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Eco-printers and new space!

Hey all!

So, quite an exciting week this week. We now have all our designs sorted for our first run of greetings cards. We’ve bought the new software, we’re nearly done colouring them and we just have to find the right paper and then we are well and truly off!

We had a trip to the printers the other day, which was very easy seeing as they are local. Not only have they been really lovely, putting up with my endless questions and quote requests but when we went to the printers we also find out they are even more eco-friendly than we thought! The printers are solar powered and they use bio inks, how awesome is that? Very!

It has been a bit of a time of change in the house too. As much as we loved the space we were using, it was just too teeny tiny cramped, so I’m happy to report we have finally cleared out the back room (only took us 4 years!) and we now have a much bigger, lighter area to get our creative juices a flowin’!

Take a look why don’t you…

Old Study!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Space!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are also working on the website, which should be with you pretty soon. Working on the website has been a pretty massive learning curve for us, but we’re enjoying it. However, if you have any advice on how to make a website its best or know of any pitfalls, any comments would be hugely welcomed!

Oo, one last thing it was my (Tabitha) birthday a couple of weeks ago. I asked Ross to get me something hand made this year and disappoint he did not! I got a beautiful bracelet from a simply gorgeous shop on Etsy. It wasn’t even an item I had ‘favourited’ (a very addictive process) he picked it himself and I love it. Take a look at her shop a lost feather, it’s just gorgeous! Take a look at her blog too!

It’s a brief one today, but we have plenty of work to be on with! Hope you are all well, creative and happy!

Tab, Ross and Boswell xxx

www.boswellbramleyandco.etsy.com

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Ducks, Sacrifice and Teacakes

Remember us? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t! I have finally managed to get to the computer to write this well and truly overdue blog. Sorry if we’ve kept you waiting.

You would be forgiven for thinking we have abandoned this whole project just recently, I can promise you though, quite the opposite has been happening. The Etsy site has barely been updated, just the odd Tweet, and a bit of Facebooking, so what could we possibly have been doing? Well…

We have been working on our new range of Greeting Cards, 10 to be precise. So, designing greeting cards, easy right? NO! We both made the mistake of thinking this whole process might be quite straightforward. The truth of the matter is that there is a whole myriad of obstacles to get over, through, under and round before you can get to publication stage, here’s just a brief list of things to consider:

    • Design
    • Palette
    • Pantone or CMYK?
    • Barcodes
    • Card quality (gsm)
    • vegetable or standard ink?
    • Business registration
    • Recylced vs sustainable
    • Biodegradability
    • COST

This is just a small selection of what we have had to think about with these cards. Have you ever thought about the level of shine on the greetings cards you buy? Neither had we! Until now. Now we’re obsessed!

Of course, hopefully from the other blogs we have written, you can tell that making sure our products are as ethical as possible is very important to us. I shan’t deny that it has been a bit of a headache in comparison to just getting it sourced from the quickest and cheapest provider. We could have done that, but we have thought long and hard about the different components that make up a greeting card so that when you buy a Boswell Bramley and Co. Greetings card (which of course, you will) you’ll know that your money funds the production of something that does not take unfair advantage of anyone or anything. Guilt-free sounds good, yes?

We’re trying to make sure we work with local printers too, finding the right quality for the right price is hard, but we think we’ve done it. It’s been a bit like the X-factor for local printers, slowly eliminating different quotes etc. till we got there. We’re now waiting for some printed Boswell samples and we’re hoping to have a whole load printed in the next few weeks!

We’re spending a lot of our time on Boswell, but I have to say that our enthusiasm just seems to be getting stronger. Ross has had to put some extra long hours into designing, finding the right software and making sure Boswell is the best he can be ON TOP of his full time job. He still seems pretty chipper though, even with my nagging! I’m even sacrificing my beloved Mini in return for a new and rather lovely bike too, just so we can make the financial strains a little less…well…strenuous whilst we start up the new business. As my very wise friend, Libby, says, “Those were the Mini days”.

Now that we are the official owners of the name Boswell Bramley and Co. we’re also working on our brand spanking new independent website! It’s in the midst of development right now but our vision is for it to be a place you can find out all about Boswell and his adventures, us, this blog and of course it’ll have a shop! But that’s a whole other blog right there, keep tuned to find out more! I have to say though; even the ‘coming soon’ page gets my heart all a-flutter! It’s so far from ready yet but http://www.boswellbramleyandco.com/

So, you could say that we’re a bit like ducks at the moment. Doesn’t look like there’s much going on but underneath it all, we’re working super-hard to move forward!

Oo, before I sign off, one more very exciting piece of news for you. Well, we thought it was exciting. We love to have words of encouragement from anyone who sees our work, but from a fellow designer whose work we have admired for a long time, it was a proper over-the-moon moment! After a very cheeky e-mail to the Gillian Kyle group, we got a fantastically supportive e-mail back that pointed us in a great direction to finding suppliers (the purpose of the original e-mail). They also said though, that “Your products look lovely and quirky, and original which is definitely going to
stand you in good stead.” How good is that??!! We were so chuffed when we read it. Take a look at what they do http://www.gilliankyle.com/ , no doubt you’ve seen me walking about with their teacake tote bag! Hmmm, teacake.

Anyway, I’ll be off now to carry on working (and probably have a teacake) but just thought we’d let you know that we’re here and working hard as ever.

Tab, Ross
and Boswell xxx

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What an inspiring weekend!

So, we spent this glorious long weekend in Edinburgh, what a way to spend the weekend! We went to have a bit of a break but actually got quite a bit of Boswell planning done, fancy a sneak peak of our little get away? Go ahead…

Blue Skies over Lindisfarne!

Handmade - continuing to be so important after millennia.

He gets everywhere!

The view from our hotel and the source of so much inspiration - Grassmarket Festival!

The product of an enquiring and pioneering mind - Cragside. An incredible day out and quite the inspirational place.

Amongst loads of other things, we went to the Surgeons Hall, saw Derren Brown live (can’t say a word about it, except it was incredible!) we went to the National Museum of Scotland, and popped into our favourite gallery, the Red Door Gallery. On the way back home we went to Cragside too, it was so beautiful and interesting, we highly recommend you pay it a visit! That and lots of cafe loitering has resulted in two heads that are absolutely full of ideas for the future of Boswell. We’ve got a big to-do list and even bigger plans for Boswell’s future, it’s scary, but super-exciting!

Hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend too!

Tab, Ross and Boswell x

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Happy Earth Day!

Ok, Ok, I know I’m a little late (for those of you who didn’t know, Earth day was yesterday) and I will come to why I’m wishing you all a happy Earth Day today a bit later, but it is definitely my inspiration for today’s Blog!

Starting a new business, we have been aware from the very start of being as eco-friendly as cost will allow. Through the past few weeks, as I’ve been getting all the stuff together for sending, I’ve come up with a few good ways to save on materials (and costs as it happens!). Here are just a few…

– You know the really posh brochures you get from places like Habitat and Quicksilver that use super thick, matt paper? Well, where the paper is fairly plain I cut it into small, uniform rectangles that I then stamp with our contact details, and voila, recycled (and very pretty) business cards!

– I save every bit of packaging I can. Where possible, I reuse envelopes and if they are past re-using state, I take the bubble wrap out of jiffy bags for packaging in the future (put the paper left for recycling of course!) Also, things in boxes often come in individual clear plastic bags. I save these to use as a waterproof barrier between the packaging and the product. If they’re a bit torn, they can usually be neatened up with a pair of scissors.

– I never buy envelopes. If I don’t have an envelope to re-use I use 100% recycled paper to wrap up the item I’m sending. Not only does this save on product and cost but the pleasure of getting a hand wrapped brown paper parcel in the post is pretty special, I think you’ll agree.

Those are just a few of the earth-saving bits and bobs that we do in the process of making Boswell things. Of course we try to make the products pretty green too. I make the products myself, so there are less air-miles involved and all the cotton is unbleached. Super!

I’ve always been eco-conscious, but it really has become a bit of a way of life for us recently. We shop much more locally now. We are using less petrol getting to where we buy our food, and we’re buying pretty seasonally too, so the majority of our food is locally grown, or at least grown in the UK. I bought some potatoes from a local farm stall recently. It was great to be able to see the actual field that the tatties came from. We did go to one stall in a teeny weeny village the other day that was great but was covered in CCTV cameras…which was a bit weird. We have also joined a buying co-operative. This means we can buy products that are usually maybe a bit more expensive but a lot more ethical at a reasonable price, it’s very exciting.

We’re both walking A LOT at the moment too. We’re lucky enough to live in the country side so we don’t have to travel far to find a good walk (much less far than going to the city for a shop/cinema/meal/drinks anyway!). The walking came along partly because we wanted to discover more of the area, but mainly because we can’t afford to go out anymore. I have to say though, I’m having much more fun now! We really feel like we’re enjoying life, tis mega.

Little things in the spring/summer help too of course (especially with this beautiful weather) like hanging the wet clothes outside, turning the heating off and letting our hair dry naturally in the sun!

We’ve been spending a bit of time developing Boswell too. You may have noticed we have a couple of new friends in the Boswell shop, ‘Bling’ and ‘Vampy’, take a look by just clicking on their pictures.

We’ve had some lovely feedback too, and we’re selling quite a few custom and direct orders, which is great. We would like to start approaching shops that could stock Boswell soon too. It’s been a bit of a trek trying to get all the figures and databases sorted but with the help of some library books and Business Link, who have been absolutely fantastic, I’m getting there. Although I don’t want to get too political on these blogs, I would just like to say that both of those services are going through some serious cuts at the moment. In fact, Business Link won’t even exist as of November. Without them, we would have found this process so much harder. If the government wants to promote small business growth, in my opinion, this is simply not the way to do it.

So, with my mini-rant over (I could go on for much, much longer about that one) I’ll be off. Oh! That’s right I was going to tell you why I’m wishing you a happy Earth Day now. Well, not only did I not get round to writing this yesterday, but also, I think every day should be earth day. It’s not too difficult to make small changes and once you do, it makes a world of difference (ha! Literally!), it can even save you some pennies too! So…Happy Earth Day!

Right, all that writing has given me an appetite; I’m off for some lunch!

Tab, Ross, Boswell and Bessie

x

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Wow…what a week!

Well, where do I begin? I ask this question because, you know how everything seems to happen at once? You do? Good! Because that is exactly what’s happened this past week or so!
So, first of all, my contract officially ended last Thursday, I am now without paid work. I left work on Thursday. It was very sad to leave some people that have been great friends but it was also very exciting…and scary. I got in the car, put my music on extra loud and enjoyed my last drive away from work.
Within about half an hour of me leaving work I got home to find out that my mum’s boss had passed away. Jan had been not only a great boss to my mum but also a good friend, so it was quite a shock even though she had been very poorly for a long time.
With both our future’s somewhat unknown I did briefly go into panic, panic, panic ‘It’s all my fault’ mode, but pretty quickly, much quicker than I would’ve a few months ago, with the thought of my great family and, of course, Boswell, I soon calmed down and just thought of it as the beginning of a whole new chapter!
The new chapter will undoubtedly involve a lot of Boswell, and this week is when it all kicks off again. I have spent the past week or so just sorting everything out for the end of my contract, it was a bigger job than I thought it was going to be! I’m nearly done learning how to use boring (but ultra-important) spreadsheets and I have even been doing a bit of custom work….

Hangin with Charlee tote bag

Now though, new designs and new ideas for where Boswell can go on his adventures are starting to appear. It’s very exciting.
One thing has put a bit of a temporary stop on all this though…black grout. We, very excitingly, are doing up our bathroom at the moment. We’ve had all the stuff; toilet, bath, sink, tiles, sat in our spare room for aaaaages, so we thought we’d actually get on and get it sorted. With a huge amount of help and time from our friend Dave, it is well and truly on its way. The problem, however, has been black grout. Firstly, let me tell you, when you have spent hours and hours grouting and washing and washing and washing and polishing and washing and polishing the grout does look amazing with white tiles, and it is worth every bit of effort. However, no matter how much you try and contain it, you will find that everything in your house, everything, will be covered in a fine mist of black powder. So, Boswell and Bessie had to go away in their own boxes for a little while, just until the dust settled…literally!

Icky bathroom 'before' pic!

Bathroom halfway! Oooh the black dust!

This week, with only painting left to do (and a toilet that isn’t covered in flowers and does work WOOOOO!) we can get on again.
Probably the most earth-shattering news of this whole time is that Ross shaved off his beard. I know what you’re thinking, ‘how can this be?’ That’s like Superman without his cape, Batman without his mask or even Hellboy without his right hand of doom (yes, that is a real thing none-geeks), it is the source of all his powers! It was nice to see his chin briefly but now it is bearded once again…that was an odd few days.

Ross sans beard (and chipping off the first tile, wooo!)

Also, rather excitingly we got featured in two new Treasuries this week, check them out here and here.  Not only was Huiyi Tan kind enough to put us in her treasuries but we love her work, so this week’s lovely of the week is….

Lovely!

Just click on the photo to go to her shop.
Also, the tune of the week has to be from Laura Marling this is always on in our house and we love it! Give it a listen…
Right, well I have some making to do!
Love Tab, Ross, Boswell and Bessie.
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Beautiful things.

Hello!
Sorry we’ve been a little slow in our blogging this week, not only have we had some technical issues, (you don’t realise how much you need a ‘puter till you don’t have one!) but also, we’ve been busy creating and sending out orders, WOOPAH!
Things are starting small at the moment but we’re just really happy that they’re starting at all. There has been a lot to think about since we went public. It’s not just product, but recording everything, getting the right packaging (balancing eco credentials, expense and professionalism is not as easy as we’d hoped), organising the creative space properly, doing proper hard sums and writing countless ‘to do’ lists. Still though, it’s a challenge that we’re relishing, awesome.
We thought today we’d give you a little insight into our tastes in craft and all things beautiful, in our eyes anyway. To start, we created our first treasury last week. Treasuries are a great way of showing off what you love on Etsy. It’s why Etsy is so clever, you don’t self promote as much as promote each other, it’s all very karmic and works so well.

‘Yo Ho Yo Ho an Etsy life for me!’ by BoswellBramleyandCo

Inspired by the new Pirates of the Caribbean film posters, I thought I’d make a treasury!


pirate ship wooden automata

$24.00

Mermaid Pocket Knife Necklac…

$45.00

Kraken Attackin’ (Set of…

$30.00

Ruby Tentacle Ring HOLIDAY S…

$275.00

I am the master of my fate n…

$69.00

hand painted silk skull pill…

$94.00

Catrina – Turquoise Sugar Sk…

$9.50

Note From an Outlaw Letterpr…

$10.00

Old World Sailing Ship Unise…

$24.00

I’m Swept Away – galleon…

$17.00

Pirate Kitty Tote Bag

$20.00

Pirate Harry

$15.00

Pirate painting, original wa…

$75.00

Ready to ship pirate soup ca…

$30.00

Vintage Cage with Parrot on …

$8.00

SAILOR Necklace sterling sil…

$26.00
All of the above images are clickable so have a looksy at what you like.
We’re also loving the work by these artists. Just click on the picture to be directed to their shops!

Winston and squeak from hilarycosgrove

A favourite with Ross...

I want to fill my kitchen with this stuff!

Tab loves this shop.

That’s just a taste of what we’re into right now, plenty more where that came from!
Oo, also our tune of the week this week has to be ‘Arizona’ by the Kings of Leon, mainly because Ross is learning it on his guitar right now, it’s sounding lovely!
Because of our recent IT issues, we haven’t managed to get as many items up in the shop by this point as we’d hoped. However, we haven’t had Bessie the sewing machine issues so that means we’ve got plenty of stock coming up, so make sure you keep up to date with new additions on our facebook page.
See all you lovely kids real soon!
Tab, Ross, Boswell and Bessie.

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We’re Online!

Hey people! Guess what? We are, at last, online. Our shop is now officially open!
Boswell Bramley and Co. Etsy Shop!

It’s taken a lot of work, and, no  doubt, an awful lot more hard work is on the horizon, but this a major land mark for us here at Boswell Bramley and Co.
Although stock is limited at the moment, new items will be added at least every couple of days from now on. We’re hoping that by the end of the week, we will have around 20 new designs online. In our range, we will initially have aprons, table napkins, tote bags, wash bags and pencil cases. ‘But how do I know when you unleash new, exciting  Boswell designs into the world?’ I hear you cry! It’s easy, we will be updating on our Twitter and Facebook accounts, just click the hyperlinks and you will be on your way to ‘following’ and ‘liking’ us, (the ‘puter just autocorrected ‘liking’ to ‘licking’, we’d love you to follow us but, really, that’s just too far!).

Working Hard!

As you can see from the photo, our study has turned into a studio and it’s becoming a proper little haven. Sometimes though, with all these things, it can get too much. Yesterday was one of those days.  Good thing we had a night out planned! Thanks to the lovely Rachael of White Horse Arts, we went to a fantastic Oz gig last night. That is the inspiration for our first tune of the week!

Boswell at the gig!

Our first tune of the week has got to be from Holly Taymar. Her devine voice and inspiring songwriting skills kept us all listening intently till late last night, twas magical! She, and Chris Bilton (beautiful accompaniment on the cajon, banjo, guitar…) are regularly found gigging in and around York so check them out!
We love this song, and thusly ’tis our tune of the week!

Went to War by Holly Taymar

Ross and I are still working out what to make our ‘lovely of the week’ which will be something that we’ve seen that we love. There are so many we can’t decide! So, keep tuned for that one!

Thank you again for your support so far, it’s so encouraging. And please, spread the word!

Lots of love,

Tab, Ross, Boswell and Bessie
XxX

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