Makers Market for Cupcake Cardigans in Cheadle

Hello world!

Oh where has the time gone? I am lame. Full stop. I drowned in a sea of buttons and creative drive; making and selling and talking to customers face-to-face. Months have passed since I last blogged and my neglect seems shameful.

But I am back just in time for Christmas – hooray!

Last week I was in Warrington selling at the Vintage Market. It was my first time and I really enjoyed it. Those that visited were really interested in my unique button designs and were asking questions about how and where I sourced my materials. I take great pride in the face that I try, where possible, to upcycle and reuse.Visitors were genuinely amazed at what can be made from a little imagination and creativity. I felt buoyant and spurred on by the great feedback. 

I suppose this is the hard thing when you are a small-time Designer-Maker; you need the positive feedback to affirm that your products are desirable and that customers want to buy them. You’re only as good as your customer base I suppose. However times are tough at the moment and it’s easy to get disheartened if sales are slow. I have put this down to the fact that customers are spending more cautiously and this is not a reflection on desire – desirable products come second to the essentials in times like these. 

However for those of you itching to buy unique, hand-crafted Christmas gifts then the Makers Market on Sunday 25th November in Stockport is just the ticket. I shall be there showing my array of necklaces which are all priced £14 in a special promotional deal just for the festive season. Normal RRP is £20, so come and grab a bargain!

Hope to see you there!

C.C. xx

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A New Collection of Button Necklaces

Hi there

It’s been quite a while since I last blogged. This is mainly due to life turning upside down in recent months, meaning I have not had much time for Cupcake Cardigans. However after pleas to restock my Etsy shop, I decided to knuckle down and get making again. I also really tried to get my photography right and played around with the vintage mirror I bought at the tea party I hosted in April. I love this piece. It has a chic 30s style that’s elegant and timeless. I think my recent attempts are my best yet, so hopefully there will be more lovely sales in the next few weeks.

Why not take a look at my latest collection of necklaces by clicking here. After much feedback, I have made these necklaces slightly longer and used slightly smaller buttons, with stunning combinations of mother-of-pearl, glass, metal and colour. I think these are my best yet! And as a special promo for all blog readers, you can take 20% off all sales until 31st August 2012 if you type SUMMERPROMO50 at the check-out. That’s £4 off each necklace.

Hope you enjoy and treat yourself to one of my new creations.

C.C xx

Cheshire Vintage Tea Party Finds Its Feet

Phew!

Yesterday was  a busy day for the Cupcake Cardigans crew, as we hosted the first ‘Vibrant Vintage Tea Party and Bazaar’ in Bramhall, Cheshire. It was with excitement and trepidation that we embarked on this journey; to showcase local vintage-inspired Designer Makers whilst serving delightful tea and cake. What a combination!

I was nervous there might not be a good turnout, but contrary to my fears an influx of visitors arrived at the beginning of the event, perused the stalls and then settled down for some refreshments. The team’s cake-maker, Esther, was inundated with compliments for her Victoria sponge and raspberry roulade, with the coffee walnut cake going down a storm. I, along with two other helpers, worked as waitresses for the day – serving tea and ensuring everyone was happy and comfortable.

It was great to have some fellow artists on board for the event. Linn Robinson showcased her beautiful Liberty print and grosgrain ribbon brooches, whilst Dee Steane brought her collection of handcrafted silverware and Kaye Hannabuss had created gorgeous teacup candles, vintage print cushions and other lovely homewares.

The Vintage Style Dress Agency, based in Stockport’s Market Place, brought a selection of gorgeous goodies – including this beautiful free-standing mirror which I had to snap up.

 

My photographer friend, Jackie, came and took some great images of the event, including my necklaces which were popular with the visitors. It was great to see the ladies trying them on, buying and then admiring their unique piece of jewellery. It was such a boost to have created some treasured pieces. If you want to have a look what’s available, visit my shop here. Why not also ‘like’ me on Facebook by clicking here?

A new signing for the Bramhall Vintage Tea event

Hello there readers

Well the Cupcake Cardigans Vibrant Vintage Tea and Bazaar is fast approaching. If you haven’t marked the date in your diary, do so now! Because on Saturday 28th April at 2pm, the Centrepoint venue on Bramhall high street, Cheshire will come alive with the sounds of the 40s, alongside the clink, clink of vintage china, vast amounts of tea and delectable jam and cream scones. Oooo how delightful.

There will also be a selection of vintage and vintage style items available to buy for those of you who want to treat yourselves. I have just signed the Vintage Dress Agency, based in Stockport’s Market Place to come and along with a selection of homewares, clothing and accessories that will all be very affordably priced.  Of course, I will be there with my selection of vintage button jewellery and handbags. Accompanying me is a designer maker specialising in fine jewellery and a quirky Swedish designer with her selection of Liberty print, grosgrain and vintage buttons brooches.

Hope you can all make it!

C.C.

A Vibrant Vintage Tea & Bazaar for Cheshire

Hello everyone

As promised, here are the details of the forthcoming vintage tea party and craft-bazaar being hosted in Bramhall, Cheshire on Saturday 28th April from 2pm – 4.30pm. I hope you can all make it.

The reason for this tea party is two-fold; firstly there doesn’t seem to be any vintage tea parties in the area of Cheshire I live. I know that there are many places which host similar events, but I really wanted to organise one right on my doorstep and encourage all of those who live in this area, and who love a good vintage tea party, to come along and enjoy the atmosphere. The second reason is that I love recycling vintage items and making them into new treasures; whether it be buttons, materials, brooches, clothes – to me it is about having an appreciation for these things and using them to create something else, rather than throwing them away. Some call it upcycling, some recycling – to me it is using what was loved and making it lovely again. All this being said, it is very hard to find an outlet to showcase my creative wares. Strictly speaking, they are not vintage, no, they have been crafted from vintage. However I don’t have a place in the traditional ‘craft fair’ either, not when many of these consist of products that have no synergy with my own. So this tea party will include some designer-makers who want to show you their vintage-inspired creations as well as those who just love to sell vintage.

I hope you can all come along, if only to enjoy the tea and cake and sounds of the 40s (and maybe some 50s thrown in for good measure!) The vintage china is ready; the teapots are sparkling; the tea is being sourced and the cakes have been planned.

Entry to the event is free, though donations to Bramhall Methodist Church will be gratefully received on the door.

I have attached the flyer so you can download and print it off if you wish. I have to say a ‘big thanks’ to my designer Kevin Lloyd for skillfully producing this artwork. If you want to have a look at his other work, click here or follow him on Twitter @klloyddesign

Love

C.C. x

Cupcake Cardigans Vintage Tea Party – downloadable flyer

Vintage Tea Party Success

Ever the loving big sister I am, I hosted a vintage tea party for my sister yesterday to celebrate the forthcoming birth of her first child. It went down an absolute treat with female family and friends, all of whom couldn’t resist drinking loose leaf tea from a dainty china cup and nibbling on finger-sized sandwiches and homemade cupcakes.

It was great to finally use all of the very lovely china I have been collecting over the past few weeks. Plus the afternoon gave me the opportunity to do a trial run for my bigger public vintage tea party event, planned for the end of April. I learnt two valuable lessons though; number one: don’t use loose leaf tea when dealing with large numbers of guests. Extracting used tea-leaves from bulbous teapots is hard work. Plus there were leaves everywhere, getting into nooks and crannies where I never believed there were any! It’s a shame, because the taste of loose leaf tea seems far superior to that of tea-bags and everyone commented on the quality of my cuppa!

My second lesson was understanding the value of an efficient ‘wing-man’ – or ‘wing-woman’ in my case. A lovely lady called Ade was an absolutely gem in helping the party to run smoothly and I certainly couldn’t have done it without her. She is, of course, signed up to help with my public event as I expect it to be much, much busier.

The party also afford me the opportunity to showcase some of my necklaces, which went down a treat. I made my sister an extra special one because she is limited in options when it comes to vintage-wear, now that she is 7 months pregnant. So I thought a lovely pale blue and peach vintage button necklace would just help her feel more in the mood and she modelled it extremely well. It was great to make some more sales and adorn more lovely ladies in Cupcake Cardigans’ accessories. If you would like to have a look, please click here.

Hopefully my next post will include details of the forthcoming vintage party! I cannot wait.

TTFN

C.C.x

Vintage button necklaces done justice!

Well hello there everybody

Firstly I begin with an apology – I am utterly ashamed at my lack of blogging. The very fact that this is my first for the new year is really quite lame. However life has been taking unforeseen twists and turns and Cupcake Cardigans had to take a break for a couple of months. However I am back and with a whole new suite of photography to showcase my new collection of vintage button necklaces.

So for the update – well the Designer Craft Show that took place at Stockport Gallery during December went well. My creations were really well received and I made sales, so I feel uplifted having unleashed my necklaces on the women of Stockport. I also had some success with my handmade bags and sold quite a few of these over the Christmas period.

After the fiasco of attending some awful craft fairs, I have decided not to pay to do anyone else’s fair. No, enough is enough. I have actually decided to launch my own vintage tea party which will include some beautifully made vintage crafted items for you to peruse. However the selling point will be the vintage tea drinking from vintage china cups, poured from lovely vintage tea pots – all accompanied by some gorgeous cakes….who can say no? I will keep you informed of the details, which are coming soon.

I have managed to sort my photography issues out and have uploaded some decent images of my new work. So I hope you will visit my shop for a nosy round! Below are a few taster images. I have only listed the necklaces for now…..bags are to follow.

Love to you all and I promise to update more regularly from now on!

Last minute Christmas shopping at Stockport Art Gallery

Well what a busy time it’s been. Only to be expected though, for a Designer Maker, leading up to the Christmas period. I’m pleased to say my stock of button necklaces have been going down an absolute storm at Stockport Art Gallery. So much so, I’ve had to go in and restock three times since the Designer Craft Show opened in late November. This is really encouraging for me, as it demonstrates how much people must be liking Cupcake Cardigan designs when they get the opportunity to see them up-close and try them on. For anyone who has been and thought the stock was a little depleted, please pop back in and see the new necklaces on display. I’ve used some gorgeous vintage glass and retro buttons to create some extra special bling button necklaces, including some Swedish glass which a friend generously gave me a couple of weeks ago. Call the Gallery on 0161 474 4453 for opening times and details of the show.

I’ve also been invited to stock some of my bags in the Staircase House gift shop. This is a historic house located in the centre of Stockport, next to the Tourist Information Centre in the Market Place. To many this building looks quite unassuming from the front, but go inside and a beautiful Town House dating back to 1460 is revealed. It is truly lovely. If you don’t believe me, pop in and ask if you can have a peek in the courtyard  – you’ll be hooked. Call 0161 218 1460 for opening times. Buy a bag  whilst you’re browsing in the gift shop!

Also – please note my Etsy shop is quite empty due to stocking products in these outlets!

 

I said I would update on the success of the Craft Fair I attended a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately it was a wash out; not only as the weather was poor but the turnout was low. I’m wondering what the experience of other Designer-Makers has been at craft fairs this year – do you bother to do them? As Cupcake Cardigans has been a new venture for me in 2011, I’ve tried quite a few avenues to try and showcase my products – and whilst it’s great to go to a show and get great feedback, my main reason for going was to sell product. So when you don’t even make back the money you invested in taking out the stall, I am asking myself how viable this option is for Designer Makers? So what are the alternatives? It would be great to find out the experiences of makers – what works for you?

Anyway I am going to give my fingers a little rest from making for a few days and actually treat myself to a Christmas manicure! I’m sure though, it won’t be long until the nail polish is chipped because I couldn’t keep away from making something!

Have a great Christmas all.

Love

Cupcake. C. xx

Designer Christmas Craft Show at Stockport Art Gallery

Hello world!

Well the momentum keeps growing for Cupcake Cardigans’ designs. I was recently approached by staff at Stockport Art Gallery to participate in its Designer Christmas Craft Show which opened last Saturday and runs until the end of January. This show gives Designer-Makers a platform to display their work and sell it. This is great for me, as my only retail outlet is online. Though this keeps the costs low, it doesn’t really give people the opportunity to see my work up close and personal – and try it on…and we all love trying things on to see if they suit!

There are some other amazing designers showing at the gallery, so I am hugely honoured to have been asked to participate. I had a really successful opening night, selling some of my gorgeous necklaces and bags. It was great to speak to visitors about my work and help them try things on. One lady in particular, Sue, fell in love with my blue pearl-shine button necklace and it looks stunning on her.

Sue (left) with me (right) modelling CC button necklaces

 

I have included some other images from the show, as I recommend you take a trip down there. It is free to enter Stockport Art Gallery and it is open every day, except Mondays, from 1pm. The show is located in the ArtLink section on the ground floor and is a fabulous opportunity to browse some gorgeous gifts for Christmas which won’t break the bank, but are unique in their own right. Every weekend  in the lead up to Christmas, there is 10% off all purchase items from the show – so get yourself down there.!!!

 

On Sunday 4th December, I am attending the Northrop Hall Christmas Gift and Craft Fair and I am hoping for a busy day. Will blog about this next week and let you all know how it went.

Speak to you all soon.

C.C xx

 

Getting more elaborate with vintage and retro buttons

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