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Friday Favorite: Buttons

December 3rd, 2010

I’ve always like buttons for some reason, I can’t quite explain it. I’m drawn to their usefulness and beauty. I remember going to the Warther Museum when I was young and being in awe of her button collection. They were all laid out to look like quilt tiles. I wanted to make one myself someday, I’m sure I’ll never reach her total of over 100,000 buttons, though.

I distinctly remember sitting in my paternal grandma’s living room and pouring out her button jar on the carpet. I’d spend quite a while organizing the buttons by size, color, shape. She had quite a variety, some round, some oblong, some smooth, some covered in rhinestones. I had my favorites that I’d linger over as I’d put them back in the jar. I remember doing this often when we’d stop by for a visit.

When my grandma died back when I was college, I asked for her button collection. I was happy to get it, still in the same jar it was in when I was little, with my favorite buttons still inside.


Last summer, my maternal grandmother died, and I too asked for her button collection. I don’t have memories of looking through her collection much, but I’m glad to have it all the same.

I have my own small button collection in a jar. I don’t specifically buy buttons, I try to acquire in the same way my grandmother’s most likely did. Through extras on clothing or picking them up off the sidewalk. If I’m making rags from a shirt, I always cut off the buttons and add them to the jar.

I’m sure I’ll keep slowly adding to my collection and maybe I’ll even make a design with them someday. (like this fabulous tree on Flickr) I wonder how many buttons I will collect in my lifetime without ever specifically seeking them out.

Do you have anything like this that you’ve been fond of since you were a kid?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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