25 Nov 2015

Why We Will be Shopping Independent this Christmas

I feel that we might be hammering in the point at the moment about shopping independent, buying handmade and making this Christmas, but we are not going to stop any time soon!  You might have seen via our Instagram that we have been enjoying all the craft fairs in London these past few weeks, first up was Renegade at the beginning of the month and Sunday, just gone, was Bust Craftacular.

We do love a craft fair as I am sure you will know by now.  But what we really love about them is discovering the people behind the brands who are always so lovely and the individual nature of the work. The best part is that you know all of the money you spend goes towards that designer/maker making more and learning more and experimenting more.  Basically your paying for them to grow, it's not all about factories, profits and margins.

You may have seen the 'Just a Card' campaign, which aims to improve the fortunes of independent businesses and makers, as, if everyone bought just a card, then it could make a real difference to those people who make them.  Cards are so easy to buy and the easy option at a craft fair, so why not aim to start buying handmade rather than production line cards, it could be your 2016 resolution if you don't want to start this Christmas of course!

We thought we should take this time to mention a few new (to us) designer/makers we found at this years fairs.  First up was at Renegade and we loved Monti by Monti with these ace terrariums, Verdantica who 'create bespoke miniature worlds' and Sparrow + Wolf whose cushions Sammy just had to have!

Bust Craftacular was an altogether more colourful set of new (to us) finds, as you can see.  These badge rosettes from dAKOTArAEdUST were super fun and so bright,  then the cute face mitts (do you remember them from being a child!) from Terri Leahy and lastly were these cool patterned trays from Jonna Saarinen. We picked up some awesome gift ideas from both fairs for Christmas and beyond.
Another thing we are really enjoying about modern craft fairs at the moment is that they are introducing more workshops as well as stalls into the experience. We took part in a workshop by the lovely Helen Robinson at Bust Craftacular to make Macramé plant holders!  I feel a new craft addiction coming on for both of us, watch out for more of this.  Going back to the 70's is a big trend at the moment and so Macramé was always going to make a comeback!

Another reason we love independent makers, is that they inspire us to try new things, learn more ourselves and have even more beautiful things in our lives!  We just want all the pretty around us all the time!

Are you going to shop independent this Christmas?  Or make your own, have you been inspired to try your hand at something yourself?  Do check out our tutorials in the 'Make it' tab above to give you some inspiration.  Also check out Sammy's post last week and this Friday for a few more handmade gift ideas.

H, xxx

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23 Nov 2015

Make it: Star Wars baubles

Last year you may have seen my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle baubles and so this year I had to go better! I am sensing a yearly tradition coming on here!  With the new Star Wars movie coming out, I thought this years theme should be that, please don't hate me hardcore Star Wars fans!  I grew up with the original Star Wars and so am a fan, I just hope I have done R2D2 and BB8 justice.

You will need: White Baubles (mine were from B&Q), Sharpies in red, blue, black and orange (mine ran out so I used a highlighter), Silver pen, pencil if you want to draw first.

For R2D2, choose one of your baubles, I went for the matt type as its easier to draw on.  Draw a line with your silver pen halfway down the bauble, all the way around.

Fill in the top part of the bauble with the silver, you could also use silver paint if you prefer.

Just above the halfway point, draw a blue line all the way around the bauble.

At the top, where the hanger is, draw segments out of the centre with the blue pen.

Time to start adding details.  I started with the larger buttons at the front.

Then added in further detail all the way around the bauble including buttons and where R2D2's blue metal areas sit.  You can find a picture online to help you.

Then when I was finished with the top part, I added in sections on the bottom until R2D2 was finished.

Then I thought to make a matching pair, I should make the BB8 robot from the new movies.  So using all the same materials from above, I found a picture and got started.

First I started with the top Orange loop around the top using the highlighter - I would have used an orange Sharpie but mine had run out just as I was starting this project!

Then onto the silver loop at the top using my trusty silver pen.

Camera and buttons came next using the Black and a little red for a light showing through.

Then onto the bottom silver circle, it is hard to get this straight so you could always use pencil first.

I did a small bit of outlining on the silver parts and added some more buttons, but I did keep it pretty simple.

Finally, I added some more orange for buttons around the bottom, which went all the way around the bauble.

Then, another one done!

I think they both look great next to each other and are going to make my tree very nostalgic this year, with my Ninja Turtles from last year.

I haven't got my tree up yet and so my Succulent Groot gave me a helping hand with hanging the baubles.  I could have gone one step further and made C3PO, maybe another project for the weekend!  I am so loving these baubles, I am definitely going to have to up my game again next year I think!

If you have a go at this project or even last years Ninja Turtles, then please do send us a picture on Twitter or Instagram using #livelovemake, we would love to see them.


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20 Nov 2015

Top Ten Handmade Gifts to Make

So you know we love a bit of Handmade round these parts, so we thought it was about time we rounded up our favourite gift ideas in a couple of guides to make the festive season a breeze. This week we are beginning with the ones you can make yourself, then next week we will share our top products from our favourite designer makers. Let's get stuck into some D.I.Y.

Unicorn Hobbyhorse for your Niece via Us!

Gem Soaps for your Mum via Fall For DIY

Leather Keyring for your Mates via Lovely Indeed

Vanity Tray for your Sister via Lovely Drawer for Sugar and Cloth

Gamer Hoodie for your Brother via Us

Magnetic Screw Catcher for your Dad via My Altered State

Dainty Dish for your Nana via Oh Everything Handmade

Leather Wallet for your Other Half via The Merry Thought

A Yoga Mat for your Best Mate via Us!

A Pet Bed for the Fur Babies via Claireabellemakes

How amazing are all those DIY's! I may be a little biased towards a few of them in particular, but truly that is your whole Christmas List done and dusted right there! If you don't think you have time to make all these awesome DIY's, head back next week for our guide of handmade gifts to buy - from some of our fave creatives.

Have a lovely weekend
Sammy xxx

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18 Nov 2015

Make it: Festive Wreath with Turtle Mat

Another festive tutorial for you today.  I have been wanting to create another wreath tutorial since my Anthro-esq pompom wreath last year was so popular, but have just not found the right inspiration to create something I would actually have in my house afterwards. You know we hate making stuff for the blog that we wouldn't really use in real life. So when the guys at Turtle Mat got in touch with the opportunity to take part in their blogger challenge to create a festive wreath, I took it as a sign that this was the year to make my own wreath.

As soon as I laid out all the supplies I had a flash of an idea that wouldn't go away. I decided to go with a minimalist take for this wreath as I just loved the copper wreath ring that the team sent over.

The Turtle Mat team sent me a box of goodies that included: A copper wreath ring, A glue gun, and a pack of small Christmassy bits including the cute faux robin.

I added from my stash: a pack of battery lights, some copper wire, white card-stock and some copper spray paint.

I started by getting all the elements ready. I spray painted the little robin and set him aside to dry. Then I cut a selection of different sized stars from textured white card stock.  I used my silhouette cameo but I have included a template like the one I used for you to download and use to hand cut some stars If you want to re-create this wreath for yourself.  I also cut a small section of card to support the paper stars.

Next I took the wire and started wrapping the wreath frame, I ran my wire around from the 6 o'clock to 1 o'clock position as I planned that my paper stars would be covering up the rest. I did the same with the battery lights and secured the battery pack to the back of the wreath frame with some more wire.

Once the wire was all in place, I set that to one side and started positioning the stars onto the paper support.  I placed the biggest ones first using the glue gun on the points of the stars and layering them over one another to create a pleasing arrangement, filling in the gaps with the smaller stars until the paper support was covered. Then I glued the star panel in place on the wreath.

The final touch was adding our little robin friend by wiring his feet around the bottom of the wreath and a simple ribbon to the top to hang it pride of place beside my front door.

The joy of living at the top of a hill means no hanging wreaths on my front door. They would get blown away in minutes! So I always hang mine just inside the door. If you wanted to create this wreath to hang outside, I would suggest investing in outdoor safe lights and using some thin plastic to cut the stars.

I am so happy with how this turned out, I am looking forward to using more of the paper stars around the house to tie in the theme with my other decorations.

Why not download the Star template and have a go at making your own! You could also use the star template to make a little garland or a wreath made entirely from stars- gorgeous!

Sammy xxx

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16 Nov 2015

Simple Styling: Bedroom

Another look into H's life today and it's in the Bedroom, ooh err.  Nothing like that, more of a simple way to frame your bed.

In my Bedroom Table post you would have already seen how they are set-up, but this one is all about the framing of the bed as a whole. I don't have a bedhead as I am not too keen on them, but I wanted something to frame my bed in my room, so that it didn't look too bare and also it's a great excuse to get more of the artwork I have collected up on the walls!

So pictures from left to right are: Owl Capone from Mister Peebles, Battersea power station print I made in a workshop ages ago at The Make Lounge which no longer exists and a Chinese symbol proverb which was a gift from my mum from a stall at Covent Garden Market I believe. The ornate frames were from Urban Outfitters a long time ago and the plain black frame is Ikea.

H, xxx

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13 Nov 2015

Christmas Wishlists 2015

It is that time again when people start asking what we have on our wishlists this year, It is a very mixed bag this year for both of us. We are at that age and lucky enough to be able to buy most of the things we need throughout the year so Christmas for us is about those little indulgences that we wouldn't normally buy for ourselves.

H's list
Nesting dolls  /  CYMK badge  /  Casserole dish  /  Blue coast jacket  /  Ceramic Bowl   /  Necklace

I am in love with ceramics right now and especially anything from the Hackney Potter. On a similar theme this concrete necklace from the lovely Rhiannon Palmer, if not the necklace itself then a chance to go on one of her workshops to learn how to make my own! This CYMK pin from our faves Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes has been on my list for ages and these amazing nesting dolls may have to be purchased with any monitory gifts I receive. I think the jacket and the casserole dish speak for themselves, not going to lie, mostly love them because they are blue!

Sammy's List
Scarf  /  Janome Overlocker  /  Kitchenaid  /  Bracelet  /   Sleep Spray  /   Socks  /  Keyring

I have a couple of heavy hitters on my list this year, the first is an overlocker, I have made do with my sewing machines overlocking stitch for so long and now that I am sewing more and more, I think its about time to branch out. And the second is a Kitchenaid mixer in pistachio... a girl can dream! On a more realistic note these cosy cashmere socks and gold tassel key ring from The White Company are just so yummy. H bought me a treat size of the This Works sleep spray last year and I am hoping someone will treat me to the full size this year as I love it. A new star scarf to add to the collection and this cute 'all you need is love' bracelet from Renegade discovery 'Oh Someday' are also being hinted at to my friends and family.

What is on your wishlist this year? Are you wishing for something really special or are you just hoping to spend some time with friends and family?  Are there any crafting goodies we should be adding to our lists??

H and Sammy xxx

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