Shop Etsy

Handmade Portraits: Skinny laMinx

Nov 16, 2010

by skinnylaminx

Ashka-author-name.jpgMP4 | YouTube | Vimeo | | Subscribe in iTunes

(Animation by Julia Pott; Music by Gerhard van der Merwe)

The Etsy video team has invited experimental and documentary filmmakers to contribute to our original video series, Handmade Portraits, Process and There’s No Place Like Here. Ashka Wierzycka is a South African producer and director based in New York City. She’s currently working on a short documentary in Montauk, NY and spending way too much time staring out the window when she should be editing.

As a long-time fan of Heather Moore (a.k.a skinnylaminx) and her blog, I was excited to meet up with the designer in the spectacularly beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa. Funny, informed and passionate, Heather is an entertaining guide. South African design has undergone something of a quiet revolution and there is a lot of really unique work being produced at the tip of the African continent.

Heather_portrait-1SM.jpgBetween running her fabric design label and blogging about her favorite local and international design, Heather has little time to spare. It was a privilege to spend a little time at her home and studio, observing her process in detail. Her urge to create is wedded to her desire to collect, a formula that results in a home that is a genuine expression of her organic flow of ideas.

What’s wonderful about Heather’s space is its inspired mix of high and low objects — bargain-bin vintage fabrics and adorable plastic animals acquired for a few cents confidently rub shoulders with outstanding antique ceramics and beautiful Scandinavian furniture. It’s all assembled with such a sure touch and loving precision, that it feels both completely accidental and somehow absolutely perfect.

This ability to recognize the finer qualities of an object — regardless of its price tag — is central to Heather’s creative outlook. Many of the humble “treasures” she has rescued over the years have found their way onto her fabrics. Her collection of vintage jugs and pots has been converted into a beautiful frieze-like cutout pattern that decorates a range of cushion covers; and a small hen from one of her mugs surely shares some of its DNA with a popular Skinny laMinx teatowel design, “Birds.”


4804937711_70e55839dd_b.jpgHeather spoke movingly about how, as a self-trained designer, her first inspiration was the intrinsic loveliness of the objects around her. This is such an inspiring idea, especially in a time when design can seem so rooted in passing fads and divorced from the realities of daily life. One of the Skinny laMinx designs that I personally love the most is her Sevilla Rock range; inspired by the ancient San rock paintings in the Cedarburg Mountains of Western Cape. Though the paintings were created by the San people thousands of years ago, their wonderful poise and life-like grace make them seem completely relevant and contemporary on Skinny laMinx’s fabrics. And that is no surprise — good design is good design, even if it is 3,000 years old.

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Housewares Category | Fabric Category

Watch More Handmade Portraits


  • rikrak

    rikrak said 6 years ago

    oh this is wonderful! i'm a great fan of skinnylaminx and her amazing designs! so wonderful to read & see this glorious glimpse into her inspiring world!

  • TheTruffler

    TheTruffler said 6 years ago

    Wow, that was very inspiring, i absolutely love those cushions. x

  • BigBangCreations

    BigBangCreations said 6 years ago

    so mesmerizing...

  • expressyourself

    expressyourself said 6 years ago

    Great article and work!

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye said 6 years ago

    So great to see how it all comes together!

  • susanleighwalsh

    susanleighwalsh said 6 years ago

    Long-time fan of skinnylaminx too!

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work!

  • cassieloizeaux

    cassieloizeaux said 6 years ago

    Love her fabrics! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • SepiaSmiles

    SepiaSmiles said 6 years ago

    lovely designs and great seller :)

  • MadrigalEmbroidery

    MadrigalEmbroidery said 6 years ago

    How cool! best from a long time fan. carla

  • youmakeyou

    youmakeyou said 6 years ago

    Such great designs! Thanks for sharing!

  • lindaketelhut

    lindaketelhut said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the inside look into your world Heather! I Love your shop. Your textiles are extraordinary. It was so nice to hear a little bit about your inspiration + to see your beautiful home!

  • treasurebooth

    treasurebooth said 6 years ago

    Really neat. That act of seeing you spoke about, regarding your mugs, seems like such an important act in really take notice of the little things that make up our environment. Sometimes we see much more than we thought was there ;)

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 6 years ago


  • coolstuffartgallery

    coolstuffartgallery said 6 years ago

    Love your designs!

  • Asianexpressions

    Asianexpressions said 6 years ago


  • littleloveblue

    littleloveblue said 6 years ago


  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections said 6 years ago

    The prints on your pillows are so unique, elegant, and pretty! Would make any room look chic and cozy!

  • ComfortandGreen

    ComfortandGreen said 6 years ago

    I love it!

  • loopinloop

    loopinloop said 6 years ago

    OMG! I love your work! Thanks for sharing!

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 6 years ago

    Wonderful!!! Love =)

  • FiligreeCreations

    FiligreeCreations said 6 years ago

    Wow! Great as always!! It's great to have a "peek inside" :)

  • riorita

    riorita said 6 years ago

    Great pillow designs!

  • gretchenmist

    gretchenmist said 6 years ago

    love this series, thanku! i'm also a long time fan :)

  • AREjewellery

    AREjewellery said 6 years ago

    I'm a big fan of Heather's work! Great video too - love the 50s/60s style of her house.

  • Lindensage

    Lindensage said 6 years ago

    wow! just beautiful!!

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy said 6 years ago

    "This ability to recognize the finer qualities of an object — regardless of its price tag — is central to Heather’s creative outlook." love this. :)

  • blueskyclouds

    blueskyclouds said 6 years ago

    I love the "I Wish We Had Ikea" towel! Great concept!

  • sonyarasi

    sonyarasi said 6 years ago

    I love your designs!

  • BranchandBirdie

    BranchandBirdie said 6 years ago

    LOVE love love her work!

  • UNAshop

    UNAshop said 6 years ago


  • odiliafu

    odiliafu said 6 years ago

    Love your design! Just wonderful to see your lovely home.

  • orsinimedici1951

    orsinimedici1951 said 6 years ago

    Wonderful post!! Sometimes the source of an inspiration really is right under your nose!! I still ask myself why it took me so long to incorporate the peacock feather into my Peruvian Inspired Folk Art Hats, that have become my bestsellers!!!

  • VeraidaGifts

    VeraidaGifts said 6 years ago

    Great post! Her designs are simple and modern, love it!

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 6 years ago

    The designs are so beautiful in their simplicity. Bravo.

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 6 years ago

    I am officially in love with those little birdy gift tags :)

  • IslaNewYork

    IslaNewYork said 6 years ago

    Such an inspirational video! Lots of fun prints, and that work table you have is making me so jealous!! Congratulations on having such a beautiful, successful business!!

  • sappho123

    sappho123 said 6 years ago

    Love love love the duikers design

  • TropicalGarden

    TropicalGarden said 6 years ago

    Love her works!! Simple & elegant!

  • thenorthstarstudio

    thenorthstarstudio said 6 years ago

    lovely and inspiring story and beautiful work! love the photo of the studio.

  • babyjives

    babyjives said 6 years ago

    I've loved your work and I love it even more after seeing this. Thanks for sharing! Your work is so spare and elegant.

  • tomatored

    tomatored said 6 years ago

    Love Love Love your work!

  • AlissaRose

    AlissaRose said 6 years ago

    Very nice nice. Thank you for sharing this. I never watch the video bolgs, but this one had to see!

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 6 years ago

    Hello Cape Town! So fun to hear the South African good friend Linda Horn lives there and I called her as soon as I saw this video. Coming to see Rourke's Drift this year. Beautiful shop, and work. Thanks for sharing.

  • reiter8

    reiter8 said 6 years ago

    Oh, I've been a fan of Skinny laMinx for a long time. How wonderful to get a peek into her studio and hear her approach to creating - Thank You Etsy!

  • jibbyandjuna

    jibbyandjuna said 6 years ago

    Love love her work! We have one of her protea sticky decals on our front door instead of a wreath or other decoration to remind us of our short stay in Cape Town 2 years ago.

  • weatheredsilo

    weatheredsilo said 6 years ago

    Stunning, stunning, stunning.

  • kadydesigns

    kadydesigns said 6 years ago

    Great article! Your pillows are beautiful!!!

  • shecological

    shecological said 6 years ago

    Fantastic!! so inspiring!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 6 years ago

    Love your fabric designs! Congrats!

  • HaleyByHand

    HaleyByHand said 6 years ago

    How beautiful! And a nice reminder to really stop and take notice of the lovely things in our surroundings :)

  • vakvar

    vakvar said 6 years ago

    FANSTASTIC. A favorite, for sure!!

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 6 years ago

    Beautiful designs. I love your designs everything looks so fresh.

  • PlumeandPetals

    PlumeandPetals said 6 years ago

    lovely lovely lovely!

  • Lambert

    Lambert said 6 years ago

    Great portrait. I still wear my "Milnerton Market" Tshirt a lot :)

  • strawberryluna

    strawberryluna said 6 years ago

    I've loved this shop for so long now, it's really nice to see a more complete picture of your process and work. Super cool, thanks for sharing!

  • noblegnome

    noblegnome said 6 years ago

    I've been a fan for years. Gorgeous, gorgeous work!

  • annieWHERE

    annieWHERE said 6 years ago

    Simply beautiful! Thank you for sharing :)

  • marysmithka

    marysmithka said 6 years ago

    very good!

  • AZCreativeStudio

    AZCreativeStudio said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work!!!!!

  • bstudio

    bstudio said 6 years ago

    What a talent she is, I love her designs!

  • TheCozyNest

    TheCozyNest said 6 years ago

    That was really nice. :)

  • CreatureComfortsBlog

    CreatureComfortsBlog said 6 years ago

    What a wonderful video! Thank you for sharing your home and little touch of your creative process with us Heather. You are such an inspiration.

  • skinnylaminx

    skinnylaminx said 6 years ago

    Wow, I've just woken up and found the video was on the Storque blog. I'm thrilled to bits, and even more so by all the sweet, generous comments from everybody here. Thanks so much, you dear people. My day has had the best start ever! Thanks to Etsy for commissioning this video, and also to Ashka who is such an awesome person. I had such a good time working with her. xxx

  • HellenaLuna

    HellenaLuna said 6 years ago

    Fantastic! Love your work!

  • cherrytime

    cherrytime said 6 years ago

    beautiful designs!!

  • nadene

    nadene said 6 years ago

    such a favorite! thanks for sharing, esp video

  • koenigottokars

    koenigottokars said 6 years ago

    Really cool designs and beautiful work. So great to hear about you. All the best from a fellow South- African designer and Etsy seller.

  • NoaSharonDesigns

    NoaSharonDesigns said 6 years ago

    great video and post! i really loved it and specially loved your designs!

  • elmstreetmarket

    elmstreetmarket said 6 years ago

    So glad to see this, Heather! I've been a fan of your shop for a while and it was awesome to see your space and what inspires you. Why I never checked out your blog before is beyond me. Thank you for sharing this :)

  • strangeinstereo

    strangeinstereo said 6 years ago

    and i was just browsing your shop yesterday. your pattern design and choice of colors are fantastic. i will def. be ordering from you sometime in the not so distant future!

  • happyment

    happyment said 6 years ago

    Fantastic! I'm great fan of skinnylaminx and her designs!

  • louise35flower

    louise35flower said 6 years ago

    Heathers work is so inspiring, I have a number of pieces by her and they are perfect!

  • saraaires

    saraaires said 6 years ago

    So nice to "meet" the artist behind the stage... what a great video!

  • lorenabr

    lorenabr said 6 years ago

    Lovely work :)

  • DesiCloe

    DesiCloe said 6 years ago

    I love your patterns and I liked the videe so much! Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    Beautiful pieces, I really like how bold and simple the designs are yet they're really effective!

  • pouch

    pouch said 6 years ago

    you've got to love skinnylaminx, she is completely awesome :)

  • littlemoandfriends

    littlemoandfriends said 6 years ago

    beautiful video and heather's home is divine! xoxox

  • Gynx

    Gynx said 6 years ago

    Great video! Thanks for the interesting interview.

  • SouthernSkirts

    SouthernSkirts said 6 years ago

    I loved hearing about and seeing the process by which her collection of tea cups became a printed tea towel - how fun!

  • CocoaBeans

    CocoaBeans said 6 years ago

    loved this, so glad you did the video, this was awesome!

  • divinedesignstudios

    divinedesignstudios said 6 years ago

    I have been a fan of Skinny laMinx for some time now! It was so wonderful to take a little peak into her life and home. I love how her art career emerged so perfectly by accident!

  • wantsky

    wantsky said 6 years ago

    So inspiring! It gives me hope I can become a selfmade designer;)

  • Patriacontemporary

    Patriacontemporary said 6 years ago

    Congrants!!! Beautiful art!! I like her studio!!!

  • jammerjewelry

    jammerjewelry said 6 years ago

    Great article.

  • summersville

    summersville said 6 years ago

    heather is seriously one of the nicest people i've ever 'met' on the internet. she's a star :)

  • rusticrevivals

    rusticrevivals said 6 years ago

    It is always so neat to read these articles, and see their studios, etc. I LOVE the print of the deer - looks like they're running down the hill! Also really like the bird tags - very nice pattern and cut. Will heart them for my next treasury on rustic Feed The Birds!

  • rakshniyavintage

    rakshniyavintage said 6 years ago

    You have such a beautiful home and shop - congrats :)

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 6 years ago

    Another long-time fan of Skinnylaminx here! Great work space and cameo. Thanks so much!

  • beatyboutique

    beatyboutique said 6 years ago

    What a cool shop!

  • crankbunny

    crankbunny said 6 years ago

    her tea towels are to die for!

  • lalalandArt

    lalalandArt said 6 years ago

    we love your creativity and your story is really inspiring!

  • PyxusPassionProject

    PyxusPassionProject said 6 years ago

    Gorgeous!! Keep up the great work - love all your textiles!

  • jenniferfinnart

    jenniferfinnart said 6 years ago

    Such beautiful designs!

  • SacredandProfane

    SacredandProfane said 6 years ago

    I'm a big fan of SkinnyLaminx and it's so wonderful to finally see the person (and the space) behind this beautiful shop! Simply gorgeous!

  • Menuchachic

    Menuchachic said 6 years ago

    beautiful artistic work!! love it...

  • imadeyouabeard

    imadeyouabeard said 6 years ago

    I am such a huge fan of Heather's work, thanks so much for featuring this little insight into her world!

  • drawcity

    drawcity said 6 years ago

    Yay, SA crafts!

  • rusticrevivals

    rusticrevivals said 6 years ago

    As promised above, I just HAD to use the lovely bird tags featured in the article, in a treasury: Feed the Birds, Tuppence A Bag. (Then I felt guilty for using someone so highly profiled right now, so I also chose three new Etsians!) Thank you for sharing Heather's unique ideas, as well as her interesting geographical location! Julie

  • rusticrevivals

    rusticrevivals said 6 years ago

    As promised above, I did use Heather's fantastic bird tags in a Treasury "Feed the Birds". (Then I felt guilty that Heather was already being highly profiled right now, and added three NEW Etsians)! I dedicated the treasury to an elderly gentleman who made nothing but birdhouses and feeders, who just died: He called himself "Chips'n'Chirps" and did great work! Heather's work is beautiful and unique, and I LOVE that she has such a great geographical location. Thank you for featuring Skinnylaminx!

  • mck254

    mck254 said 6 years ago

    That was so much fun- I've been a fan of skinnylaminx for a while now. I love seeing her working and her space.

  • MiniCyn

    MiniCyn said 6 years ago

    Ooooooooooohhh I love her designs and make. I own a cushion of hers but soon I'll have morrreeee muahahahahah!

  • pearlygrae

    pearlygrae said 6 years ago

    how beautifully creative...and the colors are an inspiration. love love your collection!

  • pearlygrae

    pearlygrae said 6 years ago

    what a beautifully creative collection...the colors are amazing! I your work!

  • ThePrintYards

    ThePrintYards said 6 years ago

    Skinny LaMinx I love you! Wonderful designs and such a lovely home. Thanks for sharing, great video!

  • frenchtoastfriday

    frenchtoastfriday said 6 years ago

    A real inspiration. Love your designs.

  • SavoyFaire

    SavoyFaire said 6 years ago

    To be able to make your own designs and fabric! Wow! Totally fabulous and best to you!

  • Slowshirts

    Slowshirts said 6 years ago

    AMen sister!

  • faveblanket

    faveblanket said 6 years ago

    A true artist, seeing beauty and sharing it.

  • joajewellery

    joajewellery said 6 years ago

    Just so wonderful to meet the maker behind Skinny-laminx! I have admired her designs for as long as I have been at Etsy. She is an inspiration! Thanks for this really lovely insight into her life (and I love her furniture!!!)

  • papersquid

    papersquid said 6 years ago

    Truly love her work. I've been eyeing a few fabrics for a while now but can't make up my mind, inspiring video & wonderful designs.

  • ahadzipopovska

    ahadzipopovska said 5 years ago

    like ,like and like:)

  • LavenderField

    LavenderField said 5 years ago

    I love your designs! And you have a beautiful home, congrats!

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