Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Tuesday...

and I really just wish I had not promised to blog because I can not think of one interesting thing to say. Isn't that always the way...

BUT I think I am totally off the hook, as Amy has posted the AMAZING holiday issue of Inspired Ideas!! Go check it out! :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rhinebeck 2010

Long time no blogging… catching up & moving on. J

Rhinebeck was fabulous, again! We were so busy… got to meet lots of people, sold tons of buttons. It's always so much fun to see other people respond to your work so positively. It really keeps us going because often the months in between shows can make you forget why you started this in the first place. Our big hit was the new shawl pins that Liz designed. We sold so many and I am having so much fun wearing them myself (an added bonus).

My sweet husband brought my kids to Rhinebeck this time, so they had a chance to see what a fiber show is like. I'm not sure it was exciting for them as it was for me…

Aside from the "working" part of the trip, there is always so much fun. Of course, it's great to have a weekend away with my sister. Nothing is better then that familiar feeling of being together. Friday night, we had an amazing dinner at Miss Lucy's in Saugerties. I love it there. It has a great quirky atmosphere and the food is awesome. I had a squash soup, a turkey pot pie and a chocolate bread pudding… so, so good. Every. Single. Bite. I should have taken photos, but I haven't yet gotten over my need to be completely invisible whenever possible. After that it was a required visit to Lucky Chocolates with the adorable tree full of wishes. Adorable… I took a photos, but not a very good one. J Monday we took a quick trip through Otisville where my grandparents used to live… past the house, visit the grave, etc. I know not everyone feels this one, but I love those visits to the past. Somehow, it keeps it all real in my mind otherwise I forget and I hate that. I even try to play people's voices in my head… just so I don't forget. My own quirk… I know.

Next week, Amy will release the holiday edition of Inspire magazine. I can't wait! Her projects are always so fun, even when I don't get to complete them I LOVE the eye candy. We are sponsoring this edition of the ezine and are so excited to be a part of it again.

This week's goal is blogging Tuesday and Friday, so I hope you'll stop back. Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

And the winner is...

Suzie Buttons. Congratulations! Thank you for entering, ladies. :)

This weekend at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival, I'll be a square for Ravelry's Rhinebeck Bingo! I am too excited!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I am completely imperfect and truth be told, I'm not ok with that yet... but I'm trying. Another blog I have come across in my cyber travels and have found great inspiration and support from is Brene Brown. I am *still* reading her book, I Thought It Was Just Me. I just feel like every word she writes and speaks resonates with me and my experience in life. I definitely recommend you check it out when you have some time... there is so much to soak in there. Right now, she is hosting a "perfect protest". I love it... even if I am not whole-heartedly there YET.

My protest is demonstrating my imperfection... right here... for everyone to see. I was supposed to post this give away yesterday, but here I am: a day late & a dollar short. Sorry anyone out there waiting on me.
Tonight's give away will be 5 small buttons or 3 medium buttons of the winner's choosing. Visit our website http://www.kokonoelle.com/ and then come back here & leave a comment to let me know which buttons you love the best. I will draw a winner Tuesday afternoon 2:00 p.m. EST. Good Luck everyone! Thanks for entering in spite of my imperfection...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Short & Sweet

Lucky number 7 was drawn at Random.org  ... Congratulations Lori Diane! 

Thank you to everyone who entered!  Stop back again on Thursday when I will post another drawing... the celebration will keep going until our trip to Rhinebeck for the New York Sheep & Wool Festival on October 15th.

Friday, October 1, 2010

peace. love. knit.

Wow! The week has just flown past me. I'm trying to strike a new balance between all of the pieces of my life... and it's taking time. I'm trying to be patient with myself, but so far, I'm not succeeding. The Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival was great. Such a beautiful area of the country! I would really love to take a vacation there... just to explore. It seems so peaceful.

On to this week's (late) give away. Last weekend, we had the "big reveal" of our new shawl pins. I think they are a great addition to our buttons and everyone who stopped by the booth seemed to like them, too. I hope YOU like it... if you would like to win this shawl pin, please leave a comment. I'll draw a name on Tuesday (October 5th) at 1:30 p.m. EST.
Have a great, relaxing weekend!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pre-show Crazy!

I am definitely pre-show crazy! My last-minute personality is not doing me any favors this week! Thank you so much to everyone who joined in on our give away. We've decided (ok, I've decided because I did not discuss this with anyone else) to continue doing one give away each week until the New York Sheep & Wool Festival, so please come back next Tuesday. I'll be giving away one of the new shawl pins we will introduce this week at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival.
Today's winner is valeriehart (comment #18)!
I will try to post photos from SVFF over the weekend. Have a great weekend! Hope to see you all next week. :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Inspired Ideas

I have blogged about Amy Powers' blog before (here). I have been following her blog for a long time and I love it... lots of inspiration and a REAL person that shows through in all of her entries. You just feel like you know her. She has created a beautiful (FREE) online magazine. It is filled with amazing ideas and tons of inspiration! We are so excited to be a one of the sponsors of this issue! To celebrate in style, we are hosting a give away!

If you want the chance to win the buttons above, make a comment on this post and I will draw a winner on Thursday, September 23rd at 9 a.m. EST.
Now, please jump over to Amy's blog for a visit and to check out her Inspired Ideas magazine. (Did I mention it's FREE??) You will love it!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The winner of the leaf toggle drawing is Kathryn!  Thank you so much to everyone who left a comment... you have no idea how worried I was that no one would enter!  Yikes!  On Monday, we are going to pair up with another blogger (one I really love, I am SO excited!!!) for another give away.  I would love it if you would come back on Monday to find out the details. 

A week from today, we will leave for the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival.  We will be newbies at this show... so if anyone has any tips or advice for us, that would be great.  Any good places to eat nearby or anything special at the Festival that we should make sure we see or visit?  Any other vendors that are going to be there?  I can always use an excuse to walk around and shop (leaving my poor sister alone in the booth)? 

I am still knitting my grammi... I am really hoping to be finished by the time we leave on Friday.  We have shawl pins for this show and I can't wait to wear one! 

Just in case you were wondering, that adorable little bowl (that I love to knit and have made over and over again) is a pattern that can be found here:  Alice Thelma.  Chris has a great blog... please go pay her a visit!

Have a relaxing weekend!  Hope to see you Monday!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to School and a Give Away

As you can tell above, "first day of school" pictures were nothing but silliness here in my house!  Today is the first time I have been alone in months.  I have to say, as sad as I was to see my baby go off to first grade last week, it's nice to think in sentences again rather then fragments!  I have been a stay at mom for the last 16 years, and I really loved it.  It is crazy at times, but I loved that my days were on a child's schedule and that there was always someone to be with and take care of.  It really is so difficult to change gears!  So, after all that do I take some time to slow down and enjoy the quiet... nope.  I will be jumping into a new part time job (other than the buttons)!  It will definitely be a new year for all of us!

The two fall sheep & wool shows that we will be attending are quickly approaching.  Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival is in Berryville, Virginia on September 25 & 26th and then we will be heading to Rhinebeck for the New York Sheep & Wool on October 16 & 17th with our friends, Wardell Pottery & Metalwork.  I am really looking forward to both shows.  Autumn is my very favorite time of year and these fall festivals really celebrate the season.  I can not wait! 

I think that it is high time we did a give away on this blog.  I have flirted with this idea a number of times, but have always been intimidated to try it!  No more... here we go.

Our first give away is one of our leaf toggles.  This is one of my favorite buttons!  I wear my all the time (embarrassing to admit, but I put it on a sweater from J Jill rather than a hand knit).  So, if you would like to enter the drawing for the toggle above, leave a comment on this entry between now and Friday, September 17th at 9 a.m. EST.  We will draw a random winner.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer is doin' me in...

Summer is completely kicking my butt!  I am getting nothing... and I mean nothing done.  I bought this lovely laptop with high hopes of my creative business dreams coming true, but honestly keeping these four kids occupied has been a bigger job this summer then ever before!  I thought it was manageable entertaining and taking care of four kids when they were happy to be together, but now they really are four kids with four different lives... and I can't keep up.  I am sorry for the gap and leaving my poor blog flat! I can't wait to think in complete sentences again...

We have signed on to be a vendor at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival on September 25 & 26th.  So the countdown has begun for that event.  Fortunately for us, we work best under pressure!  I am really excited.  We have purchased some advertising spots on Ravelry and I hope that we will have lots of company in our booth. 

Back in May, when we were vendors at Maryland's Sheep & Wool show, we purchased lots of yarn from Miss Babs.  Her yarn was amazing and her booth was full to the brim all weekend long.  One of the yarns I brought home was a sock yarn in "Beach Glass".  It is an awesome color... a light blue green.  I have just started this beautiful shawl...

So, I have added that project to my list, but I am hoping it will a good match for the shawl pins we will be introducing at SVFF.  Definitely jump over to Christiana's blog to see this great pattern... if I can do it, you know it's beginnner friendly!  

I will keep trying to post as often as life allows for another (almost) 3 weeks... then hopefully the peace will settle in and I can get some serious blogging done. 

Enjoy these last weeks of summer!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Excuse me, but everyone knows you're crazy!

moonshine porcelain button in antique green

I have posted before about this "crazy" worry (here and here).  Clearly I am revealing my deepest secret in these entries.  I am worried that I will be found out, but on the other hand, I know that I have ALREADY  been found out.  Sometimes I am completely ok with that, relieved even.  Then there are other times when I am desperately trying to hide.  For instance, even though I know I need to put myself out there for the world to see, I am so afraid to ask my friends to "like" my Facebook page or... gulp... read this blog. 

My husband and I love the old movie "Bringing Up Baby".  It is a ridiculous movie, but (again revealing too much) we find it hysterical because it is us... I am the disorganized and emotional Susan (played by Katharine Hepburn) and he is the uptight, methodical David (played by Cary Grant).  Sometimes it seems like everything I do is the equivalent of bringing a leopard in the house.  In one scene, David is trying to offer some serious information and another character says, "Excuse me, Mr. Boney, but everyone knows your crazy!"  So, this has sort of become our cue to each other when it becomes apparent that we are getting off track.  It's easy to be crazy when you know you will be loved in spite of it, but not so easy when you know that people may reject you because of that craziness.  

So I am lucky and blessed to have people who will stick with me in spite of my craziness... and who unfortunately share this sickness with me.  My sister, who on this blog is the silent half of this partnership, is very much the creative lead.  It is her artistic talent and inspiration that are at the heart of KokoNoelle. 

She is totally going to love this...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Old photos.

I love old photographs and I have no idea why.  In general, I am a very sentimental and maybe that's why I love them.  The photo above is my dad (the baby) held by his maternal grandmother and with his only sister next to them.  My Aunt Joan died ten years ago yesterday and when my cousin posted it on Facebook yesterday, it made me want to look for old photos of her.  Fortunately, my obsession has served me well, and I happened to have several of her.  This happens to be the oldest of her that I have.  

I have noticed, too, that some people hate to see old photographs and find them depressing.  While I don't love photos of myself, I treasure those of the people I love.  What do you think?  Depressing or fun?  

I really hate talking to myself... comment if your out there. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


eat my bubbles...

So, am just not blogging like a mad-woman, am I?  My laptop didn't solve my "on-line" problem as I hoped, so I am still trying to work that out.  I did manage to create a facebook page for KokoNoelle buttons.

I would love to have you "like" us.  :)  I am building up my nerve to do a giveaway soon.  (You know, that voice, she speaks to me... "Why would anyone want your buttons?"  but I'm trying to tame her... or at very least, cage her.)   I am so glad that Liv created the Facebook page for the Flying Lessons.  I have been have really worrying how I will be able to keep up this motivation since the class is over!  It's all going strong over there.  I am so lucky to have been able to jump into that class.  It has made a huge difference in my focus. 

On Monday, I got a lovely email from Kitty telling me that she featured our buttons on her blog.  I am so excited!  It really made my week.  Weird to think that people from so far away can connect over something as simple as a button. 

Last but not least, I am pathetic at my attempts to take photographs of my summer.  I have taken some, but tonight I realized that I left them on the laptop that I returned due to poor performance.  How sad is that?  Fortunately, there were not too many on there, mostly 4th of July and I really can't say they were memory making moments!    The photo above is a complete cheat because it is from last summer, but it's one of my favorites and I really feel that a post without a photo is incomplete. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Blogger I'd Like to Be...

So when I think about blogging and what kind of blogger I would like to be, I think mostly about Jenny Doh.  I love her style.  Her posts are usually not long, but they are always beautiful and thoughtful.  Have you ever stopped by her blog?  You need to.  Really. 

She seems like a person I would really like to meet.  Her desire to improve the world through art seems so genuine.  It makes me think about what art can be becuase sometimes I wonder if it is self-serving or if it really can make a difference in the world. 

What blog do you love and/or admire?  Can you link me to your favorite?

After you leave me a link... go visit Jenny.  You will be so glad you did!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Let the blogging continue...

Since the summer has hit, I have been put out of commission by these four children that think they have lives of their own.  How did that happen?  Sharing the computer isn't working too well because my portion of the "computer time" wasn't really enough for me.  That was compounded by the fact that it is a big old desktop and it's cord didn't reach all the way to the pool!  So today, against the advice of my bank account, I jumped into a new HP laptop.  It is so pretty and fast.... sigh!  I have managed to justify this expense to follow my dreams of creative business ownership which just will not wait until the kids are back in school! 

Kelly Rae's class is over.  I really learned so much and loved every minute I was able to be a part of the community that she built.  I am hoping it will continue over on Facebook.  I am still trying to absorb all the information she shared with us and put as much into practice as I can.
I have not yet taken a picture for my photo class, but that's on my catch up list for this weekend.  So I will be up and running by Tuesday with my photos.  I have taken a few, but haven't had a chance for any "editing" yet, so I'll wait to share. 

Happy 4th of July to all of my US friends (really, I love to think I have "international" friends... how cool is that!!!)! 

Friday, June 25, 2010


leaf toggle
One of the flying lessons this week was about promoting yourself and getting published in a magazine. I think that would be the thrill of a lifetime... to be published in a Somerset magazine. I would feel like I had really "made it"! I can only imagine how exciting that would be. It makes me giddy just to imagine it. It's hard not too let the fears creep in just at the thought! Kelly keeps saying, "you have to be brave". Wow, that's REALLY brave.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ocean City

The last sweet days of the school year are finally over. Every phase of the year has it's own busy-ness. It almost seems silly to say, "This week was so busy..." because they are all busy, no matter what, no matter who you are and what your life is like!
Three of my four kids finished school yesterday and we jumped in the car and headed for Ocean City (NJ) to join friends to celebrate. It was such a great day. Everyone was happy and got a bit of what they wanted... even the husband, who normally HATES the beach, couldn't be enticed out of the water.
My new badge on the sidebar is for the next on line class that I signed up for "Picture Summer". I really need to beef this blog up with beautiful photos... not necessarily my strong suit yet. I hope it will help me to savor this summer when my babies seem to all be growing up. Only 3 more summers until my oldest is off for college and my youngest heading to first grade. It's slipping through my fingers.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Burst stoneware button

I am learning so, so much in the Flying Lessons with Kelly. It's hard to take it all in and put it into action. I am a person who has soooo much going on in her head that it's difficult to stop and put one thing into ACTION. The thinking almost always kills it- between the self-doubt, the overwhelm and the excitement... well, let's just say, I'm a little unfocused.

But tonight (while my house is quiet- a rare event), I listed a button on etsy and added my etsy mini to the sidebar. So, I have focused a little. I am so happy to be moving on this road. I so very much want to keep the momentum going and see it all succeed. I want it to succeed for me & my sister. I want us to be able to go, "hey, look, we DID it!" But I also, want my kids and my nieces to say... "look, they did it and so, I can do it, too. " Maybe that's a bit too big of a dream... but right now I am dreaming. :)

This button up top, we have nick named Burst. (Each baby has to have a name!) It's a happy little thing... Thanks for indulging my show & tell. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010


I can't believe it has been almost a week since I have posted here. I have been knee deep in wrapping up yearbook projects for the school that my kids attend... really knee-deep would have been ok, but it seemed more like-neck deep! It is sooo fun to do, but I am always glad to see the end product & hand it off to the kids. That leaves me with catching up to do here, in my flying lessons class & catching up on other people's blogs (which is frankly my favorite part!).

I have always been magazine-chaser. I love 'em, love 'em, love 'em. Blogs are really just an extension of that. BUT, I have always been a lurker. I almost never commented on other people's blogs. I just always thought, "Why would they care what a total stranger says?' but now I realize how fun it is to get a comment back. It's a totally different feeling and it really makes me want to blog. It makes it so much more fun.... I have to say, before I felt like that crazy person talking to herself!

This photo-free post seems somehow unfinished, but it will do for now. I'll try to edit later and add some pretty pictures. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Blog Block

After my "big" revealation on my last post, I gotta admit I was a little embarrassed. It took me a few days to think of what to write next and up until right now I thought I would let it go another day. I got 5 whole comments though and that made my day... and the the next day, too!

So, I figured that I would blog hop a little and I visited Amy's blog... which I will admit is one of my top 10 favorites. She is a great example being "you" on your blog. You feel like you know her when you read her posts! Today she was sharing all her juicy gifts from an art retreat (fabulous pictures, of course!) and she received an adorable necklace that says, "I am kind of a big deal on my blog". I just thought that was so funny! Really, where else can you be a big deal? Love it! Hop over there an have a look. :)
post it note by Gunhild Storeide

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I am Enough.

Really. I hope this blog is as anonymous as I think it is after I post this picture. Several of the artists taking Flying Lessons are writing affirmations on themselves. So, I did it, too. My mother would say, "If they jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you?" I always make notes on the back of my hand, so this wasn't as far of a reach for me as one might think. As corny as it sounds, there is something about writing it on yourself... it's like a branding, I guess. I never saw myself as a tattoo kindof girl, but I have an idea now of why people might do that.

I'm not saying I'm running off to get a tattoo... but I understand now. I do.
I'm having a hard time hitting that "publish" button. Oh, I they will definitely think I'm crazy. And they will probably be right...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Giraffes Can't Dance

Last night, as I was putting my youngest to bed, he asked me to read Giraffes Can't Dance. I have to say that I love this book and have each and every time we read it, but last night it really struck me that this is exactly what Monday's "Flying Lesson" was all about.

The last page says,
Then he raised his head and looked up at the moon & stars above
"We all can dance," he said, "when we find music that we love."

Even as I sit here typing this, it is more & more obvious, this whole book can sum up what is true in a creative business... our fears & self consciousness hold us back from doing something, but often it is that one small voice that makes up push through and find our place where we can dance... fly... swim...

Explanatory note: I am blogging this whole thing because I am really trying to "find my voice" as Kelly says. I really feel like my writing is akward and that's normally why I keep these kinds of crazy ideas inside my head. Supposedly, I will get better... let's keep our fingers crossed on that.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What if they think I'm crazy?

The topic for yesterday's Flying Lesson was our fears... tackling the toughest part first, I guess!

I think that fear has definitely kept me from taking on my creative dreams. I just don't think that anyone will take me seriously. I have often said, I can follow direction but I'm not CREATIVE. It some ways, I still believe that but I have also learned that creativity is a practiced skill as well as inbred talent.

Over the last year or so that my sister and I have been making buttons, we have said to each other (at least 1,000 times), "No one is going to buy these." "Who would buy these?" etc. We are lucky to have each other in this dream because when one doubts, the other supports and we somehow keep going.

Putting myself out there for others to critique has been one of the hardest things for me to do. Sometimes when someone walks away without even one little button, the sense of rejection is embarrassing, for lack of a better word. It's hard to make yourself remember the excitement of that first stranger who loved them, too!

The photo above is of that first stranger and the first friends who believed in us. She was our very first customer at our first show. Her excitement took away so many of my fears in that moment... when I think we both wanted to run screaming! The other half of that photo is Lorrie & Michael Wardell. They believed in my sister and I am so lucky that they have included me! They are the reason that we are doing this at all. Their support has been vital to any success we may have.

Ok, so enough of this deep babbling thought so late at night....

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sink or Swim?

BWS tips button

I have signed up for Kelly Rae's Flying Lessons course on building a creative business. I really don't acknowledge that I have a creative business already. It isn't a part of me yet, in the way I imagine a creative business should be. I don't feel like I really took "ownership" until my sister and I found ourselves with our own booth at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in May. Without having anyone else to take charge, it was left to us. As it turns out, it was exactly what we needed. Sink or Swim.

I think we are swimming... maybe only a doggie paddle, but still swimming. I hope that the insight I gain through the Flying Lessons will teach me, & us, to swim. I have never really believed that I was "creative". Old labels die hard. I want to give myself a chance to find out the truth.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

Originally posted April 15, 2010

I've got the slow part down... the steady, well, not so much! Several pages of buttons are up (alright, technically a few). I am enjoying building the website though. It is a challenge. I love the computer and it's something new. That is all good in my book and the "new" part is a big motivator.

So, in between getting ready for a party this week, I'm scanning buttons like crazy. Everything will be ready for our "grand re-opening" in Maryland.

PS That is one of my favorite buttons, and one of my favorite glazes, as a matter of fact.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Brand New Us

We are a new "us". We've refined the buttons & the business... new name, new logo. Bread, Butter & Sugar was cute, but just not really moving us forward. The last-minute opening at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival has given us a renewed drive to figure this all out... in spite of the challenges life throws in the way. Owning our own business is somehow in our blood and heart. Maybe it's genetic.. afterall, Tournament magazine is in our history! So, here's to a new beginning that will be all we are hoping for & working toward!

I do wish that I had a Tournament cover to scan here... maybe Dad can provide that for us.