Friday, November 24, 2017

I've Been Wanting to Play with These Little Guys...

Necklace #182.  Gelato spoons with vintage glass and plastic buttons on Japanese chirimen bias tape.

The annual Salon des Artistes is a week from Sunday!

Come see us if you are near!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fun with found objects - and wonderful Japanese fabric

I've been having fun including some of the found metal objects that sit on my worktable:

Necklace #177 .  Vintage metal buttons with a central bit off the street, on bamboo bias tape.

Necklace #178.  A metal bit with great patina that I found on the street in Houston last year.  The contemporary plastic buttons have a similar patina and the little vintage plastic ones add a poke of color.  It's on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape.

Necklace #180.  This one incorporates a rusty washer that I have long admired.  The buttons are celluloid and other vintage plastic on cotton bias tape.

And then there is this one that is all button:

Necklace #179.  Vintage celluloid buttons on cotton bias tape.

And one with some lovely Japanese kimono silk:

 Necklace #181.  Buttons covered in vintage Japanese kimono silk with vintage plastic accent buttons (maybe Bakelite - not sure), on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape.

And it is time again for the annual Salon des Artistes!  Here is the beautiful invitation created by Bea Lombard, whose work will be available at the event.

In addition to me and Bea, there will be work by Carleen Lopez (bags and pillows with exquisite fabric and photo-transfer embellishment), Phoenix Forrester (vintage clothing and tiny scenes under glass domes), Diane Glenn (necklaces and various bits of exotica), and Marie Baron (pottery and elegant beaded jewelry).  If you are near, please come see us!

Back to black ink - my more current work is in an album at
I am about to work on this album - some images have been in there too long!  I need to fix past posts of this blog as I move some of the pictures to another album and I'll try to be thorough, but if you see holes in a post where there should be pictures, I would be thrilled if you would let me know!  The link to the big album of past work is 


Monday, October 9, 2017

Oh, There Are Finally More.

Life does sometimes slow down production!  But there is a little fresh stock.  For instance:

Necklace #173, Bakelite and celluloid buttons on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape. It's hard not to keep rubbing these smooth buttons with your fingers.

Necklace #174.  Delicious amber-like Bakelite buttons with little hand-painted buttons.  On Japanese cotton bias tape.

Necklace #175.  The classic vintage rhinestone gathering on Japanese chirimen polyster bias tape.

Necklace #176.  Plastic buttons on Japanese chirimen bias tape.  I've long loved these copper-colored buttons with their Deco-like design.  When my friend and I went to Oakland, CA's Creative Reuse Depot and approached the tub of buttons, she started pulling out these graphic ones in wonderful colors with the black cruciform centers.  They seem to have made friends with my copper-colored ones.

Although I've been a bad editor and failed to weed out so many no longer available necklaces, photos of the fairly current work are, as usual, displayed in my Google album at

The annual Salon des Artistes is coming up December 3rd.  We're hosting!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Button Tin Joy!

At a party I recently talked with a long-time colleague of my husband's whom I hadn't seen for quite awhile.  When she heard about the necklaces she told me that her uncle had worked in a button factory back in the day in New York City, that he'd given her a tin of buttons and that she'd like to give it to me.  Indeed, she passed it on to me that very week.  It was the best - not only items that must have come from her uncle's factory but also the grand potpourri of things that turn up in an old button tin.

The tin itself was first-rate:  it once held Passover treats and bore the marks of tape that had once secured it with all those loose buttons inside.

Removing the lid revealed the stash:

a mix of the highly utilitarian with the more whimsical or elegant (note those lizard-skin leather coat buttons), colorful celluoid, a little Bakelite, glass.  Rhinestones!

 As in all good button tins there were some intriguing non-button items:

in particular here, a red mystery item, a celluloid Gibson guitar pick, a tiny heart-shaped padlock (no key), two toggles from old phonographs for switching between 78 and LP speeds, and - in an old envelope from Chemical Bank of New York - a handful of scatter pins in the shape of spectacles.
What a treat!

The black and ivory Bakelite accent buttons on this necklace come from the tin (not the buckle or central button):

Necklace #171,  Vintage plastic buckle with Bakelite buttons on polka-dot cotton bias tape.

I also recently restocked on covered button forms.

On necklace #172 the forms are covered with fabric - rayon, I think - from a Japanese furoshiki.  The print depicts some sort of game with sticks. puck-like circular objects, and these little mustachioed guys with the fierce brows (the background is a cotton Japanese bias tape).

For all the recent necklace photos, click

Monday, March 6, 2017

Whimsy and Color

A few that are new:

Necklace #168
Buttons covered with vintage kimono silk on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape.

This is actually a little re-style, with the big daisy-fabric button put into its center.  Always nice to get yellow and purples (and reds) together.

Necklace #169.
Contemporary bone buttons from Indonesia with vintage bone buttons and vintage bone bodkins, on Japanese cotton bias tape.

My other-in-law had a little bag of old bone bodkins that must have belonged to her mother.  The little faces were saved from a blouse - each one has its own expression.

Necklace is not numbered because I made it for myself.  Vintage mother of pearl buttons and a Japanese wooden slider, on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape.

I was so delighted to find this slider at a yard sale - look at those little teeth!  I finally decided to do something with it and was actually surprised that what I liked best with it were the little mother of pearl sweater buttons of decades past.

Necklace #170.  Vintage celluloid buttons with yoyos of Japanese kimono cotton, on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape.

Sometimes a little yoyo play is a fun thing.  The elaborate extruded yellow celluloid flowers were actually old earrings found in a baggie at Savers thrift store and turned into buttons.  

As always, the big photo album of relatively recent necklaces is at

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Annual Salon des Artistes is Nigh

Here is our official invitation for the Salon this Sunday, by artist Bea Lombard, who will have a table full of lovely wares, much of it elegant paper goods. Also there will be Carleen Lopez (fabric bags, pillows, baby dresses from vintage fabric), Diane Glenn (her famous surprise balls plus altered vintage necklaces and other small treasures), Marie Baron (intricate beaded jewelry plus a new line of clothes based on 19th C finery) and Phoenix Forrester with vintage clothing and accessories.  If you are in Albuquerque, do come by.  If you're returning guests to the airport, we're essentially on the way!

The last few items I've ready for my display corner are:

 Necklace #165, playing with some printed cotton knot buttons and loops, adding vintage metal buttons (that center one was a gift from a friend visiting Morocco) and then accenting with some dyed coral beads.  It's on the woven Japanese bias tape.  Long ago a friend made some lovely stoneware blue and white bowls that she dubbed the "fake folk art bowls."  This is sort of a "fake folk art necklace," with a vague ethnic look.  

Necklace #166.  At a quilt shop in Taos I couldn't resist the little glass stuffed-animal eyes, here mixed with some vintage glass and brass buttons and put on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape.

Necklace #167.    Celluloid pearl buttons with little rhinestone accents on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape.  The necklace reminds me of something I might have had as a little girl in the 1950s.

As always, my little photo album of recent work is at,
May your Thanksgiving be peaceful and lovely!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Vintage Plastics, How I Love Thee

Necklace #161 has a double-up center of a vintage metal and a celluloid button, with textured celluloid buttons making up the rest.  It's on the spotted crisp cotton bias tape.

 Necklace #162 is a mix of celluloid (the larger ones) and Bakelite (the smaller ones) buttons on the polka dots again.

Necklace #163 is vintage celluloid buttons on Japanese cotton bias tape.

and Necklace #164 is mostly shiny Bakelite, with a buckle in the center doubled up with a button with a deep central groove.  I like the way the dots on the bias tape show through the applejuice-style Bakelite button up to the right there.  Not sure if the triangles and the two-color four-hole cream and black button are Bakelite or another old plastic.

Buttons covered in vintage Japanese kimono silk are a visual/textural pleasure as well:

Necklace #160, on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape.