Monday, November 29, 2010

From hand-dyed yarn to a Button Society.

Haven't blog in a wicked long time because I've been so busy doing all sorts of good things; creating, thinking, being positive, not freaking out with anxiety over teaching...aaaah, so sweet.

What have I been up to?  Well, to bring you all up to speed, I started crocheting wool brimmed caps.  Very cute with flowers on them.  The flowers have a button in the center.  They are also very cute.  All the wool is eco-friendly and untreated, meaning the yarn is not bleached or dyed.  The colors are just sheep colors, some white, grey, brown, very earthy.  That is when I decided to try my hand at veggie dying.  I spent a few nights experimenting with veggie dyes and came up with an amazing yellow from turmeric and carrots and a sweet pink made from beets.  I feel extra hippie when I'm in the kitchen dying wool.  At times I feel compelled to wear wool socks with Birkenstocks and a gypsy skirt (Oh Peace Corps, how I miss thee), but then I remember that that look is just not sassy or sexy and decided to against the wardrobe change.  Jeans and a t-shirt are just fine for my 21st century self.  Where was I?  Oh yes, after several nights boiling wet sheep, I purchased a huge bag of vintage/antique buttons from a consignment shop.  I would need some cute buttons to dress up these simple and earthy flowers.  I made a few flowers with some of the buttons, but  one afternoon my friend came over and we started checking out each button.  We ended up spending several hours examining and sorting them.  And that is how I became an amateur buttonologist. I was flooded with questions. How old were these buttons?  What were they made from?  What kind of clothing were they a part of? Who owned these buttons?  Whose fingerprints were on them?  And lastly, how much were they worth?  I spent hours online researching.  Most of them are pretty old, late 1800's.  Some of the glittery ones were almost too fancy to put on a simple wool flower pin.  That's when I decided to turn some of them into jewelry.  I went to Joann Fabric and invested money in some jewelery-making tools and supplies.  After a few hours of fiddling I came up with my first piece, a wire bracelet made from 19th century blued tin metal buttons.  So far, I've made that bracelet and a few wire rings.  I have no doubt that people will buy them, but soon realized that I had no idea of their real worth.  So I've decided to call in the Big Guns. I contacted a member of the Connecticut State Button Society and will be meeting with her on Saturday to get a better idea of how to price my pieces and Well, dear readers, I am proud to announce that I will soon be a member of the Connecticut State Button Society.  For a mere $8 you, too can become a member!  Oh watch me blossom!

As for my other projects...I've sold two hats and have two more on order.  I love the hats, but I just feel kind of strange selling them online.  What if the hat doesn't fit well?  Does the customer return it?  I envision returned hat piling up on my doorstep.  That would be so sad. Ugh.  I will have a few hats available at the Indie Craft Extravaganza, but will be focusing on selling my flower pins and upcycled button jewelery.  So far I've sold five pins, but have many more people interested.  I've been told they make great gifts. Who knew?  I've been very busy making sure I have enough pins for the show on Sunday.  I hope to sell a lot of pins and jewelery that day, but will be very excited about posting my pieces on my etsy website for the first time!  So all of you who can't make the Indie Craft Extravaganza, make sure to check out my etsy site the following week.  There should be some goodies up by Tuesday.