Saturday, 28 June 2008

Hand Made Bird Buttons

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

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Handpainted Buttons - Summer Crows

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

Thursday, 19 June 2008


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

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

Monday, 16 June 2008

Hand Painted Buttons-Crow in Pear

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

Friday, 13 June 2008


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

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

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

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

Monday, 9 June 2008

Skeleton Key Pendant

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

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Altered Art Treasures

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

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

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