Whatever might this be?
When we emptied my MIL's condo after she died, I inherited two sewing machines, a very large tiered sewing box on four legs, and several boxes of notions. This is one, that has been occupying a spot on my laundry/craft room table since about 2003, caught my attention last night. The usable space on the table had been shrinking until it was virtually nonexistant, and I decided to eliminate some clutter. Little did I realize the riches lurking in the bottom of this box.
After removing the upper clutter from the box, the wonders were revealed.
I should perhaps give you some background here.
When I was a kid, one of favorite non-toys to play with was my mother's button box, an old Whitman sampler candy box filled with spare and leftover buttons. I would sort them by color, by shape, by the number of holes, by whether they had a shank or not, etc., etc., etc. It was a pastime perfectly suited for anyone with anal tendencies. Like me. My husband and I still joke about it; anything that requires sorting or organizing is referred to affectionately as a button box.
The years passed, who knows what happened to Mom's box, and eventually I acquired my own:
Note the nifty compartments, the organization by color and size. Still anal after all these years, yup.
So you can imagine my delight at discovering the treasure I had inherited all unknowing from my MIL. After digging my fingers through the buttons, savoring their cool touch and the soft clinking sounds they made, I began to sort.
There were big buttons,
bottons of wood and buttons covered with leather,
metal buttons that insisted on lining themselves up in military ranks,
even real mother-of-pearl buttons.
There were red ones (cat inserted for, er, scale),
a surprising number of green ones,
relatively few blue ones,
and quite a few in a funny brownish purple.
There were some oddities.
Those lime green ones make me think of a graphic of a scowl -- all those black lines converging on the center.
I can only wonder why she saved these. Did she think she would someday have another dress of this fabric that would need buttons?
I found adjuster bits from 1950s era bras, snaps of all sizes and colors, button blanks waiting to be covered in fabric to match a hand-sewn dress, a few other assorted fabric-covered buttons not interesting enough to photograph, some sparkly ones, and these:
Once again, I ask, Why? What for? Especially the brown one that is split -- what on earth would you use that for, huh? (Probably one of you will tell me. TIA.)
For lovers of natural fibers, I present Exhibit A found lurking in the box.
I will leave you with my favorite photo, of an assortment of used-to-be-white buttons, any of which would have looked right at home on summer housedress in 1947.