Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Cocktailmas!

Oooh 2 more sleeps until the big day! I've officially shut up shop and starting to relax now all our Christmas orders, bridal stationery, markets and fairs are done and dusted for 2011. Phew!

One thing I  love about Christmas is a tradition that's evolved in my circle of family and friends - Christmas Cocktail time! Yay!

One of our Christmas card inspired by our cocktail tradition!
It's as much fun to make your own cocktails as it is to drink them - and I've found some fantastic recipes online whilst browsing for inspiration. Here's the link to a fantastic list of something for everyone! Enjoy!

Wishing all my blog readers, customers, friends & accidentally-arrived-here inter-webbers a very Merry Christmas and a FAB 2012!

Rachel @ Arbee Cards x

Ps. Hope Santa's good ;) 

Monday, 19 December 2011

Handmade Christmas!

This is a quick blog post on the go from St George's Christmas Market in Belfast. As someone said to me today, there's a lot of very talented stall-holders here! The Christmas market is open until Wednesday 21st December. Keep your Christmas local & handmade!

Photos courtesy of: Tee & Toast, Hats2Love, Yak Shak, Lindsay Press Ceramics, Ruth Walker Glass, Loulou Dreaming, Top Floor Art, Katie Blue, Tulip Wood Crafts & us! ;)

Rachel @ Arbee Cards x

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Snap Happy

A fab present idea for someone special!
One of Arbee Cards' loveliest & most talented friends, Brideen from 'Photography By Brideen' - the photographer behind our new, beautiful stationery pics in our website gallery now has gift cards for portrait sessions. If you have a look through Brideen's blog and see some of her gorgeous baby portraits, wedding photography and engagement shoots, you'll see why anyone would be over the moon to receive such a lovely gift.

Brideen also wanted to make sure the gift cards were something lovely to receive, and put a lot of thought into their design, asking if I would create something for her. We got together to discuss some ideas, bringing in her love of photography, vintage, handmade cards and favourite colours. I love that one of the quotes was from an old vintage photo album Brideen had owned for years!

Check out Photography By Brideen blog

Rachel @ Arbee Cards x

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Homemade Gifts Vintage Style - Book review

Cover photograph used with kind permission from Kyle Books Ltd.

I like to keep my Christmas as handmade & original as possible when it comes to gifts. I love reading through blogs, magazines and books for ideas and was very excited when I heard about a new book 'Homemade Gifts Vintage Style' by Sarah Moore (published by Kyle Books Ltd.)

Combining everything I *love* - vintage, handmade, unique & personalised, this is a very inspiring book for anyone who prefers to ditch the high street and put a little more thought and time into creating something wonderful for friends and family.

'Homemade Gifts Vintage Style' has 50 projects for making your own new-to-old crafts. The author, Sarah Moore starts off with a brilliant intro to collecting vintage items to upcycle, what to look out for & what to avoid (including precious antiques best left alone!) and other useful info that I hadn't considered before, such as being aware of vintage items that may contain harmful lead paint. 

There's great advice on how where to find the best items at the best prices, keeping things thrifty with the focus on the hand-making, not the cost of each project. There's also great advice for sewing newbies on using & buying a sewing machine, hand-sewing and the basic craft kit required. There's plenty of easy & quick projects for non-sewing gift makers too, as well as 'labour of love' type projects to work over a few weeks.

My favourites include vintage paper mobiles, patchwork noticeboard, teapot planters, and the collection of corsages for use on clothes, hats, hairbands and shoes (I will be making lots of these!)

The book itself is just beautiful - not only is it full of fantastic present ideas, it would make a perfect gift itself for someone creative. It is jam-packed full of gorgeous colour photographs of each project, each one presented imaginatively, with lots of inspiration not only for the projects but lovely ideas for displaying vintage treasures around the home too. If you're like me and tend to hold onto or buy vintage & old bits and pieces without a specific idea in mind, this book provides lots of ideas for things to do & make with your hoard, all packaged up with lots of gorgeous vintage eye candy!

Rachel @ Arbee Cards x

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Winter Wonderland Weddings

Excited!!  I love working on winter weddings, so when Decadence Vintage, the people behind the Vintage Bridal Fair in Belfast decided to add a winter fair to their annual summer event, I jumped at the chance to have a stand there.

Image copyright: Decadence Vintage / Campbell Photography
The Vintage Bridal fairs are one of my favourite events to do. The atmosphere is always fantastic, the fellow exhibitors are creative, talented and friendly people, and the visitors are just plain lovely!

It's become an event , not just engaged couples, but for vintage fans too. We've had people visiting from as far away as Cork and Dublin coming all the way to Belfast to attend - check out the map to see just how far that is if you're not familiar with our little island!

The photo shoot based on Grimm's Fairytales to promote the event is amazing. You can see the full shoot here.

The Decadence Winter Wonderland Vintage Bridal Fair
Sunday 4th December 2011, 
11am-5pm at The Holiday Inn, Belfast

Can't wait - ten more sleeps!!

Rachel @ Arbee Cards x

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


Last week I created my first Etsy treasury on the theme of birds - I'm very influenced by birds, especially swallows in my designs at the moment. 

First Class Post notecards from Folksy or Etsy
The Etsy treasury was so much fun to do, and I got such great feedback that I wanted to do a treasury with some cool birdy things from Folksy. Here's my selection - hope you enjoy!
Flying Swallow Silver Stud earrings by Sally Ayling
Swooping Swallow Wooden Box by Kettle of Fish

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Book Review & Giveaway!

When I heard about a new book, 'How To Sell Your Crafts Online A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Sales on Etsy and Beyond' by Derrick Sutton, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it!
How To Sell Your Crafts Online by Derrick Sutton (Pub. St Martin's Griffin )
 From chapter one of 'How To Sell Your Crafts Online - A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Sales on Etsy and Beyond' every step you will make as an online craft seller is carefully considered. Mainly aimed at the first time seller, it starts with finding the perfect name for your Etsy store, with step-by-step creating a shop banner, profile, photographing & writing descriptions for items and getting your shop open.

The author recommends working through the book slowly, each chapters ending with 'action steps' - a to-do list before moving on to the next one. With great advice throughout - how to get a free website & business email, free business tools, search engines, etc. - this book will be worth the price simply from the money saved using these tips alone! Etsy communitites, forums, circles & treasuries are all explained thoroughly and how they can both boost your Etsy profile and find support from other sellers.

If you're not a newbie, there's still solid advice for Etsy & non-Etsy online sellers. The latter chapters deal with how sites like Flickr, Google Places, blogs, Facebook. Twitter & online forums can help to get your name & crafts out there and new customers flooding to your online store. From experience, I know there's always something new to learn or improve!
'How To Sell Your Crafts Online' is like having a good friend 'in the know' who's willing to share all their secrets of success and help get your Etsy shop up and running and on the way to a (hopefully!) meteoric rise!


Thanks to the kind publishers, St Martin's Griffin, I have one copy of the book to give away!
To enter, do one of the following:
Closing date: 15th November 2011
The winner's name will be drawn out of the hat on Wednesday 16th November.
Good Luck!

Give away only open to UK readers only - sorry...

Rachel @ Arbee Cards x

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

New stall treasure

I love finding something new and wonderful to sell on my market stall alongside the handmade cards & stationery, especially when I'm able to support other handmade businesses and encourage people to choose and buy handmade over the high street.

I'm so pleased to now be selling a small selection of vintage domino brooches, keyrings and fridge magnets from Belfast-based design & crafty business 'It's The Little Things'. I first came across It's The Little Things on Twitter and Folksy, and then met the designer Kellie at one of Belfast's Vintage fairs not long after. I'm the proud owner of quite a few of the domino brooches, so just couldn't wait to have them on sale at St. George's Market.

Domino & fridge magnets on display on the stall
Back of the vintage domino brooches & keyrings
I had the dominoes on the stall for the first time at the weekend, and it was no big surprise to see that many people loved them as much as I do! 

All the above designs are available from our stall at St George's Market, Belfast every Saturday & Sunday or click here to shop online at It's The Little Things on Folksy  or check out Kellie's website at

Rachel @ Arbee Cards x

Friday, 21 October 2011

Those little details...

I always love the small details that make a wedding - or any event. One of my favourite parts of working in wedding stationery is being asked to help out with the pretty little extra things & ideas that make a wedding something special, from the bride & groom to their guests.

Back in Spring this year, I made these lilac-printed damask tags with purple satin ribbon for the bride to tie round glass jars full of bon-bons, macaroons & madeleines - yum! The damask tags matched the invitations and other stationery, in the beautiful purple colours of the wedding. The photographs of their stationery will be in our website gallery very soon. The bride & groom had such good taste, it was a pleasure to work with them.

Pictures used with kind permission by Janine Walker Photography (Copyright all images)

Rachel @ Arbee Cards x

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Truth About Cats & Dogs

There are so many things to remember for the 'to-do' list when planning a wedding - and today's blog post is about a fantastic Belfast-based biz that may be of interest to engaged couples with pets.
I'm often asked to recommend other wedding businesses from the brides & grooms I work with, and when one couple asked if I knew of anyone who could look after their cats when they were away on honeymoon - Naomi from Dogsbody NI was just the person!

How did you start?
Naomi: I have been running Dogsbody NI for two years. After training & working primarily with horses & dogs over 13 years, I decided to turn my attention to the nutrition side of things which led me to an all-round natural-based service and products for people who love their pets.
The pet sitting service is particularly great for brides/grooms and guests who might be anxious to leave their pets when they go off to enjoy their big day or honeymoon.

Any funny pet stories?
Naomi: One of my 'doggie' clients likes to bring me presents like leaves or stones. I was collecting him as usual, getting his lead, etc. and turned round to his usual little pose when he has a gift for me. So I held out my hand and he lovingly dropped a pair of his owners pants from the laundry basket into my hand.

Another time, I got a text message from the owner of a dog I had just taken out. It read 'oh forgot to mention she loves careful'! So out on the walk, the dog takes off and comes back with not quite a stick, but a tree - taking everything/everyone out in sight! It was some job trying to get her mind off the 'tree' and onto a ball.

For further queries or a quote, you can contact Naomi at 
Dogsbody NI are at St George's Market every Saturday, with free 'Healthy Paws' samples.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

A little hello...

I can't believe it's almost been a month since my last blog thought it was best to say a little hello & a quick catch up.

The past few weeks have been so busy with lots of lovely new brides & grooms and working on their custom designs - it looks like summer 2012 is going to be a booked-up one in Arbee HQ! Yay ;D

I've been working with a fantastically talented Belfast-based photographer, Brideen from 'Photography By Brideen' on a few projects. One is getting my recent wedding stationery and card designs photographed for the website gallery which is long over-due an update. So excited to see the finished pics!
I've also just finished creating new gift vouchers for Brideen - click here for a sneak peek of them on her blog (if you like photography, it's a brilliant & beautiful blog to follow too)

There's been a wedding fair, lots of markets, ever-expanding stationery & card designs and also a couple of brand new stockists over the past few weeks too. I'll blog about them all soon, but I think my quick hello is getting a little long now...time to hit the hot chocolate before bedtime!


Rachel @ Arbee Cards x

Ps. The little hello cards are available in the Arbee Cards Folksy shop ;) 

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Cool Kitsch

It's true...

So here's some fab kitsch finds from Folksy 
and something of our own...

1. Kitsch White Deer hairclips by Heroine Industries
4. 7" Vinyl Records bookends by When The Music's Over
5. English Breakfast ring by
7. Bambi skirt by 4getmenot
8. Day of the Dead ipod cover by The Doll City Rocker Accessories

Rachel @ Arbee Cards x