Instagram pictures

You may have noticed on the right side of my blog some pictures from Instagram. Yes, I have finally joined Instagram and am enjoying it so far. I am using  a samsung tablet to take the pictures and like the convenience of it, I hardly use a camera anymore when I am out and about or away on a trip as I can just use my tablet.

To view other people’s pictures you can just go on Instagram and view them on any computer (it does not have to be a smartphone nor a tablet), but if you want to post pictures then you can only do so on your smartphone or tablet.

You can view my pictures here www.instagram.com/handmadewithjoy

Here are the ones I posted so far:

This is my mum’s potager and garden in France. I took this picture end of june. She is also a keen gardener and the 1st thing that she planted when she started this garden from scratch are those 2 palm trees. I dream of having one palm tree in my garden one day.

my mum's gardenThis is a fabulous houseplant book. I first saw it on morganours blog and had to have it. I want to review it in another post as it really deserves a review. Suffice to say, it does not have a lot of pictures but each plant has its own lovely illustration. You can get it on amazon or ebay, second hand, at a bargain price. I think I paid less than £3 for it (postage included). The book is from Readers’ Digest, the english version is called Success with Houseplants, and the french version is called Guide des plantes d’interieur.

success with houseplants bookThis is an echeveria plant that I got from Tesco while grocery shopping. It came with a square glass pot and only costs £2. It already has a little baby so I can propagate it later. The plants in the backround are some of my tomatoes.

echeveria plantI saw this butterly in the garden and snapped a picture. They are next to some housplants that are having a holiday in the garden during the day in summer. You can see there 2 purple oxalis triangularis, 2 pilea peperomioides, a philodendron from my mum’s house and a coleus that I have since planted in the garden.

butterfly plantsHere you can see some of those plants on my mantel shelf: a senecio or string of pearl plant, dracaena marginata, purple oxalis triangularis, pilea peperomioides, echeveria, money plant or crassula ovata and a papyrus plant.

plants on mantel shelfMore plants in the living room, next to the french patio doors: asparagus fern, philodendron xanadu, anthurium and a zamioculcas. The pots and plant stand are from Ikea.

houseplants on ikea plant standThis is a calathea plant that I got from Wilkinson (or Wilko), I love that the underside of each leaf is purple, and I was very taken by the lower leaves that have a pink edge. Wilko can be a great place to shop when it comes to houseplants as you can sometimes find treasures there at a great price (this one was only £3) but you have to be quick if you want a healthy plant. Anyone knows how to encourage this plant’s leaves to have a pink edge?

calathea plant from wilkoAnd finally a surprise flower bouquet delivery from Marks and Spencer. Thiis was from my bosses and colleagues at the counselling charity where I volunteer, as a thank you gesture for my work. How nice of them!

flower bouquet from marks and spencer

 

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Lately

Oops, it’s been several months since I posted here. I haven’t forgotten about my 2016 planners, I will take some pictures and will show them to you next time.

I’ve been streamlining my life recently. The stress of trying to conceive got to much, so I have decided to take it easy this year. I want to focus more on little things that bring me joy and happiness, and at this time that means babysitting for family members (I love babies!), gardening, cooking and working on my house.

Here are the newest installations in the living room/sewing room:

An Ikea Varde shelving (the same one I have in my kitchen and also on my kitchen windowsill) for some of my books. This shelving can handle a lot as there are about 100 books there. And my little collection of magnetic butterflies. I am having fun putting them everywhere, like on that pink metal plant pot on the shelving).

ikea varde shelving bookshelfAnd an Umbra invisible bookshelf in a little corner of the living room. This is a very clever little thing as you cannot see the shelf itself, you just see the books. My partner liked it a lot so he bought another one for himself (a double one for his blue ray discs).

invisible bookshelfbottom of invisible shelfI need to find more storage for my books as my collection keeps growing and growing. I grew up in a household full of books (the norm when your father is a writer and a professor), so books are a treasure in my own house. At the moment, I am into spiritual books and wholefood cookbooks.

Do you also hoard books? Please share any of your book storage.

 

24% discount in the shop and featured sewing room

Just a quick note to let you know that there is a currently a 24% DISCOUNT in my main SHOP. The discount code to enter at checkout is   24FOR24DISC  There is no minimum order (shipping is free in UK and $5 for the rest of the world), and the discount is valid only for 24 hours today.

And I forgot to tell you that my sewing room has been featured on American Quilter (magazine/online site) in their Dream Studio giveaway. One of their editors saw pictures of my sewing room on flickr and asked me if they could use one of my photos. Of course I said yes, I was very flattered as my sewing room picture is next to some really pretty ones (links below).

my sewing room in american quilterStudio photos: (top to bottom) (1) Emma Jean Jansen, www.emmajeanjansen.com.au; (2) Caroline Hulse, sewcaroline.com; (3) Brook Wilhelmsen, beingbrook.com; (4) Laurraine Yuyama, patchworkpottery.com; (5) Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms; (6) Lotta Jansdotter Studio by Jenny Hallengren; (7) Dawn Hansen, olabelhe.com; (8) Lova Rajaonarimanana, handmadewithjoy.etsy.com; (9) Jacquelyn Gering of Tallgrass Prairie Studio; and (10) Anna Maria Horner, annamariahorner.com.

You may have also noticed that I  finally finished the In the Press page on the blog. I still need to tweak this blog but it is getting there slowly.

PS: for those of you who sent me private emails, sorry I am late with my reply, I will get back to you all so please be patient with me

 

 

Happy new year

Happy new year everyone!

I am glad to start this new year with a renewed energy and a sense of gratitude for my life. Last year was a difficult time for me as I was struggling with my health (endometriosis), so my resolution this year is to continue exploring ways of healing this condition.

My other resolution is to work better at my little business. It has been more of a hobby than a business up to now as I only work part time in it, but this year I want to be more productive and more organised. So to start the new year, I treated myself to a new shop: handmadewithjoy.bigcartel.com . Yes I alreay have 4 shops so I don’t really need a 5th one as ideally I would rather just have 1 shop but they are each useful in their own way so I keep having them. For example, etsy and folksy are very good for me as it is where editors (books and magazines) usually contact me for various projects that end up being a good exposure for my business. Also most of my big orders ($150 upward) come from etsy, and it is where I get a good percentage of my international sales. Dawanda is also useful for me as it allows me to attract french speaking buyers (as I list my items in french and english there). And as for ebay, I also get a good percentage of custom orders there, and most of those buyers become private clients, so it has its merits.

Most of my private clients are happy being invoiced directly via a paypal invoice but a few of them still like the idea of buying from a shop, so the new shop will be good for that as I will be able to create private listings for them in this shop. Also, bigcartel (that hosts my new shop) works on a monthly shop rental fee without  taking any commission for my sales, so it is a good place for high value items like quilts which I want to offer more of in the future. For those of you who sell handmade, do you have any favourite selling platform and if yes why? And for those of you who buy handmade, where do you prefer to buy?

russian doll cosmetic bags

Anyway, I have started listing items in the new shop but still have more to items to upload. I wanted to let you know about it as I am offering FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING for this month (january 2014) in the new shop. Some of my best sellers are items made with the russian doll fabric above, but I only have less than a yard left of that fabric and am gutted as it is an out of print fabric so I cannot buy more of it. I am currently sourcing some new fabrics to use this year and have found one that I am particularly excited about. As they do well for me, I will continue using liberty fabrics and russian doll fabrics among some japanese ones.

Gardening wise, the weather has been quite mild around here so there are nice surprises in the garden. For example, the alpine strawberries are still flowering and fruiting. And there are still lots of greenery and some flowers here and there, including this borage plant.

borage flower in january

Indoor, my african violets are flowering profusely. To make them flower, I put them on the kitchen window shelf (where they get the most light) untill they flower and then I move them to the living room/sewing room. Once the flowers are finished I move them back to the kitchen windowsill.

st paulia african violet plants

I am overwintering some plants as usual, and this year the banana plant is in the bathroom (I try a new space for it every winter to see what it likes best), it seems to like it there as it’s getting plenty of light and warmth. I am also overwintering some hardy fuschia cuttings which grow so easily in water (I use old glass spice jars for them), once they have enough roots I will pot them up.

overwintering banana

hardy fuschia cuttings

I have been very busy with sewing in december so did not finish planting my tulips and therefore am still planting them now. They may flower a bit late but that’s ok, I can’t wait to see them in all their glory in spring.

Handmade Gifts book

Sorry I have not been blogging for months. I really want to make more effort with this blog so I am thinking of having a blog post once a week from now on. I would be very grateful if you could let me know what you would like to read more on my blog: gardening, sewing, selling handmade, sewing room ideas? Thanks in advance.

Do you remember the book I was working on beginning of this year? It is now available to buy in all bookshops and you can view it on amazon (ISBN-10: 1409334058  ISBN-13: 978-1409334057):

www.amazon.co.uk/Handmade-Gifts-Dk-Crafts/dp/1409334058

Amazon and some of its marketsellers offer international deliveries if you would like to buy one but live outside of UK. I’ve bought several copies there for members of my family in France. I got my copy from the editors and it is a great book with a lot of lovely crafts to make. I will do a proper review of it another time but here are a few pictures:

Handmade Gifts book   Handmade Gifts book DK

The book was written with several other crafters and is published by DK (they also sell the book directly there – as a hardback and an ebook), my contribution is on page 106 and my name is on the authors page 251).

my ipad cover in Handmade Gifts book

This is the list of projects in the book along with the name of all the contributors. My name is on the top right of the right page.

Handmade Gifts book authors

Handmade Gifts book Lova

Yes I know, I have a very long name. For those wo are curious about it, I am originally from Madagascar.

To celebrate the release of the book, I thought I would offer FREE DELIVERY (including international deliveries) for all my handmade items (including custom made items) that are purchased directly from me (not from my shops). So if you would like to purchase something, have a look at one of my shops (links on the right column bar) and contact me here  – by leaving a comment (or via any of my shops) and I will email you a paypal invoice. You can pay by bank transfers (or cheque/postal order/cash at any HSBC bank) or by paypal.

Here is a Nook cover that I sewed lately for a customer.  I now I offer a custom fit cover for any ereader (Kindle, Nook, etc), and you can also chose the fabric you want (I have more than 100 fabrics to chose from).

On the sewing room front, I haven’t had time to re-organise it yet but I found a nifty solution for storing my iron board. If you remember, I have found my dream table which serves as cutting table (with a self healing mat on the right side of the table) and an ironing table (with a homemade portable ironing board on the left side of the table). My iron is big bulky and heavy so I don’t want to store it in a cupboard as I use it everyday, but it does not look nice permanently on the table, so I put 2 Ikea mini chest of drawers on top of each other under the table (like this one but mine has 9 drawers) and now my iron sits on top of those drawers and is ready to be used anytime.

sewing room iron storage

Now, I am still debating whether to sew a curtain or not to hide all the junk under the table (right now, my tulip bulbs are parking there until I plant them in december). And talking about gardening, here is a picture of my side yard this summer (in august), as promised. I will write a blog post about my success and failures in the garden this year, next time.

my side yard august 2013