5 days ago
Monday, October 15, 2012
A few of my favorite things
I am a collector. I have a collection of silver plate, driftwood and sea glass and paper and plastic. Once I collected mugs. There was an entire wall of mugs in my kitchen. Unfortunately, I married a man who thought he could carry them off to work, break them, lose them and do God knows what with them. Slowly I got rid of my collection of mugs and him (but that's another story). Oh and did I mention stamps? Yes, I have lots and lots of stamps! I also have a very substantial collection of buttons.
If I were asked tomorrow to give up my collections in order of importance, my buttons would be the very last to go. They literally map my life and the very basic act of clothing myself and my family. I have carted around a jar of buttons since I was eighteen and now that collection is many many jars of buttons. You can click on pictures to enlarge.
When my daughter was young I sewed her clothes and it was a joy to do so. One of my fondest memories is sewing at the kitchen table and Katie playing with the buttons. She would spend hours sorting the buttons, by color, by size, by whatever game she was playing at the time. It makes my heart feel good to think of her playing with the buttons.
Their origin is as diversified as my life has been and I can look at a particular button and remember what it had been attached to and when (most of the time). When placing used buttons in my jar it always felt like money in the bank. Many of the buttons were given to me and are obviously older than I am, such as the mother of pearl buttons shown below.
Currently I am making and selling mittens made from old sweaters, which is my little contribution to sustainability, etc. The process takes about an hour per pair of mittens, however, the final touch is a button attached to each cuff. This is where I get bogged down. Every Time. This my collection, right? Each time I tell myself, "I'm just going to find the right color and move on." Ha. The above pair of mittens and hat have buttons from a dress I bought at a thrift shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1984. See what I mean?
Usually, I place my vintage wash bowl full of buttons on my lap and start. sifting. and. sifting.