Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bakelite Buttons

Home in Hopewell, we were without electricity for more than a week after storm “Sandy” and most of this time I spent cleaning up the yard or cooking defrosting food. When the electricity came back, I was ready to find a sewing project I could do at home using what I had laying around the house. It was fun to hunt through my baskets of sewing stuff and so calming to create something new while order was restored around us.  Below are two pillows I made with large Bakelite buttons I had found in a bucket at the Flea, and a scrap of velvet from my material basket.  They have 18" square feather inserts from Pottery Barn.
 



Back in college, I bought a big black Bakelite ring and a few colorful bracelets (before I knew what they were). I wore them constantly and slowly added a few more pieces when I found them very affordable. I adore the endless color, patterns and warmth of old Bakelite jewelry. It seems that no matter what combination I decide to wear…they always look great?



These older Bakelite buttons were another Flea find, and I used them on my Princeton University Reunions jacket (I am an honorary member of Bill’s Class of 1975)! I was actually able to design the fabric for these special blazers which every Princeton Class produces when they celebrate their 25th Reunion. The Class leads the P’rade that year Reunion in the latest Princeton jacket and fabric, and then wears them to every ensuing Reunion or Princeton event. It was quite a thrill to see so many jackets uniting a group of wonderful friends in such a special graphic and traditional way!



Reunions...(photo courtesy of Ronnie Raymond) Princeton admitted women two years before our Class and women blazers have been designed with a distinction since then. Our women's jackets are made with the white tiger heads facing up and the men's have the black tiger heads up. Can you see it?


Here is the Princeton University Band whose jackets our Class helped refurbish.Guess who used to play clarinet in this band?


Bill and the Band (photo courtesy of Sally Sears)


Class Umbrellas! For our last major Reunion, our Class was first to make nylon umbrella fabric and umbrellas...


I designed this big banner (another Reunions first) for our Class site - which changes every five years. The toasting tiger image came from a very old post card invitation to George Washington's birthday competitions held on Princeton's campus after Washington had moved the capital there to avoid his army deserting in Washington DC. The other half of this image was George Washington toasting the tiger. I created four color overlays by hand drawing them from the black and white image.Humphrys Banner Company in Philadelphia produced this banner with selected and then appliqued colors of fabric. Some impressive sewing!


 

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