more than just another bike blog

Sunday, April 22, 2007

do all girls have buttons?

I have a little sewing cabinet. It belonged to my grandmother. It's one of the few possessions of hers I took when she died. I used to sew and knit and do needlepoint and cross-stitch. I was kinda crafty at one point in my life.

I no longer have a sewing machine (and every once in a while I miss it).

My little sewing cabinet has four nifty drawers. The top three are quite shallow -- intended, I'm certain, for bobbins and spools of thread and thimbles and other sewing notions. The bottom cabinet is a bit larger.

I remember playing with my mothers buttons as a child. My mother had one tupperware-type container of black and white buttons and one tupperware-type container of colored buttons. I'd play all types of games with these buttons: they could be soldiers or dancers or chess pieces. I could make mosaics. And I really liked the way they felt in my hands. My favorites were the shiny brass ones (real brass, not plastic) and the sparkly crystal ones.

Over the years, I've accumulated quite the collection of buttons. Some of them were my grandmother's -- cards of plain and fancy buttons, six or eight to a card. Some of them came with clothing I purchased. And some of them probably fell off clothing I wore (and I never sewed them back on).

Also in this little sewing cabinet, I've amassed quite the collection of ribbons and glitter and glue and thread and lace and rick-rack and blanket binding (I have a fetish for satin binding) and computer cables and needles and bobby pins and what-not. Yeah, the little sewing cabinet has become a catch-all for junk. I've often thought I should organize and purge and put the cabinet to good use.

So, tonight, when I needed to store some ribbon (used to make streamers for my new mtn bike), I dug in and cleaned out the little sewing cabinet. And even though I know I will never use any of the buttons, I couldn't bring myself to dispose of them. There's just something, some little glimmer of my childhood, that I'm not ready to let go of. So I organized the drawers -- thimbles and bobbins and tape measures and bee's wax and scissors in the top drawer, thread and glitter in the second drawer, buttons in the third drawer, and ribbon and hot glue gun and glue sticks and sparkly pipe cleaners and felt in the bottom space. Yeah, I could store more useful stuff in my little sewing cabinet, but I'm happy with the way it is right now.

Okay, what do you have that you really don't need but you just can't get rid of it?



At 4/23/2007 12:49 AM, Blogger shawnkielty said...

You know -- I have a box of buttons ... too.

At 4/23/2007 12:50 AM, Blogger shawnkielty said...

And, and, and -- one other thing -- I am not a girl.

At 4/23/2007 9:27 AM, Blogger chatterbox said...

I have my grandma's antique sewing machine - it serves as a nice console table next to the front door. The drawers are full of various notions for sewing - needles, thimbles, pins, binding, thread and buttons. It needs to be organized. Every time I buy something with extra buttons or extra yarn attached, I throw it in one of the drawers. But, so far, I can find stuff when I do mending, so haven't cleaned it out.

My mom had a HUGE box of buttons when I was growing up. When I got my first apartment in college, she made me up a bag with an assortment from her button collection, knowing I would need some and she wouldn't be there to fix my blouse or pants. She used to have some really cool buttons in the 70s that were porcelin enameled with groovy orange and gold flowers.

The thing I can never get rid of is my collection of cards and letters received from loved ones over the years. I even have plans my great-grandfather made up for my model railroad and sent me in a card (he was an architect). I have thinned the collection, but not enough.

At 4/23/2007 10:22 AM, Blogger lauren said...

my mom had a craft/button box too. i used to do the same thing with the buttons.

my mom saves everything.

i'm one of those that gets rid of everything. i don't like stuff holding me down.

i guess maybe the thing i haven't gotten rid of is my bikini from when i was 4 or 5. i made lulu wear it for a couple of years and i just can't get myself to get rid of it.

At 4/23/2007 11:06 AM, Blogger CyclistRick said...

I am a (mostly) reformed packrat. I went through a period of minimalization about 9 years ago and got rid of a lot. Too much, really, but it was time to do the 12-step program.

The biggest packrat I ever knew was a guy I worked with at a Research Group in Berkeley. When he retired and we were cleaning out his desk we found a drawer labelled "Pieces of String too Short to Use". And they were too short to use.

At 4/23/2007 6:54 PM, Blogger Jackie said...

Oh yes. I have a houseful of such stuff, but all my buttons are from my long life.

There's even a pile of string too short to use. And rubber bands. Small bottles. Parts for aquarium filters. This year, I swear, I'm letting it all go.

I like your grandmother's sewing cabinet better.

At 4/23/2007 8:26 PM, Blogger Sweet Cheeks said...

I love my button box! And I save everything, too. I think it's because my grandparents went through the depression or something...

At 4/26/2007 3:04 PM, Blogger broxster said...

"Okay, what do you have that you really don't need but you just can't get rid of it?"

My undergraduate notes from university. They are still in my parents' place in Scotland.

I need to make a decision about whether to ship them here in the next couple of weeks as my parents are working up to moving house as they are retiring.


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