anyone who knows me is painfully aware of my need to collect stuff. i grab something thinking i will use it for a project, then it gets stored in an old shoebox, then i forget about it. but it’s there. i don’t think any of my collections have any monetary value.
sometimes i think, when i see something at a rummage sale or thrift store….i’m sure that i will never see another one of those again, for that price anyway. the price is key. thus the lack of value…see?
maybe creating a list of my collections will be good therapy. maybe it will be a bridge to a new friend who collects what i do. or, maybe i am becoming uber-obssessive about my stuff. it cost us almost $10,000 to move it all down here, so i better shine some light on some of this stuff and make something…
ok, so here it is in all it’s too-much-info glory:
  • STRANGE LITTLE ODD TOYS : i especially like very small and weird or somehow unusual toys, even if it’s just the color that makes it different. i have 4 sets of old apothecary drawers to store them all. even toy pieces make bring me happiness! i love little unusual animals, odd people figures, marbles (esp clay), old dice and game peices....frogs and turtles, wind-up tin toys...all very small.
  • SMALL BOXES, TINS, CONTAINERS : LOVE tiny wood, soapstone, metal, or plastic things with lids (or not) especially very old, hand made boxes or glass vials from jewelry parts or even nice, simple hotel shampoo containers to store beads! i LOVE tiny vintage wood boxes that screw closed-like from jewelry parts - and the tiny tins that keep them sorted…want more…
  • OLD BOOKS : poem, literature, art, biology, religion, and garden books…. most of my collection consists of medical books - surgery, anatomy, disease and nursing. they MUST have great pictures or illustrations and smooth pages. the heavier the better, the smaller the better, the ones that smell old are bonus points. mostly, unless it’s really awesome content, it must have awesome pictures. i am slowing down with this one too, unless it’s under $1.50, i won’t bite.
  • CHILDREN'S BOOKS : i also have an insatiable need to gather childrens’ books that are well illustrated. they are mostly old, from my childhood era (ok, vintage then :] ). my favorites are “retro” style, absolutely must have pictures, and has to be a good story. these i buy at used kids shops or thrift stores, rummage sales. my kids have over 1000 books.
  • RELIGIOUS ITEMS : i have a pretty cool box full of medals, crosses, old rosaries, plastic figures - saints and marys and such, holy cards and tiny prayer/icon cards. since i was raised catholic, that’s what most of my stuff is, but i would like to branch out a little. catholic stuff is so addictive for me. i have 2 shoeboxes full of this stuff.
  • SMALL BLUE PLASTIC ANGELS: i started a small group (7) of blue plastic and ceramic angels -not more than 2 or 3 inches tall. love the more worn-out ones, mostly i find old christmas angels.
  • SHINY PAPER : ( i AM a racoon)…i love little scraps of shiny or textured paper - mostly
  • SEWING SCRAPS : old ribbon, ricrac, seam binding, cool old buttons, sequins, yadayada. use this stuff to put little accents on things or to make tiny quilted cards. i have a literal ton of fabric. (i had more than twice as much before we moved, but i gave more than half to the linus project ladies.) i have an intense need to recycle…i made 2.5 quilts anyway, that’s enough. ok, i have 4 kitchen sink boxes and about 4 office boxes full, and maybe a shoebox ..or 2 of sewing scraps/buttons/notions.
  • COLLAGE MATERIALS : definitely my most embarrasing collection. i have approx 3 office boxes fuuuull of magazine and encyclopedia clippings and misc ephemera. i have made 1 large collage journal, and have recently started to make ATC’s (art trading cards, not to trade but to get inspired). i have also started altering books. i want to alter other stuff, i love to decoupage. in truth, the cutting and pasting is very relaxing for me, and i do it regularly, mostly right now i cut up my scrapbook magazines to keep ideas in - yes, yet another journal...i love ephemera like old written notes or lists or strange ads, sketches or doodles, and welcome any scraps anyone has to offer.
  • SMALL BIRDS (and other orphaned creatures) : i've got a great small pink florenza metal limoge? bird, a ceramic weird retro bird planter (4 inches), and an olive-colored glass bird, as well as a very old xmas tree clip-on bird from my baba.....wish i could have one more.....so only 3 birds, but a new interest in small, old birds and bird images......i also take in small, odd ceramic frogs, turtles and squirrels..oh, and the occassional weird elephant!
  • PHOTOGRAPHS: ok, i have several thousand pictures of my kids and most are no good, but i keep them all, now on cd's. but i always take in old, unwanted photos and postcards and i hope to collect more photos, even ones that aren't so good - they make excellent collage material.
  • JUNK : this is a rather loose term for the few boxes of discarded items i have to keep. pieces of wood, parts of frames, broken stuff, old doll parts.. not sure why i still collect this stuff, once wanted to do more assemblages, guess i want to keep it on the burner..
  • BEADS: wow, i went crazy here between college and kids…kimmy and i and our well-focused bead brains….this was my most acute binging- mostly at rummage sales and thrift stores, some catalog orders…we would sit up all night unstringing costume jewelry and dividing our finds, also searching for the all-important storage bottels…what memories! color, vintage-ness, and uniqueness were top priority. hmm…i have about 5 of those plastic sweater boxes of beads and related tools…
  • STICKERS : well, i don’t collect much of these anymore, but i have to say i have an incredibly stupidly large amount of these….a forever interest that got out of control at the dawn of scrapbooking as a serious hobby…i have since moved on to rub-ons to keep the collection down, but my 40% coupons don’t help…
  • CATS :i have about 100 vintage and “retro” ceramic, chalk, glass, plastic and porcelain cats. i am finished with this collection unless i find something i can’t resist. it was a pre-child, college interest.
  • SCRAPBOOK SUPPLIES, BOOKS, MAGAZINES :this is my most valuable, or shall i say, financially draining collection. i have gotten a lot better at going obssessive, but i do have doubles due to the stupid need to use my 40% michaels and joann coupons - duh. currently i am amassing quite a ridiculous collection of patterend paper (vintage, distressed and retro) and rub-ons. STOP ME!
i cannot believe you're still reading this....maybe there ARE other people who can appreciate hoarding of all things personally beautiful and potentially new!!? i want to read others' lists of collections, so i will be skipping around other blogs to find people as obssessive as me. thanks for your interest!

*06.2011 update: i will be adding photos of these collections in the near future

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