[Styling the Seasons] April, with {at}Mine

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-16

I was pretty gutted I never got round to contributing for last month’s Styling the Seasons due to work commitments but with this month’s being a rather special one, I made sure I got organised early enough to go through the things I had planned. Plus I had quite a bit of left over flowers from my Easter post so it made sense to bring the blooms into this too.

Why is this month a special one, you ask? Well, as the title suggest, Katy of Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte of Lotts and Lots have another exciting collaboration and this time with {at}Mine (an online community for home and design lovers) who have come up with an exciting competition for us. There’s 13 Judges who will pick a winner EACH to attend an amazing spring floral workshop in London. All we need to do is style our surfaces at home, as we normally do, and show what this month means to us. And, fingers crossed, we might be lucky to win a place! Details on how to enter, are at the end of this post.MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-05bSo what does April mean to me?

With Easter and the turning of seasons, this month for me is all about rebirth, new beginnings and hope. Everywhere around you, there are physical signs of change, fresh new start so to speak; flowers are blooming, trees are getting fuller, landscapes are getting greener, the days are getting longer, the sun shines a little brighter (when it does shine!), the air feels fresh and a lot milder, and everyone seems a lot friendly with that bit of spring in their step! ;) No matter how lousy a day you’re having, when you step out into the sunshine or simply admire the beauty that surrounds you, you automatically feel better and hopeful. It really is a beautiful time of the year!

I’ve also been doing a little bit of spring cleaning about the flat too, in particularly our bedroom, trying to declutter and reorganise things so it’s both aesthetically pleasing and functional. With spring in the air, I wanted to bring that freshness into the room, by introducing plants and blooms of flowers….something I don’t normally do because no matter how much I try, I can never seem to either keep them alive (they wither way too quickly for my liking!) or even arrange them nicely. But this year I’m determined to bring more life in the flat, and hopefully through plenty of practice, manage to prune and style them successfully….wishful thinking perhaps, so lets see!MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-14MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-15Anyway, for this month I kept it simple and took my bedside table area to style. To be honest, it’s not much of a table as they’re two 35L storage boxes stacked on top of each other. I absolutely hate having them as our bedside ‘tables’ but with storage space at a premium we’re kinda stuck with those. They’re not that bad but obviously would much rather have some mid-century pieces there instead. I’m constantly crushing over photos I see of other bloggers with the perfect side tables and decor but until I figure out a solution (which I am currently doing) I’m going to have to make do with them.

I must admit, since the crafternoon session at Liberty’s back last year, I’ve continued to bring an additional DIY element to the styling series, with this month’s being a little wall hanging for the bedroom. As I said, it’s not my favourite of areas in the flat so I wanted to pretty-fy it someway where I could wake up to something inspiring. And with my growing obsession for typography and lettering, I knew from the outset that I wanted to bring that to this corner of the room. And so, I decided to create a 3D cut out of the word ‘HOPE’ which I hand-lettered and hand-cut out of white foam board (thankfully, all those years  of model making comes in handy!). I’ve been toying with this idea for a while as part of a few ideas I have for a wedding styled shoot coming up in May, so it made sense to try it out for this project…and I must say I’m happy with how it’s turned out even if it’s not all super perfect.

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-05

What do you think? I did think about spray painting it a light pastel pink but then with the pink flowers I had, I didn’t want a pink overload….which I doubt the Hubby would be too impressed with either! So this was a perfect balance of minimal elegance and springtime romance ;) It also meant that, I could combine all kinds of coloured flowers at a later date, being a blank canvas. Not spray painting it meant that it showed up some of the pencil ketch marks but I guess that adds the whole handmade appeal. I just used a bit of twine to hang it on the wall above the bedside ‘table’ using a bit of washi tape. The great thing about foam board is that it’s light and versatile so the fixtures don’t have to be permanent! Adding the little bunches of flowers to either ends was my least favourite part to this process, because flower arranging isn’t quite my forte no matter how I try, hence the reason for keeping it simple. Now you can see why I badly need to win a place on the workshop just so I can create LOTS of beautiful pretty floral arrangements for the blog!! :D

Anyway, I hope you like the overall result. I’m relatively pleased with it, for the simple fact that it has definitely spruced up, what has always been a crappy, dull corner of the room for quite some time. It’s also a refreshing piece of inspiration to be reminded of every morning I get up and every evening I go to bed. With HOPE, you know you can look forward to each day knowing better things will come your way. There is strength in hope.

MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-09MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-19Now then, if you’d like join in on the Styling the Seasons fun, and particularly want to enter this little competition, then please follow these instructions:

1) Style any surface in your home to represent what April means to you

2) Post a shot of your styled surface on any social media or blog about it by April 15th

3) Use the hashtag #StylingSpringAtMine so we can see your entry

4) You need to be free to attend the workshop on the morning of April 29th in central London.

The competition entries will close of April 15th, but for those of you not entering you can of course continue to post your entries throughout the month – simply upload your images on any social networking platform and include the hashtag #stylingtheseasons. MbM_STYLINGTHESEASONS_APR-12

 [Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

[My Month in Pictures] March

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

It’s been a busy albeit eventful month and I’m so very grateful for such a colourful one. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to April already! It’s going to be another busy one especially with two BIG wedding styled shoots to work on along with other fun private commissions and collaborations! Here’s a little snapshot of my March. Hope you had a good one! xx

[D.I.Y. Gifts] Handmade Felt Notebook sleeve – 2

MbM_Felt-Book-Cover_4Since making one of these for my father-in-law for Christmas, I’ve been dying to make another but never quite found the time; there was always something or another that hindered my plans. So when I remembered I had to get a little birthday present for a friend of mine, I decided this would be the perfect excuse to make one! :) Like me, she’s always full of creative ideas and quite the list-maker too, so I got her two black A5 Muji notebooks to which I designed the felt case around for a perfect fit. I loved the idea of still using greys and black with a pop of colour and seeing as my friends loves her pinks, I decided to opt for a hot pink. Like the last one, I used the grey for the base, black top half and hint of pink in the stitching and the front detail. It’s sleek, edgy yet uber feminine! I’m now thinking I need to make one for myself as these are my favourite colours too – goes so well with my phone, lippy and jewellery! :D Oh and to personalise it further, I cut out the letter ‘N’ out of pink felt and added that to the front of the case.

What do you think? Yay or nay? Well, at least now I can say I’ve done a ‘His and Hers’ set of felt notebook sleeve! ;) And I REALLY hope the recipient loves it!!!  xx

MbM_Felt-Book-Cover_3[Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

[Blog Birthday treat] And the winner is…..

congratulations

………. Louise!!! :)

CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have just won yourself an Old English Company print where you chose the ‘Bon Appetite‘ one as your favourite piece. I do apologise my announcement is a week late but I shall be putting in your order this week so you should have the print with you pretty soon! If you could drop me a quick email with your postal address and also confirm the colours for the print (i.e. original black and white or in a different colour) that would be superb!

Thank you to the other lovely ladies who entered and I am sorry you didn’t win this time but I’ll be featuring plenty more giveaways  this year so do keep you eyes out for those! :)

I hope you all have a lovely week ahead xx

 

[Made by Molu Special] Blog Birthday Giveaway!

Okay I’m a week late but I had to push my blogging aside for a bit to focus on the PhD. This does also mean that my mighty great plans on making something special to for a birthday giveaway got stalled too, which is a real shame as I had been sketching out ideas for a nice new print! Well I guess I’ll have to do that another time….HOWEVER, to make up for that, I have hatched up another little plan………..

MbM_2ND-BIRTHDAY_OLD-ENG-CO-1MbM_2ND-BIRTHDAY_OLD-ENG-CO [Image credit: ©The Old English Co.]

So, seeing as I’m a huge (HUGE!) lover of all kinds of prints (an avid collector and occasional maker myself) I decided that I’d treat my readers to a lovely print for their home/workplace, as a little token of my gratitude and appreciation for the last two years! I’ve been recently eyeing up a few prints by the Old English Company on their Etsy store since last November. They are a London-based design company with amazing artwork that combine both illustration and typography (just my kind of thing!!) influenced by food, travel and everyday things. My absolute favourites are the ‘food’ and ‘kitchen’ range…..what that says about me, I haven’t a clue! ;) Seriously though, there’s so many on there that I’d love to get my paws on but with quite a few prints at home (new ones too!) still to make it onto the wall I’ve sadly had to refrain from any purchasing for the time being (boo!)

Anyway, while I may have to stick to window shopping, YOU actually have the chance of owning one of their fabulous prints!!!

So, the big BLOG-BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY is an unframed A4-size print (value of £16) of your choice!! Ta-da!! :)

how-to-enter-banner-1

All you have to do is hop on over to their prints section of their website and pick out one that you’d like. Then come back to this blog post to tell me, in the comments section, which one that is and why you’d like it.

It’s as simple as that! :)

** Now, if you want bonus entries then you get one each time you share this giveaway on either Facebook or Twitter. To do that, copy and paste this statement along with the web link for this post: “@MadebyMolu is treating us to a fabulous @OldEnglishCo print of OUR choice for her BIG BLOG BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY. I just signed up!” Just remember to let me know about that too in the comments section for it to count!!! **

Competition is open to readers worldwide and will stay open till midnight (GMT) on Friday 24th of January!! So whatchya waiting for? Go Go Go……enjoy your window shopping!! It’s my treat ;) xx

New Year, New beginnings

MbM_2014-Planner_headerSo, with New Years come new beginnings but while it’s easy to get carried away drawing up several list of resolutions and goals for this year (in my case, all project/task-related and categorised….yep, I’m the queen of list-writing!) it’s probably a good idea to pick out a few key things off your lists that you need to focus on this year. I’m not sure about you but there are times where I find its hard to carry out everything on your lists which is why I narrowed it down to a handful of things that would be my primary goals; ones I want to make a conscious effort to adhere to throughout the year as oppose to just having it ticked off. It’s my positive approach to life, so to speak; six simple things to follow continuously without fail……..and who knows, perhaps these could inspire you too! :)

  1. to appreciate more; something I constantly need to remind myself of as its easy to forget or take for granted the smaller things in life that are in fact the most significant. Since being in London, I soon realised how quickly you get sucked into the ‘fast-paced’ and busy lifestyle but while that is totally fine, it is essential that I stop to take more time out and appreciate the people and things around me a lot more. Whether its taking longer walks to appreciate the fresh air and your surroundings, or stopping to listen to a street artist busking away, having an extra long embrace or cuddle with your better half /family before you rush off to work or even having breakfast in bed, to picking up the phone and ringing your grandparent or best friend you haven’t spoken to in ages. Life is all in the details.
  2. to forgive more; I’ve never been one to harbour any ill feelings or grudges but I must admit (whether it’s an age thing or not) that I do sometimes get easily wound up, vexed and disappointed in people and with their words or actions. One thing I simply cannot tolerate are people with hidden agendas, or still appear to have this high school mentality, show no disregard or respect to those around them. To forgive or even ignore these things that niggle away at you is probably easier said than done but it would make one hell of a difference to your mind and soul! And more importantly (and the trickiest of them all!)….to forgive myself more. I know this will be a challenge as I tend to be a lot harder and critical on myself but while these can be useful self-motivational techniques, I’ve realised that too much of it can actually kill any chance of happiness you get from what you do.
  3. to accept and adjust more; no matter how much we plan, life can take unforeseen turnings or create setbacks we probably aren’t always prepared for so when that happens, it’s important to not let those changes bug you but to accept it, take it in stride and move on. There is no point stewing over things that don’t go your way….and that’s definitely one for me to tackle. I tend to get very focused and passionate over stuff, striving to do the best in everything I do and when the end-result I had pictured in my head doesn’t quite work out I can find that very disheartening, and quite often antagonise over it for a while after. To be honest, this is a long term goal I’ve actually been working on for a while and slowly but surely getting better at it. Don’t get me wrong – there is absolutely nothing wrong with striving for perfection or working hard as long as you know not to feel completely defeated if things don’t go always go your way.
  4. to explore and discover more; my mantra has always been to ‘live life to it’s fullest‘ or to ‘live everyday like it was your last‘ but its not always easy to step out into the unknown. Reality (aka the practicalities of life) or even fear and doubt normally tends to rein us in from making those somewhat irrational or spontaneous choices that could in fact prove to be the best things we’ve ever done! So I need to conquer those fears once in a while or perhaps even steer off from the ‘norm’ and try new things or discover new places; whether on my own or with others.
  5. to laugh more; I’m by no means a miserable old git (quite the contrary!) but I am known to take things a little too seriously sometimes (I may have to blame that perfectionist/OCD trait of mine!) and can easily let things get to me. ‘Uptight’ is probably the word I’m looking for. Thankfully, my husband is the polar opposite (not saying he can’t be serious!) where he is so much calmer, cooler and easier going than me (for those of you that don’t know us – we are so Chandler and Monica!) so I think I need to take a leaf out of his page this year and learn to loosen up and just live a little! Life is too short to be constantly serious all the time….and growing up doesn’t mean you can’t have a good ol’ laugh more, right? ;)
  6. to prioritise more; I absolutely LOVE keeping busy and am always in search of something or another to keep me well away from being idle. If you ask anyone, including my husband, they can vouch for me when I say I simply cannot sit still or even lie in on weekends! I could easily be labelled a workaholic too! My main concern (and more to the point), is that I do have the tendency to take on far more than I can probably handle…even if I do completely deny it! Whether it’s work, personal or social life, I need to either slow down or prioritise what is important and not just jump at every glimpse of opportunity or event that comes my way. Okay, so you may have to do that every now and then, especially if you want to get your foot in the door or move up in life but again, it’s all about doing it in moderation. I had a few manic months last year where both my work and social life suddenly peaked and before I knew it I found myself doing a juggling act; working on several projects simultaneously (both PhD and freelance), attending various events and splitting any time i had left for family and friends…all within that short time-frame. And rather than prioritising things I continued to juggle on and then take on more until the madness go far too much to bear and the exhaustion eventually kicked in. So this year, I need to somehow start categorising all the things into ‘needs’ and ‘wants’, and then prioritise what’s truly important (i.e scrapping everything else in between) which could help me feel a lot more calmer, confident, in control and happier without of course pjeopardising my sanity! ;) And with this year being my final writing-up year for my thesis I have to be even more ruthless! ;)

So, that’s my key primary goals for 2014! If you were to narrow them down too, what would be your key ‘approaches to life‘ this year? Well, if you need something to muse over, I shall end with this remarkably simple yet poignant quote by Mother Teresa – it pretty much sums it all up :)

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.”

~ Mother Teresa

Made by Molu turns two today!

MbM_2nd-BIRTHDAY_web[Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

Yep, that’s right…..this day two years ago, Made by Molu was born and I am, to this very day, really amazed at how much fun it’s brought me over these two years. It began as a simple showcase of all our wedding DIYs and general handmade projects I did on the side, keeping me sane from all my PhD work! It has now grown to become the main outlet for all my creative antics and ramblings, acts as a platform for creative inspiration, and has connected me to a whole new world of craft and design. It has brought me friendship, opportunities, collaborations, and exciting new ventures……more than what I could have imagined! It’s been an absolute ball so far and I can only hope it continues to grow and inspire. Thank you to all my family, friends, fellow crafters, readers and followers who have supported me to date – you’ve been amazing and I really do hope it’s been an inspiration to you too as it has to me!! And to celebrate and mark this milestone, I do have a little giveaway in mind which I will reveal later this week so please do stay tuned!

Once again, thank you all so much for your love and support. Here’s to many more fabulous years of creative goodness!! Onwards and upwards, I say!

Much Love xxxxx

Lets raise our glasses to 2014!

20131231-234733.jpg[Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

To all those who have supported, encouraged, inspired, followed, ‘liked’, ‘tweeted’, and shared all my creative antics on Made by Molu….a heartfelt THANK YOU! You have been amazing over the last two years and I couldn’t be more grateful. Lets hope 2014 brings us even more creative fun and new exciting adventures! HAPPY NEW YEAR folks!! Hope it’s a real good one, wherever you are!

Much love xx

{In the Press} Love My Dress wedding shoot feature!

white-on-white-MAIN-IMAGE_web[Image Credit: Craig & Eva Sanders Photography]

Some of you may have already seen my rather gleeful Facebook and Twitter updates earlier this afternoon (I couldn’t contain my excitement!) so I’d like to properly share the exciting news with my readers on here too.

Remember the ‘White on White’ wedding styled shoot I had the great pleasure to work on back in July with the lovely wedding planner Louise Macpherson? Well, I’m so thrilled to announce that it’s been featured on Love My Dress – a highly esteemed and award-winning wedding blog in the UK!!!! *shriek of delight* If you aren’t familiar with Annabel and her wedding blog then perhaps you may know her for her book Style Me Vintage: Weddings that came out earlier this year or for recently picking up a Perfect Wedding Magazine award for ‘highly recommended for the Best Blog’ category? Well if you still haven’t and you’re looking to indulge in elegant, chic and vintage-glamour weddings then you’ll find her blog an amazing source of inspiration from decor to fashion to lifestyle and I can definitely vouch for that!

Anyway, do pop over and check out the featured post by clicking here. I cannot express enough how grateful and honoured I am to have been part of this amazingly talented team of people (all part of the Glasgow Wedding Collective) who put their heart and soul to bring this design concept to life! Craig & Eva Sanders have captured the soft, pure and delicate mood so perfectly and to see these gorgeous photos again with all those little carefully thought out details, especially on Annabel’s wedding blog, makes this whole experience even more surreal and so fulfilling! If one can be ecstatic, overwhelmed and speechless at the same time…..that would be me right now!

And I don’t think I could say it enough but I will again: a MASSIVE and heartfelt ‘thank you‘ goes out to Louise (my former wedding planner and now good friend) for giving me this amazing opportunity to work with her on the decor and styling for this stunning shoot. She is one super talented lady with impeccable taste and great eye for detail – it’s an immense pleasure knowing her let alone working alongside her :)

Here’s to many more wedding prettiness and amazing projects! Actually, on that note, I can say that there is another fabulous style shoot coming up soon where I’ll be working with yet another team of inspiring, talented and widely acclaimed people within the UK wedding industry but I shall hold back from revealing too much now (you have no idea how hard that is!) and I’ll keep you posted when the time comes.

By golly, I think I’m on a complete wedding high this week!! :D