Button, button, who’s got the button?

Two weeks ago I cast off my Golden Wheat Cardi, ends were sewn in & the sweater was blocked…and then it sat for some time because I didn’t have any suitable buttons…not quite sure how that happened, but there you are. Panicked, I tossed my button bag (realized how non-traditional a button bag was & remedied to fix that!) & came up empty, but did stop to admire my collection of buttons. My preference is for handmade either wooden or porcelain buttons as well as vintage. My parents are very good at keeping an eye out at antique shops & boot sales for sets for me. I am also trying to find out what happened to both my Granmas button jars…

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I searched Etsy, where I found & ordered some lovely vintage buttons,

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but they wouldn’t work with my new cardi. The search continued…luckily Toronto has a Fashion District, sadly it’s not as awesome as it once was, but there is a button store on the South West corner of Spadina & Queen St W. It’s about 4-ish doors west of Spadina and they only take cash (this is important!). It’s a small store but they are packed floor to ceiling with boxes of buttons amongst whom I found some suitable options…

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As I’ll mostly be wearing this at work, I went with the solid black buttons (even though the big hot pink ones were my preferred choice) as I have a Uniform Policy I need to comply with.

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Please excuse the less than stellar loo shot, but my attempt to take the photo in one of the beautiful Art Nouveau mirrors in the European Decorative Arts gallery at work turned out terribly fuzzy

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…and am certain the Gallery Guard was wondering what on earth I was doing , then remembered it was me, so carried on with his rounds…

Once I had my botton situation all sorted, I decided that it was high time I followed that long tradition of having a proper button tin. These tins should be an old Quality Street or Shortbread tin, Mason jars are also acceptable. Fortunately, I picked up a tin of Quality Street over the holidays & after dumping out the leftover Orange & Strawberry cremes (seriously! who eats them?! they are as bad as those Violet Pastilles blegh!) I gathered all my buttons & discovered…I need a second tin already…

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Point of editorial clarity: It appears I was dead wrong about the origins of my Maternal Great Grandmother. My parents called shortly after I wrote my last post to politely enquire which Nan came from Yorkshire then proceeded to explain that I was very wrong. Nan Richardson (nee Perrot sp?) was from Melksham, Wiltshire. Which for those of you with a far superior grasp of the counties of England will know is not even remotely close to Yorkshire & is in fact in the South of England…however my Mum has discovered in her pursuit of the family tree that Nan’s father was imprisoned for sheep stealing (more than likely to feed his large family) which is probably the event that led to my Nan coming to Canada to work as a Domestic at the age of 12 as a Home Child through the Bernardo Homes in England. This particular chapter of history is an interesting and sad one, it speaks volumes about Victorian English society and how they viewed the poor. I could go on for a fairly long time about my opinions of Industrial era child labour, the soul destroying work houses and the arrogance of the upper classes who “knew what the poor needed to set themselves straight”, but that was not the original intention of this…

Side note: In 2009 Australian PM Kevin Rudd & in 2010 British PM Gordon Brown issued formal apologies to the remaining child migrants (home children) & their descendants for the abuses which were suffered & the families separated & tossed to the corners of the Colonies. The Canadian Minister of Immigration Jason Kenny, did not issue a formal apology…we can all guess what I think of him!

Dear Blog:

Terribly sorry for not paying you any attention for what turns out to be the better part of a month. I’ve been a bit busy with “stuff”. What sort of “stuff” you ask?

Well let me give you the short list.

Aside from the whole school, home work stuff, I’ve been:

Knitting (rather unsuccessfully actually). In January I started a replacement Clapotis (my first one was felted, we no longer discuss it) using Dye-Version bamboo yarn in a wonderfull flame colours. We were knitting along happily till Winter decided to arrive in earnest so it was put aside for some utilitarian knitting. My head was cold, I needed a new hat. Pattern was chosen and yarn was found, knitting was commenced. I was destined to have the nerd-y-est head EVAH! But that arch enemy of all knitters; Gauge reared it’s ugly maw at me. My Scotty Hat was big enough for two if not three heads to fit in it. Frogging ensued while air went a few shaded of blue.  I have since restarted the hat but have switched to using Trekking for my pattern, things are working out much better and my head will be toasty warm just in time for Spring!

I have also bought a camera…and not just any camera. I bought a serious business TLR (Twin Lens Reflex)…specifically a Rolleicord VB. It will be here by months’ end. I’m terribly excited and am considering naming him Roland…because I’m allerative that way. Once school is done I plan to take the only non digital camera course avaliable in Toronto at Ryerson, so I can dust off my old and long forgotten camera skills as well as learn to use a dark room for something other than making out.

There has been no weaving or spinning, but I have been thinking about both a lot! I have me some bitchin’ plans, just as soon as I have a spare moment which may happen sooner than expected. The College Professors in Ontario are voting this coming Wednesday whether or not they will accept the latest contract offer from Management. If it’s rejected there will be a strike called 5 days later. So I may get some free time sooner than expected, but it will push back my graduation date which is somethign I’m not at all thrilled with.

Promise I will try to have some photos next post, it’s nice to have the visuals…

And then there were four…

It’s undeniably a collection now. I have 4 bento boxes and a 5th is on the way.

I present my latest acquisitions:

A simple two tier oval bento.

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The base holds 1 cup of rice and the top holds around a 1/2 cup of veg.

This is a Mini Bento by Zojirushi (makers of the infamous Mr. Bento).

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Isn’t it the cutest?! Or I should say Kawaii!

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The larger container holds 280mls (it has a removable insert) and the two small ones hold 190mls and 160mls respectively and are all microwavable.

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It comes with matching chopsticks and when your done eating the containers fit inside one another and the whole shebang collapses down to 1/2 it’s original size!

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The Mr. Bento Pron flickr group is a great source for inspiration.