Saturday, 15 January 2011


At the beginning of a New Year it's always good to reflect on the past 365 days that made up 2010. All in all, it was a really busy year for me, at most times a little manic. I'm hoping this year will be more ordered and calm.

But with all that happened in 2010, at the very least I can say "It did not kill me!!".

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Colour coding

Colour coding the books in your shelf is not something to be afraid of. And don't you dare think it's silly! Putting books in order of colour seems completely irrational, especially if you know the Dewey System. But I'm a very visual person, and tend to remember the picture on the cover of the book or the typography on the spine before the author or title jumps to mind. But maybe that's just me.
Plus, it looks great! Especially if your bookshelf is in the lounge or family room of your home, where you see it all the time, you need to spend a little extra time in 'dressing' your bookshelf. Now not everyone has the skill, insight, patience or time to place memorabilia, books, flowers or trinkets in clever configurations to make the bookshelf look good. But as long as you are not colour blind, this is a neat trick that will make your shelves look instantly 'arty'.
I've done it a couple of times, and love it. You won't be disappointed!

Bookshelf inspiration

Now this is a very clever way of using every nook and cranny at your disposal! Bookshelves all the way up the stairs.

My dream bookshelf! Or rather, work space. Great double volume, lots of light and I love the angled sections that break the vertical lines of this amazing bookshelf.

A classic, for a reason. White, structured, practical. The books become the focus rather than an elaborate bookcase design. If you're living in a rented space (like moi) and can not build in anything like this, you can achieve the same look by using white cubes, stacked as high (or wide)as you can go.
Image 1. Via Adaptive Reuse
Image 2. Via Apartment Therapy
Image 3. unknown

Not enough Audrey's in the world.

I mentioned in a previous post that I had rediscovered books. More precisely reading of books.

You see, books are a thing in our family. My mom's side of the family are all book worms. Holidays in Port Alfred with my grandparent's mostly revolved around swapping books, lying around reading books, standing in the hall with Granny looking at the books and checking if there was anything new, or missioning down to the local library (where my dear Granny Audrey was a librarian for I don't know how many years). The library in Port Alfred was always much better than the one I visited in Port Elizabeth.

For various reasons. One, the librarians in Port Elizabeth were scary. They were all in their mid 30's or 40's, stern, and always glared over their glasses. ( I suspected all of them to be lonely spinsters). As a 8 year old I was not impressed. I had to be quiet. Walking around on tip toes and whispering. Carefully looking at the shelves and never quite sure if I could actually take a book home. I dare not ask. That would mean having to go to the counter and talking to one of the spinsters.

Port Alfred library on the other hand - well, my Granny was there and all the other Audrey's. I think they were a total of 3 Audrey's that worked there. All with grey curly hair, round tummies and lots to laugh about. Whenever my mom and I walked in, there would be laughter in the air. Maybe it's because we always visited the library during December holidays, so obviously a more festive mood hung around. But still. The Audrey's at Port Alfred Municipal Library always chuckled, asked the book lenders about their families or latest baking feat and above all, loved books. They were eager to make sure that you took the right book home. They would ask if you needed help, "Have you read the latest Dick Francis? Here you go, we just got it in!".

I visited a municipal library in Cape Town today. There was a chubby coloured lady behind the counter, and although never having met me, still smiled and helped all she could. I saw how she chatted to the regulars, asking about the holidays and really enjoying her day.

Sadly my Granny Audrey passed away this last July, but her love of books lives on in all of her family. I can not walk past an Exclusive Books store without remembering how she would dart in and devour everything, stocking up for the library back in Port Alfred. We would hang around for at least an hour before she came out, piles of books in hand!

I think the lady I saw today must have been an Audrey.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Words to inspire

It's the 3rd of January and maybe you've made New Year's resolutions. Maybe you've already broken them by now. I sure as hell have. (OK, so Christmas is over, but the mince pies looked so good and they were on sale! What's a girl to do?)

But even if you're not one to make resolutions, these words by Ghandi ring true any time of the year. The poster is by talented Francesca and she's even made it free to download. Go to her blog, follow the link and have it printed out to any size you want. I'm thinking of having it done on block mounted canvas, so perfect!


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