Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quick Tip: How to Iron Between Buttons

I love nothing better than putting on freshly ironed clothes but am not huge fan of ironing myself - I came across this little video on how to iron between the buttons on a shirt - it's completely bonkers and made me laugh - have you ever ironed with your hair straighteners?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday - 'Memory' Button Bracelet

After giving birth to a long-awaited daughter in December 2008, I was given some really lovely baby clothes and as is always the way, they grow out of them far too quickly. I am not a hoarder by nature, but I couldn't bear to part with most of them, as I could picture my daughter wearing every single one of them. 

Over the last year or so, I have been slowly working on a quilt for my daughter, using all those tiny baby clothes I had hoarded stored away. You would be amazed at how long it takes to cut up such small clothes into 4" squares - it takes forever! I have lots of little scraps, some of which I am planning on using to applique designs to the quilt but some are just too small to do anything with... till... I came across this great little tutorial, on Cut Out & Keep, an online community for making & sharing step-by-step craft tutorials!

One Button, One Memory

I love the name of this self-covered fabric button bracelet - 'One Button, One Memory'. What a great way of using all those little scraps of fabric, that you have either kept for sentimental reasons or purely because you love it.  I have the most beautiful vintage silver charm bracelet that my grandmother slowly made up for my mother over many years, adding little charms from all her travels and I think you could apply the same principle to this memory bracelet, add new buttons, along the way, using scraps of fabric that have a special memory. Happy Memory Making!

And don't forget - if you do make anything using the tutorial links, I'd would love to see them - head over to the facebook page, Bonkers About Buttons and post your photos!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday - Make Your Own Wooden Branch Buttons

I live in an area surrounded by countryside & woods which I love to have a ramble through with the children over the weekend. Invariably we tend to come back with a variety of sticks & branches, that have been fashioned into either walking sticks, swords, light sabres or harry potter wands & broomsticks. One thing that I have never considered, was turning those branches into... you guessed it! Buttons!

Lindsay from Shrimp Salad Circus has a great tutorial on how to make rustic wooden tree branch buttons. This is such an quick & easy little craft to do, I will most definitely be on the lookout for my own perfect stick, then next time we are on a ramble.

To make these buttons, find the link here - and don't forget - if you do make any buttons, I'd would love to see them - head over to the facebook page, Bonkers About Buttons and post your photos!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hoppé Portraits: Society, Studio and Street

The National Portrait Gallery is one of my favourite galleries in London, not only because it is free entry but it can be welcome relief from the chaotic madness around Trafalgar Square. When a friend on facebook recently posted some photos, this one immediately caught my eye - I can spot a button in 20 paces! 

© Andrew Fawcett-Wolf

The exhibition, Hoppé Portraits: Society, Studio & Street, is work by the Edwardian modernist photographer, Emil Otto Hoppé (1878-1972). Hoppé (pronounced 'Hop-pay') is considered to be one of the most important photographers of the first half of the twentieth century.

Cecil Beaton called Hoppé 'The Master' and wrote that "his photographs have managed to outlast fashion - one of the rare achievements of photographic history". Celebrated during his lifetime, much of Hoppé’s work has only recently been brought together and this exhibition will enable visitors to the gallery, to discover a forgotten master.

'The Pearlies', Master William Dennis Simmons, London 1922. 
© 2011 Curatorial Assistance,Inc./E.O.Hoppe Estate Collection.

Featuring 150 works, The exhibition includes Hoppé’s strikingly modernist portraits of society figures and important personalities from the worlds of literature, politics and the arts, including George Bernard Shaw, Margot Fonteyn, Albert Einstein, Vita Sackville-West and members of the royal family.

Hoppé’s fascinating photojournalist studies of everyday British people, which capture the realities of day-to-day life between the wars, range from street musicians & circus performers to bus drivers & postmen and of course, our little Pearly Prince, wearing the traditional suit decorated with mother-of-pearl buttons.

The NPG is also currently holding a photographic competition based on Hoppé’s Street Portraits. Be inspired by Hoppé’s portrayal of his era through street photography and you could see your images on display at the Gallery! To enter the competition, simply upload your images via the Hoppé Portraits Flickr group and tag them 'hoppe'. The deadline for submissions is Thursday 5 May 2011. For further info and terms & conditions, see this link - good luck!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday - How to make personlised Buttons from shrinkback plastic

I came across this great little tutorial on Oh!! I Like that... for making your own personalised buttons using little more than pre-cut shrink buttons, a permanent ink pen and a oven or heat gun for shrinking them. I think this could be a great way to capture your childrens drawings or expressions or could even be a great childrens rainy day craft.

If you do manage to make any of the buttons, don't forget to post a photo on the facebook page, Bonkers About Buttons - I'd love to see your creations!

Shrove Tuesday

It's Shrove Tuesday today in the UK, a day where pancakes are traditionally eaten by the bucketload. It's meant to be a day of celebration as well as penitence, as it is the last day before Lent, where people can indulge themselves on foods that traditionally weren't allowed.

There is an annual Pancake Race held on my local high street on Shrove Tuesday, to raise money for local charities. It's always a fun event, with local businesses and celebrities, dressed-up mascots and school children running up the cobbled high street, trying not to trip whilst holding onto a frying pan containing a pancake - very few make it without falling to the cobbles!


Ceramic Button Humidifier & Vase

Designed by Fabio Flora, this handmade ceramic button humidifier is designed to be hung from a radiator and it can also be used as a vase! Who knew that buttons could serve as many purposes as they do?



Whenever I am working with my button collection, you can bet your bottom button that there will be a hot drink in the vicinity too. This clever idea by London-based designer Kenyon Yeh, lets you stir your tea with the 'needle' teaspoon and the button coaster can also be used as a lid. Made from heat resistant rubber & plastic, its available in 2 colours from his online store for only £12.00 - I'm off to find my credit card...

Monday, March 07, 2011

Button Belt

I love this idea! Kristi from Makenzi & Madilyn Designs completed a challenge for Project Restyle using lots of old buttons and a large piece of elastic and I think she has done a fantastic job!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Tim Walker Photography

“Simply the thing that I am shall make me live.” 

William Shakespeare




Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday - How to make Polymer Clay Buttons

Have you ever had trouble finding the perfect buttons? If you sew, knit, or crochet, and are interested in making your own unique buttons for your special projects, or even if you don’t do any of those things, but are looking to get your hands into a new medium, read on.

Lisa Clarke from Polka Dot Cottage is currently doing a fabulous 5 week button making workshop on her blog. Aimed at beginners with little knowledge of polymer and few clay-related supplies at their disposal, her classes will teach you to make all of the buttons pictured above, using nothing more than three blocks of polymer clay and a few inexpensive tools.

Lesson 1: Beginner Button Class - Making & Baking Your First Button
Find the tutorial here

Lesson 2: Beginner Button Class - Striped Snail Shell Buttons
Find the tutorial here

Lesson 3: Beginner Button Class - Asymmetrical Striped Buttons
Find the tutorial here

The tutorials are clearly explained & well photographed, so much so, that you can't fail to go wrong! Lisa also has a gallery set up, so you can show-off any of the buttons that you make. She still has 2 more workshop coming up, so don't forget to subscribe to her feed - now I'm just off to find some polymer...


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