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In the beginning...


In the beginning, there was the button. It was a cute button. It had meaning.

In particular, it was handed to me at the first BarCamp by Min Jung after she had made it. I was handed a few other buttons (one with the SFist logo from Jackson, and both Catster and Dogster logo buttons from Ted), but the only one that stuck was the BarCamp one. Dents, misshape and all.

A few weeks later, I attended and volunteered at the Webzine 2005 independent publishing conference, receiving a volunteer pin. The pin is great, but it doesn't say anything about Webzine, which kinda sucks.

But I liked the pin. So, I stuck it, and the first one, on the tightening strap of my backpack.

Soon after that, on a train ride up to the City with Cal, I met Heather, and George, I managed a Flickr button, which was quickly followed by a Laughing Squid button from Scott.

Each of these buttons had meaning to me. Each one had a memory that I wanted to keep, hold on to. Each button represented a moment of my life, each one wonderfully happy, in an internally dark time of my life.

So, when David asked about buttons, I jumped at the chance to order some for Super Happy Dev House. I placed the order through One Inch Round, as they had cleverly put their URL on the Webzine buttons as subtle advertising. Clearly it worked, and we had little SHDH logo buttons.

Entertainingly enough, a month or so after we had buttons at SHDH, I saw one on a backpack carried by someone I didn't know. Yay! The buttons were getting around. Way cool.

I also made buttons for my company, CodingClan. I like the logo a lot. *grin*. Yeah, the logo was my idea.

When Mike and I went to the Make festival in April, I really wanted a button for the memory. I bought two sets, one orange and one flowers. I kept one of the orange ones for my bag, put a monkey one on Maeryn's walker (the little monkey!), put an orange one on Kris' bag to remind him of me, gave one of the flower buttons to Megan by bullying her into taking it, and put one of the flowers on Annie's collar. I wasn't as attached to these buttons, as they didn't have the strong association with a memory the other buttons did.


The buttons are small. They're cute. They are infinitely collectable.

And I am tragically drawn to them.

Way way way tragically so.

I found Kathryn Yu's website via some indirect Flickr friends (and the immediate attraction of her first name, how could I resist peeking at her site? Answer: I couldn't), and visit daily now. Mid May, she had a link to El Boton, Purveyors of Buttons, Pins, Badges and Limited Edition Button Sets.

Well, crap.

Four clicks, two through Paypal, and I have myself two sets of really neat buttons: The ROYGBPP ones, and the Web Designer collection. No associations with them, just some neat buttons.

Neat buttons that are going to sit in my desk drawer. Just sit there. Well, sit there until I open my drawer, see them there, pull them out, look at them, smile, then put them back.

Every time I see the buttons on my backpack, I smile. I look at these other buttons. I smile, they make me happy. Silly little things, they make me happy.

But I don't want to start collecting them. I don't want to have a box of buttons that I've spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on, only to give them away 10, 20 years from now. What did your aunt collect when she was younger? Oh, buttons. Ugh.

Kris didn't help much, either. Etsy is a handcrafted item marketplace where artists can sell their wares. There's a huge list of 1" buttons available. Some are crappy (okay, a lot are crappy), but some are cute or entertaining (these being fonts from Tom7), or oddly interesting. I went out and purchased a circle cutter to cut out 100 circles to have 100 buttons made for $10.

Clearly insane.

When I commented to Kris that I was going to get a circle cutter so that I could make Mischief logo buttons for the team, his response wasn't, "Hey, aren't you trying not to spend money?" it was, "Cool! I want one!"