Sunday, May 13, 2012

Button Swap 'n' Hop

  Today is reveal day for the button swap challenge! Hip Hip Hooray!

This lovely swap was arranged by Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio. If you click on the image above (aka the button swap banner), it'll take you to the post that explains it all, but in quick summary, all of us participants were assigned a partner to whom we sent some small number of buttons, and in turn our partners sent us back some buttons of their own.

I've always loved buttons, but I'd not yet used them in my jewelry. My mom recently gave me a huge sack of buttons, some vintage and some brand spanking new. Because I'm always looking for a way to challenge myself as an artist, I just knew that I had to enter this blog hop, so I did-- and boy, was it challenging to decide what I wanted to do with those buttons!

First things first, I was paired up with the lovely Cynthia over at  Antiquity Travelers, and these are the buttons I received from her:

I told her that blue was my favorite color, so she sent me an all blue set. YAY!
This challenge was particularly challenging because I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with the buttons. Not only did I end up using a different button than I originally planned-- the blue and white gingham instead of the shiny one with black swirls all over-- but I ended up creating something completely different as well. Take a look for yourself to see what I mean:

Yep, you guessed it-- a stitch marker of my very own!!!

My original plan was to make a bracelet or a necklace, but I think I'll get a lot more use out of this project!  I wrapped the button with bright blue wire, and added a star bead and pewter rose to finish it off. I need to pick up a few more buttons before I can use the black swirly one-- I have a metric ton of them, but not too many that are a good match for that particular one-- so once I do that, I'll post lots of pretty photos of the finished product.

Since this is a blog hop, I'm gonna keep this short and sweet-ish and say "see you later" for now. If you want to hop along with the rest of us, click on the links below to travel to the other participants and see what they made. Happy hopping, y'all!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Blogging Without Obligation

  I can't remember which blog on my list led me to the "Blogging Without Obligation" site, but I've been thinking about the concept ever since I came across it. And what better time to put this information out there, considering how long it has been since I last posted on this poor abandoned blog of mine!

"Blogging without Obligation" is a group of bloggers with a shared idea-- the ideal that bloggers should post when they feel comfortable to do so, and that it should not become a "chore." The idea is that typing only when inspired to do so maintains the integrity of one's blog. The idea that blogging is supposed to be a shared excitement about a subject, and that feeling obligated to post every day decreases the likelihood that one will enjoy blogging... and will therefore do it less.

So there will be no apologies from me for my absence. Just a big smile to say that I am refreshed, and glad to be back-- and that a lot has happened since my last post. Most importantly, I contacted a LYS (Local Yarn Store for you non-knitters) about carrying my stitch markers-- as long as everything goes according to plan, they should be in the shop within a couple of weeks!

For those among us who prefer instant gratification, a more immediate news byte will be instantly visible when you come to my blog's page. Yes, you've guessed it, I have an awesome new layout! It took me quite some time to find the "look" that I wanted-- nearly three weeks, actually!-- but I couldn't be happier with the results. There may be some minor "bugs" that need ironing out over the next few days and weeks, so I will apologize in advance for any problems this may cause.

I was going to post some photos of my new stitch markers and of what I did yesterday-- and boy, was yesterday good!-- but for now, I'll leave you with one teasing word.