Embroidered Butterfly Buttons

We decided to have a taster day at Knit Wise, one of the places I hold Spinning Workshops. The idea was to give anyone who wanted a chance to try a new craft. We held 45 minute mini classes in spinning, weaving, felting, Tunisian crochet, knitting and finally button making.

So I remembered my embroidered butterfly from years ago and decided to do some little versions to cover the buttons

I embroidered a small butterfly as a sample piece to show what could be achieved. As it happens, I cut it slightly too small for,the button so it couldn’t be used, which was a shame because I really liked it!

So my first buttons seemed to go fine and then disaster, I lost them. They’re in my house but who knows where. I’ve searched every place I can think of and I’m starting to think I might have thrown them away by accident. All that hard work.

Sorry about these enormous photos!

So I started again and here are the new butterflies, all ready for Christine Cummins Ceramics Open Studio on the 19th June. I love making them, it’s been so much fun. Off now to do some Ladybirds!


Alysn Midgleow Martin Workshop

So after my last post about working alone, I was plunged into working among a group. I attended Alysn Midgelow Martin’s personal statement workshop at Art Van Go in Hertfordshire. I had a five and a half hour drive through rush hour and fog and stayed in a Bed and Breakfast with a shared bathroom where you weren’t allowed to use the bath but hey, no pain no gain.

My chosen statesman of ‘creative minds are rarely tidy’ I found online under quotes from Winnie the Pooh (it’s always nice to have a few quotes under your belt and I love AA Milne). Imagine how flabbergasted I was when I discovered it was said by John William Gardener (sometimes also credited to Carl Gustav Jung, but on further investigation this seems incorrect). Just glad I didn’t credit it to Winnie the Pooh.

Faced with a room full of ladies who had City and Guilds certificates all over the place, I have to admit, I did feel incredibly intimidated. I started to miss my little room on my own, but how do you inspire and bounce ideas if not with other people. I was just out of the habit of it all.

We started with monoprinting on paper.


Then stamping and embossing with heat tools



We burnt brass and stainless steel with a camp stove burner to create colours in the metal


We painted lutrador (a polyester material, feels like thick paper) with silk paints, attached it to metal and then machined our saying over the top of it. Then we heated the Lutrador to distress it and create this effect, which I really like


On Friday we were told to put it all together. This is where I struggled. I was in good company though, quite a few of us did. We had lots of samples of processes – to do what with? Alysn was a very helpful, hands on and generous teacher, offering loads of tips and encouragement. But if your head is empty, then it’s just empty.

So here is my finished piece. The big reveal. I cannot believe I’m putting this out there but here you go.


I can almost hear the quizzical looks on faces. D’you know it wasn’t the best in the class by any stretch, but it wasn’t the worst either and for someone completely thrown in the deep end its alright. Will it be going on a wall anytime soon – I think not.

But I had a wonderful time away, I learned loads of processes that I plan to experiment with using my new heat gun(!!!) and did something that frightened me each day. And that’s what’s it’s all about.