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Button Queen Vintage

Desperately seeking affordable art or a personalised piece for someone spesh? Handmade in Dartmouth from buttons and retro stamps, Button Queen Vintage is First Class.

An art curator once told Muddy that the best way to choose a piece of art for your home is if it makes you stop and look. Button Queen Vintage, or rather Mel Botterill, has nailed the knack with her maps and quirky pictures which she makes by hand here in Devon and Wiltshire.

The devil in Button Queen’s detail is vintage stamps, which she crafts into colourful patchwork animals and maps. They’re brilliant if you’re looking to commission a personalised gift, as you can ask Mel to create a map of somewhere significant, leaving her to select stamps to signpost special places, where you or the lucky recipient have lived and loved (see annotated pic above).

Mel, who works as a part-time dental hygienist was inspired into her stamp side hustle by her parents who, moving to pastures new, returned Mel’s childhood stamp collection to her. Having first dumped them in the shed, she was inspired one idle day to take up a scalpel and crafted some into a map of the UK. She hung it on her wall, and the next thing she knew friends were asking her to make one for them, as you do when you discover your mate has useful hidden talents. Then, unbeknownst to Mel, husband Ed took a picture into a Dartmouth gallery. The locals went crazy for her pics and soon she was inundated with commissions.

That was in 2013. Since then Mel has created maps from all over the UK and indeed the globe, cute creatures you’d want on your wall, like pheasants, cockerels and foxes along with, appropriately, silhouettes of the Queen’s Head. She also got through the tricky selection process to exhibit at the Country Living Fair, and if you caught Rick Stein’s Cornwall on BBC 2, the beady-eyed among you may have spotted a UK map she made gracing the restaurant wall behind.

And if you’re after an unusual birthday or anniversary card, Mel also collects vintage tea cards and playing cards which she mounts into beautiful, unique greetings cards. Perfect for the personal touch.

In short, Mel’s got talent and she sure gets Muddy’s *ahem* stamp of approval. Go check her out!

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