If you're a Junquey Gal like me you live on the edge. You get excited at musty, dusty boxes at flea markets that are fresh from attics and basements. No one has polished and primped the loot and jacked up the price. Sometimes you find bugs - slimey silver-fish freak me out... mostly you find junk not my adored JUNQUE. But you go for it. I can't resist opening every potential button tin and suitcase that I find. The hope of a vintage fabric or button goldmine outweighs the potential for grossness and danger. The worst EVER was a small train case - with a few teeth and a hair brush chock full of DNA tucked into one of the charming side pockets. That was years ago and I'm still repulsed. But I trudge on, 'cause I'm like that. When I buy button tins, I have a method of dealing with all the ick and danger lurking below. I take a big colander and line it with an old terry-cloth towel. Dump the entire tin into the colander, run hot water and squirt some laundry detergent over the whole pile. Occasionally an old button will gel-up and not be able to be saved, and the fabric ones may be at risk. But seriously - old cloth buttons stink if not washed. I then take the whole thing and dump on my patio table. I run a large magnet over the pile to grab all the rusty old pins and needles. And weather permitting, let them dry in the hot sun. Then my little Junquey Gals, Cathrynn and Olivia sort them by color and favorites and oohh and ahhh over the special ones and claim a few keepers. This was the not so pretty left-overs after last weekend's haul:
Tetanus shot anyone?