Noveltybroochfriday // October

Please welcome to the blog, Babette from the Netherlands! She is our featured seller this month and has donated a darn cute brooch to boot!

She is seriously keen on brooches and we LOVE that! You can find her on Etsy, here! She also posts adorable photos on Instagram using @broesj.


1.  How did you come up with the name of your shop ‘Broesj’?

I’m Dutch. In the Netherlands we call a brooch ‘broche’, which is pronounced ‘brosj’. While I was fantasizing about starting my own Etsy-shop I came up with the name ‘broesj’.

It has something from ‘broche’ in it and sounds a bit like ‘babushka’ (the mistaken name for the Russian dolls (they are called Matryoshka pop. A babushka is a headscarf). It also connects a bit to my name, which is Babette. The best thing about the name is that people will call brooches a broesj. So they ask me ‘do you have any broesjes?’. I love that!

2.  When did your interest in brooches begin?

My interest in brooches began at an early age. I accompanied my mom to flea markets. While she was looking for little treasuries I found out that it was a great place to search for unique fashion items ánd accessories. Searching for earrings I also came across brooches. Quickly my collection started to grow.


3.  When did you turn your interest into your shop Broesj on Etsy?

In the Netherlands on queens day it’s a tradition to visit flea markets. They are being held in every city and start very early. Every year me and my mom will go on the hunt for vintage treasures.

On one of these days we came across a mega large bucket filled with brooches. Since I’m very undecisive I was hovering around the bucket a while. The salesman asked if I would like to buy the whole lot. And I did.

When it was getting a bit slower in my job as an independent graphic designer I thought about my brooches again. I started designing a card. And then I thought: why not try to sell some of those on Etsy? Since I had some doubles I could try and say goodbye to some of them. That was in November 2011 and the start of my Etsy shop.

4.  Do you have a favorite maker of jewellery/brooches?

One of my favorite brooch-makers is Lea Stein. She designs some of the craziest modern looking brooches with a magnificent material. The brooches are also quite large and recognizable.

5.  What do you think it is about brooches that people love?

With brooches people can carry out a message without saying something. Since there are so many brooches in all kinds of forms and shapes, every day they can choose what they want to say or find a brooches that accompanies their mood. Look at Madeleine Allbright for example. Through her brooches she carried out a very strong message in politics.

Thank you so much, Babette. By simply posting a photo of yourself on Instagram wearing a brooch on any Friday in October and linking it to the hash tag #noveltybroochfriday, you go into the running to win this darling little brooch from Babette’s Etsy store, Broesj!


Claire and I love showcasing independent, creative and unique designers, sellers and collectors. If you have a brooch you’d like to donate and become a part of the #noveltybroochfriday family, please email me at eaenglish(at)gmail(dot)com.

Now, go forth and brooch!

Peace and all things crafty.

E. x




Tonight I couldn’t tidy up OB’s room. I straightened his bedding and began to tidy his trains into their basket.  I stood up and looked back at his bed, neatly made with his handmade quilt on top and his adored stuffed animals lined in a row and I began to cry. 

I have 50/50 custody with his father which means that, for half the week, I can barely look into his room. I can’t look at his bed at night without thinking that he should be asleep in it, next to my room, next to me. This is certainly not a new feeling and I have grown accustom to the sensation similar to someone squeezing my heart. My chest tightens and I grimace. I never knew an emotion could have a physical manifestation until I had a child. Of course I had heard of it but I only experienced it as a mother.

On a good day, I am proud of myself for having left a situation that was making me unhappy. I remind myself that OB is thriving and is an amazing little person. On a bad day, I wonder if my decision to leave will have a lasting, negative effect on him. I wonder whether or not he thinks about me when I’m not with him and whether or not he wonders why Mumma isn’t there. What if I miss something? 

I struggle with many aspects of being separated from him and in moments of weakness, I crumble. 

Today I saw an Instagram user, whom I follow, that only days ago lost her baby as he was being born. The cord was wrapped around his precious little neck and he didn’t make it. I have no words to describe how sorry I am for the family and for the mother who was so prepared to nurture and love her little boy but won’t have the chance. I will see my little man on Saturday morning but she will have to farewell hers forever. Perspective is a powerful thing.

I feel like a ‘part time’ parent, something that I never thought I would have to feel, but I am lucky enough to be a parent at all. 

I am going to finish tidying up OB’s room tonight, even if it’s through foggy, tear splattered glasses, because that’s what Mums do.

Peace and precious, precious little ones.

E. x



Fashion // Style // Change



In the past six months I have really noticed a change in my personal style. Last year I was all about the vintage 1950’s dresses, little heels and clutch purse. This look was very sweet and the lines of the fifties dresses suited my curves nicely. However, many of the dresses were polyester and tended to get quite hot in the warmer months and stick to my body. I also felt a little too ‘made up’ in many of these styles.

I started to look for inspiration from clothes that were made from natural, breathable fabrics that would better suit my transition into living a more sustainable lifestlye. The fashion industry creates a massive burden on the environment and I am much more conscious of that these days and this is reflected in my style and therefore my choices as a consumer.

I am heavily inspired by the late sixties and early seventies. I love the flowing lines and layers that create interest whilst still being comfortable and in many cases, this carefree style is very sexy. Does anyone relate to me when I say that this transition just ‘felt right’? I am so comfortable in a cotton floor length skirt, loose fitting top and chunky necklace and I just feel like ‘me’. I think this confidence is a beautiful thing, like in any aspect of your life when you are true to yourself, you act differently. I walk with a bit of a swagger and I am always comfortable. I love this new inspiration. 

The images above are from a generic Google search and I just LOVE them both. The effortless style, flowing lines, long hair and the natural look is so appealing to me right now.

Other sources of inspiration come from Mexican dresses, a little bit of country, for their chunky boots and practical clothing.  also love floral patterns and embroidery. It’s a bit of a mixed bag at the moment but I am definitely leaning toward buying simple, more basic pieces that can be layered throughout the various seasons and that show no visible signs of a ‘trend’. Handmade pieces and that from market stalls and fair trade stalls are also featuring heavily as I navigate my way through a more ethical and functional wardrobe.

I am currently participating in ‘Buy Nothing New Month’ throughout October. I am using this as a chance to really think about what I need and I will be purging my wardrobe of pieces that don’t make me feel great and donating them to charity. Change is like a cold cider on a hot day; refreshing, rejuvenating and necessary.

Peace and change.

E. x