Many is the hour that I have happliy wiled away browsing through the baskets and boxes that line the back wall of my favourite local charity shop, for the back wall doubles as an impromptu haberdashery. Picture me if you will, balanced unsteadily with one leg either side of an overflowing bag of second hand bed-linen contentedly stirring the contents of the newly-arrived button bowl.
I try to put out of my mind how sad I feel that the shop has felt the need to add a sign that reads ‘Please don’t steal these buttons, it’s all money for the hospice’. How can anyone resent their 5 pence a button asking price and choose instead to steal these time capsules? For each of these sometimes very grubby little objects tells a story, from its colour and form to the number of compadres that have survived.
There was this party of two. Made of glass and pressed into the shape of, is that a waterlily?
I come back with a palm-full that I gently clean. For many it is necessary to use my nail to ease away a greasy, sticky film that smells of woodbines. One of the past owners was most certainly a heavy smoker. Here they all are drying in the sun:
I almost immediately find a need for one of these new buttons, for I have fallen foul of Landmark Number 2 – Irreparable damage to a painstakingly produced object. In trimming the corner of a top that I am making for the Sporty Summer Sewathon I cut through a very visible section of, nope not the lining, but the main fabric.
Do you see? Right by the lower neckline, near to the seam with the shoulder strap and the front. Arrgghh! It will drive me mad to look at this so I am going to cover it with? I don’t know yet, here are some choices:
1) One of the buttons from my latest visit to the impromptu haberdashery.
2) Some clip on earrings that could double as dress clips:
3) A pair of small plastic flower-shaped buttons:
4) A solitary elephant:
5) A white dog with a dodgy eye patch:
6) One or two of a pair of brown dogs: