Interview with the artist - Barbra from All About The Buttons

Today I'm happy to introduce another of my friends from Zibbet, Barbra from All About The Buttons. Be prepared for a very creative ride ... with buttons!

Buttons and charms bracelet

Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.

My fate was sealed as I was born into a creative family! My father was a leather designer and my mother was a master seamstress. They said I was born with a pencil in my hand! I was an art major in college, but entered the field of elementary education and followed the creative leanings in my classroom and after work. Upon retirement I then had all the time I’d want to pursue those leanings full time. In 2002, my husband & I moved from New York to South Carolina to be closer to our son and subsequent grandsons. It is such a joy to watch them grow and to see my son become a great father, husband and business owner. The move afforded me the space for a dedicated studio. No more being interrupted at the kitchen table when someone wanted to eat a meal! What nerve! I do work part time for my son and have been given the title of “Merchandise Coordinator” which is a fancy term for shopper. I purchase everything from computers to snacks and also do the banking as he assumes I’m trustworthy!

Baby teddy hoop wall decor

What's your craft/art and how did you get to do it in the first place?

I am eclectic as I indulge in many areas. I taught myself how to knit at age 8 by watching my mother and my grandmother taught me to crochet and helped me refine the skills. I always added a button here and there just to perk up an item. Buttons always held a special place in my heart, and although it sounds like a cliché, it was Grandma’s cookie tin of beautiful baubles that got me started working with them in 1993. I couldn’t let them just sit and so I began by making pins, brooches and barrettes. I wore a pin one day and a store keeper asked me where I had gotten such a beautiful piece of topaz….it was a button and the ball started to roll. Buttons don’t just close things. They embellish and make many things more beautiful. What is interesting to me is that by far my most successful creation isn’t a craft at all but an assemblage or a decoration of an existing piece and fits only in an “everything else” category! My tape measures are great fun to make and then I can indulge my love of fabric and ribbon along with buttons.

Cat breeds pocket tape measure

I think this is one of the most asked questions – where does your inspiration come from?

For me, it is the buttons. I will often knit or crochet gloves or a scarf with a button in mind. I will buy yarn for buttons I know that will complement each other. When I have the right match of yarn or fabric or paper with a button…it’s a happy marriage! Color inspires me as well.

Tell us a fun thing about yourself.

Okay, but keep it to yourself….I have amazing, naturally curly hair that I despise. Why is that fun? Well, as I’ve gotten older, the deception is funny to me. People I’ve known for 10-20 years have no clue unless we’re caught in the rain or they ring my bell when I’ve just gotten out of the shower. Only those who have curly hair can relate to not liking it. I know there are many who pay to get curls! Even my grandsons have no clue and one is nicknamed “Curly” because of his ringlets. Yes, my son’s hair is curly, but he likes it very short, so only if he needs a haircut would you see his curls. It was fortunate I didn’t have a daughter with this hair!

Sparkle gray finger cowl

Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?

There is barely a craft I haven’t tried at least once, but now I truly craft mostly to sell. I have done dozens of needle point and petit point pieces and a garden of beaded flowers but the eyes don’t allow that any longer. Stained glass was wonderful and I might go back one day. One thing I’ve never done is weaving and I am thinking of taking a class. I always think “I can do that”, but if I don’t do it well after several times, I leave it to those more talented. I have found my niche and am comfortable.

Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite? Which one was the hardest to make and why?

Tough question…my button heart shadow boxes and vignette chairs are still a favorite and there have been several scarves and cowls I am very proud of. They were a challenge. Hardest to make is something I don’t like. I was asked by a dear friend to crochet a shawl in black yarn….I could not say no and despised every stitch! But she was thrilled so it was all okay.

Is there someone whom you admire and who inspires you?

Anyone who can sew is on my high honors list. My machine is for mending only as it just doesn’t like me, so anyone who can sew has my admiration. I am inspired daily by the great talent I see online. The creativity is awe inspiring. My parents, as I said, were very creative and they certainly fanned the flames of my fire.

Pink green collage upcycled CD clock

If you could choose to be given one supply you need for your craft for free, no matter how expensive, what would it be?

Wow…I have no idea!!! Fortunately, I have tons of supplies right now and don’t truly ‘need’ anything. And so, you might ask, why was I at the yarn store yesterday? Shhh….

Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?

My main location is All About The Buttons on Zibbet
Although I sell on other venues, this one is the most well stocked and my favorite.

Is there anything else you want to tell us?

Thank you for wanting me to share.

Now is the time to drop in and have a look at Barbra's shop. Believe me, there is so much to see! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Barbra :-)


  1. Yes, "Buttons" you definitely found your niche. You have such fun designs and love your broad range of creativity!! Very interesting interview :)

  2. I always enjoy seeing what Barbra came up with, and what kind of button it has. Love her work!

  3. Thank you so much for deeming me worthy of a place on your blog. Hugs!

  4. Barbra's products are lovely and this is a nice feature. I like her clocks. Congrats Barbra! Well done Cat.

    ~Artsy Craftery/Embellishmart~
    A Variety of Handmades & More

  5. I was lucky enough to get one of your tape measures from Catrin Maier as a surprise gift, and I love it. You definitely have something very unique going!