leapin’ lampshades…

And so I am back… at the drawing board, as they say…and I am delighted to let you all know that I am officially happily married to the love of my life : ) Thanks so much for all the messages and lovely wishes, we really had such a wonderful day!!

And with that I have some completely different rather lovely news…my custom made lampshade boxes are all made up and ready to go, which means that from now on I can officially offer overseas or countrywide shipping/courier on any of my lampshades. Hurrah! 

Below are some images of a few new (and a few you’ve seen before) lampshades I have made to order for clients recently, including a smallish Pretty Proteas shade and a large Birdy Num Num shade, which are both about to make their ways independently over to Ireland to help brighten up their new homes.

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As most of you may know I custom make lampshades in any size and in any design, so if there is something you might have your eye on, or if you would like me to recommend something to brighten up any room, please do get in touch. I can make any size if you prefer, but my 3 standard sizes are a 200mm diameter bedside or desk drum, a 300mm diameter bedside, desk or standing drum, and (not for the feint-hearted) a big beautiful 500mm diameter standing drum.

For any more information, or to purchase any of these, please head over to the lampshade section of the Handmade By Me online shop : ) or pop into SAM on Bree Street in Cape Town to see which ones they already have in stock.

Christmas is finally here…

Christmas is here and finally I am starting to see it everywhere now. In Ireland it has probably already been Christmassy for a month or two already. They even have a radio channel called Christmas FM which plays non-stop Christmas carols throughout November and December. Hilarious and annoying at the same time : ) As much as it gets icy cold over there I do miss it this time of the year as it really is so festive and fun. Its a little harder to get festive in the blaring South African heat but we certainly try!

First off with my Christmassy items this year is a wreath I made for Woman & Home magazine. I guess in hindsight I should have made something more sellable, but they asked me to do something different and exciting and so how could I say no! After making all those origami birds from The Shoestring Collective‘s window display, I decided to give paper, rather than fabric, another go! And voila here is my wreath. Its a little hard to tell from the pic, but I used pieces of shiny copper card, some printed designs of my own, and some images of covers of old Christmas stories and books to create the colourful and christmassy theme throughout the wreath. It really was quite simple to do, definitely something that would entertain all those festive crafters out there!

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And while I’m in the Christmas spirit please join us for our 10 day Christmas Pop-Up at The Shoestring Collective. Gardens Centre have found a new tenant for our space, so until we find a new home we will be closed from the 1st December. But who loves Christmas shopping in December anyways? Its a nightmare! We will be offering you exclusive items that you can’t get anywhere else, there will be all things Christmassy like stockings, decorations and gift wrap, as well as awesome gift ideas for men, women and children, and the very best “merry Christmas to me” presents : )

With all that in mind, it’s a great idea to do your Christmas shopping early this year and support the best of local and handmade at The Shoestring Collective.

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A colourful commission for Cillian Johnston…

Last year I was approached by an Irish furniture and design company called Cillian Johnston who were looking for someone to help them design and create a unique print for fabric, that they could then make into cushions and lampshades. The brief was to come up with a graphic representation, but not a directly literal representation, of a lamp that was awarded best new product in the category “Table Top and Interiors” at Ireland’s premier design and craft expo, Showcase Ireland, 2012, The Aran Beag rectangle lamp. It has two Aran knitted panels with a distinct cable pattern on the front and back of the base, as you can see below, and that was going to be the inspiration behind my design.

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They wanted me to try and use the aran knit style and the purply colours like the first lamp above, but weren’t neccessarily tied to it. And so I did some research on different aran knit styles and the one that grabbed me the most was the honeycomb style, featured in the centre of the jersey below.

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I took 2 different ideas, one of making the basic repeat pattern very graphic and bold following the honeycomb aran knit style (kind of), and the other of highlighting the smaller finer detail of the actual knitting stitches themselves. I wanted to try and show the changing colours and textures of different angles of the stitches graphically, and did so using lots and lots of different purply and bluey photographic textures…

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Below is a closeup of the pattern…the difference in scales of the pattern, up close and at a distance, allows the pattern to be used to create two completely different styles that can work together as a team or completely on their own.

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Here are some of the pictures they took to show me their finished products. Note the beautiful hexagonal shaped wooden buttons which highlight and work so well with the honeycomb pattern. We decided to use use the bigger scale on the front of the cushion, and the smaller on the back so you could switch them around or feature them side by side.

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You can buy these lovely items from their online shop.

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“Award winning master craftsman Cillían Johnston spent many years in furniture making and antique restoration before being joined by his industrial designer wife, Lisa in 2003. Since then they have been servicing and supplying private clients, architects, interior designers and furniture contractors nationwide and in the UK with innovative and original furniture design.

 In 2011 they expanded their business into home accessory and giftware design when they began working on a range of lighting products called “Aran Beag” that are inspired by the traditional craft of Aran knitting.

 Cillían has developed a solid reputation for excellence in workmanship using the best quality materials, in particular Irish hardwoods and his Aran Beag lamps are no exception. The timelessness of Cillían’s products and exacting finish to detail are qualities maintained from the business’s inception.

 It is Cillían’s uncompromising attention to detail that sets him apart: “We are obsessed with quality; nothing leaves our workshop until I’m happy with it”.”

Origami DIY…

So you might remember the origami birds chair that I reupholstered and upcycled for Oxfam Ireland last year. Well it seems that is has inspired quite a few of you to go on and reupholster chairs of your own using the same origami birds fabric. One of my lovely customers bought a metre of origami birds a few months ago to reupholster a chair of her own, and today she sent me some pics of how her little project turned out. I am so delighted that she is letting me share the pics with you…the chair looks AMAZING!!! And hopefully it will inspire more of you to try this simple and easy way to turn old not so pretty looking furniture into new beautiful statement pieces for your home. yay for upcycling : )

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Here’s the before/after pic of the chair I originally upcycled for Oxfam Ireland.

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And here is one of a set of deck chairs I recently recovered up for a customer using the Origami Birds design in an extra heavyweight cotton…

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Oxfam upcycle project…read all about it!

Remember my lovely origami birds chair I upcycled as a part of the Make Space for Oxfam Campaign, well here is the article from Stellar Magazine that featured the different designers and what they did for the project. As much as I hate that there is a full body picture of me in here, the chair looks great and I am happy I could help be a part of such a great campaign!

Here’s the article below, and if you would like any more information on the campaign itself click here. Here’s hoping my lovely chair generates some good money for them!

To see my original post on the project click here.


My original before and after pic…

Handmade by me is moving!

From the rainy city of Dublin to the sunnier shores of Cape Town, Handmade by me is moving! And its all happening on the 4th of July! So from then onwards, everything will be designed and made in South Africa. Unfortunately due to the nature of alot of current stockists being “made in ireland” I will sadly have to stop supplying them, but I am delighted to say there will still be a few up and running. I am very sad of course to leave Ireland, it has been my home for 6 lovely years and it will always be where Handmade by me began. But one door closes and another opens and hopefully Handmade by me will find a happy and successful new home in Cape Town. I have alot of plans up my sleeve about developing new products and designs and can’t wait to get started! And I can’t wait to be working on this fulltime! Unfortunately most of these require me actually being In Cape Town so things will be a bit quiet here for the next month or two and then I hope to bombard with you with all things fabulous! So for anyone who hasn’t subscribed to my blog as of yet, you can still do so (type your email address into the “subscribe” block at the top right hand side of my blog) and you will be able to keep up to date with the move itself and new and exciting information and projects. You can also keep up to date via Handmade by me’s facebook page.

Irish supporters and customers I will be giving you all a 10% discount on any purchases of current stock. And for any cushion covers purchased I will throw in a free cushion filler! I can still make to order at normal prices for the next 2 weeks but after that I will have to do that from the other side and then post your item/s to you. I have lots of cushion covers, tea towels and napkins sets so first come first serve. If you want to send me a mail, I can let you know what designs are available and reserve them for you.

And of course no matter where you are in the world, you will always be able to get your hands of any of my products either through new or exisiting online shops and of course my very own Etsy store. My special bespoke services will always be up and running so if you still want to create something special or unique either for yourself or as a gift for someone else please get in touch!

Beautiful Cape Town….

handmade by me at an exhibition near you…

I am delighted to let you all know that handmade by me will be exhibiting at the little green street gallery in conjunction with offset 2012!

“It began with a call for submissions from artists of all walks of life and varying practices. After an over whelming response we have selected over 40 artists from Ireland and abroad. They will be show casing their works ranging from print, sculpture, textile, jewellery, photography, collage, painting and mixed media collaborations all with their own approaches to contemporary art.

Possibly one of the most exciting exhibitions Little Green Street Gallery will host this year, we welcome you all to come and see some of the most inspiring and innovative artists Ireland has to offer.”

The show will run from 10th March until the 16th of March.
The address is 12a Little Britain Street Dublin 7 (in the old fruit and veg markets).

Hope you can make it!

handmade by me.