Monday, September 2, 2013

Thank God for Spitfires and their Buttons!

Happy Labor Day, all!

Hope your L Day weekend is going swimmingly! The fam and I spent most of the weekend at our little log cabin in the Catskills, playing cutthroat Monopoly, taking walks, and splashing around in the neighborhood waterfall. The hubby and I also got to enjoy some much-needed cocktail time on the porch. Good stuff.

You know what else was fantastic about our mini vaca in the 'Skills? That's what the cool kids call the Catskills (actually, no one calls them that). An unexpected but totally awesome score for one of my jewelry-related obsessions: vintage buttons!

On our way up to the cabin on Friday afternoon, we passed a sign that said "Red Barn Yard Sale and Antiques". Mind you, we'd passed this sign dozens of times over the years on the way to the cabin, and we always said, "We need to make that right turn and check that out some time." And at the end of every weekend at the cabin, we'd always forget to check it out. This time, we decided to make the right turn before we headed to the cabin. We turned off Route 17B and drove about 2 or 3 miles down a road with rolling hills and farmland on either side, keeping an eye out for the red barn. We finally saw it, and pulled into the driveway.
Out of a house off the barn came this wiry old lady who had to be at least 85 years old. The stuff she had for sale ranged from old toilets (I kid you not!) to old books, furniture and clothing. She was about to close up for the day. I asked her if she had buttons for sale. "Yeah, I got lotsa buttons. Come back tamorrah and I'll get 'em down for you." "Great, I'll come by around 11am," I said. Now, I figured I'd at least be able to get a few buttons out of her stash to make a necklace or two, maybe a couple of key chains for the collection. So, Saturday morning, I left the hubs and the kiddos after breakfast and headed out to spend what I thought would be about half an hour going through this lady's tin of buttons.

When I arrived, she came out and told me she'd bring the buttons down after she helped some customers. I wandered around the barn, checking out all the piles of old yard sale stuff that people brought to this lady to sell. Then I went into the house and perused the old novels and bric-a-brac. A few minutes later, she came waddling in with six tins filled to the brims with buttons. She put them down on a table, pulled out a chair for me and said, "Here they are. Every piece of clothing I ever threw out or donated, I cut off the buttons first. You never know when you're gonna need buttons! Have fun." It was Christmas come early, people!

Each tin had to weigh about 4 or 5 pounds. So much for spending half an hour!
 I had to be methodical. I had to take heaping handfuls, one at a time, and spread them out on the table. Then I pulled from each handful any buttons I thought were pretty, then sorted my picks by color. As I got lost in my task, the old lady haggled with potential customers, sold sodas to locals who wandered in to chat and discussed what to do with the stray kittens she'd taken in to her friend the animal rescuer. Quite a cast of characters flowed in and out of the place, glancing over at me hunched over the piles of buttons, chuckling at my "patience". They had no idea I was in a kind of heaven!  

Two hours later...BOOM!
 Look at those lovely, lovely buttons. I know, some of you are like, "They're buttons. Big woop." But for those of you who have the sickness, you know how exciting it is to look at this rainbow mountain of beauties and start imagining all the awesome creations you'll make with them. So glad that sassy spitfire saved those buttons! I'll post pics of the goods as they materialize. Can't wait to start working!

1 comment:

  1. I, too, have the "sickness," and I probably would have bought them all! That's an amazing find!