Sunday 18 May 2014

Guest Blogger Week 111 ~ Peacock and Rose

I would like to welcome

A little story woven into every one ...
It started with Grandma’s button box – 
a treasure chest of memories that became an inspiration for original designs.

A swirling gypsy skirt of rich magenta and cerise tones in repurposed and vintage fabrics. 
The Peacock & Rose signature photo style is inspired by outer space spiral galaxy photos
Once upon a time, and a very long time ago now, 
I would sit on the hearth-rug at Grandma’s 
and her black cat would ignore me. 
So I turned to the button box, loving to rummage and run the buttons and beads through my fingers.  
Many years later the button box became mine.

In those days I was imprisoned in an office, 
trying to grow my hair long enough to let down for the handsome prince to climb up and rescue me. 
(The prince, it turned out, worked in the office, too. But that’s another story). 
All the while, when the office goblins let me visit home, 
I created beautiful things for my friends, and myself, sewing 
and stitching into the night as you do in fairy tales. 
And the button box helped. It had helped with my first tentative, dressmaking. 
It helped when I grew into a skilled seamstress. 
And it even helped with my first interior design assignment, and it gave me a colour- wheel all of buttons.
Some upcycled African print fabric and the shield-shaped button 
that reminded me of tribal warriors inspired this brooch

At last, when the button box saw that I was ill and fading under the office goblins’ spells, 
it snapped its lid at them and sent them away. 
And together we created Peacock & Rose.

The button box still helps, and has been joined by a magpie collection of rediscovered 
and vintage materials that, quite honestly, can look like a pile of old junk. 
Until it gets the Peacock & Rose treatment, that is. 

This 1920s wedding veil was, literally, held together by dust! 
I carefully cleaned it and supported the usable fragments between new tulle, 
then complemented the original embroidery with beaded tassel detail. 
It’s not often I get time to design a piece for myself but I wore the finished stole 
with a 50s Liberty dress for our wedding in 2012.

I rescue no-longer-loved textiles, broken jewellery, found objects and more. 
These are lovingly worked into creative and individual designs with strong eco and ethical credentials. 
I know from my customers that they value that fragment of embroidery, 
scrap of lace, or flea-market button each with its own history (or herstory) 
that gives their item such a different character from mass-produced trimmings.

“Does my bum look big in this?”
“Oooohhhh yes!”
Extra-bustle-y, squirrel –tail ‘Rag Queen’ bustle.

My designs range from beautiful bags and unique accessories to quirky 
and original altered couture, festival wear and tribal belly dance costume. 
Anything can come my way. 
I’ve just completed a squirrel-tail bustle in my ‘Rag Queen’ style for a tribal dancer, 
am working on a slave/warrior custom design to ship to the States. 
Then there’s whole shoe-box FULL of Liberty fabric samples going back around 50 years, 
to be transformed into wedding decorations that will bring happy memories 
of Grandma to my client’s celebration.
And button box waits faithfully for me when I go out to share with others 
how creativity is therapy and can help make their story a better one.

You can visit and share the story at my Etsy store
on Facebook at 
and find a range of lovely things, including Peacock & Rose at 

Wow what an amazing story!
I love the fact that from a box of buttons something so beautiful
is created.
I have always loved my mums button tin.
Once I started crafting in my own home I started
my own button tin.
I now have 2 and 2 jars as well.
I hope you will all check out Catherine's links!
She has a lot of amazing items!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much Sue for inviting me to be a guest blogger, and for all your work to share inspiration with all us yarn and textile addicts. Best wishes for your health x


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