My grandmother, aka Granny, has always been creative. Whether she is sewing button bracelets, knitting scarves, or cooking dinner, you can bet that it will be amazing. However, for Granny, creating button bracelets are her favorite creative endeavor. I sat down with her to get a little background of her relationship with buttons, and summarized what she reported to me.
Granny began collecting buttons in 1978, but she has always admired buttons. She started collecting them after her mother passed away. Her mother left behind a Maxwell House coffee can, filled with buttons, which Granny brought back home with her. Looking through the buttons brought back many memories, as Granny could remember seeing the buttons being on her mothers dresses, and on her siblings and her own clothes. It really helped her through her grieving process.
Then, being left with only memories, Granny decided to do something with the buttons, and that is when she used the buttons to make a picture on canvas. She titled this picture “Ma’s Buttons.” Granny continued to collect buttons, but instead of putting them on cards, or closing them away, she put them on bands and made bracelets out of them. That way, she was able to see them all the time by wearing them. Granny prefers her buttons bracelets to buying a bracelet, finding the buttons prettier. I enjoy the bracelets as well. They are so different and unique with each individual button, that you are guaranteed that no one else will be wearing the same bracelet as you.
The buttons on these bracelets are not just any buttons; they are vintage buttons, some being very rare, for example, the Habitat button. The Habitat button is special because not only is it very rare, it is also usually not in the best condition, but Granny has one that is in great condition. Another button that she owns, she is sure it is 100 years old, but some may be older. The vintage buttons are Granny’s favorite because they are so well made, and made from better material than the newer buttons.
Some of the other activities that Granny enjoys are knitting and crocheting. Her mother taught her to crochet, and she taught herself to knit. From knitting she has made skirts, cardigans, sweaters, scarves, shawls, and vests. In the past she used to paint with oils and acrylics, and would also make Macramé’s. When I was younger, she would sit down with my sisters and me and teach us draw, and other things as well. I am always learning something new from Granny, and I never would have looked at buttons the same way, or appreciated them as I do now, if she had not shared them with me.
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