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.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sparkly and/or Sleek.

These muti-colored flecked sparkly buttons were in the box given me by a friend for my birthday, and she suggested they'd be good with smaller buttons overlaid on their centers.  I decided on the see-through but blurry and reflective quality of little vintage Lucite plastic or glass buttons.

Necklace #157, plastic buttons with Lucite or glass vintage buttons overlaid, on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape.

Still with sparkly, the center button on this next one is by glass artist Robin Pascal, whose studio is in the mountains east of Albuquerque, but all the little companion buttons are sleek - covered in vintage Japanese kimono silk.

Necklace #158.  Art glass button with buttons covered in vintage Japanese kimono silk, on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape.

But then back to sparkly with some patina of past life - vintage rhinestone and metal buttons:

Necklace # 159.  Vintage rhinestone and metal buttons on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape. 

For the album of most recent work, click on  Click a picture, and if there is no caption displayed to the right, click on the little encircled "i" to get them started.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Birthday Buttons and a Great Living Estate Sale Can Get One Going.

Moving along into Fall (Balloon Fiesta week here in Albuquerque), a few more specimens join the collection:

Necklace #154 has an antique carved jet central button flanked by two sweet handpainted wooden ones, bracketed by two vintage plastic flowerpots, all on the chirimen-weave Japanese polyester bias tape.

 Necklace #155.  A good friend gave me a birthday box filled with vintage buttons, including these wonderfully-aged pearl ones.  The central button is a modern acrylic flower with an antique glass and metal button added; the other flowers are vintage Lucite with vintage faceted red glass buttons added to them.  Pink cotton Japanese bias tape.  Love the pink shadow from that central button.

The central button on Necklace #156 came from an amazing living estate sale.  A nice woman whom I've yardsaled alongside for a number of years decided to downsize.  The whole enclosed back porch of a sweet Mission-revival house was filled with a button collection for sale - boxes, drawers, shelves!  The celluloid and rhinestone central button is from there.  The vintage plastic (feels like Bakelite...) and metal buttons were in my birthday box from my friend, and little old plastic and rhinestone drops tend pop up (although less often than they once did) in old sewing boxes.  These are on a chirimen polyester base.

Scroll down to the last post for a link to the current button-necklace photo album.