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.

babymuslin2

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.

muslinbags_proteas

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

IMG_9199

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?

image1 (1)

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.

image1 (2)

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.

13177516_854958621276834_4690221751110055194_n13174216_854958624610167_1685656348966821363_n

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.

image1 (5)

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

 

 

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.

new web banners2

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

lampshades4 lampshades5

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

lampshades6 lampshades7

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

lampshades8

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

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

lampshades

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

lampshades2

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

lampshades3

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.”

11246175_1070865006274734_68929104254614201_n

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

WE ARE HIRING…

Firstly VERY IMPORTANT, we are HIRING!!! We are looking for someone energetic, passionate, honest, creative and optimistic to be our new Junior Assistant Extraordinaire! 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

And then I don’t think I have had a chance yet to share with you our new placemat designs! For anyone who is not afraid of a bit of colour, these guys are for you! They have all been matt laminated so you can use them over and over again, and are available in 3 different designs, and in sets of 4 of the same design. They are available to buy online from the Handmade By Me online shop, or from various stockists. Certainly one way to cheer up those winter table blues : )

Feisty Floral Watercolour on Blue

new placemats

Feisty Floral Watercolour on Green

new placemats2

Minty Green Mosaic

new placemats3

Get the matching napkins and table runner here!

And then we are also delighted to let you know that you can WIN one of our Pretty Proteas Chef Aprons with #DECOGROW in this month’s Elle Decoration Magazine.

elle_junejuly15_2

elle_junejuly15

PrettyProteas_ChefApron

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

 

 

Introducing our new Feisty Floral Watercolour range…

If you follow us on facebooktwitter and/or instagram, you may have noticed a few photos of a new design popping up lately. I am VERY excited about the launch of our new Feisty Floral Watercolour design, available in two different colourways and in a whole array of different products. And at the same time, we are also introducing new cushion sizes and shapes in this design, as well as across all our other new range designs. We can now offer you cushion covers to fit a 40cm x 40cm, 50cm x 50cm, 60cm x 60cm and a rectangular shaped 40cm x 60cm cushion inner.

The Feisty Floral Watercolour design is particularly special to me as I had originally hand painted it and then printed it onto fabric using a silk textile screen a few years ago. I had actually hand painted and printed several versions of it onto various bits of fabric, which I was always going to one day make into pillow cases, tea towels and possibly napkins for myself. I had actually forgotten about the fabric sitting in one of my storage boxes from my Dublin days, and when I did a little clear out and found it, I decided I HAD to add it to my collection. I wanted to keep the hand-painted effect, but without actually having to hand paint it onto many many metres of fabric myself, so I decided to scan in the printed fabric at a very high resolution and then print it digitally back onto a base fabric. As you can see it has kept the grainy watercoloury texture beautifully, and with the help of photoshop I was able to create and offer an alternative colourway.

The beautiful thing about his fabric is that each item is cut from the fabric as we need, so every product will have a unique crop of the design on it, and no two pieces will be alike.

Introducing my new Feisty Floral Watercolour design, available on blue and on green.feisty floral poster 1 feisty floral poster 2

The funny thing is that when I showed the prints to my friend Alex from Windowsill, she immediately referenced the Bromeliad – a beautiful flower, which weirdly enough is the same species as the pineapple, and which I had no idea came in so many colour variations. So I looked them up and have a look at these…

bromeliads

It’s like I referenced them without even knowing they existed!! I am definitely going to have to get me some of these for my home now!

All the above products have been printed and handmade locally here in South Africa. For more information on each of the products you can visit the Handmade By Me online shop. And for a sneak preview of the products themselves head over to SAM (South African Market) where we have our first batch on display.

If you are a shop or stockist, we have a new catalogue out for 2015, please get in touch if you would like us to send you a copy.

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

 

And its off to market we go…

Its going to be a very busy weekend for handmade by me. We are going to be participating in 3 different markets over the weekend. Firstly we will be taking part in our usual Bay Harbour Market all weekend long. And for the first time we will be joining the Lock Stock Market which is in conjunction with Die Plattelande food market at the Palms Lifestyle and Decor Centre on Saturday . And then on Sunday we will be joining the Blue Bird Garage Food and Goods Market in Muizenburg. There’s live music there and lots of wonderful things to buy and to eat, so come on by for some lunch. If the weather is great, all the markets will be worth a looksee as there is plenty of outdoor area to sun yourself and have an ice cold beer. If the weather is bad, everything is covered and you can come and escape the wind or the rain, or just to have a good time. I’ve heard really good things about these two new markets and am very excited to see what they are like to sell at. Here’s hoping we have a really successful weekend ahead! Don’t forget to come and say hi : )

And to get you ready for what you might find at the market, here are a few new available products to purchase…

Of course you can always get ahead of the crowds and shop online here.

More vintage aprons…in new designs…
MINI Blue Origami Birds, Birdy Num Num & MINI Black Origami Birds

my brand new Cup O Tea napkins

Birdy Num Num napkins

MINI Origami Birds napkins in black

handmade by me.

Plum Crazy!

My friend Claire asked me if I would design her a wallpaper pattern for her new foodie blog called “The Plum Farmer’s daughter“. I thought I’d keep the pattern fun and modern because there are so many “same old” fruit prints out there. The beauty of digital printing is that it allows me to play around a lot more with photographs and textures and I wanted to combine the two with my very distinctive digital style. I also wanted to develop the pattern into napkins, tea towels and eventually aprons so the pattern had to be bright and colourful. I only found out AFTER I had created this design that Claire isn’t really into purple!!!! (ha ha I know!!!) So I created a slightly more blueish version for her to use.

Here they are below…soon to be available in napkins and tea towels for all people plum crazy : )

Handmade by me.

striking strelitzias…

I recently thought that my pretty proteas fabric (see below) needed a friend, something similar but different, that would work well alongside it, but also stand out on it’s own. I immediately thought of strelitzias (also known beautifully as birds of paradise) as they are absolutely gorgeous and really bright and colourful. And since they are also common to south africa, I felt they were perfect for the job. They also happened to work really well in the same geometric style I used for the proteas…and so after some seriously tedious repeat pattern work…I present to you…my striking strelizias pattern…

here’s a closeup…

Here they are together with my pretty proteas…sigh…

The striking strelitzias along with the pretty proteas are both available in cushion covers, napkins and tea towels at my Etsy store.

Handmade by me.