The Art of Collecting

 I love collections in my home. Things displayed in multiples seems to speak to my decorating soul in a powerful way. I have made some mistakes along the way….think 1990 Longenberger basket obsession…when I realized I was collecting what I thought I should be collecting rather than what I really wanted to collect. Expensive lesson for me. I am a wiser collector now. Let me share some life lessons I have learned on my collection journey…and show off a few of my most favorites at the same time 
1. Display collected items together…they lose their impact if they are separated . Think of Grandma’s home with her ceramic cats scattered throughout the house on every surface….don’t do that! I like how my vintage rolling pins look in this giant egg basket…suddenly simple objects are seen as an elevated art display!

2. Collect what you love and what resounds with your soul…Be honest when you no longer feel the love and gift or donate. Also, don’t serve as a storage facility for family member’s “treasures” out of guilt or obligation . If you don’t love Aunt Lulu’s souvenir thimble collection , find someone who will delight in them…Aunt Lulu would approve! Many of the chickens on display on my dining room hutch come from a friend who inherited them from a relative. After 20 years of storage I was excited to give them an honored spot in my home. 

3. Don’t collect with your child’s college fund in mind…unless you collect early Picasso abstracts. We all know someone with tubs of Beanie Babies in their basement just waiting for the magical buyer to show up and pave the way to Harvard. The price of my beloved Lusticru omelet pans (French flea market finds) on eBay tempts me to enlist my friends to send me every piece they can find…but then the memory of finding these beauties would be forgotten in the crush of enamelware.  

4.Master the art of rotation. Seasonal collections are a great way to freshen decor with little effort. For example, I display seasonal vintage postcards on a 24 pane window in my kitchen. They make me smile. In May and June I display vintage French seed labels. 

5. The best collections are aquired over time and experience.  It is so tempting to see a beautiful collection on a blog and jump on the EBay express to immediately duplicate it.  Most likely that blogger has been collecting for years and that collection represents her/his life and experiences.  Let your collections represent you! This collection of antique kokeshi dolls is unique to me and my life experiences in Japan.  I have never seen a collection like it and love the unique and unexpected element it adds to my home. 

Someday I hope the Princess will share my love of collecting…beyond collecting compliments. 

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72 thoughts on “The Art of Collecting

  1. The Princess loves the rolling pins! I figure they survived 75+ years of use, they are pretty tough. The poor chickens would not survive a morning with the Princess.


  2. I have my own collections although nothing as extraordinary as yours. The rolling pins are wonderful as are the chickens and the window panes adorned with seed packets; love it! I really like chippy things. Thank you for sharing with us and enjoy this new week.



    1. My Grandmother would have found it amusing that I collect vintage rolling pins and grain sack material but I find it all beautiful and even more beautiful if it was used and loved well.


  3. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post with SYC!

    I definitely rotate my collections. I am fortunate to have an attic to store things so I can keep quite a few collections on hand.

    I love your rolling pins and your fabulous red pans.


    1. We have a pretty big and dry basement and that helps. I have so many treasures stored down there just waiting for a “forever” house. Shopping the basement can be fun!


  4. Your collections are beautiful! I love the seed packets in the window but I especially love the rolling pins. I’m in the process of collecting them, too, and I love your idea of storing them in a basket. Thanks for sharing at Inspiration Thursday!


  5. Hi Amy, I am a collector as well. I enjoy adding to them a little at a time. Love your collection of rolling pins in the egg basket. I have one and have them displayed in a large crock. One of my favorite collection is that of my seltzer bottles. Your omelet pans are awesome! I have never seen them before. Thanks for sharing with SYC.


  6. Honestly, I’ve never collected too many things because I can’t figure out what to do with them but you have some wonderful display ideas. I am in love with the seed packets. Such a simple but colorful thing to do. Love love those red pans too! Thank you for the inspiration and for joining Thoughts of Home early this morning. 🙂


    1. Many boxes of stuff have been removed from the house…collections I no longer or never did love. The seed packets were an eBay discovery…I love them as well.


  7. You have some truly amazing collectibles and I love the stories surrounding them! I am crushing over your rolling pins something awful! I some some at a vintage market not to long ago but they were WAY out of my price range. The hunt continues.;-)


  8. Hopping over here from Laura’s (White Spray Paint) blog—I loveeeee all the collections you have…thank you for sharing. smiles


  9. I am envying that 24 pane window, but other than that I love your ideas on collecting!! I do have some collections I just need to pass on but some family and friends don’t notice they are not out anymore and keep buying me pieces…that ever happen to you? I feel bad getting rid of them.


  10. Neat post! I love the window pane idea and your rolling pins are wonderful! I tend to collect things that I can use and find it works best for my small home such as milk glass and bubble glass which I use for our “china” as well as vintage tablecloths, linens and old jars which I employ in our pantry. Thank you for sharing with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! 🙂


    1. I love that you use and appreciate your lovely things. My Mother gave me a trunk of old linen and material as she is downsizing….I can’t wait to use them.


  11. What lovely collections you have and I absolutely love the displays, especially the window with the vintage seed labels! So so nice! And collecting rolling pins is so cool! Pinned!


  12. You have such a great eye for display. Your collections are wonderful. We so appreciate you joining the Thoughts of Home on Thursday gathering. May you have a delightfully lovely weekend.


  13. Lovely collections, Amy. I agree that the joy of collecting is in the journey. Each thing I find has a special memory attached to it … where I found it, who I was with (usually my husband), and the delight I experienced in finding it! Blessings!


  14. What a great list for would-be collectors! I agree with all of your tips. I’ve been collecting for a lot of years now, and I still love it! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!
    xoKathleen Charm Bracelet Diva {At Home}


  15. You articulated your thoughts in this post very well! Right now the hubs and I collect postcards from Postcrossing and snow globes from our travels. you are 100% correct that whatever you collect has to have meaning.

    Thanks for sharing at Peace, Love, Linkup! The next party kicks off tomorrow at 6! Hope to see you there : )


  16. Good morning! This is just a little note to let you know this article has been * featured * today for our monthly feature on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! Thank you for joining us and have a lovely week! 🙂

    P.S. We hope to see you at this week’s link up!


  17. Your collections are wonderful! I am in love with wooden items and I adore rolling pins and have a large collection. Cutting boards and wooden bowls also warm my heart. Your rolling pin collection caught my eye in a photo in an earlier post. Your doll collection is wonderfully special!


  18. ❤️ The rolling pins. I collect vintage kitchen utensils w/red or green handles. Great ideas for collections


  19. I love how you display your collections of ordinary things like rolling pins or chickens. I agree about making collections personal to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Just dropping in from Something Old, Something New. I think I’m getting to the point where there are things I don’t enjoy having in my house anymore. I need to give some stuff to Goodwill.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems like the more I give away the more seems to pop up. I have a few bins right now to take to Lutheran mission down the street. Hopefully nothing in the thrift shop appeals to me.


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