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I'm a part-time primary school teacher, who started papercrafting 8 years ago, when I had a fancy to make my own Christmas cards. Since then, I have tried all sorts of techniques and styles - and I kind of like them all. So my work is very varied, which keeps me interested - and my crafty stash growing!! As well as cards, I love working with boxes and canvases - and I'm always seeking inspiration for new projects.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Nan's Buttons!!

At the end of last week, I had a break from crafting and spent some time researching my family tree. I have been working on this for several years - working in fits and starts, and moving slowly back into my family's past. The lady in this photo is my Nan (my Mum's mum). I don't have many memories of her - and that makes me sad in that I was 9 when she died - not exactly very young. My eldest niece is now 10, and I know how close she is to my Mum. If (heaven forbid) anything were to happen to my Mum (or my Dad), I wonder just how much would she or her younger sister would remember. I know I spent lots of time with my Nan - every Saturday afternoon she would look after me, my sister and my two older cousins so my Mum and my Aunt could go shopping on their own without the kids(something they still do to this day). It's sad that I don't remember.

On Monday, I took my Mum to two local cemeterys to look for the graves of her grandparents - strange I know, but I'm finding gravestones a good source of information, and I didn't have accurate death dates for them!! Mum quite enjoyed herself, as did my two nieces. My sister was less impressed - she said that graveyards gave her the heebeejeebees!! 

So, what does all this have to do with buttons? Well, the lady in this photo is my other Nan - and of course this is her wedding photo with my Grandad. Now this Nan I knew very well - and she was the last of my grandparents to pass away - just one year after my Grandad. I inherited her button box - along with all her other sewing things which I still use for all my mending. But until this week, all the buttons had just been left unused. I had sorted them into colour groups ages ago - but hadn't really been inspired to use them for anything. Until now!!

I had been wanting to have another go at making some gift bags - and finally got round to it. The bags are made from pearlescent card which gives them a lovely sheen - and although at 14cm x 18.5cm x 7cm not overly large - I'm happy that they are a useful size.

I chose to delve into the buttons to decorate the bags. Now this might sound quite straightforward, but, as my friends know, I am an organised person, and generally like things neat and tidy. And that does tend to mean that, in my crafting, I like my colours and embellishments to match.

But when you have a totally random selection of buttons, that is not easy. I have to admit that I had a real crisis with these two blue bags. They were the second and third bags I decorated. My husband brought me up a cup of tea during this process to find me pushing buttons round and round on my craft mat, desperatly trying to find a configuration of the buttons that I was happy with. His helpful suggestion (which I didn't take) was to just throw the buttons up in the air and see where they landed! He very nearly had them thrown at him!!!

Eventually, I was able to find a layout I was happy with - and from then I found it easier to accept that the buttons didn't match, had never matched and were never going to match!! So it was a case of actually going for less symmetrical, and more eclectic mixes and layouts!!

I'm really happy with the results on all the bags. And I'm sure my Nan would be glad to see that I'm finally putting her buttons to good use.

The bags were finished with ribbon handles - they're reinforced with an extra piece of card hidden under the folded bag top, so should take a reasonable weight.The bottom is also reinforced with an extra piece of matching card. The card and paper mounts for the buttons were cut from various scraps using Spellbbinder dies on my trusty Cuttlebug. They are all embossed with dots, using the That Special Touch of Mica Masks - the larger mat was embossed with the middle size of the three dotty masks, and the smaller mat with smallest dots.

 I am now looking into making a bigger size of bag - but that's going to have to wait a while as I am away for a few days (going to watch cricket!), and then it's all systems go to get ready for Studland Country Fair on Saturday 27th August. Am nervous but still looking forward to it.

Am sure I will have to spend some time next week practising how I want to set my stall out!! And my Nan's Buttons will definately be making an front row appearance!

1 comment:

  1. I was spending last week doing the exact same thing! I got started when I was scrapbooking my grandparents photo and I realised how little I knew about my grandfather.

    The gift bags are lovely and will do really well at the craft fair I think.


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