2 May 2016

Welcome to May Makers Month

Hello and welcome to our Makers Month and the first ever one in May.  We have been doing Makers Months in September for the past few years now and thought that twice a year would give us double the fun.  You can see Makers Month 2015 here and 2014 here.

We love to share what other people are up to and help you find some new makes to lust after, as these are always the premise of Makers Month.  We like to showcase designers/makers and ask them questions so that you can learn from their mistakes and opportunities.  We want to show some fun tutorials by other crafters, so that you get to see what other people have made, rather than us all the time.  We hope that being able to see behind the scenes of some of our favourite people, you get to learn more about them and love them just as much as we do.

We wouldn't want to spoil too much of what is coming up, but if you are new to creating your own work, you may want to keep your eyes peeled as there may well be some good advice to get you on your way and lets face it just being plain nosey into other people's lives.

We are also entering the Mollie Makes Awards this year for the Handmade Champion Award as we thought it was right up our street as sharers of all things pretty, crafty, design and general all round cuteness.  You can see our Pinterest board here if you would like to see it.  Fingers crossed.

Let us know if there is anyone you would like us to feature as we will keep them on our list for September.

Hope you enjoy this month and we look forward to sharing all the joy!
H & Sammy, xxx

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29 Apr 2016

Paperchase for National Stationery Week

If you LOVE stationery, like we do, you will no doubt have noticed that this week gave us all an excuse to let our inner (and often outer) notebook geek loose as we celebrated National Stationery Week. It was way back in 1997 that H and I made our first ever trip to visit the promised land that is Paperchase Tottenham Court Road flagship store for college supplies and we have been regular worshippers ever since. So when they asked us to come along and hang out for an evening and play with a bunch of stationery goodies you can imagine what our answer was.

If you have never been to any of the larger Paperchase stores they really are worth a visit, they go all out with they merchandising and displays. We started the evening by taking a walk around the store and taking in all the beautiful new ranges and making mental shopping lists of what we were going to be purchasing before we went home!

The super chic Get Organised collection always looks amazing, now with even more added copper accents and Monochrome mixes so well with it.
The newest American Beauty range includes some of my favourite pieces from Ban.do, Kate Spade and American Crafts. Not to mention a Pinterest worthy collection of pastel storage and inspirational foiled notebooks.
Being the planner geek that I am I spent a longer than healthy time at the planner wall, serious planner girl goals right there! Summer vibes were in full force around the store with palm print, flamingos and pineapples all making us wishing the sunshine would hurry up and come to stay!
One of the many reasons I love to come to the TCR store is their selection of handmade papers, they are just amazing and the selection is huge.
Some of our favourite brands are also here including The Makery and MT washi tapes.  How gorgeous is this washi wall!
After a wander it was down to business, the business of flatlay-ing our little hearts out!! The workshop was lead by the the lovely Louise from The What Now Blog and we were given a basket full of gorgeous Paperchase stationery and got to create some amazing flatlay images.
It was honestly so much fun, you know we love a good flatlay photo so it was fun to experiment and work with the other bloggers too! We worked with the gorgeous Carol from Muff and Teacake and met up with our current YouTube girl crush Natasha Nuttal from Graphic Fantastique, and fellow bloggers Jaye Rockett and Emma Jane Palin. Here are just some of our favourite images from the evening.

Thanks so much to the team at Paperchase for having us along to the event and meeting up with other bloggers is always fun! We had such a lovely evening, and yes I ended up making some purchases before we went for dinner, it would have been wrong not too.

What have you been doing to celebrate National Stationery Week?? Link up your Instagrams, twitters and blog posts below so we can head over and take a look!

Have a lovely long weekend
Sammy and H

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27 Apr 2016

Make it: Make-up Brush Pot

I am one of those people that needs a place for everything and so mugs, jugs and pots get used for everything in my house.  I like to keep everything in some kind of order and so when thinking of a project for the blog, I thought about making a pot out of air dry clay for my make-up brushes.  It could also house pens or a plant, whatever you want to really.  So, here is how I made it.

You will need: Air dry clay (I used Das, but there are loads on the market) Cutting/modelling tools (mine were from Tiger), cling film, newspaper, a mat/surface you don't mind getting dirty, rolling pin, straight edge (you could use a ruler but I decided to use some off cuts of wood to get the right length/width), a pot for water, Acrylic Paints and paint brushes (not shown, sorry).

If you haven't used air dry clay before, there are a few things to note; It does dry out and so if you have any left over make sure you wrap it up well to keep it fresh, make sure your hands don't dry out too much when using it (you can have a damp towel next to you to help), but don't make it too wet or it will become slippery and unmanageable, it should dry in a few days (you may have to turn it over to make sure it dries on all edges).
Step 1:  Cut off the amount you think you may need, you can always cut off more though.
Step 2:  Start rolling out your clay, make sure to try and roll it to the same thickness all over and think about the shape you want to make.  I wanted to make a long rectangle and so I rolled out to make that shape.
Step 3:  Using your straight edge, cut off any excess.  You can use this clay and roll it out again perhaps once more, but after that it tends to get a bit dry and cracks easily.
Step 4:  Using some water to moisten your fingers, smooth off the rough edges on all sides.
Step 5:  If you want to give your pot a texture, you can use lace/textiles or objects to roll a pattern into the clay.  Try not to push down too hard with the rolling pin, but the pattern should come through onto the clay.
Step 6:  Using another pot or glass, cut out a circle of clay from any leftovers from the side or fresh clay.
Step 7:  To add the clay together you will need to cross hatch into the clay with one of your tools, to make a rough edge on both sides of the edges you want to join.  Also add a bit of water here to give it some extra stick.  You may need to smooth out the clay together also, to ensure that both pieces of clay join.
Step 8:  I wanted to make a fold over flap design on my pot and so cut out another piece of flattened clay that was thinner to fold around the pot joining the circle.  Add the clay pieces as in Step 7, making sure it feels secure.
Step 9:  You may need to smooth off the edges again with a moistened finger to give a nicer finish.
Step 10:  The clay may take a few days to dry, depending on the weather.  Leave it in a well ventilated room and let it dry naturally, so a bit of patience here I am afraid.  Add some newspaper wrapped in cling film if you like so that the pot stays in shape as it dries.  The colour starts to get brighter when it is dry and so then you could always turn it upside down to dry the bottom of the pot aswell.

Now you have a lovely dry pot, you can paint it! yey.  I decided that I wanted to use the same colours as my room and I just love this Fluorescent Yellow and Phthalo Turquoise I had in my stash.

I decided to go a little different (as I always go for blue first on everything) and paint the blue on the inside, I did add a little white to the turquoise to make it a bit lighter.  I made sure I kept the paint quite thick so that it gave a nice bright bold finish.  Acrylic paint also gives a nice sheen to air dry clay, but you may also want to consider a varnish or using a PVA wash if you would prefer a shine to the surface.

I then painted the yellow on the outside, adding it to the top lip and bottom.  I made sure the top lip was dry first and then tipped it over to paint the bottom.

Then another wait for it to dry and voila, it was finished!  I could put my make-up brushes and a few other bits in it on my shelf!  I think it looks great in my room and is just an excuse to add more pots to my room really!  ha, ha.
The great thing about this is that you could scale it up or outwards depending on what you wanted to use it for.  I have tried to make sure all my edges are sealed, but I think if I was using this as a plant pot I might add the plant in a little plastic pot or something, just to make sure.  But for me, it works just as I like it.

Don't forget that if you try out any of our tutorials please add a picture and #livelovemake on twitter or instagram as we would love to see them.


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25 Apr 2016

A Sunday full of food brings a week of content

You may well have heard the phrase "a Sunday well spent brings a week of content" and that was very true yesterday.  There is something really nice about eating and sharing good food on a Sunday.  It gives you that warm feeling of friendship and just puts you in a better mood, well that's what I find anyway.

It always helps when you have been food shopping and have lots of yummy food in the fridge to choose from.

Yesterday was all about Avocado and Poached egg on toast for breakfast to start the day off right and then a big old Veggie roast dinner, as I had a friend coming over who is trying to keep off meat for a bit, so I thought for ease I would go meat free too.  Got a few leftovers for my Monday lunch too, another bonus of cooking up a storm on a Sunday!

I always find I have more interest in cooking something different at the weekend as I have a bit more time I think. What's your favourite foods to make on a weekend?


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22 Apr 2016

Sammy's Craft Room Tour on Cut Out and Keep

You know we are big fans of the craft sharing website Cut out and Keep. Well a few months ago they asked if I would share my Craft Room with their blog readers and of course I said yes.

Head over to the Cut Out and Keep blog to have a nosey around my craft room and sewing space.  It was a pleasure to chat with Cat about my favourite place in the whole world. Click the picture above to visit the tour.

I hope you all enjoy having a little look around and have a lovely weekend.

Sammy xxx

P.S I have joined Snapchat @sammytvr if you want to add me and see behind the scenes stuff from the blog and Sew Crafty too. Still getting used to it though so be gentle!

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20 Apr 2016

Make it: Palm Print Shopper bag and matching clutch

I have a girls holiday booked in June and I just can't find a beach bag I like that is the right size and light enough to roll up in my suitcase. I am too impatient to wait until all the summer stuff is in the shops so as usual I turned to my sewing machine to solve my problem. We have just had this awesome palm print fabric in at Sew Crafty HQ and I knew as soon as I saw it that it was the one I had to use for this project. Then I couldn't decide if I wanted a shopper style or a clutch bag, so I made both!

This fabric is a little heavier than the normal fabric we have in my shop, it is more like a light weight canvas, so I would recommend using sturdy fabrics for this one, or re-enforcing it with interfacing to give it more strength if you are using a normal cotton fabric. Lets get into the how to!

To make your own shopper/beach bag and matching clutch you will need: 1/2 a metre of canvas weight fabric, 2.8 metres of cotton webbing, 1/2 a metre of bias binding or tape, a 25cm zip, poppers or kam plastic fasteners, good scissors, sewing machine, thread and pins.

1. Start by looping your webbing around and joining the two ends together to create your strap.
2. Cut out a rectangle of your canvas fabric 45cm by 70cm and hem the two shortest ends.
3. Lay out your main fabric and mark the middle of the hemmed edges and pin your strap in place 4-5cm away from the centre pin. Then pull the strap across the body of the bag to the other hemmed edge and again measure 4-5cm and pin the strap in place. Do the same for the other side of the strap evening out the webbing to make the straps the same length on both ends.
4. Sew along the length of the strap to attach it to the body of the bag.
5. Fold the body of the bag, with right sides facing and measure a 4cm square into the bottom corner and mark it with pins.
6. Pin up the open edges of the bag above the square you have just marked. Sew up from the edge of the square to the top of the bag to join the sides together.  Then repeat on the other side.
7. Cut out the square you marked out in the bottom corner.
8. Fold out the bottom of the bag so the side seam is in the centre of the cuts you have made and the square is now straight across.
9. Sew along the opening joining the two edges together to create the base of your shopper bag. Then turn your bag right side out.

10. To make the clutch bag (or I use it as a bag to hold my valuables in the open shopper bag) start by cutting another piece of fabric 25cm by 30 cm, then take your zip and pin it with the teeth to the right side of the fabric. Un-zip the zip half way and repeat with the other side. 
11. Sew the zip in place then fold the zip open from the fabric and top stitch the fabric down to the zip tape. 
12. Take your bias tape and fold it over and sew along the edges to give it some extra body.
13. Insert the tab you have made from the tape into the clutch, making sure you leave a cm or so sticking out.
14. Sew straight down both sides of the clutch bag and cut away any excess fabric
15. Turn the clutch the right way out.
16. Sew or use your popper tool to attach one side of your popper to the end of the tab nearest the bag and the other side of the popper on the far end.
You can then use the loop tab as a wrist strap or you can attach it around the handle of your shopper to keep your valuables safer. 

I am in love with my new bag, so much so I have started using it already! I am looking forward to using it in Spain this summer to store all my beach essentials. Am I the only one dreaming of summer sunshine and ice-cream already? I hope not!

As always, if you have a go at this tutorial please tag us @liveit.loveit.makeit on Instagram or @livelovemake on Twitter and #livelovemake as we would love to see them. 

Sammy xxx

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