The fantastically talented Cindy Wimmer is hosting an awesome blog hop today, all about BUTTONS. Cindy and I have shopped for vintage buttons in the past, and photos she's shown on her blog would make anyone want to raid her button stash.
|Buttons in a vendor stall at a show Cindy and I visited last year.|
I've loved buttons for a long time. Before I made jewelry, I had a line of greeting cards that I made with vintage wallpaper, vintage fabrics, and vintage buttons sewn onto the cards. They sold in stores and galleries for a little while and then I discovered jewelry. For the longest time, my buttons have served as decoration.....
|Not only buttons, but a vintage zinc-topped jar and vintage sewing notions.|
... but they've also become treasures to sort and play with.
|Zack stealing the buttons.|
So when Cindy announced the button swap, I was all for it -- even though, I hate to admit, I'm not that great at putting buttons into my JEWELRY. I haven't quite gotten the knack for it and so far have only made a few pieces with my favorite hoard of mother of pearl buttons.
My partner is Niky Sayers, and not only did she send me this lovely stash of buttons....
... but she wrote an amazing letter on pretty stationery with the story of each button. (An aside -- Niky's handwriting should really be a font, it's that pretty).
The black button is very special, and while I haven't fleshed out a suitable design for such a worthy button, I want to share the story.
The back of the button is marked "V A" which stands for "Victoria and Albert". In 1861, after the death of her much-loved husband Prince Albert, Queen Victoria wore nothing but black until her death in 1903. So the fashion at the time was to follow the Queen's lead and wear black. So you can see why I'm holding off until I can REALLY do this special button justice.
I'm also holding onto the beautiful handmade ceramic bird button with the heart pair (made by Ruth Robinson -- and owl, whale, frog, and bird lovers will ADORE her shop!) -- I have an idea but the parts didn't get here in time.
So what DID I make?
Well, Cindy suggested we think outside the box and the buttons could be used in something that was NOT jewelry, so I decided to do something I'm not good at -- thus increasing my challenge. I took the pink and white buttons (all from Niky's daughter's baby clothes) and decided to do a mixed media collage.
Zack gave me help with this. I cut out a page from a children's book for the flower, used a watercolor wash on the paper, used some floaty-feathery type of pink paper, oil pastels, and rubber stamp ink. I sewed the buttons onto the paper, and then glued on a poem about children by Robert Louis Stevenson. I thought the poem was apt since the buttons were from a little girl's dresses.
OK, I've got a long way to go when it comes to art, but it was fun to try it out. Zack and I have big plans for more artistic joint efforts.
Then I got inspired by both Cindy Wimmer and Diane Cook and made a necklace with the completely awesome button Niky made herself out of a silver three-pence. LOVE that button, and I knew I wanted to rivet it but then realized the part I wanted to show was on the domed part.
Well, that's a thinker.
Several weeks ago I'd cut a piece of copper and hammered the heck out of it with a texture plate (my kingdom for a rolling mill) and left it on the counter, where it taunted me. "Make something with me!" it kept muttering as I walked past. And two days ago, the idea hit me. Punch a hole in the copper, and use thin-gauge wire as thread to stitch the button onto the metal. But I needed something to fill in all that extra copper space -- so I pulled out some vintage lace Createology sent me.
This took me hours to make because this isn't my normal style, and I really wanted to do Niky's button justice. I used brass rivets at the corners of the copper half-circle and then used oxidized sterling silver to string on buttons and cool rhinestone beads I bought from AD/Adornments a couple of weeks ago. I have no idea where the button links came from -- I lost the bag! -- which is too bad because I want more.
The detail of the three-pence is awesome, and look below --
the date is 1935. Very cool.
the date is 1935. Very cool.
I made a hook clasp and wove and wrapped 28-gauge wire around it -- I couldn't get the clasp oriented to show you the detail, but it's there! (I'm actually rethinking that clasp -- I hate to waste the silver but I really think I need to redo it). The chain is copper with a white patina from Miss Fickle Media, chain that's been in my stash a long time. I'm glad it finally found a home, and I really think the white works so much better than either silver or copper would have. And I only had one of the mother of pearl "leaf" buttons, but I think it fits in perfectly. The clasp hooks through the textured copper washer.
I hope you enjoyed the visit,
and stay tuned for the rest of the buttons
to make an appearance in jewelry soon!
And now for the rest of the button enthusiasts!