Collect what you love, but keep in mind the space and storage you have for your collection. My husband has a collection of teapots. At one point he commented that he wanted to limit his collections to teapots that were really something unique. He didn’t want the teapots to overtake our space. I asked him for his definition of a “unique” teapot. He pointed to the old wood stove teapot and told me to notice the detail of the piece. It has eggs and bacon in a skillet, a teakettle, and another pot. Another example was the Notre Dame teapot. It is very interesting in the way it was executed and detailed. Our philosophy: collect the best of what you love and can afford. Although what I love, isn’t always expensive.
Display your collection where you can see them and enjoy them. Over the years, many of my students and friends have given me the Willow Tree Angels as gifts. I am very touched by their thoughtfulness and each one reminds me of the gifter. On top of that, I truly like the Willow Tree Angels. Recently, I brought all of the angels home from my classroom. I decided to display the angels in pairs on the window sashes of our family room. There are five windows, so I displayed my angels with a mini-fall votive candle arrangement. (A future post will give you the "how-to" directions for these votive candle holders.) I get to view them every day and light the tea lights in the evenings. They make me smile.
It’s OK to rotate collections, or pack some away for seasonal use. For example, I like dishes and I love to change out the dish display in our China hutch. Currently I have some pieces from Earthware Langs “Romance” collection, mixed with the Ambience “Romance”collection. At Christmas, I will change these out for holiday dishes. In the spring, I will display my China that has a very spring like pattern of flowers and greens, and even a ladybug! This way, I get to enjoy my dishes throughout the year.
If you find your collection is in storage for an extended length of time, or its appeal is not the same as it once was, it may be time to reevaluate your love for the collection.
Early in my teaching career, I began collecting pigs I don’t remember how it exactly started. Maybe it was because I’m from Iowa and there are many hog farmers in my family. I had moved from Iowa to Pennsylvania and I was homesick. But, in a few years, my collection had gotten out of hand. I was receiving pig ornaments, pig slippers, a big red Nebraska pig and so much more. My mother suggested at one point that it was too bad I hadn’t picked “something else”—like angels. The Christmas that I received a set of 12 googley-eyed pig refrigerator magnets from a very pleased student, I had my awakening. I pared the collection down to favorite “pig” things. There were two ornaments and the pig toothpick holder that my younger brother had bought me at an art fair that made the cut. Then, I tried to squelch the idea that “Miss Hanig” likes pigs.
Group like items together for a more dramatic impact. The angel collection is essentially located in the family room windows. We presently have six of Bob’s teapots displayed on our family room shelves. I have more of the teapots displayed in our bedroom on oak shelves above the windows. Putting the angels altogether, or the teapots altogether gives the items a stronger presence.
Enjoy your collections! Be happy!
"How-To" Make Super Simple Autumn Votives