Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Interview Series: Week 14 – All About the Buttons

And we return to our regularly scheduled …um.. schedule.  Thank you to everyone for your patience and support as Life threw me curveballs.  Tropical Storm Beryl didn't help much either, as it knocked out my power four times while I've been trying to do this post.  Since this little blurb at the top is typically done last, I've not had to replace much (Thank goodness for "Save Draft" buttons), but it was just enough to be irritating!  But I think this post will make up for it.

I will have to admit that I have had some trouble with deciding what items to feature from a shop in the past.  Thus far, this one takes the cake, ices it, and eats it!  Not only are there so many things to choose from, there are so many DIFFERENT things to choose from!  I had no idea that some of this was even ever out there, and now my eyes sort of look like this: @.@.

Clocks, tape measures, scarves, cowls, hand warmers/gloves, bookmarks, dishtowels, pins, magnets, barrettes, broaches, things I wouldn't even think existed!  My head spins with all of the wild things!
There is one common theme that nearly everything includes: buttons.  Somewhere, there is a button – a decoration, a closure, an accent, the whole thing.  I guess why this Zibbeter's shop is called All About the Buttons!

Name: All About The buttons    Barbra La Bosco
Craft: clocks, knitting and crocheting, magnetic bookmarks, tapemeausres,pins and more….an eclectic mix!
Favorite material buttons, ribbon, buttons, yarn and oh, buttons!
Most Popular Seller (whether it be online or at shows): scarves, hand warmers, bookmarks and tape measures

Multi Colored Keyhole Scarf
I don't know why, but these colors put me in mind of winter bonfires.. Love it!

Mine-ICON What got you into your craft?

AllAboutTheButtons-ICON As a child, I always liked to draw and make stuff. That enjoyment continued and multiplied. My parents were artistic and crafty as well so in a sense I was surrounded by arts and crafts. My father was a leather designer by profession and my mother sewed beautifully and did various needle crafts. My brother was also involved and still is. I was fortunate that I could fulfill some of my creative urges as a teacher which I was for my career over 33 years. My students inspired me as I worked to inspire them.

Mine-ICON How did you learn your craft?

AllAboutTheButtons-ICON Many of my crafts were self taught. I just watched and tried or took things apart to figure out how they went together. I taught myself the beginnings of how to knit and my skills were refined with my mother starting at age 8. I was an art major in college but little of what I learned then applies to what I do now. My favorite courses were the cut and paste creations of real items. I do mean scissors and glue as computer cut and paste was unheard of when I was in college.

Pouffy Fun Fingerless Gloves Handwarmers
They look so warm.. Why couldn't I have had these back in high school for my marching band years to keep my hands warm when not performing?

Mine-ICON What about YOU? Who is the artist behind those wonderful items?

AllAboutTheButtons-ICON I believe I have crafter’s ADD…I cannot just watch a movie or sit in a car without doing something. I get such a charge out of saying “Hey, I made that!” and if someone purchases it, whipped cream on top! Having my own studio space has really allowed me to branch out in many more directions, exploring more materials and testing new ideas. The “me” behind the items wants to have fun and bring a smile to the faces of others….I attempt to please.

Buttons and Dots Fabric Clock
I love this clock. I'm not sure why, but I love it. If these colors went with anything in my home, I'd probably have to buy it…

Mine-ICON What is a typical "working" day for you? How does it usually start and end? How many hours do you spend crafting? How many hours do you spend on other things? What about distractions? I know we all have them! Do you usually accomplish all you wanted to?

AllAboutTheButtons-ICON There is no such thing as a typical day for me. Three mornings a week I work for my son which is good discipline. That gets me up and out and feeling needed beyond myself. Some days I do not pick up a needle or a tube of glue at all. On others I may knit for hours or be in the studio for the better part of the day. During the spring and summer, the garden and the warmer weather are huge and wonderful distractions so creating may be done at night. When I set my mind to my “work” I do tend to get a lot done.

Mine-ICON What happens when you Oops? Everyone gets one sometime or another! Do you get frustrated and destroy/start over, or do you go with the flow and see what comes out in the end?

AllAboutTheButtons-ICON Honestly, I rarely oops and I’m not being smug, just honest. If it’s a knit or crochet piece, you must mend or rip. If a piece is not something I would purchase, it may get taken apart and restarted. But I am a pretty careful worker and after all these years there aren’t too many oops! There have been some good oops that sent the project down a different path. One mini purse I was knitting came out way too big but it held tissues instead.

Musicians Tape Measure
See, now this is another thing I would be tempted on. I do some costume sewing, and I lose my tape measures all the time… I'm not so sure I'd lose this one…
Especially since I played the alto-clarinet.

Mine-ICON What is your design process like? How many tries does it take to be happy with the final product?

AllAboutTheButtons-ICON Since I make so many things, this is difficult to answer. My clocks worked pretty well from the start. I will occasionally knit something I don’t care for but will rarely start over. I cannot only make what appeals to me although that may be the initial motivation. My magnetic bookmarks did require a lengthy process which is now perfected. They are more labor intensive than you’d think!

Crayon Magnetic Bookmark
It would be hard to lose your place in your books with something this bright and colorful holding your page!

Mine-ICON What is your greatest roadblock, be it government regulation or that little frustrating thing that just likes to sneak up and stop you in your tracks? Broken needle? Jump ring jumping out of your pliers? Thread knots? Cats? Dogs? The family hedgehog rolled about in your yarn basket?

AllAboutTheButtons-ICON You knew about the hedgehog, eh?! You mention broken needle. I do not have a kind relationship with my sewing machine. There is no other button on the planet that can get pushed so fast as when I must use the machine. Immediate tension & I wish it weren’t “sew” since I love fabrics but this has been ongoing for sometime so I have given up. That is a roadblock, no, maybe it’s a cliff for me! Maybe one day…

Mine-ICON All important pricing... Do you have a formula? Do you wing it? Do you feel your work justifies your prices?

AllAboutTheButtons-ICON I do not believe there is a pricing formula that really works. I love to create and provide quality items for reasonable prices. Outrageous pricing, well, outrages me! Yes, I make a profit but pricing can be vexing. If I truly added my time into the equation, again, my bookmarks would be $12-$15, at least and that is ridiculous. I am fair and yet competitive. I choose not to stress about pricing. I also find that sales online don’t work and that is when you devalue yourself and your creations.

Bead and Button Treasure Box
I am a sucker for treasure boxes.  This one is absolutely adorable, and so bright, not even I could lose it!

Mine-ICON And of course, is there anything else you'd like to say to our "viewers at home"?

AllAboutTheButtons-ICON I have been selling my work on and off since college and online since 2006. My 2cents worth of advice is to do what you love and love what you do. A cliché, maybe but it works!


Thank you so much for sharing your story, and your extraordinarily creative work, Barbra!  I only wish I could have shared more!
There is an unbelievable number of wonderful things that I could not share here, so I would suggest to everyone to go visit Barbra at All About the Buttons on Zibbet! There's a little something for literally everyone!

Until next week! Thank you, one and all for reading!


Barbra said...

Thank YOU so much for all your kind words! Hugs,Barbra

Joan Burritt said...

Terrific interview! Barbra is one of a kind, and I'm proud to have such a good, creative friend.

Kalla said...

You're very welcome, Barbra! Your work is very extraordinary, and your words are very colorful to go with it! It was so hard trying to decide what pictures to post! I wanted to post them all!

luvncrafts said...

Lovely shop and great interview! It's always nice to learn more about the people behind the crafts!
Christie (luvncrafts on Zibbet)