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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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