Vintage Buttons 101…

May I share another interesting fact regarding Vintage Buttons?

image image 

Just look at this beautiful blue vintage button. If you’ll notice, both sides are incredible! The molded design is pretty on both sides. That is something that you don’t find today, so it might even be hard for you to choose which side of this button that you actually want to use on your clothing, or project. So, as I’ve said before…the colors pop, and the designs and molding are amazing!

Thanks for allowing me share. I was looking at this button for my next project and couldn’t help but think about that, so I just stopped and snapped a couple of pictures! 🙂

40 Years of Reflection!

ty and i

As Ty and I are in our 40 Years of Marriage Celebration time, (June 6, but hey, we are dragging it out), I have been doing some reflecting, and thought, I’d share. **For the very few who will actually read this all the way through, just know that my heart is heavy, and I really feel led to pour out my “self”, and for once, actually have the time to sit down and do it. I have a lot of friends and family who are going through changes, and struggles, and hardships, and thought this just might help someone.

I’m going to be real, because I want to help anyone reading this, who is going through changes, complete changes, different seasons, moving somewhere totally different, and if nothing else, you’ll know that I do understand. Life is NOT just a bowl of cherries, which sometimes is portrayed on Social Media, etc.

When I met Ty, I was a junior in High School. He was already out of High School and had served in the Marines, and had been in and out of trouble with drug use. He is right at 6 years older than me. He came with friends to our Mission Church, where my dad was the minister. He made a decision to follow Christ, and changed his life around. And…here we are…some 43 or so years later…

I married a man called into the ministry when I was 18 years old. We spent 12 1/2 years of our lives either preparing in Bible College, or in actual church ministry, in two churches, in Wichita Falls, TX and Pueblo, CO, with Ty as pastor. Then, our lives took a HUGE turn. Ty and I had prayed for about a year, and he felt that he could minister outside of his specific calling, and felt led to move on to another career choice. We moved back to Texas (from Colorado, where we were at that time), and Ty worked for a vending company owned by friends from church, and relatives of friends Ty had worked for during college – Harry Seif, (Regal Vending, with Rex, Liz, Mike and Darla Darla Trull at the helm, for many years (11 at least). They were amazing to work for, and he felt blessed. During that time, he worked all over Dallas/Ft. Worth, and ministered to so many people. I worked for Baylor Homecare as an Office Manager, with Kari Hickman at the helm, who I loved dearly, and still do, and is amazing at everything she does.

Ty had always felt that he would love to travel, and loved driving, and considered over the road truck driving. We went to a few meetings, and with both children graduated from high school and in college, he went to Truck Driving School. My company, Baylor HomeCare, was closing, due to Medicare guidelines, and so it seemed a perfect time to change directions. Our daughter, Jessica, had told me about a job opening at the university where she was attending.

We moved to Arkadelphia, AR, where Jessica was in college, and while Ty drove over the road, I worked in the Admissions Office at Ouachita Baptist University, where Rebecca Jones and David Goodman were at the helm, and I can’t say enough about how wonderful they were and are. Ty had a real ministry with truck drivers and still does. I loved working with the students, and counselors, and learned so much from them, not to mention being close to our daughter and future son in law.

We loved the Dallas area, and our kids lived there or close by, and Ty realized that he could transfer to a different truck lines, so we moved to the Dallas area, and have been here ever since.

Ty has continued in Trucking, and I worked for over 10 years as an Avon District Sales Manager, and Church Secretary at Ovilla Road Baptist Church for 3 1/2 years. We loved our church, and served there for many years.

I was in a horrible-life changing car accident a little over 2 years ago, and 5 surgeries later, am still healing, and facing more surgeries. My life has drastically changed, from being very, very busy, to actually being able to stop and smell the roses once in a while!

We have lived in Waxahachie for a long time, and love our home, new church, and our wonderful family and friends. Ty is a local truck driver now for Timco, here in Waxahachie.

There have been times in these 40 years that we have wanted to strangle each other, leave each other,  cried with each other, been furious with each other, had our hearts broken, been blessed beyond measure, sought comfort with each other, ran into each other’s arms, and prayed together.

We have ten grandchildren (notice I started with them- ha!), two children, who we can’t talk about enough, and love so much, Jessica and Aaron, and two amazing, wonderful and awesome children in law, Doug and Jill. Wow! So blessed.

One constant, and one never changing detail of our marriage was and is the Lord. Oh, how He has seen us through, sharpened us, taught us, restored us, used us, disciplined us, molded us, had patience with us, and I could go on and on, and there’s still more to come…

Lamentations 3:22-23

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

The Beauty of Mother of Pearl!

image image

I have been asked many times regarding my excitement over Mother of Pearl. I picked up some vintage buttons recently, and this was just a sampling of what was in the grouping, and I could feel my heart beating faster and faster and faster, as I pulled these out, which may seem crazy to some, (ha), but I decided to put them on my mom’s old china platter and take some pictures to show you the design, the colors – some have been dyed, such as the aqua and pink ones, the intricate patterns, the sculpting, and the carving. Some of you have experienced the way that Mother of Pearl feels between your fingers, if you put it up to your face, but it’s an extremely cool feel, and you always know that you have an authentic Mother of Pearl piece, if it feels cold to the touch. Also, if you turn it around you can see part of the shell still there that’s been filed down…so, thank you for bearing with me “once again” as I show you the beauty of these Mother of Pearl buttons, and buckles. I love the iridescent colors.

Here is the definition of Mother of Pearl: the hard, pearly internal layer of certain marine shells, as of the pearl oyster or abalone, which is used in the arts, in making of pearl buttons, etc.

Antique Mother of Pearl Whistle Buttons!

A whistle button is a very unique button. It has one hole on the face of the button, and two or more holes on the back. What makes these buttons special is that when you thread them, the thread will not show from the front, so it is protected from wear and tear, snagging, etc.

The first picture shows the front, and the second picture shows the back of the button.image image

Art Deco, Glassblowing, Fabrics, Children’s Books? Inspiration for Buttons…Who knew?


We have always needed buttons to keep our clothes fastened, haven’t we? And, did you know that buttons can be made out of just about anything – from bone, glass, metal, stone, ceramics, and even antlers. There are “Diminutive” buttons (less than 3/8″ across) and “Large” buttons (greater than 1 1/4″ wide), “Old” buttons (pre-1918), and “Modern/Vintage” ones (post-1918).

Military buttons are kind of in a class by themselves, and made of pewter, lead, or two-part buttons that are curved outward, and specific buttons produced for officers. Buttons seem to fascinate so many of us, because of all the materials, age or size.

Buttons don’t have very many parts. There is: the face of the button; the back of the button, and some have shanks. The shank is a loop that helps you attach the button to clothing, etc.  It can be built into the button, or made out of metal. Brass picture buttons from the Victorian era are very collectible. A lot of these had images on them taken from operas, children’s books, etc.  One reason that people would wear these buttons on their shirts or coats, is that you were telling everyone that you loved literature. Some buttons came from nature, astrology, or even mythology (fairies, etc.)

Some glass buttons were detailed to look like animals or plants. Some were created to appear like fabrics. Some were given an iridescent luster or silver to imitate crochet or needlework.

Another collectible type of glass button comes from what is now the Czech Republic.  Many artisans from this area made buttons to resemble Art Deco.  After World War II, Bohemian glassblowers produced “moonglow” buttons, which looked opaque and clear.

I will come back at a later time and discuss more types of buttons and their particular era. I think there is enough interesting information this time! ha!

One thing is for sure, we all use them…and even appreciate them, for many different reasons!

God is like buttons…long lasting; give security; join and bring together.    –anonymous

Be prepared!


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” –Benjamin Franklin

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”                                                –Abraham Lincoln

Being prepared seems to be the secret to success in all areas of the spectrum. And, it can be very time consuming…but, definitely worth it!

As you can see from the above picture, I have separated buttons according to color for an upcoming craft project, and I’m still not finished!  But…how happy I’ll be when I’m ready to begin, and that part of the task is done!

This is normal for me with any undertaking, especially with my button ventures. Anything I can do ahead of time enhances the overall craft assignment. It also helps my focus.

Laying out supplies in advance saves you from mistakes and stress, and lets you know beforehand if an item is needed. There’s nothing worse than getting started, only to find out, that you have to make a run to the store, or rifle through closets, drawers, etc.

There might be times when something unforeseen happens, but because of planning, it is doable.

Any job very well done that has been carried out by a person who is fully dedicated is always a source of inspiration.  –Carlos Ghosn

Vintage visions!

image image

These gorgeous vintage buttons are just a sampling of my latest finds. Dyed mother of Pearl, molded plastics, etc. If you collect buttons, be sure to let antique dealers know about it. Leave your name and number, and check back with them. I had left my name and number at an antique mall in the area, and normally have never had any success of finding anything there, but got a phone call from the owner, and there was a huge bunch of amazing buttons. The buttons shown are from the 1920’s-1950’s.

Copy of an Ancient Roman Coin!


OK, this is one of the many reasons, I love vintage and antique button searching! In one of my button jars, I found this awesome old COPY of an ancient Rome coin. At first, I thought it just might be really one of the coins, and noticed that it was marked “Copy” on the back of the coin, but it is just amazing! I am on top of the moon. I got out my magnifying glass (a MUST for all Button collectors), and looked it over! Then, I searched online, and voila . . . this is what it is:Ancient Rome KAICA POC (of Ceasar) 9AD to 12AD A coin from ancient Rome about the time of Jesus Christ, 2000 years ago. Way cool! The inscription KAICA POC means of Ceasar and the LN is a coded date. Am I excited about this little jewel in my jar????? You bet! On the back is a stalk of wheat, and what you see on the front, is a Palm Tree, and little dots encircling the coin. And, it has the words, KAICA POC on it too! (Everything is faded, but clearly there!) I smiled for a couple of days after this find! See More

Button Storage


Button storage . . . very important. The buttons I’m showing in this post were NOT stored properly. I picked up a batch of buttons at a flea market about 6 months ago that were stored in an old plastic candy container with a tight lid. I’m sure the lid hadn’t been opened in – well – could have been years.

I’m just showing a few of the ruined buttons in the container. The white button on the upper left of the heart, has had a button melt into it, and can’t be cleaned; the red button under it crumbled and broke from being in a hot, tightly covered container; the orange button, as you can see, had another button melt into it, and there isn’t anything that can be done about that; the beautiful, or what would have been beautiful grey Mother of pearl button has had a white “chalky” substance melt on it, and can’t be washed or scraped off; and the pretty golden yellow vintage plastic button melted and is almost an oval shape now; and finally, the clear, vintage acrylic button has also had a button melt on it, and the dirty looking brown substance, can’t be cleaned off.

For me, it doesn’t matter if I store buttons in containers with closed off lids, because I open those containers all the time. But, if they are going to sit for years, without the lid being opened, put them in open containers that allow your buttons to breathe. And, please don’t store them in a hot place, that isn’t ventilated.

Remember, these buttons are made of different materials – plastic, acrylic, shell, wood, metal, etc., and they will all “mesh” together if not properly stored.

Dyed Mother of Pearl Buttons


In the mid-1800’s, Mother of Pearl, along with precious metals, bone and animal horns – was extremely rare, expensive to obtain and reserved for royalty.

It was not until a German-born button maker, John Fredrick Boepple, immigrated to the U.S. did Mother of Pearl buttons rise to popularity and became available to the masses.

The process of stamping them from shells required specialized and expensive machinery.

As well, the shells Boepple used had to be imported and were subject to an extremely high tariff.

With his business failing, John Boepple brought his button stamping machinery to the one place he was sure could supply him an endless supply of shells – the U.S. and the Mississippi River.

There is a great Pearl Button Museum in Muscatine, Iowa, where John Boepple set up business.

There was a time when 37% of the world’s buttons (in 1905, that was 1.5 billion buttons) came from the glossy inner surfaces of freshwater mollusk shells harvested by citizens of the small town of Muscatine, on the Mississippi River.

Mother of Pearl is rather easily dyed . . . typically only tinted so the iridescense is not masked – to virtually any color.

*Some information taken from Amy Barickman and Linzee McCray.