Most of what I make is jewellery, but occasionally I like to blog about other craft or upcycling projects that I have going on (usually in a variety of piles and boxes all over my room and my desk). I live in County Durham, UK, where I split my time between playing, recording and composing music, attempting to renovate a cranky old house, and making jewellery which I sell mainly via my online shops.
I grew up making things, because everyone in my family was always making things (not as a profession, just when they were needed and it was cheaper to make something than buy it – jam, rabbit runs, homebrew, window frames…).
The first pieces of handmade jewellery that I ever made were my button necklaces, which I originally made for myself – because I saw someone wearing a necklace made from buttons, and thought “I want a necklace like that” so I made one – and then as gifts for friends who liked the one I’d made. After starting off selling some of these through local bricks-and-mortar shops, I set up my own online button jewellery shop. The site that started as just a few necklaces in 2005 has grown over the years and now hosts a large collection of button jewellery.
My enthusiasm for making things from buttons extended to using other found objects, such as jigsaw pieces, gaming dice and safety pins, and a few years after the launch of the Button Jewellery site, the Unexpected Boutique was created in order to sell my new jewellery collections.
On Helen Makes Things you will find blog posts about my upcycled jewellery and other upcycled craft projects. Some of my upcycling projects are made just for me or for friends; others are available for sale in my online shops. You’ll also find posts which are just me writing about other stuff because I feel like it.