Picture This.

If Mr. Groundhog can come out of his hole so can I!  It seems lately I've lived in the same sweats, slippers and robe for three months straight.  I'm not sure if it's the negative temps outside or still feeling groggy from winter colds, but it's time to get back to normal life.  Now that February has arrived, our family has a lot to look forward to, including spring being just around the corner, fingers crossed.

I finally crept down to my studio, stood in front of my bench and said "lets do this!"  No, seriously, I did.  ;)  I took a peak at my vintage buttons and noticed the ones that inspire me the most are these beautiful picture buttons.  I mainly stick with militaristic or nautical themes but as I delve more into researching rare fasteners, I'm finding that although military buttons can hold a profound memory, picture buttons are beautifully detailed and engaging.  

These button designs are from the Victorian Era.  They are romantic and feminine.  Some feature scenes from classical art, fairtytales, operas, and commonplace themes.  Most are from the mid 1800's and include building motifs, The Buglar of Cracow on his church, and botanical scenes, which I took a close up of, are pictured.



I found these grape and strawberry themed buttons through a dealer on Etsy - how cute are they?  Perfect for the farmer or fruitarian friend you have, ha!  Most buttons from this time period are steel, mother of pearl, wood, horn, or glass.

An interesting factoid about the Victorian Era is Queen Victoria's influence on the button industry. When her husband, Prince Albert died, the Queen wore jet (black gemstone) jewelry and buttons as a sign of her mourning (which lasted many years).  This gave rise to Mourning Jewelry.  As jet was expensive and difficult to work with, black glass, onyx, and vulcanite become popular alternatives.

Hopefully in the next few weeks I can begin to work on transforming these pictorial buttons into necklaces and rings.  If only I wasn't shivering all the time!  That torch of mine might be better served as a fire starter than a tool for soldering.  :)