Thursday, April 22, 2010

Billie's New Lamps

My sis Billie's really excited about the larger apartment she recently moved into. She's trying to pare down but sometimes in order to pare down you need to find things that work better. She was talking about her fruitless search for new (to her), thrifty, lamps when I thought I might look around  myself. She has a job; I don't.

We have similar tastes, and the two I found for her I would've liked to keep. I do love lamps.

This first was from eBay.

Now that it's bought and paid for, I'm a little skeptical that it will work as she wants. But, as I said, it's bought and paid for. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

The second was from Goodwill online. It's my fave.
Can't wait to see how they work in her apartment!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mo' Buttons

I don' do Facebook so here's my daily update: I'm still obsessed with buttons. I've begun making hair pins from them, but there hasn't been much interest so far on Etsy. What do you guys think?
Why wouldn't someone like these?

I mixed both new and old buttons on most, though a couple are purely vintage buttons. They're all stitched to a circle of felt that has a strip on it to hold the hair pin.

I'm beginning to think this is my fave.

 Though truthfully, I love the pop of this one too.

And I think this one sings.
This one's not my fave, though it is all vintage buttons.

This last is a bit of silk ribbon embroidery I did back in the late '80s. As with so many things, I never finished it once the embroidery was done so instead I made a covered button of it. And never used it. It's been in my button box since God made the Brazos river!
I'd love to have comments on these. Should I turn my attention elsewhere?

Thanks in advance to you lovely people.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


My name's Nancy, and I'm a button-aholic.That doesn't mean I'm a true collector. I'm not; I'm a hoarder. I have no sense of pride when it comes to what kind of button I accumulate. I'll adopt them all.

The button below is the one that started me down this circuitous road. It's a true collector piece.
Made of elephant ivory most likely in the 19th century, this is carved--see the dragon--and inset with tiny stones. It has a detachable shank--it screws off so the garment could be cleaned without harming the button. I've had this for probably twenty years and think I might mount it in a small shadow box and hang it in the office I still haven't finished. Good idea?

The next few pictures are of some of the largest buttons in my stash. Some I know what they're made of, some I don't.
I have no idea what this one is, but I think it's gorgeous. I'm thinking of using it as a closure on a white linen pillow.
This is another I'm in the dark on re what kind of plastic it is, but I love the mid-century look of it. This and the one above are quite large, perfect for closures on a handbag or memory bag or a pillow....
This one's celluloid. I love the deco styling of it. It too is large enough to use as a focus closure.
I have no idea what material was used in these nor do I remember where I got them. They may have been in the button box my used-to-be next door neighbor gave me. They're an inch and a half wide with metal shanks, probably came from a coat. They too I could see as focus closures, but dang I don't need that many. Some of these I may offer on Etsy, yunno, maybe four of them? That would leave two for me to some day do something with.
These I find interesting; some of them I also feel would make great focal points. (Sometimes when I look at my buttons and think of all the projects I could use them on, I feel overwhelmed. Maybe someday I'll take a shot of all in toto and show what I mean.)
These are celluloid. They truly need a bath, though it would have to be a dry one because they are celluloid.
This bunch is a medley of styles and types. The three at the top are metal, the two on the right below that are shell, the two to the left of those are celluloid, the four at the bottom also are shell, and I'm unsure of the ones that look like wood.

Now a shot of some that make me happy.
A handful of plain mother of pearl (MOP) and various other white buttons, I love the look of them. One of these days I'll do a design of whites on a brown linen pillow. (The two at the front are whistle buttons with one hole on top and two on the bottom. I think they're from the turn of the last century, but because they're so plain, they're not considered collectible.)
Here's something I did with a number of other whistle buttons as well as a few others. I used a sterling bracelet blank with mini glue pads. I like the look of this.

Maybe someday I'll start selling these by the pound. (Yes, I have that many.) I don't have enough years ahead of me to use all I have! (I'm on my third week of having given up sugar. Maybe I should give up buttons next.)

That's all for now. Ta, y'all.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pillow Fever

Lately I've become obsessed with making pillows. I do that often: focus on one aspect of creativity to the detriment of all others. (Notice that I haven't posted completed pics of my March office redo? That's cuz it's not completed. Still working on it--when I'm not working on something else!)

I showed you pics of the pillows I made for my sis and SIL for their birthdays here and the one for the $5 challenge here. There were others I posted in the past but those were the latest.

Here's another:
This is a knife edge pillow made of linen/rayon with three attached wool felt flowers. (I need to redo that right upper corner. Dang, I thought I was done but it looks wonky, doesn't it?) As on many of the pillows I made lately, I did a hand-picked zipper. (Read about the technique at Threads.) I'm in love with hand-picked zippers! (It also has a 100% down insert I bought reasonably here. And when I say reasonable, I mean exactly that: $25 for an 18" square plus $5 shipping. You pay almost that much for a mixture in some of the shops around Austin.)
This shot has a glimpse of another pillow I'm working on, more pics to come when it's finished. (I'm also making another dollar store tea towel pillow--stymied right now cuz the buttonhole needs to be larger than my Pfaff makes automatically and I can't figure out how to do one the semi-automatic way. I may have to resort to using my old machine--although I do have one more method to try!)

Not pillow related but another thing I did recently is this sewing kit made for a gift exchange.
I used a tutorial from Nini Makes you can find here.

I've since made another for myself; I'm often bringing handwork into the house from the studio so it comes in handy.

And that's all she's gonna write today. Have a good 'un, y'all.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Doot, Doot, Do, Lookin' Out My Back Door

Dinner's over, the kitchen's clean, the Hub's ensconced in front of the tv, and I'm on my second glass of wine. What better time to share some recent pics of our back yard?

Spring in the Texas hill country means bluebonnets. After a winter such as we just had, it means fields of them! (For the legend of bluebonnets, look here.)
This is the view from my bathroom window (taken outside, but from that vantage point).
Max doesn't care so much about the flowers, but he loves being out in the early a.m. Here, he and I are waiting outside for the Hub to wake up and our day to begin. (Max also loves the row of boulders.)
This is the view from the master bedroom window. (See note above. Remember, the Hub's still sleeping!)
Another shot of Max and his boulders with a bluebonnet backdrop.
There's a vacant lot between our house and the golf course. It's filled with bluebonnets this year!
Max and his rocks, redux.
Ditto, yet again.

This final pic is not one I took but rather one I intend to take--next week, I'm hoping. Not sure when this was shot, but it can't be this year; the bluebonnets haven't filled the field yet. But they will, and I'm watching. (It's an abandoned farmhouse on the outskirts of Marble Falls, the next town over from us. Lovely, innit? Doesn't it make your storyteller minds start to weave fantasies?)
That's all I have for y'all right now. Happy spring, wherever you are!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Reporting In

It's been a busy week what with yard work and trying to get my studio clean. (I feel like Sisyphus, continually pushing a boulder uphill.)

Yesterday, though, I managed to get out for lunch with the GGs. We were celebrating the birthdays shared by my SIL Sunny and my sister Ginger a few weeks back. (We're a tough bunch to get together, mostly because some of them actually have lives.)  I, of course, made my gifts, as did another crafty member of our group: Donna, the quilter. (No, she doesn't blog. I don't know how she finds time to quilt.)

Inspired by Claudia of Cloud Nine Creations who recently made a button bracelet for her friend, which you can see here, I made bracelets as part of my gift. Instead of buttons, I used some vintage silver earrings as well as sterling blanks I bought from Popko's Etsy shop. They turned out pretty good, doncha think?
A while back, I showed the pillow I made for Sunny's gift, It wasn't the best picture, didn't represent the true color of the fabric.
I made her a second from the same fabric--and these pictures are more representative of the actual fabric. This one I made with a twist: it has a front from the wrong side of the fabric...

with welting and the back made from the right side.

That's it for the birthday gifts, but while in town I had to hit the thrift store. Some things go without saying, right? And I bought this:
Lovely, huh? You should click on the pic to enlarge it. At first I thought the handles were elephant heads holding a ring. Not so sure now what they are, but I still like the look of the vase. (I finally figured out that it's a bird's head on the side of the vase. What I thought was an elephant trunk is a bird's beak. Okay, so they're nothing alike; my mind just went there.) I previously had the greenery in a pottery butter churn, the mouth of which was too large for the amount of greenery in it and I didn't want to buy more. This works perfectly!

Time to feed the cat! Later, y'all.

Oops! I forgot to show Ginger's pillow. It too appeared in an earlier post, but I didn't indicate why I'd made it. (She reads the blog.) Anyway, here it is, one more time.
Bye again, y'all.