Sunday, 20 October 2013

Maple White Chocolate Chip Cookies

In addition to making buttons this week I made this batch of maple white chocolate chip cookies.  The recipe can be found here I followed the recipe as written but added a full package (500 g or 1 cup of white chocolate chips.  This recipe uses real maple syrup.  I think for a more maple flavour that next time I'll take 1 cup of maple syrup and boil it down to the 1/2" cup required in the recipe.  I think this will give it a more real maple flavour.  These cookies are yummy and very sweet.  I like sweet cookies/desserts so the fact that these are super sweet is just fine by me :)

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Another Button Saturday!

I've got the day to myself so can work on my buttons all day.  My husband and son have gone camping on some property we own outside of the city.  It's raining here so I hope they don't get wet and too cold.  I plan to go with them once we get a camper trailer.  I'm not into camping in a tent - especially since there are wild animals around.  I know I sound like a big chicken - and I guess I am.  I'm sure it will be fun once we get the camper trailer.  I love animals but the ones in real life aren't as cute as the images on these buttons 
I've been getting all my custom orders ready this morning and I think everything on my list is done as far I can go.  The buttons are drying and won't be ready for the second stage until tomorrow.  The majority of the work for the custom buttons is done.  Tomorrow I'll have to do the finishing touches and then wait another day for them to cure a second time.  Hopefully I can take the pictures on Monday get them listed so they can be on their way to my customers.  I've been working away since about 6:30 am so I think I'm about ready to take a bit of a break.  Maybe I'll go out for a bit and do a little shopping.  I think it just started to rain though so a walk outside isn't quite as appealing as it seemed before the rain started.
Besides my custom orders I've managed to make a few other buttons and jewelry supply pieces.  I won't go into detail here but if they turn out perhaps I'll have some more cute camping "themed" items to share.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Canada.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Canada.  It's nice that we get to celebrate Thanksgiving early in the year.  It's a nice way to get the fall/winter holidays started.  It's actually a beautiful day here in Ontario.  We've been having some great weather for this time of year.  Although I won't be having a huge family celebration this year it's still a very nice time of year to think of family and be thankful for everything that I have.  Most important of course is my family.  I'm thankful for my son and husband.  I'm also very very thankful that I had the wonderful parents that I had.  Sadly I do miss them but I am so thankful that I had them for the years I did.  I'm also very thankful for my extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins and such.  I don't see them very often but with Facebook at least I'm able to keep up with what they're doing. 
I'm also taking this opportunity of a day off to start working on turning my bedroom office/studio into a real studio for my buttons. Things are very much out of control with boxes of supplies here, there and everywhere!  I really need to get organized.  It's a bit overwhelming though as I don't really know where to begin.  I think if I just devote a small amount of time each day it will get there.  I'm also going to think about investing in some better storage.  Perhaps some cupboards with door that close and shut the mess away.  Right now I have open shelving (not to mention the overflow on the floor) and into the basement and garage :)  I keep seeing all these lovely studios in magazines and think how great that would be.  I do think it's going to take a fairly large financial investment to get the proper storage but in the end it will be much better and I won't have to be embarrassed should anyone accidentally see my studio :)
Well before I get to that I have to get to the day to day work of preparing for the work week.  That means getting food prepared so we can have our work lunches ready and waiting so we don't have to prepare them each day.  Also my husband has asked for peanut butter skorr toffee bit cookies. I'll try and remember to post the recipie later (although you can just use your favourite peanut butter cookie recipie and add a package of skorr toffee bits). So I have a bit of work to do.  I've packaged up the two sales I had from overnight and all the packages are ready for mailing tomorrow.  I've got to send someone some pictures for approval so I can get to work on her order and I also have to finish up the finishing touches on some custom buttons that are almost ready to go.  Busy busy.  Well I guess I'd better stop writing and get to work.
Have a great day everyone.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Handmade Orca or Killer Whale Buttons on Adorable Baby Sweater.

I love getting pictures of items made with my handmade buttons.  This morning I received a really nice email from a customer who purchased my orca or killer whale buttons at  They look adorable on this little baby sweater.  I've tried my hand at knitting a few times and I just don't have the patience.  In my mind I really want to give it a go but the first time I make a mistake in the pattern (which happens all to often) I put it aside.  I have a number of UFOs (unfinished objects for those of you who haven't heard the term before) and a number of these are knitting or crochet projects.  Seeing this adorable sweater and hat set though really makes me want to pick up the knitting needles again.  I really admire people who have this wonderful talent.  I'm sure the parents of the baby that received this gift will treasure it forever.  I'm very honoured to be a small part of adding to their pleasure with my handmade buttons.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Back to Business and Mary Poppins Buttons.

Mary Poppins Buttons

I have been very badly neglecting this blog lately.  I've been quite busy with custom orders and have finally found some time to add some new buttons to my site.  You can find these adorable Mary Poppins buttons here:

I've been having fun with images from Cheryl Seslar and you will soon be seeing lots of new button designs in my Etsy shop.  I've also been listing a few items on E-bay and have been lucky enough to be selected by E-bay Canada to be featured in their Canadian Holiday Gift guide.  I'm not sure what that will mean exactly (in the way of exposure) but I'm sure there will be tons of people that will at least see my buttons on e-bay.  I have been neglecting e-bay though as I find with my Etsy shops it's hard to add new items and work at a full time job outside the home.  I'm looking forward to a busy holiday season though.  I hope you enjoy the buttons and that you'll pop in from time to time to see what's new.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Some Fresh Ideas - Primitive Handpainted Wooden Keys


Last weekend I found these adorable painting patterns and couldn't resist going back to my painting roots for a bit.  It was exciting to cut the wood and have something different to do other than my buttons for a change.  These aren't quite finished yet but I spent my morning painting these adorable prim keys.  I'm not yet sure what I'm going to do with them.  I may list them in my shop on Etsy but I'm not sure.  I still have to apply the sealer.  Anyway sometimes a change from the usual is so much fun.  I'm excited to get out some of my old painting books and patterns and see what I can come up with.  I think the next on the agenda will be some cute Halloween keys that I have some patterns for.  I can't wait to get to them. 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Antique and Vintage Hunting

Holy crap batman this place sure does have an awful lot of  "treasures".  Yesterday my husband and I took a long drive to this antique place.  It's a place that my parents, in particular my Mom, just loved to go.  This is a view of just the yard which will put any episode of hoarders to shame.  There are also several barns and the house in the picture is chock full.  You literally better not eat a big breakfast before you go because you can hardly squeeze through the place.  I'm a size 2 and I had a really hard time getting through the place.  Glass and jewelry and well just about anything you can image is piled high to the ceiling in some cases.  It's all very precarious.  It's so overwhelming that I was only able to manage to get through a bit before I had to call it a day.  The items outside that you see here are mostly metals.  They're exposed to the elements year round which I'm sure damages some of the items.  Everything is literally piled so high it would be hard to know even get to probably 90% of it.  The gentlemen than run the place seem to know just where everything is though.  If you have something specific in mind you'll have to ask and they can probably find it for you.  Many items are in glass cases that have items piled in front so you won't be able to get to them yourself but these owners and staff will gladly dig it out for you to take a look.  They were really part of the wonderful experience.  I'm a small town girl living in Toronto now which is apparently the third largest city in North America.  Having lived in the big city for a while I forget how kind and welcoming people from small towns can be.  Not that city people aren't kind or anything but it's a whole different feeling.  Anyway I did manage to snag a few treasures including some lead tin type, some vintage post cards and a few magic lantern slides.  I do plan to go back in the summer for another look around but I just wanted to share this image with you.  It truly does need to be seen to be believed!

Sunday, 14 April 2013


No pictures today just a bit of a vent I suppose.  Well not even really a vent just a commentary on a rather frustrating day.  I've spend most of the day trying to match a particular colour for a custom order.  It's not as easy as it might seem as my printing process means the colours that are printed aren't exactly the same as what comes out in the end so it's a bit of trial and error.  That's all well and good when I don't need to match something exactly because I do know pretty much what will come out.  I've wasted most of the day today trying to figure something out and I still haven't got it quite right.  I think it's time to take step away from the buttons and think about some other things for the rest of the day.  Tomorrow is another day and I'll come back with a fresh attitude and hopefully have better success.  Sometimes it's best just to know when to step away for a bit.  I think today is one of those days :)

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Time Management

Why is it that I can get way more done when I have a finite amount of time and when I have a larger chunk of time available I can't seem to get going?  I think the answer is pretty simple.  When I have a finite amount of time I am focused and on task so work, work, work.  On the other hand, when I have a week off from the day job (or even a long weekend) I don't accomplish nearly what I had set out to do.  I think that's because I think I can procrastinate and do it later today or even tomorrow.  I think I'm going to proclaim March as "Time Management Month" for me.  I'm going to try to see what I can do to get a better handle on the work I have to do.  I have a few custom orders piled up that I need to plow through.  Again, these have no specific time lines so I'm working my way through them slowly.  I need to get organized and set up a timeline for me to accomplish them.  Perhaps tonight when I'm home from the day job I'll get that list started.

I've tried to set hours of work for Buttons By Robin (after the day job and weekends) but sometimes that doesn't pan out.  Some days I'm just too tired to do what I had set out to do and other days family or household obligations get in the way.  I never want to say I can't spend time with hubby or my son.  It's not that they demand a lot of time but when they are around and want to hang out I don't want to say no. 

Tonight I have a to do list.  I try to keep it manageable.  I have also set a monthly income goal for Buttons By Robin that I want to strive toward this year.  It's a huge jump from last year.  I've very tentatively started a business plan and know approximately how much product I have to produce to do that.  I can produce the product but promoting and listing it so that it can actually sell are two different things.

As I said, I'm going to start with a list and maybe try the Buttons By Robin weekday business hours again and see where it takes me.  Maybe if I set my time to just an hour a night I'll focus more than when I set it for three and take my time.  As they steps!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Dinosaur Buttons

I'm always looking for ideas for boys.  There seems to be a lot more ideas for cute items for girls.  So when I find boy button ideas I get really excited.  I think these dinosaur buttons will fit the bill.  These can be found here  I like these because the colours are more muted.  I have other dinosaur buttons on my site but those are a bit more pastel in colour and while they'd also work for boys these are more traditional colours in muted greens and browns for the most part.  I decided I just had to have these images when I saw the mastodon image.  I thought he was just so adorable.  I may make a set of just him at some point.  These particular buttons are 3/4" or 2 cm round.  The images are used with permission of Cintio and Americo.  I love their images.
Speaking of boys in my last post I said I was going to share a bit more of myself rather than just list pictures of my buttons.  I'm not sure I have that much of interest to say but oh well.  I spend Saturday going out with my son.  He's grown and doesn't live at home but I talk to him almost every day and see him fairly often.  We had a great day just going for a late breakfast/brunch and then visiting some of the great stores in this wonderful city we live in.  We really didn't have anything specific in time but I always love being able to spend time with him and I appreciate that as an adult he loves spending time with me as well.  I did have a lot of buttons to do.  I don't think I've really got caught up from being on vacation a few weeks ago.  However, it was well worth it to put all that aside and just spend time with him.  The buttons will wait and I don't have any hard and fast deadlines I need to meet.  I do have some custom order requests but I'll get them done.  When I get a chance to spend time with my son I will always take that opportunity. 
I was at the day job today and now tonight I'm trying to list a few items that I took pictures of and hopefully take a few more pictures.  I also opened an EBay store on the weekend so I'm tyring to get that up and running.  Once I have a few more listed there I'll post a link on my blog.  I am posting some auctions as well so perhaps you can snag a button deal!  Well I'm off to finish off some more things before I get too tired which knowing me should be about 7:00 p.m. :) 

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Cinderella Buttons

It's been a while since I've added a post here.  I was having some trouble uploading pictures but that seems to have corrected itself now.  These Cinderella buttons are available at They're perfect for your little princess.  On a more personal note I've decided that I need to use my blog to show a little bit more of my personal side and not just list pictures of my buttons.  I'm not sure I have that much to say that will be of interest but I do know with handmade items it's nice to get to know the maker just a bit so I'm going to try to do my best to add some of that in my blog.

Saturday, 19 January 2013