NinaKind feature + giveaway

Monday, September 15, 2014

When looking at the history of fashion, it really is mind-boggling how much has changed. In the years pre- and post-World Wars, everything was handmade - something that is today considered a luxe item - but people didn't really dare. Everyone wore crimpolene dresses {generalising much?} and if your dress had, for example, a floral print, you were the most daring of your friends.

Today, fashion is used as a form of self-expression; if you want to wear swear words on your shirt or wear a beanie with the words #yolo embossed on it, it's no biggie. In the old days, it was shocking if women wore shorts.

I am fascinated by how much things have changed in a few decades and what intrigues me most is kids clothing. I have heard a number of people complaining about kids and babies being dressed up as young adults, which I find very cute, but I also stand by the saying that kids should be kids. The other day, I saw a crop top 'pakkie' for preteens and I nearly fainted! That's why I love Ninakind so much; the brand embodies exactly that - letting kids be kids, but in the cutest way! 

Known for handmade baby products, including toys and clothing, graphic designer Nina Jonck, the brain behind the brand, strives to make each and every product unique and different.  "So much love and care goes into every stitch. I hope you love my creations as much as I love to make them," Nina tells The Sun House. 

Well, I am absolutely in love with your creations and wish I had little ones to dress up in your adorable garments! How did you start and how long have you been doing this? 
I've been doing this since 2012, but only started full time about a year ago. 

It all started while I was busy studying Graphic design. In our second year we had to design a character, so I put pencil to paper and designed a cute monster. I then realised the shape would work well with felt, and made a little monster out of yellow felt, stuffed it and stitched it! My classmates fell in love with the yellow monster and soon the orders started rolling in. And as corny as it may sound, the rest was history.

What do you do and do your provide services? I make handmade baby products, that includes soft toys,  babygrow details, mobiles and a few special requests here and there. I make to order, so normally a client would contact me if they're intrested and we would work something out from there on.

Where do you find inspiration for your creations? Today we have the internet and lots of social media platforms where you can browse for hours. I try to look at pictures and illustrations and picturing them in 3D or even in patterns that I can utilise to make my dolls. I never copy and always try to stay true to myself, and just to use any artwork as a base and not a direct copy. A lot of my clients also come up with ideas that I can play around with!

What are the challenges of being your own boss? Getting up in the morning! NO! Im just kidding. If you love what you do and everyday you get to create something new, it's pretty hassle free to be your own boss. BUT sometimes you have to work hard not to mix work life with personal life especially if you work from home.

How do you perceive the South African design landscape? Well, South Africa (Cape Town) is the design Capital of the world. I think that is pretty great for the creative South African! I love our diversity and to be able to express yourself freely. The support we get from each other is great and inspirational!  There are so much to inspire you here, and it is awesome that even the smallest artist get recognised! 

Speaking of diversity, what are your favourite materials, colours to work with and why? I mostly work with felt. And any colour will do, but the colour I like to work with most is grey and red. You may not know this but I also doodle and love to work with ink especially black. I don't know why but I like working with different mediums, maybe it's the challenge to get to know each one, that I love.

Your doodles are amazing! What would you do if you won the lotto?
I would travel the world! I will take all my friends and family  with to join in on the fun.
And I would donate a cut to child welfare! 

What has been your proudest moment to date? Being featured on your blog! Well I feel very proud each time I get a new order, it shows someone out there likes and appreciate what I do.

Really? I feel so honoured! Tell me, where to from here? I can only go up! I would love to have a successful online shop and become a Proudly South African product. Maybe go to a few markets like 'Die Trommelskou' and KKNK.

Find Ninakind at these links:
Instagram: @nerina_nina


You can win some amazing Ninakind products by following her Facebook page and sharing it with your friends. Click on the picture for details.

Putting a lock on your love

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

This weekend we did something spectacular, in the name of love - well, for me it is spectacular - and I am only getting around to writing about it now.

Marriage is such a special and blessed thing, to spend the rest of you life with the person who knows all your quirks, your moodswings, your ins and outs, your gross moments {come on ladies, we have all let out a little poot in front of our other halves} and still loves you and misses you when you both are at work - now that's awesome! I mean, there are days that we absolutely want to kill each other and when I feel sorry for my poor neighbours for all the words coming from our house, but in the end, you forgive, forget and have wonderful make-up you know what. (Hopefully my mom is not reading this. But I'm married. So.)

Even though love can sometimes be blurry and not go the way you want it to go, it's the little things that count. This picture for example - it is so far from perfect, and it shows how far from perfect we are as human beings - but its us in a cute moment, and I love it. 

Speaking of sex, the magazine that promotes a healthy, sexy and adventurous sex-life for married couples, Intiem, launched its Love Bridge at Magnolia Dell this weekend, and we were lucky enough to attend this momentous occasion. There was much fanfare about the bridge, designed by Johan and Grete Wentzel from Wdesign. (Read more about it in my previous post on it)

After a morning in the sun - which left me lobster red - we stood in line to have our locks hung on the bridge. Engraved with our names nogal. It was a very sweet moment for me and I got all teary eyed and flustered when we walked back to our car - to think that we have tied the knot just under a year ago and now we are putting a lock on our love. It reminded me of the unbreakable bond a marriage should be, it should go way past the big ceremony and the fanfare, it should go deeper than just every day things. Marriage should be a place to connect with your best friend on an emotional, physical and spiritual way and I am so lucky to have a partner that shares these values.

We also followed the Intiem Marriage Week programme for the week, and surprisingly, we fought more than I expected. It was sort of therapeutic fighting - we discussed things that really bothered us both and ways in which we would improve on that specific topic. It was followed by bible study, that served as guidelines for the correct way to act and be. Let me tell you, this was so enriching! And I will do it every year, because I don't want to end up in a lawyer's office bwcause we both kept things locked up in our hearts. In this sense, the arguments were awesome.

I am really happy that I could have shared this awesome day and marriage week with my best friend and life partner.

Hello September! Welcome back dating!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Spring is here! Last week was still so cold, but just like that, change came along! Warmer weather brings so much change in the environment around you and also ignites change in yourself. Have you noticed that you are just a little bit happier because it is Spring?

With the warmer weather, I am also thinking of the wonderful things to do in the city; mostly looking at some perfect little date nights! I think it is really important in any relationship, whether you are together for ten years, or married for one, that you never stop dating each other. Always try and find something new to do with your person - and if you love it, do it more than once! And always try to find out something new about your person. They are human, changes are bound to be made in their life. Did your guy start with a new gym routine? Ask him about that!

Joburg has about seven lakes and dams in and around the city. Bet you did not know that. Starting in the east, there's the Benoni Lake and Gillooly's farm, both beautiful places to take your dogs on walks and have some lunch. 

Moving into the city, you can go for a row on Zoo Lake! For reals! Check out my friend Tash's post on rowing at Zoo Lake here. Or you can have a beautiful day out at the delightful botanical gardens in the leafy suburb of Emmarentia. Be sure to grab your camera as you tour the terraced Rose Garden, with its many fountains and pools, as an especially romantic spot. You can even arrange for a boat ride on the neighbouring Emmarentia Dam or just watch all the sailboats and canoes passing by.

If you're up for a little more adventure, you could even have a romantic weekend at the Vaal dam, only about an hour's drive out of the city.

For the more adventurous type, there are park runs and mountain biking. I am still trying to convince Flip to go on a park run with me, and although he has agreed, I can't get him out of bed on a Saturday. Little steps. But, I have seen many couple just gently strolling along, holding hands, listening to the birds and just chatting the whole 5 km away.

 If you haven't seen your spouse or significant other for a while, be it because of distance or work, a park run is the perfect way to catch up, without the interruption of a tv or waiters at a restaurant. But, if you are super competitive and want to kick your better-half's butt, then try some mountain biking. Be ready to eat some dirt though, you are more often than not likely to fall.
Parkrun pic

The Maboneng precinct must be the perfect place to have an entire date night! Start of with pre-drinks at The Living Room  - they have an amazing Amarula chai tea and some select craft beers. They also have great art pieces made of plants, that you can buy, as well as decor pieces to make your house look amazing.

Follow your pre-drinks by walking around the corner to The Chalkboard, where you can have some fantastic pizza - I promise you, the best - and some whiskeys while declaring your eternal love with love notes drawn onto the chalkboard wall. You can immediately follow this up with an indie movie at The Bioscope. Conclude your evening by booking into the 12 Decades Art Hotel - every room has been decorated differently!

If you plan your date night for a Saturday, you can sleep in and have brunch at the Arts on Main market, which is open on Sundays. Hey, husband of mine, I hope you're reading this! I want a date night like this.

We've only done the mini version of this date night, going to The Living Room and The Chalkboard.
Maboneng Pic

I personally love a picnic, and it was one of the first dates Flip took me on. To Emmarentia Dam, no less. But you don't need to have an outdoor picnic. Indoor picnics are pretty romantic too! All you need is a picnic basket, a blanket, a few candles, wine and some good food of course!

With four putt-putt locations around the city, take your girl or guy out for a fun and relaxed date. There are three courses of 9 holes each, a R70 ticket will enable you to play once on each course. The courses are well landscaped, with plenty of birds in the trees, lush vegetation, caves, waterfalls, and ponds full of attractive Koi fish. Some of the holes are very challenging.

 There are so many concerts coming to the city in spring and summer that I almost didn't know how my budget is going to handle it. Have a fun day in the sun, or make out like teenagers at an evening concert - the fun is endless! Make sure to get your tickets for any of the concerts early enough, before they sell out! 
Concert pic


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