2017 In Review & Plans For 2018

Hi everyone!

My apologies for taking so long to upload this. January has not been kind to me. I’ve been extremely ill twice, and two of my pets have passed away so I have been very depressed. I’ve finally had the time and energy to finish this post. This is just going to be a quick summary of my 2017, and my plans for 2018.

January

January was pretty slow – I just worked, and wrote my last exam for my degree.

February

I went to Red Room with Juan, and teased my hair really big. I really loved this look!

I also got this incredible drawing of myself from Trevor Schuster. Here’s a side by side comparison of the drawing and the photo he used!

I did a shoot with Wasabi Foto that is very different from my usual style, but I love the result!

March

I handed in my leather bound research report on the 3rd!

I won an award for Trevor at Ink & Iron for best half back colour tattoo! Excuse the sunburn! Here’s my tattoo as well, for those of you who haven’t seen it.

I went to a cosplay picnic in my Little Sister cosplay from Bioshock! I had some awesome photos taken there. This one is my favourite.

My husband and I got engaged! We waited to announce it when we got the ring though, as we decided to have a ring custom made.

I also convinced my non-Goth friends to go to Attrition! Look at how gorgeous they looked!

April

I had a stall at Fantasy Fayre and made this skirt so that I could wear a viking inspired outfit!

I went to visit my beautiful friend Neko in Clarens for the weekend and had so much fun! I wish she didn’t live so far.

I had a photoshoot with Taikutsuna Majo, where two of my beloved pets modeled with me. Sadly they are both no longer with us.

At Pagan Freedom Day I shot with a bow for the first time in years!

May

I graduated my Honours Degree in Strategic Brand Communication!

Unfortunately just a few days after my graduation, my dog, Layla, had to be put down. I was heartbroken and it took me months to recover.

I got new synthetic dreads that I put in for a week. I loved this look I did for Geekfest! I had a stall there and it went really well!

I had a lovely day out with my friend Krisne where we went vintage shopping and drank lots of tea! We even stopped by a charity shop that is also a cat sanctuary and I made a new friend!

June

I was very busy with my jewellery business this month! I had 3 stalls and worked very hard to create stock.

I went to ICON to support my fellow stallholders, and got to fight a knight! Look at how ridiculous I look in the armour! It was lots of fun though!

July

I started working at the company I work at!

I also attended the last ever Dark Noise party with Juan. I’m so sad that I don’t have any more Dark Noise parties to look forward to. They were always so much fun.

August

I was very busy with stalls again this month.

We finally had our engagement photos taken! Thank you to Derek Whitton Photography for the beautiful photos.

My grandfather passed away and we went to his funeral.

September

I visited Neko in Clarens for a week to de-stress and have time to make jewellery stock for my biggest market for the year.

I had a stall at a Harry Potter festival and it was extremely busy! Luckily towards the end of the day I managed to take photos with Simone at the photobooth!

It was my birthday and my mother and I went to watch the Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra perform Disney songs. It was such a fantastic show!

October

It was my biggest market for the year – rAge. I was extremely over-worked but it was worth it. I wore my Little Sister cosplay again and even found a splicer!

November

I had a stall at Discworld Day! I dressed up as Adora Belle Dearheart from Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal. Unfortunately it was extremely hot and I was unable to manage my stall for the majority of the day. Luckily some kind stallholders looked after me and even drove home with me to make sure that I was safe.

It was my kitchen tea and we went to the botanical gardens. I just love the look on my face in this photo. It was the exact moment that I realised that the lingerie I had just opened was from my mother!

We got married! The day did not go according to plan because it was pouring with rain the whole day, but it was still perfect! Thank you to Swallow-Tail Photography for our amazing photos and my beautiful makeup.

The next day we left on honeymoon, which was absolutely incredible. We went to Paris, Venice and Rome! I’ll write a post all about the wedding and honeymoon! I don’t want to spoil too much, but my absolute favourite place we went to was the Paris Catacombs. Here’s my favourite photo I took there:

December

We got back from honeymoon on the 7th December and I was back at work the next day.

I had 2 amazing photoshoots to end off the year. One with Dark Arts Society:

And one with Shyne Photo:

I worked until the 22nd of December and didn’t do much in my time off. Hardly any of the plans I made worked out unfortunately. But I did have a Harry Potter marathon with Bree!

Sadly one our rats, Dovahkiin passed away suddenly around Christmas, followed by my rabbit, Frodo and one of our other rats, Eddie, in the first week of January. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, the year didn’t start off well for me, but I hope that it gets better.

 

Plans For 2018

This year is going to be a busy one for me.

As I’m now working full time, I have less time for Ayame Designs and for modeling. Because of this, my jewellery business will take preference over modeling. I am going to focus most of my free time on growing Ayame Designs, especially internationally. I have some very exciting new product ranges coming up this year that I will be working on whenever I can. I will no longer be doing smaller markets, as they are not worth my time. The only exception is when it’s an alternative market and it’s not too far to travel. I am also travelling to Cape Town to have a stall at FanCon! This is the first time that I am travelling outside of Pretoria and Johannesburg for a stall so it’s very exciting!

As for my modeling, I will only be taking on work that will result in something amazing and different. I am much more selective about who I work with, and will only be shooting interesting concepts. Unfortunately all the alternative and goth magazines I would like to be published in don’t have themes I would like to shoot, so I will probably only be submitting to open themed issues or magazines this year.

I have just become permanent at my job! This means that I will also be taking on new responsibilities and I am excited to grow in the company. I’ll also be working much harder than perviously, and therefore won’t have as much free time.

I want to commit to writing a blog post at least once every 2 weeks. I am working on a few new posts right now, and also have some ideas for future posts saved. Unfortunately I don’t have as much time as I’d like to film YouTube videos, so I will be focusing on blogging, as I can write little bits at a time when I can, but don’t often have multiple hours free to film and edit videos.

This year I have also decided to cut all negative things out of my life. Whether it’s people who drag me down or things I let happen. I am done letting people or circumstances affect my happiness. I will make more time for people and things that make me happy.

 

I know this is quite a long post! Congrats on making it to the end! PS – My post about my wedding will be up next week, followed by one on my honeymoon.

 

 

J

xx

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My Favourite Pictures and Memories from December

Hi everyone!

 

This post is part of the ESG: My favourite picture of the month December swap on Swap-Bot. Sorry I skipped November, it was super busy because of the wedding and honeymoon. But don’t worry, I’ll be following up this post with one on my 2017 in review and plans for 2018. That post will be up in a few days.

 

In the beginning of December, we were still on honeymoon, and were in Venice first. I took this photo inside an absolutely incredible mask shop that we found.

 

After our time in Venice, we went to Rome, where we saw lots of amazing things. My absolute favourite thing was the Capuchin Monk Crypt. This photo shows one of the many beautiful patterns in the ceiling that are made out of human remains.

 

We also came across Victorian Monkey, a board game pub in Rome! I just had to try one of their signature potions. We had lots of fun there, playing Exploding Kittens, drinking potions and eating good food. We need places like this in South Africa!

 

When we came back home, I was very busy. I had a very fun photoshoot with Dark Arts Society. Here’s the sneak peek selfie I took after the shoot.

 

Lastly, I bought two things I had wanted for a while. I got this Alchemy Gothic necklace, as well as the gorgeous green lipstick from LA Splash.

 

I don’t have a photo for this memory, but my friend Bree came over and we had a Harry Potter marathon! I always love watching the Harry Potter movies back to back but this was the first time watching them like this with a friend.

 

For New Years, we didn’t do anything. I played Elder Scrolls Online and my husband played GTA. We decided not to go out so that we could make sure that our animals are okay. Luckily there were hardly any fireworks this time.

 

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my month! As I mentioned in the beginning, I’m working on a post on my 2017 in review and will be sharing it with you soon!

 

J

xx

A fun trip to Cullinan

Hi everyone! 

I just wanted to share the lovely day I had this Saturday. My family competed in the mountain bike race in Cullinan on Saturday, and I decided to tag along to explore and shop. 

All ready to go! And my hair is back to the colour I like


First I had to have a cappuccino and breakfast at Harrie’s Pancakes of course! I had a hard time deciding what to eat because so many of the options sound delicious, but I went with the biltong and mozzarella pancake which was definitely a good choice! 


After my lovely breakfast, I headed towards the shops, taking in the scenery and looking at interesting thingies along the way, like this giant ring outside a jeweller:


I found the most unusual place called Jan Harmsgat se Agterplaas – it’s a little theatre that’s also used as a wedding venue and is open to the public to walk around and take a look at the strange decor.


After looking at all the shops at the bottom of the street, I headed back up to visit the secondhand book shop called Once Upon A Time that hadn’t opened yet when I walked past earlier. Inside I met the shop cat, who was such a sweetheart, and the lovely shop owner Naòmi, who shares my love for fantasy novels. 

The beautiful shop kitty!


I spent over 2 hours in the shop talking to Naòmi about books and our interests, and she fetched the books I was looking for from her house so I could buy them! She really went out of her way to make sure I got the books I wanted. 

The books Naòmi brought from her personal collection for me!


After I paid for the books, we sat down again and talked. That’s when I spotted this gem. I couldn’t believe my luck! Anyone who knows me knows that I love history, particularly medieval history. This book is beautifully illustrated and contains lots of information about time periods that I had never even heard of! 


I had such a great day and I hope you enjoyed reading about it! 

J

xx

Why I Travel

Hello everyone!

 

This post is another one for a swap on Swap-Bot, which can be found here.

 

I’m fortunate enough to come from a relatively well-off family, so while living in England, traveling was a huge part of my life. I grew to love it from a young age – I would pack at least 2 weeks in advance due to the excitement. The plane trip there was also just as exciting for me – I would always take the window seat, so I can see the plane take off and look at the different landscapes we pass over (when we weren’t flying at night or through clouds). I loved seeing how different the scenery and cultures were and would imagine what I would be like if I grew up there instead. We would usually go to a new country every holiday, as well as having our yearly skiing trip in the French Alps. Sadly I lost most of my old photos when my hard drive crashed a few years ago, but here’s a photo of us at Disney World Florida in 2002:

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My passion for traveling hasn’t changed except that I can no longer do it as regularly, as I now live in South Africa. It’s very expensive for us to travel anywhere due to the poor economy. I have an entire bucket list of countries I want to visit one day (or visit again because I was so young the last time). I can’t afford to travel much now, but I plan to move to Denmark in a few years and then traveling will be easier again. I do often go to different places within my country though. On a few occasions we have gone overseas since living here as well. I have also paid for my own trips to Portugal (sadly those photos are also lost) and Denmark.

 

Val Thorens (French Alps), 2013

Val Thorens (French Alps), 2013

 

Mozambique, 2014

Mozambique, 2014

 

The Little Mermaid in Denmark, 2015

The Little Mermaid in Denmark, 2015

 

Clarens, 2016

Clarens (South Africa), 2016

 

I hope you enjoyed reading!

 

 

J

xx

A Lovely Weekend In Clarens

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I posted anything other than my show playlists.

This weekend I went to Clarens! My parents were competing in the Ashburton Investments National MTB Series #3 and I decided to go along to get away from the city for a while. Sadly I didn’t take many photos this weekend, but I’ll share what I have!

 

We stayed at Kiara Lodge in a beautiful unit with an even more beautiful view of the mountains. When we arrived on Friday the sun was just about to set.

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That evening we had dinner at the Kiara Lodge restaurant – The Trout & Mallard. I had the pork medallions in a maple and mushroom sauce with a baked potato with sour cream, creamed beans and pumpkin. The maple and mushroom sauce was to die for and perfectly complimented the pork. I’ll definitely try to make my own maple and mushroom sauce sometime!

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On Saturday I met this lovely lady! Well, actually we had met before sometime last year but I didn’t recognise her! She owns a cute little shop called Daydream, where she sells wigs and handmade jewellery and accessories. We spent some of the day together and the rest of the day I spent walking around and shopping with my mother.

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I didn’t get around to many shops that day, but I managed to get these coats for an absolute steal at The Jacket Shop! The photo isn’t very clear, but the large coat is a dark green with beautiful embroidered fastenings. The fluffy crop jacket and the leather vest are for cosplays (my boyfriend and I will be vikings at GeekFest). I love how the fluffy crop jacket looks on me though and definitely won’t be limiting it to cosplay.

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On Sunday we had to be up early to be at the race area by 7am. We had breakfast in the VIP tent and then I explored the rest of the town. Later my brother and I went to Clarens Brewery to try some of their beers. They give these taster trays for free! I really enjoyed the stout and the red ale, but decided to go with my favourite – the mixed berry cider.

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Later my brother left and my new friend joined me again! This time dressed more “normal” – she dresses up every single day! We had a few drinks before I had to leave. I wish I could have stayed longer because Clarens is such a lovely town, but at least I met some awesome people!

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J

xx