Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Treasury Love

The lovely Anne Marie of byAMOR has featured my Elise Button Necklace in her new gift treasury on Etsy :)
Thank you!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A little project!

In my day job, I teach painting to teenagers, which can be difficult work at the best of times, and even more tricky when I'm having a particularly clumsy day! I had one such day very recently, when I spattered red paint down the front of one of my favourite tops. Argh! I spend so long telling the kids to be careful, I often forget to do so myself. So, as a result, I was left with a really tough stain that just wouldn't budge. It was acrylic paint, which is especially hard to get out of fabric.

I really didn't want to have to give up on wearing my stripey top, so I decided to cover up the stain instead of removing it, and with my favourite craft supplies: buttons! I have lots of black buttons that aren't suitable for jewellery making, so I gathered up a selection of pretty ones and laid them out in a pattern that would decorate the neckline and cover that stain. I sewed each one on very securely in its assigned place, and in just 30 minutes I had a very cute button embellished top, ready to wear again! Yay!

I'll definitely do something like this to some other things in my wardrobe, whether they have a stain or not it's a nice way to add an individual touch to any item of clothing! Do you have any ideas for personalising or decorating clothes? Or getting rid of paint stains? Let me know ;)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Spring forward, Fall back

Next weekend, Daylight Savings ends in Europe, and we'll put our clocks back one hour. Time to get ready for darker evenings and really prepare for Winter! Here are some beautiful timepieces and clock inspired items from wonderful Etsy sellers...

Featured items:
Missing Time Clock by CyberMoon
Vintage Style Filigree Pocket Watch by lunashineshine
Angel of Time Earrings by miskay
Every Story... Quote Clock by mbartstudios
Kirie 02 Bamboo Clock by decoylab
Vintage Mechanical Alarm Clock by ClockworkUniverse

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Etsian serendipity

 I've sometimes met people who had previously been unknown to me aside from an "online" alias, whether it's being introduced to a friend of a friend I've already encountered on facebook, or meeting with up the talented members of the Etsy craftyirelandteam.

Very recently I've had the pleasure of meeting a fellow Etsian, Lisa Falzon, also known as Meluseena. Since I started my own Etsy shop in 2009, I have admired Meluseena's gorgeous art work, and had featured it in both my own and the craftyirelandteam blog. Earlier this year my sister Ruth secretly commissioned a special painting of "Snow White and Rose Red" by Meluseena for my 30th birthday, and I absolutely love it! It was the perfect present.

In the completely Etsy free side of my life, I joined Cork's roller derby league this month (the fabulous Rebel County Rollers), and on my first day of training I was introduced to Lisa, who I immediately recognised as Meluseena herself! How exciting! I am delighted to make a real life link with yet another Etsy artist, and especially glad that Lisa is just such a lovely person to know :) She even brought me a little present at training on Sunday, which is a beautiful pendant printed with the Snow White and Rose Red picture. How thoughtful!

So, I just want to say a big thank you to Lisa/Meluseena for the gift, and also invite you all to take a look at her amazing Etsy shop. Here are some gorgeous examples of original work by this talented artist.

The Peckish Moon large print
Queen Elizabeth cuff bracelet
Ann Boleyn pocket art mirror
Jumpin Jack Me lustre print

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I love buttons! ... but I'm guessing you already knew that ;)

Here are some other Etsy sellers who love them too, and are making some very cute items using either new or repurposed buttons.

Chocolate Brown Letter S Pillow by letterperfectdesigns
Candy Floss at the Circus, Large Button Felt Brooch by nicedaydesigns 

Hand Embroidered Simple White Flowers Wall Hoop Art by AnnaHailey
Pastel Garden iPhone iPod Cozy by SewSweetStitches

Thanks Very Much Card by LuckyRainbowDesigns
The Diamonds and Pearls Button Bouquet by letters4lilly

Do you collect buttons or use them for crafting? Leave me a comment to let me know! I'd love to feature you or your work in a future blog post about buttony fun :)


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile

Well, I've decided I'm definitely going to be Cleopatra for Halloween this year. I've started to put together some bits and pieces for my costume, and I've already bought two parts of it :) A lot of it will be homemade, as usual. I'm going to have a white dress and gold jewellery, with a twist or two to the accessories, yet to be confirmed! So, while I've been deciding on the finer details and browsing for treasures, I found these beautiful Egyptian themed items on Etsy, all of which have me dreaming of a boat trip down the Nile in the hot sun...

Featured items:
1. Handmade Bracelet by wwwjewelrybyandrea
2. Philae Temple 02 Print by Artitorium
3. Pharaoh Perfume by solsticescents
4. Egyptian Gold Safety Pin Bracelet by MysticLily
5. Egyptian Scarab Earrings by GardenOfSecrets
6. Cleopatra Egyptian Revival Style Cigarette Holder by sweetheartsinner
7. Tribal Tattoo Armlet by catchalljewelry

Friday, August 27, 2010

I know it's only August, but...

Ok so Halloween is still two months away, but won't be long coming, believe me! I must admit I have already started to think about this year's costume, but I haven't made anything yet as I'm torn between two ideas.

What about you? Do any of you already have plans for this year? A costume you've always wanted to do, a party you're having, a special event you're going to?

And the most important question... what will you dress up as?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen...

Andrea has won this "Sew Cute" Magpie and Button necklace and a special bonus prize too. Keep an eye out for more giveaways and fun posts here, and in the meantime, check out my etsy shop for new Autumn button jewellery :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blog Giveaway!!!

Well, I've been very busy lately with Magpie and Button, and have had lots of sales, orders and general good karma coming my way. I think it's time to share the love ♥  so I'm giving away this gorgeous necklace to one of YOU! Yay!!!

All you have to do to be in with a chance is become a follower of this blog and comment on this post. Of course existing followers can enter too, just leave a comment below. What an easy way to get a free necklace ;)

Within a week I'll enter everyone who has commented into a draw and pull out the lucky winner of the Sew Cute Button Necklace, worth over $20! Oh, and there's also a mystery prize included with the necklace - an EXTRA BONUS for you!

So, do you want free stuff?
Then become a follower and get commenting :)

♥ Thanks everyone, and good luck ♥

Monday, August 16, 2010

If you go down to the woods today...

... you probably won't find me! Not this week at least. You're more likely to find me shopping! Being a  teacher I tend to think of Autumn as the beginning of the year, and so it often feels like the time to start fresh. When I was younger that meant shiny school shoes and a snazzy new pencil case, (it still means both of those things actually!) but this year I'm thinking of re-vamping bits of the house as well, for a new start! I want to do up my bedroom, but of course there are a few things in there I'll always keep...
These are all parts of my room that I love. I probably have too many treasures really, and I realise this every time I move house, though it never stops me gathering pretty bits and bobs!

I really like this forest fairytale part of my room, though I know if it grows and takes up any more of the place it'll look way to cartoony and girly! Since dressing up as Snow White last year I've daydreamed about living in a cottage in the woods. I probably won't add any more woodland touches to my current house, but if I move to the forest here are a few things I'd definitely take with me!

(Incidentally, the Snow White and Rose Red print by meluseena was actually commissioned especially for lucky me! My sister Ruth knew I loved Lisa Falzon/meluseena's work and had it designed for me for my 30th birthday. How sweet! x)

Featured items:
Snow White and Rose Red Print by meluseena
Tiny Gnome Village by MoontsyandFloontsy
Poison Apple Button Bracelet by magpieandbutton
Tiny Ivy Leaf Necklace by SilkstoneDesigns
Little Red Riding Hood Print by elsita
Forest Mushrooms Silk Lined Clutch Bag by Bagnoir
White Tree Silhouette Pillow Cover by Modernality
Woodland Acorn Necklace by designbirdie

So... who wants to move in with me? ;)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lucky Me!

On Wednesday, I ordered some packaging supplies from one of my favourite Etsy sellers, the lovely Odette of packagesandstrings. I was lucky enough to have been her 100th customer at this shop, and so she said she'd pop in a special surprise with my order. Now, any of you who have ordered from either of Odette's shops, packagesandstrings or swannandsmerlin, will know that her items are beautiful and her attention to detail in packing up orders is AMAZING!

So, I always look forward to receiving my order but I knew this one was going to be special... I was SO delighted when I received it in the post this morning, I nearly grabbed it out of Mr.Postman's hand! Here's what had me so excited :)

This girl really knows how to make me smile - lots buttons and strings for me to play with! I'm really looking forward to making rings out of some of these buttons, especially the red fabric covered one, it's so cute!

Everything I received is so lovely, I just want to say a big THANKS to Odette, and invite you all to go and take a look at her shops. You'll find pretty packing tapes, baker's twine, glassine bags and more at packagesandstrings, and if you're looking for a very sweet way to let your loved ones know you're thinking of them, check out swannandsmerlin!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tea time!

Earlier this week I went with my Dad to help him clear out some things from my late Granduncle's house in East Cork. We found some really interesting bits and pieces, from Uncle Steve's RAF memorabilia to his old binoculars, and hand knitted dolls made by his wife May, along with some mutant spiders and alot of dust!

One thing we came across was a very pretty china teaset, which Dad later said I could have if I liked. I was delighted as it really reminded me of going for Sunday tea at May and Steve's when we were small :)
So, I wrapped it in plastic, took it home and carefully cleaned up the cups, saucers, plates, jug and sugarbowl, and now I think it's the prettiest teaset I've ever seen!

Apart from a small crack in the sugarbowl, it's all perfect, and the bright turquoise and pink pattern is really vibrant. Even the gold edges on each piece are all intact. I want to display it on the shelves in our little sitting room, but I can't wait to actually serve use it first. Tea, my dear? And sugar? One lump or two?

How cute would these plates look filled with French fancies, cucumber sandwiches or macaroons?!  I'll have to have some friends over for some girlie afternoon tea really soon.

Below are some gorgeous items I found on Etsy while day dreaming about the perfect Summery tea party...

Featured items:
1. Bunting by giggleberry
2. Box of Macarons by Bokolette
3. Eat Me Party Picks by vintagetwee
4. Custom Patchwork Dress by mariansmale
5. Pink n Orange Sparkly Napkin Ring by Vividhome
6. French Pink Vanilla Cupcakes by SugarPlumsCupcakery
7. Custom Handpainted Maryjanes by Puremystyc
8. Aqua Star Burst Tealight Votive by yevgenia
9. Pink Lilies Earrings by blueserendipity

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New photos!

Last week I packed up lots of necklaces, rings and bracelets, grabbed my trusty camera and my model Áine, and we made the most of a gorgeously summery day by heading over to the park for a photoshoot!
I think it's great to have model shots of the jewellery, as you can get a better idea of the size of a piece and how it might to look on you, or see how much fun it is to wear buttony jewellery!

We had such a fun and sunny afternoon :)
Here are a few snaps of Áine wearing some cute pieces from Magpie and Button's Etsy shop...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Why Buttons?

People often ask me how and why I started making jewellery out of buttons. I'm by no means unique in doing so, in fact buttons have been used for more than functional fastening throughout history.

In 1520, King Francis I of France ordered 13,400 decorative buttons from his jeweller. They were sewn, purely as embellishment, onto a black velvet suit, which he wore to a meeting with King Henry VIII of England, in an effort to impress (or dazzle!) him into alliance. Button jewellery was in fashion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when young ladies would save buttons on long cords, called button charm strings, until they had 999 buttons. Not only would she seek buttons for her string but family members and friends would also give buttons to her. Apparently when the 1000th button was placed on the young lady's long necklace, her Prince Charming would appear!

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, turning buttons into earrings became a hobby for thrifty gals in America. They would take fancy buttons off their old dresses, and make earrings out of them as gifts.

My Grandmother was a seamstress, and during her many years of work she gathered a huge collection of buttons, some of which belonged to her own grandmother. Playing with the contents of Granny's button box was a delight every time we visited her house as children. We'd spill out hundreds of them to count and sort through the treasure, or use them as counters for Ludo and Snakes and Ladders, or as play money in an imaginary shop, or as pretend sweets at a dolly tea party.

My mom had a smaller collection, though there were sparkly and shiny gems to be found there as well, so over the years I liked to admire those too. I made my first button jewellery using some from that collection, over 15 years ago! I bent florist's wire into circles and then threaded buttons and tiny seedbeads on to make little rings for my schoolfriends.

After over a decade of dabbling in beading and making small pieces of jewellery, mostly for gifts, my sister and I found some of those button rings last year, and Magpie and Button was born when I decided to make button jewellery again!

The designs have changed but I do still make button rings, along with pendants, charm bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Some of the buttons I use in these pieces are new, but more of them have already had a previous life on a jacket or dress from many years ago. A few have even come from my own Granny's button box.

 I just love the idea of re-using these old buttons to create something new and special, and have lately been thinking that probably many homes have a button collection somewhere... are there treasures stored away in a sewing box, sweet jar or cigar box in your house?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010



As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been using alot of purple in new jewellery pieces recently. I've also been seeking out purple pretties in other shops! Here is a selection of gorgeous purple items from some wonderful Irish Etsy sellers. From delicate mauve like the flower in this necklace from ABoxForMyTreasure, to the soft heather colours in hedgehogfibres' yarn and the really vibrant violet of AlejandraJacoby's earrings, purple can so versatile and pretty. I just love it!

Featured items:

Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer jewellery

I've been gathering some really pretty buttons and beads in the past few weeks to make new Summer pieces for my Etsy shop. I love floral patterns at the moment so I've used them many of the designs. Purples seem to be featuring alot too - it can be such a Summer colour.

< Peony Button Necklace

I like to put purple with greens and blues, it's such a soft and natural combination of colours. In this button bracelet I've also included some silvery mussel shell charms as the colours of the buttons reminded me of the sea.

Shoreline Button Bracelet >

Many recent additions to my shop have been nautically themed, as it's a style I've admired in fashion lately. I've used alot of navy, white and red in other pieces, but with this necklace I've kept things simple and stuck with silver and grey. I love the cute anchor charm!

< Anchors Away Button Necklace

Button rings are some of my best sellers, and since they were the first pieces of jewellery I ever made (though the design has changed alot in 17 years since the first ones!) I love to see that people still enjoy them. They always seem to draw compliments as they're just a little bit quirky :)

Sweetpea Button Ring >

These items are all available at right now!
Of course if you'd prefer to see some jewellery 'in person', I'm having my third Magpie and Button jewellery night on Friday June 18th at Jacob's Island.

I'd love to see you there for a glass of wine and to have a browse through the jewellery. As always, bring a friend or two with you if you like. Just contact me for more details!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lovely lace

During my week in Paris I went to an amazing flea market in Montmartre, where among 1950s telephones, 1900s opera glasses and gorgeous Art Deco furniture I also saw some beautiful examples of vintage French lace. It was being sold in the form of collars, lengths of lace ribbon and of course as an embellishment on gorgeous dresses from the 1900s. I didn't buy any, a decision I now regret as I'm already thinking of ideas to use it to spice up some items in my wardrobe and around the house, or to make something completely new.

Here are some absolutely beautiful items from Etsy sellers who've used lovely lace, both old and new, in their handmade homewares, jewellery and accessories. Don't they all look so romantic?

Featured items:

Pretty Cream Heart Corsage by rubensribbons
Pearls and Lace Earrings by LaCamelot
To Wake the Soul Necklace by sparrowsalvage
French Grain Sack Clutch Bag by BagNoir
Film Noir Crazy Quilt Pincushion by homespunireland
The Big Lavender Bag Herbal Cushion by lapomme
Black and White Wrist Cuffs by LadyLamb

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Yesterday's news

This week I've really been thinking alot about recycling and repurposing things. I always try to keep and reuse what I can, especially paper and card, so I have drawers and boxes full of all sorts of scraps and wrapping paper. I'd love to say I'll use them all eventually but in reality I probably won't!

However, here are some wonderful Etsy sellers who have used old newspapers and books in lots of different ways to create some amazing things. Isn't JustLiv's headband so cute? And I love love LOVE the idea of the paper wreath, like this romantic one from SimpleJoysPaperie. It's so great to see such imaginative repurposing of paper to make beautiful craft items.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on how we can make use of the papers many of us have been hoarding... any ideas?

Featured items:
Origami Newspaper Crane Garland by arawlins
Custom Initial Necklace by EsmeDodsworthDesign
Recycled Bow Headband by JustLiv
Big News Notebook by cucumbersoup
Present Topper Kit by InklingPaper
Romantic Vintage French Book Paper Wreath by SimpleJoysPaperie
Recycled Paper Bead Earrings by hippiekingdom
Vintage Dictionary Bird Cutouts by mommyholly

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

Oh I just love the idea of a Mexican barbecue party. Thinking about margaritas, burritos and bunting make me want to put a flower (or even better, TanyaMac's happy hairband!) in my hair and dance around! Anyone know a good Mariachi band?

These are some of my favourite Etsy picks on the Mexican fiesta theme. Aren't those crochet cacti by acrudele the cutest things ever?! I'd love these for my sun room. We put up some bunting like aymujer's in there last week, and it feels so bright and festive. I think propeller's cheery little gift tags would be gorgeous on party favours, or even strung together as a garland.

Now all we need is a sunny day!

Featured items:
1. Remington Rae's Fiesta Earrings by octaviabloom
2. Papel Picado Banners by aymujer
3. Green Lampwork Bracelet by lightkeeping
4. Green, Turquoise and Red Crochet Applique Circles by AnnieDesign
5. Handbuilt Porcelain Trays by clayswan
6. Day Glo Flo Happy Hairband by TanyaMac
7. Puffball Ocean Blue Gift Tags by propeller
8. Ah Fiesta Necklace by VOimpressions
9. Cacti Trio by acrudele

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ooh la la!

I'm off to Paris next month and am very excited! I can't wait to stroll along by the Seine, visit Montmartre and nibble macaroons in the Latin Quarter... mmm! I've probably read my city guidebook forty times by now, and have also been obsessing about French style, fashion and Parisian romance since we booked the trip. I know the French themselves are known for their chic sense of style, but I think the idea of Paris brings out the creative and romantic streak in anyone! So I've found some gorgeous Paris inspired pieces offered by Etsians from around the globe.

Featured items:
1. Oui to Paris Necklace by poeticdesigns
2. Pocket Mirror by OneClickGallery
3. Burlesque Corset Costume Dress by olgaitaly
4. Love in Paris Earrings by jewelryvixen
5. Ooh La La Button Earrings by aimeeb2
6. Trinket Box by 5DollarFrenchMarket

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I've been admiring lots of great nautical fashion in the shops lately - Blue, white and red stripes, polka dots, pretty bows, anchors and sailboats seem to be everywhere. I love the 1950s feel alot of the items I've seen have. This theme is definitely going to feature in my wardrobe alot this summer! I'm wondering if I can pull off red lipstick to go with a navy striped neck scarf ;)

Above are some of my favourite nautical accessories on Etsy this week. I do love the Skipper swimsuit from FablesbyBarrie, but as a starting point for the less brave, it might be easier to inject some sailor style into your wardrobe with the cute clutch bag from BagNoir or a some jewellery, like the Americana earrings by Summon or a charm bracelet like the Somewhere Beyond the Sea one from my own shop. A quick and easy way to update a white, blue or even red cardi with a nautical twist could be to change the buttons to these gorgeous little vintage bows from NicedaySupplies! I've already bought some of these for myself :)

Featured items:
Americana Earrings by summon
Pirata Anchor locket by trystbykerry
Ahoy There Letterpress Print by letterpress
Skipper Bikini by FablesbyBarrie
Somewhere Beyond the Sea charm bracelet by magpieandbutton
French Grain Sack Clutch Bag by BagNoir
Vintage Plastic Ribbon Buttons by NicedaySupplies

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


After I went to see Alice in Wonderland I couldn't wait to get started on some new jewellery. I have a slight obsession with keys already, so the mysterious tiny key and door in the story have always fascinated me. 

Alice follows the White Rabbit and  falls down a rabbit hole to a curious room with many locked doors of all sizes. She finds a small key to a door too small for her to fit, but through which she sees an attractive garden. She then discovers a bottle labelled "Drink Me", the contents of which cause her to shrink too small to reach the key. A cake with "Eat Me" on it causes her to grow to such a tremendous size her head hits the ceiling. She then eats and drinks the right amount to shrink both herself and the magical key to the right size for the door to Wonderland...

So, this is where my Down the Rabbit Hole bracelet came from. I've included it here with this lovely collection of pretty Alice themed jewellery from other designers on Etsy.

I particularly love the Afternoon Tea teacup necklace by Judith from ABoxForMyTreasure and the Drink Me bottle pendant by TrashAndTrinkets. Curiouser and curiouser...

Featured items:
Afternoon Tea Necklace by ABoxForMyTreasure
Down the Rabbit Hole Button Bracelet by magpieandbutton
Tiny Key Earrings by lunashineshine
Alice Charm Bracelet by JezebelCharms
Alice's key Necklace by ForevermoreCreations
Alice Drink Me Bottle Pendant by TrashandTrinkets
Alice in Wonderland necklace by CuteAbility
Teapot of Green Tea Earrings by TheApple

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Back to the blog

After a very long break from blogging (and by 'break' I mean I started it, worked on it for a few weeks and then got lazy) I've decided I'm going to take the time and put the effort in to this blog. My shop is going really well, and always does better when I keep really active on Etsy, so why not apply the same principles here? So, this evening I'm going to work on designs and get going on some great content too :)
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