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 🙂

To Do: Set Some Goals!

I wrote a blog post a while ago about my way of keeping To Do lists (if you didn’t see it, you can read it here). Afterwards, I received a really great email from Becki, a friend of mine who I went to college with:

“You’ve inspired me to make a list of life goals!

It’s very simple, just a formal list (because then I will actually follow it) with a few pics…it’s on my wardrobe door soI see it every day when I open the door…I wouldn’t have even thought of doing it if it wasn’t for you, you may have encouraged me to do things I never would have, so big thanks to you!”

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How cool is THAT?! And then, another email:

“Hey, I just met with a friend for a drink and mentioned my Goals list…

she suggested I write another list of all I have already achieved and put it next to the Goals one, to inspire me when I start to think “how am I ever going to do that?”

Great idea don’t you think?!Xxx”

I think it’s a fab idea!

Although I love lists (and they help me to plan, stay organised, and fit more into my day), there’s definitely room for some self-praise with an achievements list. Imagine when you’re feeling low in confidence or a bit like a failure… you can look at your achievements list and give yourself a pat on the back (I bet you’re doing better than you thought).

What dya think? Room for an Achievements List next to that To Do list?!

Love,

Sami x

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

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

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

Drinking Up the Sunshine #1

My New Favourite Summer Drink #1

Iced Tea

Ingredients:

Lemon and Green Tea teabag (I use Twinings)

Lemon and lime squash

Ice cubes

Cold water

Sugar

Glass or mug (I used a pint glass)

Instructions:

Boil the kettle

Put a teabag into a glass/ mug, and add sugar. I used 1 and a half teaspoons of sugar (I usually have 1 in a cuppa)

Add enough boiling water to cover the teabag and leave to mash for about 2 minutes

Take teabag out and stir to dissolve sugar

Add a dash of squash (about the normal amount for a fairly weak glass of squash)

Add a whole tray of ice cubes and stir to get rid of heat

Top up with cold water (the colder the better)

Enjoy!

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I think it would work really well with a sprig of fresh mint, or some lemonade if- unlike me- you can stomach fizzy drinks!

Let me know how you get on! And if you have any other recipes for summer drinks, please leave a link in the comments 🙂

Love,

Sami x

A Ton of T-Shirts…

A couple of years ago I decided to make a rug. But I wanted to achieve 2 goals:

– for the rug to be absolutely FREE

– for it to be made of only items that would have been binned

It took me aaaages, but…

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…Isn’t it lovely?! I’m so proud of myself; even The Boy likes it! Plus, it was absolutely free, and saved all those tshirt pieces from going into landfill. So, all in all, I feel pretty damn proud of myself!!

 

Love,

Sami x

 

PS… I’m going to attempt to show you how to make it in my next blog post, so keep an eye out (or subscribe!) if you want to make your own!x