Buttons, Buttons, Who’s Got the Buttons?

I was totally inspired recently by a friend on Ravelry, Saturdays-child, who regularly finds and repurposes thrift items in the most unique and creative ways. Her latest find was a lazy Susan style spice rack to hold her button collection.

“Buttons?!” I may have quietly screeched at the computer. You see, I have a long-held addiction to button collecting. As a child I took the cut-off bottoms from a pair of my mother’s khakis, sewed them into one long ribbon and then sewed tons and tons buttons on them, creating, essentially, a long, long strip of buttons, This, I realized as an adult, was a little useless, since I couldn’t actually see the buttons except when I dragged them out of my closet, and one big long strip of buttons is a little hard to manage unless you are going to wear it as a scarf. So I undid all of the sewed-on buttons and they went into my notions drawer, where they have languished in the dark. So, of course, nothing would do but I get my own spinny button holder, stat.

I went on eBay and immediately fell in love with a $3 vintage spice rack that had brightly colored lids, which thrilled my OCD tendencies to no end. I won the auction (yey!) and the day the rack arrived I immediately dragged out my mess of buttons and started organizing them. My biggest issue is always trying to dig through all of the brown, white and black buttons to find the fun colored ones I need (or simply want to admire like a magpie inspecting it’s strips of bent aluminum and tin), so this was a perfect solution for me. All of my colored buttons are wonderfully segmented and I have a glorious wheel of color now!

buttonsI highly recommend finding or repurposing a spice rack for your button collection. It’s dead easy to do and cute as a button to top it off. And it spins. Whee!

October Phat Fiber Sampler Box – Ancient Egypt

Well, my goodies arrived last week at the Phat Fiber headquarters, so here is the big reveal for the stitch markers I made to coincide with this month’s Egyptian theme. Flight of the Butterfly is a very limited edition design, primarily composed of vintage beads, so don’t hesitate to nab a set today!

Butterflies were very rare in Ancient Egypt because of the harsh climate, and not much is known about how the Egyptians perceived them. There are some tantalizing clues, however, found in the tombs and hieroglyphics of Ancient Egypt, so I had a wonderful time researching this connection. My inspiration comes from the inlaid silver bracelets that were found in the tomb of Queen Hetepheres I. Made of silver, turquoise, carnelian and lapis lazuli, some researchers and scholars believe they were designed to protect her and help her to fly into the afterlife.

Butterflies, with their ability to “rebirth” themselves after “entombing” themselves as caterpillars, may have been greatly honored by the Ancient Egyptians. Ancient Egyptians may have seen a parallel between the linen wrappings on their dead and the chrysalis of the butterfly. When butterflies were featured on wall reliefs, their images tended to be overly large and placed close to the heavens or other symbols of life everlasting. This indicates not only their importance but also shows that they may have reinforced the Ancient Egyptians’ concept of the afterlife.

Butterflies did not always stay in Egypt year-round, and often migrated from other more friendly climates, making a sighting of one a rare and beautiful thing indeed. The most common Egyptian butterfly, the Plain Tiger butterfly, is believed to be one of the first butterflies used in art in the world, making its way onto a 3,500-year-old wall design in Luxor, Egypt. Today, that fresco shows us a glimpse of the rich wildlife that was found in Egypt when the Pharaohs still ruled it.

I had great fun digging into this relatively unknown history about Ancient Egypt. If you are interested in finding out more about the beliefs that the Egyptians may have had toward butterflies, I highly recommend reading this master’s thesis by Dawn Haynes from Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

Don’t forget, if you purchase anything in my store from Oct. 18 – Nov. 15 you are eligible for the Phat Fiber Superbox Giveaway! To win this month’s Phat Incentive, which includes the contents of this month’s Video (aka The Superbox) AND A $100 Gift Certificate to one of the participating shops, you need to join the Phat Fiber group on Ravelry and then post what you’ve purchased in the current incentive thread.

Want to know how you can get one of these boxes? For a Phat Fiber community-edited guide to snagging a box, visit this thread in the Ravelry group. The cost of the box is $36 including shipping. Good luck!

Enjoy the new design, which is up in the Exchanging Fire shop!

Interweave Crochet Features Exchanging Fire Stitch Markers for Summer 2014 Issue!

I’ve been twice-blessed recently, because this week Interweave Crochet’s Summer 2014 issue hit stands, and featured inside it were a set of my stitch markers! The markers highlighted were Exchanging Fire’s Orange Blossom Special, a limited edition set of faceted brilliant orange cat’s eye paired with vintage leaf beads and adorable antiqued gold orange charms. These markers were customized with closed claw-style clasps, though I also have closed kidney-style and open-style hooks. Here is a sneak peek of the page they are featured on, in the magazine:

orangeblossomspecialDid you know that most of the stitch markers at Exchanging Fire can be converted into crochet-friendly markers? All you have to do is ask! A simple message in the “Notes to Seller” area as you check out is all it takes.

The summer issue of Interweave Crochet is a beautiful garden tea party theme, with lots of faerie lace and even handcrafted crochet teacups. And the New and Notable accessories section features adorable felted gnomes alongside the Orange Blossom stitch markers that you should check out.

Exchanging Fire Stitch Markers Featured in Knitscene Accessories 2014!

I’m really excited because I have some super cool news to share with you – Exchanging Fire’s Red Riding Hood stitch markers were featured in this year’s special Knitscene Accessories 2014 magazine, which hits stands June 3!

The editors contacted me this winter about the Red Riding Hood stitch markers, which I love because they have a beautiful wolf’s head charm on them paired with reclaimed red jade beads. They invoke the dark and moody feeling that the original fairy tale conveyed. So I sent them in, and have been waiting and waiting to see when they might appear in print. And voila! Here is a sneak peek of the page they are featured on, right beside those awesome digital row counters I also have at Exchanging Fire:

The Knitscene Accessories issue only comes out once and year and is always jam-packed with the latest goodies and cutest easy-to-knit patterns. Some of the cowls and scarves this year are to-die-for elegant with a fabulous Art Nouveau style. The whole theme is Fairy Tales, so you should totally check it out.

 

May Phat Fiber Sampler Box – A Horse of a Different Color

This month’s theme for the Phat Fiber Sampler Box was a little unexpected, and I really didn’t think I was going to participate until one night when I was laughing over posts in the Rubberneckers group on Ravelry.

Like a lightning bolt, I thought of the funny Internet expression, “teal deer,” which references a post where someone has pontificated themselves into oblivion. Respondents are forced to reply with “tl;dr” (too long; didn’t read) or run screaming from the computer. Or both.
“A teal deer, eh?” I thought to myself. “Well, that’s a horse of a different color, all right!” After all, the idiom “a horse of a different color’ usually isn’t talking about horses at all.

So without further ado, here are my brand new Teal Deer stitch markers, handpainted by moi in a gorgeous sparkly teal color so that you can chuckle over the inanities of life while knitting away on your newest project. Enjoy!

Don’t forget, if you purchase anything in my store from May 18 – June 20 you are eligible for the Phat Fiber Superbox Giveaway! To win this month’s Phat Incentive, which includes the contents of this month’s Video (aka The Superbox) AND A $150 Gift Certificate to one of the participating shops, you need to join the Phat Fiber group on Ravelry and then post what you’ve purchased in the incentive thread.

Want to know how you can get one of these boxes? For a Phat Fiber community edited guide to snagging a box, visit this thread in the Ravelry group. The cost of the box is $36 including shipping. Good luck!

Enjoy the new design, which is up in the Exchanging Fire shop!

Win a Free Gift Certificate to Exchanging Fire

Hey folks, I’ve joined forces again with Lisa Bogart, the author of the book Knit With Love, for her monthly giveaway on her website! Sign up and you could win a $10 gift certificate to my shop, Exchanging Fire. And when throw your name in the hat for the giveaway, you’ll automatically receive a coupon code good for 10 percent off anything in the store this month. Go check out the giveaway and see what you could win!

Click to sign up now:

April Phat Fiber Sampler Box – How Does Your Garden Grow?

My past month was sort of crazy, and I had to work very hard to get my samples into Phat Fiber headquarters in time for the box this month. I really wanted to be a part of April’s garden, because I had so many ideas floating around in my head. In the end I think I was a bit inspired by the volatility going on in my life, because I chose a Wars of the Roses theme, continuing my Tudor series at Exchanging Fire.

The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic wars fought between supporters of two rival branches – the Houses of Lancaster and York – for the throne of England. Both sides were descendants of the House of Plantagenet, which had ruled England during the Middle Ages. The symbol of the rose came into being during these battles for control of the throne of England, when the York supporters wore white roses to show their loyalty. The origins of the Rose itself stem from Edward I’s use of “a golden rose stalked proper” as a badge of England’s Royal House.

The White Rose of York

The wars ended when a relative unknown Lancasterian living abroad, Henry VII, the father of the infamous Henry VIII, was raised up to be the next king. He married Elizabeth of York, uniting the two dynasties together and creating the House of Tudor, which ruled for the next 120 years.

The Red Rose of Lancaster

Don’t forget, if you purchase anything in my store from April 20 – May 17 you are eligible for the Phat Fiber Superbox Giveaway! To win this month’s Phat Incentive, which includes the contents of the April Video (aka The Superbox) AND A $150 Gift Certificate to one of the participating shops, you need to join the Phat Fiber group on Ravelry and then post what you’ve purchased in the incentive thread.