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historic buttons

As shown by Jan's post on Facebook, buttons and button tins evoke lots of memories for many people. As in this case, the memories of childhoods spent rummaging in grandmother's or mother's old button tins. Even though I had no memories of the buttons I found in my grandma's tin I still enjoyed looking at them and sorting them and spent many a wet afternoon doing just that.

The only one I really remember was a tiny enamelled one with a dainty blue flower on it which she told me was from her wedding dress. Grandma was born in 1880 and married in 1903. She moved away to live with her son in London in the late 1960s and I don't know what happened to her buttons. I suppose they were thrown away.

My button tin is a repository for a lot more than buttons though. So more memories every time I go to look for a button.

A set of scout badges and woggles (all my boys were in the scouts or cubs or both and my daughter was a brownie and a guide, she must have her own badges somewhere)

A 21st Key and a 21st Badge

A 21st Key and a 21st Badge

A 21st key off one of my 21st cards in 1967, I was engaged on my 21st birthday. A badge from a birthday card sent to me by the children on my 42nd birthday to mark 21 second time around.

Name labels and Silver Coloured Buttons

Name labels and Silver Coloured Buttons

Name labels that were sewn into my school uniform all those years ago, large silver coloured buttons that I had on a tartan dress I made when in my teens and a kangaroo lapel pin which was given to my dad when they joined a club for potential emigrant before going to Australia in 1967.

A teddy bear nose and eyes

A teddy bear nose and eyes. (yes, I have made bears too)

A collection of bracelets and bangles belonging to my daughter and also some cufflinks

A collection of bracelets and bangles belonging to my daughter and also some cufflinks

A Miscellany Of Objects

A Miscellany Of Objects

Small Swiss army knife, must be one of the boys, an acorn, screws, pins and hairgrip, wooden pendant made at school by one of the children, clock cog, breast cancer pin, odd earring and a pendant from our visit to space centre in Florida.
Lots of memories as you can see. Also found cuff links, strap buckles for dungarees, brooches, curtain hooks and keys for suitcases. Why do we keep all these things if not to evoke memories.

Items from 1960's

Items from 1960's

I remember buying these buckles for a skirt I made in the 1960s, covered the buckle in the same fabric as the skirt, it was orange and white flowers. Musthave bought two and never used this one. (notice the price). The buttons from Woollies are marked 12p so that must have been a long time ago.Can'tremember what I bought them for, but never used them.

I am a sewer and knitter, so over the years have built up a collection of buttons. As my children grew up I found I was doing less and less of both as they didn't want home knitted jumpers. As the grandchildren arrived I started knitting again and with the arrival of a couple of girls I am also sewing. There are some lovely buttons available now so my collection has grown and I have started to use them for other crafting. I found my collection of buttons useful when making cardigans using the random multi coloured yarn as I managed to find buttons to match each colour is the yarn and so each button on the cardigans was different.

I have found the internet a great source for unusual buttons and last year I won a draw run by an art and craft supplier on Facebook, a selection of felt, ribbons and buttons with a Christmas theme.

Christmas buttons

Christmas buttons

This prompted me to make Christmas decorations.

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations

Here you can see the Christmas puddings and trees made using the buttons.

One of my Facebook friends has recently started making handmade buttons and I have bought quite a few but not used them yet. The latest ones are little hedgehogs which I plan on using to make pictures.

Hedgehog buttons

Hedgehog buttons

Other handmade buttons

Other handmade buttons

I have just started making pictures framed with embroidery hoops and thought it would be nice to have hedgehogs in them. I have only made two so far, the bigger one is using flower buttons and the small one is made with tiny flower beads. I search in charity shops for beads and buttons and as I work in one I do get lots of them. Before old clothes are sent for recycling the woman who sorts them cuts off the buttons so there are always lots available.

Embroidery using buttons

Embroidery using buttons.

Embroidery using beads

Embroidery using beads

I recently read a book called the Button Collector by Elizabeth Jennings. It is well worth a read. I read it on my Kindle and it is still available for download for £1.99 from Amazon if anybody would like to read it.

I have seen some lovely things made with buttons but they are rather too ambitious for me to try. What I do like are bouquets made of buttons, if you search the Internet you should be able to see them. Also people use them for making jewellery, bracelets, necklaces and earrings are a few I have seen. Hope you don't think I am trying to advertise here but it is nice to share lovely things and you don't have to buy just because you look.

Meet The Author...
Sheila Khan
Who Am I?

I am mother to 3 boys and one girl all now grown up and flown the nest. I also have 3 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. I trained as a nurse in the 1960s but have been a stay at home mum since my second child was born in 1975. When I have not been looking after children I have tried many hobbies. Tried my hand at many crafts, knitting, crocheting, sewing, embroidery, patchwork and water colour painting.

I have spent the last 15 years or so tracing my family history but seem to have come to a standstill with it now. I tried writing a family history book but couldn't find the right direction and also wrote a bit of bad poetry. I love to take photographs wherever I go especially of wildlife and the countryside and also of the plants and wildlife in my very untidy wildlife garden.

I was looking forward to travelling when my husband retired but unfortunately he has not been well for the past 4 years so that just hasn't happened so now I am a stay at home wife rather then mum. Therefore I spend a lot of time at the computer either researching or social networking. I belong to a sewing group and we are making a patchwork quilt at the moment and I also work one morning a week in a charity shop and I do some volunteering in the local community woodland when I can get motivated.

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