A Big Christmas Thank You!

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This month really has got away with me, come to think of it – this whole year has!  The countdown to Christmas started a good three weeks ago now for most people.  For me, it starts on my birthday – exactly 12 weeks before.  However, this week marks my official ‘I’m as excited as my five year old niece and her ten year old brother even though I’m twenty-six years old’ mood.  I love Christmas more than I love the food that comes with it (and when your own mum and your mother in law make a crackin’ roast that’s A LOT!).  I’m the annoying sibling that wakes up at 4am, the annoying colleague who decorates everyone in tinsel, plays Christmas songs and organises Secret Santa and festive bake offs and the annoying fiance who constantly mithers the other half to watch Christmas films.

Anyway, as the month has gone so fast I haven’t had time to really thank everyone for making the relaunch of Molly&Mavis such a success.  This has been my biggest year for orders, new ideas and really getting in to the world of crafting and selling, so a huge huge thank you must go out to anyone who ordered something from me.  Whether this was one sprout or a giant Australian order – thank you one million times over.  You’ve made me a very happy lady (and for those who know me, it’s taken some time to feel that over the past 18 months).

Crafting helps me in so many ways.  I have severe anxiety mixed with depression which can be a handful and earlier this year it was pretty bad. I didn’t want to even think about sewing a gingerbread man, so the change has been massive, as you can see, and lots of that has been thanks to you all.  I’m feeling happy, in control and positive for 2017.  The new year will bring baby shower, new baby and wedding items, so please keep watch.

Right now, I’m going to put this side of my life on holiday until around the 9th January 2017, but I will still be blogging over Christmas (sorry, you can’t get rid of me so easily!).  Christmas items for 2017 will be available to pre-order from February and I plan to do some events next year, so I hope to see you there.

For now, wedding prep takes over as I get ready to become a ‘Mrs’ and grow up (apparently).

THANK YOU!

Merry Christmas all, and have a really great new year!

Molly&Mavis – Who inspired me to be creative

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Molly&Mavis is my (Meg) creative outlet.  It started a couple of years ago as ‘Strawberry.Lily’ as space for me to breathe outside of work and university.  Over the past 26 years, I think I’ve been very lucky in having a balanced mind between creativity and academia.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in English that I couldn’t be more proud of and I love to learn and, perhaps weirdly, love writing essays!  On the other hand, I love being creative, whether that’s in my down time to relax, creatively revising, creating presentations and infographics at work or designing something for a present.  As I mentioned in my first post, I felt disconnected to Strawberry.Lily and I didn’t really know how to market it, but recently with a name change and a new logo and blog, I’m feeling really positive and very motivated – but it didn’t come without a little sadness…

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Maisy (left) and Jarvis (right)

For months I’ve been trying to think of a new name for my venture.  I toyed with flowers, fruits and animals, and last week I finally settled on pets.  I’m a big animal lover and in the Adams’ household we’ve always been blessed with dogs.  When I was 18 months old, and believe it or not this was my very first memory, we went to pick Molly, our Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel, up from the breeders.  She was an absolute dream for 10 years until she passed away – hence one half of our fabulous new name.  The second part of our name comes from a more recent time.  Twelve long years ago we picked up a Yorkshire Terrier named Maisy, something different for us, as my Mum and I had only ever grown up with Cocker Spaniels.  Maisy was so small and didn’t grow much at all, she was yappy, but she had a great character and we have lots of memories with her.  Unfortunately, on November 5th this year, she had a stroke and we had to have her put down.  We were devastated, but none more so than our other six year old boy, Jarvis (another Blue Roan Cocker).  Maisy and Javis have been best friends ever since they met six years ago.  They shared a bed, shared walks and shared their toys.  They were a funny pair and never answered to their own names when outside, we had to call them in by the name Mavis – and so Molly&Mavis seemed the perfect family name.

 

I’m very lucky to have a creative family influence.  My Dad has a flair for art, though to look at him you really wouldn’t know!  He has a great hand and eye for detail with drawings and paintings.  He’s currently building a train set and surrounding village to keep him occupied in his retirement.  This artistic flair seemed to be handed down to my big brother, although I haven’t seen him pick up a pencil in a few years!  However, the most creative member of my family has to come from my Mum’s side.  Sadly no longer with us, but absolutely still around somewhere, Sheila Mazzina was my Grandma and what a woman she was.

meandsheilaMembers of my family say I’m her doppleganger, lots of people who knew her (and there were plenty) say I remind them of her, and her own daughter – my Mum – says that I look more like her every time she see’s me!  And what a compliment it is to be compared to her.  From a young age I remember baking jam tarts with her, sitting in her sewing room and playing with all of her threads and wool.  She taught me to knit, to do a basic stitch and encouraged me to be different with my fashion choices (which I ran with – see the picture!)  She made her own clothes, she made my teddies clothes and she was easily the best person that ever graced
this planet.  Sadly, it’s been 15 years since she was able to share any creative knowledge with me, but everything she did pass on – whether it be skills, flair, drive and ideas – has stuck with me.  I can’t say thank you now, but I hope she knows just how influential she has been on every aspect of my life.

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Me and Jarv having a heart to heart

 

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Thanks to my Mum for never letting me forget about some of my fashion choices…

So to Molly, Maisy, Jarvis and Grandma Sheila – thank you for inspiring the creation and love that I now have for Molly&Mavis.

x

p.s. Molly wasn’t deliberately left out of the pictures, we had her back in a day without social media and smartphones!

Collaborator Post One: What Effy Did

Welcome to my first collaborator post!

I feel very lucky to know some wonderfully creative people – I even get to work with many of them – and this lovely lady is something special.

wedIn this post, I’ll be sharing some fabulous pieces from my good friend Stef and her fiancé George at ‘What Effy Did’ independent bespoke jewellery makers from Manchester and Samos!  If you need something special for a birthday, a stocking filler for Christmas or you simply want to spoil yourself, What Effy Did is a fantastic place to spend your money.  In fact, Stef is the very reason I opened an Etsy shop, I was inspired by her quiet, personal hobby – who knew she had such a wonderful secret talent.

What Effy Did create simple and elegant pieces that can be taken from day to night, like a good capsule wardrobe.  Each piece is handmade, so no piece is the same and each will have its very own quirks.  Using lots of different beads, threads and classic colours, the couple create some gorgeous bracelets, rings and necklaces, which can be personalised to your own taste and even name.  Even the packaging is beautiful, classy and thoughtful.

I love every single item in their shop right now, but here are my top 5 favourites from their site:

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The first item to show you, is the white howlite and rose gold bracelet at £14.99.  This gorgeous bracelet is made from howlite, copper and elastic thread.

The thing that struck me about this bracelet was how well the rose gold colour stood out against the white howlite beads.  If you look close at the image you can see the little heart shaped, rose gold accented beads, that make this bracelet really special.

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I’ve been admiring this wire wrapped ring with bead for months now and at £4.99 – who wouldn’t!  The subtle green of the bead and delicate wrapping of wire are so intricate and pretty, it would suit anyone.

The ring is made from a silver plated wire with an imitation pearl – but when it looks that good, who needs a real one!

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This has got to be one of my favourite personalised pieces.  This pearl and rose gold personalised bracelet will only set you back a mere £9.99 and it’s so lovely.  Much like the howlite bracelet, I love the colours together and how the pearl sets off the rose gold.  I’m also a fan of anything that I can personalise and make my own – so this bracelet is perfect if you want something truly individual.

Now, this item deserves two pictures, because I just love how two of the chokers look together!  I never thought I’d be someone to like a choker, but after being bought one for my birthday, I’ve found that I’m a fan!  These chokers in particular are really slim and can be paired together or worn separately.  They are made with suede cord and either Tibetan silver or brass charms.  Again, what’s really great about this product is that you can customise each one, choosing from three different colours of suede and a list of charms.  Each one costs only £4.99 and tie beautifully at the back with a pretty bow.

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Finally, we have the sterling silver personlised pendant necklace, starting at £12.99.  What I like about this piece is it’s simplicity and how personal you can make it.  Whether you add the initials of a loved one, your own name or a friend, the necklace can have up to 4 charms and comes in two lengths.

Each piece comes presented in a beautiful box with gorgeous ribbon – it’s as classy as the product inside.  I’m really lucky to know this couple and can’t wait to purchase some bits for friends and family at Christmas!

Like what you see?  Head to their Etsy page and pick up a bargain here:  https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Whateffydid

From Strawberry.Lily to Molly&Mavis est.2016

Welcome to my very first blog post as Molly&Mavis!

This is a really exciting time for me, I’ve decided to become more productive and enter in to a world of creativity by really engaging in my arts and crafts projects.  I used to call my business Strawberry.Lily Studios, but recently felt really disconnected to this and decided a full brand change needed to happen.  Molly&Mavis is named after three of my childhood and family pets, Molly and Maisy (sadly no longer with us) and Jarvis (the family trouble maker).  As you can imagine, I feel somewhat more connected to this name and a more at home.

My blog is going to be full of my arts and crafts projects and others that I’ve seen, so if you want to write and share – let me know!  I’d love to hear about your crafty projects, fashion, food – anything – it would be great to engage with other people.  Hopefully you might find something that inspires you through a tutorial or blog post.  My views are my own, but I’d love to hear yours, so feel free to comment.

I’ve always been creative, whether that’s my dress sense (my mum says I’m ‘quirky’), my drawing and painting, or my projects such as Christmas decorations and gifts.  It’s a way for me to wind down and forget about my day job in market research.  I have mixed severe anxiety and depression, so this is a fab way for me to take time out to look after myself and a rewarding break from every day, I love seeing a creation come to life!  Crafting for me works better than talking, so I knit, glue and cut out until I feel calm and satisfied.

I’m also getting married in May 2017 – if I haven’t told you already (I must have told everyone that I’ve met) – and as you can probably tell, I’m a tad excited.  We don’t have a big budget and much of our stationery, decorations and favours will be made by me, so watch out for a sneaky preview of some of those bits and pieces over the next 6 months.

Check out my Facebook page and my Etsy shop – the links are on my ‘About Me’ page.  If there is anything that you’d like to see me make, send me a challenge and I’ll see what I can do.

I look forward to writing, teaching and speaking to you all!

Bye for now,

Meg