Grand Designs Live 2017 – Part One

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Hello there lovely Buttoneers! I recently went to Grand Designs Live at Birmingham’s NEC which was perfect timing as we are at a point in our home renovations where we need to start making alllll of the decisions about rooms and bathroom suites and kitchen layouts and garden office ideas. We, as always had a fabulous time so naturally I wanted to photograph away and share some of my favourite things with you here! I have been to the design show previously and blogged about each adventure in Grand Designs Live 2014 and Grand Designs Live 2015 (both in two parts so be sure to click through the links at the end of each post!)

I am not in any way affiliated with Grand Designs Live or any of the companies I talk about in this post – I just love to share great design and ideas (although I would happily chat about future collabs *wink* *wink*)

This year we were lucky enough to win tickets in our local newspaper – Hooray! Which again was perfect timing as I am sure you can imagine sorting out our house is costly and every penny counts at the moment.

I was sooooo excited to get there and get inspired by the design goodness that that show had to offer and to explore all of the ideas, concepts and innovations on show.

I was already brimming with ideas about bathroom tiles, luxuriously deep baths, wallpaper, whether or not to build a studio in our garden, what I wanted the kitchen to look like…the list goes on and on. I couldn’t wait to dive in the deep end and surround myself with colour and fabric and wood and all of the hardware, accessories and decor I could lay my eyes on! 

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As a person with a methodical and super organised creative brain, I naturally got a bit bossy as to the route we took and how we completed each section before moving on to another to ensure we covered the whole floor. Luckily Chris is super patient and knows exactly how my brain works so didn’t wander off too often! Well…We had a lot to cover and only had one day!  

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We started off in the kitchens and bathroom sections as this was our main priority to sort out in our new house. I love, love, love this beautiful bold floral wallpaper that was in the room sets of the Heritage Bathrooms stand – did you spot us in the mirror? You have to snap a mirror selfie with such a gorgeous surround right!?

I am obsessed with those rich, warm purple and plum tones against the deep grey backdrop that almost imitates a plush velvet fabric rather than wallpaper.

Beautiful Wallpaper and a Photo of Us at Heritage Bathrooms at Grand Designs Live 2017 with Eliston Button - Grand Designs Live 2017 – Part One at - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

I then got a bit obsessive about the colours and patterns and just darn right beautifully designed sets they had. I will buy them all – Take all of my money!!! 

Even though these were in two separate sets with a hole between the two, the pattern colour loving creative in me loved the contrast in sleek and simple art deco-esque lines and curves against the vibrant and whimsical colour-filled florals.

To be honest the wallpaper totally distracted me like a magpie to a shiny gem and I don’t think I took a lot of the bathrooms in but my head is filled with roll topped, vintage claw foot bath tubs and old fashioned taps – divine but just not practical in our little bathroom back home. 

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Okay, now were talking when it comes to dramatic bathroom statements! This antique bronze bath was a beaut and sadly not in my price range. Can you imagine this bath with that floral wallpaper? I have always been on the dramatic side (no comments please family members!) but this is another level.

I’m now sat sipping coffee, staring out of my huge shuttered window out to the rolling Cotswold Hills and misty autumn morning dew, covered in warm soapy bubbles, soaking in the peace of the morning…

Well, as the great Albus Dumbledore once said

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry (read: Rachel), but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

I couldn’t have said it better myself…You are more than welcome to visit. 

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Eliston Button Etsy Shop Refresh

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Hello there lovely Buttoneers! I am just popping in today to tell you about my Eliston Button Etsy Shop refresh that I am working on at the moment. Following on from the behind the scenes work I have been tippy tappying away at that I mentioned a few weeks ago in my Around Here…I’m Back blog post. I have been playing round with my prices and postage prices and they are a lot more buyer friendly now, especially now that I have invested in packaging supplies in bulk! Hurrah! I have also been busy snapping away refreshing the photographs to spruce the place up a bit.

A lot has changed since some of these photographs were taken and I have progressed my photography and editing skills leaps and bounds since I opened my shop – Hooray!

If you are a long time follower of this little corner of the blogosphere, you may remember waaayyy back to my first ever blog challenge – ’27 Before 27′ where I made 27 embroidered felt brooches before I turned 27 – ahh! The days of being in my twenties!

Some of these little doses of felty goodness have sold as one-of-a-kind pieces, some have been remade, some are still looking pretty waiting to jet off to their new homes…

…Some of them are even brand new designs from my Create 28 or Create 30 blog challenges! Wherever their origin, they all deserved brand new, bright and colourful, crisp photographs to show them at their best. I thought I would take the opportunity in the quieter summer months before the Christmas rush to get started, but you can absolutely guarantee that two of them sold just as I was editing the photographs can’t you! Typical! 

Naturally, I am pretty darn proud of these little bundles of lovely so I wanted to show them off and remind you of their felty goodness…In rainbow order…of course! 

Hello Lover – Red and white felt heart petals with red and white embroidery and a bold red button centre.

Tangerine – Orange scalloped petals and crisp white embroidery to match a bold white button centrepiece.

Ballet Slipper – Pastel pink and peach felt petals with pastel pink embroidery and a peach, gem encrusted square centrepiece. 

Blackcurrant and Cinnamon – Rich purple embroidery on tan brown felt petal layers with an antique brass coloured metal centre that holds a purple gem centrepiece. 

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Around Here…I’m Back!

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Hello there lovely Buttoneers! I’m blooming back! Have you missed me!?

It feels like soooo long ago that I was sat here, mug of coffee in hand, channelling my inner Carrie Bradshaw, tippy tapping away on my laptop…

Actually that all sounds way calmer than it actually was at the end of my Create 30 blog challengeIt’s been so good to step away from the editorial blog calendar for a while. I envisioned myself sat in the garden, reading my book with a cup of tea relaxing my days away. In reality it was so different!

I started off my break by completely stepping away from posting on social media. I needed to get away from the pressures of daily posting ‘perfect’ photos and battling algorithms to get them seen and just live my life a bit. Our family had a sad loss at the start of my break too so posting my day to day or Etsy Shop snippets just didn’t feel right. The break was exactly what I needed and I actually found that I wanted to get back to Instagram sooner than I had scheduled, full of fresh ideas and creativity that I had feared I had lost in the hustle and bustle. More on that later. 

So…What have I been up to? Well, a lot of my days have still been on the computer. I spent sooooo long completely re-formatting my back catalogue of blog posts. When I switched over to self-hosting my blog and ended up completely redesigning it, a lot of the text formatting and image sizes changed. I had even lost a huge amount of images on the crossover without realising, resulting in gaps between text and other images – Yikes! As a bit of an organisation obsessive enthusiast (now there’s an enthusiast print in the making!) This drove me insane!

With trying to keep my head above water keeping up with Create 30 and running on that never ending hamster wheel of social media – I had zero time to fix it.

So, with it niggling in the back of my creative little head, I knew that the minute I stopped blogging for a while, I had to get it done. Cue hours of soul destroying reformatting and image sizing…I was purely running on giant cups of coffee and listening to podcasts. At the same time I started re-taking the Eliston Button Etsy Shop product photography to jazz it all up a bit.  I have spruced up my prices, postage prices and search engine optimisation (Yawwwwnnnn!!) but everything is a lot happier and everything is how it is supposed to be. Phew! The prices and postage are all now in place if you have had your eye on something, but I am still trawling through the re-photographing stage! No wonder I am glad to be back. 

With all the admin out of the way, here is the pretty picture bit. They are a mixture of Instagram photos with their captions to fill you in on what I have been up to and a few behind-the-scenes photos too. Here is what I have been up to Around Here…Enjoy!

Around Here… Back at the start of July I wrote – “Hello lovelies 💖 I’ve been a little M.I.A over on social media for a while, my usual posting schedule has become a bit few and far between and I feel like I’m stuck in a bit of a creative rut. I feel like a lot of my time is spent working hard against the new algorithms, alongside battling the tide and noise of it all that I have lost my umph and feel really disenchanted by it all 😫 I have decided to, not just take a blogging break, but take a social media break too for a short while, in the hope I can get back my usual creative magic 👩🏻‍🎨 I spend so much time worrying and running on the hamster wheel of daily posts and hashtags and writing engaging posts that the fun, imagination and creativity has gone. I want to put down my phone and my laptop for a while and make something with my hands, something tangible, make my crafty little heart happy again. 😊I am unplugging away from the noise and concentrating on finding the parts that I love; the making, the experimenting, the creativity. 🎨✨ The Eliston Button Etsy Shop (link in profile) will remain open and I will flit in and out of here from time to time and add some Insta stories here and there when I have something to share. I feel like a break will do my creative little soul some good and allow it to feel refreshed and recharged to get back to it soon! 🌼 I urge you all to take a little time away from your screens today. Go for a walk, grab a coffee, sit in the garden, draw something, buy some flowers, have a real life conversation with someone and above all, find the fun again… 🌈💖

Around Here… I am just dipping in to say hello and make sure you know I’m still here. I have however, decided to extend my social media break for a little while longer. Self-care as looking after my mental health is very much a priority for me this year after a stormy couple of years and stepping away from my screen and unplugging the last few weeks have helped tremendously in getting myself back on track. I want to come back at it being able to fully dive in and be my best and most creative self. 👩🏻‍🎨🎨 We also had a very sad loss in our family last week so posting just doesn’t feel right at the moment. I promise I will be back when the time is right, but for now I will dip in and out to say hello and continue to post out your Eliston Button Etsy Shop doses of handmade goodness 

Around Here… I dug some home decor bits for the mantelpiece out of boxes from the move to make the place feel homier. We are trying to do up and decorate each room one by one, so a lot of our stuff is still boxed. Sometimes just digging out a few things and arranging them on the mantelpiece can brighten the place up and make it feel like a home rather than box city and a decorating disaster zone!

Around Here… Sex and the City was watched A LOT! I don’t care what people say about this show. To me it will always that old friend that you can just slip back in touch with to make the grey days a little brighter and make your heart feel a little warmer. A familiar favourite that wraps you up in a ball and sits with you under the duvet with a large mug of tea and a ball of knitting until you feel more ‘you’ again – You know the sort. 

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For the Love of…Summer

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Hello there lovely Buttoneers! The sun is shining, the balmy warm air is close to your face and the oscillating fan is on full blast. Ice lollies are in the freezer (or dripping down your hand!) the ice cube tray is full and the sun loungers are out. The garden is blooming, the sandals have been dug out of hibernation and the sun lotion is on hand. This can only mean one thing…Its summer time!! Hooray! 

In my new tradition of celebrating each of the seasons in my ‘For the Love of…’ blog series, I was excited to get started with the bright blue skies and happy yellow, sunshine filled days of summer…For the Love of…Summer!

Also, I don’t normally get to post a lot about the summer as it is usually when I take a blogging break to revive the creative juices (which I will be doing after my Create 30 blog challenge!) so I thought it would be nice to capture it all before I relax a bit!

Just like with my For the Love of…Autumn, Winter and Spring editions, I will be rounding up all the summer goodness from all things Eliston Button as well as some exciting summer finds from around the web.

I want to get your arty, crafty souls feeling the summer vibes and finding the sunshine tribes…I would definitely join that super fun sounding tribe – Pure sunshine magic! 

So, what do I love about summer? I love more sunshine than cloud but also cool breezes and not getting too hot. I love bright happy colours and bright blue skies. I love ice creams and lollies and exciting outdoor adventures (and also getting lost)…

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I love sun kissed skin and make up free faces. I love road trips, summer stargazing and soaking up vitamin sea! I love sandy beach combing and ocean cool paddles…

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I love collecting shells, sea glass treasures and colourful bits of fishing rope. I love warm sand between my toes and silky soft feet. I love salty sweet kisses and sounds of crashing waves… View Post

Why It’s Okay To Make Mistakes (and a Life Update)

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Hello there lovely Buttoneers! We have officially moved house! Hip, Hip, Hooray!! (If you are reading this then I either have internet set up already or I went on an adventure to find some in our new town!) I have more news on that later in the post, but today I wanted to share a bit of a story time/lesson learnt with you all and to be honest document it for myself to look back on in times of need – I rarely take my own advice but maybe if it was written down…here’s to hoping anyway!

A few weeks ago I launched my ‘Just want to nap’ print as number 15 in my Create 30 blog challenge. I had made the print ahead of time because of the move and also ahead of time, had photographed it, edited the photos, written an Etsy shop listing; created a blog post…yadda yadda yadda…you get the point. I had the post sat in my drafts folder for a while and was pretty darn pleased with myself for finally getting a little bit ahead of myself to be able to pack the house up etc.

Just for some context, the whole of the few weeks surrounding this were mega, uber, t-rex dinosaur proportion stressful.

We almost lost the offer on our house, the chain got really messy, no one could agree on a move date, estate agents and solicitors were all in the mix and it was a Mess – with a capital ‘M’. Anyhoo, I had read and re-read that blog post, I checked for spelling and grammar, you name it, I checked it.

I was so excited to launch this print. I had worked hard on colours and getting the right mix of typography and hand lettering, picking the right angles of the felt flower photographs to fit perfectly into the corners – If you know me at all, you will know that I am a total perfectionist.

I released the print, the blog post and launched the Etsy listing into the wild and sighed with relief that another Create 30 blog challenge make was done and dusted and I was super proud of it…

That is until my personal (and not actually a paid job) quality control manager (my sister) emailed me to tell me how much she loved my print but was the quote meant to read “Some Days I Feel like Super Women, Other Days I Just Want to Nap”? or was it meant to say ‘Super Woman‘?

I felt sick. That pit of your stomach sick. That pit of your stomach, freeze-on-the-spot-mid-carrot-stick-chomp, don’t-take-another-breath-until-you-have-processed-the-words-in-front-of-you sick.

You know the one? I couldn’t move. I felt paralysed by the shock and fear and panic whilst at the same time my head was buzzing with thoughts trying to make sense of it all, un-ravel the messy ball of wool in my brain, do something that involved DOING SOMETHING!! I had already gotten 50 likes on Instagram – 50 people had seen it GODDAMMIT!

Then the magic happened…My inner organisation-freak, get-to-it-systematic-minded, problem-solving-fairy-brain kicked in…

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I got to work. I sniffed a bit and blew my nose, I took a deep breath and my shaky little hands sprang into action. I started with some damage limitation by deleting the social media posts and Pinterest pinned images. I threw the print back into Adobe Photoshop, erased the problem (I wish we could do this in real life sometimes!) and re-drew the hand lettering to make it say ‘Woman’ instead of ‘Women’. Then I realised that I didn’t only have to erase the problem on the actual print but also go back and re-edit the photographs of the print, the framed set up of the print etc etc not only on my blog post but on my Etsy listings too. Yikes!

Within about half an hour all was rectified and the world hadn’t been hit by a failure rock the size of the sun and no one had died because of my silly little mistake.

But for that milli-second (I swear it felt like I had aged a whole decade of my life) it consumed me. I was so scared that because of a simple, correctable error, that everyone would think I was a total sham. A failure. A fraud. I felt like people would judge me on my mistake and deem my art and my work not worthy of buying. That my sales would hit rock bottom, that no one would read my blog anymore, that someone wouldn’t trust me enough to buy from my Etsy shop because I couldn’t do a simple thing like check my wording on a print. This all, of course, was not true. It was made up by the little anxiety gremlins in my head that like to rear their ugly little heads when I am scared or panicking or overwhelmed.

I didn’t let them win. I think that this is the one thing I will take away from this lesson learnt (apart from now triple checking my work) I will never let them win. I will pick myself back up and make it right. I will take a deep breath and do my very best to fix the problem, and most importantly not beat myself up too much about it.

I will not unpack and live in that place. I will allow myself to have a little cry, a few little sniffles and then I will move forward.

I mean, I am not saying that I felt a huge deal better after rectifying the problem – Don’t get me wrong,  I was a mess and felt truly frazzled. I felt burnt out from everything that was going on around me that made me make the mistake in the first place. I hauled by bum back upstairs to bed, got under the duvet and watched Disney’s Peter Pan for the rest of the afternoon. I Instagramed about my day and chatted to my lovely Etsy group on Facebook and I was bowled over by the support. Which is when I realised that it is not just me.

People mess up every day. Sometimes they are small, fixable silly little mess ups, sometimes they are bigger and more damaging but either way they (hopefully!) survive to tell the tale.

Once I had stepped away from it all I could get a bit more perspective and by the following morning I realised that life definitely goes on. What makes me so important to think that anyone even cared, let alone noticed!? I don’t even mean that in a self-deprecating way, just that in the grand scheme of things, in this big wide scary world, the only one who cared about the mistake and judged me was…Me (and possibly the 50 people that still went on to like that photo before I deleted and re-posted it) Phew! Lesson Learnt.

To be honest it was a good little warning sign that I just needed to step away from things for a bit, get into my blanket fort and relax away from the world, even if it was just for an afternoon.

The funny thing is, in hindsight obviously, is that my ‘Just want to nap’ print actually went on to be featured on the fantastic creative lifestyle blog Live It. Love It. Make It. in their latest ‘New in Handmade’ blog post. Funny how things turn out isn’t it! You should check out their blog too – It is super fun and inspiring – they are really lovely ladies too. 

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