Crafty Memories

Buttons Jar Tomato Pin Cushion Craft Room Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Buttons” today, my mind went back in time to when I was a kid. My mother was quite crafty and I remember her sewing room was always filled with lots of wonderful things. From jars of various buttons to that little tomato pin cushion, I always found it all so fascinating. There were so many bolts of fabrics in various colors and patterns that adorned the shelves along the walls. She could consistently take the most unexpected things and put them together to produce something new and amazing. Though I did attempt sewing and other crafts as a kid, I could never quite produce the wondrous things that she would make. But, it gave me a lifelong love of making things from scratch that I still enjoy today via my little sketchbook. Though I might not be able to sew on a button properly, I can at least sketch them now. And this brought back so many lovely memories of a time that feels both long ago and like it was only yesterday.

As I grew up, my mother and I teamed up on many different projects. I would come up with an idea and she would make it appear. This worked really well while I was doing theatre as she helped create many of my costumes. And, of course, I could become whatever I wanted to be at Halloween as she masterfully transformed me into the latest popular character that caught my fancy that year. I don’t have any of those costumes today, although it would be fun to see them again. Nor do I have the denim shirt that she lovingly added parrots to via beautifully executed hand embroidery. Yeah, I always had a thing for birds. Not that those shirts would fit me now, of course, but I remember them quite vividly. It wasn’t the latest fashion or some label that the other kids were wearing those days. But, here’s something truly special about getting an item made by hand that makes every memory burn a bit brighter.

Now as an adult, I fully credit my mother for the creative journey that I set upon. Though I didn’t make things all of my career, I’ve always had a creative job directing others who make lovely things. I really can’t imagine a life where I wasn’t constantly in the presence of seeing new things appear. It’s why I adore my art journey and love seeing all of the things that our community creates. There are so many beautiful bits of arts and crafts that are created each and every day. It takes me back to when I was a kid. Those days where making something new didn’t seem like some unique moment, it just felt like living a lovely life. Indeed, I think that the act of making something can create a happier life for everyone. No matter what you love to make, just keep right on making it! And, I’m quite happy to have a mother who taught me how to live a creative life as I keep making those crafty memories.

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Buttons Jar Tomato Pin Cushion Craft Room Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 2 years ago

    My mother also had the craft room with buttons and bolts and sewing machines. I never cottoned to sewing, though I have always dreamed of creating a book like those old fashion samplers, where miniature versions of dresses and costumes were hand-sewn and attached to book pages, so customers could flip through and see the styles. Wisely, I think, I realized that my expertise and attention-span did not match my desire to create such a book.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Oh wow! Such a book sounds amazing!! I’ve never seen a book like that! 😃💕

  2. writerleenda 2 years ago

    Hi Charlie, My mother always sewed and while I did for a couple of years I still have that tomato pin cushion I had to have for Home Economics classes. I have another use for straight pins — two of those together make a smaller hole than a picture hook (without the glass and not heavy). She and her mother crocheted, and she knitted and embroidered as well and spent an inordinate bunch of energy trying to interest me. Not a chance. You have to sit still for that. As if.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      hehe! So true! It looks so fun until you realized how long you have to sit still on focus on it! 😉 But that’s wonderful you still have your pin cushion! 😃💕

  3. Mary Roff 2 years ago

    Wonderful doodle and memories, Charlie! I think that tomato pin cushion is a memory most of us share with you. 😍

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah, I miss seeing that little pin cushion!

  4. swxe 2 years ago

    Have you ever Doodlewashed a re-creation of the parrot shirt?
    Would love to see that — and likely so would a lot of self-described “ParrotHeads”…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Oh wow! I haven’t tried to re-create it. I think I remember it well, but would probably need a photo to do it justice. I’ll have to ask my mom if she has one! 😉

  5. Karen Fortier 2 years ago

    Wonderful post and special memories! My mom would make my clothes and my Nana taught me to sew. I too have a jar of buttons and a tomato pin cushion but don’t sew much anymore.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 That’s wonderful that your Nana taught you to sew. I wish I’d taken to it, but it just wasn’t for me.

  6. Lisa 2 years ago

    I can’t sew worth a darn, nor could my mother, but my Grandma Mabel was a sewing rock star. For as long as I can remember, grandma made all of my father’s shirts. I wish I had thought to take one after he died because they were unique and totally him. Grandma also sewed for me. She made a bridesmaid’s dress for me once, and other things I can’t even remember. She also crocheted slippers and afghans, and she made quilts. I’m sure she had a button box too. I wish I had that too. Good memories!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Glad this brought back great memories, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, I wish I’d kept more things like that. My grandmother sewed so many wonderful things as well!

  7. Gary Middleton 2 years ago

    Beautiful doodle Charlie. I remember my grandma having an old sewing machine, which I’m sure she turned a handle on the end to make it work. It was black with gold linework.

    • writerleenda 2 years ago

      That would be a Singer. My Nonna had one too and after that I had my own. They did have electric ones but in those days nobody threw things out.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Yeah, I remember those sewing machines… kind of cool, but looked like a lot of work!

  8. Sharon Nolfi 2 years ago

    Beautiful buttons and memories of your mom!

  9. Mugdha 2 years ago

    Hello Charlie,

    “No matter what you love to make, just keep right on making it!” WOW!!!! That jumped right off the screen. My mom was fabulous at sewing too and when we were kids she made all our dresses. She too had jar of buttons which my sister and I would painstakingly sort into tiny piles of different sizes everytime she opened the jar – only for them all to go right back into the jar together. Thanks so much for bringing back such happy funny memories. The sketch as usual, is magical.


    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 So happy this brought back lovely memories!

  10. LoriCtoo 2 years ago

    So lovely. You should turn this into a card for Momma. I still have my first tomato pincushion. 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Yeah, I should make this into a card!

  11. Loan Anh Pham 2 years ago

    Wow, it’s absolutely beautiful painting, Charlie 😍

  12. Fatima Chamkha 2 years ago

    .You made a beautiful sketch with the buttons and needle cushion!

  13. Jerson Antao 2 years ago

    Nice thought Charlie! very nicely rendered😊!

  14. Priscilla DeConti 2 years ago

    Beautiful real creatives in my family so I don’t know where my affinity comes from LOL In any case.sounds like your mother is a love and she instilled in you a wonderful spirit!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 Yes, my mother is wonderful and very creative. I was quite lucky!

  15. Cheryl Thompson 2 years ago

    My Mom had a tin of buttons. Some of them were antiques passed down from her mother. I remember her telling me they would cut buttons off worn out clothes to reuse, many were made from ivory and wood. We used to sort them & put them back too. My Mom could sew, but her Mother was the real sewing rock star. I did learn to sew and made my own clothes for many years as well as for my son and many, many gifts. When mu Mom sold her house and her sewing machine, she gave me some of those buttons, which I keep in a divided box, already sorted!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Oh that’s so wonderful, Cheryl! Those old buttons are a real treasure indeed!! Awesome! 😃💕

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