One of the Judging Teams from the 2023 Show Jen Read (Clerk), Vickie MacTavish and Linda

Are you attending the NYSBS Show? Can you spare some time to volunteer? We have opportunities for as little as 1 hour to just a few hours. In the Judging Room on Saturday, there is an opportunity to learn through volunteering. Sounds fantastic, right?  Spend an hour (or more) helping with the judging process. We always need clerks, judges, runners, and clerical help. You don’t need a lot of judging experience or button knowledge. Help is always needed sharpening pencils, stapling on ribbons, hanging trays, etc. and you’ll learn something about the judging process just by observing what goes on in the judging room. For more info or to volunteer, contact Linda Hickey.
Another opportunity is on Friday or Saturday for just 1 hour to welcome attendees at the registration table and sell raffle tickets. This is the first year we are combining the Registration and Raffle tables and asking for 2 volunteers per shift. The best part of taking a shift at the registration/raffle table is taking a break from shopping and sitting while chatting with new collectors and old friends. This is also a great opportunity for a spouse who isn’t a collector but has tagged along, to help. Please consider signing up for a slot. Here is the sign-up.

December 12, 2023: The Rochester Button Club of Rochester, NY met for a delicious luncheon at Bella Pasta in Greece, NY. It was a fun gathering for members to relax and enjoy each other’s company rather than the usual formal meeting setting.

In preparation for the gathering, about a month in advance, members decide if they want to participate in the holiday button card exchange. Typically three-fourths of the members like to participate. Participation is easy; a card is bought or made, and then embellished with the gift of a button or two. Sometimes, if you know what your fellow button collector likes to collect, or you know what they are working on for a future competition, it makes just the right button easy to find. Others (like me) try to find a theme. For 2024, many of my cards were decorated with a paste button.

To make everything simple for giving, Linda Hickey, our club president, brings gift bags with each member’s name on them. Members bring their cards to the gathering and place them in the appropriate bag. In addition to the bag of cards, Linda provides us with the annual club booklet that includes the dates and plans for each monthly meeting, birthdays, addresses and other interesting information about our club.

This year, at each place setting, Norma Brown provided small vintage jam jars filled with assorted buttons. It was a very sweet gesture. 

Some members can’t wait to get home and go through their cards. Others like to wait until Christmas morning to open them.  Either way, it’s like a special treasure hunt between friends to receive the gift of buttons at the holidays.

Below are some photos of our gathering.


Some members of the Rochester Button Club at our Annual Luncheon.

Linda Hickey (our club president) with Deborah Hendrickson (past NYSBS president), Sharon and Lorna Logan.

Deborah and Gary Hendrickson, Norma Brown (past NYSBS and Rochester Button Club President), and Dale Doty with Carol (in red) his guest.

A vintage jar of buttons given to each member from Norma Brown

My home-made cards – almost ready to go in an envelope.

A home-designed card I received.

Our annual button auction on Friday night provides financial support to our Society and a fun opportunity for our members to experience the thrill of participating in an auction that could result in winning button treasures.

A successful auction requires generous people to donate items. When donating, you have two choices:

1) You can donate an item and have 100% of the earnings, donated to the NYSBS
2) you can sell an item and have 20% of the earnings donated to NYSBS and you keep the remaining 80%.

Donations are collected at 2:30 PM on Friday of the show. Bring your item(s) to the designated room. Let the Auction chair know your donation choice.

Auction Donation Ideas: Make Everyone
Want It!
Preview and Bidding

Button Book(s)

Past NYS or National Bulletins

Cardboard or Frames for Mounting and Displaying Buttons

Button Jewelry

Note Cards or Other Items with a Button Theme.

Display the item in a special way, dress it up.

Include a description; where it came from, or other interesting facts.

If hand-made, add a tag with who made it.

If you are a seller, include your contact info for future sales.

7:30 – 8:00 PM:

Preview Auction items

Get a card for bidding.

8:00 PM:

Auction Begins.

You Won!

Pay the Treasurer with cash or a
check made out to NYSBS.

If you have questions about the auction, feel free to reach out to Show Chairperson, Jen Read at 315-559-2440


That’s right, nobody asked me, I just saw an opportunity to use some skills I missed using (web design) and mix them with my desire to learn more about button collecting. That was in 2018. I had only attended 3 or 4 local button club meetings and my very first show, so I knew little about button-collecting clubs. The thing I was sure of though was I  wouldn’t be perfect being the NYSBS webmaster. I would need to learn while doing – not only the web part but about the NYSBS.  For example, I designed the website with tones of green and then was told it needed to be purple!  Why? Well, that’s the society’s color! When I was told the theme for the 2019 NYSBS Show would be “The Children’s Hour,” I didn’t understand what THAT had to do with button collecting. I learned that the theme can be anything that inspires collectors to categorize their buttons in unique ways.  

In March of 2019, Kathy Arbogast was ready to give up being the editor of the NYSBS Bulletin and I raised my hand for that position too.  Again, it was about utilizing skills I missed using (newsletter design and editing) and my desire to keep learning about button collecting. This was an elected position and made me a member of the Executive Board. This past May, when we couldn’t find someone to take on the role of Secretary, I filled that position too – which is really too many roles for one person and restricts the board from enjoying a full committee with unique ideas.

The thing about the Executive Board is that it has been running like a finely tuned society for over 80 years! Beverly is our 40th  President! And best of all, we all help each other figure things out. Joining the board means you are carrying on the work set by our predecessors and delivering on the NYSBS mission. Please consider the talent and skills you have, along with your love of button collecting, and seriously consider becoming the newest member of our Executive Board. 

NEEDED (Note – these positions are unpaid volunteer opportunities):

1st Vice President
The 1st VP position is a leadership role that leads to being President of the NYSBS after completing a 2-year term. The 1st VP must have a sincere desire to develop leadership skills to promote and drive the mission of the NYSBS. Strong communications, organizational skills, and the ability to lead a team are also important. The 1st VP will assist the President in any way possible, which may include representing NYS at State, Regional, or National Shows. Manages special projects, such as fundraisers and tributes to NYSBS. Act as Program Chairperson in charge of the Program for the NYSBS Show.

2nd Vice President
The 2nd VP position is a leadership role that leads to being President of the NYSBS after completing a 2-year term as 2nd VP and a 2-year term as 1st VP. The 2nd VP must have a sincere desire to develop leadership skills to promote and drive the mission of the NYSBS. Strong communications, organizational skills, and the ability to lead a team are also important. The 2nd VP will attend and fully participate in Board and President’s meetings, complete special assignments from the Executive Board or at the request of the President, and develops an advertising plan in order to promote and grow the NYSBS, Membership, and the Show.

Any of the current board members would welcome a conversation about any of the Executive Board positions – no strings attached. Feel free to call or email us today.

Cindy Clauss, NYSBS Webmaster, Bulletin Editor

A Video Interview by Ben Aaron – Lou Lou Buttons, NYC

Imagine my delight when a grammar school friend sent me a link to this six-minute video visit by Ben Aaron with the owners, Roz and Gary of Lou Lou Buttons in NYC. According to Aaron, Lou Lou Buttons is one of the last of its kind in the NYC fashion district. As I watched the video the first time through I was shocked that there were two buttons I acquired within the last 6 months which I was researching we little luck and the videographer actually panned past them while videoing. One of the buttons I featured in the January 2023 bulletin! Now I know who designed the buttons. Check out this fun romp through their shop. Just an FYI, this video is on Facebook.  

I bought this gold tone 1″ x 1 3/8″ button in Monterey California this past November at a shop called Slow Fiber. Imagine my surprise when at about 5 minutes into this video, I see this exact button! Now I know it is a modern button designed by Roz at Lou Lou Buttons and I can even purchase more if I want. I do wonder how it ended up on the opposite coast!

I received an overflow of photos for the upcoming bulletin, so I am happy to share there here!

Photos from Becky Vogel of the Elmira Button Club. She captured their annual activity of decorating the Christmas tree at the Big Flats Historical Society. Of course, if you look closely, you’ll see some very creative button ornaments.

Some close-ups of the ornaments on the tree
More close-ups – check out that cute dragonfly!

Another close-up – this time of a sweet metal design.
Photos from Sherry Roach of the Half Moon Button Club of the Capital Region.

Cathy Abbott presenting her program on Leather and Lace.
Phyllis Dunn with her exhibit at Guilderland Library.
Carole Wade-Gordon and Lea Mastrianni with another display at the Guilderland Library.
Marcy Yarborough at hers and Trudi Jacobson’s Guilderland Library Display.
Sherry Roach standing next to her program on Buckles and Clasps.




Half-Moon Button Club President Karen Kammer Presenting a Program in May 2022 on Royal Commemorative Buttons.
Sherry Roach next to the Button Display promoting the Hobby of Button Collecting at the Bethlehem Library in Delmar NY
Button Art by Lea Mastrianni
A Program on Heart Buttons Presented by Cathy Abbott
Half-Moon at the NYSBS Show in May: Karen Kammer, Carol Wade-Gordon, Sherry Roach, Lea Mastrianni, Trudi Jacobson and Ted Correll
Lea Mastrianni Presenting a Program on Button Shanks
Ann Dunn and Phyllis Dunn beside the March Button Display at the Bethlehem Library

Members of the Rochester Button Society were treated to a fun, hands-on workshop in place of the regular monthly program at the March 15th meeting. Patti Clark, Club Secretary, requested that everyone bring a favorite button or buttons from their collection and she would supply mat boards, decorative paper, frames, glue, and other decorative materials so members could try their hand at creating a decorative display card. Patti brought a few of her beautiful button displays showing ways she creatively shows off her favorite buttons to encourage club members. Below are the displays created by members during the meeting. They turned out great!!

Alice’s Blue Buttons
Linda’s “Ugly” Button
Patti’s Leaf button on a Plant Life Background
Lorna’s Springtime Inspiration
Cindy’s Treasure (Previously Covered in Black Fabric)
Carolyn’s Groovy Button


A few weeks ago, I was reading a Western theme magazine and found an ad for Concho Buttons (www. I looked at the site and have ordered several times from it. It’s online sales only and has many different types of buttons as well as conchos and some lovely fabrics.

Conchos come from the Mexican vaquero tradition and served both a decorative and utilitarian role on western saddles. They are metal discs and originally had two slits in them to allow saddle strings to pass through to secure the saddle’s skirts. Most are silver in color, made from sterling silver or more commonly today, from Nickel silver. This is an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc, silver in color but contains no elemental silver. It’s also called German silver from its development by German metalworkers.


In the nineteenth century, particularly after 1868, North American Plains Indian jewelers were able to easily acquire sheets of German silver. They used them to cut, stamp and cold hammer a wide range of accessories and also horse gear. Presently, plains metalsmiths use German silver for pendants, bracelets, armbands, earrings, belt buckles and conchos or oval decorative plates for belts and purses. Conchos don’t always need slits in them so they are solid discs. Navajo and Pueblo silversmiths are famous today for their silver belts and jewelry using conchos as well as decorative horse wear.


The larger conchos on my card have a post and screw to attach them. The concho buttons have a metal loop, sometimes two loops, to fasten them to a garment or other item. There are many sites online selling both styles and since I have a number of bridle rosettes and horse brasses already, I thought “why not?” And yes, my husband has two horses in the pasture below our house.


Card of Concho Buttons by Pat Silvernail



Reverse of the center concho button above.