Sunday, March 29, 2015

Restorative buttons

After many months of searching at thrift stores for buttons and coming up relatively empty, I had a restorative experience yesterday!  As in, it restored my faith that it was possible to find beautiful buttons in thrift stores.
I found these at the bottom of a bin at our Goodwill Outlet.  The sparkly ones were mixed in with some Christmas ornaments -- not even vintage ornaments.
 The larger stones on the outside are aurora borealis stones; the smaller ones have a pale green tinge.
Here's what the back looks like.  I think they are just beautiful!
I believe these grape cluster buttons are made from Lucite or a similar plastic with sparkles in the mix.  They definitely need to be cleaned but I have to research the best way before I attempt it.
Aren't they fun?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A nice surprise from my hometown!

I'm always surprised to see where buttons pop up.  Recently, it was on the facebook page for my hometown of Clemson, SC.

This button was from the cadet uniform for Clemson Agricultural College, which is now Clemson University.  It was found by Russ Hebert, who is also from Clemson and who found this during one of his metal detecting digs.  When I told Russ I had written a novel based on stories about discarded buttons, he explained that "believe it or not, buttons are our most sought after relic.  Buttons privde provenance and are easily (for the most part) identifiable."

You can find out more in my blog here, which includes a link to a video of the hunt!








Monday, March 9, 2015

Downton Abbey inspired button art

I am in love with the television show, Downton Abbey.  So many things about the show inspire me: the story itself, of the end of an era and a world in the throes of wartime; the characters and their strength and beauty; and of course the gorgeous surroundings of the manor house.  I recently began to design a series of paper art to celebrate the show.  Here is the first piece, which features some beautiful vintage buttons.
On a background of sunny paper with a doily motif, I glued a print of one of my favorite photos from the show of the three sisters; I framed them in a page from an antique photo album and layered other vintage papers and lace around and underneath it.  On top is a vintage cigar label, and an inked brown embossed tag tied it with yellow/gold seam binding.  At the bottom is a tiny cluster of vintage posies.
I really enjoyed choosing some buttons to decorate it; they all remind me of Downton Abbey though they are not necessarily from that era, or even English.  I sewed the three buttons on to a piece of watercolor paper I had stamped with a filigreed design:

  • The metal button on the left reminded me of Sybil -- it's small, slightly modern and has an interesting, non-traditional pattern.
  • The beautiful shell button in the middle is larger and sharply defined, just like, I think, the character Lady Mary.
  • The small clear pressed glass button on the right's transparency and plainness reminded me of Edith.
People who aren't Button Floozies might think this hilarious -- but I trust you will understand and appreciate my drawing likenesses between the beautiful little buttons and the beloved series!
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