Grazie Grazia…

Grazia magazine has always been my quick fix when it comes to retail therapy, fashion and celebrity news, and the end of the month! At only R15 a copy, I always manage to justify a copy even when I am completely broke. Anyways as I am such a fan, I was really delighted when they asked me about featuring some of my wallpapers in the latest issue. AND in the same issue they listed The Shoestring Collective as No 2  in their 10 Hot Things To Do this week. yay all round!

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Another Rainy Day Wallpaper…available from R300/m2 for large orders, or R428/m2 for small orders. Email me directly for a quote. Design also available in fabric and various handmade interior items.

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Indigo Blue Wallpaper…available from R300/m2 for large orders, or R428/m2 for small orders. Email me directly for a quote. Design also available in fabric and various handmade interior items.

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Get it all at The Handmade By Me Online Shop : )

…only 25 days to go: my Thundafund campaign update

I only have 25 days left to go to find out if my Thundafund campaign was a success and whether I will be able to move all my printing to South Africa. So far I have been overwhelmed by the amount of supporters and support specially from all my friends and family. I would like to take this opportunity to really thank everyone who has supported my campaign so far! You guys are the BEST!!!

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At the moment I have almost reached my first target of R13 000 which means my campaign is almost a success, and my top secret design is just a few rands away from being released! Don’t you just want to know what it is already!! ; ) With that in mind, if any of you have been considering purchasing any of my rewards, now is the time to take advantage and help push me over the finish line. Don’t forget you will be able to choose products in any of my existing designs, or from my new unreleased winter range (below), or the exclusive top secret design which will only be revealed when I reach my target. And there are rewards which are absolutely free too, click here to be one of my Cheerleaders or check out the different rewards on offer.

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For more details on me, and my campaign in particular, please watch (and feel free to share) the video below which I made to help explain my story behind the campaign…

And for even more details check out the campaign itself or the post I did right at the beginning… How you can help Handmade by Me become 100% locally produced…

Thank you!!

Awesome Autumn Minestrone Soup in winter again : )

Some of you may remember this post (awesome autumn minestrone soup (even though it’s winter))…or possibly the fact that when I started my blog, to get more readers onto my site, I used to make soups, all kinds of soups, make them look pretty, shoot them, and then blog about them along with their recipes. I stopped doing this after while, mostly because Handmade by Me started taking off and I had way more exciting things to blog about, but also because I started getting sick of making and eating soups!

This soup below is one of my alltime favourites, and after going through a whole bunch of recipes to help me decide what to make for dinner tonight I remembered this little gem of a meal . I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, its so tasty and hearty and it needs absolutely nothing else with it! I am actually really looking forward to making it again. If you are into soups, I have loads of other delicious and super easy recipes posted in the earlier days of my blog. Here is the post I did over a year and a half ago…

awesome autumn minestrone soup (even though it’s winter)

This soup has a pile of ingredients in it but it is oh so worth every one!!! I got this recipe off jamie oliver’s website and have simplified it quite a lot otherwise you’d be there cooking all day : ) If you want to grow your own beans, and cook them for an extra half an hour, and add some more ingredients to the list, feel free to use his original recipe….or….for anyone with no time on their hands and the desire to create the perfect 1 pot meal here ya go….

The Recipe: Autumn Minestrone Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 400g tin cannellini beans
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
4 rashers smoked pancetta or bacon, preferably free-range or organic
2 small red onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
½ a head of fennel, chopped (if you can’t find fennel crush 1 tsp of fennel seeds…don’t leave it out!)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a small bunch of fresh basil, leaves and stalks separated
2 x 400g tins of good-quality plum tomatoes
a glass of red wine
2 small courgettes, quartered and sliced
200g baby spinach, washed and roughly sliced (including stalks)
565ml chicken, ham or vegetable stock, preferably organic
55g dried pasta (I used spelt pasta which is great if you want something wheat-free)
a block of Parmesan cheese, to serve

Method:
To make your soffrito, heat a good splash of olive oil in a saucepan and add the chopped pancetta or bacon, onions, carrots, celery, fennel, garlic and the finely sliced basil stalks. Sweat very slowly on a low heat, with the lid just ajar, for around 15 to 20 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add the tomatoes, courgettes and red wine and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Now add the spinach, stock and beans. Put the dried pasta into a polythene bag, squeeze all the air out and tie the end up. Bash gently with a rolling pin to break the pasta into pieces. Snip the end off the bag and empty the contents into the soup. Stir and continue to simmer until the pasta is cooked.

If you think the soup is looking too thick, add a little more stock or some of the reserved cooking water to thin it down a bit. Then taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the torn-up basil leaves and with some extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top. Put a block of Parmesan and a grater on the table for everyone to help themselves. Heaven!

oh just some awesome pics of The Shoestring Collective…

Some beautiful shots of our lovely shop The Shoestring Collective shot by the extremely talented Stephanie Veldman! And if you’re hungry for more, please check out our facebook page or follow us on twitter or instagram, we have been sharing all our awesome blogposts, features and photos!! We really are a very lucky shop : )

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The Shoestring Collective Pop-Up Shop

Some of you may not have heard by now that myself and my friend Leila Badsha, of Bow Peep, are opening up a pop-up shop called The Shoestring Collective in The Gardens Centre, Cape Town.

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The shop is essentially stocked, paid for, and run by 16 top designers who have all curated their own spaces within the shop. We all make different products including fashion, accessories, homeware and many more. We may have no budget (hence the name), but we have alot of super awesome products to sell! Everything is local and handmade by us.

There will also be a collection of products from other local designers which has been specially curated by Leila and myself. And we even have locally made wrapping paper so we can gift wrap your purchases! Have a look below for our full line-up of available brands!

The shop will run for a month, and we open this Monday the 8th!!! Please spread the word and more importantly pop in and see us. You can also follow us and keep up to date on facebook and twitter!

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Our full line-up!

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