Everyone who knows me knows I love a good tschotske, knick knack, trinket, dust catcher, fill in your own favorite word. I am like my hero Edward Gorey in my delight in collecting Stuff. He loved round things, ratty stuffed animals, rocks, pieces of glass, old bottles and STUFF. So do I. My husband is bemused and patient ( thank you Jeezus) with all of it.
In my living room I have a seven foot tall cabinet with glass doors that holds various collections dust free and contained. I am organized, I will give me that. I don’t think super organized folks who live in a house with under a thousand square feet become hoarders.
Instead, they become People Who Must Sell Things. I can’t help it, I absolutely adore vintage trinkets. I have been trying to define my own esthetic. The things that attract me have to be somewhat odd, unique, cool, and have a quirky cute factor. I’m not terribly fond of frou frou, but I make exceptions, like the Woodland Ceramics dog I just found. The dog has a porcelain polka dot bow on his cute neck, I mean really?
I love old metal stuff more than fluffy stuff, so ancient locks yes, ancient china shepherdresses no.
I have had a cat collection of cat statues and cat trinkets forever, since forever is age 12 for me, ditto tiny boxes and foxes.
I have a shelf stuffed with brightly painted Mexican wooden animal figures, and one with sheep that started out with the wooden sheep I got in Germany at the age of 8. Yes, I still have it and a fondness for things small and sheepish. I also have to admit to guilty pleasure in books, clear crystals, blue glass, and now vintage clothes.
In my defense, the vintage clothes and a lot of the recent acquistions are definitely just moving through my hands and into the world. My son is terrified I’m becoming a hoarder because I repurpose broken jewelry and bits into new art. Relax, Tor, I am not going down that path, I promise.
Let me also mention that my Iphone is my tool of choice and the devil’s advocate. With that phone in hand I can whip up a Google search and determine that moose pitcher that someone wants $2 for is actually worth over $20. Score.
Well, sort of score. These “valuable” finds are piling up like something out of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Solution: My best garage sailor and estate sale crusing bud has an antique mall stall in which she does biz and does it well. We are joining forces and attempting to expand her space into a double wide. How trailer trash can you get? Its just a case of waiting for a bigger ‘hole’ to open up and moving in to it as fast as we can get our paws on it.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch. My back porch is now full of furniture that has either been refinished and repaired or is waiting its turn. I am doing a reno on my eldest son’s house and beautiful repurposed perfect stuff for his kid’s rooms is parked there awaiting installation. My window sills and shelves are filling up with product for moving into the space we hope to have by sometime in October. (Please Lord, send us a space…)
This weekend we are going out to find us a storage unit because we can’t stand it anymore. Her garage is full and my whole house is full. Its actually funny but its crazy making too. You have to have the product but where the hell do you put it until you can debut it?
And then there are the clothes…that’s a whole other entry or six. I have discovered there is a serious market of rabid collectors for vintage clothes. Who knew? Two of the three things I put on my Etsy site sold in 24 hours. Okay, they got reserved. That is a term that means what else you got? I might want more before I pay you.
I am losing what is left of my mind balancing all this stuff. Its like juggling houses, I’m fine unless I drop one. The upside is that I am learning an astonishing amount. Evergreen State College, my alma mater, teaches serious research skills as part of going to school there. Its never been more valuable than now.
Next time down the rabbit hole I’ll have to explain why I have a full clothes rack in my bedroom, a new garment steamer, a beautiful model (Debbie), and an entire book full of notes already. I now know the only cleaner worthy of trusting with vintage stuff is an hour away from here in Aberdeen, Washington, but I learned a ton from him too.
Next time around, how to make a vintage clothing collector really mad.