A WIcked Workshop…

Not long ago, I ran a jewellery -making workshop for some very lovely Bath WI ladies…

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It was held at one of the members’ houses, who had gone to lots of trouble to make sure there were drinks and snacks for everyone. Even with some rain just before I arrived, it was very hot and sticky, so those ice cold drinks were much appreciated!

It was a really fun evening, and, with a little bit of concentration…

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… and some helpful tips from me…

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…the ladies all made some really lovely earrings!

 

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If you would like to have a go at jewellery making, just get in touch!

I do workshops for:

– groups of friends or families

– social groups

– hen parties

– children’s/ teenager’s birthday parties

– fun summer holiday activities for kids

– groups with learning difficulties and/ or disabilities

– children’s groups, like Girl Guides or youth groups

Making jewellery, making beads, fabric jewellery, using shrink plastic, and other crafts…

Or, if you have an idea for a workshop, I’d love to hear what you fancy doing!

Any questions?

Email: made_by_sami@hotmail.co.uk

Tel/ text: 07900381921

Get in touch on Facebook

 

Love,

Sami x

 

PS… Interested in joining the Bath WI?

Go to their Website, Facebook, or Twitter 🙂

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

Sewing Time…

Hey!

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:

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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 made_by_sami@hotmail.co.uk

Love,

Sami x

 

… And More Lists!

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…

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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

– Pencil

– Ruler

– Sticky back plastic (I got mine from Wilkinsons)

– Trouser hangers (or you could use string with bulldog clips)

– Design

 

To Make:

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.

5.

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 made_by_sami@hotmail.co.uk and I will feature them on my blog.

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

Sami’s Adventures with Shrink Plastic #1

I have been wanting to have a play with Shrink Plastic for aaaages now. For those of you who don’t know what it is… It’s plasticky paper sheets that you draw on, cut up, punch (hole punch, not fist punch!), ink, colour in, whatever really. THEN you put it into the oven and watch as it crinkles up and shrinks down and thickens up, into a little piece of strong plastic. It’s a bit like magic.

Here are some (bad) photos of my first few late-night attempts. I was too excited to focus on taking proper photos, soz:

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ImageImageNOTE: I put the pen there to show the size change- it’s not a weird Shrink Plastic design.

I was hoping to make the little row of house into a necklace, but I didn’t realise til afterwards that Shrink Plastic is reeeally light, so it wouldn’t hang the right way round (I would need to put the holes near the top, and even then it would be a really light necklace). It’s quite comfy as a bracelet though.The button turned out a bit weird, but I’m going to experiment with that one. And the “Sami” one went a bit Pete Tong, because the holes were too near the edge.

Oh well, it was a really fun evening, and I’m sure I’ll carry on practising! I got my Shrink Plastic from The Range and it was pretty cheap (£1 per A4 sheet). You can also use it with stamps (or trace?) if you’re not keen on drawing your own designs.

I’ll post more pics when I have another go!

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 🙂

 

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

10 Simple Things that make me Happy… #9

#9

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…

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And some brand new coasters from The Boy…

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And a picture from my friend Princess Helen…

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Oh, and a few other things….

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I’ll stop there. Buttons make me happy, and I’m grateful for the people who know this.

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