Seeing Green

March 17, 2012

Here is a celebration of Green for St. Patrick’s Day!

Green candy on my window sill

Green and white striped candy canes

Green buttons

Green thread

Disposable fountain pen with green ink

My favorite sweater, a gift from my friend and colleague Kathy who finds treasures like this at thrift stores.

A new batch of Green Velvet Soup with ham (see my blog post for 12/10/2011 for the recipe)

Green shamrocks on my sister's Bleek sugar & creamer

Watercolor sketch of Bleek sugar & creamer

Seeing Red

February 14, 2012

Here is a celebration of red for Valentine’s Day!

Red candy on my window sill

Red-and-white striped candy canes

Red DMC embroidery thread

Red buttons

Red spools of thread

Hand-quilted dresser scarf in Bear Paw pattern

Three red quilt blocks

Handmade Button Bracelet

April 13, 2011

My handmade button bracelet and reflection

I’ve been admiring my friend B.J.’s button bracelet, which she made several months ago.  Then she gave me some cord (it is a special cord with a line of plastic inside) and thread so that I could try to make one of my own.  I’m pleased with my first attempt, although I like B.J.’s bracelet better — I think her buttons are positioned closer together for a tighter finished bracelet. 

Here are some photos of my bracelet in process, so that you can replicate the bracelet, too.

Choosing buttons with shanks from my button supply

Fold a length of cord in half, and anchor your first button at the folded end. From here, you will place buttons between the two cords and sew the cords together around and through the buttons.

The back side of my finished bracelet. You sew a loop at the end for a fastener.

I’m going to try to make this week special by creating art every day, even just a sketch or two.  I’ll treat myself to a mini-retreat at my dining room table!  Let’s see if I can actually do it.  I often don’t take the time to sit down with watercolors and pencils, but whenever I do, I have so much fun.  It makes me wonder why I don’t do this more often.  I’d like sketching to become a daily practice.

Here are yesterday’s efforts:

Watercolor sketch of red buttons

Watercolor sketch of poppy pod

Marbles, buttons and spools of thread

I have to chuckle at the title of this poem.  It’s obviously a given that one would collect books, but what else?

Besides Books, What Do You Collect?
by Richard Jones

Foreign coins,
skeleton keys,
old French primers,
small tin boxes —
any little thing
I can hold in my hand
that like a prayer says
be attentive
this is the way we live —

bits of blue glass
polished by waves
and saved
in a jar
in a drawer.

Blue and green buttons from my collection of buttons

Shells, two decades old, found on Sanibel Island

Watercolor sketch of buttons

Another watercolor sketch of buttons

Paintings and the buttons that inspired them

Handmade Garlands

December 6, 2009

Little woolen stockings ready for hand stitching

Getting ready to string the finished stockings into a garland

Buttons make good fasteners

Decorative garland for the Christmas season

My oldest sister passed along this unfinished project from a Primitive Gatherings pattern.  I decided to finish it in time to use as a Christmas decoration this holiday season.  This year I am not putting out all of the holiday decorations we’ve accumulated over the years.  Still, it’s nice to have something new to display.

My sister had already cut out all of the pieces.  I just blanket-stitched around the appliques and edges.  Then I decided to string the little woolen stockings into a garland.  I used fishing line, buttons, and wound paper beads.  I like the homespun look of the garland, which I hung from the bottom of a wall quilt by our front door.

Button Candy

May 7, 2009

Blue and green buttons in a white bowl

Blue and green buttons in a white bowl

“… buttons are like candy for grown-ups.”
     — Jane Brocket, The Gentle Art of Domesticity”

I consider Jane Brocket a kindred spirit.  I follow her blog at, and I love her book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity.  We like many of the same things, I think.  I especially appreciate the ways she uses color and celebrates the ordinary things in her life.