At it like rabbits…

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Or: the last-minute handmade bunny Easter card how-to.

You know how Kate Middleton gave the Queen a home-made chutney for Christmas? Well that inspired us. And it’s really easy. Not the chutney but this card we made to give to our metaphorical gran this Easter.

So much so, that once you’ve made one you might want to make another one and another one. For your fella perhaps (see, kinky black leather bunny in middle of photo), or your gal (she’ll appreciate all of them). Watch them, though, they multiply.

They’re also zero-calorie, sugar-free and you won’t have to fight anyone for the last one down the Sainsbury’s chocolate aisle this Good Friday.

Basically, all you need is some good quality card, a scrap of nice fabric, a pencil and a pair of scissors, some glue or spray mount and something to tie around your bunny’s neck – optional though, that one.

Here’s goes…

ABUNNYDRAWINGDesign your bunny. Either freestyle like we did or google bunny silhouette, print one off and trace over it. You can always copy ours by drawing a big half-creme egg shape for the body, two long skinny half-eggs for its legs, then drawing around a coin for its head and adding nice ears.

ABUNNYTEMPLATECut out your paper bunny template.

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Now fold your cardboard in half to create traditional greeting card shape. Draw around your bunny template on the front of the card. Make sure you have two areas of bunny that meet the fold of the card. We did the ears and knees. Next, cut round bunny, open up, et voila… as you can see above, a Bugs-shaped card.

ABUNNYFABRICGrab your paper bunny template again and draw around it onto your fabric, using pencil or fabric pen.

ABUNNYCUTOUTCut out your fabric – you only need one piece for the front of the card.

ABUNNYGLUEUse glue or spray mount to stick your fabric on the front of your card. Don’t worry about raw edges – it’s all the rage this season, just ask Pinterest.

ABUNNYBOWFind a stray piece of ribbon and tie it around your bunny’s neck, making sure to only tie it around the front of the card so as not to strangle bunny.

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And there you have it: a bunny card in situ, alongside a bunch of spring blooms and a shelf-full of craft books. (Don’t say we don’t do our best to look Pinterest-appropriate.)

And with that, we’ll bid you a hoppy Easter, full of stuffing your face with too much chocolate, drinking too many Bank Holiday beers and admiring your rabbity handiwork on the mantelpieces of your nearest and dearest.

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Decorating Elsie

Author: Sarah-Louise

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Hey, all. Welcome to a post that’s a bit of a hybrid, like a cronut. It’s both a coffee shop review and the tale of the secret screen prints. Sorted? Right let’s get started… I love nothing more than a piece of cake and a skinny cappuccino in a takeaway cup with a straw.

However, working from home while simultaneously entertaining/making sure my 16-month old doesn’t stick her fingers in plug sockets does not afford much time for cake-baking. And coffee at home is never the same.

So, yay for Elsie, a new cafe-bar and deli, that’s just opened around the corner in my ‘hood, Hornsey. (The bit between Muswell Hill and Crouch End in north London, for those who don’t know.)

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Not only does Elsie do coffee and cakes, it does pastries, savoury muffins, chocolate croissant bread pudding slices (top left), breakfasts, sandwiches, soups, sharing platters and big steaming bowls of chilli. And booze.

Because it’s a deli, it also does takeaway organic loaves, posh chocolate, panettone in glamorous boxes, quirky handmade cookies and chunky chutneys with amusing names.

Owner Claire has also adorned the place with her own quirky artwork, bedecked it in fairy lights and fills the airwaves with a cockle-warming mix of crackly jazz, show tunes, Bowie and James Taylor.
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The result is a twinkly, relaxing little haven. You can eat here, drink here, work here – and take your toddler without causing too much chaos. There’s a mini library for you to help yourself to books, a menu of nighttime events coming up – Time Traveller’s Wife author Audrey Niffenegger is hosting an evening at the end of March –  and a primary-coloured portrait of Jeremy Corbyn in one corner. He’s promised to visit the place soon. He wouldn’t need to do up his top button here. Anything goes. Baby J and I practically live here.

Anyway, one day Claire produced a bulging Ikea bag of fabric from behind the counter and asked if we could do anything creative with it. She explained that it had come from the daughter of a local lady named Irene Kent Gouly, who had sadly recently passed away and left behind a secret stash of gorgeous handmade screen-printed fabrics.

Apparently, screen-printing was Irene’s not-shouted-about hobby rather than her profession – but judging by the sheer volume and array of beautiful, bonkers and brilliant designs she’d left behind, she could have opened her own shop or gallery.

My mum, Maria from We May Be Little, was suitably impressed and very excited by all its creative potential. She carefully opened up each new piece with an ooh, an aah or a wow – her imagination well and truly revved.  “We could do this! And this! And this! Throw! Curtains! Cushion cover! Blouse!”

The upshot of all this was that we’d thank Claire, and Irene’s daughter, back for their generosity and beauteous threads by making something decorative for the cafe. Having Irene’s work on display in a public space, in the area in which she’d always lived, felt a fitting tribute to her secret talents. My mum suggested bunting and Claire decreed it so. “Bunting is just what this place is missing,” she said.

And so, we decided on a huge swathe of abstract print fabric, splashed in neons, pastels and black brushstrokes. It was kind of 80s but kind of 2016-ies too. We figured it’d take the bunting from twee to edgy (c’mon, bunting can be edgy) and that all the random colours and patterns would give each flag its own unique look.

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After knocking up a long piece to festoon the length of the bar, Maria – being the unashamed bunting-basher that she is – whipped up some mini flags for Elsie’s dressers, too. All that was left to do was get it in place.

And happily, Claire seemed chuffed with the results. We must admit, this funky bunting does look right at home in this little joint. It was like it was meant to be. Take a look and see. And if you ever find yourself in this part of north London, treat yourself with a stop-off at Elsie.

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A big thank you to the ridiculously talented Irene and her generous daughter for the inspiration. We think there might be more where this came from.

Elsie, 10 Priory Road, London, N8

 

 

 

 

New in: chunky bangles, fat-free Doughnut 

author: Alice 

  
Hello, loves! January is over at last. Woo hoo.

During that gloomy month, we did as much eating, Netflix-watching and crafting as we could to lift the gloom: From more bunting-for-local-businesses projects (news of which is coming to the blog, soon), to bespoke commissions and new products for our li’l shop.

One of which is Doughnut the Cat, above. She’s a leggy, 21-inch long cordroy cat (which I made for niece Jasmine for Christmas). She’s now also in our Etsy shop and comes in cool white cord, with or without bow. We’re also taking bespoke fabric orders. So if you fancy a Doughnut made from your baby’s first babygro, for example, your wish is our command!

We’ll also be adding these chunky paracord bracelets with gold clasps that I’ve been working on, below. They’re a luxe take on the sporty jewellery trend and they look nice on their own or stacked up. With a casual tee or a little black outfit.

  

What else? Well, Maria’s been busy bunting-ing and macrame planter-ing and Sarah’s  in New York with a toddler. Look out for the planter how-to and ‘how to do the Big Apple with a baby’ blog posts soon!

Happy Saturday.

 

Sunday Snaps

From hot coffee to a great big neon jelly fish in the sky, it’s our week in pics…

 


Clockwise, from top left…

1.Alice: “This giant light-up sculpture (London by Janet Echelman) greeted me last week as I left my job at Top Shop at 7am, after a busy night shift. It reminded me of a huge jelly fish and looked eerily beautiful floating over a very dark and quiet Oxford Street. It was part of the Lumiere London light festival, which ran for four days last week. The artist’s inspiration was the 2011 Japanese Tsunami and this piece is actually a 3D representation of the effects of the quake, which momentarily sped up the earth’s rotation and shortened the day.”

2.Sarah: “I was taking Jasmine for an afternoon walk through our local park in Crouch End and it was icily cold but the colour of the sky was beautiful and hopeful. I’d also just been reading that this year’s official Pantone colour is Rose Quartz and Serenity – pale pink and blue – and here it ruddy was, out in the natural world.”

3. Sarah: “My ballet shoes on the church hall’s parquet flooring. First Saturday of term and I was more than a little rusty.”

4.Maria: “Sometimes all it takes is a flat white and a good croissant to feel that all’s right with the world. This was at one of my favourite London coffee shops, Coffee Circus in Crouch End.”

5.Maria: “This is a snapshot of some baby name-bunting I made for one of Sarah’s friend’s nieces. I haven’t take a pic of the whole thing as the baby in question hasn’t received it yet and we want it to be a surprise! I used red and white strawberry-print fabric and crocheted some little red flowers to sit on the white cord.”

 

Dealing with… January

FOLLOW US

Author Sarah-Louise James

Hello, how’s your January going?

Yup, and ours…

But we’re attempting to combat the blues with the following: gallons of coffee, walks in the park when it’s not raining, wine, good TV – Spin on More 4 is on record and Netflix’s Making a Murderer is on the to-do list – concocting recipes that are both healthy and tasty (watch this space), making billions of yards of baby-name bunting and coming up with new products for our shop.

One of which is Doughnut the Cat. Please see pic of the prototype Doughnut, below – made by Alice for bebe Jasmine for Christmas. Doughnut was so named by Jasmine the other day. “What’s your cat called, Jasmine?” I asked. *15 seconds’ frowny face* “Doughnut,” came the reply. Well it sounded like doughnut, anyway. So doughnut it is. (Jasmine also has a toy dinosaur called Kevin, a fluffy white bear named Bacon and a rag doll called Hedgehog.)

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Doughnut will be a bespoke item when she arrives in the shop and we’re currently working out ways to make her very, very personal to the person who buys her. So they love her just as much as Jasmine does. Even though Jasmine chucked her out of her cot and trod on her yesterday. That’s tough love. Or maybe it’s just because it’s January.

Oh, and while we’ve got you, we wanted to draw your attention to the main image in this post. Yup, it’s a small request to follow our blog! All you need to do, if you’re not doing so already (thank you, lovelies, who are doing so already) is pop your email address in the box at the top right of the screen and you’ll get an email pop up in your inbox whenever we post a new recipe, craft how-to or style tip. Go on, follow us, you might like us!

In the meantime, stay strong. We’re almost half-way through January already…

 

This December, we love…

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It’s the meteorological start of winter, if you live in the northern hemisphere that is. But this is not a weather report. Nor is it a hint of any sort about what we might want for Christmas…

This is just a round up of stuff we’re loving as the temperatures plummet, day light fades and the twinkly lights come out to play. Here goes…

1.This cuddly faux fur throw is perfect for snuggling under while watching The Bridge on BBC4 on Saturday nights. £39.99, Dunelm

2. Coffee shop Christmas coffee. We’d never normally order a black forest gateaux mocha but something just compels us…

3. Marks & Spencer’s Christmas food to order. In particular, its cheese boards. Serve with port. Or Prosecco. And repeat until 3rd Jan.

4. We May Be Little’s coffee cosy for an even Christmassier Christmas coffee. Coffee cup sleeve, £5, Etsy.com/shop/WeMayBeLittle

5. Why buy sequins now when wearing them in January will make you look like a Christmas tree who’s been put out for collection. Save pennies and buy beautiful sparkly earrings instead. Junk Jewels, Not On The Highstreet

6. Man knitwear. Casz but chic. Cosy but cool. And we’re liking the classy offerings over at Boden

7. Old-school Santa duvet to snuggle under? Why wouldn’t you. Prices from £19.50, M&S again

8. Now, this is an advent calendar. £29.50, Not On The High Street

9. How can a jumper look stylish? This answers the question. Plaited cable knit, £115, Karen Millen

10. These claret – or let’s say, port – skinnies are the perfect match for the above jumper. Darla trousers, £110, Reiss

11. The forever coat. A classic cosy parka. Women’s Charlie Fishtail Parka, £285, Parka London

12. And for men: £285, Parka London

13. Love you, steel grey Nikes. Nike Air Max Thea Premium, £95, Nike.com

14. What’s as cosy as snuggling up at home in an Aran jumper with candles flickering away in the background? Ah! Jumper candles and more from, Dibor,  Not On The High Street

15. White lights are nice an’ all, but didn’t the candy-coloured fairy lights of the 80s and 90s just feel more like Christmas? Go retro with these beauties. Fairy lights, £25, Ellie Ellie, Not On The High Street

16. And to finish? Why, a tangerine of course. Available at a supermarket/green grocers/farmers market near you.

Make a Pawsome Christmas Card

Christmas is on its way, John Lewis said so. And with it, the impulse to get creative. Or drunk. We’ll do both.

First, however, we decided to get creative and make our own Christmas cards. With a dog theme, because why not.

So if you’re feeling festively crafty and craftily festive and want a bit of Scotty Dog Christmas card-making action of your own, here’s a nice how-to – courtesy of Alice. Who came up with this cute dog design in her very own brain.

Want to make this bugger now? Here’s how…

You’ll need: Plain white card/s and envelope/s; a piece of festive material; thin ribbon for the dog collar; cotton wool for stuffing; tracing paper; needle; thread; pins; scissors; nice pen; chopstick, and glue or a fancy glue gun – Alice does creative things for Topshop so if she didn’t have one she should probably be sacked but don’t feel bad if you only have a tube of Super Glue

  1. Create a dog template. If you’re a great artist, freestyle. If you can’t draw for toffee it’s time to go dogging. The best tip is to Google-image ‘Scotty dog silhouette’. If you’re not into Scotties, search for the dog of your choice

2. When you’ve found a dog you like, that’s the right size for your card, print it off and trace it. Then add 5mm around the edge for your seam allowance. Cut neatly along your line

3. Now fold your fabric in half and pin on your tracing paper dog. Next, cut around your template

4. You’ll be left with two little flat dogs (Sheila and Sandra). Put them right side together so the inside of your fabric is facing out

5. Start stitching anti-clockwise from the top of your dog’s right paw. Don’t worry if you’re no Vivienne Westwood, or even one of the workers from Underworld in Coronation Street.

The stitches don’t need to be ultra neat; they just need to be very, very close together – because you’ll be stuffing this bad boy and you don’t want its innards spilling out

6. Stitch all the way around until you reach Scotty’s belly. Then stop abruptly, tie a neat little knot and cut your cotton. Now turn your fabric right side out

7. It’s time to get stuffed. Rip your cotton wool into teeny pieces and start stuffing your mutt with the help of your chopstick, which will get into those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies

8. All nice and stuffed? 

9. It’s time to stitch up your Scotty’s tum

10. Let get this pooch dressed up. Tie the ribbon around her neck in a fancy festive bow

11. Cute, huh?

12. Now add blobs of superglue to your Scotty and whack it on your card. FYI, we bought a pack of 25 ready-made cards and envelopes from John Lewis’s craft department (hey, JL, fancy sponsoring us? That’s your second mention today)

13. Woo hoo, it’s pun time. “Have a Woof-ly Christmas”, perhaps. “A Winter’s Tail”? “Have a Pawfect Christmas”? “The Most Woof-derful Time of the Year”, “Dog Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”? “Bone Noël”? Let’s stop there. Time to proffer this thing to someone special.

14. Et, voila. A handmade original for Christmas, which your nearest and dearest will go ruddy barking mad for.

Will anyone else be crafting anything unique for Christmas? We’d love to hear from you…