Monday, March 9, 2009

A tale of two (hundred+) buttons

What not to do:

1/ Entertain thoughts of a personal stash of vintage buttons.

2/ Stalk button listings on eBay without looking closely for the words "from a smoke-free home."

3/ Bid on buttons, however attractive, posted without these important words - unless they are very very cheap and you know you have loads of free time to address any problems.

4/ Decide to address rather significant problems within six hours of your hoped-for bedtime.

5/ Use a plastic bowl even for an initial washing; it will require the same addressing afterward because plastic is porous.

6/ Run out of vinegar, a surefire deodorizer.

7/ Pour vinegar over the buttons without first removing any mother-of-pearl buttons from the mix.

8/ Leave the buttons soaking in vinegar overnight before discovering through a simple online search that vinegar and mother-of-pearl do not play nicely together.

9/ Forget that the stripping effect of vinegar on mother-of-pearl can produce a nicely weathered, if chalklike, appearance that is still useful as embellishment if not for any functional purpose, since the buttons are now too thin not to break under pressure.

10/ Cry over the very cute brown mother of pearl buttons that, once rinsed of their vinegar and dried, are neither brown or glossy. You can buy more in the next auction.

1 comment:

Kathleen Taylor said...

Oh my- I didn't know that vinegar and mother of pearl were incompatible. You have done a great service today, and paid a steep price.