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Friday, March 29, 2013

Buttons: Okay, I have a few

French  Buttons

I love buttons. I love the history of buttons. I love the use of buttons.  I love the design of buttons. And, I love the art of buttons.

I have over the years managed to collect many buttons. I cannot share how many buttons, mostly because there are too many to count.

Victorian Mourning Buttons
It started with my grandmother's button box, then my mother's, then Great Aunt Ruby's and on and on and on. It was not apparent that I had a problem until much later. I am not sure what the gateway drug for buttons is, but I must have, just raced right through it, and started the "hard" stuff right away.

I like to incorporated buttons in any and every sewing project I undertake.  New cardigan: exchange boring buttons for some; a little more interesting. Who needs zippers? Use buttons. T shirt a little blah? Sew on a couple of buttons.

1880's Calico Transfer  Buttons
I have some buttons that are so wonderful; I keep "saving" them. You know, for the "right" application, I don't want to waste them.  (I do have tens of thousands of buttons; I mean really, what am I waiting for?)

Japanese Design Buttons
I once researched and wrote a presentation on the art and history of buttons. It was very interesting to see all of the ways and material that buttons are made. Even more interesting to me, is how much care and time was taken to create something, that today, we take for granted and barely give a thought to.
Embroidered 1930's Buttons

When I was a child, I would comb my mother's button box looking for all of the rhinestone buttons. I mistakenly thought they were jewels. So sparkly, so beautiful and so not diamonds. Too bad.

 As I have grown older I have taken a shine to the Czechoslovakian black glass buttons, which were hand cut, like Waterford crystal. In between, I have fallen in and out of love with the Japanese enameled, Victorian mourning, calico transfer and the carved mother of pearl buttons.

Truly, what delights me the most about this useful little item
for closing and embellishing our garments is: when I sew them on to my family's clothing, I am reminded, it is the little things that hold us together.

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