button it up at Maker Faire!

May 28, 2009 at 10:30 am | Posted in book events, button events, buttons!, contributor news | Leave a comment

I’m excited to announce that Button It Up will be part of the magnificent Maker Faire this weekend!


Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it in person myself… traveling solo with a one-year-old got a little too complicated, and I’m so disappointed to miss it. But lucky for me, my dear friend and Button It Up contributor Diane Gilleland will be there and generously offered to teach my crafty demo: making button hairclips to take home!

button hairclips

Diane will be leading the free half-hour Buttoning It Up workshop at 4pm on Sunday afternoonall the details are here. I put together a whole box of colorful buttons and some extra bits and pieces for her to bring down to the event. Stop by and choose your favorites to make a set of crafty hairclips — you can embellish them with rhinestones, alphabet beads, or layer on more buttons if you like, too!

buttons in search of their hairclips

And if you are interested, you can get your own copy of Button It Up in the Maker Shed all weekend, too. Thank you so much to Diane and CRAFT: for their support of the book and their love of buttons!

Diane's Maker Notebooks for Maker Faire!

There is so much amazing stuff going on at Maker Faire — along with the awesome Bazaar Bizarre craft fair, there are lots of make-and-take projects to check out. Some of the ones that sound especially fun to me are:

Diane’s Maker Notebook project at the Provo Craft booth
Cathy Callahan’s Vintage-Inspired Paper-Mache
Kathy Cano Murillo’s Secret Tips for Using Craft Supplies
and Michaela Murphy’s Kids Crafts: Story-Telling!

I wish I could be there myself (I’m already looking forward to next year) but I’ll be eagerly checking out flickr and the CRAFT: blog for colorful updates and details! Have fun, makers!

Next week I’m going to start up my Favorite Shops series again with some new button sources I especially love. Let me know if you have one to suggest, too, I’d love to share some favorites from other folks!

busting out your buttons!

May 21, 2009 at 11:38 am | Posted in book reviews, buttons!, contributor news | 1 Comment

My sweet and talented friend (and guest designer*, jewelry maker, and writer extraordinaire) Jennifer Perkins is a constant crafty inspiration to me — she’s always up to a million cool things at once!

me and Jennifer Perkins on the set of Craft Lab
here we are on the set of her DIY Network show Craft Lab a few years ago

And this week she has two posts on her Naughty Secretary Club blog about Button It Up: a lovely book review and giveaway (be sure to enter by next Tuesday for your chance to win a book!)

Button It Up - cover!

and an interview with me about all things buttons, along with some other fun stuff. Thanks so much, Jennifer!

Cathy of California on the Martha Stewart show!

*If you haven’t seen her wonderful projects, check out her Bric-A-Brac Charm Bracelet from Bead Simple

Bric-a-Brac Bracelet

and her Feedsack Covered Button Necklace from Button It Up. If you like these beauties, you will love her craft book, Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girl’s Guide to Handmade Jewelry.

Naughty Secretary Club button necklace

p.s. I have just joined Ravelry (as susanstars) if you would like to be friends over there. I am a pretty slow knitter (I love it, but it’s kind of my sixth craft) but it’s so much fun to see what other people make, and I was thrilled to see that there are a whole bunch of groups for button lovers!

the Oregon State Button Society show!

May 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Posted in button events, buttons! | 2 Comments

I had the chance to visit the 2009 Oregon State Button Society show this month and it was spectacular! I had never been to a button show before, but Myrna Goldware (of The Needle fame) told me about it a few months ago, and I marked my calendar right away. I had Pearl in tow, so my time was short, but it was a fantastic experience and I’m so glad I got to see it all.

Oregon State Button Society Show

The theme this year was “Buttons… The Stories They Tell,” which was fascinating. Everyone at the show was so welcoming and they immediately gave me permission to take pictures… so I started my trek around the room with a few of the exhibits, like this set of hand-embellished clothes and accessories in the style of the world-famous Pearly Kings and Queens.

Oregon State Button Society Show

Oregon State Button Society Show

Oregon State Button Society Show

Oregon State Button Society Show

There were also rows and rows of trays in the back of the room, which members had created for themed competitions.

Oregon State Button Society Show

Oregon State Button Society Show

I loved seeing all the buttons together in these inventive and fascinating combinations, it was almost too much to take in! Here are a few I especially liked, all having to do with my favorites, pearl buttons:

Oregon State Button Society Show

Oregon State Button Society Show

Oregon State Button Society Show

Oregon State Button Society Show

The center of the room was all dealers and collectors (you can get a much better idea of the scope in these photos), with thousands and thousands of buttons for sale. I got to meet Jocelyn (who supplies The Needle with buttons galore), which was lovely, and snap a few photos of some of her legions of buttons for sale, all neatly arranged on cards inside dozens of flip-boxes, sorted by material and type:

Oregon State Button Society Show

Oregon State Button Society Show

I’ll round up all of my finds and post a photo of them together — I found some very sweet Bakelite, casein and (of course) pearl buttons. My last purchase was six tiny, exquisite baby pearl buttons, perfect for embellishing something special for my own baby Pearl.

Oregon State Button Society Show

All of my photos are here and you can find out lots more about the Oregon society here, and see their photos from the show here. The 2010 show is already set for April 30 – May 1, and the theme is Luau, Button Style… I’ve got the dates circled on my calendar and this time I’m hoping to spend a longer chunk of the day there!

For information on button societies in your state (in the US), visit the National Button Society website to find the nearest organizations and events. The national convention, which is themed “When Buttons Fly Over Colorado,” will be taking place in Denver this August 3 -8, and it sounds like it will be amazing. In the meantime, you can read some excellent articles on vintage and antique buttons on the NBS site, and see photos from past shows, too.

Thank you to the OSBS and everyone I met last week, it was wonderful!

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