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

 

 

 

 

Halloween your hearth

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Author: Sarah-Louise

With just a week to go until All Hallow’s Eve we’ve whipped out our pumpkins and Halloween’d up our hearth.

If, like us, you’re that way inclined (perhaps you too had your spooky button pushed by Scooby Doo as a nipper), then there’s no time to lose. Make a corner of your home look a little haunted with our 10-step how-to today.

Or cover it from head to toe in fake cobwebs from Sainsbury’s if you’d rather. Either or.

This how we Halloweened up the WMBL hearth. It’s understated but does the trick. Plus, it works on hearths and shelves alike. So if the fancy takes you but you don’t have a fireplace, you can simply Halloween up a spare shelf or cabinet.

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1.Clear your fireplace/shelf/cabinet so you have a blank canvas to work on (this canvas would be blank if you ignore the big stain on the hearth…)

2. Add fairy lights to your mantelpiece first, like you do with the Christmas tree. If you don’t have a working fire, add strings of LED lights to your grate to give the illusion of flickering flames.

3. Now for some cat bunting. Based on the same principles as our mini bunting, this one. We May Be Little’s Maria drew a 4 by 4-inch wiggly cat, based on templates she’d seen on the net and in her own imagination.

She pinned the template onto black felt and cut around it. She did 4x cats, as you can see. She glued two little silver sequins on as eyes. She then used thin black cord and threaded ’em on with a needle by their ear and tail.

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4. Now for some sunflowers. That perennial autumn fave. I’m always in two minds about buying these blighters as I feel sad that they’ll never turn to the sun in a big airy field again. But, it’s autumn and we made an exception. These are displayed in a glass pasta jar.

5. Now for the friendly mini pumpkin family to come out. The easiest how-to ever is here. Position so your pumpkins look a little nonchalant and cool.

6. Don’t forget the Scooby snacks (cupcakes, courtesy of the fabulous Dunns Bakery in Crouch End).

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7. Now for a little macrame planter action. But instead of a plant, we’ve popped in a candle holder. The planter is a We May Be Little creation and will be in our shop soon.

7. Add more candle holders and more tea lights.

8. Free-carve a pumpkin. As you can see, the wonky house creation above ain’t going to win no carving competitions. However, low-key and understated is the name of the game here. And look how winning it looks with the addition of LED tea lights and the lights off. Plus, there’s something really satisfying about scooping out the seeds and pumpkin pulp with your bare hands.

9. Wait for night time to fall. Light your candles, switch on your lights. Go “Ahhhh”. Or “Aaargh”.

10. Watch something scary. Twin Peaks box set is our recommendation.

And there you have it. Something to make you feel a little cosy yet bone-chilled on these dark and nippy nights.

How will you be celebrating All Hallows? We’d love to hear from you x

Make a paracord bracelet

Let’s get this straight. This is not your average friendship bracelet. This is a paracord bracelet. Paracord as in the stuff from parachutes.

It’s tougher, more hardy, more adventurous than your regular friendship bracelet. The girls from the Bodyform ads would wear it if they could. It hints at days spent throwing yourself out of a plane for fun with a balloon-y thing on your back.

And we imagine if you ever accidentally threw yourself out of the plane before you put your parachute on that your instructor would be able to drag you back in by the scruff of your paracord bracelet. It’s that strong. Plus the flecks in the material glint.

It’s the perfect guest to a wrist party, too. See how nice it looks next to Alice’s digital watch and Links of London bracelet? You get to say “Oh, this old thing? Knocked it up myself. Out of paracord. Yeah that’s the one, the stuff from parachutes. Have I ever done a parachute jump myself, you ask? Er, of course ye’ – oooooh, is that the canapé tray?”

Anyway, here is everything you need to have and know to make one…

What you need:  7-strand paracord in colour of your choice (we like our feisty neon green from Yougle UK on Amazon); a large-hole bead; scissors; tape measure; pointy ended tweezers; lighter


1. Cut a 50cm length of paracord.

 2. Make a loop towards one end of your paracord; the leftover cord at end-A should be at least 8cm long.


3. Take end-B and thread it over then under the loop.
 4. Now make a V-shape in the loop, pulling the top down over the bottom – like so!


5. Now take end-B again and thread over the ‘point’ of the V and under the next piece of paracord. (This bold and italic thing is working, isn’t it..?)


6. Now pull end-A and end-B gently at the same time.


7. Tighten and tamper a little with your finished knot to make it neat like the one above.


8. Now thread your large-hole bead on to one end of the paracord.


9. Push the opposite end of your paracord through the large-hole bead, too. You will need your pointy tweezers to help get it through. It’s a tight squeeze. Don’t be put off. This tightness is what gives your bracelet its tension/ability to pull open and squeeze close.


10. In order to get the right fit for your bracelet and to know how much leftover paracord to cut off the ends, you’ll need to try your bracelet on; squeeze it past your knuckles. It should be a comfy but snug fit.

11. Now ease your hand out of your bracelet again and, without adjusting the loop’s size, manoeuvre your bead a bit so it sits nice and central.


12. Now tie a knot at each end of your paracord, as close to the bead as poss.


13. Cut off the leftover paracord.


14. Flick on your lighter. Hold the flame close to, but not touching, the  ends of your bracelet. We’re melting the ends so they don’t fray, not singeing the blighters. Leave them to cool. (By the way, slightly chipped nail varnish is where it’s at these days.)


15. Next, apply to wrist – pulling your bracelet open as wide as you need to, to get your hand in, then pulling it closed again.

 16. Et voila! A crash course in using paracord for something even more useful than those handy suspension line things on parachutes.

* If you like this but can’t be arsed to make it, fret not. We’ll have neon green, gold, black and grey-blue versions,  with a sterling silver bead, in our shop from next Friday (23 Oct).

Pimp a pumpkin

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It’s October 2. It’s the weekend. Let’s pimp a pumpkin.

We’re not going to pretend this is going to win us any pumpkin carving competitions – particularly as it doesn’t require any ruddy carving – but we will not deny that it’s a pretty cute, and dare we say it, stylish, way of inviting Halloween into your home.

Plus, it’s so easy we can’t believe we’re writing a 3-step how-to.

Nevertheless, there’s a 3-step how-to after the pics.

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3 simple steps to a stylish pumpkin

What you will need: a selection of gourds from your local greengrocer – it’s nice to mix it up on the size and colour front; a Sharpie

1. Draw a circle for an eye 3/4 of the way up one pumpkin rib
2. Draw a nonchalant v-shape for a smile half-way up the next rib
3. Draw another circle for an eye – just a smidgeon less than 3/4 of the way up – on the next rib for a lovably wonky look

Now find a home for your pumpkin friends somewhere nice in your home. As you can see from the picture below, we created a whole pumpkin family. We kept it chilled, however, by only adding faces to three of the five pumpkins. Because we’re cool like that.

Gourd-jus, eh? (Never gets old, that one.)

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Will you be decorating your home for Halloween? We’d love to hear your ideas if so.

Make Your Own Mini Felt Bunting

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Bunting, like wine, makes things better.

Just look at that storage chest above and tell us it doesn’t.

And as you can see, mini bunting needn’t be Cath Kidston-twee. For example, you could make this with dastardly skull and cross bones-patterned felt if the fancy so took you.

And you can hang it anywhere. On your trunk, a la us. On your kid’s bedroom door. On a gallery wall. On a drinks trolley. From the mantlepiece. A kitchen book shelf. Above your bed. Diagonally above your desk like a hipster blogger. Up to you.

The best thing is: it’s SUPER easy to make.

So if you’re on the market for a bit of quick and easy mini bunting making, check out this how-to.

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1. For a strip of mini bunting like this, you will need: about a meter of bias binding and your own selection of squares of coloured felt – buy from any good online or in store haberdashery.

Or just Amazon it, if you must. Plus, scissors (fabric ones, ideally), thin cardboard, pencil, ruler, needle, pins and thread. Oh, and an iron.

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2. Make a triangle template. Using your ruler, draw a 4-inch horizontal line. Measure 2 inches in and then draw a 4-inch vertical line. Then fill in your triangle sides. Easy, right.

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3. Now pin your triangle to your felt and cut around the bugger. Continue like this until you have 7 triangles.

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4. Now fold your length of bias binding in half and press with iron.

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5. Next, tuck a felt triangle into the pressed binding, a few inches in, and pin it in place. Leave about an inch and pin your next one. And so on, until you’ve tucked in all your triangles (aw).BUNTING 11

6. Now it’s time to unleash the needle and thread – and your primary school sewing skills – and start sewing that bad boy.

Don’t worry too much if you’re crap. You can get away with a lot with white thread on white binding. OR, if you’re a whizz on a sewing machine then do it that way.

7. Give it all another little press with the iron once you’re done – et voila, easy mini bunting for your place

As a side note, obvz if you’re feeling confident you can get longer bias binding and more felt and turn your mini bunting into big bunting that you hang from your ceiling and your walls like in Bake Off. Or something cooler. Being little, we thought we’d start small.

Are you a fan of crafting? Bunting? We’d love to get your feedback/tips!

Ooh and feel free to visit our shop if you fancy – we have lots of nice craft-y things in there if you don’t feel like making things yourself.