Thursday, May 1, 2008

Button Button Who Has the Button???

What does a coffee can have to do with buttons?

Well - a couple of months ago the kids and I decided to start collecting in the type that are found on clothing. We already had a small stash of buttons from various projects and finds throughout the years and then I decided to hit eBay and see if I could find some on there.

I should have known better. I paid too much for too few buttons. I had won an auction for something like "approximately 100 buttons" and paid $15- $20 (that included shipping). I think it was while I was waiting for my buttons to arrive, that I was counting pennies with my son and realized that 100 pennies sure didn't look like much. A very small box arrived in the mail with my button treasure. Sure it was fun to look through - I'm not a button expert so I have no clue if any are "valuable" or not - but I don't think I'll go the eBay route again. I'm hoping to find buttons via garage sales, thrift stores, and donations :)

Back to the coffee can. When we were out at the farm this weekend the coffee can was waiting in our bedroom. "Old Buttons" was written on the lid. It was filled to the brim with buttons that had once belonged to my grandmother-in-law. Back at Easter when grandma-in-law's estate was being cleaned up, and the grandchildren were allowed to bring back some memories...I inquired as to whether or not there were any buttons. No - no one had seen any. Well a week or so later I received an email from my ma-in-law stating that the buttons had been found and we could have them.

So the buttons have been sitting on the dining room table and we've been sorting through them. An old muffin tin works well for sorting into categories. This is a great project for kids to work on during rainy days, sick days, too cold to go out and play days, or I-am-bored-what-can-I-do-days.

Even the boy enjoys it. But it's interesting to hear him describe his finds. He likes ones that perhaps once graced a military uniform (or at least look military-ish), another one he says "looks like a shield" this one "like one of those shield's that has a poky thing on it", "these two things look like they could have been an animal trap" etc. So he is enjoying the buttons from a boyful perspective and that's just fine. He won't be fighting with his sister (or his mother!) over who gets the cute yellow buttons with pink flowers on them.

There are some very unusual looking buttons - and I may try to post some photos of them later. One is a set of very small white buttons that are a bit oval in shape and the two little holes in the button are very near the top of the button instead of in the center. They look quite old. Some of the buttons were on strings and my mother-in-law remembers stringing them for her mother.

I still remember sitting at a small round table in my grandma's kitchen out at the lake. She brought out a tin or two of buttons and my sisters and I strung together buttons making necklaces and bracelets.


Mrs. Mordecai said...

What a treasure! I spent hours playing with my mom's button collection growing up.

Heather said...

My kids LOVE my button box which I inherited from my great aunt.

Anonymous said...

I'm still fascinated with buttons ! I'll send your son some military buttons and some real bone buttons for your daughter.