Sunday, January 16, 2011
I started beading about twenty-five years ago when I saw an article about a beaded brooch made from a button. Back in the "olden days," before we became a disposable society, women would cut the buttons from worn-out clothing and keep them in a button box for future use. They recycled from necessity long before it became the popular thing to do. My mother was a renowned seamstress and she made most of my clothes all the way through high school. I, like a lot of kids, loved to play with my mother's button box, sifting the textures through my fingers like jewels, sorting colors and types, remembering a particular dress or jacket. I inherited Mother's button box, a coffee can painted red. When I saw that article, I thought of a unique tortoise shell button that came from a loden green coat my sister had worn and outworn years and years before, and wanted to give that memory back to her. I found the button in the button box, and so it began. I learned techniques and started beading other buttons, memory buttons. One of the most touching was a brooch I made for a coworker whose teen-age son had been killed. She brought me a button from his favorite shirt, and now she wears it over her heart. From buttons, I moved on to necklaces, earrings, bracelets, bottles, ornaments, clothing...there isn't much that can't be made or transformed with beads.
For a long period of time last year I lost interest in doing any craft, and then I "turned a corner." It feels good to have busy hands again.