I am doing an online Button course with Karen Ruane. I am a bit behindm ost of the others, because of working and time and all, but I am having the most fun!!! These are the only pictures so far, though I am busy working my way through a pile of others. Karen insisted that we not copy her slavishly but to use our own ideas, and of course she is a very wise woman. I adore her work, so my first attempt actually was a go at reproducing her work fairly exactly, and I got frustrated and cross and hated what I was doing. so I pulled it out and did what she had said, use her ideas as inspiration but do it my own way, and of course she was right. I ended up much happier with these two.
The bottom picture, the one with the two circles in it, is the work before being damp stretched. I had never tried that before and wondered if it was worth the effort, but now I can definitely say that it is. I used Perle thread on silk dupion and embellished with some precious little flower sequins and tiny seed beads. The top two pics are taken after the damp stretching, and believe me it made a difference. They look much crisper and nicer now.
So I have already learnt a lot. No matter how much you love someone else's work, it is always better to use it as a jumping-off point rather than trying to copy it. Damp stretching is both easy and miraculous. Silk dupion is wonderful to stitch on (though you do need to use a hoop, which I don't normally do, but I am finding invaluable).
I am now doing some with colour, still on the white silk. But there won't be pictures for about a week. And there are other fun things to learn, about lumps (puffs, actually) and turning them into actual buttons and/or brooches.