Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vintage Trade Cards

Ephemera, paper, and snippets of the past have been my passion for many years.  Here are a few vintage trade cards and dear friend shared with me.  It opened up a whole new passion or should I say obsession? ~Sewing and Kittens of course!  Feel free to use these in your art projects.  You can find more at Lilac Lane Livery. ~Enjoy

Monday, February 25, 2013

Button Art

I like Pinterest, but have to admit that I do not keep up with it very well. 
Last week I thought I should put in an appearance, so went searching 
for button pics to put on my Brilliant Buttons board. 
Coming across this photo...

...I was intrigued enough to follow the path to the website.

I was amazed at what I found.
She is a button artist, book artist, sewing artist, and a teacher/writer.

Here is a close-up of one of her works:

Curious as to what it is? Follow the link above and click on "Button Works" and then "Button Works One."

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Pearl Button Museum - Muscatine, Iowa

I am piggybacking Autena's recent post regarding 
The Pearl Button Capital of the World.

My friend Tara and I had the pleasure and opportunity in our research of pearl button manufacturing to privately meet with the Pearl Button Museum.

Please click here for my blog article. 

If you enjoy pearl buttons and the history of them, may I suggest reading Shell Games by Jeffrey S. Copeland.  I am not sure if The Pearl Button Museum carries this book in their gift shop; however, it is carried on Amazon.com

 Shell Games: The Life and Times of Pearl McGill, Industrial Spy and Pioneer Labor Activist

The Muscatine Journal's review of Shell Games can be found here

Pearl McGill 1

Thanks Autena for sharing your recent post and interest in
The Pearl Button Capital of the World!
Your post sparked me to recall how much I enjoyed my museum research visit and the book Shell Games. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

World Capital of Pearl Buttons

I came across this site the other day as I was researching some button cards to post in my Etsy shop. 
It was so interesting, I immediately thought of sharing my find with the Button Floozies!

It bills itself as the Home of the Pearl Button Museum. How intriguing! It is located in Muscatine, Iowa, of all places--population  approximately 21,000. When I looked up the town (I'm big on research, can you tell?), I found out, via Wikipedia, that it is the only city in the U.S. with that name.

Here's another interesting fact: It turns out that the shell buttons were produced so prodigiously there because of the Mississippi River mussels. They were thick and hearty and could withstand the machine cutting.
The buttons were produced there from 1905 to around the early 1960s. Click the above link and you can find out why they eventually ceased production.

Here is the Pearl Button Queen of 1946!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Farewell, Barbara

You may have known her as Bunty, Vintage Bunty, Bunty Barmcakes, or simply Barbara.  Perhaps you saw her work on the pages of Somerset magazines, swapped with her, or took an online class with her.  However you knew her, or whatever you called her, she was an Artist, Blogger, Button Floozie...and Friend.
photo by Barbara, courtesy of her blog Vintage Bunty
I first "met" Barbara online when she visited my blog during a large blogging event called One World, One Heart in 2010.  The name of the event was prophetic, as it put me in touch a member of my "tribe" that lived all the way across the pond in Oxford, England.  She responded to the first comment I left on her blog with these words:

I wanted to say thank you for leaving such a nice comment and  I hope we will get to know each other through the blog world.
And so we did.  Barbara and I loved so many of the same things: buttons, lace, mixed media art, vintage fabrics...and creating.  Her blog is still up for the time being, so you can see first hand some of the beautiful works she created. 
an example of Barbara's handwork
In addition to working with fabric, textiles, and paper, she was a gifted photographer.  I always looked forward to the beautiful photos she would post whenever she and her husband, Paul, took weekend jaunts or day trips to the beautiful countryside where she lived.
in Cornwall, photo by Barbara, courtesy of her blog Vintage Bunty
She also took the time to create digital media and she sold it on Etsy.
Then, with the help of her husband, she opened up her own shop online -- different from her Etsy shop!  How many of us are feisty enough to do that?  Well, Barbara was.
some beautiful-ness from her online store
Once, when I showed some button shopping finds on my blog Barbara commented on how lucky I was to have such bounty to discover, and lament that they didn't in her neck of the woods.  So I went to town making her a package and sending it off.  Here's what it looked like:

Barbara's joy at receiving it is one of my happiest bloggy memories.
Barbara and I gushed to each other in emails about wanting to become Button Floozies authors, and then shortly after we got to know each other a few spots opened up!  So, we began our time at this blog together; here is her first Button Floozies post.
photo by Barbara, courtesy of her blog Vintage Bunty
We exchanged gift surprises over the years; here is what she sent me one of those times.
I've always cherished it; so much more, though, now.
She began a battle with ovarian cancer 21 months ago, and it was to that heinous disease that we lost her.
I realize now that I never saw a photo of Barbara "in real life" -- she was modest that way.  But I have a picture of her that comes to mind when I think of her.  It looks something like this...
I'll miss her.  When I think of her now, I will see her whipping up something beautiful from moonbeams and the silver linings of clouds, all dotted with choice, carved mother of pearl buttons.  Farewell, dear Barbara!

Friday, February 8, 2013

My button collection, part 1

Someday I want to have one of these to use for button storage:
Until the time that I (a) find one and (b) can afford it, I will have to make do with this:
It's a jewelry cabinet I bought at an antique store last month; it's vintage, certainly not antique.  I can't wait to change out the hardware, which I think is horribly ugly!
I have just finished filling it with some of my favorite buttons -- the ones I'd like to keep, vs. the supply I keep in jars to use in my crafts.  Here's part of it:
In the top section, I keep the faux jewel and paste plastic buttons in an old watch box;
in the compartment on the right, my most bling-y buttons, and then some that aren't so blingy but are still my favorites.
This divided box holds my glass buttons;
besides these, I have a couple of large "trays" full of different colored and black glass buttons that I mounted for display.
I have a lot more glass buttons than I thought I did -- sorting through these was an eye-opening experience!
Just a few fun Bakelite and other vintage plastic buttons in this drawer (above).
Large wafers, and other, mostly-celluloid buttons
On the bottom left, some fancy buttons; on the right, woven and very old fabric buttons, including black velvet and some that might even be made from woven hair
This drawer has a variety of plastic and celluloid buttons, including some of my favorite "tight tops" on the bottom, and some composition buttons in those top sections.
Some of the buttons on the bottom right are called "extruded" for their pasta-like shapes;
there are also buttons made from mah jong game pieces, and some that are just really interesting plastic shapes.
And then there is this unsorted drawer full of metal buttons.
I need to whittle this portion of the collection down...but, how?
In an earlier post, I showed you some of my mother of pearl buttons that I keep in a separate, vintage jewelry box:
Next time, I'll photograph some of my button "trays" and vintage, carded buttons!
So, stay tuned for part 2!
Floozies, I'd love to see YOUR collection;
please do share!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lucky Di!

Di is the winner of Gerry's generous prize -- the beautiful hand painted button!
Congratulations, Di!  And thanks to everyone who played along!
But especially, thank you to Gerry for giving us all something to dream about for Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Last day to enter giveaway!

February 6 is the last day to enter the Valentine Button giveaway!  (See below for details!)
I wasn't clear in the original post, but you may enter once between now and 11:59 pm MST on February 6, 2013 by leaving a comment there.
Winner will be announced on February 7!
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