Cecile McPeak on Buttons: What Comes First, the Chicken or the Egg?

Our Guest Blogger series continues today with Cecile McPeak of Just Another Button Company.

Thanks Joan and Lazy Girl for inviting me to talk to you!

As head Buttoneer here at Just Another Button Company (JABC), I’ll share a little bit about our buttons. Then hop over to our JABC blog to enter our Giveaway!

One of JABC’s 15th anniversary pincushion kits.

At JABC, we live amidst buttons, thousands of them, tens of thousands. And we make more every day.

What Comes First?
To the proverbial question of what comes first, the chicken or the egg, our answer is both.
- Chickens: Sometimes projects come first and we design buttons to fit them.
- Eggs: Other times we make buttons with no project in mind.

Lots and lots and lots of JABC buttons.

Chickens First
We do actually have buttons that look like chickens, but really what I mean is that sometimes the chicken comes first, and we are challenged to create a button to fit someone else’s vision.

Joan’s Inspiration
The JABC Crayon Box wildflowers were chicken buttons, created to embellish a Lazy Girl Katy bag. Joan invited us to create a bright and bold button for a Lazy Secret project sheet. (Click here for project sheet.) The result was this fun project of fabric strips and ribbons, and we made the wildflower button in 12 colors so Lazies everywhere could coordinate with their favorite fabrics.

Nancy Halvorsen
Designer Nancy Halvorsen interprets her whimsical art into fabric and Art to Heart books. As she plans quilted projects for a book, Nancy sends us artwork with a request for new buttons. In May, a new Art to Heart book debuts in quilt shops, showing three new JABC buttons–an elf, a sleigh and a reindeer. We are busy figuring out how to produce and package the buttons, but because the chicken came first, we already know how button customers will use them.

The Art to Heart book, Tidings, shows button lovers
a perfect project to use our line-up of nativity buttons.

Other Designers
You’ll find our buttons in lots of books, charts and kits. We create custom buttons for Patch-abilities, Shepherd’s Bush, Quilt Company, Raise the Roof and many more of your favorite designers. We love hearing from designers because they encourage us to stretch our imagination. Countless times we have wondered how in the world to fill a special request, and yet we met the challenge–a camel, a drumming mouse, a flying reindeer… Right now we’re stumped by a horseshoe of all things, but we’ll get it right. We have to–it’s a chicken button and the designer is waiting!

Eggs First
What about the other buttons–the eggs? And yes, we do have egg buttons too, in farm fresh brown and a variety of Easter shades to please any bunny. But I’m talking eggs, as when the egg comes before the chicken and we have a fantastic idea for a new button, but need to show consumers how to use it. Sometimes we just feel the world needs more buttons–before there is any pattern in print that calls for them.

It’s a safe bet that other button lovers can relate to the person who told me recently that she created an entire garment just to use a favorite button. I’ve done that–garments, embroideries, wall hangings, and soft sculptures. Fifteen years ago I went a step further and started with the idea of a button that would lead to the fabric project. I made bee and ladybug buttons from polymer clay, and then designed a silk ribbon embroidery garden for the bug buttons. That’s what I think of as the egg approach–make the button, then figure out what to do with it.

Beautiful Lemonade From Lemons
It was the egg-first thing that led to our Lemonade Collection of buttons. We use polymer clay to build buttons, but a few years ago, the clay was reformulated to remove phthalates. The new formula challenged our tried-and-true color palette, and we were often frustrated. But seeing the fresh summer-y colors in scrapbook stores, I realized they looked familiar. They were the colors we were calling “mistakes” with the new clay, so we turned lemons into lemonade–the Lemonade Collection to be precise.

Introducing Pincushions
Now what? The egg came first, and we needed to suggest how to use it. In addition to drilling the standard two holes for button stitching, we drilled a single hole on the edge of some lemonade buttons, then glued in a stainless steel straight pin. Oooh, baby, we had a new way of using buttons as embellishment–pins!

With a multitude of cross stitch charts, Button Backgrounds (crayon on muslin), and wool applique patterns on hand, this year we decided to focus on pincushions to promote egg buttons. To celebrate our 15th year of button making, in 2011 we are introducing 15 fun new pincushion kits using our buttons and pins to embellish felted wool. Five pincushion kits are released so far. Come celebrate with us as we reveal a new design each month!

We hope you visit our website to see all our buttons, pins, needle threaders and pincushion kits. There are also lots of chicken and egg projects to show you, too!

Giveaway: Pincushion Kit
Hop over to our blog to enter to win one of our anniversary Pincushion kits. Click here to go to our blog to enter.

Where To Buy
Purchase JABC products exclusively at independent quilt and needlework shops.

Click here to find a quilt shop or needlework store near you.

Join Us!
Follow our blog, The Daily Button, and visit us on Facebook.

Web: www.JustAnotherButtonCompany.com
Blog: www.justanotherbuttoncompany.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Another-Button-Company/87377875926

Cecile McPeak
Just Another Button Company
–Where we are 15 and Fabulous!

Note: The winner of the Amy Barickman book and pattern giveaway from last Monday is Kathy Knapp. Amy will be contacting Kathy directly.

Leave a Lazy Comment





28 Responses to “Cecile McPeak on Buttons: What Comes First, the Chicken or the Egg?”

  1. Charlene — April 11, 2011 @ 8:38 am

    Where have you been all my life? I’m the chicken with a bazillion eggs…..so many ideas, just can’t get them out fast enough…. :)

  2. Wanda Rude — April 11, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    Sure glad I found you…LUV buttons

  3. Penny — April 11, 2011 @ 9:34 am

    I have a serious button adiction, I love to look at them, touch them and of course buy them!!! I am loving the candy pincushions soo stinking cute! Thanks for sharing with us this mornin!

    Penny in Chesapeake, Va lovely, lovely day!

  4. Kate — April 11, 2011 @ 9:45 am

    Love the quirky whimsical little buttons! And, the pin cushions are darling!! I ordered a carrot last night online!

  5. Lucy Scinta — April 11, 2011 @ 10:20 am

    Love all the pin cushions! Love the buttons too. :)

  6. Carla — April 11, 2011 @ 11:01 am

    tried to enter the giveaway on JABC but you have to select a profile, none of which I have, so just giving a heads up to others that you may not be able to enter, but thanks for the chance anyway.

  7. Joy — April 11, 2011 @ 11:30 am

    Have to say the Susie Handbag Insert. Very handy. Love the buttons for embellishment. Have a big collection. Can hardly wait To find the pins.

  8. Kelly Jackson — April 11, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

    Joan…you know I love these embellished wonderments!! They are so much fun. I’ve yet to look at one and not smile. The new pincushions are just the perfect place for some Just Pins too…well and of course other pins too….I can’t be a snob ya know :)

    Smiles,
    Kelly

  9. Pat — April 11, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    Love these cute little buttons! My button collection is growing daily!

  10. Joy Gross — April 11, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

    cant wait to find the snowman pin cushion

  11. Cecile — April 11, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    Thanks for all the great comments from Joan’s Lazies. Anyone having trouble commenting at JABC can just say hi here instead. Don’t forget to share the name of your favorite Lazy Girl purse pattern!

  12. Tommy — April 11, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

    I would never come up with such incredible ideas for buttons and more! You have got your mind working in the right direction. The carrot patch is the one I would pick as a favorite. This is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. I now know what to do for those jars of buttons sitting on my shelf. Thanks

  13. Joan Thomas — April 12, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    I love the Chicken, and Egg buttons

  14. melody — April 12, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    ? buttons! So creative & wonderful to create with! Thanks for the post.

  15. Julie Cain — April 12, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    The buttons are adorable. Would look lovely in my collection!

  16. Nancy Kessler — April 12, 2011 @ 10:03 am

    My favorite Lazy Girl patterns are the Maggie bags and the Wonder wallet. I have made many of them to give away. Her patterns are awesome.

  17. Diane — April 12, 2011 @ 10:56 am

    Love all the pincushions, but my favorite is the snowman, I think! My favorite Lazy Girl pattern is the Miranda bag.

  18. Karen — April 12, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    My favorite pincushion kit is Stuck on You. So cute!
    And my very favorite of all my Lazy Girl patterns is the Mini Miranda bag. Love to make unique versions. As I noted on JABC, I can’t wait to start embellishing with buttons. I’m going to need another closet just for bags!

  19. Ophelia — April 12, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

    I’m getting a stash of these to add to my Wonder Wallets. Can’t get enough Wonder Wallets!

  20. Becky Fierberg — April 12, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

    Thanks again for the bee pins, Cecile! I am going to make something with them, but for now I am enjoying just gazing at them in their little package. Great post. See you soon. Becky

  21. Alice R. — April 12, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

    The buttons are so cute…used in so many different ways, even cards

  22. Christine Peplinski — April 12, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

    I love the Gracie handbag. Joan’s pattern’s are easy to follow and you end up with a beautiful bag.

    The JABC site isn’t working for me either so please enter me in the contestn for free buttons! Thanks

  23. Darlene — April 13, 2011 @ 6:37 am

    I love your buttons!

  24. Carla — April 13, 2011 @ 10:03 am

    Love the buttons they look like so much fun and the pincushions are adorable, couldn’t enter through the JABC site so am entering here as well.
    My all time favorite Lazy Girl bag is the Margo, have made 4 to date, they just are a perfect fit for my needs.
    Thanks

  25. Lola — April 14, 2011 @ 11:59 am

    Frist timer, LOVE all the designs of buttons, I have a collections of buttons and can’t wait to get your’s added to it! Pincushions are one of my fav arts to do, I have alot in my collection, but really love the one’s posted on the sight.

    GREAT WORK, Love it all.

    Lola

  26. Holly — April 15, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

    Love your site and love the button ideas in this post! I’ll be back! :)

  27. Cecile — April 15, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

    It has been such a fun week for us here at JABC to meet all of you Lazy Girl friends. Thanks for the huge response to our guest blog, and for jumping over to read our blog as well. Hope to hear more comments from you!

  28. And we have a winner! Come on over to our blog to see if you’ve won!