all shiny and new…

I must say it feels a lot like Christmas at Handmade By me at the moment with all the new exciting products and samples that we have been trialling and testing of late. Now that we have our own retail space, we get to explore all sorts of different products which we can stock and display at the same time. We also love to make sure that we have lots of lovely new things in our shop to keep our loyal customers coming back for more.

One of the most exciting things we have started making (maybe it’s just the cute baby photos) are our muslin baby blankets. Made with a beautiful soft 100% cotton muslin, these blankets are 1m x 1m in size, and are available in 3 designs – Prickly Pears, Pretty Proteas and Pink Flamingo. Whether you use it as a swaddle, sunshade, nursing cover, play mat, or burp cloth, these blankets, quite literally, have you covered. You can order directly from the Handmade By Me online shop or pop into our store on De Lorentz St in Tamboerskloof.

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We are also busy making some small muslin bags and squares that can be used for cooking. Muslin is a handy piece of material to have in the kitchen, especially as it can be washed, dried and continually reused. The cook’s muslin is a natural, finely-woven fabric often used when filtering or straining.

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Thanks to The Essential Ingredient, here are some of the many ways muslin can be used in the kitchen:

  • Straining liquids to filter out any impurities (such as stocks or consommé)
  • Hanging cooked fruit to separate out liquid, essential for creating quince or apple jellies or marmalades
  • Making cheese; squeezing liquid whey from the cheese curd
  • Filtering aged wines or port for decanting, removing any sediment
  • Soak muslin in butter and cover turkey or chicken breasts while roasting to keep them moist
  • Strain yoghurt for a few hours to thicken it into labna (eaten in Lebanese homes for every breakfast)
  • Wrap grated zucchini, potato, beetroot or carrot in muslin to easily squeeze out all excess moisture
  • Straining peppercorns, herbs and shallots from vinegar in a classic béarnaise sauce
  • Muslin cloth is essential when creating your own tofu from soy beans
  • Combine cream cheese and ricotta and strain into a classic Coeur à la crème
  • Wrap lemon or lime halves in muslin and place in the centre of the table for easy squeezing without pips or pulp
  • Make your own tea bags for an interesting morning tea spread
  • Line your bowl with muslin when proving bread dough to eliminate the need for excess flour or oil
  • Create a muslin bag filled with herbs and aromatics, for easy retrieval after making stock, soup or a classic sauce

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We have also introduced a new product to our range – greeting cards. We chose 10 of our favourite designs, printed them onto A6 card, and then packaged them into individual sets together with a plain white envelope. Have a look at the full range here.

We also found out recently that our phone covers are now available in a clear plastic option which takes any white or light colour used in the design and prints it clear. Here, you can see below, we tested out our Geometric Monochrome design for the iPhone 6. What do you think?

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This week we tested our first samples of melamine trays and pot stands in our designs, and we are SO impressed with how well they turned out! Not only are they so pretty and useful, they are also practical, and can handle up to 120C (248 F), are dishwasher-safe and scratch and stain resistant! These will be available to order very soon.

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We finally managed to shoot our Prickly Pears and African Aloes tote bags and purses and upload them to our online shop.

And while we are talking about all things new, our first Handmade By Me + Windowsill collaboration products, in conjunction with the talented Alexis Snell, are ready and available to buy exclusively from our shop in Cape Town. These beautiful limited edition linocut prints come all the way from the UK and we are selling them framed (in soldered glass) or unframed. We just LOVE them.

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And speaking of our shop, for this week only we have a new special on offer:  the perfect gift – an aloe potted in to graphite glazed terracotta and an orange squares tea towel for only R350. Only while stocks last! For more special offers, sales and events, follow us on facebook.

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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

 

 

good night sleep tight…

Its been a pretty busy last few weeks for us over at Handmade By Me! While we are working on lots of exciting things that we can’t share with you just yet, we can let you know that the lovely Giah has officially joined us as our new Junior Assistant. Thank you so much to everyone who either shared or applied for the position, and we wish Giah all the very best with her new exciting adventure into the textile and decor world : )

Now this is something that has been a LONG time coming for us!! Handmade By Me’s soon-to-be range of bedding. With all kinds of printing restrictions and issues because of the extra wide width needed for duvet covers, we have had to be a little creative in finding ways to make our bedding dreams come true! We started with a simple pillowcase and received our first prototypes last week which we got to test out over the weekend. And we are in LOVE! They are made using a beautiful soft 100% cotton poplin and will be available in a whole range of designs. Duvet covers to follow shortly. See our Pink Flamingo pillowcase in the image below. What do you think? Help us choose which designs to include in our range by letting us know which design of ours you would like to see on your bed!

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And then thank you so much to Good Housekeeping magazine for sharing our lovely Shweshwe Shields purses in this month’s “the GOOD list”.

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

A la la la la Lampshades…

Yay our new Feisty Floral Watercolour lampshades have arrived and they are looking so gorgeous!!! Available in small, medium and large, or we can make to order in any size, now you can now pretend its summer inside your home all year round! Add a splash of colour to either your bedroom, office and/or lounge, or go crazy and get matching cushion covers to go. And because we cut the fabric as we go, each piece has a different crop of the full pattern, which means every lampshade is unique.

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Feisty Floral Watercolour on blue small (200cm diameter) – bedside, desk

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Feisty Floral Watercolour on blue medium lampshade (300cm diameter) – bedside,desk,standing

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Feisty Floral Watercolour on blue large lampshade (500cm diameter) – standing, ceiling

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We have also just received some new stock in some of our other popular designs.

Striking Strelitzias small lampshade (200cm diameter) – bedside, desk

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Birdy Num Num small lampshade (200cm diameter) – bedside, desk

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Pink Vintage Squares small lampshade (200cm diameter) – bedside, desk

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You can order our lampshades in any of our fabrics. Check out our online shop to see lampshades in some of our other popular designs, or chat to us directly if you don’t see what you are looking for.

Then just a reminder that the Inspire Trade Expo starts in Johannesburg today and runs until the 12th June.

Inspire Trade Expo is SA’s exclusive Furniture + Décor + Design + Retail Trade only exhibition, which has already carved a groove  on the African business and trade calendar. Hosted at the prestigious Gallagher Convention Centre (GCC) in Midrand. Save the date for 2015 – 10-12 June (wednesday – friday) – 9am-5pm daily.

Buyers visiting the Exhibition are not only Retailers, but Architects, Interior Decorators and Designers, Hotels, Game LodgesB&Bs and Corporate Procurement within the industry, with the emphasis being strictly Trade only.”

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We are also still looking for a Junior Assistant or Intern to come and join us. The job is flexible and Handmade By Me is a great place to learn the ins and outs of manufacturing handmade products and/or how to run a small business. We are looking for someone energetic, passionate, honest, creative and optimistic. Someone who is interested in being a part of Handmade By Me and helping it grow. We have put together a job spec here, please have a look and share with anyone who you think might be interested http://www.bizcommunity.com/JobView/196/597/241290.html

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

monochromatics…

We have added a few new items to our product range lately, mostly all of which just happen to be monochrome. We wanted to share them with you here!

Firstly we have a new placemat design hurrah! Geometric Monochrome. I know a lot of you out there are scared of a bit of colour so here is something that will work on your table every single time. Try mixing and matching with different monochromatic patterned napkins, or incorporate just a bright splash of colour like a bright burnt orange or even a sunny yellow, to be honest pretty much any colour will go!

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We have a new stockist in New York opening up very soon (I know!!!!) and we just sent off our first order of products for them which included this Origami Birds scarf/sarong. I am going to make to order these so get in touch if you would like one too!

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We have also changed our Origami Birds napkins. These ones are the same as the other new range napkins, 30 x 30cm in size and nice and thick, and available in sets of 2 in black and blue.

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All the above (and more) are available from the Handmade By Me online shop.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

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

 

Father’s Day Apron Special…

Sooooo just in case you don’t already know, it’s Father’s Day this Sunday, and so I have decided to have a little special here at Handmade By Me. Our Origami Bird chef aprons are always a great gift for Dads, and so we’re knocking the price from R560 to R320 for THIS WEEK ONLY!!

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The aprons are available in either black and white, or blue and white and are made from a lovely 100% cotton, made to fit any shape or size. And of course guaranteed to make you cook and clean better than ever before! : )

To take advantage of this one-off offer please email sera@handmadebyme.co.za with your order, and with my trusty courier service, we can get these delivered directly to your door overnight and just in time for the weekend.

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some pretty (useful) placemats…

I am so very excited to finally introduce to you the latest addition to the Handmade By Me decor family…a set of 4 reusable placemats. Available in 4 different designs. R220 for a set of 4.

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The idea started when I wanted to have delft plates for the dinner at my wedding (I am obsessed!!). But I couldn’t afford to go out and just buy a whole bunch of plates, so I came up with the idea of printing the image of the plate onto paper, and then using that as a placemat so that the image would frame the plate and you would still get the effect. It certainly wasn’t as easy as it seemed…

Now my wedding budget couldn’t afford a full colour print, the size of the image was problematic etc etc blah blah….so I sadly had to go the one colour route. But atleast I got to have my delft dream, and well nobody probably even noticed. The real problem was that the placemats from my wedding were printed onto a very thin paper to cut costs (and we had to cut them out each manually) so unfortunately not many of them survived the party.

I then decided to turn my wedding idea into a better looking proper longer lasting actual product, that others could also use. And in full colour too…finally… I could print as many tones and hues of that beautiful indigo blue as I wanted, and then I decided to laminate them as well to make them stronger and more durable so they could be reused.

I asked my friend and (my wedding) photographer extroadinaire Stephanie Veldman (go check her work out immediately) if she wouldn’t mind sending me a few pics to show you how they looked on my wedding day. You see I am still waiting to see my wedding pics so it was as much for you as it was for me : ) but I just love the way they have turned out… and now I am just too damn excited about seeing the rest of them!!! Thanks for these Steph!

Just remember these placemats in the photos are not at all the same colour or quality as the ones for sale. But they certainly give you an idea of how pretty they can look!

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Photos by Stephanie Veldman, and a big shout out to my super talented friend who did all the plants and flowers, Alex from Windowsill (she is amazing!!).

** big happy sigh **

Handmade By Me’s new placemats are now available to buy online from the Handmade By Me online shop, Etsy, Hello Pretty, and various other stockists including SAM (South African Market).

Here they are up close…

Delft Plate Placemat

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China Plate Placemat

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Pretty Proteas Placemat

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Fly Away Birds Placemat

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birdy num num bedroom…

I just got these gorgeous pics in from a client of mine who has just had one of her rooms covered in Birdy Num Num wallpaper…and they are just so super cute I HAD to share them all with you this morning!!! Probably Handmade By Me’s youngest client yet, how cute is little Brooke in her new Birdy Num Num bedroom???? We absolutely LOVE!!!!

The pics are unfortunately really low res, so they look ALOT better on your mobile…but I just couldn’t resist not sharing this cuteness…

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Check out the Handmade By Me online shop for more information : )