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Christmas gifts from independent shops

In December I wrote a blog about how I was going to shop small for my Christmas presents. I have finally given all my loved ones their gifts so I can now reveal the beautiful things I got for them - all from small, independent, UK-based shops, artists, designers and craftspeople. Mum Hand-dyed ethically sourced merino wool from Made By Black Elephant on Etsy. Based in Sheffield, I first discovered Petra Black from Made By Black Elephant on the weekly #HandmadeHour sessions on Twitter. I fell in love with the colour of this yarn and thought it would be perfect for my Mum who has started to get into small loom weaving. Dad My Dad loves Lapsang Souchong tea so I bought...

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Three happy New Year goals for 2017 and three happy 2016 reflections

Happy New Year! So the rather dubious 2016 has finally slipped away and a fresh year has begun. Let's hope 2017 brings joy, learning and growth to all of us.  2016 Despite the ups and downs of 2016 I wanted to reflect on what I was grateful for during the year: 1. Re-launching we are stardust Much of 2016 was spend working towards the re-launch of we are stardust, including developing a clearer brand. 2. Finding a supportive online community I feel so privileged to have met such a wonderfully supportive online community of small business owners, makers, designers, bloggers and crafters who love learning, making, exploring and nature. I was thrilled by my first online collaboration with Laura at...

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Festive #factsandfolklore - share your stories

The Mistletoe Bride The December bride who, bored with dancing, skipped from the castle hall to play hide-and-seek, a white bird flickering into the dark... The groom, who searched each room, calling her name; then the bridal guests, flame-lit, checking the grounds... The fifty Christmases till a carpenter jemmied an old oak chest; the skeleton with its unstrung pearls, loose emeralds, its rings of diamond, sapphire, gold... The running feet, the shouting for others to see what he’d seen; mistletoe in the loose bones of a hand... like love, patiently green. - Carol Ann Duffy   I recently read in ecologist and ancient woodland expert Oliver Rackham's book The Ash Tree that witchcraft and folklore is really more pseudo-science than pseudo-religion....

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Why I'm shopping small this Christmas

“If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought just a card we’d still be open.” - quote from shop keeper that started the Just A Card campaign Before I relaunched we are stardust in earnest on 15 September 2016, I didn't really realise the costs involved in running a financially sustainable small business. I loved people following their passion and creating unique, beautiful objects using their skill and craft but I never seemed to connect that if I and others didn't buy from them, they wouldn't survive. If I didn't support the small shops and businesses I liked, how could I expect them to still be there next year? Too expensive? The truth is the one-off, unique pieces that a...

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#littlestoriesofmylife giveaway winner with Circle of Pine Trees

This November, we are stardust sponsored Circle of Pine Trees #littlestoriesofmylife gallery on instagram. Laura, curator of Circle of Pine Trees, started the hastag for celebrating and/or sharing the tiniest elements of the stories of our lives. Small doesn’t equate to insignificant: these are the little moments that add up to the narratives that carry us all. Two hundred beatuiful images were tagged in the #littlestoriesofmylife_wearestardust hashtag, with the winner receiving a box of 30 we are stardust Christmas cards where art and science collide. These are the runners up: Clockwise from top right: @blowyinthewind, @lovelylollyb, @_charlieswift, @harryandfrank, @helloquietx, @hellomistermagpie, @_charlieswift, @harryandfrank, @lillalivetandme I chose these images because each square evokes a story. I can imagine the mood o the person who...

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