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Michelle Arensberg's Profile

About

Since I was a child I have loved to collect and hold the small, the marvelous, the overlooked things of this world. Marbles...stamps...shells from the beaches of Portugal, pebbles from the rivers of Oregon, colorful seeds from Belize, amber from the shores of Latvia...I love bringing these beauties of the world into my home, heart, and hands. And I love that they are, for the most part, accessible to anyone.

Vintage and antique buttons are my newest love, and they too are found by careful looking and handling, through a long, dreamy and mesmerizing process of selecting from hundreds the few that really shine. You don't know what you are going to find. You don't know if you'll ever see one like it again. Like colorful stones, stamps and shells, they look like something fit for royalty, yet can be worn and enjoyed by the rest of us common folk. And like the stones, stamps and shells they too have…

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  • Female
  • Joined December 11, 2010

Favorite materials

Vintage buttons of all kinds, bakelite, metal, celluloid, glass, plastics

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About

Since I was a child I have loved to collect and hold the small, the marvelous, the overlooked things of this world. Marbles...stamps...shells from the beaches of Portugal, pebbles from the rivers of Oregon, colorful seeds from Belize, amber from the shores of Latvia...I love bringing these beauties of the world into my home, heart, and hands. And I love that they are, for the most part, accessible to anyone.

Vintage and antique buttons are my newest love, and they too are found by careful looking and handling, through a long, dreamy and mesmerizing process of selecting from hundreds the few that really shine. You don't know what you are going to find. You don't know if you'll ever see one like it again. Like colorful stones, stamps and shells, they look like something fit for royalty, yet can be worn and enjoyed by the rest of us common folk. And like the stones, stamps and shells they too have traveled, have a past, a story- and have stuck around to tell it through their colors, textures, shapes, and designs, their wear and tarnish.

There is something I deeply appreciate about the choice to make something both utilitarian and beautiful. Such care, design, inspiration, love and thought went into the making of buttons- from the tiny Victorian twinkle buttons to the large celluloid coat buttons- I love seeing these buttons make their way out into the world instead of languishing in a box somewhere. They were made to be seen, worn, and admired!

A little about my process.

Each button was hand chosen from collectors sales, antique stores, poke bins, thrift shops- some were passed on to me by friends or relatives. I choose them for their age, their uniqueness, and their beauty.

Each necklace, hairpin, and ring was handmade by me, here in our home in Portland. I sort, think, arrange, look, re-arrange, and re-arrange again until I have a combination I love. Then...I let it sit for a few days. When I come back to it, if I still love it, it gets permanently set together into a necklace, hairpin, or ring.

I never add embellishments to my pieces- no charms, cabochons, rhinestones, metal frames, settings, etc. I have found the buttons themselves to be so stunning, so diverse, and so incredibly marvelous that I don't feel they need any extra adornment. On my necklaces, I add a bail for hanging, a chain and a clasp. The hairpins are attached to a flat pad on a bobby-like pin, and the rings are set on a ring base. Everything else is pure button. : )

A little more about me:

I am a homeschooling mama to two amazing & lovable kids, 12 & 4. Married to my sweetie of 20 years, we live right in the city on an acre of land and we garden, keep chickens, and try to hold the weeds at bay. We've always been a crafty family, always making something new- but the buttons? Here to stay! I hope you find something here you like, and please, come back often!

You can find my jewelry locally in Portland, OR at the following shops:

* The Salty Teacup (St. Johns)
* Mag-Big (Hawthorne District)

My necklaces, rings, and hairpins are also being used on the set of IFC's series "Portlandia", filming season two September 2011. Look for them when the show airs!

Please visit my Facebook page & give it a "like!" I will hold giveaways now and then through Facebook:

www.facebook.com/SingingBlackbirdDesigns

Warmly,
Michelle

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