50 Button Crafts: idea #2 – 3 strand button necklace

three strand button necklace by Jodi Nobles

Got a box or jar full of buttons carefully saved by your mother or grandmother? For 2015 I’m in search of great ways to put those buttons to use. Here is this week’s idea:

I love this eclectic mix of buttons. It looks like Jodi used a similar wire-wrap technique as last weeks post on button pendants. (Jodi made it for her Etsy shop but is no longer available. You can click on the photo above to look at her current offerings.) So if you have a fun collections of buttons and want to tackle a more complicated button necklace this could be the perfect project.

It would be a good idea to document where the buttons for your project came from and any relevant stories or information about that person or family. If you are looking for more button crafts, check out my Pinterest board.

Inktober catch up

If you remember a couple of months back in October, I was participating in an ink drawing challenge. Each week I posted my drawings here. Then the last week of October I broke my hand and life shifted. I was only a couple of days from finishing the challenge so I decided to finish the last 3 days with my left hand. It was a fun experience and I learned a lot plus I want to get back to drawing soon to develop my skills. Here are the rest of my drawings for Inktober.

left handed day 1

left handed day 2

left handed day 3 & my pen ran out of ink so I used a sharpie


trust 1Inspired by my friend Shannon Christensen, I decided to pick a word as a kind of theme/resolution for 2015. After some contemplation I decided on trust. Trust in the Lord. Trust in his guidance. Trust in my ability to understand that guidance. Trust that I’m on the right path. Trust in my skills. Trust that if I follow my plan, I’ll get the things that are important done. Trust in reaching out to others and building relationships. Trust in the future, etc. etc.

I’ve never tried picking a single word for the year but I like it. I’m looking for a song to go with my word. If you have suggestions let me know. Do you do goals or resolutions?

Family Trees: family photo diagram

photo collage by Cactus and Olive

Sometimes the best ideas come when you are solving a problem. This is one of those ideas. Loni Harris wanted to send her brother a family photo but the most recent one was a couple of years out of date and missing some new members. So she came up with this circular format showing three generations of her family. It is a brilliant solution and very adaptable do different numbers of children. Her readers loved it so much that she now makes custom version in her Etsy shop. At the time of writing this post she is taking a break from her shop. Hopefully it will be back up soon.

She did her’s project in Photoshop and Illustrator. I think I could do this pretty easily in InDesign. Maybe I’ve got myself a new project for Mother’s day or my Mom’s 92nd birthday. I’ll be sure to let you know how it comes out.

I’ve decided to regularly share ideas I find for family trees, so stay tuned. More to come over the coming weeks and months.

50 Button Crafts: idea #1 – wire-wrapped pendant

button pendants from craftsy.com

Got a box or jar full of buttons carefully saved by your mother or grandmother? For 2015 I’m in search of great ways to put those buttons to use. Here is this week’s idea:

What a simple and beautiful way to use some of those unique buttons in your stash. Click on the photo about for a very clear and detailed tutorial on how to wire-wrap your buttons to make them into pendants. I’m going to put this on my project list for the near future.

If you are looking for more button crafts, check out my Pinterest board.

Pupdate: Emma


It has been almost two months since we got the dreaded phone call that Emma would not be a guide dog. The official cause: luxating lumbar. Which means that her lower back isn’t stable and it moves in ways that it shouldn’t. This is our first career change for medical reason. It is sad because Emma would have mad a wonderful guide dog. She was born with this condition and in hind sight there were signs of it. She was terrible at tug. Sometimes when you pulled her on your lap (while sitting on the floor of course) she would let out a little yelp. She was always very slow to sit when given the command.

There is no way to know just how her future will progress. Hopefully her condition can be managed with pain meds and lifestyle choices. But she might need surgery. This makes her placement in a new home by Guide Dogs for the Blind more challenging. Not everyone is up to taking on a known medical challenge like this. Emma’s mom’s family met Emma when they brought Mauve to campus and seriously considered adopting her. But after talking with the vet at GDB they realized that their lifestyle is too active for Emma.  We get a monthly update on her, which is really awesome. Here are the two we have gotten so far:

Emma #52J1 is “spunky, smart, and a lot like her mom”, per one of the Training Department staff who happened to be filling in in the whelping kennel when Emma and her littermates were born, and who is now working in the kennel where Emma is living. An dog adoption applicant  family is considering adopting Emma, pending some thought about her orthopedic issues.
Emma #52J1 is “willing and very nice” per an employee who has been caring for her. Emma is building a rapport with a staff member who has recently been assigned to Emma as an appropriate permanent adoptive home is being sought for her.

Year in Review & New Year’s Resolutions for Kids (and adults)

from thirtyhandmadedays.com

I came across this great printable today from Thirty Hand Made Days. It is a great way to record some of the basics about a child’s likes and life experience and hopes for the coming year. The real power comes from doing this year after year and Mique does an updated version each year. What a wonderful record of the growing and maturing that little snap shot will make. I also think this could be easily adapt to adults. In fact she has one! (see below). Click on the photos to get the free printable files

from hirtyhandmadedays.com