a bonus owl + a fantastic e-book

April 18, 2009 at 8:10 am | Posted in contributor news, project extras | 1 Comment

I made a new owl toy project this month — this time, he’s a baby-friendly bigger cousin of the Big-Eyed Owl toy from Button It Up!

Big-Eyed Owl and his baby-friendly cousin

To keep him safe for the smallest children to play with, I replaced the covered-button eyes with felt circles, and left off the button claws. To make up for the distressing lack of buttons, I added a secret crackly surprise inside: recycled wipes packages to provide a satisfying crinkle when the baby grabs hold. He has been a big hit with my daughter, Pearl!

Pearl and her new crinkly owl!

The full tutorial is here on CraftStylish, and you can use the same template I made for the Big-Eyed Owl (found here on the project extras page) — I adapted mine to be bigger and wider for easy grabbing, as described in the tutorial, but it’s the same basic shape and pattern. I would love to see yours if you make one!

And in other news, my good friend and talented contributor Diane Gilleland has just published a fantastic new e-book… and look what’s on the cover!

Making a Great Blog

It is a warm, clear, and ultra-helpful guide to concepting and writing a craft (or other creative) blog that is not only fun for you to do, but inspires community and response and attracts enthusiasts and readers — and her examples to illustrate her ideas include vintage buttons among many other lovely crafty things! Congratulations, Diane!

You can get your own copy here and read more about the scope and details in Rachel’s review at CRAFT:.

favorite shops: The Needle

April 9, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Posted in buttons!, favorite shops | 3 Comments

I thought I’d write up some of my favorite places to find vintage and new buttons… and the first shop I want to spotlight is The Needle, right here in Portland.

The Needle on SE 37th

It’s a tiny shop full of fascinating books, antiques, and ephemera, including bowls full of vintage buttons to sift through and choose your favorites!

The Needle on SE 37th

I met Myrna Goldware through my neighbor Randy — she is a button collector extraordinaire and generously shared her magnificent photographs with me to bring the Vintage Button Primer section of Button It Up to life.

And she curates some of the incredible finds at The Needle, including a fantastic rotating exhibit of buttons, photographs, cards,

the button display at The Needle

and even a charm string from her own collection of treasures.

the button display at The Needle

The shop offers two bowls of vintage buttons to sift through… one near the register has a mix of buttons for 25¢ apiece,

Magnificent bowl of buttons at The Needle

and the other is a “clearance” bowl priced at 10¢ each,

10¢ button bowl

also with plenty of treasures.

10¢ button bowl

Here’s what I found one afternoon — maybe 2/3 of these are from the 25¢ bowl and the rest from the 10¢. I could have happily spent another hour looking!

my finds from The Needle

If you go, The Needle is open most afternoons from about 1-5. You can call ahead to find out the hours and plan a visit, and be sure to say hello to Myrna when you are there!

The Needle Thrift Shop
1420 SE 37th Ave (a half-block north of Hawthorne)
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 234-7662

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