Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Discouragement Dispelled

Discouragement can mess with your mind. Just when you think all is lost and some drastic measures have to be taken, something wonderful happens to brighten your spirit and liven up your creativity.
While trying to come up with new things for my shop The Button Lady last year, I decided to offer custom button frames for weddings, graduations, babies, etc. It was a scary thing not knowing what requests I'd be getting, but I like to be challenged creatively, so I put it out there.
This is one for a bride who wanted symbols of Love and Luck in purple and ivory
 Last May (2011) Tobi, a very nice lady from Iowa, asked me to make her some custom button frames. She wanted a dance themed frame and a graduation frame for her daughter who was to graduate in May 2013. I was given specific colors and things about the dance and the high school and then I was on my own. Wow, I had a lot of time to get them done! But when I have something to accomplish I won’t stop till it is done, so I started right away.  I got that funny, doubtful feeling in my stomach as to whether I could pull it off but I did, and she loved them.

Fast forward a little over a year later and I am really discouraged about The Button Lady shop on Etsy. I have lost interest in making button things. The work had kick started the inevitable, hereditary arthritis in my hands, and aggravated my  bad C5 disk in my neck! My attention has been 99.5 % on NaNa's Things and so I have been thinking of what to do about it all. I was discouraged, my creativity for buttons was dry and my shop was just there on Etsy.
Then Tobi emailed me again.
This time she wanted three custom button frames for her daughters graduation party….still not happening till May 2013. She said she is a Mom that likes to do things ahead of time!

She ordered a candy themed frame to go on the candy bar at the graduation party. Her daughter is going to the University of Iowa and wanted one University of Iowa-ish. On the third one she wanted to showcase the fact that her daughter plays trombone in the jazz band, the concert band and the marching band at her high school. I was given the colors, the themes and carte blanc to do anything I wanted.
At first I was reluctant because I thought my button supply was low and I didn’t know if I could get all the parts together, or if I even wanted to. She assured me there was no hurry (!). So, since she is a return customer, which is a very high compliment, I told her I would do it for her. It was just what I needed to help the discouragement I had been feeling.
As soon as I set my mind to it, the creative juices started flowing. I found buttons and frames in the colors I needed in my supplies and the paper scrapbooking pieces I needed were readily available….except for the trombone. I had the hardest time finding one, and what I thought was one turned out to be a trumpet! Do you know which one is the trombone?

Neither one is!!!
I enlisted my husband to copy pictures off the internet of a trombone and the University of Iowa logos onto this thick magnetic paper (he works for Xerox!) that I could cut and paste onto the frame.

And then they all were finally finished!!

I got the 100% stamp of approval from Tobi and her daughter Dakota.
I'm not sure what the future is for The Button Lady shop ( I will always be "The Button Lady" though!) but the fact that someone likes my work and my creativeness was the boost and encouragement I needed. 
That is one of the reasons I love selling on Etsy. It is a networking community of creative people who encourage each other through Teams by favoriting items, putting them in Treasurys and pinning them. It is all about encouraging, supporting and helping each other.
How can you encourage someone today?
AnnMarie :)



  1. love love looooooove your custom button frames. So adorable!!!! Just the fact that this lady keeps coming back for more should really make you feel good:) Funny how God works isn't it? ;)

  2. Those are the cutest and most creative theme frames!! They capture the theme so clearly and beautifully. Well done!! I need to definitely get back into the swing of visiting my teams and tweeting and pinning. With Chuck's surgery I got out of the habit and need to discipline myself. Thanks for this encouraging blog!

  3. Your button frames are really lovely!

  4. You are so creative! The frames turned out so well. I thought my mom shopped early. This lady is on the ball.

  5. LOL! I am sitting here chuckling because I thought the bottom instrument was the trombone. You got me with that one! :) Glad to see return business! I love Etsy, too!

  6. Wow, what a vote of confidence.......

  7. Your button frames are so unique!!

  8. Cool! My daughter plays the trombone, it sure is loud!


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