These teddies were ordered by a lovely lady who has recently lost her mum. She sent me a beautiful bundle of clothing to make these special bears from and I had so much fun deciding how to design them :) These fabrics were quite different to what I'd previously made bears from so they were a bit more challenging than normal, but I'm really chuffed with how they've turned out. I try not to play favourites with the bears I make as I love making them all so much, but I do have a bit of a soft spot for these little fluffy eared chaps.
Her daughter then also contacted me and asked if I could make memory bears for her children which I was made up to do, especially when I saw the beautiful clothes she'd chosen to use for them :) I did learn a big lesson making these bears though - never try to cut fluffy and fleece fabrics when wearing black skinny jeans, I think I'm still picking fluff off of them hehehe!!
I was asked to make this bear from a selection of beautiful baby girl clothes and I tried to include as much detail from the clothing on the bear as I could :) I love how Winnie, Tigger and Eeyore sit on the arm of this teddy and the 'born in 2017' section makes the teddy extra special. The lovely lady who ordered this sent me a beautiful thank you card which I have in pride of place on my bookcase, it completely made my week and it makes me smile every time I walk past it!
A few more teddies to add to my 'Kings College London' beary army hehe! I've made 6 of these in total now which has been so special for the ladies who finished their nursing degrees in the summer. They all chose such special messages to go on the backs of them and this teddy design is one of my favourites I've done with the little pockets on their tummies and the mini collar, which I included to try and recreate the tunic as much as possible.
 These teddies were ordered for two little brothers and I just love love love the 'Mummy loves me' and 'Daddy loves me' detail on them :) I'm a huge Winnie the Pooh fan and one of these baby grows was also Cath Kidston, so I was in my element making these!!
 This teddy was made for a lovely returning customer who wanted a bear made for her parents ruby wedding anniversary :) She sent such beautiful clothes for each of the bears I made for her and I always love it when teddies can have little pockets on their tummies. One of my favourite parts of bear making is choosing which colour ribbon to use as I always do this last so it's the little finishing touch that just completes them and being a pink lover I particularly loved making this bear hehe!
 This teddy was ordered by a lovely fellow chronically ill lady, who I've been lucky enough to become online buddies with this year. She was actually my first ever memory bear customer, so I was really chuffed when she asked if I could make another bear from her pups doggy bed cover. Fleecy, fluffy fabrics make such lovely bears :)
I've been so happy to make a couple of these beauty and the beast fabric teddies now and this one was ordered by a lovely lady who's recently had a little bubba who she's called Belle :) I love all of the images on this fabric and I tried to give Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs Potts and Chip pride of place on the teddies arms and ears hehe.
 These teddies were made from a dressing gown for a lovely lady who has recently lost her mum. She ordered one initially and then asked me to make another one once she saw it so that meant the world to me <3 I've tried to recreate the dressing gown by featuring the pockets, buttons and little collar. They were a bit tricky with the fabric being so dark and I wasn't sure how to do their eyes and noses to begin with, but I went for a thread that matched the little name tag :)

Love Holly x


Sunday, 26 November 2017

It feels really strange to be sitting here typing up a new blog post - I haven't done this in such a long time and my goodness have I missed it. I never intended to stop blogging when I set up my Handmade by Holly Instagram shop page, it just sort of happened. Being a chronically ill gal, I do struggle with my energy levels and pacing myself with what I can actually do, against what I want to do; so I guess for a while I just haven't felt able to run my business and have a blog too. I saw someone talking about 'micro blogging' on Instagram the other day and it made me realise that's sort of what I'd become, because if you follow me on Instagram I'm sure you'll have realised that I like lengthy captions and I do tend to waffle (haha) I'm also a huge fan of Instagram stories and I do tend to share quite a lot on there. I spend so much of my time at home on my own now and of course I do get a little lonely, so seeing people watching my Insta Stories and sometimes receiving messages about them (which always makes me do a massive happy dance!) and watching other peoples Insta Stories makes me feel a bit more 'connected' and like I'm not going stir crazy being in my living room all the time.

I've been watching some old Vlogmas videos over the past couple of weeks whilst making my teddies to get me in the festive spirit (not that I usually need much encouragement, but it just seems to have come round so fast this year - hopefully I'm not the only one who feels like this?!) and I've been thinking loads about how much I miss blogging and having ideas pop into my head of things that would make good blog posts but aren't quite right to share on Instagram.

I've copied across some of my favourite posts from my previous blog and things are going to be very lifestyle/diary based on here. I want to be able to look back on this blog in years to come (and maybe show it to my children too!) and just share little snippets and highlights of my life and running my small business :)

I would love to find some new blogs to follow as I feel pretty out of the loop with blogging things now, so if you have a blog or you have any recommendations please send me the link.

Love Holly x

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Sunday, 19 November 2017

Mr & Mrs Hamilton 13.04.17 - Our Wedding Photo Diary

Friday, 17 November 2017

How cute is this glittery reindeer bag that my Mumma used for my presents? I've popped it in our christmas box under our bed so I can re-use it next year as I love it so much! The Mr did really well with my presents this year and chose them all by himself for the first time ever - I couldn't believe it when I opened the 'stardust' gift set from Lush as it has all my favourite Lush products in and it means I get to brighten up my January with the sweet yummy smells of snow fairy *insert all of the heart eyed emojis* I can't wait to get my bake on with Tanya Bakes; I can't decide which recipe to try first as they all look so yummy, so let me know if you have any recommendations. I'm planning on spending January embracing Hygge and doing lots of sewing whilst listening to potential music for our wedding on the bluetooth speaker that my Dad and Stepmum kindly got for me and James :) 
You can probably guess from this post that there was a bit of a Cath Kidston theme going on with my presents - me and Mum had quite a stressful time trying to get hold of some of the limited edition Minnie Mouse items (anyone else who was trying to get on the website when it launched will know what I mean!) so I feel like the luckiest sausage in the world with the beautiful bits we did manage to get hold of. This pattern is my absolute favourite and I said to Mum I'm never going to be able to upgrade my phone again now as I'll always want to use this case hehe!
The prettiest makeup bag I think I've ever seen! I'm so made up we managed to get one of these, it has the same pattern on the lining too and it makes me smile so much every time I look at my dressing table :) It's the perfect size and shape for my newly condensed makeup collection and I've popped the little Mickey Mouse gift tag against a photo frame to have it on display as I just couldn't bring myself to throw it away. I'm so happy to have a supply of pink smarties again (one of my absolute favourite things about christmas!) and the Barry M lipgloss tastes like bubblegum #obsessed
Me and my sister really wanted to see this at the cinema but we never got a chance, so I thought it would be a perfect christmas present for her - you can imagine how excited I was when I unwrapped it and she'd got it for me too!! I've already watched it and absolutely love it; I was laughing all the way through and I love the music in it too. Snowball is just the best character ever and I desperately want a Gidget now, maybe I can persuade the Mr next christmas hehe ;)
*My precious* This was one of the Disney items I really, really wanted but we couldn't get it on the website, luckily one of my lovely friends went into a store the next day though and she managed to get me the last one they had I was absolutely made up! It's the prettiest bag I've ever seen and is going to be so perfect for spring/summer too. I much prefer small handbags these days and this one sits perfectly in the nook of my arm; I'm taking it on it's first outing tomorrow and I can't wait!

I'd intended to have this post up on New Years day, but I've had a bit of a 'mare with blogger destroying the quality of my photos every time I uploaded them so they looked all grey and grainy #lesigh Anyway better late than never :) I was so lucky with all of the beautiful gifts I received for christmas and getting to spend time with my family and loved ones (I somehow managed to have 3 christmas days this year hehe!)

Love Holly x

What I got for christmas 2016

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Finding a wedding dress has always felt like one of the most daunting parts of a wedding to me. Not to sound like a right old tight arse, but they really are ridiculously priced considering you're only going to wear them for one day of your life and I've just always felt like I wouldn't be able to justify that amount of money as I'd end up thinking 'but we could spend that money on the honeymoon.' I always knew I'd get my dress from the high-street as my budget was really quite low (I'll never forget a conversation I had with a customer at work where we were discussing how expensive weddings are and she commented on how they'd had to find "a real budget option" for her daughters wedding dress and it turned out to have cost £5000!!! I nearly fainted when she said it) Me and James have been engaged for nearly 2 years now, so even though we only booked our wedding a few months ago I've had quite a lot of time to browse around and get an idea of the kind of dress I'd like. I really can't recommend Pinterest and wedding magazines (as you can probably tell from the above picture my favourite is Perfect Wedding) enough; although most of the dresses featured were totally out of my price range, it really helped me to decide what length/style/colour/detail etc I wanted.

To begin with I was quite set on having a knee length, prom style dress and I completely fell in love with one from Phase Eight. I sent a photo of it to my sister and we were both pretty sure it was the one, but after a couple of weeks I kept getting a niggling feeling that it wasn't *quite* right. I'm really pale and the thought of having my legs on show was starting to make me feel a bit nervous as I'd have to decide whether to attempt fake tan and all that jazz, and then I started looking around for some shoes to go with it and I just knew it wasn't going to work for me at all. Being a chronically ill gal, I really don't get on well with high heels and James is only a smidge taller than me so I hated the thought of being taller than him in heels. A prom-style dress means there would be a lot of focus on the shoes, so I just completely went off this idea and I felt a little bit disheartened and lost with what I was going to go for.

I was then browsing at dresses online one day I promise this isn't what I've been doing with 99% of my time since getting engaged #oops and I ended up on a website I hadn't even considered before (I'm going to be a right old tease and not share where I bought it from until after the big day) and the minute I spotted it I just knew. I sent the link to my sister straight away and she really loved it too; I just couldn't stop thinking about it and *may* have ended up revisiting the website every day to swoon at it. We'd planned to go to Westfield in London so that I could try it on in real life along with a few others as I was determined not to pin all my hopes on this one just incase I didn't love it as much in real life or it didn't suit me or whatever. But then I was making my daily visit to the website one evening and I noticed that it had gone out of stock in every size apart from an 8 and I swear my heart literally dropped out of butt; I was devastated. I'd always thought I'd need a size 10 as I tend to be somewhere between the two, but with a little convincing from my sister and one of my friends at work I decided to scurry off to the local store on my lunch break to order the size 8 *just* to try it so I could at least rule it out if it didn't fit, rather than always wondering (it was certainly the most exciting Monday lunch break I've ever had!! *insert monkey covering his mouth emoji*)

After a *slight* drama with finding a tiny mark on it (cue heart falling out of my butt again and me having to seriously control myself not to cry and be a right old drama queen) and me having to hastily reorder it and pay next day delivery to have it arrive today, I have finally got my dream wedding dress, and oh my goodness me, it is perfect and it fits me like a glove; I honestly can't believe my luck :) I swear it's going to kill me not being able to talk about it and I almost give something away about 1794378742980 million times a day because I'm just so in love with it and want to talk about it all the time pinky promise I'm not turning into a bridezilla I've already got an idea of the kind of shoes I'm going to wear with it and I've seen a couple of options that I really love and it was luckily a really amazing price too, so I basically haven't stopped grinning since I tried it on :) :) :) :)

It feels super surreal to think I actually have my wedding dress hanging in my wardrobe now (in a protective garment bag of course so James can't have a snoop hehe!) after many many months of searching and dreaming about what it would be like. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a tiny panic about whether it's definitely the right one, especially considering it's the only wedding dress I've ever actually tried on. But finding the mark on it made me realise even more how much I absolutely love it and that it is 100% the dress for me; I swear to god I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time waiting for the new one to be delivered today!! So my biggest piece of advice to anyone looking for their wedding dress is just go with your gut instinct; you know when it's the one and it doesn't matter where you get it from, whether you try it on in a shop or in the comfort of your own home or how much it is (obviously as long as you're happy with the price and it's within your budget) - when you know, you know.

I'm definitely not off to spend the evening staring at the photo my sister took of me wearing it #sorrynotsorry

Love Holly xo
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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

If you follow me on Twitter you may have already seen that me and James have finally booked our wedding!! :) We've been engaged for nearly two years now, but to be honest trying to find somewhere that we liked and which wasn't going to cost more than our house deposit has ended up being a lot more difficult than we anticipated. The venue we've gone for is actually one of the first I found online and it's the only one we ended up visiting; we just knew it was the one from the moment we stepped inside and honestly, we just can't get over how perfect it is *swoons*
We're going to be getting married at 3.30pm on Thursday 13th April 2017 in a beautiful, small hotel in the old-town of where we live. It has vintage inspired decoration throughout and the most beautiful garden which we are keeping all of our fingers and toes crossed we will be able to have our ceremony in if the sun decides to put his hat on! The people who run it are absolutely lovely and I have complete confidence that they're going to do everything exactly how we want it, and seriously just look how pretty that fireplace is *insert all of the heart eyed emojis*
Once we got everything officially booked with our venue and registrar it was time for me to pop a very important question to my sister and thankfully she said yes!! I wanted to do something special for her and we'd already planned to have a meal out together to our favourite Simply Italian restaurant which has kind of become 'our' place over the years, so it gave me the perfect opportunity to give her this little Maid of Honour goodie bag which I'd put together :) I've also been spending quite a lot of time on Pinterest looking for wedding inspiration (it would basically be illegal not to be doing this as a bride to be, right?!) and I've come to the realisation that I'm going to need a little more hair to work with for my wedding 'do' than my graduated bob, so operation 'grow my hair down to my shoulders' has begun! I've heard so many good things about the Lee Stafford 'For Hair That Never Grows Past A Certain Length' Treatment, and I managed to get it on offer 3 for £15 in Boots. I've only been using it for a week but I've noticed a bit of a difference already :)

My lovely sister then surprised me the following weekend with this beautiful wedding planning diary and I absolutely love how she chose a vintage inspired one to match our wedding venue; isn't it just beautiful?! I was finding myself having wedding notes literally here, there and everywhere, so it's been a bit of a life saviour having this to keep everything in one place and I'm very OCD about filling it all in perfectly so that we can keep it as a keepsake as it's so special to me :) The sections are really helpful at giving you a kind of guide of everything you need to organise too and I've been trying very hard not to panic at how much I still have to sort out! #oops

I've been thinking of doing a 'things we've learnt from wedding planning so far' type blog post so let me know if you'd like to see that :) The countdown is officially on, eeee!!!

Love Holly xo
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Sunday, 24 April 2016

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