It’s 70’s fever at Handmade By Me

70’s style retro is the order of the day with this quirky photo shoot of some of our latest products, styled and shot by the lovely and very talented Kristy Snell of Delisous.

Prawn cocktail and flamingoes, grapefruit and proteas, peas and prickly pears, jelly, bubblegum ice-cream, alphabet soup, and even Brad Pitt get a feature here (- even though we know Brad Pitt is not from the 70’s, but really, who cares?) With such a quirky combination of 70’s style dining and our favourite hot new products, we really couldn’t love these images any more than we do.

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Kristy used a combination of our trays, napkins, tea towels, table runners, muslin blankets, slippers and tote bags for the shoot. All of which are on sale at our retail store off Kloof street, as well as our online shop.

If you would like to see what other mouth-wateringly delicious things Kristy has been whipping up in the kitchen, be sure to check out the Delisous blog. Warning: do not look when you are hungry. And I promise you will not regret it!

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And for our friends in Joburg, it’s almost time for the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair on the rooftop of Hyde Park Corner Shopping centre from 14-16 October. We plan to bring you lots of our new products so get excited! It’s set to be one of the best local shopping events this year so make sure you don’t miss out.

And because we are so looking forward to the event, we are offering any of our lovely Joburg customers the option of ordering online and collecting at the event. We will wrap and pack your order for you so all you have to do is pop past and collect. Please note that you will need an entrance ticket to the event. We have added a “free collection at Handmade Contemporary” option at checkout so be sure to select that when placing your order.

We hope to see you there!

 

Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
online shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za
retail shop: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeandwindowsillshop

 

 

We’re opening up a studio & showroom!

So this is the VERY exciting news that we wanted to share with you a week ago. Yes, it is true, we have signed the lease and are going to be opening up our first ever studio & showroom just off Kloof Street in Cape Town with our friends Windowsill Plants and Flowers in March!!!

Alex from Windowsill is one of my nearest and dearest and oldest friends, and ironically she reminded me that we had in some way already put our plans in to motion when we were just 12 years old. Here, she explains our story – “In 1992, two 11 year olds made friends with each other and made a promise that one day they would work at St Elmo’s Pizza at night, and during the day they would work at The Bubble Shop. 23 years later – the Bubble Shop no longer exists, and St Elmo’s is a bit of dive – SO TODAY, Sera Holland and I are officially shopkeepers. Yes folks – Handmade By Me and Windowsill THE shop IS happening!!!!”

We cannot wait!!!!

We have also had some other very exciting news in the past few weeks. Handmade By Me is now being stocked by two of our very favourite shops. They are both completely different but relate to one of our two favourite and most droolworthy subjects, fashion and food.

On the fashion side, we couldn’t be more honoured and excited to have a selected range of our products now available from top local fashion label, Klûk CGDT. Their boutique on Bree St is one of the most beautiful we’ve seen, and they have now started stocking a small range of premium decor related products which work alongside and compliment their own sensational creations. So now you have no excuse not to pop in and see it all for yourself.

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“The KLûK CGDT brand is well known for the sophistication in design and fabrication and their uncompromising standards in service and quality. They produce 6 collections a year, which they sell through their boutiques in JHB, Cape Town and now Pretoria as well as trunkshows across Africa. They are equally well known for their bridal and couture gowns both locally and internationally and have won awards for their “Red Carpet Style”. Special consideration is taken for each bride individually. “ Bridalwear is not like fashion, it represents a dream with a lifetime of expectations, and this is what we strive to fulfil”.”

 

The other is our favourite foodie-related award-winning online shop, Yuppiechef. They have the most insane selection of desirable cooking equipment, novelty-inspired cooking gadgets (my personal favourite) and hard-to-find cooking ingredients – and now they are stocking a selection of our patterned napkins and tea towels as well. This shop is also my personal favourite place to off-load eBucks : )

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Yuppiechef is on a mission to bring people together through the cooking and sharing of good food. We believe that preparing, cooking and sharing a meal with good company is the very essence of what makes life good. And it is our dream to give you every excuse under the sun to organise that long overdue get-together with those you love, and those you’d like to love more. Yuppiechef is a food community offering you the tools, ingredients and the inspiration to cook real food at home.”

And while we’re sharing the good news, Plascon Spaces recently showed us some playful workspaces on their blog – each showcasing Plascon hues. Our Origami Birds cushion, available from PRESENTspace, was featured in their ” A grey solution – monochromatic shades and typography make a clean canvas on which to unleash your creativity.” We love it!

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

 

So much lovin’ in the new Tuis and Home…

When I first saw the September issue of Tuis and Home magazines, I was just so excited to see what they had gotten up to on their shoot with our products, I had no idea it would turn out this beautiful (check out the placemats in the recipe section) or that they would feature so many of our products!! There is just so much beautiful Handmade By Me lovin’ going on here we just had to share it all with you…

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This wasn’t actually a product feature (below), but how cool was it to discover our Pretty Proteas cushion sitting all comfy on the couch of this beautiful sustainable house in Bo-Kaap!

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And then this… (sigh). See which products you can spot of ours…

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We spotted our China Plate, Fly Away Birds and Pretty Proteas placemats, our Striking Strelitzia napkins and our Fly Away Birds tea towel. All available for you to try and recreate this beautiful feast in your own home, from the Handmade By Me online shop : )

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

Celebrating Winter with Visi…

To be honest, right now we’re celebrating the exciting fact that our placemats are in the latest issue of Visi magazine : ).  While they, on the other hand, are celebrating winter (and what a day to do that too). We’re just so delighted and honoured to be featured as part of their “32 reasons to celebrate Winter…No. 7 because it looks great on paper.”

I love having people over for dinner, especially in Winter. Not only do you get to cook heartwarming and tasty tasty dinners, and use all the pretty bowls and plates you’ve collected over the years, but you don’t have to leave the comfort and warmth of your own home, and you don’t need to hold back on the vino because you aren’t driving home afterwards. For those who are slightly less comfortable with the idea of hosting a dinner party, look no further than our decorative placemats, guaranteed to make your table look so beautiful, again and again, even if the food doesn’t quite work out!

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Our placemats are available in sets of 4, in 4 different designs, and available to buy directly from the Handmade By Me online shop and various awesome stockists.

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We would also like to let you know that Handmade By Me is having a SALE!!! We need to make some space for our new range which is launching next week, so we are marking down any end of range items or bits and pieces we have lying around including a ridiculous discount on all our Vintage Aprons : ) which are going to be made-to-order from now on. Now you really can look and play the part of hostess perfectly!! Check it out here…only while stocks last!

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

Now available from… Meisie in Wales

I am delighted to let you all know about Handmade By Me’s latest stockist, Meisie, all the way in Wales in the UK. Not only do I just LOVE that name for a shop overseas featuring South African designers and products, but I also LOVE that they support and donate a percentage of their profits each year to charities like Save The Rhino InternationalAge UKDog’s Trust and SOS Children’s Villages. So not only are you buying beautiful things, but you are also contributing towards a brighter future for many people and animals too : )

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Here is a little bit more about Meisie and what Cassandra Sprague, the owner, has to say about her lovely new shop:

“I started Meisie after realising that the UK and Europe needed to see some of the amazing things that my fellow countrymen and countrywomen are making. The idea of Meisie is to show you that Africa doesn’t just make wooden crafts; but has a wonderful collection of cultures that produce some amazing products and fashion. I hope you love the products as much as I do.” – Cassandra.

Based in Wales, we are pleased to offer everything from clothing to homeware, crafts and jewellery. We have a great mix of vintage, modern and quirky products to suit men, women and children and we’re adding products all the time. All of the products you see are ethical and unique, you certainly won’t find mass-produced items here.

All items are designed and manufactured in South Africa from locally sourced materials by local communities. Being supplied by small-scale entrepreneurs and community development projects, the idea is to create sustained employment where it is needed most.

You can find and follow Meisie here:

Twitter: @meisieuk
Instagram: meisieuk

 

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And just in case you missed the mention on facebook and twitter, the latest issue of Crush online magazine is out, and it features my Origami Birds cushion cover in their Essentials page. For those of you who don’t know already, Crush, is an award winning monthly, food, drinks and lifestyle publication (aka free online foodie magazine), and not only do they feature droolworthy restaurants and all kinds of delicious-related products, but they have a fantastic range of recipes to try. I have my eyes set on on the Picture Perfect Pavlova. Check out the latest issue here.

 

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Don’t forget we have a new twitter feed!! Follow us and everything we do here @handmadebymeSA

 

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!

monday afternoon catch up…

I am super happy to let you all know that I have had one of my fabrics featured in the latest edition of House and Leisure alongside a really great selection of fabrics by different South African textile designers. You can see my pink vintage squares fabric there on the third shelf from the top! The fabric is available to purchase by the yard directly from the handmade by me online shop where I offer 3 different types of fabric in the same design (100% soft cotton, a linen cotton blend and an upholstery weight 100% cotton twill), all depending on what you would like to use it for. You can find all the info you should need at the pink vintage squares fabric listing, and if you would like any more information or have any questions please email me, I am happy to help : )

Here is the shoot House and Leisure did…

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Here is a closeup of the fabric in the linen cotton blend…

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I would also like to point out the AMAZING “3 ways with chilli” recipes inside, which were created and made oh-so-pretty by the great chef and owner of The Woodlands Eatery Larry Steenkamp and food stylist Kristy Snell. Who knew baby corn could look so pretty! And I’ve had that red chilli prawn curry…and it is truly HEAVENLY with that salsa!

And on a completely different note please don’t forget to enter the presents in the post and handmade by me awesome giveaway! Its super easy and you can win a secret suprise in the handmade by me design of your choice delivered right to your door. The competition is only on THIS WEEK so get entering and please spread the word!

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And for any pink vintage squares fans out there, here are some ready made products available to purchase in the pink vintage squares design…

cushion cover

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tea towel

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napkins

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vintage apron

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tote bag

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wallpaper

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All available directly from the handmade by me online shop : )

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