Zen and the Art of Button Maintenance

Ever have one of those weeks where nothing falls easily into place? Every little thing just seems to be conspiring against you? For some of us it's traffic jams, disgruntled employees, cross customers, and a myriad of maddening moments.

My maddening moments are small, but some days/weeks thread knots, needles break, fingers bleed, paintbrushes fray, hands ache, brain aches, ideas hide, paint clumps, talent hides, supplies run out, fabric tears, and every little thing that can goes wrong, proving that grumpy ole Murphy's law.

My last week was like that. Minor annoyances where major aggravations. Mountains were molehills. I needed to decompress. I needed to zone out and give my mind some breathing room. So I put aside deadlines, made my self comfortable, and sorted buttons.

There is something strangely comforting about sorting, making calm out of chaos. You have to lose track of time for the decompression to take, and (for me) putting piles of white buttons into smaller piles defined by the number of holes is just the ticket. Taking a big ole box of Button Soup and turning it into a rainbow seemed to do the trick.
Decompression complete.

What works for you? What calms your brain and lets everything fall easily into place?


  1. Hmmm that's a hard question.
    I think sitting in the sun in the spring listening to birds, and other creatures.

    A glass of wine ....

    As of late nothing is calming my brain... I'm brainless right now... wait does that mean it's calm?


  2. Let's see?.....Having you come and sort my buttons too would calm my brain! giggle*giggle wink*wink : )

    That is a task I do need to tackle one of these days...and you've made it sound very relaxing!

    Joee...I love the beautiful button rainbow you've created too!

    Enchanted Blessings,

  3. I use to be a button collector. I went to yard sales & estate auctions and bought tons of old tins filled with buttons. It was always so much fun to bring home and sort with my Dad at the table. Definitely an activity that didn't require much thought. I really like to decompress playing Spider Solitaire on the computer. I usually play a game or two before heading off to bed.

  4. That would be soothing...I find organizing and moving things around comforting. Like something was conquered. I love that picture Jo of the jars and buttons...That picture is soothing and happy...

    Sonia ;)

  5. Love the calmness of all those buttons firmly in their place like that. So pretty.

    I think one of my decompressions would be finally tackling something I've needed to have done some time ago and the feeling afterwards is just pure bliss.

    That and having something in your head and finally having it realized.

  6. Oh, i love organized collections like those buttons!!

    A few things seem to get me back on track...a strenous cycling class, organizing an area in disarray and working in the yard/garden...i think i always need a sense of completion and accomplishment to feel better.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend!

  7. a ride on country roads on my motorcycle.

  8. Paddling down a river, with no houses or people, just the calm and noises of nature.


  9. I'm a bit antsy about the week that stretches before me and I'm not sure I can possibly stay in the shower long enough to solve all the problems. (That would be the usual technique to inspire creative genius - ok sort of). Will keep the button technique in the back of my mind just in case things start getting scary...THANKS! (again)

  10. I don't really have a decompression, not one I can control. I just tend to fly around rocket-powered, doing everything much too quickly (but successfully, luckily) until my brain yells 's t o p!!!' and I have to spend a day milling about doing not alot and taking headache tablets. This week however I have resolved to deliberately unwind- by reading Dickens.

  11. I think my decompression would be sorting through my bins of antique laces and trims. I will have to try the buttons - I have so many after years of collecting at auctions that I really don't know where to start. I love getting out tins though and just looking through them, there is something very calming and fascinating about vintage buttons.

  12. The buttons look so artistic in their vintage jars! Taking a walk helps me quite a bit - but I never have the time. I need to MAKE the time. It's important to decompress.

  13. Oh Gosh... you've hit the proverbial nail on it's little head Jo! That's my number 1 favorite thing to do, SORT BUTTONS. I honestly cannot think of many things more relaxing and unwinding.
    You're making me want to dump all my neatly sorted buttons out and do it all over again!

  14. Button Soup - What a colorful way to describe it, Joee. :-) It's beautifully presented now in your Button Rainbow.

    Soooo....what kinds of buttons do you use - any vintage?

  15. Walking through antique shops very slowly and having no time constraint as to when I need to be home. Picking up this and that and really looking at it.

    Reading is a great relaxer for me. It brings down the old BP and relaxes all my muscles.


    Planting seeds.

    Sorting through my seed collection.

  16. Oh I love the pic of all your organized buttons! My style is more work like a nutcake until my studio room is totally unliveable, then take a day to reorganize. I just can't work AND be organized at the same time!

  17. The buttons look fabulous sorted that way!!

    When I get frustrated I take a break, maybe take a bath, do some journaling till I feel relaxed.

  18. Love your button rainbow! :)When my lists get too long I love to go look around in thrift stores or antique stores. Getting out of the house seems to work wonders for me. That and organizing I love knowing where everything is. My husband and I have been in the process of creating a home for everything in our new house. :)


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