Welcome to Cette Petite Maison

My name is Carol-Ann and I am a maker and crafter of all kinds of things and with Cette Petite Maison (This Little House) I hope to share a little bit of my life here in the beautiful rural Quercy Blanc area of France and introduce you to some of my neighbours and their wonderful produce.

I am trying a embrace a simpler lifestyle, working towards sustainability so I am offering a small range of items, made, grown and harvested locally by neighbours and friends and I hope that the phrase Products with Provenance resonates.

If you would like to follow along, it would be lovely to have your company, just add your name and e-mail to Follow my Blog below, and I promise not to inundate you with too many posts.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Making Magic with Elegant Pebbles

As you may know, I adore handmade items and the people who make and create them. The world would be a much poorer place without their vision, imagination and creativity.

This is the first in a series of posts I am calling Making Magic, where I will be chatting to Crafters and Makers I admire and I hope you find their stories inspirational.

Annette from Elegant Pebbles and I have been FaceBook friends for ages now and I have always admired the things she makes. Her jewellry and Cards are beautiful and I have always been amazed at how hard Annette works, she is the Mother of a young daughter and still finds time to create her beautiful things and keep her social media upto date but she also does stands and pop-up shops for inperson sales and now has a new venture in a Craft Cabin in a Craft Village.

This is Annette's story..... 

Tell us when and why you started Elegant Pebbles?
I was given a handmade beaded bracelet for Christmas back in about 2010. I absolutely loved it, but then it broke. I didn’t want to throw it away, so I started researching how to make bracelets and decided I could fix it myself, and I did. I found I really enjoyed going round bead shops and looking at the different sparkly things, but I was working full time as the Manager of a Pawnbrokers which was demanding and exhausting and I just didn’t have time for a hobby. I then met my future husband in the summer of 2010 and I quickly realised there was more to life than working myself into the ground!!! So, with the support of my future husband, I finally left my job after 11 years in 2012 and had a complete career change to working in a shoe shop!! I actually found I enjoyed it!

But then after 4 weeks into my new job, I found out I was pregnant!!! It then became torture going to work because the smell of the leather made me feel really really sick! By the September, I was really struggling with my back (I have degenerative spinal stenosis) so I went on maternity leave. I was so bored at home, couldn’t walk very well, so sat browsing on the internet. I suddenly thought about that bracelet I mended a few years earlier and before I knew it, beads and findings were arriving in the post!! I was really enjoying myself making bracelets and necklaces for myself and my friends.

Once Olivia arrived in December 2012, I was back to no time for my hobby. But once she got a bit older and routines settled down, I started making again. I ended up with boxes of made jewellery and my best friend suggested I should try selling my makes at craft fairs! I said don’t be daft, but the more I thought about it, the more I quite fancied trying. So, I found a local fair, had a stall and sold a few pieces. I was so happy! Lol! From that moment, I was hooked. My husband and I spent ages trying to think up a name and settled on Elegant Pebbles because everyone likes to feel elegant in their jewellery and the beautiful stones are like polished pebbles. So, in August 2013, I set up my Facebook page and the rest is history, as they say! :)

What drew you to the materials you use in the charms and jewellery you create?
I especially love agates. The internal markings are amazing. So a lot of the jewellery I make is with agate. I try to have a variety of other stones such as Jaspers and fossil coral, but its the agates that sell the most and I’m always drawn to the agates so the majority of my jewellery is made with agate.

You then started painting on Silk and creating Keep-Sake greeting cards, tell us a little about that.
Years and years ago, I think I was in my teens, I was on a day out with my parents in Matlock and we came across a shop that sold painted silk scarves and art work. I was fascinated, it was all so beautiful. I always fancied a go but never found any where that I could try it out. Then last year, I spotted a taster course at Cannock Chase Museum, and got excited. I managed to convince my best friend to do it with me and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was a lot of fun, and we finished the course having made 3 cards each. I chatted to the course leader and found out where to buy the paints and the templates, and carried on practising at home until I was confident enough to offer the cards for sale. I love painting them, its relaxing, and I feel I’m getting better as time goes on.

I would love to learn to draw my own designs, maybe that’s something I can work on in the future, but for now, I’m content to paint the available templates. They always turn out differently to the last one, as I mix the paints to get different colours.

How much time do you spend working on Elegant Pebbles?
I don’t very often get chance to work on things during the day while my daughter is at school. House wife duties have to come first. So once my daughter is in bed, I may make a few bag charms or necklaces while watching TV and drinking coffee! I try to post something new on Facebook everyday. I rarely get chance to make anything at weekends or during school holidays.

I know you sell online and in person can you tell us all the places we can find you.
You can find me on Conscious Crafties. I also sell on eBay and I have a Facebook Page, I’m also on Instagram (but not very often these days) I sell at craft fairs and have a regular spot on Stafford Railway Station.

I try to make sure all the events I attend are listed on my Facebook page. I also have stock permanently in Cotton’s Crafts Cabin which is a brand new venture for me, and is located in the new craft village in the Plant Plot Nursery, Lichfield.

What does the future hold for Elegant Pebbles?
I really enjoy what I do. I would like to keep going for as long as I possibly can. I don’t tend to think too far ahead as you never know what is round the corner, but eventually, I would love to have my own permanent spot somewhere, just like Cotton’s Crafts Cabin. Nothing big, just a little place to call mine :)