Wednesday, 1 August 2012

what's with hoarding buttons..?

I still dream about the stresses of our recent big move, the big leap of faith we decided upon and carried out a few months ago. Sorting through every single thing we've owned, packing our lives into boxes and trying to make the NO pile bigger than the YES or the MAYBE pile.


I had a lot to sort through, being a natural born magpie, a flea-market addict always jonesing for junk. Actually, I leave the junk on the shelves - it's the treasures I take home.

I often wonder about what it is that sets junk apart from treasures. It's got to be whether the object has a meaning to me or not. Treasuredness, I reckon, is in the eye of the collector.

So lets have a quick look at what's on my look-out-for list when I go bargain hunting:
  • vintage toys and children's books
  • old buttons and sewing equipment
  • embroideries that have a certain character
  • paper ephemera of various description (what namely category do vintage Hungarian cheese labels come under?)
Plus other bits that I spot and have an instant magpie crush on.

Over the years I came across many magpie crushes and hoarded the ones that came under my 'must-have bargain' label. Yet I gave up some, actually, most of these collections on more than one occasion during a big cull. Why, you might ask?

Well, there was the broken marriage mega spring clean, then there was the recent uproot-to-move-countries downsizing operation.


I did bring some things beyond the absolutely necessary of course - beloved objects I could not let go of.

For example, I brought with me 5 kilos of vintage buttons. And that was the absolute must-keep selection! I went through it all selling and giving away dozens of kilos jar by jar, box by box...still 5 whole kilos remained that I wanted.


I'm pleased I did keep the ones I did. Yet while I see the roots of my attraction to vintage toys and kids' books, I can't really define the roots of my attachment to old buttons.

Could it be some primitive desire to have lots of small pretty things in piles that make tiny 'clink' and 'tock' sounds when you count them - are they a subconscious representation of money and wealth?

Or is it something stemming from the female psyche of our prehistoric gatherer-hoarder-stasher cave woman existence?


Looking through my pile of beloved buttons is the perfect occasion to be ruminating on that dilemma. And, starting with this little constellation of buttonsy goodness above, I'll be showing my collection off to you readers here instead of just squirrelling them all away for myself.

Is there anyone else out there who has the stashing bug? What do you reckon it is with hoarding buttons?

17 comments:

  1. these buttons are a real treasure! it really stresses me out to go through all the stuff when moving, especially cause I come from a hoarding family. :)

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    1. i hope you only need to pack things up for the new home and won't have to down-size on anything... it's hard to part with stuff. Moving is stressful anyway as you said, even if you can keep everything :)

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  2. What an eclectic mix of beautiful buttons!

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  3. Hello Anikó, thanks a lot for your lovely comments. I think the booze in the jam will make no difficulties. My "jam" was actually a desert which you eat with milk its similar to the finnish blueberry or rasberrysoup but thicker. I studied in Finnland for some month in 2006 and we also lived near a vineary which made wine from currants.

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    1. Hi Steph,
      Small world! :)
      I'll ask my boyfriend what the berry soup is like, he grew up here unlike me...i think i might have seen some in the supermarket but not sure if it was the same thing...
      I also heard that you can make wine from redcurrant - I'm not sure I'm adventurous enough to make it :) I'm really curious what you studied in Finland and where - tell me more if I'm not intruding too much :)

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  4. I love buttons. You're not the only one to have a obsession with them!

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    1. I had an inkling that I might not be alone :) Nice you visited here - you have a lovely blog by the way!

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  5. Wonderful post!
    I've always loved buttons and ever since I can remember I've had a box full of them.
    It just seems like each button is a treasure in and of its own. And I think the appeal, at least for me, is the same as with brand new notebooks: endless possibilities!

    blueeyednightowl.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Laura!

      I've been thinking about it so much now, but think I just love having jars full of buttons - i always say to myself I must do something with these, use them in a project etc, but hardly ever do. I think I just like stashing them away :)

      I look out for some buttonsy projects via your blog for sure!

      PS. Triplets de Belleville is one of my favourite films too!

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  6. I'm a button hoarder too! I even cut the buttons off my old shirts before I toss them into the rag pile. I have a giant jar just filled with all these random buttons. You never know when they might come in handy.

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    1. Sounds like me :)

      Btw, I love your flower accessories tutorials - I'm planning on a couple myslef, I've found this vintage book on making fabric flowers, so check back soon if you like.

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  7. You have a huge treasure, Anikó! I adore buttons, my love coming since I was a child and used to play with the oh-so-wonderful buttons at my Granny's.

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    1. BTW, this post is lovely :)

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    2. Thank you for your lovely comment Eli!
      I was the same as a kid, always asking for the button tin to be taken down so I could look at and play with the buttons in it.

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  8. I too love vintage buttons ... they are impossible to resist ... I become quite addicted at times ... Bee xx

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    1. i know the feeling Bee :) when i lived in london sometimes i'd travel out of town a bit, to 'unknown territory' charity shops or to carboots and hunt for boxes of buttons on the cheap. i remember the puzzled looks on charity shop lady faces when i'd ask them if they had any old buttons in the back of the shop then buy the whole lot no matter what they brought forth... finding a few pretty vintage buttons can easily escalate into a full-grown addiction. i'm still thinking what to do with my collection. i know full well that most of them will never end up on a dress :)

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