On an Autumn day in 2008 my colleague and soon to be BFF, Jane, wore a chunky red button necklace to work. Unlike anything I’d seen before, it was stylish and quirky and it had me at ‘Hello’.
Jane’s necklace was the spark that ignited my fascination with the concept of buttons as more than just a fastening device. Never could I have guessed that two years later I’d be making my own button jewelery, bravely selling them to the unbuttoned masses. And that Jane would be one of my best customers.
You might be surprised to learn that the initial inspriation was a slow burn. As I mentioned above, it took almost two years for me to get into jewelery making. The origins of UnRuley Articles has more to do with me finding a lot of time on my hands than it does with divine inspiration. But back to the beginning…
I almost didn’t buy my first bag of buttons. Riddled with buyer’s guilt after an impulsive shopping spree two weeks before at the Birmingham Craft Fair with Ben’s mum (obviously I blame her for my inability to control my bead buying frenzy) I resigned myself to denying the purchase of any further jewelery supplies until I found a job, won the lotto, robbed a bank, etc…
While Ben thoughtfully selected a choice few squares of Fimo I walked forlornly past the shiny packets of buttons. Pacing. Wringing my hands, contemplating the promises of future button glory. Of course, Ben knew I wanted those buttons. He’s clever that way.
So, laden with his carefully selected blocks of Fimo, my darling husband says to me, ‘Why don’t you get a bag of buttons?’ To which I reply, ‘No, honey. I can’t. I’ve already spent double (well triple… okay quadruple) my share on beads…’ This goes on for about five minutes. Until finally he takes the two bags of buttons I’d been eyeing to the register, along with the tiny crochet needle, and buys them for me. Of course, what he hadn’t worked out is that, like any addiction, indulging it just makes it worse!
Many bags of buttons later, the rest, as they say, is history.
So thank you, chunky red button necklace!
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