Happy new year!

Happy new year to all my lovely followers and to any new visitors! Wishing you all an exciting and successful year ahead. I hope that this going to be a great year for all of us. I definitely have high hopes for Handmade By Me 2013 and I am so excited that I can share it all with you right here…..sooooo watch this space! Please also note that Handmade By Me has a facebook page and its the place where I post about everything! To become a follower and keep up to date with all kinds of exciting new products, photos and plans, big or small, click here.

And we are starting off the year with some exciting news about a big new Handmade By Me online stockist, 5 Rooms. 5 Rooms is South Africa’s online home and living store, and is your one stop shop for furniture, homewares, accessories, appliances and décor. They offer free delivery for any orders over R250 which is fantastic for any cushions, cushion covers and aprons, plus great return options if you decide they’re not for you. Either way you are going to love browsing through all the lovely items which boast both international and local designer brands.

Click here to link straight through to the lovely Handmade By Me section on 5 Rooms.

5rooms.com

Now available from…Green Elephant Collective

The full range of Handmade By Me products is now available from Green Elephant Collective. As you all know all Handmade By Me fabrics are printed onto 100% natural fibre textiles using eco-friendly dyes so we qualify to be a part of something really good which aims to really try and push the boundaries of design, while keeping in mind our current fragile climate.

Green Elephant Collective was founded by Ute Faurein, the self-proclaimed ninja, in 2011 as an online resource and shopping platform for South African made green designs and lifestyle products. We do not stock organic food or eco-friendly cleaning product stuff. Only cool green designed lifestyle products, created locally. That is it.

Green Elephant Collective’s core mission is to promote positive actions through selling great green design lifestyle goods. Just because a product is termed green and perhaps made from recycled materials it does not need to have the aesthetic aspect overlooked. That is why our focus is on quality and uniqueness of the goods we stock.”

And that they do! Even I was most surprisingly impressed with the wide variety of gorgeous items to buy! From fashion to homewares and everything inbetween it is definitely worth having a look. And there’s the added pleasure of feeling just a little less guilty if you occasionally indulge those retail therapy urges!

Celebrate Home…

Earlier this year I was approached about doing some Handmade By Me advertising up for a new home magazine that was being created and launched in the United States called Celebrate Home Magazine. There was an article being written about a lady who had a collection of over 500 tea towels, and being a tea towel collector, maker and seller myself, how could I resist? Check out “Dish Towel Diva” on page 93. There was also a lot of support for young designers like myself to use this as a platform to get their products and ideas out there so I am really happy to help promote this gorgeous magazine, not to mention all the beautiful recipes, homewares and all kinds of great ideas it has inside.

Don’t forget to look out for the two Handmade By Me ads : ) I would love to hear what you all think???

Here is a link to download a free pdf of the mag and from here you can order a fully printed version should you like. Please feel free to send the link on to family and friends and enjoy!

http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/a-labor-of-love-celebrate-home-magazine-is-born/

“The Fall 2012 Celebrate Home Magazine debuts on the first day of October with the mantra of “making the ordinary extraordinary.”

Published quarterly, Celebrate Home Magazine focuses on family, food, entertaining, gardening, art, crafts, hobbies, personal expression, hospitality, pets, decorating, communities and neighborhoods.

The time has come for a magazine like this—highlighting ordinary people doing extraordinary things. No matter your budget, your skills or the size of your space, we’ll enthusiastically share experiences of those who nurture the space they call home. Let us inspire you!”

 

 

Now available at…Shoppe

I am delighted to let you all (especially the folks in durbs) know that some gorgeous Handmade by Me goodies are on their way to a beautiful new South African homewares shop called Shoppe (website under construction). Recently opened in Durban, this is most certainly a place I could spend alot of time in and if you are in the area, it is well worth a looksee.

And if you don’t live in Durbs I suggest you take a look at their facebook page…I found myself salivating over my keyboard just looking at all the beautiful things you can buy. Durbs here i come…

“Limited edition and bespoke pieces by local artists are mixed with quirk and tongue-in-cheek vintage which has been selected to play on our heritage and includes ceramics, recyled pieces, textiles, candles, lighting, art, décor, books, soap, plants, cards and furniture.

Sonia Vosloo is a 40 -something business woman (and also a wife and mother to two energetic sons Stefano, 13 and Luca, 6), having a chosen career in clothing design and brand management for over 20 years, and now, with my newest venture, a curator of South African design, art and crafts.

“ I have been privileged through my other creative work, to be exposed to so many different art forms and have met with some of South Africa’s most creative artists all over the country and with Shoppe, the aim is to bring the best of what South Africa has to offer to a wider audience.””

Introducing… The Design Basket

I haven’t had the opportunity yet to let you know about one of Handmade by me’s online stockists The Design Basket. They have a lovely selection of Irish goodies, so if you are looking for something a little different they have everything from Irish jewellery to fashion accessories, homewares to Irish art…and of course items handmade by me : )

“At The Design Basket we love all things Irish but we’re really passionate about Irish gifts with a contemporary edge.  Our vision is to bring Irish contemporary design to the world’s fingertips. There are so many incredibly talented designers & craftspeople throughout Ireland. They are exhibiting at local fairs and selling in boutiques but remain a secret to the online marketplace both within and outside Ireland. We aim to recreate online the excitement and passion often found in quirky little boutiques and craft fairs.”

They have also just been named ‘Best in Irish’ this week by the RTE Style File!

Definitely worth checking them out : ) just click on the image below or any of the links above.

my first upcycle project for Oxfam

I was approached by the charity Oxfam Ireland who asked if I would be interested in upcycling a piece of furniture/homewares to be sold in Oxfam Home, and then be interviewed and photographed for a feature about upcycling furniture/homewares to appear in Stellar magazine. The Make Space for Oxfam campaign is about encouraging people to clear their homes of unwanted items and is in response to a fall in donations their shops are experiencing. Its a really good idea, and I think what people don’t realise is that this is such an economical way to make your home look great and you really don’t have to be that DIY savvy.

Now I have ALWAYS wanted to reupholster (or should i say recover?) a chair in one my fabrics so I leapt at the opportunity! Even though I have zero DIY knowhow. Anyway with the help of my lovely DIY fiance and his DIY Dad, I was able to transform this chair in a couple of weeks. The pics below do not do the chair any justice at all as you can’t see the natural wood coming through, but I will be sure to post the magazine feature with its bright shiny professional pics, and well written blurb about my project, but in the meantime here are a few pics of the transformation.

By the way for those who are interested I decided to use one of my first designs, Origami Birds, in a thick upholstery weight fabric to cover the cushion. The chair was cleaned and sanded down and I used a very dark varnish stain to get that dark shiny colour, while still allowing the natural wood texture to come through.

Firstly….the before and after shot….

Here’s me DIYing away….just to prove i really did do the work!

And recovering the cushion…(people who know how to do this properly look away now : ))

So the shoot is on thursday and the article will probably be out in next month’s copy of Stellar magazine, but I was too excited about this to wait until then to show everyone. I’ll be sure to post a bright and shiny copy when it’s ready right here!