Home Tour: Welcome to Homeology Studio!

I have been working on Homeology for more than four years now. When I look back, I am amazed at how my little business has grown! When I started out, I renovated our dilapidated garden cottage with the help of my dad and one of his dearest friends, who happens to be a carpenter. I worked in my newly renovated studio for a few years and loved it! It was a magical place with plenty of creativity and some great ideas and projects. But after a series of break-ins, the place lost its sparkle for me, and I found it hard to spend my time there.

Throw a new baby into the mix, and you’re left with an abandoned and sad space that doubles as a storeroom where things go to die. Until recently that is! Tenille and I set out to bring new life into our workshop and studio space with the generous help of Builders warehouse. Here’s our ELABORATE shopping trip!

So without any further delay, here is the new, updated, super awesome Homeology Studio!

 

workshop studio

The studio is tiny at about 30sqm, which suits our needs perfectly. We need a workshop area to make stuff, and a shooting area. The first order of business was a new chipboard floor to keep the cold air, dust, and critters out! This was also the biggest job by far that took a whole day to accomplish. And my goodness, those boards are super heavy!

The Workshop

makita drill workbench

This is where stuff gets done! A place for everything and everything in its place. We have a fabulous new workbench at the centre of everything. The rest of the space is taken up storage for the incredible amount of tools and materials we have amassed.

The Shooting Area

 

This is where the magic that we created in the workshop gets pimped and shot! All white walls and floor, and beautiful daylight flooding in through the windows.

 

The biggest addition to the space by far were the two skylights. It was also the most horrendous job to get done! After the ceiling sheets were installed, we had to cut through the ceiling insulation. This might seem straightforward enough, but when said ceiling contains a multitude of mice nests, it becomes a disgusting, stinky job! None the less, it was totally worth it. Our studio is now filled with beautiful light!

Storage

We have two pegboards, two lockers, an Indonesian teak chest of drawers, shelving & an antique armoire. And as ever, we probably need more storage because really, can you ever have enough?

Sewing Corner

We don’t do too much sewing, but when we do, it usually involves large pieces of fabric! This little corner of the studio has a big table and all the thread, bobbins, fabric and scissors we could possibly need.

Tea

Yes, we have a bit of an obsession with tea, and we’re not fighting it at all! While we don’t have a kettle for the moment, this is something we plan to remedy very soon. A flask filled with hot water works for now.

 

Thanks for taking the tour of our studio! We promise to show you what we up to regularly, behind the scenes as well as in front of the cameras!

All materials for this project were generously sponsored by Builders Warehouse.

Wholesome Ostrich and Mushroom Potjiekos

Potjiekos is a South African national treasure. When you think about it, potjiekos is really just a stew that’s been made on an open fire. There are a few essentials when it comes to making a potjie: pack everything with care, meat in the bottom, and don’t stir! It takes a lot of discipline not to stir a pot though, so we don’t completely abide by the rules. Here’s Joey’s delicious ostrich and mushroom potjiekos, made with love and a secret ingredient!

Joey making potjie

Ingredients

  • 500g Ostrich goulash pieces
  • 500g mixed mushrooms
  • oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, cut up
  • 500g baby potatoes
  • 250g green beans
  • 125ml magic stock*
  • 500ml water
  • cornstarch
  • a handful of fresh herbs (we used flat leaf parsley, origanum and thyme)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 125ml red wine

* The secret is in the stock! Make your own by grilling 1kg beef bones in the oven for 30 mins. Then boil them in 3 litres of water with a few carrots, celery, onions, and garlic until you’ve cooked all the goodness out of them. Decant the delicious liquid into small tubs and use when needed for soups, stews, potjie or anything else really!

Method

Get your fire going! You will need a pile of medium heat coles to start. It’s best to use a tripod under your pot.

potjiekos on fire

Heat the oil and fry the onions and garlic. Add the meat and brown, then remove and let it rest.

ostrich goulash potjie

Next, add the baby potatoes, carrots, stock and water. Let it cook for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are almost cooked.

veggies cooking on a fire

Add the meat, mushrooms, and red wine and reduce the heat by removing some of the coals. Season to taste. Then let it simmer for about 30 minutes until the meat is tender.

potjiekos red wine

To thicken the potjie:

Add cold water to the cornstarch to form a paste. Then add some of the potjie juice to the cornstarch and mix till smooth and lump-free before adding the mixture to the potjie. Stir and cook for another 10 minutes before serving.

potjiekos

Serve with a few sprinkles of fresh herbs and a glass of deep red wine.

Enjoy!

Who’s Your Daddy this Father’s Day?

Father’s Day is this coming Sunday, and what better way to thank your Dad for his awesomeness than with a R1,000 voucher from Builders Warehouse?? Just tell us Who’s Your Daddy: is it DIY Dad, Garden Dad or Braai Dad?

whosyourdaddy

#1: DIY DAD

whosyourdaddy

Does your Dad love to get his hands dirty in the garage? Is he always working on things, building and tinkering with projects around the house? Then he is most likely DIY Dad, that guy that can fix anything and everything with his tools and tool belt.

#2: BRAAI Dad

whosyourdaddy

We all know this guy! Rain or shine, he’ll make any excuse to light a fire and cook his meat the way God intended. He has every possible gadget that he could ever need for his outdoor culinary adventures. And loves to hang around the fire showing off his skill.

#3: GARDEN Dad

whosyourdaddy

You can spot his exquisite garden from the window of an aeroplane. The borders are perfect, the gravel meticulous and he takes pride in his roses and gladiolas. Not to mention the harvest from his kitchen garden!

Now tell us Who’s Your Daddy!

Click here to enter the lucky draw to win a R1,000 voucher from Builders Warehouse for your Dad this Father’s Day.

 

Savoury cheesecake with chilli, tomato, and basil

I’ll be honest: I didn’t know that something like a savoury cheesecake even existed! But when I received a link to this recipe earlier this week, I knew that I had to try it. They had me at cheese, tomato and basil. That has to be one of my all-time favourite combinations of ingredients: on a sandwich, in an omelette, on a pizza, with pasta, and of course on its own. You can’t go wrong! AND this recipe is low-carb!

I didn’t plan to modify this recipe at all, but when I went to buy the ingredients and they didn’t have ricotta, I could for the life of me not figure what to substitute it with. In my defense, it was early in the morning and I’d had only 1 cup of coffee by then, so even Mr Google was not able to help me. I ended up substituting the ricotta with cream cheese. In hindsight, cottage cheese would have been a better choice. None the less, it worked out well and produced a deliciously silky, creamy, super rich savoury cheesecake. Oh, and I find it really hard to justify the cost of pine nuts, so I used my go-to in this situation: toasted sunflower seeds.

Baked Savoury Cheesecake with Cherry Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar - Homeology

You will need

For the Cheesecake:

  • 450 g ricotta (or if you’re like me, 450g of cream cheese)
  • 1 cup plain cream cheese – at room temperature
  • 1 Tbs wholegrain mustard
  • 1 Tbs garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 small green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • pinch white pepper

For the Topping:

  • 500g rosa tomatoes
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs spoon of toasted sunflower seeds and basil to serve

Baked Savoury Cheesecake - Homeology

Method

Seriously, this could not be easier!

For the Cheesecake:

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Prepare a springform cake tin by lining the base with baking paper and greasing.

Mix all the cheesecake ingredients thoroughly using an electric mixer. Then spoon into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool in the tin, and refrigerate until you’re ready for the next step!

Baked Savoury Cheesecake with Cherry Tomatoes, Balsamic Vinegar and Parsley - Homeology

For the Topping:

Preheat the grill to 200°C.

Toss the tomatoes in some oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place them under the grill until they have caramelized – around 10-15 minutes. Then allow to cool.

To Assemble:

Once you’re ready to serve, remove the cake from the springform tin and arrange the tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with basil leaves and roasted sunflower seeds.

Slice of Baked Savoury Cheesecake with Cherry Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar - Homeology

Happy Baking!

HOME TOUR: An arty home with colour to the max

You have seen the beautiful food posts that my sister, Anélle, has been creating. Now it’s time for me to show you the Maker & Baker’s home! Anélle lives with her husband, Nelius, and two kids in a 1970’s home that will soon be brought into the new century. And of course, I will show you the update once it’s done! But for now, have a look at this self-proclaimed colour lover’s family home.

colourful tablecloth with roses

HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED HERE?

We bought the house from family friends when we returned from the UK 3 years ago. It had tremendous potential, so when we heard that it was on the market, we immediately put it an offer.

HAVE YOU DONE ANY RENOVATION SINCE YOU BOUGHT THE HOUSE?

We replaced the floors in the living areas and revamped the kitchen. My brother-in-law is a builder, so when he was commisioned to build someone a new kitchen, he removed the nearly new kitchen, and we repurposed it here!

bright home

ARE YOU PLANNING TO MAKE ANY OTHER CHANGES?

We’re planning a major overhaul in the front of the house. We’re going to change rooms around – I look forward to sharing that with you once it’s done!

YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH RED.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE ITEMS IN YOUR HOME?

My Smeg oven – no doubt!

 

home tour colourful

colourful home

WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?

COLOUR BRINGS HAPPINESS!

That’s always the first thing that draws my attention. If I see something I like, I try to work it into our home. Most of our furniture is from the UK where we lived for 14 years. My husband also makes a lot of stuff – he’s very handy! I’m always on the lookout for something beautiful and colourful.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ROOM?

I love our living room. It’s the most colourful, and I enjoy it most during the day when the light falls through the windows. I also love my office and the kitchen because of the natural light.

sofa with cushions

colourful carpet and crochet blanket

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ARE MUST-HAVES IN A HOME?

Bubbly in the fridge. Because you never know when you might want to celebrate!

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THAT YOU FACED?

The house has many old-fashioned and sometimes ugly features, and I still struggle to make them functional and look beautiful. Luckily, all of those remnants from another era will go when we renovate.

fireplace, ladder and blanket

Mexican throw bedroom

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR HOME TO SAY ABOUT YOU?

Our home is a friendly and joyous space. Or that’s what we’re aiming for, at least!

cosy study corner
I used old London tube maps and Modge Podge to cover my tired desk chair and the handles on the filing cabinets.

diy filing cabinet

red filing cabinet underground map

painting on hanger

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO CREATE A SIMILAR LOOK?

Be bold! Don’t be afraid to play with colour. Even if you’re not sure whether something will work, try it anyway. Our home has a strong Mexican influence because we go there at least once a year for business, but as long as it’s colourful, it can work – no matter where it’s from.

vintage quilt with hat

vintage bedroom

For more of Anélle’s gorgeous cakes and delicacies, have a look at our FOOD section!

Give Crockery a Creative Make-Over with Paint and Plants

This post was first published in March 2015.

Everyone has some old crockery that they don’t like. It might be something that you got as a gift (those quintessential horrid wedding gifts from 13 years back!) or something that just went out of fashion.

Which brings me to the 4 unused bowls I’ve had in my kitchen cupboard for years now. Sometimes I get into a let’s-throw-everything-out-that-we-don’t-use-anymore mood, but even after several of those, these little creations remained. I realized that’s because I rather like the shape of them, even though the designs were not my style at all. So I got out some paint and started playing around!

palette

You will need:

Paint (I used Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan because it sticks to anything!) | Brushes | Leaves and things to print with | CPG (Ceramic, Porcelain, Glass) Podge

You can paint the bowls any way you like: with a brush, a roller or by swirling it around in the bowl. I painted directly onto the ceramic without preparing the surface first. The paint gives a rough texture which gives the impression of clay – love it!

paint me pretty

The fun starts when you work a with a few leaves or plants from your garden to see what patterns they make. Have a look at the play-with-print session we had earlier – anything can make a print!

natures stamp

To dip a bowl, add some packing tape to the back. This will give you a better grip on the bowl and will help with getting just the right depth of dip on the edges. Leave it dry by balancing it on a can of spray paint – works like a charm!

daintily dipped

To finish, paint the dried bowl with 4 layers of CPG Podge and bake according to the instructions on the bottle. This will seal the paint and prevent it from coming off. I won’t advocate putting it in the dishwasher or using a scourer on it, but you will be able to gently wash it in warm water.

colorful snack bowls

So now you also don’t have any reason to have ugly crockery – go on, paint and stamp them!

gr

Printing with Vegetables – a creatively fun experiment!

This post was first published in July 2014.

I have very fond memories of my fibre art class in high school and all the amazing textile-related techniques I was taught there. Amongst others, I learnt that a potato makes a very handy printing tool and can be carved into various shapes to create all manner of interesting patterns. Lately, though, I’ve been wondering if other vegetables could also be used as printing tools and when I walked through my veggie garden today and found a mammoth cauliflower, an idea started taking shape. So, I have taken it upon myself to do a bit of experimental printing with vegetable, and oh my goodness, was I surprised?!

v 1 - watermarked

v 8 - watermarked

CAULIFLOWER. Seriously, who knew? I certainly didn’t! I am already conjuring up images of walls being printed with this interesting floral pattern – watch this space and expect amazing things! I really feel that the sky is the limit when it comes to this one.

v11 - watermarked

Break off a large floret and cut through it so that you get a nice smooth face with a curly edge and stem (using a VERY sharp knife greatly helps). Print them in a circle with the stems touching to create a floral pattern or any way you want really!

v 7 - watermarked

GARLIC: It makes beautiful butterflies or hearts and pretty little flowers. You can also half the entire bulb and use that to print – perfect for gift wrap or a small canvass.

v 10 - watermarked

v 6 - watermarked

ONION: It’s amazing that it makes a perfect set of concentric circles. So beautiful that I just had to do a whole canvass with it. Isn’t is stunning!?

v9 - watermarked

By printing your own, you can create original artwork, gift wrap and cards, fabric and linen.

v 2 - watermarked

It’s so simple; even my kids got involved although Jean much preferred printing himself than the paper!

There is all manner of amazing patterns in nature: cucumber slices,  halved beetroot or citrus fruit, apples and pears with the seeds in the core. Go on, experiment a bit and then share with us what you’ve created!

Happy Printing!

How to make your own DIY Midcentury Modern TV Stand

This TV stand upcycle has been such an awesome project, that I’ve decided to revisit it! It is now nearly three years since I’ve done this project, and this TV stand is still perfect for our living room. If you can’t get your hands on an Ikea shelf to repurpose, then any tall, narrow shelving unit will do to create this DIY Midcentury Modern TV stand.

A recent clearing out and cleaning up of my house left me with a dilemma: the teak TV stand that we had loved and used for ten years suddenly didn’t go with anything in my revamped living room! While storage in any house with kids is a dire necessity, my designer training got the better of me: I needed something slick and contemporary, and since I had fallen love with mid-century inspired furniture, I needed tapered legs as well. So off to Gumtree to scour the furniture for sale section!

Gumtree Furniture for SALE the loot

I spent a few days looking for things I needed, and finally found the perfect ingredients for my project: an old IKEA floating wall shelf (damaged on top, exactly what I wanted!), a box of left-over oak parquet blocks, and four vintage tapered legs.

The result is a stunning contemporary TV stand with character – here are the step-by-step instructions!

Search Gumtree for the following:

  • Shelving unit or something that will be suitable as a base structure for the unit
  • Tapered legs
  • Parquet blocks

You will also need:

  • wood glue
  • sander
  • 40 grit paper & 100 grit paper
  • screws
  • small wooden battens

Gumtree Furniture for SALE roughing it

STEP 1: Sand, the top of the shelving unit with the 40 grit paper, to create a rough surface. The glue will work better if it is applied to something with a bit of grip. This would also be a great time to fix up any damaged areas.

DIY midcentury modern TV stand

STEP 2: Lay out the parquet block in the pattern you desire – but don’t glue it down yet. We used a traditional herringbone pattern, but you can also use any of the patterns here. It takes a while to get the position right and to cut down all the smaller pieces, but take your time – this is the most important step. Measure twice, cut once! You can also getting little budding designers in on the action 😉

DIY midcentury modern TV stand

STEP 3: Remove the parquet blocks on one of the corners and replace them with two timber battens. Screw fix these in place – they will form the guide that you will be working from.

STEP 4: Start to carefully glue down the parquet blocks, making sure that they don’t move or slip as you carry on. When you have all of them in place, make sure that they are all perfectly positioned before the glue sets. Leave for at least 24 hours before you proceed to step 5.

STEP 5: If the parquet block that you got was new, then sand the top and edges with the 100 grit paper until everything is smooth and gorgeous – remember your safety goggles! If you bought vintage wood, then you’ll need to put in a bit of effort to remove all the grime and oil first before you can start to finish off the top. Use sugar soap and then a 40 grit paper, finishing with the 100 grit.

STEP 6: Turn the unit over and fix the legs in place.

STEP 7: Dust the top off and seal the wood with a few glugs of linseed oil. It doesn’t cause yellowing, and it brings out the natural colour variations in the wood beautifully. It smells amazing too!

I am so pleased with the result that I can hardly contain myself. If you have an idea for an upcycle, have a look through the hundreds of pieces of furniture for sale on Gumtree – you might just see something that will be perfect for your project.

Happy Upcycling!

DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by Gumtree South Africa

Deliciously Moreish Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie for Supper

It could be the season, but I am obsessed with everything pumpkin at the moment: pumpkin fritters, pumpkin soup and delicious pumpkin curry have been regular features in our home. But I’ve never made pumpkin pie – in fact; I only had pumpkin pie for the first time recently at a friend’s birthday lunch. It’s not a typical dish you’ll find on a South African menu, but that only inspired me more to try it. This is my gluten-free pumpkin pie – and it’s an accompaniment to a main meal rather than a dessert, even though it looks pretty enough to be one.

My Latest Favourite Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe

pumpkin pie recipe

I found the gluten-free crust recipe on A Little Sanity. I adapted it slightly because my all-purpose gluten-free flour needed less water. You will need to adjust it as necessary to get a dough that is good to work with.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 2 Cups of Gluten Free Flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Butter at room temperature
  • 1 Egg
  • 60ml Cold Water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoon Sugar

For the Filling:

  • 1 ½ cups pureed cooked pumpkin
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 3/4 cup milk

For Decoration:

Seasonal fruit like gooseberries and pomegranate seeds, pastry stars and gold dust.

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare one 22cm pie dish.

For the crust:

pumpkin pie recipe

1// Mix the dry ingredients. Then rub in the butter using your fingers. The mixture will take on a crumbly consistency.

 

pumpkin pie recipe

2// Add the egg and mix well. Then add the water little by little until you get a dough ball.

 

pumpkin pie recipe

3// Place the dough in a prepared pie dish, using your fingers to even out the crust across the base and sides of the dish. I used a bit of extra dough to make little stars for decorating the pie with. You can bake them on a baking tray for 10-15 mins.

For The Filling:

Mix the pie filling ingredients together until blended well. Spoon the filling onto the crust and bake for 45 – 55 mins, or until the filling is still slightly wobbly.

pumpkin pie recipe

Decorate the pie with seasonal berries, pastry stars and some gold dust. Serve with roast meat and salad. And a glass of wine of course!

A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA:

pumpkin pie recipe

pumpkin pie recipe

I had some left-over filling, so I baked it in a muffin pan for 25mins. Serve with fresh berries and creme fraiche for a small treat!

Happy Baking!

The Prettiest Little DIY Terrarium for Indoor Gardening

This pretty little DIY terrarium has to be one of my favourite projects for Ideas Magazine! Give your houseplants pride of place with this functional statement piece. You can repurpose a collection of old frames or buy new ones for the project and finish it in the colour of your choice – although this green really works!

How To Make Your Own Mini DIY Terrarium

How complicated: easy

How long: 1 ½ hours, excluding drying time

 You will need:

diy terrarium

  • 6 picture frames to make up the body of the terrarium. We used:
    • 2 x 37cmx47cm for the front and back
    • 2 x 25cmx37cm for the sides
    • 2 x 25cmx47cm for the pitched roof
  • 8x plastic corner blocks
  • 6x 25mm steel butt hinges
  • 3x10mm wooden screws
  • Spray paint (we used Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover paint and primer in Meadow Green gloss)

You will also need:

  • Electric drill with 2.5mm wooden drill bit
  • Screwdriver

STEP 1:

diy terrarium

Remove all the glass and backing boards from the frames and place them on a flat protected surface. Then spray the frames, taking care to cover the sides as well. Remember also to spray the back! Allow to thoroughly dry before moving on to step 2.

 

STEP 2:

diy terrarium

Position the corner blocks roughly 5cm from the top and bottom edges of the frames and drill pilot holes. This will prevent the frames from cracking when you fix the screws.

 

STEP 3:

diy terrarium

Use the 8 corner blocks to fit the 4 “walls” of the terrarium together. Place the caps on the corner blocks to finish it off.

 

STEP 4:

diy terrarium

Fit the “roof” of the terrarium by connecting the long edges of the 2 remaining frames with 2 of the hinges. Then fix the roof in place with the remaining 4 hinges.

 

STEP 5:

diy terrarium

Carefully replace the glass and populate with your favourite plants!

Happy Indoor Gardening!

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