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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Button Love

Got to love the theme of buttons
Almost every crafter will have a few buttons in our stash to use as a decorative element on our projects.  Did you ever think about the history of buttons?  Recently I read a book titled Button(ware) by Amy Barickman that gave me a whole new attitude to buttons.  The pages of her book are packed with colourful inspiring projects using buttons in all kinds of new ways.
In our house the button jar was like a little treasure box for my mother who's childhood was rationed through WWII and grandmothers of the depression era. Those were times when their stash of buttons were salvaged and recycled many times.  The City of London is also home to Pearly kings and queens that decorated their outfits with pearl buttons. Mum was very fond of their local Pearly and many of her childhood stories included funny games they would play or how they lead the community to care for reach other.

Reading Amy's button book I was blown away to learn buttons have been around since the beginning of time but mostly as a decoration or embellishment. It was not until the 13th century Europeans invented the buttonhole as a way of securing clothing. wow, cavemen invented the wheel but it took centuries to figure out how to make a buttonhole work?
Vintage buttons are sometime little works of art that use high end materials including gold and silver set with jewels and highly collectable. In Europe they call collective of craftsmen and artists a Guild and there was even a special guild for buttonmakers. The industrial revolution brought early versions of plastics and many more options for affordable buttons for everyone.

Now our local haberdashery stores are stocked with all kinds of beautiful buttons in unique shapes and colours.   Toggles for your Paddington Bear page, little airplanes or train shapes for a project with a travel theme and too many cute little flowers to choose from.

Many project challenges use colour themes and this is where I always find and excuse to add a button and paint.  With a little splash of colour little white buttons can take on a whole new life and be the perfect embellishment to finish off a challenge project.
The team here at My Creative Classroom love seeing what you are working on and invite you to share with us your button themed projects. 

You can see more of my work (usually with a button or two) here on My Creative Classroom and my Pinterest board and more recently a fun e-book that Catherine Matthews Scanlon and I have just published on Issuu.

Looking forward to seeing what you are getting up to with your button collection soon.

Mandy Collins


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