One of my latest makes…
From a skirt (that I never wore but loved the fabric)…
… into a wraparound scarf:
and a wire-wrapped necklace:
Like?! I LOVE! 🙂
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.
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…
Time to share one of my latest makes with you…
I love sewing. However, I love sewing when it’s really easy and I know what I’m doing! So, I decided to push myself with my latest project, and work on something out of my comfort zone.
It had INSTRUCTIONS and everything :s
So, to lower the stress levels, I decided to do a more complicated project but for a non- important item. So here is my peg bag:
I got the instructions from this site, and used the sizes for a kid’s messenger bag, to make sure it was small enough for a peg bag. The material was some old curtains that my sister gave to me. I’m pretty happy with it really- I feel quite swanky hanging out the washing now!! 🙂
Have you made anything out of your comfort zone lately? Lemme know in the comments, on Facebook or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
In my last post, all about To Do lists, I shared a few ideas about how to present your To Do lists if you’re a list-maker like me!
And here is the way I’ve chosen to do it…
So, I have a daily plan, a weekly plan, and a general To Do list!
They are covered in sticky back plastic (I should have been on Blue Peter!) so that I can write on them with non-permanent pens, and are hung using some wooden trouser hangers that my sister was going to throw away.
Want to have a go yourself?
How to Make Planning Boards:
You will need:
– Canvas boards/ mount board/ thick cardboard (I used canvas boards, £1.50 from The Range)
– Permanent marker and fineliner
– Sticky back plastic (I got mine from Wilkinsons)
– Trouser hangers (or you could use string with bulldog clips)
1. Draw out your design on the boards. I have some pencils marks that I can’t get rid of on my canvas boards, so be careful and try to mark bits that will get covered up! Use a ruler to measure out your boxes, borders etc (I went a bit freehand to create a homemade look, but measured first)
2. Use your permanent marker and fineliner to go over your design. Keep it simple, but add little details (like my buttons) to make it more interesting.
3. Leave the pen to dry completely before rubbing out your pencil lines. I waited overnight to make sure.
4. Cover your boards with sticky back plastic, folding the edges over onto the rear side of your boards.I taped over the edges on the back of my boards with clear parcel tape, to make sure the sticky back plastic doesn’t peel away over time.
If you are using trouser hangers…
Peel the back off a piece of sticky back plastic (just less than the width of your board, and about 15cm long.) Fold about 4 cm down at the top (don’t worry about bubbles, you won’t see this bit when it’s all finished) and stick it to the back of your boards so that a 2cm tab is sticking out above the top of your boards. I again strengthened this on the back with paarcel tape. Clip the trouser hanger to the tab and hang up!
If you are using string and bulldog clips…
Clip the bulldog clips to the top of your board, one in each corner. Thread your string through the hole in the clip and tie in a knot or bow. Do the same on the other side to create a loop. Hang up on a nail!
6. Finished! Now you can use non-permanent/ whiteboard pens on the boards to write all those important jobs!
Please send any photos of your designs to email@example.com and I will feature them on my blog.
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.
Pen and Paper.
The original; simple and straightforward, no-nonesense list making!
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.
Take up a Whole Wall
I love this wall-sized Summer To Do List:
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:
Make it Visual
You could either ONLY use pictures/ doodles, or use a more visual layout like a mind map…
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!
A Notebook or Diary
Nearly as simple as the pen and paper idea, diaries and notebooks have been keeping us organised for generations.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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!!!
PS… If you would like to order something similar, please contact me by emailing me: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 🙂
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…
What do you think?
PS… need a commission? Let me know by emailing email@example.com . 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!
*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…
It was all made in TOP SECRET conditions, obviously…
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 material4. I used a plain black stitch to trace over my design, sewing through both the film and fabric
7. I ironed the material, and then put it in the frame. Ta da!
If you have a go at something similar, please send me a photo to: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to see it 🙂
I’ve been a teeny tiny bit obssessed with buttons for a while.
When I was younger, I remember sitting with my Grandma’s button box (an old cigar box with a flappy lid), and running my hands through the buttons. Some were fairly new, some older than me. Some were picked off old shirts or blouses, some were still tacked to the card.
They all had stories.
And when Grandma died, that was the only thing I asked for from her house, to remind me of happy times playing with buttons before eating bananas and custard to the soundtrack of “the problem solver who gets results” on the radio. Problem was, Grandma didn’t have one button box. By the time mum found the button box I wanted, I had inherited an ice cream tub and several other boxes full of buttons. As well as some embroidery thread, cotton reels, pins… And if an object has a story, I can’t turn it away.
So now, I have an ice cream tub, a quality street tin, and a tupperware box of buttons that I can call my own.
As well as a mug…
And some brand new coasters from The Boy…
And a picture from my friend Princess Helen…
Oh, and a few other things….
I’ll stop there. Buttons make me happy, and I’m grateful for the people who know this.
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).
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.
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)…
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.
“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.
*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:
Facebook message me https://www.facebook.com/madebysami
Or text/ call me 07900381921
I’m a bit in love with bows at the moment.
It started with a red and gold belt, then some cream patent shoes with fabric bows, then a black dress with a bow at the waist… I mean, how could you NOT like bows?!
I have been working on some new jewellery, ready for Leopallooza festival where i’m having a stall:
Aren’t they beautiful?! They are made from painted leatherette, and i’m really happy with how they turned out.
I’m still experimenting with designs, and need to make a few more to test out (it’s a hard task, being forced into wearing new jewellery all the time *sigh*)
What do you think?
If you’re a crafter, you’ll get this blog post. If not, apologies 🙂
The room I am most excited about decorating when me and The Boy buy our own house in the future?
The living room? Nah.
Bedroom? Not really.
The room that makes me smile with excitement just thinking about it is….
My Craft Room.
I love making things. I love being inspired, pottering around and making a mess. But i’d love to have a space especially to do it in. I’m not even talking a whole room; i’ll share! But having a space that i’ve decorated to be practical and also inspirational… sigh!
Below are photos of my current attempt at craft studio bliss in my current room (top), paired up with the ideal (bottom)!
And some other ideas; I would love to have a space permanently set up for taking photos! (Not this big obviously). And a blackboard wall?! Hello fun work times!!!