Thursday, 31 December 2009

Good Riddance to 2009!

I know I should be writing a positive post and hopefully this will turn out this way but I'm glad it's the end of 2009. This has been the worst year of my life - literally. Both my parents died. My Dad in February after heart surgery and my Mom in April in a house fire which also completely destroyed the home I grew up in. We salvaged a few burned items (less than a shoe box full I would say) of burned pictures etc. The one bright spot was that we managed to find their wedding rings. Both Mom and Dad's. Dad never took his off until he went to the hospital this last time so Mom had it. Her original ring was wore really thin over the years so she stopped wearing it because she was afraid it would wear right through and break. She always kept her purse in the dryer (thinking no burglar would look in there). She also had a small tin box in there with some silver dollars and her wedding rings as it turns out. Everything in the dryer was disintegrated but the rings didn't melt. Miracle of miracles. I've spent the year dealing with death, funerals, wills and insurance companies. It's all settled pretty much now though. As you can imagine I have no love lost for this crappy year. I want it behind me so I can move on to happier times and try to focus on the happy memories. Maybe all this will help push me to be the best person I can be - not there yet still wallowing in self pity some days and don't much care about a lot of things right now but hopefully the future will be brighter and I can push myself to be a better person and make my parents proud!

Miss you Mom. Miss you Dad. All my love.

I don't want to come across completely negative as I am looking forward to a better 2010 and I truly wish each of you a wonderful New Year and I hope it brings you all you desire.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Lots of Progress

I don't have a picture today but last night was a pretty productive night. I hand cut over 100 buttons in preparation for a couple of custom orders. I have an order for 70 buttons that will be used to make wedding favours/favors and I also had a request for some buttons with robin's on them from someone that shares a first name with me. I'm excited to see how they turn out. They're looking good so far. I'm very pleased that someone likes my buttons so much they want to include them in such a special day as their wedding.

I'm also in conversation with a knitting store that is opening up locally. They're from Canada as well and want to feature the work of local artisans when they can and they've approached me about carrying my buttons. I have had wholesale requests before and always turned them down as I was afraid I couldn't keep up as Buttons By Robin is not my full time job. This year though I've decided I want to take my art farther so I'm going to stretch and see how it goes. I can't keep holding myself back because I'm afraid to try which is what I tend to do. If you don't try you can't fail then can you. Well anyway last night was quite productive and I'm feeling very pleased with myself.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

New Handmade Wooden Cardinal Buttons

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and/or happy holiday if you don't celebrate Christmas. Chances are you've had a few days off whatever you celebrate and hopefully you've been able to share that time with family and friends and just do some plain old simple relaxing. My Christmas was quiet but nice. We just went out with my husbands parents for Christmas dinner and the rest of the time I pretty much stayed in the house and caught up on some of my favourite craft shows and worked on my own crafts/artwork. I made a really pretty fused glass and sterling silver ring which I'll happily be keeping for myself. I don't have a picture with me right now but perhaps I'll post one later. It's not perfect but I still think it's beautiful.
I did manage to post a few of my newest buttons in my Etsy shop I've made these wooden buttons before but since they're much more labour intensive than my resin buttons I haven't made any for a while. I do think that they will appeal to people who would prefer not to use plastic/resin in their creations. The buttons pictured here are some of my latest and can be found here If the link doesn't work that means they've sold and that will be a good thing for me.
On boxing day my husband and I went out he bought me a light box so I can "hopefully" take beautiful pictures for my Etsy shop. I'm still learning but I've taken a few pictures and they're definitely brighter and I've even had a few sales after a fairly slow period so maybe it's the pictures that are helping. It could also be that people are finished Christmas shopping for others and are now spending a bit of money on treating themselves. I guess I'll just have to wait and see how it goes.
I'm back at work for a few more days before the New Years and hopefully it will be quiet. At lunch I'm off to buy some sterling so I'll have some more to play with during my long weekend coming up for New Years. Wouldn't it be nice to have these nice long weekends every weekend?

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Weight Loss Ticker

I've been trying to lose a few pounds and so have decided to publicly chart my progress by adding a weight loss ticker to my blog. I know my personal weight loss struggle with those last few pounds may not be of interest to anyone other than myself but I thought perhaps by having it publicly showing front and centre that maybe it will be more of an incentive. You'll note I don't actually have the numbers listed - just the amount I want to lose and where I am so far. Maybe at some point I'll be brave enough to list the actual numbers and although it's not really that much in the scheme of things and actually the number might be a bit to low for me so may need to be changed at some point. We'll see. Perhaps as I progress and write a little bit about what I've been doing and as I succeed I'll feel brave enough to post actual numbers. I even keep my exact weight from my husband. Silly I know as he has a pretty good idea but for now some things are best kept to the realm of secrecy! So right now I'm down 10 pounds from where I started and I have another 14 to go to reach my ultimate goal. That weight would get me down to a weight I was at when I was in my 2os so may need to adjusted for my reality today but we'll see about that. Wish me luck!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas

I just wanted to take a few moments to tell everyone Merry Christmas and happy holidays to those of you who don't celebrate Christmas. I find myself not in a very "Christmasy" frame of mind this year because of the loss of my parents. I'm feeling a bit sad actually. I am however very grateful for the family that I have and for the family that have passed on but are still very much a part of me and my heart. I wish you all the best for the coming year and hope that you take the time to tell those around you how much you love them. You never know what the next year will bring and although I hope it brings nothing but joy and happiness I know for some it won't be the case. Take the time to really hug your kids, your parents, your spouse and the rest of your family and friends. Grab on to them tight and really let them know how you feel. Don't just say the words - make them really feel how much they mean to you. All the best to you and yours from my family to yours.

For my friends (that I have been sadly ignoring this past while) I love you all as well and you know who you are. I haven't forgotten you - I've just been keeping to myself a bit these days. I'll be in touch soon. You are all very much in my heart. Have a wonderful holiday!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Vintge Bird Buttons

These are some adorable vintage bird image buttons listed yesterday in my Etsy store or These images are purchased from a great Etsy seller Now that the Christmas rush is over I've decided to start getting back to basics and doing the sorts of buttons I like and would use myself. I find that holiday themed buttons don't do quite as well, probably because their use is limited to the specific holiday. These sorts of images are great any time of year and the timeless appeal of vintage makes them even more special.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Finally Listing Again

It's been a while since I've been blogging. I think with the holidays coming up I've been a little down. This is the first year without both of my parents. They both passed away this year. Anyway I'll be having dinner with my son and his girlfriend tomorrow and am really looking forward to it. I think I may have a little of the Christmas spirit in me this year after all. With all of that I've had some fun making some buttons again so I'm sharing them here and I've updated my etsy store with a few different designs. Hope you like them. Happy holidays to everyone.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Quitting the Day Job Dreams

I know that so many people who create have dreams of quitting their day job and staying at home doing what they love. I have to admit that I have dreams of that as well. Realistically I know that that isn't going to happen any time soon. My day job pays above average I would say so I would have to sell an awful lot of buttons to compensate for that. I couldn't even produce the amount of product needed if I sold every single thing I sold. So what to do. A girl has to dream. I'm in a very non-creative job but the reality is the bills need to be paid. I find myself looking for that "great" idea that will get my product out there. Because of this I've dabbled in so many things it's not funny. Fused glass, folk art painting, ceramics, metalsmithing, precious metal clay, jewelry making and on and on and on. Maybe if I'd just quit buying art supplies I'd be better off instead of looking for the next big thing. Part of the drive to find something is that I'd also be able to have my son work with me. He hasn't really found his niche yet and he's very creative. He makes jewelry for a tattoo shop at the moment and he's very good at what he does. The problem with that is that it's a limited number of potential customers. Not all that many people have body parts pierced in any number of places. This limits his success with this. Being his mom I want to help. The other reality is that when I "have" to make something - such as for a custom order I don't really like it. I feel pressured - what if they don't like it. I'd rather make what I like and then if people see it an buy it that's great. If they don't want it then it's anonymous as I just sell on the Internet so if they don't like it it's no problem. That also means I don't like doing in person craft shows etc. I did a couple a few years back and they were pretty successful but a lot of work and I found them very stressful. So what to do. Is it possible for someone who doesn't want to sell in person/craft shows etc. to make a business big enough and stable enough to really and truly quit their day job. I know lots of people have this type of dream so as silly as it sounds I'm going to try and document what I do as I try to capture that illusive dream. You can all laugh with me or at me as I muddle through. At the very least I'm hoping it will bring a bit of reality to those of you with the same sort of pie in the sky dreams. Perhaps there will even be a bit of valuable information that comes out of it.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

New and Exciting (To Me At Least) - Hair Pins

I've decided to add some hair pins to my jewelry store. They incorporate some of my buttons that I've made without holes. They are simply the buttons attached to bobby pin like findings - the kind that have the pad so you can glue things to. Anyway, I thought they were cute so decided to incorporate them. I have lots of ideas for using my buttons for jewelry but usually never get around to actually making the items that dance in my head. So many little time. Or rather, so many ideas and so tired from the day job through the week that I don't actually want to get up off the sofa in the evenings to make something. I find if I actually sit down after work to watch t.v. or something I'm done for the night and soon find myself ready to move up to bed where I watch more t.v. before falling asleep. Oh such wasted time. Well tomorrow is Remembrance Day so I will have the day off. I plan to use it make up some of the lost time from my weekend where my computer hard drive crashed (see last post). My husband has installed a second hard drive in my computer so now I have to move the files over and try to organize them in some manner where I can find everything. It will take some time but in the end it will be more organized. Anyway, here are my latest jewelry creations that I mentioned at the beginning of this post. These can be found at and are made with buttons from my other store I have more waiting to list and hope to do that tomorrow as well. Hope you like these.

Monday, 9 November 2009

The Best Laid Plans.......

This weekend I had big plans of getting lots of work done. I had a couple of custom orders for my buttons at and I had several ideas for some precious metal clay and leather jewelry at I got up early and all set to buckle down and my external hard drive was not working. I thought there had to be something simple but finally figured out it was a huge problem. Now I know enough to back up my images and purchased graphics and patterns on CDs and thankfully I had done that. I "think" I have most of my graphics files both purchased and the ones I created. The problem is I didn't back them up in any organized way so while I have the files it's a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack at the moment. Also I know there are some files that I didn't back up. There are a number of letters and things I had written dealing with my parent's estate (they both passed away recently) and for a while I thought I had lost the latest version of my resume. I am very worried that there will be files I later realize I have lost. My husband is quite computer savvy and he tried his best to get the thing working long enough to get the images off. Not all hope is lost though as my son is even more computer savvy but he doesn't live with me and so I will have to wait a bit to get this to him before he can attempt to retrieve the images. In the mean time I am slowly taking the files from my backup CDs and putting them on my computer (they were not stored on the computer before but an external hard drive so my actual computer is working-thankfully!). I do have to load the files and then try and organize them in some way shape or form so I can actually find what I am looking for. Luckily the images I was using for my latest custom order (while they were not saved as a backup-silly me) I was able to find in my email and was able to complete that order. On the weekend I also got a couple of requests for different sizes and quantities and from some "sold" orders so I had to wade through images and find those particular files. Why oh why did I not back these up in a organized way. Luckily I have been able to find all the files I need for my current custom orders and I'm sure I'll get these organized. I am also pretty confident in my son's abilities and feel he'll be able to help me out shortly (crossing fingers and toes). Anyway lesson learned-while I thought I was being smart backing things up, I didn't back up everything so who knows what important files have been lost. I can't think of anything devastating to lose at the moment but I'm sure that will come unless my son is able to come to my rescue. On a positive note with what I've been through in the last few months (losing both of my parents) losing a few files is nothing more than a bit irritating. As I know all to well there is much worse things in life. And just because I can't leave a blog post without some sort of picture here is a pic of some of my owl shaped buttons!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Christmas Stocking Kitty Sewing Buttons

Here are some of my most recent Christmas themed sewing or scrapbooking buttons which I added to my www.buttonsbyrobin store on Etsy last night. These would be a really unique and cute addition to a handmade gift for a cat lover. They'd also make a great little stocking stuffer for someone who loves cats and loves to sew.

Green Mitten Snowman Pendant

Here is one of my newest fused glass pendants. As you can see this is a green mitten with a snowman fused in glass I think it's adorable! I'm really loving my fused glass pendants but have had no success selling them on-line. I've sold some at work so feel that it must be they translate better in person than on-line. I also realize I'm not exactly the world's best photographer so really need to do something about that but I find myself frustrated with trying to take pictures. They look great on the camera but transferred to the computer - not so much. This picture is actually scanned on my scanner. I know, I know....I took the easy way out as I didn't want to drag out the camera, try and find the right light etc. etc. On another note my button business at has picked up lately and I find myself going to the post office most days (yeah!). I was actually up at 5 a.m. this morning getting a couple of orders packaged up that came in overnight so that I can get them mailed today. Thanks for the support all you button lovers out there! I really appreciate it.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Fused Glass Mustache

Okay. I admit it. I've jumped on the Etsy mustache bandwagon. I'm not sure why the mustache is so popular on Etsy and I don't know where it started. I only know that after a great deal of time I find them funny so decided to do my own version in a fused glass pendant I also tried to do a fused glass cupcake in honour of the cupcake trend on Etsy as well but for whatever reason they didn't work out so well the first time and I ended up with a bit of a fused glass mess. Anyway if I do say so myself I think the mustache turned out kind of cute. I'm wondering what the next big Etsy trend will be??????????

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Handpainted Wooden Santa Claus Bangle Bracelet

This is an old/new direction for me. It's old because I used to tole paint a number of years ago and I sort of got away from that. What I'm doing here is taking my painting in a new direction by incorporating it into jewelry. This is my first painted jewelry creation available at The actual bangle is here at I'm actually working on a snowman mitten design right now and am making this blog post while the first coat of paint dries. I'm having fun these days exploring new craft ideas and veering away from creating just buttons. I did make a few snowman buttons this weekend and will be listing them on as soon as I am able to get them put on cards and the pictures taken. I also have a number of fused glass pendants that I'll be listing at I find I enjoy the creating so much but finding the time to do the other things such as list the items and take the pictures seems to take up a lot of time as well. I need to get that done though because if I don't list them there is no way for me to share them with all of you and sharing them is what gives me the most joy.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Fused Glass Spider Pin or Brooch

Halloween is fast approaching and there is very little time to wear that Halloween themed jewelry. With that in mind I have started to wear some of my Halloween themed glass jewelry. I'm actually wearing one of my spider pins or brooches today and have received a few compliments on it. I have others at The spider can be found here I can't wait to get back in my studio to make more glass jewelry. It's the Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend and I have Tuesday off from my day job as well so I have an extra long weekend to make up some new items. I've started on the Christmas items and have lots of ideas floating around in my head. Tomorrow I am off to the glass supply shop with my son and I hope to buy lots of beautiful glass and then spend the next three days making all sorts of goodies.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Fused Glass Orange Oak Leaf Pendant

I hope you aren't getting tired of seeing my fused glass pieces. I just love these and they are my current favourite passion so I've been spending a lot of time thinking about new fused glass designs and posting about them. For those of you who like my buttons I promise I'll get back to posting some new button pictures soon. You can always check out the latest buttons on Etsy at or Artfire at For now I'll leave you with a link to this fused glass oak leaf pendant at The rest of my fused glass pendants are at If you have ideas for anything you'd like to see me try in glass or in buttons drop me a line and I'll see what I can do. I do love to experiment!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Flying or Winged Heart Fused Glass Pin or Brooch-Tatto Inspired

Here is another of my fused glass creations This is a flying heart or winged heart fused glass pin or brooch. It's inspired from a tattoo design - not that I have any but every once in a while in my wilder moods I consider it - but then I get frightened because I don't really like needles. Anyway, I digress. This pin is one of my latest in my Etsy shop I have a few tattoo inspired creations floating around in my head - now if I can just get the time to actually translate them to glass I'll be doing something.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Dripping Blood Fused Glass Pendant

Now hear is a slightly unusual and somewhat frightening pendant It's made of fused glass and designed to look like dripping blood. It's available in my Etsy store and is the perfect Halloween accessory. It's sure to be a conversation piece. I like this so much I've made one for myself. I can't wait to wear it. I suppose any time in October would be okay but I'm waiting for the week before Halloween to sport my various Halloween themed pieces.

I'm really hoping to get to the glass supply store and stock up on this red glass. It's the perfect red for both blood and Christmas - now isn't that a contradiction in terms. Can't wait to show you the Santa pendants I made. The fused glass ideas are flowing these days.

Monday, 5 October 2009

New Fused Glass Jewelry and New Excitement

I've been having a little trouble lately getting excited about making buttons. Don't get me wrong I love making the buttons and think they're a unique item and people seem to like them. I have been making them for a while though and the process is pretty much the same. For me the excitement has dwindled a bit so I've decided to go back to do something just for me. I have no idea if these fused glass pieces will sell but I do love them. I think the excitement and challenge of making new items just because I want to will be good for me. So I opened a second etsy shop at and this is one of my newly listed items (burgundy fused glass maple leaf pendant) I know it will take a while for people to find my items and even then I know the jewelry category is so saturated on Etsy that selling jewelry will be a challenge. I do think that these are different from most of the fused glass pieces I've seen so hopefully that will be a draw for people. I guess everyone thinks their items are unique though so we'll see. For now this is an experiment in making what I love for the pure enjoyment of doing so. We'll see how that goes. Do you make what you love or make what you think will sell?

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Outspoken Jewelry - Vampire Teeth Pendant

I've just opened a second Etsy shop at This shop will be be for my fused glass jewelry. I decided I'd open a second shop since these items are quite different from my buttons which can be found at at Etsy and at Artfire. I really love how these vampire teeth turned out I wish I had thought of them a little earlier as it's getting a bit close to Halloween to get these mailed out to people in time for the big day. Although with so much interest in vampires in general due to popular movies in the theatres perhaps these will be popular for more than October 31st. No matter, I had a lot of fun making these and I've added quite a few to I guess I just have to be patient and see if others like them as much as I do.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Candy Corn Silverware Holder by Smudgekitty on Etsy

Look at the adorable Halloween Candy Corn silverware holders created by Smudgekitty on Etsy These were made with buttons from my Etsy store. Aren't these adorable! If you want to check out these items and more be sure to visit her store for lots more adorable and functional items

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Halloween Button Gift Set

I've decided to make a few gift sets for the holidays. This is my first listing in my Etsy store This comes with six different buttons (two of each design for a total of 12 buttons). I've had these really cute wooden boxes/bags that have been hanging around for quite some time. I've always had the intention of painting them but just never got around to it. I think these will make some really cute gifts for people or even for people to keep themselves. Lots of button collectors purchase my buttons so I think these would be perfect for them. Once the buttons are gone there is the cute hand painted wooden box left as a decoration. I've got a snowman box/bag painted as well and just as soon as I get the buttons to go with it made and the pictures taken I'll list that as well. This will be great for snowman collectors.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Primitive Sheep Sewing Buttons

I've been using google analytics lately to see what search terms people use which land them on my Etsy store It's funny but one of the main search terms seems to be primitive sheep sewing buttons. I never knew there were so many people out there looking for primitive sheep buttons. Google analytics really is an interesting tool to use for those of you who sell. It's also really funny sometimes to fine the strange terms that people use that get them to your store. I think one of the strangest terms that has shown up is malabrigo charrua. I'm sure it means something to someone but I have no idea what it is and I'm wondering how on earth that search term would lead someone to my button store. Hey I'm thankful for each and every visitor but it's just one of those things that make you go "hmmmm" isn't it.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Candy Corn Cat and Mouse -Handmade Buttons

These are the latest "spooky" button additions to my Buttons By Robin Etsy shop These buttons are made with my own original graphics. I think they turned out quite cute if I do say so myself.
I'm thinking about listing just the graphics for people to use in their own creations. I'll think about it a bit and perhaps do a listing within the next few days.
Well it's time for bed and I've just finished listing these buttons and a custom order of a mixture of Halloween buttons. I have so many ideas and just not enough time in the day to get through everything. Pretty soon I will have to turn my crafting thoughts to -dare I say it "Christmas"!!!! It's coming faster than we think.
Okay, okay I'll let you have a few more days to enjoy the Halloween season and then it will be nothing but Santa's and snowmen for a while.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Spiders and Cats and Pumpkins-oh my!

It certainly is beginning to look a lot like Halloween around the Buttons By Robin store I'm busily making and adding Halloween (and even a few winter and Christmas) themed buttons. Halloween is fast becoming a very popular holiday in North America and I'm getting right into the "spirit" of things - no pun intended. There is something about spooky pumpkins, cats and even bats that bring out the child in all of us. I hope some of my buttons make it onto some wonderful Halloween outfits for people. I've even heard that some people are getting into sending out Halloween cards. I haven't done that yet but it's something to consider. What fun things do you do to celebrate the Halloween season?

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Taking Some Me Time This is the link to my Buttons By Robin facebook page. I hope you'll drop by and see what I've been up to in my store. I have actually been taking a break from creating buttons for the past couple of weeks. I've been trying some new stuff just for me. I made a scarf (knitting) which is the first ever completed knitting project I've done. I also picked up some books on needle felting and tried my hand at a little bit of this today. My efforts were quite dismal I must admit. It sure does look a lot easier in the books than it is in real life. Isn't that always the way. Anyway I have been recharging my batteries and staying away from my Etsy store. I do have a couple of custom projects I need to do this weekend and I did manage to list some items today in my Etsy store. These were items I had made a couple of weeks ago but had not gotten around to listing. I have been enjoying my time away from button making but expect I will get back to it soon. I will leave you with a picture and link to my latest listings and hopefully will be back soon with some newly created buttons. This link is to the tractor buttons listed here. As the mother of a son I know how hard it is to find cute items for boys. There are always lots of really cute things for little girls but not so much for boys. I think these would be a great little addition to a handmade item for a little farmer (boy or girl).

Monday, 20 July 2009

Lazy Weekend without Buttons

I had all of these plans to work on buttons this weekend. I have an extra long weekend as I have today (Monday) off as well. I'm lucky that in my day job we have what is called a compressed work week where we work an extra 15 minutes a day and take a 1/2 hour lunch instead of a full hour and we get every third Monday off. It's a really nice deal and I love the extra long weekend I get every three weeks. Anyway I had all these ideas floating around my head last week during the work week. I had planned to do so much creating but when the weekend rolled around I had no interest at all. I did go out and buy some beautiful glass for fusing and spent way too much money on that. When I got back home from buying glass though I didn't even really want to work on that. Now it's Monday and my long weekend is pretty much over although I still have today. I did list a few buttons I had previously made and you can see one of them here in my Buttons By Robin Etsy store These were inspired by a painting pattern that I used for the design. I think these are fun and great for primitive crafting. I am a bit disappointed in myself for not doing more creating when I had the time but I guess I must have needed the break. I probably shouldn't try to push myself creatively or the buttons will turn into a chore instead of the pleasure they currently are. What do you do when you have a creative slump or don't feel like creating for a while?

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Foxy- Handmade Sewing Buttons

Isn't this little guy just the most adorable fellow you've seen in a long time. I love these sorts of simplified images and have been making a lot of buttons in this style lately. The big plan is to make some of these sorts of images into graphics to sell. I won't be doing that with this particular image as this was an image I purchased but I do have plans to make my own little creatures. You can find this guy in my Buttons By Robin Etsy store at

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

Today would have been my mother's birthday. She passed away April 4, 2009 less than two month's after my dad passed away. Tragically Mom died in a house fire and we lost the family home and all of our childhood mementos with her. My parents were born a year and a few days apart. Which means that their birthdays are within a few days of each other. Now where I used to celebrate both their birthdays in the same week, this year its a sad reminder that neither of them are here as I have two birthdays to get through within the same week without them.
Anyway, this is not to be a sad post. This is to remember the happy times. I hesitated to put this picture up because Mom was a very private person and didn't like her picture taken. When I saw this picture taken with my son who was just a couple of months old at the time (many years ago now) and I see how happy she was though I had to put it up and hope she understands. It's so nice to see her so happy in a picture. She thought the world of my son, her only grandchild. He could do no wrong in her eyes. I loved her even more for that. It's hard to put into words how much she meant to me. I only realized how much myself now that she's gone. She would have been the first person I went to when I had some good news, especially if it related to my son. She was the one who would share my joy at everything he did. She would have also been the first person I would have gone to if I had a problem. My son is all grown up now but this really makes me smile to look back at this picture and remember how much she loved him, how much she loved all of us - my sister and I as well. She really would have given her life for us. How I wish I had her to talk to, to call up on the phone. I do regret that I didn't do it enough when I had the chance. Was she perfect - absolutely not. None of us are. She did do the best she could and she loved us with all of her heart. I'm sure she is happy that we are all doing OK and that although we miss her she has managed in her passing to take care of us all. She would be so proud and happy she was able to do that. I will be forever grateful to her and continue to love her always. We miss you Mom. I know you think we favoured Dad but that wasn't true. We loved you both with all our hearts. Robin, Penny and Matt.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

This would have been my father's 70th birthday today. He passed away on February 9th, 2009 a few weeks after having heart surgery. He had a heart valve replaced. This was his second heart surgery and he tried really really hard to stay with us but in the end his body gave out.
The strange thing is while I miss him terribly every day, today is not a sad day. I am remembering him and all the wonderful times we had and how privileged I was to have him as my Dad. He was such a funny person. His sense of humour was wonderful and I have many memories of him and how he would often trick us as kids. The picture here is of my sister and I when she was just a year old. I won't say when that was because that might give away our ages. One fond memory I have is of Dad driving us down our country roads and saying to us each and every time. He would always say "I see a rabbit." Gullible children that we were we'd always excitedly say "Where, where!" and look around feverishly to try and see the cute little bunny we imagined. Dad would inevitably say "It's peeking out behind a rock." He said this every time and we always fell for it. I know this may seem like a silly story but to my sister and I it's a very funny and fond memory. Thanks Dad for being a wonderful father. I wish you had been able to spend more time with us but I know you are at peace and you are always in my heart and I will always love you. From Daddy's girl.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

I've Been Blogged

It's very late and I really do need to get to bed but I wanted to take a moment and thank an Etsy seller Knitted for Ewe who very kindly contacted me and asked me to be part of her blog posting at where she talks about her passion of knitting and a bit about her personal life. I am so honoured that someone would think enough of my buttons that they would feature me on their blog. Thank you Knitted for Ewe!!!!
And now I really must get some sleep so I am forcing myself to step away from the computer and head to bed. Good night all!

Handmade Buttons-Tree Lover Buttons

I've just added these wonderful tree buttons to my Etsy store They were made with images I purchased from another Etsy seller Found Objects For some reason I'm really drawn to trees at the moment. I wonder why that is? I've made these particular buttons in a set of six different buttons but I've also made the buttons in sets of 6 of each single design. It seems the weekend has passed me by yet again at the speed of light and so I haven't had a chance to list them but hopefully I'll do that tomorrow but we'll see. Tomorrow is my husband's birthday and I've got a bit of a surprise party planned. Nothing big just his parents coming over but I'll be running around all day getting preparations ready and doing some last minute cleaning so we'll see how that goes.
I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend and is all rested up for another Monday. It's nearly 11:00 pm. as I write this so I should head off to bed soon. I'm not normally up this late but can't sleep for some reason so just did the Etsy listing I mentioned above and am doing some work on some more buttons. I have been working on some images of my own (one's I created) so these should be showing up in my buttons shortly. We'll see how that goes. I am giving more and more thought to selling tutorials on how to make the buttons so maybe I should make some original images to go with that. We'll see. Well I need to get to bed. Good night all.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

This Week's Michael's Coupon for Canadians

Here is the link to this week's Michael's coupon for Canadians. Not sure if it works in other places. This coupon is good for June 21 to June 26, 2009.

Happy Father's Day Dad

This is the first Father's Day without my Dad. He passed away February 9th, 2009 after having heart surgery. I don't want this to be a sad post though. I want to remember him with happy thoughts. My Dad was so funny. He always made me laugh. He was the kind of person everyone liked. He could strike up a conversation with strangers and they would be talking away like they were old friends. That's certainly something I admire about him. I have a hard time talking to strangers and certainly can't just jump right in and talk to someone I've just met like we're long lost friends. The picture here is of a Father's Day card I made for my Dad a few years ago. It shows my sister and I when we were little. I expect my sister was just a few months old and I was probably four or five. I remember when I sent this to him my mother told me he teared up a bit. I am glad it made him happy. I am glad it gave him happy thoughts. That's what I want to remember about my Dad-happy thoughts, happy times. I miss you more than I can say Dad but I want you to know I am so glad you are my Dad and that I got to spend many good times with you. I love you and I always will and I'll always continue to be Daddy's girl. Kisses.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Handmade Fall or Halloween Buttons

I know it's early for Halloween buttons but when I saw these images I just couldn't resist. I decided to make some of these buttons in a bit larger size. They are approximately 1 1/8" or 2.75 cm round. The first set is listed on my Buttons by Robin Etsy store, the second on my new Buttons by Robin Artfire store I'm finding it interesting having two handmade button stores now as well as a few items on Ebay I list different buttons on each venue as I would be afraid that two people would purchase the same buttons. I know it's unlikely but I wouldn't want to take a chance. As well I always list a picture of the actual buttons the person will receive so it's important to me that everything is kept separate. I'm not sure if this is a good idea spreading my buttons all over but we'll see how it goes. Now that Etsy has fixed their search engine optimization problems (long story but you can check out the Etsy forums if you really want to read up on all the drama) I seem to have more people finding my Etsy store and I've had a couple of nice sales after a bit of a dry spell. Thank you Etsy for fixing the problem and thank you even more those of you who found my buttons and purchased them! One set is going for a gift and I always love to hear that. I hope the recipient loves them! Anyway I will keep you posted on my experiment opening up an Artfire store along with my Etsy store. No sales on Artfire yet but I only have a few items listed and really I'm looking at it more as a way to Advertise my Etsy store as they let you post an Etsy mini in your "studio" (they call it a studio not a store on Artfire). I figure for the $12 per month I'm paying it's probably pretty inexpensive advertising. Anyway what do you think? Am I spreading myself too thin or is it a good way to get my handmade buttons out there for people to see?

Thursday, 18 June 2009

New Buttons By Robin Artfire Store

Well yesterday I decided to open a Buttons By Robin Artfire store. The picture shows a screenshot of my store currently It's a little bare right now but I'll be adding to it slowly as time goes by. Most of my buttons are still on my Etsy store and that will continue to be my main store I also list a few buttons on E-Bay As I write this I only have one item listed o E-Bay but they just came out with an option where you can list 5 items a month for free so I may list a few auctions. I tend to just use the buy it now option and list for a month.

I decided after a bit of an upset on Etsy with the SEO search (which has now been fixed-Thanks Etsy!!!) that it was time to expand a bit. After reading all the posts in the Etsy Community Forums about SEO (search engine optimization for those who don't know) it started to make sense that I should expand a bit. I do want to make my buttons more of a business-right now it's a hobby-a hobby that I love but I would like to expand more. I've even started thinking I might write a tutorial about how to make the buttons yourself. I've learned a great deal over the years through trial and error and I'm sure that would be of interest to some people. I do have a concern about selling "my secrets" but I'm sure if I could figure out how to do it others can as well. As they say "There is nothing new under the sun." Anyway I have to give that some more thought. For now I'm having fun experimenting and broadening my web presence. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Back from The Cottage

I'm just back from the cottage. We spent a relaxing few days there but now we're back in the city. I still have a few more days until I have to go back to the day job. I took lots of pictures while I was at the cottage this time. This is a picture I took at my family property which is close to the cottage. I believe this is a Yellow Swallowtail butterfly. I guess I'd better go look that up. I decided that while I was away I would try to take some photographs that I might use in my buttons and jewelry on my Etsy store I have been making buttons and pendants from some purchased images so thought I might give my own images a try. What do you think? Do you think this image might look good as a handmade button?

Friday, 12 June 2009

Custom Buttons and Gui Off to Austrailia

These are some buttons I did with the image of my son's dog Gui (pronounced gwuy-like guy with a gw in front). I made it with a photograph he sent me of her. I made them into some buttons that I sent off to his girlfriend who made a bracelet of them and I also made some for my Etsy site as they were just so darn cute. Anyway today someone from Australia bought them. I've just packaged them up and will drop them in the mail as we're heading out for a couple of days to the cottage. I get such a kick out of knowing that Gui will be going to Australia. I'm glad it's just the button version of her as I really like her and want to keep her around me and I know my son wants her around too. He's very attached. Anyway it's so exciting knowing my buttons are going around the world. I've been thinking of offering custom buttons of pets and people. Not sure how well they'd go over but maybe I'll give it a try when I get back from the cottage. I'll think about it over the weekend if I'm not too busy relaxing. What do you think should I offer custom buttons, or maybe just pendants or pins or all three. Now my mind is racing!!! So many ideas so little time. Off to finish the last minute packing for the cottage.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Michael's Coupon

Here is a link to this week Michael's coupon. I'm in Canada so I'm not sure if this is the same coupon that can be used elsewhere. This coupon ends Friday June 12th. Sorry for the delay in posting the link. Hope you still have time to use it.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Handmade Pink Flower Photographic Image Buttons

I really like these photographic images for use on my handmade sewing buttons. They are really beautiful if I do say so myself. They really don't show their beauty in the above images but hopefully you get the idea of what they look like. The first picture shows them with a Canadian penny which is the same size as an American penny or one cent piece. This helps show the scale of the buttons. They're listed in my Etsy shop and hopefully they'll go to a good home. I really wish I did sew-funny how I make buttons and don't sew. I always have these wonderful ideas of how I will embellish my already made clothing by adding buttons to a simple shirt/t-shirt etc. but somehow even these simple tasks seem to escape me. Time just flies by and I just never get around to doing it. I keep thinking how great they would look and not to mention, how economical it would be, to take a simple shirt or a simple little dress and add a few embellishments. Well maybe some day......

Staying Motivated

Yesterday I wrote a bit about not being motivated on the weekend to make my buttons. Well I have gotten over that but this morning I woke up to a lovely email from someone I did a custom order for. She had these lovely comments about my work " LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!many many thanks many!!" That's a direct quote from her email to me. Now that is what motivates me! Thank you so much mystery customer (I won't divulge her identity even though she had only wonderful comments to say to me.) It's just the boost I need to know my work is appreciated.

Now for a little eye candy here is my latest listing on Etsy-my woodland mushroom buttons-lately I've been working with photographic images rather than drawn graphics. I really like these although working with photographs is harder. It's more difficult to get the right colour balance so they don't look either too dark or too faded out. Hope you like them.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Handmade Yellow Flower Buttons

I wasn't very motivated to craft this weekend. I'm usually up early and ready to go making buttons. This weekend I didn't really feel like making buttons. I think it's because I've been making a ton of buttons the past while and well, sales have been a bit slow, so I guess the motivation wasn't there. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining about slow sales. I understand times are tough and I've been told through the forum on Etsy that the summer is generally pretty slow. I understand that. I Anyway for whatever reason I didn't really feel like making buttons. So what I did do on Saturday and Sunday was experiment with some ideas I've had for a while. I tried a new printing medium that allows you to print on any type of material that will fit through a printer. It didn't turn out exactly as I expected but it did open up some interesting possibilities. I'm not ready to share the results just yet but I think there are some interesting projects coming up. Oh the wheels are turning. I also finished up a custom order making some of my button images into pendants. That is now listed in Etsy. That got me thinking about making some pendants so I did a bunch up for my other Etsy store Robin42 I am lucky and every third Monday I have off my day job so this Monday I was off. I finished up a few of the pendants and may try and list them in my Robin42 store later tonight. I also made some molds that I have been wanting to do for a while. I made some ring molds. I'm hoping to making some resin rings in the near future. The ring samples I made are just a plain black. I was really trying to just see how well the mold works. I think it's going to be fun. I also did a bisque firing of some clay pieces I made weeks ago and have had lying around. As you can tell I have ideas galore and am interested in many different mediums. I purchased a few new graphics from some of my favourite and a few new Etys sellers. This always gets my creative juices flowing. So finally after all that yesterday afternoon I was ready to get back to the business of making buttons. I tried some different images this time-some photographic images of florals. The buttons pictured here are from those efforts. Don't these just scream summer! The flowers are beautiful! I'm no botanist and don't know a lot about flowers except that they're pretty (I always forget to water mine). I "think" these are called Brown-eyed-susans but I'm not sure. I did just list them in my Etsy store and have a few more to list in a bit. These flowers got me to thinking about my trip to Mexico last February so I printed off some of those photographic images and I'm thinking of making a memory or charm bracelet from the images. As soon as I finish this post I'm going to finish off the picture charms with a hard coating and hopefully they'll be ready to make into some jewelry tomorrow. I hardly ever use my own crafts. I don't sew so I don't use my buttons. I think though that this memory jewelry will be something I'll treasure. If it turns out I may start to offer custom charms in my Etsy shop. We'll see. So many ideas so little time and off to the day job tomorrow. I hope you had a relaxing weekend and were able to recharge your batteries. My little break from buttons this weekend has now got me excited again to get back to making them. It's good to recharge!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Handmade Sewing Buttons-Little Boy Designs

Being the mother of a son (now long grown) I know how hard it is to buy cute things designed with little boys in mind. There are so many cute things for little girls but very little in the way of designs for little boys. That's why I've designed some buttons with a little boy theme in mind. I don't make my buttons for use on clothing for children because buttons are a choking hazard for children. I do think these would be great for scrap booking or card making though. I also think they'd be great for parent's of little boys who want to decorate their own clothing (they are waterproof-for those adults that are young-at-heart) or they would be great to add to a simple diaper bag and add that "little boy" touch.
I just listed these frog design buttons on my Etsy site. I've recommended they be used for scrapbooking or card making.
Again, always be very careful about small items used on children's items.

Monday, 1 June 2009

New Custom Button Order Completed

For those of you following my blog from a couple of days ago - I did decide to go out and buy a new BlackBerry to replace the one I damaged. I still don't know if my old one will work but I needed a new one like NOW!!! Don't I sound impatient/spoiled.
Anyway back to more fun stuff like buttons! I made these custom buttons to fill a custom request. These are not something I normally would have done but I think they turned out great. I've even sold a couple of sets on Etsy of this design in black and white. Who knew!!
Custom orders do cause me anxiety though. It's just because they are very specific and I feel pressured/nervous trying to live up to expectations. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I know if people purchase the other buttons I've made that they must like them as they buy them for what they are. Custom orders have the potential to disappoint. I never want to do that. I must say I've never had anyone say that a custom order wasn't what they wanted. I guess we're our own worst enemies aren't we/our biggest critics. I guess I just need to have that inner confidence to know I'm good at what I do. I do like how these turned out and I've now listed them in my Etsy store for the buyer. I hope she sends me a picture of the project she completes with these. I would love to see it. I really enjoy it when people send me pictures of things they've made using my buttons. It's so much fun.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Addicted to My BlackBerry & It's Broken!!!

I am beside myself. I just dropped my phone in some water (you don't want to know where-but it was clean water at least!) and now it's not working. I am NOT patient. I've read the forum posts where they say let it dry for a week (A WEEK!!!!!) Who do they think they are kidding. I can't stand to not have it work for a minute. I have called my husband several times (who is working by the way) and he is trying to keep me calm. I know it is just a phone. The problem as well is that I use this as my only phone - I don't have a land line. I do have a back up phone which I have managed to set up with my SIM card. I am, however, spoiled because my BlackBerry has instant messaging, email, Internet etc. My back up phone is well - just a phone. I feel so disconnected. Now I have to wait for my husband to get home and I have to decide if I want to purchase a new phone (which means I'll upgrade to a better model-might as well if I have to replace it) or will I be patient and wait a few days to see if it comes back to life. If I replace my phone with the current model it's $330 and the upgrade 8900 is $500 (I'm in Canada so those are Canadian prices.) I hate to spend money for something I already have but I need my phone-and yes-I did mention I have NO patience!!I feel a bit stupid being so attached to the technology but nevertheless that's my reality!

Friday, 29 May 2009

Americana Buttons

I must say that I admire how patriotic Americans are. I am a Canadian and I am proud to be a Canadian but Canadians do not seem to celebrate their country to the same extent that Americans do. I'm not sure why that is. I do believe Canadians love their country but I guess for whatever reasons we do not display that "love of country" to the same extent that our friends across the border do.
Anyway, these buttons celebrate America, patriotism and the Fourth of July. I hope that these capture the spirit of American patriotism and that they go to a good home in the US.
I will be sure to add some Canadian themed buttons to my website as we get closer to July 1st which is Canada Day!
No matter where you live, be proud of your country, your culture and celebrate who you are!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

American Express Credit Card Necklace

There is so much talk about the economy lately and how everyone needs to cut up their credit cards and cut down on spending. This got me thinking about what to do with all those credit cards that aren't being used out there and I wanted to do something with it. I've been making altered art jewelry and I have seen jewlery made with cut up credit cards somewhere along the way (sorry that I can't remember where or I'd give credit to the person who inspired this). I didn't actually cut up this credit card until it was expired (I'm sure my husband would like it if I actually did cut up all my current ones though-sorry honey that isn't going to happen). Anyway this is my take on credit card jewelry made with an old American Express credit card. If you look closely you will see the letters that are cut out say ICAN. Maybe this represents "I can" stop spending so much, "I can" make more money or "I can" buy whatever I want whenever I want. It can mean whatever you wish. It's currently listed in my second Etsy store which isn't really advertised much on this blog but is located at The link to the necklace itself is Of course if you go to the link and it isn't there any longer perhaps that means it's sold. Anyway, hope you get a chuckle out of this necklace and perhaps it will inspire you to do something with your old credit cards as well.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Halloween Themed Sewing Buttons

I think I am going to start listing some Halloween/fall and even Christmas buttons in my Etsy shop. I know people probably aren't really starting to think about these holidays just yet but crafters do need to get their supplies early so they can then make their own items. I'm not sure how this will work out but I think I'll give it a try. Tomorrow though I need to look for some Canadiana/Americana themed items to make for Canada Day and the Fourth of July (for my US friends).

40% off Michael's Coupon

Here is the link to this week's 40% off Michael's coupon. I'm in Canada so not sure if the link is the same for the US or elsewhere. Hope some of you can get some use out of this.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Cow Jumped Over the Moon Handmade Sewing/Scrapbooking Buttons

I'm just about to head off to my day job but wanted to show you these adorable "Cow Jumped Over the Moon" handmade scrapbooking or sewing buttons. I don't advertise these as sewing buttons because they're small (as buttons tend to be of course) and small items shouldn't be used on children's clothing. Of course the buttons are washable so if you're a "young-at-heart" adult these would be great to wear on your clothing to show your inner child. These buttons would be great on party invitations, cards or scrapbooking as well if you wanted to use them in child-themed ideas. You could also decorate picture frames or lamp shades if the room you were decorating was designed in this popular nursery rhyme theme.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Handmade Sewing or Scrapbooking Buttons-Sock Monkey

Just a really quick post tonight as my hubby is insisting that I spend some time with him. So not much time for my buttons this evening. I did just want to post a picture of these cute little sock monkey buttons I made yesterday and posted in my Etsy store today. I purchased the image from a wonderful and talented Etsy seller called Supplies to Go. You can find wonderful images such as these sock monkeys in her Etsy store at Do take a moment to drop by. OK, off the keep hubby company.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Happy Victoria Day Canada!

It was a wonderful long Victoria Day weekend here in Canada. The weather wasn't hot hot but it was sunny and warm (if you wore a light sweater). I can't complain-it was a long weekend after all. I didn't partake in any holiday festivities such as watching fireworks but I did head out to the garden centre with my husband and I bought a few pots of flowers to put in some metal urns I have on my front step. They look bright and cheerful and it's much better than last year where I didn't even get around to doing that much. I'm realistic enough to know I'm not much of a gardener so I'm hopeful that these will add a splash of colour to the front of my house and that I'll remember to water them.

I did manage to do more of what I like best-making buttons! I've pictured some of my latest bird buttons here. These were made with an immage I purchased from Piddix on Etsy I've been following the blog that Piddix writes and through that I've found out she's recently turned her crafting/artistic creations into her full time job. It's not easy by the sounds of it but she is very talented and I'm sure she'll do well. I'd love to turn my art into a full time job (wouldn't all of us who create) but I have no idea how that would happen. I could never make enough buttons to support that. I've been watching the moving "The Secret" lately and it says that you just have to believe, truly believe and it will happen. You don't have to know the "how" of how it will happen. The universe will take care of the how. I guess I just have to get to the point where I truly believe in myself. I guess belief in oneself is a big stumbling block for many of us. We are usually our own worst enemy or biggest critics. I guess I'll just keep working on that.

Anyway hope you all had a wonderful weekend and if you didn't get a long weekend like those of us in Canada did, I hope you had a great Monday back at work or doing your usual Monday activities.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

A Renewed Effort!

This weekend I decided to seriously try and promote my Buttons By Robin etsy store. I have been doing pretty well but have not done any promoting at all. I lurk in the Etsy forums and sometimes make a comment or two and I signed up for twitter a while ago but never really figured it out. For those of you who don't know what twitter is it's a sort of business/social networking sight but you only have 140 characters or so which means you can't say a whole lot. I couldn't figure out what I would have to say in so few characters that anyone would find interesting. I've also heard that people who only post link to the items they sell are considered spamming and aren't appreciated all that much. Honestly though that's really all I have to say at this point. I'm not sure if people are interested if I say I'm going to the grocery store. I've decided I'll post my items to twitter and if people aren't interested they don't have to look and/or they can decide not to follow my posts. I'm trying to find people with similar interests to follow myself and I know I am seriously interested in seeing what they have for sale and what they're up to. I won't follow people who I don't feel share a common interest though. We'll see how it goes. I must say that when I post a link to twitter (even though I only have about 17 people following me) that I do get quite a lot of views on my items listed on Etsy. I don't seem to have anywhere near the same number of views when I haven't posted to twitter. Views,of course, don't necessarily lead to sales and I haven't had any sales from these views this weekend but I'm hoping that a few people who might be interested in my items have found me. I know I've looked at quite a few people's stores and while I haven't bought anything through my twitter views this weekend either I have marked a few people as favourites in Etys and will go back another time.
In addition to the twitter linking, I posted a few pictures to flickr and have joined a couple more flickr groups that I feel are of interest. In other words, I'm only doing things that I think are relevant and not just to get sales (hopefully) but because I am genuninely interested in the groups/topics. We'll see what happens.
I am also very much for giving credit to others and am going to try to use my blog to promote other talented sellers. I haven't done much in that regard and I think I'm going to try and work really hard to promote the work of others as well. I have purchased some wonderful graphics from Etsy sellers over the months (and even some this weekend). The squirrel buttons listed here are from a great new Etsy seller called Bayin I love the graphics she creates and she has been super friendly and provided great customer service which is all part of the overall Etsy experience. If you have a moment drop by and check out her work.
OK. Enough blogging for today but I'll keep you all posted on how the promoting is working out for me and if I come up with any really super wonderful ideas that work wonders I'll be sure to share them here.