Trick or Treat!

We love Halloween! Creepy things, dressing up, horror films, trick or treat … happy days.

This Halloween we’re launching the coolest treat you’re going to get.

Trick or Treat Halloween Jewellery Parcel

We’ve created some fab spooky jewellery especially for halloween and we’re going to send you a selection of our faves for just £10! Our Trick or Treat Halloween Jewellery Parcel contains 1 halloween cord necklace, a spooky ring, a pair of studs and a trick or a treat too.

Get yours now here – http://www.thismaterialculture.com/product/trick-treat-halloween-jewellery-parcel/

Or treat a friend who loves halloween as much as you do. It’s dead simple, just use their address as the delivery address. It’ll make their October.

For the coolest halloween jewellery you can wear all year round, get a limited edition Halloween Trick or Treat from us at This Material Culture xxx

Happiness is Handmade

 Happiness is Handmade – an introduction

I have made things for as long as I can remember

Whether it’s salt dough Christmas decorations, a patchwork quilt sewn on the beach on a Cornish holiday, or the beaded bangles I so love to make. I’ve found despite what I studied at school or university, I’ve always ended up making things. My mum and dad are probably the reason for this. Our house growing up was always full of mum’s botanical paintings on the walls and beautiful pine furniture made my dad. Handmade stained glass windows, stone sculptures and mum’s patchwork cushions. They always made our Christmas presents, from a miniature welsh dresser to the greatest Barbie house, stables, shop and apartment the world has ever seen. They always encouraged us to enjoy making things and be creative. We learned that happiness is handmade.

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This idea that happiness is handmade is something I treasure. Now my house is full of handmade things. I love my paintings on the walls, the bed my dad made us for Christmas and a big knitted blanket that Sam is learning to knit squares for.

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In this busy world of 24/7 social media updates, same day delivery and throwaway fashion, people have started to fall in love with making again. It’s a privileged position – we don’t learn to knit because we can’t afford socks, we do it because it’s fun. It’s relaxing, enjoyable and at the end we have results. Whether it’s a scarf full of holes or a slightly wonky teapot, what we made is ours, and totally unique. The only one in the world like it.

People are learning to sew, and customise things and knit and crochet and woodturn and blow glass and it’s awesome. I love pinterest, it’s fab to see all the beautiful interesting, and sometimes crap things people make. My personal board is literally rammed with ideas, from art to interiors to stuff I will one day make. I used to have a blog with recipes and crafts and things too. It’s great to share that passion for handmade happiness with everyone.

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Happiness is handmade – The Blog

So I’m going to start filling up the This Material Culture blog with handmade inspiration for you. You can come and check it if you fancy making something while you’re watching telly or you want to make some presents this Christmas. Nothing too complex and nothing that requires hundreds of pounds of materials. There will be real crafts that you can do in your house for a couple of quid. I want to feature other creative people too. I love hearing people talk about what they’re passionate about and why they make/cook/write/design whatever they do. And because life can be a bit rubbish sometimes we’re going to finish every post with a word of wisdom, a little quote or positive message. I know it’s cheesy but we all need positivity sometimes guys.

happiness is handmade Calligraphy, Lettering & Quotes instagram.com/felingpoh:

Thanks for reading my little ramble. I really do believe happiness is handmade, and making something or being creative in the tiniest way is good for you. If you do too, please get in touch! Contact us via this form or through twitter or facebook. `Sign up to the newsletter if you want reminders of new posts. Email thismaterialculture@gmail.com if you want to write a guest post. Have a wonderful day and make something.

Rebecca

x

happiness is handmade

 

 

The Story Behind… The Traveller Necklace

this-material-culture-necklace

At This Material Culture we’re all about ideas – the bangle, necklace, earrings you buy weren’t churned out in a factory. Each piece has a story, a concept, and about 4 other earlier versions I decided weren’t good enough. I wanted to share the stories behind some of our pieces with you because we’re not a faceless company, we are two quirky, creative people with a passion for creating products that mean something (and are really pretty).

I really love it when a customer falls in love with one of our pieces. They pick it up, they tell you why they love it, you usually get to hear a good story and you know they absolutely love what they bought. The traveller necklace is one of those pieces. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I’m going to share the story behind it.

traveller necklace

I love miniature things. It’s probably why there are so many adorable pendants in our range. There’s something lovely about a tiny version of something. Our little bronze aeroplane that’s on the traveller necklace is so detailed you’ve got to love it. It’s got little aeroplane windows and a tiny cockpit – it’s cute.

When I’m designing pieces it’s all about finding something that people will connect with. Travel is such a widely loved thing. The world is beautiful and increasingly smaller and it’s getting easier and easier to have wonderful adventures and explore the world. I love reading travel blogs and browsing air bnb. Though we haven’t been on a plane in a while, there are so many places I’d love to see. Whenever someone buys the traveller necklace they tell us all about their favourite trip, from teaching in China, to working on a ranch in Australia to backpacking in Thailand – we love hearing your travel stories. Go ahead and tell us yours in the comments! The lovely Sarah (https://twitter.com/sunshinesarahxo) reviewed our traveller necklace on her blog which you can read here… http://www.writingrambling.co.uk/2016/06/smallbiz-series-part-17.html

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The traveller necklace features the gorgeous bronze aeroplane charm and a little world charm that matches beautifully. This is one of our statement necklaces and I wanted it to be really special so each one has a lovely turquoise crystal that represents the oceans you’ve travelled over. It’s the perfect piece for anyone with a little wanderlust, or a beautiful reminder of a life changing trip. Travelling is smething so exciting, that stays with you forever and like a travel tattoo – this necklace is a little reminder you can wear everyday.

Each traveller necklace is handmade by me, like everything at This Material Culture. It’s  a beautiful necklace, with gorgeous charms and it’s a beautiful gift for the travel lover in your life.

So there you have it, your beautiful traveller necklace – inspired by… travelling!!

Get yours here xxx

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8 Winter Treats

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8 Winter Treats

It’s chilly outside, it’s getting closer and closer to christmas and it’s one of our favourite times of the year. It’s too early to go full on festive, but with snow in the air and big wooly jumpers coming out of the drawers, we thought you deserved a treat. We believe it is so important to take care of yourself. Take a little time out of your busy schedule and just enjoy the present. We’ve put together a list of 8 lovely winter treats that won’t cost the earth and will put a smile on your face.

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

We love a good hot chocolate this time of year. It’s the ultimate of winter treats. To make our ultimate hot chocolate you’ll need good quality hot chocolate (cadburys drinking chocolate is always a classic), squirty cream, marshmallows, ground cinnamon and flakes. Make your hot chocolate, drop in a teaspoon of cinammon and stir, pop a few marshmallows in, add all your cream, more marshmallows and then crumble a flake on top. Heaven.

Wintery Walk

Get all wrapped up in your scarf and hat and gloves and have a winter walk for an hour or two. It’s a great way to spend time actually talking to your family or SO with no distractions and you often find yourself discovering places you never knew were there. With google maps you can never get too lost so have a wander and explore. It’s great exercise too.

Make some christmas cards

I’ve been making some gorgeous personalised jewellery gift cards which will be going up on the site soon, and it’s a lovely way to spend some time being creative. People have stopped sending christmas cards as much and a beautiful handmade card makes such an impact. Write it like a letter, catching up and filling in someone you haven’t seen in a while. It’s so nice to get something in the post. If you need ideas have a look at pinterest or if you like I can write a post with some how to guides (let me know).

Visit Christmas Markets

Wandering around a christmas market is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Look on facebook or twitter for markets held in local pubs and halls and try to support smaller fairs. Often people just go to big events with lots of promotion, where the small makers miss out. The winter arts market in liverpool is hugely successful but we have been turned down to trade repeatedly, and so have many great local artisans we know, with larger businesses from all over the country trading instead, despite it’s claim to have local makers. Large temporary market stalls cost thousands of pounds to rent, which is totally impossible for small local businesses and they often get turned down anyway. Shop local, buy some winter treats and look for smaller craft fairs and markets where local small businesses are supported. Chat to the artist who made the product – it’s a lovely way to get to know about local things going on and you know what you buy is made with love as well.

Have a chill day

Get your diary and pencil in a day of NOTHING. I mean nothing, stay in your pyjamas, watch old episodes of gilmore girls, don’t bother with your makeup, even get a takeaway. We’re all so busy, especially beacuse of this time of year. Having a day of nothing can be amazing to look forward to during a hard week and it can be the perfect way to recharge your batteries. If you feel really brave turn your phone off. And don’t feel guilty about it.

Phone your mum

Or your dad. Your grandma. Or your sister. Maybe your friend from school. Sit down and spend a good hour chatting to someone you don’t see often on the phone. Organise it with them so you both have the time free and just enjoy talking with someone who cares.

Bake

No matter how appaling your cooking skills, everyone can manage to bake something. Find a recipe for mince pies, cupcakes, cookies or a giant chocolate cake covered in icing and sweets. Bake your favourite winter treats. Give yourself an afternoon to bake something. Pop the radio or your itunes on and enjoy cooking and music too. And if you eat it all in one day, we’re not judging.

Pamper Time

With winter weather and freezing wind taking a toll on your skin, it’s the perfect time to treat yourself to a little pampering. I’m honestly not a fan of beauty treatments (shock horror) but even a good cleanse, tone and moisturise can leave your skin feeling much better. If you fancy getting creative, there’s loads of amazing DIY beauty treatments on pinterest and some great blogs too. You can ensure that everything you’re putting on your skin is natural and good for you. Maybe it’s sitting with a face mask on and your feet in a bowl of hot water. Maybe you fancy getting your eyebrows done or going for a full on spa day. Look after yourself and give yourself a little TLC. You deserve it. You’re awesome.

Hope you’ve enjoyed our little list of winter treats. Let me know what your fave is!

Rebecca

x

 

 

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Changing the World, Brain Buffering and Carrying On.

Changing the World, Brain Buffering and Carrying On

This Material Culture isn’t just mine anymore, it’s yours, you guys are the reason we make necklaces til 3 in the morning, write blog posts when we fancy a lie in and STAND UP IN FRONT OF HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE AT A BIG BUSINESSY EVENT TO TELL THEM ABOUT THIS MATERIAL CULTURE.

Oh yes, you heard me. There’s photo evidence.

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I’d practised my pitch till I was blue in the face and the dog hated me. I’d watched every ted talk on public speaking. I even did some yoga. I’d planned my outfit, complete with button necklace, cloud ring and arrow earrings ( #represent). We were sitting with all the other competitors. There were hundreds of people in a big corporate conference suite at a hotel (who ever decided grey walls were a good idea? I’d paint the whole place pink personally) and I had Sam, my lovely spark up fellow entrepeneurs, my wonderful friend Ellen. I was near the end of the afternoon, everyone else did awesome, there were a few wobbles, some could have done with a little extra sparkle, but it was my turn.

I got on to the stage, in my fave turquoise heels (which matched my hair, nails and business cards) and I went for it. Confident, smiling, I blasted my way through the first two paragraphs and then my mind went blank. You know those nightmare moments, when your brain is buffering, maybe in an exam or in an interview. My brain decided to buffer when I was on a stage under lights, with a two minute time limit, trying to share my passion for fab quirky jewellery and my vision for a company all about happiness and good vibes and being an individual in front of the movers and shakers of the Liverpool business world.

It was awful.

I’m not gonna lie. A few good intentioned audience members called out things I could talk about, but I knew exactly what I wanted to say, it was just on the other side of a rainbow spinning wheel. I took a big yoga breath. It seemed like hours. And continued where I left off. I could’ve been talking russian for all I remember, but I’d practised my pitch, I kept going, Sam said I’d said (mostly) everything I wanted to say. And then…

I FROZE AGAIN.

I think I managed to squeeze out a little ‘please give me some money’ and ‘we want to have a lovely team and a lovely office and happy people’ and ended with a well and truly resigned ‘Yeah…’

And I got a massive round of applause and lots of whoops and a big hug from the host. I plastered that game face on, answered the judges questions swimmingly and finally got to get off the stage.

So kids, I’m not the next Winston Churchill. Pitching is damn hard. No matter how much I’d practised and written the perfect speech, getting up in front of lots of important people and trying to share your vision, your hopes, your plans and your numbers is so freaking difficult. Sometimes the words just go, your brain buffers, you feel like crap. And it’s not just pitching, when you love something, when you believe in it and have put your heart and soul into it and you blow an opportunity or your brain buffers it’s heartbreaking. Carrying on seems like running a marathon through fire on glass with no clothes on and a dragon chasing you. And smiling, well that’s like adding a blindfold and some rock throwers to the situation.

But I did it. And people were lovely and came and said I was adorable (cringe) and brave and that it was a really hard thing to do. And no, I didn’t win the money (my beautiful friend Eleanor did and I’m so proud – her product’s called nature whip and you need it like now). I had a couple of G&Ts, stayed around to network (god I hate networking), went out for a lovely meal with Sam and Ellen who both couldn’t stop hugging me and I was ok.

I survived.

It was the opposite of a roaring success but I left with my head head high and I didn’t say ‘fucking, bollocking shitbags’ in front of everyone. I giggled when I wanted to cry in the loo. I am so lucky to have beautiful friends, the best hubby in the world and people around me who love me for me. Not for how much money I make or how perfect I look or how good I am at pitching.

The business world is weird, it’s all suits and shift dresses and pop up banners and handshakes and numbers. It’s often data not stories. It’s about success and failure, not journeys and experiences and life lessons. That can and should change. Sam told me that I shouldn’t change to fit the business world, it should change to fit me. Not quite sure how we’re going to all that changing the world, but if you have ideas, hit me up. I want to live in a world with pink walls rather than grey ones, armchair Q&As rather than pitching alone on a stage under lights with a hundred eyes facing you, where you buy things because you love them and their story not because they’re the next big thing. Where everyone shares the prize, or at least the people who tried so hard and carried on are encouraged, not losers. Call me an idealist, but that’s the world I’m fighting for.

And I honestly believe in my business. I want to hire staff so I can give them a paid day off on their birthday, and sell awesome things that kids can afford with their pocket money and wear with pride. I want my staff to love This Material Culture and tell everyone about it because they love their job so much. I want other businesses to look at ours and say they love what they do, and they’re doing damn well and question whether they should work staff to the bone for zero hour contracts. I want to turn on the telly and see adverts with happy people with normal bodies and messy hair and giant smiles.

So. The Moral Of The Story.

It’s okay to mess up, it’s okay for things not to go to plan, it’s okay to suffer from a nightmare case of brain buffering. We’re all human. We all know what it’s like to not quite hit the target. And those who look for perfection will be endlessly disappointed. This Material Culture will fight tirelessly to challenge ‘normal’ and the wonderful people it excludes. We will continue to put our hearts into changing the world, though it may seem like the biggest challenge imaginable. We will continue to give discounts to kids who don’t quite have the right money. No matter how many times things don’t go to plan.

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Hello Stud Earrings!

Our gorgeous range of stud earrings are the perfect addition to your collection!

 

navy star studs

At This Material Culture we believe great jewellery should be accessible for everyone, no matter how tight your budget is!

That’s why we keep creating beautiful, unique jewellery at the great prices you’re used to. Our stud earrings are a great way to add a little personality to your look. They’re cute, they’re quirky and they start at just £3. From delicate pink roses to cute sparkly bows to edgy gloss black stars, we’ve got a pair for everyone and we’re going to keep adding to our range.

pink rose stud earrings

We started off with our button earrings and we’ve designed and created a fab range of studs, that we think you’ll love. We’re going to keep adding to our collection so you can too – keep an eye on www.thismaterialculture.com.

lolly ice earrings

They’re all on hypoallergenic earring bases so don’t worry about sensitive ears.

geometric heart earrings

We love bright pops of colour, especially for second piercings, and our stud earrings are a great way to coordinate your jewellery with your outfit. We’ve tried to cover as many colours as we can and we’re going to keep adding more. They make super cute presents too – just a little gift to show you care.

lilac daisy studs

Our stud earrings are dainty, delicate and really easy to wear, they’ve gone down a storm at the events we’ve been doing. We’d love to see how you wear them and which are your favourite pairs of stud earrings! Tweet us @thismaterial or tag us on instagram at @thismaterialculture too!

pink heart earrings

We love the stud earrings, and we hope you do to. We’ve tried to create a great range of shapes, colours and finishes, find your favourite and remember delivery is only £1! Treat yourself, you deserve it you superstar!

red bow earrings

 

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The Story Behind… The Cupcake Bangle

At This Material Culture we’re all about ideas – the bangle, necklace, earrings you buy weren’t churned out in a factory. Each piece has a story, a concept, and about 4 other earlier versions I decided weren’t good enough. I wanted to share the stories behind some of our pieces with you because we’re not a faceless company, we are two quirky, creative people with a passion for creating products that mean something (and are really pretty).

So it’s been a while since I’ve written on the blog (sorry!!). We had a mega busy christmas (thank you so much beautiful customers) and we’re busy making up more jewellery but I thought it was about time we shared another story of one of our pieces. This time I’m going to tell you about our cupcake bangle – a gorgeous, cute, pastel, tribute to the most wonderful invention of all time – CAKE!!

cupcake bangle

I bought the little cupcake charms because they are just so cute – tiny, silver and really detailed, with little sprinkles and everything! We’ve put it on a pendant because it totally holds its own as a cute little necklace, perfect for any bakers, but we’ve also got a cupcake bangle – and I love it.

cupcake necklace

I think there’s something fabulously British about cake, we’re huge fans of The Great British Bake Off (I’ve been hopelessly trying not to put a soggy bottom joke in this post) and in Liverpool we’re lucky to have some wonderful local independent bakeries, like The Custom Cupcake Company, Albion Bakehouse, Cuthberts, Laura’s Little Bakery and The Baltic Bakehouse and there’s no better treat than a proper homemade cake. I love baking, (you can read some of my recipes here) there’s something so relaxing about creating something out of nothing, and I I love all the cute, pretty baking accessories you can get now, so all that inspiration goes into the bangle too!

cupcake bangle

When I was designing this bangle I wanted it to bring you all the lovely happy feelings we get when we think about cupcakes. I decided to stick with little seed beads – they remind me of sprinkles and they just work. For the colour scheme I wanted to use cute pastels, but in cakey colours. So I looked at some of our favourite cakes – french fancies, cinnamon swirls, iced doughnuts – and chose my colours based on them. I settled on baby pink, lemon, brown and white, and then chose a range of pearlised, sparkly and matte beads. And of course, we can’t forget the super cute cupcake charm!

Each bangle is made unique, so the order and combination of the beads is totally unique on your bangle – I think it keeps the beauty of a handmade product, while obviously still looking like a This Material Culture cupcake bangle.

So there you have it, the gorgeous This Material Culture Cupcake Bangle – inspired by well… cupcakes!!

Get yours here xxx

#thismaterialchristmas blogger challenge

So, we recently held a blogger challenge here at This Material Culture, asking you to take a look at our website and tell us who you’d buy what for and what would be the perfect presents for your nearest and dearest. We were looking for sweet stories, a great writing style and something to get us in the festive spirit, and for one of you guys to win all of your christmas presents!!

We were so very made up with all of your posts – we’ve spent ages reading them over and over! Thanks so much to everyone who took part, we loved stepping into your world and reading your ideas and thoughts about those who are close to you – truly heartwarming stuff! It was also lovely to hear that you love our pieces so much, it always makes our day to get great comments from people!

If you want to check out the entries, (you will!) here’s a lovely list…

  • http://loubeeloublogs.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/this-material-christmas-very-merry.html
  • http://www.eriwonders.com/this-material-christmas/this-material-culture
  • http://www.mojichlo.uk/2015/11/this-material-culture-christmas.html
  • http://jessicaforrester.me/2015/11/12/this-material-christmas/
  • http://letsstartwiththisone.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/create-ultimate-film-squad-with-this.html
  • http://comicsandcookies.com/2015/11/17/this-material-christmas/
  • https://thatlittleblogofeverything.wordpress.com/2015/11/17/thismaterialchristmas-blogger-challenge/
  • http://cookingupatreat.com/2015/11/10/this-material-culture-challenge/
  • http://lifeof-a-daydreamer.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/this-material-christmas_17.html
  • http://www.wafflemama.uk/2015/11/this-material-culture-handmade-jewellery.html
  • http://linkis.com/RYdBR

We were genuinely so impressed by the quality of all of the blog posts and I would totally have just sent everyone everything if I could! But there’s got to be a winner and that is the lovely Chloe of www.mojichlo.uk . We loved your stories and your entry was just so lovely, we’re chuffed to be able to send you your wishlist in time for christmas!! We hope your Grandma loves her lucky bangle as much as we do!

As a thanks for entering, we’d love to offer everyone who took part 25% off their christmas wishlists, as we really appreciated all the time and effort you put in. To get the code, just send us a quick message via our website, facebook or twitter!

Thanks for reading, keep checking our twitter (@thismaterial) and facebook (www.facebook.com/thismaterialculture) for some countdown to christmas treats for you all,

Rebecca & Sam

 

 

This Material Christmas – A Very Merry Blogger Challenge!

We’re very excited to launch our first blogger challenge – and we’re feeling festive!!

Christmas Shopping – whether you love it or you hate it, there’s always someone to buy for! We think our jewellery is perfect for christmas presents and we hope you do too!

And for one lucky blogger, we’re going to make it a whole lot easier this year.

 

For our This Material Christmas challenge, we want you to do what you do best – write a blog post! We want you to take a look at our website and tell us who you’d buy what for and what would be the perfect presents for your nearest and dearest. Our jewellery is full of personality, and each piece is perfect for someone.

Maybe your Aunty Susan loves cats and would wear our cat necklace with pride? Maybe your brother would rock our octopus cord necklace? Does your cousin bake the best cakes in the world and would treasure a cupcake bangle? Or is your best friend planning a trip around the world and deserves our traveller necklace?

All you’ve got to do to enter is choose 5 items from our online shop and tell us why they would be perfect presents. And the prize? Well, our favourite post will win their items, all wrapped, gift tagged and ready to give, making your christmas truly hassle free and to sweeten the deal, we’ll give you a piece of your choosing too!

There’s nothing better than giving a gift that is truly perfect for someone, and we really think our pieces will do that. So, what are you waiting for?

Write up your post, let us know by tweeting @thismaterial or sending an email to thismaterialculture@gmail.com with a link to your This Material Christmas piece. We’ll make sure to share your posts too, so expect some great publicity for your blog! You’ve got til the 1st December and we can’t wait to see what you come up with, we’re looking for funny stories, thoughtful ideas and a good, fun christmassy read!

#thismaterialchristmas

xx