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Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Years ago, I did antique doll repair and restoration. In order to properly dress or repair damaged original clothes you need to find fabric and trim in the same vintage as the dolls. Thus began an endless search for all things vintage and appropriate for the task. Naturally, over the years, many related collections have sprung from that simple hobby. One that remains a passion is the search for antique buttons. In jars, or tins, old bread bags, etc., they can turn up anywhere. There is nothing I find more relaxing than sitting down with a few small bowls in front of me and going through the buttons and in turn separating them by material. Glass, celluloid, Bakelite, wood, metal, shell and vegetable ivory are but a few of the many materials that have been turned into buttons. I love them all. The old china ones are my favourite, as well as the many wonderful variations of the vegetable ivory buttons.

Last weekend I bought a basket of odd bits and bobs at a yard sale. In it, I found a baggie of postage stamps. They all needed to be soaked off, during which, I spent some time reminiscing about the afternoons my dad would have me soaking and mounting stamps in his special stamp albums. I felt so important being involved in such a grown-up task. His interest in philately was passed on to him by his own dad. I decided they were best sorted by colour for creative purposes. That was fun too as it gave me a chance to really appreciate the wonderful art and variety in stamps.

The other picture is of another "Garden" of mine. It is my "Frozen Charlotte garden." They are little one piece china dolls, sometimes called bath dolls or penny dolls. The male ones are called Frozen Charlies. Many of mine are damaged in some way but I really enjoy their simplicity. They are more often found in small sizes and large ones are rather rare. I have them all housed in an old scale box with a glass front.

Spending time keeping things organised is a good way to reconnect with stuff we have forgotten about and often results in a fresh wave of creative ideas.

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