Button-spiration: Spring Flowers Pt.1

The official arrival date of spring has come and gone. In Calgary, that typically means we get more snow (no joke). This year is not much different, except that it is unusually cold out still. By now, the temperature is a little more mild, but the last few days have felt like full-on winter again. Le sigh. I am feeling VERY done with the snow & cold this year. I’m longing for those days when we can spend hours outside playing & discovering with Sam. Soon, soon, I keep repeating to myself. Well, not soon enough!

As we wait for the snow to fully melt, the ground to thaw, and a tiny hint of green to poke through, I thought we could embrace some simple spring flower button projects. This one is the first in a series of ideas, all collected on my Button-spiration Pinterest board. This cute egg carton button art project is brought to you by Mod Podge Rocks. She cut up a paper egg carton to form the flower blossoms, then had her kids paint and decorate them. When the blossoms were dry, they glued a button into the center of each. A bundle of pipe cleaners were tied with a ribbon to create the flower stems. Everything was then glued into place on a canvas (which she had painted beforehand, although you can now purchase coloured canvases from the craft store, if you’re short on time).


Egg carton button flower art

Sammy and I are using this flower egg carton idea to decorate a spring wreath. Hubby made a large twisted twig wreath several years ago, which we hang on the front door at this time of year. It needs a bit of colour to offset the current dreariness these days, but I don’t want to permanently attach anything to the wreath. I like the idea of having a wreath we can decorate a few different ways. I’ll get Sammy to paint & decorate the egg carton blossoms, then poke two holes through the bottom of each blossom & attach some yarn, so we can just tie them onto the wreath. Once the yarn is through the holes, we can cover it up with a button in the center of each blossom. I’ll try to remember to a) take pictures as we finish working on this and b) find the time to post them.

Until then, have fun playing around with your egg carton flower art!

Sweetheart Treats

Valentine treats by Bubblegum Sass

Last month, I hosted a little get together for friends. There was lots of sweet treats and pretty decorations in pink & purple. Simple doilies, fresh carnations, and cute handmade details.

Cupcake liner bowls by Bubblegum Sass

Instead of trying to make my own little chocolates, I picked up some tasty Bernard Callebaut chocolates. I turned pretty paper cupcake liners inside-out to make little bowls for them.

Cinnamon heart shortbread cookies by Bubblegum Sass

These tasty Cinnamon Heart Shortbread cookies were a hit with my tummy and I’ll be sure to make them again next year for Valentine’s Day. You can find the recipe for these here. The recipe calls for cinnamon extract, which isn’t something I typically keep with my baking supplies. I found something suitable at Micheal’s. Start by adding a tiny amount, and continue to add more bit by bit until you achieve the flavor you like.

Doily Bowls by Bubblegum Sass

To make some cute little bowls for the cinnamon heart candies, I just folded small circular paper doilies and taped the corners with washi tape (similar idea as these bowls made from paper plates).

Chocolate dipped waffer cookies by Bubblegum Sass

These cookies were a super hit! I think I’ll have to make more of them soon, the very next time I have an excuse to serve super sweet sugar bombs! They’re really simple to make too. Sammy and I did these together (sort of). I dipped the wafer cookies in the melted white chocolate and Sam did some of the sprinkles (although mainly he waited for them to dry so he could get a bite or two). Find the recipe here.

Melted crayon hearts by Bubblegum Sass

And lastly, a little bit of festive decorating. These pretty hearts are made from crayons melted between wax paper. Two lessons learned while making these: First, make the crayon shavings small & don’t over do it. They turn out much better if you don’t use too many shavings. Second, keep the temperature on the iron low and press the wax paper between old tea towels (or t-shirts), otherwise you’ll end up with a very messy iron.

Have fun with all your baking and crafting, whatever the reason or season!

Another little happy dance

In progress aqua cuff braceletIt has been FOREVER since I last did a post about some of the milestones and achievements Bubblegum Sass has reached! In fact, I think it’s been almost two years since I last stopped to take stock. Waaaay over due! I know how important it is to take a moment and reflect on the things I’ve done with the business. When you don’t have a boss or supervisor to give you praise for a job well done, it’s up to you to provide that little pat on the back every once and a while! Plus, these posts act as a great way to see how things are going with your own business. Definitely give it a try, even if it’s just to reflect on what you have achieved with your personal life. Here are some of the highlights for Bubblegum Sass:

In the Etsy Shop

  • Reached 61 sales
  • Reached over 100 items for sale
  • 228 shop admirers (people who have favored the shop)
  • 873 listing favorites (people who “heart” an individual item)
  • 282 followers (folks who keep track of the shop in their news feed)
  • Had my first order from the UK
  • Had my first order from Australia
  • Still participating (when I can) in the Alberta Etsy team
  • Been featured in well over 100 treasuries
  • Spread the love, and created close to 200 treasuries
  • Offered my first big sale in the shop (Spring Cleaning)
  • Paid for Etsy Search Ads for one month (I’ll report on that a bit more another time)
  • Started photographing all the product on a white background
  • Started modeling some of the product, for a bit more variety

On Facebook

  • 126 people “like” my page
  • Trying to share more of the creative process and my personality with followers
  • Posting regular updates, blog links, new product listings, and photos

Out and About

  • Traveled to Edmonton to see fellow teamies at the spring Make It!
  • Participated in this year’s spring meet-up with Alberta Team members
  • Become the official handmade sponsor of the Make It Happen! documentary
  • Interviewed by Neil Mangan for the Make It Happen! documentary
  • Submitted my application for the Make It! show in November (will find out in June, if I’ve been accepted)
  • Received my nifty mobile credit card reader from Square (all set for future craft shows… no more “cash only”)
  • Have an exciting new collaboration coming up with Red Bloom Photography
  • Will have a line of product available for sale at Treehouse Boutique in Ontario

In the Sewing Room

  • Developed a new line of upcycled accessories for women
  • Took a hard look at my product line and decided to stop production on certain items
  • Trying to determine which items I will focus on making going forward
  • Brainstorming craft show display ideas for new product

On Pinterest

Sometimes I don’t feel so great about what I’ve done or haven’t done with my business. After all, this is already the third year of Bubblegum Sass and I thought things would be progressing further (aka more steady online sales, more regular craft shows). But then I remind myself of what else I packed into those three years. Not things that fit into easy stats or numbers. Life changing events that will forever impact where I go from here: a brother laid to rest, our first child born, my mother’s battle with cancer. Somewhere in there, we bought farmland and started planning for an even BIGGER change. Many times, Bubblegum Sass sat to the side, while I fought through these things. The challenge that remains and which I am feeling more ready to face, is ensuring that from now, Bubblegum Sass keeps pace with the rest of our life.

So now looking back over all these random numbers and accomplishments, I can honestly say that I feel quite satisfied. I can’t change the past or hold onto regrets, but I’m excited about tackling the future. Ready, steady, go!

Sarah, Marcus and Sam at Make It!

Button-spiration

Here’s a super cool way to inject some new life into an old necktie. I’ve seen a few of these pleated necktie/bib necklaces for sale on Etsy, but it is definitely an easy DIY if you have a bit of time and a collection of ugly ties in the house. The full tutorial can be found on Maybe Matilda. There is also another version on Of Pinks and Fairy Tales (this one actually unbuttons). You could have a lot of fun playing around with the necktie patterns and using big, bold or unique buttons. A super funky accessory for sure!

Button-spiration

These beauties remind me of the Christmas trees wrapped in yarn that I made in December (which I’m realizing I never got around to blogging about…sigh). These Easter eggs are pretty darn cute. They’re made with jute/twine, but I bet they could be done with scrap yarn too. You can find the full tutorial on FitzBirch Crafts.

All you need is styrofoam eggs, glue, jute/twine/yarn, buttons, and cotton crochet thread. Now, when I made my styrofoam Christmas trees wrapped in yarn, I used a hot glue gun. The tutorial recommends PVA glue and a brush, but if I was going to give this a try, I’d probably whip out the glue gun (especially if I’m not doing it with kids).

This definitely feels like a possible nap time craft. And just picture them in a basket as an Easter center piece.

Happy crafting!

Button-spiration

I so very much want to make a spring wreath like this one to hang on our front door! The door feels naked since I took our Christmas wreath off. The cute thing about this one is the use of fabric yo-yos and buttons to create the flowers. I do love the the bits of jute twine incorporated as well. I probably wouldn’t do fabric covered buttons for my own. Also, it seems like you could easily do this on a foam wreath form instead of a narrow embroidery hoop if you’d like a bit more substantial wreath.

Happy first day of Spring!

Button-spiration

Here’s a super unique button craft… Christine Marie Davis began smashing metal buttons with a hammer one day, out of frustration. From that, was born these wonderful charms which she uses to make pendants, rings, bracelets, brooches, and earrings. The smashed buttons are stacked and riveted together (she also treated the buttons to a bleach bath to add texture & colour to the metal surfaces). You can read about her creative process here. She has here creations for sale in her Etsy shop, Christine’s Cabinet. My two fav pieces are both pendants, the Moonscape and the Copper Filligree. Lovely designs, Christine! Ingenious use of metal buttons!

Button-spiration

In the past several months, I’ve finally gotten sucked into the joy & beauty of washi tape. Not sure just how crazy I’ll get with (it can’t replace my love of buttons), but I do foresee having a little collection of them. I ordered a few from Little.Happy.Things on Etsy. It was an exciting day when my package arrived in the mail.

So of course, now I’m keeping my eyes open for some washi tape crafts. I already started doing this (decorating clothespins with tape and wrapping my embroidery floss scraps around them to keep my hand stitching box tidy).

These washi tape flowers caught my attention (notice the button in the centre of the flower). Super easy to make. I’d love to whip up some to put on cards. You can find the full tutorial on the Lines Across blog.

Button-spiration

Here’s a quick & easy project from Happy Serendipity. A cute little felt cloud brooch with rain drops. I like that this could realistically get made during one of Sam’s naps. Seems like the perfect accessory for spring, which I have started thinking about more and more these days, with all the mild weather we’ve been having in Calgary.

You could probably even whip up a Valentine’s Day version just in time for tomorrow. Can’t you picture a cute little heart with a strand of buttons dangling from the bottom?