Way back in the mists of time when I called myself a knitter only and not a beader, I collected buttons. Much as I think that the right clasp for a necklace can make or break a design, I have always felt that the right buttons make or break a piece of knitting. I don't care how beautiful the knitting, or how beautifully finished a piece of knitting is - if it has the wrong buttons, it won't look good. As a knitter, I always bought buttons in certain quantities - the number I would need for a cardigan (of my preferred length) plus one extra, in case I ever lost one from my garment.
I have a fabulous button collection - I won't even attempt to deny it - and each button has it's own provenance. The photo ab0ve represents just a portion of my hoard, and I pretty much remember where I purchased each set. The very first year I attended Bead & Button, I bought buttons only - the collection in the bottom right hand of the photo is from that trip. They are all carved from Baltic amber. The ceramic celadon ones in the lower left hand corner I actually made myself, back in the days I took classes at a local pottery studio. The owner was reluctant to allot me kiln space for buttons, but he let me fire them on top of one of my unglazed plates. The horn and shell buttons in the center I purchased from one of the large London department stores during a trip to England with my mother. This was a very important trip for me not for what happened during the trip, but more for that fact that my then-boyfriend discovered that he missed having me around, and I think decided at that point that maybe getting married would be okay after all (H. will probably deny this, but a woman knows - wink).
Even after I started beading, and even though I love using buttons as closures on jewelry as well, my button stash was sacrosant, as I never wanted to break up a set and not be able to use it on a nice piece of knitting (and let's face it, I protect my hoard of stuff better than any dragon). But, well, last night, I was putting together a design, and, as is often the case for me, I couldn't find just the right clasp. I debated, I hemmed, I hawed, but ultimately I broke into the button box and - sure enough - the perfect button for the piece was lying right on top. And it does, in fact, look beautiful on the necklace. Sometimes you just have to let go, right?
So, again, this is just a suggestion to you (and a reminder to me), when looking for the best closure for a design, try unexpected places - you might be pleasantly surprised by the results. And button-hunting is so satisfying in itself - from rummage sales to fabric and notions stores, bead stores, knitting stores, all the way up to gorgeous art buttons and the high end button emporiums like Tender Buttons (in New York - there used to be one in Chicago, too, on the Gold Coast, but I'm not sure it's still there) - there's always a beautiful button to be found somewhere!
I am an intellectual property lawyer by training and have a background in English Renaissance literature. I love science fiction. I primarily watch Sesame Street these days and find myself humming "Pop Goes the Weasel" at odd moments (guess why). I can happily eat ice cream in the middle of winter when the wind chill is 20 below 0. I have been making beads and designing jewelry since 2007.
2010 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Other Finished Bead Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2010 - Grand Prize, Gold Medal Winner, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest
2010 - Finalist, Bead Star, Stones, Plastics and Designs with Heart Categories
2009 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay
2009 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Beyond Glass, Handmade Beads and Components
2009 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Arts Awards, Necklace
2009 - Finalist, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist, Bead Star, Pearls
A quick note
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A word about copyright
As indicated in the copyright notice, the contents of this blog are copyright by me. To the extent that instructions to make jewelry, beads, knit items or other instructions are included in this blog, they are free for you to use to make the projects for personal use. They should not be used for commercial purposes, ie, to make items for resale.