About Me

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I am a neo-Victorian Steampunk Goth. I am a professional seamstress working in Las Vegas at "Le Reve," and an avid knitter. My friend and I have recently launched a podcast about Las Vegas, Knitting, and our educational experiences with both. My Ravelry username is RedQueen. Come friend me!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Buttons, Buttons everywhere

I'm going to share a neat secret with you. Ready? Shh, don't tell anyone else, we don't want everybody else to know! :) OK: If you go to estate sales, you can get some really great buttons. What? You don't know what an estate sale is? Here: when you go to a "yard sale", "garage sale" or "boot sale", or even a "swap meet" or "flea market", you're shopping through things that people don't want anymore, or have made to sell. An estate sale is usually held when the owner of a house has died, and their family is getting rid of all the things the deceased acquired over a lifetime. That is to say, all the things that the deceased KEPT because they valued them. The good stuff. And since it's generally family members or a third party conducting the sale, they price things low to get rid of the detritus of a life so that they can sell the house and move on. So don't feel bad: you're helping them move on by taking things away. Which leads to buttons. Back in the day (think pre-1980s), people used to save things like buttons when a shirt or coat wore out. Now, we just chuck the whole thing in the trash. Dumb. So old folks tend to have jars of buttons saved. And who wants buttons? Most estate sales will let you take a jar of buttons away for a couple of dollars. Someone gave me these:

Now, as you can see from this picture, most of these are going to be those boring little white dress-shirt buttons. Which are nice to have around, but let's face it: unless you're a tailor, you're never going to need that many of them.

So let's see what we got. Jar 1, on the far left:

Yup. Junk. Oh, but wait.... What's this?

Those are pretty neat. And what've we got in jar #3 (far right)?

Now that's a good pile: looks like some fruit-shaped whimsy buttons, a whole whacking bunch of military (probably off a coat), which are always good for Steampunk accouterments. A neat horseshoe detail, some swirly ones.... Cool.

And then here's a picture of the center jar (which I've sorted previously, and only has stuff I like):

Mostly shiny. :)

So, what the heck am I going to do with all these buttons?


are going to become stitch markers. As you can see, the last time I dumped them out, I accidentally scooped up one of my markers with the buttons. Yay! Free stitch marker! Others will be eyes for stuffed toys. Still others will actually return to use as button closures for garments. So check out estate sales. And remember, don't tell anyone else! We don't want them to get the buttons before us! :)

PS -- here's an artsy photo of my needle jar. I no longer use straight needles, but I like the look, so I put them in my button jar. :)

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