Live it. Love it. Make it. What a year 2012

This year has had chaos, panic and some grumpiness but show me a year that doesn't! Above all else though its been fun and this little blog has kept us both going, even with some quieter moments.

We thought we should share some moments with you that really stood out!

The time we did a Bunting workshop for the Craft Coop pop-up shop in Maidenhead in the summer and then Kelley sent us this lovely picture of her daughter with her finished bunting.  Kelley got married recently too, so congrats!

For me it was my niece being born, and in this picture we give another great achievement this year, the Olympics a mention!  She is so cute and although I have lots of friends with children, a few who were born this year too, there is something about having a niece that is so so special!, loves her, xxx.

There was quite a few 30th Birthday parties this year and of course Sammy had to celebrate in style with a sweetie bar and a rainbow cake!  It was the BIGGEST cake I have ever seen!  We have established that we are best friends and that we are never getting rid of each other and I think this blog of ours cements that, so it makes it all the more special and shows how much we like cake!

We accomplished quite a few firsts this year, this was a picture from our first workshop with the Craft Coop, back in March, wow time flies, I can't believe that this time last year we hadn't met all you lovely Chicks! Deborah, Teresa, Anna, Yolande and the rest of you, we feel so privileged to call you our friends.

As H said it has been for myself and a few of my friends, our 30th year, one of the best parties has to be our friend Kelly's Barbie party, I am biased as I was involved in decorating the venue, but it was genuinely one of the best nights, so many giggles!

One of our best memories of the year has to be 'Live it Vintage' the event we put on in the summer. We are still a little surprised that we managed to get Sammy organised enough to run an event, but then I  have been doing it for years so I knew we could pull it off. Again I think the best thing that came out of it was the friendships that we gained. Carly, Laura and of course Anna in particular have become like members of the Li.Li.Mi family, love you guys.

Roll on 2013 then and check out any of our other posts from the year if you managed to miss anything!

H & Sammy
Live it.  Love it. Make it forever!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Well as the title suggests we wanted to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We will be having some time off over the Christmas Period to get some rest and of course plan some more exciting things for 2013, so watch out!

We hope you have a great Christmas, whatever you are doing and remember that its all about who you are with and the people you care about most.  But with a few chocolates in there too!

See you in 2013!!

H & Sammy

Love it: Sammy's Christmas Tree

It was my day off from the shop yesterday and finally had a chance to tidy the house and get it all decorated ready for festive fun! A few weeks ago I mentioned I was thinking of getting a new White Christmas tree, well she is up (this tree is definitely a girl) and looking lush so I thought I would take a few pictures to show you how well my sparkly pastel scheme worked out.

The dusky lilac, mint, antique pink and shimmery gold silver and pewter decorations make for a really pretty, soft focal point for our lounge, which my friends describe as having a 'batcholor pad' look to it, well I do live with a boy (the Husband) but this beauty definitely glams it up a bit!

I hope you all have your trees and decorations up and ready for all those yummy presents, I cant wait to hear what all my friends got from their loved ones. I am so looking forward to spending some quality time with my friends and family especially my Mum, I know that may sound strange to some of you that know that I work with my Mum every day at our shop, but it is so different when I get to relax and chill out with her, away from work. We are cooking Christmas dinner together again this year, I can't wait its going to be so lovely. 

lots of Christmas tree love, Sammy xxx

Link for the week: Vintage Christmas Jumpers

This week's link is once again a Chrsitmassy one, which I can't quite believe as Christmas spirit is lacking for me me this year!  But for everyone else it should all be about the Christmas Jumper and the Guys over at Frock & Roll have it covered! This Vintage Christmas Jumper is a winner.

H was lucky enough to buy an amazing 1980's blue dress from this shop last week and of course they took part in our Live It Vintage event last summer, so they are all round good guys in my book!

So check out their Christmas Jumper selection and get your geek on this Christmas!

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Link for the week: Rigby and Mac Owl clock

Photo of
This week's link might just be an extension of my Christmas wish list for anyone looking for a present for me... Well I can try! Combining my love of owls and clocks!

It's amazing!

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Live it: Japanese Gocco Printing Workshop at Craft Central

Last week I attended Craft Central in London.  I have been to one of their workshops before and so was really looking forward to it.  About a week after I booked the hugely popular (it has sold out in hours previously)‘Craft It Yourself: Printing using Japanese PrintGocco machines’, they emailed me to tell me that the workshop was going to be slightly different than advertised. 

Link for the week: Gnometastic

I am having a little Christmas time fun with this weeks link!

It's all about the crochet, which I am a novice at and so I am not sure I could practice what I preach here! But maybe I could have a go in 2013 hey! How cute is this little crochet Gnome.

Please let us know if you have had a go or any other little creatures you have done. We would love to see them.

Make it

Love it: Christmas Wishlists

With it being the 1st of December we thought it only right to our Christmas wishlists with you

No.1 Top of My (Sammy's) list is a Silhouette Cameo computerised paper/fabric cutting machine. I used to have a have a slice machine, which I have recently sold to make way for one of these. I need this in my life!

No.2 on my list is theses Virtue stacking rings, there are hundreds in their range to choose from, these three are my faves. I am a little bit of a fan of stars, I have lots of star pendants and charms, I even have a tattoo of five stars on my back.

No.3 are the yummy Sweetie Fur Lined Slipper Boots from my favourite high street store Accessorize! My current (last years Christmas present) pair have lasted me a whole year, I wear my slippers A LOT! But now have rather large holes in both feet. These look so cozy and I love the pompoms.

My last two are definitely on my 'DIY' list to have a go at in the new year if I don't get the real thing.
No.4 on my list is from a store that is well loved in the US and becoming a massive brand in the UK too, Anthropologie.  H is responsible for introducing me to the wonders of their existence on a trip to their Regent Street store a few years ago. I have an 'S' mug from their original range, but I just love these floral designed homegrown monogram mugs, and the 'S' is in such a cute teal and red colour combo.

No.5 Is from my current designer crush Kate Spade. I love this gold spot Mobile phone case, the perfect mix of Glam and kooky, If this isn't in my stocking though I feel a DIY version on the cards!

No.1 on my list is to go any see Matilda at the Theatre.  There are 3 main reasons: I love Roald Dahl and my favourite book was Matilda; I loved the 90's Film with Bob Hoskins and I love Tim Minchin - who wrote the  new Music and Lyrics.  So what's not to look forward to!

No.2 on my list is the House of Elliot Series boxset.  I loved it when I was younger watching it with my mum and last year BBC3 had a complete re-run and I loved it all over again.  I loved the clothes and that the 2 women were Fashion designers - one of my 'what do you want to be when you grow up' jobs.

No.3 is my new favourite thing. It is a machine built in the 80's for Japanese Children to be able to print on a small scale - similar to screen printing.  Japanese Gocco Machines are apparently very rare and have stopped making them, but I will be scouring Ebay and the world for one of these beauties and maybe one Christmas I may well find one!

No.4 is this Lisa Jones Studio Cushion.  Now I love checking out cushions but don't actually have many at home and that may be more to do with house-sharing than anything else.  But if I did have cushions, this would be the one I want as it has an Owl on it and I am a bit obsessed by birds but especially owls at the moment!

And finally at No.5 is my all time favourite thing at Christmas time and all year round in fact.  I love mint chocolate and there is something about Matchmakers that makes me feel very Christmassy!

If you have your own to share, then please post a comment below.  We would love to see them.

Love it Christmas Style
Sammy and H xxx

Link for the week: The Blogcademy

This weeks link might just help some of you who are bloggers yourself!

H was at a wedding at the weekend and it turns out so was Kat from Rock n Roll bride! So I thought I would share with you the link for The Blogcademy she is a part of and of course her own website. We can only wish she came to our little vintage event in the summer, but she couldn't make it unfortunately.

They have had to add a second set of dates to their Blogcademy as the first lot sold out! Well done girls!

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Link for the Week: Autumnal Soup from Rosalilium

Recipe for Mexican Chicken Soup

This weeks link is a foodie one again! With winter coming it is definitely soup weather and H has been trying out new recipes to keep from having the same old same old soups.

I saw this one Mexican Chicken Soup recipe on The lovely Rosalilium's blog this morning and so I think I might try it out this week, so I hope you will too!

Elizabeth's blog is definitely worth a read too!

Make it

Love it: Christmas Tilda

Wow, so October flew by and November is going the same way, don't know about you but I am getting that Christmasy feeling!

I have always been a fan of 'alternative' Christmas colour pallet. our current tree is black, A couple of years ago we had a pearl and gold 'CHANEL' themed Christmas tree and last year we had black, gold and red. you will see that I use quite a lot of the same decorations and just add some new ones to jazz it up every year.

This year I am splashing out on a new tree as the cats have broken almost every branch on our black one by climbing up it, and I think it's going to be a white one!
So I needed a new colour pallet to go with... with our new delivery of fabric my questions were answered. We have just had the newest range from Tilda come in to Sew Crafty, not particularly Christmas you might think but I love the idea of a pastels and white with lots of sparkle!

Take a look at these images from the newest Tilda book, I'm dreaming of white sparkle snowflakes, grey floral dresses for peg-doll angles and china blue and mint green hearts with velvet ribbon.

What is your favorite Christmas colour combination, are you a traditional red and green person, or a retro red and mint green, blue and silver or purple and gold??  Why not try and mix it up this year and mix in a new colour with some of your old decorations. maybe have a go at making some of your own.
Loving that its almost Christmas
Sammy xxx

Who's Who: The Craft Closet

After a bit of a Hiatus, our Who's Who interview is back, so if you would like to be featured in the future, please do send us an email us at

So, to kick off the new season it's the turn of the Craft Closet. I had the privilege of work with both of these lovely girls when I did my stint at The Make Lounge in London.

They have started up their own business and have managed to get themselves in a book and plenty of magazines since they got going, so they are definitely doing something right!

So let's see what they have to say ...

What is Craft Closet?
We are The Craft Closet and our aim is to inspire and encourage that crafty side in you! The Craft Closet provide the finest materials in each of our unique craft kits so that you can make a beautifully designed gift for yourself, friend or loved one. The designs and instructions are simple, easy to follow and most importantly the kits are great fun!

The business is run by myself (Nicola) and Rebecca. We both have a creative background and a multitude of experience.  I have a degree in Fashion and Textiles specialising in Knitwear design and have worked within the Retail Buying Industry since graduation. Rebecca has a degree in Contemporary Decorative Crafts and experience of working for the V&A and various Artist Studios.

I had always dreamt of starting my own business, using my design and buying skills to create my own brand. Rebecca similarly wanted to create her own niche business in the creative world incorporating her experience, skills and passion for crafts, so after far too many tea and cake catch ups we decided to join forces and take the plunge!

Where do you sell your work?
We have a busy Christmas planned with a string of market dates around London, which are always great fun as it's fantastic being able to chat with our customers.

Upcoming Market Dates:
Saturday 10th November - We Make London Market at Spitalfields (also Inspired:London Book Launch)
Friday 16th November - Greenwich Indoor Market
Saturday 17th November - Designer/Makers Market at Spitalfields.
Saturday 24th November - Greenwich Indoor Market
Sunday 2nd December - Greenwich Indoor Market
Sunday 9th December - Designers/Makers Market at Rotary Walk, Clapton
Saturday 15th December - Designers/Makers Market at Spitalfields
Sunday 16th December - BUST Craftacular at Bethnal Green

We are also currently stocked in 3 London boutique craft shops and of course have a shop on Etsy -

Or find us in the following shops:
The Make Lounge, Islington
Love 13, Enfield
Creative Biscuit Cafe, South Woodford

What do you sell?
We have a range of 10 Craft Kits which currently include Knitting, Sewing and Cross Stitch.

We are busy working on Crochet and Embroidery Kits for our Spring range which we're really excited about!

Anything coming up that we should know about?
We're really excited about the launch of the new book; Inspired:London which has been created by We Make London to showcase over 150 handpicked London designers and includes a feature on The Craft Closet. The public launch event was on Saturday 10th November at Spitalfields Market where we also had a stall, so you may have seen us there!

What does the future have in store for Craft Closet?
Lots! We have a long list of new Craft Kits we would love to create, so we'll gradually be working on these and bringing our a few new one's in the New Year.

We would also love to reach a few more people out side of London by finding a few boutique craft shops a little further afield to stock our kit range. We're also hoping to start a Blog soon called Tea, Cake & Make which will be full of all our favourite things!

We both love London, it's such an amazing city and the craft and handmade scene has really exploded. It's great to be able to be part of such an exciting and inspiring community, so the future really is looking very exciting for The Craft Closet!

Find us online:
Facebook - The Craft Closet
Twitter - @CraftCloset

Or drop us an email!

So, please do go check them out, they have plenty of stock for fun Christmas presents, I particularly like the knitted purses, but I think I am going to have to get my knitting skills up first!

Live it.  Love it.  Make it

Link for the week: Movember

Photo courtesy of
This weeks link is all for the great cause Movember.

Now if you haven't heard of it you have probably been under a rock or you will now understand why men seem to have unlikely moustache's in November!

Anyway, it is a great cause for Men's health and more information can be found here:

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The Future of art in our schools

On Why We Need to Decrease the Amount of Testing: | 27 Awesome Straight-Talk Quotes About Teaching:
Now I know we don't normally use our blog to spread the word of any really serious issues, but an email into my inbox this week was hard to ignore and it brought about my sad face.

So, what it means is that the next best thing the government has planned is to stop any arts education for children!  It basically means that it will not be part of the curriculum and so therefore making the arts obsolete in schools.

I can't imagine what I would have done without taking my art and graphics GCSE and I know Sam feels the same, she even changed schools so that she could do just that.  And this also means that Drama and performing arts are in just as much danger, where would we be without all the brilliant actresses and actors we have without their grass roots education?

For a country which once prided itself in being at the forefront of design and the arts, leading other countries to want to study and work here - we are now saying that teaching our children about the arts just isn't important!  They are being told that the academic subjects - which of course are really important - are the only way to learn - which is of course not true.  We each have a very different way of learning, whether it be visual, auditory or kinetic, so one size DOES NOT fit all - are you listening Mr Gove.

If children do not have a balanced and informative education then what chance do they have to be the next Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Hockney or Vivienne Westwood.  We limit their options by making them hunt out for places they can take part in a different education.  And lets face it schools are not for everyone anyway - I hated mine - but at least I had the opportunity to get lost in art and pottery, try my hand - and fail - at being in a play and sand down a piece of wood to within an inch of its life in woodwork all while trying to remember my maths equations and geography cloud formations.

Ok, so I work in a museum in education and so this is something which I guess I would feel passionately about.  But I just think that children must be given the opportunity to explore as much as they can and not have their different paths limited for them - especially by people who are not their parents!

So please do read the article and do what you can if you feel just as passionately as me about it.  I would hate their to be a world where the only education is one sided and relies on academic rather than experimentation skills.

Live it

Make it: Up-cycled Jewellery box now a Sewing box

I love little trinket boxes, my husband will tell you boxes in general float my boat, he finds it hilarious that I have an obsession with storage. But I cant help it from jars to dishes to boxes, if it stores something and looks cute whilst doing it, it is in our home. Another of my loves is making things that are a little sad, look pretty again, So when I saw this old jewellery box in our local charity shop it just had to come home with me, I knew with a little I could give it a new lease of life.

I started by removing the glass from the lid, and the knobs from the drawers, and giving the whole thing a good sanding. I took all of the lining out of the top and the drawers, and put them to one-side to use as a template for the new lining so I knew what size to cut without having to measure everything, it also meant I could re used the wooden dividers from the top section.
I used a tester pot of moonlight white paint that I had picked up from Laura Ashley to do three coats of paint all over the body of it and the drawer fronts, I decided not to do the inside runners of the drawers because they always get scuffed when pulling them in and out. I left the paint to dry over night each time before applying the next coat.

Next I used the lining I had removed to cut new ones from scrapbooking paper. I used Tilda design because their papers are really good quality and have a really velvety texture, and I also knew I had the co-ordinating fabric that I was going to use for the lid pin cushion.
I cut the shapes from the templates, scored the folds and glued them in place with Guttermann HT2 glue. after the glue had dried I replaced the handles on the drawers and glued them in to position.

To make the lid in to a pincushion, I used the glass I had removed from the top and cut a piece of mount board the same size to create the base. I then covered this with two handfuls of poly stuffing and wrapped it in muslin, to hold the stuffing in place. I laid that on top of my Tilda fabric and marked and then cut out a piece 2" bigger all the way around.

I then used a needle and thread to pull the fabric tight over the cushion base, starting from the middle on the long sides and working my way to the edge, then the same with the two shorter sides.
then I used the screws and washers that had held the glass in place to insert the pincushion in to the top. As this didn't look very tidy I used some more of the paper to cover the underneath of the lid and glued a coordinating trim around the edge. 
I added a few cute pins in the top as a finishing touch.

Why don't you have a look round your local charity shop at lunch time, or this weekend, wouldn't an up-cycled trinket box make a great Christmas present!

Making it 
Sammy xxx

Link for the week: Halloween Nail art from Hello Giggles

It's Half term week here and that means my job is Crazy busy!  Due to Halloween being today, I thought it only right to share a link with that theme and with me not being a huge fan of the day itself, I thought I would go with something fun and not too creepy.

I found this cool nail art on one of our favourite blogs Hello Giggles over in the US that happens to have Zooey Deschanel as one of its writers - not bad hey!

Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Look Magazine Fashion DIY's

Check out this weeks Look magazine for ideas to make your own catwalk inspired wardrobe!

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Love it: Craft Coop Jewellery shop, Buy Our Jewellery

Just in time for Christmas present hunting, we have some of our handmade jewellery for sale in the Craft Coop Jewellery shop in Maidenhead town centre. I took some instagrams of it earlier today, it's looking lovely in there. H and I both make jewellery and we both have a number of pieces for sale in the shop. Pop down and get buying. All our pieces are one off's and H uses Stirling silver to make her rings... which are yummy!

I also have a number of my Bridal Headpieces in the shop too. You can see them here alongside Thumbelina's darling knitted cardigan, and in the window.

The shop is located opposite Clinton Cards in the Nicholson's Shopping Centre, Maidenhead.
Just round the corner from the main pop up shop which is also crammed full of gorgeous gift possibilities!
Hoping to get some better pics this weekend when I pop in for a shift in the the pop up shop.

Stop by and see me if you are around, and pick up some beautiful jewellery too!
Love it
Sammy xxx

Link for the week: Improve your Handwriting with Heart Handmade UK


I have always wanted to get my handwriting a little neater so that when I am making cards or writing anything for my crafts it looks like a normal person has written it, rather than a scribble - which is usually what it ends up looking like, years of writing notes in meetings and in lectures.

So, when I found this little beaut of a link, from Heart Handmade UK I thought I would share it will you all too.  It helps you to practice your handwriting and shows a few tips for practice as well as finding some inspiration for how you want your typography to look!

Also, this is quite a nice website to look at anyway, so it's a winner both ways!

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Make it: Big Draw Workshop

As the title says its all about the Big Draw this weekend for us. On Saturday, we will be doing a Shrink plastic workshop for the Big Draw at the Guardian!  Yes that's right, the Guardian chose us, amongst other artists to be part of their Big Draw day! How exciting!

We will be working with the children to help them design their own Halloween inspired Shrink Plastic pieces.  Getting them to draw on a thin piece of plastic, watching them go crazy when the plastic all curls up with the heat and then see it when it ends up so small and thick.  That's the best part!

They will be able to make badges and necklaces or bracelets and lots of enthusiasm about trying out this fun plastic to take home. 

So if you are in London and fancy a free workshop then pop down to the Guardian Offices, York Way, Kings Cross; between 2-4pm and we will help you create something fun!

Live it.  Love it.  Make it
H & Sammy

Link for the week: Epic Banana Loaf Recipe

Banana and chocolate chip loaf

This weeks link is a foodie one thanks to my friend Kate and Mary Berry. A group of us from my old crowd of friends got together for Sunday lunch yesterday and for fun we all bought a different pudding .We had Apple Crumble, Banoffee Pie and Chocolate & an epic Banana loaf! It was AMAZING!  and apparently very easy to make, so I thought I would share it with all you lovely people as this weeks link. 

Please do let me know if you made it and liked it, or if there are any other recipes we should try out for next time.  I am trying to perfect my gingerbread men biscuits at the moment, so any fail-safe recipes would be gratefully appreciated!

Make it

Link for the Week: Halloween Tie Dye from I love to create

This week I found this little gem of an idea for Halloween inspired tie-dye.  How cool, I love the idea of making the tie dye in to a fun shape, not just a random pattern. 
So go have a look and see what inspiration you can get.  We would love to see what you make

Make it

Link for the week: Small Craft room Ideas from Craftaholics Anonymous

I am looking to set-up a craft area in my new-ish house.  Moving a few months ago it hasn't been a priority as settling in and getting things done has taken over, rather than making my craft space look pretty!  So I am going to take a few tips from the article on Craftaholics Anonymous

I will take a photo when I am done and share it with you, perhaps you could share your spaces with us back?

It's always good to see what other people are up to and have a chat with like minded people.  You can talk to us on the facebook page, via twitter or even in the comments.  Tell us what your up to or what you would like to see.  If anyone has an idea for a guest post too, it would be lovely to hear from you! email

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