Meet the Maker Week 2017

Hello there lovely Buttoneers! Cast your minds back to last December and you may remember that I took part in the lovely Joanne Hawker’s Meet the Maker Week. Last year the challenge was super scary for me, I was really starting to find my feet in the creative community and throwing myself out there further than I already do with this blog etc was a massive dive into the deep end. I looked back on last year’s Meet the Maker Week blog post and I want to run and hug 29 year old me and tell her to take her time, to relax…maybe even stop taking on too much! I was so nervous about each Instagram post I posted for each prompt, feeling a bit of a fraud when of course I wasn’t, I was just new! (Although I absolutely still feel like this sometimes!) I came out the other end feeling so proud of myself for joining in and so much more confident about myself and my job and the things I make. 

Fast forward to this year and I can’t believe how much has changed.

I almost didn’t join in as this time of year is always super busy with Christmas orders and blog posts and general seasonal festivities, but I am so glad I did. I felt a lot more confident to join in because the friendships I had started this time last year amongst the other makers have grown and blossomed so I felt way less scared of making those initial interactions and worrying about what everyone would think.

I know so many wonderful makers now that it felt a lot less of a scary unknown party that you rock up to in fancy dress and it isn’t fancy dress!

This was great because it meant that I could be completely myself and share myself and my work to new people I was yet to meet and found new friends along the way! When I work from my little studio at home it can get a little lonely in the daytime, so having like-minded biz buddies along for the ride to be able to hash out the ins and outs of Facebook or the new seller features of Etsy or the new hoops to jump through on Instagram is wonderful and makes such a difference.

It’s like having a natter with a big mug of tea in a creative coffee shop but cosier and in my pyjamas…Someone seriously needs to invent that! 

That said, I think that there is always going to be a part of me that is scared. Always a part of me that shies away from making the first step into something new or gets anxious about a new adventure in to the unknown – I think that’s a good thing though. I never want to take it for granted or stop pushing myself to make bigger and better things, to jump off the comfort zone cliff once in a while and see what magic might happen on the way down.

Making new products that I have designed and made myself, putting a load of heart and soul and a whole heap of handmade magic into is one thing, but throwing it out into the wild to be seen and looked at, for people to decide if they like it or not, to judge it or even part with hard earned money for it is super scary…Every.Single.Time. But, challenges like Meet the Maker Week show me that everyone is in the same pond, some of us are just on relatively new boats trying to figure out the oars whilst others are in yachts and ships and cruise liners even – but we are all still pushing away from the edge and into the unknown and doing what we love, every single day – After all who knows what being a maker will be like in 20 or 30 years from now? Who knows what Etsy or even the Internet will be like? Being all together and being reminded of that is a real comfort.

Not to mention getting to tell you lovelies a bigger slice of who we all are alongside a dollop of the creative goodness and treasures we have to offer on the side.

I wanted to share my answers to the prompts over here on the blog to share with those of you that are new to Eliston Button *Waves* or those who are yet to follow me on Instagram or Facebook but also so they are a more permanent reminder of who I was and what I was making, documenting them for myself to look back on in years to come. As a real memory keeper I will love to see how much has changed or see how I will 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…alongside a heap of sparkle heart and rainbow emoji’s! 

Joanne Hawker Meet the Maker Week Prompts - the Maker Week 2017 at - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

Day One of Meet the Maker Week is ‘Who’ – Hello 👋🏻 This is a super rare selfie! My name is Rachel and I live in Worcestershire with my best friend/adventure buddy/fiancé Chris. I am Head Buttoneer, Designer Maker and Creative Lifestyle Blogger for my little creative biz called Eliston Button. My businesses tag line is Art, Design, Craft and Adventure and I try to input as much of them all into my life, my blog and my little doses of handmade goodness as possible! 👩🏻‍🎨 I have an Etsy Shop full of handmade treasures, a creative brain with far too many tabs open at once and I own a pink Vespa scooter (that I need to get back on the road!) I hoard buttons in colour arranged jars, love adventures and exploring and being at home in equal measures and I am Harry Potter obsessed!⚡️I love exploring charity shops for vintage treasure, I am an old soul but also a big kid and I always try to find the magic in everything ✨ I sometimes struggle with anxiety and depression but surround myself with rainbows and sunshines and wonderful people as my patronous against the dementors and love nothing more than a big cup of tea and a really good book 🌈☀️💕 I’d love for you to say hello! 👋🏻

Rachel Eliston - Designer Maker and Creative Lifestyle Blogger - Meet the Maker Week 2017 at - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

Day Two of Meet the Maker Week is ‘What’ – Everything colourful and magical that you ever did see! 😂 Only kidding! I do however, love to make a menagerie of handmade goodness for my home and my Etsy Shop 👩🏻‍🎨 I love to mix up my days by making lots of different things and keep the crafty magic alive ✨ I love to draw and sketch out ideas from my crafty imagination and then digitally render them into colourful prints. I love to weave woven wall hangings with a rainbow of yarn and fabric and make fluffy little pom poms and sew them into garlands. I immerse myself in different textured and coloured fabric to make fabric collages of beach and seaside scenes and love to embroider felt flower brooches, earrings and hair accessories. Some of my makes I can’t part with but most are grown up enough to fly out into the wild to handmade loving homes in my treasure trove of an Etsy Shop! 🌈💖 What is your favourite thing to make? 🎨✏️✂️

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Grand Designs Live 2017 – Part One

Grand Designs Live Birmingham 2017 - Part One with Eliston Button - Grand Designs Live 2017 – Part One at - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

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! 

Grand Designs Live 2017 with Eliston Button - Grand Designs Live 2017 – Part One at - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

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!  

The Big Map of the Show at Grand Designs Live 2017 with Eliston Button - Grand Designs Live 2017 – Part One at - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

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. 

Gorgeous Wallpaper Home Decor at the Heritage Bathrooms Stand at at Grand Designs Live 2017 with Eliston Button - Grand Designs Live 2017 – Part One at - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

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. 

Antique Brass Bath and Colour Stripes at Grand Designs Live 2017 with Eliston Button - Grand Designs Live 2017 – Part One at - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure. View Post

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!

Around - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid

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

For the Love of...Summer - Creative Lifestyle Summer Round Up by Eliston Button Beach - For the Love of…Summer at - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

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)…

Whippy Ice Creams and Blue Skies - Summer Vibes - For the Love of…Summer at - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

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…

Pebbles on a Sandy Beach - For the Love of…Summer at - Eliston Button - That Crafty Kid – Art, Design, Craft & Adventure.

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