Monday, 28 February 2011

Loving the new(ish) location of Labour and Wait


I was recently trying to hunt down some bakers twine to use as packaging for my shop, so I headed down to the fabulous Labour and Wait. I thought it might be the sort of thing they stock as they sell gorgeous traditional homeware like enamel kitchen stuff and beautifully made wooden brushes. I'd forgotten it had moved so, after a brief diversion to the old shop, I was pleasantly surprised to discover it's new home in Redchurch Street, East London. It's a beautiful, green tiled building that looks like it might have been a pub in a former life. I especially like the juxtaposition with the graffiti.
 I didn't manage to get any bakers twine, but I did fall in love with a mustard-coloured enamel coffee pot. You can just about make it out on the table and shelf in these interior photos. Sadly, as the pot was imported from Japan it was a bit out of my price range. But if you find yourself in East London, it's worth checking out this lovely, unique shop.


Interior of Labour and Wait (Photo via http://www.labourandwait.co.uk/)
 



Lovely old-fashioned shop counter (Photo via www.labourandwait.co.uk)





Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Pinterest - my new addiction!

Photo by Dana Miller @housetweaking.com
I already spend hours looking at craft, design and photography blogs and now I've developed another addiction as well - Pinterest. It's basically a virtual pinboard which means all the images I discover online can be 'pinned' together in one place. If, like me, you regularly rip images out of magazines to put on your noticeboard this is the same idea but for the digital age. Perfect if you're browsing online magazines and blogs.

You can create boards for specific projects or just for reference. Keep them private, share them or work together with other people on virtual boards for a communal project. So far I've been lusting after more stylish homes that my own, like that of Dana (great name!) at House*Tweaking who shared a headboard tutorial on her blog (photo on left). I just love the colour and texture combinations.(I discovered her blog via the excellent Poppytalk blog.)

 
And I'm also keeping a note of visual references to inspire my business. How cute are these little boots made by La La Shoes?

It's not just a virtual pinboard, the whole idea is to be social so you can 'follow' other users, 'repin' images to your own boards or just 'like' someone else's images. It's in the beta testing stage at the moment so you'll have to sign up and request an invite. Trust me it's great fun but be warned it's very addictive!
You can find out more about Pinterest on their website and blog.
If you're already on Pinterest my profile is http://pinterest.com/starsandbuttons/

Monday, 14 February 2011

Stepping out for supplies...

After a scramble last week to get enough stock ready to launch my Etsy shop, I've been out buying up more fabric. Luckily, I live in an area of London with lots of great independent fabric shops and new places seem to be opening all the time as the craft movement gains momentum.
Soya Teacup candles (Photo from themakelounge.com)

Firstly, I want to tell you about the marvelous Make Lounge and I'll fill you in on some of the other great stores over the next few weeks. I want to start with The Make Lounge as, in a way, it's been one of the catalysts for me setting up Stars and Buttons. They run contemporary craft workshops and the first one I did was the soya teacup candle making course. It was only one evening but I rediscovered the joy of making something physical (rather than the virtual online creations of my day job). And the best bit...there was wine and snacks! My kinda place. The experience totally inspired me to get back into making things, something I hadn't done regularly since school. I started sewing again, got a machine, did another course at The Make Lounge to brush up on my sewing skills and I've been sewing ever since.
Cake Pops (Photo from themakelounge.com)

 Anyway enough about me - The Make Lounge is in Islington, North London and runs contemporary craft workshops in everything from knitting, sewing and screen printing to making soap, lampshades and the newly added Cake Pops (which looks ace!). And the shop is amazing; full of fabulous fabrics, brilliant books and all manner of crafty bits and bobs. Somehow I always end up spending about three times more than I intend to! I don't know why I bother pretending I have a budget because I can't help buying up the super cute Michael Miller fabrics as they are perfect for the baby gifts I make. I also bought lots of lovely antique style purse frames for all the birthday presents I'm planning to make this month too.
Michael Miller Fabric I use for my bibs.


And one last thing, The Make Lounge also does bespoke parties for kids and adults and even hen parties - which I think is a great idea if you're trying to organise something fun and different that doesn't involve pink L-plates!

Find out more about The Make Lounge workshops on their website.

Read about Michael Miller fabrics on the Make It Fun blog.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Open For Business!

Finally! Today I am flinging open the virtual doors of my online shop and inviting you all to come on in and have a look around. I hope you like it.



When some of my close friends started having babies, I spent quite a lot of time looking for original yet trendy little gifts. That's more difficult than it sounds when you throw in the word 'affordable' so I decided to make my own and Stars and Buttons was born. Now I'm selling my homemade bibs and burping cloth gift sets online which I'm very excited about. I love sourcing lovely printed fabric to turn into bibs, burp cloths and lots of other handmade things. Watch out for a wider range of fabrics and gifts which I'll  be listing in my Etsy shop soon. There'll even be pretty things for grown-ups.



I want to say a quick thanks to the lovely Amy who runs the excellent Robin & Mould Etsy shop for her advice and for providing the motivation to stop worrying about the details and just start selling! And to my lovely model Eléna, who was one of the first to road test the bibs and who is already proving a great bib saleswoman!

You can follow me on Twitter @starsandbuttons.