Hi! This site is an archive of my old craft blog. You can now find my new writing, and my two new shops, in their new homes: Patchwork Jackdaw for one-off, intricate jewellery pieces in muted colours, and Florence Loves Fridays for bold, chunky, quirky jewellery.
After a long while trying to fit hexagonal pegs into triangular holes (that is, trying to make the two divergent styles of jewellery that I now make fit into the two shops I created for the types of jeweller I was making ten years ago) I’ve got a New Plan For Drastic Change. (hahahaha, yes, I may have said this before.)
I’ve built two completely new web shops! One is for my bright and bold jewellery – such as the the button stud earrings and felt bead necklaces – and the other is for my weird one-offs and pieces made from fabric scraps and beads from broken jewellery and other assorted rusticity.
It was time to retire the Unexpected Boutique – simply because over the years I’ve moved away from the found-objects (dice, safety pins and things) towards recycling old beads from broken jewellery, and scraps of fabric and yarn. I’ve called one of my new shops Patchwork Jackdaw, which I think is a much better fit. That’s where you’ll now find my more intricate stuff in muted colours, the one-offs and rustic fabric pieces.
The other shop – the bright and bold one – is called Florence Loves Fridays, and has felt jewellery, some of the brighter button necklaces, my range of bright button stud earrings, plus brooches, purses and…. some new things coming soon!
Both of these shops have blogs attached to them, and as this blog that you’re reading now mostly refers to my old sites, and quite a few jewellery lines that I don’t make any more, I thought I’d archive it and focus on writing blog posts on my new sites, about the jewellery that they each sell. But I’m leaving these posts up for now in case anyone wants to read them…
(My shop at buttonjewellery.co.uk is staying for the moment – as having all of my button themed stuff in one place is pretty handy for some people.)
Last year I made some felt jewellery from the last few felt beads that I had left in stock. I was expecting this to be a finishing-off process, but the jewellery was so popular that it’s turned out to be a rejuvenation process instead. I was going to stop making felt jewellery because it’s so different from my other jewellery that it always looks out of place in my shops alongside the more delicate pieces – it overpowers them because it’s so chunky and eye-catching. But I had a bit of think, and decided that that’s not a reason to stop making it – it just needed its own place. So I made a new Etsy shop that just sells felt jewellery, nothing else.
I’ve recently made a few one-off, unique pieces of recycled fabric jewellery. These two necklaces and a bracelet are mostly made from tiny scraps from a bag of offcuts that are too small to be used for most purposes. But they’re still useful: really small bits of fluff can still be used for stuffing into a fabric bead, and bits of thread can be woven and stitched onto an appliqué fabric necklace.
This fabric wrap bracelet (available here at the Unexpected Boutique) is made with memory wire, brown and green thread and fabric scraps, and also two beads from my collection of mostly secondhand materials.
I had a few small pink felt beads left over from my big felt-jewellery-making extravaganza, but not enough to make a whole necklace. So instead of buying new felt beads to complete an entirely felt necklace, I stitched some rustic-style fabric beads from some scrap fabric in a matching colour scheme. (Also available in my shop, here).
I’ve also made a long, tapered, entirely recycled fabric necklace, with no metal parts, which just slips over your head. It’s made with all kinds of fibre in blue, green, pink and brown – jersey and woven fabrics, wool, embroidery thread, cotton, and anything else that matched and was knocking around in the offcuts box.
Stocking up early for the Christmas rush (that really, truly wasn’t an intentional pun, but I think I’ll just go with it) I’ve made a new batch of one-of-a-kind stretchy button charm bracelets. Silver plated elastic bracelets, with a mix of small buttons in place of what would usually be silver charms.
A while ago I made two long length button necklaces as a commission. Longer cord button necklaces are actually something I had in my mind to make for a long time, so making those has inspired me to make some more and them as a new range to my site. You can see them here.
There are only three colours available at the moment, but, I’ll be adding more when I get a spare moment (ha) – and in the meantime, if you’re looking for one in a different colour scheme, I can make custom necklaces at no extra change – get in touch!
Continuing my process of going through boxes of old materials that were bought for a particular purpose but not used, or were parts for something that I used to make but could no longer get the other components for, I’ve made a collection of new assemblage necklaces. These are made with buttons, bits of old broken jewellery, beads (some old, some new), miniature teapots, charms, and a variety of different chains that are mostly antique bronze or copper plated. Each one is unique, and they’re priced at £18. You can see the full range on my necklaces page here.
For a while I’ve been pondering the idea of making a button necklace that doesn’t use any metal parts. There are two reasons – one is that lots of people are sensitive to metals, and while I mostly use surgical steel fitting these days, which a lot of people are all right with, it doesn’t cover everyone. The other reason is that using any metal at all has an environmental impact. This is something I think about a lot, particularly given that jewellery is, if we’re honest, rather a non-essential frippery. I am working to improve on my overall environmental impact in running a jewellery making business, although it’s a slow, complicated process from where I am at the moment and deserves a whole post of its own (hopefully someday soon…).
On with the necklaces! These are the first few colour schemes I’ve made, and there’s also the option of choosing your own colours on my custom button jewellery page. The maximum length of these necklaces is 65cm, and from there they can be adjusted to any length down to as tight as is comfortable around your neck, as a choker. The knotted clasp holds the threads in place, or you can tie them up for extra security at the back if you prefer.
You can see the whole collection in my online shop here.
More custom button necklaces! I’ve made two different variations on my chunky cord button necklaces, which are normally a medium length (around 46 – 56cm). This week, one person wanted extra long necklaces at 75cm, and someone else (separately) wanted a short choker at 37cm.
If you’re looking for a custom button necklace like these – or one that’s a different length – you can get in touch here.
My pre-made, ready-to-ship button necklaces aren’t normally made to exact lengths, as the length is determined by which buttons I think look best together – but if you do want a particular length, I can make one to order to your measurements. (Or I can add an extension chain, if you want to lengthen an existing necklace.)
Do you want some custom button jewellery? Find out more here, or just get in touch and let me know what you’re after.