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.