A Thimbleful of Thoughts

Apr 12

I have recently been writing guest blogger posts over at BurdaStyle.com. Recently, I wrote an article called “Mother of Pearl Buttons: A Uniquely American Triumph.” Since I wrote that article, a couple of thoughts have come to me that I wanted to share with you.


Lindsey Ibarra, managing editor at BurdaStyle on her recent visit to my studio

First off, writing for BurdaStyle has been great fun. I’m given the freedom to write on my love of vintage and sewing and Lindsey Ibarra, BurdaSyle’s managing editor and a Midwestern transplant, is an absolute joy to work with. I bring this up because, if you aren’t a regular reader/visitor, you need to be. It is a fantastic community of creative sewers who are both inspirational and helpful.


A postcard of The Woman’s Institute for Domestic Arts, Scranton, PA. Circa 19XX

Next, writing the Mother of Pearl post was extremely satisfying to me because it let me tell another story of American opportunity & ingenuity. The American Dream is not solely about a post-war boon of suburban houses, appliances and garages filled with cars. It’s about centuries of people coming here to this country for the freedom to think, create, and lead. John Fredrick Boepple was not responsible for just the surge and popularity of mother of pearl buttons, he was responsible for hundreds of families being able to live & prosper in a small Midwestern town at the turn of the century. Not an easy task, to say the least. This is also why Mary Brooks Picken and The Institute, the inspirations for my Vintage Notions book, are “Uniquely American Triumphs” as well. Mary and The Institute did not exist simply to help women spend their domestic time more creatively. They existed to empower women, encourage them to find personal and economic strength in themselves and spur them on to share in The American Dream too.

Lastly, for my readers who may be as obsessed with mother of pearl buttons as I am (although I doubt there are many!) or for those simply looking for a jolt of creative inspiration, I’d like to give away six mother of pearl button cards from my personal collection (see photo at left). All you have to do is leave me a comment, tell a mother of pearl story of any kind, and I’ll draw one winner from all of you who comment.

As always, thanks for letting me share my life and my love of all things vintage.

~ Amy

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