New Year DIY | Typographic paintbrush holder hack

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Hello Hello!

How’s the last week of January going? I’ve been trying to get my tax returns all done and dusted amidst all the madness that’s work and life – which I had hoped to have done over the christmas holidays but alas, I wasn’t as organised as hoped. Nearly there though!

Anyway, I’ve been making some changes with the blog content just so I’m able to juggle that more efficiently around my current demanding and somewhat haphazard nature of my workload. I realised it got left on the back burner the latter half of last year so one of the big changes is setting realistic goals for scheduled posts like my DIYs. I’ve decided that I’d stick to monthly posts as opposed to the very optimistic weekly one that I thought was a great idea back in 2013! So on that note, here’s my first DIY for the new year! :)

Like the decorative plate DIY I did last year, this one combines my love for typography and homeware to customise a ceramic vase I picked up from a Tiger store. I’ve had the vase for quite sometime with the hope that I’d do something with it but never got round it until i realised I needed a replacement container for my brushes in the studio.
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What you’ll need:

  • Plain ceramic vase (mug or plate)
  • Sharpies or permanent markers
  • Printouts of your chosen text (or trace it out)
  • washi tape & pencil (not pictured above)

[STEP 01] Once you’ve set your text to the right size to fit the vase (mug or plate), print it out or trace over it onto either plain or tracing paper. Then, on the reverse side of the paper, trace over your text (again) with graphite pencil – you’ dont have to be too neat with this but as long as it covers the text. If you’re unable to see the text then, place the sheet on a light box or against a window.

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[STEP 02] Now give the surface of your vase a quick wipe and lay your text the right side up (i.e. the pencilled part face down) and position it so you have it centred. You can cut around the text to get rid of any excess paper if it helps you see the positioning of the text. Then tack the paper down using washi tape.

[STEP 03] Trace over the text again with the pencil but this time, what you’re doing is transferring the graphite from the reverse side directly onto the ceramic surface – an old school technique to place your guidelines for when you free-hand over it. If you make a mistake, you can always easily wipe it off and start again.

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[STEP 04] Now for the fun part….you will need a steady hand for this! If you’re not super confident with fine lines then opt for fonts that you can trace and fill in as a solid text. That way there’s less chances of mistakes. Take your permanent marker pens and over the graphite lines, et voila! I did mine in two colours just to give it a two-tonal effect.

[STEP 05] You don’t have to do this unless perhaps you’re decorating a mug or plate wish you’re likely to use a bit more after it’s decorated but to let the ink ‘set’ place the vase in a non-preheated over for 30 mins at 175 degrees (350 degrees in fahrenheit / gas mark 4)

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It’s as simple as that folks! Your very own customised brush/pencil/pen holder which can work both free-standing or mounted on the wall. You can obviously choose to place flowers in it and hang it up in the house, seeing as it was a vase in the first place! Whatever way you decided to decorate it, I hope you see how simple, easy and fun this DIY, and how quickly you can transform any homeware you have kicking about at home with a quick DIY hack. It doesn’t have to be complicated at all nor do you have to wait for all the right materials or tools! Just look around and see what you have.

Hope this get’s your creative juices going….and i’ll be back with next month’s DIY!

Enjoy xxx
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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

Thornback & Peel Summer Sale

MbM_T&P-Summer-Sale-1501Hey folks! I hope you’re all keeping fine and dandy. I’ve been pretty busy recently, as you probably already guessed from the lack of blog posts, so boy am I glad it’s Friday – I’m already looking forward to the weekend!

Well, yesterday afternoon I popped along to Thornback & Peel’s gorgeous store in Bloomsbury yesterday, to celebrate the launch of their GREAT SUMMER SALE which, by the way, will be running until August! If you get the chance to drop by or simply in the area, do go take a look at all their beautiful screen printed homeware. There’s up to 50% off on all their end of line, samples and slight seconds…

Soooooo, if you like all things British (everything down to their designs!) then this is definitely something you won’t want to miss! :) Plus I do have a little treat for you readers too if you keep reading on…

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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

You’ll also be pleased to know that the SALE does continue on their online store too although this only includes end of line products and not the seconds or sample items which you will only be able to get your hands on in store while stocks last.

What I do have for you guys is a promotional code exclusively for all my lovely readers, where you will be entitled to an EXTRA 10% off on all the sale items, with lots of single print products which will no longer be available again (I’ve added some images of those below)….so once they’re gone, THEY’RE GONE!

To get your 10% percent discount, simply enter the code TPMBMB at check out! This extra discount is only valid till the 9th of July guys so, go make the most of it!! :)

Have fun on your shopping spree….just don’t go blaming me for any buyer’s remorse :P Although, trust me, you won’t regret it!! Have a fabulous weekend xxx

 

[Image credit: ©Thornback&Peel]

 

An evening with Birchbox + Habitat

MbM_birchbox-habitatNow there’s a partnership you wouldn’t initially put together, right? Beauty and home…..? Well, that’s exactly what I thought when I received a lovely invitation to the launch of their recent collaboration a couple of weeks ago. Anything to do with Habitat….a no brainer, but it was their joint venture with a beauty company that further intrigued me into accepting their invitation!

I don’t think I need to explain who and what Habitat (in a nutshell: the best place for furniture and homeware!) but Birchbox on the other hand, if like me, you’re unfamiliar with, are an online company that offer a monthly subscription service for those who want to know more about new, on-trend beauty products. The concept behind it being that in each monthly box, you are given samples of luxury products for your to try (they’ve teamed up with some great brands) and if you then like anything in particular, you then shop for that product off their website. It’s basically a great way to discover new products, before it hits the shelves, without having to fork a lump sum for the full-sized products and not knowing whether you’re going to like it or not. Not bad huh?

MbM_birchbox-habitat 02 MbM_birchbox-habitat 03The evening turned out to be a brilliant one. We were greeted with glasses of fizz (and constantly topped up through out the night!) and had the chance to mingle with other bloggers – a lot of them from the beauty and fashion world who I wouldn’t normally cross paths with at events I go to. We then sat down for our beautiful 3-course dinner over which the Birchbox and Habitat team presented to more about their products.

So what’s behind their collaboration? Well, beauty products means storage and that’s where Habitat comes in. They have paired up to provide storage solutions, with three of their gorgeous dressing tables; LimboFleur and Emil, along with some beautiful stacking boxes for all your bits and bobs, so that you have a clutter free area to work at….which is exactly what you need if you live in small compact spaces in London (or any big city for that matter!) I absolutely LOVE the stacking boxes, perhaps because it has that HAY-esque feel, similar to their Kaleido nesting tray set. And out of the three dressing tables, I must say the Limbo model took my fancy for the sheer fact it was minimal, compact and practical. The Emil would have been a contender for me too but from an aesthetic point of view, the storage element on the LHS didn’t quite do it for me. I love its clean lines but felt like the drawers should’ve been part of the table to avoid that lopsided heavy look on one end, kind of like Fleur but with the beautiful round mirror nicely centred. Anyhoo, that’s just my design preference ;) Overall, they’re all lovely pieces and I’d be lucky to have a dressing table in the flat if only I could manage to fit one!

So there you have it. A great collaboration to encourage you to discover new products in the comforts of your own home! I haven’t got the best beauty regime and while I love the art of make up, I’m never confident enough to try anything new, so this would in fact be great for someone like me. They have tutorials and know-hows included so if you are interested in giving Birchbox a go, then I’ve got a lovely exclusive little discount for you guys where you can receive your first Birchbox for just £5! All you got to do is sign up (which is free) and quote BBXHABITAT at the shopping bag page! What’s not to like eh?

PLUS…..there’s a chance to win one of the Emil birch dressing tables (worth £600) by referring a friend. Click here and enter your promo code MYBEAUTYHABIT at checkout. The more you share the more chances of winning! ;) Happy days!

Well, I’m off to give this whole using-lipstick-as-eyeshadow business a go (yep – that was one of the tips we got that night for a non-creasing and lasting eyeshadow alternative….who would’ve guessed!) In the meantime, do check out this video to get a better idea of how it all works and/or see what Birchbox Editorial Director, Jessica Diner has to share about your beauty storage solutions. Lots of stuff to discover!!

Have a lovely Friday and a fabulous weekend! xx

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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu

[For the Home] Some old and new finds

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I’ve been wanting to share this post after Christmas having picked up a few vintage goodies at an auction in Ireland but somehow managed to let it slip amidst all the work and madness that is life! :) That being said, it’s actually given me a better excuse to share a few more items I’ve bought since then – both old and new. I’m currently going through a phase of wanting to pick up pieces of lovely homeware for the flat but being mindful of the purse strings…..which is incredibly challenging when you’re a designer and home-maker! It can be hard having to constantly refrain from splashing out on things for the house but I must say, I do enjoy scouring everywhere for little treasures at a good bargain! I get such a kick from it! And boy, auctions are great fun too although you need to be prepared to win some and loose some! :)

So, anyway, what you see here are a combination of thrift shop, ebay, vintage auction and high street finds. My all-time favourite finds of the bunch (and real bargains too!) are the Victorian bone china teapot, the retro 1960s Thomas of Germany coffee pot and milk jug, and the 1950s egg cup set which to me is simply unique! And I got my first Falcon enamelware too with the 5-piece pie set. The serving dishes were also from an auction and dates back to the 40s. The others are all ‘newer’ finds yet keeping it relatively ‘retro’ or ‘vintage-inspired’. So what do you think? Have I done alright? :)

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  [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

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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! :)
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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

[Weekend encounters]: Thrift shop finds

Hello folks! I hope you all had a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend (for those in the UK) and managed to catch up on some much needed R&R as well as some sunshine if you were lucky! I for one had an amazing one having flown over to the green isles to visit the in-laws and the family. It was a surprise visit for the in-laws and seeing their not-sure-what-hit-them expressions when we turned up at their doorsteps was simply priceless! :) Anyway, my mother-in-law, myself and my husband had the whole day to ourselves on the Friday so we decided to go into town for a bit of window-shopping and spot of lunch. Well…the window shopping turned into an actual shopping spree (woops!) and our “spot of lunch” turned into a mighty big Greek feast…. nevertheless we had a ball of a time! :D

Oh and we managed to have a nosey through some thrift shops along the way where I picked up a few bits and bobs for the house at an absolute bargain (!) which you can see below. What do you think? I’m not sure if it’s in the hope of sunny weather but I’ve recently been adding pops of yellow through out the house (my last one was Tobyboo’s ‘Oranges & Lemons’ cushion cover) so the tea set, the milk jug and the sugar jar are a great addition to my growing collection! :) xDSC_2741 WEB DSC_2780 WEB DSC_2781 WEB DSC_2795 WEB

[What’s On]: Tobyboo at the Corner Shop, Clerkenwell Green

I had a rather busy afternoon running errands in town and I decided to finally pop along to Craft Central’s Corner Shop in Clerkenwell Green  to catch up with Tina of Tobyboo. I had been meaning to drop by sometime earlier in the week but seeing as I was up to my eyeballs in work I kept postponing my trip so I was delighted to finally have dropped by before heading home! Oh and I even got to meet the little man Toby himself…..he’s such a cutie! :) Anyhoo, if you haven’t come across any of Tina’s work before then can I urge you to do so :) While many of us choose to draw/sketch with our pens and pencils, Tina uses her sewing machine to create her wonderful freehand machine embroidered illustrations that you see on her products. And boy does she do a great job of it….and it’s the one thing I think that makes her work so different from the others. Well, she’s all set up at the Corner Shop (21 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DX) for a week (she’s there till this Sunday) so please drop by and check out her marvelous work – she has everything from cushion covers, aprons, tea towels to tea ware, stationery and children’s wear…….perfect place to treat yourself or to find a gift for a special someone. I took some photos from this afternoon which I hope should help tempt you lot even more! :P And FYI – after eyeing it up for a few months, I’ve gone and bought her ‘Oranges & Lemons’ Cushion cover (the bright yellow one!) to add a burst of colour to our couch – happy days!! :D

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[Behind the scenes] Tobyboo

DSC_0837 WEBMeet Tina Crawford, the wonderful, quirky, fun and talented designer-maker  behind the fabulous homeware and accessories that is Tobyboo – named after her little boy Toby. You probably have seen (or even bought) many of her finest pieces at places like House of Frasers, Museum of London, Not On The High Street, Etsy and many more. What I love about Tina’s work, a signature element to her design that distinguishes from the others, is her lovely free hand embroidered illustrations! I first bumped into her at the Made in Clerkenwell event back in November last year (see my blogpost here) where both her and her work made a great big lasting impression on me! And what’s even more admirable is how she’s made herself known in this competitive industry after facing a few obstacles of her own. Anyway, if you haven’t as yet come across any of her work…..well then here’s a glimpse into her work and what goes on behind the scenes of her creations!

  1. Tell us a little about yourself – Have you always wanted to be an illustrator/designer-maker? Oddly, when I was 15 I wanted to either be an artist of some sort or work in television… the first job I had was making the makes on children’s BBC art program SMart!
  2. How did you come about setting up Tobyboo? After years of working in television I became suddenly ill and was sent home never to be able to do ‘that’ sort of job again. Housebound and sometimes bed bound to stop myself from going bonkers I started making handbags which went really well. Our son Toby was born in 2007 after years of struggling and well, a sudden surge of baby gifts lead to the start of Tobyboo – named after our little Boo. IMG_1899 WEB 2
  3. What five words best describe you and your style of work? Ooh can I use other persons descriptions? Fluid, unique, nostalgic yet contemporary (yes I know that’s cheating a bit) and well, British
  4. What’s the main source of inspiration for your creations? So far I’ve not looked very far, pretty much looking into my childhood has given me both Oranges and Lemons (a collection based on the verse) and Wish You Were Here which bore out of a childhood holiday that – lets just say – wasn’t sun, beach huts and bunting!
  5. How would you describe your design process and what part of it do you like the most? My process for me is very organic and to most others an unpredictable risk – well I suppose it is. I don’t draw before I sew, my illustrations are all free embroideries – my sketchbook? scraps of fabric on the floor I literally draw with the needle. To be honest I don’t see the point in drawing before, why bother to sew it – its the sewing that creates fluid lines and mistakes that add charm. Some designers draw and sew over the top – what’s the point! DSC_0807 WEB DSC_0827 WEBtobyboo quote.2
  6. Is there any craft/art medium you haven’t tried but want to? And why? Er…. I can’t think. During art foundation (before my degree) you get to try pretty much everything. My degree was jewellery.
  7. There’s been a huge boom in craft and design in the last few years – would you say it’s been difficult breaking into this competitive world? My need is because I have to – I have illnesses which mean that I can’t go into full time ‘normal’ work so its frustrating competing. I would love to have this as a luxurious hobby because making money from it is so so hard but it’s one of the only ways I can earn a living.
  8. What do you like most about your business? And is this a full-time 9-5 business? Full time doesn’t describe it! Theres no switching off I work though the night sometimes till 3am which with a sewing machine is slightly noisy. I love creating a design and seeing what it turns into, and when it does get onto a shop shelf its a great feeling!
  9. When you’re not in ‘designer-maker’ mode, what else do you enjoy doing? My husband and five year old do get some time with me! We tend to make the most of London – museums get a lot of visits from us. tobyboo oranges & lemons cushion 2 WEB
  10. Have you any tips for like-minded creative individuals who would like to one day set up a business themselves in this field? Try to apply what you like and get employed by someone! It’s a jungle out there! I sort of think that but really – go for it, if it’s what you want to do you’ll regret not at least trying it. Get business advice; I did the Doug Richards School for Creative Start ups, joined Craft Central and make the most of the 1-2-1 mentor sessions and see an advisor at The East London Small Business Centre – I’d be lost without them.
  11. Are there any designer-makers out there that you find inspirational or are ones to keep an eye out for – if so, who? Eloise from Hidenseek I found on Etsy, she’s an incredible illustrator and was the first to tell me to go for it. I love Yas-Ming ceramics and have been lucky enough to be along side them at recent trade events. 
  12. Of your current work, what piece would you say is your favourite? I really love the Gull ‘n’ Chips china pieces and the platter is probably my favourite – I think the stitching comes out so well on china. But I’m most proud of the work that I created for the Museum of London’s exhibition; Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men – it’s a fantastic exhibition which is on till April and well worth the visit. tobyboo quote
  13. What would we expect from Tobyboo in the future? Hopefully a lot more, my designs have been taken on by other companies so there’s a large melamine collection – my fingers are crossed for more of this and collaborations.
  14. Finally, where can we find more of your wonderful creations? And can we find you at any craft + design events this year? My pieces have been taken by Somerset House, the Museum of London and House of Fraser there are new stockists in Ireland and Switzerland from this year too! The one thing about expanding and going into retail is that there’s less time for markets so 2013 seems to be the first year not doing any.

A massive ‘thank you’ to Tina for taking the time out from what is clearly a very busy schedule! Please do have look through her online shop or keep up to date on where you’d find her next by following her on Facebook or Twitter! Also, note this in your diaries: Tobyboo will be hosting a pop up shop at Craft Central, Clerkenwell Green for one week only starting  April 8th!!!xx

 

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