Happy Cats!!!

I found these colourful cat buttons at Rollo. They looked so happy and cheerful that I had to buy them! The buttons are antique and are made of plastic coated in paint with a matte finish. The black details are etched into the buttons. I like the way this makes them stand out from the colour. The simple design reminds me of cartoon cats!

So far, I've made the red ones into a pair of earrings but I think they might make a cute ring or a pair of cufflinks. What do you think?

The earrings were very easy to make. First, I cut off the plastic loops on the back of the buttons and sanded them down. After that, I glued on some small metal plates with rings at the top to hang the earring hooks from.

I get lots of comments whenever I wear these earrings so they always manage to brighten up my day! After all, who doesn't love a happy cat?! Now if only I could find some Grumpy Cat buttons too!...

 

Silver Ferns

Silver fern earrings

I love mixing it up when it comes to the materials I use in my jewellery pieces. I found these French antique cream buttons with inset rhinestones at Rollo on one of my visits there. I love the design of these buttons - so simple and eye-catching. But it took me a while to decide what I wanted to make with them! It was only when I was looking through some fabric pieces I had at home, that I saw how good the buttons looked with these silver ferns.

I was suprised to find that the ferns are actually 24ct gold thread mixed with white. I bought them at Kawachi Artists' Materials in Osaka. The shop is on the 8th floor of the Tokyu Hands building in Shinsaibashi. I love both of these shops because you can find almost any arty or crafty thing you might need there!

I think the fabric pieces are usually used as appliqués on clothing but I thought they'd work well in jewellery pieces because they're so light and delicate. Lately, when I've been shopping in Japan, I've noticed some accessories (usually necklaces) with elements of fabric and lace worked into them so I though I'd try it for myself.

I connected the buttons with the ferns by wrapping some fine artist's wire around the ends to make loops for the jump rings. When you wear the earrings, the ferns look a little like wings that flutter and catch the light as you move. So there's something old and something new in these earrings. I guess I'll have to keep searching for something borrowed and blue!

Do you own any jewellery with a fabric element?

Black and Gold Rose

The necklace

The two buttons that make up this pendant fit together so well, it's almost like they were made for each other! They're both French antique but despite their difference in style, they really complement each other. The base, gold button is acrylic with (what looks like) a piece of metallic fabric pressed inside. This gives the button a subtle weave and shine that catches the light beautifully. The black and gold rose button is also acrylic with a matte black finish. The gold details looks like some foil has been applied to the surface by hand as they're all a little different. Their shininess contrasts nicely with the matte black of the button.

In order to stack the buttons on top of each other, I filed away the rounded base of the flower until it was flat and then glued them together. The rose rests neatly in a small depression in the gold button. After that, I added a tear shaped black bead and some cream coloured pearls to the pendant. I finished the piece by hanging it from a double strand of sparkly gold chain.

Close up of the rose buttons

I really like the possibilities of combining different buttons to make an entirely unique piece! Sometimes, like this pendant, the buttons really complement each other. At other times, their differences brings about something completely unexpected.

Mushroom Buttons (button mushrooms!)

I found these mushroom buttons at my favorite button shop Rollo in Kyoto. I think there’s something a little magical about them! Their silhouette design reminds me of the black and white illustrations you find in some fairy story books.

The buttons are French antique, made of mother of pearl with a layer of red enamel applied to the surface. The cut out design could have been made by etching away parts of the enamel to reveal the shell below. I like that the details on the buttons vary just a little so that each and every one is unique. It makes me wonder if someone carved them by hand.

The buttons came in 3 colours (red, green and blue). I made these red ones into a pair of drop earrings by attaching some bails to the back and hanging them from some of my own handmade sterling silver ear hooks. They feel really light and lovely to wear!

Have you ever seen any buttons like these before?