one of my earliest memories is being at my childminder's house and playing with her tin of buttons. it was a huge round biscuit tin that must have held at least a thousand buttons. i could sort through them for hours at a time, matching them into sets, arranging them by colour, examining each one in minute detail. my favourites were the tiny faceted clear glass ones, victorian, i guess.

almost as soon as i had a baby i knew i had to get a button tin - for sorting, not sewing purposes - but it's taken me until now to get round to it.

button tin

as soon as i saw this tin i knew it was the one. this isn't the first of this design that i saw - that went for more than i was prepared to pay - but there are loads of them knocking about on ebay, although this one seems to be in unusually good nick. it's marked CWS biscuits - co-op wholesale society. i can't date it stylistically, i initially thought it may be 1930s but this page reckons it's c.1910.

i have a pitifully small collection of buttons that i've carried around for the last 15 years, and even though it's a small tin i thought they needed some company. so i bought buttons too.

bright buttons

1940s plastic buttons...

fashionable buttons

buttons on cards...

green buttons

buttons by the bagful.

i'm not sure i can bring myself to let M loose with them - let alone actually split them up and permanently attach any of them to anything. perhaps i should have a few happy hours sorting them tomorrow, to get it out of my system :D