Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Button it!

Last week I was contacted by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Buttons) when they saw that Lesley over at Printed Material was about to take some buttons to THE TIP. Those of us in the society know that TIP and BUTTON shouldn't be used in the same sentence. Aware there was no time to waste I contacted Lesley on a mission to save these souls and she very graciously relented. She'd found a use for the white amongst the pack but let me have the rest. I've never removed my whites so was delighted when the buttons arrived and poured both coffee and buttons. The sorting of buttons is a serious business requiring full attention. The resulting collection of buttons was a joy to sort through - the whites dilute the colour of the rest! (I'm easily pleased!)

I found lots of buttons that I could add to my various categories assisted by my trusty baking tin.

I have collections of 50s and 30s, floral, leather and mother of pearl to name a few.

Buttons on cards can be found in little corners around the house

Also jars of specific colours a particular favourite being green.

Lots of the buttons I find that have been discarded are these very simple but colourful Jasons buttons. I keep these in a jelly mould ready to run my fingers through as I walk past. Again - simple pleasures!

I like the cards the buttons are mounted on just as much with the manufacturere desperate to convince the buyer to by his buttons. Fashionable buttons. Exclusive buttons

and on this one - The EGO brand! Love it.

I spent a happy hour sorting through before going on to examine some of my other recent finds. (Funny isn't it how "Happy hour" means different things to different generations!)

I never tire of looking at old packaging and advertising - be it paper, card or tin. How can I use this binding without damaging the wrapper? I might just have to leave it as is...

Might leave the Water Closet paper package intact too!

I found a scruffy little book in the bottom of a box and was delighted to find it full of colour plates of birds. The book is falling apart with a lot of marking but well worth 20p!

The paper bag below was holding some 60s fabric and I don't think had been opened since then - a 60s dress had been cut out and is ready to stitch up. Far too small for me though! The shop disppeared over 40 years ago to become Debenhams.

Also managed to find some more of the chemist labels I found a couple of years ago.

and some wonderful Weldons Shilling Guides once all bound together (at some point but now just a heap of paper which I needed to sort into some sort of order). These guides are instructions to the hobbyist in a variety of areas. These are just some of the great illustrations...

Crinkled paper shades for your piano candles!!!

Lovely woolly (scratchy) drawers for babies!

And the knitted knee cap. How on earth have we managed without these? Let me know if you need the pattern!


  1. Just so loved all the buttons... and packaging is a great weakness of mine!
    As for the kneecaps...however have I managed all these years...its obviously what id wrong with me....weak knees!
    Thanks...great post x


  2. Another button fan here - thank goodness you were alerted and were able to provide them with a safe & secure new home :)

  3. Im a button fan too, glad you saved them :o) I really must find myself a knitted knee cap now... Scarlett x

  4. Oooohhhh I love to run my hands through buttons, great for stress!! If I can't find my tights this winter I'll have the knee cap pattern off you, lol, Lucey x

  5. I could have done with you today - I had to sew four buttons onto my son's shirt, but I didn't have any, so cut them off an old one he was chucking out! No doubt you'd have had the perfect match in your collection!

  6. one of my favourite part of mosaic work is sorting the colours too.....and now to inspire you....have you seen the button picture in lulu guinness home
    copy and paste this link

  7. So glad you managed to save those buttons. I don't know what it is about buttons my friend is the same her heart skips a beat when she sees them at the carboot sales etc they really are joyful, dee x

  8. Oh the joys of sorting buttons into their respective colours, it is just so relaxing, lucky old you. Coveting your green collection.

    I bought back some shop display cards of buttons from the US - will show you them at Olney.

  9. Buttons what would we all do without them
    I love the crinkled paper work and those drawers, poor babies.

  10. Gorgeous! I have a button 'thing' too and can never resist old buttons on a card. I had a button-ish blog post a while ago: http://thingshelenlikes.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/buttons/

  11. What a fab collection of buttons you have, I love buttons too.
    Luv Sophie xxx

  12. I have a contact in Nottingham at the button factory!! She feeds my habit for buttons but they are all modern. I have my grans buttons tins though. Your collections are truly fab. xxxxx

  13. Phew! That was a close call! I too have a button fetish! xx

  14. My name is Sandra...I too have a button fetish, and lace, and yarn and......

    Well done on the button rescue!

    Sandie xx

  15. Buttons are one of life's simple pleasures aren't they? My friend is having her first baby soon, but I don't think she'd be pleased if I knitted a pair of woollen drawers for her offspring! I think I'll stick to the cardigan and booties.

  16. The buttons went to a great home. Lesley is such a generous person! Wonderful finds in the rest of your post too - I loved the mention of shades for piano candles - found myself thinking "Well, I'll kiss my piano candles!!"........ (Then, I thought, "no, they'd singe my moustache!)

  17. Wonderful buttons that went to a good home!! Lovely additions to your collection. Must admit I have a few myself.
    Ingrid x

  18. We all have our obsessions - I was thinking 'chipping sparrow' I've never heard of one of those. A quick Google reveals it to be an American species which is why I haven't seen it in my bird books and explains why I didn't recognize the woodpecker either.
    What a wonderful collection you have, but it has to be the crinkle paper fly rest for me, those poor dears get so tired flying round the light fittings!

  19. How and where on earth did you find those chemist labels? They are fabulous, I have never come across any either here in the UK or in France.

  20. That is definitely on my 'wants' list - knitted kneecaps.
    Thank goodness the lovely buttons were saved.
    Carol xx

  21. You'll be glad of some woolly knee caps come the winter! They are the most wonderful buttons I have ever seen - you are so lucky. Hope you will pop over and join the giveaway on my blog.

    Pomona x

  22. LOVE the post - and all your lovely finds...chuckled outright at the comment about 'Happy Hour' meaning different things to different generations! SO true!

  23. Lovely buttons! I'm always tempted to buy them when I see them at car boots (especially the ones that are still attached to their delightful old packaging) but I don't really have much use for them so I have to resist!

    I'm the girl with the camera who was walking around the vintage fair today in Hatton by the way, you have a lovely blog!