Tag Archives: buttons

Getting Inspired with friends and Riley’s art


Well, it’s been a bit busy ova here lately.  Funny though I can’t even tell you why.  You know what I’m talkin about, right?   You get busy, the days fly by and you can’t even remember what you did the day before.  Oh wait… or is that just me?  Is that just me and my getting older?  Me being forgetful?  Me approaching menopause?  Me being……….. oh never mind.. I forgot.

Anyhoo… I want to share some lovely photos of a recent gathering I went to.  It was the Rhode Island Polymer Clay Guild’s 12th Anniversary.  I used to be part of the team there, but I stepped away about 4 years ago.  However, I do still keep in touch with the fabulous ladies there and they invited me back for the soiree.  We all brought some food.  The ladies all brought their art and I did not.  I just talked for about 6 hours.  What?

Here are some goodies that everyone one brought:

HULLO?  It was fantastic.  Thanks ladies for being such wonderful hosts… Toine, Bobbie, Sandy, Dora, Pat, Rita and Toni.

Some of the women there do more than just polymer clay.  The creativity and skills are vast, I tell you, in this small group.

I took some pictures that really inspired me.

Toine is a creative soul in that, if she could, would make her own shoes.  She’s told me this a few times.  That just amazes me.  She showed me a travel mini- watercolor paint palette that she made out of an mini eye shadow case.

You basically dig out the old eye shadow powders and fill the empty sections with watercolor tube paint and let dry.  She even uses the eye shadow brush as the paint brush.  You could just buy one of these eye shadow minis at a dollar store too.

Toine shared a site with me on how to make one.. it’s called INSTRUCTABLES.. great site to learn from.  I’m definitely trying this.   I just love this idea!

Toine also made her own mini watercolor pad.  It was about 3×4.  You can see it sitting next to her palette.  Another thing I must try.  Check out this one also at INSTRUCTABLES.

My partner in crime, Bobbie, was working on a new bracelet made out of buttons.  I recently sent Bobbie a bunch of my “buttons n’bellishments”.  She took my homemade polymer buttons and mixed them with regular buttons and hand sewed them to a thick black cloth elastic band.   I had made one in the past out of my polymer buttons, but hers came out much nicer.  I had too much space and you could see all the black band.

The red, turquoise, and bone-like buttons are the ones I made out of polymer clay.

Bobbie.. this came out deliciously gorgeous.  The trick to hers was the overlapping of the buttons so when you put it on your wrist, it didn’t stretch out and show the band.

Bobbie is also taking up water color painting.  Look at these beautiful pages she made that just made me salivate… ew.. not really… I behaved.

My creative juices went nuts when I saw these… oh the things I could do with those.  I can’t wait to see what she does with them.  It’s endless.

In other creativity news, I turn to children.  My great niece, Riley, is a great little artist.  I promised her I would take a picture of her door art at home.  Her creations here range over the past year from home art, pre-school and now kindergarten.  I share this now, with you, my blog friends.

Riley and her mom.

Mom, Christina, is another creative soul.  I guess it runs in the family.  You can see one of Christina’s creations HERE ..when she made me a special fabric card for my 50th birthday.


Isn’t Riley just awesome?  Look at these colors, people.  Don’t you think we should all display our art this way in our homes?   Don’t ever stop creating Riley.  I love you so much…. Love,  Auntie Judy.

I hope you are inspired.  Go make a mini water color palette or a button bracelet.  Be inspired by children’s art.

Thanks for stopping by and leave some comments for Riley.. she will love to read them.


Give-a-way Winner & New Mixed Media Woman on Canvas


Congratulations to……………

(my daughter’s hands; she drew the name)

Mandy Currie…. OMG how exciting!   Mandy, send me your home address to my email at judysheart@gmail.com and I’ll get your chock full package out to you.   Besides my “buttons n’bellishments”, I’ve put together a bunch of fun materials for you to start playing with your new mixed media creations.


And speaking of creations, this is my new mixed media piece that I just finished.  This is just one thing you can do with  “Button n’bellishments”.  I had a vision about a beautiful woman who had hair made of my handmade b&b’s.  This was just FUN FUN FUN!!!

Click picture for details and a closer look.  Measures 9’x 12′

Now… don’t get all excited and think that I drew this woman’s face.. I did not!! It is a paintover.  I could not, for the life of me, draw a woman’s face that I was happy with… wait, let me rephrase that… I could not draw a woman’s face.. period…… so…..I found an unknown face in a magazine and did a gesso wash over it and drew over the features, enhancing them a bit more with paint, watercolor pencils and glitter.  I exaggerated her eyes and eyebrows completely.. redid her nose and lips.  I tinted the skin with watercolor pencils and made her eyes look like a showgirl in Vegas.  There is some texture left under the face that is showing some lumpiness that I’m not too thrilled with.. but I  certainly learned from that tiny mistake.. love when that happens.

All around her, I used fabric, ribbon, paper, doilies, lace, paint and glitter.  Underneath all of that is a layer of acrylic paint and gesso that I put on thick for texture then painted over that then added glitter.

Now, for the hair, I used my handmade polymer clay “button n’bellishments”.. and in between the clay pieces it filled it in with sead beads.

Yay.. she’s marvelous.. she’s going up on a wall in my house.

Thanks for visiting and for everyone who entered the give-a-way… THANK YOU.   Please stop by again… I’ll be doing more of that.


In the Studio


Wow.. what a weekend… Hurricane Irene visited us, I’m sure you heard from all the media about it.  We were very lucky here in my part of Mass.  It was more like a big tropical storm.  I know many many others were not so fortunate and lost power, trees down and some fallen on houses.  Let’s hope they will all recover and get back to normal soon.  Now that the storm has passed, we are having the most beautiful weather… just perfect for me… cool, dry, sunny.. nature’s own air conditioning.

To the art table….

While we were socked inside, I was able to get into the studio for some play time.  I’m working on a new mixed media canvas with the idea of adding many of my “button n’bellishments” to the piece.  So, I took several hours on Saturday and on Sunday to create like crazy.

Here what I made:  Click picture for larger details

…and some details below

“Bliss” and “Art” hearts made with cheap dollar store aluminum foil as the filler.

I am always amazed how long it takes me to make these.. it’s definitely a process that is zen-like…. or “back-hurt” like.

If you’d like to see how I make some of my buttons.. CLICK HERE.

I received a few emails from followers that they did not have a blog to link my give a way on.  My apologies to all that could not enter.  Turns out that no one actually entered.  Well, that’s a big lesson for me.  Doy! (smack head here)

Let’s try this again, shall we?  JUST LEAVE A MESSAGE BELOW and you will be entered to win some of my “button n’bellishments”… and some fun ephemera for all your mixed media creations. I’ll pick a winner next Monday, 9/5 (is that September already?)… geesh.

As always, I’m so happy that you stopped by to hang out for a few minutes.

Stay tuned to see what I’m going to do with new fun b n’b’s.


Give-a-Way time.. woo hoo!!


Sunday afternoon here on a hot muggy day.  Ok, nuff of the muggies and bring on some cool fall weather.

As we prepare our oldest daughter to go back to college tomorrow, today is a day of busy packing and seeing some family to have her say so long, for now.  I do find myself saying where has the summer gone?   How did her 3rd year of college come upon us so fast?  Seems just like yesterday I was balling my eyes out saying goodbye as we left her with strangers in her freshman dorm.  Ok ok.. I will probably cry again this time.  Who am I kidding.

Well, in honor of the end of summer and back to school, I am having a give-a-way.  Those are two good excuses to have a free give-a-way, isn’t it?

I’m giving away a juicy handful of my handmade “Buttons n ‘bellishments”.  These little treasures are so fun to put in any of your mixed media art such as:  journals,  canvases, wood,  paper…  Hang some of the buttons from your journal bindings, sew the buttons on your papers/fabric art.  Not only will you win my “B & B”s, but I will add in some surprises.

Here are some things I use them for:

Here’s how you can win:

Mention my give-a-way on YOUR BLOG with a link back to MY BLOG.  Then leave a comment on my blog post, here, linking back to your blog post.  Golly, does that make sense?

I’ll draw a winner next Sunday, August 28th.

Thanks for stopping by and playing along.


Art Page Re-make – little handmade journal/book


Hello there friendly people…. I sure hope that everyone is getting some relief from this heat we’ve been having across the country.  It has just been perfect here in Mass. these last two days….  dry, sunny and breezy.. about mid 70’s..  You can begin to smell the fall coming.  I remember the days when I was a kid in school and you knew school was about to start; it was fall and you could smell it in the air.  Funny how things stay with you like that.

Ok.. moving on to some art sharing.

Remember this page I did with Portfolio Oil Patels?  Click here to jog your memory

Well, it was pretty, but I did nothing for me.  The smooshed beads all over the place?; it just needed something else.  SOOOOOOOOOO….I made it into a journal and embellished the front with my handmade polymer clay  “buttons n ‘bellishments”.  Size 5 1/2 x 7.  CLICK FOR LARGER PICTURES.

This is much better, don’t you think?

Inside covers are glued scrapbook paper.


The inside pages are made from poster board and each page is gessoed and ready to add mixed media love to it.

While I was making this one, I took the left over torn pages and made a small journal (5×3).  Front and back is covered with decorated duct tape (have you seen all the new styles yet?), some black trim across and a beaded thingamajig.  Inside covers is more old scrapbook paper I had. I used two polymer clay beads I made holding the sewn binding in place.  Made a nice big knot so they wouldn’t move.

I’m always happy to see a Friday come along after a long week of work.   Everyone needs a break.. don’t we?

Thanks, all, for stopping by.  I’ll be doing a give-away next week.. stay tuned.


Collage Redo


I just had to…. It was bugging me for over a week… the last post I did with my final collage was really bothering me.  I put it away for a week and took it out again.. I still didn’t like it.. too busy.. just too busy.  I felt like the transferred queen and the polymer clay face were fighting each other and the embellished metal piece to the right was just too much.  I got some advice from some artistic souls and I was inspired to attack it… gently that is.  Well, no …not really.

Here is the one I posted last week that I thought was final….

I needed another set of eyes to look at it.   I ask my husband and he says.. “ohhh.. nice”.. hmmm, that’s it???  I work for hours on this and I get a “nice”??  Men… do they really think about those things?  I mean, it must be like asking them “do I look fat in these pants”?   The safe answer is “no, honey, of course not”.  Ok… I’ll accept that.   I think if I asked him to really take the time to look at it, you’d know what he’d be thinking… NOTHING…. of course unless the Patriots are on the t.v. and they are winning .. ….fuh-get-aboud-it.   Then I asked my 16 yr. old daughter and she says  “that’s pretty cool” (as she lifts her head up from texting or watching some stupid reality show.. I mean really… REALLY? I’m going into my woman cave… make your own dinner!

Ok, that’s it.. I’m going in for the critiques from other artists.   Am I ready for that?   Well, I’m glad I did.  Amy told me that the blingy thing on the right was the first thing she saw.  I knew it.  I put it away in the closet.  That will be my “what not to do” collage.  Then my friend, Raine (and I can’t link to her, cuz she ain’t got a blog YET), looked at it and said it seemed too busy and little too much of this and that.  Yes, finally, I knew I had to change it.

I ripped off the embellished metal piece with the black fabric down to the bare canvas.. what a mess (it was secretly fun).  Then I went over it using the same method I used to make the bubble texture and then painted it the same.. see the tute here.  I also ran a black ink pad over the high peaked bubbles.

Ripped off the polymer clay face and replaced that with another piece of CitraCollage (see in the same tute above).

Then I added 3 of my handmade polymer clay buttons to replace the black fabric and embellished metal.

I painted black and white stripes on the sides and stained with walnut ink.

Here is the final final and some details.

So what do you think?  Better?    Thanks, my friends.

Happy Halloween!!!


Workshop this Weekend!!!


Hello my friendly bloggers…

I can’t tell you how beautiful this Indian Summer is here in New England right now.  Ok.. I can tell you….. it’s delicious !   As usual, it went from hot and humid to cool and crisp so fast.

It’s hard to believe that my Buttons and ‘Bellishments class is this Saturday, 9/25.  I’m so excited to teach these fun creations with my students.   They will walk away with an overflowing handful  of eye candy to adore.

If you are local, won’t you join us in making yummy art pieces for all your mixed media and beyond creations.

You can read about my class here.

You can sign up through the Scrapbook Cupboard here.

Thanks for stopping by.


Oh Buttons…Oh My


Hey Blogsters…

As you can see, my banner above is full of buttons, beads and embellishments.   Those are all made of polymer clay. Well I’ve been busy in the workshop making some to show you.   I thought I would show you how to make my buttons.

Some call me a texture queen cuz I just love textures.  In clay and on my mixed media canvases, pushed into molding pastes, built up by using stencils.. I’m in love.

So, let’s have some fun, shall we?

Safety note:  Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after working with the clay.  Also, work in a well ventilated area when using the oven when baking the clay.  Make sure your oven is regulated.  If it spikes, it may burn the clay which will give off fumes.  You may want to test the temperature by using  a separate thermometer to show exact temp before you put your clay in the oven.  Please visit this site for everything polymer clay such as baking, brands, conditioning, safety, etc.  Just search via the index to the left.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 package polymer clay (I like Premo or Fimo Soft). I used a beige color to get the results I want, but you really can use any color; it’s your world.  A whole package will make several buttons.
  • textures: rubber stamps, jewelry, other buttons, doily, etc..
  • baby powder or water
  • brown acrylic paint
  • dedicated oven for baking polymer clay
  • knitting needle or wooden skewer to make the button holes
  • Future Floor Wax  or any other sealer or varnish
  • don’t forget rags, paper towels, too
  • optional: rubber gloves

Start out by conditioning your clay in her hands until soft and pliable.  I also have a dedicated electronic pasta machine to help with conditioning.

Depending on how big you want your buttons, make a log out of your conditioned clay.  Cut these into equal pieces if you want them to be all the same, and then roll into balls and then press with your finger to make a disc.   You can also use something flat, like a jar lid to smoosh it down.

Now, here is where the fun comes in.   Take your discs and start to impress them (maybe do a dance or tell a joke; just kidding) with objects or rubber stamps.  I am using a rubber stamp sheet that is flexible.

Sandwich in it between the sheet and press down making the textured impression.

Well, lookie there.  Are you excited yet?

Do this to all your discs, using the other textures… Here’s an old plastic doily that I pushed the clay into with a plastic lid.

Excited?   Okay, I’m exhausted.. I’ll do one more… tough crowd.

Now make your button holes using your knitting needle, wooden skewer or whatever suites your fancy.

Once you finish these steps with ALL your discs, it’s time for the shakin and bakin.. well, we’re not gonna shake, but we are going to bake.

Here are your buttons, ready to go in the oven.  I use a ceramic tile.

Bake these according to your clay package directions and visit the site I mentioned above in my “safety note”.

The timer has gone off and the baked clay is cooled, right?  Let’s keep going…

Here they are baked and cooled.

Feel like getting messy?  You may want to wear rubber gloves… or not… up to you.

Now, it’s time to antique them.   Take your brown acrylic paint and smoosh (there’s that word again) it into the grooves and crevices of the textures.

With a lightly dampened rag, wipe off the excess on top, so all that’s left if the paint in the deep textures.  This will also give the clay a golden vintage look.

Let dry completely or you can speed it up with a hair drying or heat gun, moving over it in a fanning fashion. Note: make sure your push your hole maker thingamajiggy back in the baked holes, as the paint will get in the and they need to be free of it.

Here they are all “antiqued” and “vintagy” (is that word? it is now)  looking.  I threw in a few turquoise buttons, one of my favorites.  Now tell me you’re excited.

One last step…….

Get out your varnish and brush on one coat on the buttons, front and back.

Let the varnish/future dry, or you can use your heat gun again.

Here they are finished.  So purdy.. I see you smiling.. you ARE excited?

Here are a few other techniques.  I used a burgundy clay with a gold antique, a black clay with turquoise antique and then the red button was baked with no texture then I stamped on it with a rubber stamp with black ink stamp pad.

You can certainly sew these button on sweaters or make smaller ones for shirts.  They can be washed, but in cold water and put the garment inside out.

My main uses are to use them in my mixed media art.  However, it you can make charms, bracelets, necklaces, mosaics. … Make a colorful bunch and fill up a glass jar.. put them in a cool looking bowl..just imagine.

Here is a small canvas I did with wire sewing one clay embellishment and thread sewing a button.  They are great for chunky journals too.

I hope you liked this tutorial.  I have such fun making these pieces.  They look so beautiful all in a pile; as you can see from my banner.

Please let me know if you have any questions… or have any feedback.

Please share this with your friends; it’s such a fun project with beautiful results.

Thanks for stopping by.


Next up……. Polymer Clay Artist Trading Cards (ATC’s) Workshop.   Don’t miss it!