Friday, February 29, 2008

Simple Pleasures for Simple Minds

Last month Kurt and got to spend a week in New York. Yep, bright lights, big city. More on the real reason for the trip (the Milkweed Mercantile was the recipient of an Eileen Fisher Grant for Women Entrepreneurs) in future posts. Right now I'd like to share what was REALLY exciting about the trip, at least for me.

Tender Buttons.

This tiny little shop in the Upper West Side absolutley oozes with charm. See those buttons along the wall in the photo above? Those are all little boxes (4x2x8") stacked and filled with the buttons that are affixed to the outside. It is an amazing experience to walk in and realize the limitlessness of the world of buttons. So I went shopping, supposedly for future hand-made Mercantile projects. Right.

exhibits a and b

teeny, tiny bags

When I walked out, all I had to show for my efforts (and payment) were two little teeny bags tucked into a very small bag (see exhibits a and b).

You'd think they'd at least give you a GREAT BIG bag so that you felt like you'd received some return on your investment.

But oh, what buttons! Mice-and-cheese buttons, mother of pearl buttons, hand-carved wood buttons, very cool buttons...

Years ago I attended the International Quilt Festival in Houston, where I had the pleasure of hearing Elinor Peace Bailey speak. She was marvelous, and what I liked best was what she had to say about fabric. Quilters are often consumed with enormous guilt about their "quilt stash." This is an undisclosed quantity, usually large, of fabric. Purchased in quilt stores, quilt festivals, and anywhere else imaginable, stashes continually grow. One never knows when might need that particular fabric. Green and blue dots? Hmmmm, that might come in handy some day, I better buy two yards. And so it piles up, and up, and up.

But Elinor put my mind at rest. She understood. She said that whenever one takes a pile of fabric out, and touches it, and thinks about it, and plays with it for awhile, one is using the fabric. That is the key. You do not have to cut it up and sew it into something to use it. Touching it is enough. Quilters are kinesthetic - we touch things. It's a visceral thing. I suspect it is the same with buttons.

Come over sometime, and I'll let you play with mine!

No comments: