Mothers and Daughters

What would we all do without our Mums?  To learn from, to have fun with and to realise you are more like them in your adult life, than you ever thought you were - or wanted to admit to when younger!

We are both very lucky to have our mums in our lives and know that there are some of you out there who don't and we really can't imagine what that must be like.  The memories you have of them are what you have to hold on to and make you the person you are.

We have spoken before about how our mum's have been instrumental in our crafty upbringings and Sammy works with her mum at Sew Crafty sharing both their creative skills.  Without them we would not have made all manor of items out of loaf tins, matchboxes and some sticky-back plastic - if you can guess what those were then it shows your age!

Remembering those times at the kitchen table making and creating are what childhood is about and we are both lucky that we get to do that here on the blog aswell and that our mums are constantly learning and encouraging us along the way.

As it was Mother's Day here in the UK yesterday, we thought it would be a nice time to show you some old photos. 

This is me (H) with my mum when I was about 2 or 3.  I clearly had a thing for photographs even back then! - who doesn't love a Polaroid though.  My folks still have that fireplace now, which is quite scary and that fireguard comes in quite handy for the new generation in our lives.

Speaking of which, here is my mum with my niece at Christmas, mum is now a Grandma.  Meena was trying so hard to work out what the stocking was and once she realised it was all for her, she was in her element! Sounds so much like someone else I know.

Sammy and her mum were destined to work at a Haberdashery business together as in this photo, they are both modelling outfits made by Judith (Sammy's Mum) from matching fabric.  This was not the only occasion that their outfits were coordinated  as Sammy recalls 'my mum often bought an extra metre of fabric to make me an outfit to match hers'

'This photo is of us more recently and as you can see we have stopped wearing the same outfits, although we have been know to turn up to work unintentionally wearing the same colour'

So thanks go out to our Mum's for making us the women we are, we would not be where we are without you.

Love you
H & Sammy

Make it: Fabric Flower Brooch from 'Buttons and Paint'

Today we have a lovely guest DIY from Buttons and Paint blog. We came across their blog one night on Twitter and Sammy realised that the girls live just down the road from us so we got in touch, the rest is history, we have guest posted on their blog with Liberty Print Button Rings and now it's their turn on ours, take it away girls!

Hello, we are Simi and Sian and we share our crafty adventures on our blog, Buttons and Paint! We're really excited to be able to guest post for Sammy and H, and share how to make a Fabric Flower Brooch.

We took inspiration from a great post by Little Livingstone, and chose this type as Gerberas are some of our favourite flowers!

To make these flowers you will need to cut 10 circles from your fabric. Our circles were 2 inches in diameter and we used a jar to trace around, so that each one was the same size. Fold each circle in half and then in half again.
Take your folded circle and sew a couple of stitches to keep it in place. To form the petal shape, sit it on the flat edge and fold down the edges. This is similar to folding down a shirt collar! Then make each section by sewing two petals together at the bottom point.

To create the flower shape, sew the five separate sections together using a long thread.  Pull the thread tight and secure it in place with some stitches on the back.

Don't worry if the middle looks a bit scrappy as the next part will cover a multitude of sins! We decided that our flower would look pretty as a brooch, so we glued a piece of felt and a brooch pin to the back. Then the front was decorated with a button (any excuse to use buttons!!)

And that's all there is to it!

We really enjoyed making this fabric flower and now we've got the hang of it, we'll definitely be making more with different colours and fabrics. We reckon they'd make lovely presents - perhaps for a last minute Mother's Day present? What would you use yours for?

Sian & Simi x

A big thanks to the girls for showing us how to make these adorable brooches! If you want to see more of their blog head over to Buttons and Paint to check it out, you can also find the girls in all the usual places…. Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest 

Make it. Mothers day Tea Bags

It is Mothers day here in the UK on Sunday, so what do you do for the Mum who has everything? Why you make her some DIY heart shaped Peppermint teabags of course! I have been dying to try my hand at these since I saw something similar on Pinterest and my Mum's new love of peppermint tea was a great excuse. Of course you can use any flavour of tea to make these and make them in any shape you like too.

You will need: Coffee filters, Peppermint teabags, cotton thread, pretty string, scissors, fancy hole punch, a sewing machine and some stickers.

Start by emptying a teabag onto some paper, I used a spare coffee filter. Draw your heart shape around the pile of loose tea, leaving some space for movement. Pop the tea back in the bag and cut out your template. Use the template and draw around it onto your coffee filter.

Once you have drawn out all your hearts pin a second filter to the back of the first. Take your filters to the sewing machine and stitch around your heart shapes, just inside the line you have drawn, leaving a gap to fill the bags. As you have finished each bag take the thread ends and tie knots in each end then snip away the excess. It gets messy if you leave all the threads until the end. When you have stitched around all of your bags cut around the pencil line.

Go to the opening in your bag and tip in the contents of the original teabag. Next take your string and tie three knots over each other in one end, and pop it into the opening of your bag. Take your teabag back to the machine and stitch it closed.

Fetch a cup and pop the teabag in and measure how long you would like the string to be on the side of the mug and snip it to size. Get out a pretty hole punch, or a pair of scissors and cut your stickers into a cute shape. I used some small rubber stamps to decorate some plain stickers with little phrases. Take two of the stickers and pop them back to back over the end of the string to make the tag.

I made up some with kraft stickers as tags to mix in with the phrase ones, I love the combination of the white, kraft and pink. Perfect for Mothers day or for a tea lovers birthday. I am giving these to my Mum in this little mug, I'm going to wrap it in cellophane and add a matching gift tag. (I will also give her the rest of the original box of tea bags, so they don't go to waste). Why not add a box of your Mum's favourite biscuits to the parcel for a real tea time treat.

What DIY's are you having a go at this weekend as a gift for your Mum? Or just for fun?

Sammy xxx

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

How We Wear... Summer Dresses in the Spring

Both of us hate leaving our favourite summer pieces in our wardrobes for the looonngg UK winters. So we have taken to layering up our summer dresses to be able to wear them more often. H likes to wear hers with loose knit jumpers and Sammy throws on a cardi and belt combo. How do you wear yours?

H is wearing: Dress from H&M (Similar), tshirt underneath from H&M (Similar), Jumper from H&M (Similar), Tights from M&S, Shoes from Clarks (Similar), Necklace from Southbank Centre Shop, Ring was Handmade by H,  Watch from Casio, Bracelets: 1, Jade green - Forever 21 (Similar); 2, Black & White - Handmade by Sammy; 3, Flower fabric - from our trip to Liberty's.

Sammy is wearing: Dress from New Look (similar) Vest from H&M, Cardigan from Forever 21, Boots from New Look (similar), Tights from Evans, Belt from New Look, Bracelets all handmade by Sammy supplies from Beads Point on etsy, Amethyst necklace by SPARKLE FARM on etsy and Pisces Constellation necklace by Julie Nolan on Etsy

Review: Molly Coddles Kitchen Mystery Pack

As bloggers it's really nice when you get to review some new products on the market and so when we were contacted by the lovely Rebecca from Molly Coddles Kitchen recently about her Mystery Pack, we jumped at the chance to have a look see.  Plus she resides just up the road from Sammy, so it's good to have a local crafter to review too.

The Mystery pack is full of Molly Coddles Kitchen goodies, with a value of at least £20 for the price tag of only £5, bargain.  The Mystery Pack includes at least 6 items. These cute surprises may include a felt accessory, ring or bracelet, as well as earrings, magnets, hair clips, brooches and more.  But you just never know until you receive yours what you will get - fun hey!

Ours came in a lovely Surprise black and white paper bag and what we found inside was: 2 pairs of button earrings (yellow and pink), Button ring, plastic Rose ring, cat keyring, bunting coffee cosy, felt flower brooch and flower hair slides.

All of the items are handmade by Rebecca herself in her Kitchen no doubt - hence the company name.  The curled up felt cat keyring chain is super cute with a good quality keychain attached.

This felt flower brooch would make a lovely gift or to brighten up one of your own outfits.  It's a really lovely put together piece once again.

These earrings and rings are definitely staying firmly with us, love button themed jewellery, it must be a crafter thing!

These hair slides will look great for all these weddings coming up and they are blue so that always helps to match most outfits for H.

This felt coffee cup cosy is a handy addition to the morning coffee run.  Again, Rebecca has put this together really well and it is a fun item for the coffee addict.

All in all, the Mystery pack is a fun and inventive gift for someone, or for yourself.   The items are well made and very different and so there is plenty of treats to have.  It's a lovely idea that you don't know what your going to get as it makes it a real surprise.  Although for some people that might not be a good thing as they like to know, but I like it as a concept.

Rebecca also has a subscription package called the Stud Club, which you can get for 6 or 12 months.  You receive 2 pairs (or more) of stud earrings each month.  Again it is a surprise what you get but you can give guidance on colours to help with your selection.  You can buy them from the Molly Coddles Etsy Shop.

If you get one of these packs, let us know via Twitter or Instagram using the #livelovemake and we can have a look what you get.


Is Crafting Necessary?

I (Sammy) am rubbish with money, I can't spell, I was thirteen before I could tell the time (I still have to think about it *the shame*) and I am honestly the least organised person in the world but hand me some paper, a pair of scissors and some Sellotape and I can work wonders. 

I am of the school that if something is broken, fix it and if it's not broken... cover it in glitter! In all seriousness, I am a crafter, to my core. For me crafting is not only necessary, it is my life. I am though, totally aware that many, many people make it through life without crafting anything more than beans on toast and do you know what, that is absolutely OK. 

One of my best friends in the world is one of those people. She hates cooking and baking. She can't sew a button and wouldn't even want to try. She has no interest in flower arranging, owning a sewing machine or taking up knitting. Despite her lack of inclination towards being creative we have been really close friends for a long time. I sometimes wonder if it is her lack of 'craft' is what makes me love her even more. 

I couldn't go a day without making something, even if the only thing I make is a mess. I am that person that will, without fail, ferret out a haberdashery/craft/bead/stationary shop in any town ( I am aware that could be seen as a 'problem') For me crafting IS necessary, it is a big part of what makes me who I am. I was brought up in a home that oozed crafts, My Mum made all her clothes and mine, until teen rebellion kicked in. But more than that I grew up in a creative environment. 

Both my parents encouraged my creative flair, I spent many an afternoon in the garage with my Dad learning how to properly use a hand saw, drill and hammer (My tool kit is bigger than my husbands) I am so grateful for my 'make do and mend' upbringing, it has stood me in good stead for many things not least of which, my career. I get to spend everyday helping people to unleash their creativity.

''Making stuff is a beautiful thing''

I (H) refound my crafty side after a spell in a job which wasn't creative.  Although being creative never left me, there was a while when the thought of making something when I got home was so much like hard work.  I studied Art and Design for about 6 years and then took my masters which developed my Museum side and so maybe, I just had enough of being creative in the normal day to day life.  But I still took in inspiration everywhere I looked and so I guess it never really disappeared.

It was still there though and after throwing caution to the wind (eventually) and quitting my day job, I found myself wanting to be creative again and more importantly making stuff for myself.  But there was no crochet brooches here (I tried it, I am not a natural crocheter!)  I took classes when I was still in London, from printing and ring making, through to loom knitting (the only kind of knitting I can do and am willing to do).

I love finding new things to try and I guess I take after my mum at wanting to learn all the time to keep the brain fresh.  My mum also used to be creative with me when I was growing up and so it's been instilled in me for all my life really.  That to make something was much more fun than just to buy it.  Plenty of 'Blue Peter' makes were made on the kitchen table and still exist in my folks loft.

I love looking at what people get up to and love it when my 'not creative' (apparently) friends get crafty.  I love to see what they do and although most of the time it comes out of necessity for them (trying to keep the costs down for a wedding anyone?)  they do a great job and learn more about themselves aswell - i.e they are more creative than they think.  I get the emails from my friends of 'where is there a shop that does...' and 'how can you make', which I love.  I love feeling useful and tend to keep a brain full of 'there is a place that does', so I think this creative thing must be forever in my head, always waiting and bursting to get out.

Craft for us is not just about sequins, glitter and glue. Don't get us wrong, a-lot of it is about that, but it is really about so much more. It is creativity, imagination, expression, passion and practicality. Making stuff is a beautiful thing, even if it is just beans on toast. Because a world without craft would be a sad one. No art, no invention, no anything.  For everyone who dismisses 'craft' as a twee hobby of the 'middle class' and the women of the WI forgets that craft is simply another word for creating. Everything we touch, sit on and see on a daily has been thought of, designed and created by a 'crafter'.

There is room in the world for all of us, crafters and non crafters alike, the world would be a ridiculously boring place if we all had the same talents. The friend Sammy told you about, she is super organised, really good with money and I am pretty sure she has a good grasp of the time telling thing.  By sharing our skills with each other and all our friends, we have made a pretty good stab at most things that life has thrown at us over the years. 

Is crafting necessary? For us, absolutely yes. For everyone else, whether they actively participate in it or not, absolutely yes. 

H & Sammy

Our Liberty Adventure with The New Craft Society

I'm not sure that we have entirely recovered from the trip we went on last week, it was a little bit like a dream. H and I got invited by the lovely Rosie and Hannah AKA The New Craft Society to attend their blog birthday party, we had to read the email a few times before it sank in that their party was to be held at one of our favourite places in the whole world.... Liberty!

So last Wednesday at 6.30pm we headed to the 3rd floor Heritage Suite at Liberty, just off the Haberdashery department (we felt right at home), where we were met by the Liberty design team. They ushered us into the room that was once Arthur Lasenby Liberty's office, to enjoy the most beautiful afternoon tea and hear them talk all about the S/S14 Liberty Art Fabrics collection.

Each place was set with a Liberty fabric charm bracelet and (the most awesome) goodie bag from The New Craft Society girls. It was like we had stumbled into a secret Mad Hatters tea party, if the Hatter had worked exclusively in Liberty of course!

This years Spring/ Summer collection was inspired by the store itself. Head designer, Emma, had discovered a map of the building from the seventies and it sparked the idea for the overall theme. Each of the 40 prints in the collection is inspired by a department within the shop, and designed to reflect the mood of the area and what is sold there. The colour pallets were inspired by the artist materials. They took the most iconic art materials and used the colours and tones from those to create the pallets that were then applied to the collection.

The beautiful Keighley, Liberty print designer, was on hand to show us some of their original art work.

After enjoying the tea and cakes we got to hear the story behind each of the 40 designs in the new seasons collection, along with getting to see some of the original artwork from the designers and collaborative artists they invite to design for them. We got to hear from Anna Buruma who is in charge of the archive (amazing job!) Who told us about how a lot of the fabric designs from the early years were never properly labelled or cared for, she calls them orphans.  I was stunned to hear that until Anna was put in charge 15 years ago the archive was mostly uncared for and when she arrived it was basically a pile of books and papers on the floor of the warehouse!

H and I are both fascinated by print and design, so it was amazing to see the processes that each design goes through from initial sketch to final print.  We got to hear from David who designed the print 'Queue for the Zoo' a quirky animal print including a giraffe wearing trainers to represent the children's department.

We were also treated to a sneaky peak at the Autumn/ Winter 14 collection.  This was a paper cut by Helen Musselwhite was just one of the artists asked to collaborate with Liberty for this collection. This paper cut had been photographed and digitally printed onto fabric to create the design.

As if all that wasn't awesome enough we were then taken on a tour of the shop to see all the departments and inspiration behind each of the designs.

A teapot in the gift department by the designer Fornasetti, who's design house has had a long relationship with Liberty.  A scarf using a similar sun design was chosen to create the print that represents this area of the store on the map.

A stack of amazing carpets that inspired the print for their department and a wall of V.V.Rouleaux ribbons in the Haberdashery department.

We got to see the collection for real on the shelves of the fabric department. It was so neat and tidy after all the customers had left the store.

We visited each department and got to see the fabrics in context of the department they had been designed to represent.

We got to visit areas in the shop that we had never been to before, I had never been to the shoe department (for fear of a credit card meltdown) or the Men's department in the basement.

It felt so special to be taken around by the design team, each of them has a great knowledge of the shop, as well as the fabrics, it was a pleasure to be able to ask questions and hear their stories of their time at Liberty.  We were shown around by the gorgeous Jacinta from the marketing department, she was wearing a silk shift made up in Wild flowers, one of the amazing paper-cut inspired A/W14 prints. You can read about the paper-cut Su Blackwell created on her blog.

We had the most amazing time and are hugely grateful to Rosie and Hannah AKA The New Craft Society for inviting us to their party and to the design team at Liberty for throwing such a lovely event.

We were not the only bloggers who got to go on the tour, as well as meeting up with Rosie and Hannah, we got to meet with some girls we really admire, shout out to Leanne at Knit me a Cake, Lotts from Lotts and Lots, Katy from Apartment Apothacary and the girls from the pattern company By Hand London. We were so overwhelmed by it all that we didn't get to meet everyone who was there, if we missed you, give us a shout and a link to your blog in the comments.

Sammy and H x