Happy Belated Button Day!

Did you know that November 16th is National Button Day? Yes, apparently this is a real day, and I thought a tribute to buttons was in order. I love buttons! I use them in all sorts of craft projects and have a tendency to fill up random jars with buttons just for decoration. Growing up, my mom had a beautiful old vase filled with antique buttons that I have always admired (you know which one I am talking about mom!). I found this little guy years ago and this is what started my button hoarding:

Isn’t it so cute with the little hand-written tag? Ever since then I have been collecting buttons at garage sales. I never pay full price for buttons at craft stores…the prices are outrageous. I picked up a giant coffee that was overflowing with vintage buttons for 25 cents at a garage sale last year which has lasted me all year long!

As I said, there are random decorative jars all over my house filled with buttons…

My favorite button decoration is this lamp. I made it for my craft show but decided to keep it!

A great little idea I picked up from another show is using a mason jar to hold this small glass candle holder – it fits perfectly in the mouth of the jar. Those particular glass candle holders can often be found at the dollar store or at the craft store…you really need that exact shape for them to fit just right. You can then fill the mason jar with whatever seasonal decorations you’d like…and guess what I filled em with….

…BUTTONS! I also have others filled with cinnamon sticks, old Christmas bulbs, pine cones, and old vintage earrings. The possibilities are endless!

Here are a few interesting facts about buttons in honor of National Button Day!

  • The word button is from the French word “bouton”, meaning bud or knob – buttons, as ornaments, date back several thousand years.
  • Until the introduction of the “button hole”, buttons were generally ornamental. Some believe the crusaders introduced the button hole to Europe from the middle east.
  • Until the 19th century, most buttons were used for men’s clothing. Hooks and lacing were the norm for women’s clothes. After the mid 1800s, women became the primary consumers.
  • In earlier times, buttons provided social commentary on the era and often defined social status and wealth. The French King, Francis I (1515 to 1547), is reported to have had thousands of gold buttons on a single coat.
  • Buttons have been produced from almost every known manmade and natural material.

These facts were found at http://www.buttoncountry.com/index.htm.

Until next time, have a fabulous Wednesday! 🙂

Mini Clothespin Snowmen

Christmas crafts are in full swing…and only 18 days until my craft show at Clarkson U! The store shelves are lined with holiday goodies…face it people…Christmas time is HERE!

So I wanted to share this fun little project that I recently finished, that came out super cute. My friend Christine gave me these mini wooden clothespins because she knew I could “use them for my crafts somehow.” I have been on a big snowman kick lately so this is what I came up with! Like I said…I LOVE things in miniature!!!

These were SOOO easy and fun to make! Here’s how:

First off, make sure to get the right clothespins. These are 1 and 1/4 inch long and 1/4 inch wide. There are many mini clothespins out there are really narrow and wouldn’t work for this project, so make sure they are wide enough to paint a face!

These are the exact ones I used – they are the Walmart brand and can be found in the office supplies section.

First, spray paint the mini clothespins white or off-white. I used American Accents “Ivory Silk.”  I spray painted versus hand painting because I wanted to cover all the nooks and crannies. It’s so much quicker and easier if you ask me. Dot on the eyes, mouth and buttons and freehand the little nose with a small paint brush…even the sharpie paint markers were a little too big to use on these tiny clothespins!

A side profile showing placement of the scarf. It’s not glued in, just held in place by the inside part of the clothespin.

They can be clipped to anything! I love the idea of clipping small decorations or Christmas cards on a ribbon, like on this picture below. I see here they used regular sized clothespins covered in glitter…another easy project to try!

(Picture from http://www.mysweetheartmoments.com/2009/12/creative-christmas-card-displays.html)

 

What else could these little snowmen clips be used for?? Any ideas??

A HUGE Thank You to WordPress and all my Fellow Bloggers!

I want to give a shout out to the great people at WordPress for “Freshly Pressing” my post about Ophthalmic Photography yesterday and say THANK YOU!!!! What an honor. I am new to this, and I went from 8 views on Tuesday to over 22oo views yesterday! Also thank you SOOO much to everyone who left a great comment on my post, and for all the support, encouragement, and kind words. What an great bunch of people there are in the blogging world…I had no idea.

I was fortunate enough to have my post featured in a few other blogs, as well as a “Freshly Pressed Focus” article written by the editor at WordPress! The links are below. Thanks to those who passed along the word!!!

http://editor.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/freshly-pressed-focus-ophthalmic-photography-via-eyeballs-by-day-crafts-by-night/

http://obsidianfactory.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/ophthalmic-photography-via-eyeballs-by-day-crafts-by-night/

http://kambiz.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/the-eyes-are-the-windows-to/

http://glimpsejournal.wordpress.com/

http://anoushdesigns.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/ophthalmic-photography/

http://mypatraining.com/

http://thewitcontinuum.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/ophthalmic-photography-via-eyeballs-by-day-crafts-by-night/

Though the focus of my blog is my crafting, I will be sure to post an occasional update and showcase some more of my ophthalmic images. Our body is an incredible work of art, and these images are a small, interesting glimpse into that mystery world.

Once again, THANK YOU ALL for stopping by!!!!!!!

(For your viewing pleasure, a retinal image during a fluorescein angiogram with a membrane on the surface that is tugging at the blood vessels and causing swelling.)

A Fun-Filled Fall Day

It was a picture perfect Fall day yesterday! I started off with a little K-9 Fall photo shoot. This is Paco, our retired police/narcotics dog. He is 14, but thinks he is a puppy. He loves posing for pictures. There’s that great rusted milk can I found the other day for $2 at a barn sale down the road, isn’t it perfect with the pumpkin on top??

 

This is Brico, Greg’s current working dog. He is full of life and loves to cuddle…but when it’s time to work, he’s all business!


This is our back yard. Usually there are deer lining the far field. What a gorgeous day. It inspires me…wish there was more time in the day to work on some crafts.

 

Next, it’s off to my friend’s daughter’s Halloween party to help out as the official face painter. This is Miss Klaire, the party supervisor. She LOVES the camera!

Kim and Kasi pinning the nose on the pumpkin!

This is me hard at work, face-painting away. We did both cheeks on all the girls. Face painting is a lot harder than it looks, but they seemed pretty pleased with the results!

There are no words for how cute this kid is…

My co-worker Mindy and her daughter Emily…with some awesome face painting I might add…

A close up of the popular purple spider…

And what is a party without CUPCAKES! The girls decorated them themselves! 🙂

Hope everyone had as great of a weekend as I did!!

Prim/Country Crafting Must-Have’s!

There are many supplies and materials  that seem to come up over and over in all my crafting endeavors. Here are some of the things I could not live without.

HOMESPUN – usually mini checks, gingham, plaid, striped, etc. All colors and patterns, but I steer away from bright colors and pastels. It’s a fortune at the local craft stores, but sometimes I can’t resist. I got a ton of great homespun fabric from a recent estate sale (thanks to my friend Melanie and her grandmother’s hoarding of craft supplies) that I use ALL the time, for ALL kinds of projects!

RUSTY TIN SHAPES – for accents mostly. Candles, nightlights, decorations/figurines, mason jars…the list goes on and on of items that can be spruced up with the addition of a great rusty star or heart. I also use these to make pins for the holidays (below). I get these in bulk at rustytin.com since they are really hard to find in stores.

SPRAY PAINT – I am loyal to my brand American Accents by Rustoleum, usually in satin or matte depending on the project. I have used a ton of other crappy spray paint and nothing seems to get the great coverage and color that AA provides. Pricey…yes. Worth it…definitely. I use spray paint for everything…especially for refurbishing thrift store finds. Shelves, stools, wooden bowls, the base for my signs, and various other projects all begin with a fresh coat of spray paint.

My favorite colors to use are Fossil (below, it’s my fav), nutmeg, london gray, oregeno, ivory silk, colonial red, and of course canyon black. Another favorite that’s not pictured is a great mustard yellow. I tend to steer away from blues…I don’t find much use for it. When I do, it’s usually a dark navy or muted “americana” blue.MASON JARS – I make a ton of items for my craft show with mason jars. Use them to hold wax tarts, putka pods (mini pumpkins), rosehips and/or potpourri mixtures, use as candle holders, or even as the base for a great lamp, which then can be customized to hold and display whatever you’d like. I use one for my toothbrushes. A vase for my wild flowers. A paintbrush holder, soap dispenser, the list is endless!

Also, couldn’t live without my ACRYLIC PAINT, TWINE, HEAVY GAUGE BLACK WIRE, and HOT GLUE GUN!

Those are the main supplies I find myself using over and over. What do YOU use, and what are YOUR favorite materials to work with?

Let’s get to it!

Let’s get right to the fun stuff. It’s almost craft show time!!!!!!!

The 2010 Craft, Food and Wine Show is my big show, on December 3rd/4th  in Potsdam, NY. It’s a huge event held at Clarkson University, and this the second year I will be doing the show.  I have really been into the primitive and country crafts the last few years, but finally made the leap into the craft show world last year, with the help of my good friend Christine. I am the crafter and antique collector, and she is the organizer/accountant/checker-outer person who keeps track of me and all my crap…and who I couldn’t do it without! I did much better than I could have ever imagined and got a great response to all my creations. I am so excited to do it again this year!

Being that there is only a short window of time to set-up, I have created a mock booth in my basement which I now have to dis-assemble (ugh..) and pack up. At least this way I know what I want to do and how I want things displayed.

Pictures and  tutorials coming soon!

Yay, my first blog entry!  🙂

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