For Human and Hound

Welcome to For The Love Of Handmade

Bryony Byrne

Posted on January 26 2019

Welcome to For The Love Of Handmade

Hi Everyone!

And welcome to Bryony and Hannah’s new blog, For The Love Of Handmade. Here will be a space in which we can discuss our love for small businesses and exciting new products we have bought and tested in order to give you guys, our readers, a collection of resources that you can go to when you’re in need of the perfect gift, either as a treat for yourself, or for a loved one.

I came up with this idea whilst in the midst of pulling my hair out over the perfect gift for a very special occasion for a very special person; my best friend and her 21st birthday. I had already decided that in order to make the gift something extraordinary shall we say, I would be doing my utmost to find heartfelt and one of a kind gifts for her, and now looking back, I think it is fair to say, I succeeded! That isn’t to say it wasn’t a challenge however. I knew the gift would come from a business making handmade items and with hundreds of small businesses about, it was shocking to me when I discovered just how hard it is to find them. Of course Etsy is a great place to start with this, but not all companies have their goods on the Etsy site due to the cost of running an Etsy page and so really my options were limited and I could not seem to find exactly what I was after… so I enlisted the help of my friend, and small business owner, Hannah in creating just one of the many amazing gifts I found.

It was during one of Luna’s Loft’s live streams on Instagram that my love and passion for supporting small businesses blossomed, and it wasn’t until sending pictures of the perfect item to Hannah herself and brainstorming colours for the perfect scarf for my friend that my inspiration to challenge myself to this really started. Firstly it was only going to be the scarf that I had planned to buy from a small UK business, but because of the excellent customer service, and interaction that I encountered through working with Hannah, that made the job of spending money so much more fun, I was determined to source the majority of my best friend’s gifts from small businesses.

Here then, began my challenge, and it started slowly to say the least! Whilst the scarf was being made over at LunasLoft, I went on a little trip up north to visit my other half and his family and whilst there, I had an amazing time exploring all the lovely little shops and cafés in the area. Whilst doing this, we were recommended to try the Cross Lanes Organic Farm Shop, just off the A66, and I was so pleasantly surprised when we arrived! Although we didn’t venture into the café, I did get to look around the shop and it had beautiful little gifts in there. Ranging from locally sourced chocolate goods, fresh produce and meat to a few home accessories and also some organic natural body care bits. This is where my next gift for my Best Friend comes in and I ended up getting her a Luxury Organic Soap from a small business called TOC Aromatherapy and upon checking out their website, there is a huge number of products for all skin types available ranging from soaps and body washes, to creams and cleansers. They also do a range for babies and men too! The ethics behind the company is one I particularly like: ‘if you would not eat it, why put it on your skin’ which is quoted
throughout the site and the owner prides herself in making products that contain: No SLS, MI, Parabens, Lanolin, Palm Oil and contains no Artificial Colours or flavours. They are 100% pure and natural which I love! I highly recommend having a browse, if you would like to visit their website please click here.


At the same time, I also bought a big tub of Honey and Vanilla body scrub, made by the company Our Tiny Bees. This is another company that prides itself in being ‘Purveyors of delightful, 100% natural skincare.’ My best friend suffers from a dryer sensitive skin type and so anything natural that is not going to be harsh on the skin is always a win with her so I quickly grabbed this. After doing
research into the Sheffield based company, I fell even more in love with the product. The company aims at helping support only British bees and their keepers and their love for bees shines through on their ‘about bees’ section on the website. Not only is it educative about how they work, but also assures that they never take too much product to be detrimental to the hive. If you would like to visit their website please click here

 

Now that I had these two little items, my anxiety over the task I had laid out for myself disappeared, and in place, my determination to find amazing homemade goods had increased tenfold. It was through browsing on Instagram that I came across my next gift, from a lovely little company called Tuppence and Delilah (I know, the name even makes you want to throw your money to them) and the goods they sell are even cuter than the name suggests. It is true to say that I fell in love with every single product that Sharon House, the creator makes, but I soon settled on the most perfect bracelet I think I could’ve found. My Best friend absolutely loves little bee designs and even has a watch with a very similar, mixed metal design and so by being able to incorporate both the silver and
rose gold, with a little bee, I was over the moon. The price point is very reasonable for the outstanding quality you are getting and at just £25 this bracelet was a steal! Handmade in Kent, her Instagram shows the full process of making and Sharon is constantly posting new designs that she has created herself. I am absolutely in love with this company and the bracelet I bought from there. I shall definitely be purchasing again. To visit their Etsy page please click here.


The last section of this post is slightly different to the rest as the next few items are in fact things that I made myself, one with a little help of a book, and the other something I have wanted to do for her, for a long time. Whilst on my travels up in the North East, I came across a beautiful little shop in which they stocked
the book ‘Pretty as a Peach’ by Janet Hayward and Susie Prichard-Casey. I was immediately intrigued and knew I had to buy it to try out some of the 75 all natural skincare and beauty recipes that are found in the book. Whilst searching through, not only was I completely enchanted by the illustrations included, but by the vast scale of recipes that I found within. In the end I settled on creating a coconut body cream, a brightening fruit facial and a brown sugar lip scrub. All the recipes encourage you to buy organic and the ingredients are mostly everyday kitchen essentials. I personally had so much fun creating the little recipes and loved the finish products myself, even making myself extra, so that I could enjoy them too! The little jars that I decanted the mixtures into I found in antique stores from various places, and with this I thought they could be re-used as trinket
boxes, and would look stunning on a dresser. I used the illustrations as little labels and wrote instructions on the back of each so my friend would know what they were. I am delighted with the finished product and hope that she likes them just as much as I do!

 

If you wish for a full review on more products made from the book, then please do not hesitate to contact me!

The last gift that I made for my Best friend is something a little more personal. I got the majority of the supplies from the Range, very inexpensive but lovely quality and set about making her a box frame with little Polaroid’s of us together from over the years, strung up using twine and little ‘for show’ pegs. I am so so pleased with the outcome and love how personal it is and hope she loves it
just the same!



All in all, the task I set for myself I can happily say has been thoroughly successful and I have loved every minute doing it. The reason for the creation of this blog, and why it is joined so closely with Hannah from LunasLoft is that, not only was she the primary inspiration behind my challenge to buy from all small businesses, but also that both of us agreed that there needed to be a space available in which people can come and read up on all sorts of handmade goods from small UK businesses, to not only help you find the perfect gift, but to enable you to support the businesses just as I have. And what better way to find something like this, is to create the platform yourself! If you have any products you’d like for me to review and give my thoughts on then please don’t hesitate to contact myself, or Hannah. We always love to find new little hidden gems in the handmade community.

You can contact us at:
lunasloftuk@gmail.com
fortheloveofhandmadeblog@gmail.com

Instagram:
@lunas.loft
@murphythefrenchiepup
@bryonybyrnexoxo

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