Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know that a lot of people collect things. I am curious as to what we collect and why. For many years I collected teddy bears. I just adore them. I lost most of them to a very young Wiz and his enjoyment of them, but I don't begrudge that. they were meant to be loved, not looked at. I did have few that were not to be touched, but only a few.

    I have always collected books. No specific types, just ones I like. I do collect cookbooks, but that is the only one specific type that I am choosy about. I think the ones written by groups to raise funds are fascinating. I read them more like novels than to cook from. I do find some of the recipes are fantastic, but others? Why is it Millionaire Salad if you put both dill and sweet pickles, raw carrots, cooked celery, olives, pineapple, marshmallow, pineapple, peaches and mushrooms in lemon jello? Who really eats that and why? It sounds awful to me, but funny. One of my great aunts contributed this to her church cookbook and it got rave reviews. the second time I took husband to visit her she made this especially for us. the look on husband's face as he ate it was astounding. Esp as she served it with salted cool whip (she mixed salt into it - LOTS of salt). I can remember trying to feed it to her dog when I was about six. That poor little dog would not come NEAR me the rest of that visit.

    Years later my grandma gave me her recipe files. She was not ever going to cook again because her assisted living facility had a cafeteria and she loathed cooking. I noticed one recipe was for copper coins and called for eight quarters. Money, not something cut up. Seems when gfgbro and I were little bitty kids, she would give us each quarter for every 2 sliced of cooked carrots we ate, but neither of us would eat more than 8 of them (we hated cooked carrots with a passion). I don't remember it, but she and my grandpa used to think it was hilarious.

    What do you collect? What are your favorite pieces and do you have funny memories about them?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have a collection of dog figurines and stuffed animals, stemming from my love and appreciation of these wonderful, loving creatures :)
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I collect tea pots. I've done so for years, to the point where I've run out of room in my china cabinet (and will eventually need an addition to the house). With a traditionally British upbringing, tea has always been a big part of daily life. It started with a small 2-cup Brown-Betty style tea pot that I was given as a child, as well as the little tea set figurines that came as favours in the boxes of tea that my Grannie used to buy. And I was off to the races.

    I have tea pots that look like: an antique bath tub, a VW bus, a writer's desk complete with typewriter, a formally dressed waiter serving tea, a pile-on of pigs, a snowman, Admiral Nelson...and so many others. I also have many of the more traditional "tea pot looking" sort.

    I also collect elephants. I have no idea why, except that I love them. I have cuddly elephants -- small, medium and large, as well as elephant figurines. And recently my tea pot and elephant collections have met in the middle, as I now have four elephant-shaped tea pots. The Monster Tots have absconded with my cuddly elephants, but I don't mind because, as you said Susie, they're meant to be loved not looked at.

    I collect books. I'm trying to re-establish my collections of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. The middle-rewrite, from the 1950s and 60s, not the originals from the 30s nor the modern clap-trap that passes for Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew these days. I think I have about 40 out of 60-ish Hardy Boys, but only 10 of the Nancy Drews. They're much harder to find now that they've rewritten and reprinted the new ones. Before, book stores were unloading them like crazy. I found sets of 10 at Costco at rock bottom prices.

    Royal Doulton figurines.

    Lego Mini figures

    Mr. Potato Heads. I think they are my favourites, after the tea pots. So far I have: Mr. Spock and Lt. Uhura from Star Trek TOS, Batman, and a bride and groom Mr. Potato Head that were the decorations for husband's and my wedding. I have my eye on an Iron Man Mr. Potato Head. He's on my Christmas list.
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I have so many "collections" that I need a bigger house! I have lots of Boston Terrier items, figurines, pictures, etc. because I've had Bostons for 20 years ... currently have three of them. My favorite is a set of antique Boston Terrier bookends, painted metal, very old, VERY heavy. I paid a whole $3 for them! I found them quite by accident one day when I went to the bank and saw that the church by the bank was having a rummage sale. I saw the four little pointy black ears sticking up from behind a lot of other things. I love them!

    I also collect all kinds of souvenirs and memorabilia from the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair. I was born and raised in St. Louis and my grandparents met at the Fair when they were both 19, married four years later in 1908. I have all kinds of things - little metal trays, dishes, spoons, post cards, books, metal cigar boxes, tons of stuff. But my favorite is a 1904 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine (believe it or not, used to be more like Newsweek!) that has a big pictorial article about the Fair. The stories and pictures are wonderful, but the ADS in it are fascinating! I've spent hours going through it! You could buy whole houses by mail order, patent medicines that claimed to cure everything, and who knew they used to make asparagus flavored Jello! Very healthy to feed your children!

    But my favorite is a huge collection of antique glassware ... Victorian, carnival glass, Depression glass, etc. I ran out of shelf space! I started out with candy dishes, then branched out to wine glasses and pitchers, cake plates, cut glass decanters, all kinds of things. I have two bookcases full in my living room and more in my dining room. Goes perfectly in my little pre-1850 house. And I have a shelf that goes the whole length of my long narrow kitchen full of antique kitchen items - more pitchers, cookie jars, painted bread trays, etc. But my favorite thing is a very old, slightly rusty pipe tobacco can, the familiar red, white and green "Half and Half" cans. I found it on a dusty neglected shelf in the back of an antique store. My grandfather smoked a pipe and there was a can exactly like this sitting on the table next to him as far back as we can remember. Every time I look at that old rusty can, I can just see my grandfather sitting in his easy chair, smoking his pipe and listening to his St. Louis Cardinals game on his old console radio! And it had the same affect on my brother the first time he saw it ... he got all misty-eyed and started talking about the memories it brought back of my grandfather!
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I have a doll collection, started when I was about 10 and my grandfather made a fabulous locking display case for my mother's childhood dolls. My grandmother had a friend who ran a doll hospital and she fixed these dolls up. I even have a Madame Alexander "Marmee" from Little Women that was my mother's... Which of course led to mother in law trying to buy me all the other Little Women dolls. It would have been nice except 1) I don't have room and 2) I could care less about the Madame Alexander part and more about the fact that it was my MOM's!!! The whole collection is still on the wall in my old bedroom at my parents'... I believe when Rose is a little older I'll gift it to her. (I was originally going to give it to Belle, but dolls creep her out, she said...)

    Altoids tins. In 2000 when XH and I moved to Tulsa, my broke friends at Target bought me the HUGE Christmas tin of peppermint Altoids as a going away gift. Took me months to eat them all. I kept the tin to remind me of how much my friends cared - the darned thing was around $20, and I loved the mints. Since then I've added normal ones, heart-shaped, a couple Valentine's, big round ones, Smalls, even when they had the strips. I wish I had a way to display them, right now they are all piled up in a cabinet.

    And I have a few coffee mugs - used to have a LOT more - that mean something. My carousel horse cup from Opryland, my World's Best Babysitter from the first babysitting job I ever had, the Pillsbury Dough Boy that was a freebie my Grandma got with her rebates. (Boy was I mad when Belle and Pat were fighting over a broom and broke it - they're on hooks in the kitchen doorway.)

    Books... Favorite authors. Diana Gabaldon, Douglas Adams, Stephenie Meyer, and a copy of The Stand by Stephen King as well as a couple of Marine Corps books from WWII that belonged to my Grandpa.
  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    My all-time favorite "collection" was never really mine, an old family heirloom that my older brother claimed, then ended up giving away! I would KILL to have it now! It was a seashell collection that my great-grandfather started when he was a very young man. He was born in Germany in 1858 and immigrated to the US as a child. He added to this collection all his life till he died at age 86. They ranged from huge ones with pearly rainbow insides to tiny ones in little glass bottles with slips of yellowed paper that identified each species in his proper Victorian handwriting. Hundreds and hundreds of them in a big handmade wooden box. And there was a handwritten log book with each one numbered and carefully cataloged, with the scientific name, the description, and the date he acquired it. He died two years before I was born so I never knew him. He was a brilliant man who worked as a carpenter making beautiful things like carved wooden church alters. This collection was in our attic as long as I could remember and I cringe now to think that our parents allowed us to play with them when we were kids! Somehow my older brother ended up with them ... don't remember any discussion, he just took them, along with the box and the logbook! They kept a few of the bigger pretty ones. They lived in Gainesville, Fla. at the time and he donated the whole collection to the Univ. of Fla. who promptly ground most of them up to do some kind of study on ocean pollution. Pffft on their research ... I WANTED it and now it's gone! How I wish that I could go back and reclaim some of these family treasures that we didn't care about at the time, but we were just kids and what did we know!
  7. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    I collect odd shaped and different colors of glass bottles. I hang them from my tree and porch by chains and different rope, they look beautiful and different. I have a collection of special ones in my house too. I love old books and newspaper articles, late 1800's or early 1900's. I have a nice collection of recipe books, and I just enjoy reading them and occasionaly I try some of the older recipes, becuase the recipes are generally made with actual healthy ingredients. Right now I am trying my hand at taking pictures. Went near the lake last night and got some beautiful shots of deer and fall leaves. Looking for some wild turkeys. Making my own nature photo album. I have a really cute picture of a hummingbird on my front porch going for my hibiscus flower. ROCKS, love ROCKS. difficult child and I used to go to the rock show every year, and we had so much fun, really missed going with her this year. Have some beautiful rocks, some I put outside and some are just for inside.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I don't collect much.........I'm one of those people who can't stand clutter.

    I collect old food tins, tobacco tins, all sorts of tins.........and tin advertisements from early 1900's. They're displayed along the tops of my cabinets. Nice thing is.......due to not liking clutter.....I'm picky about what I do buy, so I don't pay much for what I have and the collection is relatively small. I was born in the wrong era......or perhaps I was reincarnated a few times and miss an age gone by. lol

    Darrin now collects tins and so we have something in common. He enjoys it as much as I do and is learning to be just as picky over his purchases due to space issues. (I don't want to create a hoarder lol )

    I accidentally began collecting vintage and antique sewing items / supplies. mother in law gave me her auntie Kate's things because she didn't need them, complete with the leather sewing box. Then I wound up with mother in law's rather large collection (both women had things from their mothers/grandmothers ect). And when I bought my antique trendle sewing came fully stocked with what every woman would need to sew in 1900, including the owners manual. Looked like the woman just had walked away from it. Most of these things are exceptionally useful, terribly interesting, sometimes delightfully funny.

    I also collect knitting/crocheting patterns. Modern, vintage, name it. Too many years of not being able to buy what I was looking for and now access to unlimited quantities online for all sorts of things. These I keep in files.

    I collect books of favorite authors, of which I'm also a bit picky. I tend to not go too crazy on this as books can also take up a lot of space. If I'm not inclined to reread a gets sold or given away. The ones here are ones I will read and reread until they literally fall apart. Most favored authors are Robert Heinlein and Dean Koontz. Travis has been busy bee scouring the net finding me replacement Heinlein books for ones Fred, I, and the kids have read until they've literally disintegrated and replacing them for excellent deals, some in original form never been read!! (can you imagine! who buys a book and never reads it??) I'm currently enjoying rereading (for the umpteenth time) To Sail Beyond the Sunset which is the original copy mint condition and savoring each word. Our last copy (probably the 3rd or 4th copy) dissolved in my hands several years ago. It's been sorely missed.

    I have a tendency to collect antique style household items such as oil lamps, egg beaters, galvanized tubs and a wash board. However not all these are antique versions, many are new as I want them functional and I do tend to actually use them. I do, however, prefer the antique oil lamps as they're much larger/sturdier than modern versions. I liked my egg beaters so much I gave away my stand mixer. Nichole thinks I'm a bit off my nut but since she received said mixer she was not about to complain. lol I prefer manual operated to electronic or gas power. I'm strange that way.

    I tried once to collect figurines..... Little Feather or some such. I still have them all. But I couldn't quite get into it. I like them, but well, it's not the same.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    and then we have your list... :rofl:
  10. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Warrior in training

    This is a great thread!
    I collect Barbie dolls. I played with them for well beyond the year an average girl would give it up- I think I was playing as late as 14 or 15 yrs old. Elaborate soap-opera type screenplays...The collection started when my mother decided it was time to get rid of the old box she'd been storing them in for years. I think I was in my thirties at the time. In anticipation I opened the box but that quickly turned to dismay- my brother had been into the dolls and wrecked many of them as well as the clothes. Only 5 or 6 of my multi-dozen collection were salvageable. I was on a mission to replace my beloved collection from the 70's as closely as I could. Ebay and garage sales are my favorite spots. In the process I fell in love with other Barbie series- the ballerinas, the Gone with the Wind and Eliza Doolittle series, so I have some of those still in the box too. But my favorites are the ones I bought that have been played with but still in good condition for their age. I am still working on some that are harder to find/more prohibitively expensive. Sprite and I will take them out periodically and brush their hair and I will talk about each one, the personality she had back in the day...the names I picked (after all they can't all be "Barbie!" How would you tell them apart?) Someday I will have a curio cabinet for them, and some day (long in the future I hope) they will be handed down to Sprite, who likes to play Barbies too by the way but knows that mommy's are off limits!
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Hmmm. Yes, by the end of the post it appears to be quite a lot that I do collect. :rofl:

    In my defense, they are mostly small things and I am truly careful of amount to prevent clutter. Other than the tins, which I use as decor to go with the house, nearly everything I collect has a purpose and is used. Otherwise my anti-clutter button would turn on and I'd get rid of it.
  12. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I am not one who is drawn to collecting. I have quite a few collections started for me by other people -and the problem with that is that people see you have a "bunch" of something so they add to it and the collection grows...even though it isn't particularly close to one's heart. Not that I am ungrateful...

    H gave me a Christmas Teddy Bear - which I loved - when we were first dating. He has since bought me a bear (sometimes 2 or 3) for every Christmas since then. They were great Christmas Decorations when the boys were small - because they were festive and child friendly and I could group them in our 2 bay windows and up our stairs in our former home. When we moved here, we no longer had little ones or bay windows or a stairway... and H was hurt that the bears didn't get put out. So I put them out and they drive me a bit batty - there are over 40 bears now and there's nowhere to put them unless in a mass pile in a corner and they topple over each other & look a mess! I finally, gently had to ask him to stop adding to the collection in leaps and bounds, especially the large bears. He still loves them and still wants to add to them and is talking of building/buying benches so they can be displayed under the eaves in our finished attic. Of course, people who have seen the bears over the years think that I collect them and have added to them. ugh (shhhhh)

    My mom always thought I should collect something - and has started various collections over the years for me. I have a clown collection, a foreign doll collection (remember those? Small dolls dressed in the national costume? Great for show & tell in the 1970s), a lladro collection, a crystal handcooler collection, a music box collection, my grandmothers "Franklin Mint plate" collection (I am dating myself), a demitasse cup collection (hand me downs from her own demitasse cup collection) and probably many others over the years that I can't think of!

    My own? Really only Christmas Angels. I like Angels. So for a while, I bought an Angel each year. Not the tree top kind, mostly just decorative - glass usually. I have about a dozen. I like the idea of angels watching over us. Also, H and I try to buy a Christmas ornament or an angel every time we travel to a new place - and if we can't find one, we buy a Christmas ornament at Christmas time to represent where we went. We started that on our honeymoon and it's a great souvenir of our (few) travels. (I'm not much of a souvenir person either)

    Oh, and apparently I collect black tops. If you look in my closet, you will find that way too many of my blouses, shirts and sweaters are black . If I find a shirt I like, I tend to buy it in black. I am trying to stop doing that. It just goes with everything, can be slimming and doesn't show dirt. What can I say?
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I forgot about the hamsters.

    The kids' favorite song when husband and I got married was "Hampsterdance". It got played inadvertently at our wedding (thanks father in law)... instead of our song. Anyway, a bit later I found a dancing hamster at Kroger for $5. We collected them until we quit finding them. Every so often I'll find another... Or he will. It's a family joke that they will be the only thing the kids fight over when we die.
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I have a lamb collection, because "Mary had a little lamb." Stuffed sheep, ceramic ones, wooden ones...

    Nancy Drew books. I have most of the yellow covers and am working on the blue covers from the 1930's.

    Books in general. I have a lot of trouble getting rid of something I've read and enjoyed. Problem is, we have an 800 square foot house that has books everywhere, and Hubby isn't a reader!
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Oaxacan wooden carved Dalamations. Because we loved our Bubba, but more so because they're unique, and there are hardly any available in the market stalls. If you tell them that you are looking for "Oaxacan Dalmata" they go running and looking for it instead of trying to sell you black market Viagra or fake silver, and they rarely find it, so we don't end up with a bunch of junk we don't want but we can still walk around the shops.
  16. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have a few collections that I personally still look out for when I'm out and about but exbonehead and I pretty much filled the house with antique furniture and decorative items years and years ago when we were in the business.

    One thing I actually look for is old pottery. I love most any arts and crafts movement pottery (1870-1920), especially Roseville and Weller. My family room is arts and crafts style (Mission furniture) and the pottery goes great with that style furnishings.

    My living and dining rooms are Federal (think Hepplewhite and Sheraton) and much more formal than my family room so for years I collected old silver, Wedgwood and Mandarin pieces but I don't need anything else.

    The hardest thing is that I want to sell this house in the next 12 to 18 months and downsize to a condo or a small single story. It's really going to be hard to decide what to keep!
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im gonna be at LDM's house when she moves just in case she throws something out!
  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You and I both - well we got rid of the Mission Furniture when we moved, and I can't afford the Roseville and Weller, but I love both!
  19. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Now that I think of it, I'm a sucker for sterling jewelry, especially chokers and big bracelets. Then again, I keep it locked in the safe, so what good is that?
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I also like Nambé, but my collection is small...