The bag is out the bag 


Ladieeeees and gentlemen, here they are! Presenting the first three samples of our new Hero bag collection: Charly's, Stox and Rose, all inspired by special places in Cape Town.
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Phew, almost there... 


Two more days till Design Indaba, and things have been pretty crazy around here. We are launching an awesome new range of bags at DI - and also our own range of fabrics. The last week was spent getting brochures and labels ready for print and also doing the final quality check on our new bags as well as planning a beautiful stand on a zero budget - you know, the usual.

If you're in Cape Town this weekend, please come and say hi.

Finally, I'd like to wish the people of Finland HAPPY BUN DAY! (what a wonderful country that has a national bun day...)
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On the other hand... 



We've had loads of fun (and a couple of flops!) with the Nguni design, inspired by the splatter hide of the African Nguni cow. We first weave the white and then pop in a black mielie pip here and there. The big surprise was that the back makes a completely different, utterly beautiful pattern. Problem is, no one is ever going to see it, since it will get hidden by the lining. I think I might make a bag with this design on the outside!
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100% home grown! 


Yesterday was the second week running that all the veggies Richard had on sale at the Friday organic market were from the Mielie food garden. Congratulations, Richard - you're doing a sterling job! Even Buhle is pretty impressed.
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Ambiente 

If you happen to be in Frankfurt this weekend, pop in at Ambiente and see what's new from planet Mielie on the Kapworks stand. Anke and Marcus, our distributors there, are in the Loft Halle 11.0, Stand A16.

Good luck guys!
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Summer cornucopea! 


My little veggie patch has been giving us on average half a kilo of tomatoes and a delicious cucumber a day. Can there be anything nicer in the world than a sun-ripened tomato that was still growing an hour ago? My basil is a cacophony of green and tomorrow we will eat the one artichoke that survived. The veggie patch looks a little worse for wear with tomato vines lying flat on the ground under the weight of their fruits.

I've learned the following lessons:

- when you make trench beds the soil will sink in over time. Either fill the beds to over-flowing or wait a week or three before you plant. It's almost impossible to fill them in once you've planted.

- plant lots of salad greens and spinach in winter if you live in an area with winter rain. Coming to think of it, they probably won't like frost either.

- stake your weight-bearing veggies like tomatoes well. They will need a lot of support.

- don't plant your seedlings too close together.

- aphids are a complete pain and I still don't really know how to control them.

Moving forward, I think I'm going to let everything go to seed - and harvest the seeds. Then I'll fill my trenches with some compost that I've been making and start all over again!

If you're tempted to start a veggie patch, I only have two words for you: DO IT!

Now, does anyone know where I can find a mozzarella tree?

Remember to visit Richard at the Mielie Food Garden's organic market at Montebello on Friday. We've moved his stall to the shady tent at Kwalapa organic restaurant, to ensure that you don't get any wilted veggies.
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The cat is out the bag 


I've been bursting to tell you this bit of news for 8 months now: just unpacked in Marimekko shops around the world are two Mielie cushion designs that form part of their Domino spring collection. This design also spans a range of clothing and bags. We are delighted to have been part of the process, which started with Zanele and I visiting their head office in Helsinki in may last year. Special thanks to Outi of Mum's our awesome Scandinavian distributor who made it happen.

Unfortunately I can't post you any photo's of the cushions here - you'll just have to pop into your nearest Marimekko outlet.

Check the collection out here and view our cushions here - top row, left and right.

Oh, and if you live in Africa and have never heard of Marimekko, fear not: you will probably recognise this classic Marimekko design, called Unikko.
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Being quiet is not the same as being lazy 


The reason for my blog silence is that I've been working day and night on a completely new, completely different range of bags, due to be launched at Design Indaba at the end of the month. Here is a little blurry glimpse.

It's been an exhilarating, gut wrenching process in which we learnt new fibre and leather crafting techniques and took the plunge and had our own fabric commercially printed. All the elements are now ready, and all that remains is to put all pieces together - can't wait!
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Party time 


For the second year running we celebrated our annual staff party at Muizenberg beach with fish & chips. It was a blast - literally and figuratively - the wind pumped, but this didn't seem to dampen any spirits!
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Sweden, Meet Mielie 


People of Sweden, visit our fantastic Mielie distributor, Outi Puro of Mum's, at the Formex show. She will show you Mielie's delectable range of products.
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