<![CDATA[Dorset Buttons - Blog]]>Mon, 03 Dec 2018 19:16:34 +0000Weebly<![CDATA[Dorset Arts & Crafts Association Annual Exhibition 2018]]>Wed, 22 Aug 2018 09:05:52 GMThttp://henrysbuttons.co.uk/dorsetbuttonblog/dorset-arts-crafts-association-annual-exhibition-2018
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Detail from my winning entry "The Knitting Bee 2"
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Anna McDowell with Sally Weld, President of DACA, being presented with the Dorset Shield. Thank you to the DA&CA for allowing me share this photo.
​This Year was a first for me at the Dorset Arts & Crafts Association Exhibition. As I booked my Henry’s Buttons stand for all five days of this popular event. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and thank you all for your supported. I look forward to next year.
In addition I was also trilled with my entries to the Annual Exhibition. Each year I try and enter something in the Dorset Crafts section of this exhibition designed to support the many talented artists, photographers and craft workers in the county. 
I entered two pieces a collarge of Dorset Buttons called the Knitting Bee 2 and one of my Suffragette brooches worked from vintage thread and crystal beads. I was thrilled to have been awarded gold for my collarge and the award for my section, the Dorset Shield. My brooch was awarded silver. 
The Association has a long history. In 1906, a small exhibition was held at Hinton St Mary and its success led to the formation of the Dorset Arts & Crafts Association in 1907. The Association's first exhibition was held at Blandford Corn Exchange in 1907 and exhibitions have been held annually, apart from a break for the Second World War years. The Associations 100th Exhibition was held at the Purbeck School, Wareham in 2014.   
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<![CDATA[Larmer Tree Festival]]>Tue, 31 Jul 2018 09:18:48 GMThttp://henrysbuttons.co.uk/dorsetbuttonblog/larmer-tree-festival
The Larmer Tree Festival was only two weeks ago, and as promised, I have uploaded the instructions for my Suffragette Dorset Button just go to Worksheets and Tutorials
 
The weekend was a great success as seventy people choose to make these one of these Suffragette Buttons. The adult workshops system was the same as in previous years with people putting their names down for the craft of their choice. Tables were smaller with a maximum of 14 chairs instead of the 20 as in previous years, much easier to handle. I was joined by my niece Harriet Page who is an excellent buttoner and a skilled teacher.

On the Saturday and Sunday we started at 10.00am and we were kept constantly busy moving around the table showing people how to start making these buttons and finally seeing their finished Suffragette brooch. At 1.00pm our session ended. Over the two days 70 people had made one of these lovely brooches.

I have a limited quantity of the lovely yarn left over from the Festival so have made a simple kit with enough yarn and ribbon for you to have a go at making these small brooches designed specifically for the Larmer Tree Festival 2018.

If you are interested in having a go at making one of my Festival Suffragette Dorset Buttons I will be taking a limited quantity of these kits to the Dorset Arts and Crafts Annual exhibition at Wareham which runs from Friday 3rd August to Tuesday 7th August. For full details about the exhibition go to www.dorsetartsandcrafts.org
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<![CDATA[Suffragette Dorset Buttons]]>Sun, 29 Apr 2018 10:15:00 GMThttp://henrysbuttons.co.uk/dorsetbuttonblog/suffragette-dorset-buttons
It is one hundred years since those brave and determined members of the Suffragette Movement fought for the rights for which we enjoy today. I wanted to celebrate and thank the women and men for their outstanding contribution.
My challenge was how to do this with a Dorset Button? I wanted my buttons to have a vintage feel and my collection of vintage threads included the three Suffragette colours: a perfect white for purity, green for hope and purple for loyalty and dignity.
​So having got the threads, what to do next. I wanted to make my buttons special, something memorable that would celebrate this anniversary.
I’m an Antiques Roadshow fan and in one episode I remember seeing a wonderful brooch that a lady brought in to be identified and valued. It was a lovely filigree gold brooch set with precious stones of amethyst, emeralds and pearls, all Suffragette colours. For further inspiration, I searched the website and found similar fine delicate pieces to the brooch I remembered on the Roadshow.
So the challenge I set myself was to work a button in the suffragette colours using thread and beads and which will also have a filigree feel to it.
​Unfortunately, my budget didn’t run to such exquisite sparkles as amethyst, emeralds and pearls so I had to improvise and used crystal beads instead. This image is the result of my little experiment. Now all I have to do is to turn them into brooches ready to sell later this year.
Finally, I would like to thank all those women and men who fought for our rights so we can now have a say in todays’ political environment.
One hundred year ago ‘The Representation of the People Act 1918’ saw British women over 30 gain the vote; women over 21 did not get the vote until 1928.You can find out more about Women and the vote from  Parliament UK
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<![CDATA[A Snowbound Project]]>Sun, 01 Apr 2018 10:55:00 GMThttp://henrysbuttons.co.uk/dorsetbuttonblog/a-snowbound-project
​Dorset Buttony in the winter can be the best time to spend time experimenting and try out new ideas. Over the last few months I have done exactly that. With the March snow and being snowed in for a few days gave me the opportunity to try out turning my buttons into a necklace which incorporate felted balls which I managed to get from Blooming Felt (one of my favourite suppliers of felt). Here is my finished piece.
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<![CDATA[Landscape Magazine]]>Wed, 07 Feb 2018 12:37:15 GMThttp://henrysbuttons.co.uk/dorsetbuttonblog/landscape-magazinePicture
So thrilled with this article. 


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<![CDATA[Dorset Button Christmas Workshops - Hardy Visitor Centre]]>Wed, 20 Dec 2017 10:35:07 GMThttp://henrysbuttons.co.uk/dorsetbuttonblog/dorset-button-christmas-workshops-hardy-visitor-centre
Only a few days until we celebrate Christmas, we decorate our houses and spend many hours deciding on what gift to give to family and friends. The colours of Christmas are everywhere. The reds and greens; gold and silvers; and the lovely crisp whites for the snow that is meant to fall at Christmas but hasn’t for me since 1993!

Not to get despondent, this year I designed my Christmas Dorset Button for my December workshop around an icicle.  The Dorset Button was worked in a white and silver metallic thread with a single round of white voile ribbon finished with a droplet from a chandler.

Thank you all for participating and for your very kind comments on how much you enjoyed my workshop. And thank you to Claire and her team at the Hardy Visitor Centre for making us so welcome throughout the year.

Wishing you all Season’s greetings and a happy New Year.
Anna

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<![CDATA[Dorset Button Mits - fee knitting pattern until the end of today]]>Tue, 31 Oct 2017 09:52:35 GMThttp://henrysbuttons.co.uk/dorsetbuttonblog/dorset-button-mits-fee-pattern-until-the-end-of-todayPicture
Thank you to Dorset Buttoner, Sharon, for sending me the link to this knitting pattern on Raverly for these lovely mits. The pattern is free until the end of today, 31 October, so if you are a knitter why not download the pattern and send me a photo of your own lovely mittens for my eNewsletter. To get your copy all you have to do is click on the image - you may have to register with Raverly which is free.

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<![CDATA[Dorset Button Masterclass]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 07:38:02 GMThttp://henrysbuttons.co.uk/dorsetbuttonblog/dorset-button-masterclass
I had great fun preparing for this workshop designed for experienced buttoners who wanted to test their skills with a new challenge.
Which button to base this challenge was by first decision so of the four ranges of Dorset Buttons I opted for the Dorset ‘Cartwheel’ Button. I wanted participant to experiment with different yarns and threads, including ribbons and lace, each of which has differing properties and effects when worked on a ring.
Sourcing yarns and trying them out myself before I was satisfied they would ‘past the test’ for their suitability for this workshop was great fun. I also decided to add beads to the challenge, glass crackle ones. Participants had to meet my challenge to incorporate 20 beads and the minimum of four different yarns to include ribbon and or lace to show off their individual properties. All had to be planned in advance with the overall design of the finished button in mind.
What I found most interesting was the choices of yarns and the colour mix each participant decided on, all so different. Thank you to all of you who joined me on this lovely morning at the Hardy’s Visitor Centre, I enjoyed myself I hope you did.
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<![CDATA[Please help me find my name? The Dorset County Show]]>Sun, 10 Sep 2017 23:00:00 GMThttp://henrysbuttons.co.uk/dorsetbuttonblog/please-help-me-find-my-name-the-dorset-county-show
 Thank you all for making the Dorset County Show such a success for Henry's Buttons. 
The show was the ideal opportunity to find a name for this lovely lady I use to demonstrate how Dorset Buttons can be worked on all sizes. On the front of her dress I have worked 5mm buttons and I exhibited 600mm samples on my stand. Your thoughts on what this young lady should be called filled three pages of suggestions and selecting one was difficult.
With the help of my family from Australia each member was allowed to choose one name which was put into a hat and I picked the winner. I can now announce that from now on she will be called Demelza. Thank you to the person who made the suggestion.
It was lovely to chat to so many people, some already Dorset buttoners, whilst others were new to this heritage craft. Chatting about your projects and discussing potential projects made for a very interesting weekend.

I have found my name. I'm going to be called Demelza
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<![CDATA[Working in the round  at the Wylye Valley Arts Trail]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 13:10:15 GMThttp://henrysbuttons.co.uk/dorsetbuttonblog/working-in-the-round-at-the-wylye-valley-arts-trail
​​Yve Sturgeon and Anna McDowell exhibit at the Wylye Valley Arts Trail.  The trail is now over and I had a  very successful week and thank you all for coming to view my work. 
The image on the top left shows one of my Dorset Buttons exhibited during the week of the Trail together with a work in progress photo.
I made all the beads around the edge of the button from newspaper.
​The finished button is 45cm wide (18 inches) and worked in a variety of yarns.
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