Yesterday, right before I was about to leave my parents’ house, I realized that I had been meaning to go through my mom’s old button drawer to grab some to make a really cute bracelet. I ran down to the basement and opened the drawer, and then I realized that this was the worst time to do this because there are approximately 1,028,381 buttons in that drawer and it would take me a really long time to sort through to find the ones that I wanted. So instead, my awesome mom pulled the drawer out and said “here…take the whole drawer.” So I did.
So now I will take you back in time…
Sometimes I see cute pictures in the news about 5 generations of women, or “grandma’s hands” emails and things like that. It saddens me to think that my own future children will never be able to be a part of a 4 or 5 generations picture. In 1995, my beautiful grandmother passed away. It was not until that time that I realized just how much I would cherish this rickety Polaroid photo.
This picture was taken about a month before she left. Shortly after that, I found this picture on the refrigerator where my mom had casually written “3 Generations” on the white bottom picture…the part where you held it to “Shake it like a Polaroid picture.” Maybe it had been around before she passed away, but after she was gone, I realized just how disappointed I was that this would be the last of its kind. It’s not even a great picture, but it captures the essence of who we were together.
All of these memories bring me to the point of the button drawer. It was not until my grandmother passed away that I realized this amazing drawer existed. And while sorting through it tonight, I was brought back in time to imagine how this drawer came to exist.
My great grandmother lived in a time when it was not uncommon for women to make their own clothing and in order to have great clothing, you needed buttons. I really have no idea how these ladies came into having so many buttons. Maybe they were leftovers from things they have made, maybe someone gave them to them, but either way, I ADORE their organizational skills. If you take a look at this picture:
You will notice that each type of button has its own box. There are old Q-Tip boxes, typewriter ribbon boxes, jewelry boxes, and boxes that were used to send various objects through the mail. (one said “Feminine Products” on it…hmm…) When we were quickly looking through the boxes last night before I brought it home, we even learned that my cousin currently lives 4 houses down from where our Great Grandmother (and thus our grandmother) lived in 1940. Her children will go for walks on the same sidewalks as our grandmother did when she was younger. Amazing!
Each little button box is labeled with colors and other descriptions such as “Large White Pearl,” and “2 Hole Blouse, Shirt and Sweater.” When you open them up, they are filled with exactly what they say. Except for the “Men’s Coats and Pants.” That one has 3 different green plastic buttons in it. Oops.
I spent about an hour tonight looking through the buttons and just admiring their beauty. I found the ones that I want to use for a project tomorrow, but mostly I just looked at them.
Then I realized that I still needed a project for tonight, so I grabbed a few and made some thumb tacks. I had to cut off the back of one of the buttons to make it flat. The other one had some thread sewn through the holes, so I thought that would look neat on the tack. I know that I only made two, but I did not want to waste these amazing buttons on boring thumb tacks.
They deserve to be transformed into something way more beautiful…
Total cost: $0