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Category Archives: ArtEsense ~ Online Shop for Handmade Gifts

3 Reasons Why Online Shopping is the Best!

Online Shopping

Have you heard all about online shopping but just haven’t been brave enough to give it a try? Well, it is definitely time to join our world and venture online for a shopping experience like no other. We are here to tell you why so many people are turning to online shopping and why it can so often save the day when we are in need of that one item, but cannot find it in the stores! Keep reading for our top 5 reasons why shopping online at ArtEsense is a must if you are looking for something unique, and that cannot be found just anywhere in the usual run-of-the-mill shops.

Convenience is our number one reason to shop online.

There is no need to get dressed up or put on makeup when shopping online.  Just leave your PJ’s on, find a comfy spot on your sofa and browse away! Finding the perfect item has never been easier than when shopping online. You have access to hundreds of stores at your fingertips that will deliver right to your door! No more queues, looking for parking, crowded shopping centres and all the frustration that goes with it.  Yes, it really is that convenient.

Another reason is the incredible variety of items available in online shops

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How frustrating can it be when you know exactly what you are looking for, yet after spending countless hours at the mall, you just can’t find that perfect item or gift! Whether you are searching for home and lifestyle products, jewellery, children’s clothing, or handmade gifts or clothing, the variety of products that are available in online stores will ensure that you will find exactly what you are looking for.

SALES!!

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Yes, I said it! Sales! Let’s be honest, we all enjoy saving money where we can. Shopping online is the number one place to find out about unbelievable sales and items under a certain value, e.g. Gifts under R250. You no longer need to spend hours searching the rails or shelves in a store! By browsing or shopping online, it is so easy to make price comparisons as well. Simply visit our online store and head to the gifts under R250 section and you can view everything at once.
Convenient and affordable!

Need we say more! Online shopping really is transforming the way people find gifts or that coveted item. Begin your online shopping adventure today by visiting ArtEsense, the home of handmade gifts.

Online shopping has taken South Africa by storm because it has become increasingly easy to find, purchase and have beautiful items delivered straight to your door!

Online Shopping

Gone are the days when we had to dress up and trawl through shopping centres, only to find that what you were looking for was nowhere to be found! We are thankful for online shopping which is gaining traction in South Africa. Now you are able to ‘trawl’ online shops, in the comfort of your home or office, most often in your pj’s! And the benefit is you don’t need to drive from one place to the next in the hope of finding what you want – you can browse through different online shops and their products and ultimately end up with the perfect clothing item, accessory or product. What more could we ask for? So sit back with your favourite cup of tea while we take you on an online shopping  experience through our boutique online store.

New to our online shop these stunning handmade Soy and Gel Candles (all under R250) are a wonderful personal gift.  These all come in beautiful packaging with scents such as Vanilla and Ylang Ylang, as well as essential oils like peppermint and sandalwood.
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Enjoy shopping online for gorgeous home decor items such as these lamp stands from Renessance Designs – another local creative who specialises in interior design and decor.

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We love our range of silver jewellery, all of which can be purchased from our online shop.  We have sterling silver jewellery from Allure Handmade Jewellery, which can also be personalised with your name or initials!  A local Durban favourite, Barbra Rishworth handcrafts and up-cycles beautiful one-off pieces from silver or vintage cutlery – she can also make or hand carve something sentimental from your own collection, which also makes for a perfect gift!  Lastly, we have ever-popular silver charm jewellery handmade by Angel-Heart Jewellery – available for both adults and children.

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Whether you are looking for jewellery, home décor items, children’s gifts or just a gift under R250, visit  ArtEsense  for a varied and curated online shopping experience. All of our products have been handmade in South Africa because we believe in supporting local Online Shopping!

 

May is not only associated with Mother’s Day, but also for lots of spoiling, so why not Spoil Someone Special this May with One of Our Handmade Gifts Under R250!

Gifts Under R250

Do you know of someone special with a birthday coming up in the month of May? Perhaps you would like to give them something from the heart, but also something really affordable? Then have a look at our gorgeous list of Gifts Under R250 below. We have specially selected our favourite products!

We have a spectacular range of necklaces that are available on our website that would make the perfect gift for a special occasion, and all under R250! From charm necklaces to beaded jewellery we have a little something for everyone.

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We have many more gifts under R250! Have a look at our beaded and silver rings and earrings. If you love bold and beautiful, then these are just for you!

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If the home is where the heart is, then these lovely décor products below are also all under R250. We have stunning mini macrame plant hangers which make a perfect little gift, together with thoughtful little gifts to add, such as our yummy looking cupcake soaps, quirky heartfelt cushions, and beautiful colourful Scoobie wire bowls, handmade from Woza Moya Crafters.

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So go ahead and spoil that special person with something from our gorgeous range of unique, handmade gifts – all under R250 on our website! And this means you may just be able to treat yourself to a little something too!

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Finally, we have more gifts under R250 for a very little someone. Winter is right on our doorstep (or in some places, already here!), so have a look at our beautiful range of snoods and beanies, as well as handmade toys and owl cushions, that cannot be found just anywhere!

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide: experience a range of unique jewellery and décor gifts from our curated online store in South Africa.

Mothers Day Gift Guide

We can’t wait to present our awesome Mother’s Day gift guide for our online jewellery and décor store in South Africa. This year we present our favourite handmade Mother’s Day gift ideas for all mums.   We pride ourselves on offering a carefully curated range of gifts that you won’t be able to find just anywhere! Each is uniquely made (by hand of course) and many of our gifts are exclusive to ArtEsense online store.

Presents from the heart are most often a mother’s most treasured item, no matter the cost. So we’ve put together a list of Mother’s Day gifts, ranging from jewellery to home décor, that we think your mums will adore!

Our first Mother’s Day Gift Idea ~ something just for her! Introducing our new range of jewellery, by Allure Handmade Jewellery.

 This is a mother’s day gift from the heart….unique and beautifully handcrafted in South Africa, these local pieces are an extra special gift, as some of the pendants or rings come with custom initials or mums chosen name stamped into them!

Online Jewellery Store SA

A work of heart for her home ~ Mothers Day Gift Idea: A Macramé Décor Collection ~ Plant Hangers and Wall Hangings

These beautifully handcrafted Macramé Plant Hangers and Wall Hangings are from the Hand to Heart Collection, made by the owner of ArtEsense, (a mum, with two of her own beautiful daughters!). These gorgeous Macramé plant hangers can be found online at ArtEsense’s online jewellery and décor store.

Macrame Plant Hangers SA

 Mother’s Day Gift Idea ~ say it with cushions

Spoil mum with something a little different!  These beautifully quirky cushions with their heartfelt words will remind mum just how much you love her…every single day!  These lovely gifts can be purchased online at our online jewellery and décor store in SA.

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More awesome Mother’s Day Gift Ideas ~ a little something for every mum

 She may just love a gift with lots of pretty ‘little things’, such as this lovely little Scoobie wire bowl (for her bits and bobs), with a stunning gold bead Rose Ring and handmade cupcake soap.

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We have plenty more gorgeous handmade gifts on our website! Visit our online shop for the full range of handmade gifts to spoil mum this Mother’s Day.

The perfect way to hang indoor plants

The perfect way to hang indoor plants

I love plants!  I have always had plants in my home.  I think they finish off a space and make it look pretty and homely. Not only are indoor plants beautiful to look at, but they also clean the air we breathe and bring with them life as well as add that natural element to your living space.hanging,plants,decor

Hanging Plants credit-happyinteriorblog.com

 

I don’t know about you, but I have always found it rather difficult to keep indoor plants alive! It is only through a little trial and error that I have discovered which plants are “hard to kill” and so I make sure I go with those no matter what!  If this has been a challenge for you too, don’t worry, I have put together a list of plants (and a few tips on how to look after them) that I believe will stand the test of time and look absolutely gorgeous in your home or work space!

First, let’s face it, plants were never really meant to be indoors, so at the very least, try to make sure your indoor plants have plenty of light and sunshine to really thrive.  So here is my list of plant suggestions: the most common I would say is the Palm, Golden Pothos, Arrowhead Vine and my beloved Succulents! I especially love the last two as it is really hard to kill them and they seem to be able to withstand abit of drought (i.e. if you forget to water them for a while!).  Succulents in particular don’t need much attention at all, especially with regards to watering them.  Their leaves hold large amounts of moisture and they are able to withstand fairly harsh conditions.  They do like quite abit of sun so try to place them in an area that gets loads of sunlight! I also love the way the Arrowhead Vine and Golden Pothos grow, as they often hang over the sides, and it looks so so pretty.  Another is the Spider Plant and also the Money Tree and a Fern of any kind!  I believe every home should have a fern somewhere and they like shade, so thrive in moist and shady areas (such as your bathroom!). indoor,plants

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Here are some of my (tried and tested) tips on how to care for your indoor plants:

First I would say DO NOT over water them.  I think this is often the reason so many of them die prematurely. If you live in a hot, humid place like me here in Durban, then you may need to water a little more frequently, but you will know if you check the soil and it feels dry when you stick your finger in.  It is bet to make sure you have a drainage tray at the bottom of your pot so that the roots get plenty of water and it does not just drain away.  You may find that most pots you purchase do not have drainage holes.  I don’t know why this is, as this is an absolute necessity to prevent root rot, so do make sure your pots have little holes in the bottom, even if you have to drill them yourself (with the correct type of drill bit of course).

I think the most obvious, which I have already mentioned in the beginning, is to make sure your plants have plenty of light! This is where plant hangers, like macrame planthangers, come in really handy is you are able to hang your precious plants in front of a light area or window sill.  My office for example does not get enough sunlight.   I have a fern and an arrowhead vine in my office and often take them outside when it rains and will leave them there for a day or two to get some natural sunlight which they really seem to love!

Lastly, no plant is immune to mould, insects or disease, so if you notice little white aphids (they look like white fluff), mould or any other type of disease on your plants, then do not hesitate to spray them with some insecticide.  Treating them beforehand with fertiliser is also a good idea and can do no harm.  I like to use organic wherever I can – especially on my herbs since I plan to eat them.  In South Africa you can buy a wonderful organic insecticide called Biogrow from either Builders Express or most local nurseries.  As long as you spray the insect on contact it works like a bomb!

The other thing about indoor plants is that so often there is not enough space for them, especially in a kitchen, and if your kitchen is like mine, you may not have a window sill to grow your precious herbs! Once again macrame planthangers are perfect for saving space! Macrame planthangers are trending at the moment and can be used, not only for plants, but also to hang herbs in your kitchen, for glass vases with flowers and greenery, or even a fish bowl!

ArtEsense macrame planthangers are handcrafted from recycled cotton fabric by The Hand to Heart Co.  They come in various styles and colours and also produce custom orders on request.

I would love to hear from you!  If you have any other suggestions on looking after indoor plants, or any other indoor plants that you can recommend, please share in the comments below!

Image credits: abeautifulmessblog; designsponge/nicolette-johnson; 608interiors; au.lifestyle.yahoo.com; we-are-scout.com; justinablakeneybloglovin; decor8blog.

Above image credit:  happyinteriorsblog

Image credits: Golden Pothos: elvisripleyfickr, Fern: furniture.cort.com; Spider Plant: ascotvalegardencentre.com.au; Arrowhead Vine: natureindoors.com; Palm: southernbotanical.com; Money Tree: glencoveflorist.com

All other image credits: ArtEsense and The Hand to Heart Co.macrame,planthangers

ArtEsense year in pictures

ArtEsense year in pictures

Last year 2014 was such a milestone year for me and ArtEsense, which I would love to reflect back on and share with you!  So, if you have not followed my journey from the beginning, then take a look at my year in pictures!

You may already know that ArtEsense is still a baby, not quite a year old! My blog is my personal perspective on all the goings on in my online shop, along with all the things that I love, like DIY projects, refurbishing furniture, or taking (hopefully) beautiful pics with my iPhone!  I have learnt so much along the way, having started with nothing but a little dream, so come along with me now as we journey through the past year…

It has been such a privilege to showcase all ranges of jewellery from various suppliers around South Africa!  Jewellery has so far been the most popular item to purchase in my shop and it makes me proud to have such wonderful talent to showcase!  All of our African beaded jewellery, such as those from Woza Moya Crafts and The African Art Centre, is made by various crafters who earn a living through the sale of their jewellery!  Read more about our support of social upliftment projects here.products,support,social,upliftment

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If you have been following me, you will know that I LOVE taking photographs!  I just wish I had more time to do more of it (and a great camera, although you will be surprised at what you can achieve with only an iPhone!), but what I did discover was how different it was to take pics specifically for online shopping purposes and so this led me to start my DIY Series on how to take great pics with your Smartphone.  I had such fun with this, especially when playing around with taking product photographs, editing apps etc.DIY,series,Photography,Tips

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You may also already know that I refurbish old furniture as a hobby.  I love seeing these old pieces come to life with a nice bold red or turquoise, decoupaged paper and pretty crystal handles.  And I have loved sharing this process as it is something ANYBODY can do and is another wonderful creative outlet, even if it’s just for you and your home! I made a few tutorials on some of the pieces I worked on and hope to do many more this year.  I sell some of the pieces I restore in my shop, although in South Africa, especially Durban, people havn’t quite got the hang of shopping online for furniture, so I get to team up with other shop owners from time to time instead.

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After. The final result!

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antique,floral,paper,vintage,decoupage,chest,of,drawersThe year also saw me at a Fashion Show launch of a new Jewellery Range for The African Art Centre!  I was privileged to include some of this jewellery in my shop a few months later. This was followed by a fun morning at a craft workshop with Nadia Van Der Mescht.  I have credited Nadia with helping me grow my business by connecting me with various people and being the person that I can ‘bounce things off’, since I work alone and often just need someone I can turn to for a little advice. I was so excited and honoured to be featured by some awesome blogs last year!  Kathryn from Becoming You interviewed me, along with Nicola from Ask Ashe and the lovely Karen Kelly from the Lovilee Blog.  The Kamers website sent loads of traffic my way and I hope to be able to showcase some of my own products at one of their pop up shows some day! (Unfortunately Durban often misses out when it comes to these shows and events).African,Art,Centre,Model,design,Bianca,Warren,accessories

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Just before the end of the year I managed to launch my own cushion range which far exceeded my expectations! With ArtEsense, I sell other peoples’ creations, so I really wanted to have a range of my own!  I had been working on my cushion range for some time, including learning script lettering (which I am yet to perfect!). I finally found a great digital printer so set about completing my watercolour artwork and lettering phrases that were personal and meant something to me.  I was so proud of the final product and so glad I took my time and did not rush into it! Once I perfect script lettering I will complete the wall art I have been working on!

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Cushions by ArtEsense

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The end of the year exploded into the launch of a few new products ranges! Just in time for Christmas!  In October we officially launched  the range of jewellery from the African Art Centre, together with a gorgeous silver jewellery range which I love!  Watch this space because this year we are about to add more unique jewellery to our current ranges!  I can’t wait! We added a stunning baby shoes and accessories range all at the same time!  It was a crazy busy time for me, but with the help of my super talented designer friend, we pulled it off in time for some lovely Christmas sales.

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new,product,rangesJust before Christmas I ended the year off with my last blog post on gift wrapping ideas.  I used all the inspiration from Nadia and her craft workshop, pulling all sorts of goodies out of a “hat” to gift wrap the Christmas gifts I had bought for my family.  The emphasis was on “creating something out of nothing”, so I used whatever I had collected in my craft box since the above workshop, along with buttons, newspaper and even plan ol’ brown paper!

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I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!  I am working with the lovely Nadia Van Der Mescht again this year (yay I am not alone in this!) hoping to expand my cushion range, my shop range and of course, just have lots of fun being a small part of a wonderful and exciting creative industry!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A picture is worth a thousand words…

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Words are powerful, but a picture can be just as powerful!  As the saying goes: “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  I love to capture images of beautiful things, because after all a picture can tell a story sometimes better than many descriptive words….and sometimes all it takes is just one image! Taking a picture is almost like painting on blank canvas. It shows emotion and says the words you simply may not be able to say yourself.  Best of all a picture is a memory, to hold onto, to keep forever. A frozen moment in time.  That’s what I love about it the most – that captured moment…..

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Alive Marketing Protea

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Alive Marketing Cosmos

Sharon De Beer is one of those spontaneous people who loves to take pictures spontaneously rather than deliberately!  Having her iPhone close by is a great help in times like these, but not all of her images are taken on the spur of the moment.  Some of them are intentionally done to record landmarks of our beautiful city of Durban, such as our famous Umhlanga Lighthouse or the Whale Bone Pier!

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Alive Marketing Umhlanga Lighthouse

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Alive Marketing Whale Bone Pier

Others are part of a quest to find the best background lighting to a Protea shot or the hunt for an avenue of beautiful autumn trees….Sharon says this of herself: “I am a photographer in Durban who is inspired to create art through capturing beauty in the moment as I see it.  My studio is the playground of the world, seen through every day encounters.  I get to paint a picture as I journey through my day…”  To see more images by Sharon from Alive Marketing, visit her website.

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Alive Marketing Misty Forest

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Alive Marketing Cloud Lake

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Alive Marketing Clouds

Add one of these ‘captured moments’ to your wall by purchasing one of these stunning block mounted photographs from ArtEsense.