Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday 21st August



The button tin was old before I was born, as are some of its contents, like these splendid cover-your-own buttons, which true to their word have not rusted, and are endorsed by the strangely bisected face of one of those Ideal Homes-type post-war ladies ubiquitous in the imagery of my childhood who all looked Janet's and John's mummy.

I went to the tin looking for a missing button from a shirt I haven't worn for ages because every time I get it out to wear, I am reminded that it's missing a button, and then I found the button somewhere quite recently, and now I can't recall where it was, but wherever it was it wasn't in the old button tin, or its environs.  But plenty of other interesting things were, and by the end of the morning I had lined up a good strong dog-lead swivel clip, so I can mend Mol's extending lead, a long piece  of bright gold velvet and some blue ceramic beads to sew onto it for a table runner, and three large, round maroon, Bakerlite buttons, rather art deco in style, which I'm fairly sure came off an old coat of my mum's, and which will just go nicely with the sleeveless thing I knitted from some thick soft yarn I bought in Lidl.  The pattern was designed by moi using a piece of squared paper and I'm afraid it rather shows, so I probably won't wear it out of the house, but it is the most delightful sunsetty colours, and will be very warm, and the buttons will give it the added values of nostalgia and continuity.

My make and mend ethic is something of a silly conceit: the things I make I often don't need, or cost more to make than they would to buy anyway, and the things I mend I have often replaced already, or they are just as wearable holey as darned, or the repairs will only hasten their falling apart.  I strain thriftily at gnats and swallow wasteful camels.  But it makes me feel wholesome, and I do enjoy it, I really do.

I decided to move the buttons round on the shirt, replacing the missing one with a lower one, whose absence will be less visible. This is a sure way to make the stray button reappear.

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Lining drawers with a roll of red tissue paper.

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The evening air through the window upstairs is cooling at last.

9 comments:

Fire Bird said...

evening air cooling at last? you've had hot weather? lucky you!!

Lucy said...

Oh yes, quite a little canicule. Some rain and a bruised mauve stormy evening. Yesterday and last night were uncomfortably hot. One reason the hospital took D in, the doctor feared the heat wave might kill him.

I moved the shirt button, then thought to look in the pocket, where of course the lost button was carefully put aside...

Zhoen said...

You should see what I did with a lampshade of a small lamp we especially like. Keep it in the bedroom, for one.

Anne said...

That was lovely to read, and now I am going to mend one of the many things I have been saving to mend and I am going to have a look in the old button box I noticed in the loft the other night when I found the back door open and thought I should just check to make sure a baddy wasn't hiding in the loft closet.

The Crow said...

How very odd...or synchronicitous (if that is a word), Lucy.

I've spent most of this weekend sorting through my button tins, and finding odd things, including a very heavy dog leash swivel clip.

And the evening here has turned rather cool, as well.

How nice, this accidental connection so many miles apart.

Barrett Bonden said...

I returned from a professional visit to a steelworks where I was given a decorated tin box carrying the rubric: Made from the last steel rolled at the XYZ rolling mill. Both my daughters looked at it and said "Ahhhh!" and Mrs BB and I knew we would never be able to throw it away. It was retained and is now stuffed with reels of cotton and those little pads of cloth into which needles are re-inserted. Whenever I attach a button (infrequently these days) I am reminded of this distant show of sentimentality and also the law that applies to such boxes: there is never any spare space in them.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

I'm more a 'ruby in the navel' man.

Rosie said...

I am more of a natural born breaker than a mender to my shame, although I can knock up a curtain if pushed!

Kathleen said...

Yay, buttons!