Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pushing buttons

I continue recovering, although it feels painfully slow. My main occupation is still being a snot factory and I get exhausted quickly, but every day sees improvement. The goal is to be able to dance and wrestle by the weekend and if that doesn't happen, then I'll complain.

In the meanwhile I've been finding pleasure where I can. When my mother came by to bring me supplies over the weekend she brought me the greatest thing a sick person could ever wish for: a bag full of buttons. No, not that kind of buttons.

These kind of buttons.
I know! Amazing, right? There must have been over a kilogram of them. It effectively doubled my button collection. Oh... didn't I tell you about my button collection? Well you're in luck! You can just let go of the reins because those horses are gone.

Some years ago, when started seriously obsessing over crafting in 2007 or so, I realized that whenever I needed buttons for something I had to go out and buy some. And as most of you probably know, buttons are damn expensive, and it's hard to find the perfect ones. So I decided that any self-respecting crafter should have a button collection and started systematically picking up nice ones from craft wholesales, trips and thrift stores. (Of course this thinking spread and now I have pretty extensive supplies of pretty much everything). Then my mother (love you mom!) found this amazing old sewing box full of knitting needles and lace and buttons and everything sort of got out of hand.

That right side? The one that doesn't shut anymore? Yeah... that's my button drawer.
So I have been sorting the buttons little by little. I have a system you see: First I separate the ones there are two or more of and tie them together using sewing thread. If there are perfectly identical ones in different colors or sizes I sometimes tie them all together. Then I assort the rest according to color and store them in ziplock bags. It's like building a jigsaw puzzle. Especially the hundreds of nearly identical little white buttons closely resembled the sky parts of certain 1500 piece puzzles.

This is about half of the bag.
And every now and then I would run into something fabulous and go "OMG MUST BLOG ABOUT THIS BUTTON!" I would blame the fever, but let's just face it: I get really pumped up about buttons. So do you want to see the Best Of? Of course you do! Why else would you be there if not for morbid curiosity or desperate procrastination and I know that at this point, anything goes!

Item number one: Occultists have uniforms? Who knew!
If you really want to avoid doing something right now, find out what that is. Is it a khamsa, protection from the evil eye? Some freaky Danish coat of arms (it's made in Copenhagen)? What ever it is, it's pretty cool. Too bad there's just one.

A measuring tape for your convenience and amazement.
Next, tell me these aren't the most precious thing you've ever seen. They are mother of pearl and about 6mm in diameter. They are tiny and absolutely gorgeous and wouldn't seem out of place in a dollhouse. Here are some other favorites:

Glass flowers! Pretty as ice.

Tiny blue stripes!

That on the bottom right? IT'S A LITTLE HAT!



Probably some berries, but they really remind me of cells and blood vessels.
I'll admit that most of my more eccentric buttons are going to be hard to use because personally I tend to favor simple, basic forms, like these steel ones I searched high and low and paid way too much money for, on my dropkick cardi:

Autumn photoshoots: I need more of them.

Or these on my first and favorite cardigan (click for better picks on Raverly): simple but the colors slide from bright yellow to deep red (picked up from Edinburgh, actually):

Also featured: droll colors and my squid dress.
So far I have always chosen buttons for a project, but with my current selection I think I should start designing projects for buttons. These, for instance, would look very pretty on a between-seasons wool coat:

Brains or roses? You choose!
And these really want to be on a pretty gray cardigan - there can never be too many cardigans:

They have deer on them! And stars! And speaking of deer:

I haz them.
There is something about metal buttons with pretty pictures on them, I'm telling you. By the way, here's another question for you curious types: that flower button on the bottom there really, really reminds me of something but I cannot for the life of me think what. Something by Gallen-Kallela or Simberg, maybe? Perhaps it's just this, perhaps it's something else, all I know is it strikes a chord and I love it.

This was only a small glimpse, but I feel sorry for you now (the feeling is mutual, I'm sure) and shall finish on another note entirely. After all these weeks I finally blocked my Geodesic cardigan and now there are only a couple of yarn ends to weave in! Ironically, there will be no buttons on it.

That needle cushion sure is an attention whore.
Oh, by the way, look down! I added voting buttons so you can feel rewarded for your reading experience and make your mark, if you wish. Suggestions for better options are accepted in the comments!


  1. every craftspeople should have a collection of everything! :D

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  3. and i wonder if that occult button could be replicated in sand casting, it's almost too cool!

  4. I don't know anything about sand casting, but go ahead and try if you like. I'll provide the button and an interested audience :) Is that the best way to make molds though?