Thursday, November 24, 2011

I ❤ Fridge Magnets

I have, perhaps, an unhealthy love for fridge magnets.
My refrigerator is COVERED in them.  I am ashamed to show you the entire refrigerator, so I have limited it to just four of my favourites, with a little story behind each of them.
My husband and I make a point of getting a magnet from whichever city we're visiting when overseas.  We have a few others, but we decided to leave up our two favourite city magnets.
Since Ottawa and Boston have special places in our hearts, we had to leave them on there.  These magnets had a special place on our fridge in our apartment in Boston too :)
The first magnet I ever made, which is a scalloped magnet with texture (can't see so well in this picture) is holding my first business card  :)
I bought the launch issue of the SA version of Good Housekeeping simply because I had to have the fridge magnet. How could I not resist?  It has macarons on it!  It has come in handy though, it's got a little notepad on it and has some conversion tables too.
Oh, did I mention that the obsession isn't just limited to my fridge?  
My overhead stove extractor fan gets some love too.  That's a custom made Lucky Packet magnet up there.  This also shows how much I love Bosch. ;)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I ❤ Food: Breakfast - Poached eggs and then some (salmon).

In my attempt to eat a bit healthier, I've recently delved into the world of poached eggs.

In my first attempt I tried the poached-in-a-pod method (cheat method), which I didn't enjoy the taste of very much, and today I tried the popping-the-egg-directly-in-the-water method.  After all, how can I go to cheat method without trying out the original method?
So I read up Smitten Kitchen's tutorial on poached eggs and tried it out one Sunday.
It was pretty simple enough and it came out exactly like SK's picture.

Ok so I didn't want just an egg on toast, I decided that my egg needed a friend.  
So I popped over to Woolworths, bought two freshly made croissant's from their bakery section (it tastes different to their prepacked croissants), sliced them open and prepared to add some fishy bits to it.
By fishy bits, I meant smoked salmon slices, of course.  Since I use any and every excuse to add smoked salmon to something, this was no exception.

I added some smoked salmon slices to the croissant, then topped it off with low-fat cream cheese, bits of rocket and sliced onion with just a sprinkle of lemon juice, black pepper, salt and a hint of dijon mustard.

Yet, here I was, still felt like something was missing.  

Then it hit me.  Fruit!

I added a bunch of gorgeous blueberries to each plate, and it was perfect!

Did I mention that it tasted good too? :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

I ❤ Workshops: NiQi | living luxe workshops

A few weeks ago The Lucky Packet attended a packaging workshops hosted by Naqiyah of NiQi | living {luxe}.    I love creative things, but I must admit, I tend to hide my gifts in a box or sad looking gift bag instead of presenting it beautifully to the special people in my life.  

The class at NiQi took me out of that mindset and altered my view on gift-giving.

Here are some tips that I picked up on the class:

  • Choose a few items which match up for your gift.
  • Choose a stunning box which match your items colour.
  • Arrange items in the box around a main focal point.
  • Decorate the box with chocolates, flowers or whatever 'fillers' you may have.
  • Don't forget to use the double-sided tape to ensure that everything is secure.
  • Decorate some more :)
  • Cellophane cover your entire box and over your gifts (more double sided tape is indeed your friend here)
  • Don't be afraid to decorate on top of the cellphone.  Use gorgeous ribbons, sticky diamante's, etc to embellish your gift
  • Add note or gift tags.  Go crazy.  Use stamps and punches to achieve a beautiful overall effect.

There's no denying that any gifts that have some sort of time and effort invested in them, will a lasting effect between those who give and those who receive.  Presentation is a major factor in gifting and it can create bonds between people, and, as we have noticed from the traditional South African-Indian-Muslim weddings,  the tradition of gifting is a huge point in the festivities.

The best part of the entire hamper-making process?  The treats Naqiyah provided AND the look on the face of the receiver afterward.

I've recently applied the same techniques now for a dear friend of mine, and my friend informed me that she refuses to open her babies gifts (yes, babies! she has twins) because they look lovely wrapped up!
Judging from that result, I will definitely pay more attention to presentation of gifts more.

NiQi is currently hosting a class on 26 November 2011 in Johannesburg on table decor, menu planning, handmade paper decor, and makeup & personal styling lessons.  

The very creative Saaleha from Soul&Paper will be presenting elements on decor and Rowena from Secrets & Stilettos will be presenting on personal style and makeup.  A HUGE bonus: One lucky attendee will win a free makeover from Rowena!

If you would like to attend the class, please check out the details here.

Update:  Due to the high demand, ANOTHER workshop will be held on 10 December.  Please contact NiQi for the details!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

❤ Lucky Packet Design: Post-Ask Nanima Expo

Soul & Paper, Oranges and Lemons Health and NiQi were my co-expo stall holders.
We had a lot of fun for a dry, dusty and windy day.  Some of my scarf pins did not survive thanks to the wind blowing my display over on several occasions.  Shireen, my good friend, procured a rock from some odd area of the school and it helped secure my scarf pin stand.

Thanks to Saaleha of Soul & Paper, we have some lovely pictures of items from our stand!

The Lucky Packet
The Lucky Packet 
Scarf Pins
The Lucky Packet
The Lucky Packet
 clay brooch pins, pendants and fridge magnets

Soul & Paper
Stunning gift cards

Oranges and Lemons Health
Oranges and Lemons
Bath salts made from pure essential oils and
dried flowers (rose petals, lavender, etc)

niQi Living Luxe
Handcrafted tea towels

Please note that you can still order many and any of these items from the various links that I have posted above.  Otherwise, leave a comment below and I'll make sure the ladies all get your order! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

❤ Lucky Packet Design: Sneak peek - Hijaab/Scarf pins

The Ask Nanima Expo is the first time that The Lucky Packet will be selling goodies.
I am both nervous and excited at the same time.

Here's a sneak peek of some of the handcrafted hijaab pins that are up for sale at the expo.
Please visit our stall to check them out!

Unfortunately a special lady's work that I was supposed to showcase for the expo was withdrawn due to unforeseen circumstances.  However, like the Princess Charming's that they are, Saaleha from Soul&Paper and Naqiyah from NiQi have agreed to allow me to showcase their amazing pieces of work at my stall.  Yes, you can buy Saaleha's gorgeous cards and shweshwe notebooks and Naqiyah's beautiful tea towel sets from me on the day of the expo!  Please note that there aren't card facilities at the expo, so cash is a must.  If you don't have cash, some of the items might be available for order afterward (depending on what gets sold or not).

See you on Sunday, 16 October 2011 at Greyville Primary School, Lenasia.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

❤ Lucky Packet Design: Playing with clay and ASK NANIMA EXPO

There go my hearts, all in a row...

Playing with clay is such a stress reliever.  The cool texture instantly calms you down as you knead and mould the medium into whatever you wish.

This time I played around with making tiles, tags, brooches, fridge magnets and little odds and ends.

The Lucky Packet is getting ready for...

SURPRISE!  The Lucky Packet is finally debuting at the Ask Nanima Expo.  Come visit the stall to check out the new products and to also see the special category of 'Nisaa' (meaning Women in Arabic), where I will also be showcasing the amazing talents of other ladies in the community.  There will be some amazing Islamic artwork, paper products, clay products, some handmade scarves (my favourite item on show), handmade hijaab pins, etc.  I will be showcasing with Zaheda from Oranges and Lemons Health, who will be selling her herbal oils for special blends for oil diffusers, massage, and of course, her special bath salts.  Saaleha from Soul&Paper will be displaying her amazing creations as well    Please pop in to say hello! :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I ❤ JHB : Market on Main / Emmarentia Dam / Botanical Gardens Adventure

Market on Main
The wonderful outdoors at M.O.M

I had to capture some overhead bunting
The BEST Goat's cheese ever!

Recently, on a perfect Spring day, a few of us ventured into the Johannesburg CBD to visit 'Market on Main' which is situated at Arts on Main.
After the GPS failed us, and after many (and I mean MANY) phone calls, we eventually reached our destination.

I am ashamed to admit that I have never been there before, but I was pleasantly surprised at the location and the venue.
Set in a very 'chic' warehouse (if warehouse's can be chic), Market on Main hosts food guru's and design mavens.  I was swept away by Fine and Raw Chocolate, the delicious Hummus and of course, the spectacular design items that I saw.
After a while we realised that our tummies were rumbling and we decided to settle on a bit of brunch.
The healthier alternative of cream cheese and salmon on a delicious olive bagel instilled a bit of guilt in me as I munched away on my over-indulgent nutella and banana pancakes.
I really think that Market on Main is a must-do if you're living in, or visiting Johannesburg on a Sunday.  I will definitely make return visits in the future!

After our adventure into the city some of us decided to head to the Emmarentia Dam/Botanical Gardens to have a look at the Spring blooms.  I am a complete novice to photography, yet I did manage to capture one or two shots which I think are sort of ok.

Market on Main is open every Sunday at Arts on Main, on Main Street in the Johannesburg CBD.
Emmarentia Dam/Botanical Gardens is on Olifants Road, Emmarentia, Johannesburg.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I ❤ South African Talent : Soul & Paper by Saaleha Idrees Bamjee

Washi tape and paper cutout = gorgeous!

I haven't done a 'South African Designer' post in a while, so I'm delighted to restart it with the most creative person I know, Saaleha Idrees Bamjee.

A writer, a designer, a poet, fellow crafter and foodie,  Saaleha has mesmerised us with her words for years.  Saaleha has now turned her creative talents to paper and has designed a multitude of amazing creations.  Her talent doesn't just stop at just paper crafts.  She writes content for media and describes herself as an 'Ideasgirl', which I think is a perfect description of her!  I'm quite chuffed that she has also helped design the spunky refreshing background that is on the The Lucky Packet today.

Saaleha is an aspiring photographer, and her latest series on Johannesburg's version of the 'Neighbourgoods Market' makes me want to run over there and gobble up all their delicious treats!

Saaleha is a multitalented gift to the world, so please do visit her Flickr page to see which card you would like to purchase so that you too can bring some of that wonderful talent into your home :)

You can contact Saaleha via the following :

Twitter:  @saaleha
Email:  saaleha at gmail dot com

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

❤ Lucky Packet Design: Sumi-e and other surprises

I have a whole bunch of project's in the works.  Today I'll talk about just one.

Last year, while in Boston, I attended a few Sumi-e classes, just for fun.
This week, I felt the need to paint something, so I dug out my brushes and my ink stick, ground up some ink and tried to paint something, anything, if I could just remember how.

My ink stick and grinding stone :)
I struggled, made a huge mess on my kitchen table, but eventually came up with this...

Bamboo Sumi-e painting
It's supposed to be a Bamboo plant.  Terrible, I know, but maybe with a bit of practice, I can actually make something lovely!

Sumi-e is the art of Chinese Brush painting which the Japanese added their own twist too.  The artist grinds an inkstick into a grinding stone with some water to create ink which one would then use to paint.  It's very minimalist, doesn't require much detail and can sometimes use colour, or maybe not.

One day, just maybe I could become as talented as this piece of work by Haji Noor Deen:

Haji Noor Deen is a Master Calligrapher and sometimes uses Sumi-e to portray his work in Islamic and Chinese calligraphy.  I had the pleasure of meeting him in Canada and buying some of his beautiful work.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I ❤ Food: Chocolate Macarons

A client ordered up some chocolate macaron's from The Lucky Packet.
At first I was not too certain if I should make them as I'm not really in the business of making macaron's for people as I find that some clients can be quite finicky.
Nevertheless, I thought I'd give it a go...

Nutella is my trusty sidekick in all of this, of course :)  

The client requested that one batch be made up as a gift for a friend.

The leftover buttercream that was there for me to lick :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

❤ Lucky Packet Design: Altered bag

I do love messing about with fabric. Check out this plain canvas bag that I altered at Hobby-X run by the lovely Elna of Between Cupcakes and Tea, with some paint and gel medium from Dala. I adore it! :)

❤ Lucky Packet Design: Shweshwe brooch

The latest addition to The Lucky Packet.
Shweshwe, a proudly South African fabric, is amazing to work with. I acquired some fabric samples from Shweshwe and decided to create a simple brooch for an old denim jacket just to liven it up a bit.

I'm quite pleased with the outcome.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I ❤ JHB : Bella Restaurant

I've decided to start a 'series' on this blog.  It's called the 'I ❤ JHB' series.
It's about all the little places that I've found in Johannesburg which I absolutely love and adore :)  So let's begin the first post :)

A friend called me for a quick lunch date and mentioned a lovely little restaurant and deli that's tucked away on Rivonia Road.  She texted me her easy-to-follow directions and I found myself at this quaint little place in a complex which plays host to other stores and offices.  It's a bit of a hidden treasure and if she didn't know about it from a previous visit, I wouldn't have found it by myself.

We chose to be seated outdoors and I simply adored the decor of neutral shades and loved the atmosphere. It has a laid back vibe about it even though many people had their laptops open and were obviously on business meetings. Patrons included Mommies and their little broods who were also there enjoying a quick bite. It was the perfect setting for a warm Summer's day.

Being a halaal-only type of person (i.e. Muslim), eating meat at non-halaal establishments leave very limited resources for one to eat. However, Bella had over 10 different non-meat items on their menu which one can choose from. I was ecstatic!
I am a big fan of salmon, so I decided to have a delicious salmon salad topped with cottage cheese, avocado and gherkins. It was delicious (and quite large in size!).
My friend had a roast butternut salad topped with other yummy salad items.
I've never been a person who only has a salad for lunch, but this was something I could get used to as it was quite filling.

The price was not as crazy in comparison to other Sandton restaurants (thank goodness), and their service was quick, efficient and full of smiles.
I especially loved the fact that they gave real Chappies as a parting breath freshener.  Who can resist reading the 'Did you know?' tidbits that's printed on the reverse side of the wrapper?
A part of me enjoyed the fact that it was called 'Bella' as it reminded me of my teenage/early adulthood years of using the word Bella or Belladonna in online handles.  I loved using Belladonna especially as it was a deadly, yet nurturing plant of nature to be reckoned with :)

All in all, I enjoyed my meal there and I can't wait to try them again soon.

You can visit Bella at:

66 Rivonia Road
Open Monday to Saturday

Facebook page

(images courtesy of 66 Rivonia)