Recreate with upcycled items

    While most may look at a beaten, worn-out suitcase and perceive only worthless waste, Katie Thompson (founder of Woodstock-based repurposed furniture store Recreate) sees only an exciting opportunity to reconceptualise, refurbish and reinvent.

As one of the respected champions of the upcycling movement in Cape Town, this gifted designer is at the forefront of the burgeoning trend that calls for the innovative redesign of those objects that are regarded as 'junk' or are no longer used for their original function.

Artists, like Katie, who've taken the fresh aesthetic by the horns, are making use of discards to develop something different, something novel, something of higher value (hence the term 'up') and renewed worth - a clock created from an old kitchen scale, a lamp from a tossed-out jar, for instance.

Not to be confused with 'vintage', repurposing (as upcycling is also known) is not simply about reusing an item, but about finding a fresh, unexpected and inventive application for it. So, whereas a vintage collectible (granny's 1950s frock, for example) still has inherent value in its original form and role, an upcycled product has been altered from its purposeless state to give it new life and worth.

Sources: Oh Em Gee Website and Recreate SA's Facebook page


Babies command technology

More than one-third of babies are tapping on smartphones and tablets even before they learn to walk or talk, and by 1 year of age, one in seven toddlers are using devices for at least an hour a day, according to a study presented this month at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego.

Researchers developed a 20-item survey to find out when young children are first exposed to mobile media and how they use devices. The questionnaire was adapted from the "Zero to Eight" Common Sense Media national survey on media use in children.

In their results they found that children younger than 1 year of age were exposed to media devices in surprisingly large numbers: 52 percent had watched TV shows, 36 percent had touched or scrolled a screen, 24 percent had called someone, 15 percent used apps and 12 percent played video games.

By 2 years of age, most children were using mobile devices.

Results also showed 73 percent of parents let their children play with mobile devices while doing household chores, 60 percent while running errands, 65 percent to calm a child and 29 percent to put a child to sleep.

Time spent on devices increased with age, with 26 percent of 2 year olds and 38 percent of 4 year olds using devices for at least an hour a day.

Finally, only 30 percent of parents said their child's pediatrician had discussed media use with them.

Source: First Exposure and Use of Mobile Media in Young Children

Technology and children

Multiple uses for Orange peels

During citrus season, orange lovers have overloaded their compost bins and garbage cans with peels. But that's no place for these workhorses - there are plenty of creative ways to use the peels around the house. Here are 12 surprising ways to use orange peels.
  1. Remove Water Stains - Unsightly water stains on your metal fixtures? The oils in orange peels naturally removes them. Just rub the peel on the fixtures to polish them right up.
  2. Shine Wood - The white side of the peel can also polish dull-looking wood furniture.
  3. DIY Sponge - Not-yet-dried orange peels make a fantastic natural cleaning sponge. It works just as well as a regular sponge, but it leaves that nice, light citrusy smell.
  4. DIY Cleaner - Toss some orange peels in a lidded jar and cover with white vinegar. Let it sit in the fridge for a few weeks and shake it occasionally. Transfer to a spray bottle, shake, and use to clean surfaces, floors and windows.
  5. Repel Insects - Ants, flies and mosquitoes don't like limonene, something naturally found in oranges and other citrus fruits. Place some ground-up orange peel in areas where pests are prone to congregate.
  6. Make Your Home Smell Great - Orange peels are an excellent, subtle fragrance. Dry out the peels, grind them up in a food processor and place them in a sachet. Place them in drawers, closets, basements, or anywhere else that is prone to getting musty.
  7. Keep Garbage Cans tolerable - Even the tidiest housekeeper's garbage stinks. Place some dried orange peels at the bottom of your trash can before putting in the bag.
  8. Soften Brown Sugar - If you find yourself with hard, clumpy, brown sugar, toss an orange peel into the container a few hours before baking. The oils in the peel will naturally soften the brown sugar.
  9. Combat Stinky Shoes - Place dried orange peels in a sachet, and place the sachet in your smelly shoes. The peel will naturally absorb the odours.
  10. Make Orange Peel sweets - Orange peels are a great garnish for sweets and treats.
  11. DIY Body Scrub - Place some orange peels in cheesecloth, tie closed and use as you would a loofah in the shower. The peel will naturally firm, brighten and even the tone of your skin.
  12. Make a Candle - Make a candle out of an orange peel - cut the orange in half, take out edible portion leaving the skin shell. Fill the cavity with any type of oil such as Vegetable or olive oil to just below the center stem like wick, and light it.

Orange peels

Dazzled by fairy lights

Oewerzicht is a diverse farm situated in the picture perfect Greyton valley on the banks of the Sonderend River. Only 9km outside this tranquil country village, it is the ideal place for a peaceful and romantic getaway.

The Sonderend river that runs through Oewerzicht farm is the focal point of most leisure activities, i.e. swimming, fishing (blue gill or bass, on a catch release basis), tractor tubing, canoeing, etc. The farm has a couple of hiking & cycling trails and is also ideal for bird watching and more. There is a challenging 25km mountain bike trail for those who enjoy physical adventures.

One of the features of the farm is the suspension bridge over the Riviersonderend river - this is the only way, other than a boat or float, that guests can get from the main farm area to the safari tents on the banks of the river.

Lit up at night with fairy lights in the event of a wedding under a Bedouin stretch tent, the suspended bridge creates a sense of wonder and delight to all that use it. The stone lapa is a great location (overlooking the river and the bridge) to hold a small party or conference.

They also have a camp site with 26 sites on a large lawn next to the river (swimming, tubing and fishing), and 6 furnished Safari style tents on the banks of the Sonderend River. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom and is equipped with a bar fridge, kettle, a fan, a heater for winter time and its own braai facilities. All tents use a fully equipped communal kitchen.

On the opposite side of the river (same side as the stone lapa) are 3 farm style cottages (about 50 meters from the river) Bergzicht, Welgelee and Citrus. Bergzicht and Welgelee are semi-detached and both have one bedroom with a double bed and two single beds in the living area. Both these cottages have an indoor and outdoor braai area, as well as a lovely and spacious veranda. These cottages accommodate 4 people each. Citrus (sleeps 8) has a queen size bed in the main bedroom, and two single beds and a double bed in the second room, all sharing a bathroom. The cottage has a fireplace, an outside braai area and a nice-sized veranda for entertaining.

They also have 4 Uitsig Cottages on a hill with panoramic views of the Rivier sonderend mountain range, that are situated 300 m from the river (opposite the campsite). Each of the Uitsig cottages has a living room, two bedrooms (one with a double bed, one with two single beds), a separate bathroom and indoor as well as outdoor braai facilities. The Uitsig cottages have a communal plunge pool.

Set in a restful location, this is the perfect place to go to enjoy the true beauty of nature!

For more information on the Oewerzicht Farm

Oewerzicht Farm

Hot News

Cheral is a guest on local TV

Keep your eyes on the TV around mid May, as Cheral Kennedy, owner of Living Matter, will be a featured guest on one of the afternoon broadcasts of a new show on SABC3 (the new afternoon show starts its broadcast in early May).


Featured Plant

Sand Olive

Dodonaea Viscosa var. Angustifolia
(Sand Olive)

Family :


Description :

Small tree to 5m.

Flowering time :

Autumn / Winter

Conditions :

  • Full Sun
  • Little water
  • Evergreen
  • Frost resistant
  • Wind resistant
  • Any Soil

View more detailed information on this plant in our plant directory.

Design idea feature

Design idea feature

Create an interesting feature of your pergola in your outdoor entertaining space. Different sizes and shapes of wood, work well with the gaps in between to create a unique feature of dark and light, space and coziness.

Planting Guide

Herb or Veggie
Oak Leaf lettuce

Seeds can be sown or plants can be planted for the following herbs and veggies this month:


  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Mielies
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweetcorn
  • Swisschard
  • Turnips
  • Herbs

  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Chives
  • Chamomile
  • Dill
  • Mustard
  • Oreganum
  • Parsley
  • Rocket
  • Thyme
  • Watercress
  • View our full planting plan in our resources section of our website.

    Brain Teaser

    We all love a chance to test our own brain capacity with brain teasers. Try see if you can figure out this one...

    Brain Teaser

    February's Teaser Answer :
    "Half hearted"


    Click here to subscribe to our newsletter

    Advertise with us

    Click here to see what options we have available for advertising or brand exposure.

    Contact Cheral:

    Cell: 082 82 509 82