all shiny and new…

I must say it feels a lot like Christmas at Handmade By me at the moment with all the new exciting products and samples that we have been trialling and testing of late. Now that we have our own retail space, we get to explore all sorts of different products which we can stock and display at the same time. We also love to make sure that we have lots of lovely new things in our shop to keep our loyal customers coming back for more.

One of the most exciting things we have started making (maybe it’s just the cute baby photos) are our muslin baby blankets. Made with a beautiful soft 100% cotton muslin, these blankets are 1m x 1m in size, and are available in 3 designs – Prickly Pears, Pretty Proteas and Pink Flamingo. Whether you use it as a swaddle, sunshade, nursing cover, play mat, or burp cloth, these blankets, quite literally, have you covered. You can order directly from the Handmade By Me online shop or pop into our store on De Lorentz St in Tamboerskloof.

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We are also busy making some small muslin bags and squares that can be used for cooking. Muslin is a handy piece of material to have in the kitchen, especially as it can be washed, dried and continually reused. The cook’s muslin is a natural, finely-woven fabric often used when filtering or straining.

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Thanks to The Essential Ingredient, here are some of the many ways muslin can be used in the kitchen:

  • Straining liquids to filter out any impurities (such as stocks or consommé)
  • Hanging cooked fruit to separate out liquid, essential for creating quince or apple jellies or marmalades
  • Making cheese; squeezing liquid whey from the cheese curd
  • Filtering aged wines or port for decanting, removing any sediment
  • Soak muslin in butter and cover turkey or chicken breasts while roasting to keep them moist
  • Strain yoghurt for a few hours to thicken it into labna (eaten in Lebanese homes for every breakfast)
  • Wrap grated zucchini, potato, beetroot or carrot in muslin to easily squeeze out all excess moisture
  • Straining peppercorns, herbs and shallots from vinegar in a classic béarnaise sauce
  • Muslin cloth is essential when creating your own tofu from soy beans
  • Combine cream cheese and ricotta and strain into a classic Coeur à la crème
  • Wrap lemon or lime halves in muslin and place in the centre of the table for easy squeezing without pips or pulp
  • Make your own tea bags for an interesting morning tea spread
  • Line your bowl with muslin when proving bread dough to eliminate the need for excess flour or oil
  • Create a muslin bag filled with herbs and aromatics, for easy retrieval after making stock, soup or a classic sauce

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We have also introduced a new product to our range – greeting cards. We chose 10 of our favourite designs, printed them onto A6 card, and then packaged them into individual sets together with a plain white envelope. Have a look at the full range here.

We also found out recently that our phone covers are now available in a clear plastic option which takes any white or light colour used in the design and prints it clear. Here, you can see below, we tested out our Geometric Monochrome design for the iPhone 6. What do you think?

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This week we tested our first samples of melamine trays and pot stands in our designs, and we are SO impressed with how well they turned out! Not only are they so pretty and useful, they are also practical, and can handle up to 120C (248 F), are dishwasher-safe and scratch and stain resistant! These will be available to order very soon.

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We finally managed to shoot our Prickly Pears and African Aloes tote bags and purses and upload them to our online shop.

And while we are talking about all things new, our first Handmade By Me + Windowsill collaboration products, in conjunction with the talented Alexis Snell, are ready and available to buy exclusively from our shop in Cape Town. These beautiful limited edition linocut prints come all the way from the UK and we are selling them framed (in soldered glass) or unframed. We just LOVE them.

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And speaking of our shop, for this week only we have a new special on offer:  the perfect gift – an aloe potted in to graphite glazed terracotta and an orange squares tea towel for only R350. Only while stocks last! For more special offers, sales and events, follow us on facebook.

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
online shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za
retail shop: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeandwindowsillshop

 

 

new designs on the way (sneak peek)

We are so unbelievably excited about our new designs that we just can’t wait to show you what we have been up to lately! We are still busy printing the fabric to make into various products, but here is a little sneak preview of the designs behind the products and what you can expect from us in the coming weeks. We are hoping to launch our new designs and products at Kamers in Stellenbosch from 27 October – 1 November.

Ever since I designed the Pretty Proteas and Striking Strelitzias patterns I have wanted to do another pattern using a similar South African-inspired, plant/flower-related geometric style pattern. I have thought about all kinds of different plants and flowers but finally decided to use the Aloe Ferox for inspiration, not only because it is indigenous to South Africa, but because it lends itself so well to the geometric style of the design and because it is just so bloody gorgeous! When I see one of these anywhere, it always makes me think of home.

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I have been a little plant besotted of late (can you tell?), and the one plant that always makes me ooh and ah every time I see it or see a picture of it, is the Prickly Pear cactus. I also once found a super cute illustrated children’s book with a picture of a sad little prickly pear cactus on the front who spent the whole book looking for someone who would give him a hug – it still makes me smile every time I think of it.

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Both these designs will be available in cushion covers, napkins and tea towels to start, and then eventually available in our full range of products.

For all the cool kids out there, I have designed a new Big 5 inspired range of prints. Something little more modern for today’s generation, but which still captures the beautiful bright colours and busyness that Africa is all about! Well here’s my take on our Big 5. These prints will be available in cushion covers, pillowcases and eventually nappy covers.

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We hope you like what you see. The designs are all available for pre-order so please chat to us if you want to be the first to get your hands on these guys. We would also like to invite you to come and see our new designs and products at Kamers at Webersburg in Stellenbosch between 27 October and 1 November.

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

NEW(s)…

It’s a new month and we have some new stockists, new products, and new projects going down…spring has sprung which means new beginnings, and so it’s out with the old and in with the new…or nearly anyways.

First off, we’re so excited to let you know about our latest stockist specially because the owner is one of my nearest and dearest and I couldn’t be prouder! Everyone in Cape Town you HAVE to visit THE GENERAL STORE on cnr Bree St and Riebeek St. The food is sensational while still healthy with lots of choice, and the coffee is one of the best in town! Don’t even get me started on the brownies. This gorgeous feature by VISI magazine says it all. Pics below also by Visi magazine.

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We are also so excited to let you know that our phone covers are now also available from Takealot.com. Not only do they offer free delivery, but you can pay using your eBucks and/or earn yourself some discovery miles. win win win win win.

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We also shared a sneak peek during the last week of the first of our little nappy covers which we will be launching in a whole array of designs real soon. They turned out so cute we just couldn’t help but share this little pic with you.

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Some of you might not know that we supply our fabrics to Saks Corner, one of our favourite local furniture shops in town. Here’s a snap they sent us last week to show us just how fantastic their chair covered in our Geometric Orange panama fabric turned out. Swoon.

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And like we said, it’s out with the old and in with the new, so Handmade By Me is having the BIGGEST sale we have ever had with selected products marked down to HALF PRICE. We are sad to say good bye to some of our older designs but we need to make space for new ones, so we have added lots of cushion covers, aprons, lampshades, tea towels and a few other bits and pieces. View the full sale on display at SAM (South African Market) in Bree Street or take advantage online. Please note that the items on sale are only while stocks last.

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

NEW products in the HOUSE…

We have just launched some exciting new products here at Handmade By Me which I am so excited to let you all know about, and show you the photos from our recent product shoot!

First off we have just introduced our beautiful new LUXURY panama cushion covers. They are 60 x 60cm and made using our luxurious thick upholstery-weight 100% cotton panama. We are particularly excited about the velvet options – we just LOVE the feel of it, and the colours! For those not a fan, we do have an option with the print both sides, and a more economical option with the print just 1 side and either backed in plain white or black depending on the design.

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Our other new exciting new product we have just launched are our beautiful new pillowcases! They are made using a beautiful soft 100% cotton poplin (1 up from the usual percale) to fit a standard size pillow 70cm x 45cm. This is such an easy way to transform your bedroom, and what with so many designs to sleep around with, you’ll be spoilt for choice to find the perfect combination!

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We have these 4 designs below readily available to buy, but we are planning to slowly introduce more designs as we go along so feel free to place an order with us for the design of your choice, or just let us know which your favourite would be!
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If you’re not convinced, see how beautifully our Feisty floral watercolour on green cushion works in this gorgeous bedroom shoot from the latest Plascon Spaces magazine.

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And if you move fast you can still get 10% off any orders through our online shop until Sunday midnight! Don’t forget to use the discount code “WinterWarmer”. Happy shopping!!!

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

a flamboyance of flamingoes…

Today we have a whole flamboyance of flamingo inspired things to show you! While the northern hemisphere is slowly starting to thaw out, and we’re just getting to enjoy the best part of our summer, the whole world is going crazy for these crazy beautiful birds!

We are especially excited about this really beautiful tropical inspired wedding decor shoot that Wedding Album magazine did recently using our Pink Flamingo napkins. How beautiful is this wedding spread? Makes me want to go back and do mine all over again : )

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This young lady in Australia had her surfboard customised using our Pink Flamingo linen cotton fabric. How cool did this turn out? Makes me want to go surfing immediately!! Thanks so much to her for sharing these pics with us!

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We are so delighted that our Pink Flamingo Wallpaper has been featured in the latest Woman & Home magazine, as part of their Home Edit! These little deco inspired birdies of ours are sure to liven up any home!

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We spotted some flamingo trend forecast inspiration going on on instagram…we may be a little biased, but we’re super excited that they chose to use our design : )

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And while we are at it…here are some of our favourite Etsy treasuries featuring all kinds of flamingo inspired beauties. If these don’t get you excited about flamingoes, I’m afraid nothing will!

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za


monochromatics…

We have added a few new items to our product range lately, mostly all of which just happen to be monochrome. We wanted to share them with you here!

Firstly we have a new placemat design hurrah! Geometric Monochrome. I know a lot of you out there are scared of a bit of colour so here is something that will work on your table every single time. Try mixing and matching with different monochromatic patterned napkins, or incorporate just a bright splash of colour like a bright burnt orange or even a sunny yellow, to be honest pretty much any colour will go!

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We have a new stockist in New York opening up very soon (I know!!!!) and we just sent off our first order of products for them which included this Origami Birds scarf/sarong. I am going to make to order these so get in touch if you would like one too!

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We have also changed our Origami Birds napkins. These ones are the same as the other new range napkins, 30 x 30cm in size and nice and thick, and available in sets of 2 in black and blue.

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All the above (and more) are available from the Handmade By Me online shop.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

 

WIN with Visi and check out our new catalogue …

So with the arrival of our new range (and after weeks of editing photograph after photograph) we have a new catalogue of products to show the world. We are still adding to the collection of products as we go along (as you do small business style) but we wanted to show you the collection so far and see what you think!

But before you do, we have a big fat giant announcement: Handmade By Me and Visi magazine are having the biggest and best giveaway EVER!! One lucky reader can win an orange geometric lampshade and cushion cover from the exciting new range, worth R1 180. All you have to do is go to this post on their website and answer one seriously easy question!! And these two beauties will both be yours : )

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And then back to our pretty new catalogue…here you go…have a look and let us know what you think and which is your favourite new design!

You can download a copy of our 2014/2015 catalogue below, and for wholesale prices and retail opportunities please email me directly.

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We are also still stocking all your favourite designs as well. But we will sadly have to say good bye to a few, which you can still get your hands on quick before they sell out at the Handmade By Me online clearance sale, and/or from SAM.

Have a lovely weekend!

Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

You are invited to our launch…

We are having a launch of our latest offerings at Handmade By Me this Thursday evening and we would like to invite you to join us in seeing what new things we have in store for you. We have lots of new designs, some new and exciting products, and something completely different for the whole family, which we are planning to keep a secret until Thursday : ) We hope we will see you there!

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As you can see the launch is at the Department of Design which makes this launch kind of exciting in itself. For those of who who don’t know about this yet the Department of Design is a three week-long event that supports sustainability and collaboration. It is the initiative of the Government of the Netherlands as part of their contribution to World Design Capital Cape Town 2014.

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And it has been designed by none other than Droog, the Dutch-based architectural firm. To fit in with the theme of sustainability, Droog has titled this structure “FLOW.” The structure is almost entirely based out of reused materials that include bicycle seats, scrap wood, and plastic crates. By engaging with local artists and materials, Droog aims to create a unique and creative space that comes at no cost to Cape Town or her environment. After the Department of Design ends, Droog will take all of the materials used and return them to the city- either by re-selling, donating, or re-cycling.

Department of Design is a temporary space. It runs for three weeks only, and features key note speakers, workshops, demonstrations and activities as part of a set programme. A parallel programme will present events organised by local participants. All activities at Department of Design involve collaboration and contribute to the conversation to #cocreateSA.

For more information and a programme of events, have a look at their website www.departmentofdesign.nl

Find out more (about us):
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

 

 

Celebrating Winter with Visi…

To be honest, right now we’re celebrating the exciting fact that our placemats are in the latest issue of Visi magazine : ).  While they, on the other hand, are celebrating winter (and what a day to do that too). We’re just so delighted and honoured to be featured as part of their “32 reasons to celebrate Winter…No. 7 because it looks great on paper.”

I love having people over for dinner, especially in Winter. Not only do you get to cook heartwarming and tasty tasty dinners, and use all the pretty bowls and plates you’ve collected over the years, but you don’t have to leave the comfort and warmth of your own home, and you don’t need to hold back on the vino because you aren’t driving home afterwards. For those who are slightly less comfortable with the idea of hosting a dinner party, look no further than our decorative placemats, guaranteed to make your table look so beautiful, again and again, even if the food doesn’t quite work out!

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Our placemats are available in sets of 4, in 4 different designs, and available to buy directly from the Handmade By Me online shop and various awesome stockists.

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We would also like to let you know that Handmade By Me is having a SALE!!! We need to make some space for our new range which is launching next week, so we are marking down any end of range items or bits and pieces we have lying around including a ridiculous discount on all our Vintage Aprons : ) which are going to be made-to-order from now on. Now you really can look and play the part of hostess perfectly!! Check it out here…only while stocks last!

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Find out more:
website: www.handmadebyme.co.za
facebook: www.facebook.com/handmadebymeblog
twitter: @handmadebymeSA
shop: shop.handmadebyme.co.za

Now available from…Chandler House… and Kamers

We are off to Kamers at the castle this week along with our favourite (art, ceramics, textiles, furniture, antiques) design studio and shop Chandler House : )

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For those of you who don’t already know, Kamers is a design, food, wine and live music pop-up retail event, essentially a big fancy market, which is usually hosted once a year in different parts of the country. But this year in conjunction with the CCDI and World Design Capital Cape Town 2014, they will be hosting their first pop-up at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. What a sensational and seemingly appropriate venue!!! I can’t wait to see whats going on down there this weekend. You can find us and all sorts of Handmade By me products at the Chandler House space, which I am sure will be pretty spectacular! Pop in and say hi when are there!

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Chandler House will not only be stocking Handmade By Me at Kamers, but you will also find some of our lovely things available to buy from their design studio and shop on 53 Church Street, Cape Town. Now seriously, if you haven’t had a chance to pop in and see Michael Chandler’s treasure trove of a space, Chandler House, already, you are indeed missing out! Amongst his own seriously beautiful works of art, my favourites being the Phrenology vases and VOC plates, which we also bought and used for our wedding (and now home), there are all kinds of other very talented designers and artists (mostly ceramicists) who’s beautiful works of art can be found displayed together alongside all kinds of bits and bobs that Michael has collected over the years including old paintings, furniture and antiques. The shop is filled with all kinds of nods towards Cape Heritage, and you will find it VERY hard to pop in, look around and leave empty handed!

Now just before you race down to Church street to take in this awesome hidden gem of a sight, Chandler House will be closed from the 3rd to the 10th of June as they move a few rooms around and give the shop a little bit of a revival. We will all be looking forward to the unveiling in July when they will also be hosting their first exhibition in the shop…very exciting!!!

You can find them at www.chandlerhouse.co.za and follow them on twitter: @MrChandlerHouse and facebook: www.facebook.com/chandlerhouse

And here are some lovely photos of the shop which I stole from their facebook page : )

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