This week I had the pleasure of having lunch at a friend's house and getting to marvel, as I have often done before, 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.
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:
Do you collect anything? What makes you smile?