29 Jan 2016

The Craft Trends that you will see Everywhere in 2016

Last years craft trends post was a great help to me when getting inspired for DIY's so I thought I would update it for this year with some new themes that we have seen emerging in our crafty travels. Hopefully they will help to inspire you too!

House shaped shelves, cushions and bed frames are just some of the best examples that I have seen so far of the first of our 2016 trends. The little Scandi house shape isn't new but trust me it will be all over the place this year. It will dominate especially in kids products where clouds and raindrops have been key decor pieces in the last few seasons, the pitched roof house is set to join the party.

Paper folding and origami have been making a comeback over the last few years and this year it will be the paper craft to learn and improve. Watch out for more and more of the wooden templates like the one above and packs of specialist paper in fresh modern designs to keep up with the trend.
Getting organised is on the top of everyone's resolutions list, but with the resurgence in the planner community and companies like Kikki K coming to the UK, journals, Filoxfax and pretty planners are going to be huge this year. Anything you can make to decorate up your choice of organiser is going to be a winner. From stickers to paper clips and dividers to protective bags and motivational dashboards. Get ready to get organised!
Now if you are looking for a pattern or design to add to your go-to favourites this year make it this one. Palm print or any large tropical looking leafy plant print is to 2016 what the pineapple was to 2015. Everything palm print all the time!!
Hale  //  Vogue  //  Heju
For the first time Pantone have chosen two colours that they believe will be the colours of the year and they are already the most popular colours of the last few years.  Mostly, I think, because everyone knows what they look like without having to look them up, what was up with Masala! It is the combination of the two that is the secret ingredient this year. Using the soft warm Rose Quartz with the cool Serenity, even better fading one to the other will be crafting gold. 

We would love to know what your favourite trends are for this year, comment below with the trend you are looking forward to including in your projects for 2016.

Sammy xxx


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27 Jan 2016

Make it: Wire Rings

It's been a while since we have done any Jewellery on the blog and indeed a while since I have made any at all.  I went through a phase of making lots and then got distracted by other crafts I think and so all my jewellery findings have been left in a box.  So time to take them out and make some simple wire rings to adorn your hands.
You will need:  Round nosed pliers, wire cutters, wire, beads, sandpaper.

I made a few different styles of ring and so I will start with a simple spiral ring and show you how you can change it up to whatever your style is.

Step 1:  Cut a long length of wire - longer than you think you will need.  It just makes it a bit easier to work with rather than the whole roll.  I used a thick wire here of about 3mm, but whatever size you prefer.

Step 2: Start coiling the wire around your finger to get it to the size you want.  You can make this ring go all the way up your finger or keep the spiral quite short like I ended up doing.  It is entirely up to you how you prefer the ring to look.

Step 3: Cut off the wire and using the sandpaper, sand down the ends so that you don't end up scratching yourself or someone else when you have the ring on.

Step 4:  Make sure that your ring is nice and even and has the right spiral to it.  I made sure that the ends were pointed towards the curve so that they don't stick out too much.  Then you are done.
 Here is how the ring looks when it is on.  I prefer the simplicity of just the silver, however ...
If you like beads or a more detailed look, you can just add a few beads onto the spiral before you close up the ends.  You can glue them in place so that they don't roll around or even off the spiral when you are putting it on.  I chose some nice purple beads I had so that you can see how it would look.
Next up, is the Bead wire ring.  Again, another really simple ring to make and looks so effective.

Step 1: Cut a length of wire again to longer than you think you need and start to spiral it around your finger to get the desired size.  I chose a really thin wire for this ring as I knew I wanted it to have the wrap around effect without being too chunky.  This wire is around 1mm thick and is very thin, so can only take small beads.

Step 2: Cut off the wire when you have your desired length, then roll over the ends of the wire so that they don't stick out and hurt you when you put it on.

Step 3:  Find the beads you want, I went with some lovely turquoise (of course) and grey beads I had that were small and simple and could be stacked up if you prefer the beads further along the wire.  I kept it to just 7 beads so that they sit at the front of the ring.

Step 4: Put your beads into the middle of the spiral and then depress the spiral and wind the ends of the wire around each other so that the ring is clamped together and held together.

 Then you are done.  A really pretty simple ring.


I love quite simple rings and so that's why I love these.  You can add more beads of course to the spiral, or add hanging beads off from the main spiral.  Maybe I can show you how to make more dangly style rings another time, if you guys would like to see it?  Would you like to see more Jewellery posts?  I am thinking I might have got myself into it again.

If you do end up making this or any of our other tutorials, please do tweet or instagram us using #livelovemake and so we can take a look.  We love seeing what you guys do.

H, xxx

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25 Jan 2016

Let's Meet: Alice Tams


We are back this year with our Let's meet series and this month we finally got a chance to have a chat with Alice Tam's of Birds in Hats fame!  I have loved her work since the very first Renegade we ever went to and so it was a great chance to meet up with the woman behind the scenes. So over to Alice.

22 Jan 2016

Cosy January Wishlist



It is definitely starting to feel a bit more like winter round here I don't know about you but everyone I know seems to be coming down with something nasty... including myself! The best remedy I can think of is to stay at home snuggled up cosy and warm.  These are my winter picks for staying warm all winter long, and on a budget too.

Sammy xxx


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20 Jan 2016

Craft Swap: Sammy

Another new feature for 2016 that we are very excited about, Craft Swap!  We were wanting to find a way to inject more creative thinking around our projects and try and include more of our friends to join in the fun too.

I really enjoyed the limitations of the copper wreath project I did before Christmas, in the way that the lovely guys at Turtle Mat sent me a small selection of supplies and by adding just a few bits from my stash I made something awesome.

So we have decided to start a Live it. Love it. Make it. Craft Swap.  The idea being that two people will gather together some crafty bits and bobs from their stash, then swap them with each other. Each person will then use them to create one or more handmade items.  We will share ours and our friends stash swaps and their creations on the blog over the next few months, in the hope that it will inspire us all to use up some of those bits we have been saving and give away the stuff that others can make use of.  We are so excited to kick off this new feature and we hope you will enjoy it too!

Lets get started with the goodies that H gave to me last month.

H swapped me: a glass jar, a test tube container, some patterned paper, a sheet of glitter paper, a necklace chain, a wooden pendant, some pink wire, a heart peg, red flower stamens, a gold succulent craft kit from a copy of Mollie Makes, a plain paper note book and some small wooden scallop charms.

And here is what I made...


My first idea was to use the glass jar and the gold fabric from the magazine kit to make a scalloped collar to go around the jar to make it in to a pretty vase, then I used this simple paper flower tutorial with the paper from the notebook, the wire, staples and some glue to make a cute bunch of everlasting blooms to put in my new super cute vase. This quick simple project would make a great mothers day gift, don't you think? I kept it clean by just using the white paper, but you could also use patterned paper to create a more colourful bunch of flowers.

My second make was with the patterned paper, I used this paper folding tutorial to make some of these fun ornaments. I love these so much, I am going to make a ton more in different colours and hang them up in my conservatory roof, they will look lovely in there.

My third and final make from this swap was this necklace. I loved the wooden elements together, so I added some jump rings from my stash to attach the scallop charms to the necklace chain. Then using some metallic thread, again from my stash, I used the holes in the lager pendant (also a free gift with Mollie Makes I think) to create a simple design. I attached the last of the scallop charms to the bottom of the large pendant with a scrap of smaller chain to complete the necklace. 

So as you can see I didn't end up using all of the swap bits this time, but they have been put into my stash for other projects. 

We would love this to become something that everyone can get involved in, if you have a friend that you can do a swap with we would love to see your makes!  Tag us in your pictures @liveit.loveit.makeit on Instagram and use the #lilimicraftswap so we can see and share them with everyone. 

If you are a blogger and would like to get involved in our craft swap please get in touch via email liveit.loveit.makeit@gmail.com so we can feature them here or pair you up with another blogger. 

We hope you like this idea as much as we do and that it might encourage you to have a go, even if you just dive into your own stash and get inspired! Next month you will get to see what H made with the goodies I gave to her, so be sure to keep a look out for that one. 

Sammy & H, xxx



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18 Jan 2016

What's on my desk


We thought we would introduce some new things in 2016 and so this series is all about a little behind the scenes of what we do, so lets dive in to what's on our desks this month.  Now, as bloggers and day job person we have a few desks and so I am sure we will share our different spaces each time - to keep things interesting!
 
First up is Sammy.  My space has changed quite a lot lately as it has gone from just being my home desk in my craft room to being my second desk when I work from home.  I am challenging myself to keep it clear of clutter, which is really hard for my 'messy bedroom' teenage self.  I have been working on some things for a couple of magazines which I can't show you, but in-between I have been practising with the We Make Collective Calligraphy kit.  I am loving getting back to working on my hand lettering skills, it's a nice break from working on the computer all the time.  I have another desk at our Sew Crafty office, but it is covered in paper work at the moment, but maybe next month we will take a look at what's on my desk there.

Now over to H.  I thought I would show the day job side of my desk, my actual work desk is just scattered with paperwork and so I thought my studio space desk would be way more fun to share.  I work at The Lightbox, as you may already know and a part of my job entails designing and planning workshops for children and adults.  At the moment we are planning our next what's on brochure - so I am already thinking about what we are going to make in the summer holidays - so you get a sneak peek here, shhh, no telling!  So this chaos you see in the picture is me making samples to photograph for the brochure and deciding what we can actually make in the time we have for workshops.  Also it means delving into our store and finding all the materials I can use for the workshops.  It's all very colourful and usually means using Pinterest alot to adapt things I find to make sure it is easy for 4 year olds or interesting enough for 12 year olds which can be a challenge. 

We hope you enjoyed that little peek into what we are up to right now, What is on your desk? We would love to see, tag us on Instagram @liveit.loveit.makeit so we can take a look.  You can also check out our Office Pinterest board for a bit more inspiration to make your own office look cool - although I feel no ones office ever looks as good as those!
 
H & Sammy, xxx


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13 Jan 2016

Make it: Geometric Print

Its always good to get back to doing a bit of something you enjoy while you are hibernating for the winter and so I thought I would start back with printing.  It's something I do quite a lot at work and I love, but I want to get back to doing more for myself and at home.  It really is a simple thing to do on a kitchen table on a rainy afternoon and with the rise of the geometric print all over Etsy and Not on the High Street, I thought it would be the perfect introduction to printing for those who have never done it before.

First up is the materials, you will need: Acrylic Paint in colours of your choice, paint tray - I use an old plate, funky foam, glue, pencil, scissors, paper, cardboard and a paint brush or sponge.
You will need to think about your design so that you can make your stamps first.  I kept this one very simple and decided to make triangles.  Draw your design and cut the funky foam out before glue-ing the foam onto a piece of cardboard.  You need something to hold onto when stamping so the cardboard works well, but it could be wood, bottle caps or corks, whatever works for you.  I decided to make 3 stamps for each of my colours, but you could reuse the stamps and just give them a clean off with some water in between.  Just make sure not to make them too damp or the water will make the paint too thin.

Once the stamps are made, I thought about how I wanted my print to layout and did a little sketch. You might want to do this sketch first and so you know which stamps to make but I knew I wanted to use triangles for this design and so it was just a case of how it was to be laid out.

Then get your paints out, my turquoise coloured paint was a bit too blue originally and so I added some more yellow to make it more green and mixed it up.  You can use a paintbrush or sponge to add the paint onto your stamp, just make sure it has a thin layer of paint and not too thick.  I would suggest keeping a spare piece of paper next to you to try out first, so that you don't ruin your finished piece.

Once you have your paint on your stamp, turn it over and press down on the paper, make sure not to twist it or it will smudge.  If there is too much paint on the stamp it will feel like it is moving when you push down and so this is a good indication of too much paint.

Press down on all the areas of the stamp and pull off directly upwards, this is where the cardboard becomes useful to pull up quickly and cleanly.

I printed each of my colours separately, but you could do a row at a time if you would prefer.

The last colour, was my copper paint which had a different consistency and so you can see from the bottom right of the picture that it leaked from the side of the stamp on the first one - too much paint!  But I quite liked it and so decided to stick with it for this print.

That's it,  you are finished.  Just to leave it for a good few hours for the paint to dry completely.  Then you can put it in a frame, stick it up with washi tape - a firm favourite of ours or give it to someone else as a present.


You can make this as complicated or simple as you like, some triangles interlocking down the middle of the paper, or circles in all kinds of colours would work nicely too.  Just make sure that if you are printing on top of another colour the top colour is darker than the bottom colour or it will show through.

So, what do you think?  Hope you like it, goes very well with my gallery wall and so I think I will keep this one.  I thought about doing a series of posts about printing and so showing you how easy it is and the effects you can get, what do you think?  Let me know in the comments below.

It's so great to see how easy it is to make your own artwork.  There really is so much of this about at the moment and so making your own unique piece is definitely that extra bit special.

H, xxx


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11 Jan 2016

Food round-up


I know its January and we should all be about the healthy eating and all that, but let's face it, sometimes you just need a little cheat and so I have a few things for you today which are mainly healthy - ok apart from one, but you need something to look forward to hey!

First up are these Carrot cake Cookies from Deliciously Ella.  Ella was a massive success in 2015 and will have more I am sure to come in 2016.  She is all about healthy but tasty eating and I really need that in my life.

Next is a side or snack recipe of Carrot Salad from Le Pain Quotidien.  I love visiting this place when I am in London and so to make a little healthy treat at home can only be a good thing.  Also a great snack for when I am at work trying not to have an afternoon sweet treat.

Last on the savoury front are these Asian-style seafood parcels which were on Jamie and Jimmy's Friday night feast.  I love this programme and not only because the food is good, but they do some great bits about cuts to eat and how to save a bit of cash, what's not to like.  These seafood parcels seem nice and easy for some friends coming over, which is always good.

Lastly is the very naughty treat of Vegan Chocolate Cake from Jamie Oliver's website.  He has a really good website which means you can find all the recipes by meal type, occasion, main ingredient or special diet like my dairy free type.  Makes cooking so much easier as a not very competent chef, but I like to try!

Would any of these be on your meal plans for January.  I am trying meal planning again this year as I found it really helps to keep my motivation for actual cooking and saving a bit of cash too of course.

H,xxx

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8 Jan 2016

Life Update January


Remember those new things we were talking about, this is one of those.  We wanted to think up a cool fun way to let you know what we had been up to, however we are not really that cool so here is just a little life update for you. 

We both loved the Macrame workshop we did at the Bust Craftacular in back in November, then it was time to buy a plant and find a place for it in my flat.  Having bought my own place last year, I am still trying to figure out where I want things to go.  This beauty is fitting in very well in my 70's inspired living area though, now just to get it hung up! 

I managed to get on our Gingerbread house workshop at my work - The Lightbox, which was very cool.  I love learning new skills and having a go at something a little different to paper and fabric.  I took this beauty to a family meal and it was demolished... very quickly.

This is the view from my studio at work and with all the rain we have been having, just about sums up the festive period.  No snow for us.  I love looking out of my studio window at work, I find it strangely therapeutic to see all the traffic going past and the world go by.

All the pretty colours, this was a Christmas present to myself and I am sure they will come in very handy with projects for 2016. I just love looking at them! Please tell me I am not alone!

H

My December started with a lot of organising as we finished up emptying the shop unit that my business Sew Crafty had been in for ten years. It was a bitter sweet ending as we moved all our stock to our new storage space and all our office equipment to my new office at my parents. I am so excited to get stuck into our new way of working.

The other awesome thing that happened was that the collaboration I did with Simply Sewing Magazine was published. I created twenty sewing projects that used fat quarters, it was a massive project for me but it was so amazing seeing so much of my work in print.

The material of choice for the blog last month was definitely copper! H made an awesome candle stick and iPad stand with B&Q and I made this modern Christmas wreath with Turtle Mat. Not gonna lie, it felt a little weird spray painting that robin, even though it was a fake one.

I am normally 'that' crazy Christmas lady, but I just found it hard to get my festive mojo going this year. That didn't stop me from powering through and decorating the house as I usually do though. I had lots of time off over the holidays for the first time in years. I always took it for granted how hard we used to work up to and over Christmas in the past. Taking time to spend with family and friends this year was such a joy.

Sammy xxx

So that's it, all caught up! What did you get up to over the holidays?


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