Merry Christmas from WMBL

Wow, how did that happen?

It’s Christmaaaas!

And we must apologise for being so quiet this month. We’ve been beavering away on our Christmas orders.

We were also busy working on another commission for our favourite boozer, The Famous Royal Oak in norf London. Eight metres of Christmas tree bunting this time – complete with fashion accessory du jour, the pom-pom.


     

We also made some less-trad neon Christmas flower deco’s for another client. Voila…

 
And while we were at it, we were mostly drinking our own seasonal take on the Mimosa, adding blitzed-up satsumas to our bubbles for a fizzy take on our 5-a-day. Give it a go. Its perfect for Christmas morning. But, importantly, it’s not just for Christmas morning.

 

All that’s left to say now is: have a fabulous Christmas and thanks for following us in 2015. We’ll be back with more of the same, and more that’s different too, in the New Year 🎉 

This December, we love…

WMBL WINTER

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.

Boozy hot chocolate

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Here’s something warm, soothing and boozy to sip on while you stick up your Christmas deco’s or start writing your cards. After all, we’re almost in December, peeps, and now is the time to put on two stone.

We like this boozy hot chocolate a lot. It’s like the sort of hot chocolate you’d get on a ski holiday: rich, thick, indulgent and guaranteed to leave you feeling a little rosy-cheeked and squiffy.

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Here’s what you need for four people: 1 pint of milk; 50g of good dark chocolate – grated; 2 tbsp of quality hot chocolate; 1 tbsp of cornflour; 2tbsp of icing sugar; a bottle of chocolate cream liqueur or Irish cream/Baileys.

Here’s what you do:

1.Grate your chocolate into fine flakes – keep a few flakes back for decoration

2.Pour milk into pan on medium heat

3.Tip your grated chocolate, hot chocolate, cornflour and icing sugar into a jar and shake to mix

4.When milk is starting to bubble gently, spoon in your dry ingredients mixture

5.Turn down the heat a bit and keep stirring until your chocolatey milk becomes smooth

6.Pour a good glug of your creamy liqueur into glass mugs – or hefty tumblers with stems. We went for M&S’s Chocolate Yule Log Cream because it seemed rude not to

7.Carefully pour in your hot choc

8.Sprinkle on your leftover chocolate flakes

9.Drink while doing Christmas errands/watching Christmas 24

10.Pour some more when finished and get gently sozzled because it’s nearly Christmaaaaaaas!

 

 

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…

Hot Spiced Apple

APPLEDRINK

Halloween and Bonfire Night are over for another year –  now it’s four more Sundays until December. What to fill them with? Warming drinks and River on iPlayer, we say.

And here’s a hot piece of toddy you might like to try for yourself. It contains spices that will fill your kitchen with autumnal/Christmassy smells and you can drink it ‘nice’ or ‘naughty’.

APPLEBIRDSEYE

Ingredients: 1 litre of apple juice (more if you’re sharing with more than 6 people); cinnamon stick; 3 star anise; 2 cloves; orange and lemon slices; something medicinal – we used dark rum for a fruity kick but whisky would work just as well

Method:

Slice an orange and lemon into wheels and gather together your spices

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Pour apple juice into pan and turn on hob to a moderate heat.

Plonk in your fruit and spices and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes

APPLEPAN

If you’re going medicinal, pour a glug of your something naughty into a glass mug

– or just any old mug if you haven’t got the glass variety

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Now ladle in your spiced apple juice along with some of the fruit slices, for a grey-day take on sangria

APPLELADEL

APPLEMUGS

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Remove mugs of hot spiced apple from kitchen, along with yourself. Position yourself on sofa, grab a throw and cover yourself with it. Find gritty yet poignant thriller on catch-up TV. Slurp hot spiced apple.

And continue until glass is finished. Then return to kitchen and repeat.

What are your favourite seasonal tipples? We’re thinking of trying a boozy take on a hot chocolate next. It may or may not involve Baileys. Watch this space…

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY POPPY PROJECT

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The owners of one our favourite local pubs, The Famous Royal Oak in Muswell Hill, north London, commissioned us with a special project for Remembrance Sunday. Landlord, Colm, and his daughter, Meg, wanted 8 metres (count ’em) of poppy bunting to commemorate the occasion.

They left the specifics up to us. What was essential, howevz, was that we came up with something that fitted the look of this hidden gem-pub to a tee. As you’ll see from the pics, it’s brilliantly eclectic and crammed full with fab curios and family trinkets.

So WMBL’s Maria researched real and abstract poppy designs and came up with a shape and style that resembles the famous paper poppy pin. She ventured out to Hobbycraft and stocked up on red and green felt, shiny red cord and black buttons for the poppy-middle.

After a sterling start from Maz, who knocked up the first couple of metres solo, it was all hands to the deck with even baby Jasmine helping out with the task. Once complete, Alice hand-delivered it to the pub and helped Meg with the festooning.

Check out the pics…

BEFORE…

BARBEFORE

Lovely wooden bar with pretty stained glass

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Books, clocks and birds

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Penguin classics and a model Armada

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Loads of lovely stuff

IN PROGRESS…

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A poppy close up (and some scissors)

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Alice, Maria and Jasmine hard at it

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Jasmine concentrating deeply on the task in hand

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She really should get a lot of credit for this

AFTER…

BARSINGLEPOP

Hello, poppet

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Booze and bunting: what a combo

BARAFTER

These babies run the length of the bar

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Like flowers down a black board

We loved working on this project and we’re pleased/relieved to say that Colm and Meg are chuffed to bits with the result and already considering future themed-bunting. “We all love them!” Meg told us. Yay. Phew.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Fancy a visit to this beautiful boozer? You can find it here: The Famous Royal Oak, 73 St James’s Ln, London N10 3QY

Hello, new shop products

Author: Sarah-Louise

As you might have guessed, we love a bit of bunting here at We May Be Little. And the past week has mostly been spent working on said hangy stuff in all its various guises.

One of our projects is a bespoke commission from a local pub, which we’re quite excited about and which we’ll update you on, on here soon.

The second lot of bunting we’ve been beavering away at is of the Christmas and baby name variety, which is now in our Etsy shop.

So we wanted to introduce you and let you know they come handmade with TLC and a nice price tag.

After all, as soon as this weekend’s Halloween celebrations are up we’re practically staring down the gob of Christmas.

First up, here’s our Christmas bunting, perfect for festooning your fireplace, window ledge, fridge, whatever tickles your fancy…

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CHRISTMAS STAG BUNTING, £5 for a metre/ 5 flags – as pictured.

This is our standard bunting size and the perfect length for mantlepieces, shelves and chests (not those kind). We can make longer pieces for walls if you fancy it – just send us an email and put in your requests.

Here are some more patterns:

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RETRO BABY REINDEER BUNTING, £5 for a metre/5 flags

 

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CHRISTMAS VILLAGE BUNTING, £5 for a metre/5 flags

 

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SCANDI CHRISTMAS BUNTING, £5 for a metre/5 flags
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BESPOKE NAME BUNTING, £10 for up to 5 letters; £1 for each extra letter

We’ve also been going for it on the baby name bunting. Lucky Jasmine (my baby girl) can’t move for the stuff.

Here’s how the name bunting works. It’s a tenner for up to five letters – an extra £1 for each letter after that (so Jasmine would have cost £12 if we hand’t have made it ourselves. Though from a business point of view, maybe we should pay ourselves?) There are four different fabrics to choose from too, with more on their way: toadstools; owls; friends and flowers – see below.

 

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And there we have it. Remember, you could have a go at making your own bunting by following our mini bunting how-to. Or if you can’t be bovved with all that then we’ll make it for you. All of the bunting options above are clickable and go straight through to our Etsy shop. Otherwise you can click here.

 

Happy festooning!

Strictly Sunday 

  
Gratuitous Strictly post 5

So it’s bye-bye to Ainsley and an end to all those food dance-puns. After a crazed jive to a backdrop of floating toast, even he must have been thinking this takes the biscuit. 

Jamelia lived to dance another day after an underwhelming waltz. Let’s hope she gets to do the Charleston again next week. 

Elsewhere, Georgia’s disco-salsa was missing the chilis for us, a bit bland and heavy. Nevertheless she snaffled a 31. Weather woman Carol’s Viennese waltz was perfectly nice and elegant but she got mean comments again. Some of the judges want to turn her into another comedy figure along with Jeremy but she’s not playing along. She’s snow joke.

Anita did a dramatic tango to an undramatic song (Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap) and bagged a 32, while Peter’s Rumba hips weren’t nearly as silky as his fetching turquoise shirt. He got 29 and we’re wondering: did he peak in week 1?

A mini fist pump for Kirsty. You can see how badly she wants to be good. There’s a scary intensity in her eyes. And the moment she relaxed a little she became elegant and floaty. Len said lots of things about fleckles and pivots so it must’ve been good and she ended up with 29. 

Katie didn’t get her bum going in the salsa, apparently, and toppled from last week’s top spot to one from the bottom this week, with 21. Jeremy’s waltz wasn’t his best. Ballroom doesn’t have the same comedy potensh as Latin after all. He got a lowly 18 and was lucky to escape the dreaded D.O.

Helen (that sweet grin is becoming a little manic now) did an almost flawless quickstep to You Can’t Hurry Love with flashing train imagery. There were lots of train puns from the judges, which is funny considering there is no journey here at all. She got 35. Kellie got the same for a fizzy jive. 

Jay’s 33-scoring Paso Doble got Bruno so over excited he dropped the B-bomb (bollocks) (as in ‘the dog’s’) and got told off. It was a rare moment of excitement in a slightly uninspiring week. Oh well, we’ll keep on dancing. See you next week! 

Halloween your hearth

HAL NIGHT

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.

HAL EMPTY HEARTHHAL BUDDHAHAL CATHAL MACRAME

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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HAL HEARTH PUMPHAL FINAL CLOSE UP

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

Strictly Sunday

    

At the top of the leaderboard an elegant flamingo (Katie). At the bottom, an “electrocuted stork.”

And yet the stork in question (Jeremy) lived to jive another day – in his own “peculiar” fashion. As did Katie whose Viennese Waltz was as light as a feather. Partner Anton, who’s had his toes fractured by Judy Murray and Jerry Hall in recent years, mustn’t know what to do with himself.

It was Daniel O’Donnell (where were his legion of loyal followers last night, huh?) who faced the dance off – along with a mohawked Kirsty. Who, despite looking like she should be amazing, isn’t really very amazing. Yet. To borrow a phrase, there’s a good dancer lurking in there somewhere. Will it emerge, this lurking dancer of hers, that is the question? And if so, what will it look like?

Anyway, Daniel went. He was a gent. Partner Kristina blubbed. No one feels this show as much as Kristina. She even feels it when she’s dancing with someone she doesn’t want to feel. Love her. 

  
Elsewhere, and the weight of expectation on Jay – after last week’s finale-style fireworks – was just too much to bear for the nervy one. There were mistakes in his Quickstep. Horror. The poor blighter only got 25 points. It was just a stumble, assured the judges. And we think they’re right. The pressure’s off again. Next week, the Travolta toes will be back.

What else. Helen needed to “earth her grind”, according to Craig (answers on a postcard…), but other than that predictably got 32 for her salsa. And Anita did well with hers while looking like she was trying a little too hard, again. 

  
Jamelia “found” her dance. It was the Charleston. Doesn’t everyone do well with the Charleston? Kirsty needs to do the Charleston. We’re happy for Jamelia, anyway. Like us, she’s a Brummie, her mouth gets her into trouble and she’s a bit more rubbish at dancing than she should be. This was hopefully the turning point.

Kellie did a lovely (read: boring) foxtrot inspired by her nan. The sentiment was sweet but it wasn’t a patch on last week’s Star Wars jig. Technically, however, that last statement isn’t true as she got exactly the same amount of points as she did last week. Her finger placement also got Craig excited.

  
Ainsley did a waltz quite proficiently. Georgia looked sweet hopping around the floor with her Quick Step. She’ll be in the final, that one.
Probably alongside Pete, who did a tango to Blue Monday. After last week’s bad panto performance, he was “back”. However he has a tendency to over-dance, according to Len. We agree. Easy there, Pete. 

 
The last word goes to lovely Carol, who is quite the heartthrob amongst men of a certain age. I know this because my uncle, who is of a certain age, signed up to Twitter just so he could contact her. (She didn’t reply). Apparently he and his friends discuss her merits over pints of ale down the local. This weekend she got all mean and moody in the Paso Doble and danced well. And she looked rather fetching. Her merits are probably being discussed right now.

  
See you next week. And until then, keeeep…