Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hooked on collections

This week I had the pleasure of having lunch at a friend's house where I marveled at her collection of china. Her house is beautifully decorated throughout, but the kitchen and dining room are especially lovely--beautiful plates and platters hung on the wall as art, gorgeous dishes in the antique china cabinet, wonderful china to eat from. This is the kind of collection that can make me very envious if I'm not careful.

Looking at how well my friend has used her collection made me think of how I've used my own collections. When I was a small girl, I had a collection of dolls. My father traveled a great deal, and he would often bring my sister and me a doll from the cities he visited. I remember having a doll whose head was carved from a chestnut, one whose face was a dried apple, another made from a baby alligator.

When I was a teenager, my mother encouraged me to choose something new to collect. My mom and my grandmother were very keen on collections, and they wanted me to have something special that they could help me collect. Just think about that--I had two generous women who wanted to give me gifts. I could have chosen to collect coins or stamps or leather-bound books or any number of things, but what did I choose?


Yes, you read that right. I chose to collect unicorns. I had unicorn figurines, unicorn books, unicorn bookends, unicorn jewelry, unicorn art, even unicorn towels. Oh, my goodness.

After I outgrew the unicorns, I was turned off collecting for awhile, but I guess I do have the collecting gene. Now, though, I collect things that not only interest me and make me happy but that will be lovely to use in my home.

Here's a part of a collection that I inherited from my mother. She loved antique bottles and was always on the lookout for them at antique stores, yard sales, and estate sales. The little Listerine bottle is my favorite.

Earlier this week I wrote about the collection of pitchers that was inspired by this pitcher that I also inherited from my mother.

Here's how I use the pitchers in my kitchen:

My prized collection, though, is of crosses. Several years ago, my husband gave me a crystal cross as an Easter gift. That was a gift that I will cherish forever. Since then, I have collected crosses. I love them for what they represent: the sacrifice that Jesus made to save us. I love them as works of art. Each one in my collection is beautiful in its own way. And I love them each as a piece of memorabilia: most were acquired as souvenirs of special trips or given to me by loved ones.

And I love using them in my home. Most of them are displayed on this wall in my living room:

Some of my favorites are on the chest:

The two Celtic crosses are special favorites. The stone one is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the crystal one is Waterford.  

Do you collect anything? What makes you smile?

--Shared with Julia for Hooked on Fridays


Kari @ p.s. said...

Oh my goodness, I have never met or even heard of anyone else who collected antique bottles. I started collecting mine in high school and to this day I do. For some reason they are beautiful to me! How awesome. Love all the crosses too!

jojo said...

Your collection is beautiful and very calming to my soul. I have always collected vintage linens, such as table cloths, napkins, etc. But in my heart I have always wished to have a collection of rosaries..maybe one day soon I will start one.

sonya said...

Well now I am going to have to look for unicorns to give you!! Under $5 of course! You didn't mention that it is easier to display your collections when you don't have cabinet doors in your kitchen!!! Love you! ~S

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Hi, Richella! :) Stopping by from Julia's party. Your cross collection is awesome...what a great daily reminder of God's love for US! :) I collected Madame Alexander dolls growing up. I also used to dance, and my mom started giving my sister and I a Nutcracker after each year's performance. I have TONS of Nutcrackers now, but I only display them at Christmastime. :)

Dawn said...

loved traveling through your collections! i have quite a few myself... the angels (all on a wall), i have carousel horses, panda and ice cream. i often say my house is like coney island!

niartist said...

RICHELLA!!! Have you been to my blog??? I'm hosting a giveaway at my blog of genuine Cross Bottles valued at $175. It ends Monday, so hurry over. I think you'll love them! This is the perfect combination of your collections! You simply HAVE to see them!

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Oh, Richella...what a beautiful collection. They really make a statement all grouped together! What a lovely way to start a collection...a dear gift from your hubby! The old bottles are really neat...I always love seeing them when I come across them in antique shops. The red pitcher is a treasure! Thanks so much for your sweet words over at Houzz! You made my day! :-)

Sam said...

I just started collecting teacups and vintage handkerchiefs. I love them. Come take a peek at my new blog. I would love some visitors! :)

Audra said...

I collect antique rotary egg beaters. At the time, most are stored as I have no place to display them but I keep one sturdy on in my kitchen and use it daily. I enjoyed reading about your mom and grandma collecting!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Richella! I loved your stories about collections in your family. I wish I had collected antique bottles or anything beautiful when I was younger! That is funny about the unicorns!! But I guess it is never too late to begin a collection. Your cross collection is beautiful. I love that they are meaningful AND lovely!!


Kimm at Reinvented said...

The cross collection is stunning. Does it just make you want to pray every time you walk in the room?

Antique Glass Bottles said...

Wonderful collection. I also love collecting antique bottles. It's such a great hobby.

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