Sunday, March 27, 2011

Covered Button Tutorial and Badge Reels I made with them

First I'll show you what I've been making this weekend for Farmers Market, then I'll explain how to make the covered buttons. What fun it was to find the vintage fabric in my stash and pick out designs I thought might appeal to a wide variety of people! Of course with this being Kansas and all AND with it being a Farmers Market, when I came across remnants of the John Deere fabric that I'd used years ago when my husband has his school kids make 12 inch squares for a quilt I just KNEW those HAD to be included! Heck, if nobody buys them I'll wear them with my badge at work! And don't you just LOVE those sunflowers? Also remnants from another quilt his kids made blocks for and I sewed together.

The pink, blue and green fabric on the left is from upholstery samples and the black is beautiful velvet left over from a skirt I made for my daughter years ago (come to think of it I never finished that skirt...)

The buttons below are made from a variety of fabric. For instance that purple and gold one is from an old tie, as is the red paisley button. The pink, yellow and green watermelon fabric is left over from a cute little jumpsuit I made my daughter some 20 years ago and the pink dotted fabric is actually new, but without a home or project in mind, just got a good deal on it (yes ladies, I KNOW you ALL know what I'm talking about!)
 This gives you an idea of the different colors of badge reels that I used. What I had available was white, dark pink, blue and black, so I just had to make it all work together. I think they turned out great!

 OK, NOW on with the tutorial. First you'll need to gather your supplies. The only real necessity for making the covered buttons is the button kit. It will include a base (the round white thing) and the pusher (blue round thing that isn't a badge reel) along with a few button blanks in two pieces. You will want the blanks that do not have shank backs, although the shank piece is easily removable if that's all you can find. The package has a template on the back showing how large to cut your circles for the size of button you are using. The circle cutter on the right is strictly optional. I bought one because I thought I'd be making a bunch of yo-yo's, but it's a little more cumbersome than I'd hoped and hasn't gotten as much use as I'd expected. It did come in handy for this project though, so I'm glad I had it. My glue of choice is E-6000 because it is VERY strong when cured, but you can use whatever you prefer, just make sure it will create a permanent bond to metal. Oh and the last thing, of course, is your fabric. The one below turned out to be just a bit thicker than normal, making it a little tricky to get the back of the button to push down into the front, but I made it work anyway (where there's a will, there's a way, but I won't be demonstrating THAT part of it here today...)
 Step 1:  Cut your circle according to the size indicated on your package template.
 Step 2:  Line up your button front in the center of the fabric circle.
 Step 3:  Place the fabric with the metal button front on it over the top of the white base and push down evenly.
 Step 4: Smoosh the button down so the white base hugs it really tight, then using your fingernail, evenly smoosh the fabric down all the way around. When using thinner fabric this step isn't a necessity, but with the thicker fabric it makes a much nicer button.
 Step 5:  Place the button base over the top of the smooshed down fabric.
Step 6:  Place the blue pusher thingy over the metal button base and push down in the middle. Ok, so this is where it got really tricky with the thick fabric and the blue thingy just kind of bent rather than pushing the base down into the fabric, so I'd suggest starting with thinner fabric.
Step 7:  What the button looks like after you've pushed the base into the button top. (Or what the other button I made with thinner fabric looked like anyway since the thicker fabric one got a little bent up by my alternative method.)
 Step 8:  Tada! Your beautiful finished button! I love this one so much that I think I'll wear it tomorrow!
 Step 9:  Go check on the dog (or cat or kids or spouse or whatever!) LOL! and find out it's snowing AGAIN!!!
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Getting ready for Farmers Market!

Woohoo I am soooooo excited about our upcoming debut at the Topeka Farmers Market on April 9th!!! While on vacation last week I made 22 boxes of candy-decorated cookies. The boxes were cut on my Cricut and hand assembled by me. They have clear acetate on the lids so the lovely cookies can be viewed. I didn't take pictures after everything was put together, but will post pics of our booth after April 9th. Each box is tied with brown and white baker's twine and includes a matching tag ready for gift-giving. The tag is made out of the square that was cut out of the box lids, so every little bit was used. Oh and I've made more tags out of what was left after cutting the lids and will offer those for sale too. Here's a peek at the cookies:

Most are decorated for Easter, but since not everyone celebrates Easter I also made some sunflower decorations. I think that white one with the yellow center looks a bit like a sunny-side up egg!

Here's all the lids waiting to be plopped on the boxes.

Wish us luck!
 Ooooh oooooh ooooh!!! I just entered to win this awesome blog candy over at Angelwood's Crafting Corner. She also has a daughter, although much younger than my Emily, that loves to make cards too and she has showcased some of her work on the blog over at

Go take a peek and enter to win one of three sets of awesome candy!
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Official Hive Creative Challenge - SPRING

I love this green trellis yarn necklace I made to celebrate my Irishness! Well I'm one quarter Irish anyway, love, love , LOVE green and needed something to wear with my green shirt today, so what do you think? I know I know, they're sideways, but for the life of me I can't figure out why because they are NOT sideways in my picture program!

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Trellis yarn necklace I made

I was so excited this morning when I put on my new trellis yarn necklace that I made and found out that it matched one of my favorite tops just perfectly! Not only that, but it also matches the badge lanyard my daughter made. These pictures don't show the true colors, so please just use your imagination and trust me.... they really do match! We're getting geared up for the Farmers Market and just got in a new order of yarn, so watch our Etsy shop for more exciting colors to come! We'll also put some of the lanyards in the shop and those can be used either to hold your badge reel or just plain as a necklace by itself or layered with the multi-layered necklaces. What fun!

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You Need Groupon!

One of the hottest trends these days are sites like Groupon where you can get awesome deals at very reasonable prices. Most are at least 50% off the normal price. If you use my link I'll get a great reward and you'll get a great price, so please click here to find a great deal! I promise that you won't be disappointed!

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Earrings my daughter made and cards I've been working on

Ok, so after showing you my horribly messy desk I think it's time to show you that I really DO get some work done, but before that let me show off the earrings my daughter made for me using an Arizona Tea can and some flower punches. These are absolutely amazing and very similar to some she is selling in our Etsy shop, Eco Chique Boutique
If anyone knows how to make these pictures maintain their angle instead of importing sideways please let me know. When I save them prior to importing they are right side up. Very perplexing!

The next group of pictures is a bunch of stamped images that I colored with colored pencils. The book I am using to attempt to become a better artist is also shown. I hope to learn how to draw realistic things like they show in the book, but even if I just improve my skills I'll be happy. They don't use stamped images, but I'm just taking baby steps (channeling Dave Ramsey now...)

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My Project Desk

I will let this picture speak for itself. You'll have to click on it to zoom it so you can read all the text identifying some of the objects. This is my usual state of chaos and is a good representation of my CADD (Crafters Attention Deficit Disorder). Funny thing is that one would expect a person to function much more efficiently without disorder, right? Maybe that's true, but this is always how I end up after a couple of weeks no matter how often I clear off my desk! Anyone else have this same dilemma?

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Going to see Dave Ramsey today!

Thanks to the generosity of our daughter and son-in-law's Christmas gift we get to attend a Dave Ramsey seminar today (Mike calls it a concert... lol!) If you don't know who he is you can read all about him on his site here. In a nutshell he's a Christian guy who made it big fast, lost it all, then learned how to life life, including his budget, from a Biblical standpoint. We gave our daughter and SIL tickets a couple of years ago and they are well on their way to being completely debt-free. Although Mike and I don't use credit cards we would like to learn how to manage our meager salaries a bit better and be confident that when our time comes to retire we'll be prepared.

I know I've promised to post pictures of my newest homemade stamps and probably half a dozen other things that haven't shown up here yet. If you haven't figured this out, this gal is very easily distracted! Perhaps tomorrow I'll get some pictures posted. There's a Yahoo group for the TC Stampmaker that I've joined recently and have received some encouragement from them along with some good tips. Maybe there's hope for me after all!

Our newest addition, Harley the Wire Fox Terrier, is fitting in quite nicely and keeps us on our toes. Do you remember having to childproof your house when you had babies around? Well we're learning all over again what needs to be hidden, latched, and so on. This little guy is very feisty and must stay busy all the time unless he's asleep, so if we aren't entertaining him he finds things to entertain himself, like chewing on our arms or pulling the protective covers off the furniture, or running at full speed past one of the other dogs and snapping at their head or tail (or maybe both). We have spray water bottles in nearly every room and use them when one of the dogs gets out of control. Usually all we have to do is point it at them and they stop dead in their tracks. I suspect that little Harley will actually get to liking that water and treat it as another one of his little games!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

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