Interview – Nicolene van der Linde


Man … I love blogging. This is a place where I get to share awesome people! It’s been a long time since CS has interviewed someone. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the time! But we are back and we starting with a beautiful soul. She is a women after my own heart. We talk the same language. We get excited about the same creative things and its so refreshing.

Nicolene has a background in law as well as lecturing law at Varsity College but her law career was placed on hold when her heart felt that practicing law was very different from studying it or lecturing it. Once Nicolene had children she found her herself with a much happier spirit being creative with her kids and in this her love for creativity that photography took shape.

” The photography bug bit very hard from there onwards. I think I have finally found my vocational passion! It is very creative but also very technical… actually a little bit of everything. I love it!”

Her home renovation journey has been an inspirational one. Never a dull moment in renovating is there?

Living in this solid old Durban North home with Nicolene is her husband Ewoudt and together they have two kids Luwaldt(4) and Limirie (2) &  four dogs. The house over looks the beautiful ocean but not close enough for salty spoils. However, it was in need of some modern love and personal spice. Nicolene really needed to find someone who would take their family into consideration while renovating as she was heavily pregnant at the time and wanted to use what they had existing to create their perfect space but that did not happen the first time round. Their first building experience (The Granny Flat behind the house) was rather a huge learning curve …

” With the granny flat we managed the process ourselves. We contracted builders, tilers, painters, electricians, plumbers and so forth. We bought and scheduled delivery of all the supplies ourselves. It was a grueling process. The first builder we had went awol with a portion of our money, and the admin around what should happen when was pretty intense. As was choosing all the finishes (we planned a certain look, but halfway through realised the floor we wanted wasn’t available anymore and had to change course half way). But luckily all turned out ok (and nobody got divorced or murdered in the process).”

exposed-brick granny-flat-bathroom

grann gr

Most of the material used for building and decor was restored and Nicolene tried to use whatever they had to make magic happen. Not solely for cost savings but because that is what being creative was all about!

” We kept the basics natural and organic- screed, wood, raw brick. Décor wise we always joke if its rusty or peeling we will take it, so the organic look was pretty much the natural choice for us.”

gra gran-bath

drawers gran

FRONT OF GRANNY FLAT: This is where they cooked outside most evenings while the main house was being renovated. Rain or shine.


The main house reno was done while they loved in the granny flat. This picture is of the view of the main house, ocean in the distance.
Walls were knocked down to open up the living area
Practical flooring & beautiful kitchen design make the perfect heart of the home zone for the family.
Ladder on display but used when needed!

entrance frame

CS- What tips have you got to share with someone who is starting a renovation? Plan, plan, plan (the look you want, budget, timeline… the list is endless). Finding builders you can trust is a big step in the right direction. Think outside of the box– we recycled our old garage doors into a linen kist and used walking sticks as towel rails. Don’t feel discouraged when the going gets tough keep your eye on the ball, it is so worth it in the end! Live in the space for at least a year if possible before renovating you get a comprehensive idea of your needs.

CS- Can you say what the best part of the reno was? Moving in! The space was ‘us’ and felt like home!

CS- Can you share your worst experience? As I mentioned the first builder disappeared with some of our money (hard lesson to learn). And we had a bad burglary in the middle of the process which meant we had to up security by installing an electric fence which of course took a big bite out of our budget.

CS- Looking back on it all, why did you choose the design and decor you did or was it just an organic way? I am an avid décor magazine reader and got lots of ideas there. We had a pretty good sense of what we liked as we had to save for a long time, so plenty of dreaming had happened! However, it was difficult putting everything together and letting some ideas go that just didn’t work.


CS- Having kids is a big factor in deciding on your layout and decor choice. Can you tell us what decisions were made for this? We wanted an open space where kids could play and everyone is ‘involved’ whilst going about their daily tasks. Nothing is too fancy and where very few things are ‘don’t touch that’. Most things are easily cleaned (like the leather couches and grass carpets) and I squeeze in extra storage wherever I can (example, some old milk cans are now home to a variety of balls).


CS- You are definitely a creative & hold a natural flair for ‘thinking out the box’
with designs… Can you share which item you made with whatever you
had lying around?
My favourite is probably our headboard made from old burgler bars from before the renovations. Oh and our TV unit which Jomo (our gardener and handy man) and I made from scaffolds used in the building process.



shelves kids-room8

Shelves in kids rooms also made from scaffolding, pretty awesome hey!?

CS- What would you do over again if you had the chance?Mmmm I currently have a bee in my bonnet to white wash the wooden floors…

CS- Would you do it all over again, ie do you enjoy the process and why? Hahaha, that depends on when you ask the question! The process is very exciting, but there are times that you are 100 % sure it’s going to kill you and you can’t take a minute more (of course having the right team will minimise this feeling). However… in the end it is a couple of months worth of tough going and then months and months and months of loving your space every day… So yes, I would definitely do it again!

Favourite aritists: Marike Prinsloo-Rowe- One day when I am grown up I would love to own one of her pieces. Ingrid Hall & Rentia Smith.

The car bed was made by Nicolene

Knob Kirri’s used as hand rails in the bathroom.

{Through Nicolene’s Eyes}

Sundays are about church and family time… and relaxing as much as possible with two toddlers around! My favourite memory in this home isthere are too many to choose from! Life is not complete without chocolate Super M’s (my kids would argue its strawberry) If we were the last family on earth we would live simply and farm organically. Today is a gift and a blessing and glorious! I love my country because there are a million places and things to be discovered. The way to a kid’s heart is being emotionally present and being involved. If I had the time I would watch a movie or 10, learn some new tricks in photoshop and read, read, read. My favourite corner in my home is the study because so much of my creative energy is spent there. I am cooking spicy chicken for supper. Nothing is better than seeing my kids be carefree. Being creative is like shooting stars in heart.

detail2 detail3 inter1 front-door


Man, dont you just love this women and her free creative spirit! What I love about her & her home is that she used something old and made it something new.She used what she had and with thinking out the box she created beautiful things!



♥ Oh my goodness! I’m so excited to share with you about this amazing women!!!

A few weeks back I was delighted to catch up with local creative Julie Smith-Belton. She is lovely. Filled with such calm and peace. You would think, being a mother of 3 and home schooling her children that she would perhaps hold some sort of frantic atmosphere with her, though with much respect I can say Julie is the opposite.

A few years back I saw her sewing work at a market at one of our local churches. I then wanted to interview her but have just not managed it until now! (naughty me) If you read the Ideas Magazine (September issue) you would have seen that Julie won the Celebrating Creativity Competition. Her Riaan Cruywagen doll (see below) was one of many wonderful and creative  contributing ideas from all around South Africa. When I was interviewing her a few weeks back, Ideas where about to come and see her at home and interview her for the October issue. Have any of you seen or read the October issue yet? I recommend it!! Or check out her BLOG for the ins and outs! I’ve added some pics of other sewing projects she has done as well as her photography – her list of creativity is endless and I just love it!

So I spent an afternoon speaking to Julie, getting to know this photographer, graphic designer, creative, mother and wife. Julie is a sister of a good friend, we have not really connected on a personal level before but after that day with her and finding a common ground which is simplicity, i can honestly say she has become a mate. I can totally relate to the desire of living a simple life. Julie shared her heart to follow Gods will in their lives, to let go of all the hindrances that strap you down. Rory and Julie’s passion to travel the world with their family has taken wings as they sold the unnecessary possession around their home and downsizing from a 3 bedroom unit to a modest and cosy home with a lot less ‘stuff”.

She is a stay at home mom to 3 adorable children. It’s not common these days to have a south african mom stay at home looking after the family but that is an important factor for both Julie and Rory. Their humble and calm approach to raising children is quite refreshing. I found that Julie taught her kids to live life instead of just going through the process of life and she teaches them that in such a creative way. Being practical and letting them learn things through doing it themselves and learning consequences for mistakes. I think it takes a lot of the pressure off the parent to allow your children to learn from their mistakes instead of trying to fix it for them all the time. I recently got advice that said “Children don’t do what you say, they do what you do“. 

Julie’s background is in graphic design, she is self-taught in photography and has become quite phenomenal at it. She shoots the odd wedding or occasion should she feel the passion for it and never forces herself to be creative for the work but to rather be creative when the mood takes her. I think if one is able do that then it feels like you never ‘work’ a day in your life!  Her graphic design and creative nature sure is inspiring in such an honest and real way.

One of the reasons why Julie and her husband Rory decided on home school their children is to make the most of the years and to teach a natural way. They felt this year was a year of grace. You may feel otherwise or you may agree, whatever you feel its your choice. I admire Julie for taking it head on and trusting her own choices. The best thing about parenting in Julie’s eyes is having a love inside her that she has never experienced before. 

On the creative side, her creative outlet is blogging, sewing, graphic design, photography and decorating. I bought one of her Humpback whales for my little baby’s room-Too stunning for words. (see pic)

Other sewing projects…

Saturday’s for the Smith-Belton’s include being out and about going to the beach, riding bikes,playing Lego and just being a family unit. For moms seeking a great place to eat with kids, Julie recommend88 Degrees Cafe at gateway, Mercedes coffee shop  in Umhlanga, Botanical gardens and Kids world in Ushaka.

Another idea and a super one at that, was creative workshops held at The Rock church. Thanks to Julie, Jil and Monique it has flourished a few times and included women/men  from all walks of life, getting together and being creative. Ideas Magazine even featured the 1st creative evening in their June issue! You will be advised by me if any more happen, unless you follow her blog yourself.

I’m telling you this women is amazing and she has a wonderful and sincere heart that travels with her all day, its easy to enjoy her company and its even more inspiring just knowing her. That is why I just had to share humble creative with you guys. You heard about her on Creative Stream 1st! haha

All photos area from Julie’s Blog Ludo Police.


Artful, INSPIRING & Blogging

Welcome to thursday everyone. Can you believe it’s nearly mid September???

I’ve said this before and I will say it again … what I love about blogging is the inspiring and talented people I meet daily. I wish there was more blogging time for me to show you more and more – the dream is to introduce you to many inspiring subjects.

I’m not sure if you remembered THIS interview done quite a while back here on Creative Stream? Ishtar blew me away by her love for creativity, washi tape, illustrations and workshops and I had to find out more about this Spanish UK living creative. Which you can read about here.

Today, I wanted to share her news that she had recently been featured in the Artful Blogging magazine. I  love it when people get recognised for what they are.


Oh my! It thrills me no end when creatives get acknowledged and soar through the sky of potential and dreams. Daniella Germain (who was previously interviewed by CS) has now launched her stoneware range produced by Ashdene. If you remember that interview, we shared on Daniella’s cookbook. Well I am so happy to share more news for Daniella. Recently, she launched her stationary range AND now she has let us all know that she has launched her stoneware range! Both very much carrying that style and flavour as My Abuela’s Table cookbook. What an achievement!

“Each piece was lovingly designed and meticulously hand painted with water colour and ink…very much in a similar style as Floribunda and My Abuela’s Table” –Daniella Germain

Floribunda by the way is Daniella’s stationary range and is beautiful to say the least. You can order it here.

{Below: La Cocina range}

{Below: Floribunda stationary range}

All photos from Daniella’s blog- i bought a pair of Camper boots and now i am broke


So most of you Durbanites might have seen her roaming the markets and beach front. Camera in hand, carrying a funky style and a sharp, humorous tongue. She can capture portraits in such a charming way, lighting always right and never shy of atmosphere. BOW Design (Birds On a Wire) owner and blog writer Kathy shared with Creative Stream about her passion – photography & design.

{Below: Wedding photographed by Kathy}

I believe Kathy not only holds an eye for graphic and web design but she explores photography, specifically people, in such a beautiful way with her trusted Canon. I am excited to share with you about this down to earth and honest women. I like her portraits and her style, I like her frank personality and her eagerness for honesty. She gives great advice if you venturing into photography or already hold a passion for it, read on … 

1- Tell us about BOW? What do you offer?

BOW Design is something I started in late 2009 when the company I worked for liquidated during the recession. We offer both graphic and web design, but the majority of our work is print based advertising.

2- When did you know graphic design was for you? Did you have a natural knack for design?

I guess it was when my mom dragged me to Durban and told me I was going to start studying it. I had great plans of living on an island as a divemaster, but alas it wasn’t to be. Good thing too as the island I was on in Thailand was hit pretty hard by the Tsunami.

I wouldn’t say I have a natural talent with regards to graphic design, I was one of those jack of all trades, master of none kind of children, so I never stuck with anything long enough to get really good at it. I’d say that 80% of the time you’re creating work to a specific brief on an extremely tight deadline and the other 20% is where you can give your creativity free reign.

3- What is the graphic design market like at the moment and do you do anything else that runs long side your design career?

For us, I’d say it’s pretty good. We have some really great clients that have been with us from the beginning. Cultivating new clients is pretty tricky and there are a ton of small agencies and freelancers in Durban to compete with. For us service really is key.

4- I know you take photographs and are very good at it! Tell us where that passion started and how?

I’ve always loved photography. I used to take my point and shoot film camera everywhere with me when I was younger but printing photos became so expensive that I gave it up. I really only took it up again a couple of years ago.

5- Do you have any photographic tips for us?

Practice, practice, practice and practice some more. Get an SLR and forget that the green auto setting exists. Build a rock-solid foundation, start with the basics and get them right before you go any further. Learn all the rules before you start to break them. Don’t try to turn your hobby into a business until you really are good enough to charge a competitive rate.

6-  Can you tell us about your favorite photograph and why?

Wow this is hard. I reckon it’s the pic I took of my grandfather’s brother in Joburg. It’s not perfect, but it embodies exactly who he is.

{Kathy: My grandfathers brother. He’s 78 and still plays tennis once a week}

7- Can you share with us your most fun or accomplished design project thus far?

BuDDys Designated Drivers. We created their logo, website and promotional material. They’re a fun company to work with and pretty much gave us free reign to do as we saw fit. Their emphasis is on the DD’s in their logo so we had some fun with that as well.

8- What kind of photography do you enjoy doing? Stills, Landscapes, people, fashion, creative….?

People, people and more people. I love candids, for me it’s about capturing a person interacting with others or their environment, I’m really drawn to happy people. I’ve got this thing about capturing people’s faces and I tend to zoom right in for the head and shoulders shot so I really have to force myself to zoom out so people can get a bit of context as well.

9- What camera are you using?

Canon EOS 5D MKII. I waited months for the MKIII to come out so that the price would drop enough for me to afford it. I’m just stoked to finally have a full-frame camera.

10- If someone wants to go into the graphic design field, what qualification or steps do you recommend them looking into, should they be just out of school etc.

I’d recommend getting at least a diploma if not a degree. You really need to learn as much as possible before you start working and companies are more likely to hire you with some qualifications behind you. People wanting to get into the field also need to be aware that 75% of their career is going to be spent deep-etching and only a tiny margin of your work will be completely your own baby.

{Kathy: Muth Suter – I love this pic, it was taken at one of the Gunslinger Pushes on the beachfront. It makes me think of California.}

{Kathy: Moses Mabhida – I like the symmetry.}

11- Why does photography blow your hair back?

Photography is a way for me to give my creativity an outlet. I’ve never been the best at translating things in my head onto paper but knowing your camera backwards can allow you to take a moment in time and preserve it any way you want to.

12- Tell us about your blog?

Ah my blog, I have been a bit neglectful. It’s going to call childline one of these days. Cherish is a way for me to share all the people and places that inspire me with anyone who cares to read it. I also use it as a kind of library so I can go back and revisit things without having to write it all down on a piece of paper I’m only going to lose anyway.

13- What do you love about blogging?

It’s all me. I can decide what I want to write about, when I want to write it and it gives me a good excuse to trawl the internet late at night.

14- Who is your favorite artist/photographer etc.?

I have a few but if you’ve read my blog you will have noticed that I’ve done a couple of posts on Kalle Gustafsson. He’s a Swedish fashion and lifestyle photographer and I’m completely in love with his style. Jose Villa  is one of my favourite wedding photographers. He shoots on film so he really manages to get the light to wrap around his subjects and the colours are nicely muted. Locally I like Andrew Brauteseth‘s work a lot. He does a lot of commercial work but still manages to find the time to get creative and get out there and just take pictures.

15- If you could have coffee with anyone- who would it be?

It might sound cliché but Annie Leibovitz . She has such a massive body of work behind her, specifically in portraiture. She’s pretty controversial at times as well so I find that quite intriguing.

16- And lastly, what do you rate most about where you live?!

The wildlife on a Friday and Saturday night and the drunken mating calls of said wildlife. No I’m just kidding although things can get pretty rowdy. I like that we’re so central, everything is really only a 5 minute drive away. Loads of great restaurants, the beach, parks, shops and friends all within the same small part of the world.

{Kathy:bf-tree , Just a pic I took on Florida Road}

{Kathy: Ché – She was laughing at something Rick said and you know how hard it is to get her to relax in front of the camera}

{Kathy: Dee Collard – My grans best friend throughout her entire life}

Pretty creative women don’t you think??

Thanks Kathy for sharing your photographs and your time with us. You’re awesome! 

Please be sure to check out more of Kathy’s work on Facebook and blog and website.