Sunday, December 13, 2009

Special Stockings

I wanted to share these photos from fellow button enthusiast, Marlen Hudson.  She used some of her fabulous Bakelite buttons from her collection and made a very special and elegant stocking.

Stocking1 stocking2

This is a great way to use those keepsake buttons!  Notice that she stacked some of her buttons to create more definition and texture.  Lovely, Marlen!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Yo-Yo-Yo for Ho-Ho-Ho

I know I talk a lot about the Clover Yo-Yo makers but I can’t help it.  A great tool is a a joy forever!  I have always wanted to make a garland from yo-yo’s and buttons and I can’t imagine making one without the makers to make quick work of it while I watch TV at night in my comfy chair.


This beautiful garland was made by Lisa Smith-Sittniewski at Alterity.  You can view her beautiful creations on Etsy.  Here is a link to her site:



Too cute!  Now if all of this is too much for you, you could certainly make this garland from felt circles glued to a pretty string (use 2 circles back to back with the string in between) and a button on top.  it’s all about the buttons, Santa!  Yo-Yo-Yo!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thank You So Much!

I have had the most wonderful response from my newspaper article, and I want to thank all of you for your comments and support!   It means the World to me and make me all the more certain that this is my God-given path in life.

Thank you and God Bless you!


Button Greetings!

I love receiving all of the beautiful cards and pictures from friends and relatives.  I would place them in a pretty basket and that would be that.  This year is different!

002 (2)

With just a couple common items: ribbon, large buttons, and clothes pins (in this case, mini ones) or paper clips, you can do this:


In just moments, by stringing the ribbon through the button holes and slipping the buttons over tiny tacks you can have this:


and enjoy your beautiful greeting cards!  It couldn’t be any easier!

Here is a close up:

003 (2)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bewitched By Buttons

Here is the link to an article published in today’s Colorado Springs Gazette Business section about me and my buttons.  What fun!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It’s a Forrest!

Well, just as I was getting ready to post my button tree idea, I happened upon this magazine:


And look what was inside:


Now wouldn’t this be cute with different color Yo-Yo’s and one color tiny buttons, or vice versa?  Of course you can make these trees lickety split with the Clover Yo-Yo makers.  Give it a try!

From “Tree” To You!

OK, that was bad, but you did chuckle, right?  This next idea was born when I found these painted jars (for holding candles) at a dollar-type store.


I simply covered a Styrofoam cone shape with felt, glued a tiny ornament type finding on top and covered it with buttons.  Here’s how:

1) Take a piece of felt that is at least as tall as your tree shape in height and at least twice as wide as the height of the tree.  Find the center of the longest side and mark with a pin.  I simply laid the cone on the felt along the top edge with the tip at the pin.  Roll the shape to the other side, keeping the tip in place and marking the bottom edge to achieve a half circle.  Cut out the shape about 1/2 inch outside the line you drew (to tuck under the tree bottom). 

2) With the center point at the tip of the tree shape, glue one straight edge of the felt to the Styrofoam, keeping the line as straight as possible vertically.  I found a glue specially formulated for Styrofoam works best.  Wrap the felt around the tree until the edges meet.  You may need to do some trimming to butt the pieces edge to edge, or you can overlap slightly, but you will have a ridge if you do.

3)  Allow the glue to dry thoroughly!  While you do this, you can attach a toothpick to the ornament you chose for the tree topper.  When this dries, insert the pick in the tip top of the tree.

4)  Attach buttons and beads (if you like) to the tree either by gluing them with E6000 adhesive or by pinning them with straight pins.  If you are industrious, you could even cut your own “U” shaped pins from a small gauge wire.  I found that even if you pin, a tiny dab of glue was helpful to keep the pin in place securely.  Use as few or as many decorations on your tree as you like!

5)  Glue the tree to the chosen base (clay pots, glass wear, candle holders, etc.) by tacking the edges neatly under the tree form (some trimming can be helpful to reduce bulk and achieve a clean finish).  Apply a bead of E6000 to the base and place the tree on top.  Allow to dry thoroughly.

Make several and give them as hostess gifts or door prizes at your next get together, to the gang at the office, or your best sewing buddies.

I hope you’ll share photos with me of your creations!  Enjoy!

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Button Welcome!

Some of you may have seen this idea before, but I love it so much, I just have to share it again!


Purchase a simple and inexpensive wire wreath.  Fluff it out by bending the wire branches and attach buttons of all kinds to the wire ends.  Twist, if necessary to secure the buttons, or slide them on as far as possible.

019 This wreath features 30’s and 40’s plastic buttons, but even shank buttons would work!  Don’t forget that you can stack buttons to get more interest as well!  Wouldn’t our Button Mixes work well here?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

How Sweet It Is!

Don’t forget to Button Up when you bake!  This came to me via a quilting friend.  When others know you like buttons, you’ll be amazed at the things you’ll see and receive!  Sweet Dreams!

bobby socks quilt company logo

Button Sugar Cookies

button sugar cookies


2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. cream or milk


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Cream butter until soft. Beat in sugar, egg, vanilla and cream. In a separate bowl, sift 1+ 1/2 c. flour with baking powder and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.  Add enough remaining flour to make dough stiff enough to roll out. Refrigerate until well chilled (at least 2 hours). Place on lightly floured board; roll about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with floured cutters. You can use almost any shape for buttons. I used circles of various sizes and flowers. Poke 2 or 4 holes in the center of each cookie with the end of a straw (for the button holes). Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to cooling racks.

Decorate with various colors of butter icing. Add details and the "thread" using an icing bag and a small circle tip.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All Wrapped Up!

Buttons make a wonderful accent to a gift package!

Use a lovely wire-edge ribbon to tie a bow on top of a wrapped gift.  Then, using a wire or twist tie (for a temporary attachment), attach a beautiful button to the center of the bow.  Our new Christmas buttons or a twinkly Susan Clark button would be stunning!

You might consider inserting the button through the center of a silk Poinsettia flower.  Remove the plastic center that comes in the flower and run the button shank and/or wire through the resulting hole.  Now you can tie it anywhere!  Attach a pin back on the flower (if you don’t want to harm the button) or glue a tie tack style pin to a flat or damaged button shank and you have an instant wearable that can be removed and inserted in any flower that goes with your outfit!  A wonderful birthday wrapping idea, too!  Wrapping and gift all in one.  Here is a picture of a small pin I made inserted through a small pink silk flower:


Be sure to check my web site for a New and exciting jewelry finding  that will enable you to make jewelry of all kinds using your buttons without harming them or having to decide on just one button to use!


This twine was run through red buttons and felt circles and can be used to tie around a package.  This is a purchased product, but you could make it from ribbon or silky cording.  The felt is nice or all buttons (sew through type) would be festive.  After trying to tie it around a package, I found that I would prefer that the pieces were spaced closer together than shown here.  Wouldn’t this make a cute garland, as well?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And So It Begins!

Advent, the season of preparation, is upon us!  As promised, I have some great fast, easy and adorable gift and decoration ideas for you and I will be posting one idea every day until Christmas.  Let’s kick it off with something we all need no matter where you live: Gloves!  That’s right, even in Arizona and California you can wear thinner gloves to keep your skin form that dry Winter air!  Why not make them festive by adding ribbon, yo-yo’s, trims and, of course, buttons!  Make them elegant or silly, for yourself or as a stocking stuffer.  Gloves are on sale everywhere right now and they are always a welcome gift.  Here are a couple ideas to get you going:

002 (2)This cute little guy is from the new JHB Collection of Christmas buttons.  Simple and effective!

003 (2) 007 (2)

More Christmas buttons and a extra-small Yo-Yo with a sparkly gold button in the center.

001 (2) Regular sew-through buttons would be great sewn on with beads of decorative thread!

004 (2) Pretty Poinsettia buttons; simple yet elegant!

Button Up and stay warm in button style!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Where did Fall Go?

I just had to share a couple photos with you of our early snow.  I grew up in Southern Cal and moved to Tucson so snow was a real adjustment for me here in Colorado!  This is already our 3rd snow this month. 


This was the view from our back deck of Pikes Peak on Monday.

I have been told that it always snows here on Halloween, and true to form we had an all out blizzard the first full day we lived here back in 2004.  It was also my first day at work and they threw me in a truck and said, “go for it”.  I saw my safe driving record flash before my eyes several times that first day, but I made it back in one piece.  I DO NOT miss driving in this weather, but I do think of all the other couriers out there and pray for their safety and health.


This picture of Pikes Peak was taken from just East of our home.  The snow yesterday really blew, but today it is nearly all melted!  They have a saying here:  if you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes!  It’s so true!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Love Those Buttons!

There were several button distribution companies at Quilt Market.  I think I’ve dealt with nearly all of them except for Dill Button Company.  Dill is based in Germany, but has offices here in the States.  I have been a fan for a while and so I made sure to check out their booth.

075 (2)

I posted photos of purses in my blog entitled Quilt Market (part 2) that were part of their display.  Here is a quilt made with those same yummy buttons, and a close up detail showing lots of big, bold, beautiful buttons!  Note the stacked buttons with the paisley shaped pink center as well as the flower button centers.


I had the chance to speak with several Dill company executives (mostly men) and it turns out that they (surprise!) collect buttons.  I was thrilled to be able to show them my books and they purchased several copies!  I was honored.

In addition, I have decided to order and carry Dill buttons in my store!  There are several sizes, shapes and a myriad of bright colors.  I’ll let you know when they arrive.  Any special requests?

Speaking of orders, this quilt was also hanging in the Dill booth:


I fell in love with it!  It turns out that the quilt’s maker has a pattern for this adorable piece and I have ordered these as well.  I hope to have these new products available by the beginning of December. (Note the knitted belt hanging on the right side of the quilt with the Dill button fastener).  Until then, Button Up!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Creative Spirit

While at Quilt Market in Houston, TX, I had a couple moments (literally) to see part of the Quilt Show in the next building.  Boy am I glad I did!  I happened to stroll past the area displaying the quilted wearables and found the garment you see here.


Well, of course what caught my eye were the buttons!  I’m sorry that I didn’t write down the maker's name, but I do know that she said her husband made the buttons for her from scrap lumber he had.

054 (2)

Now there are a lot of buttons she could have chosen to use, but I think it just extended her creativity to make (or design) the buttons she wanted for her garment.  Buttons are easy to make using store bought forms, and don’t forget to embellish them!  One of my favorite things to make are buttons created by taking a plain covered upholstery button (found in every button jar around) and add beads and other embellishments to it to create a whole new button!  I have even found a new button-making tool that I will introduce in my November newsletter.  Inspiration is everywhere.  Button UP! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Buttons in the News!

I wanted to share this article with you.  My good friend, Carol Cienna is quoted in it.  I think you’ll find it fascinating!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Quilt Market (Yo-Yo Ideas)

Clover has come out with 2 new Yo-Yo shapes that you can create.


You can now create butterflies and clovers with these new tools.

Now, if you want my opinion, and I KNOW you do, the clover doesn’t look anything like a clover and the butterfly can be made using a regular round yo-yo maker of your choice.  I do not plan to carry them, but if you all want them, I may change my mind.  Any opinions?

In addition, Indygo Junction has unveiled a new pattern: Yo-Yo Monkey!  I have placed my order and hope to have this cute little guy added to our inventory of other yo-yo animals and pin cushions very soon!  Look for other new Indygo Junction additions to be unveiled in next month’s Jillions of Buttons Newsletter.



While at Market, I saw several designers use yo-yo’s in some really lovely ways.  I want to give credit to the designers, but my paperwork is being brought home by my friend, Sandy, and I do not have it yet.  Please realize that  these designs are the work of others and should be treated as such.  I am also planning to carry a few of her purse patterns, so you will know who she is very soon!

030 (2)

031 I loved the stacked look and the choice of fabrics.  I offered my opinion and told her the only thing I found lacking was, of course, a button (or two)!

091 (2) This bag was made using the extra-small Yo-Yo maker.  The colors were lovely!

Try using all kinds of fabrics for creating your yo-yo’s and don’t forget to check out Amy Barickman’s Yo-Yo Fashions book for lots of hints, tips and great ideas for using yo-yo’s!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quilt Market (part 2)

I think the most popular pattern available at Market was any kind of purse pattern.  While I have chosen a few to add to my inventory (and I’ll share those with you shortly), here are some cute ideas for embellishing your purse creations with buttons:





Don’t you love the big, colorful buttons on these bags?  They are from Dill Button Company and I will be adding several styles, sizes and colors to my inventory before the end of the year.

Tomorrow:  New Yo-Yo shapes and design ideas!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quilt Market (part 1)

While Houston was gray and gloomy outside while I was there, it was bright and lively inside the convention center where Fall Quilt Market was held!  I think I could have been there 5 full days and not seen it all!

On Friday, I was thrilled to be chosen to present a Schoolhouse Class to quilt shop owners.  We discussed my newest book, Busy With Buttons, and they were able to see the projects up close.


I hope you all appreciate seeing these pictures….I have never been comfortable seeing myself in pictures.  I guess I could feel better by saying that the lighting in the room was very poor!!!


On Sunday, I presented a demo and signed books in the F&W / Krause booth (my publisher) and had a lot of fun!



While it was fun to be in the spotlight, my favorite part of Market was coming home with lots of fun new ideas .  Tomorrow I’ll tell and show you a few of them!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Two Thousand Dollars for Mice!

$2137.00.  That’s how much one button lover just paid on Ebay for an antique horn button entitled “The Mice in Council,” after an Aesop Fable.  It is very rare and in good condition always brings in the big bucks!  The detail is incredible!


This is the seller’s description of the button:

“Superb Large (1 and 3/4 inches diameter) Antique picture button dating from the 19th century...Made of pressed Horn.....depicts a curious tableaux of Mice sitting at a table underneath a tree in which a cat is hiding,all within a landscape of mountains,buildings and a crescent moon.....excellent condition..”

Here is the back of the button:


Many people have asked me what the most expensive button I own is or that I have seen.  While this may qualify as my answer to that question, I have always told the asker that worth is very different from value.  My most prized buttons in my collection are worth about 10cent each to anyone but me, but they are one of the items I would go back into a burning building for!  Here they are:


Most of you already know about these:  they are from my Nanny’s robe and when I see them, I see her.  I hope you will never look at buttons as utilitarian items after this!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I’m Ready For My Close Up!

My animals are always at my side while I’m working.  Many of you, if you have talked to me on the phone, have heard my dog, Annie, begging me to throw her ball.  While I was photographing my latest quick craft to share with you, Meow-Meow came over and lay down as if she were there for her photo shoot!  She often parades across my computer keys for attention, but this was a first!  Here are the photos I took:




Is there anything more appropriate than a black cat as a backdrop to an orange pumpkin?  Here is the pumpkin, made with the XtraLarge Yo-Yo Maker.  Any size would work.  Make a whole basket full!