Sunday, January 20, 2013

Can A Charmstring Bring Prince Charming?

     There once was a young, unmarried woman who lived during the latter part of the 19th Century.  She loved to collect buttons, especially those given to her by family or friends.  Because each button held a special meaning or memory for her, she decided to thread them, one by one, on a long string.  Her string consisted of buttons made of many types of materials, including glass, metal, enamel, china, and even rubber.

     The young woman was not the only person of her time to collect buttons in this fashion.  In fact, these long strings of buttons were plentiful enough to be given the name "charmstrings".  Through the years, hundreds of buttons could be collected by an individual.  Some women believed that when they reached a certain number of buttons, such as 500, they would find a husband.

     On the charmstring pictured, there are 745 buttons, and it is about 6 feet long.  Few charmstrings such as this have survived the decades.  Most were not cherished as family heirlooms, but cut apart to harvest individual buttons.  The steward of this lovely charmstring is Carol Cienna, President of the L.A. California Button Club.  You can learn more about charmstrings and vintage buttons if you visit her site,

     Did the young woman mentioned at the beginning find her Prince Charming when her string of buttons reached 500?  Possibly.  All that is known for certain is that she lived happily ever after with her buttons.

 If you love buttons, consider joining The National Button Society

Saturday, January 12, 2013

We are starting a new series of blog posts by our team members, focusing on some topic that interests them.

A New Adventure

by FabricGreetings

In 2004 I was reading an article in Quilting Arts Magazine about Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). It was a fairly new thing that the editor of the magazine was encouraging readers to try. These cards had to be the size of regular sports trading cards. She promised that if you sent one in to the magazine, you would get one from her in return. I wonder if she had any idea of what she was asking for. So I tried my very first ATC. It was a photo transfer picture of a doll (the result of a class I took from epbailey and another story in itself) appliqued to some fabric and a few embellishments. In October of that year, I was attending the international Quilt Market in Houston and saw my card on display - with the hundreds of others she got – in the Quilting Arts Booth. What a thrill that was! Sort of like being published.

Since then I have made ATCs for fun – never for trading. After joining etsy in 2009, I discovered that they are actually (now) called ACEOs.....Art Cards Editions Originals. I am not sure why the name change. I also found out that there are ACEO teams and many collectors right here on etsy. So I have continued to make these ACEOs and offer them for sale in my Fabric Greetings shop on etsy.

Recently on the Acetsy team there was an announcement about an ACEO swap. I decided to give it a try and see what happened. In my mind I would be paired up with another etsy seller and be able to check out his/her medium. Imagine my surprise when I was paired with a gentleman (I have no idea of his age nor does it matter) from Texas who is not a member of etsy. His only web presence is a blog he recently started. So I have seen his work. He is a portrait artist. We have agreed on a theme of “Winter” since our swap has to be completed by February 15th. I am anxious to see what I receive. It will be like Christmas all over again. I will try and post a picture of what I send to him. I have a pretty good idea of what I am going to do. And when I receive my swap, I will add that to the mix.

What new adventure are you trying for 2013?