Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Collecting Old Buttons and Clothes Pins

Whenever I see a photograph in a magazine that I love, it usually has items from the past that are just as relevant today as they were then.  I recently saw on a fellow blogger site, Perfectly Imperfect, where she was selling in her store a set of small clothes pins, called Memo Clips. So adorable to use to hold notes or recipes a new twist on an old idea.  A jar full of old clothespins are not only handy, but cute to have on a shelf in your laundry room or out on the back porch.  I have a jar full in my sorting shed that I use all summer long in my farming business-CSA (Community Supportive Ag).  I use clothespins to put notes in my customer's baskets; I use them to hold my cloth around the produce to keep it cool and avoid bumps to them while delivering the basket to my customer and to clip herbs together.
But my favorite items to see or find at a sale, is a jar or cookie tin full of old buttons.  Think about what this collection represents.  When times were tough as people were farming and ranching central and western America, they had to use and make due with what they had on hand.  As children clothes wore out after being passed down several times to younger children, the thin fabrics would be cut up and made into quilts and the buttons cut off to be used again on some other hand made garment or to repair a lost button.  Sometimes the jars yield other treasurers like old shoe buttons from the 1880s, pieces of jewelry or even little bits of toys, belt buckels.  When my mother died, we found several jars of old buttons, one was full of bone and abalone buttons, which I just cherish in my collection today.  It seems to most people now such a waste of time to cut buttons off clothes, easier to just toss the stained or worn out blouse in the trash.  But if you sew and need to purchase buttons, you will be surprised at how expensive 4 little buttons cost now.  I have my old buttons sorted into colors to make looking for the right ones much easier. 


Button saving is re-cycling started over 150+ years ago.



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