Hello there lovely Buttoneers! I am squeezing a short and sweet blog post in this week (Two in one week eh!?) because I wanted to share the wonderful Instagram challenge called Meet the Maker Week that I took part in and completed last week, especially for those of you that don’t have or don’t follow me on Instagram.
Meet the Maker Week is a really fabulous Instagram challenge by a lovely designer, maker and illustrator called Joanne Hawker. I missed the last challenge that she set back in March and I kept my eyes peeled for another chance to join in. I nearly didn’t join in this time around either though! I was worried that I would be adding another thing to my seemingly never ending list of things to do before Christmas at the same time as getting Christmas Eliston Button Etsy Shop orders out the door and keeping up with my Create 30 Blog Challenge – Phew!
Even writing it all out made me feel a bit nauseous with panic!
I really didn’t want to miss the opportunity again and didn’t know if another chance to join in would arise next year so I dove in head first, hoping I would keep up with it all and not run away scared half way through! Luckily, Joanne was lovely enough to create a mini planner for the week and gave us really great prompts and questions to answer as ideas to help us along and figure out what to say and how to fulfil each day’s category.
I started off a bit scared, but once I started chatting to other makers I really felt at home and so thrilled to be a part of such a great community of makers.
It was not only a fabulous opportunity to get myself out there a bit more and show off what I have to offer (which always feels really scary normally) but I feel like for the first time I know how to answer the question “so…what to you do then?”, I feel more confident as a maker and, like I mentioned before, more involved and welcomed in by the fantastic handmade community – I even made some gorgeous new friends too which is the icing on the cake for me!
Working on in the studio on my own all day can get a little lonely and it’s so lovely to be able to natter with like-minded folks on social media, like a little handmade board meeting…but in my pyjamas!
I wanted to share my challenge entries and answers with you lovelies too and also document them for myself to look back on in years to come, to see how much has changed or see how I would answer the prompts in 5 or even 10 years time (I hope Eliston Button is still around that far into the future!) If you are a regular Buttoneer in this little corner of the creative blogosphere then you may already know some of it, or maybe you can learn a bit more about me and my little creative business. If you are completely new to Eliston Button – you will learn a lot! *Waves Hello*
Day One| Brand – I am taking part in Meet the Maker Week by @joannehawker on Instagram, so that I can share my little creative biz story with you and all of my lovely new followers (my Buttoneers!)
I am Rachel of Eliston Button and I am a designer, maker and creative lifestyle blogger from my home studio in Worcestershire, England. I make lots of handmade goodness for the#elistonbuttonetsyshop including prints, woven wall hangings, embroidered felt brooches and accessories and home decor.
My family have always called me ‘That Crafty Kid’, from a child sneaking sweet wrappers and gift tags into my cardigan pockets for my scrapbook and sitting on my Nan’s big, round Button tin to cutting up my mums magazines with my zig zag scissors, I was a pro at cutting a sticking! Some years on after a string of uninspiring jobs (my last job being a funeral arranger!) I decided enough was enough and enrolled into Art college. Coming out the other end with three distinctions, I had gained the confidence to get myself out there and start my blog and to document my art, design, craft and adventure! Quite early on I started blog challenges of making a certain amount of items before I hit that age and before I knew it I had enough to open my Etsy Shop. Since then I have expanded my craft and explored different avenues of crafty goodness which makes up the handmade treasure trove of my shop. My heart and soul are happy if I am making and creating and adventuring! Grab a cup of tea and explore my shop at www.elistonbutton.etsy.com! 🎀 Come and say hello! 🎀
Day Two |You for Meet the Maker Week – I am Rachel Eliston the face (although not always as together looking as this photo would allow you to believe!) behind Eliston Button. I am 29 and a quirky, creative being who likes to design and make things..and take naps! I am a solo crafty kid biz owner but wouldn’t have any of it if it wasn’t for my fiancé/best friend/team mate/adventure buddy, Chris who thoroughly supports my crazy ideas, picks up the pieces when they don’t work out and is has impeccable timing with cups of tea/large slices of cake/hugs etc when disaster strikes or anxiety rears its ugly head! ☕️🍰When I am not being crafty, pottering around my craft studio and creating an art filled home I can be found… On adventures (getting lost) with my Fiancé, scooting around on my pink Vespa, exploring France, collecting buttons or arranging them into coloured jars, hoarding potential craft supplies by plundering around charity shops and bargain hunting at car boot sales, curled up with a good book, making lists (and ticking them off)…or sat dreaming about owning our own little house in France! 🇫🇷 I am a huge procrastinator, day dreamer and worrier (I genuinely don’t know how I get things done) I love a good fairy tale and try to keep a dose of magic in everything. I always have a hundred tabs open in my head but have a great imagination! I love to people watch and pretend to be Harriet the Spy or Nancy Drew and I love a good cup of coffee or a large mug of tea! 🎀 How about you? What are your likes and dislikes? It’s really hard to write about yourself but I’d love for you to say Hello! 🎀
Day Three | Your Space for Meet the Maker Week – This is a little section of my home craft studio that I call the Eliston Button Headquarters! I started out with a desk area in our old rented house until we bought our first home where I have been lucky enough to have a whole room of my own (and my fiancé has a bat cave!) I am very thankful for IKEA storage to house all of my fabric, wool, buttons and pens and pencils! My friends and family say I should open my own haberdashery but I wouldn’t want to sell any of it! 😂 I am super organised so everything has a place but many works in progress and project life scrapbooking stuff usually adorns the desk in the photo. Another desk comes off that one where my laptop is set up with my graphics tablet and printer before it pans round to three chests of drawers full of crafty bits and pieces. To the right of this pic is a tall square-hole storage unit covered in fairy lights and giant ceramic pencils and pretty nic-naks! ✏️🎨I keep meaning to photograph the studio for my blog but never find the time or the right lighting so I was lucky to snap this with some winter sunshine helping out ☀️ We plan to move house soon and I have no idea how I’m going to pack it all up and what it will look like at the other end but that’s sort of the fun…right!? (Please send copious amounts of tea…and cake…definitely cake!) 🍰I can’t wait to see and hear about your creative spaces! How do you organise your supplies? 🎀
Day Four | In Action for Meet the Maker Week – This year I have been experimenting more with weaving and creating woven wall hangings. I started off learning in Art College on a wooden peg loom like this one and fell in love with the therapeutic back and forth of the weft threads. When I left college, I bought my own wooden peg loom and I was hooked! 😍Since then I have bought or been given many different wooden looms including a small table loom and lots of different sized lap looms (they are my favourite!) 💜Every so often I go back to my trusted little peg loom for a totally different woven finish, like this photo today. Weaving is just a small part of my little creative business. I hope it will grow and expand as I get more adventurous with yarns and textures and colours – They are the best things about weaving! 🎨 I also make embroidered felt flower brooches, accessories and jewellery alongside prints and home decor so never run out of things to make. I find myself constantly ‘In Action’ making one of the many creative ideas in my head that is filled with crafty goodness!💡✏️ Are you always working away at your favourite crafts? Which is your favourite? (Shhh…I won’t tell the others crafts! 😂)
Day Five | Customers for Meet the Maker Week – I love my customers (obviously!) and I think everyone feels like their customers are the best customers! It’s because they fully support our little small businesses so that we can thrive and survive in a big world. 🌍 By shopping handmade from small businesses you are investing into someone’s creativity, their imagination, their future. You are allowing that person to keep on making and creating and exploring their creative goodness! How amazing is that!? ⭐️ I am so thankful that my customers invest in me. My customers live all over the world and I am always so grateful for their investments into my creative business. I still happy dance every time someone buys one of my handmade items and I thoroughly enjoy packaging them all up and making it feel like Christmas every time they open them! 🎀 My customers leave such lovely, heart-warming words when they have received their packages and it keeps me going forward knowing how much people like my makes. This one is my most recent feedback and so far, my all-time favourite! (I swear I didn’t pay them! 😂) For someone to take the time to tell you how much your item made their day is so wonderful to me. I would love for everyone to buy handmade this Christmas (not just from my shop!) so they can experience the little slices of love and happiness, the glittering magic, the hard work and dedication that go into each piece. Without customers we wouldn’t exist as creative businesses and I can’t thank them all enough! 😍❤️
Day Six | Sell Yourself for Meet the Maker Week – Did you know that every single item, even the small ones, get individually gift wrapped and tied in a bow before heading out the door? 🎀 This makes the handmade goodness in the Eliston Button Etsy Shop perfect for gifting to your friends and family (or as a cheeky treat for yourself!) 🎁 The best way to find me is at www.elistonbutton.etsy.com which will transport you to a magical land of handmade called Etsy, where my little creative shop lives! Pretty cool eh!? I like to call it my handmade treasure trove! You will find prints about knitting and crochet alongside seaside collages and happy sunshine inspiration. You will find beautiful woven wall hangings in a variety of designs and sizes. You will find embroidered felt flowers in brooches and hair comb slides and grips! You will be taken on an adventure of home decor, wall art and crafty goodness! Wowzer! 🎨 Everything is designed and handmade by me, its packaged up and sent directly to you toot-sweet with a little surprise in there too! Such fun! 🎀 I would love for you to grab a cup of tea and explore my shop and I can’t wait to see you there! I’ll click the kettle on! ☕️
So there you go! A whole week of getting to know me and my little creative business alongside lots of other makers. To find everyone’s Meet the Maker Week posts on Instagram search the hashtag #meetthemakerweek (or use that clickable link!) There are some really fabulous makers for you to discover or re-discover so it’s really worth a look.
I am so super glad I faced my fears and joined in.
I met some wonderful people and got to feel a part of this handmade community which will hopefully develop and grow and be lovely!
I am so grateful to Joanne Hawker for imagining up Meet the Maker Week and helping to build on my confidence as a maker and helping me get on the right path to get myself and my little biz out there a bit more! If you are a maker, I would highly recommend joining in if there is the opportunity again, whether you are a new business or a more established business – it is really great to have a play!
Before I go, don’t forget that I still have a festive 15% off orders over £5 in the Eliston Button Etsy Shop using the code ‘HAPPYHOLIDAYS16’ until 20.12.2016 and to check on my Last Recommended Christmas Postage Dates if you want your doses of handmade goodness before Christmas!
Also, if you want to keep up-to-date with all things Art, Design, Craft and Adventure, remember to subscribe to this blog and become a Buttoneer to get blog post updates straight to your inbox so you don’t miss a thing! (It’s free!)
Until next time, meet me for a chat with a cup of tea in the comments below. I’ll click the kettle on!