Novelty Brooch Friday // December

This December issue of Novelty Brooch Friday is close to my heart. If you’re a regular reader or know me personally, you will know just how much I love where I live, the Blue Mountains as well as my passion for supporting local and independent businesses and ideas. I freaking love both. So, it should come as no surprise that I take great pride in being able to offer a stunning enamel brooch designed by local, very well known jewellery designer and maker and all round lovely lady, Alison of My Red Scooter.

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Alison’s designs are simple, fresh and wearable with a nod to past eras, classic fabrics and designs. All her pieces are so wearable and I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise given that she is a busy mum to three gorgeous young children and appreciates being able to just grab something simple and sassy to liven up the day to day outfit.

One of my favourite ways to spend a Saturday morning is at the Glenbrook markets with a coffee in hand and a keen eye for what the stall holders have on offer this month. My Red Scooter is an institution at these markets and you very regularly see her distinct designs brightening up the outfits of market goers of all ages.

Read on for a little insight into this Blue Mountains based label that has won the hearts of locals for years, I’m sure it will quickly win yours, too.

1) How long has My Red Scooter been around for?

My Red Scooter started back in 2007. Like many, it was just something to do when at home with small children but quickly became more than a hobby. In recent times, I have decided to focus purely on women’s accessories, more specifically vintage inspired necklaces, bracelets and rings handmade from gorgeous coloured resin.

2) As a Mum of three, how do you manage to make time to get creative and crafty with MRS?

It is very difficult. I will admit that I am the first to let the housework slip and allow the folding build up in the interests of my business. Coffee, coffee and lots more coffee and I am a night owl so this helps me a lot. I do wish that I had more time during the day as I would be more productive. My list of crafty projects outside of My Red Scooter is very long and I hope to be able to spend some time just creating things “just because” over the Christmas break.

3) Do you see a resurgence in local and handmade shopping in your area? If so, it must be wonderful to be a part of that community.

Absolutely. Which is wonderful for small independent businesses. Certainly after the recent bushfires that devastated the Blue Mountains, many are more willing than ever to support small local designers. We are lucky to live in such a close knit and supportive community.

4) What are you most inspired by?

COLOUR! We are all guilty of wearing far too much black these days. I also love vintage lace, linen and fabric, enamel, chandelier crystals and old china. The simplicity of yesteryear inspires me to create comfortable, classic and affordable pieces. These days, life is busy, we are surrounded by too much stuff, technology and decisions.. Accessorising should be easy.. A collection of timeless pieces that you can wear with anything. You don’t need to dress up to wear my pieces!

5) It must be a kick to see people walking around wearing your creations. What is the most rewarding aspect of your business?

Yes, I do smile when I see others wearing my pieces. It is very uplifting to know that others like what I do and wear my pieces year after year. One of the most rewarding things is seeing many a customer wearing my pieces for years not just a season.

Please join us on Facebook at facebook.com/myredscooter and keep an eye on our website at myredscooter.com.au. It is currently being re-vamped and should be live soon.

This month’s brooch is an amazing enamel flower! (I have one in yellow and green, I love them that much!)

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Now, this month is slightly different in that the entries will be open for Friday 6th December and 13th December only! I already have this hot little brooch in my clutches so it can be sent out quick smart to the lucky brooch wearer in time for Christmas!

Claire and I began this little thing quite by accident through a mutual love of vintage and locally made brooches, so what better way to end the year than to be able to send out a locally designed brooch for Christmas!

The winner will be announced on Monday December 16th and will need to email me at eaenglish (at) gmail (dot) com to claim this darling brooch.

Before I forget, don’t forget to follow Alison and My Red Scooter on Instagram for updates on her new lines. They’re amazing! @my_red_scooter

So what are you waiting for?! Brooch up, ladies and gents!

Peace and enamel.

E. xx

Novelty Brooch Friday // Winner

November_fawn

November_Winner

Before you is the prize and the winning entry! Thank you to Teresa for the beautiful fawn brooch and to the almost 350 entries this month! We are over the moon that there are that many other people so in love with brooches that they too just have to show them off!

Congratulations, Laurie! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s announcement of the December brooch!

I’m on the look out for some particularly festive brooches this month! Can’t wait for Christmas kitch to hit real bad. hehe

Peace and love.

E. x

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.

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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.

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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!

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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

honestly

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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

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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

Novelty Brooch Friday // September

Well, well! Whilst the original September brooch donation unfortunately fell through, the fill in brooch and supplier is a knock out, for sure! Rebecca has so sweetly donated one of these ah-mazing wooden skunk brooches for one of our 272 September entries for #noveltybroochfriday!

Claire and I both wish we could have gone into the running for this sweet little number because, as you can see, they are darling!

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Thank you so much, Rebecca for saving the September day and stepping in with such a unique and fitting brooch offering. (Imma gonna buy one myself once I finish ‘Buy nothing new in October’.) Follow Rebecca on Instagram on @squirreljunkie or catch her at The Plaid Thermos! This is one lady who knows her vintage and especially her Bakelite!!

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Foxy lady, no? 😉

Now, the lucky winner of this month’s truly novelty and all round wonderful brooch is……

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Congrats Lenore! From one sexy vintage lady to the next. I love it!

Email Claire (tunabake@hotmail.com) to claim your little skunk!

We will be back to our regular brooching schedule (that’s a thing) this week as we announce the very exciting seller and brooch for the October giveaway! Claire and I would just love to extend our thanks to all those who make the effort to share their little novelty brooches with the world every Friday. It lifts our spirits and helps us to promote local sellers, designers and jewellery makers that make our lives just that little bit sweeter with their inspired and talented work.

Peace and brooches.

E. x

Recap

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In no particular order, here are some of the great things I have been focusing on, experienced or seen recently.

  • I have started walking the one and a half kilometres to the station of a morning and catching the train to work. It gives me exercise, time to read and listen to podcasts and I love leaving my car at home. Four days a week I am also going for an hour long walk in the morning in order to have some faster paced exercise. I’m loving my new routine.
  • A tiny dog for sale in a home wares shop.
  • I had a short stint in hospital earlier in September and it has done wonders for my health! Firstly, because they were able to stop me from being in crippling pain and also, in a more ‘overall’ kind of way by making me appreciate my normal health and how lucky I am to have it. I am working now on getting as healthy as I can as a result and I am keen for some fitness and healthy vibes!
  • Seb, OB and I have taken a few trips to house hunt recently. We grab a coffee and baked treat and set off up the mountain in search of our dream home. Hearing Ob’s assessments of the ones we stop to look at is hilarious and makes him being a part of the process so much more rewarding.
  • I am slowly getting through my cupboards and wardrobes. I did my kitchen and OB’s clothes today. I managed to take three bags from OB’s room to the charity shop and I organised my kitchen in preparation for having all my cooking staples arranged in lovely glass jars. I have a few and I’m working on it weekly. It will be amazing. The next thing to sort will be my wardrobe and the books. I’m optimistic that I will have far less shit by next weekend.
  • A little jaunt into Sydney last weekend was just what the Dr ordered as I was invited to help a dear high school friend celebrate her engagement to her huge hunk of a fiance. So happy for those two wacky peeps. I did my hair and everything for the occasion and felt a million bucks.
  • I went dancing. I didn’t drink. I had a great time.
  • Organic and raw food has really been inspiring me lately and I am now constantly on the hunt for my next ‘favourite’ product that can help me to live as cleanly and as deliciously as possible. I’m getting quite a list!
  • Podcasts. Hello?! Where have I been?
  • I have been chewing through books recenlty. I have thoroughly enjoyed Eating Animals, Destroying The Joint and High Sobriety. I am about to being The Beauty Myth and I just can’t wait!

These are just a few things but as usual, my brain is always buzzing with new ideas, questions, answers and a little craziness. Thankfully, I like it like that.

Stay curious. Always.

Peace and podcasts.

E.x