Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This is my little red-riding-hood wood-pecker who hammers his days away in the branches of this big tree in front of my workshop.

Sunday, March 20, 2011



I am convinced now that one weird thing attracts another.
Having written something about very strange looking caterpillars and how beautiful my workshop and the surrounding area started looking lately - I saw this in the distance yesterday, sitting on my table, when I came down after my morning coffee.

Coming closer and from a different angle it still looked  weird. !!!!!!!

Very very weird.......

So weird that I shot a whole series of photos.  It was showing me a big grin with a mouth where there is simply no mouth. Because there is no opening for a mouth. There can not be a mouth. I touched the place with a little wooden stick. The mouth is below what looks like a mouth.

From the top this sort of unicorn creature does not look much comforting either...

and the tail or end could fall under a label that I really use very seldom - disgusting

In fact as mystical a creature this was, I decided to go for another coffee and come back after a while.

Friday, March 18, 2011


The Water of Life



When you start something new and from scratch - even if you are doing not bad at all - is it still not easy to accommodate all your needs. My experience is that most of the income that one earns flows back into the young business during the first two years. Only after that it gets a little bit easier. But in many cases it takes even longer to be successful.

My father is my biggest fan and if he could - he is not too good on the internet - and if my mother would not stop him, he would buy each and every new listing of mine. My father is one of the most fascinating people I have ever met and one of my biggest role-models.

When I started my own business three and a half years ago he was excited because I was finally moving towards where my talent lies. And I was doing it for myself.

My father is not only knowledgeable and a true renaissance man but being a curator for two art galleries for many years before he retired he has a feeling for art, beauty and composition that is astounding.
This is one small corner at his home. But let me rather formulate it this way: because of his in-born talent he could create amazing expositions.

The word eclectic must have been created for him. 
I have never met anyone who knows better  how to arrange art-pieces together in such a way that the impression of the "whole" surpasses the beauty of each individual piece.
I could write an entire blog about the life long private collection of my father. For each and every piece he can narrate the exact historical background linked in a time-line with other areas.

And I can say with honesty that many pieces in my house and in my life that I own could carry a sticker saying  " Sponsored by Papa". But of course his humble nature would not allow for such boldness.

When he heard that I wanted to renovate this lovely area and integrate it into my workshop, he said:  " Lets do it ".

And it is not surprising that what I have learned from him I applied on a much smaller level.

Hmm, a very much smaller level.........

With his help I was able to commission someone to build these beautiful walls out of wood from a tree species that is considered an alien invasive tree in South-Africa - The Black Wattle.
I have supported a small business with this job who clears areas where the Black Wattle has taken over and is destroying the indigenous vegetations. The wooden walls are massive 3m x 3,5 m and they were extremely heavy. But by setting up walls made from the wood of this type of tree, instead of cement or glass walls, we have even contributed to preserving our natural vegetation. And it is Africa. The area does not have to be covered completely. The walls give shelter enough and painted white they look really cool.

Thanks to my father many things are happening. And this post is for him.

And that is him when he was younger. One of my favorite pictures of him.
I call it"  in front of the blue door in Tunisia."
That's the way I wanna look at the world, like him in this picture, inquisitive, curious and not fearful at all. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011


You would not be the first to ask : What is this?
And they do not appear every year.

But after very heavy rainfalls I encountered several of these creatures on my workbench and around the workshop.

These hairy black caterpillars are the larvae of night-moths and they are carrying their own eggs on their backs. What looks like white elonganted rolls of cotton wool are their young ones.
And there she is falling off the work-bench. I found they did not really have a good sense of direction.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


This is a blog about flowers and paper. 
I tell stories about the eternal beauty of flowers and the structure of old fashioned paper. My paper is old fashioned because it is produced and shaped the old fashioned way.

I have always thought that flowers and paper belong together because they are both memory keepers.

On several occasions I have come across a flower pressed between the leaves of an antique or old book that I have bought in a second hand store. When I find it I never take it out, I just leave it where it is as the guardian of  thoughts, thought long time ago.
But their vibration still floating in the universe even if the person is dead.  

I have wild Jasmine growing around the house. I have taken these pictures last spring and made a beautiful set of postcards out of them.
Jasmine is one of the most seductive flowers to me. Fragile and simple it has this overwhelming scent that can not be resisted. A scent that lets you to dream of the things you have not done but would love to do and the things you do not dare to do.  

I leave all doors and each and every window open. The scent perfumes the whole house. Day and Night.

And this print  " Night Jasmine " is the one I love most of this series.
The flowers look beautifully tired of their own sensuality to me.
Like a gorgeous woman saying to her lover : 
" You have looked at me long enough now.
 Let me sleep please".

All prints and postcards available at Chocolat Negro

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Handcrafted wire bird- feeders and bird- cages make part of my product portfolio.

This one is rather simple and rustic made for my own home from " left-overs".

But when overflowing with delicious seeds it's indeed a great point of attraction

Not the only one in the garden !

 I have placed big tree logs everywhere

Attracting all sorts of feathered companions. 
But amidst all of them there is only one that is entirely black 

The heart shaped wire basket however looks very beautiful when hanging from a tree

Since we feed them the birds have become so tame.
And I really enjoy taking their pictures

Monday, March 14, 2011


Today I am introducing another new design. 
A vintage inspired weeding invitation or Save the Date card that can be costumized according  to your needs. We offer a set 100 invitations. 
The paper stock is very heavy and smooth. This Save the Date Card can be converted into an entire wedding package.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


My mother calls this my Hill Billie Washing Line. Probably
 because it is situated under big trees and in the middle of lush greens.

And she finds it very amusing.

that clothes and paper get hung up together to dry in the wind.

We are very proud of the fine quality of paper that we produce but we have started producing very coarse and structured paper in the last few months.

The raw material for these sheets came from waste paper that has been donated to us and that we have received from an accounting office. 
Entirely sets of decade old balance sheets have been transformed into three dimensional paper sheets where you can still read parts of sentences, words and numbers.

The colors have become subtle and pale like this"  English Rose " shade.

and some completely new color combinations have been added


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