A Difficult Decision…

I’ve had to make a difficult decision lately, which has broken my heart a little bit…

After nearly 4 years of Made by Sami, I have decided to stop selling my jewellery online.

I’m planning on continuing:

– running workshops in the Bath/ Bristol area

– selling DIY kits, supplies and tool on my Etsy shop

– my blog

 

All the jewellery that I have made will be on offer at sale prices from now until Christmas (around 50% off the ordinary price). After Christmas, my jewellery will no longer be available to buy online, although I will continue to take commissions for previous customers, friends and family after this point should that special gift be needed!

Making this decision has been very difficult to me; it’s very easy to see this as a defeat, or a failure. However, I am choosing to concentrate on the part of Made by Sami which is most sucessful and most enjoyable to me; this can only be a positive, and will hopefully mean I can dedicate more time and effort to making my workshops even more brilliant!

Love,

Sami x

Caterpillars to Butterflies…

One of my latest makes…

From a skirt (that I never wore but loved the fabric)…

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… into a wraparound scarf:

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and a wire-wrapped necklace:

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Like?! I LOVE! 🙂

Love,

Sami x

Trust in an Untrusting World…

Every so often, someone does something that restores your faith in humankind. You know the kind of things… strangers complimenting you, friends showing their amazing loyalty, nice surprises and kind words when you need it the most. One world where you don’t expect this is the Retail world; it’s there to make money, and this often takes top priority.

HOWEVER…

Let me tell you about a little sewing shop in Bath city centre where trust, kindness and generosity rate pretty high on that list. It’s my favourite haberdashery shop, and I would feel guilty shopping anywhere else unless I had to. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, and looks like any ordinary sewing shop from the inside. But the small acts of trust and generosity that this shop and its owner have demonstrated to me and Big Sis have shown me that it’s a pretty fab place.

I’m not going to tell you what they trusted me with, or how they were generous, as I would hate for others to abuse this trust. Although I reckon you lot are pretty splendid, the Internet is a big bad place. So, let’s just say that, if you need any fabric, sewing supplies or machines, or want to do a workshop, then this is the place to go.

The shop is on Charles Street, just up the hill from Green Park Station. You’ll spot the rolls of material outside…

Love,

Sami x

Lists, Lists, Lists…

I felt like I was killing a whole tree every year because of the amount of lists I make.

The Boy always tells me that I “love making lists”, and it’s completely true. I love the satisfaction of ticking jobs off lists; I love starting a day by making a plan, and realising how much I could do if I didn’t faff around; and I love finishing the week knowing that I haven’t neglected any Very Important Jobs. Maybe it’s OCD, maybe it’s a middle finger to “Unorganised Sami of the 90s.” Whichever one, I’m a list-maker and PROUD!

In this post, I’m going to share a few interesting ways to make and use lists with you. In my next blog post, I’ll let you know which method I chose.

#1

Pen and Paper.

The original; simple and straightforward, no-nonesense list making!

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#2

Use a Template

There are some really fab templates out there. Just google “To do list templates” or check out Etsy for some great printable ones. Or, if you’re a fancy Graphic Design type, rustle one up yourself.

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Take up a Whole Wall

I love this wall-sized Summer To Do List:

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 It’s great idea for more long-term goals. If you don’t have the wall space, how about creating a box of things you would like to do, then picking 1 or more at random every week to put up and complete. A similar idea is the “I’m bored” jar:

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#4

Make it Visual

You could either ONLY use pictures/ doodles, or use a more visual layout like a mind map…

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#5

Use Technology

I’m not going to pretend to know anything about techy To Do lists (I suppose I should put “research techy To Do lists” on my To Do list, but I’m not going to.) However, loads of people use iphone/ android apps like Orderly and Google Keep, and others use good ole Excel spreadsheets, so they must be pretty good!

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#6

A Notebook or Diary

Nearly as simple as the pen and paper idea, diaries and notebooks have been keeping us organised for generations.

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#7

Chalk It Up

There are some pretty lovely chalkboards for sale at the moment, or why not buy a pot of chalkboard paint and turn pretty much any surface into a chalkboard yourself. They might not be suitable for carpeted spaces, but are brill for kitchen shopping lists or hallway To Dos.

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#8

Post-Its and Pegs

Another gret idea is to  use post-it notes, clips and pegs to create throw-away To Dos; write your job on a note, then scrunch it up and chuck it in the bin when you are done! 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

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Hopefully that’s given you some ideas. I would love to know what your To Do list looks like, or if you use any of the methods above. As I wrote earlier, I will tell you which one I picked in my next blog post…

Love,

Sami x

From Little Seeds Grow Mighty Trees

A few weeks back, I was asked by a work friend (Mrs S) to make a special picture for her son’s Naming Party (like a Christening but non-religious). I have to be modest here; Mrs S had the idea and sent me pictures, I just mashed it all together and brought her ideas to life.

Still… it was a pretty fun project for a gorgeous little man and his lovely family.

Pics? Go on then…

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ImageMrs S wanted her cute little cats in there too, and picked the colours of the bunting to go with Finley’s nursery.

ImageImageI made a little sign for the day. The idea was that everyone (big or small) would leave a fingerprint on Finley’s tree. The finished picture is below, with all the fingerprints added:

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I was really happy with how it turned out, and it was so nice to see everyone adding their fingerprints on the day. The day itself was lovely; beautiful sunshine, lots of cake and scones, and a catch up with work people. And Finley’s smiles of course. Oh, those smiles!!!

Love,

Sami x

 

PS… If you would like to order something similar, please contact me by emailing me: made_by_sami@hotmail.co.uk or messaging me on Facebook. Prices depend on the design, size and framing, as well as postage, but asking is free, so please don’t hesitiate to get in touch 🙂

 

A Quick Commission…

You might remember my post a while ago about how much I love to do commissions for people. If not, you can read it here.

Anyhu, here’s my latest, some bridesmaid jewellery for my friend and ex-housemate Rosie…

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What do you think?

Love,

Sami x

PS… need a commission? Let me know by emailing made_by_sami@hotmail.co.uk . I don’t ask for any money before the design is finalised and you’re happy with the price; chats are free! So don’t hesitate to get in contact if you need a unique present, a piece of jewellery for a special occassion, or something you just can’t find on the high street!

Home is Wherever I’m With You…

*LOVEY DOVEY POST ALERT*

So… in February, me and The Boy celebrated 5 years of romantic dates, hysterical laughter, blazing rows (come on, no-one’s perfect), and millions of kisses. To celebrate, we went out for dinner and swapped pressies.

I got some amazing ceramic button coasters (which I wrote about here).

He got a handmade picture…

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Like it?!

It was all made in TOP SECRET conditions, obviously…

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If you want to make one similar, here’s what I did:

1. I drew out my design (on paper which would fit into my frame)

2. I traced my design onto water soluble film (can’t remember where I got mine from, but it’s this kinda stuff)

3. I then pinned the film on top of my materialImage4. I used a plain black stitch to trace over my design, sewing through both the film and fabric

Image5. I then washed away the film with water, and left it to dry

Image6. When it was dry, I embroidered a heart onto the material in red embroidery thread (I did this by hand using an embroidery thread)

7. I ironed the material, and then put it in the frame. Ta da!

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ImageWe hung it in pride of place above our bed. Wish I’d made it a little bigger, but I think it’s cute, and The Boy seemed to like it, so that’s all that matters!

If you have a go at something similar, please send me a photo to: made_by_sami@hotmail.co.uk. I’d love to see it 🙂

 

Love,

Sami x

10 Simple Things that Make me Happy… #10

#10

Making jewellery, and everything that comes with it…

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You can’t use up creativity.

The more you use, the more you have.

― Maya Angelou

Love,

Sami x

Car Danger, Dawlish and a Scrumptious Cornish (Cream Tea)…

To escape the chaos of house-renting, car-buying and decision-making, I went to see my angels, who I see every 3 months. (You might remember Bath in March and Bournemouth in June) and it was Princess Helen’s turn to host this time, in Dawlish.

I now think that Dawlish is lovely, but my first impression was a bit odd… I got on the train in light, dry weather. I got off in dark, stormy weather, with the sea crashing over the barrier about 3 metres away from the train tracks. I was a bit befuddled! But that was the only bad bit of the weekend. My angels always cheer me up, and we had such a lovely time, eating chips on the beach and cream tea; falling in love with Helen’s cats and her lovely house, and catching up on all of the gossip. Oh, and a teeny bit of shopping (be rude not to).

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There was a small car incident (which I promised I would tell you about in my last post). On our way back from shopping, we nearly all melted in the car when the heaters were blasting out really hot air when on the cold mode. Gem suggested that the engine might be overheating, and I asked Helen about coolant (NEW CAR KNOWLEDGE ALERT). She had never heard of coolant, didn’t know what it did, and was seriously low on the stuff. We double checked with my dad and had a not-so-reassuring chat with a lady in a petrol station, about the time her car radiator blew up on the motorway. Then Helen tried to sort out the problem like a pro. I feel very proud that I read my manual and have a small amount of Car Knowledge to- hopefully- keep Yohan the Yaris out of trouble. We’ll see. *note* It was actually a problem with the heater and Helen had to pay lots of money, but at least we tried.

Anyway, I was sad to leave the angels and Dawlish, but we’ll be meeting up again in January/ February so I’ll let you know about our latest adventures then.

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Love,

Sami x

The Sami Family Go On An Adventure…

I love my dad. He’s the best.

However, he has one flaw… he is completely IMPOSSIBLE to buy presents for. He never knows what he wants for Christmas, and he always gets shortbread for his birthday simply because he likes it, and me and my sister have been fresh out of any other ideas for around ten years.

So when my sister came up with an actual birthday gift idea, I nearly dropped down on my knees and kissed her feet! We decided to arrange a weekend away for the family, as a present for my parents’ birthdays, and dad’s Christmas pressie too. (We’re making the most of having any kind of idea, okay?) Luckily, my sister is sooper dooper organised and basically organised the whole thing, which I do feel a bit bad about. But anyway, we set off for an adventurous weekend away, somewhere in the Cotswolds.

ImageWe stayed in a little lodge (top left) around a lake, and did a mammoth SEVEN HOURS walking over the weekend, which was well-timed to tire me out just before work started back for a new term the next day. Yawn! But it really was lovely. It was so nice to spend time with my parents, who I’m really close with, and also to see my sister and her boyfriend more too (The Boy couldn’t come as he was up Scafell Pike. As you do.)

We played crazy golf, went out for food, walked, and walked and walked. And then on the Sunday we walked some more, round some Rococco gardens (fab!) and a town called Painswick, doing a murder mystery tour which had incorrect clues; always fun!!

The most important thing was that mum and dad enjoyed it, and dad suggested it becomes a regular thing. Finally! We don’t have to watch him grimace at dodgy socks, chocolates he’s never going to eat or CDs he won’t listen to!

I won’t be mad if you adopt the idea for your own parents. Just let me know if it works!

Love,

Sami x

Time to Grow Up?

So, last post I hinted at a new excitement for me and The Boy, in the shape of him possibly moving to live in the same area as me.

And….

He Got The Job!!

Yaaay!

No more long-distance love 🙂

This led to excitement, worry, panic, a little bit of commitment phobia on both parts, and then back to excitement again!

The thing is, we’ve done long-distance for soooo long now, and we’re both a bit worried we’re gona hate each other when we see each other every day. I guess lots of people have the same worries, especially with so many people meeting at university now, and having to save up for a trillion years to afford rent, never mind a house! So we’re not the only ones. And, as my mum said “It’s hard, but you can make it work. And please do, because I like him”.

Hopefully we’ll be able to afford somewhere with space for Made by Sami to operate from, so I’ll have a hiding hole, and The Boy has been set the task of making me a Tetris table, so that should keep him out of mischief. So really, it’s just the smelly socks I need to worry about…

Another problem, though, with The Boy moving, is that I have to buy a car.

Ugh.

What do I know about cars?!

Where do I even start?!

The Internet, that’s where. I went on Autotrader and got some actually-quite-useful advice, and I looked at the RAC and AA websites for a few more nuggets.

Then I phoned my Dad. Which is what I should have done in the first place. Within half an hour, he had given me a plan, offered to test drive with me, given me lots of hints of cars to avoid and sites to look at, and calmed me down to normal-human-being level again. Phew! How do people manage without Dads?!

All this new stuff is terrifying and exciting all at once, like all the big moments in life are. So maybe it’s time for me to grow up?

Pah.

Who am I kidding?!

Never.

Love,

Sami x

I Had It Made For You…

I want to share with you one of the best things about making your own jewellery (other than always having jewellery that goes with your outfit, obviously)…

Commissions.

I started out being taught the basics, then carried on teaching myself; I don’t have any qualifications in jewellery making, just an imagination and a drive to be creative. (for a loonger version of this story, click here.) Yet people trust me to make really special pieces of jewellery, for their friends, family or loved ones. I’ve been having more requests for commissions lately, and I love it!

If you’ve ever received a gift, given to you with the words

“I had it made for you”

then you know that there’s real power in those 6 little words:

I … Me, yes, me. I did it, no-one else. Whenever you look at it, you’ll think of me.

Had  … I had it made. It didn’t just happen, by accident. I made it happen.

It  … This pretty little thing. This is what I picked for you. Nothing else. This is what I thought you would like, more than anything else.

Made  … Someone made this for you. In their bedroom or studio or living room. Their hands put this together.

For  … This piece of jewellery had a purpose. It wasn’t just made and then left to be chosen at random. It was made to be given to you, no-one else.

You  … Everything about this piece of jewellery is for you. I decided on the colour, or picked the charms, it fits you exactly, and that’s not a coincidence.

And people trust me to do this for them! It kinda baffles me every time. Lately, I made a set of 3 bracelets for a lovely girl called Abbie, for her to give to her friend. She knew what colours her friend would like, she knew her style and she knew that she would wear the bracelets all stacked together. I loved putting her ideas into reality and hearing that her friend was wearing them every day because she loved them so much.

Ultimately,

“I had it made for you”

=

“I love you and want you to be happy so much that nothing else other than the perfect gift will do.”

And witnessing that kind of love is really something.

Love,

Sami x

PS…

*Horrible marketing bit on the end of the post, that i’m a tad ashamed about*

If you do want me to make a commission for someone, then you can get in touch in the following ways:

Email made_by_sami@hotmail.co.uk

Facebook message me https://www.facebook.com/madebysami

Or text/ call me 07900381921

xxxx

Leo, Part 4 (Sunday)

On Sunday, it was even more difficult to get up!! We’d had a great party time the night before, and on Sunday morning it was tipping it down with rain! Groan…

We got set up by about 9.30, and had some more tea from the ladies next door with our breakfast. I must admit, I was flagging on the Sunday, and feeling really fed up. The weekend had gone really well, but I was so tired and damp! Laura really kept me going on the Sunday, and I don’t know what I would have done without her!

The tent took air at one point on the Sunday, and my friends came to the rescue but holding the gazebo down!! We had to ask people to go in through the side at one point as we couldn’t open the front- things to improve next year!

ImageWe packed up early on the Sunday, as the weather was so bad- I could see stock getting ruined, and people were sheltering in the arena rather than walking around, or heading home early to dry off. Shame it ended in such a damp way, but we still sold quite a lot, and I smashed my target for the weekend, so it was all good in the end!

Hope you enjoyed my story!!

Please comment away with your own festival memories, or come and say hi on my Facebook page.

Love,

Sami x

Leo, Part 3 (Saturday)

After a pretty bad night’s sleep and a late night, it was difficult to get up and set up the stall on Saturday morning! But the weather was dry, which always makes it easier!

We set up for around 9.15, and then sat and had some breakfast while everyone else went to get theirs and wake up! We had a few customers then, and the morning was really busy. I also did some make and take activities, helping lots of people make lovely bunting necklaces.

We stayed open til about 2.30 and then decided to shut up shop and have the evening off, going to watch lots of bands!

ImageImageImageThe evening kicked off with lighting of the Leopallooza car (a tradition every year!)…Image

And ended with a brilliant set by Bastille…

ImageAnd some crazy dancing before bed…

ImageWhat a day 🙂

Love,

Sami x