Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Love it: Craft, Show & Sell Book Review

I always love it when a book shows up on my Amazon recommended list that looks as beautiful as this one does. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but it's hard not to buy this gem for the cover alone, just look at it!!

The name of the book is pretty self explanatory but I'm gonna go ahead and tell you about it anyway. If you are planning to make stuff and sell it online, or at craft shows or you just like being nosey and seeing inside peoples craft rooms this book is for you. By far the best crafting 'advice' book for UK artists and designer/makers I have ever read, and I have read A-LOT of these kind of books.

Let me tell you why...
One. It is Beautiful! I know I have said that already but it is probably the prettiest (useful) book I have ever owned. It is full of colourful photography of gorgeous crafty goodness. It has been on my desk for weeks and I cannot stop picking it up and looking at it, like, everyday.

Two. It has stacks and stacks of really useful information in it. From storage suggestions for your craft supplies, to tips from real designers and artists who are already doing what you want to do. And when I say tips I mean real, useful, meaningful tips that will actually help with the steps you can take to make your dream job become a reality.

Three. As international as the world is now, it is so nice as a UK crafter to hear opinions from other UK crafters. The British craft industry is different from that of the rest of the world and it works in a slightly different way, so to have a book written for British crafters by British crafters, it is a refreshing perspective.

Four. There are sections for everything, not just the fun stuff.  Being your own boss is really brilliant, but it is a lot of hard work and I feel that this book (unlike many others) doesn't gloss over the sticky bits.

Five. It is all the things I love about craft in one book. It is pretty, well put together and actually useful.  It is the polar opposite of style over substance.  It is slick, well put together and it looks beautiful. (I know, I said it again!)

I would highly recommend adding this book to your wish list if you have plans to sell your crafts online or anywhere else.  If you like looking a pictures of beautiful crafts or if you like great tips on making your craft selling dreams come true. If you want to make your craft selling business the best it can be, use this as your Bible. Seriously.

Have you taken a look at this book? Do you already own it? I would love to hear what you think of it, leave a comment below or talk to us on Twitter @livelovemake

Sammy xxx

Disclaimer: ( for our lovely readers) I hate writing these because I feel that you already know, But as a little reminder. Our opinions are not for sale. We only write honest reviews. If we are sent products to review it does not guarantee a positive review or for that fact a review at all. We will always tell you if a review is sponsored, which means that the product has been loaned to us or given to us. This review is not sponsored. I bought this book of my own free will, not with the intention of reviewing it. Just wanted to share some joy. 

Monday, 21 April 2014

Make it: Left-Over Easter Chocolate Ideas

If you are anything like me, you have about three tonnes of the good stuff left over from the Easter weekend. In order to stop my bathroom scales from telling me things I don't like to hear, I have come up with some ways to make my chocolate stash last until... well maybe... May? I thought some of you might like to join me in trying to not eat it all in one sitting and you could also share it around as it changes from Easter treats to general chocolatey goodness.

I started by making chocolate bark, I have made this a few times before, inspired by the Hotel Chocolat slabs, I took a few of the larger eggs and melted them down. 

I lined a baking tray with grease proof paper...

Then pored the melted chocolate in...

Added some white chocolate and swirled it around....

smashed up some mini eggs...

Sprinkled them on top and popped it in the fridge.

Next the fun bit, smash it to bits!

The key to this is to smash it into small pieces and put it in separate packages or sandwich bags. Better still, pack it up into cellophane bags and give it away as gifts to your friends.

I had a little bit of chocolate left over so I tried a couple of other ideas too. I filled some mini ice-cube trays to make some bite size treats.

Then of course my favourite chocolate covered strawberries, these count as one of your five a day right?

Check out some of these other brilliant ideas for all those chocolate leftovers.
Chocolate mousse, Orange and white chocolate muffins, Mini egg cookies and my favourite, Chocolate Mousse Pie! YUM!

I hope these ideas have been of some use in making all that sweet stuff last a little longer and that you are having a lovely long weekend whatever you are up to.

Sammy xxx

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Happy Easter Weekend

Wishing you all a very happy Easter weekend.

Love H and Sammy xxx

Friday, 18 April 2014

Make it: Easter Bunny Ears DIY with Blooming Felt

Today we bring you a crafty classic DIY for your Easter weekend... Bunny Ears!

With the help of Blooming Felt we are going to show you how to whip up a pair for you to wear for lunch on Easter Sunday or Monday with your family. These would also be great if you are hosting an Easter egg hunt for your little family members like H and I are. Lets get to it!

You will need: Felt, Contrast fabric, a Sharpie or vanishing marker, glue, bondaweb, Wire, Scissors and a Hair band.

We started by bondawebing two sheets of felt together to make it stiffer, then we marked out our ear shapes on the felt.  Make sure you leave room for two tabs at the bottom of each ear shape to attach them to the band.  Cut out your ears. Next make two loops from your wire and glue them to the middle of your ears, this will mean you can bend them into cute expressions later.  Take your contrast fabric and draw around your felt ears.

Next, cut around the ear shapes you have drawn on the contrast fabric, cut a little inside the line so you will be able to see the felt around the edge, but make sure it will still cover the wire. Then glue the fabric down over the wire and leave it to dry.

Once your glue has dried, cut a slit into the tab you left at the bottom of each ear.  Pop a dab of glue onto one side and flap the other side over it at 90 degrees. Again wait for the glue to dry before the next step.

Take both ears and play around with the position. Once you like where they are going to sit on the band, glue them in place. 

There you have it, the perfect Easter accessory.

If you like my glitter ears they are in exactly the same way as H's blue ears using my fave glitter fabric as the contrast.

Hope you liked our version of this crafty classic? As always we would love to see if you have a go at these, if you do, take a quick pic and share it with us on Twitter @livelovemake or on Instagram @Sammytvr or @h_a_sketch don't forget the hashtag #livelovemake

Wishing you all a lovely Easter weekend, what are you up to, are you taking advantage of the long weekend by having a go at some crafts of your own??  Let us know in the comments what you are up to. We read every comment and reply to as many as we can. 

Sammy and H 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Who's Who: Designosaur

This month see's another of our finds at Renegade Craft Fair and who couldn't love Jewellery with dinosaurs!  So let's find out a bit more about them.

Who are you?

We are Jacques and Karli the CEO's, founders, designers and makers of designosaur.

What do you do?

We make fun, bright, brash, sometimes dinosaur inspired laser cut jewellery and screen printed tights. We hope that we are creating jewellery that stands out from the crowd and is exciting to wear. Everything we design, is hand drawn, laser cut and assembled by us.

How did you start?

Jacques and I both have Product Design degrees, in fact that's how we met. In the beginning Jacques started making children's mirrors for the laser cutters he was working at. There was one shiny Brachiosaurus which took my fancy, I held up to myself and suggested that it would look great as a GIANT necklace. I was so excited about it that Jacques made it into the very first designosaur necklace for me! I'm not really sure what happened between then and now, we didn't really plan to have a handmade business but it's great to be able to design and create everyday! We have so many ideas with very little time!

What's Next?

We have achieved so much over the last (nearly) two years. We have done craft fairs including Renegade London, a trade fair, we now have around 30 stockists and things just keep getting bigger and better! We would love to do one of the American Renegade Craft Fairs, have a Pop Up shop and continue to take over the world ;)

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to the beginning?

Don't doubt yourself so much. I think this one still applies and although it is good to look at your work with a critical eye. I don't think we would have started our business if other people hadn't seen, and liked our designs right at the beginning.

We love these guys work, it's just nice to see fun and interesting jewellery out there.  One thing that H find's difficult is that she can't wear anything with nickel, so the plastic and wooden rings are great and the necklace chains can easily be replaced!  What do you guys think of designosaur?  Let us know in the comments below.

H & Sammy

Monday, 14 April 2014

Make it. Reusable Easter Pinatas with Blooming Felt

It's Easter, lets get crazy with some bright colours and egg shaped things, Yeh!! Traditionally Piñatas are covered in strips of fringed paper, but this means they are quite fragile, and you go to all that effort of cutting and sticking for it to be destroyed. So I thought if I made some in felt, I can use them over and over again. Plus they will look so cute on the centre of my dining table for Easter Sunday lunch.

You will need: Felta cardboard egg, glue, sharp scissors, ribbon, some chocolate goodies for inside.

Start by taking your felt sheet and cutting it into strips, it is best to do all the cutting before you start gluing. Cut your strips about 1'' wide. Next is to cut your fringe, cut up into each strip leaving about 1/4'' uncut at the top. Also cut yourself a small circle of felt to add to the very bottom of your egg, cut it in half so you have two semicircles. At this point you may want to try one of your chocolate eggs, you know, just to make sure they taste OK.

Once you have all your strips cut and fringed you can pop some glue onto one side of your egg, add your semicircle to the bottom. You may want to try just one more of those chocolates. 

Start layering up your fringe strips. trimming away as you go and making sure to overlap the layers by about 1/4''. 

Keep adding layers until you reach the top of the egg, munch on another chocolate egg, then repeat the steps to cover the second half.  You are then ready to add your ribbon, take some glue and stick it to the inside of one half of your egg.  Give yourself a little reward and eat another chocolate egg before you fill up your piñata with any that you have left. There you have it, an Easter gift that can be filled up year after year.

These were so fun to make and they look awesome... Although they may be empty before they make it to our dining table! I am going to have to find something else to fill them with before Sunday.
What would you put in yours??

Sammy xxx

We would love to see if you have a go at this. Like with all our DIY's if you do, take a picture and share it with us on Twitter or instagram with the hashtag #livelovemake

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