Check this out: Art inspiration at Tate Modern

Last week I went for a cheeky trip to Tate Modern when I was in London.  As you know, I work in a Museum and Art Gallery and so sometimes going to see more Art can get put on the back burner.  But when I do go, I realise how much I miss it.

I love seeing what other museums have and being able to be anonymous within the artworks.  There was a new hang of the main collection to see this time called Making Traces, which I loved.

I am a fan of Abstract art and I know that it is not to everyone's taste, but I could sit and look at some of the pictures for hours.  I like to sit and look and see what I can see within the picture.  It might not be something realistic, but seeing the colours, lines and shapes made really resonates with me.

A few of my favourites are above in the pictures, which are referenced below.

Top left - Avis Newman - The Wing of the Wind of Madness 1982
Top right - Gerhard Richter - Cage (1) - (6) 2006
Bottom left - Jacqueline Humphries - Untitled 2014
Bottom right - Sam Francis - Around the Blues 1957/62

I particular liked the Ritcher Cage paintings as it was a room of similar pictures, with different colours.  If there had of been seating in the room, I would have sat for hours in there.

I am a big fan of abstract paintings particularly and whenever I see it, I just want to get a studio somewhere and paint.  Make a mess, get paint all over the floor and myself and feel the texture of paint in my fingers.  Maybe it comes from being little and wanting to feel the paint on your hands.  I see it all the time with the children we see at the museum, paint everywhere, eating it, paint in there fingers and in their hair!  Just how paint should be enjoyed.

It may be a little early for resolutions around here, but I want to make more time for inspiration trips like this next year and for doing creative stuff, for well, just because.  Maybe I will start one of those sketchbook ideas, where I do something experimental and fun in a sketchbook just to see what comes.

What gets you inspired?  Do you have a favourite place to remind yourself of what you love?

H, xxx

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Top Ten Handmade Gifts to Buy

Last week we were all about the DIY gifts and I know that as much as we love the thought of being able to make a little something for everyone, it won't always work out that way. However that doesn't mean that you can't do your bit and support other makers out there.  I have rounded up our top ten handmade gifts to buy all from UK based designer makers, all of which your loved ones will be over the moon with come Christmas day.

Crochet Unicorn for your Niece by Kornflake Stew

Beautiful Chocolate Cookies for your Mum from the Whimsical Cake Company

Small Soy Candles for your Mates from East Wick

Dagger Necklace for your Sister from Promises Promises

Egg pot and shovel for your Brother from Lahla Studio

Here, Bear and everywhere calendar for your Dad from Mister Peebles

Ceramic hanging planter for your Nana from Kabin

Monogram Scarf for your Other Half from Warm Pixie Diy

Custard Cream purse for your Best Mate from Nikki McWilliams

Pet Tipi for the Fur Babies from PupTart

So that should be everything done and dusted gift wise, now you can sit back and enjoy the countdown to Christmas. If you have the perfect handmade gift that we haven't included in our list please link it up in the comments below or on post a pic on Instagram and link us @liveit.loveit.makeit in the comments with who you would gift it to!

Sammy xxx

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Why We Will be Shopping Independent this Christmas

I feel that we might be hammering in the point at the moment about shopping independent, buying handmade and making this Christmas, but we are not going to stop any time soon!  You might have seen via our Instagram that we have been enjoying all the craft fairs in London these past few weeks, first up was Renegade at the beginning of the month and Sunday, just gone, was Bust Craftacular.

We do love a craft fair as I am sure you will know by now.  But what we really love about them is discovering the people behind the brands who are always so lovely and the individual nature of the work. The best part is that you know all of the money you spend goes towards that designer/maker making more and learning more and experimenting more.  Basically your paying for them to grow, it's not all about factories, profits and margins.

You may have seen the 'Just a Card' campaign, which aims to improve the fortunes of independent businesses and makers, as, if everyone bought just a card, then it could make a real difference to those people who make them.  Cards are so easy to buy and the easy option at a craft fair, so why not aim to start buying handmade rather than production line cards, it could be your 2016 resolution if you don't want to start this Christmas of course!

We thought we should take this time to mention a few new (to us) designer/makers we found at this years fairs.  First up was at Renegade and we loved Monti by Monti with these ace terrariums, Verdantica who 'create bespoke miniature worlds' and Sparrow + Wolf whose cushions Sammy just had to have!

Bust Craftacular was an altogether more colourful set of new (to us) finds, as you can see.  These badge rosettes from dAKOTArAEdUST were super fun and so bright,  then the cute face mitts (do you remember them from being a child!) from Terri Leahy and lastly were these cool patterned trays from Jonna Saarinen. We picked up some awesome gift ideas from both fairs for Christmas and beyond.
Another thing we are really enjoying about modern craft fairs at the moment is that they are introducing more workshops as well as stalls into the experience. We took part in a workshop by the lovely Helen Robinson at Bust Craftacular to make Macramé plant holders!  I feel a new craft addiction coming on for both of us, watch out for more of this.  Going back to the 70's is a big trend at the moment and so Macramé was always going to make a comeback!

Another reason we love independent makers, is that they inspire us to try new things, learn more ourselves and have even more beautiful things in our lives!  We just want all the pretty around us all the time!

Are you going to shop independent this Christmas?  Or make your own, have you been inspired to try your hand at something yourself?  Do check out our tutorials in the 'Make it' tab above to give you some inspiration.  Also check out Sammy's post last week and this Friday for a few more handmade gift ideas.

H, xxx

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Make it: Star Wars baubles

Last year you may have seen my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle baubles and so this year I had to go better! I am sensing a yearly tradition coming on here!  With the new Star Wars movie coming out, I thought this years theme should be that, please don't hate me hardcore Star Wars fans!  I grew up with the original Star Wars and so am a fan, I just hope I have done R2D2 and BB8 justice.

You will need: White Baubles (mine were from B&Q), Sharpies in red, blue, black and orange (mine ran out so I used a highlighter), Silver pen, pencil if you want to draw first.

For R2D2, choose one of your baubles, I went for the matt type as its easier to draw on.  Draw a line with your silver pen halfway down the bauble, all the way around.

Fill in the top part of the bauble with the silver, you could also use silver paint if you prefer.

Just above the halfway point, draw a blue line all the way around the bauble.

At the top, where the hanger is, draw segments out of the centre with the blue pen.

Time to start adding details.  I started with the larger buttons at the front.

Then added in further detail all the way around the bauble including buttons and where R2D2's blue metal areas sit.  You can find a picture online to help you.

Then when I was finished with the top part, I added in sections on the bottom until R2D2 was finished.

Then I thought to make a matching pair, I should make the BB8 robot from the new movies.  So using all the same materials from above, I found a picture and got started.

First I started with the top Orange loop around the top using the highlighter - I would have used an orange Sharpie but mine had run out just as I was starting this project!

Then onto the silver loop at the top using my trusty silver pen.

Camera and buttons came next using the Black and a little red for a light showing through.

Then onto the bottom silver circle, it is hard to get this straight so you could always use pencil first.

I did a small bit of outlining on the silver parts and added some more buttons, but I did keep it pretty simple.

Finally, I added some more orange for buttons around the bottom, which went all the way around the bauble.

Then, another one done!

I think they both look great next to each other and are going to make my tree very nostalgic this year, with my Ninja Turtles from last year.

I haven't got my tree up yet and so my Succulent Groot gave me a helping hand with hanging the baubles.  I could have gone one step further and made C3PO, maybe another project for the weekend!  I am so loving these baubles, I am definitely going to have to up my game again next year I think!

If you have a go at this project or even last years Ninja Turtles, then please do send us a picture on Twitter or Instagram using #livelovemake, we would love to see them.


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Top Ten Handmade Gifts to Make

So you know we love a bit of Handmade round these parts, so we thought it was about time we rounded up our favourite gift ideas in a couple of guides to make the festive season a breeze. This week we are beginning with the ones you can make yourself, then next week we will share our top products from our favourite designer makers. Let's get stuck into some D.I.Y.

Unicorn Hobbyhorse for your Niece via Us!

Gem Soaps for your Mum via Fall For DIY

Leather Keyring for your Mates via Lovely Indeed

Vanity Tray for your Sister via Lovely Drawer for Sugar and Cloth

Gamer Hoodie for your Brother via Us

Magnetic Screw Catcher for your Dad via My Altered State

Dainty Dish for your Nana via Oh Everything Handmade

Leather Wallet for your Other Half via The Merry Thought

A Yoga Mat for your Best Mate via Us!

A Pet Bed for the Fur Babies via Claireabellemakes

How amazing are all those DIY's! I may be a little biased towards a few of them in particular, but truly that is your whole Christmas List done and dusted right there! If you don't think you have time to make all these awesome DIY's, head back next week for our guide of handmade gifts to buy - from some of our fave creatives.

Have a lovely weekend
Sammy xxx

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