Friday, January 29, 2010


My grandmother used to collect buttons. I don't know why she did it or how the habit started, but my brother, cousins, and I used to get a kick out of going through her big jar of them, and I have a vivid memory of making a sock puppet with button eyes that I got to pick out of the jar all by myself.

When she passed away, us four grandkids wanted little sentimental things of hers to keep for ourselves. Someone took her binoculars, that we used to pass around watching birds out her window. Someone took her deck of cards with the statue of liberty on them, which were worn and bent at the edges from hours and hours of rummy and kings in the corner. If I tried, I could probably still close my eyes and imagine the way it felt to sit on her bed with my cousins, remember the way the cards smelled, and hear my grandma reminding all of us not to cheat. I took the jar of buttons, which found a place in the trunk I took away to college with me, and still sits there - now in my basement - to this day.

I've never really thought about doing anything with the buttons, because what would I do with a jar full of mismatched buttons anyways? Then today, with half of my department out sick and very little going on, I spent WAY too much time scrolling through the archives of Little Green Notebook - a blog that sparks inspiration and gets my creative wheels turning with nearly every image. Several pages back in the blog (but only about a month ago in real time!) I found the below images, which immediately made me think of my grandma's big jar of buttons, sitting in my basement just waiting for me to do something with them. While I don't recall there being many bright colorful ones in the collection, I'm certain I can find a good bunch to do something with. I'm picturing a funky antique frame, spray painted something bright, with some kind of textured fabric and a bunch of buttons glued to it in a grid. What a great and different little way to showcase one of my fondest childhood memories!

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