Be bright

Things that brightened up my day….

  • Receiving the most funky and sweet place mats ever from Cornel this morning while working on our crochet book.
  • This neon yellow African fabric I used to dress my paper doll version of myself.  These paper dolls are part of our Empty Nest workshops at Tierlantynkies . Please see the workshop schedule if you live in Gauteng,-  our workshops will brighten up your day and no previous art experience needed to make and paint yourself and your family!



Hope you have a bright, shiny weekend full of love

love from Elsbeth


How Crochet and Knitting have influenced the world of Decor

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I have many passions in life.  But Décor, knitting and crochet definitely tops my list as all time favourites.  It’s truly amazing to see how the art of crochet and knitting has influenced the world of décor. From state of the art furniture, to truly unique accessories and artwork, have all been influenced by crochet and knitting.

Knitted furniture covers, sofa and chair cushions, ottomans and decorative accessories like plant pot covers, wall clocks, throws, floor rugs and pillows are modern interior design trends that add soft texture, unique patterns and cosy accents to stylish home decorating.


I hope that by sharing some of these awesome designs and creations you are inspired to look at crochet and knitting in a new light.


Joana Vasconcelosa Portuguese artist has been wrapping various animals—wasps, lizards, snakes, crabs, lobsters, frogs, bull-heads, donkey heads, horse heads, wolves and even cats—in five-needle lace, handmade cotton crochet. But these aren’t any old animals. Vasconcelos has appropriated the ceramic artwork of Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (1846-1905), one of the most renowned Portuguese artists of the 19th century.

Each of the pieces “are ambiguously imprisoned/protected by a second-skin in crochet-work,” says Vasconcelos. At once both beautiful and strange, the work stands as a testament to the extraordinary craftsmanship of the artist but also as a one-upmanship of maternal femininity and domesticity. The use of crochet to mummify the ceramic animals “opens up a vast and rich field of interpretation” that challenges our preconceptions of femininity, as well as our notions of tradition and modernity. 

The Cabaret Collection designed by Kenneth Cobonpue is inspired by the simplicity and subtle beauty in the art of knitting. Weaving fabric-wrapped foam on a steel frame conveys the next generation of the evolving outdoor luxury



Contemporary floor lamps from Up Lamp collection created by Mario Masser can be utilised for outdoor living spaces and interior decorating. Created of white plastic modern floor lamps function colourful knitted lamp shades.


The Aran Rug by Christien Meindertsma, is a beautiful floor decor item that adds soft texture and light neutral colour to modern interior design. Handmade floor rug is created with extra chunky yarn and huge needles.  Christien Meindertsma was born in Utrecht in the Netherlands.   She attended Design Academy Eindhoven and graduated in 2003.  She lives and works in Rotterdam.


PMUrchin Pouf


Melanie Porter is a talented and innovative designer. She creates amazing furniture and decor items, handmade chair covers in a highly-textured hand knitted  designs and cute crocheted buttons, adding unique elements to warm and modern interior design.

  Melanie Porter knitted chairs have been featured in The Telegraph, Homes and Gardens, Elle decoration and The Sunday Times



Claire-Anne O’ Brien lives and works in London producing textiles for furniture, space and product. Her fabulously decorative pillows, knitted fabrics and stool cushions turn simple furniture items into impressive contemporary artworks, bringing stylish colours, expressive knitting patterns and unique textures of soft wool into modern interior design.

Her striking and elegant stools with knitted cushions are made using details and construction techniques traditionally associated with knitwear garments such as ribs, cuffs, button holes, cut and sew to create jumpers for modern chairs and stools.





Our very own fellow blogger Elsbeth Eksteen has an awesome range of crochet and knitted décor accessories that she showcases at various Décor shows during the year.  Her work is always inspiring and what makes if so special is that its local and available to order.



Enjoy your week and may it be inspiring in so many ways!

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cornel strydom’s house tour

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I live (very comfortably) in a farm style house just outside Pretoria, South Africa, with my husband, our 2 sons Sebastian (12 years old) and Benjamin (10 years old), 5 dogs (Chloe, Billy, Lilly, Boston and Milo) and Cat.

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This is a little tour through our recently re-decorated home.

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The diningroom-cum-kitchen.

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The scullery from the dining room.

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The beautiful ROMO wallpaper, Tamaki Spring green in the scullery.

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Our TV room with a crocheted carpet (sold by Sew Good).

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I could easily write a book on ‘living with dogs and Cat, without sacrificing style’ …

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The wallpaper in our en-suite bathroom is ROMO’s Livia Bisque

The boys’ rooms:

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Our bedroom:

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Black Edition Luiza Stone is the lovely wallpaper in our main bedroom.

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This is the view from our bed, with the folding/stacking doors open.

cornel strydom decor 8There’s always more to be done.

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Our home has been through many transformations during the past 8 years we’ve lived here. You can ask my friends.

The look I wanted to go for this time is CALM and is my version of “grown-up” decor.

Jamie Drake, brilliant American decorator (also known in the USA as the ‘king of color’) described this look as “living in a bowl of oats”.

Have a lovely weekend!

I know I will.

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PS I painted my WHOLE house (walls, doors and ceiling) in Plascon’s Light Stone NEU06, in the Cashmere quality.

All the wallpapers in our home is available from Romo South Africa 0112624167 or email

The wallpaper on the fireplace in our lounge is Black Edition’s Lietti Stone.

store your stash

Do you need inspiration on how to organize your ever-growing yarn collection? ‘Cause let’s face it, if you love yarn, colour, texture and retail therapy as much as I do, you’ll have your hands (and house) full most of the time. Here’s some inspiration from the experts.

IMG_1936 Debee Ruiz’s spot looks so cozy. She didn’t need a lot of space either. She blogs at if you’d like to see more inspiration from her.

IMG_1937 Ingrid van Willenswaard from displays her stash as part of the decor in her lounge. What a brilliant idea.

IMG_1938 No need to wonder which colours Danielle Thompson loves crafting with. See what she gets up to on her blog at

IMG_1942A simple wire basket works for Nienke Landman. I would need more than one for my stash though. She has more than one project on the go, so more baskets for her at


IMG_1943 Louise Walker of has her personal stash and her ‘work’ stash in separate cupboards.

IMG_1945 Inge Cremer almost has as much yarn as I do. She is a lot more organized. Her creative adventures are blogged about at

One of my favourite bloggers is Ingrid Jansen of She is my constant inspiration for crochet, colour, simple and utterly stylish living and travel. No wonder that her storage solution is my favourite.

IMG_1941 So from one #yarnacquisionexpert to another, have a great weekend! Lots of love cornel signature

finding little gems

I had such an amazing Saturday morning at the Provance Vintage Fair.

This special market is every first Saturday of the month.

The shop is full of beautiful Vintage finds and some of the most beautiful antique crochet blankets and doilies.


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What I enjoy most is the little gems you can find at the bottom of a suitcase, just waiting for you to take home!

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I love these crochet and macrame lampshades!



The shop is open on Tuesdays to Fridays from 9am to 4pm,  Saturday from 9am to 1pm and closed on Sunday and Monday.

The Vintage Fair is only on the first Saturday of every month.

You will find a lot of antique, vintage and funky junk to buy from the traders that exhibit in the beautiful garden.

 Here is some of the little gems I found from the traders…provance9

provance 11provance8The market is on a plot on Zambezi rd, Pretoria and the visitors, especially the children love the little goat Gina, the pig and donkey that live on the property.

Remember to take some carrots for the cute donkey if you go visit!





I bought some really old lampshades that will get a special woolly treatment.

I will share the before and after in a later post.

Hope you are going to have a great week!


anisa sets the table for christmas

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A MUST BUY if you need inspiration for setting a Christmas table this year is the December issue of Ideas Magazine, in shop now.

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Anisa set a beautiful, colourful, handmade table and shares the most delicious recipes.

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So proud of you Anisa!

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PS If you can’t get to the shops, just buy the magazine online and view it immediately – I did!

Click on this link to find the digital version:

Here’s a look at the rest of Anisa’s handmade heaven …

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 (original post on 19 november 2014)

hello monday

If you know me you will know that I love yellow!

Sunny yellow, lemon yellow- you name it …I love them all! But recently I have developed a deep love for mustard golden yellow.

I found a perfect example of this yellow in the Arthur Bales shop in Linden.

You can read more about this amazing shop in this post.

A gorgeous 100% wool from Rowan. They have a great collection of Rowan yarns and soon here on Hello Hart we will share our amazing visit to this yarn lover’s dream of a shop.

My new yellow love features in the beautiful blokkie that Cornel shared in this post .

You will use a lot of your little bits of wool and leftover yarns for the inside motive, and this way you can buy new wool to add to your stash without a guilty conscious!

I’m really so happy with my collection of blokkies!

crochet motive by Elsbeth


crochet motives


crochet motives by Elsbeth

 This yellow cardigan seems easy enough to knit and makes such a statement because of the colour and loosely knitted tension…..

yellow cardigan

a simple granny square- just in yellow.

yellow blanket

pom pom

Who doesn’t love a pom-pom! An easy way to bring some colour and playfulness to any outfit.

…and then this eye catching statement piece!

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A little bit of yellow on a lampshade– the yellow just makes it POP a little bit don’t you think?

yellow trim


a pretty summer shawl

hope you all have an amazing week!

here is your little free printable.

hope you like it.

my oulike balletjie wol

click on the link and download the image to your computer.
remember to share and tag your printable with #hellohartco on instagram. we love seeing what you up to!
love elsbeth
(original post 17 November 2014)

friday i’m in love

Wow! We are a bunch of girls who LOVE LOVE LOVE yarn.

You really shared the most amazing reasons why you love yarn with us these last 4 days and we hope to share those with you over the following 120 days! That’s how many replies we received for the question: Why do you love yarn?

Our winner of the I LOVE YARN-giveaway is Marie Swanepoel.

Congratulations Marie! We totally agree with you:


Elsbeth is working on a little artwork, with Marie’s words, for the blog on Monday. Another printable for Monday! I can’t wait to see it, because I love Elsbeth’s work!

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Today, I’m in love with (clockwise from top left) a crocheted handbag

the combination of colors in the bouquet of flowers

a crocheted alphabet

and a simple granny square cushion

Have a wonderful weekend!

Lots of yarn-love,

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(original post on 15 august 2014)