Monday, April 27, 2015

It's Not Just Sew Sew

It’s Not Just Sew Sew

The old West had a shortage of everything except hard times and backbreaking work and there was sure plenty of that. Pioneer women took extra pains with all their belongings and to lose something as small as a button really was difficult to take.

Buttons have been around approximately 4,000 years with its history dating back to Egypt. Archaeologists have unearthed them in ancient tombs and in archaeological digs.

At first buttons were used entirely for decoration. Men and women both wore buttons to adorn themselves. King Louis XIV of France spent $600,000 a year on buttons and King Francis I once had 13,600 buttons sewn to a single coat. The First Duke of Buckingham had a suit and cloak covered in diamond buttons. Talk about extravagant.

From ancient times, buttons have been fashioned from pearls, shells, glass, metal, wood, bone and antler, precious stones, porcelain, and leather among other materials. It appears that our ancestors made buttons from everything imaginable that was available at the time. Buttons with images of angels on them date back hundreds of years. Early buttons showed beautiful artistry. Artists filled their time painting portraits and scenery on them. Europe became so button crazy the church denounced them as “the devil’s snare,” mainly because of women’s buttoned-front dresses. Even the Puritans condemned buttons as sinful.

No one is quite sure when someone came along and fashioned the first buttonhole, but it was quite an accomplishment. Everyone jumped on the band wagon. It was so nice to able to make form-fitting garments that didn’t have to be secured with a belt, rope or other device.

Sadly, decorated buttons have become a lost art. These today are made of plastic.

Vintage Buttons 

Button collecting began in the 1930’s. The National Button Society was formed in 1938. There are thousands of collectors today. People collect all kinds and shapes and some of the prices fetched for a single button is outrageous. Recently, a button was sold in auction for $850.

The Smithsonian Institution has an extensive button collection as do many other museums.

Did you know that March 13-19 is National Button Week?

I'll have a new book out on May 5th! The second one in the Bachelor of Battle Creek series -- TWICE A TEXAS BRIDE!

Scars of the past run deep inside former saloon owner Rand Sinclair, leaving jagged pain and two certainties. He'll never fall in love again. Never marry. He finally has the ranch and land he's dreamed of owning and that's enough.

But when he finds a woman and little boy hiding out in one of his outbuildings in the bitter cold, he can't turn his back. He offers her a safe haven and the warmth of his fire.

Callie Quinn is on the run from a killer outlaw who has vowed to see her dead and take the boy.

Slowly, Rand uncovers her secrets and realizes the only way to keep her safe is to push all his chips to the center of the table. He risks everything...his name...and his heart...for the woman who's awakened a fierce hunger for love.
Locked in a desperate battle to rid themselves of the outlaw's special brand of terror, Rand reaches deep inside for every weapon in his arsenal.
Whoever wants to harm her will have to go through him.
And he’ll go through hell for her.
* * *
Here's a short excerpt involving buttons:

Sliding her hand beneath the soft hair at the nape of his neck, she parted her mouth slightly. When his tongue dipped inside, she faintly tasted peaches. She’d never felt so much need well up inside. She needed Rand like she needed air and food and to be loved. How could she have lived this long without him?

A second later, he removed his mouth from hers and murmured. “You drive me crazy, woman. Would you mind if I unfasten some buttons of your dress?”

“How many?” What a dumb question, but her brain had deserted her. The tingles doing back-flips and twirls up and down her spine had made forming coherent thought impossible.

“Three. Or four. You have so many.” He flashed a fleeting grin. “I have the greatest desire to feel my wife's skin. Will you welcome me?”

“Yes,” she managed to whisper.

The cool air was welcome on her flesh as he undid the four buttons she’d allotted. But he didn't stop. She covered his hand with hers. "You said four and that's what I agreed to."

"I never was much good at arithmetic." He took her hand and kissed each of her fingertips before he resumed his mission. 

* * *

Do you have a stash of buttons? Can you imagine wearing a piece of clothing that has over 13,000 buttons sewn on it?

I'm giving away a book to two people who comment. Their choice of Texas Mail Order Bride or Twice a Texas Bride in either print or e-book.

Amazon Links:

Texas Mail Order Bride:

Twice a Texas Bride:

Linda Broday, Historical Romance Author

I'm a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. My interest in reading and history came very early, so when I began writing historical romances it was no surprise to anyone. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. I love scouring history books and the internet for little known details to add to my stories. I've been accused, and quite unjustly I might add, of making myself a nuisance at museums and libraries. Humble roots and the love of family have become focal points of each book I write. I hope you like the stories I endeavor to bring to you and that you'll try my new Bachelors of Battle Creek series.

You can Contact me:

Visit me at:
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On Twitter:  


Linda Broday said...

Hi Sarah! Thank you for having me. I always love coming to the Romance Room. I'm so happy to share my new book with everyone. TWICE A TEXAS BRIDE was such fun to write. Rand Sinclair turned into a much deeper character than I knew when I introduced him in Texas Mail Order Bride. He has such a fierce desire to protect his family and will go through fire to do it. He loves children and when little Toby called him Papa, it brought tears to his eyes. Callie and Rand's love story started slow but boy did it blossom.

I hope everyone enjoys what I've written. The story came from my heart and I'm really proud of it.

Thanks again for giving me such a warm welcome!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

You're very welcome, Linda. It's such a pleasure to have you blog with us.
I was fascinated by this article about buttons. I had no idea how important buttons were in history. I mean, like who knew? LOL
Readers are going to love your Texas Brides books, Linda. I like it when love builds slowly into a wildfire. Isn't it amazing--and surprising, how a character takes on a life of their own and we are stunned by how much they mean to us?
I wish you continued success and happiness in all you do.

Linda Broday said...

Thank you, Sarah! It's fun being here. I'm always looking for little interesting historical tidbits. One reason is that I blog so much and need fresh material. But probably the real reason is my insatiable curiosity and love for history. I'm not lying about museums and libraries being my favorite places in the world. LOL

I'm really hoping readers will love my new Twice a Texas Bride. These stories come from a place deep inside me.

Thanks again for your warm welcome.

TracyG said...

Linda, I have a couple of old Mason jars with buttons in them from grandmothers and others. None are particularly unusual--I just love all the colors. Thanks for the great post.

Renaissance Women said...

Oh Linda, your post brought up memories of my great grandmother and her tiny sewing room with her jars of buttons. I still remember going into the sewing/ closet room and feeling at home. Thank you. It is a feeling and memory that I'd forgotten.

In addition, loved the excerpt and concept of this story. Another winner. Doris McCraw/Angela Raines

Sandy said...

My grandmother gave me her Texas tin with buttons galore! I still have it in a place of honor on my great-grandmother's peddle sewing machine. The tin has the battle of San Jacinto on it with the state of Texas and bluebonnets on the lid. I love everything about that tin and what it represents! :)

Beverly Wells author said...

Linda, Gosh I too had forgotten about all my grandmother's buttons she had in jars and pin boxes. (She also stored Liberty bell half dollars in men's work boots). I used to take the buttons and play with them, count them, match them up and put them away for the next time. Thanks for taking me down memory lane for a short time. And I had no idea buttons were so important way, way back when. So thank you for a delightful read and I loved the excerpt--oh, oh, when he asked her if he could the buttons, well I can't wait to read this one. Wishing you much success. Great cvoer too.

Sandy said...

Hi Linda, It's Sandy. Apparently, I did not have my profile updated when I commented above ^. I hope this works, now. Thanks! Can't wait to read your new one!

Linda Broday said...

Hi Tracy! I'm glad you liked my blog. Buttons can provide a history of your family. I would LOVE to see those that belonged to your grandmothers. I love the colors too and I like unusual shapes.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I appreciate it.

Linda Broday said...

Hi Renaissance Women (Doris)! Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment. I'm go glad I could remind you of something you'd forgotten. Buttons are such simple things but I'll never forget my mom's stash of buttons. That was a special time and she caused me to start my own collection.

I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt and blurb of Twice a Texas Bride. Take care and have a good day. It's raining here and is a very welcome sight.

Linda Broday said...

Hi Sandy! Oh gosh, this is wonderful! I'm so happy to see you. Thank you for coming by. I'm glad you enjoyed my post. How wonderful that you have your grandmother's button collection in your Texas tin. What an appropriate place. With a picture of San Jacinto on it, that is a keeper in itself! Those buttons are in a safe place, guarded by the Texas seal and and pretty bluebonnets. I'd love to see both the tin and the buttons. That would be fun.

I hope you're well and I hope you enjoy Twice a Texas Bride. Who knows? You might just win a copy. I hope I see you around sometime.

Linda Broday said...

Hi Beverly! Thank you so much for coming by. It's great to see you. I loved your comment. How funny that your grandmother kept her stash of Liberty Bell half dollars in men's work boots! That's a story all its own for sure. I, too, used to take such enjoyment from taking my mother's buttons out and looking at them. I was easily amused. But the things was, all those colors and shapes fascinated me.

I'm so glad you enjoyed my blog and the excerpt to Twice a Texas Bride. I loved writing that scene. It was so much fun. Maybe you'll win a copy. That would be wonderful.

Have a wonderful day!

Unknown said...

Who knew there was a national organization devoted to button collectors?

Thanks for this entertaining read, Linda. My mother and both grandmothers kept jars of buttons everywhere -- ostensibly so they'd have just the right button if one needed to be replaced somewhere. To my knowledge, they never used a single button from any of their jars. :-D

I wish you the best with your new release, dear lady. I know it'll be another winner. :-)


Cheryl Pierson said...

Linda, I have the button container that I made for my mom in Bible school one summer. It's a little cardboard carton with a lid, maybe 5 or 6 inches tall and 4 inches across. We got to glue buttons and ric-rac on it to decorate it and make a face. LOL I cherish that so much, mainly because it was something I was so proud of, and she used it from the time I gave it to her when I was about 6 or 7.


Linda Broday said...

Hi Kathleen! Thanks for coming. I'm so glad you enjoyed my blog and found it entertaining. Of course there's a national button collectors organization. I think there's one for every single thing. LOL! I'll bet your mother and grandmothers had a huge stash. Of my button collection, I can recall using buttons out of it only twice. But...they were there when I needed 'em. I'm darn sure gonna hang onto mine.

Thanks for the well wishes for Twice a Texas Bride!

Big hugs back!

Linda Broday said...

Hi Cheryl! Thank you for coming. I'm glad you enjoyed my blog. How special to still have that button box you made in Bible school! I'm sure your mom treasured that. Things don't have to be worth a lot of money to have a place in our hearts.

Thank you again for making time to come. I know how busy you are.

Jan Sikes said...

Buttons were always a large part of our growing-up years as our mom made all of our clothes. I can remember going with her to pick out buttons for a new dress and I can remember digging through her button jar to find a replacement when one fell off.
When I had The Saturday Store, many customers came in searching for antique buttons. I still have a container full of them and dig around them now and then for a replacement. Amazing how such a tiny thing can hold so much importance. I think there's a lesson in there. Great blog, sister!! Can't wait to read Rand and Callie's story.

Linda Broday said...

Hi Jan! Thank you for coming. I appreciate it. I know how busy you are. Since we're sisters makes it even more special. I never knew you had people coming to the Saturday store looking for them. Wow! Yes, I too, remember Mom's jar of buttons. I sure wish I had them now. I'm sure someone tossed them out after she passed, thinking they weren't worth anything.

I hope you like Rand's and Callie's love story. Their love starts out slow but oh how it blossoms! I think this might be my favorite of all of the Bachelor stories.

Love and hugs!

Kristy McCaffrey said...

Hi Linda,
I'm a little late, but what an interesting post about buttons. But, even better was the excerpt. Love it!!

Zina Abbott Author said...

Great post, Linda. I love the picture of the vintage buttons. We forget that before the invention of plastic in the 1950s, we had to rely on other materials for buttons. I have a great-great grandmother who, on the Birmingham, England census, listed her occupation as a button maker. Her father was a jeweler, so I suspect the same techniques for cutting precious stones were used to cut glass buttons.

Best wishes on your book release.

Robyn Echols w/a Zina Abbott

Linda Broday said...

Hi Kristy! Thank you for coming over. I'm glad my post about buttons was interesting. And I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the excerpt! This book was so much fun. Their love story starts slowly but oh man, does it heat up!

Linda Broday said...

Hi Robyn! Thank you for coming by. I enjoyed your comment and am glad you found my button post of interest. Thank you for sharing that tidbit about your great great grandmother being a button maker! Wow! I would love to have known her. I agree on the fact that button makers probably used the same skills as jewelers. Or at least the same techniques. Very interesting! I love it.

Thanks again for coming!

Linda Broday said...

My thanks to everyone who came and chatted. It was fun and I enjoyed talking to each of you.

WINNER of the two copies of TWICE A TEXAS BRIDE are.....


I'll try to contact you through Facebook. You can contact me at: lindabroday (at) aol (dot) com

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Congratulations to the winners, Sandy and Beverly. Y'all are in for a treat.
Thank you so much for posting at The Romance Room, Linda. It was so much fun having you here.
All good things to your corner of the universe.

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