Button Joy Reflected

Amy Rose Davis has Button Joy! She’s been a crafting manic lately, and found a buttony treasure during a big spring clean, spurring my own recollections of Button Joy. Now, I’m a bit of a button hoarder. Nothing serious. I just have a big jar of buttons. And I can blame it all on one person.

I grew up learning to sew from my paternal grandmother, and maternal great grandmother. They are pretty much the reason why I can sew and crochet, and have done so since the time I could wield a needle or hook. My grandmother was an amazing seamstress, and I think it was her careful eye which led me to be able to draft patterns however I want. I’m not exceptional at it, but if I want to make myself a pair of pants or a new skirt, I don’t need to buy a pattern for it, I will just draw one up and modify it as I go.

My great grandmother was an avid crocheter, though. Not only that, but she kept a jar of buttons; the jar which I inherited upon her death. Some of these buttons are very old, gorgeous wooden things or cast metal. Others are newer, some match, some never will. I’ve used buttons from this jar in my sewing for years; anything from teddy’s clothes, to replacing a popped button from a shirt.

But the truly remarkable thing about my jar of buttons is the smell. This seems a common theme among those with Button Joy. Open it up and stick your nose is, and I swear, it smells exactly like my great grandmother’s house, all these years later. It’s surreal and evocative. It’s the scent of a yarn collection, and her endless cooking, and whatever little things made the house so distinctive. Her moisturiser and make-up. Her perfume.

My jar of buttons sits on my computer desk, tucked into the shelf in front of me. It’s just the convenient place to keep it; accessible, yet out of the way. But it’s also a lovely connection to a woman who meant so much and taught me many wonderful things. I like buttons. Treasures from the past.



Just half of a fully forgotten memory

I collect things. Anyone who knows me in person can probably tell you something I collect. Ask ten different people, and they probably tell you I collect ten different things. The truth is, I just keep stuff, not in a deadly-hoarder kind of fashion, but in the “this is useful or interesting or taught me something valuable and I must retain it until it no longer serves that purpose to me” kind of way.

Books, and video games (spanning well over two decades of production), DVDs and CDs flow out of a dozen shelves in my house. I have small wooden boxes and large vintage suitcases, collections of wool, yarn, thread, and scraps of fabric for sewing and creating. Tumbled gemstones, Tarot decks, notebooks and little paper and fabric gift baggies that I usually find another great purpose for.

I also collect quotes and inspiring stories. My favourite is collecting writing advice that doesn’t tell you any of the specific things, but rings that clear, pealing bell inside me, the one that says, “TRUTH!”.

Now, I don’t have the best functioning memory in the world. I usually attribute that to replacing memories too frequently with new information, new ideas. I don’t recall specifics of things I’ve read very well, and that is a kind of blessing. Some days when I’m feeling really lost or uninspired, I might decide to browse through my interesting writing file. Just see if I’ve got anything in there that will remind me why I should do any of it.

I’ll usually find something. Rather, I usually find this blog post by Merlin Mann: Making the Clackity Noise. I can’t remember where I first found this article, or why I read it. It came from somewhere.

It rang true to me in all the right ways. And even if I don’t always end up writing something significant afterwards, I’m happy, because just a little bit of a story fell out of me. I think we get way too caught up trying to do it “right”. There isn’t a right. There is, however, a write. That’s what I’m going to briefly remember to do.