Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sorting buttons

Thank you for all of your notes yesterday. It definitely cheered me up to hear that some of you have had contractors PEEING off your roof (so gross, but also so funny) and to know that many of you have found yourselves sitting in the same place I currently find myself.

I spent this morning starting to pack away my pottery so I can make room for Halloween stuff. It feels weird to actually "pack" it up and not just put it in a rubbermaid bin for awhile, knowing that the next time I see it we won't be in our little house here anymore.

But life goes on and my little boy wants to put a sign on our front door that reads "Halloween Headquarters", so I figure I had better get to gettin' on the Halloween front. (He's cute, isn't he? LOL)

He and Daddy spent Saturday morning working on the golf holes for his rapidly approaching number five burfday (mini golf in the yard this year), so I went yard saling by myself.

The pickings were slim. I was standing at the last sale when I saw a woman carrying around two strawberry containers full of buttons. I overheard the conversation, which went something like this:

"I have all these buttons and I don't know what to do with them. My girlfriend said someone would buy them."
"Yea, I think someone will."
(Insert me waiting patiently for her to drop the buttons already!)

As soon as they were on the table they were mine, all mine!

So, what did my $2 buy me?
A LOT of really, really, really filthy stinky buttons. Even Dave commented on the stench*.
See anything good in there?
This is only part of the trash I took out of them. Corks, popcorn, needles and needles and needles galore. (If you buy a big container of buttons do be careful. There are ALWAYS rusty pins and needles in there.)
This is my keep pile.
Just some of the extras that were in there. Somehow I think the "extra" stuff in button collections is more interesting than the buttons themselves. The skeleton keys are cool. Belt buckles are useful. Inside the red belt buckle is a tiny thing (no clue what it is?) that has a real opal on it. There were also some other small clip type things that are 14K gold. (And have been added to my scrap gold box to be sold.)
There were thimbles galore. An advertising thimble, an aluminum thimble, two old plastic thimbles, AND, drum roll please, a solid sterling silver thimble. (The darker one near the bottom. I haven't cleaned it yet, but it has a gorgeous design on it.)
TONS and TONS of mother of pearl buttons. And other white buttons, including old bone underwear buttons.
These are also mother of pearl, and my are they gorgeous.
These might be my favorite. Sorry the photo is not great. They have little bluebirds on them. Pity one is discolored.
I also have a weak spot for glass buttons. If you look closely you can see a clock face in there.
I managed to dig out a mega tiny pair of mother of pearl dice.
And just a few of the more interesting colored ones.

Now why didn't I take a photo of my button jar for you? Silly me. It is completely full now!

Not too shabby for $2, eh? (Sterling silver, 14K and opals more than cover the cost of the buttons.)

*Old plastic buttons can degrade. They become discolored and look crazed like old pottery. They also get brittle. Some of the older plastics really really smell bad when buttons are "diseased." (DO NOT confuse that smell with the smell of bakelite.) If you have buttons like that you should throw them away and not keep them with your button collection. I have heard it can spread to the other buttons. Googling isn't much help, but they ladies who told me that know their stuff, so I believe it. :-)


  1. What an awesome score! Thanks for sharing all the detailed pics - they were fun to look at! I love those little bluebird buttons too. :)

  2. Awesome button haul!

  3. Who would have thunk that buttons can be "diseased" and spread it to others....Wow...the things I learn on blogs! Great, great haul of buttons!

  4. HUGE score. I always find the buttons on cards and not many like this with a ton of variety.

  5. What a great find! I love those keys!

    I hope the stuff with the house is going better! That sounds tough...

  6. Oh, Drool. :) I had never heard of underwear buttons so I Googled and I have some of those! I never would have guessed, so thanks for the education!

  7. I LOVE buttons,especially old and big buttons. I use them on my fabric flowers. So if you have some your wanting to sale,yell at me.
    $2!!! WOW if I could get that lucky.


  8. Would it be wrong to offer to trade one of my children for one of those bluebird buttons? OK, both of my children for one of those bluebird buttons? They're old enough to babysit, and strong enough to move furniture ... OK, I guess it is wrong. But those are lovely buttons, and a great haul. And yes, there's nothing like that smelly button smell. Yuck.

  9. I'd have been most excited to get that conglomerate of itty bitty treasures. I'm jealous. Going through a bag or box of buttons is so much fun! You did great!

  10. I love sorting buttons, very therapeutic and a little like treasure hunting, but in my pj's!
    Great find!

  11. Wow! You really scored today... loved the pics. I am amazed at all of the non button treasures that came with your buttons.

  12. Holy Cow! How fun to find that sterling thimble lurking in there! Take good care of it!!!

  13. Jackpot! I think they keys are great! I NEVER find buttons either!

  14. You got buttons then ;-)

  15. I have been looking for button jars FOREVER! They are so over priced here. Or you don't see them. I never knew they could get a disease. Now if I ever find any I will know what to do

  16. Fabulous!! I do love buttons :) I never find interesting crap in with the buttons I buy - just loose bits of thread and random bits of plastic normally!

  17. I scored some fabulous old buttons a while ago and some of the ones I wasn't crazy about we glued to thumb tacks and use on our cork board. We made some little flowers, , stacked a few...everyone that sees them goes crzy for them!

  18. drooling some more. seriously, we need to swap some things. i have one of those lavendar feedsacks set aside for you :-)

    my son is totally into halloween too.

  19. what a great catch. i have a bar that needs a skeleton key just like the one on the left. i suppose i need to hit up some thrift shops.

  20. WOW!! You hit the jackpot with that button buy! You have some "ab*fab" collectible ones there...Wow, again! *elaine*


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