Friday, January 4, 2008


I must tell that this post is inspired by Barb --her picture and what she has to say both.
This shows my button box--or button tin as is the case. It contains buttons both from my mom and also husband's grandmother. This was Grammy's button box/tin. She wasn't much of a seamstress--didn't own a sewing machine. She could sew on a button or manage to hem a pair of pants, and that was about it for her.

The button box when I grew up was a tin box also but rectangle in was about 7 inches long, 4 inches wide, and probably 3 inches deep. As a child, sometimes my mom would have me dig through the buttons to try to find 4 or 5 that matched...she made almost everything I wore, except underwear and socks. Other times, I liked to just dig through the buttons and try to imagine what they had originally been on. (In fact, every now and then I still do this with this button box.)

Sometimes I would just go through seeing the biggest number of matches I could get. I wonder now where they all come from--I assumed as a kid that mom must have cut them off of things that wore out. And that is probably correct for the most part...but some of them were too fine to have come from anything in our life.

I guess we were really bored back then; I don't know what would ever have made me do this, cause my brother always ended up with it. I would get one of the bigger coat buttons--ones that were at least an inch wide. Then get a piece of string about 25-30 inches long--that is another little story in itself. Regular string is what is needed--similiar to crocheting thread. Put it through one hole in the button and back through another and tie the ends together....then pull the button till it is approximately in the middle. You grasp the ends of the the string and pull till the string becomes slightly tight--the button starts spinning. You just sort of let up and it will spin the other way....sort of like when you sit in a swing and twist yourself round and round and let your self go, you go back to the starting point and then twist on beyond it in the opposite way.

Now, don't that sound entertaining...NOT! But apparently it was for me. The bad thing was my brother would end up with it about half the time, and he would start the spinning and eventually hold it against my hair when he done it...causing one heck of a tangle! This is the same brother that would every now and then grab a handful of cockle burs and rub in my hair!

Another thing we would do with buttons sounds impossible...but I can guarantee you it is not. We would take a piece of cardboard or the back off a composition book. Use a nail to poke a hole in three places across one side. Use a lark's head knot to attach a string about 18 inches long to the middle hole. Then run each end through a button and tie that end to one of the side holes. Now try to get both buttons on one side...keep in mind that the holes the string runs through is much smaller than the button.

I have meant to mention string before, but don't think I have every actually gotten around to it. Due to our circumstances, my mom knew how to get full use of everything. And to this day any time I pull the string that opens a bag of dogfood--I think of my mom. Any time any bit of string came into the house like that--it was saved and wound on this ball of string. Then when my mom went to baste the backing to the quilt frame, she used this string. I don't save string--but I always feel this twinge of guilt because I don't.