- WORLD EARTH DAY
The hell of the past year has been a stark reminder of how quickly our world can be turned upside down and the nightmare of COVID-19 has only served to highlight our fragile existence. The whole earth has been affected: masks, sanitisers, social distancing, shops closed, economies stripped, families kept apart, people living in isolation, millions infected, so many gone…
Now, more than ever, the human race needs to protect itself. We’ve been so consumed by the COVID-19 that we have (understandably) taken our eye off the ball that is the environment. We were trying to clear the oceans of plastic bags and coffee cups, only to fill them up again with disposable masks and PPE. But now as we creep out of the darkest of times, it may be the right moment to look at how we can protect our fragility and appreciate what we have and how it can be so easily threatened.
We’ve seen how a small shift can have an incredible negative impact on the world, now let’s see how another small shift can have an incredible positive impact. Let’s take home that litter, let’s use refillable water bottles, let’s plant trees, flowers and vegetables, let’s put up bird/insect houses, ride a bike, take a walk, have a recycling bin that is larger than the rubbish bin… any change, no matter how insignificant it may seem, can only be for the good. On this World Earth Day, 22nd April, let’s just think about what we have….and how we can protect it for not only for ourselves but for those to come.
- SOCIAL DISTANCE IS THE NEW NORM
As the Covid-19 restrictions are being gradually relaxed and we tentatively venture back out into the wide world, keeping a social distance has become the new norm.
I have certainly found going out quite stressful now – especially in the supermarket – I’m very conscious of being too close to other shoppers or staff. Two metres is often impossible in supermarket aisles, small shops and even on the pavements here, especially in rural towns and villages. And then there are those who don’t seem to have any self-awareness of their surroundings or concept of what a metre (or 2) actually looks like and they’re up close and personal before you can say “lockdown”. You try and manoeuvre around them, outwit where they are going to go next and they either stay rooted, right in the middle of the path so you can’t get past without a mumbled ‘excuse me’ through the mask, or they head straight for you like a heat-seeking missile.
No more browsing for me or taking time to decide what to get for dinner. Now it’s all done with military precision: mask, hand sanitizer and list at the ready – and I’m in and out of that shop in record time. Afterwards it’s straight back home, no window shopping or quick latte as a treat – I am just too mentally exhausted by the fancy footwork and the constant need to have my wits about me.
I know we will get through this, the human race is resilient if nothing else and there will be better times ahead. But in the meantime, although the restrictions may be relaxed, the virus has not gone away. We still need to take care.
Stay safe. x
- BACK IN THE ROOM! (almost)ButtonChopsShop is now open with a reduced service on Etsy. At the moment we will be delivering only to UK buyers – this is temporary situation and we will be open to international sales once the risk from COVID-19 has significantly reduced. Everyone at ButtonChops will be adhering to strict social distancing guidelines. We thank you for you patience in these awful times. Please keep safe and take care of yourselves. BUTTONCHOPS TEAM Go to ButtonChopsShop
- SHOP UPDATEWe have decided to close our shop on Etsy during the Covid-19 outbreak. We agreed that as our products were non-essential items, we should do all we can to reduce the risk of spreading the virus (by ourselves and others) as well as alleviate pressure on the postal services who are doing an amazing job during this awful time. We will be back and we hope you understand our decision for closing. Please look after yourselves and keep safe. Bea & ButtonChops crew
- HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY!This week we celebrate our 3rd birthday! Three years old, who wadda thought it? It’s been an interesting journey – lots of fun, a number of ‘yays’, a few ‘grrrs’ and one or two ‘oh no’s! There was even one time when we were ready to throw in the towel; sales had gone down, the cost of postage had gone up and our motivation had gone awol. BUT… on a day when we were feeling really low, we received a couple of amazing reviews and e-mails thanking us for our service. Now I know, giving reviews is a real pain – who’s got time for that, right? Reviews are for complaints and warning off other customers. If everything has gone tickety-boo, you don’t need to congratulate or wave a flag for others to see – surely the company has only done what it should be doing? Well yes, but sometimes it’s not quite like that. We are not a huge corporation or even a slightly middle-sized-with-big -ideas company. We are a small group of 3 individuals, who make stuff by hand in a highly processed world and a review can make or break a day. We have families (with family issues), bad health days, bad mood days, good mood days, cars with bits falling off, plumbing that’s needed fixing for 6 months, parents evenings, weekly shopping, buttons that need sewing on, parents who need taking to the hospital on a regular basis, printers who want to take over the world and wont take any orders from humans, meals to cook, school runs to run, bills to pay, dogs to walk, cats to take to the vet, Post Office queues to tackle, Netflix to watch and teenagers to battle with on a daily basis.. In other words, we are a tiny group of human beings with human feelings and failings. When a bad review or complaint comes in it can sting you, but you have to learn from it. And then again, when someone takes the time out to say great… well, that can lift you a thousand miles. Anyway, thanks to those wonderful reviews, we agreed to hold on for 1 more month…. and to our amazement, the stars aligned and things started to turn around. Now here we are, another year later; we still have amazing customers and although the postage will probably go up again, (unfortunately, it’s an annual event) we are braced against it this time. The motivation has swooped back in and there are new projects on the horizon which we are very excited about. We make no apologies for including some of the fantastic things our customers have said – after all, if you can’t blow your own trumpet on your 3rd birthday, when can you?
JAnderson USA Sept, 2019
Wow! Now all my friends want one, too! I WILL be ordering again!
Emma UK Dec, 2019
Love this so much! Prompt delivery, will definitely shop here again! Thanks
Katheryn UK Dec, 2019
Wanted to tell you that the badge arrived and the person who it was a secret Santa for, LOVES IT!
Thank you so much for being amazing and sending it out so quickly.You’re fab xx
Jenna USA Feb, 2020
The buttons look GREAT!! Thank you Bea!
- A SPECIAL VALENTINEThis year Buttonchops would like to send a Valentine wish to the planet. We love this world and watching it burn, either through environmental changes or being bombed into oblivion, is heartbreaking.
So Buttonchops would just like to say:
We’re sorry we hurt you – we really do love you.
You mean everything to us”.And then we will try to do better.
- WHY, HELLO 2020!Every 31st December we usher in the New Year – full of hope, wishful thinking, a change (always for the better), a fresh start and all that. And this year will be no different; we will welcome in 2020 with a bottle of fizz, party poppers, Auld lang syne and a fervent hope that fate will be appeased and do the rest. For like every year, I want to be fitter, thinner, more at peace with myself, to get my finances in order, to start a new business venture, to finish writing that book (finally). And then I mentally add another load of goals: give up smoking, chocolate and alcohol, eat more vegetables, eat less meat, get more sleep, dust off the bike in the garage, paint the living room, mend the guttering. All the things. All this year. So, now I’m thinking perhaps no more New Year resolutions for me – they only get broken anyway. Of course, a lot of it is in my own hands – and I’ve come to realise that every year I expect my hands to hold too much. I have ‘over-expectations’ – and quite obviously tiny hands. Therefore, 2020 will be pared down on the expectations front, I am going to try to focus on being more at peace with myself (yeah, I know – probably the biggest one on the list) – because I figure if I can move towards that, then the others will probably start to fall into place. Motivation will certainly be required, but yep, I think this year will definitely be better.
- WE WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR
- MAY YOUR DAYS BE MERRY AND BRIGHTWe hope you are all having a great time this holiday. It’s been a bit different for us at ButtonChops Towers this year: the number of guests around the table have been down because of work commitments, but I guess that is inevitable as the children grow up. I do miss them being kids though. No more toys wrapped up in giant boxes (which they often preferred to play with anyway). Now the presents are much more smaller and much, much more expensive! Although the dynamics were different, we tried to do all the things we would normally do. Catch fire to the Christmas Pudding, pull crackers, toast marshmallows, wear paper hats during Christmas dinner, read out and groan at the Christmas jokes. We have a lot of rituals in our house at Christmas – I used to worry that people would get bored of everything being the same, but they seem to like the familiarity of it. It gives a sense of security in a strange way. In addition, my youngest daughter is autistic and Christmastime can be very stressful for her – new foods, surprises, lots of lights, busy times, visitors, change in routine etc. But we found that creating our own Christmas routine (and soft twinkle lights) has actually helped her to enjoy Christmas instead of dreading it. Now, we are concentrating on taking a little time out, to try and take a pause, reflect on the year and maybe even do a little bit of planning for the next one!
- HAPPY HOLIDAYSIt really is the most wonderful time of the year for everyone here at ButtonChopsShop. We absolutely LOVE Christmas and all things Christmassy. Greenery and fairy lights always seem to make things a little less stressful. Yes, yes, I know, there’s the planning, the present buying, the cooking and the finding enough money to pay for it all, but a single verse of Kermit doing “One more sleep till Christmas” and I’m right up there with Buddy the Elf. Bring it on Santa: I like to smile, smiling is my favourite. And we are smiling, because….. well, because if we don’t smile, what else is there? So whoever, wherever you are, if you celebrate Christmas or not: everyone at ButtonChopsShop would like to wish you peace and love, smiles and the very best of holidays! p.s. Even if you hate the whole Christmas thing – we have a badge for that….
- WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
So, the chaos that is UK politics continues. Since 2016 we’ve been all over the place: leaving the EU, not leaving, leaving again, not quite leaving yet.. again. Electing a new PM, then another one, now a new government. Deal, no deal. Bad deal, wrong deal, this deal, that deal, a-thrown-together-with-a-bit-of-string-and-a-dose-of-wishful-thinking deal. No wonder people are getting Brexit fatigue!
If all this is getting you down (and you are not alone) take some time out to reflect on putting yourself back together again.
To help me cope with Brexit fatigue I found I had to reduce my time on social media for my own sanity. I also started making things: meals from scratch, enormous flower arrangements from my garden, I even tried knitting (something I hadn’t done in 20 years!) Doing, rather than thinking, was my way forward. Anything to clear my mind of all the disorder and the sad thought of a country I was once proud to call my home being used as a political football.
I really can’t say what will happen over the next few months. I truly hope I’m wrong, but I’m not sure how we will ever come to heal our differences well, certainly not in my lifetime anyway. In the meantime, we all just have to hold on and try to be kind to each other. It’s as easy and as difficult as that.