Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Culture Label

Chances are, if you're a regular Internet user and based in the UK, you've already come across Culture Label's fabulous website (www.culturelabel.com).  If you've ever been stuck for a gift for someone and Googled 'unusual gifts' or 'gift ideas', it's usually up there near the top of the search results.  Founded in 2007, the aim was to create an online store that offered affordable style, and where money spent on shopping made a positive difference to the arts.  Their founding partners included iconic and internationally renowned British institutions such as Tate, V&A, Saatchi Gallery, and the Whitechapel Gallery. Five years on, Culture Label is now home to over 200 brands and designers, including, as of March 2012, my very own Bluefinch Boutique.  

It's early days for my own little corner of Culture Label, and I have lots of exciting plans for an exclusive range of jewellery which will only be sold through there, but in the meantime, I wanted to share some of my favourite pieces from other Culture Label sellers.

Green and Gold Cup Necklace by Louise Buchan £32.50

Cat Scratching Decks by Maiden £16.50

Blue Birds Purse by Custom Made £13.50

His 'n' Her Set of Mugs by Rob Ryan £17.95

Retro Green Printed Clutch Bag by Anna's Design £19

Sew-Your-Own-Fox Tea Towel by Maiden £10

See anything you like?  I particularly love the Sew-Your-Own-Fox Tea Towel - it would make a really cute gift for a fox lover or a crafting virgin!


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

We've got balls...

Yesterday, I wrote about Bluefinch Boutique's new range of vintage jewellery and showed you some of my favourites from the range.  It was a bit premature as today, I added what is definitely my favourite piece of vintage jewellery in the entire shop!  Meet the 'Belle of the ball' vintage locket necklace:

I just adore these lovely vintage ball lockets.  They were made in the 1960s and scrub up well with a bit of elbow grease and polish while still retaining their vintage charm.  The outside is lovely, shiny brass but pop the locket open, and you will find a contrasting copper compartment:

I love that although this necklace has a very definite 1960s vibe to it, it is simple and classic enough to be really wearable.  The necklace is embellished with a gold-plated leaf near the clasp which adds an extra little pretty touch.  I'm definitely keeping one of these for myself and anticipate I will wear it a lot!  

I think I am going to stick two teeny little photographs in mine, but you could also store a little folded up note in there, maybe a quote which inspires or moves you?


Monday, 16 April 2012

Bluefinch Boutique Vintage Jewellery

I've always been a fan of vintage clothes and accessories, even before anyone knew it as 'vintage'.  When I was little, I loved dressing up my Mum's old clothes and jewellery from the 60s and 70s and as I got older, I often appropriated items for my own wardrobe.  Although much of the jewellery I sell in Bluefinch Boutique is vintage style, I've recently started including more and more pieces made from authentic vintage components.  I love that the tiny imperfections and marks on lots of these jewels and charms mean that every piece of jewellery made from them is truly unique.  Lots of pieces I use are from the 1950s when many manufacturing techniques weren't as precise as they are now so the differences between items from the same batch can be relatively wide. It also makes me happy to think that these jewels now have a new lease of life, often after sitting around neglected in warehouses or factories for 50 years or more.  

The vintage jewellery range is growing weekly and I am building up quite a stash of beautiful, hard-to-find treasures all just waiting to be incorporated into new designs.  These are some of my favourite pieces so far:

'Rosalie' Vintage Jewel Earrings
'Ivory Tower' Vintage Button Gold Ring

'April Showers' Vintage Gold Earrings

'Peach Blossom' Vintage Gold Necklace

'Rose Garden' Vintage Cabochon Ring

All these pieces are made in very limited quantities so when they're gone, they're gone!  I plan to start including more 'one-off' items soon and expanding on my range of upcycled products so watch this space!


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Bluefinch Boutique Twitter Giveaway!

Our first ever Twitter giveaway starts today.  The winner will receive a £20 voucher to spend on anything they like at Bluefinch Boutique!  Entering could not be easier.  All you have to do is:

1.  Follow @_bluefinch_ on Twitter
2. Re-tweet the giveaway entry tweet which you'll be able to find in our recent tweets (Follow @_bluefinch_ and RT to be in with a chance of winning £20 to spend at bluefinchboutique.com)

And that's it!

The winner will be chosen at random at 6pm GMT Wednesday 11th April.  You can enter up to three times by re-tweeting the giveaway entry tweet on three separate occasions.

Good luck!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

What I made when I was ill

I've been feeling a bit flu-ish this week, not real, full-on flu, but bad enough to have to take it easy for a few days and drink lots of hot lemon and honey.  

Lying on the sofa, surrounded by tissues and boxsets of Sex and the City, I had a flick through an, as yet, unused present, The Busy Girl's Guide To Sewing by Carrie Maclennan. It's a good little book, more useful to a sewing novice like myself, I imagine, than someone who knows what they're doing already.  It's filled with supposedly quick little projects and I was suddenly filled with an urge to make the Keep-It-Neat Pattern Sleeve to store my embroidery in when I'm not working on it.  I'm new to embroidery (you can see my first completed project here) but have already found that two big fluffy black cats and white cotton fabric do not mix.  In an attempt to store my embroidery safely away from cat hair and busy paws, this is what I made:

I'm pleased with how it turned out, although even as a novice, I'm sure I could have easily winged it and made it myself without the book.  My sewing machine has only just come out of a three year long hibernation though, so I thought I'd play it safe for my first project!  According to the book, this should have taken me around 30 minutes to make...if that's so, then they were the longest 30 minutes of my life.  I think this is actually the first time I've made anything from scratch with my machine though, so I'm quite happy :-)

Finally, I just wanted to show you my cute little Cath Kidston needle holder which was a gift from a friend:

Isn't he cute!?