DIY LOVE - January

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

I'm feeling so inspired to create of late. Since I gave myself the OK to have a bit more time off from just jewellery making and writing fewer posts my mind is becoming free to explore other projects. This doesn't mean I have fallen out with my jewels and pliers, quite the opposite. I'm just having fun thinking of different ideas and new projects. This past weekend I made and put up a shelf and created some artwork for the walls.

Of course now my horizons have been broadened my DIY list has expanded, here is what is currently catching my eye. 

Heart Wreath - Even though Christmas is far behind us, I really like the idea of creating seasonal wreaths. I love this heart shaped version for Valentines Day. 

Paper flowers - I spent a few evenings last week making up paper flowers. I'm trying to spend one evening a week doing something non screen based. These are perfect to make in front of a good boxset.

Wire basket - I see so many little wire baskets in shops and on the internet but always resist buying them. I have alot of wire in my stash and would love to give these a try. 

Embroidery - My sister and I did some embroidery over Christmas and I totally fell back in love with it. I'm not good with the neatness of cross-stitch but am really enjoying just stitching whatever comes into my head. So far its mainly been flamingo's, flowers and hearts! 

Leather Tassels - My love affair with leather and tassels shows no sign of stopping. I like the idea of room jewellery and want to make some larger tassels up for hanging around the house. 

Want more? You can find me on Pinterest as Lotts and Lots

Moscot Pop Up

Thursday, 22 January 2015

A bit of a change from normal making posts to talk glasses and pop up shops. I've been wearing glasses everyday for the last 10 years (I take them off for photo's!) and if like me you have to wear glasses constantly, finding the right pair is a big deal. I had been looking for new glasses for about 18 months, I had tried the high-street and independent shops but alas, nothing was right.. I was heading to my favourite charity shop when I came across Mo and her fab pop up shop for Moscot glasses.
Moscot is an eye wear brand originating in Manhattans Lower East Side. It is still run by the same family and specialises in classic handmade frames using the same methods as they did 100 years ago. This in itself makes me feel a little bit special! I loved how the shop was set up and all the glasses paraphernalia dotted around, it was good to have something different in my local area - I always feel like I miss out on these things not living in a big city.
Mo, was the main reason I ended buying these glasses (I chose the Balebus style in Olive Bark which is a gorgeous khaki colour and goes with everything). She is so passionate and knowledgeable about her subject, she immediately knew what styles would suit me and let me try on as many pairs as I wanted. She is the main distributor for Moscot in the UK as well as a few other brands and specialises in (proper) handmade and vintage frames. They don't come cheap but they are worth it, I love mine so much and chose to wear them even when an occasion could call for contacts. The pop up has now gone but Mo has another sunglasses pop up planned for the spring time. She does however take appointments so if you're in London or the South-East please get in touch, she really will answer all your glasses prayers,

You can contact Mo here  and see more styles at

DIY - leather, jewel & chain necklace

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

One of my aims for 2015 is to do less, take my time and enjoy being creative again. I got to a point last year when I felt I was pushing out ideas because they were in my head but not really enjoying the whole process as I get to get them up and published. I have realised now that a new tutorial a week isn't always going to be possible nor worthwhile. My mum said to me at the weekend...'If I can't keep up with you and I'm your mother, I doubt anyone else will.." Fair point.

I thought I'd share a slow project today. This necklace was inspired by illustrator, Sarah Smart, who shared this lovely lady on Twitter the first week back at work. I loved how feminine she was and the colours where just what I wanted to see on a grey Wednesday. I had a leather necklace idea bubbling away for a while and when a new leather delivery arrived I knew what I needed to create.

 I always start making by pulling my colour palette together. I loved the peach, mustard and raspberry colours  of the illustration and had been kindly gifted the gold and rose gold leather. I normally use slightly brighter colours but these darker tones work so well in January when summery colours don't feel quite right. 
It was great to spend time working out the jewel designs and cutting the leather shapes. I always use what I have to hand, the circles where traced from spare change and the jewels are mainly recycled. Once I had glued the jewels to the leather I put everything away for a week.
I did keep peeking at the jewels throughout the week - I couldn't wait to get it finished and made up! I joined the leather together with jumprings. Using two different sizes gives a sweet detail to the main design. 
 I then added cord ends to the rose gold leather and cut a piece of vintage chain to sit above the detail. I joined everything together with more jump rings and added a connector chain with a raspberry bead (to match the leather) and lobster clasp to finish.

In total I'd say that this necklace took me about three hours to complete. It wasn't a speedy project by any means but it was great to savor the experience of creating once again. I know that jewellery making is quite niche but whatever your area of creativity it might inspire you to take on a different project, use different colours (I think these colours would look amazing as cushions on a grey sofa) or even try something new entirely. Happy Making! x 

Bedroom makeover (then and now)

Friday, 16 January 2015

Happy Friday! After taking a break from doing renovations to the house I finally feel ready to share some of what has been going on. I'm starting with bedroom as it's still an ongoing project and I'm secretly hoping you might be able to give me some advice/motivation to get it finished.
Let's start at the beginning. The bedroom used to be a dining room, the house was owned by the same family but was split into two residences meaning we had two of everything to sort out - kitchens, bathrooms, etc. It had an ugly fire escape at the back, dark green carpets, horrid flocked wallpaper and a vile gas fire - it all had to go. Once the wallpaper had come off a huge crack in the supporting beam revealed itself, in came the builders to add an RSJ to support the rooms above and the roof. The radiator from the room above was also leaking which meant we had to have some of the ceiling replaced. This wasn't cheap which meant our decorating and furnishing budget was very low.
We re-papered the walls. As much I love the rooms high ceilings papering them was awful - it took ages and only looks ok. I thought I'd love wallpapering but I didn't, I'd definitely pay for a professional in the future. We then painted the whole room white to make it feel clean again. As I started to get bored of white (not a good start) I silvered leafed the chimney to make the most of the bumpy walls and add a bit of interest. The floorboards were too damaged to keep so we carpeted the room in a neutral carpet. It breaks my heart to see that ripped out fireplace, I can't even think of how amazing it would have been if the original had been kept - sob! 
Now the room is under control I want to start to add some personality back in. Through living in the house I'm learning what we actually need and also what my/our style is. I love colour and texture and need to get more of that back into the room. I don't mind a mish mash of stuff but the room needs some more natural elements to it. These chairs are to be sanded back to wood and I have a new chest of drawers to do up either keeping the natural wood or maybe an eau de nil colour, to replace the one in the corner. I have old chandelier drops and coloured silk ribbons to make a light and a piece of driftwood to make a display shelf. I really want to sort storage around the bed as we both pile up magazines, receipts and paper work, these then get mixed in with shoes and I get really stressed! 
I have been pinning like mad and have pulled an inspiration board together. I really love the fresh and cosy feel of these rooms with bursts of colour and texture. 

Its actually been really useful to see everything on a screen I feel a lot less bothered and more excited to get started. If your feeling stuck I really recommend taking and printing some pictures of the room, it'll give you a whole new perspective. Pulling a moodboard together has given me so much more focus and direction all I need to do now is get started! Have a great weekend everyone. x

Sewing essentials

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

I was asked on Twitter last week what my favourite sewing blogs for beginners are so I thought I'd share some my best resources in more detail with you all today. Even though I have been sewing along time - having studied fashion at college and at uni - I still only ever feel like an experienced beginner. This year I really want to make time for more sewing projects, its a skill I don't want to lose and looking through all the links for this post I feel really inspired to start a few new projects.

Here are some of my favourite places for online inspiration
See Kate Sew - I have only just come across this blog but I love it, I want to make everything!It also has downloadable patterns which are great.
Cotton and Curls - I have been reading this for a while, you probably need a basic understanding of garment constuction but I love how Liz shows you how to make patterns from items already in your wardrobe.
Tilly and The Buttons - I love how there is such an enthusiastic community of sewers with Tilly's blog.  Its really inspiring to see all the different interpretations of her patterns.
By Hand London - Have really gorgeous patterns and sew alongs to accompany them. I have the Charlotte Skirt waiting to be made up.
Colette Patterns - Is a great resource for online patterns and they have the best sewing handbook. It comes with five different patterns and such good instructions for finishing garments. Buy it now!
Kollabora - I heard about this project sharing site a while ago but only signed up last week, there are some great projects, I really want to make this dress for my hols.
Pinterest - I find loads of sewing project inspiration on good old Pinterest. The only problem is I pin before bed and can't sleep for ideas.

If you can I would recommend taking a class in person you can't beat learning in person (Sew Over It and Ray Stitch, have great classes if you're in London). Practice really does make perfect so build your skills one project at a time and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Someday's you'll make something wonderful and someday's not, just have fun and remember your notches!

You can see some of my simple sewing projects here - One Seam Skirt, Lace Skirt, Simple Embellished Tshirt, easy fabric pouch bags 

gluten and dairy free banana muffins

Thursday, 8 January 2015

I was talking in my last post about giving myself more free time, well these delicious muffins are a result of such. I made them during my lunch break on Monday (I'm trying once again to cut out all wheat, dairy and sugar, yawn!) as I always crave something sweet in the afternoon and don't want to go down the processed food route. I adapted the recipe from Deliciously Ella's Banana Bread using what I had in my cupboards, I feel I sufficiently changed it enough to share below. 

175gms Ground Almonds or 1 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup Mix of pecans, hazelnuts and brazil nuts 
1 cup rice flour
1/4 cup maple syrup 
1 tbl spoon cinnamon
1 tbl spoon desiccated coconut 
3 medium over ripe bananas 

Step 1. Pre heat the oven to about 200 degrees (mine oven runs cold so adjust as necessary) and line a muffin pan with cake cases

Step 2. Whizz your whole nuts in a food processor until they are in a powder and add to a bowl with the rice flour, maple syrup, cinnamon and coconut. Mix well

Step 3. Mash your banana's and stir into the dry mix until all the ingredients are throughly mixed. It won't be too runny and will almost form a paste. 

Step 4. Spoon into muffin cases, the will rise a little but not much so you can fill each case to the (almost) top. I sprinkled a few flaked almonds and coconut onto the tops of mine. 

Step 5. Pop into the oven for about 20 - 25 mins or until golden brown.

I've been taking mine into work for breakfast and enjoying with a cup of Earl Grey. I have to say they have definitely eased the first week back in the office. 

Muffins accessoried with - Cake Stand - H&M, Napkin - Anthropologie, Placemat - Ikea, Radio - Roberts Radio

2014 Review

Monday, 5 January 2015

Before I jump into 2015, I'm taking a bit of time to look back at 2014. My words for the year were simplify and confidence but in reality I think the word that most sums up the year was hurtle. Not since my final year at uni have I worked so hard and felt so exhausted - I juggled like never before sometimes I won, sometimes I lost. My confidence deserted me completely in October but looking back I had completely run out of steam. I took a big step (for me), I eased off on myself and took some time out, I really needed a couple of months to recharge and regroup. It's taken a while to feel like myself again but I can honestly say I do, a slightly changed for the better version but definitely myself. 

As I tend to forget what I've achieved here are some of my proudest moments from 2014 

Workshops - I have taught groups from two to thirty people. Where I was once terrified, I now look forward to teaching so much especially as I'm teaching my own tutorials and ideas. 
Mollie Makes - I still can't believe I was in Mollie Makes four times last year. The front cover gift is an all time high.
Jewelry From Home - Alongside Lotts and Lots I also wrote the Jewelry From Home blog for most of last year. Writing two additional posts a week definitely stretched me but it was a fantastic experience to be part of.
Styling The Seasons - This is the first collaboration I have done and I love it. Working with Katy is fab - its great having someone to work with and come up with different ideas to create a really inspiring project. 
Tutorials - What I made was only a fraction that was in my head, on post-its and in sketchbooks.  I really hope they have inspired you to be more creative and keep your hands busy
House renovation - This has been my biggest DIY project ever, it was a struggle but I look at the house now and can see it was all worth it. 

Realising how much I managed to cram in last year (I have an almost full time job too) has given me a quiet confidence for 2015. Where as last year it was all about saying yes to as many people as possible this year I want to take my time and be more selective. I have read lots of blogs recently about slow blogging which I think is great, I always aimed for three posts a week but for 2015 I'm going to write two. I'll still be writing about jewellery making because its my passion but will aim to incorporate more home tutorials because these have become a passion too. 

Another big thing for 2015 is having a bit more off time, I really want to have time to sew and create on a whim instead of rushing home tired from work trying to write one more post. I loved the freedom and variety of Christmas making so want to keep that alive. Some other things I'd like to do are big project collaborations (not sure of what variety), more workshops and perhaps write a book. I might not do any of these things but I'm putting them out there to the universe just in case! 

Wishing you a wonderful 2015, thanks for all your kind words and support I really appreciate it. x

Tutorials (top image) 

Tutorials (bottom image) 
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