Thursday, June 9, 2016

JABC buttons get SPOOKED!

Have you ever wondered how the gals at Just Another Button Company do their button magic with polymer clay? I just look at those gloriously detailed buttons in awe. They're truly little works of art!

Well, I didn't take a field trip to JABC, but I do have some behind-the-scenes pics of SPOOKED! Mystery Sampler buttons being made at JABC.

We're offering a very special SPOOKED! Embellishment Pack for the mystery sampler, which will have goodies to embellish SPOOKED!, as well as the 3 BONUS projects included. When I think "cool embellishments", I immediately think about JABC. They are so happy to work with me and customize fun, whimsical buttons for L*K projects.

Even before I was done stitching the SPOOKED! Mystery Sampler, I sent them an actual size color printout of the design from my computer design software. I had some ideas about where to put embellishments, but I invited the button professionals to play around with the design and make suggestions.

**When I know I want to use embellishments in a design, I have to consider this while the design is "in progress". In addition to selecting appropriate buttons, I have to make sure buttons are correct scale for the design. This sounds like more of my Design 101 posts!

Shortly, the JABC whiz team returned my printout with lovely little buttons taped here and there, and helpful notes in the margins. Decisions, many buttons, which buttons, where to put them...enough to keep a cross stitch designer up at night.

I ended up selecting 4 different JABC buttons, and included 6 JABC in the pack (there are 3 of my fave little buttons - see it being made below). The SPOOKED! Embellishment Pack also contains tiny black and cream buttons from another source, and golden olive beads. We've got a serious buildup of packs at the L*K office now, waiting for our June 15 ship date.

Here's my official SPOOKED! Embellishment Pack assembly box that follows me everywhere...while I'm watching TV, in the car, whenever I have time to make a few dozen (or hundred) packs. 

Just Another Button Company is a family business, like so many other vendors in the needlework biz. Creativity definitely runs in the family. Below are 3 generations of button ladies...Cecile, Rachel, baby Anna (Miss Button 2) and big sister Amelia (Miss Button). As you can see, curly hair also runs in this family. Personal NOTE:  I keep reminding God that I want curly hair when I get to heaven. I know envy is a sin, so I'm just "hoping" for heavenly curls in the hereafter. 

Speaking of heavenly...check out this pic of Amelia, nestled in a pile of buttons. Amazingly, the contest winner who guessed closest to her delivery date won that entire stash of buttons - button dream come true!!!

The button we'll "profile" today is the little black/burnt orange quilt block. For scale, see photo below. I have a 2" square Tupperware container brimming with buttons. They're tiny - 1/4" across. We scaled our button selections so they will work well on multiple fabrics...28 or 32 count linen, and 14 and 16 ct. Aida.

Our button guru, Donna, begins building a "cane" for the button from polymer clay. You can see her tools at top of pic.

You can see the button starting to take shape as she cuts and combines the black and burnt orange pieces.

...and here's the final button. But WAIT...why is it so JUMBO SIZED! Before the button is sliced,baked and drilled, it has to be S - T - R - E - T - C - H - E - D!!!!

Watch video below and you'll see Cecile make a different button cane and see the whole large-to-small button evolution. She's a whiz, and super you will see!

Just like our previous posts on hand dyed linen at Picture This Plus, and overdyed fibers from the gang at Weeks Dye Works, I'm so glad I'm doing the DESIGNING part of this job. I don't think I have the patience (or skills) for this button building biz. But the more I learn about other needlework artisans, the more respect I have for what they do...and the lovely products they bring to the cross stitch business!

Ready to get SPOOKED!??? Alan is busy this contacting shops all around the US and outside the US, verifying pre-order amounts, and accepting additional orders. We'll begin packing boxes next weekend and ship SPOOKED! Mystery Sampler Part One to shops everywhere on Wed., June 15.

Have a great weekend, stitchers!


  1. So excited! I love your mystery samplers.

  2. I was fascinated to watch the building of the nativity button! What extraordinary patience is required. Your behind-the-scenes posts have each been so interesting. Thank you, thank you for sharing the building steps for SPOOKED! with us. It promises to be a fantastic Halloween treat.

  3. How can I find a shop near me that will have the mystery item?