Friday, July 31, 2009

Living for Love

I have three incredible children!  They bring Steve and I so much joy!  But I have also been blessed with a precious grandson and 4 beautiful Godchildren.  Meet Alan.  He is the oldest son of my best friend, Colleen and he now has an adorable daughter named Reina.


Recently I went “home” to California and got the chance to visit with Colleen, Alan and Reina and spend a day at the beach.  Reina and I spent the afternoon making sandcastles and jumping the waves that washed over our feet.  It was Heaven on Earth!


My Beach themed Beaded Button Bracelet was designed with these special kinds of memories in mind and I wear it when I want to feel surrounded by my favorite things.  I hope you’ll create your own memories and commemorate them with a button creation!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Junior Buttonists!

While at the Firehouse Quilt Show in Highlands Ranch, Colorado recently, I had the privilege of encouraging some budding Junior Button Collectors!  I hope you will all do the same by sharing your buttons and remembering to designate them to others for future collectors to enjoy!



This young man is also a very talented quilter at the tender age of 17!

I never get tired of seeing others enjoy digging through my button buckets!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Oh, The Possibilities!


This bracelet is the latest creation by my friend, Becky.  I “talked her into” trying the Beaded Button Bracelet pattern.  She was skeptical, at first, but she tried it and now she can’t stop!!!  It’s fun, fabulous and easy, even if you have never beaded before (just ask Becky!).  You can find the pattern, button sets and complete kits in our online store at  They take an average of 4 hours to complete, so you can work on them for a hour each evening and finish in time for the weekend, but be warned: Once you start, it’s hard to stop!

Below is the first bracelet Becky made.Too cute!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Strange Plants in California!


These are flowering artichokes!  I had never seen one before our trip to California.  These were growing in front of a winery in the McDowell Valley (my maiden name!).

171 These were in Carmel and I have no idea what they are, but they were certainly intriguing!


These seemed to be blue, green and purple!  Here is a closer look.  Again in Carmel…the land of unusual plants!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lots of Inspiration in Denver!

I had a fabulous time seeing so many of you in Denver this last weekend.  What a creative bunch you are!  Here are a couple of the many wonderful ideas I found to share with you:


Look at this fun, chunky button necklace!


This pin was made from shell buttons and beads.


Why didn’t I think of this?

Just a few of MANY fun button ideas.  More to come!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Light Up My Life

I am fascinated by lighthouses and their lenses.  We saw some amazing Fresnel lenses on our trip. 

107 110

A 1st order Fresnel lens.  Note the size next to us as we look through the glass!  This extremely heavy lens turns effortlessly on the ring of “Chariot” wheels.

 235 241

A 4th order Fresnel lens and the modern version that replaced it in the Crescent City light.

346 384

The 3rd order Fresnel lens still in the Point Cabrillo lighthouse. 

This 1st order Fresnel lens came from the Point Arenas lighthouse and is on display in the Maritime Museum in San Francisco.  It was taken at eye level, but the mechanical workings were below the ground level in a pit.  It sustained quite a bit of damage when the Coast Guard dismantled it and left it out without protection in the elements.  A lens like this would cost more than 2 million dollars to replace.

Tomorrow: A Botanical Study!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Steve and I are lighthouse buffs.  I even have a “passport” that is stamped when we visit new lights.  We saw or visited 8 on this trip!  I can’t post all of the pictures, but here are a few:

250 Crescent City Lighthouse

You can only get to this one when the tide is out.  After 3 trips here, we finally timed it right!

349 Point Cabrillo Lighthouse

What a gorgeous (original) lens!  The cliffs just beyond and around the light are amazing!  You could hear the sea lions barking and see them, as distant brown bodies, on the surrounding rocks.  Doris and I sampled wild blackberries off the vines that were growing everywhere!

356 Point Arena is a classic tower!  The lantern room stands empty with an automated light mounted on the outside.  The surrounding cliffs made you realize the power of Mother Nature.

Tomorrow: Lenses from these beauties!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Good Times, Good Friends!

209 In the Redwoods.

Our trip up the California Coast was absolutely the best!  Even though I grew up here, I never get tired of the ocean and all the fun things to do here.  Beast of all was traveling with our very dear friends, Don and Doris Ford.  I went to high school with these two crazy kids and Don and I share a love of all things Scouting, Monty Python and Mel Brooks (especially Young Frankenstein).

212 Run, Doris, Run!

You know you’re really good friends if you can spend a week in a car together and still be friends after you get home!  We ate at a lot of little local cafes, saw lots of flowers, lighthouses and wildlife.

329 Riding the Skunk Train

I called this “The Crooked Road Trip” because we traveled on 4 of the curviest roads I’ve ever been on, and that includes Lombard Street in San Francisco and Bouquet Canyon Road to get us back to Don and Doris’ home in Lancaster.  Good thing I don’t get car sick! 

It was the best birthday present ever!  Thanks guys!