Thursday, August 09, 2007

My Collections

Homemade Clay PotI've asked to hear about your collections for The Write-Away Contest this month and maybe I'm kidding myself but I thought this was rather a fun topic--people always like to talk about their hobbies and collections and things like that so I'm going to subject you to some of my collections.

1. Pens. Yes, I'm a pen collector. Not just any pens though--they've got to either a rollerball or a really cool retractable ballpoint. I prefer thicker, blue lines but if the design is good enough I'll make do with black. But no matter how many pens I collect in my kitchen drawer somehow they seem to disappear so that when I'm taking down a message I can never find a pen when I need one. Andrew says he's not the one making off with them--I wonder who it could be?

2. Kids. The Mystery of the Disappearing Pens brings me to item number two on the list of things I collect: children. So far I've got four--though if you count the neighborhood children that can be found here at any given time during the summer hours my collection seems much larger. I guess you'd say I get most of my collection on loan.

3. Pots. Each year at Northern Lights Elementary the children make pots as gifts. Christmas, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day--each holiday the children make a clay pot for Mom and Dad and bring it home wrapped in colored tissue paper tied with a yarn bow. When Grace brought her first one home I was thrilled but three holidays a year multiplied by three children makes a total of 376 clay pots--what's a Mom to do with all that pottery? I have pots coming out my ears and there are only so many ear ring dishes a woman needs. I have pots for gold ear rings, pots for silver ear rings, pots for pearl ear rings, pots for books of matches, pots for dust.. I ought to open up my own Etsy store if I could only part with one of them.

4. Bracelets. Speaking of jewelry, I'm partial to bracelets and have a few. A silver one my mother brought home from a trip to Mexico, a silver charm bracelet, a pearl bracelet from Andrew, a bracelet made from the beads of my great-grandmother's necklace, a sproingy pearl bracelet my children bought me one year for Mother's Day that I'll still wear when I'm feeling motherly.

5. Soundtracks. I like background music while I'm typing or working on a project and movie soundtracks are great for this. My favorites? Well you can read about those here if you want a detailed list, if you want the basics I'm listening to random selections from Lord of the Rings, Master and Commander, Out of Africa and Lewis and Clark and others. Anyone heard any good ones lately that I can add?

6. Pillows. My husband accuses me of trying to drown our bed in pillows. I'm not sure what that means but he doesn't seem to hold the same opinion that more is better when it comes to pillows. I want to recline in comfort, with pillows at my beck and call, and as I'm the one changing the sheets around here I don't see that he has any reason to complain. How many do I have right now? Oh, hard to say, but let's just say if I decided to open a bed and breakfast I wouldn't have to buy any pillows, I'd be fully stocked. Any problems with that? Good.

7. Vases. I kind of like vases--it started with my husband's very first gift to me. I should make this a separate post and maybe I still will later but it's a great story . . . it used to be if I ever told it to anyone (well, any woman) they'd actually get teary from the effects. Of course now I've built it up so you're probably thinking, "Yea, go ahead, try me. I won't cry--it can't possibly be that good--" but here goes:

Christmas 1991 was our first Christmas together as a couple and we'd been dating seriously for a month or so and as I was getting ready to leave for the airport to go home for the holidays Andrew gave me my Christmas gift. It was a small long box and when I opened it it was a Lennox porcelain vase with tiny rosebuds on it, really a beautiful little thing and I was impressed with how pretty and delicate it was and that he'd been thoughtful enough to find something so feminine. He told me how he'd been combing the stores for days trying to come up with just the perfect Christmas gift and that he'd thought and thought and thought and finally when he walked by a shop window and saw the vase he knew what he wanted to get me for Christmas. He wanted to get me that vase. . . and then he pulled out a red rose and said that the vase was for the rose and that he wanted to tell me that he loved me.

Yea, it was good. Of course, he's grumbled since then that he struck gold the first time and that ever since then he's been up against the Perfect Gift and that he'll never be able to top it. There's a certain amount of truth in what he says, but regardless, it was a great gift and he's wonderful.

And I've got a few more vases since then--a Chinese enameled vase on a pedestal, a silver Turkish ewer, a Waterford vase from Ireland--my mother has traveled and brings back wonderful additions for my collection.

Herbs in Alaska8. Herbs. Inside there's myrtle and cinnamon basil, in the garden there's chives, woolly thyme and achillea, on the deck in pots are marjoram, oregano, lemon balm, lemon grass, hyssop, dill, anise, cilantro, rosemary, parsley, thyme, curry, tarragon, pineapple sage, English lavender and French lavender and sage. I'm ready for any and all culinary eventualities.

9. Bruises. I'm afraid I have rather pale skin. Well, rather white skin. Okay, really white--as in "I could blend into a snow storm white"--and as such I bruise easily. Don't even look at my legs because at any given time I'll have one or two. Bruises that is, not legs. Well, yes I'll have two legs too but I meant bruises. Whew! One little vague pronoun reference and I'm toast.

10. Coins. It's not as if I collect coins seriously, cataloging and recording each specimen but I have a large wooden box that I made in junior high wood shop class where I keep coins from around the world. If my parents or friends go to another country they'll bring back coins from their travels. Mostly from Europe and Asia, I don't have any from Africa, Australia or Indonesia/Malaysia and only a couple from South America. The ones that are the most unusual are the two I have from China that are thousands of years old and the one I have from the Caribbean that was dredged from the wreck of a sunken 19th century ship. I think what makes coins so interesting is that they go from person to person, carried in pockets and bags and piggy banks and hold so much culture in such a tiny package.

Paper Placemat Purse11. Home improvement projects. Our house was built in the late 1970s and has plenty of things that need updating or repairing. In general it's in good working order and now that we've remodeled the kitchen and living room things look pretty modern but I've always got a list of things to do in the future. Next? To enlarge the kids' rooms and redo the outside of the house, with some modern siding and glass decking then new bathrooms (there are three) and remodeling the family room. Yes, it never ends but it's very satisfying to feel as if the house looks better than when we purchased it six years ago. We've put in new landscaping, converted the gigantor shed in the backyard into a playhouse for the kids, painted, replaced the garage door, replaced the windows (including two sliding glass doors), replaced the light fixtures and replaced the flooring everywhere but the bedrooms. Pretty soon it'll be like the bionic man--very cool and nothing left of the original.

Woven Ribbon Purse12. Purses. I won't say too much more of this for fear of wearing your patience out on the subject but here is one I made from a crocheted paper placemat and one made from weaving pink ribbons together. I really need to open my own Etsy shop.

13. Used hardback books. I only buy used hardbacks, and the older the better, there's something about reading a book that someone else has owned and marked that pleases me. I'll often find things like, "To Jim from Mom and Dad, Christmas 1935" written in the front or notes scribbled in the margins. In one book I found an old black and white photo, once used as a bookmark but left for me to find 50 years later.

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43 comments:

Lori said...

Im guessing this is your Thursday 13 even though it doesnt say so;) Wow..where do you put all your stuff???

maggie said...

Wow that is alot of things to collect. Happy TT

Comedy + said...

This is a great TT. I loved all of it. This is my first visit, but I feel as if I now know a lot about you. Excellent post. Have a great TT. :)

Corrie said...

I'm a pen person myself - but I have a secret stash and still can't ever seem to find one.

Love the ribbon purse - yes, open an etsy shop.

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

I don't think I could come up with 13 collections. Impressive list! Although the bruises made me wince.

Lisa said...

I guess I am pretty boring. I think right now I collect dust because I am not doing a good job of getting rid of it! :) Cool list. I actually have a collection or two. I'll have to see if I can turn it into something worth reading about.

G's Cottage said...

I loved the soundtrack for "The Painted Veil."

Lynnae (From Under the Clutter) said...

You have some great collections! Have you ever posted instructions on how to make a ribbon purse? That pink purse is DARLING!

Shannon said...

I have tons of pillows too! I love them, they make everything so comfy! Great list have a wonderful week!

The Crux said...

I love bracelets, too. I also like some soundtracks as background (e.g., American President, Meet Joe Black, and Forrest Gump). RE: puses, we're definitely kindred spirits!

An Ordinary Mom said...

I knew purses and handbags would be on there somewhere :) !!

I might do a Write-Away Entry this month. Have you had a lot or is everyone on vacation?

kailani said...

Wow! Those are a lot of things to collect. Where do you find the time?

SabineM said...

very interesting!
I forgot on my list that I collect matchboxes!
And I love Pillows too, though I don't dare start another collection
:-)

pussreboots said...

I also collect hardback books, the older the better. Do you have any favorite books or authors from your collection? Happy TT.

Robin said...

You're right, that vase story is a doozy.

I collect cookbooks (well, that and dustbunnies) and I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to turn that into a Write-Away essay, but so far I haven't found my angle.

Heffalump said...

I like to collect school supplies. This time of year is a favorite of mine. If I could have a walk in closet (or better yet a whole room!) full of school and office supplies I would be thrilled.
I always enjoy your lists, it makes me feel like each week is another little peek into your personality.

Abel said...

Wow you collect so many things. But I like #2 most.

jchevais said...

I collect art supplies.

And you really should open an etsy shop. Your bags are beautiful.

Bla said...

I used to collect stamps, stickers and packs of cigarettes. I still collect matches.

Mike said...

That's funny. I collect pens, too. I have no idea why. Some of them are now leaking. Most of them are in the garage.

And, generally, I don't use them. If I want to write, I use my laptop. If I want to draw or paint, I use my Wacom.

Think it is something that the APA (American Psychological Association) should know about?


Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com/

MamaLee said...

I'm not sure I collect anything. I really need to work on that! Great list.

Happy TT!

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

Andrew made the first classic guy mistake.He set the bar way too high right off the bat. Now he has been searching for some thing to top that for the last 16ish years and come up short. Are you done collecting kids? we are I think so you have to ask Stephanie. As for Music soundtracks I do enjoy Johnny Williams, a bit of useless trivia: John has never asked to compose music for any of his movies. Save one Memoirs of a Geisha. I like the Catch me if you can. I enjoy Howard Shore as well, and Basil Poledouris. He's not that good, but I just like saying his name, he did movies like Conan the barbarian, and Red Dawn pretty popular in the 80s.

Mercy's Maid said...

You could combine two of your collections and plant your herbs in the pots. :)

Joyful Days said...

You really should open an Etsy store. Your purses are great.

I have a book collection, I suppose, although it is just books--old, new, paper-, trade-, hardback. Now if I could collect the time to read them all.

My husband would say I collect collections, but anything I've thought to write about that subject makes me sound like...well...just a pack rat. Not very compelling.

Great list.

The Estrogen Files said...

Pack rat, that's me! I like blue ink pens (like those cool gel ones) best, I have snow white skin with lots of bruises (thank you, thyroid problem), and all the neighborhood kids seem to flock at my house. Yes, please open an etsy shop!!

Suzanne said...

Holy cow, I'm in awe of your purse-making skills. You really SHOULD open a shop... all kidding aside. Very cute.

Babystepper said...

I sleep with three pillows and a wedge, to try to prevent heartburn. My husband makes fun of me, up on my mountain top. I just take his pillow and tell him to stop whining.

My left leg currently has about 4 large bruises. I keep running into things. I told hubby people were going to think he abused me, but he said he wouldn't be hitting me on my leg anyway, so we're probably safe from critical eyes. =)

Marina said...

I really like the descriptions of your collections; I have a few of the same, but probably wouldn't be able to make them sound quite as special.

Happy TT!

http://texasfarmwife.blogspot.com/2007/08/thursday-13-2-13-things-i-have-learned.html

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Where do you put it all? I've got a few pens (I prefer roller balls, too) and lots of books and art from the kids and I'm drowning in the clutter...

mandy said...

found your blog today..... just wanted to say hi!
:)

Lei said...

It sounds like you *want* to open and Etsy shop,and just need a little encouragement. ;) I say do it!

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Someday you MUST show us your purse collection!

I also vote for opening your Etsy shop . . . you know, just so you can have something to do in your free time. Besides taking pictures of all of your purses and handbags for us (which I really do want to see!).

Leslie said...

You collect some wonderful things! I also love old hard back books - that comes from my father. He has quite a collection. And your husband's first gift story is lovely.

Susan said...

I love to read inscriptions in old books. And there's just something so comforting about reading a hardcover; it feels good in your hands when you're reading and just makes the entire experience better. Great post, Michelle.

Christie O. said...

you might say i have a thing for purses too, it drives my husband mad. but that is one cute purse, missy! i also have an obsession with coffee mugs and glass cups and goblets and have overflowing cabinets because of it. i love beverages. happy tt!

Michelle A. said...

Great list! I seem to collect foundation make-up, I must have five at one time - and none of them have ever truly matched my sking tone. Would love to collect more purses, but find I wear one into the ground and then find another. And, bruises - totally understand!

telluthetruth said...

I love to berry pick and plant flowers all summer!
the Alaskan Mom

JHS. said...

Wow, I had TONS of hardback books around here. Wish I'd known. I would have happily paid the shipping to send them to you! We ended up donating them . . . we gave some to the local hospital, hoping they would bring a smile to a few people.

I love gel pens, but I got so many, I had to put myself on pen probation, i.e., no buying more until I used up the ones I already had. That was a couple of years ago and I still have more pens in the drawer. I think I'm going to be on probation a long time.

Chief Family Officer said...

I love the pink ribbon purse! Go on, open your own Etsy store!

Laane said...

What a great list of collections.
You must have a huge house.

Havea great weekend!

Damselfly said...

Hey, if you're collecting bruises, then I have some here for you. ;)

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I feel the same way about used books. Please post how you made the ribbon purse!

David said...

I got interested in collecting world coins after a friend of my dad's brought me a small gold coin from Venezuela about 20 years ago. Coin collecting has been a great hobby for me. It's been relaxing, enjoyable, and profitable too!