9 March 2015

Sewing adventures and Margot pj's

So I have this pretty bad habit of deciding I want to do something and then getting every piece of equipment involved to do said task without actually knowing if I can do it or even enjoy it. I did exactly the same thing when I wanted to start making jewellery, luckily that turned out okay.

Hello sewing! I decided I wanted to sew, make my own clothes and live in a handmade wardrobe for the rest of my life.  I also have a bad habit of immedietly thinking I can do anything; for example I have two sewing patterns for coats!? I have only just got around to turning my brand new and expensive Pfaff passport on never mind attempting to sew a winter jacket!

So I got my sewing machine, got my pins and tape measure, got my fancy and expensive red fabric weapon scissors and notions box from Merchant and Mills, also got my dressmaking dummy. I even got a bloomin' overlocker for crying out loud! (which is marvellous and fast by the way). I decided I was going to start easy so I made the Margot pyjamas from Tilly's 'Love at first stitch' book. I had ordered a bunch of fabric from Hawthorne Threads which included this fun woodland print, perfect pj material.

How difficult can it be? I only need to cut out 2 pieces on the fold and sew them together.  Well the actual tracing of the pattern and cutting of the material I swear took me about 3 hours! I don't know why, I was obviously fannying about a bit too much and then when I had cut the pieces it is said lay the front leg on the back leg and pin together.  Of course my front leg was not as wide as the back leg so I was confused, think I spent about an hour, with my boyfriend 'umming and ahhing' over how this could be? I measured everything again, scrupulously, to make sure I hadn't traced wrong or cut the fabric wrong. I didn't realise that they weren't supposed to match up, this is just how patterns work! (I eventually realised this by turning to the next page of the book and reading about fabric construction, oops)

I decided to leave the actual sewing until the following day, this part also took me a couple of hours but it was fun! I also overlocked all my seams, so cool!
So I proudly present my first handmade garment! my Margot jammies; I wore them all day yesterday, it was Sunday, I could.

I think I want to make a top next, actually I want to make a skirt but seeing as I never wear them it might be a bit pointless, so a top it will be.

6 January 2015

Etsymetal blog carnival: New Year's Resolutions

Welcome to our EtsyMetal monthly Blog Carnival!
Blog Carnival is about a group of our members sharing their experience on a common topic.

New Year's Resolutions!

It's that time of year again to try and make and keep some resolutions, mine are generally always the same!

  1. Learn some new jewellery techniques, I want to do some more stone setting this is year and crank out some pieces with stones, I am getting quite a collection!
  2. Stick to the 'Earring a Day' challenge, I am always super motivated at the beginning of the year and then I fizzle out.  This year it is to make one earring everyday for the year and then put them in my Etsy shop under the asymmetrical section.
  3. Get to 1000 sales in my Etsy shop! Not sure that will happen this year though but you never know! :)
  4. Learn more jewellery skills in general, I am completely self taught so always learning.
  5. Be happy! less anxious and don't sweat the small stuff. Try and be more positive.
  6. Be organised, especially in my studio!
  7. The usual, lose weight, eat healthy and stop biting my nails!
Earring a Day 1-4

Check out resolutions from other members of the Etsymetal team:

27 September 2014

Homemade bounty bars

I made these bars after craving something sweet and realising I have a ton of coconut products in my house I thought why not make a healthier version of these bars? Also I live in France and I don't remember seeing any actual Bounty bars in the shops. These bad boys are a paleo treat! eat wisely.

I could have made them so they were totally covered in chocolate but that's messy and I like this coconut to chocolate ratio better.

Here's what you need:

3 cups of shredded/ desiccated coconut, unsweetened
3/4 cup coconut oil (I didn't melt the oil first I just packed it into the cup)
1/2 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp of maple syrup
150g dark chocolate, I used Green & Black's 85%
knob of butter plus a little extra for greasing.

Melt the coconut oil in a pan along with the coconut butter;  once melted stir in the shredded coconut and the 1/4 cup of maple syrup.
Line a Square pan with some cling film, you may need to add a little butter to grease the pan and keep the cling film in place.
Pour in the coconut mixture, flatten and put in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.

Now melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan over boiling water, don't let the glass touch the water! Once melted add the knob of better and the Tbsp of maple syrup and stir through.
Finally take out the coconut slab and pour over your melted chocolate and refrigerate again until it has set.

Slice up your bars and enjoy responsibly!

10 September 2014

The life changing loaf of bread

If you know me you will know that I LOVE food! I love cooking it and I love eating it and I was also trying to maintain 2 blogs which is quite hard work, this one and a food blog.  Now I have decided to just have everything here so I will be moving some posts over to this one.

Since giving up wheat in the New Year, I surprisingly haven't missed bread at all, yes I still eat wheat occasionally, I am only human after all! There are times when I fancy a piece of toast with my scrambled eggs and when I do, this is what I eat.

I always keep a loaf of this stashed away in my freezer pre-sliced, that way I can just grab a piece or 2 whenever I want it. Amazing by itself but even better toasted and topped with hummus or paleo friendly jam.

This loaf is adapted from Sarah's recipe from My New Roots, here's my version:

Pre-heat your oven to 175 grad.

  • 1 cup/ 135g seed mix (sunflower, pumpkin etc.)
  • 1/2 cup/ 90g flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup/ 65g hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups/ 145g rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. psyllium husk powder
  • 1 tsp fine grain salt (I use pink Himalayan)
  • 3 Tbsp. melted ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups/ 350ml water

Put everything into a bread tin or a flexible silicon bread pan, I use a flexible pan as it is easy to tell when the bread is ready to be baked.  Mix everything up and press down and leave to sit for 2 hours or even overnight.  The bread is ready to be baked when you pull the side of the flexible pan away slightly and the bread holds it's shape.

Bake for 20 minutes and then remove from the pan and place the bread directly on the oven shelf and bake for another 30-40 minutes, it will sound hollow when tapped once done.

Leave to cool then slice up and freeze or eat as you like.

4 August 2014

EtsyMetal blog carnival- Tools!

Welcome to our EtsyMetal monthly Blog Carnival!
Blog Carnival is about a group of our members sharing their experience on a common topic.

This months topic is our favourite tools!

This is probably one of my most favourite topics, I love tools! and I love having a nosey around others peoples studios too see what they are using.

So here are some of my tools, some I use every day and others get used less frequently but I still wouldn't want to be without them.

My saw: obviously for me this is an important one, I use it almost every time I make something and this one is a old Knew Concepts one.

Disc cutters: I use this a lot too and I recently had one custom made especially for me, it's amazing and I want to get more!

Dapping/ doming set: I use this mainly for my post earrings.

Ring stretcher/ reducer: another useful tool to have if you make a lot of rings, I mainly use the reducer when I have gone a bit overboard with my hammering.

Torches: I use 2, a big jumbo one and this cute little dremel which is perfect for tiny things like jump rings.

Rolling mill: SO I have had this mini mill for about a 1 and a half years and I never use it; mainly because I obliterate everything I put through it! I need to spend some more time with it as I want to do some pattern rolling at some point in the future.

My bench: Of course my beloved bench is one of my most favourite things, can you call it a tool? probably not, but I love it and there is a whole other post about it here.

So that's a quick look at my tools and what I use on a day to day basis, check other members of the Etsymetal team to see their favourite tools.