A weekend crop of garage sale signs caught my eye. One was close to home so took the bait. I circled around and around the tables until my inner magpie spied a small basket of buttons. I have a thing for buttons and like to pick up a few interesting ones when I find them. I use them in my creations or just keep them to look at. I think my fascination goes back to the jars and tins of buttons my mum used to have when I was growing up. My mum is a waste not want not homemaker and when our clothes were ready for the rag bag their final gesture was offering their buttons for the jar. I remember gleefully dumping and sorting them. These were the play things for a pre-technology generation.
One of my favourite button finds was during a holiday in Nova Scotia. A yard sale right on the side of the highway brought my husband and I to a screeching halt. Actually, the screeching started when I yelled stop, stOP,STOP! I had never seen home made button cards before yet they seemed such an obvious progression to sorting through the button jar. These particular buttons weren’t extravagant and the cards themselves rather primitive, but I found them oh so charming and could just picture someone extracting these little collections from a stock pile of saved buttons.
When I described these cards to the woman hosting the garage sale it triggered a dash into her home to bring out some of her button cards to show me. She was clearly a very serious collector and her cards were stunning. They were full of large, highly detailed antique buttons; the likes of which I have never seen before. By conversation’s end she had generously extended an invitation for me to come back to her home for a proper show and tell and to join her sometime when she attends a gathering of local button enthusiasts. Who knew a delightful portal into the world of international button collecting lived right in my neighborhood. The thrill of a garage sale treasure hunt is the unexpected find and in this case the gold had nothing to do with the wares. Of course,I did pick up a few buttons from the basket, how could I resist.
Here’s a few buttons from my collection.
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