Saturday, 30 April 2011

Inspiration from ButtonMad Italy

ButtonMad Italy have posted these fabulous pictures on their blog
They have used an old pair of jeans and recycled them into a cute little purse - then decorated it with a puffy pink fabric flower in a felt pot.

Then added one of our flowerpot buttons to highlight the felt pot and give it some depth.

And since it was a little heart shaped purse, stitched on some of our tiny heart buttons as the perfect finishing touch.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Posting of the Buttons from the Painted Quilt Give Away

There they go at last on their journeys around the world.

Apologies for the delay - we were waiting for all the winners to reply with their addresses so that they could be sent in one big batch...and April is full of public holidays back home so we have been using that as a really good excuse to travel and have been and still are! away.

In fact, the reason that the post box is green and there is Gaelic writing on the box is that these buttons are winging their way from Dublin, husband and I are here for the wedding of a very good friend of ours from back home...and we brought the winner's buttons all the way here with us and that is why the postage stamp says 'Eire'!

Look out for our next exciting give away coming soon...

Thursday, 28 April 2011

When Worms Dream - Cross Stitch

Ever wonder what it is that worms are dreaming of...a tummy full of delicious ripe golden apples.

In this cross stitch, we have placed our very contented worm in a most desirable position - surrounded by all the apple cores he has munched his way through...bliss!

We have so much fun coming up with all these button ideas!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Focus on Crafts - Clocks

Here we have taken a flat round piece of wood from the hardware with a small hole drilled into the centre and painted it in the colour of our choice.
We used a regular all-purpose craft paint and applied a few layers.
For the space theme clock we then speckled some gold and silver paint to create a night-time sky effect.
Next, we took our choice of 12 of our Incomparable pieces and positioned them at roughly the correct time positions and glued them on using a hot glue gun but any general purpose craft glue should do the trick.
The clock workings & hands we bought from a craft store and added at the end.

With the huge selection of designs from Incomparable, we had to somehow narrow it down to our favourites and here we have made a cat clock, daisy flower & butterfly clock...

And of course always a favourite, our ever popular African animals clock...

Lovely as a gift for a child's bedroom.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Strawberry Roulade Recipe

The Easter long weekend has been a little full on the indulgence side.
We had a punnet of strawberries and raspberries that were being neglected in the fridge so I decided to make this one evening.

A strawberry roulade might look complicated but its really rather simple and you can whip it up very quickly and substitute any berries or fruit you have at home - kiwi fruit and granadillas are also great to add.

4 egg whites,
6 Large T castor sugar (I used normal white sugar - meringues seem to be quite forgiving),
250ml tub of whipping cream (this pudding was made in France and French cream doesn't a) like to be purchased in the first place - its a nightmare to find in the stores and b) doesn't like to whip even if it says so on the I used one of those cans of whipped cream which I had never bought before but desperate times and all - it worked perfectly)
Punnet strawberries/assorted berries chopped.

Whip the egg whites until stiff and add the sugar a little at a time while still beating.

Next smooth the meringue mixture onto baking paper (I butter it to prevent any sticking) that is in a baking tray or oven proof dish.

Pop into the oven at about 150 Celcius for about 15-20 minutes. It will start getting brown on top but still be a bit spongy to touch.

Take it out and invert onto another sheet of baking paper that is on top of a dish cloth.

Once it has cooled, spread an even layer of cream over the top keeping about 2 centimetres away from the edges so when you fold it up all of the cream doesn't go oozing out.
At this stage you can add a thin layer of lemon curd before the cream - this adds a lovely zesty taste which cuts through the sweetness.

Then sprinkle with strawberries or your fruit.

Take one side of the baking sheet and slowly begin to roll it up like a Swiss Roll.

Et voila! Strawberry Roulade which always delights guests, looks impressive! and tastes a treat too.

Use a few intact strawberries or fruit to decorate the edge of your serving platter (I had to settle for an olive bread board as there don't seem to be any platters in the house we are staying in but it added a rustic feel to it).

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter Visitor

Look who we spied this morning while listening to the cathedral bells. A rather trendily dressed Easter bunny...with a particularly cute tail!...

Happy Easter!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Happy Easter

This weekend will be filled with bunnies (traditionally hares) and eggs to symbolise the coming of Spring, fertility and new life.

In the USA in the 18th century, children who were good would receive brightly coloured eggs supposedly laid by a bunny (the Osterhase or German Easter Hare) in nests that they had made in their caps and bonnets. This led to the more modern tradition we are familiar with today of hiding eggs and the Easter egg hunt with a basket to replace the nest made of straw.

Games played around the world include rolling painted eggs down a steep hill in Scotland and North England, while in the US this type of Easter egg roll involves pushing an egg along flat ground with a spoon. I'm looking forward to seeing footage of America's 1st family rolling eggs on the lawn of the White House this year.

Egg tapping contests, the egg dance and plays involving the Pace egg will also keep people entertained this weekend.

Whichever traditions you follow or are familiar with, have a wonderful Easter shared with family and loved ones.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

FarmYard Cross Stitch

We have a really fun farmyard collection of buttons. Ever popular, these traditional symbols of the farm bring a smile to everyone who sees them.

Here they are set in a cross stitch pattern with a great big red barn, the sheep munching happily in the fields and the tractor roaring off to see to something requiring the farmer's attention. 

I quite like the idea of letting the kids play with the pieces and position them according to their own stories and imaginations but after all that hard work and effort perhaps best to get them their own set of farmyard buttons and let them play with them on a line drawing that they can also get to colour in...either way, have fun!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Focus on Crafts - Greeting Cards

We have been known to use our buttons in creative projects that don't involve sewing or needlework of any kind.
Since they are flat backed and acid free, they are perfect for use in crafts using papers and photographs and for gluing onto flat surfaces.

This is a selection of greeting cards created using 3 African-theme button pieces per card. Each piece is glued onto a square of coloured paper and these are in turn glued onto a long strip of textured cardboard, then pasted onto the greeting card.

These nautical theme greeting cards are far simpler and have been made using square cards and envelopes.

As a set they make a lovely gift wrapped up with matching envelopes and ribbon and with so many different designs to choose from, they can suit any theme you can think of.

Monday, 18 April 2011

2 Inch Fashion Buttons

 With all the focus lately being on our new teeny tiny range of buttons (and who could blame us for getting so excited about them!) we have tended to forget about the other extreme...our range of beautiful 2-inch fashion buttons.

They add the perfect finishing touch to these bags...

And turn a thick knitted top or jacket, whether handmade or store bought into a completely unique piece...

Used in all sorts of applications, from curtains to cushions, bags to jackets, use our range of large Incomparable buttons to embellish much loved items in your home or to give new life to everyday items.

Have fun with our inspiring range of fashion buttons.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Painted Quilt Give Away Winners

The 20 winners of the Painted Quilt Button Give Away are:

Quilt Hollow;
Quiltin' Sandy;
Sharon BC Canada;
Diane H;
Sheila Nova Scotia Canada;
Vroomans Quilts;
Terri (BC);
Ana's World;
Sue B;
Annette (Utah);
Moe West;
Alice I.;

Congratulations! Please can you email us with your postal details and we will send you your Incomparable Buttons.

Thank you to everyone for entering and for all the wonderful comments. We really hope you will all be using our fun buttons in your projects soon.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Cheese Scones

When she's not busy baking buttons at work, mum loves nothing more than to be baking up a storm in the kitchen. I've taken it upon myself to go through all of Jen's tried and tested recipes one at a time and share them with you over the months.

Today I've nabbed her cheese scone recipe:

Mix together:

1 Cup cake flour,
1 Cup grated cheese (I prefer a strong cheddar for a lovely cheesy flavour),
1 Cup milk,
1 Tablespoon baking powder,
1 Teaspoon salt.

Spoon into a greased muffin pan and bake at 170 - 180 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
For variety add spring onions, bacon...anything that goes well with cheese.

These scones are so delicious and quick & easy to make - if you have guests dropping in for tea and nothing in the pantry to serve them, just pop these into the oven, they're sure to be a huge hit!

Sit back and enjoy...if there are any left for you that is!

My niece Emma and nephew Luke dropped by for a visit and a swim...and before I knew it, my intentions of wrapping them up in cellophane and adding some gorgeous ribbons and (of course) one of our Incomparable Hearts were dashed!

I'm sure it would've looked very time I'll just have to be quicker...

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Button Give Away at the Painted Quilt

Kaaren Johnston of the Painted Quilt is kindly hosting a button give away for us this week.
Take a look at her blog for details on how you can enter to stand a chance to be one of our 20 lucky winners of this button prize to the combined total value of $200.

Up for grabs are 10 cards of our cute red robins (button code L545)

...and 10 cards of our pastel flowers (code L555)

Leave a comment here on this give away post, as well as a comment on Kaaren's competition post.

To increase your chances of winning, become a follower of our ButtonMad blog.

Cute Creations from ButtonMad Italy

These very cute T-shirts are featured on ButtonMad Italy and were created by Giovy for her daughter Bea who is only 2 years old but becoming interested in fairy tales, dolls and bunnies. She is a big fan of her new wardrobe items!

They are store bought T-shirts that have been completely transformed with a few stitched on scraps of colourful fabric and of course, buttons from our Incomparable range. The bunny features an ice cream cone on her dress. L532 on our catalogue.

The little girl with her funky pigtails is walking her dog. The daschund is button L434 on our catalogue

ButtonMad Italy are holding a give away competition until the 15th April so take a look at their blog for how to enter - you might need to use Google Translate - I know I did!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Featured Artist

For todays post we are very excited to present a new featured artist who has created some beautiful scenes incorporating Incomparable buttons. The buttons are from L546 as featured on page 13 of our online catalog. We hope these two spring photos inspire the creative side in you this morning ;-)

Marilyn Foulke, one of our winners from our very first give away sent us this image of her work incorporating our teeny tiny little robins. Let's hope they don't get too close to all that clean laundry! What a super cute scene. Thanks Marilyn!

If you would like your work featuring Incomparable Buttons to be pictured on our blog, please email us with pictures.

Friday, 1 April 2011

This month we love...

The 1st of of the most light hearted days of the year. In South Africa we only play pranks on one another until midday - thereafter if one were to play a prank that person would be the April Fool!

This month we love the changing seasons.
Here in the Southern Hemisphere this means leaves yellowing on the trees, the days shortening and nights snuggled up in front of the fireplace. Although looking out of my window onto the dark green garden with its magnificent colours not yet fading and the sun beating down, listening to the lazy drone of the bees and watching the butterflies flit past, all that still seems rather far away.

For all those readers in the Northern Hemisphere, April brings a lengthening of daylight and melting snow, dripping icicles, blossoms, blooms peeking up through the thawing earth and hope springing eternal from winter's slumber.

This month we love Easter...and share our new teeny bunny buttons with the world.

We also love the Royal Wedding! Bells ringing, the streets lined with eager well wishers, love and romance in the air...and our new little heart buttons, Love's eternal symbol.

Happy April and here's hoping you don't get fooled.
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