Showing posts with label buttons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label buttons. Show all posts

Featured Artist: Barbra LaBosco

This month I'd like to introduce you to my friend Barbra from All About The Buttons. Like me, Barbra dabbles in a lot of different crafts, including knit and crochet. If you love to knit and crochet too, you definitely need to get your hands on a few of her tape irresistible measures.

Tell us a little about yourself.

It’s never been easy for me to ‘talk’ about me because I never think anyone is interested but you asked, so here goes! My father was a leather designer and my mother sewed a great deal & had an artistic leaning. My brother tinkered and built things & still does today. He is just about ready to sell his photography work which is extraordinary. My nephews, are also very creative and sell their work. (My own son, not so much but wonderful in other ways!) We were a creative bunch and still are. I taught myself how to knit at 8 and shocked my mother and her Mahjongg friends. My loving to create continued as I was an art major in college. I sold many things from cards and scarves, to posters for fraternity parties and sporting events. After college, I chose to go into elementary school teaching and did so for 33 years while still creating on the side and always in my classrooms.

In 1993, I inherited my mother’s/grandmother’s cookie tin of buttons and I just sat and played and imagined and All About The Buttons was established at my kitchen table. In 2002, my husband and I moved from New York to South Carolina…a bit of culture shock! The motivation to come here was my son and his family which now includes his 3 boys, the light of our lives and also life without snow! Upon the move I gained a dedicated studio. No more cleaning up just because someone wants dinner! It’s the “not for public viewing” space that I don’t have to clean up if I’m not in the mood. In the mid 90s, it was suggested that I sell online but doing so for one-of-a-kind items was not feasible then. In 2006, it became possible for me and here I am!

What inspires you?

I have always made “stuff” and loved to sketch. I started with macaroni pictures as a young child to tape measures now! There’s barely any craft or material that I haven’t tried but a few are on my wish list. I have done extensive beaded flowers but the old eyes won’t tolerate that today. I dislike painting and anything with clay but have worked with both. I am in awe of quilters and one day I’d like to have the quilt in my head materialize. I have only made one stained glass piece and would love to give that another go for personal pleasure, not for sale.

I am inspired by basic supplies-buttons, yarn, paper and ribbon-which are often purchased with no goal in mind. Those materials began as someone else’s creations and I make them mine. I don’t make buttons, or spin yarn but taking them from a kind of raw state to a useful and beautiful item is so enjoyable. Often a material will sit for months but eventually will get used somehow. Actually, that’s not true! My button and yarn stash could keep me and several others busy for years! I also love to recycle and repurpose, whether it’s for sale or my private use. Making clocks out of old CDs, trays and dishes has been great fun.

What do you create?

As I said, the knitting was started very young and was quickly followed by crocheting and needlepoint. They came from a desire to emulate my Mom, Aunts and Grandmother who all indulged in activities requiring needles and I still enjoy them all. Working with buttons came from a desire to highlight them, rather than just use as garment closures. To me, they are often little works of art.

Tell us about your product line especially for knitters and crocheters.

The tape measures evolved from embarrassment! I pulled mine out in a store to measure a small stool and it was so grungy, it gave me the shivers. “Make it pretty” it said to me, and they have been an amazing ride ever since.

A knitter or crocheter must have one. It’s such a practical, useful item for anyone but I’m shocked that I’m not bored making them. Each one is just that different to keep my interest. Knitters and crocheters love all the sheep themes but have other interests as well and the tapes make great “I don’t know what to get her” gifts. Everyone can use them! I still get excited when another one sells and am always looking for new ideas for them.

Do you accept custom design orders?

I love custom tape measure orders and find my customers are very creative. The latest custom order was for a graduating pharmacy student from her aunt! People, buttons, yarn and fabric are constant inspirations.

What is a typical day for you?

A typical day consists of the mundane and ordinary household responsibilities. I fit in at least one hour of creating whether it’s tape measure construction, knitting or making shipping envelopes and cards. Much time is also spent on promoting online, a necessary evil. A great day may include gardening if my body and weather permits!

I’ve been blessed with a wonderful career and phase two has been just as exciting. I love what I do!

Anything else you would like to share?

One of the side benefits and joys of selling online is meeting great, creative souls all over the world. Creating can be an isolating endeavor but the internet has opened up the world for us all. I love that I can say I have friends in Texas, Oregon and New Hampshire, Germany and Australia. We may never physically meet, but we share passions, goals and intensity. It’s something no one anticipated with online selling and a wonderful bonus.

Stay Connected with Barbra

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Crochet Pattern: Flower Buttons

Crochet Tutorial and Pattern: Learn how to make you own flower buttons.I admit, sometimes I get crafter's block and just feel uninspired. That's why I love it when my friends ask, "Hey, Ellen, have you ever made...?"

This time the inspiration came from my friend Maryse. (She's pretty crafty, too and you can find her on Facebook at UnChifon Fon Fon.) She asked if I had ever made crochet flower buttons. The answer was no, but clearly I had to give it a try!



The entire piece is worked in the round with the right side facing.

With orchid pink

Rnd 1: form a magic loop, 8 sc in magic loop and pull loop closed, sl st in front loop of 1st sc,
Rnd 1: Ch 2, 8 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in front loop of first sc.
Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 4 dc in front loop of same sc, [ch 1, drop loop from hook, insert hook from front to back in first dc of 5dc group, draw dropped loop through, ch 3, 5 dc in front loop of next sc] 7 times, ch 1, drop loop from hook, insert hook from front to back in first dc of 5dc group, draw dropped loop through, ch 3, sl st in 1st dc of rnd. Fasten off.

With frosty green

Rnd 3: Attach green in back loop of any sc from Rnd 1, ch 4 (counts as first tr), 3 tr in  back loop of same sc, [4 tr in back loop of next sc from Rnd 1] 7 times, sl st in first tr of rnd.

Rnd 4: [Ch 3, skip 1 tr, sl st in nest tr] 16 times. Fasten off.
Cut a 12-18 inch piece of either yarn. Weave it up and down through all of the ch 3 loops.
Place the button cover onto the wrong side of the crochet flower.
Pull the yarn snuggly so the green part og the flower wraps around the button cover. Tie the yarn in a knot and trim the tail.

Make sure the flower is centered on the front of the button.
Position the button back.
This next part takes some muscle use the pusher to push the back into the cover.
You'll know it is in place when you here it pop.
Finally, the hard part, decide what you are going to use your pretty, crocheted flower buttons for!

Crochet Tutorial and Pattern: Learn how to make you own flower buttons.

Happy Crocheting!

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Tutorial: Beaded Ladder Bracelet

How to make a simple beaded ladder bracelet.Back in November, hubby and I enjoyed an afternoon browsing the shops in Tubac, an artist community just a bit south of Tucson. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend it. Lots of neat shops and plenty of tasty restaurants.

We left empty handed that day, but I did get some inspiration for a project. Almost every shop that carried jewelry had a display of beaded ladder bracelets in a variety of eye catching colors. With a few basic supplies and a little bit of time, you'll be surprised how easy it is to create your own beaded bracelets.



Begin by measuring your wrist. Mine is about 6 inches around.
Fold your cord in half and tightly tie an overhand knot to create a loop that is large enough for your button to pass through.
Secure the loop under your clipboard clip.
Fold your thread in half and tie it in a knot close to the cord knot. wrap the thread around the cord a few times and tie another knot to secure the thread.
Use a small binder clip to secure the cord at the bottom of your clipboard.

Once you get the hang of this beading technique, you may not need the bottom of the cord secured, but as you are getting started it helps your work remain untangled.
Insert the ends of the thread through the needle.

Lift the left cord and pull the thread under it.
Slide one bead onto the thread.
Lift the right cord and pull the thread under it.
Slide the needle back through the bead from right to left making sure your needle comes out above the left cord.
Pull the thread tightly to secure the first bead.
Lift the left cord and pull the thread under it.
Slide two beads onto the thread.
Lift the right cord and pull your thread under it.
Slide the needle back through the two beads from right to left making sure your needle comes out above the left cord and pull the cord tightly to secure the beads.
I bet you're starting to see the pattern here.

Lift the left cord and pull the thread under it.
Slide on three beads.
Lift the right cord and pull your thread under it.
Slide the needle back through the three beads from right to left making sure your needle comes out above the left cord and pull the cord tightly to secure the beads.
Continue adding "rungs" of three beads onto your ladder bracelet until the beaded length measures the same as the length abound your wrist.
Finally, add a rung of two beads and then a rung of one bead to complete the beaded section.
Tie the thread and knot it around both cords. wrap it around the cords a few times then knot it again.

To conceal your thread ends, string them back and forth through a few rungs of your beaded ladder, wrapping around the cords on either side. Carefully trim off the remaining thread.
Tightly tie an overhand knot in the cords as closely to your wrapped thread as possible.
Slide a button onto the cords.
Tightly tie an overhand knot close to the button to secure it into place.

Trim the cord close to the knot.

If you want to ensure that the final knot never unties (Trust me, you do!) add a few drops of G-S Hypo cement around the knot and let the glue dry completely.
Your bracelet is ready to wear!

How to make a simple beaded ladder bracelet.

If you really want to get fancy, you can use your favorite findings to secure the ends instead of a loop and button. I really like magnetic clasps for bracelets because sometimes it's tricky to grab those little lobster claws.

How to make a wrapped, beaded ladder bracelet.

Another option when securing the thread before and after beading, instead of wrapping the thread around both cords at once, you can do a fishtail braid. Just wrap the thread in figure eights around one cord and then the other.

Get really fancy and make a wrap bracelet.  For a double wrap, you'll need 36-40 inches of cord and about 20 feet of thread.

Happy Beading!

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