When I was in the midst of The Experiment my crafting consisted primarily of making gifts for my daughters for the next birthday or upcoming holiday. I began each project with the goal of making a toy that would appeal to them. Experimentation was risky because I had to please an audience other than myself.
Now that it is over I have more time to play. When I'm crafting for myself, my only goal is to have fun. Instead of beginning with the goal of an attractive finished product, my project choices are guided by what I feel compelled to work with. Lately, that has been buttons.
My latest project started out as a game. I wanted to see how many different designs I could find within a jar of white buttons. The answer? LOTS. I liked how so many different eras, styles and materials were represented by something as simple as a white button. Some were still sewn to their original cards while others had old bits of material and thread stuck to them. As I sorted I wondered how many different closets and sewing baskets they came form.
I knew I could only admire the buttons on my sewing table for so long before they started to get knocked to the floor, stepped on, vacuumed up, etc. They definitely weren't being displayed to advantage in the jar, so I chose a few and created a way to admire them.
It might not look like much, but this project was crazyfun for me. I painted over one of the canvases I wrote about here. I don't really trust chalk (I know, weird, especially because I'm a teacher) so for the heart shape I cut a heart out of some scrap paper, sewed the border buttons around the heart, removed the paper and filled in the center. Something about sewing through canvas is really satisfying to me.
No two buttons are alike!