[Styling the Seasons] February, with Laura Ashley

MbM_STYLING-THE-SEASONS_feb1501So, I’m totally excited to share with you this month’s ‘Styling the Seasons’ (which has come round ever so fast…..but that may be down to leaving January’s post right up to the very last-minute!) where 14 bloggers, who regularly take part in this monthly series, were offered a fabulous opportunity to collaborate with Laura Ashley to style a few pieces from their SS15 collection.

Yep…dream come true! :)

Aaaaaand, to make things a little more fun, Laura Ashley are inviting you lovely readers to choose your favourite styled entry (hint hint), that will automatically enter you into a draw for a  chance to win a £50 gift voucher! Read on to find out more….

MbM_STYLING-THE-SEASONS_feb1502

The inspiration behind this month’s styling stemmed from the concept of ‘new beginnings’ and ‘creating adventures’. So with that in mind, I chose the lovely Blue Bird Seaspray Wallpaper and the Brooke Vase which I felt complimented the wallpaper beautifully.

Having recently switched careers, the swallows (symbolic of hope, strength and journey) on the wallpaper were a perfect representation of my new creative beginnings and the journey that lies ahead this year for me. It does also tie in nicely with this time of the year; with the change in seasons and the coming of spring.

As many of you know, I’m rather big into journals and sketchbooks, where I’m constantly jotting or sketching down ideas, inspiration, dreams and goals I have…even those endless list of things to do! ;) So, I decided I would style the little desk space we have in the bedroom with the chosen SS15 items to create a calm and inspiring place to sit and write at home. I also, knew I wanted to create something special out of the wallpaper, which would be both inspirational and helpful to me.

MbM_STYLING-THE-SEASONS_feb1504

I used the swallow-motived wallpaper to make two key pieces; a hardcover for a new journal, which I created from binding together three notebooks I had (I will be sharing a tutorial on this later!), and a cute little garland for the desk space out of the swallows I cut out. Being a small desk space, I kept the worktop quite minimal, using the Brooke Vase to hold some of my vintage rulers, along with a few other favourite items for the desk such as my twine holder from Papermash and the cute owl dish from Tiger.

The overall look is simple, clean and calming, which was exactly what I was after so I think it’s safe to say that I’m pretty pleased with how it’s all turned out despite the unconventional approach….hopefully these photos do it some justice. And I can’t wait to use my new journal already! :)

MbM_STYLING-THE-SEASONS_feb1503

So folks, if you’d like to see more amazing entries and obviously try your chance at winning the £50 voucher then please go hop over to Laura Ashley blog now and place your vote! You’ll find that they are spilt between two posts; part 1 and part 2, the second one is where I’m featured in……..so go go go, place your vote! :)

Also, for those of you who wish to join in on this fab monthly styling challenge, simply style a surface area in your home or studio and post a photo or two on any social media or blogging platform you’re on. Simply add the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons (preferably tag Katy and Charlotte) with your entries so that it’s easily found.

Happy styling!!! (oh and VOTING!!) :D xxxx

MbM_STYLING-THE-SEASONS_feb1507

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

**Terms and Conditions: All entries for the Laura Ashley Styling the Seasons giveaway will be drawn at random. There will be two Laura Ashley £50 gift cards to be won, one for the giveaway on Tuesday (Part 1) the 10th of February and the other on Wednesday 11th of February (Part 2). Entries for Part One must be received by the 15th February 2015. Entries for Part Two must be received by the 16th February 2015. A winner will then be contacted via email. No prize cash alternatives will be given. The competition is only open to UK residents and you must be 18 or over to enter. There will be one entry per household.

This post was sponsored by Laura Ashley, however all words and opinions are my own, dictated completely by my love for  DIY and styling**

[Sneak peek]: Styling the Seasons

MbM_02

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

So, a few of us bloggers have been working on a fun and special collaboration with Laura Ashley for this month’s ‘Styling the Seasons. Unfortunately, I can’t share much right now but all will be revealed on Wednesday! Please do remember to pop back over here on the blog to find out all about it……AND there’s a chance for you lovely readers to win a £50 voucher too! Sounds good right? See you on Wednesday! xx

It’s beginning to look a lot like christmas!

MbM_Christmas-decorations_01Gosh, I cannot believe we’ve only ONE more sleep left till Christmas Day! I’ll be honest with you, it hasn’t hit me yet probably because the days, weeks and months leading up to this festive Yuletide has all been a bit of a blur at the speed at which it’s flown by. I don’t suppose the mild weather hasn’t really contributed to that winter feeling either. Nevertheless, I have no doubt it’ll sink in tomorrow morning!!! I’ve got the all the traditional Christmas songs and carols playing in the background as I write is this…. so it’s working ;)

So, we’ve decided to stay put in London and spend Christmas on our own…yep, just the two of us for a change. It wasn’t an easy decision as it’s normally spent with our families but after a crazy few months since summer with hardly any time to ourselves, to wind down or enjoy life, we soon realised we really needed this time off for some much-needed downtime together, to relax and recuperate before the new year begins. It’s been a ridiculously long time since we’ve had any of that so I’m must say, we’re excited at the thought of it….as much as we’ll miss having family around us this yule time. MbM_Christmas-decorations_02Staying behind, meant we needed to make the extra effort to make it Christmassy without it going OTT (whole point being stress free and relaxing) and I’ve got to say, the best thing we decided to do was buy our very FIRST real Christmas tree last weekend! Neither of us have ever had one growing up so adding this to our first christmas together was definitely the right thing to do to get us into the spirit! The smell is simply divine that I can’t believe I’ve missed out on that all these years….mind you, I don’t quite miss the mess it makes nor the sharp pricks every time I go to hang an ornament! I can see why they’re called blimmin’ needles…!!! Worth it though! ;)

I kept the decorations simple this year, and obviously handmade too by making all he ornaments out of white cardstock. Since making geometric diamonds for the white-on-white styled shoot, I knew I wanted to include those along with three-dimensional stars in assorted sizes (templates, I got from here) and crackers (templates courtesy of Minieco) since I received one from the lovely Marie a few weeks back! I added a bit of hand-lettering too just to personalise it a bit more….

MbM_Christmas-LONDON-2014_07

What do you think? I’m definitely hooked and if only I had more time I’d love to have made more unique pieces…you know, put those old architectural model-making skills in good use! Ah well, I’ll save that for another year! :) MbM_Christmas LONDON-2014_07 MbM_Christmas-LONDON-2014_02 MbM_Christmas-LONDON-2014_01

Well, it’s definitely starting to look and feel a lot like Christmas now so I CANNOT wait to get up tomorrow morning and enjoy the next few festive days in London town with the hubby! And on that note, I wish you all the jolliest of Christmasses filled with lots of love, fun, food, carolling, and laughter! Have a good one folks! xxxx

MbM_Christmas-LONDON-2014_08

MbM_Christmas-LONDON-2014_03 MbM_Christmas-LONDON-2014_10[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

[Styling the Seasons] December

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-00eeeeeek DECEMBER is finally here!!!! It’s taken me a while to get my head around the fact that we’re now officially in the last month of 2014….how did that happen? It’s exciting though – with Christmas drawing near, there’s plenty to be done and checked off the list but we can definitely dust off our festive glad rags, sing a long to Christmas songs and carols, adorn our homes with sparkly decorations, bake to our hearts content (or try to!) and just get creative in every department possible……and for me, of course, tuck into spiced mulled wine and minced pies!! :) Oh yea….’tis the season indeed!!

Well, on that note, I’m really excited about this month’s ‘Styling the Seasons‘ post because I finally get to share with you the wreath I made back in November at Liberty’s for Katy and Charlotte‘s ‘Crafting the Season’ event (you’ll find all the behind-the-scenes antics in this post and a glimpse of me making the wreath). I picked out this sumptuous paisley-pattered Tana Lawn fabric that afternoon, not knowing what I wanted to make with it until I spotted the styrofoam wreath courtesy of The Homemakery. I’ve been wanting to make one for a while so that’s exactly what I did! :) The fabric was cut into strips, which FYI was quite the task at first, because I’m normally so precious over any Liberty fabric but eventually it got less painful! ;) It did take most of that afternoon to cover the entire wreath with my strips of fabric (mind you, there was a lot of nattering too!) so I decided I’d add the finishing touches back home.

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-09

I was lucky to have found some red burlap ribbon and fake, albeit tasteful, red berry stems from Wilkos (for a pound each!) which tied in perfectly with the reds in the liberty fabric. I wanted to initially bring some gold and sparkle to the wreath but kept it super simple so that it would’t take away all the focus from the lush paisley patterns. What do you think?

It took me a while to decide on a prominent place to hang it – stewing from the typical place that would be the front door (obviously the internal side as I wasn’t going to risk having it exposed to the outside world! hah!) to the wall spaces in the hallway and lounge. Well, in the end, the dull winter light dictated its location and I hung it in the by our dining area to take these photos but I have since this post, moved it to the front door in our hallway.

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-04I cannot tell you how much I LOVE mulled wine – if I could have it my way, I’d happily have anytime throughout the year but reserving it for this time of the year does make it all the more worthwhile and special. The first time I was introduced to mulled wine was at the German markets in Edinburgh yeeaaaars ago (or Glühwein as they call it) and I have ever since been hooked – not in an alcoholic kind of way (!!) but because the spiced scent and warmth of the drink always brings back memories of all the happy moments and gatherings I’ve had over the years with friends and family over this heart-warming drink. For me, it’s like officially ringing in Christmas season so it was a no-brainer to include it in here! Minced pies are another guilty pleasure of mine along with the Christmas pudding (the latter I forgot to get) so this was my excuse to…well tuck into my favourite things, with an even better excuse! :)

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-10

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-13 [Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

Well, I guess that’s the last Styling the Seasons post for the year! I’m already looking forward to plotting next year’s styled surfaces as it’s such a delightful way to get you to embrace each month – you’ve got to hand it to the girls for concocting such a fab idea! So, if you’d like to jump on the styling band wagon, I hope I’ve swayed you enough. All you have to do is style a surface area in your home or studio and post a photo or two on any social media or blogging platform you’re on. Simply add the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons (preferably even tag Katy and Charlotte) with your entries so that it’s easily found. If for any reason you’re hesitant or doubting your skills….please don’t….I can assure you that even the most ‘skilled’ person has their fair share of creative blocks and obstacles! Plus, there’s some great tips from Charlotte here, which will help! Just remember that the whole point is to have fun and explore things you probably never had the chance to do so, not to compete or compare! ;)

So, happy styling folks and I hope you all have a fab week and weekend ahead! xxx

 

**Quick Update**

Okay, so I had to add a bow to the wreath as it was clearly missing something! I can safely say, after days of staring at it, that I’m definitely happier with this addition and now looks the part, right? Well, I’m happy! :) MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-new

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_DEC-18

[Styling the Seasons] November

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_NOV_MAINBy golly, it’s been so darn tricky to find good lighting this month with the shorter days and the unfortunate wet, overcast weather we’ve had on top all that recently. While November still has it’s autumnal delights, it’s the getting dark by 430pm that I still find hard to adjust too (I just love my sunshine far too much!)….and the last week has been a prime example of that, particularly when I had planned on doing quite a bit photography for the blog, in whatever spare time I had. The lack sunlight meant having to scramble to the most oddest corners of the flat, normally up beside windows, setting up mini makeshift photography sets to make the most of the dull natural light (it really is quite funny to watch!) And in most cases, this does also mean, a few change in plans and ideas in order to work best in these darker, grey-hued scenarios………ah the joys of being a blogger, eh! ;)

So anyway, for this month’s ‘Styling the Seasons‘ post, I decided quite early on that my styled surface would be all about tucking into warm meals, winding down and being grateful – ‘cuz that to me is what November is all about! With that in mind, I wanted our dining table to be the surface of choice where I thought I would combine some lovely homemade recipes with autumn-inspired table settings (DIY where possible). However, having been unlucky with the sunlight, I had no choice but to ‘relocate’ to a more well-lit part of the flat because despite the slow shutter speeds the photos were coming out way to dark and grainy for what I was after (I don’t have the most fancy camera either to be fair! And I didn’t want to end up editing photos later) so it turned out that the best little spot was in fact our bedroom, in the corner by the window! Of course, replicating the ‘tablescape’ idea in this tighter spot meant a much scaled down version of the whole thing……but hey, I hope this still gives you the overall idea I had in mind :)

(It would be just my luck, it it turned all sunny of the next few weeks!)MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_NOV_1

The hand-lettered wall art was a last-minute afterthought having moved to this snug corner of our bedroom and I really didn’t want a completely blank white backdrop to work against. At the same time, I was keen on the idea of inspirational quotes so started looking up several ones that summed up ‘being grateful’ and when I came across this one by American poet, philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, I knew it encapsulated everything I was after. So I decided, I’d do something with that. I felt it needed to be a focal piece for the house that I’d integrate into this styling series – a daily reminder of all the things I should be grateful for especially with the year coming to a close. And I guess it also felt more apt for me, in this present time, after spending the last few months with my head buried in the ground, freaking out over where my future was heading that I didn’t stop to appreciate the more important things around me. But that’s life – it can get incredibly crazy, busy, challenging, and overwhelming that you have periods where you’re gripped with anxiety, fear and/or uncertainty……but sometimes, it’s by going through all that unfortunate ‘mayhem’, that you’re forced to stop, reassess, slow down, recover and recuperate. And eventually, when you do slow down enough, you begin to realise, that things get better and everything does fall into place.

Anyhoo, after a couple of attempts with hand-lettering, I settled on this simple one, only because I didn’t really have much time to explore various techniques to be honest, but I’m happy with it :) I may try something different another time as it’s a quote that could look really amazing as a print on the wall if done right. Let’s see eh? ;)

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_NOV_6

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_NOV_5I knew I wanted to play with warm colours, bring in earthy tones and natural elements to the table but keeping it all fresh and cosy too. The white tablecloth wasn’t initially part of the plan but I needed more white to brighten up the surface on dull grey day….which it thankfully did – phew!! And i thought the teal from the glass bottle, the burnt orange of the pumpkin soup, the yellow ochre of the butternut squash and the deep red of the berries brought just the right amount of colour to the table, in a soft, subtle and harmonised way. The napkin I used are from the set I made for the DIY ‘stamped napkin’ tutorial post early this summer.

Oh and that pumpkin soup….was simply DIVINE which you can imagine I tucked right into after the shoot! :D Now, I must confess, I did plan on following this ‘roasted pumpkin soup’ recipe by Jamie Oliver, but having run out of time, I opted for New Coventry Garden’s ‘soup of the month’: Pumpkin Goulash soup, which I had as a reserve should anything went wrong. And OMG it was perfect with just the right kick from the paprika and chilli! I do love my squash especially at this time of the year, so I’m definitely going to be exploring a few recipes over the next couple of weekends to make up for my lack of ‘homemade-ness’ in this series….watch this space!

So yeah, despite having to revise my initial plans, I’m quite pleased at how it’s turned out – it just goes to show that good things do (eventually!) come out of unforeseen circumstances and tight little spaces! :) Well, that’s my entry for this month which I hope you like. I cannot wait for next month’s festive post!!! :D If you’d like to play along each month, all you got to do is upload photos on any social media platform of yours and include the hashtag #StylingtheSeasons with your entries/posts! Have fun guys…..oh and HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my American family and friends near and far!!!! xxx

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_NOV_7MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_NOV_8

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

[For the Home] Donna Wilson and then some

MbM_ForTheHome_DW_10-WEBSo springtime is finally descending on us and after a month or so of horrible cold and wet weather I’m delighted to see rays of sunshine across the country over the last few weeks even with the occasional downpours! Not to mention the lighter evenings! I must admit however, that I’ve also been making a conscious effort in trying to bring more elements to our home that brought in a little springtime cheer. We’ve done quite a bit of home improvements and massive clear outs since the new year so I used those as an opportunity to brighten up the place either by redecorating or adding pops of colours or fresh flowers.

Well, you wouldn’t believe my joy when I heard about the Donna Wilson ‘sample sale’ that was held two weeks back. I’ve always been a big fan of her work but like many pretty things out there, most of them remained on my wish list. So although I wasn’t in any position to be splashing out on ‘luxuries’ (we’re saving up for our Big American Roadtrip this summer) I really couldn’t quite shake of the temptation of going especially knowing that you’d get at least 50-70% RRP. So I went with Viktorija and Sabine to make an evening out of it – and boy, did we do that! ;) I was so good on the Friday night (the first night of the sale) only spending £30 on bits and bobs like her plates, tea towels, make up pouch bag, plus some other little things by other artists…but it was later that night, especially when I got home, that I was starting to really regret not purchasing her lovely cushions! They were always my favourites aside from her crockery range…and it was her knitted cushions that got me all stewing at night! Well, you can guess what I did then, right? I actually got up the next morning and made my way for when they opened at 11am to pick up the knitted cushion I had my eye on…..uh-huh, that’s exactly what I did! Oh and as I was going over to the till, I then looked at the bright summer cotton cushions and thought….heck i’ll pick one of those up too. Compulsive I know but my gawd this was the ONE time I walked away without any buyer’s remorse! :D I was soooooo glad I went back as I know for a fact that I probably would not have bought them in a long while. And to top it all off, I actually got to meet her in person on the second day, and I told her how I couldn’t sleep knowing I never got the cushions which she thought was hilarious (or bonkers, who knows!) ;)  MbM_ForTheHome_DW_WEB

Anyway, here’s a few shots of my purchases taking pride of place in our home. I’ve been adding a lot of yellows, pinks and greens to the flat so the colours from the cushions and the other pieces all lend beautifully to the springtime colour palette. What do you think? Do you think I did well with these buys for the home? ;) xx

MbM_ForTheHome_DW_4-WEB MbM_ForTheHome_DW_11-WEBMbM_ForTheHome_DW_5-WEB MbM_ForTheHome_DW_9-WEBMbM_ForTheHome_DW_6-WEBThe clock, butter dish and the miniature white ceramic houses were also purchased from the sample sale although by different designers. Again, I felt these totally summed us design junkies so simply had to pick them up too while I was there! And at £10, £5 and £1 – they were a bargain!

MbM_ForTheHome_DW_8-WEBAnd don’t you just LOOOOOVE tulips? On its own it’s enough to brighten up any day or room! And as you can see below, I’ve been playing around with the placement of each piece both in the lounge and the bedroom. The bedroom, including my little workspace corner, gets decluttered every 3 months just so that it remains visually pleasing to the eye, especially when I have to work here most of the time. I revamped my pin board by painting it all white and having less stuff on there which makes it much cleaner looking. Anyway, there’s a lot more to share with you on our home improvements series so do keep an eye out for them! :)
MbM_ForTheHome_DW_3-WEBMbM_ForTheHome_DW_2-WEBMbM_ForTheHome_DW_12-WEB

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

[Handmade gifts] Hush Little Baby

And here’s another one I made, that will be available on my Etsy shop later today. This piece is bigger than the one in my last post, measuring 30 x 40 cm. White card stock is used for the cutout piece which is mounted on recycled brown card – a more neutral and organic look. Again, this can be done in different colours (for both the cut-out piece and the backing board)  so if you fancy something custom-made for whatever the occasion, simply drop me a line via my ‘contact page‘.

Hope you like what you see so far as there’s plenty more coming in this range of work! :)BLOG_STRIP_hushlittlebaby_Web[Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

Made by Molu Etsy Shop – now open for business!!

SHOP-LAUNCH_MAIN-IMAGE[Image Credit: Made by Molu]

It’s been long-awaited and I cant believe this day has come (!!!) but I am pleased to announce that my shop doors (albeit virtually) are officially open!  You will find a range of bespoke handmade goodies (all made to order) from wall art to cushions to baby accessories whether it’s for the home or for a special occasion. Please do stop by and have a wee look – you can click here or the ‘Etsy’ tab on my sidebar to the right of this post to take you directly to the shop!  I will still be available for commissioned pieces and custom orders so just drop me a line and we can take it from there! Oh, and there’s plenty more handmade prettiness coming to the store as I’ll be listing them up as I go along, so do make sure you stay keep in the loop!!!

A massive ‘thank you’ goes out to my awesome husband, family and dear friends who have constantly stuck by me and all my creative antics (and having endured all my ramblings on wanting to set up a business) over the last two years. It is because of them and the amazing support from my readers/followers that I have finally taken the plunge to make this a reality. FYI – if this goes tits up, you are all to blame!  JUST KIDDING!!! :) I seriously cannot be any more excited (and nervous!) about this and hope one small step to bigger and better things in life! My love and humble gratitude goes out to you all! xxx

Anyway, I sincerely hope you like what you see and if you have any feedback or comments then, as always, I’m all ears! In the meantime… happy browsing/shopping folks!! Oh and please, pleeaaasee do spread the word too!! Thank you!!! xx

Prepping for the Etsy launch!

So, I’ve been super busy prepping for the opening of my Etsy shop in whatever spare time I could find – making sure all my images were picked and edited accordingly, getting all the text right for my listings and giving the website a little spruce up (as you may already see) – all in time for the big announcement. I must say that I realised quickly that it takes time for these things if you want to get it done right (if you’re as OCD as me that is) but then seeing how my work evolves constantly (mostly driven by commissioned pieces and personal gifts to date) I also realised that the shop should grow to reflect that, where I’m not trying to have it stocked up with 101 listings for the sake of the opening! Not only is that physically not viable but makes no sense in the type of products I’m offering. So I’ll start off small and grow progressively over the next few months and years. Anyway, so when does it launch I hear you ask? One more sleep!! Yep – i’m launching it tomorrow so stay tuned for it. In the meantime, here are some of my work you’ll soon find in my shop to be made to order! Eeeek! :P xx

[Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

[Handmade Gifts]: Elliott & Nora

Here are the new additions to my handmade ‘Elliott & Nora’ plush cushion range that come in various baby blue, baby pink and other neutral-coloured fabric! These adorable hephalumps will be listed on my Etsy shop with all the deets you need for your custom orders! If you need a plush elephant-shaped cushion before that, then simply drop me an email! Otherwise, hold yer ‘orses….they’ll be coming soon to Etsy! :) xx

BLOG_STRIP_Elliott-&-Nora-WEB[Image credit: Made by Molu, all rights reserved]