Hi! This site is an archive of my old craft blog. You can now find my new writing, and my two new shops, in their new homes: Patchwork Jackdaw for one-off, intricate jewellery pieces in muted colours, and Florence Loves Fridays for bold, chunky, quirky jewellery.
I have been making button stud earrings with sterling silver stud mounts for years now. Recently I found a good quality source of the same size mounts in surgical steel, which some people find works better for sensitive ears. Now for earrings within my my main range of button stud earrings, in both 9mm and 6mm sizes, you can pick which metal you prefer.
When people talk about “vintage” or “heritage” colours – what do they mean? I think it’s usually to do with a muted, soft tone to the colours, which might be because a once-bright colour faded with age, or because the pigments used in whatever times qualify as “vintage” may not have been as bold as some used today.
Thus I make a distinction between jewellery made with “vintage buttons” – anything that comes to me secondhand, and appears to be ten years old or more (sometimes a lot more), I usually class in this category – and “vintage colours”, which might be new buttons, just with a softer tone.
Then again, some buttons may be both at once. And some of my jewellery might be made with a mixture of differently-aged buttons. If things look good together, I don’t usually try to segregate them by age. So in my latest button earring collection, you’ll find new buttons alongside older ones, but the colours are themed according to a vintage palette.
Inge in Germany wrote to me and asked if I could make some white stud button earrings to match the black ones I already make. The 9mm black button studs are one of my most popular pieces of jewellery, but for some reason I had never got round to making white ones before now. Anyway, I got hold of some matching white buttons, and this was the result:
I guess that probably looks like four buttons just resting on some foam in a gift box, but actually they look like this:
My new premium button jewellery collection is now available. These button necklaces, bracelets and earrings are the first few in a series of one-of-a-kind pieces that I’ve been working on over the past few months. The button necklaces are different to most of my others in that they are made with thread rather than wire, and they are double-sided and reversible.
One of the most common problems with thread-based button jewellery is that the buttons sometimes turn over – it’s quite difficult to get them to lie flat during day to day wear, because even the slightest movement can dislodge them from lying in a smooth line around the neck. These new necklaces don’t have this problem, as a slightly rotated button will simply reveal the other side of the necklace with another button on it, rather than the back of the button. My new website shows a view of both sides of each necklace, so you can see in detail exactly how each piece will look.
At the Unexpected Boutique, there is a new collection of button earrings – all sterling silver studs, in a variety of different sizes ranging from 6mm up to 12mm. My personal favourites are the flower-shaped studs, which range from a bright hot pink to more subtle shades of silvery grey and khaki.
In other news, in a couple of weeks I will taking a month off and doing that thing that my mother and grandmother have been nagging me about every time I’ve seen them for the past, I don’t know, five years, and Going On Holiday. This means that obviously I won’t be able to immediately send any jewellery to anyone who orders it while I’m away, because I won’t be in my house, but I’m leaving my shops open with big notices on them saying “I’m Not Here” and stuff. I’ll send out any orders that are placed between 16th Jan and 28th Feb 2012 once I’ve got home and recovered from the travelling – that’ll be 1st March, I’m hoping.
It took me years to work out how to make these button stud earrings without the buttons coming off, but I’ve finally cracked it with the right technique. I originally just made them on silver plated studs, but my sister, who has been road-testing them for me, needed solid sterling silver ones as she tends to leave the same pair of earrings in for months at a time, and this isn’t generally recommended for non-precious metals. So now they are available in two versions – silver plated, and sterling silver. The buttons are 9mm across.
The original pearly plastic stud button earrings are available in a variety of bright colours: red, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, hot pink and black. I’ve also made some stud button earrings in natural wood, which are very popular.
After I’d made these, I started experimenting with layering the little 8mm buttons with even smaller buttons, to form tiny collages. They are stitched together, and then stuck onto the earring posts. I’ve made several different designs, mostly with flower shaped buttons layered over the round ones, and one with tiny hearts (was having a cute-overload that day, I think…).