Tuesday, April 23, 2013

So much for my disciplined once a week blog!

Yesterday was Earth Day, and Mother Nature decided to dump 6" of snow in our area the day before, so I spent the day watching snow melt while I played with resin.

In other news, I've finally launched the newest version of my website:


GoDaddy makes it pretty easy with their website builder, you just have to put up with it logging you off every now and again. Setting up the links for each picture was a breeze. So, instead of purchasing each item seperately, you can now go to my Etsy site and purchase several items.

The downside to this is that I have to pay a percentage to Etsy for each transaction, but that's better than paying the $50 fee each month to GoDaddy for their shopping cart option.

The other thing I've changed is that now all my buttons are made to order. I used to only post what I had available, which was less than 1/2 of what I have pictures of. Now, instead of having about 100 items, there are currently 238 items for sale. Buy something, if it's not in stock, wait a week and it will be. I've already noticed my hits and sales going up.

Next blog: www.vlvstamps.com my new favorite stamp shop! & alcohol inks with resin (as previously promised)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Don't Order From Overseas & More Fun With Resin

Not a lot to report on the weather this week. You'd think it were spring, except the trees are still completely leafless. All the snow we've had since November is pretty much gone.

I'm still waiting on buttons I ordered from overseas over 3 weeks ago. I ordered from two different places, one from Malaysia, the other from China. I really regret ordering them for so many reasons. The 100 rhinestone buttons I ordered from China, are crap. They look great in the package, and I though they were going to work great, but after opening them I realized this was not the project for these.

Now they are in the kid's bucket. I have no kids at home anymore, but most of my friends do, and they love my house. Partly because they have a certain spot in my craft room where it is hands on, they can make what they want (one item per visit), everything else in the craft area is hands off. The other reason is the shaded creek on our property, the summer can get pretty hot here and our creek is a really great place to cool off.

I have to find another way to finish the pieces I've been talking about the past few posts.

You've seen one of the finished irregular right angle weave cuffs in last week's post. I finished two more this past week. Still irregular right angle weave, but a bit different. I'll submit this one to Fusion Beads located in Seattle for their Fall Schedule, which comes out sometime in August.

The first example, I found a vintage button that complimented the bracelet perfectly (in my opinion) and I chose to weave a hole in the cuff for a button hole.

And the other, is a similar style, except I made the button using a 3-D right angle weave technique. A loop was better for this style of button. I'm loving the zig-zag of the irregular right angle weave.

More on irregular right angle weave in a later blog.
This past week in resin world seems to be dedicated to circles and spirals. I played around with making a few rings and using them as frames for either buttons or pendants.
I used alcohol inks for most of the rings you see here. I'll go over a few different processes I use for coloring resin in next week's blog.
I have yet to decide which of the above new discs will be special edition buttons, or pendants, with the exception of the top left, that is a pendant, and it is available. If you see anything else in there you must have as either a pendant or button, send me a note.
Next week:
alcohol inks and resin
whatever floats my fancy

Monday, January 28, 2013

Some new resin pieces and one finished irregular right angle weave project

This week in my new town we had freezing fog for two days. It ended up 'flocking' everything. Coming from Seattle, I've never seen this before, and it was beautiful. As the fog lifted, you could finally see the mountains to the west. That's the continental divide we get to look at every day, and according to the weather guy, that cloud your seeing is an inversion over the Condon Valley (I'm in the Mission Valley). This is hot chocolate time at it's best.

Meanwhile, the buttons I ordered for 4 of the 5 irregular right angle weave projects I talked about last week, still aren't here. That's what I get for ordering from overseas. It's been 14 days as of today since I ordered these buttons. Hopefully I get to talk about them next week.

Fusionbeads.com's packaga did come this week (yay) which containt the 10mm Swarovski Ravoli button I ordered to complete this one. The come in 15 colors (at least at Fusion) and aren't an arm and a leg, if you're interested, click  here.

In resin world this week:

I mentioned a last week that I got this new baking mold to make rings out of. Here's one of the things I've come up with so far (and completed):

After curing an extremely thin ring of color, I had another mold of nearly the same outside diameter that I set the cured ring into. After pouring more resin in and allowing it to cure, you have a great frame. In the finished example on the bottom I have a squiggly line on the ring, plus a final coat of resin, I left it clear in the middle.

I'll talk more about my experiments with resin and alcohol inks, one of my favorite ways to add a transparent color, as well as glitter, one of my all time most favorite way ever of adding color to resin, in later blogs. In the meantime, here's a bit of what I made this week. These are all made with the new 2" round mold, they're all undrilled because I have yet to decide which will be buttons and which will be pendants (you're welcome to offer suggestions)

Next week:
The other four finished irregular right angle weave projects (hopefully)
More resin
Cleaning houses for rich folks (one of the things I do in my spare time)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Irregular Right Angle Weave & New Molds for Resin

This week was irregular right angle weave week. I ended up coming up with a few pieces, all of which are still unfinished, you'll see the finished products next week after the buttons I ordered for them arrive.

I'm having a lot of fun with this stitch. It makes this wavy line that I chose to highlight in center of these two pieces:

Then in these pieces, it's used as a seperater between rows of 3mm bicone crystals. The one on the left is using regular Japanese rocailles with Swarovski's Silver Night crystal, I need to order more of those before I can finish. The one on the right is using delicas. I didn't think I was going to like the look of the delicas at first, but once I got to the fifth row, it started to take shape and I really liked it:

I also tried one with just metal beads (my personal favorite), but it's not as pliable as i want it, nor are the 'waves' as pronounced. It could be that there's not as much space between the 'waves' as there are in the other examples, or it could be that i used exlusively metal. It's the bracelet in the top pic on the far left. I'll see if I revisit that later. In the meantime, I have one other variety of irregular right angle weave that I'm working on right now, it'll be mentioned in next week's blog.

In the resin world, I received a couple of new molds this week, one was meant to replace my larger button molds, but they ended up being slightly smaller. Bummer. The ones I have, Wilton Silicon Large Muffin Bakeware, are just about out of service. I've searched for the, but they seem to making them different now. So until I can find a mold that matched my larger round size, I might just have this new size, approx 2" instead of 2 1/8".

I also received a new 'donut' style mold. It's for some sort of cake like mold that you put sugary subsance on one half and sandwich it in with another half. I've got one of these new cavitites filled with resin, and four of the cavitites with just a ring around the outside. It's curing now, I'll have some finished examples next week.

I ordered resin over a week ago, fully expecting it to get here last week. It did. It got here on Saturday. Unfortunately (and yet fortunately) I'm on rural delivery and our contracted mail person will not or can not (I'm unsure of which one) deliver mail that is marked for delivery confirmation. I got the notice from my mail person at 2pm on Saturday, our post office closes at noon on Saturdays. Then Monday (today) is a holiday. I've exhausted every drop of resin in my house, I'm having slight withdrawals.

Next week:

My finished irregular right angle weave projects


My dilema of the molds

Whatever else floats my fancy

In the meantime, here's Joan. She's a nine year old Australian cattle dog. She's just about the best cuddler you could ever have.

Monday, January 14, 2013

This Blog is Heading in a New Direction

I originally started this blog last year with the intention of logging each yarn shop that has purchased my buttons. Things have changed.

I was getting up to two new shops in one day while road tripping down the west coast early last year. I started out being very diligent about updating my blog, but as time went on, that wasn't happening. I also started out taking very detailed notes AND keeping track of those notes about each shop, that also didn't last long.

I realized, although people tell me I'm organized, it obviously only looks that way. So, one of two things need to happen: I need to be more realistic in what I set out to achieve, or I need to be more disciplined.

Maybe I can be a little of both?

In the meantime: This blog will remain "I Push My Own Buttons" (because I still do), but will now be about one or more of the following, up to and including but not limited to:

1. trying to start my business www.mgloden.com
2. living in a small town
3. what I made last week
4. what I'm working on this week
5. how my pets (2 dogs, 1 cat and 1 husband) are doing
6. whatever floats my fancy

Basically, it's all about me, and beads, and resin and shiny things. I'll include pictures, too!

So to start off, here's a picture of what happened this week:


This tree is right outside my kitchen window. Some sort of a willow tree, the type is still being debated by all my friends. I use this window and counter for all my pictures, I have no light box (yet), and I've found this is the best spot in the house. It's facing west, which normally I would use a southern facing window, but the three of ours have big fir trees blocking them.

And here it is, my west facing window. Today is obviously not picture day, today is find-all-the-papers-in-your-house-and-put-them-on-the-counter day.

I'm also working on a few right-angle-weave (RAW) projects this week. I love that stitch! I've been stitching with the RAW stitch since I first saw a David Chatt piece over 20 years ago. Since then, most of the beading projects I design are based on that stitch. I just ordered the finishing touches on these new designs, hopefully they will be here before next week's blog.

Next week:
The RAW projects
Some buttons I'm making
And whatever floats my fancy

Until then, here's one of my family memebers, Gabby. She's around 2 years old, is a talker, and she came with the house we rented. We found her in one of the back sheds, she has since adopted us, so she'll come with us when we move.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy Knits - Portland

Location:        Portland, Oregon
Shop:              Happy Knits
Owner/Buyer:  Sara/Tai
Website:         http://happyknits.com/

Happy Knits is definitely a happy place. One of Portlands newest yarn shops. They've only been open for just over two years and seem to be thriving. Not only is Happy Knits one of the newer shops, they're one of the bigger shops, plus you can shop online.

Happy Knits has one of the largest and more inviting common areas I've seen in a yarn shop. The table above is HUGE, plus there's a couch and a couple of chairs you can sit in while knitting in front of the gas fireplace. Everytime I've been in this shop, there's at least one person sitting and knitting away. There was even someone there when I took this picture, but she said it wasn't a good hair day for her, so asked me to keep her out of the picture, so she's off to the right.

Notions galore plus a few other things. A great place to buy your knitting friends a gift. Plenty of tote bags to put your craftiness in, plus plenty of other notions.

There's also plenty of inspiration throughout the store, not only in samples, but there's a section where the employees put their favorite patterns for the shoppers to look at. And a great range of experience within these patterns, plenty of simple things, but a few more difficult patterns for those that like to be challanged.

Next stop:  Seattle, Washington (my hometown)

It's been awhile since my last blog, I'll try not to do that anymore. My husband and I are just getting settled into our new state of Montana. I absolutely love it here, so do my dogs, I still have at least eight more shops to talk about before I get into rebuilding my studio and making buttons in Montana. Thanks for your patience in this time of transition.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Dancing Beads - Medford, Oregon

Location: Medford, Oregon
Shop:       Dancing Beads
Owner:    Carol
Website:  www.dancingbeads.com/

Medford has 70,000 folks and only one bead shop. Carol actually closed Dancing Beads a couple of years ago, thinking she was done with the bead store. She tried a couple of other things, including writing HTML and helping with web sites, but she soon found that she really enjoyed playing with her beads and cats more. Carol felt she needed to take her "office" out of her home environment which was too distracting (all those beads, and that cat), so she went searching for an office space. She found a spot in her neighborhood in a home that had been converted to retail/office space. As she was getting a feel for the place, she says a voice popped into her head 'This is going to be my new beadshop', and she answered back 'that's funny, I didn't know I was going to open another bead shop'.

She still had a lot of stock from the store she had closed a couple years back, so she opened up another bead shop. She had a lot of her old customers come back relieved that she decided to do it again, and she's gained new customers as well.

They've got a great selection of classes, and the class size is usually limited to six people, which makes it easy to get some one-on-one with the instructor. I was impressed that for a small(ish) bead shop, they've found some great ways of displaying a lot of merchandise.

Medford is located just north of California on I-5, worth a layover if you're passing through.

Next stop: Portland, Oregon.