Wednesday, 30 March 2011
What is it about this lowly weed (the dandelion) that is so appealing? Normally these are yellow weeds that invade our lawns and which we try to eradicate so they don't spread their seeds all over and completely take over the landscape. However when you put them in images such as these (particularly with colour/color) they take on a whole new feeling. I think for me it's something about their ethereal floating qualities that appeals to me. They are airy and light and make you think of freedom. I absolutely love these images and have made a couple of dandelion designs for my Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/listing/70936780/red-dandelion-handmade-buttons-handmade?ref=pr_shop and am thinking of trying my hand at making them into some ceramic buttons. It's funny to think how even the simplest of images can become art.
Monday, 28 March 2011
I know that spring has arrived (at least the date for spring 2011 has come and gone) but I'm wondering when the warm weather will arrive. It's still very cold here in Ontario, Canada and I can't wait for the spring flowers to poke their heads out. I guess that's why I've been in the mood to make spring flower handmade buttons lately. Does longing for spring make you create bright and cheerful items?
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
I am having a lot of fun working with my kiln and creating all kinds of new handmade ceramic buttons. These are some turquoise owl buttons I made and listed yesterday http://www.etsy.com/listing/70591846/turquoise-owl-buttons-4-handmade-by-me?ref=pr_shop. I love the look of them and have created the same design in lime green and yellow.
Working with ceramics takes patience though and you never know what you're going to get. You have to take the raw clay and make the buttons and then wait, and wait, and wait some more for it to dry. I usually leave it at least a week to make sure they're bone dry. Then you have to fire in the kiln for several hours. Then when they cool you can glaze them. Each glaze needs to be applied at least three times to get the depth of colour/color required. Sometimes I glaze in steps depending on what I'm doing so I may glaze some of the buttons. Fire in the kiln which takes a full day (including the cooling time) and then glaze and fire again. It's a very labour/labor intensive process but I must admit I do love how they look.
I'm teaching myself the process and have lots of ideas - not all of which work out. Since there is so much time involved from start to finish it's truly disappointing when an experiment doesn't work out. I guess that makes the successes that much sweeter though.
I can't wait to get started on some of the other ideas I have in my head. Now let's hope they translate well to ceramic!
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Now isn't this a great idea. I was asked to make these personalized buttons to be worn for a birthday party for two little ones. What an adorable way to identify twins to your party guests. Well I'm assuming they're twins as they have their first birthday on the same day. I'm always amazed at what people do with my buttons and this is certainly a unique idea. I know personalized buttons could have many uses but I thought I'd share this idea with you. What would you use personalized buttons for?
Friday, 18 March 2011
Well it's a glorious Friday morning and spring seems like it might actually arrive sometime soon. I know we'll have some colder March days here but I am very optimistic that warm sunny days will be here soon. I don't know about you but I'm tired of drab winter and messy snow and can't wait for the flowers to start peeking their heads out. In celebration of all things bright and springy I've listed a few sets of spring coloured/colored flowers at www.buttonsbyrobin.com. This set is just one of several http://www.etsy.com/listing/70262119/dark-pink-round-flower-buttons-handmade I have listed and I can't wait for the weekend to get here so I can start adding some more. I have Monday off from the day job this week and so have big plans to make buttons buttons and more buttons. I have about three custom orders to make but then it's all me-all buttons. I'm itching to get to them. I just have to get through the Friday work day at my day job and then I can get going. I also have some ceramic buttons that have been bisque fired (quite a while ago) and really want to get these glazed. So many ideas so little time! Have a wonderful weekend everyone. I hope you have time set aside for your creative projects!
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
These are some tiny custom buttons I made for a Grandma who is going to make some doll clothes for her granddaughter. She thought it would be great to add buttons that were handmade just for the little girl. How special will this little girl feel to know that her grandmother made the doll clothes for her and that everything - even down to the buttons - was made just for her. I so love seeing all the wonderful things that people make and especially all the things they make for the ones they love. It's such a wonderful feeling to know that my buttons help add to these creations and make that just that bit more special.
Monday, 14 March 2011
I must admit I do look forward to daylight savings time - except for the first little bit when I have to wake up and it feels so super early as my body hasn't adjusted to the "spring ahead" of the clocks yet. I'm super tired today but know I'll soon adjust. On a positive note I know that with the moving ahead of the clocks that spring is just around the corner and I can't wait. I think its my favourite/favorite time of year. With that in mind I thought it would be appropriate to show my bright and cheerful collection of butterflies http://www.etsy.com/listing/67084664/8-bright-butterfly-buttons-washer-and?ref=pr_shop. They look yummy and they certainly make me feel like spring which is a welcome change after the cold and dreary days of winter.
Saturday, 12 March 2011
I planned to have a very productive button making day today and spent the morning getting caught up on my saved TV shows and making these simple yet cute (if I do say so myself) hair accessories. They're super simple with my handmade button just sewed to a pony tail holder. I think they'd look great with an outfit made with matching buttons - how cute would that be. I haven't listed them yet in my Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/buttonsbyrobin?ref=pr_shop_more but will probably list a few tomorrow. I like to show different ideas of how to use my buttons. Of course they're great for sewing projects but I don't sew and I know there are lots of people out there who don't so I like to show different simple ways to use these buttons. I also don't mind if people purchase my buttons to make their own hair accessories since my business is primarily buttons and not really the hair accessories. Anyway as I said I had very good intentions of having a full button making day but my son called unexpectedly and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to spend some time with him. So this afternoon I spent some time chatting with my son and then had dinner with my two favourite/favorite boys - my son and my hubby. We went to a wonderful Korean BBQ place where you cook your own food at a BBQ at the table and then went to Pacific Mall which is an Asian mall here in Toronto. I bought a couple of good luck charms (hope they work) for myself, my son and his girl. Too bad she wasn't able to join us today. I did manage to get the couple of small custom orders I had promised to do done this today though. They are drying as we speak so should be ready tomorrow. I just didn't get to do all the extras I had planned. That's OK though. As long as my obligations are met it's really nice to take the time that is available when it becomes available to spend time with the ones we love. I hope you all had a great Saturday as well. Now tomorrow I really must buckle down and get to "buttoning".
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
When I first started making buttons I began by making buttons with primitive themed images. I was into tole painting and primitive art at the time so it was natural I'd make buttons in these designs. I still enjoy the primitive look but my buttons have evolved and changed over time and I've forgotten my prim loving friends. I think I need to get back to carrying a line of primitive style buttons to fill that niche. I've got lots of ideas in mind but for now here is my latest prim creation http://www.etsy.com/listing/69717776/primitive-crow-buttons-set-of-6-handmade
Sunday, 6 March 2011
I've been wanting to make some Three Little Pigs Buttons http://www.etsy.com/listing/69458748/7-large-three-little-pigs-themed for quite a while. I've listed a few sets before but they didn't have all the images I wanted. I am thrilled with these. I think they are just adorable. This is my larger size but I've also made some in a smaller size which I hope to list later today. I've also just made a pretty big investment in some equipment which will help speed up the button making process for me. I really hope this works out so that I can make a lot more buttons in a shorter amount of time. I have so many ideas and just not enough time in the day. I find that through the work week (when I'm at my day job) that I have little to no energy in the evenings and it's hard enough just to package up orders that come through. Don't get me wrong - I am so excited with each and every order - but sometimes I just don't have the energy to package them up in the evenings. Of course I do it because I want to get your treasures off to you as soon as possible. I pride myself on customer service. If the equipment I've purchased works out this should help out quite a bit so that I can make a lot more buttons on the weekends and then just list throughout the week. We'll see how it goes. Now I just can't wait for my equipment to arrive in the mail. It will likely take 2-3 weeks so until then it's the usual labour/labor intensive process. Making the buttons will still be fairly labour/labor intensive but I'm hoping to decrease some of the processing time by quite a bit. Fingers crossed.......
Saturday, 5 March 2011
I'm having a bit of a play day today. I've finally pretty much got caught up on custom orders - yeah! I've had this idea for a while to make a simple greeting card and to decorate it with my buttons. The idea is that when the person is finished with the card they can remove the buttons and embellish some clothing with them (sort of the premise of a DIY embellishment kit). If you can sew a button you can take a simple t-shirt or other garment and embellish it with these buttons to make something special. We'll see how these go over in my shop but I think the idea is quite innovative (at least I've never seen it before). Here is a link to the listing http://www.etsy.com/listing/69401357/bunny-town-card-with-8-carrot-and-bunny. Let me know what you think of the idea. Is it something that you'd try?
I've got a few E-bay auctions going this week for some of my most popular buttons. You may be able to snag a deal as the auction prices are starting at a lot lower than my usual retail price. I don't have sales in my shop as I believe that's unfair to those who have purchased at the regular price. Having these auctions may introduce other to my buttons as E-bay has a very wide audience but you may also be able get a great price on some handmade buttons that are only available from me - Buttons by Robin. Here is the link to the Snow White auction http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140520222509&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT. I've also listed some Red Riding Hood Buttons http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140520193425&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT and some Alice in Wonderland Buttons http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140520195758&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT. I plan to list more over the next few days and on an ongoing bases as it allows me to introduce my unique buttons to a broader audience so keep checking E-bay or sign up on my Face Book page through the link at the bottom of my blog and you can be notified of potential auctions and hopefully save a few dollars.
Friday, 4 March 2011
I'm always looking for designs which I can incorporate into my handmade buttons for boys. I find that there are so many options for cute buttons for girls but not as many for boys. I think these fit the bill and will hopefully be a hit with those who sew for boys http://www.etsy.com/listing/69220875/construction-tools-set-buttons-handmade?ref=sr_gallery_1&ga_search_query=construction+tool+buttons&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade.