Sunday, 9 December 2012

Newest Ceramic Handmade Bird Buttons

Here is a peak inside the kiln today.  These are my latest bird buttons.  There are some turquoise, red and darker blue.  I can't wait for them to be cool enough to take out and get a good look at.  These are really simply glazed in a single colour but I think they turned out really well.  I've also filled in the spaces with a few small heart buttons.  I also had room for one of my speckled green and red Christmas coloured buttons.  I've got more of these speckled buttons glazed but haven't fired them yet.  Too bad I didn't get around to doing these in time for Christmas.  I think they are really pretty.  I guess I'll have a start on them for next Christmas.  I'm going to be putting all my shops on vacation mode tomorrow night until about the 21st of December.  I'm going to take a break from making buttons.  It's actually making me a bit anxious to put the shop into vacation mode.  I've never done it before in all the years I've had my shops.  If I've gone away or taken a break I've just put a notice up and indicated I'd ship out at a certain date.  Since it's so close to Christmas right now I've decided I'd rather risk losing a potential sale than have someone buy something and not realize I'm not going to the post office for a bit.  I'd really hate to disappoint anyone.  Well we'll see how it goes :)

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Amost Time for a Break

I'm going to be closing up my button shops in the next couple of days - probably Monday night.  I'll list a few more buttons over the weekend but then will be closing up shop from December 10th until the 20th.  I don't want any disappointed last minute Christmas shoppers.  So while I've slowed down listing the resin buttons I've turned my mind to my handmade ceramic buttons.  The picture here is of some ceramic bird buttons I hope to get up just after Christmas.  These have the glaze colour on them but need to have the clear glaze put on and then they have to be fired in the kiln.  Ceramic buttons take such a long time to make.  They have to be shaped from the clay and then there is all that drying time that needs to happen.  These particular bird buttons have a very delicate tail on them which breaks very easily until they are fired.  I'm experimenting as I go.  I did fire a small kiln this morning and am waiting for it to cool so I can list some of these buttons.  I'm teaching myself ceramics so sometimes my experiments work and sometimes they don't.  No matter what I'm always learning so it's always fun.  Ceramics are certainly not an exact science so I know that I always need to make extra buttons because not all of them will turn out.  These birds will be orange, blue and turquoise.  I can't wait to see how they turn out.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Bright and Cheerful

Now that I've moved on from making Christmas and holiday buttons I'm excited to be working with bright and cheerful buttons.  It's refreshing to be working with the colours again.  I love these owls  These are smaller and just the perfect touch.  I'm also very excited to be using a new printing process which makes the buttons even more durable.  It's a bit of a learning process again as it is taking some time to work with the new process and get the colours as I want them.  I'm not looking at this as a setback though.  I'm looking at it as a wonderful opportunity to make my product even better.  I'm also being more selective in what I choose to make.  I'm fortunate that I don't rely on my buttons to pay the bills so I can be more selective.  I do like making custom orders for people because it's always such a thrill to be able to give them exactly what they want.  It brings a smile to my face when they're happy that I have been able to create the perfect embellishment for them.  At the same time I find custom orders stressful because I do want to make the exact button that the customer has in their mind.  For this reason I'm turning down orders that I need to make in a short amount of time if I feel that this will add stress to the process for me.  I don't want to disappoint so I'd rather turn down work than stress about being able to meet an unrealistic timeline.  I hope that doesn't disappoint but I really think part of the joy in the handmade process is to be able to control, to some extent, the work that I take on.  I also want to be able to spend some time making some of my artisan ceramic and glass buttons so I have to step back a bit on the resin buttons to have time to do this.  I do know it's getting close to the cut off for people to purchase buttons for Christmas.  I also plan to put my shop on vacation mode on about December 10th or so.  Most years I leave the shop open and people purchase but I am always concerned that orders won't arrive in time and people will be disappointed.  I'm in Canada so even if purchase by December 10th there is a good possibility the buttons won't arrive in time.  This will cut down on this.  This also allows me time to have a bit of a break and take a vacation without worrying about responding to conversations/emails.  We'll see how that goes.  It does make me a bit anxious about putting the shop in vacation mode but I think I'm going to try it this year.  We'll see if I actually do it when it comes time.  There is a balance I'm trying to achieve between my art and the joy of creating and providing custom orders to my clients while not putting too much additional stress on myself.  I guess that's always the challenge when a product comes directly from the artist.  We'll see how that works out as I try this approach during the upcoming new year.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Christmas Buttons

As I write this it is just mid November but for those of us that make supplies it's now time to start moving on from Christmas items.  I always enjoyed Christmas as a child and I do enjoy making these seasonal buttons.  I especially love the Kawaii Christmas themed buttons These are just so cute.  Even though it's just November it's time to start thinking of Valentine's Day and spring themed items.  There really isn't enough time to make more Christmas buttons and get them listed in my shop and in the mail to their new homes.  I have several Christmas themed/snowman themed items already made and I'll try to get these listed this week or on the weekend.  It's hard to tear myself away from these really cute designs though. 

Now it's also time to start thinking about whether I want to go on vacation in December.  We have a vacation booked for February to the Bahamas and I'm really looking forward to that.  We sometimes go away in December as well.  I'm always torn about whether to go or not.  I know - what a terrible dilemma to have to decide on one vacation or two.  Now that the weather here in Canada is getting colder though a warm sunny destination in December sure looks appealing. Since I have the day off from my day job in honour of Remembrance Day (which fell yesterday on Sunday but since it was on a weekend we get the Monday off instead) maybe I'll take a look at the travel sites and see if I can come up with something to entice the hubby to get away. 

Saturday, 27 October 2012

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about what I want to do with the next stage of my life. It's not that I'm unhappy where I am.  I am.  I am truly lucky and appreciate my life.  I think it's just as time ticks by we sometimes need to think about what we want to do into the future.  When you're younger there seems to be so much time and so much possibility.  As time goes by we seem to settle and decide that this is the way it is.  Part of what I've decided to do is to focus on my art/buttons more in a way that gives me joy.  I'm a person that doesn't like to say no to anyone - I need people to like me I guess - so I always try to accommodate.  This often means I'm doing work which I'm not all that excited about and don't have enough time to explore all the ideas floating around in my head.  I'll be honest - while I have a good day job - I do enjoy the funds I get from the buttons and veering away from them - even just a little could very well impact that.  I've got dreams and part of my dreams have a financial component.  I dream of a holiday or retirement place in the Caribbean somewhere.  I love to travel and have been fortunate to be in a number of places. There are so many things I want to do.  I feel if I say no to certain requests for custom orders that people will be disappointed in me and, of course, I'm turning down the money.  I've said no a couple of times lately and it makes me feel very good.  It's hard to do but I'll see where it takes me.  That doesn't mean I won't do custom request but I'm going to pick and choose and try to get more balance (to the joyful side) of art again.

Sunday, 16 September 2012


I've been thinking a lot about how to achieve some balance in my life.  Everything seems so busy between work, family, and my Etsy stores.  There never seems to be enough time in the day.  During the work week I'm usually so exhausted after the day job it's all I can do to get any button purchases packaged up and ready to go.  I don't know how people do it.  I don't even have small children any more.  I really want to do it all! 

Today I took the time to make some homemade ice cream.  It's vanilla (from our Mexican trip) with a whole chocolate mousse chocolate bar added in just for fun.  I also made some pear jam - which looks like it will be better as an ice cream topping :)  I've been trying to master jam making all summer but can't seem to get it to thicken enough to be a jam consistency.  Oh well - I have some very yummy ice cream toppings so even my mistakes aren't too disheartening.  I am determined to figure out this jam thing!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 3 September 2012

On The Darker Side - Handmade Buttons

I've recently opened up a second button shop   These have the type of resin buttons and jewellery as my other Etsy shops but these images are a bit on the darker side.  I've even called the shop On The Darker Side.  I'm working on this shop with my son and I'm incorporating buttons and jewellery items that have unusual or weird designs.  These will appeal to people who like things which are a bit more out there.  My other shop Buttons By Robin still has all the cute designs but these are something very different.  I've never seen these type of button designs and I'm hoping these will fill a niche for people that like these designs.  The shop is just getting started but I'm pleased with the amount of interest people have shown in it so far.  I particularly like getting design suggestions from people. 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Last Of Summer

Green Bird Buttons
It's been a busy summer.  As I'm enjoying this last long weekend of summer I'm looking back and can't believe how fast it's gone by.  I've been busy over the summer and especially the last few weeks.  Now that summer is winding down I'm getting back to the buttons and gearing up for the holiday season ahead.  I've been busy listing buttons this weekend and I've got so many ideas for buttons and jewelry dancing in my head.  Tomorrow is the last day of the long weekend and I'm going to see if I can get some "play" time in.  By play time I'm talking about experimenting with my crafting in mediums other than my usual resin buttons.  I do feel a bit guilty as I've got a few custom orders that are waiting to be completed.  I do think I need a day just to play and experiment.  The problem with this is that so far my experiments haven't proven to be successful in my shop.  I've got some gorgeous glass buttons but I think the price point is a bit high for most projects that people make.  I do understand that.  Unless it's a really high end garment how can you justify a $10 button.  I sure wouldn't.  I do enjoy playing with the glass though.  I'm anxious to try some stamping on some ceramic buttons.  It's a new technique I've recently discovered and I have everything to work on the buttons.  I just have to have the time to try it out.  I've also stocked up on Halloween stamps and cookie cutters and before you know the Halloween buying season will be gone and I won't have made hardly any of the items I have in my head.  Oh well.  Even dreaming about these ideas keeps me excited and interested in my craft.  The bird buttons above are some of my latest creations.  The colours (colors) are almost jewel-like.  The truly are beautiful.  OK now I'm going to finish watching - Eat, Pray, Love.  I find the movie inspirational and often have it laying in the background as I create.  One of these days I'm going to have a vacation place in some exotic land and this movie reminds me of that.  Enjoy the rest of your long weekend everyone!

Friday, 29 June 2012

Christmas in July - Handmade Button Sale

Christmas Cats

I've decided to participate in the Christmas in July sale on Etsy.  I've started a Christmas in July section and will be adding some buttons at 1/2 price throughout the month. You can find them here  These will be mostly Christmas themed buttons with a few other holiday buttons thrown into the mix.  It's a good time to stock up on Christmas buttons.  I've never had a sale before so we'll see how this goes.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Butterflies and Spring

It's such a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  We had a very mild winter but then spring has just been so damp and cold.  Finally it seems like spring is finally arriving.  With that of course means it's time to do yard work and cut the grass but I'll take that along with the beautiful sunshine.  This little guy was out and about flitting about on the lawn.  So pretty and it's nice to see these little creatures out and about.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Homemade Bread

What's more handmade than homemade bread?  I haven't made bread without the aid of a bread machine in ages.  My mom used to make amazing bread.  Now I cheated and used my Kitchen Aid mixer (I just got one recently and love it).  Mom used to mix everything by hand.  I sure wish she was around so I could get her recipe.  I miss all those recipes and such that I didn't think to get at the time before she was gone.  You always think you have so much time to do these things.....  Anyway no sad thoughts today.  The bread has risen quite well.  This is a picture of it after it has risen the first time.  It's now sitting in the pans for the second rising and will be going in the oven in about an hour.  I've been thinking today I'd like to have more of a "handmade" life.  I, of course, make my buttons and such but I've gotten away from handmade a bit and I've been more into labels and such.  I think I really need to get back to the handmade that I love.   

Monday, 23 April 2012

Ceramic Pendant Pieces

I hope you'll ignore the poor quality photo here.  I just snapped the picture with my phone.  I've finally managed to spend some time working a bit with ceramics.  These are the raw clay pieces that I made this morning.  They are still very wet in this picture.  I'm not sure how they'll dry since they are very thin pieces.  I've put them in a plastic bag and placed them in my basement which is cool and a bit damp (it's unfinished).  Hopefully if I let them dry really slowly then they'll dry without cracking.  If they work out these will all be neclace pieces and pendants.  The birds are birds sitting on branches and the flowers are three dimensional as is the small bird.  I've only made one of each design as I'm just experimenting with these.  I love how they look right now and am very optimistic that they will be popular if I can just get them to dry correctly without breaking so I can get them bisque fired and then glazed.  I'll let you know how they turn out.  Cross your fingers for me :)

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Bingo Buttons.

I've decided to add a few buttons related to sports and hobbies.  These would be great for all those bingo lovers out there!  These can be found here  I haven't played bingo in years but do know that there are a lot of addicts out there :)  I hope these unique handmade bingo themed buttons bring a smile to someones face - and just maybe they will bring a bit of luck!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

New Sale Section Added to Buttons By Robin

I have never offered a sale on my buttons before but I thought I'd go for it and offer a sale section for seasonal items and see how it works out.  Normally I just keep the buttons until the next year and they usually sell then.  Since they are small it's not a problem to store them.  I thought I'd give a sale section a try though so I've been adding a few winter and seasonal items and offering them at half price  I'll be slowly adding some items.  I'm not sure how long I'll keep them there but I figured I might experiment a bit.  It's a really good deal for anyone that wants to stock up on seasonal buttons now.

Lots Going On!

I can't believe how much time has gone by since my last post.  It's been nearly a month.  I've been a very bad blogger.  I promis I'll try to do better :)  I've been busy working away at adding some bright and cheerful handmade buttons.  The ones here are cherry blossoms I think and can be found here:  These are just so bright I really love them.  I've also had a mention on a very popular blog in Norway.  As a result I've had almost all my sales this week come from Norway.  I really appreciate all the attention this has brought my button shop.  It just goes to show you never know from one day to the next how a little mention out in cyberspace will impact your shops.  This has gotten me thinking that I should probably start to look for some blogs where my product might fit and see if they are interested in featuring my products.  I've done a couple of give aways and will probably do that a bit although I have to see if the blog is large enough for that to work in my favour.  Another exciting thing is a local biking magazine found my earrings on which is my other site where I sell jewelry made with my handmade buttons.  It's a small local publication but I figure for the price of a pair of earrings (they didn't ask to keep them but I offered them as a giveaway - they only wanted pictures) I thought why not.  I'm still new enough to this that it gives me a little thrill to think of my buttons in a magazine.  I've also had some interest from a magazine in Norway and I sent off some bird buttons to be featured/pictures taken.  We'll see if that works out.  Again for the small price of a set of buttons (again they didn't ask for the product - just the pictures) I thought I'd give it a try.  I do want to caution those of you who may read this that you want to be sure that whoever asks for your products to feature is legitimate before you send off your product.  I've heard of stories where there are people who go and ask for products to feature but they are just out to get product.  Most legitimate magazines will only need pictures and they'll also offer to send you a copy of the magazine with your pictures in it.  Of course I'm no expert and not all magazines work that way.  I just want to caution you to be careful as with anything you do.  Find out the facts before you give away your product.  My items are small and relatively inexpensive so I'm willing to take the chance (after I do a bit of research of course) but just go into anything like this with your eyes wide open.  It could turn out to be a great opportunity.  I always figure any advertising I get is a good thing even if it's a very small amount of advertising.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Handmade Buttons - Paint Chip Sample Buttons

Paint Chip Sample Buttons
I've been having a bit of fun creatively.  I had some paint chip samples laying around the house after some decorating projects.  I'm always decorating and painting so usually have lots of these samples around.  (I don't advocate taking samples from paint stores unless you want them for actual painting projects.) As you know I'm a button maker so one day I wondered if there would be a way to make these into buttons.  This is my first attempt.  These are shades of turquoise green/blue.  I think they turned out really well. These are beautiful and simple but I also have lots more ideas for adding images.  I may even dabble into jewelry making with these.  Until I had my idea to make buttons I hadn't seen any jewelry made with these.  Of course once I had my "unique" idea I started to look around and I see that paint chip sample jewelry is hot right now.  Who would have thought.  This won't deter me from making my items.  These are my own ideas and I'll have my own unique spin I'm sure.  The only problem I have right now is I have so many ideas and just not enough time :)  I have decided to, of course, keep up with my resin buttons but I'm going to focus some specific time for "play".  This way I get to experiment with some ideas I have running around my head and still keep up with my usual resin image buttons which have been so popular.  Now I just have to find the perfect balance :)  That may be my biggest challenge.  Anyway look for some new ideas coming.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Keeping Traditions Alive

My Mom used to make all sorts of pickles and such.  I always thoughts I'd have forever to ask her about recipes and things.  She wasn't going anywhere.  Well of course we all know this isn't necessarily true.  Now that she's gone there are so many things I wish I had asked and now don't have a chance.  My Mom died in a house fire so we also lost all the physical items around so there is no finding old recipes etc.  I asked my relatives on facebook if anyone might have her recipe and they came up with her chili sauce recipe.  It's one of those things that say add a bit of this and that to taste.  I've given it a shot and the picture here shows it cooking.  I don't yet know how it will turn out but I'm giving it a shot.  I'll let you know what the end result is like.  In case you'd like to try it here is her recipes although you'll have to add items to taste as well as there are no specifics for a lot of the items.  If you do give it a try let me know what you think (oh and go hug your Mom if you're lucky enough to still have her with you).

Chili Sauce
It doesn't have exact measurements.

Basket of tomatoes ( I used 20-25 large tomatoes which made far too much to fit in one large pot) pour vinegar over to taste sugar, salt, celery, onion, 1 tsp allspice in bag bring to boil and simmer.

Peel and roughly cut up tomatoes and put them in a pot on the stove. Pour the vinegar over to cover and add enough sugar so it it about the sweetness you want. I think you can make it sweeter or less sweet. (I ended up adding about 10 cups of sugar). Then add salt to taste as well. Add 1 tsp of allspice and put it in a bag (or wrapped in cheesecloth or cotton) so it doesn't go all through the chili sauce. I also added about 1/4 cup of pickling spices although Mom's recipes didn't call for that. Add celery and onion (whatever you think you will like). I used about 6-8 celery stalks and two large onions cut up. Boil it down until it is cooked. I'd say about an hour or so on a simmer. If you are going to eat it right away you don't need to seal the jars. If you are going to leave it out you will have to seal the jars.

Helpful hing:  In order to make skinning tomatoes easier drop them in boiling water on the stove.  Leave for a few minutes until the skins start to split.  Remove from the boiling water and drop them into some cold water.  The skin will peel right off with your hands.  Easy easy!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Here Comes Peter Cottontail - Handmade Easter Buttons

As I was starting to write this post that old song started going through my head "Here comes Peter Cottontail.  Hopping down the bunny trail.  Hippity hoppity Easter's on it's way."  Okay so I probably didn't get the lyrics just right but you get the idea.  Wasn't Christmas just a few days ago?  Now we're thinking about Easter (skipping right over Valentine's Day).  Wow how the time flies.  Well I am pleased to be on the downside of winter.  I do like spring and although so far (knocking on wood) we've hardly had any snow here this winter, I really don't like the cold and snow.  So working on these bright Easter buttons and other spring buttons is a nice change from the snowmen and Christmas themed projects I was working on just a few short weeks ago.  I guess I'm also feeling a bit rushed because in a couple of weeks I'm heading off to somewhere warm for a few days on vacation.  I can't wait.  I will tell you a little secret though.  I do feel a twinge of guilt not being available to my button shop all the time.  I'll still have Internet access but won't be able to mail anything out.  How crazy is that?  Part of the reason this year as well is that unlike last year the button sales slowed up a bit after the holidays.  That didn't happen last January and when it did this year I began to wonder if this would be the new "normal".  Well I've had another good weekend and have lots of packages ready to go in the mail tomorrow.  That's the way of small business you never know when business will be up or when it will be down.  Someone it the Etsy forums the other day said it was just the ebb and flow of business.  They also said they liked the flow and not the ebb.  I agree!  Happy sales all!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Fresh New Week

Here are my packages from the weekend all ready to get going.  You will notice I've blocked out the addresses so I'm not publishing my customer's addresses.  That wouldn't be a good thing :)  I have the day off from my day job but I have to get dressed and out to mail these off.  Normally I mail them on my way to work but I'll have to make a special trip out today.  That's probably a good thing because I haven't really left the house all weekend.  I've been focusing on my buttons.  As I said in my post yesterday I had taken a bit of a break so it was a bit hard to get back into the swing of things.  I guess it's sort of like my diet - I've had a few more treats than normal over the Christmas holidays so need to get back to more healthy eating. 

It's just a month until I go on my vacation so I had better get into bathing suit shape (or at least as close to it as I can).  So for now I'll get off the computer for a bit and head out to mail my items.  Then back to the buttons and a hopefully productive day.  I do believe it's true that the harder you work the more success you are likely to have.  I slowed down a bit in December and my sales slowed as well.  That isn't entirely surprising when you're selling supplies (buttons in my case) as anyone that was using them to make holiday gifts would have needed them before the holiday.  One thing that is surprising me though is that my jewelry is doing so well.  Jewelry is such a saturated category on Etsy and everywhere so I wasn't expecting much but sales are starting to pick up.  I've opened up a whole new niche form my buttons.  People that sew can buy them at but anyone who just likes the designs and wants some fun and affordable jewelry can buy the finished jewelry.  It's a win win for everyone!  Okay now I really do need to get ready and get those packages mailed!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Back To Work

As I mentioned yesterday here is a picture of the finished pendants once they were taken out of the kiln.  The colours/colors seem much brighter than when they were cooling in the kiln.  As you can see I've been experimenting with a few specialty glazes.  I really like how the purple turned out with the splotches (splotches is the technical term :)  ) of lighter colour/color.  I'm having a lot of fun with these glazes.  I also like how the little pig turned out.  He looks orange in the picture but is really a sort of darkish pink.  Really cute.  I'm just trying to figure out if I make them into jewelry or of I leave them as is and leave it to the true jewelry experts to create with my pieces.  I'm not sure how I want to proceed with these.

I feel like I'm now back in the swing of things as far as creating is concerned.  I've caught up on all but one of my custom button orders.  I had slowed down a bit over the holidays and I think the break did me some good.  I do want to proceed with the ceramic pieces though and see where they take me.  I have to find my own unique niche with these though because there are so many great ceramic artists out there.  I need to find something that is unique but also not too terribly time consuming or it won't be cost effective to produce.  Right now I'm having fun and we'll see where that takes me.  I've also started listing some of my vintage on   I'm having a bit of problem wanting to get rid of my collections but I'm slowing starting to work on that.

I have the day off tomorrow from my day job so will work some more on some of the resin buttons and perhaps think about the ceramics a bit more to see where I want to take them.  Right now the pieces are very nice but they aren't really "extra special".  I want them to be something special so have to really give them some time and attention!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Handmade Buttons and Jewelry - A Peak in the Kiln

Here is a peak inside my kiln.  I got a great shipment of new glazes yesterday and I'm trying some of them out.  You can see some of the speckles on some of the pieces.  When I took the picture the kiln was still sort of hot (about 450 degrees Fahrenheit) so the colours aren't showing the true finished colours that they will become when the kiln is cooled.  These are an assortment of hearts and flowers and thre is one little pig pendant in the bottom right hand corner.  I normally make buttons for but decided this time around I'd make a few pendants and cabochons which I'll glue to some ring bases.  These will likely go on  I'm also thinking about maybe starting up yet another Etsy shop for my ceramic buttons and pendants but I'm not sure I want to do that.  I can't wait to see how these turn out.  I'm teaching myself how to work with ceramics and have never had a lesson so anything I do is all self taught.  That means that my glazes don't always work.  Working with ceramics also teaches you patience since you can't do anything quickly.  There is so much time waiting for things to dry.  One of the good things about being self taught is that you get to break the rules.  For example normally you are supposed to make the ceramic shapes, let them dry and then fire them in the kiln to the bisque stage.  Then you are supposed to glaze them and fire them again.  I found that by the time I did this I had lost interest in the original shapes I had created.  What I have been doing is making the shapes and letting them dry but then glazing them before firing the first time.  This way I can get away with firing them only once.  That cuts out a whole lot of work and speeds up the process.  I'm sure there is a "rule" against this and those ceramic artists that have formal training will probably cringe.  Oh well.  I'm finding the experimentation fun.  Of course you always have to be careful working with a kiln since you are dealing with extreme head so my experimentation won't go too far but it's interesting to see how these things turn out.  Now if I can just wait for that kiln to cool down.  I've done a bunch of resin buttons today as well and those are now drying.  Those just take a few days to make so are much quicker than the ceramic buttons.  I have so many button and pendant ideas.  I can't wait to see how they turn out!  I'll try to post pictures of these pieces when they are completely cool so you can see how the colours turn out.

Monday, 2 January 2012

New Year and Back to Work

I'm off work today for the last day of the Christmas/New Years holidays.  Today is a day to start getting back into the swing of things.  I've taken a bit of time off from custom orders and it's been quite fun to work on some things just for fun.  I've changed up one of my Etsy sites and will be focusing on vintage and antique items and antique/vintage inspired creations.  I'm not quite sure which direction this will take but I've been thinking about it for a while.  It's barely started but you can check it out here at  Who knows where that will head in 2012.  That's the exciting thing about a new year.  You get a fresh start and anything seems possible.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year - New Handmade Buttons

Wow it's the start of another year.  I can't believe how fast time flies.  My buttons at have been doing really well and I've expanded to a line of button related jewelry at  For 2012 I want to focus on a new medium - ceramics.  I'm teaching myself as I go along.  I have a small tabletop kiln and I'm learning to work with ceramics.  It's much more time consuming and complicated than you might think.  All the different glazes react differently and it's very difficult to get them to do what you want.  The picture here is my latest collection of buttons fresh out of the kiln this morning.  I'm happy with the bright red glaze I've achieved.  Red is a difficult colour to get right.  For some reason it has to be heated just right in the kiln for the colour to develop properly.  This bunch is a set of both ladybugs or ladybird ceramic buttons and red heart buttons.  I think the hearts may be great for the upcoming Valentines Day celebrations.  I think I'm going to make some similar red heart pendants for  Right now the hearts can be found here  I think ceramic buttons are difficult because for the everyday sewing project they can be a bit pricey.  For me to make them though they really aren't all that profitable given the huge amount of time it takes to make them.  For now I'll play an experiment and see how it goes.  I do love looking into the kiln in the morning after it fires to see what surprises it brings.  Hopefully as I learn more the surprises will be more good surprises instead of the uh oh! what happened surprises that seem to happen fairly often with ceramics.  I'll continue to post pictures here and write about what I learn as I go along.  I hope you enjoy the journey with me.