Things are changing!

Those who follow me on social media (Facebook, Insties and Twitter) will have already caught wind of the changes happening here in my little corner of the internet – I will (very soon!) be relaunching my blog (combined with my graphic design website) under the name of Bird & Design – watch this space on Monday, the 4th of July (my birthday!) for all the news and a GIVEAWAY of epic proportions!

If you’d like to sign up for new re: said launch and giveaway, drop your email in the sign up box HERE: (promise not to spam you!)

As you can see below (my new logo) – not everything has changed – you’ll recognise my signature bird and autumnal colour palette, which, after much to-ing and fro-ing, I decided to hang onto because they felt the most ‘me’ and different to all the other trending design/blog vibes out there at the moment…

Bird & Design logo_FINAL

I have also redesigned my website completely to showcase my blog as an independent platform, but for it to also work hand in hand with my design portfolio and service offering as a creative – the designs/mockups are currently in the hands of Nicola Tweed for coding and development… Can’t contain my excitement and look forward to showing you all around the site soon!

Clever Bird Banter has served me well over the years but it’s time to reflect who I have grown into as a blogger and creative, and while my content will shift to a more curated  version of my existing creative / design / lifestyle focus, my voice will remain the same – I hope you’ll all come along for the journey :)


{ READ } Style Your Brand, by Fiona Humberstone

I got my friend from the UK to bring this book out for me in Feb this year and for some reason I haven’t made the time to complete reading it until this weekend – I WANT TO KICK MYSELF FOR THAT!


How to Style Your Brand is a fabulous guide to getting your business/blog’s visual identity in line with your branding ethos, and it’s written by Fiona Humberstone from


Despite recognising a lot of the principles Humberstone talks about from my own existing practices when it comes to designing logos/brands (yay!), my biggest takeaway from the book is her use of colour psychology and allocating a ‘season’ (and sometimes a sub-season) to each individual styling project based on the brief and style preferences of the client. And yes, we are totally talking Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter here – I know it seems weird but it totally works and basically if you want to know more you should really just read the book ;)

It’s now available in SA (thanks Bee for dragging it all the way for me here anyway!) and I would high recommend it to designers (new and veteran) as well as anyone with an interest in brand styling and/or those with businesses that are looking at having their branding designed/redesigned – it’s SO useful and inspiring!

Cannot wait to incorporate my learnings into my own processes and to even reassess my own branding and visuals again because of it!

That said, changes are a-coming, I’ve made some big decisions about moving forward with this little (recently neglected) blog and I can’t wait to share it all with you (as soon as I get it straight in my head first!)

do_action WordPress Charity Hackathon – 16 July 2016, Cape Town

So excited to have signed up for the do_action WordPress Charity Hackathon that takes place in Woodstock on the 16th July 2016. I’ll be visiting my sister in Cape Town for her birthday that weekend (read: escape from the Midlands/kids!) so timing couldn’t have been more perfect!


do_action hackathons are community-organised events that are focused on using WordPress to give deserving charitable organisations their own online presence. Each do_action event includes participants from the local WordPress community coming together to plan and build brand new websites for a number of local organisations in one day.” (- pic and quoute from the website)

Nicola Tweed first told me about the this annual event probably around 2 years ago now, but it was my sister who ended up taking part last year, saying it was such a blast and great to meet new like-minded people who are putting their skills to good use!
There are 10 non-profits in this year’s line up who will each receive a new/revamped online space courtesy of a dedicated team who will work together throughout the course of a day to make it all happen.

Teams consist of two developers, one designer, one social media manager, one content manager, one QA tester, and a project manager who will liaise directly with the charity to make sure that their requirements are communicated.

My sister, some of her workmates and myself (and a couple of people we haven’t met yet) are part of the Cart Horse Protection Association team and I have taken on the social media manager role :)

Watch out for my follow up after the 16th of July – and if you are in Cape Town and would like to join in, PLEASE SIGN UP here by clicking on the charity of your choice and by filling out the quick form below it – remember, this isnt just for coders and designers! Social media peeps, writers and project managers are also in demand – all in the name of a good cause! For more info, visit:

do_action WordPress Charity Hackathon that takes place in Woodstock on the 16th July 2016.

Happy 4th Birthday to my Big Baby

Right this minute, four years ago to the day, I was in the middle of a highly-drugged up, pre-eclamptic labour at St Georges hospital in London. I never wrote about then it or was particularly vocal about it at the time, but only a while afterwards did I realise what a traumatic experience it was (mostly for hubby I think who sat soberly by my side the entire time)

After Addi arrived, I was kept in hospital for a whole week and sent home with a shoebox-sized bag of drugs and injections that I had to give to myself daily for six weeks. I narrowly escaped a blood transfusion too, and most of the people I share the tale with today cant believe that I still ended up having a natural birth when everything happening that day was so wild!

Sadly, I don’t remember a lot of that day very well (luckily hubby was there to remind me how I spoke to the midwives all day about Grey’s Anatomy, and that I was basically IN LOVE with my anesthetist Dave!) but I do remember the EXACT moment I laid eyes on the most miraculous thing to ever happen to me… My sweet baby girl was honestly the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I fell in love immediately.

Now four years later, she fills me with so much pride and joy, I just want to burst sometimes from the disbelief that WE ACTUALLY MADE THAT!

She is growing into this independent, smart, highly amusing and strong-willed little girl and I cant wait to see what life has in store for her.

But for today, my sweet child, may you feel special and loved (because you are, so very much!) and I wish you many more happy birthdays to come.



(pics from her birthday ring at school this morning, so cute!)

It’s been a little quiet over here – ICYMI, I’ve got news ;)

That’s right, I wont beat around the bush, BABY BARRAS NUMBER THREE is on his/her way!

I feel like I have been pregnant for an eternity – in all honestly I have been keeping the secret (not very well) since I was just 4/5 weeks in – and yesterday after my 12/13 week scan we decided to let the cat out of the bag on Facebook and Insties.

To say we are all chuffed is an understatement – we’ve been thinking about a third for a while, but kind of maybe only towards the end of the year – this little miracle had other plans and just decided it wasn’t waiting that long, much like how my other two made their start in life ;)

After a week of denying the symptoms,  I eventually took a test and voila, two dark lines appeared almost immediately… (But lets face it, 3rd time round, you just KNOW that when the mince smells weird, and you need to start taking midday naps, you are knocked up so there wasn’t really much denial involved!)

So here we are – 13,5 weeks in, with a due date of 16 October. It’s been a rough few weeks, nowhere near as bad as it was with Addi though, but I have had to slow down a lot. Have taken on much less work, my bank account is feeling the pain of it, but my body is thanking me for the extra sleep and less stress…

The kids are excited – Jules doesn’t ‘get it’ as much as Addi does but we all talk about the baby often and Addi seems to think it’s a boy (who she wants to call “Jordan Bernard” after her mate at school?!)

We are DYING to find out the sex and hopefully will in the next few weeks. I will honestly be happy either way, but there is much external pressure for a boy, for obvious reasons ;) Name ideas have already been thrown around, but as before, will only share once baby is born.

Despite my blogging absence of late, had to share this snippet because we are truly over the moon and – I hate to use this term but it’s quite apt – feeling blessed!

Do you think these two ragamuffins (living their best lives) actually have any idea what they are in for?! I’m not quite sure ;)

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 9.50.33 AM

Recent Work: VINE & NOMAD – identity design and websites

As a designer, it is always a pleasure to work with inspiring creatives on projects they are uber passionate about, especially when they are your friends and you just ‘get’ their vibe ♥

If you don’t already know Keri from We Are The Wildflowers, hop on over to her blog and read in her own beautiful words about the vegan-omni restuarant (NOMAD) that she and her hubby Andy have just opened, and about the work they are doing at their new guesthouse VINE, on the same property along the Bottelary Road in Stellies…

Some pics below to show off the work I did for each establishment – full branding/identity and websites for both – would love to hear what you think!




LOVING: Noisli – boosting my focus while I work

For someone who doesn’t typically work well with background noise, and who generally CRAVES a few minutes of silence (because, two times toddlers = lots of distraction) I’m LOVING Noisli – a ‘white noise’ / productivity-boosting desktop app that is not only functional, but beautifully designed, which is always a plus for the creative in me!


(Before I carry on – just so you know, this isn’t a sponsored post at all – I just like to share cool stuff!)

So basically, how it works is that you set up a profile on Noisli, and you can pick and mix your own ‘white noise’ – unleash your inner DJ and think ambient sounds like rain, wind, the rhythmic whirring of a fan – using sound in this way is a well known technique for improving concentration, but equally as useful for drowning out irritating noises (for me it’s the neighbours daily leafblower sessions!) The sound is delivered directly from your speakers and can be played with or without earphones (I prefer the latter, extra noise-blockage!)

If you dig the combination you’ve made, save it by adding it to your personal ‘favourites’. For the uninspired, there are random pre-mixes so that you don’t need to waste all your time playing around with sound effects when you actually have work to do (see – already boosting your productivity!)

Noisli also has a timer so you can get your Pomodoro on, and a text editor that, quote, “allows you to pleasantly write in a minimal and distraction free environment, helping you to focus more on what you are writing and boost your efficiency

I could waffle on for ages – but honestly, just go check it out for yourself – it’s really helped me over the past few weeks to remain focused while I work.

I’d LOVE to see Noisli figure out a way to incorporate the idea into a bookmark plugin – #JUSTSAYIN’… I only use the desktop version (which is free) but there is also a mobile app (low cost) for those on the go.

More at


A little makeover for Caffeine & Fairydust

Maz contacted me towards the end of last year to chat about designing a new header (plus some other bits) for her blog Caffeine & Fairydust, and I’m so excited to share the revamp with you, but first – a before pic!

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 8.18.45 PM

Initially we were only looking at a ‘cosmetic’ change (i.e. graphics only) but I came across a WordPress theme on Etsy that I just KNEW Maz would love, something clean and fresh that would work so well in streamlining the function of her blog and making it look more professional and glam! With a beautiful new header, a few coding tweaks and some changes to the sidebar – the new look C&F was born!


As a fellow creative, Maz already had a clear idea of what she wanted, I totally felt her ‘vibe’ from the start, and was able to to create a look that was not only pretty but meaningful – the objects pictured in the new header are representative of aspects of her life (including one of her own fashion design sketches) and the fonts and colours used are feminine and strong, with a bit of added sparkle, much like the blogger herself!

Really pleased with how it all came out!

Maz is holding a giveaway in celebration of the new look – head on over to the blog to find out more about entering, and to stand the chance of winning Pretty Fun party package worth R2500 – and let me know what you think of the new look while you’re there!

Im busy working on some other exciting projects at the moment, including a new look for my own blog and other sideline projects too! 2016 is going to be a great year on the creative/work front, I can feel it already!



Good Read: Steal Like An Artist – Austin Kleon

I have been wanting to read Steal Like An Artist, by Austin Kleon, for a while now and was so chuffed that Nicola took notice of my Christmas Wish List hinting and ordered a copy for me! (She actually ordered it before my wish list was published which makes here an even better friend so I’m very lucky to have her as a partner-in-business-crime in more ways than one!)

steal like an artist cleverbirdbanter2
With the kids being on school holiday and my beloved Fikile on leave, I’ve been balancing all sorts of things and haven’t had a chance to get into the book properly – until last night. Finished it one go, and just loved it!

It’s a quick, easy read and reminiscent of one of my other favourite motivational books, It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be, by Paul Arden. Both have the black and white design vibe going on; they are easy to read; and I dig the straight-to-the-point pearls of wisdoms they share,  that can be applied across many creative fields…

steal like an artist cleverbirdbanter
Basically, Kleon shares ten things he wished he’d heard when he was starting out – and as a relatively experienced creative, I can totally relate – there are still things on his list that I’m learning about and experiencing for myself – a great read for creatives of all levels.

DO IT. I’m off to buy his other book now…

{ above pics BORROWED from Austin’s website }

My beautiful painting by WP Van Heerden

Recently I wrote about commissioning my first painting and I’m so excited to share WP Van Heerden’s masterpiece with you! I picked it up last week and it’s currently hanging in our entrance hall until I decide on a permanent place for it to hang.

What do you think?!

WP-van-Heerden-cleverbirdbanter-1WP-van-Heerden-cleverbirdbanter-3WP-van-Heerden-cleverbirdbanter-2WP-van-Heerden-cleverbirdbanter-4(to give you some perspective, it measures 75cm high and 50cm wide…)

I’m pretty much in love with it and so chuffed at how brilliantly WP interpreted my brief – the florals, the colours, the textures – spot on <3

Something I will treasure for a long time to come, literally can’t stop looking at it – thank you Willem!