Ahoy, finally!

Hello everyone!
How do you do? I thought it was high time I Stuck my head above the parapet to offer my greetings and to have a few musings on this whole business, so come in and make yourself comfortable.

Somewhere back in the mists of time ( I forget when exactly…) I started to draw our friend Boswell. I don’t know where he came from really, he kind of “popped” into my head, then started jumping on bits of paper lying around the house and he’s been around ever since. Over the years, he’s found himself in all kinds of scrapes but he’s always been there whether he’s rattling around my head or appearing on the back of envelopes.

I must, at this point, say that while I refer to him as a “he”, the truth is that he isn’t a he, or a she. Nor does he have a specific age, colour or anything like that, he just exists and goes about his business.

Anyway, he started to find his way onto birthday cards and gift tags for friends and family and the like and always had a very positive response. I would sometimes get requests to draw him doing different things and oftentimes it was suggested that we do something more with him but life, as it does, has a habit of getting in the way of ideas and things carried on as normal.

Then, one day, my supremely creative other half ( your usual scribe) came up with the idea of transposing him and his various exploits onto handmade homewares. This way he could find his way into the lives of other people and hopefully raise a smile or two and bring about some happiness in little corners of life.

Since that idea came about, things have been a bit mad here. All of a sudden there are bits of paper everywhere, prototype goods have worked their way into various bits of the house and I often leave the front door wearing a combination of my usual clothes and a metro or two of spare thread stuck to my hair with a dab of fabric paint. Enquiries and messages of goodwill have come from down the road and as far afield as Minnesota and California.

It’s all very exciting really, that a little idea and a spark of imagination can grow into something more. Even if this all doesn’t work out, it’s a lot of fun and like the rest of life, I’m just going to enjoy the ride.

Well, I’ll leave you to go on your way now, the click clack of the sewing machine tells me that the lady is at work again and we’re hoping to have the shop open in a few days so I better get on!

Toodles,
Ross

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Crisis and Opportunity

So, 100 napkins, 10 more aprons and 12 tote bags later and I can’t wait to do more! I am literally buzzing (if you have ever used a sewing machine, you’ll know what I mean).

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection and looking forward recently, and although I should be utterly freaking out, I’m really excited about what the future holds.

I should explain myself. I’m about to be made officially redundant (the end of this month). I’ve made my way nicely through a three year contract working for a charity and now I’m coming to the end. I can’t find a job and I’m not entirely sure I want to, in fact, I don’t…yeah, I don’t want a job, not the traditional kind at the moment anyway.

Yesterday I heard a great thing on the radio, ‘crisis’ and ‘opportunity’ is the same word in chinese. This pretty much sums up what I’m going through at the moment. I could be very worried about my lack of ability to pay the mortgage and buy the food, and yes, there is a certain element of that weighing on my mind. To be honest though, after a bit of a manic period I’m pretty peaceful with my situation. In the past three years I have just about learnt to not waste my time worrying about my given situation and beating myself up about it, but doing something about it and most importantly, learning from it. I believe that everything that happened to us, good or bad, makes us who we are, and that’s a pretty cool thing.

I must make it very clear that I haven’t come to this conclusion on my own. Recent events and amazing, beautiful, supportive and patient friends and mentors in my life have really helped (sometimes forced) me to see it. One thing I’m not great with is outward displays of emotion or physical contact, but I really hope those people know who they are. Of course, one of those people is Ross and his love and support is truly second to none.

So, the next few months making and selling is not just about paying the bills, but following the path that I, we, want to and seeing where it takes us. Part of that has already meant making connections with Some great people. This week, I have shared a brownie recipe with another artist from California, Polychrome Palace and celebrated the re-opening of an Etsy shop with a fellow sewer, Sew Serious, from Denver, USA. How cool is that? The magic of the net!

So, it all seems a bit big and scary and impossible at the moment but as Walter Elias Disney once said, ‘It’s kind of fun to do the impossible’.

Until next time…

Tab, Ross, Boswell and Bessie.

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On a mission! (and the importance of handmade)

So, in our effort to fill the Boswell Bramley and Co. shaped hole on the Internet, we were setting up our Facebook page and having a look through all the bits that you can fill in as part of your profile page. I came across the ‘mission’ section. Having worked for a charity for three years, I know that this is a bit of a hot topic. A mission, or a mission statement, isn’t just what your doing, but why your doing it. It’s a great tool for telling other people what your about but also for keeping yourself focussed and on track, and I need all the help I can get in that department!

I had a whole day of sewing yesterday which in turn means I had a whole day of thinking yesterday. My thinking seemed to boiled down to the importance of handmade. I love making things, but I also love buying things that are handmade. Nothing beats the feeling of having something that no one else does, and that has had so much time and love go into it. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks this, there’s a reason Etsy is doing so well, they had over a billion views last month alone!

When you buy a Boswell Bramley item from us, you’re not just buying the end product but everything that has gone into it too. If you buy an apron, for example, you know that I’ve gone out and bought the fabric and trims, you know I’ve laid it out on the living room floor to work out the best cut, I’ve ironed each seem until it’s just right for sewing. I’ve sat in front of the sewing machine and wondered ‘who’s going to be wearing this?’ whilst it whirs away. Ross has sat down one evening and thought up the perfect Boswell for that apron, I’ve looked at the design, and together we’ve worked out where it should go. We’ve thought about the right paintbrush and paint to use on the fabric and one of us has spent our time focussing on nothing but that apron, painting it and making it the best it can be. The apron has then been ironed to set the dye and make it as smooth and box fresh as possible. It doesn’t stop there though. We then pick and make the best packaging, with the least amount of environmental impact and the most amount of care. Just for you!

We have a chance to make a living from doing what we love, and we do want to cover our living costs. However, we  also believe that everyone should have the chance to fill their lives with handmade (and Boswell, of course!). That’s why we want charge fairly, not expensively. A lot of people assume that handmade means expensive, and that is just not the case. There is a reason all the big chains try to make handmade looking things, still though, they just can’t beat what we and hundreds of thousands of other crafters do, make truly hand made goods, each made with love (yeah! We got one up on Tesco and Wallmart!).

So, our mission? To  make sure that you have a little Boswell in your life, just like we have for the past few years. Also, though, to be part of a bigger picture that makes handmade totally accessible, and useable in your day-to-day. Hand made isn’t just a luxury.

In other news…

Once we start selling, we’re going to be posting a ‘lovely of the day’ where we showcase what we love and what inspires us. We’ll be doing a ‘track of the day’ too – music and the radio is pretty important to most crafters and artists out

Arty pin shot.

 

Beautiful Bessie.

Some more peeking!

 

 As ever, subscribe to this blog, check us out on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, every show of support really helps! Which reminds me, Libby and Rach, your support is invaluable. We passed 100 reads of our blog yesterday, not bad for 4 posts! Next goal, 1000!
 
Right, well, I’m off to do some painting today, and making my ‘creative space’ a bit more creative, I’ll tell you all about how that goes next time…hmm.

Much love,
Tab, Ross, Boswell and Bessie (the newly christened sewing machine)

XxX

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Obsessed!

Well, Ross isn’t feeling so well, so I’m your BB commentator tonight. This is a good thing really, seeing as i’m getting totally obsessed with this blogging malarky! Even if no-one is reading this, I’m really enjoying this process.

I’m coming to the end of my contract at work, at the end of March. I’ve really enjoyed my job for the past few years, but with redundancy pay and a little teeny bit of savings in the bank, I have a chance to live the dream, or at least have a go at it. If it doesn’t work out, at least I can say, we had a go! Having said that, we’re getting some great response to Boswell and although I’m working every evening, lunch and morning I can, I’m really enjoying it. My constant source of major inspiration is ‘quit your day job’, it’s my favourite blog, and my ambition is to be on there one day.

Today, I read a couple of chapters of my current favourite book, The Handmade Marketplace before I even got out of bed! If you haven’t heard of that book, and you want to sell your wares online or at fares, this is the book for you! It is aimed at an American audience, but it’s fantastically useful and inspiring! It’s a bit of a bible for me at the mo.

As soon as lunch came along I had a couple of bites to eat but mainly spent my time ironing fabric ready to cut into napkins and three more aprons.

The task for this evening is to get them all sewn up and start painting them. I’m working all the spare time I’m sent and seeing a lot more of the wee hours these days, but it’s great.

My work load this evening means that’s about it for the blog tonight. As ever, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook , some more subscribers would be great too. When everybody else has gone to sleep and there’s just my living room light on, the iron or the sewing machine whirring away and sometimes even a few late night re-runs of ‘Sex and the City’ on, it can feel a bit lonely. It’s nice to know that all I need to do is have a look at the comments and subscribers on this blog, Etsy or Facebook and I alleviate the loneliness in one fell swoop. Thank you for the support, this is just the beginning.

Love,
Tab, Ross and Boswell
XxX

http://www.facebook.com/plugins/likebox.php?href=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpages%2FBoswell-Bramley-and-Co%2F103791439700854&width=292&colorscheme=light&show_faces=false&stream=true&header=true&height=427

I did that with HTML! I feel clever!

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R.S.I.

Uhhhr, I appear to have R.S.I. I know, pretty rubbish huh? What’s that you say? Don’t know what R.S.I is? It Repetative Sewing Injury. Bad times.
I got a really nasty little pain a few days ago, just on the side of my ankle. It’s one of those that feels like it just really needs to click, you know? I’ve been trying to make it click, I think that’s made it worse, huff. I was trying to work out why it’s hurting so much, then I realised whilst on the sewing machine, that it’s an R.S.I. My poor little foot’s been working that peddle so hard, I’ve gone and got myself an injury! Any suggestions on how to make it better? Would love to hear them!

Anyway, I’ve been trying to work the peddle with my left foot to give my right a rest. I thought that would be easy, seeing as I’m left handed, but no, apparently not! Which, in turn, is a bit worrying seeing as I can drive (supposedly). 

The stock is starting to pile up now and I think I’ve exhausted all natural fabric supplies in North Yorkshire, brilliant.

Ross is coming up with some amazing Boswell designs. Mr Bramley is appearing all over the place at the moment, not only can you keep track on this blog but you can also find him on…
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boswell-Bramley-and-Co/103791439700854 
Twitter: @boswellbramley
Please follow us and ‘like’ us and subscribe to us, or whatever it is you care to do to show a bit of support. We’re going to keep asking, so you’d might as well! When you do we’ll love you FOREVER. Who could ask for more than free love forever? No-one, that’s who. Oh, I just read that back myself, that didn’t come out quite right. Oh well, you get me!

Anyway, speaking of love you forever, I’d like to show a bit of love for the lovely people on Etsy who gave me some great advice on camera shopping last night. They gave me a lot of help, and I knew what to look for and what questions to ask in the shop earlier today, so to them, thank you!

We should get some nice new photos to you in the next day or two, and shop opening time is getting ever closer, we’re thinking (hoping) beginning of March!

I’m trying to convince Ross to write a blog one night (he’s shy) so, you never no, he might be your blog writer next! 

Right, off to do some more sewing, woopah!

Tab, Ross and Boswell

XxX

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A welcome sight and a sneak peek!

Hello again,

Firstly, we’d like to say thank you to all those who have read our blog so far, this is all so exciting! We really looking forward to seeing our ‘view’ numbers going up on our stats page (I’m already obsessed with it!). Subscribers and commenters, we love you!

I realised this evening that yesterday there was one member of our family I didn’t introduce, and when you find it who, or indeed what it is, you’ll see why leaving it out was pretty unforgivable. My unintroduced friend is a lovely wee sewing machine that is old but good. It actually belongs to my mum, but I appear to have permanently borrowed it (shhh don’t tell her!). I do actually have a much swisher, younger model, but it’s nowhere near as good. There is a history and a wisdom to this little machine, and I like that. Sadly though, the poor thing maybe about 40 but it still doesn’t have a name, so any suggestions, just leave a comment! It’s the title of this blog that I dedicate to my trusty machine. At the end of a long day staring at my ‘puter and brumming around North Yorkshire, I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the warm glow of the sewing machine light greeting me into the evening. When I see that, I can breathe a little sigh of relief, craft has come to save me!

A welcome sight

I’m happy to say I woke up this morning to find Ross in the study drawing some more Boswells. Inspiration seems to be overflowing right now, and there’s loads of stuff on its way.

We’re doing a bit of product testing at the moment and of course loads of making. We thought we’d give you a little bit of a sneak peek though, how about a little look at our new ‘Flambéd’ Apron and two napkins?  Would you like to see them? Yes? Well then…MAKE IT SO! (Star Trek and Ricky Gervaise alike will appreciate that one).

Ross - product testing-o-rama! Pretty good cook too!

Uh-oh!

Some rather lovely napkins!

Boswell is designed by Ross and I (Tab) sew and paint the products. We can’t wait to get selling them! My goal is to make 6 aprons tonight, I’m well on my way!

So before I get back to my sewing machine (remember all name suggestions welcomed!) I just have a couple of mentions to make. Firstly Happy Birthday Josh!  He brought Chocolate cake into work, so I think you’ll agree, he’s worth a mention. Also, Happy Birthday Legend of Zelda, 25 today! Wow!

 Speak soon lovelies!

Tab, Ross and Boswell

XxX

P.s. Sorry about the rubbish photo quality, we’re going to do something about that real soon hopefully!

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Nice to meet you!

Hello, and welcome to Boswell Bramley and Co.

We’ve been reading a lot of ‘how to write a blog’ type jobs for the past few weeks and we seem to get pretty much the same message every time – be yourself. This should be very simple but seeing as I have written this blog in my head many, many times, it could prove to be trickier than I originally thought.

One of the other pointers we’ve got from the ‘how to…’ stuff is to note down when you get inspiration for what to write about when you get home and get back in touch with the lovely blog-reading people (assuming there are any of you out there…?). That’s something we’ll definitely be doing, just in life really, we’re only 24 but our brains seem to be 100 sometimes! However, with this blog, the inspiration is pretty easy and obvious I reckon. We have to introduce ourselves!

So, Boswell Bramley and Co….where to start?

I think I’ll start with Boswell, for he is probably the most important. Boswell is someone that we have been lucky enough to know for the past few years. We’ve got to know all about what he likes, what he doesn’t like and we’ve had a front row seat looking in on all the adventures and often scrapes he has gotten himself into. He has a habit of appearing on the back of receipts, on the front of homemade birthday cards, in the middle  of ‘I’ve left dinner in the oven, see you tonight, love you xxx’ notes and once in the corner of an ‘I’m sorry I broke your very expensive blender trying to make experimental but none the less very tasty soup’ note…hmmm, good times.  

We think that Boswell would probably like to meet a lot more people and we can’t help but feel that we’re being a tad selfish keeping him all to ourselves. It’s a bit like letting your little one go out into the world (I would imagine) you want so much for others to see the soul in this little being that you see and love. We have a feeling you will though.

So, who’s this ‘we’ I keep going on about? Well, I, your blog writer for this evening, am Tabitha. I’m the crafty one of the two of us. I love all things creative and I’m realising that craft is a very important, nay essential part of my life that I can’t really do without. I love to concentrate my mind on making a pretty thing, and I love sharing what I do with others even more. I’m happy to say that craft is my passion.

The other half of the ‘we’ is Ross, my partner in life, and hopefully soon, my partner in business too. He is the designer and technical chap in all this. He is also the most beautiful and odd mind I know. It is in this mind that Boswell appeared. When Ross started drawing Boswell, I was in love, you will be too.

Together, Ross and I make the ‘Co.’ Of ‘Boswell Bramley and Co.’ Ross is the man with the pen, the man who will be showing us all what Mr. Bramley gets up to. I’m the one who is going to make many pretty things that you can wear, that can live in your home and that can, most importantly bring Boswell into your life too.

We’re going to be setting up a shop in the next few weeks, and we’re going to start selling at fairs too. We’re starting this blog now because we want you to join us on what I can’t help but feel is going to be a very exciting time. We have no idea what it’s all going to hold, but it’s going to be fun!

If you follow us on this blog, you’ll get to find out all about the Boswell Bramley and Co. Adventure. As well as all that though, you’ll get to find out all about us, Ross and Tab…if you want to! We’ll tell you all about our band of merry, tiny animals, our odd little village, our somewhat dysfunctional but happy family, Ross’ other woman (it’s OK, it’s his guitar), my happy, if sometimes turbulent history with craft and my baking habit, amongst many other things. As long as we remember to note down what inspires us that is! Have a look at our photos (Boswell’s up there on the banner, what a lovely gent) there’ll be plenty more of those!

Ross works on new Boswell designs!

Too busy and arty to look at the camera!

 

We can’t make this blog wonderful without you. If you’ve been through the process of starting up business we’d love any tips or encouragement, and if you’re just starting out too, then join us, we can do it!

This could be the beginning of something rather lovely we reckon.

Tab, Ross and, of course, Boswell.

XxX

P.S. Actually, once I got going, not that hard to be myself at all, woo!

A + Excellent work! Love it. (It seems Ross has taken to marking my work…ah well, it’s positive!)

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