Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Going Solo

This really has been a roller-coaster of a year. Not only did I have to face facts that my health is not as it used to be, but I felt that the winds of change were heading in my direction and that I would have a few big decisions to make before the year ended.

You see, it really all started a few years back. It started before we moved to the West, it started before I got my first ‘Career’ job and it actually started before B&T was even off the ground.

It was 2010, I was living in Thailand as a teacher and I woke up in pain. Not just any pain, but serious back pain. I had no idea why or how it might have happened, I just remember thinking I had never felt pain like it before and had not been hurt in any way for it to be like that.

I made it to school and was quickly taken to the doctors with a couple of Thai teachers on board for translation. It was scary but quick and I was sent home to rest. A day later I was completely fine, no pain, no stiffness, just normal. And it lasted like that for another couple of years.

Fast forward to July this year and I was going through my 4th major bout of chronic back pain. This is nothing like the pain I had in Thailand, it’s a million times worse. It’s so bad I can’t walk, stand or lie down without help or support. The pain has made me physically sick and pass out due to its strength and the worst bit about it is that it lasts so long. I can be almost bed bound for up to two weeks and not see any sign of the pain leaving for up to 8. Each time it happens I lose a bit more movement and muscle control that continually affects me on a day to day basis.

This last time pushed me too far. Barley 6 months had passed in between attacks and I had never fully shaken the pain. It was exhausting. It changes everything you do and the way in which you do it. It also changes you, if you let it.

I realised I didn’t want it too, it wasn’t going to ruin my life. I had spent the last 3 years constantly worrying about when it might happen again and if it would be worse than the last time. I couldn’t live like that anymore, it wasn’t me.

I was lucky enough to be given a 6-week course of Acupuncture along with my physiotherapy treatment this time. It helped shave off 2 weeks of recovery time as well as highlight some of the other issues the back pain had caused. I realised that although I am only 29, I was unable to continue doing the physically demanding environmental job I had been in for almost 3 years. And this is where the biggest change happened.

At the end of August this year I handed in my notice to begin the long road to recovery, away from heavy lifting. And in doing so I went full time with my true passion and became self-employed with my business The Butterfly and Toadstool

I will continue with my physiotherapy now that Acupuncture is complete and hope to get back to my Yoga class before the end of the year. I have a lot of work to do, exercising is key to improving my back, and I will remain positive that one day I will be pain free and able to touch my toes again!
As for now I can’t help to think that things are meant, so even if it had to come in the form of pain, it’s put me on the path to happiness as a solo trader.

So stay positive, be creative and shop local. You really can make a difference to little people with big dreams.


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Curly Tale Books!

We have a New Stockist!!

I’m so pleased to say that we have a lovely new stockist, Curly Tale Books in Wigtown, Scotland! 

This wonderfully quirky and fun book shop has a lovely gift area and small gallery space for local artists and makers. They now have a selection of our jewellery and accessories as well as some storybook inspired name plaques!

Curly Tale Books, founded by author and illustrator Shalla Gray and writer and journalist Jayne Baldwin, incorporates everything that is fun and inspiring about books. As well as beautiful gifts, they stock a large range of old and new book for all age groups, including the 7 wonderful children’s books published by Jayne and Shalla.

Wigtown really is a wonderful place to visit, with so much to see and do in the surrounding areas, it's got something to do for all the family. 

The Wigtown Book Festival is held in Wigtown every year too, this year from the 23rd of September to 2nd October, and it’s a must see if you are in the area.

Pop along to Curly Tale Books now, it really is a little adventure!


Thursday, 1 September 2016

New Autumn Collection

Oh my goodness, it’s September already! What a fast year this is turning out to be! 
To be honest, I’m not too sad about this as Autumn is my favourite time of year. I just love the changing colours and the crisp mornings, seeing the leaves fall and watching the moon rise. It’s all very inspirational, and I’m an Autumn baby too! 
With that all said, I used all these wonderfully natural changes that I love so much to create our newest collection. And it’s all finally ready to be unveiled!
As of today, you can now view all of our gorgeous Autumn accessories through our Etsy shop and Facebook page. We have super cute Squirrel brooches and earring made from recycled paper, silver tone toadstool and acorn earrings and stunning acorn globe necklaces filled with little pieces of the Scottish countryside! 
So many great gift ideas for the nature lover and forest wanderer! Go on, treat yourself today!


The Butterfly and Toadstool

Monday, 22 August 2016

Being Unique

The world today is full of advice and support for being yourself and staying unique. It’s what makes us, us. If we were all the same the world would be a very boring and bland place, and nothing new would come.

Artists, creators, designers and makers are responsible for almost everything we have in this world. From giant skyscrapers to the tiniest circuit boards, everything that’s made has been designed. And everything that’s been designed started out as an idea. No matter how big or how small your idea is, it’s still your idea – Right?

It was recently brought to my attention that one of my ideas (well actually two) were being used by someone else, and that that someone else was claiming them as their own. Now, in the grand scheme of things these ideas are tiny but it was still a shock to find it out.

Being a maker is something I’ve always been so it seems right in my world to constantly want to create. I recently took the plunge and turned this want and passion into my full time job. So when I realised that one of my best sellers was now being sold by someone else, using very similar packaging, I was pretty upset. 

All design processes take time and don’t always go as planned in the beginning. So when someone takes a fully formed idea to use as their own, with no though of the process involved for the actual designer and no skill on their part, it’s frustrating to say the least.

I am very lucky to have great family and friends around me though, and as one of them said, it must have been a great idea if they wanted to copy it! So for now I’ll take it as flattery while I work on my new ideas. And I guess I can stay safe in the knowledge that I’m actually a designer with a creative mind, and I don’t cut corners.


The Butterfly and Toadstool

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Butterfly Collection

Summers here and that means so are our butterflies!! 
As you can tell they are one of my absolute favourite creations of the natural world. So many colours and patterns in such a delicate and fluttery creature! Just perfect!
Our Butterfly Collection gathers everything I love about butterflies and merges them into a rather pretty collection of our most favourite gifts and accessories. It includes our ever popular recycled paper earrings and badges, our mini wooden badges, vintage ribbon bracelets, wooden butterfly rings and truly unique one off necklaces. All items have been inspired by nature and have all been handmade by myself (hello! I’m Dee!) 

Items can be bought through our Etsy shop and we are always adding photos of new designs on Facebook, so if there is something you see that you just love, then please don’t hesitate to message me! We ship worldwide and each and every package is gift wrapped with love so it arrives pretty and perfect for that special gift!

We are very pleased with this collection and hope you are too!
Thanks for flying by!


Friday, 12 August 2016

New Website!

We have our very own website!

Another big thing that happened earlier this year was that we finally got around to launching our new Website! 
Mr. B&T spent a lot of long hours getting it all put together, edited and arranged into something we are both very proud of. It’s one of those things that is never going to be ‘finished’ as we are always adding, changing or adapting it with what goes on here at B&T. I really love the thought of this as it will always grow with us and always bring you the very best of The Butterfly and Toadstool.

Right now on our website you can find links to all of our social media pages, our online Etsy Shop, info on the products and services we offer including our custom gifts and events décor, a list of all the lovely shops we stock and a look into our story. There really is so much that we can offer so why not check it out for yourself! Find us here at www.thebutterflyandtoadstool.co.uk and don’t forget to let us know what you think or what else you might like to see!


Saturday, 6 August 2016

We're in Print!

Ok it might not be Vogue, but we were still pretty excited to stumble across a little photograph printed in the Our Wigtownshire magazine of Dee and one of her dress designs! It was taken at the Creative Whithorn event in July and the piece, written by Sid Ambrose, has a lot of lovely history about the culture and beauty of Whithorn and the surrounding areas. Such a lovely surprise to see our stock and name in print! Fingers crossed that one day it will be a full page B&T spread!