Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Rhinestones in metal buttons

My fun card of clear rhinestones/pastes in metal buttons
click on image to enlarge

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Native American Indians..BUTTONS..Happy Thanksgiving

Fun Facts about the First Thanksgiving
  • The Plymouth Pilgrims were the first to celebrate the Thanksgiving.
  • The Pilgrims sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to reach North America.
  • They sailed on the ship, which was known by the name of 'Mayflower'.
  • They celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  • The Wampanoag Indians were the people who taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land.
  • The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, had organized the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621. He invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians to the feast.
  • The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.
  • Mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, popcorn, milk, corn on the cob, and cranberries were not foods present on the first Thanksgiving's feast table.
  • Lobster, rabbit, chicken, fish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup and honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and goat cheese are thought to have made up the first Thanksgiving feast.
  • The pilgrims didn't use forks; they ate with spoons, knives, and their fingers.
  •  Click on image to enlarge
  • Saturday, November 14, 2015

    Lady Liberty head busting through face buttons

    Great detailed high-relief picture style buttons with image of Lady Liberty head busting through face
     The design closely resembles the push-through Liberty Head quarters
    These are both large buttons 1st is a celluloid  2nd  is some other type of plastic
    click on image to enlarge

    Thursday, October 29, 2015

    Children's games..BUTTONS

     Bat and Ball
    Hoop Rolling (Hoop Rolling is both a sport and a child’s game in which a large hoop is rolled along the ground, generally by means of an object wielded by the player. The aim of the game is to keep the hoop upright for long periods of time or to do various tricks
    Hide and Seek or called Blind man's Bluff

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015


    Some of the materials
    glass, fabric, pearl, metal,celluloid, horn, wood, plastic, composition
    click on image to enlarge

    Sunday, September 27, 2015

    Victorian Charm String

    683 buttons and a few non button mementos on my charm string none are vintage nor modern buttons ALL are antique some of the materials, rubber, horn, vegetable ivory, china, swirlback glass and other glass, black glass, tintype, pearl, metals, several military, and one I recently noticed a gilt brass Jacksonian with head of George Washington. There are 2 pieces of colored yarn I added to mark the Jacksonian and the other a Goodyear token  
    Thank you Tim H. for the image of my charm string

    I found the following info on charm strings online written by  Diana Epstein and Millicent Safro (shop owners of Tender Buttons NY) this article was reprinted from Bead and Button, Feb 1995
      Victorian Charm Strings
    Diana Epstein and Millicent Safro describe the once popular past time of charm strings in Victorian America.
    In Stories of Mother Goose, little Tommy Tucker says, "You know what a charm string is. Just ever so many pretty buttons strung together and worn around your neck." Nineteenth century folk wisdom had it that a girl should acquire 999 buttons on a string. When she added the thousandth, she would meet her Prince Charming.
    These strings of buttons, sometimes called "memory strings," were a fad of the 1860s that remained popular until 1900. Delightful stories have been handed down. One is that each friend and member of the family donate a button. Another is that a charm string was a game or rivalry, not a romantic pursuit. Gaining the thousandth button doomed the girl to spinsterhood. Another story credits the idea of charm strings to a mid-19th century newspaper competition.
    In all these folklore accounts, there are similar rules and requirements for gathering the buttons: They should be one-of-a-kind, the prettiest and most brilliant available. Preferably they should be gifts from friends, suitors or family members or traded with another stringer. They should not be bought. While unfinished, the charm string was kept in plain view to inspire visitors to contribute buttons and also to boast and tell colorful stories of acquisition. "This button was given by Aunt Abigail from the gown she wore to the Inaugural Ball," or "this button was from Grandfather's Civil War uniform."
    As with photo albums and stereopticon views, Proustian memories were recalled and stories told by families during summer afternoons on the porch or long winter days by the fireplace rummaging through Mother's and Grandmother's button boxes. These nostalgic receptacles were the leading sources of materials for charm strings, as Victorian girls inadvertently became this country's first button collectors.
    To begin a string, a young girl would tie a large button, called a touch button, onto a long string. She would then continue stringing on the very finest small glass and jeweled buttons of the period. Original charm strings of the late 19th century had a large quantity of very small and dainty glass buttons, including early paperweight buttons, as well as small Victorian metals of the period. Some charm strings also included meaningful amulets and tiny objects with family or school-day associations, such as charms, coins, baskets made from nut or fruit pits, miniature dolls' arms and legs, or religious medals.
    Charm strings with a thousand buttons are seldom found today. In fact, most were never finished. That is they contained far fewer than the legendary 999 or 1000 buttons. Many strings had difficulty surviving storage or were divided by families wanting to share mementos. Or they were cut by collectors who couldn't resist picking up some of the rare and valuable buttons on them, which they then grouped with other buttons of the same materials and type.
    But should you be lucky enough to happen upon a charm string - perhaps with the needle still attached - the primary guideline for determining if it is original and authentically intact is to consider the age and condition of the string or wire and to determine if all the buttons were made during the proper period. Whether enjoyed for its visual abundance or as a consulting library of 19th century buttons, the charm string is an American folk art and is, to put it simply, charming.
    In the mid-1960s, when our own antique-button pilgrimage began, we visited the Just Button Museum in Southington, CT (now closed), where the informative and feisty curator, Sally Luscomb, showed us an enormously long, authentic 999-button charm string. With her generous enthusiasm for teaching, Sally went over the buttons, detailing the facts and fancies of each. The string began with a large 1851 Goodyear hard rubber touch button, and the remainder were small (1/4 to 3/4 in.) randomly strung buttons, primarily glass, pewter, brass, and china. Although the buttons were individually fascinating, for us it was the mystique of the whole string, exciting in its serpentine sculpture, presenting a biography in buttons of a past life and time. Pursuing our fascination, we read about a ninety-year old woman who had acquired many of her buttons when she resided abroad. Her charm string was unusual.
    Rather than different single buttons, she strung sets of from three to ten of a kind. They recalled her studies in Paris, a courtship in Venice, her marriage to an Englishman reared in China, and a honeymoon on the island of Capri.
    New York City's Cooper Union Museum (now the Cooper-Hewitt Museum), in a show titled "Four Thousand and One Buttons," once exhibited a much-admired button string belonging to Emily Childs, whose father was a New York merchant. She composed a string of about 800 buttons given to her by an importer. They were variations of the same style from sample cards, in many colors and different sizes, a fascinating record of manufacture of the period.
    One of the most interesting charm strings was found in an antiques shop in Pennsylvania in the 1940s. It was marked "Hinkeltown September 10, 1872, Mary Ann Fritzes Charm String." The buttons were mounted in horizontal rows on brown paper, and underneath each button miss Fritzes identified the giver and the relationship, much like a friendship quilt. This string is in the collection of the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.
    Though we researched and searched all we could - traveling to antiques shops and flea markets hoping to find the rare and coveted charm string - one of our best finds came to us on a peaceful, uneventful day in our shop: A woman brought in a shoe box containing an original charm string with an old, wrinkled note for identification: "Button String, Over 50 years old. Amity Quakenbush." This string has nearly 1,000 delightful, small, early to mid-19th century buttons, with just enough highlights to make our collectors' hearts lurch - a tintype of a young girl, a micromosaic of Roman ruins, Jenny Lind molded in cranberry glass, a Goodyear hard rubber of two frogs dancing in delight, a French millefiori paperweight, a Civil War black glass with the intaglio word "Union," a Confederate infantry eagle, and a button rimmed with gilt picturing an early locomotive.

    Sunday, September 13, 2015

    Laocoon Mythology sterling Button

    Laocoon Mythology Button, a priest of Troy, who had urged the Trojans not to bring the wooden horse into the city. His warnings went unheeded. While he and his two sons were about to sacrifice a bull to Poseidon, two serpents sent by Poseidon at Athena’s urging, crawled out of the sea and crushed them to death.
     The button design was taken from the Greek sculpture of Laocoon in the Vatican Museum
    This button was found years ago at a button show in a $1.00 “poke box” it was very dirty and dark but the collector through it may be sterling when she brought it home and cleaned it sure enough its marked STERLING on the back
    Large (2 x 2 1/2) one piece with a loop image isn't good as it is much brighter and doesn't have the yellow/orange color  
    click on image to enlarge

    Saturday, August 22, 2015

    Colorado buttons and pins etc. my fun card

    Colorado buttons and pins etc.
    3 brass uniform buttons: State seal, Colorado police, State Industrial School (which was located in Golden)
     the gold miners pan button was a favor button at one of the state shows
    bottom left studio buttons fabric and wood with the state flower and just above the small Coors beer mug is a pearl logo button from JHB
    I didn't want to take this card out of the frame so its not a clear image
    click on image to enlarge
    I have been a member of the Colorado State Button Society for over 30 years

    Friday, August 7, 2015

    Swans and Peacock Buttons

    I recently put this card together of some of my Swans and Peacock buttons
    Click on image to enlarge

    Wednesday, July 22, 2015

    Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme button sets..Lois Calkins

    The sets are:
    Hey Diddle Diddle
    Sing a Song of Sixpence
    Jack and Jill
    Humpty Dumpty
    Three Little Kittens
    Mary and Her Little Lamb
    Goose that Laid Golden Eggs
    Old King Cole
    Lois didn’t personally make these buttons she worked with artists in Japan through the Foreign Trade and Industries Agency.
    She approved the designs and imported the buttons with the 1st of the sets shipped to the U.S. in 1954
    There are 8 sets, each with 4 buttons
    Porcelain with self shank, size 1 inch diameter, backmarked LC
    Lois passed away in 2002
    (click on image to enlarge)

    Friday, July 10, 2015

    Gnome buttons

    Gnomes are thought to have originated in Scandinavia and were first sighted well over 2000 years ago.
    Only 6 inches high, the gnome is a cheerful, warmhearted, generous creature.
    A favorite custom consists of giving presents to departing guest. These presents may be natural things, useful things, or writings to be pondered upon.
    The gnome’s big heart more than makes up for his tiny size!
    The buttons are small size plastic (click on image to enlarge)

    Sunday, June 14, 2015

    Happy Flag Day and upcoming 4th of July..buttons

    I just listed this group of buttons they are available in my ecrater button store, the 2 at the bottom are vintage glass and rest are plastic

    Wednesday, May 20, 2015

    Corn Cob buttons

    I enjoy homestead/pioneer pieces and thought that most likely our pioneer ancestors made buttons out of corn cobs.  It was a fun challenge to create one for my primitive project.  The corn cob button looks just right on the pocket made of old mustard wool blanket.
    Amazing how like wood the corn cob is.  Marsha 
    Thank you Marsha for sharing your interesting buttons
    If you would like to purchase one of  her buttons or
    if anyone wants to know how she made the buttons, they can inquire


    Sunday, April 26, 2015

    Raggedy Ann & Andy ceramic buttons

    Raggedy Ann & Andy ceramic buttons
    I acquired these years ago in a collection, I have always wondered if they were commercially made or studio buttons.. because they are not signed and dated I will never know.
     If you are a studio button artist please sign and date your work.

    OMG! I have looked at these 2 buttons several times over the years and did not notice THEY ARE signed (but not dated) thanks to Ronnie W. for noticing the SHIRLEY backmark
    Shirley Shaw and her sister Stella Rzanski starting making buttons in the early 1970’s. The early buttons were not signed later they signed SR and the year

    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    Porcelain buttons with designs

    According to Jocelyn Howells button book  “Button Materials from A to Z” these are fairly scarce buttons they are a type of porcelain with designs that resemble some china buttons, they have a cemented-in metal loop shank.
    In her book she asks if anyone can identify the manufacturer and are they vintage or antique?
    Jocelyn is the author of three books about identifying button materials, including two on synthetic polymers exclusively, based on more than 10 years of intense research and study. 
     Read more at her website 
    or contact her at 
    Her books are a must have for button collectors

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015

    Ivory Bone Jade buttons card

    Ivory Bone Jade buttons card
    1st button in 4th row is celluloid
    antique and vintage buttons
    click on image to enlarge

    Saturday, March 14, 2015

    St. Patrick's Day card with buttons

    Each year I replace or add a button to this card new one is the Leprechaun which is a modern plastic snap-together button
    click on image to enlarge
    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    Monday, February 23, 2015

    Rose flower buttons

    my card of rose buttons I put together MANY years ago, various materials.
    Click on image to enlarge

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    Galena in metal antique buttons

    All but two of these antique buttons have small jewels whose glass centers do not cover the entire fronts of the buttons.
    The fields surrounding the glass centers are trimmed with Galena, which is a glittering gray ore of lead.
     Ground galena is sprinkled onto a circular band of stiff paper or lightweight cardboard which was first covered with an adhesive.
    Click on image to enlarge

    Wednesday, January 28, 2015

    Saphiret glass mounted in metal buttons

    Buttons set with Saphiret stones date from the turn of the 19th century. This type of glass was created in Gablonz by adding gold to pale blue glass, which then becomes dichroic, showing both coppery red and sapphire blue colors.
    The first one is claw-set strass (Strass is brilliant lead glass perfected by Josef Strass for whom it was named) and saphiret stones mounted in gilt brass. Both buttons date late 1800’s to before 1918.
    Both of these buttons are much nicer than the image shows

    Sunday, January 11, 2015

    Mosaic buttons

    Mosaics set as buttons were one of the favorite items for 18th and 19th century tourists to bring home from Italy
    my few mosaics consist of the mosaic itself –tesserae (little bits) of glass embedded in gilt brass framework
    Antique and vintage with a loop shank 2 of these have a Italy B/m