I can’t believe that the granddaughter is going to be 2 next month. I swear it was just last month that I was rocking her and feeding her a bottle. Honestly, I’m getting a little freaked out about how time is passing by so fast. It didn’t go this fast when I was younger. I swear it.

Of course this big event requires a new dress. In my head, I see this beautiful child in a frilly dress with matching accessories. All of her little friends and their mothers will oooo and awww at the matching bow and bracelet while my daughter looks at me with a sweet smile and says “It’s beautiful…you are the best Granny in the world”. This darling child picks up her fork to nibble at her cake, being careful not to get anything on her lovely dress.  In reality, the cake will be in the fingers, on the dress, and in the hair. I figure that within 10 minutes the matching accessories will probably hit the dirt, along with the sash on the dress. My daughter will be so busy feeding toddlers that she will whiz past me with a peck on the cheek saying “thanks mom” and go off to rescue her carpet from the herd of kids with cupcakes. Within 20 minutes, the dress will have food spatters and grimy fingerprints and grass stains…and that is all just perfectly fine with me. I think reality is a bit more fun than my starched and pressed imagination. We are definitely not a family that will ever be portayed in a Martha Stewart magazine!

I loved making this dress. I want to make more. It is one of the cutest, easiest things that I’ve ever managed to pull together in my rushed and sloppy way. It can be made in about an hour. Add an hour for the sash, 2 hours for the bows, 1 hour for the bracelet, and another hour ironing and posing it for picture….well that’s just me. You can make in an hour…promise. The tutorial I used is from The Crafty Cupboard. I Found it on Pinterest…where else? Cute huh?

 So how is this post related to a Button Box? Well, since I try not to write about random things that interest only me (like all of the above), I have to find my inspiration somewhere. And while I was making the matching hair bow, I had to get out THE Button Box.

The button box is probably the single thing that I possess that brings my Mom back to me for a few minutes. It’s old and beat up and is so beautiful to me. It’s an original, back when shabby wasn’t chic, just practical. I have no idea whose fruit cake it was, or if anyone ate it. Since nothing was ever wasted in my family, I am sure that someone choked it down. And I know that Mom spied that tin and thought of the millions of things she could store in there. She was a keeper in more ways than one!

There is no end to the treasures that it contains. As a child, I thought it was magical and was so proud when a button from my outgrown clothes made it into the box. I know they are still in there somewhere.  I am sure there buttons from all 5 of us, plus the ones that I’ve added over the years.

There are common buttons.

There are some matching ones

There are bargain buttons

There are very ugly buttons that resemble severed fingertips.

There are some really pretty ones that are one of a kind.

There is even a little tiny bunny rabbit button and a little wooden goose left over from my country decorating days.

When I was very small, my Mom used to have me do little chores for her to “help her out”. You guessed it! Separating the buttons by color and stringing them together so they would be “easier to find”.  Of course now I know that she was just keeping me busy and out of her hair by making me feel productive and useful. I think that this is a dying art in parenting. I fear that kids are losing that feeling of “helping” because it’s so much easier to stick them in front of the tv than to make up a job for them to do. I think that these small tasks that Mom delegated to me helped to form my work ethic and my servant’s heart, and I am grateful every day for those qualities.  There were lots of little things that I helped with such as sorting through her mementos and pictures which gave me a love for old trinkets and baubles and histories. I can remember beating rugs (to make me spend time outside;) washing dishes (and if you don’t get them clean, Daddy will make you do the ALL over again); cleaning the bathroom (because you can make it all shiny!); grating carrots (for my birthday carrot cake and carrot raisin salad ((YUM)); snapping beans and shelling peas (which I HATED to do). The list goes on, but you get the point. Hands were not idle in our house. I do have a hard time sitting still and I like to be doing something with my hands,  or reading, or eating :-/ at all times. I have a hard time relaxing. But it’s much better than the alternative of sitting around on my keister. I am so blessed to have had parents who understood the value of work…not just for money but for that inner satisfaction you get from a job well done. Thanks Mom and Dad!