Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas to you all. Thank you so much for another amazing year here on Live it. Love it. Make it. We can't wait to see you all again in January as we are signing off for a week of relaxing and crafty fun. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday whatever you are doing and see you in the New Year!

Lots of Love Sammy and H xxx

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Christmas Food round-up

It's nearly here, that Christmas thing and it's the time of year where we indulge ALOT!  Always with the excuse that it's Christmas! Now it will be my first year knowing that I should try and keep it dairy free, so I thought I would have a look out for a few new recipes to try.

First up is from Jamie Oliver for the main course of Lemon and Rosemary Chicken, yum!  We don't usually have a dairy laden Roast for Christmas Dinner and yes we have Chicken instead of Turkey.  But this year it would be nice to try something a bit different right!

Next up is the parsnips, the perfect accompaniment to a roast.  These ones from the BBC good food site and Honey roast Parsnips, droool.

Then, it's over to pudding and one of the biggest things I miss about being dairy free is Cheesecake and Pannacotta and so I found this recipe for Coconut and Lime Pannacotta on the all recipes website, so I thought it might be worth a try.

And lastly, my new favourite thing to make and a bit of an obsession is these Dairy free chocolate cookies from Lily Pebbles blog.  I saw these the other week and have already made two batches!  They are amazing and so moreish and easy to make.

Yes, I know, your welcome!

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Make it:Christmas Crackers

I don't know about you but I am just a little disappointed by Christmas crackers. The gifts inside are always a little... meh. Last year I bought a kit to make my own and filled them with sweets and my own selection of small treats. They were such a hit that I thought I would go one step further this year and make my own from scratch. To put a little twist on them I have made them in a different shape as well and am planning on using them as place-cards for our Christmas day dinner table. These are so fun and quick to make they would be a great craft to do with the kiddos in the count down to the big day to keep them involved.

Our Favourite Posts 2014

2014 is almost over and what a year we have had here on Live it. Love it. Make it. We have more of you reading our blog than ever before and it makes us feel truly humbled that so many of you are enjoying what we share here. We would not get the opportunities that we have had this year if it wasn't for all your support.  Before 2015 gets into full swing we wanted to go back and remember some of our personal favourite posts from the year.

Jan - Understanding a Dress Pattern 
The Series of posts I (Sammy) wrote about how to navigate your way through a paper pattern has been one of our most viewed series this year and one of my favourite to write. Are there any other things like this that you struggle with? Let us know and we might be able to turn it into a post for you.

Feb - Make it: Ginger Biscuits
These biscuits are AMAZING and so simple to make, they had to make it into a top list somewhere. They would make a great Christmas Party something to take too, although be warned, they are rock hard after a day due to the golden syrup in them.  Bake them in the morning and they will be great for that evening.

March - Our Liberty Adventure
In March we got to visit Liberty thanks to the lovely girls of the New Craft Society to hear about Liberty fabrics and have afternoon tea. It was a lovely experience and one we will never forget.

April - Our Tea and Crafting Adventure
We loved going to see the Tea and Crafting workshop space for the first time and have been again since.  In April it was to learn machine embroidery though and it was great fun, we instantly became hooked!

May - Blogtacular
We headed to London for our first blog convention.  We had such an amazing time, got to meet some of our blogging idols and made some lovely new friends.  Despite H and I both being rather poorly all weekend.

June - Our 500th post and OMG we are in Mollie Makes
Well, we couldn't do this without mentioning one of our biggest moments this year.  We got a project featured in Mollie Makes! And an interview too, it's still exciting and we loved being part of it, fingers crossed we can do it again soon.

July - Brush Up Those Blogging Skills
For Me (Sammy) July was all about learning, I shared my favourite Blogging e-courses that I have taken in the past and learnt some new crafts on my road trip to Austria.

August - How we Wear New Look Special
We loved working with New Look and this is one of my (H) favourite How we Wear posts of the year, we look so glam!  Plus we got to work with one of our favourite brands - what's not to like!

September - Make it: Cable Cosy
By far our most popular tutorial of this year and my (Sammy) favourite has to be the cable cosy we made in Makers month. With the help of Dashwood Studio's gorgeous fabric and a need to store all my cables in one place this cosy is my favourite post of the year.

October - Make it: Spooky Spiders and Vampire Bats
Who doesn't love some spiders and bats for Halloween! Such a simple make to decorate the place or just be a fun make with the kids for the time of year.

November - Sew Crafty Online is Now Open
On a personal note (Sammy) opening my shop to a whole new customer base made my November, heck it made my year!  After working on it for so long it was such a relief to have the site go live. We have had such a lovely response and lots of lovely sales.

December - Gift Wrapped
The best part of Christmas for us is the giving of presents and what better way for us to enjoy it, than some amazing gift wrapping.  The gift is just part of it!

Wow! what a year it has been! What have been your highlights from 2014? and what are you looking forward to next year?

H and Sammy xxx

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Make it: Christmas Stockings

We couldn't do our Christmas Tutorials without making Christmas Stockings and so today, it's all about just that.  I have started a bit of a tradition with Christmas presents for all my friends children's first Christmas and I make a stocking with their name on.  So if you want to make your own, just follow the instructions below.

You will need:  Patterned Fabric for the outside (at least a fat quarter size), Plain fabric for the inside (although you could have patterned fabric inside too), Scissors, Sewing Thread, Ribbon, Pattern piece or an idea of your stocking shape and a Sewing Machine.

The first thing to do is cut out all your fabric pieces.  I made a template and then cut out 2 pieces of patterned fabric and 2 pieces of plain fabric to a little larger in size to the pattern piece for some seem allowance.

I then laid all the pieces together how I wanted to put them together.  The two pieces of lining fabric go together and then the two patterned pieces go right side together on top.

Then, you need to sew all around the outer edge, making sure you don't sew up the top.

When you get to about two thirds of the way up the back of the stocking, add a looped piece of ribbon inside the stocking.

Sew right up the back of the stocking, making sure the looped ribbon is sewn in place.  Also, make sure that you sew this piece of ribbon about 2 inches down from the top of the stocking as will become clear later.

When you are all sewn up, it should look a little like this.  You can trim around the edge if you have any excess fabric.

On the inside of the curve, cut into the fabric to make the curve work better when you turn it the right side out.  Make sure not to cut through your sewing though.

You can now turn your stocking the right side out.

At this stage you can do many different tops for your stocking as you have a blank canvas to play with.

For this stocking, I decided to sew around the top of the edge of the stocking so that it was all kept together.

Then, I folded over the top and used my trusty hair straighteners to press it.  I always use my straighteners to press small items and it saves getting the ironing board out!  Something I am always keen to do.

I then, folded the edge over again to hide the seem and pressed in place.  Now you can always leave it like this.

Or, like me, use a nice zig zag stitch to keep it in place.  As this is going to a child, I thought stitching everything in place would be a great idea!

After all that, you are finished!  What do you think?  I usually add their names onto the stocking, but that would give the game away as to who these are going to.  So I thought I would show you them before.  If you do want to know about the names.  I cut out letters from felt and then glue or sew them in place.

Below are a few of the other ones I made.  As you can see, you can make them all look different, even with the same fabric.  Who would you make yours for?  I made one for Sammy too last year, so at least Santa knows where to put her presents when he comes! he, he.

As always, if you make anything for our Make it Tutorials, just tweet us or Instagram with #livelovemake.  Or put a pic on our Facebook page.  We had some great pictures recently of our Cable Cosy, so thanks for those.  Always lovely to see what you have made.


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Christmas Tree Festival

Normally this post is reserved for pictures of my Christmas tree and home decorations, however, This year we (Sew Crafty) were invited to be a part of the St Luke's Church (Maidenhead) Christmas tree festival! We headed over to decorate our tree last night and to see all the other trees of course. I thought I would take you with me.

The Church looked A-mazing filled with 49 real Christmas trees, it looked and smelled like the most beautiful Christmas tree party ever.

The trees had all been decorated by local schools, clubs, organisations and businesses. Some of my favourites were by our friend Head Candy who had decorated her's with some of her beautiful facinators and the Choo Choo Tree by a local preschool decorated with train tickets and pieces of a wooden train set.

The W.I. had made a lovely crafty effort with some cute crochet characters and Claire's Court School had used hand prints to make a friendship tree.
Our tree, of course, was Haberdashery themed! We tried to stick to our brand colour scheme which is yellow, aqua and silver grey, not totally Christmassy but I think it still worked out really well.

We filled clear baubles with sequins, threads, zips and buttons, and stranded pompom fringe and tape measures through the branches.

My favourite part of our tree is the star I made a from scissor shapes that I cut out of silver card with my silhouette cutting machine. Our Tree did look a little sparse compared to some of the others, but in our defence we had allowed for a much smaller tree than we got... I think we ended up with the biggest tree in the church, and it is on a pedestal right in the middle of the alter... no pressure!

I Love how it turned out and hopefully all the people who visit over the weekend will like it and all the other trees too.  Head over to St Luke's website so you can find out more about the Christmas Tree Festival, or check your local churches or community centres to see if is something similar near to you.

I hope you enjoyed that little look at our Haberdashery tree and the rest of the festival, have you put your tree up yet? Have you made any of your decorations? We would love to see them, post a photo on Twitter or Instagram and #livelovemake so we can take a look.

Have a lovely weekend
Sammy xxx

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Our Christmas Wishlists 2014

It is that time of year when wishlists get real! All those things you have been lusting over for the past few months are closer than usual to coming home with you, even if it is only to give as a gift to a loved one. We thought we would share with you what is on our wishlists, just in case you need any last minute ideas for your friends or family. H is up first...

Jumper /  Ring  /  Radio  /  Notebook  /  Book  /  Fujifilm Instax Printer /  Necklace  /
It's a right old mix of items for me this year, starting with this jumper with the so cool elbow patches from ASOS, you may have seen my elbow patch tutorial on the blog a while back, but there is always room for more elbow patches!  Next up is these so pretty rings from Wolf and Moon, which is one of my current favourite Jewellery makers and these little beauties don't make me itch as they are plastic rather than any metal which might have nickel in them.  The DAB radio has been on my list for ages and so this one from Debenhams has caught my eye, I want to be able to play my iPod also, so this is definitely the way forward.  Of course, I had to include a notebook in this wishlist, well of course and it had to be teal - my favourite colour, and from Paperchase! To carry on with the book theme is this book from Mindy Kaling, can't wait to get laughing in public.  Nearly there I promise, this printer from Fujifilm is going on the list this year.  I have been wanting the Fujifilm Instax for ages and then I saw this little Instax printer, that can print direct from your phone, even better, Instagram pics everywhere! Lastly, but definitely not least is this necklace from A Alicia which I saw at Renegade and then regretted not buying of course, so it needs to go on the list just for that.

Shelves  /  Necklace  /  Book  /  Mug  /  Chair  /  Candle  /  Planner  /  Handbag  /  

I love this wire shelving unit from Oliver Bonas and I have been lusting after their tub chairs for years.  I could never commit though as I knew a velvet chair wouldn't last five minutes in a house with two cats, however they have recently bought out their iconic chairs in a cotton finish.  Now that I can do!  Anything stag related is always a winner for me and I think this textured necklace is just gorgeous.  Another year, another chance to fail at eating healthy?  Well this book claims to teach you how to be healthy inside and out, we will see.  A bit of motivation in the form of this Anthropologie mug wouldn't hurt either. If your going to buy me a candle let it be a Jo Malone White Jasmine and mint.  I never saw what all the fuss was about until I picked one up in duty free on my way to Vegas in the summer.  Now I cannot live without one burning away in my craft room.  Another resolution in the making,  I am aiming to be more organised in 2015 so a pretty planner will, no doubt, help me along the way.  I am hoping for this one from the new collection by 'A Beautiful Mess'. Last but not least is this bag which I have had on my wishlist for ages.  It is so beautiful and super practical with lots of hidden pockets for super organised stuff storage.

This is what we are wishing for, what is on your wish list this year? Are you buying or making any special gifts for anyone? Are you planning any experience gifts for your loved ones, like days out or trips away? Let us know in the comments below what you have planned, we won't tell, Promise!

H and Sammy

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Make it: Chunky Stitch Scarf

It's that time of year where apart from getting in the Christmas spirit, it is getting chilly outside!  I have been meaning to make this plain old black scarf into something a bit more interesting for a while and so with all this cold weather it was about time I did it.

This is a really simple DIY and so it really has no steps at all to it.  First up, I chose to use some of my Wool and the Gang Jersey Be Good which is T-shirt yarn, that I got in our goodie bag from Liberty way back in March.  It was just the perfect kind of Neon Yellow to brighten up the black scarf and so had to be done.

Next step was to thread the T-shirt Yarn through some gaps in the black knitted scarf.  If the gaps were hard to find, I just used a crochet hook to help me.  I then threaded the yarn all through the top of the scarf and linked the two ends together to make a snood.  Then, that was it, it really was that easy.  I might add another line of the neon, but undecided yet.  What do you think?

What would you customise for this time of year?  Something woolly, maybe get the Christmas Jumper sorted with a bit of customisation?


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Make it: Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Decorations

Anthropologie is one of my absolute favourite places to visit, both in-store and online. I always love flicking through their mailshots and like most of you, wish I could afford to buy everything! However just occasionally I see things and think, 'Whoa I could totally make that for half the price' and have the fun of making it myself along the way. This years Christmas decoration collection was the perfect example and I thought I would share what I ended up making.

Pom Pom Wreath
I absolutely love this pompom wreath, I love the textures and the soft colours but I could not justify the price tag! I used a mixture of soft wools and my trusty Clover pompom maker to recreate this lovely door wreath for my own home. I simply hot glued the pompoms I made onto a cardboard ring I cut from a box and hung it with some sparkly ribbon. 

Monogram decorations
How beautiful are these beaded initial decorations, I love them, but not all the colours were to my taste so I used my felt and bead stash to recreate the letters I wanted in the colours that matched my scheme. I simply drew and cut out the letters from felt then stitched around with embroidery thread before stuffing them to make them rounded. To embellish I just jumped into my bead boxes and used some yummy bugle beads and sparkles. You could easily replace this step with some glue if you didn't want to sew all the beads in place.

Pom Pom garland
This garland was a no brainer, I just used the leftover pompoms from my wreath and joined them together to make a garland to string in my tree, or maybe on our stairway? 

Do you have any favourite Anthropologie 'hacks' or inspired tutorials? If you do, link them up in the comments so we can all go and take a look and get inspired.

Have a lovely weekend
Sammy xxx

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