Saturday, March 24, 2012


I received a package this week - from my mom... in it, like my son put it, 'a treasure!'

She packed it well - smaller packages inside - lots of small ornamental boxes... you open the lid and a new treasure comes to live! Lots of vintage jewelry - pieces and bits, broken strands, miss-matched earrings; but also adorable colours and beads, lovely old earrings (really old).

We kept opening box after box in awe (my son and I) - he kept asking 'is this how things are done in Romania?' and I kept telling him everything he sees is over 30 years old (there are pieces over 50 years old), some were mommy's, some were grandma's, some were great-grandma's and some might be even older. She sent one of my own wood construction set - and he reverentially touched it... I asked him to build something and he asked "aren't you afraid it will break?" He took it like a museum piece :) Then he cautiously started to play with it and the look on his face was quite precious.

In between everything - another small treasure: a fraction of the button collections we have there... You should have seen me! I used to play with those buttons; every now and then I'd take them out of their boxes (3 or 4 big cookie metal boxes) and sort them, play with them, choose my favourites... it was a rare and pleasant journey in time - I could see myself sited in front of the big mirror, playing with the buttons. I spilled them on the table and admired them:

Vintage buttons (some are over 70 years old!) :: All Pretty Things

There are buttons in all shapes and colours:

Vintage buttons: Military Uniform :: All Pretty Things

Some old military uniform buttons (one might be Russian, mom will know better, I'll ask)

Vintage buttons: Mother of Pearl, Wood, Plastic :: All Pretty Things

Mother of pearl buttons and odd-shaped wooden buttons: in all colours, materials, and forms

Vintage buttons: Big and small, simple and complex, colourful or neutral:: All Pretty Things

Big buttons and small buttons, colourful buttons and neutral buttons, simple textured buttons and beautifully textured buttons.

Vintage buttons: odd shirt buttons :: All Pretty Things

Buttons without their pairs, enameled or with a small beautiful bead.

Vintage buttons: Scout bandana rings :: All Pretty Things

These are rings for our 'Scouts' bandannas... the well-known 'Pionieri'...

Vintage buttons: Fruit pit, handmade :: All Pretty Things

Buttons made by my mom (many eons ago) from fruit pits: she drilled them herself :) [yeah, you can see where I inherit my artsy gene from]

Vintage buttons: Fabric, handmade :: All Pretty Things

And buttons made by my grandmother - they are at least 43 years old. My grandmother was a seamstress (a very good one - yeah, you see when I inherited the sewing, knitting, crocheting gene from) and sometimes she made the buttons to match the suits. I LOVE the black & white one, I have a dress exactly like that! I will have to come up with an idea to use it in a piece... can you imagine? wearing that dress (which I adore anyhow, it's just beautiful) with a piece of jewelry made with my own grandmother button? To grasp the enormity of this idea - I didn't know my grandmother, she passed before I was born... it will be such a wonderful moment...

This is the treasure my mom sent us - a personal and full of memories treasure!

Thanks, Mom!


  1. wow, that sounds awesome! so glad you and your son received such a fabulous treasure that you were able to share with your son for him to enjoy :)

    1. Thanks, Skye - it is, indeed, awesome! And I do intend to share with him much more - the life he knows has (almost) nothing in common to the life I knew when I was growing up :)

  2. I love your story, Alicia. I wonder if our parents and other relatives know how much the little things they touch mean to us later? My own mother passed away nearly 2 years ago, and my sister has had the task of going through a house full of things to decide what goes where and what simply has to go. It's things like Mom's kitchen utensils and sewing box that cause a lump in our throat and we long to touch and hold and keep.

    Like Skye, I'm really glad your son got to be a part of that moment too and feel the sense of awe along with you at the precious gifts your Mom sent. Enjoy them all!

    1. Thak you, Sharyl! I am so sorry for your loss - I can't even imagine going through the things that are left behind.

      I don't know if they do realize - I know my mom thought (until recently, when she expressed her concerns loudly and I was taken aback on why in the peaceful world she'd think that) - she thought I don't care a bit for what I left behind. When the opposite is quite true - if I could, I would bring over many of my childhood mementos. They are part of us - I know some people think that us leaving the country we were born in is a sign we don't care, but that's not really true: we care alot about our own, personal history.

  3. Alicia, Thank you for taking us on your journey down memory lane. That is an amazing gift your Mom sent to you and now you can past it down to your Son. When you talked about sitting and playing with the buttons it brought back my own memories of playing with my Great Grandma's buttons while I sat beside her old petal powered Singer sewing machine.

    1. Thanks, Therese - and yes! the Singer sewing machine! My mom had one (from my grandma), my mom's aunt had one... I grew up beside the pedal of one :) I still remember my first piece of clothing I sew on that machine... I was pretty ambitious and instead of making something for my dolls (liek I did when learning to knit and crochet) I decided to make myself a pair of shorts. Of the cutest material ever! The problem? I cut both side on the same side of material :)

  4. Alicia, yes I can see how the crafty gene sure runs in your family!! What an heirloom, to have this trove of buttons passed down to you. They are really incredible, and most probably have a great story associated with them. I thought the pit buttons that your Mom drilled were especially neat!

    1. Thank you, Cindy :) Yes, I am trying to get specific stories from my mom, it's hard at the moment, since I am somehow removed from lost of history behind them, for her is even more personal (and painful)... I am working on it - since this is part of our family's history.
      Glad you like the pit buttons - I wore some of them (in fact I have some right now on a vest she knitted for me)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate and love to read your comments!