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.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Slow still at the work table, but a little action.....

Sometimes a re-style is in order, and for this one I replaced a lovely but subtle old button

with a less subtle, sharper-contrast contemporary plastic button:

So, the necklace now known as #151 pops a little more on the neck (the little buttons are covered with Japanese kimono silk), and I look forward to using the sweet old button on a garment.

I have been looking at lots of vintage French casein plastic necklaces from the 1930s from designer Bonaz, and my favorite one is half-black and half-red - very sleek. In the shop of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art I saw this luscious glass necklace (from its patina I at first thought it was vinyl), also half-black and half-red, and so it was time to make a half- and half- backing for a button necklace.  I wanted rhythm but not straightforward bilateral symmetry with the buttons:

Necklace #152.  Vintage Lucite and rhinestone button, other vintage lucite and vintage plastic buttons, on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape.

I've been meaning to play with yo-yos from the Japanese vintage kimono silk stash, and here is one, also featuring some of the cloth-covered buttons I got at Le Petit Pan in Paris.

Necklace #153.  Poufs of vintage Japanese kimono fabric with cotton-covered buttons from Paris, on Japanese cotton bias tape.

(Confession - a little of the gathering on the central pouf shows here!  It doesn't show on the necklace now, but I really liked this picture and didn't dump it!).

Again, more necklace pictures at

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Few New Ones for May.

Rhinestones always seem to hit the spot, and here is one made not just from buttons but with a little square vintage buckle - topped with a deconstructed vintage earring - as the centerpiece.  Buttons and a couple more deconstructed earrings fill in more of the strand:

Necklace #148.  Rhinestones on Japanese chirimen bias tape.

A friend attended a conference at Brown University, and around the corner there in Providence R.I. she found a little junk store with some buttons as well as a big baggie of curious cabechons that may or may not be rootbeer bakelite.  Providence was long the costume jewelry capital of the U.S. - who knows just for what these beauties were intended.  They were a thoughtful gift.  Not long after, Albuquerque's venerable and beloved Morningside Antiques store closed, and in the tray of remaining buttons was a delicate old celluloid buckle, which plays well with the mysterious cabechons.  The buckle may be too delicate for any but the most respectful wearer, even though I have coated all the edges with lacquer (also known as clear nail polish).   We'll see how it plays out.

Necklace #149.  Vintage celluloid buckle and vintage plastic cabechons, with buttons covered in antique kimono silk and small vintage brass buttons - on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape.

I found a really appealing remnant of old Japanese kimono silk at a yard sale and here mixed it with a heartier old celluloid buckle and some bakelite buttons.  The cream deco ones came from the yard sale of a prominent local jeweler.  

Necklace #150.  Celluoid buckle, bakelite buttons, and buttons covered with vintage Japanese kimono silk, on Japanese cotton bias tape.

A Google + album of the most recent necklaces can be found at  Click on a picture to find the caption (and if it doesn't appear up at the right, click the little circled "i" for information and it should get that started).  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

It Has Been a Spell without New Work or Postings....

But time to start again.

These interestingly-faceted old plastic buttons in rich peacock were still on their card at a local collectibles shop:

Necklace  #146.  Vintage plastic and brass buttons on Japanese cotton bias tape.

And the center red button on this one and the matt-blue buttons with the six little holes came from Paris.

Necklace #147.  Contemporary plastic buttons on Japanese chirimen polyester bias tape.

Maybe more next week!