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Author Topic: Button Bag  (Read 1534 times)

Rishuu

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Button Bag
« on: September 06, 2014, 09:40:16 pm »
My Dad recently gave me some of my grandmothers old belongings.  In the box, amongst so many other treasures, were two jars of buttons.  I can't even begin to describe the pull these buttons have for me.  Apparently they had a similar pull for her.  According to my Dad she collected them for years, and he played with them for hours at a time as a small child growing up.  

Ever since he gave them to me it's been fluttering at the edge of my consciousness that there was something special to be done with them.  Today it came to me in a sudden flash that I wanted to make a button bag.  Similar in concept to the Haida button blankets.  I'd like to use the bag for when I am collecting things while I am on walks/hikes etc and also for carrying items to and from rituals.  

I don't have a specific path I've committed myself to so my concepts are a little vague in this area.  I've heard it said that only natural fibers should be used to care for and store ritual items.  I've also heard it said, or probably read somewhere, that items used for a ritual purpose shouldn't be used for mundane activities or chores.  

So my questions are these...

Seeing as a good number of the buttons I'm planning on using are made of plastic, is it necessary to stick with natural fibers or can I toss that one out the window?  Or would I be better off only using the wooden and glass buttons and going with natural fibers?

If I decide on occasion I just want to wear/use my bag for another purpose does that mean it can't be used for holding/carrying ritual or sacred items again?

I'm not big on fancy dedication rituals.  Is it enough to simply sew the buttons on with intent?  

Just holding these buttons in my hand is a spiritual experience for me.  The sense of being connected to what has gone before me and what is yet to come is so strong.  It's an incredibly peaceful experience of feeling my place in the ebb and flow of it all.  I'm a little hesitant to work with them.  I've never experienced anything quite so powerful or so moving.  I don't want to mess up the feeling they hold for me.  I want to treat them reverently, but not artificially so.  Does that make any sense?

HarpingHawke

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Re: Button Bag
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2014, 10:02:04 pm »
Quote from: Rishuu;158251


Seeing as a good number of the buttons I'm planning on using are made of plastic, is it necessary to stick with natural fibers or can I toss that one out the window?  Or would I be better off only using the wooden and glass buttons and going with natural fibers?

If I decide on occasion I just want to wear/use my bag for another purpose does that mean it can't be used for holding/carrying ritual or sacred items again?

I'm not big on fancy dedication rituals.  Is it enough to simply sew the buttons on with intent?  

Just holding these buttons in my hand is a spiritual experience for me.  The sense of being connected to what has gone before me and what is yet to come is so strong.  It's an incredibly peaceful experience of feeling my place in the ebb and flow of it all.  I'm a little hesitant to work with them.  I've never experienced anything quite so powerful or so moving.  I don't want to mess up the feeling they hold for me.  I want to treat them reverently, but not artificially so.  Does that make any sense?

 
Okay, so take what I say with about a gallon of salt because I do not pretend to be the authority on this, but...

To answer your natural fibers question, I have a saying that's more tongue-in-cheek than anything else: Plastic will not kill the fairies. By this I mean that if it feels right to you, what it's made of doesn't matter. So if you find plastic buttons you want to use, then use those.

I use a knife I use for carving ritual items to make spoons and when I feel the need to cast a circle (not usually) I use an oyster shucker. Some traditions will say that it's imperative to have only one use for an item deemed sacred, and sometimes that actually is important, but...eh...it's not much of something to be concerned with. If the energy feels low or nasty by the time you're done, you can cleanse it. What matters is your intent while using it.

And I think you can just sew the items on with intent and it'll be okay. :)

Treating them reverently is different for everyone, but go with your instincts and you'll be fine.

Now I'm going to let other people answer, because this has gone on far too long and they'll probably have better answers. :whis:
« Last Edit: September 06, 2014, 10:03:23 pm by HarpingHawke »
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random417

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Re: Button Bag
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2014, 10:13:35 pm »
Quote from: Rishuu;158251
My Dad recently gave me some of my grandmothers old belongings.  In the box, amongst so many other treasures, were two jars of buttons.  I can't even begin to describe the pull these buttons have for me.  Apparently they had a similar pull for her.  According to my Dad she collected them for years, and he played with them for hours at a time as a small child growing up.  

Ever since he gave them to me it's been fluttering at the edge of my consciousness that there was something special to be done with them.  Today it came to me in a sudden flash that I wanted to make a button bag.  Similar in concept to the Haida button blankets.  I'd like to use the bag for when I am collecting things while I am on walks/hikes etc and also for carrying items to and from rituals.  

I don't have a specific path I've committed myself to so my concepts are a little vague in this area.  I've heard it said that only natural fibers should be used to care for and store ritual items.  I've also heard it said, or probably read somewhere, that items used for a ritual purpose shouldn't be used for mundane activities or chores.  

So my questions are these...

Seeing as a good number of the buttons I'm planning on using are made of plastic, is it necessary to stick with natural fibers or can I toss that one out the window?  Or would I be better off only using the wooden and glass buttons and going with natural fibers?

If I decide on occasion I just want to wear/use my bag for another purpose does that mean it can't be used for holding/carrying ritual or sacred items again?

I'm not big on fancy dedication rituals.  Is it enough to simply sew the buttons on with intent?  

Just holding these buttons in my hand is a spiritual experience for me.  The sense of being connected to what has gone before me and what is yet to come is so strong.  It's an incredibly peaceful experience of feeling my place in the ebb and flow of it all.  I'm a little hesitant to work with them.  I've never experienced anything quite so powerful or so moving.  I don't want to mess up the feeling they hold for me.  I want to treat them reverently, but not artificially so.  Does that make any sense?

First of all, what a wonderful use of a gift like that, I love the idea.

Ok, for me, the natural fibers thing is kind of trumped by the fact that these buttons themselves are in a sense sacred to you. I would say when CHOOSING materials, natural fibers may be important, but you didn't quite choose these. I'd say allow your intuition to guide which buttons specifically you choose, and choose good quality materials for the rest, and you're probably alright.

Keeping ritual stuff specifically for ritual, I think, it's all about keeping it sacred. The problem you could run into with not keeping ritual stuff separate, is you're not keeping it sacred. I'd say this would be special and sacred any time you wore it, just because of where it came from. Remember where it comes from and treat it with respect, and you won't have any problems.

That's my thoughts on it anyway
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carillion

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Re: Button Bag
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2014, 10:34:40 pm »
Quote from: Rishuu;158251
My Dad recently gave me some of my grandmothers old belongings.  In the box, amongst so many other treasures, were two jars of buttons.  I can't even begin to describe the pull these buttons have for me.  Apparently they had a similar pull for her.  According to my Dad she collected them for years, and he played with them for hours at a time as a small child growing up.  

Ever since he gave them to me it's been fluttering at the edge of my consciousness that there was something special to be done with them.  Today it came to me in a sudden flash that I wanted to make a button bag.  Similar in concept to the Haida button blankets.  I'd like to use the bag for when I am collecting things while I am on walks/hikes etc and also for carrying items to and from rituals.  

I don't have a specific path I've committed myself to so my concepts are a little vague in this area.  I've heard it said that only natural fibers should be used to care for and store ritual items.  I've also heard it said, or probably read somewhere, that items used for a ritual purpose shouldn't be used for mundane activities or chores.  

So my questions are these...

Seeing as a good number of the buttons I'm planning on using are made of plastic, is it necessary to stick with natural fibers or can I toss that one out the window?  Or would I be better off only using the wooden and glass buttons and going with natural fibers?

If I decide on occasion I just want to wear/use my bag for another purpose does that mean it can't be used for holding/carrying ritual or sacred items again?

I'm not big on fancy dedication rituals.  Is it enough to simply sew the buttons on with intent?  

Just holding these buttons in my hand is a spiritual experience for me.  The sense of being connected to what has gone before me and what is yet to come is so strong.  It's an incredibly peaceful experience of feeling my place in the ebb and flow of it all.  I'm a little hesitant to work with them.  I've never experienced anything quite so powerful or so moving.  I don't want to mess up the feeling they hold for me.  I want to treat them reverently, but not artificially so.  Does that make any sense?


I got two bottles of buttons from my grandmother as well:eek:

Use them in a way that pleases you. In terms of material, 'channel' your gran and by that I mean think about her- what colours did she like, what materials did she wear? (you can ask your dad or look at old pictures and do a guess). Just go into a material store and think " Hey gran, what takes your fancy?) and just feel good about what you choose hoping your gran was choosing with you:)

They're great, aren't they? There are a lot of hand-carved shell and bone ones plus some fabulous glass ones in my collection. But there's some pretty cool plastic ones as well.

Just...have fun. She would be *delighted* to know that you treasured and enjoyed them.

Rishuu

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Re: Button Bag
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2014, 10:56:19 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;158252
I have a saying that's more tongue-in-cheek than anything else: Plastic will not kill the fairies. By this I mean that if it feels right to you, what it's made of doesn't matter.

 
I love it.  I'm going to remember that one.  

I make a lot of decisions based on how things feel to me.  I've always been that way.  So that makes sense to me.  I think I'll just continue letting that be one of my main guidelines.  

Thank you.

Jenett

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Re: Button Bag
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2014, 10:59:58 pm »
Quote from: Rishuu;158251

I don't have a specific path I've committed myself to so my concepts are a little vague in this area.  I've heard it said that only natural fibers should be used to care for and store ritual items.  I've also heard it said, or probably read somewhere, that items used for a ritual purpose shouldn't be used for mundane activities or chores.  

 
One of the big reasons for natural fibers, in my experience, is that they hold and run energy differently than ones that required a lot of processing or chemical engineering to get to.

In terms of energy, natural materials tend (both in my experience and the experience of other people I've worked with) to hold an energy charge more securely, for longer. Glass is often an insulator (as it is with other kinds of energy) but glass strung on a material that holds a charge (wire or natural fiber) can convey a charge in useful ways.

In a situation like this, I think I'd want natural fibers (I'd use wool or linen by preference, but if you found a cotton you really liked, that's an option. Silk is often highly insulating, so also not the ideal choice.) I'd use all the buttons, but I'd make sure they were all connected to the bag with good strong thread in a natural fiber (you can get heavy cotton embroidery thread most fabric stores, or I use cotton quilting thread which is much stronger than regular thread.)

Anyway, that way, you'd be able to use all the buttons, but still have the benefit of the bag holding a charge consistently and more evenly.

In terms of using it for non-ritual purposes, I think that that's a question of how you use it for ritual, whether those other uses would affect the ritual uses, and so on. But ritual tools are things we should enjoy using when they're relevant. I wouldn't use that kind of thing casually for day to day use (in part because I'd hate to damage the buttons or hard work, and I tend to be hard on bags) but might use it for special occasions or outings.
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Rishuu

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Re: Button Bag
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2014, 11:01:12 pm »
Quote from: random417;158254
First of all, what a wonderful use of a gift like that, I love the idea.

Ok, for me, the natural fibers thing is kind of trumped by the fact that these buttons themselves are in a sense sacred to you. I would say when CHOOSING materials, natural fibers may be important, but you didn't quite choose these. I'd say allow your intuition to guide which buttons specifically you choose, and choose good quality materials for the rest, and you're probably alright.

Keeping ritual stuff specifically for ritual, I think, it's all about keeping it sacred. The problem you could run into with not keeping ritual stuff separate, is you're not keeping it sacred. I'd say this would be special and sacred any time you wore it, just because of where it came from. Remember where it comes from and treat it with respect, and you won't have any problems.

That's my thoughts on it anyway

 
Yes, I think that's what I was trying to express.  The buttons themselves feel sacred to me.  I didn't start out with a project in mind and look for materials to make it.  The buttons came to me and it just feels like this is what they need to be used for.  And you're very right.  Anytime that I would use the bag it would be very special to me.  I don't think it could ever be anything less than sacred to me.  But I feel like maybe sacred should be a part of everyday life.  I don't want to put it up on a shelf until I have another ritual to perform.  I want it with me.  Eep, that sounds so greedy.  You know what I mean...

Rishuu

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Re: Button Bag
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2014, 11:04:53 pm »
Quote from: carillion;158256
I got two bottles of buttons from my grandmother as well:eek:

Use them in a way that pleases you. In terms of material, 'channel' your gran and by that I mean think about her- what colours did she like, what materials did she wear? (you can ask your dad or look at old pictures and do a guess). Just go into a material store and think " Hey gran, what takes your fancy?) and just feel good about what you choose hoping your gran was choosing with you:)

They're great, aren't they? There are a lot of hand-carved shell and bone ones plus some fabulous glass ones in my collection. But there's some pretty cool plastic ones as well.

Just...have fun. She would be *delighted* to know that you treasured and enjoyed them.

 
Oh wow, that's a really cool coincidence that you have 2 jars of buttons from your grandma too.  They are wonderful.  I love the old hand carved wooden ones the best.  They are lovely.

I never thought of trying to find a fabric my grandmother would like.  I guess in a way that sort of makes sense.  Thank you for the idea.  I'm going to mull it over a bit and see how it sits with me.

Rishuu

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Re: Button Bag
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2014, 11:09:20 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;158262
One of the big reasons for natural fibers, in my experience, is that they hold and run energy differently than ones that required a lot of processing or chemical engineering to get to.

In terms of energy, natural materials tend (both in my experience and the experience of other people I've worked with) to hold an energy charge more securely, for longer. Glass is often an insulator (as it is with other kinds of energy) but glass strung on a material that holds a charge (wire or natural fiber) can convey a charge in useful ways.

In a situation like this, I think I'd want natural fibers (I'd use wool or linen by preference, but if you found a cotton you really liked, that's an option. Silk is often highly insulating, so also not the ideal choice.) I'd use all the buttons, but I'd make sure they were all connected to the bag with good strong thread in a natural fiber (you can get heavy cotton embroidery thread most fabric stores, or I use cotton quilting thread which is much stronger than regular thread.)

Anyway, that way, you'd be able to use all the buttons, but still have the benefit of the bag holding a charge consistently and more evenly.

In terms of using it for non-ritual purposes, I think that that's a question of how you use it for ritual, whether those other uses would affect the ritual uses, and so on. But ritual tools are things we should enjoy using when they're relevant. I wouldn't use that kind of thing casually for day to day use (in part because I'd hate to damage the buttons or hard work, and I tend to be hard on bags) but might use it for special occasions or outings.

I'm very new to the idea of holding energy.  I'm curious what you mean by hold energy and what you mean by run energy.  To me it feels like there is an energy in the buttons.  If the bag holds the energy will it help to preserve the feeling I get from the buttons?  If it runs the energy does that mean it directs it somehow?  Will it syphon the energy from the buttons and deplete them?  For that matter is that kind of energy depletable or can it be recharged?

I hadn't thought of wool.  My mind instantly goes to cotton or silk when I think of natural fibers.  As soon as I read wool it resonated with me.  Wool was one of my grandmothers favorite fabrics/textiles.  She worked with it often.  That feels very fitting to me.  Thank you.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2014, 11:11:14 pm by Rishuu »

Jenett

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Re: Button Bag
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2014, 03:08:34 pm »
Quote from: Rishuu;158265
I'm very new to the idea of holding energy.  I'm curious what you mean by hold energy and what you mean by run energy.  To me it feels like there is an energy in the buttons.  If the bag holds the energy will it help to preserve the feeling I get from the buttons?  If it runs the energy does that mean it directs it somehow?  Will it syphon the energy from the buttons and deplete them?  For that matter is that kind of energy depletable or can it be recharged?


This depends, to some extent, on how you set things up, but here's my take.

1) I believe that all objects have their own energy, some of which is sort of inherent to the thing, and some of which may come from the experiences it's exposed to.

2) One of the reasons we create tools is to make accessing some of these energies easier. Or more reliable. Or to make them more stable or preserve them.

3) When I talk about running energy, I'm talking about having it flow in ways that suit the kind of tool you want to make. So you could make a bag that holds that energy and helps nurture it (or, over time, add to it.) Or you could make something that would slowly transform that energy into something else, if you wanted.

(It's sort of like making something out of clay: the clay has potential, what do you do with the clay?)

I do think that energy of this kind can potentially be depleted - that's one of the reasons that people set aside ritual items for ritual use only. (I tend to prefer being intentional, and thinking that things that are part of the world should get to be in the world sometimes.)

Quote

I hadn't thought of wool.  My mind instantly goes to cotton or silk when I think of natural fibers.  As soon as I read wool it resonated with me.  Wool was one of my grandmothers favorite fabrics/textiles.  She worked with it often.  That feels very fitting to me.  Thank you.

 
Yay!
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Rishuu

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Re: Button Bag
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2014, 10:53:20 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;158329

3) When I talk about running energy, I'm talking about having it flow in ways that suit the kind of tool you want to make. So you could make a bag that holds that energy and helps nurture it (or, over time, add to it.) Or you could make something that would slowly transform that energy into something else, if you wanted.

I do think that energy of this kind can potentially be depleted - that's one of the reasons that people set aside ritual items for ritual use only. (I tend to prefer being intentional, and thinking that things that are part of the world should get to be in the world sometimes.)

 
So then going with the assumption that I want to hold the energy that the buttons have and help nurture it, rather than transform it into something else or allow it to be depleted, what would you recommend to help with this project with that being my end goal?

Would wool be a good choice for holding on to the energy of the buttons?  Would their energy be more affected by the materials they are kept close to or the uses they are put to?

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