KJ’s Vintage Button Bouquets

Today’s installment of the Pursuing My Passion series features KJ’s Vintage Button Bouquets! Karen’s creations are true works of art. http://www.vintagebuttonbouquets.com/Home_Page.html

856349_383531205078531_1421207457_oHow did you get started?
A local photographer friend of mine, Jean Loper, told me a story about several of her brides who were allergic to fresh flowers and wanted a unique alternative. She found pictures of these amazing bouquets using vintage buttons. It was love at first sight! They are extremely popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, and I am hoping to bring the trend to the United States.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I love…love…love the look of vintage items; pictures, movies, clothing, jewelry. My inspiration comes from the past. I feel that it honors those who came before us.IMG_2928b

Are most of your creations custom orders?
Almost 100% of my orders are custom-made, although I do list some ready-made items in my Etsy shop. The fact that a bride can add family items makes my bouquets all the more special. However, not every bride has vintage items or family heirlooms. This is where I come in. I scour vintage shops, thrift stores, yard sales and estate sales looking for something that will look spectacular in your bouquet.

Do you make products other than bouquets?
Yes, aside from making things for the wedding party, I also dabble in adding rhinestones to bridal shoes and making birdcage veils.

Where do you procure your materials?
Estate sales, thrift stores, consignment stores, and sometimes, the brides themselves.

IMG_2886bWhich is your favorite piece?
I recently made a custom bouquet for a bride who had hundreds of her grandmother’s buttons. They were all different colors, and I was not sure how it would all pull together. She also had her grandmother’s watch that I put in the middle of her bouquet. Not only did it all come together beautifully in the end, it was the sweetest tribute for someone who meant so much to her granddaughter.

Which was the most difficult piece to create?548476_259468294151490_477259813_n
My brooch bouquets.Especially if they are made with vintage items. They are much heavier than today’s pieces and the rhinestones tend to pop out during the wiring process. I have many different sized rhinestones kept in a jar for the purpose of repair. Sometimes those brooches are a bit fragile as well. I do my best to handle with care, but there are mishaps.

Do you have ideas for new products for this year?
I am trying my hand at hammer engraving, so that I can add an even more personal touch to some of my items.

Where can people order and buy from you?IMG_2942b
I have an Etsy store and a new website. I am also a Facebook addict. You can find me on there everyday. I do my absolute best to answer any and all questions.

What is the best thing about creating a custom bouquet?
The best thing about creating a custom vintage bouquet would have to be that it is such a unique idea. You can tell a tale with each and every one. Buttons from a loved one, buttons that follow a theme/movie/story. Why not be original? Maybe a bit off-beat? You can bet that no one will have anything like your one-of-a-kind creation.

IMG_2957bCheck out the creative musings of KJ’s Vintage Button Bouquets on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kjj44
Or on her website:  http://www.vintagebuttonbouquets.com/Home_Page.html

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Poem in My Pocket

From_14_to_41_front_cover_092311Today is Indiana Poem in Your Pocket Day! The idea is to carry a favorite poem with you all day and share it with everyone you meet.

So, in that spirit, I am sharing my poem, Maestro, with you. It is one of the poems in my poetry anthology, From 14 to 41. I wrote the poem years ago, when I was in college, but its message is timeless.

Sit back, relax and imagine me unfolding the piece of paper in my pocket and reading this aloud to you!

Maestro

Play me like an instrument
That needs to be broken in.
Send your song straight through me
Whether piano, trumpet or violin.

I feel the opus rise within you.
The bass line is strong and low.
The introduction—smooth as the ivory
Your fingers tickle as they flow.

The first movement is bright and happy.
There are no blues sung in this song.
It’s as if heaven sent a chorus of angels to
Encourage the notes to float along.

Praise the Lord for this masterpiece—
A work of unparalleled beauty and grace.
Do not doubt its magnificence for a second.
See the mesmerized look on my face.

Ready for the second movement,
My body awaits the touch of your bow,
Surprised am I to hear instead
The melody meant for a piccolo.

From your lips I will taste it—
The sweet tune of your pounding heart.
From staccato leaps to longer-held notes,
I yield to your grand work of art.

With an abrupt change in rhythm,
The third movement drives in with elaborate flourish.
You conduct each note with gusto,
My soul—it does richly nourish.

Glowing from the warmth of your love,
A quiet interlude provides a few beats of rest.
My instrument trembles in anticipation.
Virtuoso, you are undoubtedly the best.

The final movement gradually swells.
You demand, “Crescendo, my only love!”
I dare not question. I readily comply,
While calling upon mighty God above.

Your fingertips find the perfect cadence—
My strings reverberate at your slightest caress.
Musician and instrument in concert—
Basking in the glow of our collaborative success.

Copyright © 2011 by Suzanne Purewal

Want to read more? I am running a special this month, in honor of National Poetry Month, on my website. Check it out by clicking here: http://www.suzannepurewal.com/books.html

Spoonelicious

As part of my series of highlighting other artists pursuing their passions, PendantsI am pleased to introduce Spoonelicious!
They specialize in Handcrafted Flatware Products and have been in business since December 2011. I highly recommend that you take the time to view the line of products on their Facebook Page.  https://www.facebook.com/SpooneliciousFlatwear

To find out more about Spoonelicious, here is a brief interview with one of the owners.

How did you get the idea of converting flatware into jewelry?Spoon Rings
My father made spoon rings in the 1970s.

When did you realize that this was your passion?
We both have shown interest in making jewelry in other forms, i.e. – wire wrapped, chainmaille, etc.

Where do you find your materials?
Flea markets, auctions, yard sales and estate sales mainly.

EarringsHow do you select flatware to work with?
We always try to find very old, late 1800s to mid-1900s pieces that are very ornate. If the condition is good, we will use it.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
I try to stay current with the fashion industry, research from magazines, catalogs, Pinterest and just my natural artistic nature.Assorted


Which is your favorite finished piece?

The necklace I wear all the time for our shows. It incorporates vintage miniature silverware from Germany, an old shoe clips and a spoon.


Do customers ever bring flatware to you and ask you to design something specifically for them?

CuffYes, we have several clients that bring us things they have found to be made into various items we make. Or others will bring us pieces that belonged to their family members to be made into items that they can wear and remember passed generations, instead of it staying in a drawer or closet.

Sweet Corn HoldersDo you group your work into collections? Or is every piece one of a kind?
We have done both.

Where can people purchase your merchandise?
We set up at various festivals and craft fairs throughout the area. And we have had people contact us through our Facebook Page to purchase items. We also have two shops in Lafayette that carry small assortments of our items.spoonelicious card

I encourage you to support your local artists. If you enjoyed this post, please like, follow and share!

Again, here is a link to Spoonelicious’ Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/SpooneliciousFlatwear

Worst Pick Up Lines Ever

     My girlfriends and I love going out for dinner, drinks and dancing. We enjoy drama-free nights out with the girls. However, inevitably, we are approached by less-than-desirable men looking for a good time. Here are the worst lines we have heard recently.

20130406_13133910. My buddy and I noticed you from across the bar. I really love your spangly bracelets.
     Sure, it was my spangly bracelets that caught his attention. Not. I was wearing an outfit similar to one I wore for my professional photo shoot. So I had the romantic vibe going, including soft waves in my hair, flawless makeup and a hint of cleavage. Needless to say, after we stopped laughing, we sent him on his merry way. However, I gave him points for effort and creativity!

9. I think we would make beautiful music together.
     Not really a bad line, in and of itself. I gave him points for creativity. But when a guy old enough to be your father, wearing a zoot suit, delivers it, it is just creepy.
     “No, thank you. You’re not my type.”
     “What’s your type?”
     I wanted to say, “Someone who’s not my father’s age.” Instead, I rattled off a list.
     “I don’t like what’s on your list.”
     “You don’t have to. It’s my list.”
     “There are a lot of things missing from your list.” And then, he proceeded to tell me the attributes that should have been on my list.
     I reiterated that I was not interested, but he would not leave. However, within moments, I was saved. He had signed up to sing karaoke, and he was up. Thank you, God!

8. How’d you get that scar on your neck? Did you have a tracheotomy?
     What a jerk!
     “No, I had cancer. Great way to start and end a first conversation.”

white black jeans7. Nice jeans.
     Attention ladies! This is a “politically correct” way for a guy to tell you that you have a nice ass. Apparently, it has replaced the wolf whistle and other direct commentary that could be construed as sexual harassment. I did not bother to acknowledge his presence. But, to tell the truth, they were nice jeans. Actually, they were my favorite jeans, found at White House | Black Market. http://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com

6. My friend and I have a bet going. Are those real?
     Seriously?
     “Yes, my eyes are this color. I’m not wearing colored contacts.”
     “That’s not what I meant.”
     “I know. But that’s the only answer you’re getting.”

5. You’re hot. I’m hot. Let’s f***.

     Are you kidding me???
     “Oh hell, no!” Picture me rolling my eyes and shaking my head in total and absolute disgust.

drink - Copy4. What are you drinking?
     Okay, the question is not the problem here, it was the conversation that followed that did him in.
     “Ginger ale with cranberry juice.”
     He laughed and replied, “I want to buy you a real drink. Order something strong.”
     “Nope. This is what I’m drinking. I already had my one alcoholic drink for the evening. I’m the designated driver.”
     “That’s ridiculous.”
     “No.”
     “Come on. I want to talk to you.”
     “And you can’t talk to me unless I’m drinking alcohol? That’s pretty pathetic.”
     “It levels the playing field.”
     “I’m not interested in playing games. Go away, and grow up.”

3. You girls are gorgeous. Have you ever considered doing porn?
     This guy approached us from behind and put one arm around each of us. We immediately pulled away and told him to get away from us. Eeeewwwww! No matter how hard we tried, no amount of antibacterial wipes could make us feel clean after that.

2. I’m a single dad with four kids under the age of five. I’m looking for somebody to raise them for me.
     Well, good luck with that!
     While we were laughing, he explained he liked to cruise around on his motorcycle. He was searching for someone to raise his kids for him, so he can gallivant around the country. We suggested he hire a nanny.

1. I loved 50 Shades of Grey. How about you?
     “Hated it.”
     “How could you hate it? It was fantastic.”
     “The plot was ridiculous. It was poorly written and 200 pages too long.”
     “Come back to my place, and I’ll convince you otherwise.”
     “I can’t say ‘no’ strongly enough.”
     “I’ll have you saying ‘yes’ and begging for more.”
     “Not in your wildest dreams.”
     “I guarantee to make your wildest dreams come true.”
     “Really?”
     “Yes.”
     “My wildest dream is for you to leave us alone.”
     And with that, he called me the “B” word and left. Gee, if only all of my dreams were that easy to fulfill! 

     Despite dealing with unwelcome advances, my girlfriends and I will continue to go out and enjoy each other’s company. And, if nothing else, we will end up with some really interesting stories to share!

Copyright © 2013 Suzanne Purewal