Tuesday, December 28, 2010

First Trio of Button Bags Listed on Etsy!

Over the Christmas weekend, I completed the third button bag. It was so fun creating all of the rosettes with which to adorn the bag. I used a combination of handspun, hand dyed alpaca yarn from Adrianna's alpaca Phidippides, along with hand dyed cotton yarn, for the blanket stitching of the rosettes. Then of course, I got to pick out the "just right" vintage buttons. Since this is a really nice, soft lambswool sweater by designer Alfani, I choose to leave the tag in...just for fun!

Please visit our Etsy store "Spin A Yarn" (from Adrianna's former homeschool entrepreneur storefront project) if you are interested in purchasing one of the Button Bags. DIY kits for the bags and very reasonably priced DIY bags for rosettes will also be listed by New Years.

We will even be scheduling classes for : Button Bag Creation and Three Gifts to Make in One Hour Each. These 1/2 day classes will be at our beach cabin later in January. Tea and cookies included!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Beach Cabin

With the children at their father's house in Canada for Christmas weekend, it has been a time of rest and reflection for me. I feel so blessed to live in this wonderful beach cabin. Yes, really...the view is from my fiber studio window!

After more than a year of not being able to spin fiber (due to my autoimmune arthritis), I oiled up the wheel and spent some lovely time spinning today! The baby blue yarn is from Adrianna's 4H alpaca, which we hand dyed last year. After being made into a 2-ply yarn, it will be luxurious embellishment for a button bag. Maybe a diaper bag for a baby boy?

I'm not totally alone today. Dream, our 6 1/2 year-old "Lassie" collie, is busy supervising (between naps) from her favorite perch on the loveseat.

In between spinning and working on the latest button bag, I've also spent some time organizing more buttons. Aren't they pretty? Within a week, I hope to have DIY button bags posted on Etsy. The DIY kits will include the felted wool sweater purse, ready to be embellished with handspun and/or handdyed yarn (included), instructions, and of course....buttons!

Hope and prayers for a wonderful, relaxing Christmas for all of you. And, please remember to recycle from your holiday celebrations!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Buttons, Buttons, and More !

I'll admit it. I love buttons. These tiny jewels catch my eye, my heart, and my imagination. As I spend hours rummaging through antique shops and secondhand stores for buttons, my mind tries to envision the family stories behind these buttons. I'm often intrigued by the myriad of containers women have used for decades in which to store their spare buttons or their family treasures.

Buttons and recycled fibers just go together...the perfect marriage in my creative mind. The fiber is the canvas and the button and handspun yarn are the paint.

So, I wanted to share with you my new found treasures, acquired in two full days of antique and secondhand store visits. They still need to be lovingly washed and dried by hand to bring out their shine after being buried for many years in dusty drawers.

If one of them (or more) catch YOUR eye, then please contact me to design your custom button bag, made entirely out of recycled fibers and natural materials.

Finally, I am posting a pic of my first ever button and recycled fiber project, mittens I made seven years ago, using a felted wool sweater, some of my early handspun yarn, and yes, buttons. These mittens have served me well, protecting my hands from wood splinters as I have refilled the woodstove bin, keeping me warm as I went on a winter walk, and more.

Please check out this great blog from a sister fiber recycler from the other end of the country:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Mittens Project Progress ... and a Button Bag!

Adrianna and Allison's Merry Mittens Project is off and running, with more than 20 pairs completed at HomeConnection alone! Oak Harbor elves have created warm woolen mittens in all colors and sizes. We will pick up more mittens from Oak Harbor Knits on Monday, where other elves have been hard at work. Then, the girls will stuff the mittens with personal toiletries and deliver the mittens to the homeless in Seattle during Christmas week.

True to the spirit of Everything But The Oink, spare sweater sleeve pieces were used to create ear warmers and watch caps also.

They are also now starting this project at a knitting store in Everett, to serve the homeless in that community. This is a very rewarding project, and one in which many can help by sewing up a pair of mittens in an afternoon or evening.

I also finished the purple "button bag" and am posting pictures of the completed project. I will list it on Etsy (Spin A Yarn) and the proceeds will help purchase more supplies for the Merry Mittens Project and fiber arts education for youth on our island. I am volunteer teaching a Fiber Friends class (sampler in fiber arts) this next semester, and am always available to teach (for free!) to youth on Whidbey Island. I also hope to start some recycled fiber arts classes for adults (for a reasonable fee) after the first of the year.

If you enjoy the blog, please become a follower. Followers are good in this situation. :-)

My next project will be a bag with lots of fiber rosettes on the bag, and maybe a few buttons too. I found some great vintage buttons this week to add to my collection!