Button Art.. send off.


I’ve been thinking lately about how hard it is to part with a project once it’s done and ready to move on to it’s new home.

I”m used to seeing the colours and textures out of the corner of my eye and I always have a few pangs of missing them before I transition to a new palette and design.  It’s why I try and overlap projects so I can ease from one to the other.


I’ve just finished making two sketchbook covers that have been my constant companions the last while.

These button projects are part of what I make, although not all of what I do creatively.  But they are portable and relaxing and I love the rhythmical pace of stitching by hand. Lately I’ve revived my interest in making needle book cases as an alternative to a grab and go project like knitting.  Small blank canvases waiting to have a design set up and  ready to pick up and work on when I’m on a  plane , in a car or riding to and from the mainland on the ferry.  When I can’t be in my studio drawing and painting, it doesn’t mean I stop the creativity.

Planning and designing these little works of art  probably takes me the longest as I  set up the ‘scene’ . I  play around with my stash of fabric and buttons and let the story unfold.

It always begins with the gathering of suppliesDSC_6178

And in this case I ended up doing two sketchbook covers at the same time . Same dimensions , different shades of blue / greens and different stories unfolding on their tiny canvases.  DSC_6168


Out of my button collection came the unfolding of a story of night time.  Maybe a full moon and stars.  The ocean, fish, beach, and a shore line.  Blossoms waving in the off shore breeze and glowing by the light of the moon.

I had some beautiful fish buttons I’d saved for just the right project and the image seemed to call for bubbles floating from their mouths.  Wave action in the water as the fish play in the surf and the long skinny buttons looked so much to me like fence posts marking the shore line.

DR Sketchbook : Fish

For the second one, the aqua colour of the felt spoke to me of hot places on another side of the globe. The opposite  of my world in the  northern hemisphere.


I start by laying out the different shapes and sizes of  buttons on the back drop of the wool fabric and move them around until I’m happy with the balance.  The scene appears and the stitching begins.


In this case I was travelling en route to a painting and sketching retreat in France earlier in the summer and came upon the greatest bead and button store.  I saw the turtles and knew they would tell the story of two turtles out playing in the surf.




Turtles Horizontal WMWM vertical turtles

These two are now finished and will move out to make room for the next scene I have percolating in my imagination..

I’m seeing a city scene with buildings of high rises ?  hmmmm….






6 thoughts on “Button Art.. send off.

  1. Gosh Sandy, you really are a marvel with Wiston, your drawings of Naked Mouse and their adventures and now to see these completed. I love reading how they come about and evolve intuitively. They must feel so nice to work on and all those hours spent lovingly stitching each piece together, they really are beautiful. ❤

    • Such warm words of support for my endeavours Suzi. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. I so love the tactile sensation of working with fabric and rhythmical almost meditative time spent stitching. There is such a sense of fulfillment in the freedom to design these projects of button art. A new perspective for me on the concept of blank canvas. Of course Wiston is ever present to provide comic relief.

  2. I love your button art, Sandy… and what fun that you bought some of the buttons when visiting me in France. I have been collecting buttons for ever so maybe I’ll have a go someday! ❤

    • Oh Caroline, every time I see a dish or a jar of buttons I start to salivate. There are so many things a person can do with them. I’ll take a peek when i’m next with you and maybe we can cook something up as a starter project for you to do in your ‘spare time ‘ .. :O. And I love that you were there when I found the turtle buttons . ❤

    • I miss my stitching these days Suzanne. Weddings and Wiston have been demanding a lot of time ! But funny you should say that . I just laid out my next button art project yesterday. Big cross country hugs.

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