June in Instagrams

Hey there all and I hope you are well.  Where does the time go, for it will be July tomorrow and that's half of 2014 done already, crikey!

I thought I would do a June round-up of Instagrams for you today.  I have not done one before, so let us know whether you like them and perhaps we can do more.

From L to R and top to bottom we have:

Our Visit to Biscuiteers for their Icing Lates
Us in Mollie Makes magazine, just a little bit exciting!
The cool moon one night
New trousers and shoes combo
Checking out the Wallace and Gromit Exhibition at MShed in Bristol
Drinks in Bristol for a work trip
Sun and smoothies on a Saturday
Taking photos in the park
Feet in the Flowers

A pretty good mix of images this month and the sunshine definitely helped.  You can follow both me and Sammy on Instagram if you want, just come find us and say hello so we can see what you have been up to.


P.S.  Don't forget that today is the last day to enter our giveaway to win a Biscuiteers Book and Apron.  Just check out our post and let us know your favourite biscuit for a chance to win.

Love it: UK Craft Blogs #2

Welcome to the second instalment of our favourite UK craft blogs, thank you for all your suggestions on our last post, we have made some great new discoveries and rediscovered some old favourites so thanks for all your suggestions, keep them coming. We have three more awesome blogs for you today, all based right here in the UK.

Fall for DIY
Fran is one of the bloggers we have known for the longest, one of our first ever reviews on our blog was for one of her previous businesses (she has a been a part of a few) Check My Box. We Love her gorgeous blog Fall For DIY. She has amazing style and great vision for using unusual materials for making stunning jewellery.

Leanne is one of the sweetest bloggers we know and her blog is a place we love to visit. Her recipes are the reason we spend so much time over there, I made her Banana, toffee and pecan fudge loaf a few weeks ago, it was sooooo yummy! But we love her sewing and knitting tutorials too, head over and check out her amazing Sky Blanket project.

Lotts hits it out of the park every time with her jewellery tutorials, you may have seen her embellished lace collar tutorial in  issue 40 of Mollie Makes magazine. Her Instagram feeds is one of my all time faves.

Who are your favourites, this is the second in a series of posts about UK based craft blogs, our favourite fellow Brits doing wonders for bringing crafts out of the dark ages. Tell us in the comments about your faves so we can include them in later posts and crush on their mad DIY skills of course.

Sammy xxx

How We Wear: Occasions

We are both no stranger to a wedding or 5, we have both seen more than our fair share. When it comes to dressing for a wedding we still enjoy putting an outfit together as much as ever. Finding the perfect day to evening dress that's not too revealing or frumpy can be a challenge, but we think we have found our perfect dresses for at least one of our save the dates this year.

H wears: Dress from ASOS, shoes from Office (similar), cuff from New Look (similar), Ring from Accessorize, Necklace by Alison Lush.

Dress from New Look (similar) belt from New Look (similar) , Shoes from Forever 21, Necklace from Forever 21, Bracelets made myself.

Make it: New York Paper Cut

If you know me, you will know that I love New York.  It is one of my top 5 Cities around the world and currently is in the top spot!  When one of my friends mentioned that she would be jetting off there to work for 3 months, I thought of just the right sort thing to give her as a going away memento and as I love papercutting too, its the right combination of fun.

I love the Guggenheim building as it is just so different from alot of the buildings of New York, no highrise or square boxes to be seen here, It really was the foresight of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, that meant it is such an iconic building now!

I bought this book when I last visited in 2006 from the Guggenheim itself - of course.  The first time I went to New York was with Sammy in 2004 and we went in to see it but didn't go around any exhibitions.  The last time I made sure I walked around the huge curve that houses most of the museums galleries.

So what better building to use as my inspiration for a bit of papercutting for a card to send away with my friend to remind her of home.  This is such a simple project and only really takes the time to work out the way around you want the picture to be.  With papercutting you can draw on the back of a picture to give you guidelines but you do have to remember it will be in the mirror image.  So if you want something a certain way, draw it the opposite on the back.

You will need:  Card (I used an old map of New York that I printed), Ruler, Cutting mat, pencil, rubber, Craft knife/scapel.

Start by using a reference picture of what you want to cut, or draw your own - depending on what you are going to papercut.
Then start drawing on the back of your card, remembering to do the mirror image if you want it to be a certain way.  

You could choose to do a tester piece and so you know you are doing the right thing when you come to your final piece.

Then start cutting along the lines - remembering to make sure your drawing is still attached.  On my version this meant only cutting the horizontal lines.  I then folded my card in half so that it will fit in an envelope.  I bent the horizontal lines into the inside of the card, so that the cuts protrude out when the card is folded.  Then I used a pencil to curve out the cuts so that they have the lovely curve of the Guggenheim when the card is kept slightly bent on the mantelpiece.

Then, that's it done, quite simple really.  The best thing about papercutting is that it really can be so simple to look effective.  There are so many different styles to try and so you can start small and work your way up.  I find it better to draw on the back as it gives a cleaner finish in the end, but you might want to start with keeping it the same way and so you can practice the mirror image after you have mastered using a scapel, especially for those little bits.  Trust me, there will always be a little bit that just rips off almost when you have finished!

We would love to see if you have a go at any papercutting. Like with all our DIY's if you do, take a quick pic and share it with us on Twitter or Instagram don't forget the hashtag #livelovemake.

Hope your having a lovely Monday!

Blog Birthday Baking: EPIC FAIL

It's that time of year again, when it is our Birthday!  Our 3rd Blog Birthday to be precise, how time has flown!  We have had so much fun doing the blog and love telling you all about what we get up to.  We hope you stay with us, as we have lots of plans and more crafty fun adventures to share.

As with any birthday, it is not a true birthday without cake and so we thought we would give a new recipe a go, one that is dairy free for H and using agave nectar for Sammy.  We do like a challenge! 

However this time all did not go to plan.....

H found the recipe on the madhava website and you can see it here.

Now, by no means are we proficient bakers, but we do like to have a go.  We decided to make cupcakes with the mix instead of a big cake - which may well have been our first error - this is a baking fail post afterall!

We used plain flour instead of the almond flour - as H does not eat nuts.  Again, this was probably another error as plain flour is much heavier than almond flour.

They looked pretty good at this stage!  As they were smaller we only baked them for around 10 mins, which in hindsight was a bit too much, perhaps we should have given a shorter cooking time - especially for the mini ones.  They were - how do we say this - rock hard!  Obviously we had to give one a try each, but hard and hollow sounding is never going to make a successful bake.

One success was the Marshmallow frosting, it came out pretty darn well - even if we do say ourselves.  By this stage though, we were realising that are cakes were more pretty than tasty.  So we set them up and took some pictures and even those didn't go as planned, over and underexposed, really bad white balance, the list goes on...

We wanted to show you our 'fail', as it is a part of who we are, none of us are perfect. We all have bad bakes, bad 'art days', bad days in general. We are all only human.

If you do try the recipe and follow it properly, then please do let us know what it actually turns out like.  I am sure it is amazing if done well.   I think it was more a case of the bakers than the recipe here!

We are off to go buy some cake.
H & Sammy

Make it: Birthday Fun DIY's

1/ Honeycomb Garland  2/ Cake Topper  3/ Party Hats  4/  Invitations  5/ Paper Streamers  6/ Ombre Cake   7/  Pompom Topper

Everyone loves a party, and there is no better reason to celebrate than a birthday! It is our blogs 3rd birthday tomorrow and we are celebrating the only way we know how, with cake and crafts! Here is a quick round-up of some of our favourite party DIY's.  I am so having a go at those party hats over the weekend, How about you?

Sammy xxx

Who's who: The Compartment Store

We first saw these guys when we went to Renegade Craft Fair last year and we just loved their paper goodness and the trunk they use - wow, just so cute.  We pinned them down before they wheeled away and had a quick chat for you to find out a bit more.

Who are you?
We are The Compartment Store, a mini department store on wheels! We are a collaborative shopping experience founded by Kitty Farrow, a specialist bookbinder and box maker, and gift-wrap enthusiast Victoria Jane of Gift Wrap HQ.

What do you do?
The Products - We make paper products and stationery. We have created an inventory that celebrates paper paraphernalia from the past and we have something for every occasion. We like to work with offcuts, saving all wastage where we can. It allows us to make an interesting collection of products that you won’t find in your average card shop. We particularly love the postcard, and have given it a little makeover. We have created our own version by incorporating our favourite technique, gold foil blocking. All our products are made by hand in London on vintage machines and using traditional techniques. You will find us folding, creasing, cutting, blocking whenever we can.

The Store - We sell our handmade paper goods from our travelling trunk, The Compartment Store. Our travelling trunk is reminiscent of that of a travelling sales man. We absolutely love the fact that we can open shop pretty much anywhere. The trunk gives us flexibility to move around and we can adapt it to a number of situations and spaces. We also like to move the compartments around and re-merchandise our shop as often as possible as we like to keep the customers happy and excited to discover what we have for sale in our Compartment Store, creating a mini shopping experience.

How did you start?
Friendship first then business! Originally we bonded over a love of letter writing and used to write long elaborate letters to each other for fun. It was in these letters that we dreamt up our idea for having our own department store, where we could separate our creations into their own sections or compartments. With a large ambition and no square footage quite in our price range we decided to go small and invented The Compartment Store, our very own mini department store on wheels! With lots of compartments to fill we began making.

What’s next?
We have our own online store, thecompartmentstore.co.uk, which is very exciting. So we are working on refining that and teaching ourselves the ways of online shopping. We are also trying to do more fairs and finding out where our market is and what our customers respond to. We are also working on a few commissions.

What advise would you give yourself , if you could go back to the beginning?
We are just starting out so we are at the beginning, any advise for us would be gladly taken! We would love to do more events and bespoke work for parties. We also love working in collections and themes so we will hopefully get to work on some more special ranges for summer, maybe a summer holiday compartment!

How can you resist all this gorgeousness!?!  We both love stationary and paper goodies and so combining that with having a shop you can take wherever you want is amazing!  I'm sure it won't be long before these girls have their own place though and are taking over the world, one postcard at a time!

H & Sammy, xxx

Live it: Biscuiteers Icing Cafe Lates + Giveaway (Closed)

A few weeks ago we were given the opportunity to visit the Biscuiteers for one of their Icing Lates classes.  Now, we have been to the Biscuiteers before - ok, ok, a few times, see our post here.  But this was the first time we had gone to ice some biscuits and boy did we have fun!

When we got there, we were given an apron and a name sticker so we could get to know our fellow icers! It just so happened that friend of the blog Becky, was teaching us, so it felt very friendly and informal.  We were given a glass of prosecco and a choice of icing colours and then Becky showed us how to use the lining icing to make our later flood icing stay in place on the biscuit.  We could have some practice on the greaseproof paper first and then got down to the biscuits.  Sammy was much better than me, a natural biscuit icer in the making.

We then got to flood the biscuits using the squeezy bottles and popped them in the oven to speed up the drying process.  Then we could add sparkles, gold or silver paint (edible of course) and add extra prettiness with more lining icing.

We had then finished, one and a half had gone by, just like that!  We got to take them home in a lovely Biscuiteers box too, which along with the apron and book we got to take home, is just plain amazing!

We had a great evening and along with the beautiful biscuits we got to ice, we had fun chatting with the other attending icers which was lovely.  We would definitely recommend going to the Biscuiteers for one of their classes including their Icing Lates.  In fact we have been given an exclusive discount for our lovely readers for the next Icing Late on the 1st July, click here to book directly and pop in the discount code liveit15 at the checkout and you can get 15% off.  Are these guys just not super wonderful or what!

Our Giveaway is now closed.

We also have a great giveaway for you guys, we have the lovely Biscuiteers book and an apron for you. All you need to do is comment on this post below with your favourite biscuit, leaving your email address too, so that we can contact you after the closing date on Monday 30th June.

A few Rules

The giveaway will close at midnight GMT time on Monday 30th June.

We will pick the winner at random on Tuesday 1st July.

The giveaway is open  to UK and International residents.

If we do not hear back from you within 1 week of the closing date, we will pick another winner  and so please check your junk mail box too.

We will need your email address to contact you and so please make sure you leave it with your comment.

If you do pop down to the Biscuiteers, please do say if you saw it here!  We just like to spread the love.

Now to get us started, Sammy's favourite biscuit is a chocolate Hob Nob and I am partial to a Ginger nut biscuit myself!

mmmm biscuits