, 91 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town.


Play Play by Renee Rossouw & De Steyl

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Play Play Pattern is a delicious new modular range that was launched at this year’s Design Indaba. The range is  the result of a collaboration between architect Deánne Viljoen from De Steyl Furniture Design and Manufacture and pattern designer Renee Rossouw of RR Studio Pattern Lab.

Play Play 2014 is a modular storage concept made from Birch Plywood finished in natural oil. The chests of different sizes has drawer boxes that are removable, interchangeable and reversible and is perfect for almost any use from lounge, bedroom, studio and office storage to kids furniture.

All units are available in a plywood base or with castors.

They deliver this range all over South Africa and you can request a pricelist with sizes from

Simon and Mary

Simon & Mary Milliners
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I’ve been meaning to feature these Jo’burg based milliners for a while. It’s a story of tradition and craftsmanship. My kind of story.

“The milliner title has been passed down from generation to generation. Hats are in our blood, it is more than a clothing item, but rather a way of life.

Simon and Mary is a heritage brand established in 1935. The hat roots were first planted in South Africa when Mordechai Pozniak (Simon’s father) brought his cap factory from Poland to Johannesburg. 

Simon Pozniak eventually took the leading role in the company and grew it into one of Africa’s most renowned wool felt hat manufacturing plants. Simon’s wife Leah (whom he lovingly coined Mary after reading a novel) joined the business working alongside Simon and attending to all non-manufacturing needs. In 1973, Simon’s youngest son, Julian, eagerly entered the family business with Robert his oldest son joining in 1988. Today a fourth generation Pozniak, Dean, who entered the business in 2008, heads the brand & factory with the aim of continuing the legacy created by Simon.

Simon and Mary is based on a family bond within the hat factory. Using machinery bought in the 60’s and continuing the legacy created by the original milliner, Simon Pozniak.

Sam Bear Things by Samantha Strydom

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Handsome Things chatted to Samantha Strydom about her brooches, inspiration and the things she loves.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I love design, art, illustration, colours, patterns, pretty things, nature, knitting, painting, films, photography, animals, folk music, ballet, running, yoga, traveling and food.

I studied fine art at the University of Witwatersrand and majored in video art.

I work in the world of advertising as an art director at Ogilvy & Mather, Johannesburg where I work with the most amazing and inspirational people ever.

How did this side project get started?

I am a creative to the core. I am so happy when ever I am making something especially if it is something beautiful. I run a little business called Sam Bear Things where I make jewellery, do illustrations and knit dreamy bear hats for adults and kids. It started a few months ago when I realised I hadn’t made any art since I’d finished studying and that made me really sad. So I decided that had to change and I gave myself a long-term goal to be continuously creating something. I started making brooches and pendants from clay and painting them. They have become my tiny canvases that I can fill with anything I want to and that makes me really happy.

Local creatives/makers you admire?

A few local people who I admire are Dear Rae jewellery, Skinny laMinx and Skermunkil.

Modern Stranger

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I love these scatter cushions by the new decor brand Modern Stranger.  Photographer Carla Erasmus used found photography depicting nostalgic images of everyday domestic and landscape scenes.

Products currently range from scatter cushions to the newly released linen bed throws. The scatter cushion designs consists of photographic prints on hemp fabric with goose feather inners.

Modern Stranger is currently available to order online on their Facebook page:

Stockists include Haas & Present Space.