Thursday, 27 November 2008

Pig Tail Girl Buttons-Images By 2 Dancing Crows

Don't you think these buttons are adorable. These are made with images I purchased from a very talented artist 2 Dancing Crows. If you like these images you can find more about them and this very talented person at I just posted these buttons at my Etsy Shop this morning. They can be found here

And last but not least today, to all my wonderful friends and customers in the United States Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Free Shipping on All my Fall and Halloween Buttons

All my fall and Halloween buttons on Etsy have free shipping for Canada and the US. For international buyers shipping is 1/2 price. Offer good until October 31st. Please note that these buttons are being shipped from Canada and will not likely arrive in time for you to use on this year's Halloween projects although there is still a bit of time for fall items.

Most of my fall buttons are in my Robin42 Etsy Store I have recently opened a new Etsy store called Buttons By Robin where I am listing only my handmade buttons and button related items.

If you purchase my handmade fall or Halloween buttons just enter free shipping in the comments to seller when you check out using paypal. If you live outside of the US or Canada just enter 1/2 price shipping in the paypal comments sections. The paypal receipt will initially charge you shipping but I will refund you this amount after you complete your purchse.

All other buttons and jewelry items will ship at regular shipping rates as indicated in the listing.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Michael's Coupon

I thought I'd do a quick post adding a link to this week's Michael's coupon. If you go to their site and sign up for their newsletter you will receive it automatically every week. Who doesn't like a discount!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Back on E-Bay

After a bit of an absence I'm now back selling on E-bay. Etsy is certainly going to be my main focus for now but I have decided to keep selling on E-bay as well. I've built up a pretty nice customer base there and I certainly don't want to lose contact with these people. Here is the link to my E-bay items. I'll also post a link to my E-bay listings on the side bar of my blog.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

New Appreciation for all you People Who Sew

I spent the best part of the day fighting with my sewing machine. I wanted to make some very "simple" tissue packs and business card/gift card holders-the kind that you can carry in your purse and pull out and look every so stylish. I've got some really cute fabric and thought I'd add some of my handmade buttons for a special look. Yes, simple really. How hard could it be. A couple of straight cuts of the fabric and some straight seams and voila. I'd whip up a bunch in an afternoon-not!!! Apparently it's not quite as easy as it seems to cut a straight line and then sew it so the pieces actually fit together. I also had to try and figure out my sewing machine. Even threading it required getting out the manual and don't even talk to me about trying to set the tension. All in all though, even though I didn't accomplish anything worth showing, I felt like I did accomplish simply because I was able to get the tension set and I learned quite a bit about my machine this afternoon. I think I'm going to try and keep it up and actually put it to some good use after all these years. I just wanted to take the time to say to all of you who sew and who make it look sooooooooooooooooooo easy. Congratulations and take a bow for all your exception skills. I'm soooooooooooooooooooooo jealous!!!

Newest Listings

I've started listing a few buttons on E-Bay again. I have been focussing mostly on Etsy lately but thought I'd give E-Bay a try again. I keep saying I'm going to stop making Halloween buttons and get on with Christmas but I can't seem to help myself!!!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Hand Made Resin/Plastic Buttons

I really love Halloween and I'm having a bit of a hard time determining when I should stop producing Halloween items and start on Christmas. I think this weekend will be my last for Halloween supplies this year and I'll start working on Christmas buttons. Pictured here are some of the Halloween buttons I've added to Etsy today. You might notice that the pumpkin guy buttons don't have holes. That's because some of my customers have asked for me to make my buttons without holes so they can be used in card making and scrapbooking. Now I usually make a set of buttons with holes and without. I can always add the holes later if someone requests it. I think that was a really great idea that my customer suggested. I always love to hear from people with ideas and try to incorporate them when possible.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Latest Etched Dichroic Glass and Sterling Silver Pendants

Here are two of my latest dichroic glass and sterling silver pendants. The first one is simply a piece of dichroic glass set in a custom made sterling silver bezel. The other is first etched with the bird image, fused and then the sterling silver bezel is hand made to size for it. It is quite a large piece and for now, it's my favourite pendant. Of course that will change when I move on to my next item and that becomes my new favourite.

Monday, 25 August 2008

New Etched Dichroic Glass Bird Pendant

I've neglected the blog for a bit. After my ceramic disaster I was a bit disenchanted with ceramics. I have since moved along and have recreated some of the ceramic pieces that I made. Progress on them is moving slowly though. They have been bisque fired and glazed with the undercoat. I just need to put the clear gloss overglaze on them then cross my fingers to see how they turn out. I'll post a picture when they're done. So far I'm pleased with them. They are bat buttons and pendants.

Above is something new I've been working on lately. I've been into fused glass for a while but wanted to take it a bit further. I've discovered an etching process where I can put any sort of black and white image onto the dichroic glass. (Isn't the dichroic glass beautiful. It changes colour depending on how the light bounces off of it.) Anyway, back to the etching. It's not a decal but the dichroic coating is etched away and it leaves the image. This, as you can see, is a bird in some branches. I'm very much into birds these days for some reason. As if that wasn't enough (making the custom fused glass piece), I've also started dabbling in silversmithing. The bezel for this piece is completely hand made by me. I love this piece and since it's only the second piece I've ever made on my own, I'm pretty darn proud of it. I'm wearing a similar design I made today. This one I've put for sale in my Etsy Store along with some other fused glass pieces I've made. As far as I know these fused glass pieces are quite unusual. I'm sure other's are doing similar things but I haven't seen anything quite like this so for me they're unusual. As I said, I like to take the usual and add my own special twist. Often that means a lot of painstaking detail but hopefully in the end the results are worth it.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Custom Order Ceramic Buttons-Hedgehogs

This is just a quick post to show a custom order of some hedgehog buttons that I'm packaging up tonight to mail out to which is a website that caters to all things hedge hog. I hope these buttons are a big hit and if you like hedgehogs you might want to go and check out all the hedgehog items they have.
I'm always interested in taking on custom orders so if you have an idea in mind or even a picture for some inspiration, perhaps some fabric etc. that you want to use in an item as a starting off point you can drop me a line and I'll see what I can do. I must warn you, I only create in the evenings and primarily on the weekends so I can't get things out right away but if you're willing to be a bit patient I'll try my best to create something that is just right for your needs. If you aren't in the mood for custom buttons just yet but have some ideas themes you'd like to see me try you can also drop me a line. Christmas is coming sooner than we think so I'm sure snowmen are in my very near future!

Can-eh - Canadian Artist Blog Roll

A blog roll featuring Canadian artists in all mediums. Follow this link:
If you are a Canadian artist/artisan you may want to check out this site You will find a wonderful gathering of artists who work in all mediums.
If you just want to see some some wonderful work by some very talented artists/artisans start here:

Monday, 11 August 2008

No Pics-Ceramic Disaster!!!!

Well the best laid plans so they say............... On Friday after I got home from my day job I thought I'd get a start on the weekend crafting by firing up the green ware I had been working on after work all week. I took the weeks worth of buttons and pendants-some new designs I'd created and went to add the holes in the buttons. Normally most people add the holes in the buttons when the clay is moist. I like to wait until it's dry and then use my drill press. I do get a bit of breakage which I account for when making my pieces but I like the nice clean look of the drilled holes. Anyway, I put all the pieces on a tray and carried them down to the garage where the drill press is located. I started on my way drilling holes. I was tired after the long work week and wanted to get the holes drilled so I could get the kiln started up and then I could relax as is my Friday night ritual watching recorded craft shows and chilling out. I guess I was rushing just a bit too much and the jiggling of the drill press caused the tray of green ware buttons to go crashing to the cement floor of the garage. Just in case you're not familiar with green ware it is the clay that has been shaped but not fired. It is very delicate much like dried up mud. You can imagine what happened when the green ware hit the floor..........disaster..............almost every single piece I had worked on ALL WEEK was gone in an instant. Crushed....powder....chipped....unsalvageable. I took a deep breath picked up the mess and then headed back in the house. For a brief minute I thought I'd take a picture for this blog but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I was so upset but tried my very best to take it in stride. There are much much worse things in life and when you put it in perspective this is really nothing. I swallowed my disappointment and tried not to think about it. I guess the lesson learned here is to take things slow and be extra careful where you place the green ware. Some things can't be rushed and I guess I'll take a lesson from this. I'm constantly learning from working with the clay. Patience is certainly one of those lessons as the clay cannot be rushed at any stage. The rest of the weekend was fairly productive and I'll have some new pictures to post later this week. By the way, later that evening I did reproduce some of the designs that had broken so perhaps by the end of this week I will be able to fire them and be back where I started.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Ceramic Candy Corn Crow Buttons

Here are two different versions of my candy corn crow buttons. The first set are ceramic buttons and the second set are hand painted wooden buttons. I think I like the black background on the wooden buttons. It really seems to set off the oranges. As well since I'm new to working with ceramic glazes it's a bit more challenging to get the colours the way you want since they don't look the same in the bottle and on the piece before it is fired. I do like the buttons that have specific shapes although the round buttons seem to be better sellers. Perhaps that is because people prefer the round buttons for more practical purposes. I don't sew but I expect the shaped buttons would work better for decorative purposes rather than a real life application.
I'd love to see pictures of items you've made with my buttons. If you send me something I'll post it here and if you have a blog I'll link to that.

Artful Hands Ceramic Buttons

These are some buttons I just made that I've posted on Etsy (the link is at the top right hand corner of this blog). These are a bit of a different type of buttons for me. These are more "artful" and would be great for art quilts, altered art collages or artist trading cards. Of course you can use them as you would for any type of buttons as well. I love the subtle colours. I have a few more "art buttons" I've made and I'll be posting them as well shortly.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Hand Made Hand Painted Primitive Crow Buttons

Here is a set of primitive crow buttons that I just listed in my Etsy store today. I made these a while ago but I still love them just as much as when I first started making them. These buttons are wooden and approximately 1 1/4" from the tip of their tails to their beaks. I seem to have a fascination with crows. Maybe it's because they are such a prevalent image in primitives which I am also drawn to. It's funny because I like to make primitive art and yet I do not have a single primitive piece decorating my home. My home is very minimal in design with very clean-lined modern furniture. I live in the biggest city in Canada but was born in the country. I guess the primitives are a nod to the country girl that lives within the heart of this city dweller.

Friday, 18 July 2008

New Hand Made Ceramic Hedgehog Buttons

This is the second type of hedgehog buttons I've made. These are shaped like a hedgehog whereas the others were hedgehogs painted on a square button. Similar buttons are currently listed in my E-Bay store and on Etsy I'm growing quite fond of these cute little guys.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Hand Made Ceramic Pumpkin Buttons

Just a quick post to show you some cute pumpkin buttons I made. I'm certainly in the Halloween mood these days. The ideas are flowing and time seems to be getting away from me. I've been reading a lot of really great technique books lately and I'm hoping to put a few reviews of the books here for those of you who might be interested. I like taking the ideas/techniques presented and then adapt to my own ideas. Have you read any good craft/art technique books lately?

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Happy Anniversary to Me (and Hubby of Course)

I don't really get personal too much on this blog but I wanted to post that today is my 3rd wedding anniversary. My husband and I have been together for over 7 years now and married for three as of today. He is my best friend and my biggest support and I love him to pieces. OK enough mushy stuff. I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Cat in Pumpkin-Hand Made Ceramic Buttons

I've been working on my Halloween buttons for a while now. I want to have a fairly good supply on hand for the fall season. It's important to be working ahead so you have the items ready when the season approaches. As well crafters who make items to sell in the fall need their fall supplies early as well. While I love all the great fall and Halloween buttons I've made they really aren't selling all that well. Either they aren't what customers want or maybe I'm just a bit overanxious to get them out. The problem in that I am usually in love with whatever I am creating at the moment so want to get it out there to share with others. I must admit I probably wouldn't be buying fall items in the heat of July so perhaps I should just put them aside until the time is right. When do you start making and/or selling your fall items?

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Hand painted-Hand Made Ceramic Hedgehog Buttons

Here is my latest and, of course, my new favourite buttons. It's funny how our latest creations are always our favourites and then we move on to the next "favourite". I guess that's good though because it keeps us creating and stretching. These buttons are ceramic and are painted with my own hedgehog design. Suddenly I seem fascinated with these little guys these days. I've never been particularly drawn to hedgehogs before but hey who knows what might be next. I have a few ideas percolating. Making ceramic buttons does take quite a bit of time though because you have to make the base, let it dry and then decide what you are going to paint. If it's a new design you have to create the design and then test it out. With these particular buttons I painted the hedgehogs first without the clear over glaze in case they didn't turn out how I wanted. If I don't put the over glaze on I can go back and retouch and fire again. This gives me a second chance to fix any mistakes. In this case I didn't have to do that as I liked how they turned out so I just applied the clear glaze which gives everything a nice shine and also seals the porous clay. So I took two steps where I could have done one. I'm very very pleased with the overall design though so live and learn. As I get more experienced and more confident with ceramics/clay I'll learn new tips and tricks but until then I'll muddle through. Some experiments work some don't. These are posted on E-bay right now so that will be the test. If someone likes them enough to buy them then that's a pretty good indication I'm heading in the right direction.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Hand Made Steampunk/Altered Art (Sewing) Buttons

Here is a picture of my latest hand made buttons. I call these my steampunk or altered art crow buttons. I call them steampunk crows because the images are shaped like a crow filled with images of watch parts. Watch parts are often associated with the steampunk theme. I find myself being drawn more and more to these types of images although I'm unsure what exactly it is that draws me to to them. I love vintage pieces, watch parts, vintage typewriter keys, vintage game pieces and all sorts of bits and pieces. I've gathered quite an assortment of these images and always have some grand plan for them which more often than not doesn't actually materialize although I continue to collect and continue to imagine all the wonderful things I'll make with my collection. Perhaps it's just the collector in me using this as an excuse to collect. Come to think of it maybe I'm also drawn to bird images, in particular crows, because they like myself seem to be drawn to shiny bits of "stuff" with no apparent value They're drawn to it simply because it is shiny and bright. Do you share my love of collecting? What do you collect?

Happy Canada Day - Canadian Flag Pin

Happy Canada Day everyone!!!! It's Canada Day today here in Canada so I thought I'd post a picture of something Canadian related. Actually it's not often that I make something with a Canadian theme in mind. It's not that we're not proud to be Canadians-we are-but here in Canada it's very different than in the United States where Americana and the Fourth of July is very highly celebrated. I think Canadians as a whole are a much less vocal about their patriotism and I'm not exactly sure why that is. The Canada Day holiday that we celebrate on July 1st. isn't as elaborate or as extensive a celebration in the US but perhaps that's because the actual day off celebration hasn't been in existence that long.

Anyway, I encourage all Canadians and friends of Canadians to get out and celebrate with family and friends or even by yourself. Do it quietly or elaborately or any way you choose. In a few days it will be our turn to celebrate the Fourth of July with our US friends. However you celebrate, have a safe and wonderful day. Happy Canada Day!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Hand Made Bird Buttons

Here are my latest buttons. For some reason I'm really drawn to bird images lately, particularly bird silhouettes. I love the clean lines. Usually my buttons are more subdued in colour so having the bright pink and blue background is a bit of a departure for me. It's really funny how my tastes are continually changing and growing as I explore my art. I think these would look really cute on some sort of hand made bag or perhaps on some clothing that has been artfully altered. I'm really drawn to altered clothing these days as well but since I don't sew I haven't done anything more than admire some of the great items I've seen. Doing some altered art clothing is something I've added to my "to do" list -- the ever growing list.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Handpainted Buttons - Summer Crows

As I mentioned in earlier posts I am having some difficulty coming up with summer themed designs. After a bit of thought I tried this out. I know that watermelons are typical summer themed images and I am trying to come up with something new but for now I'm going to go with the flow and not try and push to much. Besides I really like how these turned out. What do you think? Any ideas for something else.

Thursday, 19 June 2008


I'm still very much struggling to try and find that balance in life. The balance I'm talking about is a balance between doing what I have to do and doing what I want to do. I'm not only talking about balance with the creative parts of my life but with other parts as well. I know I want to exercise more, do more fun stuff with my husband, get out and enjoy life and I also want to balance that against my day job which pays the bills, my artistic stuff which I'm hoping will actually generate enough to cover the cost of supplies etc. It's really hard to to figure out the right balance and maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself right now to figure it all out. Maybe I should just let it be and it will all fall into place in the end. It just seems that there is so much I want to accomplish and I have all of these ideas running around in my head that never seem to see the light of day. Maybe I should just focus on one thing at a time and see where it leads....but then that next bright idea comes along and I'm off in a completely new direction.

How do you decide on what is the right balance for you? Do you struggle with it as well?

Monday, 16 June 2008

Hand Painted Buttons-Crow in Pear

Here is my latest hand painted button design. I haven't been painting buttons for a while but after taking a break I'm back doing them again. It seems this is what I do best and what my customers want. As I mentioned in earling posts I'm trying to find my way and figure out how to do what I like and am most interested in and balance that against what my customers want. I think the problem has been that it's difficult to come up with summer themed designs. It's much easier with fall or Christmas. Anyway, here is my latest design. I think they turned out really well. I've posted them on E-bay so I guess that will be the test as to what my customers think.

Friday, 13 June 2008


Do you make lists of things that you have to do? If you do do the lists drive you crazy or help you stay focused? I find that when I write down what I want to accomplish I'm more likely to do it and if it is written down I'm not worried I'm going to forget some terribly important thing I'm supposed to do. I have a memory like a sieve sometimes. Writing it down takes a bit of pressure off of me because I know I can look at the list and don't have to worry about keeping everything in my head.

This week I've managed to spend more time in the evenings working on my art. As I mentioned in the last post I'm making more of a concerted effort to put in more time during the week (despite the demands of my day job).

I've made a couple of new molds this week that I want to get some clay into so that I can fire it next week. I'm still having a hard time with how long it takes for things to dry and how much waiting for things at various stages there is with clay. I also have to fire some green ware. I hope to do that tonight. Friday night is my "couch potato" night so I can fire the green ware and feel like I'm accomplishing something without actually "doing" much. Before I fire the clay though I have to decide what I want the finished items to be as I have to add the holes. Lately I've been drilling holes in the green ware because I find I get a nice clean hole. When I do it when the clay is wet it doesn't seem as smooth for some reason. I guess part of that is that I'm still very much in the learning stages with clay.

Back to my topic of lists - I don't have a definite list of things to do for the weekend but I do want to continue playing and exploring with my altered art jewelry and found or reclaimed items. I've got some ideas for mixing clay with some of these pieces so when I figure it out I'll post the results here (good or bad). I want to fire my green ware. I want to make a few scrabble tile pendants and maybe something with those optical lenses I have. So many ideas-so little time-and so much scattered thinking bouncing from one idea to the next that I never seem to accomplish what I want. Anyway, wish me luck on accomplishing some of the things on my weekend list. I'll keep you posted as to how it goes.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Skeleton Key Pendant

I've been thinking a lot lately about what I want out of my creative endeavours. I think that, like so many others, I would love to be able to actually make a living doing this and be able to give up my day job. The reality is that that is not going to happen at this point. It would be very difficult since I actually have a fairly good job and it would be hard to replace the income with my creations. Having said that I honestly don't put in as much time as I could. My day job leaves me tired in the evenings but if I really want to move this forward then I need to invest more time. I do spend a lot of time on the weekends creating but that simply isn't enough. I've decided I'm going to try and put more time in this during the week days. I don't expect to be able to quit my day job any time in the near future but I want to at least create and sell enough items to at least allow me to buy my supplies without dipping into my day job income. I've said that before but I think I'll put in some effort during the week and see what transpires. Having said that I've been working on some really interesting pendants this weekend. I really like these. They're made with a real vintage skeleton key and the heart face cabochons I made and showed here the other day. I'm having a lot of fun making these altered art type of pendants. Hopefully I will have more to list using the items I pictured in my last post.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Altered Art Treasures

OK. My name is Robin and I have a collecting addiction. There....I have admitted it. Don't they say admitting it is half the problem? I love collecting stuff-bits and pieces of what would normally be discarded. I pick up odd bits of rusted tin from the street. I order all kind of things from E-bay from typewriter keys to bottle caps to just odds and ends. The problem is since these are often one of a kind items I have such a problem actually using them in a project. I have wonderful ideas but then I can't bring myself to use the actual item because what if I use it in one project and then I think of the absolute perfect use for it the next day and it's gone never to be replaced. Well I've come to the realization that I have to jump in and not look back and use some of these treasures. I think I came to that realization when my studio became so crowded I didn't want to spend time in it creating. To kick start this off I actually went shopping. I know that wasn't the idea-to collect more items but oh well-it's my rules so I get to do this how I want. I went to this absolutely fabulous surplus store that sells absolutely everything. I went without my husband so 1) I wasn't rushed and 2) I didn't have to explain why I wanted to buy odd bits of paraphernalia that I didn't even know what it was. I came out with a big bag of odds and end and I was so excited I couldn't wait to start. That was yesterday.

First thing today I came into my studio and actually cleared some space. I am now writing this blog and the picture here is just some of the things I picked up yesterday and then as I actually use the pieces I will post pictures of the finished items. There are clear glass rounds, little glass vials, 45 record centre pieces, fuses and LED lights of some sort, a computer thingy, reflector, some circles of something which I think might be counter top material, some glass eyes and I don't know what else. I've been having a bit of a creative lull lately but these pieces have gotten me excited again and I can't wait to jump in.

Are you a collector as well. I think most creative people are. Do you, like me, have trouble parting with your collected items just in case?????

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Ceramic Heart Face Cabochons

Yesterday I was writing a bit about not being motivated to make my crafty items and after some reflection, I think it's because I've been focusing on making things that, while I love them and think they're cute in one way, they aren't items that I myself would use. They're items that I used in my crafting a number of years ago but my personal tastes have changed. I think that's why I'm having a bit of a problem with them right now. I've been so focused on making things that others like that I've ignored making things for myself. After all there is only so much time in a day. Well today I've done a bit of both. I finished off some buttons I started a couple of weeks ago so all I have to do is add the coating and I'll try and do that tomorrow. I also make some green ware from the molds I made yesterday and I really quite love them. I can see even in the very short time I've been working with clay that I'm learning by leaps and bounds. Just a few minutes ago I took the first item out of the kiln that I'm really in love with. These are heart face ceramic cabochons. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them but I really like how they turned out. I couldn't wait to get to the computer to share the picture here. These are made from an original sculpture I created and then I made a mold. The cabochons were made using that mold. I really like how the glaze turned it. It's a new technique for me where I covered the bisque ware with the black glaze and then lightly washed away the glaze from the high spots and then covered it in a clear glaze. I also fired everything to a higher temperature than I'm used to. I'm still a bit frightened of the high temperatures of the kiln so very carefully watch everything. Anyway, I wanted to post the picture here. I know it's not everyone's style but you can see it is very different from the types of things I've posted here previously and it's the sort of thing I'm into these days. Now that I've done something I really like my motivation is back and the ideas are starting to flow again.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Summer Themes

I love summer and can't wait for it to arrive. Living in Canada sometimes the winters can seem long so some warm weather is really welcome. One thing about summer though is that when it comes to crafting there aren't really a lot of "summer" themed ideas to work on. Of course you can do Canada Day and the Fourth of July for my friends in the US, and there are the ever present water melon theme but it's really difficult to come up with some appropriate summer ideas. I guess that's why I've been working on Halloween themed buttons lately. Fall and winter always have lots of ideas to offer but from January until September it's a bit more challenging. I guess I'll have to challenge myself to come up with some ideas. Perhaps that's why I'm feeling a little less motivated than usual. When I'm excited about my next idea it's always fun to start working on it and I can't wait to see the final result. Trying to think up new and unusual ideas is more challenging. I guess that's what makes a difference in the end. Today I've spend the day glazing some clay I bisque fired last week and I made some small pendants from modelling clay and then made some molds from them. I just made a few clay pendants from them and am waiting for them to to dry. That's part of the challenge with working with clay,all the time it takes for things to dry. Already the buttons and beads I glazed today (that I made last week) are not what I would work on today. My mind races to ideas so fast. With clay you have to be patient. Maybe that's a good thing though. Perhaps it will cause me to really have to plan and think about what I want to work on. Well I guess I will take a break from my creative endeavours for now and just relax and enjoy what's left of the evening.

What types of themes or ideas do you work on during the summer time? I'd love to hear your ideas.

Monday, 19 May 2008

The Best Laid Plans.....

I had some big plans for crafting this weekend. It was a long weekend here in Canada and I was looking forward to three full days of crafting. Well Saturday started out and finished off a few things I had started the previous week. However....when I woke up Sunday I definitely wasn't expecting to feel the way I did. I think I ate something that didn't agree with me and I spent all day Sunday trying to keep liquids down and sleeping. My energy was such that I even had to plan my steps from one floor of my house to the other. Today was better although I have zero energy. Now that it's evening I'm starting to feel a bit better so thought I'd post some pictures of what I did manage to do on the weekend. The bottom set of pictures are of some recycled wooden blinds I'm planning to make into pendants. I've used the leftover pieces from wooden blinds that I cut off from the bottom of my windows when I sized them to fit. I've been keeping the leftover pieces of blind in my garage for quite some time (much to my husbands chagrin) because I knew I'd have a purpose for them one day. I've added some scraps of some very high end paper and covered them in resin and I think they're great. I have to put some holes in them yet but I love how they look so far. The first set of pictures is of a couple of ceramic buttons I've made. I haven't quite mastered ceramics but I am going to keep on trying. I have a vision and some day I know I'll get the reality to match the vision. I also dug out some dried gourds I have and I'm going to try and come up with something to do with them. I want to challenge myself to use what I have and see what I come up with.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Hand Painted Halloween Buttons

As promised here are the hand painted buttons I made. I haven't put the holes in yet. I'll drill them a bit later. These buttons are made from a painting pattern designed by Terrye French. You can find her painting patterns at . I slightly adapted some of the designs from the Harvest Pull Toy Platter pattern. I love Terrye's painting patterns and have purchased most of them. Right now I'm pulling bits and pieces from her larger designs and adapting to my hand painted buttons. I like these so much, particularly the candy corn crow design, that I think I'll make some more and stash them away to list on E-Bay a bit closer to Halloween.

It's been a bit slow on E-Bay this past week so either my designs aren't up to par or it's just a bit slow. I think I'll take a bit of time over the next week or two to recharge my batteries and work on some designs that may not be in my usual area but something I want to try just for me. I have this pull between making things I think my customers will like and making designs just for me that may not be the usual designs my customers expect. I'm trying to find that balance. How do you decide what to produce?

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Hand Made Buttons

These are some Halloween themed buttons I made using some free graphics I found on the internet. These are really quite cute. I'm not sure why I am in a Halloween mood these days but I thought these would be good for artisans that need to make their items well in advance of the busy holiday season. I'm waiting for some hand painted buttons I made to dry. The buttons are done but I cover them in a really thick artistic grade resin and that takes at least 24 hours to cure. I'm not the most patient artisan and the hardest part for me is waiting for all these things to dry and be ready for the next stage. While I'm waiting I'm working on some ceramic buttons and hopefully I fire these tomorrow.

Ceramic Buttons Take Two

Here is a set of folk art cat buttons. These have been fired twice. The first time the glaze wasn't dark enough and it was a bit rough. I painted them again, refired and this is how they turned out. My work is intended to be in a naive or primitive style and these fit perfectly into this venue. I'm trying to find my own niche and fill a void for crafters. I haven't seen anything like these (although I'm sure they're out there somewhere) so I'm hoping they fill gap for crafters/artisans that work in a primitive style. At the moment' they're for sale in my E-Bay store so we'll see how they go over. I am letting buyers know these are my first attempts so that they know what they're bidding on.

Now I have to get back to my painted wooden buttons for a bit as these seem to be what my customers want. I'm going to paint a few Halloween buttons this weekend. I know I should probably work more strategically but I paint what I want when the mood strikes. So although we're just getting into spring here I'm going to be working on Halloween. We'll see how that goes over with my customers. It may be a bit early for Halloween. I'll post these buttons when they're done. Now I actually need to get some work done since I primarily do my art work on the weekend as I have a day job through the week that actually pays the bills. Dreaming of an artistic career..............................................................

Monday, 5 May 2008

Waiting For the Kiln

I've just finished firing my second set of cermic buttons. I didn't peak in the kiln so am just waiting for it to cool down-which won't be until morning. I'm experimenting with firing times, schedules and with glaze application. I haven't taken a class and am just learning by trial and error. Actually it seems more like error at this point but I will continue on and will figure this out. Hopefully I will have something spectacular to show you tomorrow. However it turns out I'll post my results and you can watch my experiments as I try to develop my own artistic style.
Wish me luck!!!!!!!!!


Okay- I was a little disappointed with my first attempt at ceramic buttons so I decided to move on to something else for a bit. I have since gone back to the buttons but am still not pleased. I've done a second coat and will fire again and then post the final results. Those little buttons are harder than they look to make. I've a new found respect for ceramic artists-actually I always had it but now that I've given it a shot I realize there is much more to it than I thought.
Anyway, back to today's post. I cut this out of a piece of sterling silver sheet, cut out the bird image with a jewelers saw and then hand stamped the word "soar" on it. I really like how it turned out. It looks a bit rougher in this picture than it does in person-or maybe this is how it really looks and I need new glasses. Anyway, I really love how this turned out. Silver is also something I really want to start to work with but I know there is a huge learning curve and silver is so expensive to experiment with.
Now....those ceramic buttons are waiting to be fired. Wish me luck!

Friday, 2 May 2008

New Cermic Buttons

This is my first attempt at making ceramic buttons. I'm trying to make primitive themed buttons-sheep, crows, folk art cats etc. This was my first design. I also have made the same one in black. I haven't had a chance to test out their durability but they look really cute and just what I wanted as far as the theme goes.
As you know from reading this blog, I have been making hand painted wooden buttons but these will now allow me to go into a new direction. I have to many ideas and will be selling these on E-bay for anyone that wants to use them in their primitive style crafts. At this point I have to sell them as decorative because I haven't tested them and I think it's very important to let people know what they're buying. I can't wait to get these posted later tonight or tomorrow and see what the response is.
Making ceramic buttons is harder than I thought it would be. I have to learn to paint with a completely new type of material, and too be honest, the kiln still scares me. Sp much heat being generated it's frightening.
Hopefully you'll see my progression in ceramics through this site. I'm not giving up my painted buttons and I also love glass. Maybe I should try and settle on one style but I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head I find it difficult to settle on just one thing.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Hand Painted Fused Glass Ring-Swallow

I've just added a few painted fused glass pieces to my E-Bay store. I love fused glass but there is such a multitude of it on the market it's really hard to get individual pieces noticed. I make it because I love it. I'm working on finding my own unique style and increasing my skills. Painting on fused glass with kiln fired paints is much different than just painting with acrylics which I've been used to. It's certainly a learning experience working with the paints and then factoring in how the glass will move and what will happen to your piece. I love the challenge and love pushing the limits. Here is one of the pieces I've listed today. It's an image of a bird or swallow and I've put it on a base metal ring base. I use base metals to keep the costs down and the art affordable for me to make and for people to buy. What do you think? Are you also trying to find your own way in art? What do you find the most difficult?

Monday, 14 April 2008

Crow Buttons-Hand Painted

Crows seem to be so popular. I wonder what it is about them that fascinates so many people. Maybe it's their slightly dark side or maybe it's because they are so resilient. Crows are very popular in primitive crafting and artwork.

Do you have a fascination with crows? What is it that draws you to them?

Sunday, 6 April 2008

A New "Old" Direction in Art

I've been trying to find my artistic voice for a while. I want to find a balance between my passions and my creativity and finding an outlet that others appreciate as well. A while ago I was making hand made buttons but recently veered off to fused glass. I love glass and love working with it but I've had a lot of requests from my former customers to start making my hand made buttons again. By popular request I've started making these buttons again and will share some of my creations here. I'm not going to give up my other artistic endeavours but will work to find a balance. There are so many ideas bouncing around in my head and, it seems, so little time to bring them all to life.

For now I'll post my most recent creations. If you would like to see more of my items you can find them at my e-bay store. Please stop by if you have a moment.

This is one my most recent hand painted buttons.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Altered Art Embellishments

Like many of you I love altered art. I've always been a collector which can be clearly demonstrated by a quick look around my studio or craft room. I have many little bins of items that have wonderful collections of "stuff". I really never knew what I would do this "stuff" but I knew I had to have it. My style has changed over the years from very primitive in years past to more of a vintage style today. I'm still trying to find my own voice in my art. I'm still having a hard time calling it art.
As I said, I love my collections of stuff but have a hard time using it in my art since I don't want to use it up. In response to this I've started to design and develop my own embellishments and this way I don't ever have to run out of anything I can simply make more.
The picture here is of some embellishments I've made recently. I'm not sure what I'll use them in but I do love the images themselves. They're made of plastic and resin and are made with my own computer generated graphics to which I've added some vintage face images. I'm thinking of making them into buttons or using them in some mixed media jewelry items. I can easily drill holes in them so the possibilities are endless. Perhaps that's the problem with getting started-the truly endless possibilities that are running around in my brain. Where do I start!

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

As I mentioned in my last post I like to experiment in my artistic endeavours. I like to take something and then push the envelope just a bit to see what happens. Right now I'm experimenting with fused glass and since I'm new to working with this medium it seems that whenever I try something other than simply fusing glass together (which is beautiful -but I'm looking for something different) the experiments do not turn out. Having a number of failed experiments under my belt I thought it was time to see what I could do to turn these into something that I could actually use.

I don't like to waste anything and I'm somewhat of a pack rat (just ask my husband) so I thought taking on the challenge of looking at my glass disasters would be the challenge this weekend.
The failed experiment:
I took a piece of coloured glass and a smaller piece of clear glass and sandwiched a piece of thin fusible paper in between the two pieces. The back (coloured glass) was larger than the smaller clear glass and I positioned the fusible paper (the kind that is normally used to line the kiln shelf so the glass doesn't stick to the kiln shelf) so that three sides of the clear glass touched each other and the fusible paper stuck out the top. My intention was to fuse the glass so that if formed a sort of pocket and then wash out the fusible paper. I had thought that perhaps I could slide a picture into the pocket this would form. All looked well when I took it out of the kiln but the paper between the glass wouldn't wash away. I think it was just too thin. I decided to keep the pieces though and think of something to do with them later.

Making Lemonade:
Looking at the piece of glass I saw that the white section made a nice backdrop for an image. I decided to drill a couple of holes in the glass and attach a jump ring from the top through which a chain could hang. Through the hole in the centre I added an enameled flower charm which I attached with a twist of wire. I do like the way the enameled flower picks up the red glass colour. Now I have a very wearable pendant to show for my efforts.
Am I thrilled with the results - no but I do have a pendant that I can wear and the result looks intentional.
What I learned:
I learned that the fusible paper is too thin (at least in one layer) to form a pocket. Water can get into the top of the pendant (just a bit) so I know I was on the right track. I'll try it again with something thicker next time.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

My first blog post

I've been thinking about starting a blog for some time. I've enjoyed reading many other blogs, particularly those about art and creating. The reason I haven't started before is mainly that I wasn't sure that I'd have anything interesting to say. I've recently changed my mind about that because blog writing isn't just about being entertaining-although people won't read it if they don't find it appeals to their interests-but it's about sharing.

I'm sure there are lots of people out there like myself who love to create but perhaps aren't confident enough to consider themselves "real" artists. This blog will be about my creative journey and the ideas and experiments in art that I try as I try to find my artistic way. It may not always be entertaining but it will be real. I like to try new things in art-my mind is always buzzing away with new ideas-many of which stay ideas in my head and never make it to artistic execution. More often than not, in the quest to be original, things don't work out as planned. What seemed like a good idea at the time turns out to be a distaster in real life. What I hope this blog will do is be a way for me to connect with others and perhaps inspire others to take a shot at trying something artistic even if they don't feel they're "real" artists.