Hello! So I thought I should finally have a go at sharing a little bit more of what Handbags and Home is all about! I guess the best way to use this first blog post would be to tell you a little bit more about me and how I've ended up making handbags and purses for lovely people :-)
My name is Heidi Burton, and I've been a professional photographer since 1997 - and a bag maker since 2010. I began my photographic career in the British Royal Air Force, joining up in 1997 and after completing my photographic training I was fortunate enough to spend the next 16 years travelling across the world, taking photos for the RAF and Ministry of Defence. As well as spending time based in lots of lovely places across the UK, in Scotland, East Midlands, West Midlands and Oxfordshire, I also had deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, South Africa, California, Eastern Europe and even Barbados - so I had a great mix of operational (military) deployments and other not so military trips, covering sporting events and other things the RAF was involved in. (If you want to read a little more about my time as an RAF Photographer I used to maintain a blog here: rafphotog.wordpress.com)
When I got married in 2010 I was no longer restricted to living in small, single room military accommodation (think hotel room size, or sometimes smaller!) and was allowed to move into a military Families "Married Quarter" - I could finally have a bit of space to enjoy crafts and I spotted a gorgeous sewing machine on a well known auction site (ahem!) and took a punt on it - and won it, for the princely sum of £20!
It was a stunning 1960's cast iron, duck egg blue enamelled Brother machine which weighs a ton, and when I got it home I sat down, figured out how to thread it (no instructions) and then thought "right, what do I do now" as I had no fabric, so I grabbed an old pair of jeans and a cotton pillow case, found a tutorial online and made myself a bag - and loved it! I found the jeans bag a few months ago, and am amazed at how far I've come since then.
I got into bag making, making lots of handbags for myself, and learning lots of new techniques. In particular I loved The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam (u-handbag.com) and learnt so much from it. As time went on and I started to make bags to give as gifts to family and friends, people started to see my bags on mine and my friends personal social media pages, and I started to get people approaching me to make bags for them and before I knew it, I was taking commissions.
In 2012, I had the opportunity to take redundancy from the Royal Air Force, and took it so I could finally live at home with my husband, and go self-employed with my photography (cheeky plug - visit heidiburton.com for my photography business. This also gave me more freedom and flexibility with my core business, to be able to spend more time on my bags and so Handbags and Home was officially born!