Do you have a button box? What's inside?
Until this week, mine was very austere. I like buttons, but my button box has been more about purpose than form. Its a small box filled with functional single buttons: spares from new garments; orphans from the wash; and generics for emergencies. Living separately in the fabric stash, have been a few cards of buttons destined for children's trousers and one little set of pretty Czech glass buttons that I found recently at The Button Bower. Unlike fabric and patterns, I haven't hoarded buttons. They have been purchased as needed.
So the Hoppo Bumpo button box has hardly been the stuff that buttony dreams are made of.
This week, however, I was very excited when my Mum suggested that we look through her button box and I pick out some treasures to bring home. Mum has full sets of buttons, sorted into colours and some of them are very old. Some belonged to my Nan, who was the most wonderful seamstress. I remember being allowed to play with my Nan's wooden button box when I was a little girl. As far as I was concerned, those buttons were as good as jewels.
So Mum and I sat and sorted through the buttons. Each colour grouping was deep enough to be dug out of its container using a serving spoon. Each of the buttons had a past history. It was fabulous. Now I have beautiful instant button collection, plus some vintage snaps and trim.
So what to do with these absolute beauties?
There seem to be endless possibilities. Perhaps some purpose-sewn garments to show off particular buttons.? Or maybe I could go all King Francis I (c.1520) and put them all on one outfit. Of course I don't think I own quite the 13,600 buttons that the French King is reputed to have had sewn on one royal outfit. (I'd like to have seen that button box ...)
NB. I'm most disappointed to learn that the expression Cute as a button (coincidentally also used over here today) in fact refers to quail - Button Quail. I can't say that I fancy quail in my button box - they'd really clutter things up.