Monday, April 05, 2010

(Not) Button Monday

When I'm sifting through a jar of vintage buttons I often find the other items in the jar, the "not buttons", just as interesting as the buttons themselves.  Some of these old jars are like time capsules.  They're filled with buttons pulled off of someone's military uniform, cherry pits for mending gloves, bits of tailors chalk, and little trinkets and treasures of all sorts.  Today I thought I'd show you some of the "not buttons" I've saved.  Let's go on a little treasure hunt, shall we?

Glass marbles, porcelain knob.

Dog tag from 1917.

Promotional needles

This die is handcarved and unfinished.  It feels like bone.

I find a fair amount of jewelry especially unmatched earrings and pins.

Unmatched earrings.

Brooches and pins.

I think this stick pin is celluloid.

The clasp on this bracelet is lovely.

This Coolidge and Dawes promotional thimble is circa 1924 and I use it. 
It is bent just right and is the only thimble that fits me well.

I'm not sure what I'll do with these treasures.  Maybe someday I'll work them all into a piece, or perhaps I'll just keep them and soak up their history.  What would you do with them?

Un an unrelated note, my toilet paper planter tutorial was on the EcoEtsy blog yesterday.  I'd love it if you'd stop by and check it out if you get a chance.

Happy Monday!


Colleen said...

The die more than likely is bone. And it is probably made from the knuckle or ankle bone of a horse or pig. I have a friend who researches ancient games. :)

Neat collection!

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Colleen - that is so interesting! I had no idea that was a common thing. Thanks for letting me know. :D

imperfectly natural mama said...

This is such a lovely blog, I am so glad I have stumbled across it. I would be tempted to display the items in a tiny set of sheves.

Colleen said...

I just thought of something fun to make with tiny found objects. I saw something like this at a restaurant once.

I wouldn't do this with precious found things... but for those little things that you just don't know what to do with.... but are neat objects.

You could take a glass jar, like a peanut jar that is good and sturdy, and fill it mostly with rice. Add in the little found objects, a bottle cap, different colored buttons, a cuff link, a quarter, old penny, a piece of string, an earring...anything. And make a game out of it. You have to roll it around or shake it to find all the objects. You could make a list of what's in it so you know how many things are inside and make it kind of a seek and find!

I think I'll make one today and post it up on my blog later! :) Thanks for the inspiration!

Mama Llama said...

Berks Co. PA!! That's my neck of the woods! I love to wonder how that dog tag made it all the way out to you. Do you think the dog ran away? Did the family take Fluffy on a vacation and he lost his collar? Maybe a young man left PA to discover the world, and that dog tag was a happy reminder of his best friend back home that he carried in his pocket. My imagination soars with the possibilities.

When my Grandma was a teenager, she and her sisters worked in a dairy in WNY. Almost 50 years later I was prowling a flea market in Vancouver and found an old, glass milk bottle from the dairy. I surprised my Grandma with it, and we spent hours making up stories about how that milk bottle traveled so far.

Marchi Wierson said...

I could lose hours making my way through all those items, organizing them into groups, then putting them back together into one container. It makes no sense I know.

Sonia / COZY MEMORIES said...

so many little & big treasures, and each with a bit of history ! You could reuse bits of unmatched earings as magnets ... or could have the most interesting pieces (the ones you really prefer) displayed in a shadow box/frame with a glass. Like in a museum. Maybe with tiny vintage tags & name written with a fountain pen. OK, I'm digressing. Your collections are always so thrilling.
oxoxox thanks for sharing !

Scrapiana said...

Poignant. Maybe you should make a vast shadow box (e.g. an old printer's tray fronted with glass/perspex) entitled 'After the Buttons' or 'In here just for now...'

Kim van Waardenburg said...

I always love the button jars!! lovely treasuries you found!!

Margie Oomen said...

i think i love these little bits the most and I think they could be the source of great inspiration.

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Colleen - we have a toy like that, and it's so fun! One filled with these odd treasures would be really wonderful.

Mama Llama - I love the stories (made up or real) behind these pieces. One has to wonder...

Marchi - If you like sorting, I have a whole rubbermaid tote of buttons that could keep you busy...

Sonia - I like the idea of little tags. I'd have to make up names and uses for half of this stuff though because I have no idea what some of this stuff is! :D

Scrapiana - oooh...a printers tray...I have one of those in the wheels are turning.

Kim - thank you!

Margie - there are more... polished rocks, shells, auction tokens... very inspiring indeed.

mayaluna said...

What a beautiful celebration of forgotten bits, Lisa! I'll be linking in my Enjoy!

Brittany | the Home Ground said...

You have made me really want to go out and buy jars of buttons, just for the "not buttons"! You always find the best stuff :) Still figuring out what I'll do with my new fancy buttons...


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