2012 National Button Society Convention!

February 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Posted in book events, button events, buttons!, chatty, vintage treasures | Leave a comment

Hello, friends and button lovers!

National Button Society 2012 convention in Portland!

It’s been quite awhile since I had time to post, but I wanted to share an exciting update… my hometown of Portland, Oregon will be hosting the National Button Society’s annual convention this August! If you’re nearby, or can plan a trip, I hope you’ll join us at the show. I’ve been to three of the Oregon State Button Society shows, and they’re so interesting, from special card competitions to shopping with dozens of button dealers. The national convention should be amazing!

Button Curve Necklace

I’m happy to say that my friend and Button It Up contributor Diane Gilleland and I will be giving a talk on crafting with buttons, sharing plenty of visuals and ideas for using buttons in your sewing, patchwork, knitting, crochet, collage, and any other craft you enjoy. We’re already having a lot of fun putting our presentation together…

Button It Up - button hoop earrings

I’ll also be teaching a button jewelry class as one of the workshops at the show. I’d love to work with you to create a beautifully customized bracelet, earrings, necklace or set with your favorite buttons. Time and date on both of these are TBA, but several of the other workshops are already posted as well! You can also download a discount admission coupon at the OSBS site.

Button It Up - button charm bracelet

I’ll definitely be posting more often over here, I hope monthly at least, and sharing my favorite new and vintage button finds and projects to make. It’s been a busy couple of years, but I’ve really missed getting to write about buttons and share what I’m making with them. Thank you so much to everyone who’s followed the blog or asked when I might update again. I would love to hear what you’re making, too!


one of my vintage button cards

PS: If you’re interested, I do post regularly at my main craft blog, West Coast Crafty, and would love to see you over there as well.

PS 2: If you’d like a signed copy of Button It Up, they are available on the shelf in the Orange Room at Powell’s City of Books!


button hairclips at Crafty Wonderland!

December 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Posted in book events, button projects to do, buttons!, chatty | 2 Comments

This Sunday, I’ll be doing a free crafty demo and signing copies of Button It Up at the Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale here in Portland!

Crafty Wonderland!

Please come by between 1 and 2:30 pm on Sunday to make a set of Button Hairclips with me.

buttons in search of their hairclips

I’ll have everything you need to make a pretty pair of hairclips to bring home: buttons, rhinestones, beads, and blank pins to fancy up.

Button Hairclips at Powell's

You can also snap up a signed copy of Button It Up if you like!

Button It Up - knotted necklace

There are four crafty demos on Sunday, here are all the details:

11:00am-12:30pm Personalized Fortune Cookies
with Kristen Rask of Schmancy and author of Plush You!

1:00pm-2:30pm Button It Up Hairclips
with Susan Beal of West Coast Crafty and author of Button It Up and Bead Simple

3:00pm-4:30pm Vintage-Themed Glass Tile Ornaments
with Maria Raleigh of Collage

5:00pm-6:30pm Embroidered Holiday Cards
with Diane Gilleland of CraftyPod and author of Kanzashi In Bloom

And there will be more than 200 vendors selling all things handmade for the holidays!

Hope to see you…

Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Sale
Sunday, December 13th
at The Oregon Convention Center, Hall D
(777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR)
from 11am-7pm
FREE + All Ages

Button It Up at Urban Craft Uprising!

July 30, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Posted in book events, button events, buttons! | Leave a comment

It’s been a little while — this has been a busy summer!

Speaking of, if you’re in Seattle, I’d love to see you at Urban Craft Uprising this weekend…

Urban Craft Uprising!

I’ll be signing copies of Button It Up (plus a few copies of Bead Simple for good measure) from 1 to 2 on Saturday afternoon.

Button It Up - cover!

And from 2:30 to 3:30 on Saturday, Kristen Rask and I will be doing a super fun crafty demo together, Button Mania! You can make yourself some button hairclips or sewn accessories in your favorite colors — we’ll have all the stuff you need for both projects and you can wear your new fanciness home!

Button Hairclips at Powell's

I also had the chance to teach my Bead + Button Jewelry class as part of PNCA’s Summer of Making last week, which was fantastic. Here are some of my favorite button projects from my students…

Bead + Button Jewelry - Summer of Making

Mandi made this incredible crocheted button-and-wire necklace using some lovely techniques Diane taught on Wednesday. I absolutely love this piece!

Bead + Button Jewelry - Summer of Making

And Marty made these two sets of button-cluster earrings with antique buttons from her family collection. (More on that later!)

Bead + Button Jewelry - Summer of Making

All my class photos are here on flickr and in the Summer of Making flickr pool if you want to see more!

Hope to see you at Urban Craft Uprising this weekend… the organizers are nice enough to sell copies of Button It Up (and all the featured authors’ books) both days of the fair, so even though I’ll only be there on Saturday you can enjoy the button-ness (including a peek at Kristen Rask‘s new book Button + Stitch!) both days!

bead + button jewelry in the summer of making

June 5, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Posted in book events, button events, buttons!, crafty, vintage treasures | 1 Comment

I’m very happy to be teaching a new jewelry-making class as part of the Summer of Making next month at the wonderful PNCA here in Portland!

summer of making

The Continuing Education department has put together a fantastic line-up of classes, and they’re offering a very generous giveaway this week if you help spread the word about them

Button It Up - cover!

from the blog:
We have a nice package of promotional items to give away. This includes a signed copy of Susan Beal’s Button It Up, Denyse Schmidt’s Quilt-It Kit, a yard of County Fair, Patchwork Promenade Print by Denyse Schmidt and a Summer of Making Poster. To win leave a comment on the blog, become a fan of Summer of Making on Facebook or mention us on your Facebook profile or blog. You will get one entry for each of these (maximum of 4). We will randomly select the winner June 21.

I am very honored to be one of the teachers alongside some of my favorite crafters. Denyse Schmidt is coming to teach a two-day workshop, which I am so excited to take! Jess Beebe is teaching By Hand: Needlework and Macrame, Sarah Schlosser-Moon is teaching Artful Blogging, Brenda Mallory is teaching Contemporary Fiber Art, and I am teaching Bead and Button Jewelry.

mending jewelry: tools and materials

I’m so excited about this class. We’ll have four days to work on jewelry, beading and embellishment techniques of all types, a luxurious amount of time to make things! Bead + Button Jewelry meets Monday through Thursday, July 20-23 from 10-3 in a nice big classroom with natural light at PNCA — all the details are here.

my finds from The Needle

from the website:
In this hands-on class, students will learn and practice a range of beading, jewelry-making and embellishment techniques, including wirework, stringing, weaving, knotting, gluing, hand-sewing, and other craft methods. Bring in your own favorite pieces to design around, complementing them with vintage and new beads, buttons, findings, chain, fabric, and other materials from Susan’s collection.

vintage beads for earrings - black white + red

Aside from the nuts and bolts of practical making, we’ll focus on color, balance, arrangements, and intuitive design – creating a collection of jewelry and other crafts that bring your treasures to life. With four days to work together, we’ll create a collection of instant favorites for gifts or for yourself, while building a strong foundation for designing future projects with your new skills.

buttons in search of their hairclips

The projects we create will reflect each student’s personal sense of style and other favorite elements – instead of a cookie-cutter approach, each designer will enjoy the flexibility to focus on what he or she prefers.

Pages from Bead Simple

If you want to know more about any of the classes, you can download a syllabus for each one on its page at the Summer of Making site. And if you have any questions about mine in particular, please ask away over here!

vintage beads for earrings - brights

One last thing: if you are interested in taking Bead + Button Jewelry, I would be thrilled to have some crafty friends in the class. If anyone who registers mentions that they read my blog or either of my book sites (or have checked out my flickr, or know me through Portland stuff) I will put together a special package of vintage beads and buttons as a thank-you! You can leave a comment here or just let me know the first day of class, and I’ll put something fun together with some of your favorite colors and styles and bring it for you to craft with the second day and beyond.

p.s. I’m cross-posting this announcement on West Coast Crafty and Bead Simple, so sorry for the exact repetition if you see it more than once, but since the class ties together techniques from both of my books, I’d like to spread the word in all directions!

maker faire report

June 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Posted in book events, button events, contributor news | Leave a comment

Diane snapped some photos of the crafting going on at our Buttoning It Up demo at Maker Faire on Sunday!

buttoning it up at Maker Faire!

buttoning it up at Maker Faire!

She said it was a lovely time and that people made some very cute hairclips! She was also nice enough to snap a photo of my books and jewelry kits in the Maker Shed — so cool to see.

My books and kits in the Maker Shed

So great to get some peeks — thank you, Diane! You can see all of her photos here and read about some of her fantastical experiences on Craftypod.

I’m writing up a post about Summer of Making, which something else I’m very excited about, and will have lots more details about craft classes and a button giveaway soon, but for now here is the beautiful poster!

summer of making

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!

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 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!

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