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

 

 

media love

While we are busy painting and sanding and getting our new shop ready (which is just so unbelievably exciting), we thought we would share some of the fantastic media love we have received over the past few weeks.

Your Family magazine chose our Birds in Paradise placemats as one of their suggested ways to be kinder to the planet. Our collection of earth-friendly, recyclable and reusable placemats were created with this exact purpose in mind.

YourFamily_March2016_2

YourFamily_March2016_1.jpg

Sunday Times Home Weekly featured our Geometric Orange Lux Panama Cushion Cover as one of the quickest ways to update your living room last Sunday.

IMG_8494

Danish magazine Enfants Terribles‘s blog featured our Prickly Pears Nappy Cover as one of their 9 favourite styles of the season.

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 09.14.54

Our Prickly Pears Tea Towel was featured in this lovely Etsy treasury featuring tones of green.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 08.47.23

And even though it’s not technically media love, we thought we would share this photo of our small lampshades getting ready for an order which we shared last week. Aren’t they just the cutest!

image1 (1)

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

 

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.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 16.13.15

12495206_10153232709672204_5604976438351676695_n

“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 : )

thumb

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 16.16.08

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!

origami birds plascon

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

 

some August media lovin…

We have been very lucky this last month with products being featured in all sorts of different magazines and blogs. We thought we might share our August media love with you here on our blog.

Not only was our newly launched Geometric Orange LUX Panama Cushion chosen as one of 100 Beautiful Things in association with Visi at 100% Design, it was also selected as part of The 100% Design Edit in the Sunday Times Home Weekly section.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 08.46.45

GeoOrange_CC_Panama

Pastel geometrics are in this season according to Fair Lady. Below you can see our Geometric Monochrome placemats as well as our Minty Green Mosaic table runner.

FairLady_Aug15_1 FairLady_Aug15_2

GeoMono_Placemat_LR MosaicGreen_tableRunnerLR

House & leisure magazine think our quirky Shweshwe Shields in Pink tea towel is a great way to introduce pattern into your kitchen. We couldn’t agree more!

H&L_Aug15_1 H&L_Aug15_2

ShieldsPink_TeaTowel

Living and Loving magazine looked at choosing which colours will work best for your nursey and decided our Orange Squares cushion cover would be a perfect match.  “While red is a fiery, volatile and energetic colour that should only be used as an accent colour in small amounts in a nursery, orange offers a similar look that’s friendly, welcoming and vibrant.”

Living&loving_Aug15_1 Living&loving_Aug15_2

SquaresOrange_Cushion

The Sunday Times Home Weekly thought our small Feisty Floral Watercolour on Blue lampshade brightened up their Nature-Inspired Edit. SundayTimes_230815SundayTimes_230815_2 FeistyFloralBlue_L_200d_4

FeistyFloralBlue_L_200d_2

Then online I am delighted to share with you this lovely blogpost which featured us and some of our favourite products on one of our favourite blogs, I Want That.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 10.39.06

And Visi magazine picked our Yellow Squares Pattern Purse as no 1 out of their 10 stylish purse buys.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 10.35.25

Thanks so much to everyone who featured us and our products this last month, we are smiling from ear to ear with the media love from you all : )

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

NEW products in the HOUSE…

We have just launched some exciting new products here at Handmade By Me which I am so excited to let you all know about, and show you the photos from our recent product shoot!

First off we have just introduced our beautiful new LUXURY panama cushion covers. They are 60 x 60cm and made using our luxurious thick upholstery-weight 100% cotton panama. We are particularly excited about the velvet options – we just LOVE the feel of it, and the colours! For those not a fan, we do have an option with the print both sides, and a more economical option with the print just 1 side and either backed in plain white or black depending on the design.

lux velvet cushion covers lux velvet cushion covers2 lux velvet cushion covers3 lux velvet cushion covers4

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 11.45.43 Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 11.46.04

Our other new exciting new product we have just launched are our beautiful new pillowcases! They are made using a beautiful soft 100% cotton poplin (1 up from the usual percale) to fit a standard size pillow 70cm x 45cm. This is such an easy way to transform your bedroom, and what with so many designs to sleep around with, you’ll be spoilt for choice to find the perfect combination!

11822776_10155883248905424_6505991761443042574_n 2

IMG_5955

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 11.45.23

We have these 4 designs below readily available to buy, but we are planning to slowly introduce more designs as we go along so feel free to place an order with us for the design of your choice, or just let us know which your favourite would be!
FeistyFloralBlue_Pillowcase GeoMono_Pillowcase MidnightBlueMosaic_Pillowcase PrettyProteas_Pillowcase

If you’re not convinced, see how beautifully our Feisty floral watercolour on green cushion works in this gorgeous bedroom shoot from the latest Plascon Spaces magazine.

image1 (2)

And if you move fast you can still get 10% off any orders through our online shop until Sunday midnight! Don’t forget to use the discount code “WinterWarmer”. Happy shopping!!!

10% off fb banner

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

Come see us at 100% Design SA in Joburg

It’s almost time for one of South Africa’s most beautiful design events, 100% Design South Africa, and we couldn’t be more excited! Our goods are on their way there, and we fly up today. And we can’t wait to see everything we have been working so hard on these last few weeks finally come together : ) If you are planning to come and visit, please pop past our stand B12 and say hi, we are part of 100% talent. Details on the show below, but here some of this week’s instagram tasters of a few things we will have in store for you over the weekend…we have lots of new things you haven’t seen yet!!

100percentHMBM

100% Design South Africa is an international showcase for contemporary design with a unique African perspective which runs alongside the well-established and largest decor, design and lifestyle exhibition in Africa, Decorex Joburg. It is a high-end curated showcase of the most inspirational designs and designers and is the perfect platform for South African and international furniture, lighting, interiors, fabrics and product design, covering the residential, hospitality and office industries.

This year 100% Design takes place from 6 – 10 August 2015 at Gallagher Convention Centre, Joburg.

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.

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