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DIY Copper Pots

Regular readers will have spotted me mentioning the building site/renovation project that is our wee cottage. One of the BIG projects we ticked-off earlier this year was our new single storey extension that houses the family bathroom and my sewing room.

Due to the age of the house,  we had to completely rewire & re-plumb, and due to the fact it’s built from stone both the wiring and pipework are surface mounted – ie visible, rather than sunk into the walls as per more modern homes.

The plumbing pipework is copper and I have totally fallen in love with its warm tones. I’ve painted the bathroom in two shades of grey and the contrast between the dark grey & copper is really beautiful, thus I’ve gone a bit of a copper mission of late!

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One of the things I’ve been on the hunt for is copper plant pots, but have been struggling to find the sizes I want, so decided to DIY it instead and actually I’m really pleased with the results.

I had a heap of Terracotta pots & dishes so decided to pimp those up using a can of Rust-Oleum copper spray paint & B&Q paint left over from painting the walls.

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The process is really simple – give the pots a good clean if they’ve been previously used. Dry off and then get to work with the paintbrush & spray can. Simples!

I found my pots needed two coats for a solid coverage. The spray paint isn’t terribly even but I rather like the patchy effect as it stops them from looking too new.

The great thing about painting them myself is that as my plant collection grows I can simply paint some more!

 

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Weeks Forty-Forty Two: 52 Weeks Of Creativity

So last year (2016 ) I set myself the challenge of making something new every week. This didn’t include commissions I was working on, so each thing had to be fresh and exciting.

To say that I found it difficult would be putting it lightly! Inspiration and planning the pieces takes a considerable chunk of time, and of course there is the actual making, followed by the photographing and blogging. Possibly do-able if I wasn’t juggling paid-for makes…and if I was a damn sight more disciplined!

So I’ll put my hand up and say I failed..YUP over here…ME. TOTAl FAILURE! Except I really, really don’t view that as a bad thing, because I learned an absolute bucket load about me, and my business in the process, and will be implementing some changes behind the scenes as we head through 2017.

Plus…I’m ‘only’ 10 weeks short, and as you will have spotted in my last post – I went and opened a real life shop so I reckon that’s a big old excuse!

So the only thing for me to do is bring up to date the pieces I did make, but failed to find the time to make note of…

Week Forty:

These were an experiment using my typewriter to apply text to fabric – which went remarkably well, and something I am going to develop for some new pieces.

I had intended to frame these ‘canvas style’ but my wood working skills it turns out are quite frankly appalling so I had to give up on that idea. Husband said he would help, but as he’s busy with our house renovations they’ll no doubt stay like this for a little while!

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Week Forty One:

In recent years, since acquiring a husband and a joint account I have become really lax in terms of my personal spending. Husband is the primary bread winner and tends to keep an eye on it all, so I’ve got rather lazy. Oooh OUCH – that’s a bit of a horrid – somewhat embarrassing revelation if i’m honest. So towards the end of last year I resolved to stop being such a sap and bring some order and honesty to my personal finances. (In a complete flip I am super strict on MMM finances…I’m THAT lunatic who files her tax return on 1st May!)

One of the things that got repeated rather often on those ‘be your own financial superhero’ type of articles was separating your cash and your cards – so you have to consciously think about HOW you are spending the cash.

So my first make to enable that process was my own little CC wallet. There are heaps of ‘how to’ videos on You Tube, and I opted to make mine from a chunky felt with retro inspired fabric panel, edged in ribbon and finished with an elastic closure.

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A simple two-sided affair – i’m using one side for credit & debit cards and the other for loyalty cards.

A couple of things to note…I made the elastic a smidge too tight. It works, but a few mm’s would be better. Also a pale fabric was probably not such a good move as it is looking a tad grubby.

Week Forty Two:

To complement the card holder, I made a matching coin purse the following week. Again heaps of how-to on the internet. The size of mine was governed by a zip I had going spare, and as you can see I made it from matching fabric.

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again this is probably a tad pale and is stating to look a bit grubby. I decided to be a bit clever and add a dividing pocket – but if i’m honest it’s not really needed.

This little experiment is going so well – I’m actually spending LESS MONEY than before! So it’s really unlikely that i’ll return to using  a classic purse or wallet set-up. However there is less place to store things – like stamps and other less used loyalty cards that used to get stashed in my purse, but on the plus side there is also nowhere for receipts to build-up, so I am much more organised and on top of my paperwork than previously.

 

So voila…that is it. Complete. Fin. Finished. The end!

Thanks to all who stuck through this challenge with me, I hope it’s inspired you to get crafty or maybe tackle a little up-cycle you’ve been toying with.

If you are thinking of setting yourself a similar challenge – GO FOR IT. You won’t ‘fail’ even if you make 1, 2,3 things as you’ll have got started, learn some stuff and hopefully have some fun on the way!

Mrs Mxx

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AWOL

So some of you may have been wondering where the heck I disappeared off to for the past month or so? You hadn’t noticed? Oh… 🙁

..Well for those of you that might have been a tad concerned, here’s a little update..and don’t worry it’s all good. In fact it’s better than good – it’s edge of your seat, screaming at the top of your lungs AWESOME!

Where to start… hum..the beginning? Usually the place where most people start a tale isn’t it? I don’t though…I always read the last page of a novel first. Weird? Maybe. Habit I picked up when I was in my morose teenage-era..you know I had to know what happened in case I died before I finished. Yep – told you I was morose. Please note PAST TENSE. Very important. In fact I got described as irritatingly optimistic recently..and I take that as a compliment  🙂

Right…may I present you with The end:

Eclectica of Ludlow

 

I know RIGHT..edge of your seat, pant wettingly FAB-U-LOUS! I went and opened my own shop, here in Ludlow, the town that I call home. Pinch me!

Now some background;  since leaving the big, serious ‘proper’ aka office job in London 3 years ago I’ve had a part-time shop job which I’ve really enjoyed. It was initially intended as a decompress, an antidote to my previous 14 hour days, but as is often the case when we are not searching for ‘it’ it developed into so much more.

I learned heaps about myself, met my brilliant colleague – and now fellow director – Vicki, an insanely warm, talented human being who eased me into country life and reminded me that I was more than my career…and ego. (and continues to do so!)

The circumstances of our then retail employment were going to change and we got chatting – there might have been prosecco involved – and a plan was hatched. Fast forward a few bumps, false starts, dashed hopes and on the 4th November 2016 we were given keys to the beautiful grade 2 listed building in the picture above.

The end of November sees a big event in Ludlow’s calendar – the Medieval Fayre, an occasion that brings many visitors into the town and marks the start of the festive season with the switch-on of the Christmas lights. We had to be open.

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We owe a LOT of favours! We got to see first-hand how lucky we are in the amazing friends we’ve got, not one said ‘too busy’ or ‘nope’ or ‘what’s in it for me’ it was absolutely humbling and if i’m honest a tad over-whelming. People painted, cleaned the toilet (waaaay above & beyond…Kaz you are a LEGEND) de-pigeon pooped the courtyard and so, so much more. Mr Mac is in my good books for life after pandering to every request, no matter how insane they sounded….Gold mirror ball? Yep, check!

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We have had the most fun over the past 8 weeks, I know I’ve drank a great deal of coffee, lost count of how many chocolates I’ve scoffed, laughed and shed a fair few happy, over-tired and emotional tears but it’s all been worth it as we have been bowled over by our first month of trading. We’ve had a phenomenal amount of support from locals, visitors and our fellow business owners.

Here’s to many, many more months and years.

Oh and where does that leave MrsMacMakes? Still here, looking forward to working on your commissions, and if you happen to find yourself in Ludlow – do pop a long to the ‘freshest independent shop’ and say hello! You might spot one or two products that look familiar!

You’ll find us at 56 Mill Street, SY8 1BB or you can stalk us via our website or social media

MrsMx

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Week Thirty Nine: 52 Weeks of Creativity

Last month saw clan Macauley grow in numbers as my sister-in-law Kate and her lovely husband James added a beautiful baby girl to their brood.

To mark the occasion I obviously had to do something handmade – no shop bought, mass-produced ‘tut’ for my niece!

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Voila..a mobile that can adorn her ceiling until she’s old enough to make her own styling/colour decisions, and then (hopefully!)  through the addition of her date of birth, and weight be a little keepsake for her mum and dad.

I added the sparkly tips to the hanging stars as a focus and entertainment for her little eyes, and also because i’m a bit obsessed with the glitter film from Felted Fancies!

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PS: The ‘shabby chic’…let’s just call it plain old shabby (!) wall in the picture above is an indication of the building site my cottage is at the mo (& has been the past 3 years!?!) My current working space is the landing where this picture was taken…wallpapering is on my to do list this winter!

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Making a sewing room

Three years a go Mr Mac and I took the decision that it was time to move from sunny Surrey to rural Shropshire. Where we bought ourselves a little cottage that needed some TLC…quite a chunk to be fair.

One of the projects was to remove the wooden extension euphemistically called the ‘sun-room’ on the estate agents plans (it is north facing!) and replace it with a more solid and user friendly structure part of which would house the family bathroom and the other my sewing room/ spare bedroom.

Well the building is up, the stud walls are in and now I can think about how to decorate and furnish the room, so if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

Before..an all timber construction, with crittal (metal) windows, that had been in situ for 20/30 years.

During construction…we dug out the foundation with the aid of our friend Muz who is an ace digger driver, however we left the blockwork and roofing construction to our builder Jon Cluley who is bloomin’ brilliant.

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After..ish! We still have all the internal fixtures and fittings to do…but I can now see the size/shape I have to work with and am very excited about kitting it out, and getting my sewing goodies out of storage.

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We’ve clad the exterior (above) in larch which will go a lovely silver colour over time.

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Week Thirty Eight: 52 Weeks Of Creativity

When I made the card for my friends wedding (back in week 33) I realised that my own selection of cards for same sex marriages was ..well non existent.

So to rectify that and also acknowledge the fact that October marks National Coming Out Day I have made a pair of cards perfect for the new Mr & Mr or Mrs & Mrs.

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Featuring a hand stamped message onto white cotton tape, which has been stitched onto golden coloured wool felt and finished with a tortoise shell heart. The card is a beautiful sparkly frosted gold – perfect for a special day.

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FYI…I firmly believe in the #loveislove message, and hope in my lifetime that I get to live in a world where ‘coming out’ is no big flippin’ deal. So with that in mind please know that any mean and nasty comments on this blog post will be deleted without debate. MrsM.x

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Week Thirty Seven: 52 Weeks Of Creativity

I’ve been looking through some of my squirrelled away stashes for this year long 52 weeks of creativity project – stickers, fabric etc bought on a whim just because I love them, rather than having an end use in mind and trying to work them into a  make of some kind.

…Many a business ‘guru’ out there will be wincing as buying supplies in this way is most definitely not cost effective, but i’m sure many of my making peers will be nodding along whilst taking a surreptitious peek over their shoulder as some favourites tucked away ‘just in case!’

 

The focal point of this week make is from just such a piece of fabric – bought many, many moons ago during a trip to Sweden to see the Northern Lights – alas I didn’t see the light display but I did bag this amazing fabric!

A quick nose around online to find the maker tells me that it is now discontinued so it’s just become that bit more special to me!

Scandi Christmas Pennant

Here we have a Scandinavian Father Christmas motif printed onto lovely thick linen fabric which I have hand stitched on to a piece of white cotton embellished with iridescent snowflakes. This has then been mounted onto soft red wool felt which I have pimped with glittery film sourced from Felted Fancies Supplies.

…Let me digress for a minute this stuff (which is available in a rainbow of colours) is THE BOMB for anyone wanting to add a bit of sparkle to their projects – you can iron it on to any fabric…totally bloody brilliant and I have no doubt i’ll be using it elsewhere! (must resist the urge to glitter EVERYTHING!)

Right back to this pennant – because it’s a Christmas make and thus I believe there is no such thing as ‘too much’ I’ve also added a pom-pom trim (also sourced from Felted Fancies) and stitched a sweet little bell on to Santa’s hat.

Scandi Christmas Pennant

If you would like to own one of these then you can purchase one via my website here. Please bear in mind numbers are limited due to the fabric being discontinued, so once they’re gone, they are gone!

 

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Week Thirty Six: 52 Weeks of Creativity

I have had these sparkly alphabet stickers tucked away in my crafty stash forever. I have vague fluttering memory of buying them at Waterstones during a lunchtime present dash back when I was an office dweller.

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I think it’s no secret that I LOVE stationary, and if it’s glittery then i’m totally powerless to resist! So its no surprise to me that I bought these with no idea of what I intended to do with them!

I also have zero purpose or intention with this latest ’52 weeks of creativity’ make*. I saw the layout of this lettering on the Minkpink Instagram page donkey’s yonks ago (below), and just love the simplicity and fun of it and it seemed the perfect use for the gold sparkly letters lurking in my stash.

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*No doubt you’ll see it again popped on display in my new studio – which is slowly taking shape at Casa Mac..more on that later!

 

 

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Week Thirty Five: 52 Weeks Of Creativity

Festive fever has hit MrsM HQ this week, and I’ve tweaked one of this years new products – the micro pennants, to give it a Christmas feel.

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The ho, ho, ho’s are hand embroidered in red and grey floss onto a piece of up-cycled cotton which is mounted on to lovely and soft red wool felt. Simple, but I’m rather pleased with how effective they look – and one shall be hanging by my fireplace come December.

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Week Thirty Four: 52 Weeks of Creativity

Back in week 24 …which feels like waaaay longer than 10 weeks ago,  I tackled a sequin covered coat hanger

It was whilst making that, that I had a lightbulb moment for a Christmas present for the lovely ladies in my life…who it has to be said are all magpies and have amazing bling collections. My idea? Sparkly, sequinned-up-to-the-whaaaazoooo jewellery hangers!

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I ordered children’s wooden coat hangers from an Ebay seller, sourced some of those twist in hooks from our local DIY store;  FYI I wanted silver hooks to match the colour of the hanger – which proved to be easier said than done! The more readily available ones seem to be brass, so my options for the size of hook was a bit limited. However I am pleased with the proportions of the ones I did manage to find.

Twisting the hooks in wasn’t as easy as I had anticipated, but with a bit of perseverance and a few cups of tea I got there – I opted to put six in each to allow enough space so things don’t get tangled.

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The sequins I also sourced via Ebay, I wanted to find a seller of wholesale rolls rather than lengths, which took me to a Chinese source. The rolls that arrived are great, and I can’t fault the quality. However I ordered, gold, silver & white. The white was remarkably similar to the silver hence you can only see two hangers here and not my originally planned three!

It was then a case of following the ‘how to’ from the Something Turquoise blog once again and voila. If you decide to give this a whirl – do use her ‘toothbrush tip’ it’s total genius and works a treat.

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