OMG! We are in an Actual Book

So, spoiler alert in the title there. This month the newest addition to the Mollie Makes book library is published and we were invited to create two exclusive projects to be featured. Alongside, some of our industry buddies we have two projects featured in Mollie Makes - How to Sew.  Goals right there people, goals!

The big goal of writing our own book is still up there but being featured in such a gorgeous book and working with the lovely guys over at Pavilion was a really fun way to dip our feet in the waters of what it takes to be published. Oh and OMG, our are faces are actually on Amazon! One of our pages is the 'look inside' page! Just us that are geeking out over that then, maybe!

If you had told us six years ago that in one month we would have tutorials in two magazines, a book-zine and a book we would have laughed and told you to keep dreaming. This blog was never meant to be anything but a hobby for us, it isn't a business, we don't earn a wage from it at all. It is our baby and we love it but we both have day jobs that we are passionate about too.
We started out wanting a place to share and we are so lucky that we have been able to do that. We hope that we can continue to share with you all, without your friendship and support, things like this just wouldn't be possible.
Having taken it a little slower over the last six months we have been stocking up ideas and plans for the future and can't wait to have you all be a part of it with us.

Grab your own copy of Mollie Makes How to Sew, on Amazon now and if you don't already get Mollie Makes - there is a subscription link in our sidebar for you.

H and Sammy xxx

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Simple No-sew Pen roll

Hey there and for some of you welcome to the summer holidays!  I hear all the teachers breathe a sign of relief and the parents start with the 'what do you do on those rainy days?' thoughts.  Well hopefully we can help over the summer.  We know that less of you are inclined to be checking out the blog in August, but hopefully we can give you a few smaller projects that you can do alone or with the kids to keep you going, whether they are yours or you are helping to look after them.

What better place to start than with something that could be super useful for adults and children whilst travelling around this summer.  This No-sew pen roll, could be used for pencils, brushes or even the children's favourite twig collection over the summer - we all know they love a good collection!  This project should take you less than half an hour to make and with a little drying time, you can be using it later the very same day, so lets get started ...

You will need: 40 x 22cm felt, 52 x 46cm cotton fabric, ribbon (forgot to photograph - oops), sharpie/fabric pen, scissors, ruler/tape measure, fabric glue, pens/items to put in your roll.

Step 1: Cut your felt into the right size and using a ruler/tape measure mark on one side your two sets of marks which will be for your pens to go through.  The marks I made were 1cm in length every 2.5cm along the length of the felt.  The first set of marks were 9cm up the short edge and then I drew another set 4cm up from there.  Note: if your pens are longer/shorter/fatter you may need to scale up or down the fabrics/marks accordingly.  Also - check out this really old long ruler I have from my parents - good old WHSmith - its so super useful. - #notspon

Step 2: Cut each of the marks by folding over the felt to make it easier.  Also, these marks will be hidden later so don't worry about them being obvious.

Step 3: Cut your cotton fabric to size above and then check your sizing by folding over the edges so that this fabric will be slightly larger than the felt piece when put together.  Start to glue down the edges when you have the correct sizing.

Step 4: When it comes to the corners of the fabric, fold over to neat corners like you would do if you were covering a book - do you remember having to cover your books at school?  It was always going to come in useful later in life!  Glue the corners down when you have a nice neat edge.

Step 5:  Add glue to your felt on the side of all your marks, so that they will be nicely hidden from view.  Make sure you glue around the edges and not all over as otherwise your pens will not fit into the pen roll.

Step 6:  Check your sizing and that the glue has not attached to the wrong parts , by adding your pens.

Step 7: Roll your pens over to make sure it rolls neatly and you can see the size to check it is correct.

Step 8: Cut some ribbon that wraps around your roll with some spare for tying up around the front. Lay the ribbon down behind the roll so that it is in the middle.

Step 9:  Hold onto the ribbon and flip the roll over so that you are able to glue the ribbon in place.  Leave all the glue to dry properly before using it and voilĂ  you are done.
This would make a great project to do with the children as well.  The felt makes it really easy to cut and not fray whilst you are using it.  You could also add felt to the back for ease and use less strong glue for the children - something like copydex would work.  It would need to dry for a little longer, but still look just as great.
I have been practising my brush lettering after doing a workshop at Craftacular with the lovely Rebecca from Betty Etiquette and so this pen roll will come in handy to take my pens with me for any adventures I am off on this summer.  Or just to look pretty on my desk.  The best thing about this project is that you can customise it with any fabrics of choice and its quick and simple to make - what's not to love!

Where are you off in the summer, will you be taking some art materials with you?

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Creative Meet-ups

Recently there has become a bit of a trend to meet-up with other creatives like you for some good old fashioned down time - and we like it. One thing that most creatives do is work by themselves a large part of the time.  They might be full-time working from home or doing a side-line hustle in creating their dream career, but whatever it is, they will most likely need to have a chat with some like-minded people along the way.

Now that's not to say that all creative people need other creative friends all of the time, but sometimes they just get it, that little bit more.  They know how you feel when you wake up in the morning with a brilliant idea and scribble it down in a notebook, or get the fear every time you put out a new product or blog post.  They even get it when you want to document your life through Instagram and it be fun, but then worry your not posting at the right time or interesting to other people, because well, the algorithm!

It is also great to have some downtime away from all the things, but be around like minded people who can help your brain weed through all the stuff and get some sense from discussing it.  Sometimes.  Or just realising by saying it out loud that it just really isn't going to work.

Then, there is the pure fact that we all like to surround ourselves with lovely people and so why not have a meet-up with some of those lovely people.  The ones that usually send you positive vibes in your phone are going to be just as lovely in real life.  We had the pleasure of a little meet-up with the lovely Claire from Claireabellemakes and Kate from DaphneRosa in Cambridge last weekend and it was great to chat creative life as well as just plain the normal stuff and a little random along the way.

We all have the friends that are best at certain aspects of our life, the one you go out out with, the one you tell your deepest thoughts, the one you would watch Pitch perfect with and also there are the ones who you talk creative life stuff with.  I am lucky in that most of these things I get to do with Sammy as my bestie, but we also like to chat to other like-minded people too, I mean we like each other but sometimes we get lost in our own thoughts too.

Who do you like to hang out with for creative joy?  We love catching up with other people at events, so do give us a holla if you see us!   Do you guys ever need a good old catch-up with like-minded people or do you love the escapism of having friends who do the exact opposite of what you do - we love this too.  Aren't we allowed to have it all??? he he.

H, xxx

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New in Handmade June

Here is your monthly round up of all the gorgeous handmade loveliness that has taken our fancy this month. We are lusting hard for these new offerings from our fave designer makers and this month we have some new additions to the maker party as well as new goodies from our mates.

I am just smitten with the gorgeous subtle colours that Sophie uses for her Embroideries by Junk and Glitter which are now available to be personalised with your choice of initial too! Lush!  Talking of embroidery you need to check out Hello Hooray brand new Etsy Shop, it is filled with fun, colourful hoop designs and an epic pattern to have a go at yourself. If you are off to a festival this summer you need to head over to check out some of the jewellery in Mels Etsy Shop I particularly like this Tassel Necklace by Little Gems by Mel but I also love her wrap bracelets too.  I have shared Sarah's 'Spread the Love' hearts on toast pin before but there are new additions to the toast brooch family including everyone's fave Avocado Toast! Brooch by Rock Cakes. I am loving all the fun patches coming out at the moment, it makes me feel like a girl guide again. Kim's Pads Before Lads Patch by Finest Imaginary is right at the top of my wishlist, you know how important my fur babies are to me. You also may know both H and I are acrylic jewellery fans and I am a big fan of this awesome Unicorn Necklace by Miroo who is also a new to me find! Last but not least my pic of the pins this month are of course these epic Planner Pins by Claireabellemakes!! This amazing spinning Crafty Decision Pin by Fickle Craft Room and obviously Mint Icosahedron Pin by Geo Heaven.

If you fancy a crafty read, head over to check out how Rachel got on with her 30 Create challenge on and see how she got on with her 30 before 30 challenge. Well done Rachel!

Phew! I hope that is enough to keep you going for another month.

If you are a designer maker and want to have your newest goodies in next months post get in touch and we will add you to our facebook group.

Sammy xxx

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Quick DIY's for Dad

Mini Trophies by // DIY medals by  //  Doughnut cake and topper by  //  Kids Wall Art by         

How cute are these Dad's day treats, any father would be happy to receive these hand-crafted gifts this Sunday. You know we love adding a personal touch to our DIY's and these all have multiple ways to make each one special to your father figure.

These two are my particular favourites though, these cookies are so fun, and you could spell out any word you like, also a great one to do with the kids and let them decorate them. This adorable embroidered letter is just so sweet, a simplified version using your little one's handwriting with a simple 'I love you Dad' would be quicker to stitch up in a hurry but have just as much sentiment.

Rad Dad cookies by  //  Stitched Note by

What do you have planned for the weekend? We are off to spend some quality time with our Dads, hope you get to do the same.

Sammy xxx

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Let's Talk about: Now Blog Conference

Well, hello there! and how are you doing this week?  It has been a bit of a slog over the last few weeks for us with the weather and just time!  Where do the days go I want to know!  I thought that all this extra daylight should help make it feel like there are extra hours in the day, not so much!  

Anyway, that's not really what we are here to talk about, what we wanted to chat about was the NOW Blog Conference coming the way for everyone north of Watford Gap! ha ha.  The Lovely Nicolette from Archie and the Rug and Kimberley from Swoon Worthy with their team of helpers are bringing the wonderful world of blog conferences to all those up North and anyone else who fancies trying out somewhere different to London.

The Venue chosen for the weekend is Victoria Baths in Manchester which is just up the road from the Whitworth Art Gallery - I think I might well find myself there at some point in the weekend!  As if I need any more art gallery in my life! ha ha.  The venue is beautiful, full of Victorian features and green tiles - I do love tiles.   Also, I am super into going to give Manchester all the love after what happened a few weeks ago.

But enough about the interior stuff, what you really want to know is who is going to be speaking!  Well, just this little lot that's who: Sophie Robinson - TV personality & Interior Designer, Emma Chapman and Trey George from A Beautiful Mess - as if you don't know who they are! Igor & Judith from Urban Jungle Bloggers - bloggers and friends who just love plants, Carole Poirot - a Stylist and Photographer and finally but by no means least, Jen Stanbrook - a blogger and Pinterest expert.  Phew!  that should keep us going for a couple of days.

Alongside this, there will be brands to meet, workshops to try out and of course lots of other creative bloggers to chat to.  So a full on Friday to Sunday plan!  Maybe that trip to the Whitworth will have to wait till the Monday!

We are really excited to be going to the event, with our trusty notebooks and planners in hand.  We are also planning to take some secret new things with us, so watch out for announcements on those.  We can't wait to hear what advice and passion we can gleam from other people to enthuse us to make our 6th year of blogging this year into more and more years.

You can pick up tickets for the event over on the NOW Blog Conference Website, which there are still some Early bird tickets left for £90 for the whole weekend! oh yes!

Let us know if you are going to be there, so we can say hello!

H, xxx

Disclaimer: We have been given free tickets to this event and been asked to publisise it, but have not been asked to write anything we do not feel that is true to what we know.  We are really looking forward to this event and will write an honest and open review after the conference.

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New in HandMade May

New in Handmade is back, we had a little break but we are back to fill you in on our fave new releases from our maker friends.  First up is this fun Happy Place Print print by ElistonButton, we love Rachel's colourful prints! May is getting us all a bit wedding happy round here, H always has loads to attend, if you are getting married these awesome Bride to Be Bags by Puptart are a perfect hen party accessory and the latest gorgeous YAY cake topper from Rachel Emma Studio is the epitome of wedding chic. We missed out on seeing the girls from Frilly Industries when they were at Pulse in London recently but we made sure to keep an eye on their shop as we knew something wonderful was coming, we LOVE these Snow Globe Necklaces girls!!

A lot of Father's day cards I have been seeing in the shops lately are really soppy, and I love my Dad and all but sometimes simple is just what you need, we love these Fathers Day cards by DaphneRosa.

I am in the process of re-decorating our Kitchen and I am hunting for new art, so this Botanical letter print by Ingrid Petrie caught my eye and I love this Hello banner by Cotton Clara, a last cheeky selfish purchase that is totally summer ready are these Gin and Lime earrings by Hello Sunshine

Don't forget that Adventures and Tea Parties Instagram challenge starts tomorrow! Even if you don't join in, this challenge will be a feed highlight this month with the challenge based on colour, yum!

That's it for May, don't forget if you are interested in having your new products featured, get in touch. We are headed to Craftacular this weekend so that's our crafty boxes ticked, what about you??

Sammy xxx

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Accidental Dairy Free treats

Something a little different for you today.  Sure we love our crafts but along the way we need to eat and knowing what treats to keep you going are a winner for us.

I was diagnosed with a cows milk protein intolerance about 3 years ago now, which was a shock to the system when I first had to cut out milk, cheddar, yoghurt and biscuits!!!  But, along the way I have found out that there are plenty of alternatives, of course the free from section is an important part of my life in whatever supermarket I find myself in - if a little expensive, but you know what, finding those accidental dairy free items is a bit of a passion of mine too - who knew that finding a bonus food would be a winner with me! ha ha

Now, I am quite lucky that I don't have to worry about gluten too, or that if I was vegan, I would not be able to have most of these things either, so just the cows milk problem for me.

First up, shall we start with the savoury? and lets start with lunch time on-the-go problems.  It can be a nightmare to find something for lunch if you are out and about, but alot of places have items that if you just check the ingredients, are free from dairy.  This Chicken salad sandwich from Sainsburys is a good example.  Pret also have a great allergen guide which you can look up online and lots of lovely symbols next to all their products in store so you can see easily.  These are usually my go to places, if I have not been organised enough to make my own!   Or sometimes when I just want something I know is tasty and is little effort I go for the Maggi instant noodles, way nicer than super noodles and I just love the spicy sweet chilli ones.

Later, when you get home and you can't be bothered to cook a full meal - lazy I know and I never normally advocate ready meals, but sometimes needs must and I know that not everyone enjoys cooking from scratch.  I am normally a beans on toast kinda girl when its a late work night, but just in case you can always pick up a katsu curry from sainsburys which contains no dairy.

But if you have cooked up a storm and just want a little something something to go with it, Sainsburys garlic bread or the Indian snack selection are other winners.  By the way this post is not sponsored by Sainsburys, but it does happen to be my nearest supermarket and has alot of products that happen to be accidentally dairy free.

For a savoury snack to take around your mates for chips and dips night perhaps, you can go for my personal favourite of Barbecue Pringles or try something new like these Manomasa crisps.  Always check the packets though as not all the flavours are dairy free and sometimes they like to change the recipe, we gotta keep an eye out of those recipe lists when dairy free.  Improved recipes are not our friend!

Now, to my favourite part, the sweet snacks!  These are great for taking over to friends, so they don't go all 'I don't like free from food' on you and also to keep you going while crafting, or just because.

Biscuits come first as I always like to have a packet in my cupboard.  I think biscuits being dairy free have sometimes been my most surprising accidental dairy free foods, just like most own brand bourbons and of course the wonderful Oreos are dairy free, even Vegans eat Oreos so it must be ok, plus the mint versions are like eating mint penguin bars, winner!

If you are more of a cake fan, don't worry, I have you covered.  Tesco own brand Cherry Bakewells and Emmas cakes - I found them in Sainsburys, are going to be your saviours!

Lastly, but by no means least, if you want to treat yourself for a weekend breakfast, then you can buy one of the Jus roll products, the cinnamon swirls are a particular fave of mine, but also the Pain au chocolate is dairy free too -  yes really.

These are by no means all of the things that are accidentally dairy free, I am an avid watcher of instagram and blog posts by vegan and free from bloggers who always seem to know what is the next thing.  I have also chosen products which I like, but by no means will they be to everyone's taste.

As someone who has to think about what to eat when out or just wants to not have to make everything from scratch all the time, some of these products really do help.  What's your favourite?  Or do you have something I should try, I would love to know.


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Make it: Embroidered Palm Leaf Trainers

I have seen a bunch of gorgeous embroidered trainers and shoes around this season and you know I love a bit of embroidery. I don't normally wear a lot of floral prints in my wardrobe so I hadn't been able to find a pair that worked well with my everyday outfits. So I found a pair of plain trainers and sorted out some that would. I embroidered this pair of basic trainers with some simple green palm leaves. Here is how you can make some too.

You will need:
White TrainersEmbroidery thread, Needle, Water erase marker pen,
Step 1. Start by removing the laces and giving the trainers a good clean, even if they are new they still may have some dust so use a baby wipe or makeup wipe to clean them off and let them dry.
Step 2. With a water erase pen or a simple pencil mark out a simple pattern of stems and leaves growing from the stems.
Step 3. Using green embroidery thread sew from the inside out, moving the tongue of the shoe out of the way. I have used a combination of variegated thread and three shades of green.
Step 4. Once you have compleated all the embroidery go back in and erase the pen markings and repeat on the second shoe.

That's it, it's that simple. These trainers were a faux leather finish so I used a pair of pliers to help push and pull the needle through some of the tougher parts but apart from that, they were so easy to create. I am totally smitten.

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Live it: Our Handmade Fair Mollie Mash-up Adventure

What a weekend we have just had!  In a flurry of craft related goodness we went up to Warwickshire for The Handmade Fair at Ragley Hall.  This wasn't just a visit to see some of our favourite crafters though, we were up against Fran from Fall for DIY on the Mollie Makes Mash-up stage. eeeeek.  We were also in great company as the Lovely Mr X Stitch had been involved in Fridays Mash-up and Chinelo Bally & Lauren Guthrie from the Sewing Bee were part of Saturdays Mash-up.

The Ragley Hall venue was a first for The Handmade Fair team and so it was smaller than the Hampton Court set-up, but of course our favourite Churros were there, so that is always a bonus.

We got our passes when we first got there and had a little wander around the site, being very restrained and possibly just really nervous!  We knew we would be on stage towards the end of the day and saw that the Super Theatre tent was smaller than we had thought, so our nerves got a little calmer.  We caught up with some crafting friends at the bar and then sat in the lovely sunshine waiting for our time on stage.

Then our time came up!  The lovely Cath from Mollie Makes took us around to the back of the stage to get ready and feel very Madonna with our mics'.  We knew in advance what we would be making on stage a wreath - sorry to spoil the fun and had a sort-of theme in mind, but its not until you are on stage with it all that you realise what you are meant to be doing! ha ha.  The Mash-ups were kindly sponsored by Hobbycraft too, so all the treats.

We went for a very Haberdashery theme, with lace, threads, ribbons and sewing tools.  With two of us doing it though do you think that would have helped or hindered.  Its great being able to craft together but with a 45 min timer going off behind us it was definitely crafting to the clock and not really being able to chat as the lovely Cath was asking us questions along the way.

The Lovely Fran on the other side of the stage was making a paper and gold guided wreath - obviously we didn't see this till later.  Cath was asking us questions about blogging and crafting and we got a few questions from the lovely audience who had stayed till the end of the end.  Then quick as a flash it was all over.  The audience got to vote with their claps and Fran was the well deserved winner - congrats Fran.

It was so much fun to be on stage and with Fran and Cath too, made it very much less scary.  It was great to have the time pressure, but I don't think I would want it all the time, ha ha.

We wanted to say a huge thanks to Fran and Mollie Makes alongside The Handmade fair for letting us have such a fun day.  The next Handmade Fair is at Hampton Court again in September if you fancy going along.

H, xxx

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A day in the life of Sammy

Back in January H shared what a day in her life was like, so now it is my turn to share with you what I get up to in a day. Since we closed our retail shop just over 19 months ago my day to day routine has completely changed. Over the past year, this has become my perfect routine, for now, anyway, this is how it is working for me. This is obviously a normal working day at Sew Crafty HQ and I do have days where this routine is thrown out with meetings and appointments but I, unless something comes up this, is how I spend most of my working week. 

8.30 am: I try to get up at with my alarm and head to the bathroom, have a big glass of water and wash my face. Then I head downstairs to feed the cats and do half an hour on our cross trainer or workout DVD. I have to do exercise in the morning or it doesn't happen.  

9.15 am After that is out of the way, it's in the kitchen for breakfast, usually coffee, homemade granola with coconut milk or eggs on toast. 

9.45 am I head back upstairs and shower, brush my teeth and morning skin care routine.

10 am Next, I get dressed and head to my Craft room/ home office and check emails, If I'm going out I will put on makeup and do my hair, if not I will check out Pinterest, or quickly reply to some emails.

10.15 am Mum will come over and pick me up, and we head to Sew Crafty HQ. I will usually have a cup of tea, work on emails, paperwork, bills, invoicing, taxes etc whilst Mum is packing up orders until lunch time.

1.30-2 pm We head to the kitchen and sort out some food, usually turkey sandwiches, falafel salad, avocado toast or soup (I love soup, homemade if possible) a quick Instagram scroll, a magazine flip or a book chapter later, and it's back to work.

2pm afternoons are usually reserved for sorting out stock, photographing, listing products on the website or photo editing. 

4 pm We usually have a tea break and have a scroll through Pinterest or Mum shows me articles from the paper that she thinks I might like, She is so cute like that.

6 pm After dealing with the last few chores, emails and blog posts Mum and I will head home.

6.30-7pm I will make dinner for Steve and I while we catch up on what has happened that day, sort out the dishwasher, washing and other boring adult stuff oh and feed the cats.

8 pm Free time, Steve (My husband) and I will usually watch a movie or catch up on a tv show we have been watching, that is if the cats are sitting on my lap and I am unable to move! If not I usually head up to my office and work on a blog post or do some sewing.

11.30 pm I head into the bathroom and take off my makeup, brush my teeth then head to bed.

As you can see nothing too spectacular or out of the ordinary, but I love my life now. I am more in control of how I organise my day. I don't feel like I am playing catchup all the time. It is easier to schedule in time for myself and time to spend with My husband. I am still figuring out how to balance everything, but I am on my way to finding my happy place.

Sammy x

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Make it: Business Card Holder

Well hello there and welcome to another tutorial, just a small one today and it was inspired by last weeks National Stationery Week.  Something I have been meaning to do for a long while was to sort out all the business cards I pick up at all the craft fairs we go to.  I love to be able to go through the cards when looking for designers/makers to talk to for the blog and of course for present inspiration for my friends and family.

So, why not show you what I have done in the simplest of forms, so that you can make your own version at home or at work.

You will need:  Card (I went for green pastel so that it stands out a bit more against most of the white cards), Pencil, Thick Pen (I used a calligraphy pen to make them stand out), Scapel or scissors, ruler and a container/box - mine was from Muji.

The first step I did was to decide how big I wanted my index cards to be.  I was originally thinking that they could be just as long as the business cards themselves, but then decided as to not waste card, I could just divide up the A4 card into 70x70mm sized pieces, so that I could get 12 cards out of one A4 sheet.

I knew that I wanted to have the index tab sitting up and so I made a template that was 70x60mm with pencil marks at every roughly 12mm, so that I could work out how big my tabs were going to be.  I used the template to make a 10mm tall tab on each of the cards.

Then on each of the index cards I marked where I wanted the tab to sit on each card.  Making sure that each letter was staggered from the next one.

I managed to mark 6 tabs and so I made sure I made 4 of each with the same tab placement to make 24 cards, as I knew I wanted to put 'XYZ' on one tab.

Then, using my Calligraphy pen, I added the letters to each of the tabs - handwriting is not my forte, so you'll have to forgive me, something to work on.  Of course the fun part of making sure all of my cards are in order was next to put them all in the box.  You could always make your own box out of cereal box and then cover it if you want, but I already had this box from where I used to dump the business cards in before.

I hope you enjoyed this little quick DIY.  We are back on form - hopefully, from now on so thank you to those for bearing with us.

Do let us know if there are any tutorials you would like us to make, we have plenty of new ideas, thank god, but its always good to know if you guys want something in particular we can help you to make.


P.S. see if you can spot the little error on my calendar - oops!

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