Thursday, July 21, 2011

Collections aka "How do I avoid ending up on an episode of 'Hoarders'?"

All right, enough procrastinating.  It's time to write my own entry for this week's State Department Round Up, hosted by me.  The theme is collections.  This came to me as I was unpacking a couple of boxes I sent myself during R&R and realized the sheer number of things I collect.  If you had asked me about it, I probably would have said I actively collected a couple things.  But when I started thinking about it, it's more than a couple things.  Some of them are ways of easily buying souvenirs when I travel, while others are all about making my home a nice place to live.  


This is probably my most active collection and the one I contribute to on every single trip I take.  I started collecting magnets as a college student, inspired by my aunt's tacky magnet collection.  And following this tradition, I collect tacky magnets as well.  Everywhere I go I try to find as tacky a magnet as I can to add to my refrigerator.  It's a great daily reminder of the places I've been.  This is a collection I prefer to keep to myself; I don't ask others to contribute to it.  I want my fridge to reflect my own travels throughout the world.  I am missing a number of countries from early in my travels, when the collecting was more sporadic, but all of my recent trips are accounted for. 

Seen here, the collection looks smaller than I think it is...
Probably because some magnets are on the sides of the fridge as well.

And last night I unpacked two different magnetic poetry sets, which I attached to my washer/dryer

Christmas Ornaments

This collection is partly travel-related but mostly a natural consequence of working at Hallmark for 10+ years through high school, college, grad school, and beyond.  I only left my PT job there when I absolutely had to upon moving overseas with State.  I have dozens and dozens of Keepsake Ornaments - entirely too many for a single tree.  And even though I no longer work there, I still buy several each year.  I also often buy ornaments on my travels, though not with particular regularity.  But these have very nicely rounded out the collection. 

I know there are no visible ornaments here, but isn't Cally cute?


I started this one a few years ago as I started making the rounds of art studios in New England and West Virginia and elsewhere.  I have some amazing baking dishes, platters, vases, and kitchen miscellany.  I have some guinea hen platters and casserole dishes from South Africa as well as a number of beautiful pieces from Jerusalem.  This collection is expensive, heavy, and unwieldy, but I do love me some handmade and/or funky pottery!

Is that not the coolest spoon rest ever!? And I love the pomegranate!  And one of my favorite tile trivets is in the background.

Beautiful Jerusalem pottery!

Blown Glass

Another accidental collection, made possible by living close to the Simon Pearce headquarters in VT.  I also have a nice Murano vase from Venice and another vase from a small studio in Seattle.  The rest - vases, bowls, platters, decorative baubles, business card holder, etc. - is all Simon Pearce.  


This is an inherited collection.  My mother ADORES baskets and has entirely too many to count.  We live in an old farmhouse in NH, and the living room has exposed original beams.  Hanging from these beams are dozens upon dozens of baskets of all sizes, shapes, and origins.  We always would pick our Easter baskets from the extensive collections.  In the summer, the baskets get used constantly as we pick veggies and berries from the garden.  Throughout the year they get filled with flowers, fruit, bread, mail, assorted odds and ends, Christmas cards, etc.  There's always a perfect basket for any occasion!

I realized recently that I too was starting to collect baskets - mostly for functional uses such as storing blankets in the living room or holding cookie cutters in the kitchen.  Thanks Mom!  I think. 

I adore Basketville. And the fact that they shipped everything to me. 

The scene that started the whole collection post...  Notice neither cats is in the basket I actually bought for them.  

Cookie Cutters

Another inherited collection.  My original collection of cookie cutters from childhood decorated the back wall of our kitchen.  They're still there, though many now reside in baskets.  My own nascent collection also resides in its very own basket. 

Some new additions from my sea mammal/star collection

Basket & cookie cutters = awesome!

Anyway, that's a few snippets from my own collections.  

You still have time to submit your post for tomorrow's Round Up by linking to your blog (or others you want included) in the comments section.  Alternatively, you can email me.


HEATHER @ runfastermommy! said...

I too have a Hallmark ornament "hoard" but it's not my fault, LOL! My mom was a huge fan long before Cathy worked there, but once she started working there, it was even worse! Between the three of us (mom, cathy and I) we could probably open a Hallmark store, haha!

Bfiles said...

fabulous! Now I understand why you had so much to unpack. I have a magnet collection, too...started when I got married, so it's still rather small.

Donna said...

I used to have that same pomegranate, but red. We bought it in Armenia, but it broke when we packed out of Beijing. Oh, well - I still have Armenian salt lady collection.

Tell your mom to send some baskets my way, would you?

Connie said...

We collect too much stuff... some of it tends to be heavy things, like books. We're all bookaholics. We also collect rocks. Really? With all the moving we do you think we'd switch over to feathers and helium products. I love your baskets! The pottery is lovely too. I wish we didn't collect fridge magnets... I like other people's collections, but I don't like them on my fridge (I know, hypocrite... I can't explain it), but the family outvotes me about getting rid of them.

Chelsea said...

What a cute and beautiful white cat!