Monday, July 25, 2011

Mrs. Magpie: Collector's Edition

I never set out to be
a collector.....
Even saying the word collector 
brings to mind someone with
a wine cellar filled with vintage
bottles or a man wearing a
monocle, studying his vast coin
or stamp collections....

But somehow, over many,
many years, I have amassed
groups of similar things,
unwittingly cobbling together
my own sorts of collections.

I didn't grow up with
parents who were collectors,
although Mom and Dad
did encourage my brother
and me to start collections.....

stamps and coins {him}
dolls and horse statues {me}
sea shells {both}
rocks {him}
silver charms {me}

I think adults like the idea
of adding to children's collections
as well as the idea that the
collection itself might be 

Ironically, it wasn't until my
brother and I had left the nest that
 my folks began their own collecting.
They now attend auctions regularly
and my mom is a regular hunter
at thrift shops!

While I no longer collect dolls,
I do have some horse and dog
art around our house.  I use that
word lightly, as none of it is valuable
in terms of money.  It simply appeals
to my love of both of these creatures.

And  really, isn't that the 
best sort of collection?

When I travel I like to bring
home a rock or shell and add it to the
ledge in my shower.  It makes me
smile to see that tiny collection

My dad's parents retired in Florida
and spent hours shelling.  They had
buckets and buckets of shells and
shark's teeth in their little seaside home
and it was always a treat for all of
their grandchildren to visit and comb
through the treasures.

I believe, in the end, it's not having
the things that means a great deal to
me, but rather being a part of the
history and stories that the pieces hold.
Even if I didn't inherit the item, but 
purchased it at a flea market or thrift shop
love to think about who the previous 
owner might have been and what
 kind of life each thing possibly had 
before it entered mine.

And honestly, if I lost all my collections
tomorrow, I would be sad, but as I often
remind my daughter when she's forced
to tackle her unkept room and make the
tough decisions about what to keep and what
 to set aside for the church rummage sale:
They are things.

The thing is not your health.
The thing is not your loved ones.
The thing is not your past.
The thing is not your future.

It is, indeed, an object.

And while it might bring back a
wonderful memory, the thing,
in itself is not the memory.  Only
our heads and hearts can truly
contain those.

That said, what truly makes a home
welcoming and cozy in my eyes are 
those little things that reveal hints
 about the people that live there.
When you step into our house,
the vintage clocks on the mantle,
the silver plate and tea pots, the
horses and dogs all tell you a wee
bit about the lady of the house.

I wish my husband shared my love
of collecting.  Aside from books that
he has read and enjoyed {and none
of them are rare or first-edition}, his
only collection is kept at his office ~
kaleidoscopes ~  which is pretty cool.
But there is nothing in our home,
per say, that lets you in on who he is.

Except, like him, the dwelling 
itself is solid, warm and handsome.

Like my parents, I have encouraged
both of our kids to start collections.
And similar to us, it is our daughter
who has many different collections and 
our son who has only a few.

The proverb that beauty is in the
eye of the beholder is especially evident 
in the varying objects that people collect.
But whether they be precious, kitchy,
sentimental or simply call to our spirits,
collections are also reflections of some
part of what make

Here is a peek at a few more of
the collections that this Mrs. Magpie
has brought home to the nest 
over the years.

Okay, now it's your turn to show-n-tell.
I'd love to peek in your window and
see what you collect.....or to hear what
things you hold dear to your heart.  
So please, link up your collections,
below, and pop back all week to look 
through the other windows with me!

{You know you want to, right??}

The linky party will run until Friday,
so come on in and stay a while!

Also linking up here:


1- The first of many tea cups.
2 - Skeleton keys
3 - Boxes
4 - Vintage trophies
5 - Horses and dogs
6 - Travel rocks and shells
7 - Ball jars and silver plate
8 - Ball jars
9 - Tea cups
10 - Walking sticks
11 - Porcelain box
12 - Vintage clocks
13 - Part of my son's frog collection
14 - Hand mirrors
15 - Lake art
16 - Transferware
17 - Planter urns


Blondie's Journal said...

Collecting is truly a reflection of who we are, where we have been. It helps to bring back the memories of where we found each piece, when we did and how.

I don't really have any collections to speak of but my home is decorated with pretty things that speak to me and maybe tell a little bit about me.

I think this is a wonderful party and I have already read a few posts from those who have joined. Maybe I will get inspired to start a collection of my own!


Marie said...

I used to collect cream and sugar sets. I also collected salt and pepper shakes. Now I collect fairie and cherubs. The best thing of all that I have collected though is friends. Those particular treasures I have always kept and always will!

lisaroyhandbags said...

I think all of us who love thrifting have some type of collection - it could even be just 2 or 3 of the same and a collection is born!
Sadly, mine are all packed away while I'm on this Dubai adventure, but I know that someday I'll be unwrapping them and admiring my grandma's teacups, my antique shoe forms, my shells, my birds, my old plates, my skeleton keys and old linens. And then I'll feel as though my life button is back on "play" and not "pause". xo

traci said...

great collections. love the vintage clocks and the hand mirrors. i have a small collections of vintage clocks.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning dearest Suzanne!

You are so right about what these objects are. They are reflections of where we once where, what thought may have crossed our minds when we purchased, inherited or picked the item out of the ally trash!!!!! We are part of history and that is so exciting. To think that we create artifacts of our time, our lives for others to see is a history lesson in who we are....I LOVE THAT YOU LOVE HORSES! OUt of all the creatures that I love the most, it is them...but I do not have a single horse in my house!

Thank you for visiting and commenting; I hold your comments in high regard.

I will be back with a link that I want you to go to if you have a moment. You may already know this blogger, but I read her entry yesterday and it was stunningly written. I thought of YOU, for you are in this caliber of writing skills......Anita

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest, please visit her post, THE BLACK GATE. Beautiful, poetic and is YOU.


Cindy said...

you have some really awesome collections. i love the idea of the rocks and shells in the mason jars and on the shower ledge. are those your trophy cups too? they are really cool.

hugs, cindy

Lisa said...

Suzanne, I love your sentimental collections. You are so much like me - the things I fill our house with are meaningful and evoke memories of happy times or people I love, or are just fun! My mum collects tea cups, and the best part is that she USES them and puts them out for guests (including her grandchildren) so now they are a special part of visiting her house. I would love to fill a wall with hand mirrors - and love those skeleton keys!

Olive Cooper said...

Suzanne, you are so right about the history behind the object being important. I like living with things with a past. Love the urns and clocks you shared. I have been away from the computer for an entire week but I will link up when I get a post together. hugs♥O

xinex said...

Lovely collections! I enjoyed every picture which all look so smazing. I also collect lots of things, including stones or small rocks from, different places we go to. I write the place and date with a marker and throw them in the fountain....Christine

A Rosy Note said...

Your collections are beautiful, Suzanne. I love the keys, clocks and mirrors. I'm not much of a collector. I have a little of this and a little of that.

xo Tricia

Anonymous said...

My parents weren't collectors either, nor is my husband. I can't help myself... would love those clocks! How sweet they look.

Teacup Moments said...

i also don't call myself a collector because my collections are all accidental! skeleton keys that i started during a trip to england. a collection of musical instruments from all over. porcelain teapots (which i've mostly given away because it's not easy to bring them all along when we move). pretty, thrifted, orphaned bowls. i have those in storage back home so i am unable to share photos. i have also started collecting charms for my daughter and she has a growing collection of pressed pennies. :)

Linda said...

Wonderful collections, Suzanne! I love them...every single one! They give wonderful glimpses of your personality! And I really agree with your statement about the memories being in our minds! Thanks for hosting the party!

Jenny Schouten Short said...

A Tumbleweed can't collect things because of the travel limitations and carry-on bags. However,this particular one collects memories through photos and puts them into books. I collect visual memories that remain in my heart forever. Does that count? xxoo Jenny

Farmgirl Paints said...

good golly girlfriend when you put them all together you do have a LOT of special little collections...wowza! my favorite nook is with the horse, dog and mirror by the front door. i love that spot.

need to find my spot for the mirrors. somewhere honey won't spaz out about;)

Jenny Schouten Short said...

This will be so fun. I accidentally entered twice because I thought the first one didn't take.

Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

Love your collections. Thank you for giving all of us the opportunity to share ours!

Debra @ Common Ground said...

Hi Suzanne, this post really does speak about who YOU are. Funny how and why we start collecting certain things. And just by doing that we are making an outward statement about our thoughts on life. Your photos of your pieces are really wonderful, thanks for the opportunity to share. come link up your party post at VIF on Thursday; it fits right in!
xoxo Debra

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

You have some great collections. So glad I found your party.

Low Tide High Style said...

I agree that what we collect is a tiny window into who we are and what we value! Like you, I know that if they all went away I would be fine, if not a little sad, but it's still fun to hunt for those things we collect that bring us so much joy and pleasure!

Great post and I hope to link up soon!

Kat :)

Emreen said...

Beautiful collections... I love that frog prince... soo cute...

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

I think you have such a lovely approach to collecting! I hope that many read your lovely post and gain insight from it!
Your collections are lovely too! I have always wanted to collect walking sticks. They tell such a story to me. The dog especially!
Thank you for hosting this great party. What a creative idea! I am a new follower!
Now off to visit other collectors!

Sue said...

I'm not sure how I got actually got started collecting blue and whites- guess I saw photos in magazines and blogs and knew I liked the look! I'd say that like the traditional look. Having three or more of something would probably qualify as a collection IMHO, so I'd say a lot of us have more collections of things than we realize! If they make us smile, all the better....
Thanks for hosting today.
:-) Sue

Designs By Pinky said...

I came over from Stone Gable and am SO happy that the party lasts all week!!!! I am going to do a post about what I collect so I can join the party!!!!!! I will be your newest follower too! XO, Pinky

Diane said...

Always nice to meet other collectors and what we all collect. Great party. I am following your blog, looking forward to future posts. Diane

hello lovely said...

so much beauty in your collections to behold! and such gorgeous photography. the trophy cups just take my breath away, and of course the shells on the silver tray (um. i swear i didn't copy that!).

isn't it fun to see photos of your collections? really got me excited to see them together and makes me love them more.

time to cook and clean! thanks for hosting today!



Joanna said...

I think I 'gather' to my heart rather than collect. This is, as usual, a beautifully written post and you are so right about these things just being 'things'. But they say a lot about who I am. I have such a strong need to 'save' little things, and group them together in new loving little families. This gives me such pleasure (something to do with being adopted?!).

This is such a lovely idea, Suzanne and you have gathered some gorgeous groups. I hope you don't mind if I pop back with another collection tomorrow.....?

Like your husband, mine doesn't collect either (not even kaleidoscopes), but he loves that I make our house a home with all my daft collections. He is equally daft:o)



I loved your comment about your husband. And enjoyed your collections and beautiful pictures.

I will be back tomorrow to linkup. Thanks,Suzanne, for hosting a party with a great creative theme.


Beatnheart said...

you have such a lovely blog...and fab photos. you could do a magazine or coffee table book. Also I love your way of thinking and living. Thanks for your comment on my blog and your visit. you are pretty special.

Bring Pretty Back said...

I don't really collect anything... I love your collections . So much meaning behind them .
Have a pretty day Suzanne,

vignette design said...

Hi Suzanne,
Love this post. Love seeing all your collections too, and I especially loved your clock collection.
I linked up an old post of mine about my honey pot collection. It's nice to have a place to show and tell.
Thank you for hosting. ~Delores
PS: I may link up another post from the past about my majolica collection if it's ok....

Happy Homemaker UK said...

I'm not much of a collector, but I love the shells and rocks in your shower - great idea. Love your unique Linky party - clever you :)

Bonnie said...

I've read your post several times and could reread it again. Your writing is like music-to be enjoyed and thought about over and over. You have given me much to think about. I've thought of several other things I have collected not thinking of the items as collections until now. Thank you for your party. I have enjoyed reading all the posts. I am a new follower.

Mona said...

Hey Suzanne..this is such a good post..thank you for hosting this collections is such fun to see everyone's collections..thanks again..

patty said...

i would have loved to participate in this, miss suzanne, but alas, we are in a hotel room and the only collections i have here are dirty laundry, camera lenses, and my immense photo library on my computer. :))

one of my favorite collections at home is tiny viles of sand from different beaches we visited on a trip to hawaii. they are different colors and are marked with tiny tags that hand from the tops. i put them all in a wine glass...

your collections are beautiful. :)

Cindy said...

I love all of your collections. I collect rocks too! Especially ones that are in the shape of a heart. I have lined my windowsills with them. I will be glad to send you one if you don't have a heart rock from Texas!

Melissa said...

hi lovely-

this is right up my alley in many ways this week...

a collector- where do i begin- in fact i should just let my husband write to you later...

but after a very difficult couple of weeks- i'm here for comfort and friendship and to be reminded that it is the people and memories in ones life that mean the most...

in saying that- my collections of all things special to me are going no-where...they just aren't in first place this week...

lovely to be almost makes me feel normal again...

melissa xxx

Joanna said...

Oh dear, I'm having trouble getting myself onto the linky thing for my other collections post.

It'd be lovely if you would pop on over to see my hearts, money boxes and Doctor Who stuff!


Erica said...

What a great collection! Love it!

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Farmer's Wyfe said...

What fun!!! I'm a new follower and linked up my "Secret" Collection. :) So true what you said, though. A lot of things, it's the memories wrapped up in them...and sharing those with people who ask. :) (Loved your fun collections: especially that bluebird teacup! :) )

Indie.Tea said...

My collections: my books, novels and cookbooks. I collect very few things, I suppose...
p.s. I hope you and your daughter enjoy your trip to the Pacific NW. I think the best blackberries I ever had were when my family drove up to WA and I picked bags of berries near a small beach. Not even farmer's market can compare.

quintessence said...

What a great post Suzanne. I don't really collect any one thing per se but I totally agree with you on several fronts. I think it's so important for a house to be a home and for that you need to personalize it in any way - your books,, photographs or collections. And secondly, you're so right - these are only things, and while they make us happy and give us joy to look at and collect, they are not the essence of our lives but perhaps can help us recall or appreciate that which is.

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

I have collected different things for my interests change. I find myself purging a little now. Doesn't mean I won't be collecting something else real soon...just can't help myself.

Tiffini said...

love reading your heart. I have been thinking and thinking about what I collect and I don't...not an "object" collector. I think I collect words and stories etc and store them in my heart. have a good weekend friend:)

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Lovely, lovely, and guess what? You're a collector!



offset printing said...

Oh these photos are really nice and I enjoyed reading your blog. I love the clocks of various colors and shapes. That frog looks a lonely king.

The Tablescaper said...

I just found your blog via Yvonne at Stone Gable and I must say I'm loving it. You have some beautiful collections.

- The Tablescaper

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Suzanne, I love this post and seeing all the wonderful collections. I had so wanted to post but had to take care of some family things and didn't have time to photograph any of my small collections. Hmm, I wonder if I have an older post I can include!?! Well, I will definitely join next time. I love seeing your clock collection! I will be busy looking at everyone's wonderful collections. Thank you for hosting a wonderful party!

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

Hi, friend! I'm admiring all your creative posts here. Can you please share them at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there at the party :)

Lili said...

While I was enjoying the images of your gorgeous collections I was half thinking that I really don't collect anything, until I realized that my ironstone platters, galvanized watering cans, and sea glass are evident throughout my home. I love how you have arranged and displayed all of your treasures Suzanne, you place looks so awesome! xoxo ~Lili

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

I know that you have so many blog parties to choose from so thank you for choosing Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop. This amazing post added to the party blast! Enjoy the rest of the week :)