FOR THE HOME | SIDEBOARD ENVY

sideboard envy 01If you follow me on Pinterest, you probably know of my love for Scandinavian, mid-century modern, vintage furniture and homeware….and when combined with fresh, minimal white/neutral spaces, well, that’s just the dream for me!

I’ve had storage units on my mind for the last year – from shelving units to bedside tables to sideboard cabinets….the latter in particular, being the recent craze. With storage being so limited in the flat, I’ve been fantasizing at the thought of perhaps having a unit in the hallway that would be both aesthetically and functionally fitting but finding a beautiful and authentic post-war piece would mean having to probably fork out a couple of Ks which at this moment in time isn’t exactly what we have at disposal. I did scour through eBay and gumtree for a bit in the hope that i’d come across an absolute bargain but sadly kept getting deflated at how pricey they were. Some day, we’ll get to splurge on a collectable but until then, a reproduction or cheaper alternative would have to do.

Well, you’d think it was fate, because earlier this month, I was asked to to take part in a fun styling collaboration with Wayfair (second largest retailer in the US for home furnishings) that involves a sideboard so as you can imagine, I’m well over the moon! And naturally, I’ve been back on Pinterest doing a bit of research – any excuse to swoon, right? :)

Anyway, here’s a few images I’ve collected and you can see the rest here on my board if you fancy having a nosey, and i’ll be back next month with more on the collaboration!! Stay tuuuuuuuned folks! xx

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Blog Hop | How to Print Fabric by Zeena Shah

How To Print Fabric | Zeena Shah

Hey folks! I know its been aaaaaaages since I did a DIY on here (that isn’t wedding related!). So, I’ve got a fun and super easy one today, if like me, you’re completely into printmaking/marking of any kind and at times, don’t have the right resources at hand! It’s also in celebration of Zeena Shah’s new book How to Print Fabric which I’m excited to share with you here through this blog hop series hosted by Stitch Craft Create.

If you’ve been an old follower of MbM, you’ll probably remember all my posts from back in 2013 on this remarkably talented lady, her beautiful hand-printed homeware products, and the couple of workshops I did with her at her East London studio. Some of you may have even seen her pretty face appear on Kirsty Allsopp’s Kirstie’s Vintage Home, 60 Minute Makeover and even The Apprentice! If you still don’t know much about her….seriously, you must check her out. I am admittedly a huge fan of her work and have had the great pleasure to get to know Zeena in the three years I’ve been here in London, so I’m delighted that her first book is finally hitting the shelves next month!

Well, this book is all about making printmaking accessible to everyone at home, which y’all know is exactly my ethos behind a lot of my DIYs on here. It can be frustrating when you suddenly get a creative impulse and realise you don’t have the space or right equipment to produce the ideas you have in your head! Zeena’s book inspires and encourages everyone to not let these hinder your creative flow, with her simple yet practical ‘kitchen-table techniques’ that explores 20 hand printed home accessories using everyday household things – from lint rollers to embroidery hoops! Inspired by the book, I thought I’d give it a try myself….and with time being a luxury these days for me, I felt this was even more apt to prove how simple and effective it can be…if you don’t overthink it all too much! ;) In this instance, I’m using one of my all-time favourite stencilling technique to decorate a plain, undecorated christmas stocking I had leftover from last year which was perfect as it skipped the need for any sewing! Time it took: 20-30 mins, start to finish.

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What you’ll need:

  1. Light to medium weight fabric (or opt for pre-sewn things like cushion covers, tea towels or tote bags)
  2. fabric ink pad or fabric paint (I happened to have both)
  3. scraps of card to under or between your fabric and your worktop
  4. scalpel blade or Stanley knife
  5. sponge dabbers/stipplers or even make-up sponge!
  6. cutting mat
  7. card to create your stencil

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If you’re confident (or more gung-ho in your approach), just free hand cut out the patterns you wish to print otherwise sketch it out first if you need a guide of sort. I’ve kept mine simple (inspired by Zeena’s Furoshiki wrapping cloth DIY) sticking to basic shapes of rectangles and trriangles.
MbM_HowtoPrintFabric-03MbM_HowtoPrintFabric-05Before printing, place some card or heavy weight paper between your fabric so to avoid the ink coming through on the reverse side (important if you’re printing on things like cushion covers) or underneath to protect your worktop. Then place your stencil over your fabric, and use your sponge dabber/stippler to gently dab your ink over it. These are great if you want more precision and control when covering smaller or detailed cut-outs. Also, if you use fabric paint, dab off any excess on some scrap card first before you apply it over your template as this will prevent a blotchy finish. The thinner, all even, application…the better the overall finish!

Repeat this process across your fabric until the entire piece is covered with your pattern. You can do it in sections like I did – either strategically or more haphazardly – whatever way you wish. Just don’t over think it! ;)MbM_HowtoPrintFabric-06MbM_HowtoPrintFabric-07

I added a subtle pop of colour using the red ink stamp pad. Had my cut-outs been larger, I could have used the stamp pad directly onto the stencil to dab the ink onto the fabric however, due to the smaller cut-outs I used a sponge stippler for more control and precision.

And that’s it! Drying time wasn’t that long because the patterns had smaller surface area which was great. I ran the iron over it at the end to fix the ink……and here’s my rather contemporary and somewhat Scandi-inspired stocking! :) Nice and simple!

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[All Images: ©MadebyMolu]

There’s a heap load of DIY projects for you to try in Zeena’s book, each beautifully illustrated and photographed, with step-by-step tutorials and even templates for you to use! So, if I havent convinced you enough with this post then check out what fellow bloggers have had to say themselves about the book here. There’s also some ‘How To‘ video snippets from the book, on the Stitch Craft Create YouTube channel totally worth checking! And if you want to pre-order your copy of the book, just hop over to Amazon or pop over to Zeena’s website if you fancy a signed copy (with a special gift enclosed!)

A heartfelt congratulations to Zeena for this major and truly deserved accomplishment. I look forward to celebrating the big book launch next week!

Have a good one folks and go get your craft on! :) xx

[Book of the Month] Bright Bazaar: Embracing Colour

MbM_Book_BrightBazaar_MainTwo weeks back, I had the opportunity to pop along to West Elm, London for interior blogger Will Taylor’s (aka Bright Bazaar) first book launch (see all the highlights here). I’ve followed Will for about 18 months and first met him at last year’s Blognic (albeit briefly) where I clearly remember being completely mesmerised over his jet-setting and colourful life that revolves around interiors, lifestyle and styling. The thought of flying to all these awesome cities around the world to photograph, style and write about beautiful homes and interiors would bring out the green-eyed monster in anymore…..well, me in particular! ;) And he’s still in his 20s having achieved sooooo much – it’s incredible really and such an inspiration to us all!

So, if you want to know how to add colour, funk and soul to your homes so that it reflects your individual personality, or simply looking for ideas on how to put it all together so tastefully and effortlessly (i.e. eliminating the dread of decorating!) then Will’s Make You Smile Style book is just the thing for you! It’s a beautiful guide to living with colour. To be honest, it’s the kind of book that should be found on everyone’s bedside or coffee tables……the photography in it is inspiring enough! Seeing all those beautiful homes makes me want to go out and source unique home ware, furniture and accessories! Trust me, I’ve been totally crushing over some 1950s/1960s Danish furniture again lately…….*swoon*

MbM_Book_BrightBazaar_1 MbM_Book_BrightBazaar_2 MbM_Book_BrightBazaar_3 MbM_Book_BrightBazaar_4 MbM_Book_BrightBazaar_5 MbM_Book_BrightBazaar_7Anyway, you can get hold of your copy here on Amazon or Waterstones……seriously, do not hesitate!! Will is currently touring in America for his big American book launch so keep your eyes peeled for his whereabouts if you want to see him and get a signed copy of the book!

Oh and I shall end with this lovely video of the man himself giving you an insight about what the book is all about. Can’t believe that was shot literally before the launch! Such a pro :)

And some photos I took at the book launch:

Have a bright and colourful long weekend folks! Go get “hooked on hue“….as Will would put it! x x

[Must Haves] The Kindle App for iPad and smart phones

MbM_MustHaves_KindleAppI’m not sure how I missed this new bit of software technology (especially when it’s the screen saver on my Kindle!!!) but boy am I delighted to have finally caught up with the times! The timing could not be even more perfect seeing as one of my resolutions for 2014 is to read more outside my research material and with our two trips coming up too.

I have the old Kindle ebook reader from when it first came out in the UK (the Kindle Touch, which I believe is now discontinued and being replaced with the Paperwhite model) and even though I still prefer books to electronic gadgets, the Kindle is and has been my primary on-the-go reading buddy….long before I had my iPad or iPhone! While it still does the job just fine and is most convenient when commuting/travelling, I must say I was pretty excited when I learnt of the Kindle App iPad (also available on most smart phones and tablets) I’ve never really used the iPad as a reading device but more for emails, social media, blogging and browsing the internet etc. So having a secondary device….one that is in colour….is pretty handy! It’s great knowing you have an alternative option should you realise you’ve forgotten to take your Kindle with you! Okay, granted that it doesn’t have Kindle’s anti-glare, or the choice of buying books through the app or any nifty ‘shelving’ options (from what I’ve heard), but being able to access your Kindle books from more devices than one is a Godsend especially when it automatically syncs it all for you….down to the last page you’ve read on your Kindle! Plus you have the option of colour screen if you have books or magazines that are more pictorial. And it does save me from having to upgrade to a much fancier Kindle too!

So yea, my verdict – it’s free, so why the heck not? :) Like I said, having options is always a good idea…..especially if you only have the one reading device between you and your better half, which means we won’t have to fight over it while we’re away on our holidays :D I’ve already added a few new Kindle books to the library since downloading the app and have it all synced so that its available on my iPad too. Here’s to more reading….and less excuses! xx

[Wish List]: these are a few of my favourite things…!

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the latest iMac from Apple | Low-heeled clogs by Lotta from Stockholm | Classic Red Satchel by Cambridge Satchel Company  |  Oh my Clumsy Heart’s Grace necklace

As always, I’ve dreamed of and browsed through some cool things I’d like to have…..some more essential than others! It may be a while before I’m able to treat myself to them but I look forward to those days!  :D So, what pretty things have you been eyeing up this year? xx

My recent little treat from Oh My Clumsy Heart!

OMCH_1a_webI’m so delighted with my recent little purchase (which arrived this morning) that I felt the need to share it! :) I’ve been eyeing up this beautiful gold and silver nested triangles by Oh My Clumsy Heart for quiet a while now – that and her ‘Grace’ necklace! I even signed up to the birthday giveaway competition Michelle of My Creative Photography offered to try my luck at winning it – unfortunately I wasn’t too lucky! And then this weekend when I found that they were on display at the Cut & Paste Pop Up shop in Camden last weekend I thought maybe this may be the time to get it but unfortunately it only came on a silver chain as oppose to the gold chain I wanted (yep I am picky!) So I came home determined to jump off that fence I’ve sat on for however many months and take the plunge! And so I did!

The necklace arrived ever so quickly in the post and I can’t tell you how happy I was opening up the wee parcel. After months of mulling over it, I’m FINALLY the new and super-chuffed owner of this beauty! I’m normally all about big and bold statement necklaces but this does make a statement in its own way. I love the simplicity, the geometry, the symmetry, the purity in the materials and they beauty behind how one sits ‘nested’ within the other…….. it’s so minimalist, unpretentious, elegant and architectural that it really has my name stamped all over it! Maybe I sound a bit obsessed but surely you can agree a tad bit? ;) Anyway, a huge thank you  to Sophie for making my day! If you’d like to see more of Sophie’s handmade jewellery then have a browse through her online collections which range from classic designs to geometric to geological. They’re all pretty stunning! OMCH_2_web OMCH_3_web

[Must-haves]: ‘A Beautiful Mess’ new phone app – available to download!

A beautiful mess_new appIf you haven’t already heard or  downloaded it by now, then let me tell you about A Beautiful Mess’s new app (now available in your iTunes store!!) that allows you to edit photos to give it that extra bit of fun factor! :) While there may be various different apps out there offering similar (usually one or the other options) this bad boy has a vast library of fonts, phrases, borders and doodles along with filters and texts….all in the ONE app making it so convenient to photo-edit!  I’m a sucker for these photo-editing apps because its great to use them when you’re blogging/posting /editing/emailing on-the-go. I’ve been using Over all this time and while that is still a great app with lots of fonts this one gives you that bit extra. You can simply position, scale or rotate the doodles /borders/fonts using your finger tips. And another thing it offers is a selection of old school backgrounds like a lined notebook or an invoice book to which you can then add text or doodles on once confirming your selection. There’s plenty more borders, texts, doodles, phrases and backgrounds to buy from them if you’re not content with their already cool selection of ‘free’ editing tools.

So, if you’re a blogger (particularly photo-bloggers), FB and Twitter poster, or simply love editing photos and making them pretty or quirky, then I would definitely recommend this to you. It really is so much fun and if you’re anything like me, it can be a great time-killer when commuting to work and back! :D My only one teeny-weeny negative comment (now correct me if I’ve missed something here!) is that once you select a border/doodle/phrase (by clicking ‘done’) and you find you change your mind later and want to change it…..you can’t seem to go back a step without having to start all over again – i.e. by selecting your image again and going through the editing process again. I’ve even tried going through the border doodle/phrase menu again thinking that by selecting another it would ‘swap’ it for the previously selected….like you would find in PicFrame, but it just adds another border/doodle/phrase on top of what you had already selected. It’s not life or death but it can be a tad bit frustrating if you have second thoughts especially when layering text with doodles – so not one for the OCD and meticulous types! :P  So if you are going to hit ‘done‘ make sure you’re totally happy with it!! You’re edited image is then automatically saved to your phone image library after which you have the choice to share it to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram….or simply start another!

Anyhoo….here’s a few images I had taken with my phone (© Made by Molu) that I played around with on my way home using the new app! I love it and I must admit it’s quite addictive….so don’t say I didn’t warn you!! :D  So…what do you think folks? For more info hop along to Elsie and Emma’s blog! xx   photo 5 photo 2

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[Wish List]: “…you look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle made for two!”

Well maybe not a tandem…..but in this case some vintage inspired Dutch bicycles! Oh if I had some cash to splash with, this would be one of the things on the list to buy! Living in London, I haven’t as yet been pulled into the cycling-to-work trend. I’m more the cycle-for-leisure type of gal that prefers the wind to blow gently through my hair as I rode down the lanes (as oppose to racing down meandering through heavy traffic!) and always have been. So what better suited bicycle than the BEG bicycle which is this week’s wish list! Built exclusively in Belgium, they have two models for both the ladies and for the gents – both with elegant classic detailing and retro charm. With colour palettes like Persephone Pink, Flirty 30’s Green, elegant Chalk, and Toad Grey these bikes are pure and utter retro eye-candy! Oh and the accessories to go with it……..ahhh, I won’t ramble any more as I will let these photos I found on their website do all the talking!! :)  But I can’t deny that I am in love with these beauties!! xx

Beg Bike _Bella 1 Beg Bike _Billy 1 Beg Bike _Billy 2Beg Bike _Bella 2
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[FAO Tool Junkies]: Top 10 ‘MUST-HAVE’ craft tools!!

There are a few crafting tools and equipment I’ve been drooling over for some time now and I thought I’d share with you what’s out there that makes crafting so much easier and fun! They all bear different price tags……some of them a tad bit hard to justify buying right now so I’m earnestly hoping that some bright and sunny day I’m able to get my hands on a couple of the more sophisticated machines (like the Cameo machine!) to give it a test drive ;) So, here they are: BLOG STRIP_craft tools WEB

  1. Craft Punches by Woodware – brilliant for scrapbooking, card-making and general paper-crafting ranging from shape punches, border punches, corner punches and more! Mind you….do be careful not to go crazy on the purchasing as it can easily happen! :D
  2. the Cinch by ‘We R Memory Keepers’  – perfect for sketchbook, scrapbook and journal making where this portable tool makes the task of binding a lot easier – take a look at this video. Another product that provides this is the Bind It All that is a lot smaller than the Cinch and you can preview it here.
  3. Lino block printing tools by Speedball – perfect for those who are into creating your own personalised arty stamps. Here’s a preview at the endless designs you can do with this lino carving kit. This is my latest addiction this year as you can see from my post on my recent workshop. :D
  4. Button Badge machine – these are brilliant if like me you are obsessed with button badges. With this gadget you can see the final product be created in front of you as oppose to having to send your designs away to have them made. Obviously if you are to make 100+ badges then I’d still highly recommend having them created in mass elsewhere unless you are a tad been insane :P There’s many brands out there but here’s a tutorial of how it’s done…..isn’t it fabulous!?
  5. Adana tabletop Lettepress printing machine – if you saw my post on my letterpress workshop you’ll see I mentioned this there. It’s a compact printing press that allows you to do smaller scale letterpress printing (from business cards to postcards) using the traditional printing methods with woodblocks or lino cuts. Here’s a little short clip showing you how it’s done.BLOG STRIP_craft tools2 WEB
  6. Japanese Gocco Printing Machine – I LOVE this machine but sadly these bad boys have been discontinued but you are still able to get hold of them through various sellers on Ebay. With this fella, you don’t need the luxury of a large studio with all the screen printing tools and frames but the comforts of your own desk at home to create some wonderful printed goodies be it on paper, cardstock or fabric! Check out this preview and drooooool! I’ve held of buying one as the supplies get harder to get but I have heard various artists coming up with alternative d.i.y. solutions to keep them going (i.e. the light bulbs etc). HOWEVER….(drumroll!) I have stumbled across this brand YUDU which is similar to the Gocco……so this could indeed be the replacement we screen-printing-enthusiast are looking for? Here’s a video tutorial on the product in action. Well it does look promising and I’m getting rather excited about this one!!! :)
  7. Sizzix Big Shot – is a beast of a machine when it comes to cutting and embossing. And after reading through a few reviews, it amazes me the variety of materials crafters use with this machine! Cardstock, aluminium, felt, acetate, plastic, wallpaper, cork/chip board – as long as the material is no thicker than 3mm then it can pretty much take anything. It really is a sturdy machine and particularly great if you fancy recycling materials and putting them to good use! Here’s a demo of the product and here’s one showing you how to use it on fabric!
  8. FUSE Creativity System  (Die cut + Letterpress) by Fiskars. This littHere’s a little taster on what this machine is all about.
  9. QuicKutz Letterpress (combo kit with die cuts)  from Lifestyle Crafts, or ‘L’ is another little tool that lets you die cut and letterpress. Here’s a ‘How To‘ tutorial to give you a glimpse into how easy paper-crafting becomes with this tool! 
  10. Silhouette Cameo Cutting Machine from Creative Printers – this is the sexy super car of paper-crafting! Not only do you drool over the sleek compact design but what this digital cutter can do is simply to die for!! All I can say is “I WANT”!!! This one is high on top of my wish list!! Just take a look at this video  and drool with me!!!

Well then, that’s all the eye-candy I have to share with you! :) Have you used any of the above?? If so, I would LOVE to hear what you’re reviews/verdicts are in the comments section as it will no doubt be beneficial to all future users! :) Also, if you know of any other crafting equipment out there that I’ve missed then please do let me know!! In the meantime, enjoy drooling over these and happy crafting folks! xx