Button Memories with Sister Diane!

I am excited to debut a new series that is very dear to my heart. As a lover a buttons and since they are at the center of my craft, I am interested in what people remember about buttons, and their relationship with them. That brings us to: Button Memories, and I am very grateful to start off this series with someone who has very endearing words about buttons (and craft in general) is Sister Diane of CraftyPod!

Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).
My name is Diane Gilleland, or Sister Diane. I write and podcast at http://www.craftypod.com/. I live in Portland, OR, where I work from home with my partner Katin and my cat Pushkin. (Actually, Pushkin hardly ever works.)

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I’m a semi-professional crafter. I write some for craft magazines and websites, and also produce my own ebooks on crafty subjects. From time to time, I also teach craft classes here in Portland.

Why buttons?
Buttons are like delightful crafty candy! I love all the shapes and colors – and I love that such a small and simple object can be made in so many incredible variations. I never, ever get tired of sorting through my button jars. And every time I go looking for the perfect button for a craft project in progress, it’s clear to me that I don’t, in fact, have that perfect button and clearly need to get some more.

Do you collect them? If so,
I accumulate buttons whenever I can, but I wouldn’t call myself a collector. I don’t know anything about their historical or market value. I’m happier with a big tin of random assorted buttons I scored from eBay than one precious expensive button.

What was your first memory of buttons?
When I was about three years old, my parents and I built a snowman in our backyard. (This was a pretty rare occurrence, since we lived in Texas at the time.)
Anyway, I went and got my mother’s button jar and stuck every one of those buttons into the snowman. He was very sporty until he melted the next day.

Did you grow up with: Button Box, Button Jar, Button Tin?
Button Jars, all the way. I use big Masons now, sorted by color family.

Where is it now?
My Mom’s button jar is lost to history, apparently, but my grandmother just sent me her mother’s button collection. I blogged about some of them here: http://bit.ly/13SEGu They’re amazing – she saved so many different kinds! I’ll admit, though: I’m so freaked out about having them, I haven’t even taken them from the bag they were shipped in. I mean, am I really ready for such responsibility? 🙂
What/who inspires you?
The online craft community inspires me every single day. For much of my teen and adult life, I didn’t share my crafty side with anyone, and finding another crafter in my neighborhood? Forget about it! But now, what a gift to be in a group of like-minded souls all over the world, and to be able to share and talk with them each day. I love it.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
Wow, that’s a hard one! I have a stuffed doll, complete with three costumes, that my Mom made me some years ago. And I have some wooden cars my Dad made. And stashed away in my closet, a beautiful little flowered dress that my great great grandmother hand sewed for my Mom when she was a little girl. I love these reminders that I come from a very creative family.

Thank you Sister Diane for sharing your button memories with us! I am especially smitten by your own blog entry about the responsibility of taking care you your great grandmother’s button collection! Check out Sister Diane at CraftyPod and her books Kanzashi in Bloom, and e-books :Weaving Un-loomed & Making a Great Blog. Do you have a great button story? I’d love to hear it! Email me at atomatwork@gmail.com & I’d love to interview you!


3 Responses

  1. Thanks for this interview! I love the features Diane shares on her blog about buttons, and all her craft inspiration. Your blog is fun; I'll be back.

  2. What a wonderful feature and great interview! Sister Diane hosts my all-time favorite podcast, and it was nifty finding out more about her button obsession. I thank her for putting into words something I have been trying to convey to people about my button collection for years. I don't collect for the value either, I just accumulate them, sort them and appreciate them…sometimes I even use them!

  3. […] If you’re not familiar with Sister Diane, you’re in for a treat! Sister Diane as she is known through her long-standing podcast and blog CraftyPod, is a lover of both cats, buttons and (not so secretly) plastic canvas.  Read my interview with Diane on her love of buttons: Button Memories with Sister Diane. […]

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