Tag Archive | crafts

Art is What You Make it!

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Buttons were calling me. Button artwork showed up on Pinterest, and I saved it. Fancy buttons, from grandmas gone by, revealed themselves to me. While searching for measuring tape in an old sewing basket, a decorative button appeared, from a Great Great Grandma. When looking for a sewing tool in another spot, impressive buttons from yet another Grandma showed up. My own buttons, the ones that come with a newly-purchased piece of clothing, piled up in a drawer, reminded me of their whereabouts.

Wouldn’t it be cool if I could combine a bunch of buttons from the grandmas and give it to my granddaughter for a birthday present? Here’s how I made that happen.

Directions:

  • Draw a paper heart, like we made in elementary school, where you fold the paper in half and cut it with scissors.  My paper heart was approximately 7 inches x 7 inches.
  • Open and center the paper heart onto a piece of Aida cloth, and trace the shape with a sewing marker.
  • Contact any other grandmothers to ask for buttons to add to the piece.
  • Collect buttons and store in one place.
  • Get more buttons at a craft store.
  • Arrange buttons on cloth to get an idea of how the piece might look (optional).
  • Sew buttons on one-by-one.
  • Start at the bottom and work along the right edge. Fill in middle as you go. Continue to go around the edge of the rest of the heart.
  • Sew buttons to fill in so cloth does not show through, as best as possible, if you like.
  • When complete, hand wash with laundry detergent and warm water making sure to rub off any marks.
  • Remove excess water by placing piece between bath towels.
  • Let air dry overnight by setting on a dry towel.
  • Iron wrinkles out the next day, using the cotton setting.
  • Frame in regular or shadow box frame.  The shadow box I purchased was 8 inches x 8 inches.

On the designs I saw on Pinterest, the buttons lay flat.  My design has buttons popping out all over the place, but I like how it looks.  Art is what you make it!

Those old buttons took on a shine I didn’t know they had, after I washed them clean. To finish, I wrote a note to my granddaughter, and placed it on the back of the frame. The note described how the heart is “filled with grandma love” and explained where the buttons came from.  I let her know “I mixed a little bit of the old with a little bit of the new.”

I hope my granddaughter will cherish and feel the love that went into this piece.  🙂

As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life. ~John Lubbock

Helping Us Celebrate Christmas

Flexible Flyer

It was only a short ride, and after we got out of the car, Dad pulled the sled along. When we got to the edge of the hill, the hill going down looked huge to me.  There was a lot of snow, and many people were sliding down the hill while others were walking up the side to go back down again.  Everyone looked like they were having fun.  Dad sat on the Flexible Flyer, and I sat in front of him.  I wasn’t scared because Dad was holding on to me very tightly.

“Are you ready?” he asked. I must have nodded my head which was covered in my little white cap.  The cap was as fluffy as a lamb and had a little doll’s head sewn to one side.  I wore my red boots that were wide opened at the top so my snow pants could fit inside.  Dad pushed the ground with his hands and we slowly went over the top of the hill. Suddenly we were flying down the snowy path.  Dad still hung onto me while steering with his feet by using the wooden bar in front. Little flecks of snow hit me in the face, and the ride gave me a feeling I didn’t like and never felt before.  It seemed like something was fluttering around in my stomach.  Those butterflies were trying to catch up – they bounced up and down with each bump in the hill, and I wished they would disappear.  I held my breath and decided to just look at my boots until we got to the bottom. I thought if I focused on something, I wouldn’t get even more dizzy.

“Wasn’t that fun?” Dad asked me after we got off the sled. He bent down to look into my eyes.  “Do you want to go again?”

“No,” I said. I didn’t cry, and I know I didn’t think it was fun, and I told Dad.  He was disappointed I didn’t want to go again.  Scary rides or feelings of butterflies in my stomach were not for me at the age of four.  As I followed Dad back up the hill while he pulled the sled along, I was so glad we weren’t going to use the sled again. Now, when I think back, it’s a wonder we flew down the hill as fast as we did. Those old Flexible Flyers are made from solid wood and steel and probably weigh at least thirty pounds. Those sleds are antiques now.

When my brothers cleaned out my parents’ garage, neither one of them wanted the Flexible Flyers. I took them mostly because I couldn’t see us getting rid of them for sentimental reasons.  Luckily, a friend of mine told me how she decorates her old sled and sets it out on her stoop as a Christmas decoration.  After I found a picture of a decorated sled on Pinterest, I went to the craft store and bought some fake foliage, ribbon, and bells.  I used a bunch of floral wire to keep the decorations in place.  When I finished the project, I was pleased how it turned out, but I couldn’t figure out where to put it without having to rearrange the entire house!  Eventually, the sled ended up sitting in our entryway.  Now that big old sled decorates a corner of our home helping us celebrate Christmas while bringing back some fun memories.

Next year, I might decorate the other one with gold ribbons and bells. I’ll just have to figure out where to display it!

Merry Christmas!