out and about…

For all of you who are not Handmade by Me facebook fans I thought I might fill you in on some of the recent press and online activity surrounding some of Handmade by Me’s cushion covers and designs. Most of the coverage has been associated with Meekel the fabulous online shop in South Africa which stocks my lovely cushion covers, but there has also been a lovely mention about my lazy lazer cut design, me and my blog on the Elle Decoration SA blog (how exciting!)! I have listed the various links below and included a pic of the feature in Conde Naste Garden & Home for you to peruse at your leisure.

Elle Decoration
http://elledecoration.co.za/2012/05/louis-vuitton-ss12-let%E2%80%99s-eat-cupcakes-cookie/

House and Leisure
http://www.houseandleisure.co.za/meekel-online-store/

b-guided
http://www.b-guided.co.za/edits/2012/05/18/be-inspired-explore-south-african-design/

and Garden & Home

Italian Chicken and Lentil Soup

I found this recipe on eatbetteramerica.com’s website and decided to give it a try. I have been looking for a chicken soup to make as I haven’t posted one up yet. I normally avoid chicken soup recipes as they usually involve a whole chicken which you have to cook first and then add and I just personally couldn’t be bothered. This recipe uses chicken thighs which are alot easier to manage. I also love lentils so it was already a good combination. The original recipe involves a slow cooker which I don’t have and american measuring units whcih I can never get my head around so I have transformed this recipe into a much easier good ol’ “put it all in pot on a stove” kinda way.

The recipe: Italian Chicken and Lentil Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients:
Olive oil
454g boneless skinless chicken thighs (I used boned ones)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium courgette, chopped (2 cups)
4 medium carrots, sliced (2 cups)
230g dried lentils, soaked overnight
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
85g sliced mushrooms
1 tin diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh or 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
Shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired
Salt and pepper

Method:
First remove the skin and fat, if any, from the chicken thighs. Heat some oil in a pot and cook the chicken and the onion slowly for 10-12 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and mix well for a few minutes. Then add the lentils and do the same again. Add the tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for around 20-25 minutes. If you are using chicken thighs on the bone, you can now remove them from the pot and shred all the chicken off the bone and return the meat to the pot. Give the soup a good stir and add any extra seasoning. Pour into bowls, add a good bit of chopped basil and grate any parmesan on top, and enjoy!

Nothin’ like the real thing…

So I have been very busy sewing away and I realised that some of you have only seen the designs and not the finished products. Here are a few of the things I have been working on lately! Still can’t decide which is my new favourite…

Pretty Proteas looking oh so lovely as a cushion cover…
 

New blue origami birds cushion cover…

Red vintage squares cushion cover and matching set of napkins…

Indigo red napkins…

And Nicky’s vintage bikes tea towel…

Still more on the way! watch this space…

Handmade by me.

Handmade by me is now on facebook…

Handmade by me has a facebook page : ) Now you can keep up to date with all my new and exciting designs and projects while you keep up to date with your friends. Please follow this link to my page and give it a “like” if you like what Handmade made by me is all about.

my first upcycle project for Oxfam

I was approached by the charity Oxfam Ireland who asked if I would be interested in upcycling a piece of furniture/homewares to be sold in Oxfam Home, and then be interviewed and photographed for a feature about upcycling furniture/homewares to appear in Stellar magazine. The Make Space for Oxfam campaign is about encouraging people to clear their homes of unwanted items and is in response to a fall in donations their shops are experiencing. Its a really good idea, and I think what people don’t realise is that this is such an economical way to make your home look great and you really don’t have to be that DIY savvy.

Now I have ALWAYS wanted to reupholster (or should i say recover?) a chair in one my fabrics so I leapt at the opportunity! Even though I have zero DIY knowhow. Anyway with the help of my lovely DIY fiance and his DIY Dad, I was able to transform this chair in a couple of weeks. The pics below do not do the chair any justice at all as you can’t see the natural wood coming through, but I will be sure to post the magazine feature with its bright shiny professional pics, and well written blurb about my project, but in the meantime here are a few pics of the transformation.

By the way for those who are interested I decided to use one of my first designs, Origami Birds, in a thick upholstery weight fabric to cover the cushion. The chair was cleaned and sanded down and I used a very dark varnish stain to get that dark shiny colour, while still allowing the natural wood texture to come through.

Firstly….the before and after shot….

Here’s me DIYing away….just to prove i really did do the work!

And recovering the cushion…(people who know how to do this properly look away now : ))

So the shoot is on thursday and the article will probably be out in next month’s copy of Stellar magazine, but I was too excited about this to wait until then to show everyone. I’ll be sure to post a bright and shiny copy when it’s ready right here!

decorative deco birds….

This is a design that I had initially had in mind for my course I did in Printed Textile Design. What I hadn’t realised was that creating your own fabric design by hand, including the dyeing of the base fabric, is very different to the way I do it digitally. It is hard work. Getting that colour juuuuust right. What I also realised is that printing by hand is alot more suited to a fine art style rather than graphic or geometric shapes, and you can forget about reversing out in white! So I decided to take my idea and digitally create it just the way I had pictured it in the beginning…and at the same time sadly realised just how bad my manual effort had been.

Anyways I bring you my deco birds design. I wanted to take something geometric and something organic and offset the two. Available in two colours, daytime green and evening blue. Here they are as cushion covers…but also available as napkins and tea towels.

I actually found this image below after designing my deco birds fabric, but I feel it captures the colours and styles of the Art Deco era I was trying to achieve.

Handmade by me.

lovely lazy laser cut…

Ever since Louis Vuitton launched his spring 2012 collection (see below) I have been obsessed with anything and everything laser cut. From clothing (especially clothing!) to interiors, to shower curtains, to little cut out cards, there is nothing that won’t work in this beautiful style! And so I decided to make a little lazy laser cut print of my own (see right at the bottom), which one day I would actually like to laser cut, but for now printing it onto my gorgeous linen cotton fabric will have to do : ) And its available in 3 soft ice-creamy colours in cushion covers, napkins and tea towels at my etsy store and others.

The real thing…

This is a pic I have had in my inspiration folder forever…isn’t this the most gorgeous shower curtain ever?

And finally…my lovely Lazy Laser Cut in cream, pink and green…

Handmade by me.