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Styled Wedding Shoot ~ Happy Seasons with Macrame

Styled Wedding Shoot ~ Happy Seasons with Macrame

Having just started out making large Macrame Backdrops for weddings and events, I realised that until they are used in a real wedding, I am going to need to do a styled wedding shoot in order to showcase my work and for it to be seen in an actual setting!  So I collaborated with a few awesome professionals and this was the result!  I found out a week before the time that our ‘bride’ had pink hair and I thought wow, that will look amazing with the garden ‘seasons’  shoot I had in mind!  It is not every day that you see a bride with pink hair, but I knew it would be different and with what I had in mind, I knew it would work so well!  The result exceeded my expectations!

We worked with a lot of what we already had, such as my own pure white ‘summer’ wedding dress, and a borrowed 1950’s lace wedding dress that looked exceptionally beautiful on our just-as-beautiful model, especially in our ‘autumn leaves’ shots!  I decided to make my own floral crown and flower bouquets and borrowed a gorgeous gold crown that a friend had handmade for her own wedding almost 20 years ago!  Instead of wearing it on top of her head, our bride wore it around her forehead and it looked so very beautiful combined with the lace wedding dress she wore!

Of course, we had to remember why we were there – to take magnificent shots of my Macrame Wedding Decor – backdrops, plant hangers and dreamcatchers, so although it was tempting to get carried away with creative shots of our stunning bride, we set to work at hanging, holding and securing the massive backdrop to create some of the most beautiful images, and I feel so proud of how they turned out!

As already mentioned, we wanted to shoot with different ‘seasons’ in mind, particularly summer and autumn, though we are currently slap bang in the middle of Durban winters! Thankfully our winters are lovely and warm by comparison.  Our props were supplied by Kim from Crystal and Vine.  We chose the Wooden Slatted Hurricane and lots of candles and ivy for our Autumn shots, and the large and small Copper Lanterns which looked stunning in our Summer shots.  Since the focus was on the macrame items, we did not need much else, especially since we made use of beautiful garden surroundings, next to a Lilly pond, on a bridge and amongst an array of Autumn leaves lying under a magnificent tree.  The weather obeyed and we were blessed with the most beautiful day. Our daughters were our little assistants who did such a great job, sometimes standing on ladders to hold up our heavy backdrop in the background, or fetching and carrying.

Above all, this being our first styled shoot, we just wanted to experiment and have loads of fun, and looking at how our bride was laughing in the last images of this post, it truly was a fun and happy day! I hope these images will inspire you!

All Macrame Backdrops, Plant Hangers and Dream Catchers are available for hire or to purchase.  Customer Orders are also available on request. Have a look at our website for more products and details!

~  Collaborators ~

Photography ~ Kathy Nugent;  Model & Makeup ~ Alissa Dawn Maakal; Decor Hiring ~ Kim from Crystal & Vine; Wedding Dresses ~ all borrowed.

Styling, Flower Arrangements & Macrame Decor ~ Yvette Mommsen owner of ArtEsense online shop ~ The Hand to Heart Collection of Macrame Decor.


Collage Lilly Pond


Collage Lace Lilly Pond Trio


Collage BottomBridgeHappyWaterfall


Collage Macrame Top Bridge Trio

Collage TopBridgeDoubleFlowers



Collage FernDreamCatcherTrio

Collage FernDreamcatcherTrio3

Collage AutumnLeavesIvyTrio


Collage HappyBrideAutumn.jpg


DIY Macrame Planthanger

DIY Macrame Planthanger

I have been very busy crafting beautiful macrame plant hangers for Artesense and our local handmade craft market. My last blog post showed stunning images and ideas for decorating your home with plants.  I promised to post a tutorial on how to make your own macrame planthanger, so here it is!

I chose this particular one as it is fairly simple and is able to hold a nice size pot.

Lets start with what you need for the project:

  • You can use any type of cord or yarn such as cotton cord, rope or even string if you are making a mini macrame. You will need 8 cords, each approximately 5 metres long.  (I used less, but did not want to run out of cord!)
  • A wooden rod (dowel stick) – any size that suits you, mine is a thin one that I cut to size.
  • 6 wooden beads (optional)

First step:

Tie a length of cord from one end of your wooden rod to the other and hang it like a picture frame somewhere that is comfortable for you to work.  I work from a clothing rail, but that is because I make many macrame planthangers!  If this is just a once off project for you, then no need to go out and buy a clothing rail!


Tie all 8 cords, one at a time, in a tight row next to each other in the following way:

Tie your first cord exactly in half so that it forms a loop at the end (see image below).  Then place it over the top of the rod and pull the rest of the cord through the loop and tighten.  Do this with all 8 cords. You will now have 16 lengths of cord to work with.


Step 2:

Using your first 4 cords, tie a square knot.  Repeat until you have a length of about 8-10 centimetres of square knots.  See final image below.

To tie a square knot follow the images (or video clip further down):

  • Place cord on the left over the front of the second and third cords, almost in a C shape.  Take the fourth cord and place it over the top of the “C” cord, behind the second and third cords and then loop it through as shown.  Repeat this step to complete a full square knot.
  • Make sure you alternate with first the left cord, then starting with the right cord for the second knot, otherwise you will be making a ‘twisted’ knot.

Step 3:

Using your next 4 cords, repeat step 2, except you will start further down, exactly where the first set of square knots has ended..  Continue for 8-10 centimetres, as above.  Keep going with all 4 sets of knots (16 cords).

Step 4:

You can add 3 beads in the spaces at any stage.  I used 3 beads on one set and 3 on another, as (shown in the very last image). This is of course optional, but does make it look stunning, especially with black cord!

Step 5:

Continue in this way until you are happy with the length of your macrame.










Step 6:

You are now going to end off with the section that actually holds your pot!  Instructions are as follows:

Drop down about 10cm from where you have ended off with your square knots, and tie all 4 sinnets in a knot as shown in the image, crossing 2 cords over to tie with the first 2 cords on the left, and so on.  Drop down another 10cm approximately, and repeat the same step above.Macrame,Planthanger,TutorialMacrame,Plant,Hanger

Step 7: To finish off, drop down about 5 cm and tie all the cords together at the end with a GATHERING KNOT as demonstrated in this quick tutorial (not my own, but a great quick demonstration).

If you get stuck, have a look at our complete video clip tutorial below!

And there you go!  So easy and so beautiful!

I would love to hear from you.  Please let me know if you have tried it.  Please leave your DIY experience in the comments below!





Gorgeous ways to Decorate your Home with Plants

Gorgeous ways to Decorate your Home with Plants

Following on from my last blog post about taking care of your indoor plants, this post gives some inspiration for DIY ideas on decorating your home with beautiful plants.  A home is not a home without a little greenery, and if you choose the right ones (preferably ones that are not easily killed) then there is no limit to what you can do with them!


Home Decor Indoor Plants

If you are looking to maximise space, there are many things you can do.  Floating or corner shelves, window sills, bookshelves, or on top of cupboards, are some of the ideas you can use.  Another of my favourites (and one I have yet to do myself) is to transform a ladder into a triangular set of shelves, by simply placing flat boards between the ladder.  You can learn how to do this here. This looks stunning both indoors or outdoors and can be filled with loads of different plants in various shapes and colours of pots, for the most gorgeous effect!Home,Decor,Indoor,Plants,Ladders



Of course, you can also just hang your plants up from the ceiling!  The best way to do this is to use planthangers, like stunning beaded or macrame planthangers.  ArtEsense has macrame planthangers for sale, made by The Hand to Heart Co. But if you prefer to do-it-yourself, our next blog post will be featuring a tutorial on how to make your own simple macrame planthanger.   It really is easy to do and so satisfying to see the finished product! You can even make little mini ones for your small succulent or cacti plants and this looks too beautiful placed on a hook on your bedroom wall, for example.

My house is an old transformed farm house (still with the old fashioned street lamp posted outside my front door!), so for me, there is no option but to maximise as much space as possible with shelves and planthangers.  However, if I had a massive house with loads of wide open space and lots of light, I would not hesitate to have big plants occupying a corner of my living space. What really makes it is the pot you decide to put it in. A nice big woven basket with crosses on, for example. Or a big handmade ceramic pot in a stunning colour that goes with your colour scheme. If you prefer the little ones, then fill your lounge or bedroom window sill with lots of little pots in various shapes and styles, but stick with the same colour scheme throughout.  It is so very effective in a room that just needs a little life! I have a beautiful old kist that has been transformed with ‘Charlie Chaplain’ on the front, however he often gets hidden with stunning boxes I have collected, along with a few succulents and it really brightens up my bedroom.Home,Decor,Charlie,Chaplain,plants

Home Decor Collage Green Envy

Big or small, hanging or in a corner, plants breathe life into your home.  So whichever way you choose to decorate with them, it really doesn’t matter, as long as you choose to have them!

I would love to hear from you and how you decorate with your plants.  Please share in the comments below!


































Image credits:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;


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















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



Product photo with clean white background

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.

















After. The final result!

distress, furniture, sanding

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


Artesense gift wrapping6















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!


Cushions by ArtEsense


Cushions by ArtEsense








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.




















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!



























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…..


Alive Marketing Protea


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!


Alive Marketing Umhlanga Lighthouse


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.


Alive Marketing Misty Forest


Alive Marketing Cloud Lake

Alive Marketing Clouds

Alive Marketing Clouds

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

September Spring Flowers

September Spring Flowers

Now that spring is here and flowers are blooming everywhere, I thought it would be a great time to share another of my favourite instagramers with you!  Her name is Phillipa Stanton and if you are not already following her, you can find her on Instagram under the name 5ftinf.  She also has a lovely blog under the same name.  As 5ftinf, Phillipa has over 300 000 followers on instagram, and looking at some of these stunning images below, you can certainly see why!  She is famous for her overhead shots of ‘The Table’, mostly consisting of an arrangement of beautiful flowers, petals, clovers or leaves strewn across the same table and always with a cup of tea!  I am always amazed at how she comes up with a different array of flowers every day, each as beautiful and unusual as the one before! If you would like to see more of her photostream on instagram, just follow this link!


5ftinf on instagram


5ftinf flowers on instagram












Drawing from this inspiration I decided to do something to celebrate spring on my Artesense Home Page…a beautiful season bringing with it something fresh and something new…. I was given a handmade beaded heart for my birthday last year.  It came with a bunch of flowers.  A simple gift but one that held so much meaning for me.  It usually hangs on my wall at home, so I decided to place it right in the centre of an acrylic flower painting I made recently.  I used paper flowers to give my painting a little 3D effect.  The background is a sheet of handmade flower paper.  I picked flowers from my own garden, mostly Begonias and  Azaleas and arranged them around my painting.  This was the result……


Spring Flowers









To end off I thought I would leave you with this last little bit of ‘floral inspiration’ from another blog I love to follow called iwantthat. So so pretty!


floral wallpaper


Floral cushions


Flowers on the wall!


Floral couch


floral wall inspiration







Gift wrapping and packaging craft workshop

Gift wrapping and packaging craft workshop

I have a friend who wraps every gift with such love. One gift was wrapped in a box that she had taken the time to cover with black and white striped material, glued on somehow and tied with a beautiful purple ribbon and a card filled with beautiful words. It reflects who she is.  The time, effort and love she puts into wrapping each gift always makes me feel so special.  Even though I am creative and I love pretty hand made things, for some reason gift wrapping is the one thing I have never gone the extra mile with! Yes, I use ribbons and always make my own cards, but gift wrapping from the heart can be so much more!  Of course, I also happen to run an online shop for handmade gifts, so gift wrapping is very much a part of my life now!  (Each gift is shipped with a little ArtEsense gift tag with lace and ribbon). I have been looking for more ideas and inspiration, not just for my shop but also for me, and so I did not hesitate when I saw that the beautiful, talented, crafter and creative business consultant, Nadia Van Der Mescht, was having a craft workshop this past Saturday!


Gift Wrapping Ideas

I am so glad I went!  I certainly found loads of ideas and inspiration.  We had plenty of craft supplies to choose from and once I started I couldn’t stop!  My own works of art always involve painting,layering, sticking and collaging, and it always involves colour and a theme, so I thoroughly enjoyed doing just that!  3D layering with little cards, tiny wooden pegs, paper flowers, sequins, stickers and of course, what would craft be without washi tape!!  My favourites were the little stamps. I plan to have a few of those made up!  Not a new phenomenon I know, but new to me!  It was nice to be reminded that even a card or a little envelope can be “gift wrapped”  and with so much to choose from, the sky is the limit!

Artesense gift wrapping6


Gift Wrapping Ideas


My favourite of the day was a little gift bag Nadia had made by sewing together two pieces of paper from a book! What a lovely idea! It looked beautiful.  I decorated it with a little tag of flowers, ribbons, washi tape and string.

Lovely company, a beautiful venue, oh and I can’t forget the delicious cupcakes! Such fun!


Gift Wrapping Ideas


Gift Wrapping Ideas