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Make Me: Fabric Gift Bags

Hello, it’s Lisa Tilse here from the red thread. I’m delighted to be a new contributor to decor8 and I’m excited to be sharing lovely simple and quick craft projects with you each month with a new column called Make Me. I believe everyone has some creativity in them, and crafting is a wonderful way to get in touch with that. Handmade is good for the soul – for your soul when you stop to focus on making with your hands and heart, and for those who receive the gift of something handmade.

Make Me: Fabric Gift Bags

Even if you aren’t confident enough in your crafting skills to give a handmade gift, you can still put love and care into gift wrapping. This project is all about that – creating gorgeous unique no-sew fabric gift bags handmade by you. It’s quick and easy to make a batch of these in one session and you’ll have something ready for a little thank you or hostess gift.

Make Me: Fabric Gift Bags

You’ll need:
6.5 inch square pieces of cotton fabric, 2 for each gift bag.
Pinking scissors. These scissors cut with a zig zag line. They aren’t essential, but they give a lovely finish and stop the edges from fraying.
Double sided tape about a quarter inch wide.
Embellishments like ribbon, leather thonging, gift tags, feathers, pom poms, beads, or flowers.

Make Me: Fabric Gift Bags

Step 1: Cut the fabric
Cut the fabric squares with pinking scissors. Quilting shops sell fabric precut to this size, and ‘charm packs’ which are 5 inch squares, both with pinked edges. These gift bags are also a great way to use up fabrics you have.

Make Me: Fabric Gift Bags

Step 2: Apply the tape
Apply double sided tape on the wrong side of the fabric around three sides.

Step 3: Assemble the bags
Remove the backing from the tape and position the second square of fabric on top so that all the edges are aligned.
Rub along the taped edges with your fingernails to ensure both pieces of fabric are adhered to the tape. Easy!

Make Me: Fabric Gift Bags

Make Me: Fabric Gift Bags

Make Me: Fabric Gift Bags

Make Me: Fabric Gift Bags

Step 4: Wrap and decorate
Pop the gift inside. These fabric gift bags are strong enough to use for little gifts like jewelry, washi tape, gift cards, a lovely bar of soap, or a little wrapped sweet treat.

Have fun decorating! If you have any questions, please just ask me in the comments section below.

See you again in June with another Make Me column! – Lisa

(images/text: lisa tilse)

Posted in Make Me on May 28, 2013

Happy Weekend!

I have so much to write about today, lots of great stories, but I’m tired so I’m going to take a blog break since I have loads of prep work to do for next week! What is happening next week??? Ohhhh fun times!  My dear friend and creative partner-in-crime, Leslie Shewring, will fly to Hannover to work with me for a week! We begin the styling and photography part of our book next week and I can’t wait! It will be very satisfying to see our ideas come to light and she and I work so beautifully together that I know nothing but love will go into this project which will show in the work, I’m sure. Creative work is like that, you get out what you put in it emotionally. I’ve been very busy ordering props and getting what is needed in order for us to make a huge dent in this project with her and well, it’s Friday afternoon and I’m tired after running around all week. I want to have a glass of white wine after my final skype meeting today and chill out. You know that feeling, right? When you just need to rest and get yourself mentally prepared for a huge project? It’s funny, I felt today like I really needed fresh flowers – but nothing from the store – something wild. And I was thinking where in the world I would find them as you can’t just run into someone else’s yard with a pair of scissors, right? So after my husband and I went on a lunch date, there was this random lady selling lilacs on the street that she cut from her yard – a bunch for only 2 Euros, and well… I couldn’t resist. And I couldn’t believe it. Look at these beauties in deep purple and a pale violet…



My home smells like a dream. That is definitely enough to make a weekend more beautiful, isn’t it? And so affordable and special. I love that this stuff happens when you need it the most. I was really craving fresh cut blooms and these are just perfect. They looked so pretty wrapped in newspaper with their perky blooms peeking out as we walked home. I kept thinking of how much it’s those little moments in life that mean more than anything else. The simple things. Do you find this too? Like things happen at the right time and often you are struck by the fact that they were the easiest and most simple things?

And by the way, the trick with preserving floral branches is to either cut an “X” at the bottom of the stem to open them up or hammer the bottoms lightly. You want to spread the bottom of the stem so they can drink water easily. As we were walking, this lady came out of her little clothing shop and told my husband how to preserve them longer – out of the blue – she just walked out from her shop and explained to him how to gently hammer them. I just smiled. I love my town. I love openness and caring and simple, beautiful little things. I hope you can find something simple and beautiful to cheer you this weekend too. Try hard to find something while your out and about that is cheap or free but that warms your heart and take note of what it is. That way, the next time you need a lift, you have a note of what lifted your spirits the time before. For me, it’s always flowers, good friends and well, the love we feel from others who care.

It is a holiday here in Germany on Monday, so I’m taking off, but I’ll be back on Tuesday to blog so I’ll meet you back here then. Have a wonderful weekend!

(images: holly becker)

Posted in uncategorized on May 17, 2013

Design Crush: Modular Storage System

Let’s talk about how much I love this clever storage system and how much you will in a moment after you see this photo below, ok? It’s by a Danish company called Bloomingville and is sold piece-by-piece so you can customize it to suit your needs. This certainly isn’t a new concept, modular storage systems have been around forever, but I really love how this one looks all styled up and that some of these are shaped like houses – co cute! What do you think? Would you do this?

Design Crush: Modular Storage System

If you live in Germany and want to order these, visit Car Moebel’s website here. If you live elsewhere, contact Bloomingville directly.

Do you love this or not? Thoughts? I want to do this so bad!

(image: car moebel)

Posted in furniture on May 15, 2013

Food In Motion: German Style Gluten-Free Vegan Bread Recipe

Hello everyone, this is Jewels, one half of Liz and Jewels, but you may also know me as Julia Cawley or simply one of the ladies who writes the new Food In Motion column here on decor8. This month, for our second column, I’ll show you how to make gluten- free vegan bread from my Brooklyn kitchen in a very “German” style. I have never been too successful with baking bread in the past, have you? Last time I tried, I confused yeast with baking powder and wondered why the bread didn’t rise. But even when I do follow the recipe step by step, it doesn’t taste as good as what I can buy at a German bakery – because I’m from Germany and if you’ve ever been there and “experienced” our bread – well, you’d understand what I mean! Here in New York, good bread is a little harder to come by but I found a couple of places that sell some. Most of it is white though, like a German Hausbrot. What seems impossible to find is a grainy, hearty, dark, and healthy bread. I am not vegan, nor do I need to eat gluten-free, but I am a big fan of eating healthily and as Holly spoke about last week in her Healthy Living post, it’s important to make healthy choices as often as possible because good food really affects how we feel.

Food In Motion: Bread Recipe today on decor8

The bread shown below in this little video that I made for you, which I originally found on the blog My New Roots and modified to fit my taste buds, is high in protein, super high in fiber and is full of delicious nuts, oats, and seeds. I believe that this bread is the healthiest kind of bread you can put in your belly. Over here in New York, people think that eating bread is a very unhealthy thing to do, and this is probably true for the soft, light, and fluffy breads you can buy at a super market. The difference about this bread is that it contains Psyllium Seed Husks. They also hold the bread together since the recipe doesn’t contain any flour or eggs. Psyllium Seed Husks are a great source of fiber; they reduce your cholesterol levels, aid digestion, and help with weight loss.

The other cool thing about this bread is that there is no kneading, waiting, more kneading, or anything like that involved. You just put all ingredients in the baking pan, then wait if you want to, for however long you want to, or not at all, then bake it and it’s done!

German Style Gluten-Free Vegan Bread Recipe:

2/3 cups of almonds (or any other kind of nut)
1/2 cup of flax seeds
1 cup of sunflower seeds
4 tablespoons of psyllium seed husks (this bread can’t do without, so you can’t substitute it with anything else!)
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
1,5 cups of rolled oats
1,5 teaspoons of salt
3 tablespoons of maple sirup (or honey)
3 tablespoons of ghee (or coconut oil)
1,5 cups of water

In a baking pan combine all dry ingredients and stir well. Mix the sirup with the ghee and add it to the pan. Lastly, add the water and mix everything with your hands until all dry ingredients are soaked. Smooth out the top and let it sit until it becomes very hard (two hours, a day or overnight). Bake the bread for 20mins at 350° F (175° C). Remove the loaf from the pan, turn it upside down and bake it for another 30mins. Let it cool down completely before slicing it! I added butter and jam – yum!

I hope you find this bread to be as delicious as I do! Enjoy! And next month we’ll be back with a summer-y recipe and video for you to enjoy. Until then… – Julia.

(video + photo: julia cawley)

Posted in food, Food In Motion on May 14, 2013


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