Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Travelling Buttons

Russian animator, Anastasia Zhuravlena created & directed this fabulous short film dedicated to all the buttons lost in the metro. The film features performances by all kinds of magnificent buttons; round ones, squares one, wooden ones, plastic ones, colourful ones and toggles. Starting with a rush-hour scene, where the trains are made from zips, the story unfolds of button love found on the escalator, love lost and love rediscovered. There are also some great little scenes of a button taken ill and then the usual drunken buttons on the last train home!

Anastasia studied at the Department of History & Philology of the Russian State Humanities University until 1999 and majored in Jewish Studies. She learned animation film-making at the Rys Studio and Shar School in Moscow.
 Ostorozhno, Dveri Otkryvajutsia! (Caution, the Doors Are Opening!), 
directed by Anastasia Zhuravlena, Russia 2005

Monday, May 23, 2011

Greca Button Factory

Founded by Argentine designers Rocio Gonzalez & Lucas Damian Campodonico, Greca is a small design company making a variety of objects & accessories using recycled resin and buttons.  
Greca's overall aim is to reduce their environmental impact and spread their sustainable ideas to a diverse range of clients. With their studio based within a button factory (how lucky are they!), they develop their products using buttons that have not met quality control and leftover resin from the industrial processes at the button factory.


Greca sells in stores in Argentina, Chile, Spain, Germany, USA and New Zealand and through their website. You can also find them on Facebook here.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Buttons Up Game

A cute and simple game (to waste yet more time!) collecting buttons of the same colour.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Anouchka Potdevin

French artisan designer Anouchka Potdevin, has worked as both a photographer and metal worker and has, for the last 6 years concentrated on re-making a variety of vintage furniture, porcelain, chairs, stools & jewellery.

Anouchka works across a broad spectrum of design fields; from interiors to product design; fashion to lighting design for a range of clients, but it was the more personal work on her blog that instantly caught my eye. Inspired by various iconic singers & a Vuitton catwalk model whom all have fabulous hair, she has drawn some simple stylised portraits on canvas and used black plastic buttons to portray their hair - and it's all a 'fabulousness' overload! I think they look incredible!

Vuitton catwalk model

Vuitton catwalk model detail

Diana Ross_1

Diana Ross_1 detail

Diana Ross_2

Diana Ross_2 detail

Erykah Bad

Erykah Badu detail

Lauren Hill

Lauren Hill detail

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's how you say it

A friend of mine posted this short film on Facebook today and I just had to share it, as it's so beautiful. In homage to "Historia de un letrero" (The Story of a Sign) by Alonso Alvarez Barreda, the film illustrates what moves us to compassion through the power of words. It's not always what you say, but how you say it and by changing your message, you can change your effect upon the world. Enjoy!

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday - Make a Button & Wire Brooch

Sister Diane (aka Diane Gilleland) from Crafty Pod has, as per usual, another fantastic tutorial for making these wonderful wired button brooches. With simple, clear instructions and step-by-step photographs, you can choose to make either a lovely 'Shooting Star' or 'Vase of Flowers' brooch, using some of your favourite buttons. Diane's great little tutorial is here.

I was also really really pleased to find out that Diane was recently made Editor-in-Chief of Craft Magazine. I have been a long time fan of Craft magazine, since finding the early print issues. The magazine is now online only and is about the intersection of crafting, art, technology and sometimes just plain geekery, but it's always fun and it has managed to bring a large diverse craft community together, in a way that no-one has done before. Do also sign-up for the Craft monthly and daily newsletter - there is nothing better than a dose of inspiration to start the day!

Monday, May 16, 2011

TagRags by Rimi Nyak

"When you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at change."
Wayne Dyer

I have posted before (here), about fashion designer, Rimi Nayak. Based in India, Rimi recently launched her Tag Rags collection at Lakme Fashion Week 2011 and I love what she has done.

By taking a fashion industry staple, the kimble tag, and changing the way she looked at it, Rimi has created some amazing pieces. Not only were the tags applied to dresses and then buttons were all individually hand-threaded but Rimi has also designed & created collars, rings, brooches and sandal adornments!

I would love to see them - the movement & sound as the buttons 'swish' about, must be great!

I love the idea of making a ring using kimble tags - I may need to have a go at making my own version. Do also head over to Rimi's Facebook page here, to keep up-to-date on what she's up to.

Do also watch the short video of all the work in action!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


One Chair = 1,727 Buttons

My jaw dropped and I did a double take, when I saw this amazing piece of work by Annelie Jakobs from Thuisvlucht. (Thuisvlucht means "Flying Home")

Annelie found an old chair by the side of the road, around the corner from her house. After taking it home and living with it for a while, she found it was no longer usable and transformed the chair into... (wait for it!) 1,727 Buttons! Every button is unique, individually identified with it’s location in the chair, a number, a thread and a label. I love the way the chair/buttons as been laid out, all neatly strung together.

Annelie's concept is that she wants, what was once part of her home, to now fly around the globe and become a part of other people's homes. She is selling the individually numbered buttons for €5.00 each (including postage), and via a map on her website, is tracking the locations of where the (chair) buttons end up!

Do go and have a look around the website HERE (there is an English language version) and click on various different sections of the laid-out button chair  - the photo's are not only amazing but the detail is incredible. I would love to know how this project took Annelie from start to finish - never mind cutting the chair up into buttons the cataloging is enough to make my head hurt!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sewing Buttons

I think I've been living in the dark ages... I had no idea that you could sew a button on a sewing machine!



Tutorial Tuesday - Dyeing Plastic Buttons

I had never even considered dyeing my own buttons until I came across this tutorial on the RIT website. I have a huge amount of white and translucent buttons, which are all a bit dull and I can never quite find a use for them, but I also can't bring myself to get rid of them!

Dying the buttons would be the answer to my problems - but one of the biggest problems I have - it that RIT dye is not available in the UK as far as I am aware and I can't find an equivalent product. So if you do have access to RIT, then do let me know how you get on - I would love to know! Or, if you know of a dye, available in the UK, then do please let me know too!

Supplies Needed:
  • Rit Liquid or Powder Dye: Any color or mix dye to create a custom color. Colors used in photographs: Sunshine Orange, Evening Blue, Scarlet, Fuchsia, Lemon Yellow, Violet, Apple Green, Golden Yellow
  • White Buttons
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Disposable Plastic Containers for dyeing buttons
  • Spoon for mixing dyes
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Plastic Table Cover
  • Paper Towels
  1. Cover work surface with a plastic table cover.
  2. Decide what colors you like and prepare dye according to the basic recipe below. Liquid dyes are more concentrated than powder dyes so use half as much dye. Always test color with fabric scrap or paper towel before dyeing buttons. If color is too light, add more dye; if it is too dark, add more water.
  3. Basic Recipe: Measure and mix 1 teaspoon liquid dye or 2 teaspoons powder dye with 1 Cup HOT Water. Shake liquid dyes before measuring. Water should be about 140°F. If your tap water is not hot enough, heat some in the microwave or a tea kettle.
  4. Pour dye and water into a plastic container; stir. Make sure container is deep enough.
  5. Immerse buttons in dye solution for 2 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally and check color frequently. Remove buttons when desired color is achieved. Rinse buttons. Then wash with soap and water, rinse and dry with paper towels.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Dragons are coming to a Summer near you

There is something quite mesmerising about watching Dragonflies during the summer - their iridescent coloring and double wings make them look as if they are hopping and dancing through the sunlight. Kajsa, from the wonderfully crafty blog, Syko (she also wrote Scandinavian Stitches), recently made these amazing Dragonflies using a design template by Amy Adams, from her recently published Countryside Softies. I love Kajsa's interpretation of the dragonfly, with it's huge shiny gold eyes! I also love the fact that it is small enough, to use up all those scrappy bits of fabric, that are always too small to do anything with, but that you can't quite bring yourself to throw away!

via flickr

"Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly
hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky."
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Silent Noon

via flickr

If you fancy having a go at making your your own dragonfly, you will be pleased to know that the publishers of Countryside Softies, Stashbooks have made a FREE pdf download available! Go here to download! And don't forget, if you do make anything using buttons, then head over to the Facebook page Bonkers About Buttons and post your photos - we would love to see them!


Friday, May 06, 2011

The Hoffman Challenge

Jill from Jillions of Buttons recently posted some photos on her Facebook page that she took while at the 2011 Denver National Quilt Festival VI. Some of the quilts look spectacular in their workmanship, but the one I fell in love with, is this particular entry which is part of the The Hoffman Challenge 2010.

This year The Hoffman Challenge is celebrating its 24th anniversary. The Challenge originally started with 94 enthusiastic quilters, and in some years, the number of entries grew to more than 700. Every year, a new fabric is specifically designed and released for the Challenge and all entrants should use and interpret that particular fabric as the primary fabric in their quilt. 

In addition to the three quilt categories (pieced, appliqué and mixed technique), categories include clothing (wearable art), accessories, and dolls. While the majority of the entries come from the United States, a wide variety of international entries are also received. Each year, the top entries are grouped into traveling collections and visit quilt & fiber shows, seminars, quilt shops and quilt & doll-makers guilds throughout the USA and Canada.  

While I normally tend to prefer abstract quilts designs as opposed to pictorial, this one really struck a cord with me - having grown up near the sea, I have always loved sea anenome's and I love everything about this quilt - the colours, texture & buttons make is really sing and I feel like I could almost pick it up!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!


How cute are these little sombrero buttons?


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