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

 

 

Handmade By Me + Windowsill studio/showroom/shop opens its bright yellow doors

New Handmade By Me + Windowsill studio and showroom has just opened its bright yellow doors in the heart of Cape Town.

Handmade By Me has teamed up with plant specialist Windowsill, to open up a new studio and showroom just off bustling Kloof Street in Cape Town. We would love to invite you to come and visit us and experience our new space!

This isn’t the first time Handmade By Me and Windowsill have teamed up, for the past two years, we’ve showcased our unique products together at KAMERS in Cape Town and Stellenbosch. We’ve often discussed the idea of opening up something more permanent, so when the teeny, tiny space on De Lorentz Street opened up, we knew it was meant to be! With no budget, a month’s notice and a whole lot of paint, we transformed a small gift shop into a jungle treasure trove of beautiful plants, textiles and one-off products.

The space serves as a working studio space and showroom, where we stock samples of made-to-order items, and products available for immediate purchase.

Here’s what you can expect to find at the Handmade By Me + Windowsill studio/showroom/shop:
– a unique collection of interior and decor-related textile products and fashion accessories
– rare and different plant specimens and planters
– collaborative products from handmade By Me and Windowsill
– fabric and wallpaper swatches and cuttings
– sale items and special offers
– a cup of tea and a chat with the owners
– parking

Address: 21 De Lorentz Street, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town.
Opening hours: Tues-Fri 11-6pm, Sat 9:30-1pm.
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/handmadebymeandwindowsillshop/

We’d love for you to stop by!
Sera (& Alex)

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

Our studio/showroom/shop is open!!!

We are just so super duper over-the-moon excited that our studio/showroom/shop, which we are sharing with our friends Windowsill – plants and flowers, is now finally ready and open for business! We finished off the final touches this week and we couldn’t be happier!

Here are a few pics we shared on our instagram feed over the past week below. Please come and pop in for browse or a cup of tea, you are all very welcome.

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The address is 21 De Lorentz St, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town. Our opening hours are Tues-Fri 11-6pm and Sat 9-1pm. We hope to see you very soon!

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

 

 

We’re opening up a studio & showroom!

So this is the VERY exciting news that we wanted to share with you a week ago. Yes, it is true, we have signed the lease and are going to be opening up our first ever studio & showroom just off Kloof Street in Cape Town with our friends Windowsill Plants and Flowers in March!!!

Alex from Windowsill is one of my nearest and dearest and oldest friends, and ironically she reminded me that we had in some way already put our plans in to motion when we were just 12 years old. Here, she explains our story – “In 1992, two 11 year olds made friends with each other and made a promise that one day they would work at St Elmo’s Pizza at night, and during the day they would work at The Bubble Shop. 23 years later – the Bubble Shop no longer exists, and St Elmo’s is a bit of dive – SO TODAY, Sera Holland and I are officially shopkeepers. Yes folks – Handmade By Me and Windowsill THE shop IS happening!!!!”

We cannot wait!!!!

We have also had some other very exciting news in the past few weeks. Handmade By Me is now being stocked by two of our very favourite shops. They are both completely different but relate to one of our two favourite and most droolworthy subjects, fashion and food.

On the fashion side, we couldn’t be more honoured and excited to have a selected range of our products now available from top local fashion label, Klûk CGDT. Their boutique on Bree St is one of the most beautiful we’ve seen, and they have now started stocking a small range of premium decor related products which work alongside and compliment their own sensational creations. So now you have no excuse not to pop in and see it all for yourself.

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“The KLûK CGDT brand is well known for the sophistication in design and fabrication and their uncompromising standards in service and quality. They produce 6 collections a year, which they sell through their boutiques in JHB, Cape Town and now Pretoria as well as trunkshows across Africa. They are equally well known for their bridal and couture gowns both locally and internationally and have won awards for their “Red Carpet Style”. Special consideration is taken for each bride individually. “ Bridalwear is not like fashion, it represents a dream with a lifetime of expectations, and this is what we strive to fulfil”.”

 

The other is our favourite foodie-related award-winning online shop, Yuppiechef. They have the most insane selection of desirable cooking equipment, novelty-inspired cooking gadgets (my personal favourite) and hard-to-find cooking ingredients – and now they are stocking a selection of our patterned napkins and tea towels as well. This shop is also my personal favourite place to off-load eBucks : )

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Yuppiechef is on a mission to bring people together through the cooking and sharing of good food. We believe that preparing, cooking and sharing a meal with good company is the very essence of what makes life good. And it is our dream to give you every excuse under the sun to organise that long overdue get-together with those you love, and those you’d like to love more. Yuppiechef is a food community offering you the tools, ingredients and the inspiration to cook real food at home.”

And while we’re sharing the good news, Plascon Spaces recently showed us some playful workspaces on their blog – each showcasing Plascon hues. Our Origami Birds cushion, available from PRESENTspace, was featured in their ” A grey solution – monochromatic shades and typography make a clean canvas on which to unleash your creativity.” We love it!

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

 

Introducing our new range of designs and products

So it’s taken us a little bit longer than we anticipated, but finally we are able to show you some of the product shots of Handmade By Me’s newest range of designs and products.

For the Prickly Pears and African Aloes range, we have introduced these designs across our full range of products including our beautiful LUX Panama Cushion Covers which we sold out of at Kamers recently.

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We also teamed up these two designs with our Pretty Proteas and Striking Strelitzias designs to bring you our full Cape Floral Kingdom range.

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The LUX panama cushion covers are our premium range of cushion covers made using our luxurious quality 100% cotton panama fabric. This fabric is thick and soft, and we have cushion covers available in 60x60cm, and 60x40cm on request. We can also supply you with feather/down inners on request.

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We have also introduced a little something for our favourite teeny tiny little customers, Nappy Covers.  These have been made using our beautiful soft 100% cotton. They are available in 5 designs and in 4 sizes: 3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months and 18-24 months.

We are also very excited about our new reusable placemat designs, Birds of Paradise and Victoriana, which will be available alongside our Delft and Imari placemat designs in December. Please note that these are available to pre-order in the mean time.

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You may have seen some pics of our Big 5 range for kids on our social media feeds lately. In Africa, the big five game animals are the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and White/Black rhinoceros. The members of the Big Five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and the degree of danger involved, rather than their size.

The Big 5 range is available in 50x50cm cushion covers and reusable placemats at the moment, and we will hopefully be introducing these designs in the nappy covers shortly.

For the reusable placemats, each placemat has been laminated so you can use them over and over again, and then when you finally get sick of them you can turn them into face masks in just 3 easy steps. Each set of 5 contains one of each of the Big 5 animals. How fun would a kids party be with these guys!

To make sure that the placemats can easily be turned into face masks, I had to test them out and make a face mask out of each placemat design. Here’s how its done:

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And here is me as the Rhino : )

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All the above and more are available to purchase at the Handmade By Me online shop. Please note that we ship locally and internationally : )

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

10% off to say thank you…

Thank you so much to everyone who came to visit us at our stand at 100% Design at Decorex in Joburg. It was a fantastic week where we were really honoured and proud to have been a part of such a high-end selection of top designers and makers from around the country. We were also really proud to have had a product selected for 100 Beautiful Things 2015 in association with Visi magazine. The product selected was our new luxury 60x60cm Geometric Orange cushion cover using our upholstery weight cotton panama fabric with a feather/down inner.

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We really had the best time and loved meeting all of you. So much so that we have decided to extend our 10% off all our products to our online shop till the end of next weekend. Yes thats right, 10% percent off everything until midnight Sunday 23 August. Just enter the discount code “WinterWarmer” at checkout.

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For those of you missed us at 100% Design, here are a few pics from our stand at the show.

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We also launched some cool new products, which we are shooting this week, which we will share with you right here real soon!

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

may media love

We have had some really great media love for the month of May and we wanted to share it all with you here. First up is this really great shoot and feature in Sarie magazine. I love what they did with my products for the shoot below, and am so very flattered to have been given a full page feature, and to be featured alongside some really talented designers.

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Then Ideas magazine did a shoot using bits and pieces of fabric from local designers. See if you can spot our indigo Blue fabric featured here below.

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And then one of our friends discovered one of our phone covers in the Mango Airline inflight magazine, Juice, and sent us these pics. Our lovely Midnight Blue Mosaic phone cover made it onto the Ed’s Choice : )

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Don’t forget about the feature in this month’s Elle Decoration magazine that we showed you last week, where you still have a chance to win one of our Pretty Protea Chef Aprons. In case you missed it you can check it out here.

Then great news for all you Joburg peeps, we are going to be exhibiting some of our new products along with the CCDI (Cape Craft and Design Institute) at Inspire Trade Expo in Johannesburg from 10-12 June. For more info about the event, check out their website www.inspiretradeexpo.co.za

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

Our Pink Flamingoes are in the Condé Nast Traveller collector’s issue!

Thats right, our pretty Pink Flamingo Wallpaper has been featured in the beautiful Condé Nast Traveller‘s collector’s issue and we couldn’t be more excited!!! We are also featured alongside a product of one of my all-time favourite fashion designers ever, Mary Katrantzou, who is famous for her use of crazy bright digital prints and patterns, so we’re feeling extra specially proud of this. Like we said before, these flamingoes ain’t going nowhere just yet!

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Our Pink Flamingo wallpaper…and lots of other Pink Flamingo products… are available from Hello Pretty, the Handmade By Me online shop and various other stockists.

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

Now available from Orikami in New York…

I am so happy to let you all know about this gorgeous new origami inspired shop called Orikami, which was recently launched in New York! Not only does Orikami stock a selection of items from Handmade By Me (origami birds of course : ) ) but they have the most INCREDIBLE collection of all kinds of other beautiful origami inspired products from around the world. See for yourself, having a browse through this shop is in itself a treat!

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ORIKAMI is a specialty concept store inspired by the ideals of traditional Japanese origami. The brand’s name is rooted in Japanese language: “ori” meaning folding, and “kami” meaning paper.

We source unique, handcrafted products from both new and established designers around the world to bring you specially made items in one convenient location.

Orikami is the only store where you can shop for a variety of origami-inspired products, offering a judiciously selected mix of accessories, furniture, décor, gadgets, and nursery items.

The store’s signature is based upon the values of minimalism. We look to the clean, sharp lines of origami and aim to bring that same form of simplicity into our lives. Our Orikami picks bring art into your home or office space, while remaining to be one of the most unique pieces you will own.”

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How absolutely gorgeous are the DIY origami napkins? I wish I had thought of those!

And just a little reminder that we will be CLOSED for a little break from the 17th December to the 5th of JanuaryJanuary 16th which is this wednesday is the last day for any orders from the handmade By Me online shop for Christmas. Please note that at this stage, if you want your order to arrive in time for Christmas, be sure to select the courier option when checking out.

For all your holiday Handmade By Me needs, have a look at our list of stockists, you might be surprised where we pop up : )

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

 

Now available at the Watershed…

I wrote this post over a month or so ago, but unfortunately due to a rogue faulty fire extinguisher that went off one night, I had to hold off posting it while they sorted out the problem, which turned into a disaster. However, I am delighted to let you know that this lovely shop is finally back in action, and ready for the onslaught of Christmas shopping and summer loving in Cape Town.

Quirky Me and Flick Inc have teamed up to create this beautiful little shop under the stairs at the Watershed at the V&A Waterfront. Most of you probably already know about the Watershed, but if not, basically it was originally the Blue Shed next to the Aquarium, which has since been knocked down and beautifully put back together to house and support local designers and products from around South Africa by creating a “market-like” environment. Handmade By Me was going to have their own space there, but instead we are so happy and so lucky that we can supply our lovely things to Quirky Me and Flick Inc instead.

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Quirky Me and Flick Inc may share a space, but they bring their own set of products to the store. I am really lucky as I am supplying my more monochromatic products to Flick Inc and my more colourful to Quirky Me, so you can in fact find a whole bunch of our stuff there…along with a selection of beautiful and quirky things from other various designers.

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Most of you will know Quirky Me from the Old Biscuit Mill. It is the second shop on your left as you come in and walk toward the courtyard, and is literally filled with all things quirky. Ingrid Corbett who owns the shop also has a product offering of her own (check out their cool place mats). Now they have opened up at the watershed and you can now find our lovely things at both of their stores.

“At Quirky Me my goal is to bring you beautiful and fun decor items that will help you shape your home into a space that reflects a little bit of your own off-beat personality. I conceptualise a large part of the products myself, and put them into production here in South Africa with the help of incredibly talented local designers and craftspeople. I also take huge pleasure in sourcing quirky products that catch my eye from local creatives and artisans, as well as working with these talents to create products and ranges that are specific to my store.”

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Flick Inc is now the combined name for Flick Glass and My China Ceramics, both of which are very well known and established brands started and run by Frances Kierman. When I first arrived back in Cape Town in 2012 and was just starting out with Handmade By Me, you might remember that I shared a space at the Hout Bay Market with Frances and 2 other lovely ladies. If you ever came to visit me there, you may remember the gorgeous ceramics we had available to buy, as well as the pretty shiny earrings that always sold so well – well thats essentially Flick inc. And now after a few years break we get to display our products together again.

“Flick Glass is a quality glass studio known for its innovative and beautiful jewellery. We aspire to creating works of art that are individually hand crafted and unique.”

Enjoying the success of Flick Glass, Frances was inspired to do a new project and after much trial and error launched MY CHINA Ceramics at the Design Indaba in February 2008. South Africa’s beautiful and interesting fynbos flowers are Frances’ inspiration. She is in love with South African bird images and other wild and interesting creatures. Her drawings are made into transfers and she fires them into her stoneware ceramics. As the years have gone by the My China range keeps growing and developing, incorporating new ceramic shapes and new drawings. She is also greatly inspired by her Mom, Wynsome and brother, Gene who are amazing artists and always willing to lend a hand.”

The Watershed is located on Dock Road, next to the Two Oceans Aquarium and is open daily from 10h00 – 19h00.

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

Please take note of our Christmas order deadlines for the Handmade By Me online shop.

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