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

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Cheep! Cheep! Chick Weekend!!

If you have a Mum as amazing as mine then you are VERY LUCKY. I know I am…

Mum came to visit a while ago. She met Big Sis at the station and, after getting ready, we went for dinner at Turtle Bay, then drinks at The Milk Thistle (one of the secret bars in Bristol). We had such a lovely girly time drinking cocktails and eating yummy food. Big Sis is having a hen do in August (which i’m organising :D) but Mum isn’t coming, so we decided that this was the warm up weekend (The Chick Weekend!)

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On the Saturday, we went for a day out in Frome. Frome is such a lovely town, with cobbled streets, bunting and cute little shops selling haberdashery, vintage clothes, homemade gifts and other pretty things. We went to the Garden Cafe for lunch, as recommended by Miss Catering at work. It was SO yummy, i’d definitely suggest a visit if you’re nearby.

After all that hard work shopping and eating, we went back home, ate some more and watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Such a good film- a lot more interesting, funny and moving than I had expected.

Sunday was BABY TIME! Big Sis’s fiance’s sister (keeping up?) and her partner have recently had twins (their story is on One Born Every Minute S6 Ep2 if you want to know it!), and we went to see/ meet them in Bristol. They are super cute, and R and M are sooper dooper mums. You can tell that the babies are going to be spoilt rotten! After making lots of googly noises, tickling some teeny feet and clapping hands, I dropped Mum and Big Sis off to the station and said bye.

On the way back, I couldn’t help but be a little bit smug. My family (and extended family) really are the best, and I’m a very, very lucky girl..

 

Love,

Sami x

The Sami Family go on an Adventure (Part 2)…

You might have read my post last year about our family weekend away. Well, this year it was my turn to plan the Sami Family Adventure, and I picked a cute little cottage in the centre of Tewkesbury, right near the Abbey.

We got there on Friday evening, and made a dash in the rain to get to The Boathouse for dinner, drinks and lots of chatting to catch up. The Boy could come this time as he had got his annual mountain trip out of the way beforehand (Ben Nevis this year), so he got to catch up with Mum and Dad too. And it was nice to talk to Big Sis and her fiance about their wedding plans too.

On the Saturday, we went to see the John Moore Museum, a little tudor cottage and church, and then went for a boat trip down the river. By this time it had stopped raining, just in time for a wander down the river to see the Mill.

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After some lunch, we visited the Abbey and then chilled out before our BBQ. We had to move it inside because of the rain (The Boy calls this a “Welsh Barbie”), but it was still lovely. After that we chilled out, watched Glasto on the telly and then went to bed.

On Sunday, we packed up and drove to Snowshill Manor, a National Trust place nearby. It was right up my alley, as I love anything to do with collections, collectors and collecting! A guide told us the story of the eccentric Charles Wade, who owned the manor. After an idyllic childhood, Charles was moved to live with his Granny. Granny was stern and didn’t like visitors, noise or playing. But she did let Charles play with the Oriental objects in her large cabinet. This started an interest (obsession?!) that prompted Charles to buy a manor house and fill it with collected items after the war. He lived in the small priest’s house, and filled the manor with objects; everything from looms to ceramics, pictures to bicycles, furniture to model boats, and way more, including his room of Samurai armour!

It was a fascinating place, and I’m sure you could visit time and time again, noticing new things each time. I really liked the fact that Charles collected items that probably weren’t valuable or even wanted , which probably would have ended up in the bin; at that time the emphasis was on the new, not the old, and Charles saw the beauty in these objects despite this. He went against the norm, the fashion, the trend, and picked items because of his own interest rather than their value. And because of this, we now get to see some fascinting items.

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Even the garden was full of hidden items..

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What a lovely weekend!!

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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 🙂

 

Hello, Lovely Weekend…

Hello all.

Hope you all had fab weekends.

What did I get up to?!

Well, it all started with a pampering session on Friday at The Art Team Bath, where I got my hair done. I went there as I’d signed up for an offer, and i’m so glad I did- I got a cup of tea on a little tray with a flower, a head massage, and the (lovely) hairdresser curled it beautifully for me at the end. So happy with how it turned out…Image

After a few weekends of extreme laziness, which included pyjamas, blankets, Netflix, tea and eating, me and The Boy decided to make the most of the Spring sunshine on Saturday, so we headed over to Bath after a lie-in (you need a smidgen of laziness on a Saturday!). We went for food at The Globe first, which was yummy. Then, we went into town to visit a vintage fair i’d heard about on Facebook.

It was really lovely; jam-packed with loads of vintage/ vintage-inspired clothes, jewellery, accessories and homeware. I was fairly restrained (I coulda spent a fortune!) and only bought some pretty little Taunton Vale ceramic jars with the most adorable blue and yellow pattern. Had to buy all three (otherwise i’d feel like I had split up siblings!), and they look great on top of my wardrobe. This is my new favourite place to (temporarily) put all the pretty things I like to look at but aren’t sensible Boy Things! I bought the dartboard from a charity shop a few weeks back, and the Cath Kidston sewing house was a present from my parents:

ImageOh, aren’t they adorable!!!!! And they were £18. I think that’s a bargain. 😀

We topped off the afternoon with afternoon tea and a visit to the car wash. Glamorous!!

ImageWith Sunday came more cake (this time homemade Rhubarb and Lemon Cake):

ImageIt’s yummy.

Hopefully you’ll comment to say how your weekend was (one word will do if you’re not a writer!), or send me a link to your blog (it gets lonely here by myself :P)

Have a good week!

 

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

10 days to Go…

Hello everyone,

Well it’s been a while since I last blogged…

I work in a school so the last few weeks of term were pretty busy and tiring (trying to get teenagers to do work in this heat was nearly impossible!). But the weekend was lovely; drinks with work colleagues, 2 BBQs, a lovely country walk, and getting my life in order a little!

And THEN commenced

PROJECT “SWEAT SHOP SAMI”

I had already listed everything I needed to make for Leopallooza, and had ordered the materials, but needed to actually get on with making over 500 items!!

I (stupidly) decided to go for the easy ones first, and got started on my button jewellery, which always goes down well at craft fairs:

ImageI felt like I had acomplished a lot yesterday, with a mountain of button jewellery taking up my lounge. So I set a goal to have everything made for thursday, which gives me a week to make stall decorations, package everything up and get any last-minute things I need.

BUT…

Today I started on my Leopallooza bracelets. Forty of them. And it took a long, long time. I’m waiting on some cord crimps to finish the rest off, but 30 of them are completed, along with some button rings and the packaging for yesterday’s button jewellery. Oh, and some leather i’m painting too, to make headbands and necklaces with.

ImageMy housemate doesn’t believe that I make everything on my own, and has a theory that I have elves living in my wardrobe. It would be nice to have the company! I am going a bit mad, but singing along to the radio definitely helped.

My poor neighbours.

Talk to you again tomorrow 🙂

Love,

Sami x

A Million Degrees…

 

Today, after a lovely couple of days with The Boy, we went with my housemate to see the Bath Spa Degree Show. My housemate’s friend Bex was exhibiting, and we all wanted to see how her hard work looked in the end, as well as seeing the other Degree work. I can’t believe it’s already been three years since I graduated, it seems like no time at all. There was tons and tons of work on display; photography, textiles, fine art, sculpture and graphic design, so I just took some photos of the pieces that I liked the best or that stood out to me. To see more from the artists, click on their photos.

 

Here goes…

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(Above)

My favourite piece in the photography section was ‘Seeing Blind’ by Simon Collington. According to the artist, “Seeing Blind is about making visual art and light accessible to the visually impaired, yet keeping the work enjoyable for the visually able.” It was a beautiful tactle piece that could be touched but also looked stunning.

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In the textiles part of the exhibition, there were some beautiful colours, textures and patterns:

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And of course, the lovely Bex with her exhibition piece:Image(Below)

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I loved how this yarn maker, Sian Marie, displayed her work; so lovely!

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There was also some lovely illustration-y work:

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And this one just made me laugh…Image After the exhibition, I bought some scones and strawberries for Sunday tea. And then a sports bra. Think i’ll need it after all the clotted cream!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend,

Love,

Sami x

 

Oh, I do Like to be Beside the Seaside…

This week, things have really turned around. Not only did I get some exciting news (stay tuned to find out what- I don’t wana jinx it right now), but I just had a really beautiful weekend. You might remember reading about when my two gorgeous friends came to visit me here in Bath (if not, you can read it here).  Well, we made a pact to meet up every three months, which was this weekend (that’s gone by SO fast!)

So, we headed for the south coast, to Christchurch, near Bournemouth. I’ve been to visit Gem before, and it’s a lovely part of the country if you haven’t been. The UK really is a lot lovelier than I appreciate most of the time. So what did we get up to?! A LOT of shopping, eating, drinking tea and generally being silly. We even squeezed in a trip to the beach too!

Here’s some photos…

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So, what did you get up to this weekend? Please let me know, I get bored all on my own!

Love,

Sami x