button craft challenge alert!

March 31, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Posted in button projects to do, buttons!, chatty, contributor news, project extras | 1 Comment

The button hairclip video is already up from this morning’s episode of AM Northwestjust click “crafting with buttons” on their front page and you can check it out if you’d like. Wow, that was fast! They showed off a few of my book projects and then I made three hairclips — a solo blue one, a Blazers-inspired black-and-red layered one, and a spring-y pink sparkle and green one (a similar style to these three, which were some of my samples from last week at Powell’s).

photo by Lee

One thing that might be helpful from this little video, which isn’t mentioned in the book, is that it’s easier to keep your hairclips balanced and even while the glue is drying if you slide them onto a postcard or envelope or something else to hold them in place — otherwise they can tip to one side and the button can slide around a bit. I figured that one out at Powell’s last week when people were making hairclips and needed to take them home before the glue was completely dry, it works nicely for these guys.

And I’m super excited that Craftster is doing a button-themed craft challenge this month, with a copy of Button It Up as the prize!

This challenge calls for you to decorate an existing item in any room of your home with buttons.

You can use buttons from your stash, purchase new or vintage buttons, or even craft your own buttons! Glue, sew, resin, or use any method you want to attach the buttons. Your object could be something as small as a soap dish in your bathroom or even as big as a piece of furniture in your living room. Just choose an object and make sure the end result is adorned with buttons.

You can find all the details on this thread, and you’ll need to post your entries between April 1 and April 5 to enter. I can’t wait to see the projects…

A huge thank-you to Leah Kramer (who made the lovely Buttons and Beads necklace, which you can see more of on the project extras page and pictured on page 57 in the book) and Craftster for including the book as part of their fantastic contest. Good luck!

bolt and beyond

March 30, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Posted in book events, button projects to do, buttons!, chatty, project extras | Leave a comment

I had such a great time at Bolt on Saturday afternoon! Thank you so much to everyone who came by to hang out and talk buttons, make magnets, and eat lavender shortbread cookies.

Button It Up at Bolt!

magnet-making at Bolt

This one is blurry but happy — it was so nice to get to talk about buttons with people who love them too.

talking about buttons at Bolt

Thanks to Chelsea‘s wonderful article about her family button collection, some folks brought their own canisters and jars of treasured buttons to show us…

button it up at bolt

…it was lovely to see them all.

button it up at bolt

A huge thank-you to Lee for taking these photos of the heirloom buttons, that was an incredible gift.

button it up at bolt

This amber color was so fresh and gorgeous — like it was brand-new instead of decades old.

button it up at bolt

This one was so exquisite in person, the details and faceting were spectacular.

button it up at bolt

Just lovely.

So, thank you so much to Gina, Amy and Julia for having me, to Lee for the spectacular pictures, to Andrew for wrangling our little pearl button so we could all hang out in the shop together, and of course to everyone who came by, it was such a treat to spend the afternoon with so many button enthusiasts!

Two more bits of button-project news:

My CraftStylish post this week is how to throw a button party, with how-tos for making button cookies and cupcake toppers. I loved making these and maybe you can use some of the ideas for a crafty party of your own!

button cookies and cupcake toppers!

And I will be on the AM Northwest show tomorrow, Tuesday 3/31 (on KATU 2 here in Portland from 9-10 am), showing how to make button hairclips from my book, and talking about the upcoming Handmade Nation premiere. You can see it live tomorrow morning (I think about 9:20, though that could change) and then the video will be on their website by Wednesday. So if you couldn’t make it to Powell’s and you’d like to make some hairclips, now is your chance!

Button hairclips for Powell's

button cookies for Bolt!

March 26, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Posted in book events, buttons!, chatty | 2 Comments

Hope to see you at Bolt on Saturday afternoon! I just made a sample batch of magnets,

sample magnets for Bolt

and a sample batch of button shortbread cookies,

my first super-successful batch of button shortbread cookies

and I’m really looking forward to the party! Please come say hi if you can make it over.

Button It Up at Bolt!
4:00 this Saturday, March 28th
Bolt Fabric Boutique, 2136 NE Alberta St in Portland, 503-287-BOLT

ps: I’ll have the how-to for these button cookies plus some bonus cupcake toppers posted on CraftStylish on Sunday, if you aren’t in Portland and want to throw your own button party!

button features and embellished shoes

March 23, 2009 at 9:56 am | Posted in book reviews, button projects to do, chatty | Leave a comment

On Sunday, Chelsea Cain wrote a lovely feature for the Oregonian about her family button collection, and how it connects her with her mother and now with her own daughter — something that is especially meaningful to me now that I have my own pearl button to share my treasures with.

Button! Button! (part 1)

She was kind enough to invite me over to their house to make button crafts with them and wrote about her childhood memories, my book, and our afternoon “great button geek-out” of gluing, sorting, arranging, and rearranging. It’s not online (yet?) so I snapped some quick photos of the page and put them here if you want to read along. Thank you, Chelsea!

button shoe embellishments for CraftStylish this week

And if you’re as eager for spring as I am, you might want to try this simple little pick-me-up project I just did for CraftStylish: making button and felt embellishments for a plain pair of shoes.

button hairclip extravaganza!

March 21, 2009 at 10:34 pm | Posted in book events, buttons!, chatty | 3 Comments

Thanks so much to everyone who came to Powell’s Friday night! It was so much fun to see all the cool clips people made (not to mention getting to hear about the fantastical poker-chip buttons Ryan is planning for his upcoming trip to Vegas).

I read from the book and chatted about a few of my go-to shops and sources, and people shared some of their favorites too…

me chatting about buttons

I also brought some of the projects from the book, and it was so nice to see them all out on the table together!

button it up projects

Then everyone got down to business: button hairclip-making. There were some really gorgeous ones in the mix, I loved seeing what people made!

button hairclips

button crafting table

button crafting at Powell's!

Button Hair Clips

A special thank-you to my awesome friends Caitlin, Sarah, and Diane, who helped me with every bit of the night, from setting things up to snapping pictures of it all. You can also check out some very nice posts from Diane and Sarah about the evening if you like! Last night was a bit of a blur to me (I have a sick little baby here at home, and it’s been a long week) so it was really nice to hear about it today from a not-me perspective, to tell you the truth.

And of course a huge thanks to Powell’s for hosting our Button It Up craft night! In case you couldn’t make it by and would like to pick up a signed book, they have them ready to go.


me signing a book

Thanks to Lee, Caitlin, and Sarah for sharing their photos with me — the first four are Lee’s, the fifth one is Caitlin’s, and the last three are Sarah’s.

Hope to see you at Bolt!

hope to see you at Powell’s tonight!

March 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Posted in book events, buttons! | Leave a comment

buttons in search of their hairclips

st. patrick's day button hairclips

Button Crafts at Powell's + Bolt!

getting ready

March 16, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Posted in book events, buttons!, chatty, project extras | Leave a comment

I made some button hairpins in the style of the Shiny Set (page 136) for samples to show at my Powell’s event this Friday night… here they are in progress with the glue drying. Hopefully I’ll have an action shot of them accessorizing something pretty soon!

Button hairclips for Powell's

There are a few more pictures from our little Sunday button craftathon in the Button It Up flickr pool. And Caitlin made these two hairclips (with a bonus magnet for good measure) — so pretty!

Button Hairclips and Magnet
(photo by Caitlin)

I also just did this covered button bracelet and ring set for Button It Up month over at CraftStylish. It’s such an easy and fun little project, and super-customizable if you mix up the fabrics! I used a favorite Denyse Schmidt print, but I think alternating all different patterns or colors could look fantastic.

Covered Button Bracelet + Ring on CraftStylish

button hairclips + magnets + more

March 12, 2009 at 11:25 am | Posted in book events, book reviews, buttons!, contributor news, project extras | Leave a comment

I’m getting excited about my two upcoming button book events here in Portland — the supplies I’ve ordered are arriving and I’ve been making my sample magnets and hairpins to show… so I thought I’d try picnik-ing* a a little invite!

Button Crafts at Powell's + Bolt!

And as I’ve been getting everything ready, I was thinking that it would be more fun if I could share the up-for-grabs free project with people who aren’t close enough to stop by Powell’s or Bolt and make one in person there. So I’ve added a little bonus to my Etsy shop: if you buy a signed copy of Button It Up, I’ll include a little bonus crafty pack of an assorted buttons grab bag and two blank hairclips to make your first project!

bonus crafty duo: signed book + buttons + hairclips for your first project!

The buttons will be a random mix, not the exact ones I used for the project, so you can make a couple of hairclips and add the rest to your collection… or use some favorites of your own for the clips, and keep the bonus ones for another project!

Anyway, if you’re in Portland I’d love to see you, and if you are not, I’d be happy to send you a little project pack to make yourself some pretty things at home.

Speaking of pretty things, my lovely friend and contributor Amanda Blake Soule (who made this gorgeous Buttony Fabric Cuff and wrote the wonderful book The Creative Family) posted all about her super-fun Tuesday this week…

button earrings

…she made these fun button projects using some favorites from her collection!

button magnets...and a zebra

I absolutely love the earrings, and the magnets are awesome — such great combinations. These are the very first Button It Up projects I’ve seen out in the world, which is so cool! I have a huge soft spot for fun, simple projects that just let the buttons shine — the ones you don’t have to order anything special for, or run out to get those last few crucial things, or spend any money at all… you just find that little window of time and put something cool together. A huge thank-you to Amanda for her sweet and generous review post, and for sharing her photos with me!

If you make something you like, I’d love to see it — please add it to the Button It Up flickr pool!

*I’m pretty much a scissors-and-gluestick type, but flickr and picnik have totally transformed my world. Love them!

button bags, ribbon-straw flowers, + artful sewing

March 10, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Posted in book events, buttons!, chatty, contributor news | 1 Comment

I’ve been putting together my little button bags for the Bolt book event this morning! It’s been fun sorting through trays of buttons and picking a mix of all different colors and sizes to put together.

sorting through my buttons to make the bags

Each person who buys a book at the shop will get to choose a tiny goody bag of buttons to get them started with a project. No two are alike — I don’t think I’ve seen any overlaps at all!

button bags

And each bag has one of my little button moo cards tucked inside, too. I like how they turned out…

my button it up moo cards

I’ll post more about the party when it gets closer, but the details on my two Portland events are all right here. I can’t believe the first one is next week!

I also have some exciting contributor news to pass on: Cathy Callahan, who designed the Covered Button Necklace, will be on the Martha Stewart Show tomorrow (March 11), making these beautiful ribbon-straw flowers! Congratulations, Cathy! I can’t wait to see it.

Crafty Chica-fied sewing machine!

And I’m happy that one of my Bead Simple contributors (and crafty buddies), Kathy Cano Murillo, has a new book out: The Crafty Chica’s Guide to Artful Sewing! She embellished this sewing machine with buttons and trinkets and sparkles for the book — so Kathy. I wrote a review for CraftStylish today and they’re doing a giveaway over there, so leave a comment on the post by March 17 for your chance to win!

make yourself a button necklace (or two, or three)

March 9, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Posted in book events, book reviews, buttons!, chatty, project extras | 1 Comment

I made a few versions of a button link necklace for CraftStylish this weekrow of reds (using a few vintage buttons I especially liked), black and white handmade (using the shrink art buttons I made in last week’s tutorial) and the blue circles and blossoms version from Button It Up. This is a personal favorite of mine: easy to make, easy to wear (if you don’t have an eager baby reaching for it every five seconds), and super-customizable. And I love making spin-off projects, too; I think it’s really fun to see how using different materials or colors changes an idea up so quickly.

Button Link Necklaces - three ways!

The complete tutorial is here and you can check out an archive of all the button-themed projects so far for March — there are some gorgeous ones up for grabs over there! It has been really inspiring to see all these fantastic button crafts.

And in book-related news, I wanted to mention that the two signed copies of Button It Up I posted to benefit the Roy family in Texas sold the first day (thank you!!) and I’ve added a few more to my Etsy shop, in case you want one. (These new copies aren’t part of the fundraiser, but the kits in my shop are, and I’m hoping to do more for it soon, too.) I’ve also been ordering supplies and sorting buttons for my upcoming book events (the first one is Friday, March 20 at Powell’s, and the second one is Saturday, March 28 at Bolt Fabric Boutique), and I’m getting excited for those. Hope some Portland folks can make it out to them!

And Heather of Dollar Store Crafts wrote a nice review and is hosting a giveaway on her lovely blog, starting today! You can enter via comments or on twitter. Thank you, Heather!

I’m going to post about some favorite button shops and sources this week, so please stay tuned if you’re looking for some new treasures…

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