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Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Getting a tin of buttons is always like a treasure hunt to me, and even more so when they arrive in a tin that looks like this one. As I unpacked it and open up the tin I realized I follow a little ritual every single time. First I open up the tin and poke through it picking up this button and that button and getting an idea for what is inside.
Next, I pour them all out into a shallow tray. The size depends on the amount of buttons and sometimes it is a cookie pan or even a lasagna pan. Just something shallow where I can comfortably dig and they don't roll away from me.
I bring out several highball glasses, one for MOP, one for glass and one for the "special" plastics I know I want to add to my collection. I also get out a colander for what I think of as "ordinary" plastic buttons. I'm sure special and ordinary mean completely different things to different button lovers!
As I sort I have a seam ripper nearby to remove threads and I pick out the trash, pins, broken buttons and sometimes non-button treasures. Sorting an authentic button tin can be dirty business, especially one with this may old shoe buttons! In fact, I don't think I have ever gotten a button box with so many shoe buttons and leather buttons. You just never know what you will find and it isn't done until you have picked up every.single.thing. and looked at both sides.
I place two denture tablets in the bottom of each glass. It works magic on buttons! I add hot water and let them sit an hour or two then rinse in a wire sieve. The colander gets set down in a dishpan of soapy water and swished. I never submerge wood, two-piece metal, leather or tight-tops. They generally get a wipe with a damp towel or sometimes a damp toothbrush if they are really dirty.
Once everything is washed and rinsed I let it dry overnight and then start sorting again to match up sets and string them together. Next post I will show you the "treasures" I found!
Do any of your collections involve rituals?