The Button Bar is in sight . . . . finally! In October of 2008, we took on the mother of all estates. You may remember me writing about it on this blog. It took us about five months to move the entire contents of a house, truckload by truckload from the house in North Portland to our store in Hillsboro. It is the reason in fact, that we opened our second store location. The house was so full from the basement to the second story, there was only a small pathway to navigate through. Built in the early 1900’s, the house had been occupied by two generations of one family, who all loved to collect. When I discovered the boxes upon boxes of jars upon jars and ziplock bags and cigar boxes and old cookie tins filled with buttons I was in heaven. I hauled those buttons up out of the dark, grimy basement by putting the jars into smaller boxes so that I could carry them and then carrying the large jars by themselves. Who knew buttons were so heavy? Well, buttons in glass jars are very heavy. I have no idea how many buttons there are but it is the most I have ever seen in one place.
We came up with the idea somewhere along the way to sort out the buttons by color, displaying them in candy jars (buttons really are as good or better than candy to many of us aren’t they?) to create the Button Bar. Who doesn’t love to run their hands through jars of buttons? Picking them out one by one, examining their texture, quality and beauty. The jars and buttons have been waiting in our garage, while hopes of getting them sorted have been pushed aside by all the other work that has had to happen. We have made great progress on going through boxes from that estate, we still have a long way to go. Finally though, the space is chosen for the Button Bar, I’ve spent the last couple of days cleaning it out (still have another weekend of work left to do on that), the shelves are ready to go up, the jars are washed and I can picture it in my mind.
Once the shelves are up the clean empty jars will go up and then as the buttons are sorted they will be placed into the jars so the inventory will be constantly changing for quite awhile and it won’t be so overwhelming to look through all of the buttons at once.
I have assembled some help with the sorting, put out the word that you need help handling and sorting buttons and people come out of the woodwork. I could probably charge admission to have people sort through buttons. Instead, the honor is going to my mother mostly. She is taking jars home with her to sort during the day.
If all goes well the Button Bar could be open by May 1st. We will be including both vintage and antique lace, as well as ribbon. I may have to plan a Grand Opening event soon. Buttons are a great excuse for a party don’t you think?