Thursday, January 23, 2014

Button Joy



Colorful. Round. Tactile. A few months ago I found a bag of bright buttons in the fabric store and brought them home, thinking the Little Misses would enjoy playing with them. I've been amazed at their popularity. 

For safety's sake, the buttons only appear when an adult is there to supervise. One of the first questions either Little Miss asks, is "Nana, can I play with the buttons?" (Miss A) or "Buttons? Buttons?" (Miss S). A recent reaction to the appearance of the button box had Miss S's mother and me laughing out loud. She danced. She clapped. She exclaimed. Such a hoot.

So what can be done with buttons? More than I ever imagined. 

Shake the box and enjoy the rattle.
Scatter them all over the floor.
Put them into the teapot, then shake.
Try to pour them out of the teapot.
Scoop them with your hands.
Sort them into an ice cube tray.
Pretend they are candy or cookies.
Pour them into a pile on the floor and jump over them.
Pour them into a pile on the floor and stamp on them.
Give them to people.
 

Nothing nearly so exciting happens with my buttons. But I enjoy running my fingers through them, savoring their tactile smoothness. There's a silver tray on my sewing desk that I fill with the threads and notions I'm currently using. It does end up a mess after a few weeks. Today I cleaned it out and filled it with buttons and threads. How fun to have something pretty to look at. 

Buttons - what do you do with them?

23 comments:

  1. I have tins of buttons too. They hold memories for me, as many are from my mother's workbox, and I can recall the dress or coat that she wore from the buttons that are stored here. Very nostalgic.

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  2. Cute story you shared! I stayed with my grandmother a lot when I was a kid. She was a seamstress and I loved playing with her buttons, thread etc. Yours look very pretty displayed on the tray. Good way to keep everything you are working with convenient. Have a good evening!

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  3. I remember loving my grandmother's button box, too. My niece inherited her grandmother's button box and could not have been more happy with anything else. My buttons are sorted and stored in canning jars. Not nearly as sweet as your sewing tray.

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  4. I have always had an infatuation with buttons, and remember quite well playing with my mom's button box for hours and hours as a kid. Even as an adult, I asked her one year during a visit if I could see her button box again (a old Chinese basket) and get a few buttons for remembrance. She thought I was an odd duck, LOL, but she obliged. (She has never shared my love of needlework.) Your silver platter arrangement looks pretty, especially with the pop of red color from the threads!

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  5. I took my Mother in laws buttons and put them in one of her old blue mason jars and keep them on a shelf.
    That's great that the little girls are enjoying them so much!

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  6. That's the first thing grandson asks for when he comes to my house. "the buttons." I have some big and colorful ones also. He sorts them into little cups and mostly uses them to load onto his matchbox cars. Load and dump, load and dump. That's the male perspective. Now soon you could get a big plastic needle and some yarn and teach the girls to sew on buttons!

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  7. My two younger daughters both loved to play with my button box. Kati once had a "button string." (Do you remember that Laura and Mary made a button string for Carrie to play with?)

    Now each girl has her own button collection. (A "starter package" came in Christmas stockings one year.) I'll bet your little misses will have their own some day too.

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  8. I have some jars of buttons and one tobacco tin full - but the buttons that I use for crafting are in little compartmented plastic boxes - I like sifting through buttons - but not searching for them when I have a project going. I find that buttons at thrift stores have gotten horribly spendy. And why is it that my hands always feel grubby after going through the old buttons?

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  9. I think you found the best kind of toy for your grandgirlies. My wee grands also found great joy in playing with my buttons...though your brightly coloured collection is definitely more appealing! My assorted buttons are kept in a vintage canister.

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  10. Beautiful bright and colourful how could a child not love those buttons. I wonder why it is that all children love buttons - the colours, the sounds they make and even dare I say it the taste which I remember from sucking one of my cardigan buttons as a small child! Not acceptable in these days of health and safety of course! One thing you haven't mentioned is threading them on a string like beads with a large needle (only suitable for big buttons of course. I use the tiny ones in my crazy patchwork embellishment. Have seen some lovely necklaces made with buttons too.

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  11. I'll have to file that idea away for when our little granddaughter is a little bit bigger.
    I save buttons - always have. I have a button jar from my aunt and one of these days I will have to go through it.

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  12. You and your girls will find many other ways to enjoy those buttons. Jonathan and I used to sort them by color, size, shape, type of hold/shank, etc. Sweet memories.

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  13. That was quite the reaction from Miss S. I'm laughing again as I read this.

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  14. My Grandma had a old tin of buttons we loved that so much when we were little...it's kept the joy alive all of these years. I collect pearlized buttons now, and they occasionally show up in my photos.

    Jen

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  15. I love it! My own children loved to play with their Grammie's buttons. She was a sewer, knitter, quilter and crafter and saved everything so she had bottles of buttons around her sewing room. What a delight for your little grand girls to enjoy. I like your silver tray of goodies too.

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  16. My grandma had the best "button box" -- an old cookie tin, and every button must have been salvaged over many, many years. I kept one myself, especially when I did so much sewing as my kids were growing -- and they used to love to play sorting games with them. Now I've just got a box that I toss those extra buttons in, the ones that come with garments in case of loss. Such a different approach we've come to from my grandmother's careful, frugal domesticity. . .

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  18. Count me in as a button lover. I remember playing with them and sorting them as a child when sick in bed. I had two big mason jars filled with buttons that I finally color sorted so I could easily find what I needed for hat trimming.
    I wanted to use/display my grandmother's buttons so I hot glued them to a covered styrofoam ball, put a stick in the ball and then "planted" the stick/ball combo in a flower pot. I made one with Christmas colors and another one with just Mother of Pearl, with a white pot.
    The hot glue can easily be peeled off if I want the buttons back!

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  19. I love buttons too. My mother keeps hers in a cookie tin that she has had my entire life. It was first given to her at a bridal shower, full of old buttons, from an aunt (I think.) She said it was a well appreciated gift back then, when people didn't just toss out but replaced and remade. I love the way your buttons and other notions look in the silver tray. It has that quirky story telling feeling that I love in a home.

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  20. It's wonderful what children can come up with given a pile of buttons!

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  21. Love your bright button photo. I too have a special affection for the button jar. So many pleasures to come from such a simple thing.

    I'm so glad you shares this one.... and what a joy to see the excitement your buttons create for your little Misses.

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  22. Mostly, I savor them, :) in jars, old sewing machine drawers, in a big old suitcase. Yes, I have that many vintage ones! I bet the little girls would have fun with them stringing them on a cord and then sliding them around and counting them. Do you know the game "button button who's got the button?" I think a number of people stand in a circle then a button is on a string and it is passed from one person to the next and is hidden in their hands. Then one person is "it" and they ask "button, button, who's got the button?" and guess which person is hiding it in their clasped hands around the string.

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  23. I don't have very many, but I save all my vintage buttons and the good spare buttons off some of the clothes I've had over the years (going back to the 80s). Hmmm...I should dig them out.

    I adore pretty buttons on clothing. I'll be wearing one of my favourite coats tomorrow - every button on it is different.

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