All the Chicks collect books, natch. And, not to brag, but several Chicks have collected nominations and awards this season. However, today we reveal our collections, what kind of stuff we gather, display, or hoard—both fun and dysfunctional. (One lucky commenter on the blog today will receive a nifty, and oh-so-collectible Chicks on the Case lapel pin!)
In addition to all my informal groupings of things that I own too many of, I do have one official, legit collection: PEZ dispensers! (Who knew?!) It started around 20 years ago when I handed out Pez dispensers at Halloween and kept Spooky Sid for myself. Then I bought a few more, I got a few as presents, and at some point it became a thing. Most of them only cost a buck or two, but one of them cost $20 because it wasn’t for sale and my friend was just drunk enough to see that as a challenge. And then there was the rare, vintage King Louie Pez that I paid way too much for — because for some reason I had to have it and I guess I thought it was an investment? It wasn’t. I used to have them displayed on shelves in my office but they’ve been living in my basement since we moved. It might just be time to bring them back out again!
Someone gave me a blank book in high school as a gift, and I started scribbling down quotes. It’s hard to explain why…I just felt compelled to have them. Originally it was mostly lines from stories, poems, and plays, but then it grew to include movie quotes, advertisements, and pretty much anything that caught my fancy. The reasons for collecting the quotes varied: beauty of language, profundity of thought, or just plain hilarity. And when my boys were born, I started recording quotes on a whole new level, sometimes recording whole conversations on a blog that I had at the time. One of my goals this summer is to compile them all into a single file (some are in the blank book, some are typed up, some are scribbled on post-its, etc.). You know, in my free time. 😀 #dreaming
I’ve blogged before about how I collect Christmas ornaments, and make them as well. They’re the perfect craft and perfect souvenir from a trip – until you discover you have twelve boxes of them and no more storage space. I also collect vintage recipe books. I’m fascinated by how food evolves through the decades. But my one truly legit collection is of a pottery called Roseville. It was made between the turn of the century and the 1950s in Ohio, home of Rookwood, Weller, and many other decorative potteries. I fell in love with it when I was poor and it was cheap. I’d grab a piece at a flea market or resale shop for $5 or $10 dollars; I even went as high as $50 or in the case of a cookie jar, maybe more. I’m still poor, but Roseville isn’t cheap anymore. Its value peaked before eBay, but it’s still desirable. My late dad used to joke that I’d retire off my collection. Not even close. But it may eventually pay for Eliza’s college book costs.
I’m not sure I truly collect anything anymore, except clutter and dust bunnies. I have a china collection, although it wasn’t all intentional. There’s my wedding china (Monroe by Lenox), and my Christmas china (Holiday by Lenox) that we collected over a few years. Then I inherited my mother-in-law’s wedding china. All the china is currently in our storage unit along with a huge china cabinet that housed them since we don’t have space in our downsized, downtown apartment. For my mom, it’s a clock collection. At last count she had over a hundred on display (not counting the ones that are packed away). Her house sounds like a ticking time bomb, but we’re used to it. And it keeps her busy when we spring forward and fall back. I also spent some time collecting rejection letters from agents with two completed manuscripts I shopped over the years, before the Liv & Di series. Not sure why, but I actually saved all those rejection letters, at least the ones I received via snail mail. Maybe I kept them because they represented little pieces of my broken heart. Or maybe it was because I had invested in a self-addressed, stamped envelope to receive them.
I’ve collected all kinds of things in my life, starting when I was five with those Madame Alexander Foreign Land Dolls. At the time they were $7.00 and I weeded gardens for 5 cents a grocery bag full to buy them. (Don’t ask how many I ended up with. ) I went into a dormant phase while my kids were growing up, because then they were the big collectors. (I still have many of those items in my closets and basement.) But I somehow got hooked on those little Christmas villages with the lights inside–along with all the trees and stone walls and bridges and mirror ponds and, yep, a train. I told myself I was stopping this insanity but then a writer friend moved to Florida and sent me 75 beautiful new pieces, bless her heart. My village started out mostly New England and Victorian-themed, but I’ve recently added city pieces as well–because, you know, urban sprawl. If you look closely, in the glare of the flashing lighthouse, you’ll notice that all the little people are from different eras because I sort of adopt them from tag sales. And the last time I did that, I found a faded newspaper clipping tucked in the box that told the sad tale of a woman in New Jersey who had THREE rooms of Christmas village pieces and charged admission. Hmmm….
Readers, drop us a note in the comments below!
You name it, someone collects it. (One of us had a former pastor who collected vacuum cleaners. He had sold them door-to-door when he was in college and later became sentimental and nostalgic about them). What do you collect, or would like to collect? (Remember, one commenter will win a Chicks pin!)