Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Moments of Weakness!

To know is nothing at all;
 To imagine is everything.  
           Anatole France

$5.00 Sold! I put my hand back down, the hand I was trying so hard to hold tight to my side. I told myself I was just going to look around at this auction. I was not going to buy anything at this auction of things that get me very excited. You see, this is an auction for a woman who has the same weakness as I.
 I must tell you I am a sewing notion collector; I collect vintage thimbles, scissors, sewing baskets, vintage material, and buttons. I am not exactly sure what the other thing beside my thimble is, but it sure is pretty. I am almost positive it is a bobbin holder for an old sewing machine. I will research that later. I am sad to say I collect sewing machines too. That is another story. I can only imagine the stories this thimble could tell. I do not regret buying this thimble. It has incredible detail, it is so pretty and the real bonus, it is sterling silver.

My true weakness is buttons, I hold my hand at my side watching the auctioneer hold up a jar of buttons, I tell myself I have too many, and do not need anymore. I stay strong and it sells for $6.00 darn that was cheap. I own (I am not exaggerating), thousands of buttons. They come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and materials. I have been collecting them since I was a kid. It may be because of the name but I think it is truly because of the stories.

I can pick up an old green button and actually visualize the dress it had been sewn on. A little girl, picking buttons from a tin her mother kept in her sewing basket. They were to be sewn on a dress that her older sister had worn; it was now cut down and remade. She was to pick her favourite buttons to make the dress special, to make it her own. Those buttons had been passed down; outliving the garment they had been on.
A thin worn bone button can take me to a farmers shirt; a shirt that had seen many, many days of sweat and dirt. Eventually, the material worn beyond repair, his wife had cut off the buttons and placed them in an old tobacco tin, to be used another day. Or in this case, for a young girl to buy this tin at an auction, take it home, sort the buttons and use her imagination to take her to places others have never been.

I remember stringing buttons on a string as a child with my Grandmother, and also my Mother. I would always choose them so carefully. I loved the way they felt in my hand. I remember sitting for hours doing this. I was not an easily amused child, but this always worked.
My Grandmother would fill my head with stories of where this button, or that button came from and what it was used for.  My imagination seemed to develop from this. Buttons have always had this effect on me. I am so happy some things never seem to change. Keep your hand down Buttons.

After doing some research I have found out that the very cool item to the right of my thimble is a Tatting shuttle. They sell on EBay as vintage(1923) for $2.50.



  1. I share your love of buttons although I do not have as many as you do.

    My grandma was a tatter. How I wish I had learned the craft from her. The thimble is really beautiful!

  2. Sounds like we have the same addictions. I would have loved this auction. I think you would enjoy the Winter Woolen Workshop we are preparing for here in Kokomo, IN. I'll be doing a post on it this week. Two historic mansions FULL of women with addictions like ours. Fun!

    Cindy Bee

  3. It's a tatting shuttle next to your new thimble.

  4. AH yes Buttons! When I was very little my Mom worked at a button factory when I was living with my Grandmother and when she would come "home" she would bring jars of button "rejects" and I would have fun sorting and stringing them for hours on end.

  5. Well girl ...you just gave me a memory flashback of helping my Granny string "like" buttons...
    ~~peace & love & joy & blessings~~

  6. I love sewing notions too. I love going into fabric shops and seeing the drawers full of buttons and all the threads lined up in beautiful colours.
    I love your blog today - very interesting.

  7. I'm have some of the same urges. Sewing notions and office supplies... A strange combination, but that's it.


  8. That is a tatting shuttle. I collect them and was overjoyed when I found my mothers's old bone shuttle, that I learned to tat with, when we were cleaning out her house

  9. I just love jars of buttons too! What an appropriate name for you! :)

  10. Ah....how I adore treasure........

    I do wish I had been able to learn how to tat.
    I tried.....by myslef.....it confuses me. But the work produced is so amazing.........

    LOVE your buttons! I have button tins EVERYWHERE! :)

  11. Ok, now I'm curious...what is tatting?

  12. ah, yes. my sister used to tat. very cool.

    love that you love buttons! such a simple, deep-felt pleasure!

  13. hey.... hence your handle, ...Buttons? ....

  14. Not only a wise choice but a great deal. Yes, too bad you can hear the stories those beauties could tell. I agree with Becky that the other looks like a tatting shuttle--a wonderful lost art. I have a handkerchief edged with tatted lace that I treasure.

    Now we know one of the reasons you are called "Buttons."

  15. Lovely thimble. My first job at 15 was in the notions department of a downtown store. My Grandmother headed up the notions so I worked with her for 6 years thru school until i got married. She would have these big boards full of buttons. She would look at them and choose which ones to order. We sold thimbles and thread and patterns and embroidery stuff and pins and needles. I really got into all that and learned to make cool stuff. Still love my button collection of course. Good times. Thanks for the memory jog.

  16. The name, the collection, your love of buttons...it's all beautiful.

    One of my granddaughters has collected buttons from the age of three. Sweet!

    My son The Geek gathered his grandmothers button can. She used to put 'em on a string and entertain him for hours too.

    You have a brightly blessed day sweetie and enjoy your notions!!!

  17. I'm right there with you I have my grandmothers old pedal sewing machine. I told my boys they were never allowed to get rid of it. To save it for their daughter if they ever have any children haha

  18. And so I'm guessing this is why we call you Buttons?

    Love the thimble. My mother recently gave me a sterling silver thimble with owls ringing the bottom. Yes, owls...

    I fully understand your fascination with vintage sewing notions, and buttons. I suffer from the same malady. :)

    Blessings, Debbie

  19. Buttons... now I understand! I was going to tell you that was a tatting shuttle before I got to the end of your post and discovered that you'd found out what it was... I love old sewing notions too.

  20. I have a ton of sewing notions too and I especially love old thimbles. Cool post, Buttons!

  21. I have in my shed a bucket full of old buttons, I have absolutely no idea where I got them from, but they are a nice thing to have. I shall look at them differently after reading this lovely post. Every button has to have a story.

  22. OMGOSH. you and I should never ever meet. I am a fabricoholic. I buy fabric even if i dont have a purpose for it because the price is right and its gorgeous. I have my grandmoms, moms and my own sewing machine. I have my buttons color coded in 7 different canning jars because its fun to look at them when you are stuck in bed...its an illness i tell you and i lusted after your good deal you got at the auction!!! yay BUTTONS!!!! ;p


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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